Mark Driscoll, the attention grabbing minister of the Mars Hill megachurch, is at it again. He’s pushing his badass Jesus who has, as he put it a few years ago, “a commitment to make someone bleed.” Driscoll has a personal need for a sacred tough guy because he has some sort of theological kink or character twist or… whatever, that leads him to declare, “I … Continue reading His Own Version Of Jesus….
A robot is a useful piece of technology typically used for complicated or dangerous tasks. Robots, often mass-produced, make no decisions on their own and are completely controlled by others. I’m beginning to realize that every time I go to church I’m becoming a little more robotic – programmed into being the perfect fit as a member of my congregation. I guess it’s inevitable that … Continue reading Robotic Christianity.
There is no “right way” to have church, but there is a wrong way. Scripture gives us very little instruction for church. We are told to “gather together” (Hebrews 10:24), we have the example of the Eucharist set by Christ (Luke 22:19), and we have a command to address the needs around us (Acts 4:32-35, 20:35, Hebrews 13:16, James 1:27), we are told to be … Continue reading 8 Good Reasons to Change Modern Church Service
On the morning of Saturday, August, 24, Love Wins showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different, large suburban churches that help us … Continue reading Feeding Homeless Apparently Illegal in Raleigh, NC
When you consider that the Bible was written by over 40 separate authors and compiled from thousands of manuscripts, in different languages, over hundreds of years, from a variety of locations around the world, with little collaboration, and ultimately interpreted into hundreds of translations—there are bound to be ambiguities…. Ultimately, all of these biblical issues force Christians to ask some huge questions: Is God true? … Continue reading Troubles with the Bible…
Everyone in America knows the catchy slogan: What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)? Of all the Christian memorabilia donned by the church, these bracelets and T-shirts have remained at the top of the list for quite sometime. For only $5.99, you too can show the world that you follow in the footsteps of Jesus, to do what Jesus would do when faced with temptation. The apostles … Continue reading So, Why Don’t We???
1) We try to share our faith before we even have any. I remember talking with a 13 year old girl who came to Chicago for a mission trip. I asked her what she was doing. She said, “I went downtown to evangelize the homeless!” At first, I thought, “how sweet,” but then I thought, “how arrogant!” First, why do we assume the homeless … Continue reading Inspiring Quotes….
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in following the teachings of Jesus is our tendency to do whatever we want, and to then convince ourselves that Jesus supports our agenda. This is especially true when it comes to His peace teachings. I’ve talked to church leaders who really want to speak the truth about peace but are afraid of repercussions from people in their congregations … Continue reading A Quick Quote from Stephen Jarnick
The Bible nowhere qualifies the command to help the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, and the poor. The Bible never says “help the Christian poor” or “help the poor only if they listen to a 30-minute sermon.” God told the Israelites that they are God’s people if they help the poor and bring justice to the oppressed. No qualifiers. No agenda. No strings attached. Just … Continue reading Too Many Conditions….
My translation of the Bible is better than your translation. Hymns are better than choruses. The Contemporary service is better than the Traditional one. My version of baptism is better than yours…… Source: Stephen Mattson: Stop Comparing my Christianity to Your Christianity! – Red Letter Christians. Another brilliant post by Stephen Mattson over at Red Letter Christians and it came just at the right time for … Continue reading Stop Comparing my Christianity to Your Christianity!
While I am on hiatus I highly recommend that you go over to RedLetterChristians for your daily dose of living Christ’s words in your life. I think my blog here actually precedes them but being a considerably size org they do a much better job than I ever could. Click on the logo above to go there. They ask for a donation but it is … Continue reading Red Letter Christians..
I have been studying the history of the church to try an understand how we got to where we are today. An important book in that investigation is entitled “A People’s History of Christianity, The Other Side of the Story” by Diana Butler Bass. This is not the first book I have read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. With this … Continue reading A People’s History of Christianity….
They had turned the way of Jesus, I felt, into the club of the Pharisees, and they didn’t speak for me, even though their spokesmen dominated the dialogue night after night on cable TV. The terms “Evangelical” and even “Christian” had become like discredited brands through their energetic but misguided work. I increasingly understood why more and more of my friends winced when the name … Continue reading Those Who Use Jesus’ Name….
I am only now beginning a serious but somewhat sporadic study of church history but even at this point in my study it is clear that the church has remained silent about many moral wrongs of the times. The most notable in recent history is the holocaust. Millions of Jews were being sent off to their deaths by Hitler and the church for the most … Continue reading Silence is Complicity….
Source: Deal Or No Deal? Creed Or No Creed? – QuakerQuaker. “Friends have no creeds.” We Quakers often say that. We are committed to no human words but rather to following the Holy Spirit. We believe God speaks to us today – speaks to all who still their hearts and listen. “No official words can substitute for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.” We … Continue reading About Those Creeds….
Today I want to look at some words from Brian D. McLaren in his book A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith Our faith is vain and self-centered if it only brings blessing for us or to us. It also must result in blessing that flows through us to the world….. If we locate Jesus primarily in light of the … Continue reading Who Do We Owe Our Allegiance???
Source: Paul as Usurper of Christianity? « Common Treasury. I am aware that there has been much discussion in the past on the alleged contrasting visions of Jesus in the gospels (especially Matthew, Mark, and Luke-Acts) and the message in the Paul’s letters. There is something to the charge I think (not that I have studied this in great detail); I have on a couple of … Continue reading Paul as Usurper of Christianity?
You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger. Let a person overcome anger by love. Hate is never ended by hatred but by love. — Buddha — These words could just as easily come from the mouth of Jesus as from Buddha. But in reality Buddha lived on this earth several hundred years before Jesus. It amazes me … Continue reading You Are Punished By Your Anger, Not For Your Anger…
This is a continuation of the previous post about heresy and why it has contaminated the church. We all have our opinions of what God wants us to do and believe and we are for the most part not at all tolerant of those who might think differently than we do. It seems when someone has the inherent power to do something about those who … Continue reading The Effects of Heresy….
Many people throughout church history have been put to death because of heresy. But, just what is heresy? That is what this post will be about. Many church leaders have charged others with heresy many times in its history. The most recognizable instances are the inquisitions, post-Constantine period, the Crusades, and of course Galileo and Joan of Arc. Of this list I am the most … Continue reading What is Heresy??
I think most people, especially those who call themselves Christian, are at least a little familiar with the third great rummage sale in Christianity which was the Reformation. I will only give a very brief look in this post. Martin Luther, a monk with an incredibly low self-image, started it in 1517 when he nailed his list of 95 complaints about the workings of the … Continue reading The Third Great Rummage Sale — The Reformation
In this second post about the first major reconfiguration of the Christian church I will be covering some ancillary info about just who was affected by the Dark Ages and will be talking a little about the person “saved” the church for a later resurrection. First of all I have found that the term “Dark Ages” has many definitions and stated causes. For purposes here … Continue reading The First Rummage Sale – The Dark Ages (con’t)
I have often said on this blog that maybe we should give up our stained glass churches and move them to strip malls, abandoned buildings, or other less costly surroundings. For many churches today paying the mortgage and utilities is a the second biggest drain on a small congregation (the biggest drain is usually the pastor’s salary). That is why there is some validity to … Continue reading The Common Cathedral…..
My study of the early church leaders is to show that there was much diversity in the early church that was later driven out. Many, if not most of the “church fathers” believed things that are now considered heretical. Ignatius was certainly no exception. Ignatius and Irenaeus had definite ideas of how the young Christian congregations should be governed. Both authoritarians, they were hardly advocates … Continue reading Early Church Leaders – Ignatius …..
I am well aware that there are Christians who believe that all of the bible is the words of Jesus and must be taken literally and totally without the possibility of error in every regard. On my very first post on this blog almost four years ago I was confronted by this belief by a person rather high up in the Lutheran denominations. I have … Continue reading About The Epistles….
I am going to start this post with an alarming story of Constantine’s involvement in the Council of Nicaea. It is from a book by Harvey Cox entitle The Future of Faith. If this doesn’t cast out any doubt of man’s involvement in the change from faith to rigid belief nothing will: Constantine, not Jesus, was the dominant figure at Nicaea, and it is … Continue reading The Decrees of Constantine…
Jesus meant for us to look forward in the world to accomplish the tasks he gave us. If you read the red letters for what they are and not necessarily what others think about them then you will know that he didn’t intend for us to always be looking backwards to what he did for us. He gave each one of us who call ourselves … Continue reading Stumbling Forward….
Many of us Christians never seem to give up our childhood views of just who God is. We think of him as that white bearded guy up in heaven. True, we do add some things to this vision as we get older we see him as that guy who spends his day saying “You go to heaven; you go to hell”. We often view Jesus … Continue reading That Bearded Guy Up There…..
Yesterday I got the below email from Sojourners with responses from both presidential candidates on how they will address the problem of poverty in America. Given that our current study is “our responsibilities to the poor” it came at a very appropriate time. I am tempted to make some remarks about the two approaches but will refrain from doing so in this post. Click on … Continue reading Maybe…. Just Maybe….
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with … Continue reading The Love of God….