Philando Castile and the Miscarriage of Justice

There are signs of actual hope in the case of Philando Castile’s death. In the few days since the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting of Philando Castile: 1) Protests here in the Cities have been vocal and noticed, but no “huge” incidents to get white people upset too quickly, and 2) I have run into 3 places on the web calling the case a miscarriage of justice that surprise me.  Continue reading “Philando Castile and the Miscarriage of Justice”

Idol worship in the American church

I was in college in the days of the PTL scandal and Jimmy Swaggart’s failings. 

In the years since I honestly thought we could have learned our lessons from those debacles. Clearly, we have not. We continue to seek out evangelical superstars and the huge crowds and then we are shocked all over again when big failures happen. 

Roger Olson offers some reminders in the wake of the Mark Driscoll affair as it unfolds. I would like to say some of the things he says should be heeded, but who am I kidding? We’ll all have our next heroes up on the pedestal by next week. 

We need to hear some very direct words, though:

Unfortunately, we American evangelicals have created a system of ministry superstars on pedestals that sets them up for failure.

Olson’s point is to accountability. I think another way we have set people up for failure is that somehow we just WANT someone to set up as superstar. It’s our culture. And this is where we need to realize just how much we need to run COUNTER culture. 

I have talked about the need for heroes in our lives. I will STILL talk about the need for heroes in our lives. But we don’t need hero worship. 

The Power of the Cross

I would agree with much of what Roger Olson says about evangelical churches and a serious lack of preaching on the cross. We have stripped the symbols of the cross out of our sanctuaries (or coffee shops or worship centers or whatever we’re calling them these days).

The ironic piece is that I am actually preaching a series on 1 Corinthians from the lectionary readings and the focal point is the cross of Christ. I have been especially helped by Daniel Kirk’s commentary on the text at workingpreacher.org.

And it’s even more ironic because as I have been preaching on the cross, we have experienced more of a move of the Spirit in our services. So, to those who may still claim Pentecostals don’t focus on the cross… I just want to say…. well, I’ll refrain. 😉