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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Emerging Obamanation

Earlier I wrote about Brian McLaren's endorsement of Barack Obama for President. Today I read that emerging church author Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) gave the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, August 25th.

Now, out of curiosity, I'll admit that I've watched some of the DNC over the past few nights just to get an idea of what's going on. Unfortunately, I missed Mr. Miller's prayer. His prayer follows below...

"Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.


His reason for being at the convention was to bring

"a message to Washington that no single party has the Christian community in their pocket,"

While I agree that no party has the "Christian community" in their pockets, as we should be Christians first, then Republicans, Democrats, etc. second, I would just say to you, the reader that we should look at the values that are represented and see what aligns with God's Word.

I can understand trying to unify people, but the Bible says that light has no unity with darkness. Christians are called to be unified with each other, not with the world.

I'll leave off with this quote from the Bible...

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5:20 (NASB)

Because Truth matters,

Friday, August 22, 2008


Sometimes my oldest daughter, thinks that I am out of touch with the modern world. I dance funny and say funny phrases that make her cringe.

"Dad, that's so 80's," or worse yet, "That's so 60's." I don't think that she realizes that I was born in the late 60's... lol.

She thinks that the words that I use come from (and need to stay) in a different time. It got me to thinking about jargon. There's a sort of "culture" of words that are used in various "groups" of people. Truck drivers and doctors have their own way of talking, lawyers do as well. Teenagers DEFINATELY do, too.

He's a question. Does the church?

I was once accused by a ministry leader of being to "churchy" when using a certain word in a daily devotion that I was writing. "Well, it IS a devotional." I was told to try to change it so people would be more comfortable.

In looking at the trends of the post-modern church and how it is sharply veering away from Biblical Christianity over the past 5 or so years (I'm sure that it's been longer.), I am amazed that "emergent" churches and leaders chide "traditional" churches over being too "churchy" or out of touch.

Hello?!?! Have you ever tried to read something from one of their blogs or sites? It seems like they make up words daily to describe their new, but the way that Jesus really did things, way of doing church.

That being said, I ran across this interesting clip from an blog today that rather nicely sums up the pharasitical nature of emergents...

One of the criticisms leveled at traditional churches by the “emergent/emerging” crowd is that they use too much technical language, theological terms, and Christian jargon that nobody understands. They say we should root out of our vocabulary words like “justification, sanctification, glorification, dispensationalism, eschatology” and other similar terms. But ironically, they have gone and created their own vocabulary that nobody understands except those who are “in.” And yet, people who are excited and intrigued by what the emerging/emergent churches are doing are willing to learn the terminology and begin using it themselves.

You know what this means? Getting out message heard is not about weeding out tricky terminology. It’s speaking and writing with a passion and excitement that others are not only willing to listen, but also to learn and adopt the
language. Look at text messaging as an example. Text messengers have developed their own entire language. I understand very little of it, but those who want to communicate with other cell phone users have learned the language and terms and created their own sub-culture.

So can you use words like justification and sanctification? Sure! They’re more BIblical than words like “emerging” and “glocal.” But whatever terminology you use, don’t speak and write in a way that is dispassionate and cold toward God, His Word, and all those in the world (whether believers or unbelievers) seeking direction. While we want to be as clear as possible, if you use terminology that people don’t understand, they will try to learn that terminology if they catch your passion and vision.

Well said! In the end, if we just stick to the Bible instead of blindly following after leaders, personalities, conferences and mega-churches, we'll do just fine. There are enough words that have to be exegeted and taught without making up new ones that describe unbiblical methods.

I'm out. 10-4, good buddy!

Because Truth matters,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Obamanation

I don't know why it shocks me, but it does. Brian McLaren has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

About his faith, Mr. Obama has said,

"I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful."

- Christianity Today interview, January 2008


"Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals."

- Christianity Today interview, January

This is coming from a man who has the most liberal rating in the Senate according to the New York Times. He has been quoted as saying...

"As children of God, we believe in the worth and dignity of every human being; it doesn't matter where that person came from or what documents they have. We believe that everyone, everywhere should be loved, and given the chance to work, and raise a family." - A Politics of Conscience, Hartford, CT, June 2007

and yet, htis quote comes from a person who voted...

...against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)
...YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
...NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)

I'm sure that "pastor" McLaren feels strongly about Mr. Obama's character, but when all is said and done, it's God's Word that is the rule and measure for our lives. The Bible says,

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5:20 (NASB)

Because Truth matters,

Friday, August 15, 2008

You're Not Fulfilling Your Biblical Duty!

The following is from a web page developed by Extreme Theology that calls pastors to Biblical repentance that I found very interesting. Based upon what is going on in Christianity today, this is a warning that a lot of pastors need to be heeding.

That being said, let this be a call to introspection; to examine yourself and turn back to God and His way of doing things. Preaching the Word is never optional!


The reason you’ve been sent a link to this web page is because your sermons do not preach that which is in accord with sound Biblical doctrine. Instead, you are preaching sermons that tickle itching ears.

The Bible Warns Us About Preachers Like You.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 says,
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Jesus Didn’t Die On the Cross so that people can...

Be Wealthy.
Celebrate Recovery.
Have Abundant Blessings Here on Earth.
Get out of debt.
Have a Fulfilling Career.
Live Their Best Lives Now.
Find Their Purpose.
Expand Their Territory.
Experience God’s Perfect Plan for Their Lives.
Have a Peaceful Family Life.
Have a Fulfilling Sex Life.
or Reduce the Stress In Their Lives.

These types of sermons are myths that suit the passions of an unregenerate and unbelieving world. Leave these messages to Oprah, Dr. Phil and the infomercial self-help gurus.

Let’s Review What God Says You Should Be Preaching.

2 Timothy 4:1-2
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
Your Job IS to Preach God’s Word. (And don’t think for a second that the 3 to 4 measly verses that you pull out every Sunday to ‘proof-text’ your own ideas can be equated with ‘Preaching God’s Word”. If you think that then you need to step down from the ministry altogether because you have deceived yourself.) Get back to expository and expositional Bible preaching. Why?

Answer: Because Jesus Christ Sent The Church Out Into the World to Make Disciples.

Here is what Jesus said in the Great Commission

Matt 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Verse 20 makes it clear that a crucial part of making disciples is teaching people to observe ALL that Jesus commanded. These commands can ONLY be found in God’s word. In fact, here is how Jesus defines a disciple...

John 8:31- 32
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

By Jesus’ own definition, His disciples are those who “Abide in His Word”.

Therefore, there are no two ways about it. If you’re not preaching God’s word then your not making disciples. If you not making disciples your NOT fulfilling your job as a Christian Pastor. (Again, you are fooling yourself if you believe that 3 to 4 verses a week will even come close to meeting this standard.)

Furthermore, the type of self-help sermons you preach do not teach people about their sin and the salvation won for them on the cross. Self-Help sermons teach people to how to solve their own problems. The TRUE Biblical gospel teaches people that their ultimate problem is their sin and that the ONLY solution for their sin is JESUS CHRIST.

This gospel message needs to be preached Sunday after Sunday so that people in your congregation repent of their sins and trust in Christ ALONE for their salvation. Here are a few relevant passages to help you see this.

Luke 24:46-47 and [Jesus] said to them,
“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations...”

Jesus said that repentance and forgiveness of sins needs to be proclaimed in HIS name TO ALL NATIONS. (This includes 21st Century America.) If you are a Christian pastor, you are not exempt from having to preach this message.

Here is what the Apostle Paul said about the message that he preached. Notice how well this message obeys the words of Jesus. Also notice that this was written to Christians, NOT un-believers.

1 Corinthians 1: 22-24
"For jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Paul said we preach Christ Crucified. This wasn’t some message he preached just to unbelievers. He preached this message to believers. Notice this is written in the present tense.

Furthermore Paul clearly lays out the gospel that he preached.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."

This message of repentance from sin and the forgiveness of sins won for us by Jesus Christ on the Cross is mysteriously and sadly missing from your preaching and teaching.

But, the Gospel message is NOT an Optional message for a Christian Pastor.

You have NO freedom to opt out of Your Biblical Duty to preach God’s Word, preach sound doctrine, preach Christ Crucified for Sins, and preach Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins.

Pastor, it is time for you to repent.

If you will not do your Biblical duty and preach the message that you have been given to preach by God Himself then you need to step down from the pulpit because you are in sin and open rebellion against the One True God. In that case, God will judge you for your sin, rebellion and false teaching. And don’t think for a second that God doesn’t care that much about what you preach and teach. Scripture says...

James 3:1
"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
So, which will it be pastor?

Repentance, forgiveness and mercy for both you and the people who hear the True Biblical Gospel Message through you OR God’s stricter judgement?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Go Meat!

Today I received a funny email from Diana. She said that Jules is running around singing, "You hungry, you hungry. You Momma says you hungry!" which she squarely blamed on me in teaching it to her.

It's funny how certain commercials ingrain themselves in our heads. When we were over at a friend's house last week, the kids were in the pool while our friend was grilling burgers and dogs. Jules looks over and notices and promptly yells out, "I said a beef hot link!"... lol

She is too funny. I do have to admit that I am a fan of the commercials as well and they do stick in your head.

Sweetie, if your reading this, could we please place smoked kielbasa on the menu this week? :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Moment in Time

"If you could spend 24 hours with a leader, who would it be?"

That was a question that I recently read on a Christian blog. I gave it some thought. Not to sound super-spiritual, but Jesus was the first thing that crossed my mind. To be able to sit with my master and listen to him speak; to observe how he interacted with people; to ask the questions that I have that will only have answers when I get to Heaven. That would be the ultimate for me!

Some of the answers were:

Bill Hybels
Ron Paul
Bill Gates
Mark Driscoll
Rob Bell
Barak Obama
John Piper
Richard Branson
Ted Turner
Ravi Zacherias
Martin Luther King Jr.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Oprah Winfrey
Fred Rogers
Marilyn Manson
Andy Stanley
John Maxwell
Erwin McManus
Brian McLaren
Steven Furtick
Billy Graham
George Bush

There are some great names in that list...and some not-so-great names, but I figured that I missed something. I scrolled down to look at the answers and was very confused, then irritated, then confused again. I searched the page for the word "Jesus", but all that came up was "Phrase not found". Sadly that's the state of a lot of churches today... Jesus simply isn't found anywhere. It was really sad to read all of the names and reasons why people wanted to talk to these "leaders" and it all seemed to mostly focus on being mancentered.

All that being said, I'd like to change the question. If you had 24 hours to spend with Jesus, in person, what would you say? What would you do?

Because Truth Matters,