Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Not Too Good to Be True

“I’m not religious,” people often say when they discover I’m a pastor. Religion for them is a turn-off, sadly in some cases through shabby treatment by pious freaks or restrictive beliefs or codes.

It’s good to reassure them that God is not religious either, and that Jesus loved getting around with non-religious people. 

The scribes and Pharisees were two major religious groups. They wanted to show what was right, but their kind of goodness only made everyone else feel second-rate. Jesus released the kind of goodness that lifted people’s self-respect and with fresh respect for others. And this respect invited belief in personal and social change. It was this kind of goodness that enabled Jesus to declare that His followers’ goodness would exceed that of those religious leaders.  

Still today, we can also tap into His power and His courage to bring change. Instead of trying to avoid evil, or wishing it was not there, His wisdom help us to discover how to release people from the effects of evil.

He can also help us lift victims above any bitterness when justice is denied or delayed, for they need our respect more than needing to become pawns in any political lobbying games.

However His greatest power comes as we learn to release His grace to troublemakers. For many of them have changed the course of history; simply by accepting His invitation to let go hidden fears that lurk beneath their exploitative attitudes or actions.  

Noel Mitaxa

On behalf of a church near you,

Inviting you to explore God’s love

 

Noel Mitaxa is from South Eastern Australia and has been in ministry since 1973, firstly with Churches of Christ – similar to the Disciples in the USA – until 1990, when he moved to a faith-based inter-based inter-church sports ministry of sports evangelism, sports chaplaincy and sports media, before returning to pastoral ministry with Baptist Churches in 1996.

Throughout his ministries, he has always aimed at building the kinds of churches that express God’s love practically, as much as verbally.  Most recently, this included a community centre for woodworking, a community garden and counseling and education programs.

He also enjoys the methanol fix of speedway chaplaincy, in which he has served nine seasons as the Head Rev of all those rev heads!

He and his wife Judy have been married for 35 years; their four kids have grown up and they have three grandchildren.

His writing began in 1982, with his first weekly Good News column, which has always focused on helping unchurched people to realize that God loves them and that He is already there for them.  The column has also been a tool for feeding and starting ‘water cooler’ conversations among Christians and non-Christians.  He also writes for Cypress Times in Houston TX.

 

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