Charismatic Church Service

I post this not to just for an easy laugh, but out of curiousity.  What is a church service this chaotic really like?  Is there any concern for orderly worship that builds up each other?  Or is some of the service organized and then the rest of it is “spirit-filled time?”

ryan

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Grace And Other Religions

This photo is on Justin Taylor’s blog and ties in with a conversation I had tonight with a friend about God’s grace.  Grace is fundemental to the entire message of the Bible.

Rather than walk away when rejected, betrayed, and offended as many of us do in when sinned against; God at great expense continued to love us.  His grace is unimaginable to any of us and what we are all saved by.  We do nothing, God’s grace does everything.

Tonight a friend suggested to me that if God’s grace was so pervasive it would certainly have to be in other religions.  That God would make allowance for followers of other religions…right?

Yet as I was thinking about it I wonder if in our emotive pluralist upbrings we desire to infuse grace to where it is not naturally found. Shintoism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, do not place much if any emphasis on grace, in fact to most it is quite foreign. Most world religions primary emphasize self-denial, good works, and personal effort.

The central emphasis on grace is unique to Christianity.  No way any human comes up with such a radical idea that we are helpless and at God’s mercy, in fact no other religion even comes close.

ryan

What Kind Of Church Is This?

David Platt talking about what kind of culture is being built up at his church around The Word.  And most beautiful about it is the transformation in life and lifestyle that is being fostered there.

I go to other places, such as house churches in Asia, and they study for 11 or 12 hours, knowing they risk their lives. They’ll dive in deep. We came back and tried to do something similar here. We call it secret church and do it a couple times a year. We gather together for intensive study with no frills, nothing flashy, no entertainment value. The first time, about 1,000 showed up. We studied Old Testament overview from 6 p.m. to midnight, but usually it goes longer, supplemented by times in prayer for the persecuted church. It’s all ages, but the predominant demographic is college students and young singles. It’s grown to the point where we need to offer tickets at $5 for reservations and the cost of a study guide. We’ll do it again in October with 2,500 folks. It’s theological in nature. We’ve done a night on the Atonement, another on the doctrine of God. This time we’re doing spiritual warfare. It’s one of my favorite sights as a pastor to look out at 12:30 a.m. and see a room full of 2,500 people, their Bibles open, soaking it in.

Why Animal Abuse Is Bad

Small Church v. Big Church

My friend Lee Coate posted this list of the 10 benefits of a smaller church. Now laying the subjectivity of that statement aside I decided to go through each benefit and see who really is better.

Alright, I will respond to each. Giving a point to the winner (big church v. small)

10.) You don’t need earplugs at big church. Although at a small church you can focus on Jesus without the distraction of the worship leaders face thrown at you. (1 point small church)

9.) Everyone will know your name, and gossip about everyone incessantly. Also, it is very possible to have a “community” of people who know your name at a “big church” that is equivalent to a small church. Only at a big church you get more variety and a chance to connect with people (1 point big church)

8.) At a big church pastors aren’t necessarily hired guns so that the rest of the church doesn’t have to be the church (rather they are hired guns to put on a show and compartmentalize and over simplify discipleship). At a big church you are visited by the members of the church – not a pastor living out the faith on behalf of the church. (1 point big church)

7.) This can happen anywhere at anytime no matter who you are. (-1 point to small church for being pompus)

6.) Unless the dudes a heretic, but there’s a lot of heretics in big church too. (1 point small church)

5.) Have you seen a small church parking lot, not exactly huge. But at least they don’t have dudes telling you how to park – seriously big church, every other place I go assumes I know how to park, except you, you think I’m dumb and can’t find a spot on my own (1 point small church)

4.) See #8 (1 point big church)

3.) Not always a good thing, or true. (-1 point small church for being creepy)

2.) Right, because it’s all about you. But wait, big churches make every Sunday about me, while I only get one day in small church. (no points, you both suck).

1.) Possibly, but you could also become a self-righteous jerk who thinks your way of doing church is better than everyone other church. (1 point for stronger teaching, -1 point for being a jerk about it, small church)

So there you have it. Big church is the winner. But you know who the real winner is: Satan, because he loves this stuff.

matt

Gov’t insurance would allow coverage for abortion

I saw this article this morning on Yahoo that Obama’s health care plan will inculde abortion as a covered medical benefit.

Tragic that we as a nation are now moving in a direction in which abortion is a right.  A right that our government will be obliged to fund and support.

It is grieving to think that in the name of taking care of people and helping preserve their lives, other people will institutionally will be allowed to be terminated.

President Obama has been facing many crazy conspiracy question from paranoid seniors that he is planning to round some of them up, take away their health care and kill them.  While this is wildly absurd and nothing more than fear mongering by those who are adamantly opposed to Obama’s health care agenda; it is becoming increasingly accurate in regards to unborn humans.

ryan

A. W. Tozer and Modern Spirituality

God’s justice stands forever against the sinner in utter severity. The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.