About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Drink Up You Hypocrites!

I just got home from my longest run (5.21 miles), you can see the stats on the side of my blog. I got in the zone on a beautiful day in NOLA. Plus I had a lot of Mexican and Ice Cream last night. Extra motivation. I always run different routes from my house to Temple Gym where I lift weights. Temple is right below Vintage Church (see pic below). After I lift weights I usually have a cool down walk or jog back home.

While I was wrapping up my workout at Temple I looked across the street at the local bar, Jax. There were two guys fighting. One was the old owner and another was a young guy. Basically, this guy had been drinking all night and morning and was wasted beyond understanding. He was outside damaging people's cars. The owner and his other drunk boys were holding him down as they called the cops. Eventually the cops showed up and aggressively cuffed the man and tossed him in their car. Believe it or not, that is probably the 50th time I have see someone arrested since we moved into Uptown. Each and every one brings me an overwhelming burden and motivation to proclaim the Gospel in this area.

While all this went down, I began to talk with my friend that trains people at Temple. He began to talk about how funny and HYPOCRITICAL it was that the old man and all his friends were yelling at the drunk guy becuase they were the ones who served him the alcohol all night long. I have actually talked with the owner about his need to set up some perimeters, but it hasn't really worked. Every Sunday, our church gets a little crap from these guys across the street. Most of the neighborhood (Christian or not) despises this place.

As I walked home praying over this situation, God placed an unbelievable burden upon my heart in regard to Vintage Church. This situation brought some questions to my mind even about the Church universal. Let these marinate for a little while:

  • Is it possible, that the world views the HYPOCRISY of the church in the same way that my community views this bar?
  • Are we truly living out what we are preaching?
  • As pastors...is our only concern that people come to our buildings once a week to get drunk off our words and performance with very little concern about what they do during the week?
  • How does your community view what happens at your church?
  • Are you spitting out a product of people that care about Loving God and Loving People...or are you spitting out a product of people that are vomiting all over your community?
  • Are you a serving as a stumbling block to your community?
Check out these verses:

Matthew 6:2
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Matthew 23:13
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.

Mark 7:6
And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;

I am writing these things in great humility. God has convicted me of the importance of living out the Gospel in Uptown NOLA. I pray that you and your church represent (through the power of the Holy Spirit) a true picture of God's amazing truth and love. May we not just preach the Gospel, may we live it out.

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