Posts Tagged ‘Pragmatism’

Godly Knowledge

October 1, 2009

“There is no such thing as genuine knowledge of God that does not show itself in obedience to His Word and will.  The person who wants to know God but who has no heart to obey Him will never enter the sacred courts where God reveals Himself to the soul of man.  God does not give divine knowledge to those who have no desire to glorify Him.”

Sinclair Ferguson A Heart for God, 1987, p. 10, by permission Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA.

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Groups Demand that Jail Stop Censoring Religion

July 12, 2009

Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 7/11/2009 4:15:00 AM

Civil and religious rights organizations are demanding that a Virginia jail stop removing Bible passages and other religious material from letters written to inmates.

 Anna Williams, whose son was detained at the Rappahannock County Regional Jail, says officials cut out entire sections of letters she sent to her son that contained Bible verses or religious material. She says the jail cited prohibitions on Internet material and religious material sent from home.
 
John Whitehead, founder of 
The Rutherford Institute, represents Williams. His organization is challenging John%20Whitehead%20Rutherfordcensorship of the mail.
 
“She’s a devout Christian, and her son’s in jail there and she’s been trying to send him letters with Bible passages and whatever — and the jail has actually been going through snipping out portions of letters,” the attorney explains. “[S]ome of the letters are full of Bible verses, so what her son is getting is absolutely at the end of the letter where she says goodbye, I love you, and those kinds of things.” continue reading

Playing Church? Or Worship?

July 2, 2009

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By: Mary Southerland Girlfriends in God

Come, let’s worship him and bow down. Let’s kneel before the LORD who made us, because he is our God and we are the people he takes care of and the sheep that he tends. Psalm 95: 6-7, NCV

When I was a little girl, I loved to play church with my friends. We would line chairs up in rows and pull out a cardboard box we used for the pulpit. Then the great debate began over who would preach and who would sing. The more aggressive kids wanted the up-front jobs while the quiet ones were happy to just sit and watch the “show”. Sometimes one of the kids would pretend to be the Holy Ghost walking around the chairs saying “Boo!” If the leaders did a good job, we would play church for hours. However, if they were not entertaining enough, the kids in the chairs would soon get bored and go in search of more exciting recreation in the front yard. All in all, playing the church game was great fun and a delightful way to pass an afternoon.

Playing church is, however, a pathetic and meaningless way to pass a lifetime.

Every Sunday, churches are filled with those who are simply “playing” games with God. They line up in rows to watch the “show”. If it is good enough, they stay and even come back occasionally. However, if it is not entertaining, they will drift off to play some other game in life. continue reading

Shallow Preaching, Cultural Adaptability Behind Baptist Decline, Says Leader

May 14, 2008

The problem of “Shallow Preaching and Cultural Adaptability” is in no way limited to the Southern Baptists, but transends every denomination. It seems that far too many of today’s pastors have become more concerned with building a large congregation than building the Kingdom of God through the preaching of Jesus Christ and sound doctrine. Here’s an informative story from The Christian Post.

By Audrey Barrick Christian Post Reporter

Weak preaching and cultural adaptability are just two of many reasons Southern Baptists give to explain the decline of membership and baptisms.

“[T]he shallow state of preaching has exacerbated the lethargy of the church and left the lost with no real Word from God,” said Paige Patterson, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in a column in Baptist Press.

“The pastor ought to be the major source of theological understanding and the most able teacher of the Bible,” he added.

“Anemic pulpits create anemic churches and denominations.”

Since the release last month of the latest data on Southern Baptist membership and baptisms, both of which declined, Southern Baptists have speculated why the largest Protestant denomination in the country has been seeing lower numbers.

“Well, the time has come to identify the real problems,” said Patterson.

Many church leaders have been calling for change to respond to what many identify as a shift from modern to postmodern culture. And the latest statistics showing shrinking numbers has made that call even more urgent. But cultural relevance has led many churches to lose the holiness of God and a thirst to be like God, Patterson noted.

A prominent conservative Southern Baptist, Patterson said he is the first to admit that “dullness and ‘Baptist tradition’ were too often the rule in our churches.” But the suggestion that churches must chase after culture in order to be effective in evangelistic efforts is “misguided,” he said.

“The more attune to culture Southern Baptists have become and the more we have incorporated the world into our worship, the more our baptisms have dropped!” Patterson noted. “Although I am not certain that there is a connection, as will become evident in what follows, I admit that I am suspicious. continue reading

I Had To Meet Them At Their Level

April 3, 2008

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I have just finished viewing a portion of a YouTube video featuring a popular pastor of one of the country’s leading mega-churches. To the church pragmatist, purpose driven or seeker friendly the following quote may seem somewhat logical. It may also seem like a sensible formula in church planting or enhancing church growth. The problem arises in the fact that this pastor’s “formula” and theology is neither biblical, nor is it even logical in the light of scripture.

It is not my intention to personally attack him or to demean him in any way; however we must hold up to the light of scripture every word of those who claim to speak for Christ.

“So I rang door bells, ‘Are you an active member of a local Church?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘Good, God bless you, good-bye.’ By the time I rang three thousand doorbells I found out that not a single unchurched person was asking for what I was offering; namely expository sermons from the Word of God, preached with fervor and stern admonition. And not a single one was asking for the Wednesday night prayer meeting. – I had to meet them at their level” (emphasis added).

The Barna Research Group gives us this definition: “The following is how we define an unchurched adult for our research: an adult (18 or older) who has not attended a Christian church service within the past six months, not including a holiday service (such as Easter or Christmas) or a special event at a church (such as a wedding or funeral).” (http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topic&TopicID=38)

However, this pastor defines them as those who are not “an active member of a local church,” regardless of any time element, holidays, special events or age group. Since he describes them as having no desire to hear the Word of God (whether preached with fervor and stern admonition or not), as well as any drawing to prayer, it seems feasible to assign to them a definition according to biblical standards, rather than using a politically correct or any other post-modern term such as “the unchurched”. In reality, they are the lost, those who are dead in their trespasses and sin, the unregenerate. They are neither “pre-Christian”, nor by his definition could they even be considered “seekers”. They are in fact, the enemies of God.That being said, it should be no wonder to any Bible believing Christian why this attitude of rejection of the things of God exists. The life of one who is “lost” is usually void of any worthwhile understanding of God. He will not accept the things of God, he can not understand them, nor does he have any desire to pursue them (1Corinthians 2:14). The God of the Bible does not enter into the equation of his life. He is basically consumed with himself, his wants, his desires, his interests and his ways. Anything else only steals his time and plans to fulfill himself, and this pastor justifies and enforces this unbiblical perception. If, by chance, a spark of religion does exist, it is usually so watered down and out of context that it becomes little more than an instrument to aid him in his personal gain. Or an opiate to help relieve his religious conscience, i.e. “God is love” or “Judge not lest ye be judged”.  continue reading (more…)

Jesus Doesn’t Look Like Jesus Anymore, Says Scholar

March 23, 2008
Katherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Mar. 21 2008 10:56 AM ET

Amid a technology-driven culture where latest means better, it may not surprise many to find out that historical Jesus has also received a makeover.

He used to be known as Messiah, Son of God, Redeemer and Christ. Now, he’s spiritual guru, philosopher, political pundit, hippie, and rock star.

Will the real Jesus please stand up?

Ben Witherington, author of “What Have They Done to Jesus?,” observes that today’s image of Jesus has ranged from historical to hysterical in a society that is becoming increasingly less Christian.

“He is an icon but also a swear word,” Witherington said Thursday to The Christian Post.

“When your culture is biblically illiterate, anything can pass for Jesus,” added the New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. continue reading

“Pastor” Rick Warren’s Lie

February 1, 2008

From A Little Leaven