There’s a silly, but dangerous, little document making the rounds threatening faithful and sound brethren everywhere. Called, “Ten Commandments of Human Relations,” the second commandment is especially pernicious. It reads, “Smile at people. It takes 72 muscles to frown…only 14 to smile.” At first it didn’t seem so bad, but then I began to hear reports of those liberal brethren in Nashville, San Antonio, Dallas, or one of those hotbeds of the new hermeneutic actually smiling! Well, brethren, right then I knew it was something faithful brethren should avoid. Continue reading
An online article in The Christian Chronicle about churches with two or more preachers set me to thinking. I know a little about this because I have worked in places where I was the only preacher and on the mission field when I was one of several.
Churches that have more than one preacher have discovered something church planters already know…the more preachers the better.
In mission congregations, the job of the missionary or mission team is to equip their members for works of service including preaching (not an original thought but a scriptural one – Ephesians 4:11,12). The effective missionary finds the disciples with the gift and the desire to preach and helps them become effective proclaimers. This is one way a church planter helps a mission congregation come to maturity. Some of those he trains may someday enter full-time work. Others may become effective self-supported teachers and preachers. The body as a whole is the beneficiary. Continue reading
It is imperative that, in every community, the ekklesia comes to see itself as an “outpost of the gospel.” Wherever we reside in New York or Nuevo Laredo, we live on the frontier of the kingdom. It is the border between light and darkness. It is the border between life and death, hopefulness and hopelessness. Moving the border outward requires that the gospel be proclaimed to and lived before those dwelling on the frontier.
It is essential that we climb to a higher profile and draw Satan’s fire. Continue reading
The story is told of a golfer who was having a bad day on the course. At the last hole, he had had it. His language was fierce. He threw his clubs in the water and screamed, “That does it, I’m going to quit!” His surprised caddie asked, “Are you really going to quit golf?” “No,” he said, “I’m going to quit the ministry.”
Perhaps this helps explain why I do not golf. Continue reading
Christopher Hitchens is an atheist. He obviously doesn’t like religion and has written a book about it entitled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I’ve not read the book but I have good intentions. I’m not shocked when an avowed atheist makes derogatory remarks about believers. But I was taken by surprise (perhaps I should have expected it) when, pointing to the debate between “evangelicals” (for lack of a better term) and Mormons regarding Mitt Romney. He said to the host of the show, “You can see how Christians love one another.” The implication, of course, is that Christians talk about love but don’t practice it.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Well, that’s the real problem, isn’t it? Today’s version of Christianity bears little resemblance to the genuine article. Continue reading
My family and nearly every other family I know has been touched by addiction to drugs (legal and illegal) and/or alcohol. That’s one reason my wife and I were drawn to a book I want to recommend to everyone: Broken, by William Cope Moyers. It is published in the U.S. by Viking and, for my readers downunder, by Penguin Books Ltd. in Australia and by Penguin Group in New Zealand.
William’s story is hard to read. His pain and the pain of his family is palpable. His journey is heartrending and heartbreaking but finally victorious. Several times I had to lay the book aside, recover my equilibrium, then force myself to reenter the fires of agony that scorched William, everyone who loves him and singed my soul also. Continue reading