All Church Concerts Cancelled

Mar 20

All Church Concerts Cancelled

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC: Due to the coronavirus, churches can no longer hold free concerts on Sunday mornings.   I guess Christians at home will need to find another way to experience “God” without turning the living room lights real low, the kids moving around the kitchen spotlights with fog, and dads sipping coffee to mom’s professionally-crafted musical performances as she follows her click-tracks. Sound silly? Why then do we feel the need to resort to these kinds of things with our Sunday morning family?   Having resigned as a pastor and trying to find a new church home, I am discovering that so many popular churches don’t expect, nor do they facilitate, the congregation to deeply seek after God together. Rather, they work hard to produce a felt mood that the congregation can latch onto.   It’s as if churches have decided that people don’t really want God; they want a faith in God to get them through their current situation. Jesus said in John 6:26, “You are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” Could He say today, “You are looking for me, not because you see my glory, but because you got your pick-me-up and had your fill.”?   I experienced a lot of pain over my resignation. Afterwards, at various churches, I heard a lot of “God will get you through whatever you’re facing.” I got this message through the songs that were sung and the sermon that morning. Ironically, that was of little help to me. Of course, I’ll get through this! (But it sure does stink real bad for a long time.) Almost everyone gets through whatever they’re going through, whether they even believe in God or not. Nothing lasts forever. (The same will be true for coronavirus.)   The truth is, I haven’t necessarily needed to hear (or feel) anything at church; what I have needed is to see something different. Hearing is just words, seeing indicates truth. I look forward to being with people who don’t fixate on solutions for their lives or the experience their church can provide–due to finding something much better: Jesus.   How...

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Christians and Gay People

Apr 06

Christians and Gay People

In my previous post, I spoke on the relationship between Christianity and gay marriage. Today I would like to discuss my beliefs on the relationship between Christians and people who are gay. I feel like Christians and gay people don’t see things objectively, because they both have an agenda. So here is my best attempt at trying to be objective: 1. Gay people should be allowed to get married, as far as the state is concerned. We live in a free country. That means that people of all kinds of lifestyles that are incongruent with the Christian faith should be allowed. Christians shouldn’t fear if gay people “get married” and enjoy the same tax breaks and legal protections of those who are traditionally married. 2. The state should let all other “alternative lifestyles” get married as well. Polygamy shouldn’t be discriminated against. Neither should incest. If all are consenting adults, the state should recognize these unions for legal purposes. This is only fair to all of the sexual philosophies represented in the general population. 3. Christians should understand that the concept of “freedom” in our country has largely worked for us, because the vast majority of our citizens have identified themselves as Christians who believe in the Bible, and so we all have affirmed the same moral views generally. Today, that’s no longer true. As a result, we are going to see a lot more divergence from what the Bible teaches is right and wrong. We need to get over it. Christians believe that sexual activity is a moral issue. The society today doesn’t—and that’s their right (even if they are wrong). With today’s sensibilities, people can have sex outside of marriage with no moral implications. The only concern society sees is the prevention of unwanted diseases or consequences (pregnancy, etc). Any Christian who doesn’t realize this has their head stuck in the sand. 4. Christians should continue to affirm that although the state acknowledges all of these various unions as “marriage,” God absolutely doesn’t. And Christians should stand up for their beliefs, while allowing the practices to move forward unhindered. The Bible is clear that gay relationships are sinful. The Bible is clear that any kind of sex...

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Why Don’t Christians Like Unbelievers?

Mar 26

Why Don’t Christians Like Unbelievers?

After contemplating it a little more, I think I know part of the reason why the movie “God’s Not Dead” bothered me so much. Our men’s group at church is currently going through a study entitled, “They like Jesus, But Not The Church,” or something to that effect. The study is about how Christians so often present themselves in awful ways to unbelievers without even realizing it. “God’s Not Dead” fit the bill for me, which is why I wrote my review of the movie a few days ago. In tonight’s session of our men’s Bible study, we talked about how Christians have a hard time relating to people of other faiths. We use the Bible as an automatic weapon to gun down people of other belief systems. We are quick to try to proselytize, but slow to listen and understand. We Christians bemoan the fact that this used to be a Christian nation, but now our nation is so pluralistic, and Christianity is now just one option among many others, and the Bible is now on the same level as the Koran or any other sacred text from any other religion. After all, we lament, no one views the Bible as authoritative anymore, and Christian holidays are no longer being celebrated, etc etc etc. As we went through the Bible study tonight at church, I believe a “God-thought” came to me. The Great Commission says, “Go into all the world…and make disciples…” I’ve heard all my life that we American Christians are not carrying out this mission: most of us do not go into all the world, but instead appreciate the comforts of America too much to obey these words of Jesus. As an alternative, we send a check to missionaries and have them do the work in our place. I think this is a legitimate critique of us American Christians. Back in the day, Keith Green said that we tell God, “I’ll go to another country as a missionary, but only if you are calling me to go.” Keith Green said, “God has already told you to go in the Great Commission. What we should be telling God is, ‘I’ll only stay in America if you call...

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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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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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