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Holiness and Hollandaise are Not Mutually Exclusive

After our daughter, Anna, came back home to live with us after a year-long internship, we picked up the pace of our weekly family night of watching The Great British Baking Show. For all of you readers who might be questioning my manhood, keep reading.

The pay off in watching this show is that Laura and Anna like to apply what they learn by trying different “bakes,” which means I get to be the judge, and the only way to judge is to eat. Win, win.

My personal enjoyment of eating these ambrosial bakes reminded me of something I read recently about the glories of hollandaise:

If you prepare a meal for me, it’s my responsibility—my solemn duty—to enjoy it. . . . Moderation is called for in all things, including zealotry in diet. Robert Capon . . . puts it this way: “Food these days is often identified as the enemy. Butter, salt, sugar, eggs, are all out to get you. And yet at our best, we know better. Butter is . . . well, butter: it glorifies almost everything it touches. Salt is the sovereign of all flavors. Eggs are, pure and simple, one of the wonders of the world. And if you put them altogether, you get not a sudden death, but hollandaise—which in its own way is not one less bit a marvel than the Gothic arch, the computer chip, or a Bach fugue” (McCullough, Say Please, Say Thank You, 59-60).

In case you think this comes right out of a Mary Berry cookbook, think again. The author who penned these words of salivation also penned these words of sanctification: “It may well be revealed that the worst sin of the church at the end of the 20thcentury has been the trivialization of God” (The Trivialization of God, 13).

Same author. Two disparate topics. How can the same author wax eloquently on the glories of butter and the glory of God? Here’s how: holiness and hollandaise are not mutually exclusive. Terry Smith, in his book, The Hospitable Leader, ties together food and faith through none other than Jesus (189). Jesus said, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Here is a glutton and a drunkard’” (Matthew 11:19). The Phillips translation puts it, “The Son of Man came, enjoying life.”

Think about it. The most holy man ever to walk the earth, who accomplished the most significant work in the history of the world, enjoyed life to such perceived excess that His enemies accused Him of drunkenness and gluttony.

Jesus openly acknowledged the joy of feasting without misusing. Jesus’ holiness was not diminished in the feasting. And nor was the feasting subdued by holiness. In other words, in Jesus holiness and hollandaise met. As the Psalmist wrote, “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed” (Psalm 85:10).

I encourage you to follow our Savior in enjoying life and pursuing holiness. These are not mutually exclusive. In fact, when joined together, they are mutually beneficial.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

True for You, Not for Me

Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Before Jesus was crucified, Pilate asked the question of our culture, "What is truth?" (John 18:38).

We live in a culture that desperately needs to rediscover truth! We need to know what is true, why it’s true, and what difference truth makes to our lives. You may have heard the phrase, ‘True for you, not for me.’ Your truth may not be somebody else’s truth. But, how do you determine whether or not something is true?

Josh McDowell tells about a conversation with Amber, a sixteen-year-old girl – a Christian from a solid family and youth group. “Is it wrong to engage in premarital sex?” “Well, I believe it’s wrong for me.” “But do you believe that the Bible teaches that premarital sex is wrong for everyone?” Amber’s eyes shifted back and forth as she weighed her answer. “Well, I know it’s wrong for me, and I have chosen not to have sex until I’m married. But I don’t think I can judge other people on what they do.” McDowell’s conclusion? Amber has been conditioned to believe that truth is not true for others unless they choose to believe it. That’s why over 80% of our kids claim that “all truth is relative to the individual and his/her circumstances.”

Folks, whether you struggle with this issue or not, with over 80% of the next generation claiming that all truth is relative, we need to figure out what we can do to change our current direction. I don’t pretend that a blog posting will cause an entire culture to change course, but maybe it will be a starting point for some people--maybe even for you!

Two important questions:

  1. Why is this such a big deal? The big deal is that beliefs shape values and values drive actions. In other words, your beliefs will eventually become your behavior.
  2. Why do people reject biblical truth? Here’s the number one reason. People reject the Bible and its truths because Christians’ actions don’t match their words. Put another way, who you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.

When we turn to the Bible, we read about one part of this problem in a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Colossae known as the Book of Colossians. There is something that Bible scholars often refer to as “The Colossian Heresy,” which was a belief system that combined the Bible with pagan philosophy. And that’s where we are today. People mix and match based on what they perceive to be true. The result? Truth is relative. The system that Paul was countering combined Judaism and paganism, but it wore the mask of Christianity. It didn’t deny Christ, but it dethroned Him; it gave Christ a place, but not the supreme place. It’s the same thing today. Roughly 94% of all Americans claim to believe in God, but it doesn’t make any real difference in how we live our lives.

The point of the book of Colossians is to teach people that Christ is supreme, and we can trust in the sole sufficiency of His saving work. This is truth. We are complete in Christ. Right now, you may need to be encouraged by that truth in your own life--you are complete in Christ!!

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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