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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage Statement

I (Nate) am always weary about promoting the ministry of Bishop T.D. Jakes, simply from some doctrine disagreements on issues that I believe are key. HOWEVER... I do see him as my brother in Christ and I am incredibly thankful for him reaching the many people that he has reached in his ministry. All that being said... I have heard many people give their talk and their opinion, promote a certain viewpoint on the status of the American church and the United States government with the recent ruling by our Supreme Court, and none have come close to the clarity and straight talk that Bishop Jakes did at his congregation's meeting this past weekend. For those who want a piece of hope (and a challenge) in the midst of this ruling, take a listen (it's only four minutes long):

And all of THAT being said, let us, as Christ's church, with one accord yearn to obey the commands given to us... that no matter how different, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Let us strive to never sacrifice a person on the altar of truth, but rather, seek their goodwill in all situations. Teach with truth AND grace. Live a life of love. Accept one another just as the Lord has accepted us.


Nathan Bryant

is a pastor at River Run Church in East Orlando, FL. As a student at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri he majored in Biblical Leadership, New Testament Studies, and Missiology.  In 2014 he attended the Leadership Institute in Phoenix, AZ where he continued his education from other pastors and educators at one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. He loves the outdoors, whether it is camping in the mountains or jumping through the waves at the beach, nothing is better than enjoying God’s creation. Nathan has a combined passion for unity and discipleship in the global church.

Christ's Kingdom is bigger than our causes.
Christ's Kingdom is bigger than our boundaries.

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Nathan's Website


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jesus is what God Has to Say

The great composer Ludwig van Beethoven occasionally played a trick on audiences at small parties, especially when he guessed that they weren’t really interested in serious music. The story goes that he would perform a piece on the piano, one of his own slow movements perhaps, which would be so gentle and beautiful that everyone would be lulled into thinking the world was a soft, cozy place where they could think beautiful thoughts and relax into semi-slumber. Then, just as the final notes were dying away Beethoven would bring his whole forearm down with a crash across the keys, and laugh at the shock he gave to the assembled company.

Perhaps it was a bit cruel and impolite, but the shock of that crash of notes interrupting the haunting melody is a good image for what Jesus had to say at the end of Luke 12. Take a look...

“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.

‘Father will be divided against son
and son against father;
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother;
and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”

Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.

“Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right? When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.”

 -Luke 12:49-59 NLT

Just like Beethoven crashing down on the piano to grab the people's attention, so Jesus is saying some hard words to his audience so they will understand the implications of his message.

Jesus has come to establish a Kingdom on earth, but it is not a Kingdom like that of Rome or of Babylon or any other great empire of world history. It certainly isn't like the superpower nations of today. 

Jesus’ kingship is not like human kingships—it wins influence through suffering service, not coercive power.

And to be quite honest? His kingdom is divisive. All are welcome, but to those who don't "settle matters with their accuser" in time? Well... the fire is coming and it will divide. It will even divide families. And there will not be hope for them after that.
Hard words, but not much different than the hard words these people had already heard from the mouths of Moses and their prophets in centuries past.

But Jesus makes it different.
The author of this text of Scripture is very interested in this type of Kingdom, it supersedes anything he has ever known or understood about the God of Israel. For Luke, a well-educated physician, who was a gentile (non-Jewish) this idea of God coming down and wrapping himself in the flesh of mankind didn't sound like what he had always heard regarding the God of the Jewish people.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Whose Flag Are You Flying?

Where is your allegiance?

Are you still waving your flag of "me" or have you united under the one banner of King Jesus?

Watch the message I delivered this week at River Run Church on a difficult text: http://www.riverrun.church/messages/