Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Things we do to show visitors how lame our church is:

*Show up late. I mean, the game, the job, dinner, that’s different. Those are important events.
*Sit in the services with a “critical” posture – slouch, arms folded, no Bible, scowl on your face, eyes everywhere but on the preacher or singers. 
*Avoid taking notes! That would show them this stuff is worth meditating on. 
*Don’t sing, or at least sing with no enthusiasm. It is enough to just mouth the words while scoping out the crowd to see who is and isn’t there, and what they are wearing.
*Sit as far away from the action as possible as if we are distancing ourselves from the message and the messenger.
*Never smile, your frown says, “I’m not buying it.”
*Don’t go to the altar. Act as if that is for crazy and emotional people whose lives are messed up, not for normal, well-adjusted people like you.
*Never “Amen!” “Hallelujah!” or “Praise God!” You may give the impression that a relationship with God and worshiping Him is real and vital.
*Don’t show up to services, show the visitors how much the church means to you, or doesn’t.
*Sleep during the service. This will show the seeker that the late movie or surfing the net is a higher priority than some boring church service.
*Don’t go out of your way to welcome the visitor and offer assistance or directions. Let them sink or swim on their own.
*Don’t respond! Don’t laugh at the jokes, weep at the sad stories, rejoice over souls saved or personally make public decisions. Show them that all that emotionalism is totally unnecessary to critically thinking people.
*Never bring a friend or loved one to church. Sure, you got roped in, but do you really want those you know to be a part of this church too?
*Don’t plug in! Teach newbies that sitting around on the periphery is sufficient.

Really folks, what are we telling those who are visiting our services? Know this, they ARE checking out the facilities, the programs, the music, the message, the messenger AND YOUR BODY LANGUAGE.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Atheism is a Good Thing

Well, it really isn’t, but this helps me to better deal with their ignorance and hatred. 

Atheism is on the rise in America. Although less than two percent of Americans claim to be atheist or agnostic, an alarming 15% claim no religion at all. Of those who would say they believe in God, there are those who would refer to Deity as a higher power, a spirit, or some other implication of the divine other than the God of Christians and Jews.

It seems that the atheists have a much larger presence than that measly two percent when you consider the noise they make and the power they have to impact society.
As much as atheism is real bother to me, I kind of get a kick out of the irony of the plight and blight of the anti’s.
     1.     Free Thinkers? Not really. They are bound to the religious tenets of evolution, humanism, autocracy, amorality, non-absolutism. If they had a church, which they kind of do (Universalist Unitarian, Buddhism, Communism, etc.) they would have to adhere to these and other principles. The narrow-mindedness of the atheist is unappealing to the vast majority of people, and that’s a good thing.

     2.     What they say in their hearts is foolish. God said the following, David wrote it down and sang about it. “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” For a person to say that God doesn’t exist is lunacy, pure and simple.

I personally think that God doesn’t really believe in atheists.

On a lighter note, there is a village in El Salvador that I have driven by several times called “Ateos” or “Atheist.” Its founders were an atheist family, apparently not too shy about their philosophy. Well, soul-winners invaded the town and it is now one of the most Evangelical Christian towns in the whole country. Oh, the divine irony!!!

When you look at the contributions of atheism to society, and compare them to what Bible-believing Christianity has given, you will have to conclude the contrast is great! Sure, much evil has come about as a result of misguided Christianity. I despise the crusades, wars, slavery, holocausts, exploitation of the masses and all of the evils done in the name of religion as much as any good atheist. But, unbelieving skeptic, show me YOUR hospitals, orphanages, crisis pregnancy centers, good neighbor centers, food distribution networks, relief agencies and efforts, missions teams, etc.
What, is Planned Parenthood the best you can do? Oh, and by the way, I really think atheism was at the heart of much of the above-mentioned evil blamed on Christianity or religion. Atheism has produced bad fruit, and for fruit-of-the-Spirit Christians, that is a good thing.

     3.     What an eye-opening experience skeptics are going to have one day! They say they will merely be worm food when their lives have ended. However, my inspired, infallible Bible says that unbelievers will go to a place where their worm dieth not. God is God and He will have them in derision, chasing their tails and loathing the day they chose to hate God. And for those who believe in our Creator’s sovereignty, that is a good thing.

     4.     They say that we ought to be doing more good in the present and not focusing eternity. So, where are all the great Atheist accomplishments of the day? What good are they accomplishing in their replies to the letters to the editor, on-line articles, etc? Oh, I know the answer… the ACLU. Wow! Thanks for that masterpiece of your invention. Oh, yeah, Microsoft, Apple and Berkshire-Hathaway. you people have made the world a better place. It’s a good thing (see #2)

     5.     They are such happy people…NOT! At least the “hatetheists” I know of are not happy in the least. (See: Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, Piers Morgan, Penn Jillette, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Steven Hawking and Madalyn Murray O'Hair) They are rude, snarky, smarmy, in everybody else’s business, squeaky-wheels, condescending, sarcastic, cynical and paranoid. It is this joy and happiness they convey that makes their belief system such a turn-off, which is a good thing.

     6.     They claim to have more fun. If you think hedonism is fun, you are probably right. In fact, the Bible supports your belief. It says that sin is pleasurable…for a season. But, with our choices come the consequences. Disease, divorce, death, if these are your goals, Atheism is a good thing. Party on!

     7.     They claim to be liberated. They have cast off the bonds of religion. They will have no God telling them how to act, how to live, what to say. So they choose to live without God, without religion, without faith. It would be better for them to kiss the Son rather than having God get the last laugh and they become the butt of the joke. In the end, atheism is a good thing, it shows the real free-thinkers what futility lies in unbelief. Trusting in Jesus, you will find, is not just a good thing, it is the best thing.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I am perplexed. Slavery is unimaginably evil. I mean, one person owning another, buying and selling humans like cattle, splitting up families, mother's and sons, sisters and brothers, mistreating them, forcing them to live in squalid conditions. I thank God that we are enlightened enough as a society to be repulsed by the history of such barbarism.

And then, there was (and still is) the blight of antisemitism. Nazism, white supremicism, Arianism, have fomented a hatred of Jewish people simply by virtue of their noble race and religion. Those whom God has chosen to bless are despised by these ignoramuses bent on their annihilation. Modern America is appalled that such biased hatred could be fomented on a people because of their race.
It is a blessing that our culture is intolerant of the indignities and inhumanity of slavery and antisemitism.

But, why wouldn't we be as equally outraged at an even more egregious and heinous practice? Aren't we yet advanced enough, haven't we yet been enlightened enough to be angered and aggrieved that a large portion of our population is being brutalized and butchered. Tens of thousands who have no voice to put up for themselves are being abusively exterminated and we all turn a blind eye to their plight. Can it be, that in 2014 America, 4000 babies per day are sliced and diced, salinated and vacuumed from the womb to be tossed into trash cans or incinerated like the week's collection of garbage? Human lives are being snuffed out in the abortion mills by murderous, monstrous doctors that make Hitler's Mengela look like a sainted Sunday school teacher.

We no longer wince, we don't even wink at this evil anymore. We make a great show of our disdain for slavery and antisemitism and the suppression of women, but what about the slaughter of the innocents? Where is the disgust, the righteous indignation, the militant marching, the passionate protesting? If slaves were still being auctioned in the town squares, if women were being denied the right to vote, if Jews were being rounded up and sent to gas chambers, not a one of us would sleep comfortably at night. We would shout to the high heavens. Nothing would stop us from ending these obscene practices. But somehow we have salved our consciences about the murder of the babies. We may go days, weeks even months without even once ever stopping to consider the 1.5 American million babies a year who will never draw their first breath because they have been relegated to the status of tissue mass or unviable fetus.

May God have mercy! May He welcome each of the little martyrs personally into His glorious kingdom. May He mete out a righteous retribution to those who willfully end these little lives because they are unhandy, unwanted and inconvenient. May He offer a just recompense to those in the industry of profiting off the murder of little lives which are precious in the sight of God.
America, 2014. Civilized enough to abolish slavery, righteous enough to fight antisemitism, mature enough to grant women's suffrage, but somehow evil enough to continue to countenance abortion. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Wrong-Headed Thinking

Wrong-headed Thinking that is Ineffective, Counterproductive and Unscriptural. The Bible lists several examples of the wrong kind of thinking. Be careful what you think, for as we think, we are.

1.     Thinking that persecuting Christians is doing God a favor.
Jn 16:2  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

2.     Thinking that trusting self is going to do any good.
Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

3.     Thinking you are indestructible.
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

4.     Thinking you can go against God’s kingdom and have a chance of winning.
2Ch 13:8  And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods.

5.     Thinking you can escape responsibility and accountability.
Est 4:13  Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.

6.     Thinking you can erase the reality of God from the minds of His children.
Jer 23:27  Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

7.     Thinking you can make it on the merits of your heritage.
Mat 3:9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

8.     Thinking your vain repetitions are going to get God’s attention.
Mat 6:7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

9.     Thinking that Jesus is all about warm fuzzies.
Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

10.  Thinking that the Lord is not returning.
Lk 12:40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

11.  Thinking that people who have bad things happen to them deserved what they had coming.
Lk 13:4  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

12. Thinking you are all that and more.
Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Gal 6:3  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

13. Thinking you know it all and have nothing more to learn.
1Co 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

14. Thinking little of the worth of others in the church.
1Cor 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

15. Thinking that your set of problems is unique.
1Pet 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

16. Thinking that the Lord is not passionate about you.
James 4:5  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

If our thinking is skewed, we need to get into the Word, truth's anchor and renew our minds. 

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

Phil 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 

Phil 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This Sickness is for the Glory of God

John 11:4  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

If we are going to suffer, and it is sure that each of us will, our suffering ought to end up glorifying the Lord. 

I personally am a wimp when it comes to suffering. I truly believe I am allergic to pain and I have a great aversion to illness. When all is going well and we are feeling good, we should rejoice and be grateful for God's rich blessing of good health. But when disease or sickness invades our body it is time to learn some valuable lessons and grow in our faith. 

Lazarus' illness and subsequent death taught us that God can do anything.

Paul's thorn in the flesh taught us that God's grace is sufficient for us.

Peter's Mother-in-law's illness taught us that we can go from sickness to serving in mere moments.

The illness of the woman with the issue of blood taught us that when the doctors are at the end of their devices, God has just begun to work.

Timothy's stomach problems taught us to minister even when we don't feel well. 

Truly, the Great Physician allows suffering for greater good: the building of our faith, the learning of patience, the drawing out of our praise, the learning of important life lessons and, most of all, the glory of God.