Saturday, March 26, 2011

5 Ways to make your kids hate church

This is excellent

1. Make sure your faith is only something you live out in public

Go to church... at least most of the time. Make sure you agree with what you hear the preacher say, and affirm on the way home what was said especially when it has to do with your kids obeying, but let it stop there. Don’t read your bible at home. The pastor will say everything you need to hear on Sundays. Don’t engage your children in questions they have concerning Jesus and God. Live like you want to live during the week so that your kids can see that duplicity is ok.

2. Pray only in front of people
The only times you need to pray are when your family is over, Holiday meals, when someone is sick, and when you want something. Besides that, don’t bother. Your kids will see you pray when other people are watching, no need to do it with them in private.

3. Focus on your morals
Make sure you insist your kids be honest with you. Let them know it is the right thing for them to do, but then feel free to lie in your own life and disregard the need to tell them and others the truth. Get very angry with your children when they say words that are “naughty” and “bad”, but post, read, watch, and say whatever you want on TV, Facebook, and Twitter. Make sure you focus on being a good person. Be ambiguous about what this means.

4. Give financially as long as it doesn’t impede your needs
Make a big deal out of giving at church. Stress the need to your children the value of tithing, while not giving sacrificially yourself. Allow them to see you spend a ton of money on what you want, while negating your command from scripture to give sacrificially.

5. Make church community a priority. As long as there is nothing else you want to do
Hey, you are a church going family, right? I mean, that’s what you tell your friends and family anyways. Make sure you attend on Sundays. As long as you didn’t stay up too late Saturday night. Or your family isn’t having a big bar-b-que. Or the big game isn’t on. Or this week you just don’t feel like it. Or... I mean, you are church going family so what’s the big deal?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where do our rights come from?

lately i have been catching up on some TV shows i've missed (mostly 'the event') on demand.  The commercials inserted by NBC are mostly of the cable Chanel MSNBC and their 'lean forward' campaign (what ever that is).  and they have this one commercial that really riles me up.  They quote from the declaration of Independence but leave out the most important truths. Here is their version:

“We hold these truths to be self-evidentthat all men and women have certain unalienable rights
life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.
And the freedom to believe that while history’s gotten us this farour best days are still ahead.

Notice what they leave out?
Here is the original text:

We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable rights,
that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Where do our rights come from?
Do they originate with us?
Are these rights relative?
Do they relate to everyone for all time?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

There is nothing more important, more precious, more protected, to the Westernized man/woman than their FREEWILL. The Supremacy of free choice. Don't you dare mess with man's absolutely autonomy from any authority. Man must be absolutely free. This often pops up in the church especially when we speak of God's will for us. Do we choose God or has He chosen me? Is my life and eternity already predetermined/predestined? What about my freewill? If I don’t choose first than am I simply a robot or pawn? This is why there was so much potential in the movie Adjustment Bureau. There was the 'Chairman' who planned out everyone's lives, and his 'agents' (or angels) who made sure the plan was followed exactly. Unfortunately the movie takes the easy way out and freewill wins, or love wins in the end. I guess i did not get it as i was comforted by the fact that my life may have been planned out. That God has determined my life's direction is a glorious thought to me. That God is His sovereignty has chosen me! That God has absolute sovereignty over man is a reason for praise not fear. Reminds me of something Jonathan Edward's Wrote:

“From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God’s sovereignty … It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced, and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of God…
      And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, in respect to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, from that day to this so that I scarce ever found so much as the rising of an objection against it, in the most absolute sense…. I have often since had not only a conviction but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceedingly pleasant, bright, and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Napoleon on Jesus

I came across this quote yesterday while looking for something else:

Napoleon's assessment of Jesus:

"You speak of Caesar, of Alexander, of their conquests and of the enthusiasm which they enkindled in the hearts of their soldiers; but can you conceive of a dead man making conquests, with an army faithful and entirely devoted to his memory? My armies have forgotten me even while living, as the Carthaginian army forgot Hannibal. Such is our power.”

“I know men and I tell you, Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour, millions would die for him.”

“I search in vain history to find similar to Jesus Christ, or anything which can approach the gospel. Neither history nor humanity, nor ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Unraveling of Rob Bell

In the new book "Love Wins" Rob Bell presents the old heresy of Universalism in a new wrapping.  it is amazing how well Bell answers questions without really saying anything of substance.  Bashir (interviwer) pegs it when he says:

“You’re creating a Christian message that’s warm, kind, and popular for contemporary culture. . . . What you’ve done is you’re amending the gospel, the Christian message, so that it’s palatable to contemporary people who find, for example, the idea of hell and heaven very difficult to stomach. So here comes Rob Bell, he’s made a Christian gospel for you, and it’s perfectly palatable, it’s much easier to swallow. That’s what you’ve done, haven’t you?”

Places to find reviews of Bell's Book:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Planned Parenthood

Notice how caustic and violent their rhetoric is? How many of them call babies 'born fetuses?'

Notice how many talk to aborting the baby (not fetus)? is this admitting it is indeed a baby?
It is clear from many of the interviews abortion is only for convenience.
"Abortion is Healthcare" certainly not for the baby!
Planned Parenthood and abortion providers know their rhetoric is not working anymore, so they will become more and more extreme and angry.
scary stuff

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amish Forgiveness

Notice from this interview (given at the time of the shooting) the emphasis on a community of faith that enables & empowers forgiveness through teaching and modeling forgiveness.  Is it overstating it to say that we cannot truly forgive unless we are part of a strong faith community that teaches Biblical forgiveness and lives it out? Forgiveness is a work of the Holy Spirit, it is supernatural, and it is taught in the Bible and modeled in the church. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Last Sunday the Sermon was on Forgiveness from Matthew 18:21-35 (the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant) A power parable about forgiveness. I used as an illustration the Forgiveness of the Amish Community after the shooting where 10 girls were shot and 5 killed. Quotes from the Amish community:

"I hope they stay around here and they'll have a lot of friends and a lot of support," Daniel Esh, a 57- year-old Amish artist and woodworker whose three grandnephews were inside the school during the attack, said of the Roberts.

Enos Miller, the grandfather of the two Miller sisters, was with both of the girls when they died. He was out walking near the schoolhouse before dawn Wednesday — he said he couldn't sleep — when he was asked by a reporter for WGAL-TV whether he had forgiven the gunman. "In my heart, yes," he said, explaining it was "through God's help."

A Roberts family spokesman said an Amish neighbor comforted the Roberts family hours after the shooting and extended forgiveness to them.

Amish community members visited and comforted Roberts' widow, parents, and parents- in-law. One Amish man held Roberts' sobbing father in his arms, reportedly for as long as an hour, to comfort him

Forgiveness is truly a miracle. I wonder how I would have reacted. The following video is about a man killed and cannibalized a small boy and is up for parole. The father of the boy says if he is let out he will kill him.. I have to admit my thinking is much more in line with this father than the Amish. Thank God He does not give us what we deserve for our sins! Forgiveness is Truly a supernatural thing, a miracle.

HT: B.H.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For the Fame of His Glory

I can remember being in seminary in 1996, Columbia SC, and one of my classmates telling me about this new book called "Desiring God" by a guy named John Piper.  The book came up again in a discussion in our church small group later that week. We didn't have much money at the time but i went out and purchased a copy and read it in 2 days in our trailer home.  No other book outside the Bible has had a greater impact on me and my thinking and theology than "Desiring God.  Basically the introduction and first chapter of the book was like an atomic bomb in my heart - still is.  The one phrase that was burned into my heart "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." This is Piper's theme for the book, his ministry, and his life.  He has written many other excellent books since then but they are all facets of this one sentence.  When anyone asks me my top ten books the first is always Desiring God. 

All that to say how eager i was to pick up the new book "For the Fame of God's Name, essays in honor of John Piper."  It is an excellent read but what i most enjoyed was the personal stories about John and his life. I wish there had been more.  It is a good book.  But if you are looking for something to change your life read "Desiring God" first.  And certainly check out his outstanding website Listen and watch him preach and i guarantee you will be impacted. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The World's Most Typical Person

The World's Most Typical Person is a 28 year old Han Chinese Man, there are 9,000,000 of them

(These National Geographic videos are always fascinating)
HT: Abraham Piper

Friday, March 4, 2011

Morning Joe and Tim Keller

Its good to see Tim Keller on Morning Joe again, it appears to be a regular Friday segment.  Its also to see how much influence Pastor Keller is having on NYC and the power brokers in that city.  This past week i saw Keller on Fox News and before the interviewer began she told the audience she went to Keller's church and also Joe Scarborogh goes to his church.  Anyone who can bring Fox News and MSNBC together must be doing something right! 

BYU Basketball

One of the big stories this week in the sports world is that the BYU basketball team kicked off one of its star players for breaking their honor code. BYU is the school for the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). It came to light that he had had sex with his girlfriend. This has totally baffled many of the sports casters and newspaper writers. BYU's standards from their website:

Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

I find it refreshing and commendable that a university still has an honor code and still takes it seriously. (This will probably cause the team to lose its number one seeding in the tournament.) I think it is safe to say that the Mormon Church is probably a more moral church than the Christian church (generally speaking) (Just look at their honor code) but they are far from the orthodox truth of true Christian faith. We must always remember that we are not saved through our morality but ONLY by the grace of God

Titus 3:5
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

So i must commend them for sticking to their standards but condemn anyone who thinks that morality equals salvation.