Archive for August 2008

A sad statistic indeed . . .

August 30, 2008

I appreciate the good work Ed Stetzer and his staff does to keep a finger on the pulse of the Southern Baptist Convention. There are others, such as George Barna, who do so on the public at large. Their work in interesting, some of it challenging but, quite honestly, some of their work makes me sad.

Ed and the folks at Lifeway Research released the results of a study this week which showed that 97% of the SBC pastors polled strongly believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. That’s good. (100% would be great)

Of those in the pews, research showed “only 76 percent of adults who attend an SBC church at least once a month strongly agree that ‘the Bible is the authoritative source of truth and wisdom for daily living.'” (Baptist Press 8/26/08)

Translated, I think that means they think the Bible is true, just not for them. The result is a modern Pharisee we see in too many professing Christians today. They believe the Bible is true for others. Others are supposed to obey God’s Word, but they, somehow, have Divine Dispensation to neglect the assembling together for worship and fellowship. The result is an inability to forgive, to be the witnesses we are called to be and a failure to make disciples of new Christians.

As pastors, preachers and teachers of the Word, we must never fail to make that connection between God’s Word and the life of His people. As students, we must heed James words to be “not only hearers, but doers of the Word.”

 

Always the Last to Know . . .

August 29, 2008

Okay, I have to set forth the basis for this post.

First, I don’t go to the grocery store that much.

Secondly, I’m sometimes the last to notice certain things. I was in my mid-thirties before I realized the tune for the “ABC Song” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” was one and the same. (Are you done humming the tune in your head yet? See what I mean?)

But, now. . . Did you know that “half gallons” of ice cream are no longer ½ gallon??!! They are now 1.75 quarts! How long has this been going on?!

What next, 11 eggs in a dozen?

A Religious “Vaccination”

August 27, 2008

Well, it will soon be time for that annual medical migration to the clinics, doctor’s offices, drug stores, etc. to get the flu vaccine. Of course, as with all vaccinations, the premise is that it presents the body with just enough of the cells of the “target disease” to get the body to load up on anti-bodies and when the real disease comes along, the strongest of defense mechanisms are in place and we don’t get the real thing.

Okay, that’s a way oversimplified explanation, but I’m not the one giving the shots.

I am just struck at how many folks seem to have experienced the religious version of a vaccine. I meet so many people who have no time for Bible study, worship, fellowship, etc. yet when we talk about those things they tell all about what they “used” to do. They tell me the church where they went with grandma or where they are now members (even though if they actually went, they would be greeted as visitors).

It seems they got just enough of a “spirit of religion,” they are sure not to get the “real thing.” When asked about their relationship with Christ – most seem to prefer to talk about the coming flu season.

What did he know & when did he know it?

August 19, 2008

Well, the latest presidentional campaign buzz is did John McCain hear the questions Rick Warren was asking Barack Obama? Was McCain outside the “Cone of Silence?”

I will be greatly disappointed in him if that is the case, but there may be another reason John McCain had ready answers to the questions. Could it possibly be that he has already given thought to the question when does life begin? Could it be that is an issue important to him – and he just answered a crucial question in an honest fashion?

Maybe it would serve all of America better if the people running for public office answered questions from the heart – instead of the teleprompter.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (Part 3)

August 12, 2008

Well, this wraps up the Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” comparison to I John 1:1-4.

The PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (v. 4)

The joy which Christ brings us is actually much deeper and richer than just plain happiness.

Joy comes from within – happiness relies upon circumstances, or external factors. It is a joy to walk with and serve Christ. It should be – if we are in a right relationship with Him. Joy comes from experiencing our purpose in this life. Our purpose extends beyond being an observer. This is especially true of Christians – or should be. We are live out our witness of Him. A witness is a witness when he observes an event. But, the value of a witness is in the testimony he or she gives.

God has called us to demonstrate our witness for Him not only in our words, but in our deeds. That is where we find true joy.

There are many obstacles to our fellowship with one another, but if we do not determine to overcome them, we will suffer, our church fellowship will suffer and our testimony will suffer.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (Part 2)

August 5, 2008

I’d like to get back to the comparison of the phrase – “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” to I John 1:1-4.

In this second post, let’s look at LIBERTY (vv. 2-3)

The Church of God consists of His people. You can build a building and put the name church on it, but that does not make it so. His church is made up of changed people who are called to live a life which is witness to His power.

He has endowed us with the freedom to come together in Him. Free to be witnesses of Him.

As a police officer for about 10 years, I sat in many courtrooms and listened to many witnesses. There is a key word which is always considered when listening to a witness and evaluating their testimony. Credibility . Some of them could come up with some pretty wild testimony – it just wasn’t very convincing. You could listen to them and tell they had not experienced what they were testifying to.   

God has offered us His freedom. But far too many people who say they have experienced that freedom are still in bondage to sin. Far too many Christians aren’t living in the full extent of the freedom He gives.

As a Christian witness, how is your credibility?

Life on Mars?

August 1, 2008

Well, last night’s evening news showed some scientists at NASA who were simply giddy over the “discovery” of water on Mars. This, they posited, was evidence that life could exist on Mars, because water is essential to life. I’m no physicist (bio-, astro- or otherwise) however, I do have a couple of questions:

  1. If life did not originate on this planet as described in the Bible (the only account of creation which has not suffered multiple revisions) where did it come from? Evolution offers no answer to that essential question.
  2. Why would water be essential to life on Mars? If evolution were true, wouldn’t life evolve in whatever environment was present? The evolutionists tell us that fish evolved into land animals because oxygenated air existed outside the water. Well, if there were no oxygen in the air, wouldn’t the fish continue on anyway? And, presumable, evolve into higher forms of life right where they were.

You see, with no physical evidence of the actual event of creation, it takes faith to accept the manner and method of where life originated and how it came to be here on Earth. Some say it is easier to believe God created it all. On some levels that is true, but I don’t believe in God because it is easy. I believe in God and the account of His creation, His love and Salvation, because at every step of the way, He has shown Himself worthy of that faith.

He gives peace and comfort in difficult times. It hasn’t always been easy – but it’s always been worth it.