RSI Conference: Update 3

19 Nov

On Saturday morning, Dr. David Murray returned to speak on “Positive Sanctification” from Philippians 4:1-9.  Below are some notes from this message:

-The death spiral of our culture is also dragging many Christians down with it; this is important because what we feed our minds with contributes to what we believe, think, feel, etc. Thus, feeding our mind with terror, doom, and pessimism will lead us to often be fearful, depressed, and anxious.

-In Philippians, Paul calls us to the hard work of feeding our minds with new, positive foods, which yield the peace of God.

Application to our Media Diet (feed our minds with…):
1. More truth than lies
-expose yourself to truth in the church, the internet, books, tv, etc.
2. More noble than base
-our media tends to emphasize the sordid, seedy, immoral, and violent over-against the noble, good, upright, kind
-nourish the noble with stories of good, the heroic, majestic, awe-inspiring
3. More right than wrong
-that which is right is that which conforms to the laws of God
-the predominant themes of television–what we see as entertainment–emphasize a lack of conformity to God’s will: violence, immorality, familial dysfunction
4. More pure than filth
-focus on the pure amidst all the filth that floats around us
5. More beauty than the ugly
-that which moves you towards love
-pursue that which is attractive, lovely (sounds, sights, smells, tastes, etc.)
6. More praise than complaint
-focus on the constructive more than the destructive

-Whatever is good/of virtue, seek it out in the church, but also in the whole world
-This does not mean that we ignore the problems, struggles, or evil in the world
-In fact, focusing more on the good, wholesome, lovely, and true gives us a more realistic view of the world and a better vantage point from which to view the problems, struggles, and evil in the world

Application to Ministry Diet:
1. Dwell more on salvation than on sin
-while not ignoring sin and putting it to death, we should hone our spotlight on Christ, His work, and our union with Him
2. More truth than falsehood
-despite the plethora of falsehood both inside and outside of the church, we should focus on that which is true
-a greater familiarity with the truth will prove to be a better means of dealing with falsehood
3. More victory than struggle
-Struggle is important and sure
-Yet, we should intentionally take time to emphasize the progress we and others are making to the glory of God
4. More celebration, less lamentation
-easy to get sucked into mourning/suffering, but we must do the hard work of remembering (and celebrating) our blessings, being thankful, and praising God
-A question to consider: What is the Christian alternative to the worldly pessimism?
5. More “Do’s” than “Don’t’s”
-promote the do’s of obedience to God’s will
-articulate the commands of God positively
-in contemporary culture, the negative emphasis of God’s commands has led to a negative view of holiness and pursuing righteousness
6. Positive morals and motivations
-we can bring pleasure to the Lord in our obedience
-positive emphases lead to growth and change to the glory of God and for our joy.

Conclusion:
-We are predisposed toward the negative, so we must work hard to focus ourselves upon the positive
-Christians must remember that even the bad is turned/twisted by God to accomplish the good of God’s people and grows us beyond where we are now
-A positive emphasis in sanctification brings about human flourishing, creativeness/innovation, happiness/joy

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