God’s Not Dead (But After This Movie, He Might Just Well Be)

Mar 24

God’s Not Dead (But After This Movie, He Might Just Well Be)

Granted, Christians don’t have a great record when it comes to movie-making, but we sure shot ourselves in the foot with this one. ALERT: Spoilers ahead. If you are planning to see the movie, don’t read on. Wait a minute, on second thought, please read on. I hope to change your mind. Where do I begin? The movie basically vilified everyone who was an unbeliever or a wanna-be believer. The main character’s girlfriend unbelievably disowns her boyfriend when he chooses to stand up for God. An atheist professor is portrayed as an overly-angry, dismissive person who requires all his students to write “God is dead” or else. Yes, I know all the universities out there are godless bastions of intellectual tom-foolery, but come on, really? Not only that, but he is completely demeaning to his girlfriend, chauvinistic, and evilly utters personal threats against the main character (a Christian). An atheist businessman shows absolutely no compassion for his elderly mother dying of dementia and refuses to visit her, and when his girlfriend confides to him on their date that she just learned she has terminal cancer, he coldly tells her their relationship is immediately off, because there’s nothing left in the relationship for him anymore. Really? Has anyone in the history of humankind ever done that? When a Muslim father discovers his college daughter is listening to Christian teaching and has begun to believe in Jesus, he immediately starts slapping her repeatedly in the face, picks her up, drags her out of the house, never to allow her back in the family again. Yes, I know Muslims can disown family members for converting to Christianity, but the scene did not seem believable how it played out. I could go on. Of course, all the true Christians in the movie were beyond reproach and always had the right answers to dumbfound those who didn’t believe. And then there are the arguments that this Christian college student makes to refute atheistic philosophy. And the way he had the last word with the professor and caused his teacher to be embarrassed in front of the whole class. Booyah! Everyone in the class becomes a believer too! His debate arguments may seem compelling to...

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Jesus Got Girls

Jan 24

Jesus Got Girls

Ever wonder…If the Church is the bride of Christ, what kind of girlfriends to Jesus are the different denominations? I did, and here’s what I concluded… Charismatics are the clingy, needy girlfriend Episcopaleans are the girl that’s really only with you for the social life Catholics are the intensely crazy girl you can’t decide to keep or break up with Calvinists are the girl who you can’t seem to break up with no matter how hard you try Atheists are the cheerleader that pays attention to jocks and doesn’t even realize you sat next to her in Science class Nazarenes are the girl that no one ever noticed in Science class Unitarians are the nymphomaniac girlfriend who sleeps around with everyone Word of Faith are the women who marry you for your money Methodists are the girl who tries to become whichever guy they are currently dating wants Church of Christ are the girl who read your 5th grade diary, believe they know everything about what you want unlike all the other girls you’ve dated, and now religiously wears Hulk Hogan branded clothing Baptists are the girl who bad-mouths all your ex-es Oneness Pentecostals are the girl who makes you give up all your friends if you are going to date her Lutherans are the girl who lives in another town and comes to visit once/month Non-denominational churches are the girl who wants to make it clear she doesn’t want to be associated with anyone you’ve ever dated Any more you would add to the list? 🙂 –Compiled by Tim Falk and Joel...

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Why Love Isn’t Christianity In Its Most Basic Sense

Nov 07

Why Love Isn’t Christianity In Its Most Basic Sense

I preach a different sermon every Sunday. One of my fears is that while doing so, I’ll miss out sharing what is most important–the foundation of Christianity. What if I had only one sermon to teach people what Christianity was all about? What would the message be? It goes without saying that the central message of Christianity is Jesus. But what about Him? Well, my mind immediately goes to 1 Corinthians 13, where it says “These three remain: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.” So it would make sense that love is Christianity in it’s most basic sense. But I’m not sure that would be accurate. Most people consider themselves loving persons. “I love God. I love my family. I even try to love people who don’t like me.” Is this person a Christian? What makes someone a Christian? Is it love? While the greatest of these is love, it is not the first thing. One of the reasons love is “the greatest of these” is that it continues on through eternity. What first separates a Christian from a non-Christian is not whether they show love or not, but whether they have faith in Jesus or not. Faith and hope, however, are only for this life. In eternity, we will see Jesus with our eyes, not by faith or hope. But while we are on this earth, what first separates a Christian from a non-Christian is not whether they show love or not, but whether they have faith in Jesus or not. I am afraid that in today’s sensibilities, we have convinced ourselves that God ought to save those who are “loving” and “kind.” He should simply look past all the sins of people, and see only their good side. This is our idea of grace. In this view, one does not need to be a Christian to go to heaven. One must only be “good enough.” Or, another option in this view is that God will allow everyone into heaven. But Christianity does not teach either of those things. It teaches something completely different:  Repentance and faith. God’s looking for people who are willing to get real with their sinfulness and look to...

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Which Denomination Am I?

Nov 04

Which Denomination Am I?

I think there are many Christians who are a little frightened by how many different denominations there are out there, and so they just pick a church that has the worship style they like, and don’t pursue it further. Or perhaps they just pick a non-denominational church to play it safe. But in the back of their minds they wonder…which denomination would I belong to if I knew what their differences are? Which one best represents what I think the Bible teaches? So I decided to create a chart that lists some of the theological differences. To be fair, I had to generalize. And I couldn’t list all the differences–just some main ones. And the chart doesn’t take into account worship style differences or how churches operate (does the congregation vote? do they have elders who call all the shots? does a bishop have authority over local churches?). So let me know what you think. Would you change any of the descriptions? Do you think another denomination ought to be included? (I didn’t include Orthodox Christians, so if someone wants to suggest how to fit them in, go for it.) Here are the denominations I included: Assemblies of God Baptists Calvary Chapel Catholic Charismatics Charismatic Baptists Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) Episcopalian Evangelical Covenant Church Evangelical Free Church Freewill Baptists Lutheran (ECLA) Lutheran (Missouri Synod) Nazarene Churches Non-Denominational Presbyterian (PCA) Presbyterian (USA) United Methodist Church Vineyard Movement Wesleyan Church So let me know which one you turned out to be! Without further ado (click to enlarge)…  ...

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Classes Pastors Take

Jul 09

Classes Pastors Take

Yes, congregants, you’ve always wondered if this were true, and now you have the proof. I’m spilling the beans. Here are the courses pastors take to get their ministry degree, and the content given in those classes: How To Make Yourself Look Like You Know A Lot About The Bible 101 –using Wikipedia for historical information –learning how to convincingly use the phrase “…and in the original Greek…” without actually knowing the language yourself –modifying John MacArthur sermons enough so that it isn’t plagiarism How To Keep Your Congregation Engaged For 45 Minutes Without Really Saying Anything 202 –telling hilarious jokes and tear-jerking stories for 40 minutes means you only need to say something substantive for 5 –how pausing throughout your sermon for dramatic effect means you can cut your sermon content (and therefore, sermon prep time) in half –modifying Joel Osteen sermons enough so that it isn’t plagiarism How To Bore Your Congregation Within 5 Minutes 101 –5 easy steps to “wing it” every Sunday (if you start to feel guilty, see the appendix on how to prepare a sermon Saturday night) –how to convince your church that you don’t need to study or plan when you have the Holy Spirit –the wonders of monotone –how to preach the same sermon all year without anyone else realizing it –actually reading what the Bible actually says How To Downsize Your Congregation Fast 205 –stop preaching against the sins of the world and start preaching against the sins of your congregation –stop doing all the work in your church and expect your congregation to do their fair share –preach about money –stop talking about evangelizing your community and start actually doing it –making your worship services largely bent around prayer –seeing to it that church membership actually requires something –calling for repentance –how to find that one, insignificant thing that really shouldn’t matter much, and changing it –teaching what the Bible actually says about what it means to truly follow Jesus Building Campaigns 301 –101 catchy slogans like “Together We Make A Difference” or “With God All Things Are Possible” or “Rebuilding The Wall” –how to effectively motivate your congregation to give a ton of money to state-of-the-art buildings instead...

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