The Temple of Science

This post comes from Thomas Lazlo. He and I went to school together and when I read this on his facebook page, I had to share it with you. You can find it HERE. The image above is of the "temple" itself. You can learn more about it at WIRED.

In a South Parkian turn of events, an artist has created a temple devoted to the worship of science. From the pictures I've seen it looks as if it's replaced stained glass windows with a picture of the cosmic background radiation. For info on that read Hugh Ross in "The Creator and the Cosmos." That's not the point. The point is that science thinks that it can replace religion, the problem is that it can, and athiests and Christians alike should be worried.

The artist's muse came after a Beyond Belief conference where men like Richard Dawkins talked about how the worship of science could do all that religion does: "They were trying to figure out what science might do to provide an alternative to religion. There wasn't a consensus, but there was momentum towards the idea that science could do everything religion could, that it could be everything religion had been."

I'm not going to debate this one bit, all I can say is thanks but no thanks. If you want to worship science, beware, science is a cruel deity.

Do you want to talk to me about happenstance and cruelty? Do you want to talk about unnecessary suffering? Do you want to talk about the silence of the Heavens?

Yes, science can provide all of these to you. In fact science can give them to you wholesale, no need to format a theology. Why do bad things happen to good people? Because the universe is a cold, harsh, unfeeling place in which life has beaten the odds and survived for billions of years, yet the universe does what it takes to make certain that life that has grown to the point that it feels...that it feels nothing but pain. No need to come up with theology explaining why science doesn't answer your prayers, because there is no voice.

And how does one worship science? How does one worship the pursuit of knowledge in a universe that exists SOLELY TO EXIST!!! Thanks but no thanks.

What of faith? Faith is lost. What of love? Love exists to perpetuate the species. What of hope? Illogical. What of kindness? Altruism or egoism, all leave someone out. The worship of science can provide help only for the majority. The poor, the uneducated, these are all left out. Thanks but no thanks.

Isn't there enough religion? Isn't there enough organization of like-minded individuals setting up institutions and rules to make sure that "we win and they lose." All that science creates is a hierarchy of education and wealth. The third world has no potential, the manual laborer, he offers no spiritual benefit to society. All he does is provide food, while the men and women in ivory towers provide him with another message from the Heavens, like last week when they found a thirteen million digit prime number. Science be praised! Thanks but no thanks.

Has the point not been made? Have Christians said but not done too often? We do not serve a capricious angry God, we do not seek knowledge of a silent Heavens. The God I serve is a God that puts the worship of science to shame. I serve a God who said that true religion is taking care of the widow and orphan. I serve a God who didn't look for the strongest, and most capable, but sought the prostitutes and the lepers. I serve a God who can weigh the heart, a God who I cannot hide from who actively makes me into a better person.

I don't care who I am in the cosmic scheme of things. I don't care about my place in the universe. I'm man number 4,385,123,892 in the tiny blue speck by the tiny yellow speck in the tiny disc shaped galaxy in the vastness of space. I don't give a damn about that identity. I want to be a man who people know is full of love. I want to be a man who provides hope to the hopeless, who exercises faith in the dark times, who triumphs through humility, and does not neglect the call to serve. I want to be a good man, I don't care about science when compared with my soul.

Science is nothing new, the god is no more powerful than any of the other gods served worldwide, except one. My God loves me. You may call me an idiot, you may call me gullible, you may call me regressive, but my God calls me his son, and that's what I care about. You see? I don't care what the Richard Dawkins of the world say about me. They're the ones devoting their lives to a futile cause. And in a hundred years when we're all dead, the great minds won't matter. Thanks for the blu-ray discs and surround sound science, thanks for the vicadin, it didn't heal my heart, but it made me numb for a while. I'm sick of people devoting themselves to purposelessness.

If all Christianity is a lie, then I will devote myself to the lie and make the world a better place than anyone bowed before the altar of knowledge. Without my God I become a freight train, get out of my way as I race for the top. Without my God I become a handgun, coldly firing without any care of my target. Without my God I become a brute, demolishing all weaker than me so that I can let my seed flourish. Your god may be more popular than my God, but my God is good, your god isn't anything at all.

If all your god is is everything, then your god isn't anything. My God is more than everything, he made everything. He set up the universe and he put us on the best planet possible to seek knowledge about this universe. Science wouldn't exist if this planet weren't fine-tuned to support observation. Science poses no threat to God, I glory every time it tells me something new about the universe he created. It doesn't matter how, all that matters is who.

My God may have been used in the past for wars and crusades, but don't think that the god of science won't be used in the same way. Men have a way of using belief for their own benefit. It's all the same. Maybe there's a lot of dissenion in Christianity, as knowledge increases, uncertainty concerning the things we don't know increases as well, and as that increases, disagreements are created. There will be disagreements and factions in science. There will be disagreements in Christianity... but just for now, someday all will be forgotten because we will not just know truth, we will see it and sense it with every aspect of our being.

Thanks but no thanks science, you can do all that religion does, but we don't want any more of that. I'll take Jesus Christ instead.


Flashback Fridays: Movie Music Edition

Bueller.....Bueller?? Great clip from Ferris Bueller's day off. I want to do this one day. Twist and shout!!!!

That Thing You Do! A great film from my youth. Ok from 12 years ago. It's a great song.

Jack Black and kids= SCHOOL OF ROCK!!!!

And finally...THIS IS SPINAL TAP! Stonehenge. Just watch it. This is a great and funny mocumentary. This is one of the funniest and most memorable parts of the film. These guys later went on to make A Mighty Wind and Best in Show.


The Prayer of the Arminian by Charles Spurgeon

"Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them."

Why are people leaving church? WATCH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to extremetheology.com for this.
I will say it again, we NEED TO WAKE UP!!!!

Futility of a random chance world:but it's funny!

Found this at the Contemporary Calvinist's blog. Funny and thought provoking.

Something to think about.


Flashback Fridays: 90's Music

Wishful Thinking by Duncan Sheik. From the movie Great Expectations. Sheik writes great lyrics.

Jesus Freak by DC Talk. It's been a while, but this one still gets me going.

Name by the Goo Goo Dolls. Great band who still rocks. One of the their first hits.



This is a new forum. I've been thinking about it as of late. I wanted to put down thoughts that have been on my mind as well as things I've overheard. I had some real gems a week ago. I should have written them down because I don't think I remembered them all! Anyway here we go:

-Frank's totally an outside-the-box person, for someone who's never been in the box-a former boss of mine (not sure if that was a compliment of an insult).
-You need to minister somewhere close to where you live. You can't impact a community if you live far away-many people especially Glenn Leatherman.
-I've heard brides say,"I take you to be my wife". From Dr. Bob backstage before Nathan's wedding (Beckster's husband).
-I don't think this word means what you think it means-Quoted from Princess Bride by Lorikate on her blog.
-He has an advanced computer: it can read your mind-same former boss talking about the G5
-Your people will be my people, I will go where you will go and where you die I will die-Becky and Nate's wedding vows (a snippet-they were long!!!) They were quoting the book of Ruth. Cool!
-The left only wants to embarrass not teach-Dennis Prager on Gov. Palin's interview with Charles Gibson. (I agree he was there to embarrass her, not to really dialoge-see previous post)
-Vote for Prop. 8 in California and defend marriage.
-E.J. Young, Gleason Archer, Meredith Kline and John C Collins (of Covenant Seminary) are 4 Reformed OT scholars who have differing views of the Days of Genesis. Collins has a new book out about that that I'm interested in. Just throwing it out there.


Flashback Fridays: Saturday PBS Edition

A my childhood was kickin! Special thanks to Morgaladon.

Ghostwriter! Coolest show on PBS.

Mathnet!!! This show has become a cult classic. Coolest show on PBS.

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? i'm still looking. Greatest PBS show ever!

Get her Rockapella!


Palin's Interview

Going back to politics, while I didn't think Palin put her best foot forward, the interview seemed more of a hit job and not a real interview. In fact the editing seemed a bit shaky. As one reporter put it, it seemed like she knew less than she should, and Gibson knew more than he did. This comes from the fact that there are many versions of the Bush doctrine. Could she have answered better? Oh yeah. You can read about that at today's New York Post article HERE
We'll be seeing more of her interview tonight.

On the Anniversary of 9-11

I remember that I was probably one of the first to know about it at my school. I went on that muggy Tuesday morning having seen the horrific scenes on television. I had left it on and woke up to the sound of the Today show broadcasting the second plane crash. It was a tape delay, but still, it was eerie. Somehow I knew this was going to be big. I was the first to bring it up in class that morning and pretty soon all classes were canceled as we went to pray in our school's chapel. It was a tense day. But we prayed. And while the world has changed, we've prayed more, have had to deal with new challenges, and have had to adapt. May God guide us as we continue to lead the world as a beacon of freedom and hope.


Death of the MegaChurch?

According to USA Today most mega churches are just barely squeeking by. They aren't really growing. Unbelievers are still not visiting and these churches keep shuffling people from other churches. When you consider the million dollar budgets some of these places have, one wonders: where does it all go? It's what I and many others have been saying for years: church is for believers. When you make it about the seeker (unbeliever) you'll do what you have to in order to get attention. Even more so, it's not even about us, it's about glorifying God. I find it hard to see how that can happen when pastors are doing everything from the ridiculous to the near blasphemous at church on Sunday morning. One quote stands out

"The megachurch story is not really about growth, it's about shifting allegiances. People want to feel good about who they already are," says Philip Goff, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University in Indianapolis. "If church is too challenging or not entertaining, they'll move on."

Sadly, it's not about entertaining, and it's supposed to be challenging. We have to have our lives challenged by God's word. Look at how many times Jesus upset people with his words. Not very seeker sensitive. It goes on to say:

"You can create a church that's big, but is still not transforming people. Without transformation, the Christian message is not advanced," says Ed Stetzer, head of Lifeway Research in Nashville, which did the Outreach study.

As someone pointed elsewhere (Aldous Huxley in Brave New World I think) we will be ruled by our pleasures. When the church buys into the entertainment model, pleasure has gone to church. Any wonder there have been a slew of churches reaching those "controversial" sex sermons?

I highly recommend this great post by my friend SoiSauce (Jonathan Chan) called: Why I'm not Evangelical. He gets to the heart of what I'm trying to say.

Will we learn? I don't know but, here are a few responses from the article. Some are funny, but the first one catches the spirit that has captured many American churches.

Stats show the average worshiper only gives 2.3% of their income!
Stats show that 80-90% of Mega church attenders come from other churches.
However, mega churches do a great job of meeting felt needs geared toward a culture that seeks to get what it wants, feel good help now!
It's cheap entertainment as long as you don't let them suck 10% tithing out of you.
Music. Lots of good looking women in nice clothes.
You get to sit next to a pretty gal who wouldn't give you a glance on the street; and more than likely the minister will tell everybody to hug each other.....thatsa very nice.

If the preacher tells a good yarn...so much the better.
Best actors in town by far. You almost believe that they believe, but you know better.

Walmart could go into the God business and start their own religion. You could shop on Sunday morning and attend church at the same time. They could have a sale on "spirituality." Everything else is for sale in this country. Only $2.98 for $5 worth of spirituality. They could hire Rev. Osteen to be a greeter. He could stand at the door and flash his saccharine smile as people enter the church/store.

I went to a mega-church in atlanta with a friend a few years back and it was aweful. It was managed like a concert or stage act and it did not feel like church. And considering they gave me a tithing envelope (they accepted Visa) on my way in, passed a plate, and asked each of us for our envelopes on the way out I was pretty happy to be back at my smaller church with the bigger faith. Religion is not about treating people like cattle. Not everyone wants a Wal-Mart meets rock concert version of religion.

Yes, Jesus taught not to judge, but he also warned about false prophets.
A sermon is not a Christian sermon if it excludes what Jesus did on the cross.
Gospel is first a bad news before it is a good news. You can just pick and choose what you want to hear.

I hope this will be the death of the Mega Church. How about just building a small church and invest the other 50 million dollars on the less fortunate?

Johnny Depp as the Riddler? So says Michael Cain....

For those of you who liked "Dark Knight" you'll be happy to know that Michael Cain may have revealed something about the next movie: Johnny Depp and Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be the Riddler and The Penguin. It this is true, this is great! I can't wait to see how they'll make this happen. You can go HERE to read all about it. By the way, enjoy the concept poster art. I like the newspaper one myself. It looks very real .

God, the Atheist and the piece of chalk......

Not sure how true this is, but it sounds pretty reliable. I hope it gets us all thinking. What do you think?


Right to Life interview...disturbing

From 2000. Oh and they mention 15 senators who voted against this act. Guess who was one of them? Yeah....Obama.

What LIBERAL bias?

According to the Washington Post Keith Olberman and Christ Matthews are no longer going to be doing nightly political reporting. Why? Because it seems both of the them are not as impartial as they are supposed to be. Here's a little example of what I mean.



Thanks to all of you who visit the blog. It's been cool to get so much feedback from ya'll. I believe I decided it would be Q and A this week. SO throw your questions at me. I'll do my best to give you and answer. Thanks again for your help. Don't forget to tell all your friends about the blog. If you do I'll give you a special prize. Hmm not sure what it should be.



Variety says so. If it's true, it would be totally cool! It's going to star the original cast, and it's going to be written by the co-producers of The Office. How great is this going to be? I'm going to see it. How about you? They better not mess this up.

Martin Luther "The Devil can kiss my @$$"

In light of the fact that Mark Driscoll will be preaching at the Desiring God conference on harsh language (the theme is the power of words and the wonder of God) the good people at Contend Earnestly found some pretty interesting quotes by Martin Luther. Among them are:
Luther advised people to "tell the Devil to kiss my ____"

He repeatedly said that if the Pope should send him a command to appear before him: "I shall _____ upon his summons"

He said that the monks are "the lice placed by the devil on God Almighty's fur coat"

When trying to explain how far God is or is not the author of evil, he says: 'Semei wished to curse, and God immediately directed his curse against David. God says, "Curse him not and no one else." Just as if a man wishes to relieve himself I cannot prevent him, but should he wish to do so on the table here, then I should object and tell him to betake himself to the corner.'"

My all time favorite is his response to Rome about their use of Aristotle's thoughts on reason. Luther exclaimed, "Reason is a whore."

He also mentioned, "When I (the Pope-a--) bray, hee-haw, hee-haw, or relieve myself in the way of nature, they must take it all as articles of faith, i.e. Catholics."

His defense?
What think you of Paul? Was he abusive when he termed the enemies of the gospel dogs and seducers? Paul who, in the thirteenth chapter of the Acts, inveighs against a false prophet in this manner: "Oh, full of subtlety and all malice, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness." I pray you, good Spalatin, read me this riddle. A mind conscious of truth cannot always endure the obstinate and willfully blind enemies of truth. I see that all persons demand of me moderation, and especially those of my adversaries, who least exhibit it. If I am too warm, I am at least open and frank; in which respect I excel those who always smile, but murder.

You can go to Contend Earnestly to get their take on it. It's pretty good stuff. I might add that here is Mark Driscoll being interviewed on harsh language for the Upcoming Desiring God conference. ( I wish I could go!)

And John Piper on the subject as well.

Where do I stand? I agree with them. There is a way to go too far, and there is this spirit of not going far enough. So, to give an answer: Do I believe in hell? Hell Yeah!!!!

Two Ways to Live

Yep, there are only two. Here's the story.....

What do you think?

Something about Obama you didn't know!

Funny funny funny

Flashback Fridays: Frank's Special edition

Take on me. Take me on. Seriously!

Inside the Actors Studio: The Simpsons Edition. This is the part where James Lipton asks the cast questions from the questionnaire developed by Marcel Proust. Very insightful stuff. And funny.

And because Adam West+Pulp Fiction is funny!!!!!!!!!!!

My 200th Post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, it's been 200 posts and here we are. Wow. Somehow 100 seemed a stretch. But, thanks to all of you who have been with me from the start. To all my friends at FCC, Biblical thought, consistent visitors (Josh and Lydia and Jonathan) Thanks. So as a thanks to you, I'm opening up for Q and A. Ask me whatever you want (keep it PG-13!!!) and I will do my best to answer. It goes without saying saying these are to be of a theological or philosophical nature. Thanks to all of you. I do have some plans for the future. These Include:
1. A New Page
2. Getting into vlogging
3. Some more serious lenghty pieces (including some thinking I have about relevance)
4. Taking a friend's suggestion and sharing some of my past struggles. (A possible series I'm currently calling "Spiritual Street Smarts")

Thanks to all of you. We did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Reedeming YOUR Vote

On another note, we may disagree on many issues, but we all have the great blessing and responsibility to vote. I encourage you to get registered if you're 18 and over. Be aware of the issues being discussed. For bipartisan (from both sides) info (even though it's a Christian web-site) I recommend Redeem The Vote. Their mission is to connect young Christian voters to the issues of our day. Go check them out and I'll see you at the poles.

Sarah Palin: The next Reagan and Thatcher?

So says British news agency The Telegraph. I was very surprised the Brits would be kind to her. But, they apparently have taken more of a liking to her than a lot of our American news outlets. I saw her speech last night and I was moved. I saw a working mother who just got it. Her family difficulties aside, this is going to be a very interesting election.

The New DaVinci?

As many of you know, I appreciate the arts and I love to go the Downtown LA Art walk when I can. As a matter of fact it's next week if anyone is interested. I've seen much fine art, but I must give kudos to Luca Battini. He's pictured above, and is currently making a painting of the Patron saint of the city of Pisa in Italy. The interesting part is that he does this the old fashioned way. He makes his own paint, he makes his own canvas and he picks models from the city who will be on the wall he's working on. The project will take about 3 years. You can read more about his project here. It's worth a read and a viewing.


Photos that Changed the World

Photos that changed the World is an interesting website I found today. I wanted to share it with you. Be warned, it has some pretty graphic pics. But it also contains some very moving and thought provoking pictures.


Prayer Request for Dr. Bob

As many of you know, I'm friends with the people at Biblicalthought and their church. Their pastor Dr. Bob was rushed to the hospital yesterday. It's looking like he'll be ok, but it didn't look good for a while. Two of the BT guys drove to Las Vegas last night to help out. Please keep them in prayer.

Donate to help those affected by Gustav

As stated in her speech yesterday, first lady Laura Bush gave some pretty good information on how we can help those being affected by the hurricane. You can go to Causegreater.com or to the Aidmatrixto help in the relief effort. At Cause Greater you'll see the immediate places each state affected (and its 5 that are being affected) are receiving money. I'll be donating to Louisiana. Whatever you can give will add up. Thanks for your help. Also keep those areas in prayer as well.

Why I'm Not Evangelical: A Deconstruction of a Core Belief

The following comes from my friend Soicause's (AKA Jonathan Chan) blog. These are ideas he and I have kicked around. I would love to write a book with him. I think this would be chapter 1. He's hit a major HOME RUN! If anyone is insightful about these things it's him. So what do you think: what is the REAL purpose of the church and evangelism? He's going to step on a lot of toes (so you have been warned). Also, this is not edited for grammar, so I'm all errors are his. Don't hold it against him.

Why I'm Not Evangelical: A Deconstruction of a Core Belief

Such a great title. I was talking to Frank the other day. We've been talking about one day writing a book together.. He wants to write one soon.. I'm not too keen on the idea right now, simply because I think I'm a little more realistic.. Who'd read a book by a bunch of no ones? Don't get me wrong, I think it could happen but I don't think the season is completely here yet for me.. Plus I have this blog to write out any of my book ideas..

Here's something that I've been thinking about a lot recently.. If I was to write a book right now, I'd call it: Why I'm not Evangelical: A Deconstruction of a Core Belief. It carries such a shock value and I threw in the word "deconstruction" just to sound PO-MO.. Admittedly, the name is really too the attention of people.. it's suppose to be sorta tongue and cheek.

But a book needs more than just a good title, it's gotta have content. So this is what I've been thinking about:


About 2 weeks ago, I went to a leadership retreat at church.. It was a great retreat and it was very informative.. Basically, this retreat was more of a training retreat for leaders on how to run a cell group. We didn't have a speaker, rather we watched a couple of training videos and listened to a couple of CD's.

At one point of the training the guy said, "The main purpose of cell group is for Evangelism and not to study the Bible." That statement haunted me for the rest of the retreat... I was not sure what to make of that statement.. The next day, we went to Saddleback and I sat through the Youth Service.. The whole purpose of the service was to be "Seeker Friendly." As I observed and looked around the room, it just didn't seem right. Is the purpose of church to reach the Lost?

I'm about to tread in sticky ground right now.. I honestly think that the main purpose for the body of Christ to meet is NOT for the lost and not for evangelism. But this goes completely against the core of modern Evangelicalism.. I was looking at my school's statement of faith and the second to last statement was:

"We believe that soul winning is the most important responsibility of the Church (James 5:20)."

I know I run the risk of getting kicked of my school for not agree with this statement, but I don't.. At the very core of Modern Day Evangelicalism is this idea that the church is all about Evangelizing to the lost..

The Dangers of Making Church About Evangelism

There are several dangers in putting evangelism at the heart of the purpose of the church and making all other things (social justice, discipleship, bible study, etc) secondary..

First, Evangelism and Discipleship get pitted against each other and it becomes a "one or another" battle.. The question could be asked of many evangelical churches who accept this idea, "where does solid Biblical teaching take place, if not in the small groups or on Sunday (as in the case of Saddleback)." the answer most give is, "from Sunday School." The problem with that answer is that it makes having a solid biblical understand OPTIONAL.. During the Co-workers retreat, one of the videos said, "The cell group system is just simply trying to take the model of the early church." But I really don't think the reason that the early church met was for evangelism.. And I really don't believe that the early church saw that solid Biblical teaching was Optional.. (Acts 2:42).

Evangelism and Discipleship should never be pitted against each other... Some might argue that the church's main purpose should be evangelism and they'll sight the great commission. But the Great Commissions reads:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

It does not say to make converts or evangelize to the world.. It says to make disciples... After 19a it gives the how of how to make disciples.. "Baptizing them" indicates that the gospel was shared to them and they received Christ (Evangelism).. but it doesn't stop there.. Vs. 20 says, "Teaching them" that's discipleship... The goal of the great commission is not evangelism, it is to make discipleship. Although the goal of the great commission is making disciples, the great commission is NOT the goal of the church.. heresy.. I know.. But I'll address this a little later on.

The second danger of making evangelism the MAIN purpose of the church is the danger of running into pragmatism.. If the main purpose of the church is evangelism then one way of measuring this purpose, is through numbers.. Gathering a crowd.. To gather a crowd, we simply go after "what works." Churches today are willing to compromise the gospel (water it down) simply in hopes to gather a crowd. Pastor and teachers are no longer oracles of truth but rather they are Public Relations for Jesus.. They try to make Jesus' image better to gather a crowd.. They'll do what ever works.. This mindset has led to spiritually and Biblically bankrupt nation.

Granger Community Church is the 6th most influencial church in America.. They've adopted the Seeker-sensative method.. To them, evangelism is at the heart of what they do.. The idea is to make church a place for seekers to come and eventually get saved.. They attract seekers by PRACTICAL sermons that center around how Jesus can make your life better.. Their message is geared not so much to teaching the Word of God, but rather in attracting the seekers.. So preaching about a bloody cross and the wrath of God probably would not make the top 10 list of sermons preached at Granger. Although this is what Paul preached in 1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him Crucified."

Granger Community Church is a perfect example of the Evangelical Church in America who has place evangelism as the MAIN purpose and everything else as secondary... They recently did an in house survey of the Church and the result were shocking (for some)..

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.

This is the result of pitting evangelism against discipleship..

The third danger of placing Evangelism as the MAIN purpose of the church is that leaders can trick themselves into thinking that Character does not matter.. The famous quote from the God-Father is, "It's not personal, It's just business." A leader can simply buy into a method of attraction or a great business model.. This does not require character.. As long as the church is big and the numbers are high, character become secondary.. I'm speaking from experience here.. I've led Flint for about 2 years now and in those two years we've gone from 5 people to over 50 people.. By all appearance, I had decieved myself into thinking that I had arrived and that I was someone.. Ministry was seemingly SUCESSFUL but I was arrogant (and still am), pig headed, argumentative, proud, easily tempered..

Finally, the danger of placing evangelism at the center is that other aspects of the church get neglected.. Feeding the poor, caring for the orphans, teaching the bible, and so on all become MEANS to the goal, evangelism.. That might sound ok, but think about it.. It's so disingenious.. During the Tsunami two years ago, there were some reports about ministries that would refuse to give aid to people unless they "gave their life to Christ." That's social justice as a means of evangelism.. Something is totally wrong with that.. Or how many of us Christians tried to start up a conversation and become someones friend not because we were interested in the person but because we wanted to EVANGELIZE to that person.. Doesn't that feel fake? That's what happens when evangelism gets placed at the heart of the purpose of the Church..

The Heart of the Issue:

So if evangelism is not at the heart of the purpose of the church, what is? What is the main purpose of the church and for that matter the main purpose of the believer? I actually asked this questions a couple of entries ago.. I only had 3 responses (really 2.5 responses).. First, off I appreciate everyone who answered.. I'm going to give Joe the prize because I liked his answer the best.. SO THERE YOU GO JOE.

I believe the main purpose of the church is to glorify God.. It is to reflect His glory.. I think that's why I resonate so well with John Piper because he's all about the supremecy of Christ. I believe the ultimate goal of the church is to reflect the glory of God and to give glory to God

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31..

Earlier I said that the great commission is not the goal of the church.. let me further explain in this section.. Philippians 2:10-11 "So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, TO THE GLORY OF GOD"

Evangelism is a means and not the end.. Evangelism and proclaiming the gospel is a means to give glory to God..

In fact, everything the church does should be a means to giving glory to God.. Teaching His word honestly and truthfully, is to His Glory because it is wonderful.. Raising up disciples, is for God's glory.. Missions is so that the nations would proclaim the glory of God.. Social justice is to the Glory of our merciful God.. CHARACTER is to the glory of God.

When we trade the Glory of God (the Main thing) for other things, we've just commited idolatry. Romans 1:23, "and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." It is in that exchanging of the glory of God for something else that is idolatry..

When we exalt evangelism above the glory of God we fall into the place of simply worshipping methods and sucess.. We can even deceive ourselves into thinking that we're worshipping God, when in reality we are worshipping the "seekers."

This goes for any other practice of the church.. There are churches that exchange the glory of God for the studying of His Word.. It's is all academic and the goal is not to know God (eternal life.. John 17:3).. But the goal is to simply be smart and proud.. They are worshipping themselves..

Right now, we're also seeing the exchanging of God's glory for SOCIAL JUSTICE.. This is by far the social gospel at work.. It's not about the glory of God, it's about embracing humanity.. OR huggin a tree for that matter.. God himself becomes a means to justice and not the reason FOR justice.. Jesus become a servant and not the King..

The question that we must ask ourselves personally is, "Is Jesus a means or is He the End?" Is the goal to know Christ and Glorify Him or is the goal something else and Jesus is just away of accomplishing that something.. Is he a means of building a church or is He the reason we build a church.. Is He a way of bring about social justice or is he the reason we do social justice.. For his glory.. At the end of the day, unless we keep the main thing (Jesus) the main thing, we run the risk of idolatry..

Philippians 4:20 "To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."


More church foolishiness

No stranger to controversy, TD Jakes has made some interesting statements in the past. His neard denial of the Trinity being the most major. We can also add his interesting approach to money, but this statememnt made here is utterly un-called for and poor biblical exegesis at worst. To make a text of scripture mean more than what it says is going too far. This is especially worse when he is trying to use it to pander to a certain branch of the church that would endorse this kind of behavior. Sad to say, the thousands who read his books, watch his movies, and listen to his sermons will overlook it because he's been "used by God". I mean look at his church, his car, his house. Surely he's been blessed by God. Surely he's right. And that ladies and gentlemen is what breaks my heart. People are willing to look at pragmatic success and use it as a measure for truth, rather than take out their Bible and study to see if what he says is so. Sorry Mr. Jakes, but someone with more insight has this to say about Ruth and Naomi. The Net Bible (footnote 50) states
tn Heb “do not urge me to abandon you to turn back from after you.” Most English versions, following the lead of the KJV, use “leave” here. The use of עזב (“abandon”) reflects Ruth’s perspective. To return to Moab would be to abandon Naomi and to leave her even more vulnerable than she already is.

Someting to think about

As for this guy, al I can say is I went to his web-site and this is how he describes his CD "Tokin the Ghost"
In this collaboration between Benjamin Dunn (Joy Revolution) and John Crowder (Sons of Thunder), prepare to experience the Intoxicating Glory of God in a package that whacks you up before you hit the play button. This electronica "party CD" is geared to trance you out in the bliss of the Most High God, as you experience the ecstatic pleasures of the Holy Spirit. This is not a "soaking CD" but a "toking CD." This is a no-holds barred, headlong dive into "joy unspeakable and full of Glory"! Prepare to encounter the "High Priest of the Bliss that was to be ..." (Heb. 9:11). This is not a CD for the faint of heart, nor for the religious (unless you want deliverance!). Jesus is our true addiction.

To that I can only say:
2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

Paul it would seem, didn't get a kick out of parading his experiences. Less so than cashing in on them. You'll be hearing more of what I have to say about John Crowder and the New Mystics (his ministry). The fact that he includes his little girl in on this stupidity is utterly despicable.

New Book Alert

As you all know, I am a big fan of all things book. More so, I'm a fan of theology books. Here is a new book that I'm sure will get a lot of people talking in the blogosphere. From Green Baggins blog, he loves to talk about new books. He's made mention of a new book coming from Crossway (who else?)

Reforming or Conforming? Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church seems to be a book many people will be talking about. The description says:
In Reforming or Conforming?, scholars such as John Bolt, Scott Clark, Paul Helm, and Paul Helseth join editors Gary Johnson and Ron Gleason in analyzing and critiquing the ideas of those who promote postmodernism as a positive force in theology. Pastors, laymen, and college students will find this book a helpful resource in understanding and refuting postmodern evangelicalism. Includes a foreword by David F. Wells.

* Contributors: Paul Wells
* John Bolt
* Paul Helm
* Scott Clark
* Paul Kjoss Helseth
* Jeffrey Waddington
* Guy P. Waters
* Phil Johnson
* Martin Downes
* Greg Gilbert
* Gary Gilley

Editor Information: GARY L. W. JOHNSON, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, Mesa, Arizona, holds a DTheol from the University of South Africa.

RONALD N. GLEASON, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California, holds a PhD in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

304 pages
Published September 2008

Sounds like another book that will get both sides going. I've seriously wanted to have a different book out there. I would call it "The other side of the conversation". It could be a dialogue in book form between two parties. Or a point counter point format. Not too dissimilar from the Opposing views series Zondervan has. Any takers? I would love for this to be the blog that got that going. I have someone in mind that would love to do it. He's a genius friend of mine. I'm taking offers.