Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's all about you!

‘Church-Mart’ is an individualistic, consumer mentality which has crept into how virtually all Christians in the West ‘do’ church today—including us to our shame. (read entire article)

Is this you? Is this your view of the church? Do you only interest yourself in the things of church that cater to your desires? If so, how do you justify this with a biblical view of the church? Are you more committed to programs of church that meet your needs or to the people of God? Do you shop at 'Church-Mart?' What say ye?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An Opportunity for You!

There are many ways to spend your money this summer. Allow me to provide you with another way to invest your financial resources. In August I have an opportunity to travel to Glacier National Park to visit the goat pictured above. There are several programs that sponsor the visitation of goats but nothing like this sponsorship. The purpose of this "Sponsor a Goat" (SAG) program is two-fold. The goat will receive a visit from me and in turn I will be able to visit the goat in his natural habitat. This sponsorship is inexpensive but not free. The entire trip will cost about as much as a round-trip ticket (via Amtrak) to Glacier National Park. In return for your sponsorship you will receive a postcard from the national park.

Please consider giving to this worthy cause. Send checks, cash or money orders to my home address and I promise to accomplish the two-fold purpose of this sponsorship. If you would like more information concerning this program please leave a comment and I will respond.

On behalf of everyone at SAG - thank you!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An Emergent Emergency

Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana, California recently released a formal statement againtst the "Emergent Church." What say ye?

We see a tendency toward this in what is commonly called the "Emergent Church" teachings. Some of the concerns that we have are with the speculations and positions that they are suggesting:

1. That Jesus is not the only way by which one might be saved. It seems that they are postulating a broader gate and a broader path to heaven, a sort of "all roads lead to heaven." That good people by every religious persuasion may be received into heaven. We feel that this goes against the plain teaching of the Scriptures and negates the need of the cross for the expiation of our sins. Paul wrote of those men in his letter to the Philippians and called them enemies of the cross of Christ. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man can come to the Father but by Me." This is not relative truth, but absolute truth.

2. The soft peddling of hell as the destiny for those who reject the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. There are suggestions of universalism in their teaching, that all will ultimately be saved.

3. We have difficulty in their touchy-feely relating to God. Where the experience of certain feelings become the criteria for truth rather than the word of God.

4. We have great problems with the use of icons to give them a sense of God or the presence of God. If they want to have a tie with the historicity of the church, why not go back to the church in Acts, which seems to be devoid of incense, candles, robes etc., but was filled with the Spirit.

5. We do not believe that we should seek to make sinners feel safe and comfortable in church. Is it right for me to speak comfortable words to a man who is going to hell unless he turns from his sin? If I fail to warn him of the consequences of his sin, and he dies and goes to hell, will God require his blood at my hand? When is godly sorrow and conviction of sin such a wrong thing?

6. Should we seek to condone what God has condemned, such as the homosexual lifestyle? Should we tell them that their problem is a genetic disorder rather than a blatant sin that God condemns over and over in the Bible? How long before they tell us that they have discovered that rapists, pedophiles, and adulterers have a genetic disorder and need to be understood rather than condemned?

7. Should we look to Eastern religions with their practices of meditation through Yoga and special breathing techniques or repeating a mantra to hear God speak to us? If this is needed to enhance our communication with God, why do you suppose that God did not give us implicit instructions in the Scriptures to give us methods to hear His voice? Is it the position of my body or my heart that helps me to communicate with Him?

8. The great confusion that exists in the divergent positions of the Emergent Church results from their challenging the final authority of the Scriptures. When you no longer have a final authority, then everyone's ideas become as valid as the next person's, and it cannot help but end in total confusion and contradictions.

There are those who say that Emergent movement has some good points, but so does a porcupine. You are better off if you don't get too close!

So, let us not turn to our own understanding, but rather return to our own
first love; and teach that the Bible is indeed the true word of God; and teach
it in its entirety; nothing less and nothing more. (
read entire
statement here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happy Anniversary Weinermobile

This year marks the 7oth anniversary of the Weinermobile. What says "fun" more than a giant hot dog on wheels?

Weiner Facts
  • Americans will eat 26 million hot dogs in major league ball parks - that's enough to stretch from Yankee Stadium in New York City to Dodgers' Stadium in Los Angeles! Or, it's even enough to circle the bases 36,000 times.
  • The first hot dogs were served in buns at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. Customers were given white gloves to protect their hands from the steaming wieners, but the gloves kept disappearing.
  • New York Polo Grounds vendors called hot dogs "Dachshund sausages." But when sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan couldn't spell dachshund, he wrote "hot dog" instead, and the name stuck.
  • Three U.S. presidents served hot dogs at official White House functions: Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, Jimmy Carter in 1977, and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
  • One Wienermobile™ vehicle weighs exactly one million hot dogs!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Green Bay on Mars Hill

My pal Bryan is on a trip (for his doctoral work) touring the journeys of the late, great Apostle Paul. During the trip he will see places like Corinth, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, and Crete. He sent the above picture. He traveled several hundred miles to a beautiful location and sent a picture of him standing in front of Mars Hill donning a Green Bay Packers hat.

Why? Why?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Style in Ministry

At the end of September Desiring God Ministries will be hosting their National Conference. This year the title is "Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World." There are short video clips of the different speakers for the conference on the Desiring God web site. There are several videos of Mark Driscoll who shepherds Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Driscoll seems to have an amazing gauge on the culture - especially the culture of Seattle.

One video in particular was helpful for me as I have recently been thinking about and wondering how to reach the community. If this is of interest to you I would encourage you to watch the video "Style in Ministry."

The other videos are helpful as well and can be found at the Desiring God 2006 National Conference web site.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

To all "saints by calling"

I recently started reading and studying the book of 1 Corinthians. This morning I studied the first nine verses and thought I would post those things that were most encouraging.

Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: (those in Corinth, Chicago, St. Louis and Nearly Canada). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm (or strengthen) you to the end, blameless (did you hear that? blameless!) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.*

*by the way - if you didn't already know it...the emphasis is mine

Tuesday, July 04, 2006