Tag Archives: Politics

Weekend Picks ~ 11-10-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Our Response to Sexual Abuse Should Not Be a Partisan Sport Rebecca Florence Miller
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/rebeccaflorencemiller/files/2017/11/27581043690_baf3d9fc9e.jpg…you know what really gets me angry? The tribalism in relation to sexual abuse. If the person who is guilty is a member of our own tribe, our culture goes after the accusers and seeks to discredit them. Accusers are treated like kooks and put on trial themselves. If someone from the other tribe did it, they are monsters. If someone from my tribe did it, they get a pass (thanks for nothing, Gloria Steinem) or it’s fake news…

I’ve had it. Do not tell me “but Hillary” or “but his policies were so great.” Stop it. Tell the truth.


No, Christians Don’t Use Joseph and Mary to Explain Child Molesting AccusationsEd Stetzer
No, Christians Don't Use Joseph and Mary to Explain Child Molesting AccusationsI’m not a supporter of Moore. I don’t follow Alabama politics, and he seems a bit of a sideshow to the current (much bigger) issues we face. But, let’s be clear about one thing—his defenders are not helping at all.

In defending Moore, his supporters have now become the news, and as they do so, some are stunningly appealing to religious reasons…

after I got over my initial shock of this statement, I admittedly got angry.

If this is evangelicalism, I’m on the wrong team.

But, it is not.

Christians don’t use Joseph and Mary to explain child molesting accusations…

So, let’s be clear. No. Normal. Evangelical. Believes. This. About. The. Bible.

Even as I write this, I confess that anger might even be too light of a word for how I feel right now. Eric Marrapodi of NBC news called my comments “hot fire.”

So be it.

As Christians, this should provoke anger.

We should be angered first, that politicians think they can lie to us so easily by appealing to biblical language and characters. Second, that we so easily fall for such tactics.

For the past decade, evangelicals have been easy marks, and I hope that people won’t fall for these things…

And, to all you reporters out there, THIS IS NOT WHAT EVANGELICALS BELIEVE.


The Sequel to Chariots of Fire: A New Film Starring Joseph Fiennes Tells the Rest of Eric Liddell’s StoryJustin Taylor
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BYjAzZTljYTQtOGM3Yy00NWIxLTllODItYzY1MDM3NzFhZTQzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTg5MzcwNw@@._V1_UY1200_CR80,0,630,1200_AL_.jpgMost people don’t know that Liddell, who was born in China to Scottish missionaries serving with the London Missionary Society, returned to China in 1925 at the age of 23. He died at the age of 43 in a Japanese civilian internment camp in 1945.

In a new film, On Wings of Eagles—which apparently releases today—Joseph Fiennes plays Liddell, portraying the second half of his life.


Winning a Yoga RaceSeth Godin
Image result for seth godin
Winning a yoga race.

It makes no sense, of course.

The question this prompts is: Are there places you feel like you’re falling behind where there’s actually no race?


Follow this link if you need to smile today…

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017


Doughboys, Flying Tigers and Coming Home – an Armistice Day postTim Fall
World War One memorial in Pennsylvania (Wikimedia)My grandfather was a World War One doughboy. Of course it wasn’t called World War One back then. In fact, some thought it would be “The War to End All Wars“. I don’t know if my grandfather felt that way, but he fought in the trenches and suffered mustard gas poisoning just like you read about in books and see in the movies….

A generation later, my father fought in World War Two. The U.S. entered the war less than a week before he turned 18….

Not everyone who goes to war comes home. I am grateful for those who have served and continue to serve.

And I am grateful for our God who promises to put an end to war.


Staying connected…
Pearls Before Swine – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 10-17-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Bury The Word “Evangelical”Scot McKnight
The one thing I despise about Christianity in the USA is its aligning with a political party. Mainliners have done it; they’re Democrats. Evangelicals have followed suit; they’re Republicans. Politicization is accomplished.

Let the rest of us call ourselves Christians.


The “Decline of Religion”Alan Jacobs
Related image
From C.S. Lewis:

“One way of putting the truth would be that the religion which has declined was not Christianity. It was a vague Theism with a strong and virile ethical code, which, far from standing over against the ‘World’, was absorbed into the whole fabric of English institutions and sentiment and therefore demanded church-going as (at best) a part of loyalty and good manners as (at worst) a proof of respectability. Hence a social pressure, like the withdrawal of the compulsion, did not create a new situation. The new freedom first allowed accurate observations to be made. When no man goes to church except because he seeks Christ the number of actual believers can at last be discovered.”

That’s what we are discovering. The question is whether American churches will have the intellectual and spiritual integrity necessary to recognize and accept how completely they have relied on the social appeal of a “vague Theism” and how little they have spoken to those who go to church because they seek Christ. What’s at stake here is merely life or death.


Saying True Things In Gentle WaysDaryl Dash
Angry
We believe so many things that, frankly, are hard to believe. They not only contradict our culture, but they contradict every culture at some point.

The truth is sometimes hard to believe. How should we react? …

It’s not hard to compromise truth. It’s not hard to be harsh. What’s hard is what we’re called to do: to say true things in gentle ways.


Autumn speaks…
Calvin and Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 7-13-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

A Future of Snark, Not IdeasSamuel James
http://blogs.mereorthodoxy.com/samuel/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-11-at-5.13.03-PM-375x250.pngWell, apparently Brooks’s mid-column anecdote about taking a less educated, less urbane friend to a hip sandwich shop was just, ya know, lolz. Mind you: Actually finding folks among the Snarktariat who could explain why this was such a groan-inducing paragraph is pretty difficult. No one seems to want to say the punchline out loud. Instead, Brooks’s paragraph got parodied, jeered, and turned into a kind of self-referential inside joke…

Why did I find this annoying? Well, as I’ve written before, I think the ascendancy of snark to become the reigning lingua franca of the internet is a bad thing, a trend that our already fraying public square can ill afford. But there’s another reason. While the Twitterers were obsessing over a single paragraph and turning it into a monument of sophisticated political signaling, Brooks’s observations about the increasingly fanatical caste system among educated urban progressives came alive…

The only people who could read this and dismiss it with snark are people who perceive–correctly–that Brooks is talking about them. It doesn’t take long at all to realize that the most important political divide in this country is not between Republicans and Democrats, Christians and secularists, or even whites and minorities. The most important divide is between those who care that places like Owensboro, Kentucky exist and those who don’t.


A challenge for worship leaders, and worshipers…

The Paradox of the Worship SelfieBob Kauflin
Social media can blur the lines between magnifying the Lord and magnifying us, between speaking of God’s awesome deeds and our awesome deeds. And if we don’t aim at exalting Christ, it’s easy to take a lot of worship selfies with Jesus. And feel good about it.

If you serve as part of a church’s leadership, even if you don’t have an official position, you’re directing people’s attention to something. But it’s not only when you stand (or sit) in front of them. It’s when you tweet, post a picture on Instagram, write a blog, or put something on Facebook. Where are we pointing people’s attention, affections, and adoration?

The best we can be is signposts. Signposts are directions, not destinations. No one stops the car on a journey to gaze longingly at the signpost. They take note of where it says to go and continue on their way. So the people we lead should only only be aware of us long enough to know which way their thoughts, emotions, and affections should go: to God’s glory in Jesus Christ.


I know I sound old, but I worry so much about how my grandkids will deal with coming of age in this generation…

There is a Better Way to Experience Sexuality, and Christian Parents Need to Be Talking About ItMelissa Edgington
You may have read that Teen Vogue published an article this week for its audience of girls, ages 12-18, which is a how-to guide for anal sex. In fact, the creators of this magazine are writing instructive articles for all kinds of sexual acts. They want young girls to believe that sexual activity (including BDSM) is a natural part of being an older child in this country… Our twelve year olds open teen magazines and take quizzes about what kind of sexual partner they are and read articles about how to masturbate and how “valid and valuable” porn is.

It’s hard to even believe that on a continent where an estimated 1.5 million children are currently being sold to satisfy detestable, porn-fueled desires that a teen magazine can so flippantly sell sex to kids like it’s candy. But, it’s happening.

…the line in the article that bothered me the most has broader implications, and it’s the real message I want to counteract in my daughter’s heart and mind: “There is no wrong way to experience sexuality, and no one way is better than any other.” The writer says this with all authority and legitimacy…

So, here is what our kids need to know. There are plenty of wrong ways to experience sexuality...

…decision by decision, the kids of America learn again and again: there are plenty of wrong ways to experience sexuality. Ways that hurt them deeply. That cripple them emotionally and spiritually. Ways that will cause problems in their future marriages. Ways that wound the heart of God.


FYI…

It’s Official: Fewer Persecuted Christians Find Refuge in America Under TrumpSarah Eekhoff Zylstra
It’s Official: Fewer Persecuted Christians Find Refuge in America Under TrumpApproximately 14,000 fewer Christian refugees will arrive in the United States this fiscal year, as President Donald Trump’s policies lead to the fewest resettlements in a decade.

Today, resettlement agencies hit Trump’s new ceiling of 50,000 refugees, three months before the end of the federal government’s fiscal year on September 30. And as CT predicted, Christians fell far short of last year’s intake.


What a crazy idea…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTcvMDcvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTcwNzEyXzYxNi5naWY=
Bizarro

Thursday Picks ~ 7-6-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The ‘Church’ of Facebook?Alex Duke
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/made/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/church_facebook_1200_700_c1_.jpgI’m deeply thankful for Zuckerberg’s desire to leave the world better than he found it. I’m even more thankful he sees the need for humans to connect to communities and even institutions in order to do so. His intuition about our need for relationships is exactly right…

But with all its grandiose plans to change the world, this kind community sets a remarkably low bar for us as humans in relationship; it’s strictly opt-in, strictly self-directed, strictly un-real, and available only for a few…

Real churches on the other hand—they’re hard…

And though it sounds quaint, these real churches are also actually here. They exist in space and time, and they’re filled not just with second-hand stories but with open-armed bodies that we’ve collapsed into after yet another miscarriage, yet another “no” after a job interview, yet another unexpected death. What’s more, these churches are open to all—no e-mail address or internet connection required—and they make known their beliefs to the world through sounds more magnetic than the dull whir of a modem or the clickety clack of a keyboard. These real churches simply sing and preach and pray—and in it all we find something far grander than even man’s most optimistic hope to change the world. We find the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10).

Can you believe such a thing is within our reach?


Why Trump’s Vengeful Tweeting MattersDavid French
http://c4.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/donald-trump-mika-brzezinski-vengeful-tweets-degrade-american-political-culture.jpg?itok=z-88D5QXWords still matter, and the president’s words are often reprehensible. Even those who say, “Talk to me about what he does, not what he tweets” know this to be true. How can I tell? Because these same people incessantly point to liberal words and are unceasingly outraged by liberal tweets. Indeed, they often act as if a random news anchor’s comments are somehow more consequential than the president’s. I know. I see the clickbait everywhere.

A conservative can fight for tax reform, celebrate military victories over ISIS in Mosul, and applaud Trump’s judicial appointments while also condemning Trump’s vile tweets and criticizing his impulsiveness and lack of discipline. A good conservative can even step back and take a longer view, resolving to fight for the cultural values that tribalism degrades. Presidents matter not just because of their policies but also because of their impact on the character of the people they govern. Conservatives knew that once. Do they still?


On CoastingDarryl Dash
CoastingI’ve seen plenty of average preachers who’ve applied themselves and become competent preachers. And I’ve seen some gifted preachers apply themselves and become excellent. The ones I worry about the most are the gifted preachers and pastors who’ve decided to coast.


Simultaneously funny and sad…

NPR Tweeted the Declaration of Independence on July 4 and Some People Flipped Out
Every year, NPR reads (and lately, tweets) the Declaration of Independence to celebrate the Fourth of July. It’s a time-honored tradition but, this year, for some reason, a truly depressing number of people took it the wrong way. The Declaration was, of course, a call to arms—a rallying cry to overthrow tyranny and establish a new government in its place.

Given that modern American culture is wildly politicized and all too often poorly informed, it’s perhaps not surprising that a lot of people interpreted the tweets as a publicly funded media outlet encouraging citizens to rebel against President Donald Trump.


Historic Status Updates…
https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/historical-status-updates1.jpg
Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 6-15-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

So, so true…

Worship Leading in Real LifeJamie Brown
The piano’s out of tune again. The sound board is possessed. The drummer’s belt pack just died, and over in his plexiglass space pod, he can’t hear a thing. The alto section decided to take the day off. The second verse of the opening song vanished from ProPresenter. The bulletin accidentally printed last Sunday’s hymn numbers.

And it’s only 8:45 am.

This is worship leading in real life…

The airbrushed images of worship leading that we see presented to us can warp our expectations of what we will experience in our own local-church contexts, and lead us to think that we’d have it easier somewhere else. Just like airbrushed images of a man or woman in a magazine or on the internet can warp our expectations of what a real relationship with a real person will actually look and feel like, and lead us to think we’d have it better with someone else.


One more for worship leaders…

It’s not about you: leading worship and loving others
Matt Damico
http://equip.sbts.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Guitar.jpgThis is dangerous thinking for worship leaders and worship pastors. If you serve in that sort of role, you’re familiar with the temptation to evaluate and interpret a Sunday morning gathering in light of how it reflects on you. You must crucify that temptation. You don’t want to be the sort of person who, as Jim Hamilton said in a recent sermon, makes yourself the central reference point in every situation, considering “how this reflects on us, and how this makes us look, and how this makes us feel, and what this means about us. … We want to be people who, in every situation we find ourselves in, our central reference point is Jesus and other people.”


A Muslim chimes on on Bernie Sanders “religious test”…

Bernie’s Relativism Test Is Bad for Muslims and All Religious BelieversIsmail Royer
https://thewayofimprovement.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/bernie.jpg?w=685&h=385I am a Muslim and thus obviously disagree with Vought that my theology is deficient. Rather, I believe his theology is deficient. I believe that Jesus is not God himself but a prophet of God, and I believe that worshipping Jesus alongside God amounts to polytheism. I worship, as Joseph did, the one and unitary God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the triune God of the Nicene Creed. I do not apologize for this belief.

Nor should Vought apologize for his. His statements were not crude bigotry, but a passionate defense of his creed entirely within the realm of discourse of reasonable, civilized men and women.


Life at my house right now…
For Better Or Worse – Click image for a larger view.

Weekend Picks ~ 6-9-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

We’re Not in a Civil War, but We Are Drifting Toward DivorceDavid French
http://c5.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/americans-left-right-liberal-conservative-democrats-republicans-blue-red-states-cultural-segregate-flag.jpg?itok=5uhAnuJYIf we seek to preserve our union, we’re left with a choice — try to dominate or learn to tolerate? The effort to dominate is futile, and it will leave us with a permanently embittered population that grows increasingly punitive with each transition of presidential power. There is hope, however, in the quest to tolerate. Our Constitution is built to allow our citizens to govern themselves while protecting individual liberty and providing for the common defense. It’s built to withstand profound differences without asking citizens or states to surrender their strongest convictions. We can either rediscover this federalism, or we may ultimately take a third path — we may choose to separate.


It’s true. Without a high level of self-awareness and and discipline, talent can limit a leader’s success…

The Curse of Talent for Young Ministry LeadersEric Geiger
I have heard several pastors and counselors wonder aloud about the hidden dangers of peaking early in ministry, of becoming super influential at a young age.

It is not only a phenomenon in local church ministry, however. Jennifer and Gianpiero Petriglieri have conducted extensive research on people who have been labeled “talented” in their careers and fields and discovered that those who have been assigned the talented title often quit early or struggle deeply because of the expectations placed on them. The blessing of being called a high-performing individual can easily become a curse.

While it is impossible to sum up all that goes wrong in the heart of a ministry leader who has been called “exceptional” or “an amazing leader,” here are three dangers “talented” ministry leaders face, three dangers we all must guard our hearts against…


Tim and I seem to be thinking along some similar lines. I wrote a piece yesterday called Faith vs. Certainty. It’s not the same, but it seems related…

Faith: the difference between doubt and indecisionTim FallTo choose doubt as a philosophy of life
is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
(Yann Martel, Life of Pi.)

The Bible draws a distinction between doubt and indecision, and the quote above from Life of Pi helped me see why: Doubt can be useful as it brings us closer to God, but if instead we use doubt as a means of avoiding movement at all then it’s not really doubt but indecision…

God is not bothered by our doubts when they bring us to him…


Another look at the recent exchange between Senators Bernie Sanders and Chris Van Hollen, and Russell Vought concerning Vought’s Christian faith and how it “disqualifies” him from public service…

All Roads Lead to ExclusionAaron Earls
path decision choiceIs it intolerant and bigoted to say some religions are wrong?

As was recently demonstrated in a senate confirmation hearing, some people assume the answer to that question is yes…

…In essence, Sanders and Van Hollen are telling billions of religious individuals around the world they are wrong about faith and salvation and the senators are right.

And they are asserting that only those who hold their specific religious beliefs are worthy of holding public office. That’s quite an inflated view about your religious opinions, no?

You are telling 54% of the American population they are wrong about faith and salvation and because of that mistaken religious belief they are ineligible to serve in politics. Who’s intolerant now?

Whether all roads lead to God is a different discussion, but, even if Sanders and Van Hollen don’t want to admit it, all roads do lead to exclusion.

Vought is saying to Muslims, “I disagree with you religiously, but I’ll protect your rights.”

Sanders and Van Hollen are saying to Vought, “I disagree with you religiously, so therefore I don’t believe your rights are worth protecting.”

Which one of those is actually intolerant?


Reaching the Next GenerationAlvin Reid
Reaching the Next GenerationWhen it comes to the next generation, I’m sure of two things:

1) We aren’t too effective today at reaching (or keeping) the next generation.

2) The Gospel still works powerfully in any generation.

How do we share Christ effectively to a generation not impressed by the Church today? Here are five ideas…


The language of snacks…
Calvin & Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 6-8-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

In addition to this article by Joe Carter you should read what David French and Samuel James wrote about this. Also, Russell Moore has a comment in a press release from the ERLC. All are worth your time. This is important…

Two U.S. Senators Apply an Anti-Christian Religious Test for Government OfficialsJoe Carter
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/sanders-vanhollen.jpgWithin the span of six minutes, two U.S. Senators—Sanders and Van Hollen—shamed the people of Vermont, Maryland, and the rest of the United States by establishing a new religious test for government officials…

We should not be suprised when such anti-Christian bias is expressed by groups like the ACLU. That organization has spent decades undermining the liberties of religious Americans. But it’s unacceptable to have our own representatives in the Senate claim that Christians “violate the public trust” when we make the true claim that in rejecting Jesus “those of other faiths stand condemned.”

This display of anti-Christian bias for partisan political purposes has the potential to set a dangerous precedent and must not be allowed to stand. The remarks made by Sanders and Van Hollen should be repudiated by every American who values religious freedom and opposes religious tests for government office.


Listening To God Without Getting All Weird About It
David Appelt
http://theblazingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/pexels-photo-220197-1700x1133.jpegWhen Christians talk about listening to God, we often rely on cliches instead of really drilling down to the truth. Scripture gets pulled out of context; we end up saying (or doing) really weird things in the hopes of “hearing from God.”

To be honest, most of what Christians say in this category isn’t overly useful or biblical. As a disclaimer, everything in this article is written by me, a man who struggled to answer this question for years.

It kept me living in uncertainty and passivity as a result. Hopefully, I can help us get to an answer that is more faithful and helpful…

You don’t need magic tricks, fleeces, perfect faith, or supernatural hearing. When it comes to listening to God, you have everything you need already.


Seth has a way of saying a lot with only a few words…

No Way OutSeth Godin
That’s why we burn the boats when we land on the beach.

Because the only way out is through.

It’s pretty easy to bail out of a course (especially a free online course that no one even knows you signed up for). Easy to quit your job, fire a client or give up on a relationship.

In the moment, walking out is precisely the best short-term strategy. Sometimes this place is too hard, too unpleasant, too much…

The thing is, though, that the long-term strategy might be the opposite. The best long-term approach might be to learn something, to tough it out, to engage with the challenge. Because once you get through this, you’ll be different. Better.

We always have a choice, but often, it’s a good idea to act as if we don’t.


We Need Revelation, Not SpeculationMichael Kelley
Here we find the great irony all around us. That though revelation is at our fingertips, we still choose to live in speculation. Or, to return to the metaphor, though the object has been uncovered, we put our hands over our eyes so that we cannot see. And why might we do this?

Perhaps it’s because we are infatuated with mystery. Or maybe it’s because we are so prideful to think that we have to find something for ourselves. But I believe it’s far more base and selfish than either of those reasons – we opt for speculation when there is revelation because we know that revelation brings accountability.


https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTcvMDYvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTcwNjA4XzYxNi5naWY=
Bizarro

Weekend Picks ~ 4-21-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

You already have a platform…

Only One Platform Will LastKaren Swallow Prior
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/only-one-platform-will-last-2.jpgI don’t think platform is quite what many imagine it to be.

Our real platform is the life we are living and the work and ministry we are already doing. Platform is our proven track record and the authority we’ve gained in whatever area God has called us to—whether we work out of the home and take care of children, or teach and research as a professor…

In the end, that’s what we’re all called to do with our platforms: serve others and, in so doing, glorify God. There is no place better from which to do that than in our everyday lives.


A few of these may seem counter-intuitive, but that’s exactly why they are so important to keep in mind…

5 Key Principles Every Leader Should Master
Carey Nieuwhof
Here are 5 principles I think about almost every day. The first three relate to the personal health of the leader. The final two are two of the key concepts that I think should drive much of what’s happening in church these days, but often don’t.

Like most worthwhile principles in leadership, these are easy to understand and much more difficult to implement.

But if you do stay focused on these 5 things, I believe you’ll see a marked improvement in your leadership and character. And that can only be a good thing.


David French is correct…

O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity CultureDavid French
http://c10.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/bill-oreilly-roger-ailes-fox-news-mike-flynn-tomi-lahren-conservative-celebrity-culture-character_0.jpg?itok=AMecipSj
The conservative movement includes some of the best and most admirable people I’ve ever met. It also includes its share of grasping, ambitious fame-hounds, people who live for the next Fox hit and angle to write this year’s version of the “liberals are sending this country to hell” bestselling book. But bad character sends a country to hell just as surely as bad policy does, and any movement that asks its members to defend vice in the name of advancing allegedly greater virtue is ultimately shooting itself in the foot.


3 Problems with the Benedict OptionJesse Johnson
The fall of our culture didn’t start with gay marriage, the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, or even those darned hippies. The string that pulled the garment apart runs through segregation, slavery, and right to systemic racism produced by a supposed “Christian culture.” Is SSM bad? Yes. As bad as slavery? Yeah Right.

Imagine being an African-American and reading a book that claims the downfall of Western Civilization is indicated by Justice Kennedy’s incoherent ruling on gay marriage—as if that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so now everyone head to the hills! Christians could be comfortable in society through slavery and segregation, but Obegerfell is just too much?


Family Style…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTcvMDQvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTcwNDIxXzYxNi5naWY=
Bizarro

Weekend Picks ~ 3-31-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

We are in a “strange place” indeed…

Pence and PrudenceJonah Goldberg
http://c8.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/mike-pence-wife-marriage-practices.jpg?itok=mTYe6Xb2…it’s worth pointing out that infidelity needn’t be the issue. I doubt Pence would be a lothario save for those rules. Perhaps he followed them simply to reassure his wife? Or maybe this is none of our business? That would certainly be the attitude of many liberals if Pence were a Democrat and had actually cheated on his wife…

It’s a very strange place we’ve found ourselves in when elites say we have no right to judge adultery, but we have every right to judge couples who take steps to avoid it. But ultimately, I don’t think the important double standard is about marriage or adultery. It’s about traditional Christians. If the Pences were Muslims and followed similar rules, as devout Muslims indeed might, I doubt there’d be anything like this kind of liberal scorn. Of course, that’s unknowable. But liberals spend a lot of time and energy defending accommodations for religious Muslims — burqas, veils, gender segregation, etc. — that they would never make for committed Christians.


Why I’ve Stopped Reading All Those ’10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing’ ListsKarl Vaters
Why I've Stopped Reading All Those '10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing' Lists
…I talk to a lot of pastors who are also in your target audience. Like me, they want their churches to grow. And they’re looking for help.

But when an already-discouraged pastor reads a list telling them their church isn’t growing because they’re visionless, self-serving and petty, it doesn’t lift them up, it beats them down. Guilt doesn’t motivate, it discourages.

Besides, those petty attitudes aren’t true for us. Pastors who don’t care, don’t read church leadership blogs.

You know who is reading your blog? Good pastors. Hard-working pastors. Caring pastors. Discouraged pastors. Write with those pastors in mind.


Yes, there is another one. I find myself wearying of these, but I don’t want to succumb. I don’t think it’s a good idea to look away…

Five Takeaways from the New Undercover Video from Center for Medical ProgressTimothy Brahm
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/aeINzcwb3qU/maxresdefault.jpgDr. Taylor: Well the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right? And like, you know, because the thing is the law states that you’re not supposed to do any maneuvers after the fact to try to cause [fetal] demise. So it’s really tricky. It’s really tricky so, most of the time we do dig, and it usually works. And then we don’t have to worry about that because Arizona state law says if any, if there’s signs of life, then we’re supposed to transport them. To the hospital.


‘One Anothers’ I Can’t Find in the New Testament
Ray Ortlund
coverjudgepeople-1The kind of God we really believe in is revealed in how we treat one another… Our relationships with one another reveal to us what we really believe as opposed to what we think we believe, our convictions as opposed to our opinions.  …when the gospel grips us down in our convictions, we embrace its implications wholeheartedly. Therefore, when we mistreat one another, our problem is not a lack of surface niceness but a lack of gospel depth. What we need is not only better manners but, far more, true faith.


A sustainable plan…

https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9aaXRzLzIwMTcvMDMvWml0cy4yMDE3MDMyN185MDAuZ2lm

Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Monday Picks ~ 3-27-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Urgent Church: Nine Changes We Must Make Or Die
Thom Rainer
I know. We don’t compromise doctrine. I know. We must never say we will change God’s Word.

But many of our congregations must change. They must change or they will die.

I call these churches “the urgent church.” Time is of the essence. If changes do not happen soon, very soon, these churches will die. The pace of congregational death is accelerating.

What, then, are some of the key changes churches must make? Allow me to give you a fair warning. None of them are easy. Indeed, they are only possible in God’s power. Here are nine of them…


Peter’s Message to Politically Panicked Christians: Talk About Something ElseTrevin Wax
Peter’s Message to Politically Panicked Christians: Talk About Something ElsePeter doesn’t say, “The war is on! Defend yourselves from the world!”

Instead he says, “Abstain from the desires of the flesh that are waging war on your soul.” In other words, “I’m less concerned about what unbelievers will do to your body than I am what sin will do to your soul.” To update that message for panicked Christians in the 21st century: “I’m less concerned about what the government may do with your church’s tax-exempt status than what compromise and complacency will do to your congregation.”


Redefining IntimacyEd Shaw
evening-walk-1959986_1280The world in which we live cannot cope with intimate relationships that aren’t sexual—it makes no sense; it’s just not possible. So I’ve had to pull back from deepening friendships with both men and women out of fear that they are being seen as inappropriate. None of them were—but the supposed impossibility of non-sexual intimacy meant we felt under pressure to close them down. That’s been very hard at times.


Phonetically Defined…
https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/phonetically-defined-5.jpg
Wrong Hands