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Archive for August, 2007

Ok, it’s now official. According to an online quiz, I know the bible 100% so there is no sense arguing with me. I guess that settles things once and for all! (If only…)

You know the Bible 100%!

 

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses – you know it all! You are fantastic!

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Brother In Sarcasm

Glad to see someone else sees the marketing of SEX! in the church for what it often is… well, um, marketing. Check out this post, Chris Elrod could be my spiritual brother in sarcasm. It is a PG post, be warned if you are easily offended. It’s hilarious and really speaks to some of the concerns I had on the same subject.

And for the criticism that I already anticipate: there is nothing wrong with the church talking about sex, in fact we should be talking about sex from a Christian standpoint. But using SEX! as a not-so-subtle way to get our overly sexed culture into the church is something else. Anyway, go read his post, it’s hilarious, yet sadly true.

**Update**  Apparently Chris is getting a lot of flak for this sarcastic piece… I don’t get it.  Many of the things that he is jokingly saying that he will do at his church have actually been done by “seeker” churches.  (I’ve personally seen a “Dr. Ruth” in a seeker sex service, I’ve heard “Let’s Talk About Sex” rapped in a ‘worship’ service, and it seems like I heard something about Ron Jeremy speaking at a church… so he’s not even being that outlandish in his parody!).  I’ve not read the rest of his blog so I can’t speak for him or his church, but this piece is right on in pointing out how ridiculous many churches have gotten in marketing sex as a way to get people in the door.  I suppose his sarcastic idea for sex series is a bit coarse, but it’s not over the top and it makes a great point.

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The Reluctant Evangelist

This is actually kind of funny.  For those of you who don’t know, Ray Comfort is a wonderful evangelist and author of “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”.  He’s a wonderful, humble man with a passion for witnessing to the lost.  Well, an atheist decided to make a You Tube video called “Ray Comfort is a Terrorist”.  Basically, he makes this assumption because he accuses Ray of calling him a liar, a thief, an adulterer, etc.  (Actually, God is calling him that, not Ray…).  You can watch the video at Steve Sanchez’s site EVTales here.

Here’s the ironic part: by making this video and targeting it to atheists he is presenting the Gospel to a group that Ray might never reach.  Inadvertently this guy might be leading atheists to faith and repentance, since God’s Word will not return void!  Wouldn’t that be great if an atheist stumbles upon this video and gets saved!

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This is the second sermon in the Colossian series, focusing on the hope which is the source of the Colossian’s faith and love (v. 5).

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Sorry I haven’t posted my sermons in a while, just slipped my mind. Having finished the topical series on what a church needs to do to be built up by God I wanted to do an expository series (a verse-by-verse study of the bible, taking each verse in context instead of starting with a topic and finding verses to support the topic). There is merit in both approaches, but right now I think it would be good to focus just on one book for a while. I chose Colossians because of its strong emphasis on the supremacy of Christ, something that I think the American church could stand hearing.

So, here is the first offering, based on the first two verses of Colossians (really the second verse primarily). Called “What’s in a name”, looking at how Christians are called disciples, believers, saints and brothers.

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Forcefield Up

Hey y’all, sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted, just been real busy. I wanted to share a quick story though, that was brought to mind by John Shore’s blog.  I consider John a great blog-friend, even though we don’t quite see eye to eye on evangelism (you can see my comments about his book “I’m OK, You’re Not” in previous posts, and his comments as well, but I never did get a complimentary book for plugging it so much, so I still haven’t read it, unless I find it in a bargain bin or can borrow it from a friend).  Anyway, he was writing about how a lesbian co-worker of his was saddened when he became a Christian for fear that he would now have to hate her since he was a Christian. It’s a shame that people associate Christians with hate instead of with love, and I’ve had his experience too– a homosexual who got very defensive when they found out that I was an evangelical Christian, assuming that I have something in my Christian contract that says that I have to hate them.

Yet, I think the opposite often happens as well. Just today I went to my favorite coffee shop for a pound of Costa Rican. The woman who helped me looked a lot like what you would expect in a hip coffee shop: very Gothic, lots of torn clothes, many piercings, lots of tattoos, dyed-black hair, Perma-Scowl. Me, I had my preacher costume on today since I had just come from a preacher’s meeting: dockers, button down shirt, leather shoes, very conservative dress. I was there with my youth minister, so coming in the door we probably screamed “ministers!!!!!”. Conservative looking minister, Goth coffee clerk, you get the picture?

Anyway, she was very standoffish with me. Not very friendly, very curt answers, didn’t smile at my little jokes, didn’t encourage the conversation at all. Now, it could very well be that she was just not a friendly person. She might have had a bad day. Her lip ring might have been infected. She might have just thought that I was a dweeb.  I don’t really know. But I couldn’t help but wonder if some of the attitude was because I was dressed very conservatively or if she remembered me from the past and had seen me there reading my bible and knew that I was a Christian. I really wondered if she was cold to me because she disagreed with my lifestyle. My Christian lifestyle.  (And for the sake of this post, let’s just assume that she did, she now stands as a metaphor of many other encounters that I have had with those who are not believers when they find out or know that I am).

I should point out that when I am there I am VERY friendly, a very good customer, and I’m a good tipper, so any ‘tude that I got was not from being a jerk in the past. In fact, as those of you who know me can attest, I usually go out of my way to be nice to people who I think don’t like me. I kept talking and joking with her until she finally broke down a little and was nice because I was determined for her to see that Christians are usually nice people, even to those who would appear to be diametrically opposed to Christianity. That’s not the first time I’ve gotten the cold shoulder there from other clerks.  (and mind you, I live in a town that is very “evangelical Christian-ey”, so I’m sure that they have run into their share of jerky Christians).

I’ve seen this in other settings too. Someone will meet you and really like you and think that you’re a swell guy. But when they find out that you are a Christian they tense up and put up a forcefield, watching what they say and acting uncomfortable. Being a minister, it’s hard to hide the fact that I’m a Christian until they get to know me (since people usually ask “what do you do?” pretty early in the conversation. Once they find out they are a minister they tend to withdraw, apologize for cussing, and can’t wait to get away… even if they were perfectly fine before that.)

Why do you all think this is so? Is it because many Christians ARE jerks and therefore unChristians automatically think we all are? Does our implied acceptance of Christ’s commands to live a moral life make them feel uncomfortable? Do they think that we are judging them for not being Christians? Or is it just a dislike for Christians, warranted or not?

I’d love to know if you all have experienced this and why you think it is so.

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I Scored a 100%!

Well, you can’t read the text, but I scored 100% on the blogger spelling test!

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