Will we die before we change?

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    “This needs to be a conversation about who we are, and if the average Christian in our churches would be willing to do anything, personally, in the cause of evangelism?

    We have become a denomination whose leaders talk about evangelism, but whose people actually want little to nothing to do with it.

    Our decline is because of who we want to be and how we want things to operate. We want the culture to adjust to us. We want our families to be saved. We don’t want to cross any barriers and we don’t want to have do something we decided the pastor is paid to do.

    Get ready for many, many years of this. I think most churches will die before they will change this pattern.”

These comments are from a blog that I read from time to time. (Check out internetmonk.com if you want to read the complete post.) He writes in the context of the Southern Baptist Denomination. But I think it is entirely appropriate to insert “Crossing Community Church” or the name of any other church where the quote says “We have become a denomination . . .”

Are we a church that is willing to move from the concerns of our overly burdened life and begin to think about the type of changes in our personal life as well as our church life to see us do something about the needs of the world around us?

Our decline is because of who we want to be and how we want things to operate. We want the culture to adjust to us. We want our families to be saved. We don’t want to cross any barriers and we don’t want to have do something we decided the pastor is paid to do.

Who do we want to be? A church of 100’s with a name for all our outstanding programs and professional paid staff? Do we really think that we will influence culture in such a way that our government will pass laws that favor us and our belief system? Is the salvation of our families the goal of all this?

WHAT BARRIERS WILL WE CROSS TO SEE OUR LIVES COUNT FOR JESUS?

Will the average church person engage in a discussion that addresses “who we are” as a church? If not, why not?

My Sunday rant!

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I didn’t plan on anything unusual happening in the service on Sunday. I wasn’t looking for an opportunity to make a statement. It just happened.

Somewhere in the middle of my sermon I became aware of several students giggling, laughing and carrying on. At one point I thought I heard the sound of a text message dinging on a cell phone but I can’t be for sure that was actually what I heard. A few minutes later I noticed the distraction still taking place.

Then it happened. Words starting coming from my mouth and I was saying things that weren’t in my message text.

I honestly don’t know all that I said. But I know what I wished I would have said. I wished I had said that our discussion that morning was the most important thing they could be considering — that the Gospel is of utmost significance above and beyond all things. I wished I had said that my deepest longing for each and every one of them was for them to know Jesus and have Him change their life. And that anything keeping them from understanding that has to be thrown aside and forsaken. I wished the words that came from my mouth had in some way communicated all that I wanted for them — all that Jesus wants for them, a rich, full life that has the capacity to handle any adversity, all the hardships; to live without guilt or shame through Him. To live with an eternal purpose!

Instead, I said to be quiet and pay attention. Not a statement that is wrong. It’s a good thing to be quiet and pay attention. But in this case it was an incomplete statement.

Who still pays for music?

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“Bono said that the only people who still pay for music are “teenage girls and very, very honest people.” [usatoday.com, 3/11/09; Rolling Stone, 3/19/09]

I am constantly surprised by Christians who know right from wrong but their desire to have something for nothing compels them to do wrong. Copying DVD’s from Netflix and illegal downloads seem to be common among us. What is the motivation to risk our testimony at the expense of saving $20? What does that say about our walk with Jesus? It would appear that owning the new U2 disk is more important than walking blamelessly with Christ. Wouldn’t it have been great if Bono had said, ” people who still pay for music are teenage girls and Christians.”

How sad it is that he didn’t.

Her nudity is OK for our kids but not for her own

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“I have done quite a bit of nudity, and I feel like my kids, they’re 8 and 5 now, maybe they’re going to start to become aware of the amount of nudity I’ve done. I just sort of feel like I can’t get away with it that much longer.” —Best Actress winner Kate Winslet (The Reader) [usmagazine.com, 2/24/09]

Is there an incredibly degree of duplicity or hypocrisy in this comment or is it just me? How can it be ok to appear nude or have sex in a movie until your own children watch you make love on the big screen? Is it ok that any other kid would see that? If all of a sudden it is inappropriate for her to appear nude because she is now aware that this isn’t the best thing for children, shouldn’t she apologize to her audience for poor judgment all these years?

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