There is no doubt so many expressions of the American Church have caused a lot of pain and turmoil. Through the ages, the Body of Christ has struggled with the humanity of the institution called the Church.Read more
Thoughts for the week ahead:Read more
As I was preparing this post and then started to post, I put my title in first. I almost wrote: “Walking WITH PURPOSE into the New Year.” (Well, not all caps, but those were the words I chose to delete.)
It’s not that “with purpose” is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea to walk into a new year stumbling around. But, that phrase reminded of two more recommendations I want to make to you. I was going to focus on some podcasts to remind us all to stay focused when the political world is a rolling dumpster fire.
On to the recommendations!Read more
David French takes up the subject of celebrity pastors. It’s not just about the latest notable failing and “fashion pastors.” Or, “hot pastors.” It’s about guarding our hearts and staying humble before the Lord.
Christian celebrities will continue to fall. But they don’t have to fall so often. They don’t have to inflict so much pain. Change will only come when Christian leaders remember a few painful truths. Their hearts are deceitful. They do not deserve their fame. God does not need them. Instead, they need Him. And they need to remember those truths every day of every week of every year until their race is complete.
The “megachurch” culture keeps tripping over itself… and we keep ignoring it. Katelyn Beaty is bold enough to point out the latest issue:
He also swam in waters that reward form over substance. Today’s sexualized, glossy version of the megachurch pastor is calculated to replace the stereotype of a frumpy pastor in pleated khakis and a combover. With skinny jeans, tattoos and tight abs, the hot pastor is commissioned to bring souls to Jesus by mimicking the temptations of social media thirst traps. But if you embody that culture, you risk becoming it. Hotness is as hotness does.
“…most of us trying to bring change in a post-Christendom world are attempting to use lessons we learned in one situation that are keeping us from adapting to new spiritual terrain.” — Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains
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.Read more
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)
Maybe one day this will become a reality to us!Read more