From TGC – Guest author Jason Helopoulos talks about a few ground rules and basic principles we can agree on for church worship. Personally, for me, #3 and #4 are big ones.
Chuck Warnock describes six huge trends that are slipping past the noses of many and that would behoove the Church to take into account and in order to make proper adjustments where they are needed:
Here are six dramatic trends that are not being addressed adequately by local churches, church networks or denominations.
If we continue to ignore these trends for another decade, churches will continue to see an erosion of members, attendance and relevance in a rapidly changing American culture.
What if we were surrounded by extreme, fundamentalist Muslim terrorists? Dan Wallace takes a look at how, as a Christian, he SHOULD respond to them as taught by the bible. As you can probably guess, the answer is profoundly simple and yet complex at the same time:
Consider a ludicrous hypothetical situation: Suppose that all Muslims in America were of this ilk. Would this give Christians the right to hate them? No! We are still required to love them. How that manifests itself may be in a variety of ways. But I will use one, concrete, true-to-life example. There is a mosque going up across the street from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. What is my responsibility to these Muslims? How will I show them love? I plan to visit the mosque and bring the Imam a Bible as a gift, accompanied by some delectables that he would enjoy (and be allowed by his religion to eat). I plan also to invite him to lunch, get to know him, and discuss our various views on religion. I plan to share the gospel with him, too. These will not be isolated acts and they will not be done to salve my conscience. By God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, I hope to genuinely love my Muslim neighbor.
If you think this is naïve of me, that I will just be wasting my time, remember that Jesus himself did good to those whom he knew would ultimately kill him. And he told his disciples to do the same, noting that they would be flogged and put to death because of the gospel. We dare not think that our Lord’s world was any less violent than our own, that his instructions were so culturally conditioned that we can excuse ourselves today for disobeying them. We are commanded to love our neighbors, whoever they may be. And we are to do so because God first loved us in Christ when we were his enemies.
The Atlantic – In light of the ‘Stop Cony’ video and movement that has gone viral, the author explores several points that make one pause. No doubt IC is doing great things in the world, but I think life is such that few things are ever truly done without any complicating circumstances. I had no idea there was even an anti-IC charity that calls itself “Visible Children”. So what are we to do about all this?:
Well, that’s up to you. The biggest criticism here isn’t unlike what faced the Komen foundation earlier this year. It’s a charity, it wants to do good things, but people are upset where the money is going and in this case, not knowing where all of the money is going. They also question if filmmaking is the best way to go about getting this done.
On the other hand, so many more people know about Kony than they did before, which is what they wanted and completely accomplished right?
It’s up to you, but if you want to donate to Invisible Children, head over here.
Visible Children has their own list of charities, here.
From her.meneutics – In light of the Rush Limbaugh fiasco, blogger Karen Swallow Prior writes this article on the power of a single word that has cut deep (both the one who says it and the one to whom it is directed) for many years. She also explores the deeper issue of sexual promiscuity that often elicits this sort of judgmental comment in society today.
A very simple encouragement for those moms who are full of regrets and feel like failures:
What is God’s answer for your guilt? Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection for all who repent, believe, and follow him. Sandwiched between John’s two convicting verses above is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” For those who honestly own their sins, God grants free pardon and thorough cleansing.
While you may find it hard as preschool mom to even get time for a shower, let God’s personal promises of forgiveness spray over you today as you turn toward him in repentance and faith
In light of the Kirk Cameron “controversy” (which wasn’t really a controversy at all, Cameron was well-spoken, and Morgan pestered him into finally answering on the topic if you look at the chat transcript), Pastor Steve Cornell from thinkpoint critically looks at the way the argument is framed. He notes that false dichotomies and straw men are set up to where those against gay marriage are too often made into people they are not. Interestingly enough, some of Cornell’s words seemed to echo what DA Carson says about the intolerance of the new tolerance:
The morality currently being imposed says that if you choose a different moral viewpoint on homosexual behavior, you’ll be treated as a social outcast and made the object of condescending ridicule or even angry intolerance.
We’re now at the point of facing widespread social coercion to approve the sexual preferences of people who want to engage same-sex behavior. Again, I do not mean forced to tolerate but forced to approve. In many spheres, you’re simply not permitted to have a different viewpoint without facing severe negative treatment.
Just for laughs –
#1 – I have a job!
#2 – I have a job AND a savings account!
#3 – I know how to do laundry!
#4 – I actually love to cook…and when I’m done I prefer to clean up everything instead of leaving it in the sink for the next generation to handle.
#5 – Watching the same episode of Sports Center for four hours in a row is a complete waste of time…I would MUCH rather watch “Dancing With The
Has BeensStars” with you!
#6 – I would LOVE to hear how you feel about (BLANK) and would never interrupt you except for points of clarification.
#7 – Twilight is AWESOME!
#8 – I could spend HOURS on pinterest!
#9 – I’m out of debt!
#10 – One of my FAVORITE things to do is wait on people while they shop!