I have been thinking a lot about what I have learned from my recent "botched" church-sitting exercise - botched only in the sense that what the pastor and I planned to happen was not achieved, not that God didn't have and fulfil His own plans.
Although I have not come to any fixed-in-concrete resolutions yet, I feel I am coming to the following positions....
1. I will not be a guest preacher for a church again, unless the leadership of that church already believes in God's ultimate plan for the world, as declared in the Bible, or is specifically wanting the church to be taught along those lines.
I see little value in allowing myself to be hauled over the coals and accused of teaching unBiblical stuff by the leadership of churches that worship a God of conditional love whose attempt at salvation at Calvary was too weak to overcome Adam's sin for most of His creation.
2. I will be more focused and more purposeful in my efforts to spread the good news about the God of unconditional love and sovereign power, who is the Saviour of the whole world, that the Bible reveals.
I am getting too old (have too few productive years left) to think this can just happen whatever/whenever and I need to deliberately set time aside each week to write for the web and the printed publications I had just been hoping would eventuate some day.
3. I am also wondering if my focus needs to be on the "world" rather than the organised church for sharing this message as the world and fringe church-goers seem to be more ready to embrace these Biblical truths than those who have been unthinkingly saturated by the theology of mainstream christianity, whose leaders don't want their flocks to be exposed to anything or anyone that might enlarge or challenge their thinking, even if it is Biblically supported.
It is so ironic that a "wonderful" church which preaches grace so often, and where God began to stretch my own understanding of His grace several years ago, axed me for preaching how extravagant and powerful God's grace really is.
As always, your thoughts and feedback are most welcome.
But please give them as comments below the post, rather than as reply emails to me (unless you have something private to share), so we can all benefit from the ideas and discussion.