Tag Archives: church


Are people — young and old — who hang out at church really saved, or is their defining characteristic that they mimic those around them?

Years ago, before I knew the finer points of how Facebook works, someone I went to church with when growing up posted a picture from the Godspell play that the youth had put on.  I was tagged in the picture, so it showed up in my timeline.  For clarity, I added this comment:

Just for the record, I am not in this picture. It from a play my church’s youth group did (I wasn’t in the play). Sadly, out of all the people I’ve seen on FB from those years I’ve only come across one who appears to be a Bible-believing, orthodox Christian. Ironically, I was Super Pagan then and became a real Christian later.

Then I realized that my comment didn’t just post to my page, but to the entire thread where people were having fun reminiscing. Then I added this:
Sorry, didn’t realize my comment would be on the main thread. I thought it would just be on my page. Didn’t mean to be a buzzkill.  😉
While I didn’t realize it would be seen by all, I decided to leave it.  I hope it convicted some of the readers to think about what they really believed then and now.  Hanging out at a lukewarm (at best) church when you are a kid and doing all sorts of youth group activities does not save you.  Eternity is a mighty long time to be wrong on the Bible, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, sin, salvation, etc.  It is truly sad seeing the worldliness and New Age type of things most of those people post.  They are far from God.
I thank God for the clarity that I was a rebel then (example: it is theoretically possible that some of us smoked pot at church camp . . . what was that statute of limitations again?!) and knew the difference when I was saved as an adult.
I saw the same thing at the Methodist church we used to attend.  Many kids seemed very committed to the faith, but their real commitment was to behaving like those around them.  When they went off to college many morphed into typical Leftist sound-bite machines (pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-“tolerance”).  By the grace of God, some did not.

I highly encourage parents and church leaders to ensure that your kids know how to think carefully and to have an apologetics background.  Otherwise it is just a matter of time until they morph into the world.


I love to see churches that end up multi-ethnic, but not those that aim at it

Alternate title: Just. Preach. The Gospel.

I have deeply appreciated the opportunity to worship in different cultures in Bible believing churches: the Methodist church in Singapore, a few churches in Kenya, black churches in the U.S. (mainly for funerals), a multi-ethnic church in Ohio, multi-ethnic worship with prisoners, and more.  I love how preaching the real Gospel will break down barriers like skin color and income.

But I really don’t like the idea of putting multi-ethnicity first.  These apparently Gospel-believing people seem well-intentioned but are missing the point.  Via Mosaix Leaders Summit Sets Ambitious Goal of Planting 1,000 Multi-Ethnic Churches in 10 Years.

A first-of-its-kind gathering of over 25 different influential Christian organizations and leaders, including the Southern Baptist Convention and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), convened this week to discuss and trade ideas on how to plant and grow multi-ethnic churches throughout North America, including strategies to establish 1,000 such churches over the next seven to ten years.

The Christian Post obtained the program of the closed-door, two-day meeting titled the 2015 Multi-Ethnic Church Planting Leaders Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event, from Wednesday to Thursday, was organized by Mosaix Global Network along with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for the Development of Evangelical Leadership in Charlotte.

In addition to discussion on strategic partnerships to establish 1,000 multi-ethnic churches within the next decade, attendees also discussed how to facilitate the process of 20 percent of the churches in North America, having 20 percent racial diversity by 2020.

. . .

The Mosaix website underscores that “according to research, more than 86 percent of all churches in the United States are segregated, with more than 80 percent of their membership representing a single race or ethnic group.”

So are they telling the black churches I’ve visited that they are racist for having nearly 100% black members?  Do they propose quotas?  Do they not see that some cultures prefer to worship in different ways?  Do they not see that most people like to worship close to home, which typically means a more homogeneous congregation?

They seem to ignore worship preferences.  For example, I’m not a hand-waver in church.  If I did that it wouldn’t be sincere.  But if other cultures can do that with sincerity I wouldn’t want to them to change on my account.  I’m pretty liberal that way.

I hope these churches focus on sharing the real Gospel with anyone who will listen and let God sort out who worships in what building.  Of course we should welcome anyone with a sincere interest in following Jesus, but all you need for that is the Gospel.

The New Jersey issue is bigger than the Duck Dynasty issue

The Duck Dynasty / Phil Robertson topic has received tons of attention, and deservedly so.  But the bigger issue is how the pro-LGBTQ groups aren’t satisfied with merely redefining marriage in an anti-biblical way, but how they won’t rest until they have completely stamped out religious freedom and forced churches to affirm their activities.  The A&E issue is a sad commentary on our society, but the New Jersey issue is about the power of Big Government to suppress religious freedom.

Via Duck Dynasty Star Fired Over Remarks on Homosexuality:

Earlier this week state Senate Democrats in New Jersey pulled from consideration a bill that would write gay marriage, already legal in New Jersey by court order, into the law books. The reason: the bill contained religious exemptions.  Loretta Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader, said she pulled the bill after pressure from an LGBTQ legal group, Lambda Legal.

“They don’t want any kind of religious exemption, so out of respect for that, I will (pull the bill),” Weinberg said.

Re-read that carefully: They don’t want any kind of religious exemption.  None.  It isn’t about their freedom to do what they want.  They’ve had that for years.  No one is preventing their relationships and/or promiscuous sex, or even doing anything to stop 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive who have unprotected sex with men.  This is about silencing Christians and forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.

“There’s a disparate group of people and it’s hard to follow what they want, so I’m following Lambda Legal.”

The decision by New Jersey Democrats and A&E are similar. When pressured by LGBTQ groups, organizations and politicians will choose to silence Christians who oppose the normalization of homosexual behavior.

Many Christians have assumed that they would be allowed reasonable exemptions and accommodations based on religious liberty. But LGBTQ activists have made it clear (and have said so from the beginning) that unconditional acceptance of homosexuality is the only option. Normalization and public support, rather than mere legal recognition, is the end goal.

Religious believers who think they can avoid the issue are deluding themselves. While we may not have a hit reality show that we can get fired from, we will be pressured in numerous ways to make it clear that we will not speak or act publicly in a way that supports the biblical view of homosexuality. The objective of the activists is to marginalize Christian views on sexual norms until they can be outlawed in the public square. Many Christians have already and will continue to gleefully work to ensure this becomes a reality. But for faithful Christians, allowing our biblical witness to be silenced is not an option. Like Phil Robertson we must all say, “My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.”

Make no mistake: Satan won’t rest until he has silenced Christians.  That will never happen completely, of course, but there is a rocky road coming up.  Many of us have warned of these logical consequences for years, but too many Christians thought they could sit on the fence.  There is no fence.

But be encouraged!  God always wins in the end.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for the truth.

Update: Leftist fake Christian ghouls use Trayvon Martin death for their political agenda

I came across this picture and it reminded me of the post below.  He does look like Obama’s son!  And Obama looks (OK, thinks) like Kermit Gosnell’s twin.

This is such a perfect example of media bias.  They worked overtime with false teachers and other useful idiots to generate the St. Skittles meme.

The Trayvon Martin shooting is a tragedy.  What makes it even more sickening is that fakes like Chuck Currie are using it to fuel their politics-disguised-as-religion goals.  See Christians Honor Trayvon Martin With Hoodie Photos #TrayvonMartin #WeAreTheChristianLeft @United Church.  

Christian Left = oxymoron.  They deny Jesus’ divinity, his exclusivity, the authority of the Bible and so much more.  In other words, they aren’t Christians.  Normally I don’t poke fun at spelling errors because we can all make those, but Chuck didn’t even spell Christian correctly!

Chuck looks even more idiotic than usual in his hoodie stunt. Yeah, that’ll improve race relations . . . how?  What will this do to help stop [apparently] overly aggressive Hispanic community watchmen from shooting someone?

Chuck is wearing the moronic “,” symbol of the UCC, where they love to say “God is still speaking,” even though they ignored what He said the first time and are just using that as excuse to make up new things and blame it on God (i.e., pro-abortion, pro-“same-sex marriage,” etc.).

Keep in mind that Chuck the other moral freaks on the “Christian Left” are not only pro-legalized abortion but pro-taxpayer funded abortions.  If Trayvon Martin was in the womb today Chuck would want the government to take your money by threat of force to pay Trayvon’s mom to have him killed.  This would increase the rate of abortions in the black community to even higher than the current rate of 3x that of whites.  That’s the real racism.

Will the fakes like Chuck speak out against the New Black Panthers’ “Dead or alive” incentives to kill the Hispanic gunman?

Do Chuck & the other fakes speak out against black-on-black violence?

I haven’t noticed the fakes lamenting the black-on-white hate crime where a 13 year old boy was set on fire because he was white.

Why not?  Because they are hypocritical frauds and false teachers.

A great Christmas gift idea!

Resurrection iWitnessNot for me (but thanks anyway!).  As the French Knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would say, I’ve already got one.

What is it, you ask?  A copy of Resurrection iWitness by Doug Powell.  As noted on Amazon:

This book gives evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ by using the easy-to-understand Minimal Facts argument. That means it relies only on the historical facts that almost all biblical scholars (including atheistic, Jewish, and liberal) accept and shows how only the biblical story of the resurrection can account for all these agreed-upon facts.

Across 32 intensively designed pages (16 spreads acting as individual chapters) — each containing information that is physically nested and must be actively opened to discover — the reader investigates the story of Christ and weighs the evidence to determine its historical accuracy.

While a 700+ page book by N.T. Wright will obviously go into more depth, the odds of getting someone to actually read about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus go up dramatically with this book.  At only 32 pages it is an easy read, and the artwork and interactive nature will be compelling for people.

The “minimal facts” argument is probably my favorite to use with believers and non-believers alike.  It is very compelling and easy to explain, and it quickly explodes all sorts of myths, such as how Christians are to have a “blind faith” without evidence.

It starts by quoting 1 Corinthians 15 and notes that if an enemy wants to find the weak point of Christianity we hand it to him.  Paul couldn’t be more clear: If the physical resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen, then Christianity is false, we are making the real God mad and we are to be pitied above all men.

It goes on to note key facts that even those hostile to the faith willingly concede, and then explains how alternate theories all fail in light of those facts.  Our faith is grounded in reason and evidence and we can be confident that the resurrection really happened.

Remember, Christmas is the time of year where people expect us to talk about Jesus.  Even the non-believers will listen to and hear songs about him.  Wouldn’t a book that elegantly and accurately explains why we should believe that He really lived, died and rose again make a great gift?

So buy one or a bunch (only $12.46 for a coffee table quality book) and give them away.  It will be your easiest evangelism of the year.  Be sure to have it lying around your house as a conversation starter.  Give one to your kids. This is the kind of message that our youth desperately need when they go off to college.  It really disarms critics when we politely point out why we have solid reasons for trusting in Jesus as our Savior.

P.S. Now that’s weird — the link this page didn’t show up on Facebook on my computer and on my iPhone it gave a message saying that the link was “reported as abusive by Facebook users.” Huh??!!  The worst part is that they never contacted me or explained why, and I have no idea how to figure it out. It will be interesting to see if that happens again.  This is a recommendation for a book about Jesus — as a Christmas gift! It’s one of the least offensive things I’ve published all year!

Going and coming


It is a major challenge to leave one church and join another, but there are some key success factors on both sides that can help you.

I already mentioned How to start at your new church.  We basically did these without the list when we switched churches last year and it worked well.

Also see How to leave your old church for some more good advice.  We did those things as well.  Having been there for 15 years, we had a lot of very good friendships that we wanted to maintain — even though as a matter of conscience I couldn’t worship there any longer.

I heard from a third party that our former pastor said we left in the most gracious way he had seen, which told me that I probably wasn’t mean enough ;-).  I say that not out of self promotion but to point out the importance of a clear exit strategy.  I spent a lot of time thinking and planning how to leave without burning any unnecessary bridges.  We tried to tell our small group friends and then immediately told the pastor so he wouldn’t hear it from others first.

One thing the link mentions is to “kindly and honestly answer the question ‘Why did you leave?'”  I tried to be simple, thorough and accurate when answering that for the pastor and anyone else who asked.  I gave the pastor the full list and more context.  I didn’t want to nitpick or be spiteful, but I also didn’t want to pull any punches on the main reasons we were leaving.  It is a win-win situation when you do that: Either they take the constructive criticism and make positive changes, or they ignore it and validate why it was wise for you to leave.  With others we didn’t know as well I gave them a shortened version (some as brief as “creative differences”).

Spread the Gospel in persecuted countries and help widows and orphans at the same time

One of our favorite organizations is International Cooperating Ministries, a “non-profit, trans-denominational Christian organization that works toward the mission of nurturing believers and assisting church growth worldwide. With our partners, we leverage simple church growth principles to see our vision of growth in the faith of individual believers, the number of people within each church, and the number of churches within a nation-truly actualizing Christ’s commission to “make disciples of all nations!””

They primarily build churches (roughly $8,000 each) and church/orphanages (roughly $25,000).  The church/orphanages are exciting projects because they not only help the local church and the orphans, but the widows who take care of the orphans as well.  And of course they share the Gospel.  Almost sounds kinda biblical . . .

Here is their basic model:

When a church is built in a poor village, it more than stands out among the surrounding mud and thatch huts … it shines!  And that’s just the beginning of the community’s transformation when a new church is opened…

• Worshippers abandon the shady tree that previously served as their Sunday sanctuary.

• Curiosity draws unbelievers to the new church and the congregation doubles.

• Weeknight small group Bible studies are started using the Mini Bible College.

• Church members share their faith with neighbors, citing God’s miraculous provision of a beautiful new church.

• Weekdays, the building is filled with eager children who now have a school.

• The village leader holds community council meetings in the place where Christians worship every Sunday.

• Visiting doctors and nurses use the church as a temporary medical clinic during their humanitarian missions.

Soon, the pastor is raising up young leaders and they each start new churches in neighboring villages where they meet under a tree – and the whole process starts over again.

When a church is built in a poor village, it more than changes lives, it transforms a community … and reaches a nation!

The transformation begins . . . with your help!

They use a “web” approach, so that each church that receives a building needs to help 5 other churches start in their vicinity.

They offer a “mini-Bible college” to help the churches have sound doctrine.

One of the things I like about them is that their administrative costs are paid for by a foundation, so 100% of what you give goes straight to the projects.

They build churches around the world, including many countries where persecution is rampant.

Check out their web site and see what you think.  You might want to donate or get a group to raise funds for a church.  Perhaps you’ve been seriously blessed and could pay for a whole church yourself!  Think about that for a while.  It is a great way to encourage other believers, help widows and orphans, and spread the Gospel!  Who knows, you might get to go visit them someday in this life, but if you are a believer you can be sure you’ll catch up with them in Heaven someday.

As Jesus said, where your treasure is there your heart will be also.  When you donate to projects around the world your heart will go there as well.