I guess we shouldn't be surprised by this stat since today so many young "so-called Christians" don't seem to have any kind of doctrinal/Biblical foundation for their belief systems. It's basically whatever they beleive. Here's the stat:
52% of evangelical young Christians believe in gay marriage.
I am not on a anti-homosexual/lesbian/transgendered/bixexual kick. And if you've read some of my psots recently (espcially the one on Dec. 24, 2008) you would know that). You could put lots of sins in the place of homosexual and almost half, or in some cases more than half, of our evangelical youth would probably agree. Of course this figure came from Richard Cizik, late of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Nevertheless, our youth deserve much better than the teaching so many of them get in youth group. A better method would be to explain God's view from Scripture about things like homosexuality instead of making blank proclamations against it. Today, that is what the young demand. And, IMO, that isn't bad because it encourages thinking and tough questions for them to ask of God. But instead of getting any kind of clarity on these issues, youth are many times left by the church to figure it out for themselves and so they come up withwhatever the culture is believing at any given moment. And, today, homosexuals are the "in" thing to accept because "those horrid evangelicals are so mean to them." Perhaps we need to ask our youth why we are say what we do. Do they know? Do they even have the courtesy of asking us? Do we even know why we say what we say so we can answer them iof they do ask? And, perhaps we need to also listen to them when they talk about how mean we are. There needs to be a two-way conversation here but there doesn't seem to be that in our churches because of the constant obsession by churches to separate youth from adults. Therefore, the youth only bounce their ideas off of each other. And that is the state we are in today. I think we need to change that state. And then, maybe, we won't keep seeing these kind of stats among the youth.
I am reviewing probably the best book out there on what the emergent conversation in the evangelical church is about, and the pros and cons of this important movement. D. A. Carson, the author, next goes into a description of what European premodernism, modernism, and postmodernism entails.
In a nutshell, he says premodernism was before the Reformation/Renaissance and 17th century. The main theme of premodernism is that everything revolves round God and we need to put Him at the center of all our endeavors, including our scientific ones. Modernism, roughly from the late 16th to I would say the middle of the 20th century, is about I, as in....me, myself and I. In modernism, the I can determine what is what. In determining things, the modernist is very absolute about the fact that things are very absolute (pun intended....:). The postmodern is also about the I, but in a somewhat different frame. The I's do not all agree as in the modernist period. The postmodern I's all have different frameworks since they are in different cultures and different time periods (the postmoderns consider ancient civilizations having as important belief systems as modern ones).
I did notice one thing Carson said in this chapter that got a BIG Amen from me. He agreed with other thinkers that postmoderns are not really that; they are late moderns, or some say ultramoderns. I agree with this assessment. Carson says that the reason they are moderns (as opposed to postmoderns) is that they have their own set of absolutes and what they will tolerate and what they won't. Here is my fantasy--that every Christian between the ages of 18 and 35 would read this book.
Updates on David Wayne's condition at Jollyblogger are being written by his daughter.
Today I wish to continue telling you about this excellent book I'm reading by D. A. Carson, Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church. He begins by talking about positive things with the emergents. If you've read this blog for long, you'll know that this isn't something that I see a lot of - that is, good things about the emergents. I do have a short list however. Relational evangelism instead of "hit-and-run"; and, helping the poor would be the two I would think of. So what does Prof. Carson find that is admirable about them? He begins by noting how well the postmodern churches read the culture and why that is important. he writes, "To understand particualr forms of discourse, it is necessary to have more than a superficial knowledge of the language of the discourse. One requires some grasp of the culture in which the language is embedded in addition to the language itself.
The second good thing Carson finds is their authenticity in place of going through the motions of church. In other words, if it isn't authentic, which translated by me means, getting down to the nitty gritty, it needs to be dispensed with. He then goes into how the emergents relate well to outsiders - that is those who do not go to church, including those who don't know much about church.
Stay tuned to his analysis of premodernism, modernisn and postmodernism. It is the best I've read or heard about thse three philosophical periods. But then I would recommend this book hands down as the book to read to understand emergent in all of it's aspects - good and bad, with the philosophical foundations one needs to know to really understand emergent. Carson is extremely well-educated in these both philosphy and theology (as well as history), but at the same time knows how to write and speak to lay people like you and me.
4:00 PM (PST) I'm listening, while I'm writing this, to a local Los Angeles conservative male talk show host who happens to be gay. His guest is an owner of a West Hollywood store, Out of the Closet, where Rick Warren was shopping and took a photo op with the store's gay owner. The talk show host, whose name is Al, asked the owner if she thought he was two-faced - in other words, one face for his congregation when he talks about homosexuality, and one face toward the gay community with his shopping trip in West Hollywood and his glowing description of lesbian Melissa Etheridge. They agreed that it might be the latter. Even the world is seeing it.
So we have Warren, slipping and sliding all over, and, on the other hand, John MacArthur who is considered by many evangelicals as rigid on this subject but certainly doeesn't slip and slide; and on the third hand, gay minister Mel White, who also keeps on his message of acceptance of practicing homosexuals (you also can stick many emergents here). Sadly, the gay community will misunderstand our stance because it can only be spiritually discerned through the Holy Spirit. For many of us in areas where I live, it's certainly frustrating to try to get across to the GLTB community the sin problem, and on the other hand, try to express genuine friendship for the person. One way might be for the church to drop the "homosexuality is the worst sin possible outside of murder and sins like gossip are ok" syndrome.
4:35 PM (PST)Now listeners of the show are calling in. One lady who identified herself as a Christian did a good job describing the dilemma. She said that people aren't going to hell because of homosexuality, but are going if they don't receive Christ. The host liked that and thanked her for her thoughfulness and clarity. Well, actually people do go to hell because of their sin. But they are saved IF they receive Jesus Christ as their propitiation. It's hard though, to express this to a secular radio audience in one minute.
By this time, I might have lost many of you because you don't have a clue to what West Hollywood is about. A few decades ago, many gays started to settle in the west side of Hollywood. It's this west side where the four and five star restaurants are located in Los Angeles, as well as the hip clubs where Paris Hilton and people like that like to hang. Many of the young stars live there (i.e. Ellen DeGeneris lives there and Paris Hilton did until a few months ago). Holywood is actually a part of Los Angeles. Their schools are a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and they are served by both the Los Angeles City Fire and Police (LAPD) departments. But the est part was uniccorporated. In the 1970's and early 80's, many gays began to move into west Hollywood to escape areas in Los Angeles where they were constantly harrassed by the LAPD. Since the west part of Hollywood was unincorporated, it was the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department that were the police there, and they seemed to work better with the gay community. Along with the gays, lesbians, transgendereds and bisexuals (now you know what GLTB stands for), many new refugee Russian Jews, mostly elederly, found west Hollywood too. Both the gays and the Russian Jews were fed up with the constant unaffordable rising rents, so they consolidated and petitioned to form the city of West Hollywood where they wanted to pass rent control. This happened and the new city of West Hollywood with their own city council began in 1984. The city council did what they promised the Jews and passed rent control as well as devoted themselves to maintain and create more parks for the elderly Jews.
Today it's interesting what is happening there. With the new revival of clubs in West Hollywood, lots of straights are pouring in to party and to live. The gay bars are full of straights as well as gays and the gays are grumbling about it. Many of them now, especially the monogamous ones, are moving to Silver Lake, Eagle Rock (cities next to me) and even into my city. Others are moving way out to Palm Springs and its surrounding areas which now are gay meccas.
I wanted you to get three things out of this post.
First, we have the "Warrens" who cannot seem to decide what their position is with gays.
Second, it's easy for me and others to criticize Warren, but frankly, this is a tough one to carry out without the GLTB community going ballistic on us and misunderstanding. On the other hand, perhaps they do understand more than we do about this dilemma. I realize that many in other areas do not have as many GLTB's and may not get to know them well. But out here in So. Cal and also in the Ssn Francisco Bay area, as well as many other big cities across the world, people come in contact with this community alot. Out here they are our neighbors, coworkers and often friends. For instance, tomorrow on Christmas Day, my evangelical condo straight neighbor, who is alone, has been invited to Christmas dinner by the gay guys in the condo across from hers. She accepted and is really excited to go. I realize that this might be unusual in other parts of the country.
Postcript: Warren had a strong statement on his church's website about practicing homosexuals not being able to join his church. Today it was taken down. Sliding all around again. We need to craft a better answer than most of evangelical-land is crafting right now. And please, no comments about loving the sinner but not the sin. This really doesn't go over well with the GLTB community. Even Al, the radio host, just said that he really doesn't understand that and doesn't want to hear it again. I don't blame him. We've got to do better to get our point across. Accepting practicing gays into church membership is problematic to me. But then, and the emergents make this point well and it's a good one; what other sin to we not allow? If people gossip and worry alot, which by the way are Biblically-listed sins, do we disallow them membership? I'm having trouble with this dichotomy but I am currently working on it. And, I think we need to all be working on it, especially church leaders. Oh, and please....don't throw the "they have to be celibate while the rest of us can get married" theme on me because I don't accept it. I think one element that most churches wil not consider but would really help to reslve this situaton is the deliverance ministry. Well, I will end now....LOL....before I get into REAL trouble.
P.S. I just received an email from the hostess of where I am going to Christmas tomorrow. She told me there would be a lesbian present. I wrote back and said, "No prob."
Yesterday I wrote about David Wayne, blooger of Jollyblogger blog finding out he has cancer.My prayer of course is for David. However, I also am getting a rather strong desire to see other Reformed (non-Charismatic) pastors and churches to begin to see many healings from tough health problems. God showed me many years ago that He was not finding His Spirit being followed by Pentecostals as well as long ago Pentecostals followed Him. And, as for the Charismatics, I frankly don't know what these churches believe about healing. It seems to be haphazard and mishmashed. You hear alot of "God can heal." Well, almost all churches today will say that. So, I don't quite understand what the difference is.
God showed me years ago that He was going to start to visit anti-Pentecostal/anti-Charismatic churches IF they raise up Christ and His mediatorial work on the cross, AND, would be open to the Spirit as much as they could muster up. Most of these Reformed churches do preach the cross and Christ's work upon it. God is tired of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches getting way off of their statements of faith. I don't blame Him for visiting other types of churches. By the way, I have begun to hear in the past few years about many Baptist-type chruches that are anti-Pentecostal but are being visited by God in interesting ways. Now I believe it might be time for our Reformed friends, including the older Confessing Evangelicals, as well as the younger Young Calvinists, for their time of visitation.
Postscript #1-Yes, I know you don't like it when people say "I heard God say." Actually I said God showed me so I wouldn't offend a lot of readers here. And, yes I know you thought I was reasonably sane and intelligent and now I appear as a flaky airhead babe. When I say I heard God, what I mean was I received an impression for a long period of time that I come to recognize (IMO and after much Bible study) is perfectly in line with Scripture. I do NOT mean I heard a voice OR Jesus came to visit me in person in my bedroom OR I was taken to heaven and God told me stuff. I jsut wanted to clarify that for you.
Postscript #2 - Note to Sovereign Grace folks:-Would you do something just for me? Would you seriously study Healing in the Atonement? Start with Isaiah 53:3-5 and then go to Matt. 8:17. Look at the context of Matt. 8 and the Greek word for "infirmities." I won't force you to do I Peter 2:24 since the context may not suggest physical healing and if you press the point that it means spiritual healing, I won't disagree. I also recommend a book by a man who taught Biblical languages in a Christian college and was the Oral Examiner in Greek for the Presbytery of Minneapolis (Presbyterian churches) in the early part of the 20th century. He was very much against the Pentecostal interpretation of Healing in the Atonement until he studied these passages for himself. His name is T. J. McCrossan and his book his called, Bodily Healing and the Atonement. Because we are human beings we probably will not see everyone healed we pray for. But wouldn't it be nice to see more healed than we see in presently in our churches? Thanks.....
Postcript #3-Let's all pray for a successful surgery for David, which he says will happen soon. I believe we can assist David beat this thing with our prayers of faith. It must be a scary time for David and also his family.
Sad news today in the Christian blogosphere. From the beginning of my blog reading almost 5 years ago, one of the first blogs I read, and I still read daily today, is the Jollyblogger. Today, David Wayne, the Jollyblogger's blogmeister, announced that he has colon cancer. You can read his statement here.
Of course all of our prayers are going up to heaven on his and his family's behalf.
This generation (both boomers and younger) seems to be really into tolerance and acceptance of people AND their actions. I was talking to a Christian friend (also like me from Southern California) today and we were talking about how this is really something that is a characteristic of California and how it has gone across the country since the hippies first brought this concept here in the 60's. But now it's also starting across the country in the church. And I am wondering if that started here too. Perhaps it started simultaneously everywhere. For the last 20 years, we've heard out here in many of our churches that we must accept all kinds of behavior. Acceptance is a good thing in the right context, but if it goes to an extreme, as it is now IMO, it gets out of hand. How far do you think acceptance should go? Is there a fine line? If so, where is it? If not, how should the church handle this issue?
I've found the person I've been looking for. D. A. Carson. He's brilliant (a Cambridge Ph.d Grad) and well-informed to the max in philosphy and theology. If anyone should go toe to toe with the emergent movement, I think it probably should be him. But, he can write well for the lay-non-seminary person too. I've now heard a postmodern philosophy and what that means to the church series, as well as a New Perpective on Paul series (he disagrees with it and so do I).
After reading 22 books by emergent authors and reading a few of the emergent blogs as well as listening to a few downloads of "conversations" given by some of them, I've decided that now is the time to stop that reading for a while and turn to those books that critique emergent. I decided to start with Carson's 2004 book, Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church, which I no am reading. So, for the next few posts I will report to you on it. He takes the high road in the first chapters by first defining the movement and then showing the good things they are doing and the good questions they are asking.
In later chapters he says he will show where he thinks it is going off so I will be quite alert for those chapters and report that to you also.
So, in the next post we will see what Carson says about the good things that emergent has brought up.
I was reading Tim Challies' blog and he had this quote by Albert Mohler concerning Rick Warren. However, I rather like the quote as describing one of the roots of the emergent tendencies today. Here is the quote,
We would all like to be considered cool. Cultural opposition is a tough challenge and bearing public hatred is a hard burden. Being cool means being considered mainstream, acceptable, and admirable.
This week's Christian Carnival is up at Parableman. There are a few interesting posts I want to draw your attention to.
*Free Money Finance talks about something that I am hearing about more and more. Do we know in which companies our mutual funds or 401 K's are invested? Are they moral companies? Or do they peddle pornography and other illicit stuff?
Some excellent questions are asked in Fasting: Keeping It Secret In Our Culture Of Food In America. Actually, they aren't answered as the blogger wants to know what you think. But here is one question that intrigued me and I have to admit I don't know what I would do in this case. If you are fasting one day and your boss asks you to lunch what do you say? Do you break the fast? Mumble something about fasting? Being a Christian? What?
This one you've gotta read. Parables of a Prodigal World tells us something that post-envagelicals should do but aren't anymore, and that is, communicate the gospel of Christ. My comment is: he's just noticed that now?...LOL. I've seen this for years as I have faithfully ttied to report to you here. OK..well at least he's noticed. And what is his assessment of why this is happening? I won't give it away...you'll just have to read the post.
From Thomas Freidman today in the New York TImes Op/Ed section,
"One of Hong Kong’s most-respected bankers, who asked not to be identified, told me that the U.S.-owned investment company where he works made a mint in the last decade cleaning up sick Asian banks. They did so by importing the best U.S. practices, particularly the principles of “know thy customers” and strict risk controls. But now, he asked, who is there to look to for exemplary leadership?"
“Previously, there was America,” he said. “American investors were supposed to know better, and now America itself is in trouble. Whom do they sell their banks to? It is hard for America to take its own medicine that it prescribed successfully for others. There is no doctor anymore. The doctor himself is sick.”
"...in the wake of our massive bank bailout, one can now look at China and America and say: “Well, China has a big-state-owned banking sector, next to a private one, and America now has a big state-owned banking sector next to a private one. China has big state-owned industries, alongside private ones, and once Washington bails out Detroit, America will have a big state-owned industry next to private ones."
"The Madoff affair is the cherry on top of a national breakdown in financial propriety, regulations and common sense. Which is why we don’t just need a financial bailout; we need an ethical bailout."
Here is the crux of the problem between the emergents and the rest of us evangelicals,
I believe one of the biggest problems facing Evangelicals is the false teaching that Christianity is primarily about what we do for Jesus, not about what He has done for us........This error really strikes at the heart of the gospel and there is no doubt the problem has reached crisis levels in our local churches. In the 1980s, some in the church had issue with receiving Christ as Lord, but today the difficulty seems to be with receiving Christ as Savior.
Continuing with the theme of how to really help the poor......in a post last week I told you that the New Christian Left/Emergents have an agenda. And, it's not "just" to help the poor. At the Herescope blog, there is a fascinating, and I think rather true, article entitled, Using Poverty to Build the Global 3-Legged Stool. I hope you noticed the words "Using Poverty" in the title. Summarizing the post, it refers to The Global Poverty Act of 2007. It says that,
This emerging government is being erected upon the backs of those who are poor, particularly in Africa. Using the AIDS and malaria crises and the worldwide economic downturn as levers, this paradigm shift piece of legislation will ensure that entire nations" conduct themselves responsibly in the international system" -- however that comes to be defined. In fact, definitions are key to understanding the impact of this legislation.
Notice the words, "being erected upon the backs of those who are poor."
Herescope talks throughout this post about the "three-legged stool." This is from Rick Warren and he says it is government, business and the church working together. This sounds good and at times it can work, but just so far. However, somewhere along this three-legged path, government and business will not want to go along with what Christ wants to do and how He wants to solve the problems. Then what? Well, then we water down the gospel, don't talk about Christ the Savior as that interferes with the three-legged stool, and just concentrate on Jesus, the good teacher that helped the poor. Pick and choose things Jesus said and then the church will get along just fine with the other two "legs."
I don't wish to be a party pooper, but I believe this has already been tried---in the 1960's with President Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." Business, government and churches (mostly liberal Protestant and some Catholics who got on board) did this. And how did it work out? Well......look around you.......[note: a few people were helped and it certainly turned around the racial discrimination, but int he long-run it fell far short of what was promised to the "poor."]
On the other hand, we had most (but not all) evangelical churches doing nada. BUT, today these same churches are NOT doing nothing. They are beginning to become missional but sadly, many times are giving up the core message of their faith. I believe we can do both. I believe we can be missional AND preach the cross-based message of Christ with its attendant substittuionary atonement, not social justice or moral example atonement. Tim Keller is doing it. David Wilkerson has done it for decades. David Fitch is doing it. Many Pentecostal inner city Black pastors who are not compromising the Word of God (they actually like Paul) are doing it in their neighborhoods.
We CAN do it too without compromise on both sides. Don't push me into the extreme two corners. I will quickly get out and to the center where we all belong.
In other words--Word and Cross - coming together with - Mission
I am so sorry I haven't written here since last Monday. My 87-year-old neighbor just came home from the hospital. She broke her hip and is now using a walker until it completely heals. Since she lives alone and no relatives are on hand, I am the "caretaker from afar." But now I can write more often since we have settled into a pattern.
I want to follow up Monday's post with more explanation, as I probably left many of you hanging. I am not against helping the poor nor taking care of the environment nor helping to achieve "social justice.". What I am against is when little thought goes into it and/or it serves to accomplish a certain agenda for the church/movement/leaders.
We've seen this same agenda with the liberal Protestants over the past century. And how are the poor doing? When there is no conversion present, people don't change. If people don't change their lives don't change that dramatically. You can throw money at them, offer education and do other nice things up the wazooo, but if the person isn't changed, then no go Joe.
Well, you might ask, not everyone will receive Christ. That is true, but a lot more would if the church was running correctly with the true gifts of the Holy Spirit working fully and to the maximum. But, still, not everyone will come to Christ. However, think of it this way. Let's say you have a town of 10,000. Let's say with the Holy Spirit in full gear and the gospel of the cross and repentance and substitutionary atonement were preached in every Protestant church in that town. What would happen? There might be as much as 50% of that town, or 5,000, converted. But let's say there is only 25% or 2500. At the present we are lucky if we have 10% of true conversions living the Christian Life. Isn't 25% better? And isn't 50% much, much better? How would a town be affected by all of those conversions, assuming that good discipleship would follow too? I bet that town would see a big change. In fact, I know it would as we've seen this before in the Finney revivals (forgive me for using him as an example) and the Welsh Revival and so forth.
Human effort with nice ideas and vague descriptions as the nice, good techer Jesus will NOT change things. When a church will not take care of it's own; is not friendly to outsiders, whomever they are (including old people); and call themself missional/emergent or whatever, I call that hypocrisy.
I've shared both of these examples before, but I want to share them again for those readers who might have forgotten, as well as new readers of my blog.
First, from the book Peace Child, written in 1974 by Don Richardson. I don't want to go into great detail of the story except to recommend the book to you. I bet you can get it at your local library since, surprisingly, it was the Reader's Digest condensed book in their magazine after the book was published. But the upshot is this: Richardson and his family were missionaries to Papua New Guinea. They went there to an area where head hunters lived. The natives were fairly nice to Richardson and his family - they didn't eat them. Anyway, most of the tribe eventually accepted Christ. Now get this - Richardson purposely didn't start laying laws down. He wanted the Holy Spirit to teach them through Don's teaching of the Word and the effectual (I hope the Calvinists reading this appreciate that I used that term...) work of the Holy Spirit in their now regenerated born-again hearts. And guess what? Without Don saying a word, the tribe began to invite other tribes over for dinner. But this time the visitors were NOT THE dinner. In other words, the tribe stopped being cannibals and treated their enemies better. Only conversion will do that on a large scale.
Second example: A Foursquare missionary was ministering to the Indians in Southern Mexico (I think that is where it was. I read this a long time ago in the Foursquare magazine). Again. as the Indians were converted they just kind of automatically, without being prodded by the missionary, started to work in the fields instead of sitting around drinking (alcohol). They also began to pray for rain so their crops wouldn't fail. And guess what? Their crops did so well that they could sell them and buy extra things. The neighboring towns wanted to know how this all happened and the converts were then able to tell them about Christ and his work for them.
And folks, THAT is the right agenda. Forget all of this social justice stuff, unless it is led by the Spirit. Conversion needs to happen too. While we can help the poor, we must also concurrently preach the gospel.
From time to time I'm going to see what people do on Sunday mornings, both those in and out of church. This past Sunday I didn't go to church. And sadly, I was happier doing what I was doing and being with who I was with then being in church. But that seems to be what is happening to so many of us evangelicals today. First, I went to the Christmas home tour put on by the women of the Symphony Association of the city next to mine. Each December they hire four well-known interior decorators here in Southern California to decorate four very expensive homes for Christmas. My mother and I used to go and so in her honor (she is deceased now), I take a different person as my guest each year. This year I took the teacher of one of my senior classes. She attends the large Self-Realization Fellowship here in my city. Remember, I live in California....LOL....religions like this aren't unusual here. We had a great time touring the homes. Then afterwards, they had a boutique at the senior center in that city. I happened to see a church meeting in a building (they probably rent a room in the buidling)and thought it might be a church that someone told me about. I looked into the room where they were meeting through the door window. They were finished with the service and many people saw me looking. Did anyone come to the door and say "Hi" to me? No. Oh, I should tell you that this church is "missional." But remember, many "missional" churches are not too friendly to middle class Christians, just poor non-Christian people and young under 35-Christians, mostly semnary-type guys. And acutally, when a man finally did come to the door and wondered what I wanted, I said I thought I knew someone from X Seminary wo went here and he said that yes, these guys (I think I saw one woman) were mostly from X Seminary. The man who talked ot me was a bit older thatn the rest; maybe he was the pastor, I don't know. He wasn't the friendliest guy in town. He didn't greet me well at all; didn't invite me to come to the chruch next week; acted like he wished I would skedaddle. So, I did leave. I certainly wouldn't want to offend a church by inquiring about it in a nice way. I wonder what my non-Christian friend thought.
So, then we went to a senior tap dancing class being held in a room in the senior center. For those reading this blog for the first time, by senior, I don't mean a senior in high school or college - but those 60 and over. My friend used to be in this class called the Dancing Chicks or something like that. They've appeared on sveeral TV shows. The "chicks" were really nice and greeted me warmly. They asked my friend to join them again in a Christmas tap dance, and she did while I watched. Then we went into the larger room for the boutique. On the way, I saw lots of seniors in the exercise room. They looked like they were having fun.
I imagine the "missional" church is going to help the poah [sic...poor] in the part of this particular city that is Black/Latino and has a high school that is so notorious that the State of California is threatening to take it over. Actually I happened to graduate from that very high school, although many years ago. But, it was very integrated then too. Maybe if I had told the "missional" church I went that school, do you think they would be nicer to me? Maybe they might have even invited me to the church service the next week. Maybe if I was really lucky, they would have even told me where to park since parking is a real hassle there. So where is this "missional" church located?
Hang on to your seats...LOL. This church meets right smack dab in the middle of the very senior center where the exercise people and dancing class were going on. But, I rather doubt that the "missional" church would be much interested in reaching old people. I expect they will be touring the poah section anytime now to find poah people they can "help," especially young ones.
One theme of this blog is that history repeats itself, including Christian history. In other words, Satan has no new tricks. He simply uses the same playbook over and over and over and over.......
I've told you in previous posts that the emergents are using the exact same playbook as the liberal Protestants did 100 years ago. In reading the current issue of Modern Reformation magazine (Nov/Dec. 2008), I came across this quote in an article by Michael Horton. Here is some background. B. B. Warfield(1851-1921) was a Presbyterian professor at Princeton in the first years of the 20th century. He was in the forefront of the fight within that denomination against the liberal Protestant influence, and in fact, is considered to be one of the main people to stand against it overall. In 1920 a creed was written that was influenced by the liberal Protestant movement. Here is part of his reply to that creed. And boy! You could almost write the same thing today about the "Progressive Christians" (emergents). And, that is what I meant by "History repeats itself."
There is nothing about justification by faith in this creed. And that means that all the gains obtained in that great religious movement which we call the Reformation are cast out the window...There is nothing about the atonement in the blood of Christ in this creed. And that means that the whole gain of the long mediavel search after truth is thrown summarily aside...There is nothing about sin and grace in this creed...We need not confess our sins anymore; we not recognize the existence of such a thing. We need to believe in the Holy Spirit only as "guide and comforter"--do not the Rationalists do the same? And this means that all the gains the whole world has reaped from the great Augustinian conflict goes out the window with the rest...it is just as true that the gains of the still earlier debates which occupied the first age of the Church's life, through which we attained to the understanding of the fundamental truths of the Trinity and the Diety of Christ are discarded by this creed also. There is no Trinity in this creed; no Deity of Christ--or of the Holy Spirit.
___B. B. Warfield, "In Behalf of Evanglical Religion"
I just love my Writing Your Memouirs class. Why? I don't like writing that much so that must not be the reason. Here is the reason. After two months eing in the class since last January, I've felt like I was in a very supportive family. I only know for sure that there is one evangelical Christian in the class. One! You might exclaim. Yes. remember, I live in a Blue state - California, the southern part. You're lucky if you meet any born-again Christians out here. If you say you are one, people look at you strangely.......
So multitudes of Christians being in the class isn't the reason I like it so much because they aren't there.
Why don't I feel this same level of support after almost four years of going to my church? And why haven't I felt this level of support in almost all the churches I'v'e ever gone to? And why is it so many other Christians I meet in real life as well as on the Internet feel this same way? I've been thinking a lot about this ever since I began this Memoirs Class last January 2008. And I think I have the answer. We tell our stories in Memoirs Class. We don't in church.
I rest my case for effective small groups in churches with all members participating in a group.
By the way, I do realize that poor and false teaching is another reason people aen't going to church.
I've just started to read a book by Julia Duin entitled, Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do about It. It looks like I am going to really like this book as she is really speaking to me. Finally! A book that speaks to me, a Christian in her 60's and born again for 45 1/2 years, as well as to someone in their 20's who perhaps has been a Christian for only a few years. Ms. Duin was in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movenments of the 70's, like me, and she says they are long gone. Duin reports that is why lots of Baby Boomers and Those Beyond (like me) are bored and frustrated with what passes for church today. Also, the 20's nd 30's somethings share our frustration. So, you younger CHristians, this is an epidemic all through the church, not jsut with younger ones. Icnnot tell you how many in my church in their 50's and 60's want to leave. But we have no where to go. I frankly am about ready to leave, except what would I do on Sunday? All my friends are in church......yikes!
With all the talk about how "the church is a family," and "we care," Ms. Duin tells a different story. On page after page we are told how shabbily singles are treated (yes, tell me about it) and also the disabled and anyone else that doesn't fit into the "church family." She tells us of a watered down gospel and no miracles or healings.
I also read today, at Mike Ratliff's blog, a piece by Joni Erickson Tada. Mrs. Tada tells the story of a wheel-chaired man and what happened to him. The first part is what we see so much in churches today and the second is a happy ending as to how church is supposed to be. And, the neat thing is.....the ending is real and is about a real church, the one Mrs. Tada and her husband attends.
The link to that story is here. You will want to read this one.