Report from camp

Camp week in Romania was an exhilarating experience. The 40-50 young people were some of the most eager students I’ve had yet. Lots of great discussions about the Kingdom, prayer times with individuals looking for their place, and simply drinking in the beauty of the little village of Prod. After an unplanned session on grace, one young friend sat down across from me and said “So… you slaughtered a few sacred cows today, didn’t you?” I’m always saddened at the narrow understanding most believers have of the grace of God. It’s no wonder we’ve become known for our legalism and judgmental attitudes. Back in Sarajevo I’m hosting two dear American friends, Brian and Adam. It’s been a real gift from the Father to have the rich, daily fellowship we’ve been enjoying. Tomorrow we head for the Croatian Coast for a few days before escorting Brian on to Genoa, Italy, for Architectural studies. I feel so blessed.

This is the little village of Prod, Romania, site of last week’s camp. The second photo is of a few of the students.

6 thoughts on “Report from camp”

  1. Would you mind expanding on these comments? ” I’m always saddened at the narrow understanding most believers have of the grace of God. It’s no wonder we’ve become known for our legalism and judgmental attitudes.” Isn’t saying that some believers have “narrow understanding” passing judgment on others? Isn’t calling a segment of believers legalistic and judgmental itself, judgmental? How do we approach other believers with Jesus’ teachings of the Kingdom without also calling attention to a judgment on their understanding? How do we know to correct something unless we see that it is wrong? Do we really wonder about this, or is what our Lord said not true… to you it is given the knowledge of the Kingdom!

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  2. Hey Tucker. Thanks for your comments. They always make me think. I’ve wanted to reply to you several times, but you haven’t left an Email address or name for me to track you down. It would be really helpful to know a little about who I’m talking with.

    Regarding your question, I TOTALLY agree with you that the moment I point a finger at someone and say “He’s a pharisee”, then I’ve become a pharisee myself. And as much as I try to deny it, the sad reality is… I DO have a pharisee living inside of me who raises his ugly head at random times. That’s why I need people like you to keep me reminded of my constant need for grace.

    However, I would have you notice that I didn’t single any one person or persons out, nor did I condemn anyone in the biblical sense. I simply said “most believers”, (which would include me), “have a narrow understanding of grace of God.”

    And then I said it’s no wonder “we” are known for our judgmental and legalistic attitudes. I believe if you’ll check the latest Barna research, or even take a poll down at the local bar, you’ll find that Evangelical Christians like me and (I assume) you, are generally known for being judgmental. That’s not a statement of condemnation, but of fact. We are falling woefully short of loving people the way Jesus did.

    Don’t you agree? If not, then perhaps I need to be introduced to the segment of Christianity you’re hanging out with. They must be winsome and delightful people who hang out with prostitutes, criminals and addicts without a trace of judgment.

    I’d love to dialogue with you further, Tucker, but I think it might be best to have the option of doing that via Email. Your last comment about my need to consider Christ rather than myself could well be true, but I have no clue what exactly you’re talking about. I’d like to hear more. And I’d like to know more about that “fictional account that borders on blasphemy” you mentioned. I’ve obviously hit some hot buttons with you, but I’m not tracking very well. Could we make that conversation a personal one rather than carrying it on in such a public place?

    Blessing, my friend. Thanks for letting your passion for Jesus show so clearly.

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  3. The post about considering Christ wasn’t directed at you, I thought the comments would follow the previous posters comment. I apologize for the confusion, it was not intended but to encourage someone who may have gotten more concerned about their appearance of piety, rather than the one who lived perfectly for us. What an encouragement that is when we fail, as I often do.

    The mention of the book “the Shack” that borders on blasphemy is, well… consider the Word of God- and how prophets of God react when they come in the presence of Almighty God… and consider the portrayal of Mack’s entering the presence of God.

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  4. Thanks Tucker. That helps. I like your heart.

    As for the Shack, I understand what you’re saying, and it’s a valid point. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but I’m probably looking at it from a different angle. While the OT prophets fell on their faces in the presence of the Almighty God, Jesus seemed to invite a very different response. People were drawn to his loving heart, and evidently felt very safe and comfortable in his presence.

    We have some wonderful literature about the fear of God. But in my opinion, not enough about the inviting love of the Godhead towards humanity. I think the Shack, imperfect as it is, answers the second need. I’m a great believer in reading everything, whether it’s John Piper, John Wesley, Charles Colson, or William Young with discernment, realizing that no human author gets it 100 percent correct.

    It’s good we can talk about these things, isn’t it?

    My Email is hawaiidon@aol.com. forgot to mention that last night.

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  5. True about The Shack. When God encounters men on earth it is always inviting and with fellowship. I’m thinking of when God ate with Abraham in his tent prior to sending the angels to Sodom. I enjoyed that book, however I know a few people who relate to God through that book, rather than through God’s word. I think that is a deception but may not be the author who is at fault. I hope you understand what I mean.

    I met a man the other day where I work, he is a missionary to muslims and is currently working in Tunisia. It was awesome and humbling to hear him speak- and it seemed that every tale was directed towards getting the Gospel to lost people, I heard of another friend who is does missionary work in Chile who was recently threatened (murderous) by a person who has previously killed other missionaries. Keep shining brightly.

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