Well, just watch the video clip - it's only 4 minutes long.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
An Inconvenient Truth: Global Pew Warming
An Inconvenient Truth: Global Pew Warming
By the year 2020*, if the Lord tarries, the church as we know it we will be in massive trouble. There will be very few churches that escape the reach of this dilemma. Almost every church in every part of the world will be affected. However, churches on the cutting edge in their "ministry", relevant in every way to the current societal norms, will be the most affected by this phenomenon. A flood that has long been predicted by those who monitor and track the climate change in the church is inevitable. Global Pew Warming will wreak its devastating consequences unless we change.
For years there has been a melting away of the basic truths of God's Word. In an effort to be relevant, more user-friendly and more comfortable to the masses, shortcuts have been taken in the application of truth. Sound, biblical preaching and teaching have undergone massive erosion as progress and growth at any cost has become the mantra. Biblical convictions that once stood as the foundation for the infrastructure of the church have been replaced by feelings, fun and frivolity.
Noise pollution has become one of the leading factors in Global Pew Warming. There are now multiple ways in which people can communicate a message and the competition to be heard is enormous. The sheer volume of unaccountable words spoken has done great damage to what started out as a very simple message. (See John 3:16.) Much of what is being communicated comes more from the minds of men than the heart of God and the eternal value is very limited, if even there at all.
A consequence of this epidemic is already being seen in the food supply. Genetic modifications have been made to the good seed and have caused fruit production to decrease to levels that have not been seen in our lifetime. The fruit that is being produced by this modified seed lacks the ability to provide necessary nutrition and ultimately, to sustain life. Though it has only been used in production for a relatively short time, this bad seed is showing its inability to produce lasting results.
This has helped to produce Global Pew Warming.
Defined, Global Pew Warming is the sad truth that large majorities of the people who are in the church today are not born again believers as defined by scripture. (See First John.) They are people who have been convinced, through various means, that church is good for their life and their family. They have been convinced that they need to add God to their lives in order to be more complete. They have been convinced that going to church can be fun, exciting and a great benefit to their sense of well-being. They have been shown that the church can compete weekly with anything in the secular world in order to attract their attention.
Massive amounts of resources have been used to grow this church environmental nightmare. Money is thrown at anything that will get people in the doors. Time and energy are expended by well-meaning members as they are given tasks that are supposed to be building the church. Methods, no matter how harmful, are legitimized and become the accepted norm as long as they work to the desired end; bring in lots of people, keep them happy and have lots of programs for them to support that make them feel good about things in their lives.
Who is responsible for this Global Pew Warming?
While I am sure that there is enough blame to go around, the responsibility for this seems to fall squarely at the feet of leaders, specifically leaders in the church.
Many leaders in what is called the church today have become addicted to
Is change possible? In truth, yes and no.
For many of these leaders, because of their addiction, their goals and desires, when confronted with the need for change, they can only give it lip service. They see clearly that reform is needed to correct the problems associated with Global Pew Warming but the cost is just too great. If they initiate reform and return to biblical truth, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all its exclusivity, people will be offended. More than likely, many would choose to leave the church and an exodus like that would trigger a landslide of financial problems, not to mention the programs that would be destroyed. All that time and energy, wasted.
The hope lies in leaders in the church who believe that the Lord is the One who builds His church. They rest securely in the fact that they are called to faithfully preach, teach, disciple and train believers for life and ministry to God. They desire to see the true transforming power of the Gospel at work in the lives of those who are being born again.
So is there hope? Can Global Pew Warming be reversed? I believe so. Here are a few suggestions to get the process started:
- Reduce the toxic emissions of relevance
- Drive less with purpose for life and more with passion for the gospel
- Recycle the Word of God in the church and home
- Eliminate "led" based ideas unless they are biblically sound
- Cut back on energy consumption for things that do not matter for eternity
- Promote conservation and preservation of truth
If we begin with these few steps, we may be able to reverse the current effects of Global Pew Warming.
*Not scientifically proven nor meant to be specific.
Distributed by www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved."
There's really not much to add or even comment on that - just a great quote to ponder and work into your heart for today.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
As we approach Easter...think about that statement. Jesus was crucified for the full payment of our sins, but he was crucified in an earthly sense because he spoke direct and harsh truths to the church of his day! He told them things they didn't want to hear, Biblical truths...do you really think it would be any different if Jesus visited your church today?
Well...how is it that THE CHURCH of Jesus' day couldn't get along with the holiest man that ever lived, you know full well that the contemporary church wouldn't get along with Jesus either...
Divorce rates in the church HIGHER than in the secular world?
Abortion rates on par with the secular world?
Within the church...hypocrisy, backbiting, slander, little zeal for the lost? "Christians" that don't even know how, much less that it's their obligation and duty to evangelize? Christians seeking churches on the criteria of shiny palaces and pleasing preaching with great sounding worship? Pastors living in mansions driving luxo cars, tickling the ears of a sleepy and lazy flocks that can't even Biblically answer the question "Why do you believe in Jesus"?
...and yet the church and the world can get along with you and me?
What is wrong with ME? The world and the church can get along with me, can it get along with you?
Lord God - I desire to get along ONLY with YOU. If that brings me all the condemnation and persecution of the world AND the church...BRING IT ON!
2 Timothy 3:10-12
"You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."
HINT: Much of that persecution certainly came from the CHURCHES in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Credit to Pastor James Smith of Firefall Church in Houston for passing this around through his distro list...
I am writing this to inform you that I am leaving your church system. I know that a letter is not the best way to do things but I figured that without my informing you, you may not have even realized that I had left.
It is really no surprise that you would not have noticed my being gone- I was not one of those that you seem to prefer for a member; I was no doctor, lawyer or wealthy businessman. I am only a working class believer without huge amounts of money to throw into the offering basket or huge amounts of time to spend frequenting all of your social programs.
Although you may never notice my absence, I wanted to let you know why I am leaving your system because in my heart, I always find myself hoping that somehow you will turn things around.
For continuing to stay in position even when the bleating of the sheep can be heard. (1 Samuel 15: 13-14)
Performing part of what the Lord tells us to do while ignoring the rest of His command is not acceptable, Saul. I guess that you do this in order to please the people who are following you. But the Lord does not care about your good intentions towards the people- He cares about your obedience to Him. Have you forgotten that the word says that if you seek to please men, you can not be a servant of God?
I see you so many times worrying about what the people want to hear. I see you providing every conceivable program and entertainment in order to draw them. But what happened to telling them the whole truth? You can’t exclude the cross from your teachings because the people don’t like to hear it, unless of course you have excluded the cross from your own life. If that is the case, you really have no right to teach it anyway.
The bottom line is that you are not a servant of God so long as you are seeking to please men. And I can not stay involved in a system where those that lead are doing it after their own imagination and not the will of the Lord.
For bringing us into your churches as a novelty, so long as we pleased you. (1 Samuel 16: 17-23)
It took us awhile to figure out that you were doing this to us. We were always so pleased that you had “discovered” us that we just did whatever you wanted us to. We encouraged you, helped you in your ministry and defended you against every foe that we saw.
What we didn’t know is that you viewed us as a novelty that could be thrown away when we stopped being so shiny. Being rejected is not a good feeling for anyone and especially not for people like us. We put our whole heart into trying to help you, Saul. And we never purposefully did anything that we thought would hurt you. It seems that so long as we found favor in your sight, we were allowed to stand just behind you. But any time that your favor ceased- we were sent back to Jesse’s house.
We always found ourselves believing that there was something wrong with us personally when you had no more use for us. We would cry out to God to show us where we were so wrong that we should be rejected. The answer that we finally got from our Lord shocked us, Saul- He said that you were not Him.
For creating an effeminate army and then allowing the world to march out and mock it every day while you do nothing. (1 Samuel 17: 1-11)
Nothing that has been done sickens me quite as much as this one. When I came into the church, I didn’t do so from some squeaky-clean background. I came up on the rough side of the mountain, so to speak. To be honest, when I came into the church I didn’t really know what a real Christian man even looked like. I had been brainwashed by your generation into believing that my parents couldn’t be trusted and that the “old folks” had been way too rigid and their way of thinking should be done away with.
I came in looking for an answer and for role models to pattern myself after but what I found shocked me. I found the “warriors” who were sent to stand against the enemy too afraid to even go to the battle. I found that all of these “men” who had become the products of teachings on “Bridal Intimacy”, too soft to fight. They were so tough behind the closed doors of the church- tearing down make-believe strongholds and “prophesying” to the territorial spirits. But when the real enemy reared his head, the men were more likely to huddle than melee. Men like this are the obvious child of the hippy Jesus of the 60’s who is more a love bead sporting Gandhi than the biblical Christ. The disease of the 60’s had come home to roost in the church.
I am not of your generation and I hold no soft spot for your social commentary. When you talk of revolution, you mean love-ins and protests. When I talk of it, I don’t mean token gestures but kicking the enemy full in the face and rooting all of his garbage out of the church. I will defend the innocent, preserve liberty and hold the line at the cost of my own body if necessary. I will defend those who need it from the tyranny of evil men and I will do so with the Lord as my front guard and rear guard. Blessed be the Lord who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.
It is a new day and I look far in the past, before you came around, to find my role models. I look to the heroes of WWII, who did not shirk at the possibility of death in order to stop the pain of the innocent. Who prayed for and supported their president. Who did their duty and never thought of burning a draft card or running away. These men are who I look to- men who could be Christians and find the heart of the Lord that dwells somewhere between pacifism and outright Jihad.
I do not look to your generation and your liberal, cowardly, psychobabble-spouting excuse for men.
Duck and cover, Saul.
For trying to force us to wear your armor when we are going to war to clean up your mess. (1 Samuel 17: 32-39)
If we were to have listened to you, Saul, we would not have even gone up to the battle. You were doing nothing, of course, but you said that we should not go because we were only youths. But when we came to this camp of the Lord, we did so with some past experience under our belt. We came after having survived the war zone of L.A. in the 80’s or the Ghettos of Chicago in the 90’s. We came from the Nazi Skinheads and Goths, the Gang Bangers and Punks. We came to you full of the understanding that God had saved us from the lion and the bear and any uncircumcised Philistine that stood against God would end up just like these had.
You told us that if we had to go to war, we had to go just like you did. But your armor doesn’t fit us and it never will. You don’t understand why we have tattoos or why we practice MMA for fellowship. You don’t know why we look up to people like Matt Hughes or Rich Franklin. You say that we can’t even be a Christian if we have plugs in our ears or if we don’t sound like you when we preach.
But we beg to differ, Saul.
You have failed to reach our generation with your Gospel. They are dying by the multiplied millions while you pose and parade and practice the fine art of political correctness.
We reject your legalism that has no comprehension that holiness is not about getting better- it’s about getting deader. That true holiness has nothing to do with the marks on our skin but it is about the nail marks on our hearts.
And we will wait for your approval no longer to do battle. If all that will stand up to the Goliaths of our day is we few, tattooed and pierced, socially questionable radicals than so be it. We will do so with 5 smooth stones and the battle song of the Lord on our lips. We will not look to you when we decide how a church should be run. We will not look to you when we evangelize our generation.
We will look to the Lord and to the battles that he has already brought us through.
All of this being said really just boils down to this:
Goodbye Saul, we have a battle to run to.
See you anon,
The Lazarus Generation.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Arise in me such a zeal about serving you through serving others that there's no way I could hide it or contain it and the only way I could ever explain it to would be to point to your salvation in my life.
Brutally pierce my heart with the desperation and stark reality of the coming and never ending suffering in death and decay that is the future of every single unsaved soul. Vividly show me how wickedly depraved it is every time I deny you by passing on the opportunity to offer your keys to everlasting life to the walking dead...simply because I'm scared.
Give me the courage, give me the words to biblically, passionately and as Jesus did - to witness to them of our sinfulness, mine too, and your grace that paid the ultimate price to give us the keys to heaven. Put ALL the passion I feel about what you've done for me into my words, into my eyes, let them see my tears and feel my emotion when I speak to people about you. Stop their mouths and convict them from the law I speak of...and pierce their hearts with the reality and power of your saving grace.
Rebuke me and guide me so that I'm neither cold, nor lukewarm...but HOT.
Guide me in ways that drive me to the narrow way and ultimately to the narrow gate. Lord God...I desperately do NOT want to be one of the many, many that will be left standing outside heaven, headed for hell wailing and gnashing my teeth.
"And pray in the Spirit at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests. And with this in mind, be alert and keep on praying for all the Saints.
And pray for me that whenever I open my mouth words may be given me that I may fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. And may I declare it fearlessly as I should"