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Archive for August, 2006

LICC – Word for the week – Positive deviants

Positive deviants

John came, baptising in the desert region…John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:4-6

‘What sort of person did you go out into the desert to see?’ Jesus asked the crowds who had swarmed out of the towns and villages to see John the Baptist, ‘A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces’.

Jesus’ question suggests that people like John were not a common sight in Israel. So was it the novelty of his appearance, as much as the power of his message, that brought so many people out, like wasps round a pot of marmalade? John’s destiny drove him to an unusual and austere way of life – careless of propriety and stripped of all home comforts.

It has been suggested that John had taken a Naziritic vow. The New Testament does not say this. But his diet is interesting. Nazirites were forbidden to take alcoholic drinks, vinegar and raisins – all things that take time to mature. John’s food was locusts and wild honey – that could simply be gathered on the hoof, so to speak. He lived off the land, and was independent of the normal processes of provision.

Most of us would shrink from a life like John’s. We go for safe conformity rather than conspicuous originality. We care a lot what people think. We stick to the corporate culture. We may sometimes rationalise this conventionality by arguing that Christians shouldn’t be labelled as odd-balls or freaks.

John, however, was one of those people who rise above public opinion. And the essential simplicity of his life set him free to focus on his calling and more clearly listen to God.

An article in the Times of Wednesday July 26, about ‘positive deviants’, argues that it is often those who do things differently, who are willing to step out of line, to think outside the box, whose ideas can bring dramatic improvements to organisations or situations. Perhaps more of us might become ‘positive deviants’, like John the Baptist, and the rest of us become more willing to learn from the odd-balls and eccentrics.

Helen Parry

Sermons & Lectures Links

Subiaco Church *NEW* Author of “Preaching to a Postmodern World”
Christian Institute *NEW*
Church of St Andrew the Great Cambridge *NEW*
Covenant Theological Seminary *NEW*
Believers Chapel *NEW*
An Introductory Survey of the Christian Faith – By Stuart Olyott *NEW*

Abbot Gregory
Adam Road Presbyterian Centre, Singapore
All Souls Langham Place, London
Ambassador Baptist Colege Radio
Bible College of Queensland
Biblical Theology: 11.04
Bill Winston Ministries
Billy Graham Sermons
Cambridge Community Church : Media
Cedar Ridge Community Church
Center for Christian Study – Charlottesville, Va
Central Coast Evangelical Church – Resources: MP3 file list
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Christian Resource Index
Christians Unite Online Sermons
Church of Christ the King, Brighton. Part of Newfrontiers
Cambridge University – St Edmunds Lecture series – Science, Religion & Society
Denver Seminary: Equipping Leaders
Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem
Expository Sermons and Worship Resources
Faith Bible Church
Firefighters – Sermons
Fires of Revival
GCTS – Ockenga – Dimensions of the Faith
Guildford Baptist Church
Hearing It Preached — Online Sermons
Highfields Church
Highland Theological College
Holy Trinity Lyonsdown – Sermons
Institute For Contemporary Christian Leadership
KFUO Sermons
Maclaurin Institute
Mars Hill
Metropolitan Tabernacle
Mission Hills Church
Mitchelton Presbyterian Church, Brisbane, Australia
Monergism Audio Resources
Moore Theological College
Morling College
Northwest Theological Seminary
Online Christian counseling and Therapy
Open source theology
Packer Sermons
Praize Sermons
Preach The Word – Bible Study Sermons, Series Index
Reformed Sermons and Lectures by Third Millennium Ministries
Regent College :: An International Graduate School of Christian Studies
Salt and Light Ministries | Europe |
Sermon Audio
Sermon Index
Sermons Online
Skyline Church
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Gables – Perspectives Course Resources
Southern Seminary: Audio Resources
St Alfred’s Anglican, Blackburn North, Australia
St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, Australia
St. Barnabas Broadway, Sydney, Australia
St John’s Newland, England
Sydney University Evangelical Union
Third Millennium Ministries – Reformed Christian Education Resources
Thornleigh Community Baptist Online, Australia
Toongabbie Anglican Church

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