With the new CDC rules of avoiding groups of 10 or more, along with being careful about age and vulnerability, our men’s group at our church is on hiatus. So, I raise a cup of coffee to them this morning. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
With a National Emergency called, churches have responded more and more by cancelling Sunday services. There is, of course, an abundance of online options. For someone sacramental, and one who has just simply enjoyed the fellowship of believers on a regular basis, this has hit me hard. Our own church is saying the next service will be Palm Sunday. (We can adjust back, of course.)Continue reading “Church in the Time of the Coronavirus”
While we have a president in his 70s and three projected contenders in the 2020 well into their 70s, unless you’re running for president, getting old in America isn’t easy. Ageism in the work place, being shoved aside as “irrelevant” when it comes to opinions and experience, etc., begins to wear on folks.
But when it is in the American church, it’s another level of heartache and, quite frankly, disgust.Continue reading “Getting old in America”
I love John Crist’s videos. News of years of sexual harassment and misconduct broke earlier this week. Yet another failure.Continue reading “The painful purifying of the American Church”
A couple of podcasts this week have caught my attention. They expressed almost perfectly the internal struggle I’ve had for a number of years. While the views I heard would seem to say they are still “spiritually homeless”, I would say in my own life that is no longer true. Yet, I am thankful for these voices that speak out the internal struggles of my own life.Continue reading “Spiritually homeless … no more”
“What do I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)
We want the “ultimate answers” settled without looking right in front of us. If we’d look right in front of us we’d find the answers to our “ultimate” questions. And we’d find those “ultimate” questions less vital.
One of the common mistakes we make in diagnosing current times is “how things are going.” If things are going reasonable “well” for us, we can’t see what might wrong beneath the surface, or care to explore that beneath the surface.
In the U.S., we can say, “Hey, the economy is humming along (for us saying it, of course), so what could possibly be wrong?”
Spiritually, we can say, “Look at our church! It’s growing! We bring in awesome speakers and have a great band!”
For us, all can seem “well”… and we can be blind. This is Israel’s case in Isaiah (and in many of the other prophetic books). Prophetic words calling “doom” on Israel didn’t always come in “down” economic times. They often came in GOOD economic times.
So, when Isaiah comes along preaching hypocrisy, they’re looking at him and asking, “What are you smoking?”
We, today in the American Church, are struggling. We may see verses from Isaiah and put them out there with the thought of, “Well, that’s for the OTHER part of the church!” (It can be a “liberal” Christian putting it out and digging at the “conservatives” or vice versa.)
Here is the problem: these words are for the AMERICAN church. Not just one segment. Friends, WE are in trouble… and are still struggling with spiritual blindness.
20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight. (Isa. 5:20-21, NIV)