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Iorg: Focus on 'Jesus Christ, crucified'
Posted on Sep 10, 2007 | by Amanda Phifer MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)--Jeff Iorg, at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary's president's convocation, launched a year-long series on becoming "Kingdom-focused leaders."
Iorg urged returning and new students, faculty and staff at the seminary's Mill Valley, Calif., campus to remain focused on "Jesus Christ, crucified," no matter what other matters come along and demand attention.
"The Christian community today is distracted and often fragmented by secondary and tertiary issues," Iorg said. "We need to deal with these issues but not allow them to become our primary message. Never lose sight of the most important message of all -– Jesus Christ, crucified."
Citing the factionalism as well as gender and sexuality and charismatic issues buffeting the New Testament church at Corinth, Iorg noted that believers today face many of the same issues.
Such distractions must be addressed, Iorg said; the Apostle Paul, after all, wrote letters to the Corinthian church to address such issues. But Iorg reminded that "our focus must not be removed from our core message: Jesus Christ, crucified."
Focusing on "Jesus Christ, crucified," Iorg said, has three results: It confounds contemporary wisdom, demonstrates the power of God, and changes lives.
"You live in a world looking for all kinds of ways to incorporate the supernatural with the reasonable," Iorg said. "And you may use any number of methods to engage the culture with Christ -– dialogue, identification, service, study and occasionally even debate -– but don't confuse your method with your message.
"The message of Jesus Christ crucified is as radical, confrontational and controversial as it ever was in the first century," Iorg said. "And like the first century, people are likely to call you either a stumbling block or a fool. But you stay focused on our message -– Jesus Christ, crucified."
Then he added, "I'll tell you why you're here -– because somewhere someone witnessed to you Jesus Christ crucified, and He changed your life. There's no explaining you apart from that, is there?"
As part of the Aug. 23 convocation, students, faculty and staff each made covenant commitments to live out the mission and core values of Golden Gate Seminary.
Golden Gate is entering its 63rd academic year, with more than 1,700 students enrolled, including candidates in the seminary's new doctor of philosophy program in biblical studies. GGBTS encompasses five campuses across the West and dozens of Contextualized Leadership Development centers across the country.
Amanda Phifer is a writer at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.