Friday, August 29, 2008

Church Politics

The election is quickly approaching where we will have to decide who we want for our next President. National politics has become a passion for many Christians, but there are other kinds of politics. Christians often have a passion for "church politics."

How would you define church politics? Do you think church is internally, natrually political or apolitical? How does church politics affect Christians? Do we participate willingly by choosing sides? How have you seen church politics where you are worshiping? Does God want there to be politics in His church? How has church politics affected your personal relationship with God? Does the size of the congregation have to do with how political a church is? Does church politics affect the message that is preached from the pulpit? Can we put an end to church politics? If so, how?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jesus, The First Change Agent Part 2

I did a post about a year ago entitled, "Jesus, The First Change Agent." The article and discussion can be found here:

Jesus, the first change agent I believe still changes the hearts and thoughts of men and calls us to change ourselves, our views, opinions, actions, and also to strive to change the culture around us. As, I mentioned in the first post, many of those afraid of change strive to attach a negative connotation with the term.

In the first century, the term "Christian" was used in almost the same way of type labeling. It was not from among their own, "The Way", but of the world that hated them. Yet, we today aren't known as part of "The Way" but "Christians". Isn't it interesting that the persecution we see today comes not from the world but from those who claim themselves to be Christian. I wonder what would happen if we took this new label as a badge of honor? What would happen if we are embarrassed by it?

Change, of course, is not always comfortable, but Jesus doesn't call us to comfort, but to sacrifice and complete surrender.

How can we embrace the terminology as to the calling we have received? How does Jesus us call us to change? In what way do you see your role as a "change agent" if you do? In what ways should we be striving to change the world around us? In what ways do you think church, worship and Christianity should change? What happens to faith when we refuse to change? How do you think Christianity and what the church will change over the next century?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Getting Excited About What Matters!

Today my oldest boy Ethan woke us up at 5:00 a.m. in excitement. It was the first day of the school year. Collin our middle son was so filled with joy this morning, too, as he is starting Kindergarten. He put on his backpack at 6:00 a.m and was wanting to wear it until he got to school. Of course, we made him take it off for breakfast. As we took them this morning, we could tell that it is going to be a great day for all of them and us as the house. We plan to have some quality time together and my wife will be getting her things ready for school.

I was wondering this morning why don't Christians have that excitement about church? Why don't we wake up at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday and exclaim, "Is it time to worship God yet?" When and why are we bound by time on the Lord's Day? Why is it that we can sit in a three hour movie the night before but only give God an hour of our time on Sunday? Is it that we are slaves to time, ritual, tradition, that we have lost the heart of worship? Why is it that we can read a 300 page book by Olsteen and find the Word of God boring? What does that say about Christianity and our hearts? How can we get the excitement back? The joy? Do you feel this way? Do most Christians? Churches? When I preach I look at it as a pep rally for Christians to give them energy, strength, and excitement for the week ahead? Do any of you see worship in this way? Why or why not? Would it help if we did?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you have questions about God and faith that you wish you knew more about? I was thinking about God while watching the show Hopkins where they were showing children who were dying of cancer. It made me think, if God is so powerful and good why does he allow the innocent to suffer in such a painful way? I then started thinking of other questions such as: If God is so righteous and holy where did evil come from? Has evil always been around like God? Did he create it? If God is so fair then why do the righteous and the unrighteous suffer in the same ways? Have you ever thought of these questions? What do you think about these questions?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's Focus On The Goal

I believe many preachers today preach a health and wealth gospel (sin, Christ and the cross are rarely or never mentioned). I try to encourage the members at my congregation every time we meet by reminding them of the redemption and freedom that we have through the grace of Christ. Yet, the gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to follow in face of difficulty.

Faithful Christians experience loss, health problems, financial problems, family problems and ethical and moral problems. I want to encourage you if you are facing difficulty or when you face difficulty to keep focused on Jesus Christ who endured suffering that we can't even begin to fathom.

I think of this passage found in Philippians 3:12-21 translated by Eugene H. Peterson, "I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wonderously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back. So lets keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision- you'll see it yet! Now that we are on the right track, let's stay on it.
Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times: sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is the easy street. They hate Christ's cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods' and belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetities. But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him."

So how do we stay focused in spite of difficulty? What is the goal for us as Christians? Why is the health and wealth gospel so popular today? What is the easy street and what is it like? Why do some "Christians" try to take the easy street? What is the path that Christ calls us to? Have we been keeping track of each other, if not, how can we do so? As Christians, can we have this common purpose despite doctrinal differences? What is the prize if we persevere?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Holier Than Thou

Have you ever been around a group of Christians in which the only things they do are criticize and slander others- whether believers or unbelievers.

I believe God's word, inspired, tells us that it is not our place to judge. God is the one to judge the hearts and minds of men. In Jesus' famous sermon on the mount he gives warning about judging others.

Matthew writes, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judge, and with the measure you use, it will be measured."(7:1-3) There are many Christians in today's world that love judging others' acts, thoughts and motives for about everything they say or do.

Do you know those people who strive to build themselves on self-righteousness saying, "Well at least I'm not like?"...or "At least I am not like this group"? "If only other people were as righteous as I was the world would be a better place."

Matthew goes on and says, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye."(7:4-5) In other words: take care of your own business. It isn't our place to judge others. No one can be saved by their own self-righteousness.

The following are lyrics by James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich by Metallica called "Holier Than Thou":

No More! The Crap Rolls Out Your Mouth Again
Haven't Changed, Your Brain Is Still Gelatin
Little Whispers Circles Around Your Head
Why Don't You Worry About Yourself Instead?
Who Are You? Where You Been? Where You From?
Gossip Is Burning Off The Tip Of Your Tongue
You Lie So Much You Believe Yourself
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged Yourself

Holier Than Thou
You Are
Holier Than Thou
You Are
You -Know -Not

Before You Judge Me Take A Look At You
Can You Find Something Better To Do?
Point The Finger, Slow To Understand
Arrogance and Ignorance Go Hand In Hand
It's Not Who You Are It's Who You Know
Others Lives are The Basis of Your Own
Burn Your Bridges Build Them Back With Wealth
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged Yourself

Holier Than Thou
You Are
Holier Than Thou
You Are

How many of you are judged the lyrics by Metallica? LOL :-)
Why do Christians judge others? Why do they think it is there place?

I even had one Christian says his gift was a fruit picker. If a member wasn't at church or didn't ever go to class he knew his faith was greater than theirs and took pride in it and took it upon himself to let them know about it. I don't think God gives us the gift of fruit picker.

If I am wrong please show me Bible, book and verse. If I have made my readers uncomfortable then great! Let's do GOD a favor and let HIM do HIS job. Let God be the judge. And heed to the warning by Jesus given in his sermon; the measure you use to judge, it will be measured to you.

Have you been judged by others? How did effect your faith, relationship with God? What does it do to Christians who constantly criticize others instead of encourage? How does it make you feel that God is the judge? What do you think about this warning? Do you think most Christians adhere to the warning of Jesus to not judge? Why not? Why do "Christians" want to play the self-righteous game? In what ways have you seen this played out in churches today? Does it turn off Christians to a relationship with Christ and true Christianity? What toil does it play on ministers and their families?

I want to challenge Christians worldwide to encourage, show God's grace and mercy to those in need. Imagine the difference and impact we can make.

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ACU Lectureship/ Summit

I don't know about you but I am going to strive not to miss the 91 Abilene University Lectureship or Summit.

Theme Speakers:
Lerroy Garrett
Kevin Fleers
Jame Thompson
Randy Harris
Eric Williams
Chris Seidman

Featured Speakers:
Brian M. McLaren
Mathew Sleet
Sam Solomon

Highlight Classes (which I strive to not miss):
Rubel Shelly
Rich Atchley
Jeff Walling

If you want more information
You can find it at :

I do know about you but I am going to strive to go this year if all possible.
During the time I have been here in Rocksprings I haven't go to any type of lectureships.
Again this year I am going to try to go.
I think it is going to be a great time.

I remember going as a young boy with my mom and dad.
The singing in the moody auditorium was heavenly.
I remember ever single church in town especially the congregation I grew up in would cancel wed. night serve and attend the lectureships.

If you when to the lectureship as a you child what do you remember. What has the ACU Lectureship done for you spiritual life? Why do you think so many conservative Christians are against it? If the church of Christ is non-denominational shouldn't the conservative churches just keep quiet about what speakers are speaking this year? What has changed since you last attended? How has it enriched your life? Do you think it is a good thing that they have moved it to September? Why? What do you think of the theme: Righteousness of God: Exploring Romans? How has the book of Roman effected your life? Why should the book of Romans be taught to Christian in the 21st century? Can you believe it has been going on for 91 years? Is there any of you bloggers that have gone to all 91? Share your experiences about what you like about the lectureship? What topics would you like to see in the future?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Spiritual Birthday

There are many events in life that we definitely remember and celebrate. I love those days in which we get together with friends, family and celebrate a time or event that happened in our life. Some of those events are of course birthdays, weddings, finding a job, buying your first house.

In a spiritual sense I think we should celebrate special spiritual events. I think of course of Christmas and Easter. What about the day you gave your life to Christ? Should we remember the day that we made the choice to become a Christian? I know that in some churches they celebrate when a person makes that choice. When I was a youth minister, every time a teen gave their life to Christ we would celebrate, have a party with a birthday cake, and even a gift (a new Bible).

On August 3rd 1986, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I will always remember that date and celebrate it.

So, do you remember the date that you gave your life to Christ? When? Where? Who helped you make the choice? Do you celebrate your SPIRITUAL BIRTHDAY? If so, what do you do? How can remembering the event help our faith? If you can't remember the date of your spiritual birthday then can you pick a day that you like and make that day special to God? How can that help us?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.