Over the past few decades, the seeker-sensitive movement, and before that the church growth movement, taught us much about the importance of contextualization in the church.
I have read his different articles from time to time trying to give him a chance but the more I read his words, the more I think he dispenses worldly advice instead of godly wisdom. Case in point:
Emphasizing the big story of the Bible.
What does he mean by that? The paragraph below certainly doesn’t explain anything but it does use a lot of interesting words that sound good. The question that came to my mind is, what does he want people to leave out when painting this big picture of the Bible? In all of his points I failed to see how these supposedly millennial people are educating the church ‘theologically’ (the title of his article).
I see them using different methodology to teach theology, per se, to their children but I do not see any real theological lessons for the church in those examples.
This other article by the same man: http://www.christianpost.com/news/when-church-staff-turn-against-each-other-138258/
Does not seem to contain one piece of spiritual advice but it is filled with stating the obvious which never get to the heart of the real issue when church staff start dividing. I notice there was no reference to checking to see if evil had found an opening and was working to ruin the church. I saw nothing that provides real spiritual counseling or scriptural references to back up his words and that bothers me a lot.
Since the church is God’s we should be going to his word to solve problems not to those who hand out unwanted advice like it was candy. Problems in the church stem from a spiritual origin thus human ideas will not root out the problem and bring the correct solution.
#2. Not Peace But A Sword— http://www.christianpost.com/news/georgia-church-suffering-split-after-vote-to-leave-pcusa-fails-138629/
A congregation in Georgia is seeing dozens of members leaving to form their own church following its failure to officially disaffiliate from the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Members of First Presbyterian Church of Columbus narrowly defeated a resolution to seek dismissal from PCUSA over theological differences.
The week after the vote, about 70 of its members worshipped at the nearby Shearith Israel Synagogue under the new name of “Grace Church of Columbus.”
Glen D. Giles, a member of Grace Church, told The Christian Post that he joined the newly created congregation because he felt “isolated and disenfranchised by my denomination.”
It is always sad to hear of these situations but when you stand with God and his word, division is going to take place and you need to be prepared for it. It is not like we believers have not been warned about this taking place. One thing is for sure, believers cannot let emotions determine their spiritual fate. By this I mean, when close friends, family members or fellow church members drift away from God and choose alternative ideas, do not let yor emotional attachments to those people lead you to destruction.
You need to remain strong and stand with Jesus. The Bible tells us, ‘choose ye this day whom ye will serve’ thus you have a choice to make when these situations arise. Do you stay with God and watch your friends or relatives go away or do you leave God and walk away with your friends? You have to make the choice. I do know that the actress Ann Hathaway sided with her homosexual brother over God and trashes the latter when the issue is raised and that is not right.
If you are going away leave the trash at the door and be respectful about God’s rules.The failure is not the rules God has made, but with those who decide they cannot abide by them. For those who stayed with God, do not insult or attack those who left but gently try to restore them to the faith and the truth.
#3. Let’s Leave The Rhetoric Out Of the Discussion, Please— http://www.christianpost.com/news/james-dobson-supreme-court-gay-marriage-ruling-could-be-next-roe-v-wade-138673/
Influential conservative Christian writer and radio personality Dr. James Dobson has declared that if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage laws, it will have created a new Roe v. Wade.In the May newsletter for Family Talk, Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, wrote that if “marriage is to be reconfigured in the law, which court-watchers predict is almost certain, every dimension of the culture will be adversely affected.””It will be one of the most momentous rulings in U.S. history, tantamount to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. As we know, that terrible ruling 42 years ago divided the nation irreparably and has resulted in the deaths of 58 million babies,” said Dobson.
One of the things that bothers me about modern Christianity is that too many leaders think they need to give political speeches with political inflammatory Rhetoric to get anything done in the world of law or politics. We do not need this type of hype or melodrama. We need to be wise, stick to the truth and provide good counsel; not fuel any fanatical reactions that might come from these type of words.
We do not need to see supporters and practitioners of same-sex marriage bombed, shot or abused and if you think I am going to far with those words, maybe so. I am just trying to emphasize that we need to be totally Christian when addressing these issues and look to God of the correct words to say and provide the correct direction for the general Christian population to follow.
I am for wise counsel not cute political speeches that sound good. Christian leaders need to be honest, speak the truth and stop trying to be ‘prophetic’ when it is not called for or sanctioned by God. We believers have enough problems on our hands without our leaders adding to them with their publicly uninformed and misleading comments.
Michelle Bachmann comes to mind as a great example of this. Most people do not care if the rapture is going to take place so it is pointless to say it to those who do not believe. Her words make Christians look like they are scanning around looking for the nearest exit instead of rolling up their sleeves and contributing to solving problems.
I like Dobson’s organization’s purpose and name– Focus on the Family– as that is what the church should be doing. And I will leave that there so each church can seek God on how to accomplish that purpose. God created the family thus it is important. One thing is for sure though, comments quoted above do not help but make things worse for the local church.
#4. When Christians Enter Politics— http://www.christianpost.com/news/6-interesting-facts-about-ben-carsons-christian-faith-138786/
Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson has officially entered the 2016 presidential race for the Republican Party. Carson is well-known for his medical accomplishments such as separating conjoined twins, but he is also as well-known for his religious beliefs. The Seventh-day Adventist has relied upon his faith from a young age and continues to do so today. Here is a look at six key elements and issues related to Carson’s faith.
They need to realize that they are entering a position that calls upon them to govern people of all faiths and unbeliefs. They are not being given a mandate to force their views upon those who do not accept their faith. A wise politician would apply his faith to his life first, living as God would want so that the school district, the city, the state or country get wise counsel, from people who have studied the issue and see the dangers to avoid.
Christians who go into go into the political arena need to realize that Jesus’ instruction applies to them as they carry out their sworn duties which means that they are not playing a game but being a steward over what God has allowed them to obtain. Being a good steward does not mean we act blindly, irrationally nor does it mean we allow for secular ideas to take over governmental rule.
In this modern age, it will be difficult for a true believer to be a good politician but acting like previous political wannabes will not solve the problems they will face. We should not be opening God, Jesus, the HS or the faith up to mocking by our bad words or behavior but seek to show the right way to govern with the help of God.
Politics, like faith, is not a game and God will call a person to account for how he or she has handled themselves during their political career. We need wise leaders who actually know something and who are humble enough to follow God’s lead even when it means delaying implementing Judeo-Christian values.
For as long as I can remember, the church, for me, has been a place characterized by shame and hurt. I remember Christian high school friends telling me that I would go to hell for being Queer. I remember hearing sermons from televangelists about the evils of homosexuality, and church leaders pressuring youth leaders to cast out their Queer members. I’ve heard more talk of “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and “God didn’t make gay,” than anyone should, and I’ve even received personalized hate mail declaring that “God hates dykes.”
While I’ve never believed being Queer automatically counted me out, I’ve been unable to find a church community that I, as a Trans person, could really call home — a place I could engage in conversations around faith and sexuality, faith and gender.
If you read the whole list, you will see two glaring errors on the part of the writers. First, they are saying that the homosexual, transgender should be allowed to remain unrepentant and continue practicing their sin. Second, that God’s instruction just do not matter and that the church should adhere to the will of the homosexual instead of God’s.
There are also two common threads in every homosexual argument. The first common thread is: everyone else should guilty for excluding the homosexual from their organizations and institutions and that they must change not the homosexual. The second one is: The homosexual does not want to follow the rules thus the rules must change. For some reason the homosexual community thinks that the rules should not apply to them and that it is the rules that are wrong not them.
There is not one hint from the homosexual community that they even consider themselves to be in error. They make faulty arguments that God created that way but God did not. Homosexuality is a product of Adam’s sin, not God’s creative act. It is a corrupt nature not a divinely ordained one. As you look through the 7 items the homosexual community wants the church to do, you will notice that not one deals with God’s requirement of being born again, repenting of one’s sin, and so on. It is all about how the church must change.
Those writers are confused for the church does not serve the homosexual community. It serves God and it is God’s rules that they must follow, so if the homosexual wants to be part of the church and God’;s kingdom then it is they who need to humble themselves and repent of their sins, including homosexuality. God and the church do not humble themselves to the homosexual.
#6. I Am Sorry BUT I Cannot Support This— http://www.christianpost.com/news/a-d-the-bible-continues-returns-with-intensified-persecution-beyond-a-d-to-feature-kirk-cameron-all-sons-daughters-138826/
Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s follow up to the “Bible” series returns to NBC with more from the book of Acts, including stories about the early church and intensifying persecution against Jesus’ first followers.
I am NOT a fan of fictional presentations of the Bible or anything Christian. There is just so much wrong with this series that 3 books just can’t point out and fix. (the words 3 Books’ is merely an example)
if you want to present the Bible to others, your lives should be reflecting the teachings of what God teaches in the bible. Not placed on screen with a bunch of unverifiable action, behavior and dialogue. Just about everything in that series is read into the Bible and not taken from it and that is not the right way to do things. One example:
Meanwhile, Sunday’s sixth episode of “A.D. The Bible Continues” will see Peter under pressure to look after Jesus’ flock as Saul begins to persecute the church. Furthermore, Caiaphas’s position comes under threat from both Antipas and his own family. Pilate plays them all against each other.
There is no record that peter was ever under pressure by Saul in his heathen days or any one else for that matter. Peter was filled with the HS and had Jesus’ direct instructions, he knew what to do and what needed to be done, he was not a modern Christian leader who stumbles along with interpretation and bowing to the whims of compromising church members.
The mis-information in this series and the one before it does not help the church nor the cause of Christ but it certainly damages it. Misrepresenting the past will catch up with people and it will hurt the church when it is discovered that they do not really know what conversations and actions took place among the disciples and the early church.
We need to tell the truth at all times not produce fancy tales that rival Aseop’s Fables.
#7. I Am Also NOT A Fan Of Child Baptism-– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/06/gay-dads-baptism_n_7223744.html?cps=gravity_4318_5418057852900847164
Baptism is usually a time to celebrate new life and spiritual community. But for Rich McCaffrey, a new father in central Florida, the ritual took on a hurtful note when he had to cancel his son’s baptism — because McCaffrey and his husband are gay.
McCaffrey and his husband, Eric, began attending the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, Florida shortly after adopting their son, Jack. They hoped to become part of a spiritual community in which they could baptize their son,
Baptism is a willful act, made upon realizing that God wants you to be baptized. It is not fire insurance nor a back door entry into the church or Christianity. Baptism comes AFTER salvation and is NOT an act of being born again.
“Jack’s baptism turned out to be the very opposite of what it should have been,” McCaffrey wrote on Facebook. “It became about Jack having two dads, rather than a community opening its arms to a joyful little soul, one of God’s children.”
The child had not accepted Christ as his savior yet so how could he be ‘one of God’s children’? It seems that the homosexuals are missing a step or three in their thinking.
While the episode has put the church into the “public glare,” Thoma said, it also created an “opportunity to reconnect and connect with many people one-on-one” on the issue of LGBT inclusion in the church — something that McCaffrey said had been thrown into question.
There should be NO LGBT inclusion in the church until those LGBT people repent of their sins and allow Jesus to free them from the sins that bind them. If their older children repent of their sins, accept Jesus as their Savior and then decide to be baptized, then no problem but unrepentant people cannot request baptism for others.
Churches need to be wise, gentle, and understanding in this issue but they also must be strong for god and stand with His rules not the emotions of those who desire something they cannot have until they follow God’s rules correctly.