Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Archive for September, 2008

Conspiracy Theory: Timing The Bailout So That John McCain’s Victory – And Barack Obama’s Defeat – Hinges On It To Overcome Conservative Opposition

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

Ordinarily, there is no way that conservatives would support $700 billion in spending, not even the big business corporate welfare neoconservative socialists who looked the other way while George W. Bush spent more than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, and Lyndon B. Johnson ever dreamed. People would recognize that this bailout would A) make the federal government the nation’s biggest owner and broker of private property (in addition to all the public lands that it already owns) and B) increase the government stake and power in the banking and financial services industries. By way of comparison, it would accomplish in the banking industry what Hillary Clinton only tried in the healthcare industry. (But don’t worry: the next president will give us some form of HillaryCare to go with the Bush’s prescription drugs bill.)

But there is ONE WAY to get small government conservatives – or truthfully people merely opposed to the biggest expansion of government since the New Deal – to reject their beliefs and root for this package. (Truthfully, the goal is not so much to get them to support it, but to lessen their opposition so that they will stop calling their congressmen in anger and protest.) What is it? Simple: the same way that the GOP got religious conservatives to fall in line and keep voting for candidates that were not only personally immoral (i.e. Newt Gingrich) but do absolutely on abortion, gay rights, religion in the public square, fighting pornography, etc. … say that it absolutely has to be done or else the other guy will win! 

This is “the lesser of two evils” gambit like never before. Why? 1) Because even if this passes, there is still no guarantee that McCain will win. 2) What good does voting for Republicans do if they are going to spend like Democrats anyway? Please recall: Republicans could have blocked Bill Clinton’s changes to the Community Reinvestment Act back in 1995. They could have reformed the act at any point from 2000 – 2006. And the person who could have led the way: John McCain, either chairman or ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee for most or all of that time. So not only would supporting – or at least not opposing – this bailout not even guarantee a McCain win, even if the guy does win there is absolutely no evidence based on his career in Washington that he will prevent messes like this from happening in the future! 

And why, you ask? The threat of Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama has these people absolutely terrified like nothing before. (By contrast, most Democrats figure that they could live with McCain.) Why? There are a lot of alleged reasons such as his liberalism (when he is really to the left of Bill Clinton on only a few issues) or his inexperience (see Palin, Sarah) or his religious background (as if skulls and bones George “all religions worship the same God” W. Bush or necromancer Ronald Reagan were orthodox) but the main fear is that Obama’s election would mean losing their country. People would feel that any nation that puts Obama in the White House would not be the nation that “our founding fathers created”, the nation that they knew and loved when they were growing up. Obama would be the final victory for counterculture. 

Of course, it is all a scam. George W. Bush appointing an openly homosexual man as AIDS czar, being the first president to pray in a Muslim mosque, and so many other things. Then there was Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter doing the “Heather Has Two Mommies” thing (funny how the right wingers who attacked Ellen DeGeneres and similar demanded that Cheney’s family be respected) and even creepy stuff like all the times homosexual prostitute Jeff “Gannon” Guckert visited the White House … security records showed the guy electronically signing in BUT NEVER SIGNING OUT!

But the best part is that even if these things weren’t true, this bailout would permanently and drastically alter this nation economically and politically anyway. The bailout would make us some odd mixture between a social democracy and a fascist plutocracy (when I say “fascist” I mean Benito Mussolini’s original definition, which is the corporatization of government power). Now fascism has a strong nationalist element. But guess what … attacking Iran would mean having to strike up the band for the pledge of allegiance and our militaristic anthems for another 10,000 times in every state, city, street corner, and public and CHRISTIAN school on the planet. And a war with Iran wouldn’t be something that affects relatively few Americans like our conflicts in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Our military is already stretched to the limit and our economy already in shambles due to high oil prices and bank failures. But Iran, a much tougher enemy than an Iraq weakened by over 10 years of U.S. led military and economic aggression, would mean massive casualties and global oil shortages. And what would the rest of the world’s Muslims think? It would be our third war against a Muslim nation in, oh, a decade or so (depending on whether the attack on Iran comes closer to 2009 or 2012). What keeps the other Muslim countries from thinking “we’re next!” and acting accordingly? Oh boy, imagine what will happen if those other nations adopt a policy of “pre – emptive strikes for self defense” like we did in Iraq. Let me say that anyone who has ever read “Animal Farm” knows that patriotic ferver is necessary for regimes to stay in power during tough times. 

But that is going too far in the future. For right now, the fear of Barack Hussein Obama turning Peoria into San Francisco (or Compton) is what will cause conservatives to do the bidding of George W. Bush and Henry Paulson and adopt this disastrous bailout. (As for Hillary Clinton, well the product of white flight suburban Chicago turned out to be not so scary after all … the right wing wags are actually referring to “Hillary Clinton Democrats” in the same breath as “Reagan Democrats.”) That means that whether Barack Obama wins or loses, he will have done his job. If you ever wanted any more proof that ultimately Bush, McCain, and Obama serve the same master, then this is it!

The only question is this: whose master do you serve? Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren Calls for a Second Reformation Based On Works!

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

Note: Rick Warren is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His statements here are similar to what Council on Foreign Relations – affiliated T.D. Jakes said a few months ago, see TD Jakes: “saving souls can wait” on Gay Christian Movement Watch.

Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren Calls for a Second Reformation

Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor and philanthropist who is courted by political leaders worldwide, says he thinksChristianity needs a “second Reformation” that would steer the church away from divisive politics and be “about deeds, not creeds.”

Speaking today to a group of Washington Post reporters and editors, the evangelical author said he had an “epiphany” in recent years due to his wife’s battle with cancer and the success of his book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” which has sold more than 25 million copies. Humbled and scared, he said he decided to focus on helping the needy and the sick, particularly those with AIDS.

That meant advocating for a broader agenda for evangelicals beyond same-sex marriage and bioethical issues like abortion and stem cell research. That’s a shift from the e-mail Warren sent before the 2004 election to his regular distribution list of 136,000 pastors, telling them to focus on those hot-button issues, which he called “non-negotiables.”

Warren said he now regrets that e-mail — not because he’s changed his views in opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, but because he places them on a longer list of priorities.

Now, he says, he wants to promote personal responsibility and restore civility in American culture.

“I just think we’re becoming too rude,” he said. “You have no right to demonize someone just because you disagree with them.”

Changing the culture, he said, is not done only through politics but also through things like art, music and sports.

“Outside the Beltway politics is just not that important. No kid in America has a poster of a politician on their wall,” he said.

Warren, whose ministry has trained a half-million pastors, said partnerships between government and industry can’t succeed in solving social problems unless they include faith groups, with their large volunteer forces and their worldwide networks.

“People are so worried churches are going to be about conversion,” he said, “but everyone has a motive. Everyone has a world view. Christianity is a world view. . . . I don’t care why you do good as long as you do good.”

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Christian Bloggers Beware: Canadian Court Convicts Person Of Putting Hate Material On Internet

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

This is significant because in the past, American Christian bloggers did not have to personally worry about the persecution happening to Christians in Canada, England, Germany, etc. that have faced heavy fines or worse for speaking out against homosexuality, Islam, or abortion. However, with this development, what prevents Canada from going after an American Christian for posting that homosexuality is a sin if someone in Canada files a complaint? Even if Canada will not go after individual bloggers, there are the companies that own the blogs and the ISPs. Governments could threaten those corporate entities with fines and other actions, or make the regulatory climate very tough for them. Please recall that several companies have already bowed to the censorship pressure of the Chinese government, who wanted to restrict information about Tibet and such. There were mild complaints in the media and some activists, but they largely got away with it. So were Canada or any other nation to do the same over homosexuality, abortion, or that salvation is available only through Jesus Christ, then the ISPs would fold. And can you imagine what a coalition of international governments such as the EU (or the North American Union?!?!) would do, or even a global body with jurisdiction over international telecommunications. In any event, judgments against skinheads and other sinners today (as it was in the link below) will set precedents for them to go after Christians tomorrow.

 Canadian court hands down rare Internet hate crime conviction

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Does Rick Warren’s Fuller Theological Seminary Have A Psychology Department? So It Can Offer Symposiums On Carl Jung And Christianity!

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

When perusing a book, I noted the oddity that the famed evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary had three departments: theology (good), world missions (good) and PSYCHOLOGY (what?!?!). Not education, not engineering, not even BUSINESS but PSYCHOLOGY! So, I did a few web searches and found out what a psychology school at a leading evangelical CHRISTIAN seminary had to offer. Well, things like THIS: 

The Living God and our Living Psyche: C. G. Jung’s Psychology and Christian Faith

Now plenty of Christians have problems with the field of psychology as it is. See the video below. But Jungian psychology is REALLY objectionable from a Biblical standpoint. It is no accident that Frank Peretti associated it with demons and the occult in “This Present Darkness.” When you read an interview from the “Christian” Jungian psychologist who ran this symposium on PBS, you will see why Peretti felt this way. Or better yet, why not read this summary of her work and views:

Ann Belford Ulanov, M.Div., Ph.D., L.H.D., is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, a psychoanalyst in private practice, and a supervising analyst and faculty member of the C. G. Jung Institute, New York City.  With her late husband, Barry Ulanov, she is the author of Religion and the UnconsciousPrimary Speech: A Psychology of PrayerCinderella and Her Sisters: The Envied and the Envying; The Witch and The Clown: Two Archetypes of Human Sexuality; The Healing Imagination; Transforming Sexuality: The Archetypal World of Anima and Animus; by herself she is the author of The Feminine in Christian Theology and in Jungian Psychology; Receiving Woman: Studies in the Psychology and Theology of the Feminine; Picturing God; The Wisdom of the Psyche; The Female Ancestors of Christ; The Wizards’ GateThe Functioning Transcendent; Korean edition of our Religion and the Unconscious, Fall 1996; Korean edition of Primary Speech, 2000-2001; Religion and the Spiritual in Carl Jung; Finding Space: Winnicott, God, and Psychic Reality, Attacked by Poison Ivy, A Psychological Study, 2002.

Ann Belford Ulanov is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Virginia Theological School; an honorary doctorate from Loyola Graduate Department in Pastoral Counseling; the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Blanton/Peale Institute; the Vision Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis; the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association for Distinguished Work in Depth Psychology and Religion; the Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors for Distinguished Work in Depth Psychology and Religion; the Gradiva Award for best book in Psychiatry and Religion 2002 from The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, for Finding Space: Winnicott, God, and Psychic Reality.

Now I will grant you that the very respected John Piper attended Fuller. But so did leading emergent/New Age figures like Rob Bell and Rick Warren. For that matter, so did Bill Bright, one of the leading figures of the ecumenism movement between evangelicals and Roman Catholics. By the way, the current president of Fuller, Richard Mouw, is the same fellow responsible for A) the evangelical manifesto  and B) the increasing ties between evangelicals and Mormons, including the notorious speech that he and Ravi Zacharias gave at the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. In this link, it details how Richard Mouw actually apologized for Christian opposition to Mormonism.

Now this is not an instance of a comprehensive Christian college or university that offers psychology as part of its many offerings. Psychology is now a standard liberal arts degree, and further it is pretty much impossible to offer an accredited degree in fields like education, nursing, or counseling without having a variety of psychology courses. Instead, this is a seminary whose sole purpose is to train pastors, missionaries, and equip other people for Christian ministry. I repeat, Fuller has THREE SCHOOLS … theology, foreign missions, and psychology. So, it isn’t even a program of study or department in part of its other colleges, but one of the three pillars of the school. 

I already mentioned in Albert Mohler’s Assessment Of The Economic Situation: An Example Of What Evangelicalism Does To The Reformed Mind how concerned I was over the seamless integration of psychology, a recent, discredited, and virtually useless invention of rebellious men who rejected God, and evangelical Christianity. But even as I was writing it, I had no idea that it was so deeply embedded that one of our leading seminaries had one of its three divisions given over to it, or that they would be promoting Jungianism. This is further evidence that we must continue to pray and intercede for God’s people, and not be fearful or slack in warning Christians against the creeping influence of humanism and syncretism. 

Posted in Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TBN: The Blasphemy Network

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

OK, now this one is kind of “out there” (even by my standards!) but let me know what you all think. If it is not decent upright Christian conversation, I will remove it.

stargods.org/GW_BlasphemyNetwork.htm

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

John McCain Advisor Rick Davis Tied To Freddie Mac

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

SoldierServant has it:

John McCain Has Ties To Freddie Mac

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Rick Warren Basically Stating That Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, And Christians All Worship The Same God

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

Rick Warren, Interfaith Activist

Rick Warren is our new Billy Graham – at the center of not only his own Christian tradition, but of American civil religion as well. Churches follows his direction (most recently into Rwanda), and political candidates seek his blessing (Exhibit A: The Saddleback Forum).

There has been a lot of talk about the risks that Warren has taken – inviting the pro-choice Obama to address a decidedly pro-life gathering on the topic of AIDS, for example.

Another risk he is taking – more subtle, perhaps, but equally profound – is around religious diversity. 

Last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, Warren was asked how “the church” could help to solve poverty. His response was to rattle off the numbers of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians in the world – in that order – and make a plea that the public and private sectors take seriously “the faith sector as the third leg of the stool of successful development”.

Warren consistently used the language of a religious pluralist. He spoke of “mosques, temples and churches” as central to the life of villages in the developing world. He underscored the fact that there are huge numbers of people of faith in the world, and huge numbers of houses of worship in places where clinics, banks and schools don’t exist. Those people of faith can be trained to be the arms and legs of any development plan, and those houses of worship can double as clinics, banks and schools.

This is a big deal, because it signals an important turn in the American Evangelical tradition – from viewing people of other faiths primarily as lost souls requiring conversion to viewing them as partners in the plan to make earth more humane and just. “Progressive Evangelicals” like Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo (read an interview here with Campolo on interfaith cooperation), have long been involved in interfaith efforts, but the mainline of that tradition has always been more wary. That could be changing.

I caught up with Warren after the panel and asked him directly how he thought about religious diversity. He talked to me about his friendship with his Muslim neighbor, and about how excited he was to speak at the upcoming MPAC conference in December. He was keenly aware of the important role that Muslims played in helping victims during the genocide in Rwanda, and he was engaging that community in his current efforts in that country.

That approach is American pragmatism at its best: a visionary leader engaging all possible partners in his plan to transform earth.

When I asked Warren to name something that he admired about Muslims, he answered without hesitation: “you people are not afraid to talk about God, he said with a smile. It’s always, ‘God willing’, or ‘God bless’, or ‘Thanks be to God.’ That’s something I admire, because I come from the same place.”

That is American religion at its best. Let’s hope the church and the country follow.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Voddie Baucham On Sarah Palin And The Pulpit

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

 Faithfully recreating the work of I’m Speaking Truth, who hopefully won’t mind too much!

***hat tip my brother Keith over at In Submission To Sovereignty for locating this video – I’ve been looking for it for weeks!**

I have already expressed my personal opinions about the presidential candidacies of both Barack Obama and John McCain – and continually affirmed that I’m not voting for either of them.

I’ve also expressed my personal allegiance to the Word of God in affirming thatwomen should not pastor churches.

The video below is a culmination of both of these controversial stances that I have taken – and succinctly detailed by Dr. Voddie Baucham, one of my newestfavorite expository preachers. Dr. Baucham was interviewed recently on CNN discussing how evangelicals have “fallen in love” with Sarah Palin – and how that coincides with women in leadership roles (interview starts at the 1 minute mark):

Voddie Baucham and Sarah Palin

 

Did you catch Dr. Baucham’s quote – the one that should be nailed to the door of every Christian church in the world?:

We are about the Gospel. The culture doesn’t dictate truth, the Gospel dictates truth. My job is not to be a political pundit or a political activist – my job is to be a pastor, and proclaim the truth of the Gospel as clearly as I can.

Amen, Amen, Amen!!! Voddie should go on tour and make that very simple yet profound statement to every pastor who is advocating for a political candidate from the pulpit – be it Obama or McCain.

Sarah Palin is winning over “evangelicals” because McCain, Palin, and the Republicans have successfully painted Barack Obama as the Devil incarnate (to counter the Democrats deification of him). The CNN commentator is clearly trying to use Sarah Palin’s ascension as validation for women pastoring (or preaching, as she says) – the premise of the story (and she alludes to it throughout her interview) is that evangelicals find Sarah Palin appealing based on her “faith”(more on that in another post), yet these same evangelicals “don’t allow women to preach”.

Of course, it’s not the “evangelicals” that don’t allow women to preach in their churches – it’s the Word of God, but why let a little thing like God’s truth get in the way of a good “cultural” story, right?

Anyway, Dr. Bauchman masterfully exegetes scripture to combat that (and other) defenses throughout the interview.

Thank God through Jesus Christ that there are TRUE men of God who aren’t afraid to stand on His Word – and His Word alone.

Adding my own little bit to this post 🙂 here is Pastor Baucham’s podcast archive. It would seem that he is some sort of expert in this area …

BIBLICAL HEADSHIP

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Focus On The Family Then The Focus Is Not On Jesus Christ!

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

From PJ Miller:

Why I walked out of church

You might find this interesting, I did.

Posted today at Life Under the Blue Sky: The View From Below, so  to Jerry for finding it!

Originally posted at Lone Prairie: Why I walked out of church

Today, I went to Bismarck Evangel Temple, sat through the worship and most of the sermon, and then…walked out before it was done.

I don’t blame that church; it is my own inability to fit that literally forced me to leave. I don’t really doubt their sincerity, and that many people love the programs and opportunities that church provides. I’ve even found, in the past, a few sermons to be interesting. But…

 

I believe what I believe — my Christian faith — not because of tradition or because I was raised that way. Not because I want fire insurance or hell-avoidance. Not because I want to find a group or place to belong. I believe it on my own, I believe it to be real, I believe it to be important and valid, and I believe the way we have made Christianity out to be is completely wrong. And that’s why I have such a hard time going to church as it is now done.

Reaching people with trendiness

A recent cover story at World Magazine about “NextGen Worship” inspired a strong desire to smack the pastors depicted in the article and in the photos. The cover photo alone enraged me, with the pastor wearing baggy jeans and untucked button-up shirt with flip flops and an ear microphone. Later, the same guy is shown out front of a church holding a paper Starbucks-like cup of coffee. Could he try any harder to be lame?

I’d have liked to have taken that cup of coffee and dumped it on his head. But it’s nothing personal against that guy or his beliefs or sincerity. It’s an anger at something else.

I’m not going to be one of those starched-collar Christians who, based on personal preference, say that this is a sign we’re going to hell in a handbasket and that all things are wrong unless they are done as they were with the Puritans. What I’m saying is that I can’t stand the phoniness, or trendiness, or sameness — or whatever I’m trying to say here — that the church seems to catch onto at the tail end, not even aware of how lame it is. The fact that this is not only actually successful in appealing to people, but attracts them, also disgusts me.

It makes me want to throw up.

It’s buying into some kind of lie or substitution of cool culture as being relevant when it isn’t.

If I see another cool Bible college student or pastoral studies major wearing the hemp choker necklace, flip-flops, open-at-the-collar shirt that’s untucked, and baggy jeans, saying words like “dude” and “sweet”, I will kick their *##. It’s like the Christian version of annoying hipsters, an overly-studied and homogenized “with-it” faux coolness.

Perpetual youth group culture

In recent conversations with a couple of my girlfriends, I expressed an extreme disinterest in Christian guys of my generation.

“I’ve pretty much had it with Christian guys,” I said. “The main problem is that they are ‘guys’ for too long and never become men.”

They are, I theorized, stuck in the youth group culture. The church has encouraged them to never leave that mentality, and so it takes until about age 35 for them to extract themselves into adulthood-land where the women have been waiting for years and have been steadily growing fed up. Men not raised in this evangelical youth culture, I’ve noticed, tend to be vastly different in maturity level.

Youth group culture is a place of video games and pizza parties and perpetual “here we are now entertain us” (thanks for the lyrics, Cobain). When youth leave the appropriate age level (i.e. graduate from high school), they face a difficult moment, a moment made difficult because of age segregation, which I’ll talk about next.

Instead of helping them get on into adulthood, we’ve introduced single’s groups — in the name of helping the unmarried, of course — which are mainly youth groups for those in their 20’s. Which, instead of helping people not be single actually encourages them to never grow up and, instead, use the group as their relationship fix. I see this particularly with Christian guys, this stunted maturity, and it somehow seems to permeate Evangelical culture today.

Age segregation

It would behoove some of the leaders in church to read The Death of the Grown-up. While some of the book becomes a little too nostalgic for specific generations and, oddly, jazz music, it nails it on the idea of how we segregate by age and, sadly, create a self-feeding monster that means teens look to each other for cues and kids look to each other for cues, and the adults “leading” them are pandering to them to get their attention. The end result? Idiocy. Never-growing up. Never asking for behavior beyond what we have let them tell us is normal for their age. They only learn to function in their age level and have no examples or incentive to reach beyond that and mature. We make no demands on their behavior, only bemoan its current state.

The church is especially notorious for doing this. We have kid’s ministries and youth ministries and young adults and older adults — all separated from each other because of age, thereby negating any positive and necessary influence the different ages might have on each other.

The children are removed from the boring main service for their benefit, and the parents get a break. The youth are in youth groups and, consequently, only learn to be youth and actually intensify the silliness of their age by reflecting off of each other. The adults trying to lead the youth fall for the idea that unless we have games and parties and other dumbed-down stuff, we can’t keep their attention.

Why would we be able to keep their attention? We’ve let them take ours and tell us how to treat them. We’ve taught kids and youth to expect to be entertained and now we are in a vicious cycle on how to up the quotient and keep their attention. This is magnified and made even more ugly in a church setting when we try to find a way to insert the gospel into this machine of age segregation.

Focus on the family

Churches now tend to focus on the family. This is good, if you have a family. But, for those of us who are not married or do not have kids or a family, it really sucks. Sure, there’s the obligatory single’s group (which tends to peter out by the 30’s and those still left, at that point, can fend for themselves), but the focus is really on the family unit, and raising children.

Today’s sermon at church, for example, was on the importance of children’s ministry. I walked out at the part where we were told, as the call-to-action part of the sermon, to do our duty and sign up for the various children’s ministries. This was right after the explanation that children’s ministries accounted for the largest chunk of the church’s budget because kids won’t pay attention if you just show up with a Bible; you have to have all kinds of programs and themes and activities…

I left.

I had to.

I don’t know that the minister was wrong, though I think he was in some things he said. I am sure parents appreciate the ability to leave their kids at children’s church and know they’ll have activities and learn a Bible story or whatever, but it annoyed me.

If it isn’t a sermon about marriage, it seems to be a sermon about family. I’ve pretty much had it. The only answer I get, as a single, is a few verses by Paul which are supposed to make me feel good about being single since it’s “the higher road” or some such crap. And then we go back to another sermon directed to those on, I guess, the “lower road.” Or, I’m encouraged to find the other single women of my “advanced” age since the singles group doesn’t really reach up that high anymore.

Whatever. I’m not looking for a program or ministry geared for me and my situation. I’m just looking for people to connect with and be church with. I’d like marrieds and singles and old and young in that group. I’m not looking for easy homogenization.

It won’t work

As it is, I, and others like me, will walk out of churches. The coffee bars in the foyer, the casual attire, the buzz words, all the programs and activities imaginable, the big-screen video monitors, the contemporary music — it is actually repulsive and fake to a large chunk of people.

These are the people churches aren’t aware of, because they aren’t anywhere near a church. They slip in, walk out, and aren’t even missed. They don’t fill out visitor cards. They don’t want to be part of a flow chart or be managed as part of a Church-as-Corporate-Hierarchy system. They don’t want a polite follow-up call or to hear a voice on the other end say that they just wanted to “touch bases” with them to let them know they’re important. Even if those actions are sincere and the only plausible route when a church is so huge, they ring insincere.

Such people, like myself, sound impossible to reach or include in the system of church as we know it today, which is my point. They way we do church today isn’t necessarily being church.

There needs to be something else for those of us who can’t stand the way services are arranged, the way emotions are herded into a set time frame (which today involved — what was impossible for me — going from the whole congregation doing “the wave” as instigated by the children’s pastor into, about ten minutes later, “surrendering to Jesus” with soft piano music and hushed tones), how discussion is nil and being preached at in silence is the accepted method of learning…

…nope. Not gonna work.

I’m not looking for starched Baptist legalism, but Casual Friday Church is as equally fake and disgusting.

My church

I miss my own, small church, from back home. It’s filled with uncool, normal people who just want to help and talk and connect and be real and accountable to each other. It’s filled with people who want to go to the Dairy Queen after service and maybe have an ice cream cone. People who help change a flat tire in the parking lot. The building isn’t huge or fancy. The church doesn’t have programs and any other accessories to attract sub groups, like teens or kids events or anything that smacks of entertainment; there’s no program there to attract me to stay, but instead, it is the real relationships that have done the trick. We greet people not as a job or because we’re the assigned greeter, but because we see they’re new and we want to get to know them.

I feel more like part of the body than an attendee when I go there. I have a place, an integral part, just like all the rest of the people. As it is, the more I attend these larger churches and hear about programs and activities and see places to sign up for classes and possible facility expansion projects…the less I want anything to do with it. I feel like a barcode in the pew, and little else.

I’m having difficulty putting this into words.

I hate to church hop. I don’t want to waste my time here going from one church to the next. I would like to find just a small group of people and meet and talk about our beliefs and struggles and study the Bible and connect on a real level, and let that be church. Because isn’t that what the church is, meeting together with other believers and being accountable and real with each other in our walk?

****

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bill Clinton Claims That Barack Hussein Obama Can See The Future?!?!

Posted by Job on September 29, 2008

politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/29/clinton-hesitant-to-call-obama-a-great-man-2/

Clinton said he thought Obama “saw and imagined” how the economic situation could develop. “And I think that the rest of us should admire that. That’s a big part of leadership, being able to sense, as well as see the future,” he said.

Now while the usual interpretation is benign, in the context of this Obama Messiah stuff (and Sarah Palin is a prophet) climate, things like this continue to creep me out.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Is Supposed To Wound Sinful Consciences!

Posted by Job on September 29, 2008

THE GOSPEL IS INTENDED TO WOUND

Now do you see what the laborer brings with him? It is a sickle. His communications with the corn is are sharp and cutting. He cuts right through, cuts the corn down, and casts it on the ground. The man whom God means to be a laborer in his harvest must not come with soft and delicate words and flattering doctrines concerning the dignity of human nature and the excellence of self help and of earnest endeavors to rectify our lapsed condition and the like.

Such mealymouthedness may God curse, for it is the curse of this age. The honest preacher calls a sin a sin and a spade a spade and says to men, “You are ruining yourselves; while you reject Christ you are living on the borders of Hell, and ere long you will be lost to all eternity. There shall be no mincing the matter; you must escape from the wrath to come by faith in Jesus or be driven forever from God’s presence and from all hope of joy.”

The preacher must make his sermons cut. Our sickle is made on purpose to cut. The Gospel is intended to wound the conscience and to go right through the heart, with the design of separating the soul from sin and self, as the corn is divided from the soul.

Charles Spurgeon

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Barack HUSSEIN Obama On The Bible

Posted by Job on September 29, 2008

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Sarah Palin Is Now A Neoconservative Like The Rest. What A Shame.

Posted by Job on September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin, Neocon Pod Person

Did they hypnotize her, or was that unnecessary?

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: