Monthly Archives: February 2008

1, 2, 3. Tag. I’m It.

We’ve been away (visiting Linda’s sister in Chicago) and I’ve had blogger’s block – and no time – so it is good that Jenny tagged me with this odd meme so I can get back to it. The rules are:

  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people.

Nearest book is A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God by Larry Osborne. Three sentences on page 123:

Instead, he commanded a set of actions, actions consistent with the agape love they’d so freely shown in the early days. “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and of the things you did at first.”

Hmm …. not the most intuitive insight … sorry JJ.

Tag: Kristin, Linda, Bigley’s, Shannon, Steve


Consumers Only Have Rights

I wrote about Shopping for God a few months back. I came across this summary and review that really does the author justice. Reading the post, I was reminded of the dangers of creating church consumers:

The danger of creating religious consumers lies not only in the cheapening of holy things, but in the diminishment of long-term commitment. [continues, quoting Twitchell]

Citizens have rights and responsibilities, but consumers have only rights, with virtually no responsibilities. Gimme. Feed me. Save me. To be a shopper/seeker is to be privileged, exempt from duties. After all, the shopper/seeker has a mission. Nowhere is this clearer than in the rise of a new kind of church that ministers not only to spiritual issues but to the feel-good entitlement of brand-shifting shoppers. It’s a ministry of what are called “felt needs.” It’s a ministry of experiences, and a direct function of supply surplus. (90-91)

Interesting insight from someone who admits he is not a follower of Jesus and who admires many American churches as one the best examples of American marketing. (Twitchell teaches marketing and Branding.)

Where is the Bible?

This post by my daughter is quite insightful. She is on a personal journey, visiting different churches. Unfortunately I think her insight is spot on. Too many churches (and Christians) give lip-service to the importance of the Scriptures even as their actions say something different.

Somewhat related to this, we have grown by 35-40% in the past three years mostly from people changing churches or Christians moving into the area. We have also noted that there seems to be a certain level of biblical illiteracy and theological ignorance – even among long-time Christians and church attenderes. I was talking with someone about a renewed church strategy to equip the saints, and deal with these issues. He was quite excited, but hoped that that didn’t mean we were going to be doing more teaching!

This post by Phil Johnson on the Pulpit Magazine site speaks to this issue from a slightly different perspective. This is something of a summary (the first five in the series have links at the start of the post).

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5, ESV)

A Few More ‘Agenda’ Quotes

“The prevailing conviction in American society today regarding leadership is that character doesn’t count…Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Who I really am and what I do in private will ultimately affect what I do in public.” Joseph M. Stowell“We have to make a distinction between someone who holds the position of a leader and an individual who behaves as a leader.” George Barna

“Churches are so engrossed in trying to please non-Christians that many have forgotten their first duty is to please God.” John MacArthur  “No one need aspire to leadership in the work of God who is not prepared to pay a price greater than his contemporaries and colleagues are willing to pay. True leadership always exacts a heavy toll on the whole man, and the more effective the leadership is, the higher the price to be paid.” J. Oswald Sanders

“The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for.” Jim Elliot