Culture

come back to church

American Easter: A letter to Easter-only churchgoers.

I sent a draft of this to my sister, Jaclyn. She said it made her cry, and she said you have to read it to the end. Easter Sunday afternoon, I wrote a Facebook post that said, “Happy ‘never see them again’ Sunday.” I shouldn’t have written that, especially in that way. I had some family quickly point that fact out. It was written out of a deep-seeded frustration. I’m not saying that makes it right, but today I’m going…

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greed

Ignored Sins Part 3: Greed

Ask your pastor how many people he has counseled about their struggle with greed. I would guess that number would be much closer to “zero” than it would be to a big number like “three.” Have you had a heart-to-heart with a friend about how much you need to break the stronghold of greed in your life? Are you greedy? In my opinion, I doubt many of us would know how to answer that question even if we were being…

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gluttony

Ignored Sins Part 2: Gluttony

I have often heard that “gluttony” applies to over indulging in anything. There is no escaping that in Biblical terms, gluttony is, in fact, about food. If you were hoping for an escape, I would encourage you to do a word-search for all passages about gluttony. Nearly all of them address eating. While taking any legitimate pleasure to excess can be harmful, talking about non food-related gluttony is usually an excuse to ignore its most literal and plain definition. Regularly…

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Stop complaining about people you aren’t trying to reach: A rant about ranting.

When was the last time you heard or went on a rant about some general demographic? Foolishly, I often find myself guilty of the very subject of this article. In fact, this short op-ed might come across as a bit of a rant. I prefer to think of it as a challenge to a general demographic, namely, “Christians.” Either way, it is perfectly biblical to challenge our brothers and sisters who reside within the fold to operate in a more…

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Unacceptable Answers for Your Thinking Teens

I spent Dec. 29–31 at the Youth Alive conference in St. Louis. About 300 students from Missouri youth groups were in attendance. It’s been more than a week since the conference, but I’m still recovering as I was a room sponsor for my home church, was on the Questions and Answers panel, taught a breakout session and played bass in the band. I’d like to share with you something I learned at this conference. The youth group students in your…

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Disunity is a Luxury Good: In Praise of Doctrinal Statements

Have you read your church’s doctrinal statement? If you haven’t, or if you haven’t recently, you should read it. There is something about it that I think we should all pay particular attention to: The things that are not in it. I’ll use the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of America as my example, but I bet yours (if you’re Protestant or Evanelical of any kind) is similar. I don’t know who wrote the revised doctrinal statement for…

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When Naaman Went Home

*Disclaimer: My featured image for this post has nothing whatsoever to do with my content. If you’ve ever heard a sermon on the story of Naaman (found in II Kings 5) then you’ve probably come away with a great lesson on humility, trusting God’s command or avoiding greed — unlike Elisha’s servant, Gehazi. If all of this is unfamiliar to you, please read the passage. It’s great. Naaman was a commander in the army of the king of Aram (Syria).…

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What I Learned from a Missiologist Part 2: Church Multiplication

Several weeks ago, I had a great discussion with Dr. John David Smith, executive director of BMA Missions. If you missed last week’s issue, I invite you to visit lifeinprogressministries.com to read part 1 of this article series where I highlight some of the main things I learned from Dr. Smith. We must realize that everything about a multiplication culture is counterintuitive to American culture. A consumer mentality permeates everything in America including church life. When people decided they want…

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This is Really Just a Facebook “Rant”

I’ve noticed a really strange trend in popular Christianity. Many people will say that people who hold to certain interpretations of things like Genesis, Revelation, free will/irresistable grace are crazy/nuts/dumb/heretics or at the very least incredibly dangerous to the faith. BUT THEN, I see these same people quote and laud and applaud popular teachers such as Keller, Piper, C.S. Lewis, or Ravi Zacharias and more about how great they are not knowing that these guys would hold to many of…

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steak

10 Tips to get off the “milk”

I believe many churches have a diet problem. While an article on gluttony would be sure to offend many and might be needed, I am talking about spiritual diets. I think we need to think of our spiritual depth in a new way. The conventional wisdom seems to be that you have to start new/immature believers on the “milk” of the Word and then slowly wean them off of it. I disagree. This strategy isn’t working. You might need to…

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