Perspectives: To Take or Not to Take

December 22, 2008

“Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” is a semester-long course designed to present God’s purpose for His Creation and encourage each Christian believer to participate in His global movement so as to “live with vital, strategic significance.”  Fancy language aside, I think this just means that those who take “Perspectives” learn to see the world more clearly through God’s eyes, and love & serve Him better for it.  

I don’t know a Christian who would say he or she doesn’t want to draw close to the heart of God, but when it comes to devoting four months to attending class and doing – gasp! – academic work, the question of “to take or not to take?” becomes harder to answer.  Please allow this faux-treatise, “IN DEFENCE OF PERSPECTIVES,” help you answer that question with “to take!”

  • ARGUMENT #1 = “I’M TOO TIRED.”  Actually, we’re all too tired.  But you’re already out of the house and at church on Sundays, right?  You’re already in worship mode, drawn into His Presence, and ripe to receive His Word.  It’s so easy to consider “Perspectives” as an addendum to Worship, a continued resting in Him, an extended reception of His refreshing love, grace and power.  Better yet, think about that time that you were sooo tired but dragged yourself to Worship or Care Group or a prayer meeting anyway … and ended up being more awakened, refreshed and fulfilled than you had imagined or expected was possible.  And if all of that isn’t enough (!!!), remember – we’re not making you run laps, AND  coffee will be served.
  • ARGUMENT #2 = “I’M TOO BUSY.”  Again, we’re all too busy.  Who needs to be in their 30s (or — eep — older), doing homework and taking quizzes again?  But consider this: (1) on the one hand, your brain shouldn’t stagnate just because you’re not in a formal school setting anymore.  If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I should read more” or “I should study the ways of the Lord more” or “I should spend more productive time with other believers,” this is your chance to kill all those birds with one studious stone!  And, (2) on the other hand, well … you didn’t hear this from us, but (Psst!  You can Audit the class, forego doing some of the reading, work and quizzes, and STILL reap the benefits of hearing the speakers and having your Christian worldview blown wide open!  The textbook will be yours to read more leisurely any time in the future!)  And finally, (3) if you’re going to go home after Worship and watch television or chill out all night, then you’re not too busy.  You do have the power to work your calendar to relax and socialize on Saturday evenings instead.
  • ARGUMENT #3 = “I HAVE CHILDREN TO TAKE CARE OF.”  Ahhh, you are a good parent, putting the needs of your children first, but don’t use them as an excuse!  One is to be further commended for growing in knowledge of and love for the Lord, so that one can be a better parent, leading children to the same knowledge of and love for God.  Taking Jesus’ spiritual sustenance for yourself will have indescribable positive impact on your children and your family.  AND, given that child-care will be provided, we dare say some time away from your kids – with the Lord and other adults – will make you more inclined to want to be with them later on.
  • ARGUMENT #4 = “THE COURSE COSTS TOO MUCH.”  Sure, in this economic landscape, every penny is precious, but no, the course does not cost too much.  If you can eat out, buy a new play-thing, or purchase something else you don’t really need right now, then you can afford to take “Perspectives” — why should your spiritual life take a financial back-seat to other luxuries & pleasures?  Besides, “Perspectives” is right in line with recession rates — the same course offered at a seminary, for example, will cost you a total of about $1460!  But starting in January, you can take this accredited course (undergraduate credits given by Geneva College; graduate credits given by Westminster Theological Seminary) for the bargain-basement price of $500 undergraduate / $650 graduate / even less for non-credit. You read that right: an entire semester for a maximum of $650!  (Are we looking out for you, or what?)  And don’t forget, financial assistance is available for New Hope members.  
  • ARGUMENT #5 =”WELL … WHO ELSE IS TAKING IT?”  First of all, why does that matter?  It doesn’t.  If you’re worried about missing out on socializing because you’re taking “Perspectives,” maybe you should get all your friends to take it WITH you.  But, if you must know, the word on the street is that our neighbor, First Baptist Church, has strongly encouraged its entire leadership team to take “Perspectives.”  We have no idea how many people that is, and we would never encourage New Hope to do something just for appearances’ sake, but it sure would be nice if New Hopers made a strong showing on our own home turf!  
  • ARGUMENT #6 = “I AM NOT GOING TO BE A MISSIONARY.”  Well, we hate to break it to you, but you already are.  If you are saved by the blood of Christ, if you profess to love and follow Him, if you try to love your neighbor as yourself, if you submit yourself to God’s guidance & sovereignty, if you seek justice and love mercy, etc., then you are already a missionary, in the very places the Lord has placed you.  So wouldn’t it be nothing but additional grace & wisdom to better understand how and why God has placed you in this life, in this place, at this time?

Resistance to the Holy Spirit is futile, so don’t fight it = give into the heart-pulls of the Lord and let yourself be moved by the things that move His heart.  Learn of His love for His Creation.  Allow Him to place a burden on your soul.  Figure out if He’s sending you on a Godly adventure, or is opening doors to help you support other adventurers.  Let your heart be stretched by compassion.  Let your brain be stirred by the wonderful truth of His Word.  Get up and talk your walk.  And get ready to have a grand time!

Register for Tarrytown “Perspectives” today: here.


2 Responses to “Perspectives: To Take or Not to Take”

  1. kinsen Says:

    wow… this is great!! =) i’m one of the coordinators for the nyc class, can I use this for the nyc perspectives blogsite?

  2. DK Says:

    i don’t think you’ll find any disagreement here

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