All posts by main_admin

wallpaper-bookcovers-twilight

Sin

Sin

Last year I was in New York City at an art museum.

1) People like me should not be allowed in an art museum.

2) They should explain that there’s rules you have to follow in the art museum.

3) I got in trouble in the art museum.

Apparently you’re not allowed to point at the art. The art I was looking at in my opinion was the first ever Where’s Waldo painting from the seventeen hundreds and the only way to draw attention to a funny looking person in the painting was to point. As I was doing this, a 75 year old women in a velvet maroon security uniform ran up to me Usain Bolt style and got me in trouble for pointing.

My response was – “at least didn’t touch it” – With that thought comes the understanding that yes there were different rules to obey and if I broke one, I would get in trouble. However, that thought “at least I didn’t touch it” was triggered by a consciousness that some rules were greater than others while some were lesser than others. Clearly there is a difference between pointing at a couple hundred thousand dollar painting and touching a couple hundred thousand dollar painting although both were breaking the rules. Was I guilty of breaking the rules? Yes. Is it safe to say those two actions are the same? No.

When it comes to sin, James says “for whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one is guilty of breaking it”. Romans tells us that the wages of sin is death. No matter what sin it is, you are guilty of breaking God’s law because any and all sins separate us from Him. The punishment is eternality away from God unless you accept Jesus as your saviour. So from here – We can all agree that any sin, big or small separates us from God.

However, that does not mean all sins are equal

Worry - Murder - Adultery - Bitterness

Stealing - Tattoos - Fear - Gluttony

Arrogance - Greed - Homosexuality - Envious

Laziness  - Malice - Rape - Drunkenness – Divorce

Selfishness - Idolatry - Gossiping  - Judging

I don’t think there’s too many people out there who would say that all of these sins listed above in action are all equal. However, if we treat them all as equal, that will deeply effect how we view the Word of God and how we walk in obedience. This thought that all sins are equal is something we tend use to justify sin rather than use it to walk in righteousness.

 If the sin we are talking about is “big” – Our response is “it’s no different than (fill in the blank)”. Therefore, we allow the thought of sins being equal to write off the severity of our actions as we compare it to one we classify as smaller. The results is we justify our current actions as being the same as a lesser one which does not give us much reason to turn away from these “bigger” sins. Example – If we are having premarital sex, we may compare it to being the same as watching pornography to justify that it’s all the same therefore there’s really no difference doing one or the other.

If the sin we are talking about is “small” – Our response sometimes is still “it’s no different than (fill in the blank)”. However, when we allow the thought of sins being equal blind us from the severity of our future actions, we compare it to the one we classify as “bigger”. The result is we justify our future actions as being the same as our current actions which will motivate and tempt us to take part in these “bigger”sins because they are all equal. Example – If I’m already watching pornography, then why not just have premarital sex because all sins are equal so there’s really no difference in going from small to big.

Could we possibly just like the idea that all sins are equal because it’s easier to justify our actions?

This teaching that all sins are equal is found in the church but not found in the Bible. It’s funny how many people quote things in the Bible which aren’t actually in the Bible. Recent statistics in Canada from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada says only 14% of evangelical Christians in Canada read the Bible more than once a month. With that statistic, sadly it does not surprise me that many Christians do not know what is or isn’t in the Bible – Therefore it’s understandable that they adopt cliche sayings, beliefs and theology you find more on a bumper sticker rather than in Bible – I’m not sure if the scary part is they believe in these things or if the scary part is how strongly they defend them.

Just because any sin makes us a sinner and guilty of breaking God’s law, it doesn’t mean all sins are the same. This is something I have stumbled across recently, and although it’s one of those topics which ruffles feathers within the church for going against what we have been taught, after doing research on this topic over the last 3 months, it has changed how I even use the sayings…

All sin is sin

God treats all sin the same

No sin is any worst than another sin

It’s no different than “this”

At least it wasn’t “that”

“All sins are equal” – It’s accurate when we look at it from the angle that all sins are the violation of the law and separates us from God. However, it’s inaccurate when you understand that all sin in their fruit are not equal, all sins in their impact are not equal and all sins in their consequences are not equal when we put them into action.

I believe as you look through the Old and New Testament it will lead us to recognize that some sin are in fact not the same as others – In many of these cases, it’s hard to argue that all sins are in fact equal

Genesis 15:16 - Exodus 32:21-31 - Leviticus 4-6 - Numbers 15:29-30

1 Kings 16:33 - Ezekiel 8:6 - Matthew 3:28-29 - Matthew 5:19

Matthew 10:15 - Mark 3:29 - Luke 12:48

John 19:11 - 1 Corinthians 6:18-20  - James 3:1

How did we adopt this way of thinking?

Maybe this view comes from the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century from the Catholic Church – The Catholic church do not believe that all sins are equal as we can see from the views of mortal sin and venial sin. Dr. Rogers Olsen says this view that all sins are equal was coined as a protest against the Catholic hierarchy of sin.

Maybe this is view comes from Pastors – They teach all sins are “equal” in their alters calls which is why we need Jesus which is correct because we are guilty of breaking the law. However, when people are hearing the message that stealing a candy at 6 years old is the same as committing adultery because both makes us guilty of breaking God’s law – this creates a cloudy mindset after salvation because they move forward believing there really isn’t any difference from stealing a candy as a child to adultery because it’s all the same in God’s eyes. Therefore it doesn’t really matter if the sin is big or small – They are all equal, right? At least that’s what they walk away believing.

Maybe this view simply comes from humanness and our quest to remove guilt and do life our way instead of God’s way. It’s sustained by a desire not to deal with sin in ourselves or in others. All sins are equal is our way to justify sin. That seems to be when we hear and use this “theology” most as we just write off our actions.

 Every sin will have a different consequence and a ripple effect in our own life, in the lives of those around us and in the church body. My fear is as this culture gets further away from the truth – The more we will justify sinning and walking in the flesh on this broad road. Saying all sins are equal is really our way to tell ourselves what we are doing is okay – Is this response a sign that hearts are slowly shifting away from God? – Is justifying sin what it means to pick deny ourselves, pick up our Cross and follow Him? Is that why Jesus died for our sins? Is that what we make of His death? Is this our response? All sins are equal – Therefore it doesn’t really matter how I live? This seeker sensitive saying, belief and bumper sticker theology is going to have bigger consequences than we realize.

 

3391817182_ed236ee38b

13 Years Ago

3391817182_ed236ee38b

13 Years Ago

13 years ago today I gave my life to Christ on a mission trip down in Mexico. The quote which opened my eyes was “whenever the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future”.  The last 13 years has been full of life, challenges and blessings. Living a life of redemption. Thank you Jesus.

 

ks8428

Road worn

Road Worn

ks8428

I am currently sitting in a hotel room down in Nashville and as I look over some of my emails, I tend to always get someone emailing me telling me “I want to do what you do” and then asking what they need to know. So I figured I will write something directed to those people.

As you know, I have been living on the road traveling and speaking full-time for over 2 years. On the surface level, people see the glorious side of it. You’re on stage…get to see different places…team up with other speakers and bands…and do God’s work. I probably don’t need to elaborate on that part of the lifestyle.

Here are 3 things I warn everyone who have a desire to go into this field…

Tiring - Talk to anyone who has been on the road and they will all tell you the same thing. It is draining! You work weird hours, always on the go, never in your own bed and you tend to eat poorly. It’s rarely the luxury hotel to hotel living with a chauffeur. It’s usually you driving at 2am to the next location, going from couch to couch, sleeping in airports or junky hotels in the sketchy part of the city. (Note: I just killed a cockroach before writing this). All of that drains your physically more than you think.

Money? - Unless you’re one of the biggest speakers in the US with a mega church or a book deal making $5,000 to $10,000+ a speaking engagement, you’re probably not going to be killing it. I had a conversation with someone at a church recently about this. I have been considered the most booked speaker in Canada for the past while and being on TV, headlining conferences and teaming up with bands gave this person the assumption Mike was killing it! Honestly, I live below the “poverty line” and there’s a reason I don’t have an address and live out of my car. Please do not pursue this ministry if money is in any way, shape or form a motivation.

Loneliness - At this second I have 3,679 friends on facebook…that’s a lot of people I have met a long the way. As well, I am always around people every day so it’s impossible to get lonely, right? There’s a line from a Bush song that says “I’m with everyone and yet not”. That line is bang on with this type of ministry. You’re always around people, you’re just not really with people you have real genuine relationships with. You don’t see your friends often, and you’ll never have true community at church when you pop in 3-4 times a year. From my experience, this is the hardest part. Sometimes I feel like the loneliest man in the world…It’s not always what it seems.

Despite all of this, I love what I do and believe there’s a lot of value in this ministry. As well, I believe there’s a need for more people in this ministry to share the truth of God. It’s a calling though and unless God gives you the grace to do it, and opens the door, honestly it probably isn’t for everyone. It’s a bigger sacrifice than what appears on the surface. 

If anyone wants to learn more about this from top to bottom, email me at mike@mike-gordon.ca and I would love to sit down with you to talk more.

 

clouds-nature-roads

No to move

No to Move

 

clouds-nature-roads

So far this year, through the grace of God I have had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling as this speaking ministry continues to expand. Throughout Canada, the US and South America, I traveled approximately 30,000 kms from mid-January to June 1st. Going from place to place, there was a direction and purpose….a plan in place to get to where I needed to go to accomplished what I needed to do. I knew where I was heading.

 I feel in life, there’s a lot of people who are just moving and moving, going place to place, meeting to meeting and to thing to thing without really knowing where they are heading towards. They are busy yet in some sense life is just passing them by.

 What are you doing with your life? What do you want most in life? That’s a common question we asked when we’re finishing up high school but when was the last time you really asked that question?

 It’s a deep question yet a simple question

It’s a dangerous yet an adventurous

It’s a confusing yet a defining

It’s a question which makes you want to barf in fear yet also barf in excitement

It will shake us yet move us

In the Bible we see Jesus is heading somewhere….

 Luke 9 – Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem

Luke 13 – Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.

Luke 17 – Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

Luke 18 – Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem

Luke 19 – After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

It’s not just that He’s just going to a city, but He has a path that’s He’s on and heading there.

 We know through the Bible Jesus humbled Himself to leave Heaven and take on flesh to ultimately shed His blood on the Cross so we could be forgiven. Everything He did led towards Jerusalem. Some scholars would focus on Jesus’ divine nature and argue that He knew where He was heading all along…while some scholars would focus on Jesus’ human nature and believe where He was heading was revealed along the way. Both sides do make some very compelling arguments but at the end of the day, that doesn’t change the simple fact that Jesus knew everything He would do would be heading to Jerusalem.

As we know, Jesus was very popular in the first century and it seemed like every city and village He went to, the multitudes showed up with request after request after request. The reality is He had many opportunities…many open doors…many more good things He could have done in those places but one of the things we oversee is the simple fact that Jesus would say no to things. He did this in order to keep moving forward to take hold of something greater. He didn’t preach in every synagogue, and He didn’t heal every person who followed and He didn’t sit down with every person who wanted a conversation with him. Over and over you see in the Bible He left the multitudes because He couldn’t stay where He was forever.….Jesus couldn’t do everything.

 Just to be transparent, I feel like every single time I’m in this hall way in life asking these questions, knowing where I need to go, there’s always a million other doors which begin to open. To get where I am as a speaker, I didn’t take every job offer on the table, I didn’t pursue every relationship…or any, I didn’t always chase the most exciting option, the warmest city or the one with the better paycheque. Ask anyone in life, to get to where they’re heading…to take hold what matters most, what you want most…that thing you know your heart desires which is from God more than anything….there’s going to have to be tough decisions…sacrifices made…and the answer no will have to be given. As I have done this in the past to get to where I am, this is a discipline I will need to learn to execute again to move forward to what I want most in life.

The good news is it’s easier to say no when you have already said yes to something more important

71467_578943455537980_1449764296_n

Living the dream

Living the Dream

71467_578943455537980_1449764296_n

Last weekend I was standing backstage with my Bible in hand while quadruple checking to see if my mic was on. During those last few seconds before I stepped out on stage, I was being introduced as the keynote speaker at the Today’s Teens Conference held at The Meeting House.

Was this the first time as a keynote speaker anywhere? Nope

Was this the biggest crowd I have ever spoken to? Nope

Was this the highest “profiled” event I have ever been booked at? Nope

This one was special though…and had a story behind it.

In 2005 I was a kid with a dream. I developed this desire and passion to speak to people although I was terrible at it. I didn’t go to church growing up, I was never the smartest kid, I didn’t look like your typical pastor, my humour wasn’t your “church” humour and on top of that, I had some slight speech impediment. Not exactly a winning formula to be successful at “speaking” for a living.

In 2006 I messaged Paul Robertson who was the co-director of Today’s Teens. This conference is probably considered to be the highest profiled Canadian run youth conference where they look for the best of the best in the country to do seminars and the best of the best in North America to be the keynote speakers – Example: last year was Tony Campolo. I knew Paul a little bit so I inquired about speaking at this conference in 2006 and he responded to my email and said this…

“You are not ready yet, but keep working at it and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the keynote speaker at Today’s Teens”

It was the perfect dose of reality with just enough hope in there to keep going. The truth was humbling…and honest…and exactly what I needed to hear. If I wanted to pursue this dream and be successful, I had to work my butt off, make the sacrifices, put in the long hours, gain all the experience I could and continue to grow.

This wasn’t going to be handed to me

A scripture which I have always kept close to me is Psalm 37:4-5

Delight yourself also in the Lord

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your ways to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

Commitment – I think in this culture, we suck at commitment. We expect everything to come easy to us…like we’re entitled to something. This hasn’t been an easy journey and it definitely wasn’t an overnight success. Only the people close to me saw the true blood, sweat and tears which went into this. Just because the end results may seem glorious, the journey was often hell as the devil tries to take you out. How committed are you to following these desires and dreams God has put on your heart?

Trust – Do we trust God?…Do we ACTUALLY trust God? There were times when that was put to the test more than anything. When those moments came where I was discouraged, hopeless and about to give up because the doors weren’t opening. When it comes to trusting God, we talk a big game until we’re actually called to walk on water. I don’t know how you can give your life to following Jesus and the desires He has put on your heart without 100% trusting Him every step of the way. He’s the one who opens the doors.

I am a big believer in dreams. I believe God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. When people ask me how did I get to this point I’m at now as a speaker, all I can tell them is to commit to your dreams and trust God with every step.

“Let your dreams be so big that without God they are bound to fail”