Monday, April 27, 2009

Imperfect People Doing God's Perfect Work

If there's one thing that the Old Testament makes clear, it's that God demands complete fidelity to the covenant relationship with Him. He has no tolerance for idolatry, even at times calling it "whoring after other gods".

Given that background, the story of Aaron and the golden calf (Exodus 32) confused me. Moses was up on the mountain talking to God, and the Israelites were starting to wonder what had become of him. They asked Aaron to make them new gods to go before them. Aaron collected all the gold and made a calf. He proclaimed to the people, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." He then built an altar, proclaimed a feast day, and led the people in offering burnt offerings before it.

God was understandably upset and sent Moses back down to the people to sort the situation out. There was some divine smiting of the people, but Aaron himself got off lightly. Although there is no textual evidence of Aaron's repentance, a few chapters later, he was called to serve in the temple. Even today in the church, we call the lesser priesthood after him.

A few years ago, it hit me. God uses imperfect people to do His perfect work. I've never made golden calves and led people in idolatrous worship, but I've definitely made mistakes in my life and in my service. Still, God needs me to serve. He needs you to serve.

This realization has helped me when church leaders haven't lived up to the standard one could expect someone in a position of trust to abide. The problem isn't with God or with the church. The gospel is still true even if the people aren't. The church is still authorized even when leaders do unauthorized things.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Around the Bloggernacle - Volume 7

I turned in my final paper for my writing and research class this evening. In true procrastinating form, I handed it in 45 minutes before the deadline. Needless to say, I'm tired.

There have been some great posts on the Bloggernacle lately.

Segullah has a post about various object lessons, the good, the bad, the ugly, that are or were presented to the youth of the church.

By Common Consent has a post about going to church in Iraq.

There has been a cross-blog debate about Ayn Rand's philosophy, especially as discussed in Atlas Shrugged. Here, here, here, and here.

I'm running on very little sleep, so more to come later. Have a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Miscellaneous Updates

I'm going to be absent from my blog for about three weeks. My take-home final exam for my legal writing and research class was distributed last night, so most of my energy will be divided between that, my reading for my other classes, and my two jobs. I may or may not comment on other Bloggernacle blogs when I have time, but don't expect to see anything here.

I'm looking forward to General Conference this weekend. I may take a break from my blogging hiatus to post some quick thoughts afterward. I'm grateful for modern technology that allows me to watch it on my laptop in my free time or listen to it on my ipod during my commute.

I'm winding up on the home stretch for the semester, and I'm starting to get nervous. I know the material, but I'm concerned about my exams. I can't afford to mess it up this time, since I'm on my last chance. I'm going to keep working hard and exercising faith. I'm going to be praying and trusting God. Please include me in your prayers if you feel moved upon to do so.

Thanks for all of your comments on my recent posts. I'm glad people are finding this blog a helpful forum for discussion, and I enjoy virtually talking with you all. Have a great week!