8.29.2008

Flashback Fridays

Every Saturday morning, many of us saw this commercial. It played well into the 90's too. Did it stop any of you from messing with drugs?



Hmmmm....mmmmm....A pretty cool song by Modern English. One of their few hits. Taco Bell now sells cheesy quesadillas with it.



One more 80's PSA. Everyone say it with me: This is drugs......

8.22.2008

Burn Your Plastic Jesus!!!!!!




Wow. This is so old school pentecostal (assuming they really will burn a plastic Jesus). Mark Driscoll (who else?) is going to be teaching in Australia next week at a huge event called "Burn Your Plastic Jesus". The event will be held at a huge arena in Sydney. About 5,000 people are expected to show up. Keep the event in prayer. I might add, I hope they really do burn down a bunch of Jesus Junk. It would be very funny.

Flashback Friday's

Even in 1984 Apple was trying to show off how cool they were. Here is their first commercial for the Macintosh. Mac to you and me. An amazing commercial that played at the 1984 Superbowl and very few times afterwards. It was directed by Riddley Scott (of Gladiator fame). Very cool. And creepy.



Dashing and daring, courageous and caring....great show from my youth.



I want to know what you're thinking......I think this was a great song.


Random Trivia: the phrase "pure enery" in the song was sampled from the original Star Trek. It's Spock. The first song to ever sample from a TV show. Or so the rumor goes.

New Blog Alert: Biblical Theology Blog

It's always good to see the birth of a new blog. Today marks the start of Biblical Theology. According to their web site
This blog exists for the glory of God, in service to the church, to promote the study and discussion of biblical theology’s history, methodology, aims, achievements, developments, direction, and points of contact with other approaches to the study of the Bible. This will be a collaborative effort...


I just wish these guys were around when I took Old Testament Theology. One of themis the author of "From Eden to the New Jerusalem". I would have had a million questions for them (Ok not close to that, but approaching that). Feel free to visit these guys and make them feel welcome. And don't forget to tell them Fusion! sent you.

8.21.2008

Church Stupidity: Some Serious Observations

As I've pointed out this week. Some pastor's have gone to some ridiculous length's to get attention. Too far in this bloggers view. Here again are the two clips I put up this week.






The Christian Post has reported on another motorcycle church accident, and I wanted to post some of the comments people have left. Some funny, and a few that are thought provoking.


This reminds me of a pastor who came to church with a snake to preach about satan..at the end..was taken to hospital

What effort some pastors will make to try to reach their audiance...good thing none were in the front row!

Actually it reminds me of 2 Timothy 4: 3-4

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.

Yeah ridiculous eh? I went to a "Christian Faith Center" for a Sunday service one fine Sunday morning a few years ago, and they had a Elvis impersonator up on stage (what ever happened to the altar) swinging his hips and singing a "gospel" song. I couldn't believe it! If I wanted to go watch "Elvis" I'd have gone out last night and had a cold Canadian beer at one of the local nightclubs. I'd left that lifestyle behind years ago when I was a younger man, I certainly didn't expect to see it in "church". It was exactly these wacky ideas that brought this prodigal son back Home! This isn't worship! Worship isn't about singing, dancing, telling stories about my summer vacation (ie mission trip), instead that can be done on a weekday night! Worship isn't about showing off your motor bike, that's just vanity! Lord have mercy!



If the Granger Church incident is showing us something, it's time to get the fun and games out of church, and go back to the preaching of the Word. (Ok that sounded a bit harsh, I think church should be great and can be fun, but seriously, a motorcycle in church?)

Mark Driscoll in Sydney: revealing interview

While in Australia, Mark Driscoll got interviewed by the Sydney Anglican Network. Here's the 23 minute interview. His views on spirtual gifts, church service and culture are pretty revealing and I might add, cool.



So how should we do church? What role does research play? Something to think about.

8.20.2008

Even MORE church stupidity

Thanks to my new frequent visitor Lorikate (you hear that Lydia and Josh!!) for these clips. You can find them on her blogs (yes two of them)
From the blog Fun and Games


This one is just sad, funny, creepy and sad (again) all at once. I agree with her COME ONE!!!!


And from Jesus Filter



Techno worship. And did that guy really say shamalama ding dong at about 1:50??? We really need to fight against churches like this.

It's things like this that made me into the church/culture critic (and semi-apologist) that I am. If you go to a church like this, please please please leave. I beg you, it's damaging to your spiritual health, and blasphemous to the Spirit at worst. Read my post below about Evangelical gullibility. In all things test what you hear by Scripture. It doesn't matter if someone speaks in a million tongues. If what they are doing is disorderly (God is a God of Order)or if they are teaching weird things or even acting weird, please get out as soon as you can.

Pastors Gone Wild! (Or more church stupidity)

What is it with Pastors trying to look cool by showing up on stage with a motorcycle?
As I said in a previous post, we sometimes bring the trouble on ourselves for the dumb things that get done in Jesus' name.



And no Pastors were hurt in the making of this clip-yet......

8.19.2008

Todd Bentley and Evangelical Gullibiblity

Are Evangelicals gullible? This next clip of Patricia King makes me think that sometimes they can be.Or at least it gives unbelievers the impression that we are.



It's because of things like that, that people have seriously taken a look at us and have thought we are crazy, backwards and just plain gullible. Saddest of all, it brings shame and dishonor to the name of Christ. Ed Stetzer has written a post on Evangelical gullibility. In the wake of the Todd Bentley scandal and his "weird" practices" I think he takes the right approach. It's not just Charismatics and Pentecostals who have made some grave errors in their judgment (not all, as he points to an Assemblies of God response to the Lakeland fiasco), it's the whole Evangelical movement. He writes

Yet, when I see things like this, it is just hard not to ask: does anyone still have a Bible and some common sense?

Let me add: I do not think this is a Pentecostal issue. That is why the title is, "Evangelical Gullibility."

In other words, all kinds of Christians are forwarding emails about the FCC's phony plan to ban religious broadcasting, signing up to have emails sent to the loved ones after the rapture, and watching Christian television for its theological depth. For that matter, I have just as many odd people come up to me with "something they discovered in the Bible that no one has ever noticed" after I speak at a Baptist, Wesleyan, of non-denominational meeting as I do when I speak at a Pentecostal one. Furthermore, many Pentecostals and Charismatics HAVE expressed concern about this movement-- including some when I visit the Assemblies of God office a couple of weeks ago.

I just have to wonder with Grady if Christians really are just gullible.

True revival is generally a messy affair. On the one hand abuses often accompany genuine works of God, and on the other hand much of what is called revival is nothing more than fanaticism. Courage is required to ask tough questions and do so with with grace and kindness, patience is necessary to wait and see if what is called revival bears lasting fruit, and theological discernment is critical for the church when it comes to awakenings and revival.


I appreciate that he doesn't just hit out on a specific group. And it's more than I told you so. I have seen many discernment ministries respond this way and I believe this is a first step in answering their accusations. I will have more to say about this later. For now, what can we do to foster discernment and growth amidst a sea of confusion and gullibility?

1. READ YOUR BIBLE!

I can't tell you how much my eyes were opened after I read the NT in one week about 9 years ago. I saw that a lot of what was going on at my church was just plain tradition, and the flesh. I say read the letters of Paul where he had to deal with the Churches' errors (and they had them at the time....severe errors!). It protected me from further error. I would highly recommend that you learn to interpret your Bible as well. Verse abuse is real. Many pastors out there are not workmen who are unashamed. They are marketers who are shameless. They don't know how to handle scripture well (as they are commanded to in 1 Timothy). That is usually the source of much error. I recommend Knowing Scripture by R.C Sproul and How to Read the Bible for All its worth by Fee and Stuart. Tim Challies book on Discernment would be very helpful as well.

2. Go to a Good church
If you suspect that your church is into shady things, leave! Vote with your feet as someone I know puts it. You are obligated to find fellowship in a place where the Bible will be taught, the gospel preached and discples trained. If you really want to you can talk to your leadership and ask them why everyone has to jump up and do the funky chicken or speak in tongues, but you may not get far. Remember: there have been bad churches since the time of the New Testament, you are not alone and you can have hope and faith again.

3. Pray
For those out there making bad decisions and for your own self. We must be on guard. Remember, bad theological error can kill. Ask those who have loved ones that died with David Koresh or with Jim Jones.

4. Develop a Sense of Humor
You have to learn to laugh again. Humor really does help. You can look back, and when you can laugh, you know you're doing well. More so, it helps with the healing process. here's an example



I hope this helps many of you. I pray you will be able to find yourselves strong in the Lord. Not in someone on TV, or someone with a big budget or a big church. Feel free to leave comments.

The Ohio Mindset (or... I feel old)



Every Year, Beloit College in Ohio releases a survey of their incoming freshmen. As many of you are in ministry, and were born in the 80's (like me), here's a peek at what people born in 1990 are like. I would also add that they will be graduating in 2012 (if the world doesn't end):


1. Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.

5. Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles. (But their ongoing war has never stopped)

7. Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.

15. Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.

18. WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.

25. There have always been gay rabbis. (DUDE!)

28. IBM has never made typewriters.

30. McDonald's and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.

33. The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.

34. Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day. (I dispute this because if this means the show wasn't seen by them, I say RERUNS!)

40. Balsamic vinegar has always been available in the U.S. (this one shocked me)

44. Caller ID has always been available on phones.

53. The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum. (Wow)

59. There have always been charter schools.

60. Students always had Goosebumps.




Wow. Think about it. I'm sure this will give us pause. I know it did for me. But more so, it made me aware that if I am to reach out a culture that has had these intersting experiences, then I think I'll be fine. At least it gives me something else to talk about at cocktail parties (like I would ever get invited to one and seriously who throws cocktail parties anymore?) and a little more insight into the minds of these college kids. Wow. I feel kind of old.

Francis Schaeffer's Thought



A clip from the six hour long documentary he made "How Then Shall We Live?". I saw it some time ago and learned A LOT! What do you think. Some say here he is hitting on where being relevant took the church in the middle ages. Think about it. What say you?

Pollution and the Death of Man- Book Review



Tim Challies (uber christian blogger) has written a very good review of Francis Schaeffer's "Pollution and the Death of Man". It makes sense, given our culture's current obsession with the environment. As a fan of Schaeffer, I thought I'd take a look. Challies has some great insights into the book, among them are:

He launches into what I’d consider classic Schaefferian thought: “Pantheism,” he says, “will be pressed as the only answer to ecological problems and will be one more influence in the West’s becoming increasingly Eastern in its thinking.”


“The only reason we are called upon to treat nature well is because of its effects on man and our children and the generations to come. So in reality…man is left with a completely egoistic position in regard to nature.” “Having no absolutes, modern man has no categories. One cannot have real answers without categories, and these men can have no categories beyond pragmatic, technological ones.” “A pantheistic stand always brings man to an impersonal and low place rather than elevating him.” In the end, pantheism pushes both man and nature into a kind of bog, leaving us unable to make any kind of necessary and rational distinctions.


He affirms that our understanding must begin with the world’s creation when God created things that have an objective existence in themselves. Despite the claims of pantheism, creation is not an extension of God’s essence. It is only the biblical view that gives worth to man and to all that God has created. Nature begins to look different when I understand that, though I am separate from it, I am related to it as something God has created. “So the Christian treats ‘things’ with integrity because we do not believe they are autonomous. Modern man has fallen into a dilemma because he has made things autonomous from God.” As we love the Creator, we love the creation.


Over all a great review. I didn't even give you some of the best parts. I will leave you with what one thoughtful commentator said about the article:


Thanks for the article - this is a great book. You can’t “love your neighbor as yourself” by polluting their air, water and land!

8.18.2008

When does life begin?


(Image of a baby 8 weeks old)

Or to put it in a way that makes people (B.O.) squirm: When do human rights begin? Here are a few people who don't think it's above their pay grade to talk about it. From First Things Blog (Frist things is a Christian/Catholic culture and philosophy journal):

When Does Human Life Begin?
Posted by Keith Pavlischek on August 18, 2008, 3:48 PM

Dr. Hymie Gordon (Mayo Clinic): “By all criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth (Harvard University Medical School): “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

Dr. Alfred Bongioanni (University of Pennsylvania): “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, “the Father of Modern Genetics” (University of Descartes, Paris): “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion . . . it is plain experimental evidence.”

Rick Warren: At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?
Sen. Barack Obama: Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.

More on Obama and Abortion

An anonymous reader left this comment on one of my previous posts:

Boy, people are amazingly obtuse. It's not that Obama is saying he won't make decisions, the question was, basically, where does human life begin?

Is that above his pay grade? Yes, absolutely. Will it be above his pay grade as president. Yes. Is there a higher "pay grade" a person can have? No. That's his whole point. This was a RELIGIOUS forum. No human being can determine when and where the "divine spark" or ensoulment is granted by God.

Anyone who deems themselves and authority on this is setting themselves up as knowing or being God, and that's the height of hubris.

Sure, it's going to hurt him amongst the mouth-breathers, but I'd rather have a candidate that refuses to dumb it down.


I include here a youtube clip of the question that was asked. What WAS the REAL question?



If you payed attention, the question is: WHEN DOES A BABY GET HUMAN RIGHTS???

HUMAN RIGHTS

HUMAN RIGHTS

HUMAN RIGHTS

If you truly believe in human rights, I ask you to really think about it? If a baby gets doesn't get them before exiting the womb, when do they start? When can they be suspended? When can they end? If you call yourself a Christian and AGREE to meet a group of fellow Christians, you are putting yourself on the line to answer those questions. As someone running for President, you should KNOW where you stand on tough issues. More so, where do Human rights come from? As a Christian, if it doesn't come from GOD, then where? This wasn't about where life begins, but when do Human rights begin for the unborn. Think about it.

A miracle!



Has anyone else noticed gas prices are down a bit? A month ago I payed 4.25 for gas, this weekend? 3.83. Making me reconsider getting a bike.

70 HITS!!!!



Hey, apparently I got about 70 hits on Saturday. A high spike. I wonder if it has to do with:
word of mouth?
My links on facebook/myspace?
People looking for info on Todd Bentley who found my page?
Miscellaneous?

LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me how you found me and what I can do to update things on the page. What do you want me to put up this week? As a thank you, I will put up links to pages, youtube clips, (reasonable) conspiracy theories, whatever I deem is fit for the blog. Come at it folks. Here's a starter. A response to my Ghostbusters clip from Friday.

8.17.2008

"Pay grade" quote draws heat


As I mentionedObama's "above my pay grade" quote would probably haunt him. It already is. Look at some of the responses at Reuters blog, let me start with two of the more thoughtful responses I found before I get to the more humorous ones:

Unbelievable. To respond to one of the most controversial subjects in politics today as it is “above my pay-grade” should automatically disqualify him from seeking this office! A President has to make “life or death” decisions and not to know when life begins seriously questions by belief that Senator O’Bama is a Christian…in the sense that it is not an answer on a biological questionaire. Coupled with his position that he actively opposed legislative attempts to provide comfort to babies who survived abortions.
Moreover, he basically called America a selfish nation. We are the most-giving nation in the history of this planet. Whenever there is a disaster, America is there to give, give and give. We, the citizens, give more money to charitable causes per capita than any other citizens of any nation on this earth. … despite the fact that we pay almost 40 percent of our income in taxes to federal, state and local governments!

The Democratic Party’s position is that abortion should be legal because a fetus is just a clump of cells with no human rights.
If the procedure is no different from, say, the removal of an unwanted mole–which is essentially what the argument for legalization is–then why expend resources to reduce its frequency?


Above his pay grade? He is running for the President of the United States of America! How much higher of a pay grade do you want?

If the issue is above his paygrade perhaps Barack is applying for the wrong job.

Change we can see through.

If he can’t answer because it is above his pay grade then why should we put him in the top job? It will remain above his pay grade when he returns to the Senate.


“…above my pay grade”. Good one, Obama. You just gave the Republicans a new tag line. There’s no higher “pay grade” than being president. Like Harry Truman said, “The Buck Stops Here.

As a current Senator, especially one seeking the presidency, these questions are “at your pay-grade.”


So these babies aren’t even the ‘least of his brothers’????? You can’t get much more ‘least’ than a baby, born or unborn.

Are you kidding?????? Above his paygrade????? Presidents are paid to have convictions.


At what “pay grade” can one have an opinion?



It goes on, but you get the point. More to come I'm sure. This is one that really got to me:

I am pro-choice but after hearing 40 million abortions have taken place since Roe V Wade does make me think twice.

"Above my paygrade" Obama biffs it at Saddleback



The line that may well haunt Barrack Obama for the rest of his campaign, according to The Corner, the blog for national Review Online. Blogger Mark Hemingway writes:


When asked "At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?," McCain answered "At the moment of conception." Obama's answer here was flaming-dirigible bad:

Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is, you know, above my pay grade.

That spectacularly inept metaphor is going to haunt Obama throughout the rest of the campaign. News flash: There's not a job on the planet above the pay grade of the President of the United States. If you can't solve every problem and are humble about it, that's fine — but you can't get away with being unsure about the most defining moral issue in politics. Of course, he didn't put down the shovel:

But let me speak more generally about the issue of abortion. Because this is something, obviously, the country wrestles with. One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue. And So I think that anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue is not paying attention.

So after completely hedging on the question and declining to give a specific answer — he wants to speak "more generally" about the issue? And, lo and behold, speak more generally he does: "I’m absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue." In related news, Obama is also "absolutely convinced" that the sky is blue, water is wet and puppies are adorable. None of this, however, tells me a thing about his judgment and moral worldview.


McCain's answer is a bit more revealing and forthcoming:



McCain, I believe had something more to offer. When asked whom they would turn to for help, Obama started off with his wife and grandmother. Great answers, if you're running for Miss USA. For the job of PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES experience counts. McCain began with General Petraus, A Democratic Senator John Lewis and the former CEO of Ebay Meg Whitman.

In the comments section of the article, this stood out to me:

In the first fifteen minutes, McCain had established a moral seriousness stemming from his conduct in Vietnam as a POW and his long-time as a national leader that Obama can't match. Throughout the rest of the night, he brought up Iraq, al Qaeda, and the Georgia crisis, when Obama was more inward-looking. McCain sounded like a potential commander-in-chief, Obama more like a potential friend. This is not to say, again, that Obama was not impressive. But the skills he showed tonight—the thoughtfulness and verbal dexterity—were those of a very talented memoirist, which, of course, he is.


Byron York
also points out that one of the key factors that stood out last night was: EXPERIENCE! Yes folks, it still counts. He writes,

John McCain has lived a much bigger life than Barack Obama. That’s not a slam at Obama; McCain has lived a much bigger life than most people. But it still made Obama look small in comparison. McCain was the clear winner of the night.


I could go on with a few other things that got my thinking. But I think this gave McCain chance to show his experience, his war record, and even get to show his more human side. It will be interesting to see how this Forum affects the polls in the next few days.

8.16.2008

TV Preachers are funny!!!!

Something a few British guys put together. It's sad that these non-believers have more wisdom and insight (and humor!) than most Christians.

Mariah Carey is a Calvinist?!?!?!?!?

This is funny and insightful.

Todd Bentley Update: Sad Sad News....



As I said Todd Bentley separated from his wife. Fresh Fires Ministries reports more:

We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.


Sad indeed. However, J. Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine raises a few good questions in his recent editorial. He writes:

I’m sad. I’m disappointed. And I’m angry. Here are few of my many, many questions about this fiasco:

Why did so many people flock to Lakeland from around the world to rally behind an evangelist who had serious credibility issues from the beginning?

To put it bluntly, we’re just plain gullible.

From the first week of the Lakeland revival, many discerning Christians raised questions about Bentley’s beliefs and practices. They felt uneasy when he said he talked to an angel in his hotel room. They sensed something amiss when he wore a T-shirt with a skeleton on it. They wondered why a man of God would cover himself with tattoos. They were horrified when they heard him describe how he tackled a man and knocked his tooth out during prayer.


As a former Pentecostal, I have to admit that I was suckered years ago into saying, and doing lots of things that were plain dumb. I can attest to the fact that we took pride in knowing that we were "spirit-filled" and didn't fuss around with deep doctrine or with being discerning. But the book of Proverbs 27:12 says

The prudent sees danger and hides himself,but the simple go on and suffer for it.


Grady continues:


"But among those who jumped on the Lakeland bandwagon, discernment was discouraged. They were expected to swallow and follow. The message was clear: “This is God. Don’t question.” So before we could all say, “Sheeka Boomba” (as Bentley often prayed from his pulpit), many people went home, prayed for people and shoved them to the floor with reckless abandon, Bentley-style."

My question would be,"Did Charisma or anyone in the Charismatic world seriously raise questions about Bentley before this fiasco happened?" I'm sure THIS


raises a few questions for people. I might also add, that the few people who were raising questions were people like Christian Research Network and ministries like slice of laodicea and the Pyromaniacs. Where were the wise Charismatic Pastors who should have been more discerning?

More to the point, will we ever grow up? Grady continues:


Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It’s way past time for us to grow up.

A prominent Pentecostal evangelist called me this week after Bentley’s news hit the fan. He said to me: “I’m now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the anti-Christ when he shows up because they have no discernment.” Ouch. Hopefully we’ll learn our lesson this time and apply the necessary caution when an imposter shows up."


Ouch indeed. We MUST become a more discerning people. The only way that will happen is by reading our BIBLES! I may be charismatic and reformed, but I'm not gullible. Neither should you. In the next few days I will be exploring discernment and how you can spot danger in your church.

On a final note, I want you all to understand that I make a distinction between the circus sideshow that is Lakeland and a genuine move of the Spirit. I do believe that the gifts are in effect today, and the Holy Spirit can manifest in amazing ways. Kind of like this (watch it all, it's very moving):

8.15.2008

John Piper is BAD!!!!!!

This is cool.

Purpose Driven Sadness....



Granger Community Church (the 6th most influential church in the country) and proponent of purpose driven/seeker sensitive models of ministry, released the findings of the church. This is an internal review of where the church is. You can listen to the sermon here (called "Change is Good") and the results are sad. Very sad. Here are a few sobering (the pastors own words) findings:
Granger’s own qualitative study revealed that:

47% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe in salvation by grace.

57% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe in the authority of the Bible.

56% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

If you see the service on-line, the worship feels like a concert. As a matter of fact they begin by playing Goo Goo Dolls song (without the words I might add-can't they go the whole way?) and to his credit the pastor does preach. He acknowledges that things need to change. Could it be that trying to be relevant and hip and well SEEKER SENSITIVE is the result of this whole fiasco?

Chris Rosebrough of Alittleleaven.com comments:

"47% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe in salvation by grace. (This means they are NOT Christians, regardless of whether or not they identify themselves as those who are 'Growing in Christ' or 'Christ Centered')"

And most poignantly
"This is exactly what we should expect from churches that spend their time trying to be 'relevant' and scratch itching ears rather than preaching and teaching God's Word in season and out of season. Or to put it another way, Christless Christianity is completely impotent when it comes to making Christians and Christian Disciples. These survey results prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

These results are a complete train wreck and prove that it is time to abandon the circus church approach and get back to the 'boring' and 'irrelevant' work of preaching and teaching God's Word, the Lord's Supper and proclaiming Jesus Christ as crucified for our sins."

(You can listen to his Pirate Christian Radio show to get his full analysis-worth hearing)

I agree. I had to take a class on church growth at school and this was the kind of stuff they talked to us about doing. I wonder o=what my old Prof. has to say about this? If they did a survey of places like Saddleback, Mosaic, the Southern Baptist Convention in general and other places, I wonder if the results would be the same. This is proof that you can be big and not healthy.

Flashback Fridays!

It's Friday I'm in Love.....

(Dedicated to Nathan and Becks cause I'm going to their wedding shower tonight)

Who you gonna call? One of my fave movies as a kid.


And just for fun...the theme song

8.14.2008

An evening with Erwin McManus



A more familiar face amongst the Emergent movement, Erwin Raphael McManus (born Erwin Cardona) has written eight books dealing with Christianity and culture. He's lead pastor of the unique church Mosaic, though he calls himself the "lead cultural architect". I've been to a few of the services at Mosaic, once when they met at the LA Club and then when they moved the the Mayan night club (yes night club). I was somewhat impressed the first time, but was less than impressed subsequent times. Perhaps I'll blog about that another day, but needless to say, my friend's and I seemed to be the only one's who had bibles with us that night. There was only one worship song played and the gospel message was boiled down to "let Jesus walk with you in your spiritual journey".

At the event held at the new Barnes and Noble at the Shoppes in Chino Hills, he spoke to a group of about 40 to 50 people, promoting his new book "Wide Awake". What surprised me was the amount of people NOT my age. They were of different ages. I'm sure a few were from the Mosaic in Chino. He himself is a bit interesting. He's about to become 50 and looks like he's still in his late 30's. The man must work out. He began his message talking about his book's main message: living your dreams. He went on to state that people in the US were the most well off people in the world. Having just gone to Mexico, I can attest to that fact. We do have it good! With all our affluence we are the most drugged up, depressed and addicted society. Our suicide rates alone warrant close attention. his answer to why we have this is because we can only consume so much before we get fed up with life. McManus seemed to talk a lot with his his hands, but to a certain extent he's right.

As he continued he told stories of meeting with entrepreneurs, talking to people from all walks of life and even spoke a bit about his own testimony. A brief snippet. I was taken aback towards the end said he didn't want to sound preachy, and mentioned how his relationship with Jesus helped him love. I would think that for a pastor, especially one in a Barnes and Noble who had many people listening to him, he would want to tell people about what made changed him so radically. I say this with an eye towards a friend who has only recently learned to care about people at all because he became a Christian. If there was someone in the audience that night like my friend this could have been a help to them. Sadly he went on to keep talking about how we all need to have great dreams to leave the world a better place. A great sentiment. And yet it all just seemed like a hipper than thou version of this:


Lest you think I'm too cynical, I think that as important as living our dreams is, people aren't in need of a new dream, or of a better purpose. They are in need of Jesus Christ. They need someone to deal with their sin problem. This is why we're drugged up and suicidal. Its root is in the deceitful heart that says we're number one, instead of God. While I do believe that God has a calling for our lives, that's far from what McManus says in page 12 of his book. He says that Jesus came to give the disciples a "dream for a better world". I think not. They were given a gospel to preach and a mandate to reach the world. Jesus may be heroic, but he's more than a hero. He's a savior and Lord whom we must look unto to find out sense of self and meaning for our lives. While I can appreciate McManus trying to show how jesus does that, it just seemed a bit too syrupy to me. Try reading Publishers Weekly review of his book:

There's nothing new here, and McManus relies on clich├ęs, though he writes simply and with energy. Christian readers attempting to figure out how to pursue their dreams would do better with Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life. Some readers, though, may be more comfortable with McManus's pop psychology approach to the scriptures, where Daniel becomes the poster child for adaptability, Jesus represents a focused life and Isaiah's prophetic, Arise, shine; for your light has come becomes a call to [live] up to your potential.

While I had arrived with questions I had for McManus about his methodology (this one is pretty funny) and questionable book endorsements (read the back), and a few other things, it felt more like a book signing and less a theological round table, so I left. (That and the friend who invited me didn't show!) The more I read his book, I am appreciative that he has a positive message, but part of me thought, "Haven't I seen this BEFORE?"

If you'd really like a book on your calling, I highly recommend The Call by Os Guiness. Great Book. Perhaps I'll do a study on the biblical view of goals and dreams.

8.13.2008

Todd Bentley sepearates from wife

Confirmed on Fresh Fires Website and in Charisma Magazine's page as well. It's not a time for rejoicing. It's a time for prayer. Prayer for the many people who attend the Lakeland "outpouring" and will be hurt by the news. Prayer for the Bentley's who may be trying to work it out. Prayer for that movement that God will do some serious shifting in how they do things. I'm not convinced that a lot of those people aren't saved, but I just find it VERY hard to think that this and this or even THIS is from God.
I'm sure more will come out in the next couple of days.

Funny blog post from a funny blog


Here's my newest find. Thefoolsgold.net A very funny blog from someone who goes to John Piper's Bethlehem Institute. Very funny.


Some Things You (Probably) Won’t See Graffitied on a Wall

1. Take your vitamins!
2. I ran out of whitewash and had to use this instead.
3. You know…I am far too ethnocentric.
4. How’s my penmanship?
5. I think Aristotle had a point.
6. SM + RW = Sempiternal affection (with a heart around it, of course)
7. Deep down, I’m a preservationist.
8. I think you’re great!
9. Oops…sorry. You can paint over this.
10. Romans 13:1
11. There. I just drew a perfect circle.

8.12.2008

Deja mi pueblo Leer!

LMPR: Spanish Edition.


You may not understand it, but watch it. It's your typical health and wealth rah-rah sermon in Spanish. There is some English at the end. The movie clip that starts at 1:03 speaks for itself. Compare that to the rah-rah sermon the guy preaches after that. The final section with the Kill Bill theme is a clip of a secular motivational conference. Not much difference from the Christian message played before it. Yep folks, the health and wealth message has infected the Hispanic church. I hope I can somehow help. I like this guys take. He's basically saying it seems like God ran out of ideas so he is borrowing from the world. Poor God! He needs to accept the wisdom of the world to succeed. This is truly different from the picture of God found in 1 Corinthians 1:20 and 21.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Death by Love




All I can say is wow. i can't wait to read this book. For more info go to the Re:Lit page

Tough questions for Obama and Mccain





READ THEM HERE. Ouch. What say you? They will be here on the 16th at Saddleback church at a compassion forum. What would you ask them? Are these questions fair? Pray for them that day.

8.11.2008

Very Funny!!!!



I found a funny post at CAMPONTHIS. I had to share it. What do you think?

ESV Study Bible!!!!!

It's almost here. On October 15th the ESV study bible will be released. I can't wait. Mainly because my pal Jonathan (AKA Soi Sauce to some of you) bought me one for my birthday this year. Of course, I get it in October, just like everyone else. Here's a vid explaining what it will look like. I'm sooooo excited.

8.10.2008

Heavenly Rewards Calculator-how good are you?


Ok, thanks again to Chris Roseburough of Alittleleaven.com Here's a test to take and see how obedient you are. Take it and see what rewards you'll get in heaven. If you're like me, you'll get the same message I got. Here's the TEST And if you want to get background into why the calculator was made, you can listen to the radio show HERE What do you guys think?

********Update***
thanks to a concerned reader for pointing out a problem with the links. Take the test and come back here to tell me what you think. I have my own thoughts about Chris's view of heavenly rewards.

8.08.2008

Pray for China


Pray for China During the Olympics. Find out more HERE

Flashback Friday's

Here's a Great Music Video from 1982: Our House. Cool song.


And here's a movie from 1982 I loved as a kid. Nominated for 9 Academy Awards. It lost best film to Ghandi. Oh well. ET rocks!!!!


As an added treat, here's John Williams performing the theme to ET live. I saw him perform at the Hollywood Bowl. I hope to go again this year. Enjoy.

8.07.2008

New Book: Atheism Remix


Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary, has written a book dealing with the new atheism. I find it interesting that a leader of the New Reformation is writing on the New Atheism. You can read excerpts of the book HERE. I will be reading the book. It is out now. Here's the web site for your viewing:
http://www.atheismremix.com/

8.06.2008

Pirate Christian Radio: it's good!


Fighting for the Faith is hosted by Chris Rosebrough of alittleleaven.com. He started Pirate Christian Radio and has his show hosted there. It looks pretty good. This episode deals with the book: Pop Goes the Church. He deals with the ideas it comes up with. The pastor who wrote it believes we should be more sensitive to pop culture and use it in reaching people. I've been to the website. One of his current sermon series is called "Change We Can Believe In". This weeks sermon begins with the worship team playing the song,"Starlight". A pretty decent version I might add. Still, as I lamented before, is this what it has become? Playing a secular song at church to get attention and feel relevant? I think at some point I'd like to do a study on relevance. Cause it seems there are may different uses and abuses of the word.

Top 10 signs Obama is overconfident....

Here it is.

8.05.2008

Mark Driscoll in London: Sermon on Missional Churches



Well, I haven't talked about Mark for a while. However, he's been to London recently and preached messages and worked with the Reformed/Charismatic New Frontiers Churches. HERE You can hear some of the messages. The message On The Missional Church is the message I listened to first. It's very informative. So a few questions. What kind of Church is yours?
1. A Mirror-reflecting your culture
2. A Parasite-taking from culture and giving nothing back
3. A bomb Shelter-staying away from the world
4. A City Within A City-The city of God. In other words, a counter culture.
I think his best idea is about getting rid of missions departments so that the entire church can be missions minded. His other idea is that we must all be well informed theologian and apologists. Even your 5 year olds must be on fire about church planting and missions. Wow. Listen and let me know what you think. (I have to admit, he talks about getting rid of Sunday School....ehhhhhhh.......how are they going to become better theologians and apologists without the extra time to go in depth in the time Sunday School affords? Maybe small groups?)
One more: FOR THOSE OF YOU SLEEPING AROUND MARK SAYS: Jesus Has a BRIDE not a girlfriend he sleeps with. If you're sleeping around, your preaching a false gospel.

A few more nuggets I picked up: media is a sermon with a message it wants to convert you to, preach the gospel often, multiple campuses, save money for church planting etc...

8.03.2008

Very Funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click HERE Now, is this what we should be doing at church?
(special thanks to alittleleaven.com)

What!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!??!?

OK class, what is wrong (and sacrilegious) about this? Extra points if you can watch through the whole thing. I think I have now seen it all at church. If this is what it has come to for these guys in Lakeland and in the church in general, I give up. *sigh*....... Sad to say many will actually defend this. (note: I am charismatic reformed and have no problem with praise songs, but using music alone to get people into a stir is psychological manipulation and not a move of the Spirit. Trust me, I've seen people jump and dance to worship God...this is something else-GHOST!)



And for context here's the original song by Dead or Alive-extra points:is that a guy or a girl?

8.02.2008

PAGAN!!!!


No not us! Thanks to Chris Roseborough (pictured l-r: Glenn Leatherman, Odd Thomas, Chris, Stephen Macasill of biblicalthought and Fusion!:)) Lutheran extrordinaire at alittleleaven.com for this humorous piece. I have thumbed through the book. *sigh* Some books were not meant for human consumption. I might add, Barna's name is splashed all over the cover and he wrote a little bit of it. A bit misleading. (Wondering aside: who is he trying to impress or kiss up to? Someone like this? Gotta sell books to someone I guess)
Anywho here is Chris's piece. Enjoy.

Pagan Christianity (gasp)


We just finished reading a book written by George Barna entitled "Pagan Christianity". Aside from being one of the most poorly researched books we've run across, it's 'arguments' are probably some of the lamest that we've ever read (Barna and Viola literally cherry pick their evidence and ignore the large body of evidence that easily overturns their claims). The book basically argues that just about everything that we do in church is a form of paganism. Barna is not talking about things like praying to the saints. Instead he's literally arguing against anything that is 'institutional' including having a church building and a pastor who preaches sermons on Sunday. Many of Barna's arguments are just silly. The basic thesis is:

"The pagans did this type of stuff before Christians. Therefore, the church must have copied it from the pagans".

(See the list below of the pagan elements that are in church, according to Barna).


Well Mr. Barna, we have terrible news for you. We hate to be the ones having to break this to you. But, we have research that proves that pagans were writing books long before Christians were writing books. Therefore, it is clear that books are pagan. Therefore, Christians shouldn't be reading books, including (and especially) your books.
******************************************************
Hope you enjoyed that. Here is a very cool review of the book from Ben Witherington III.

8.01.2008

Flashback Friday

Music from the past:


That really happened. They even played the song like 7 times after the power was shut off because they had their own generator. Coolest band ever!

And from one of the coolest bands, to one of the coolest movies of the 90's.

Very, Very, Very Interesting.......

Ahhh youth.....3:23 is very interesting.....3:55 is interesting as well




So here's a response I found....here's how people are fed.....