Reblog: Pastors in Trouble 2a: The Community of Faith | Fallen Pastor

It’s not much of a secret I’ve taken a very long break from church and church-people. Frankly, I’m sick inside and I have been for a long time. If you know me personally you’ll understand that I’ve seen two once thriving churches collapse under their own manure, and one that has a very personal story I just don’t want to share.

Our churches are in trouble and too few are standing up to the issues of today as they sit and holler “Old Paths” fundy-isms. While a church bleeds and dies from the top down, it also rots from the pew outward.

Click through and see if you see anything familiar.

Let’s look at one of the problems I believe is responsible for so many pastors leaving the ministry. Simply put, instead of living as communities of faith, we are Sunday gatherings of happychurchpeople with bright smiles who have little connection with one another and are engaging in one more weekly activity.

via Pastors in Trouble 2a: The Community of Faith | Fallen Pastor.

Reblog: Forced Gay – The Battle for Straight Xian Rights | The Anon Church

Let me just say this: If your selfish head is stuck so far up your indignant behind that you can’t see how horrible it is for Christians to act like a bunch of snotty brats, you have a very serious heart-issue. Yes, I can see the point. I’m a business owner myself. But I SERVE my customers. I’m not the judge or hangman. I’m called to make disciples. If one act of mercy leads to anyone reaching out for the Cross, I’ve done what Yeshua asked.

“I desire that you would go and learn what this means: I DESIRE MERCY…” -Jesus

Make sure you click through and read the whole blog and visit @TheAnonChurch

“The whole idea of disallowing businesses to refuse service to people is actually a good thing. It was a critical piece of the civil rights movement. It’s the piece of the puzzle that tells restaurants, ”You cannot refuse service to colored people.” It’s the piece that says landlords cannot refuse housing to someone based on a personal agenda. It’s a good thing…until we feel it is working against our own beliefs.

When we get called on violating someone else, rather than respond with humility and an apology, we get all in a huff. HOW DARE YOU TREAD ON MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS!”

via Forced Gay – The Battle for Straight Xian Rights | The Anon Church.

Seven Reasons Very Active Church Members Drop Out

Seven Reasons Very Active Church Members Drop Out.

There are several comments to the above linked article that are very good.

As for me, I have my reasons. They’re myriad and multifaceted and multiplying, to tell the truth.

You’re Not Bottom Anymore | Kevin Frye

You know, some people write like they have spent some quality time in my head. Here’s a snippet from Kevin Frye. Please go read the whole thing.
quoteI know you often feel weak, inferior, sub-par, insufficient, lacking. Come to me. I know you don’t know what that means or how to bring your wounds and your problems to me, you don’t know what that looks like, but try it. Take that step of faith. You don’t have to understand it. Talk to me about your feelings and thoughts. I’d love to hear them. I’ll take action even if you don’t understand what you are asking for. The spirit speaks things the mind can not comprehend. The father knows the cries of his child which might be unintelligible to other people.

If you only knew my plans for you.

What you once were, you are not anymore, but not for naught. You are not a waste. Your time before now will be redeemed. You’re not bottom anymore. You’re not the victim anymore, you’re not the last one picked for the team, you’re not the loser, not the kid in the corner, not a mere object anymore.

via You’re Not Bottom Anymore | Kevin Frye.

The Road Trip: A Fight Back to Gratitude: “Gotham City is Still Holding on Line One”

Secret: I hate the holidays. I have several reasons, including a desperate longing to see family that have long since gone Home, and the hopelessness that comes from doing the same things over and over and over and over every year with no expectation of it ever changing. One “Holiday” I’m just going to take off for about 3 months and rent a little cabin so close to Nowhere that Santa doesn’t have it in his GPS and I’ll decompress from all the expectations and just live a while and not watch in despair as humanity behaves at its “best” at the holidays.

And I’m not alone.

Depression is a strange beast.  Its sufferers often cowering in a place of shame.  Of loneliness.  Of despair.

We hear ourselves.  Our voices aching and crying out.   We see the world around us, the laughter, hopes, joys of others.

Holidays for us are often the most difficult time of the year.  When we are witness to a season of joy, our lifetime of pain is never in more stark contrast.

Often just to turn off the television, to get up from sleep, to answer a telephone is excruciating in the energy required.   We scour the internet.  We ask for advice.  We desperately seek a way back to rejoin the human population.  Gratitude, for we know that we should be happy to be alive.  It would be a sin to entertain thoughts to the contrary.

Finish reading: The Road Trip: A Fight Back to Gratitude: “Gotham City is Still Holding on Line One.

The Snack We Call Supper – Shepherd Serve

Here’s a long one that’ll make you think the next time someone passes you a cracker an half an ounce of grape juice.

quote

I hope you are beginning to see that the little ritual we rehearse in our churches is a far cry from what the Lord originally intended for His special supper of love. And I hope no one thinks Im calling for nothing more than a relocation of the Lords Supper from church buildings to homes, along with an increase in the portion sizes of the food! The greater issue is our love for one another.

Naturally, a joyous meal in a home is a better opportunity to express our love for each other than is a two-minute snack that we swallow while staring at the back of someone elses head.

Read the whole thing:  The Snack We Call Supper – Shepherd Serve.

sexy “christianity”. — kyledonn.com

Here’s one of those must-read posts that a friend shared on facebook earlier. For a long time I’ve been annoyed with the mecentric preaching of some popChrist preachers. I keep hearing them blather about God’s best for them, God’s healing for them, God’s blessings for them, God’s blahblah for them, and God is universally concerned with their rights. God will smite you if you violate a popChristian’s “rights”. You know the ones I’m talking about. If you know one of those there are some words they need to hear.

You gave up your rights the instant you declared Jesus to be your Lord and Salvation and vowed that all your life was His alone.

This mecentric “gospel” and #ScatologicalEschatology the modern pulpits are spewing sure does garner a lot of popChrist followers though. Its promises even extend to God allowing anything because everything is forgiven in popChrist and we have no need to fear any repercussions because God surely won’t allow horrible things to happen to his popChrist followers.

Please.

This kind of Scatological Eschatology comes from one thing: Listening only to the pulpit and not studying God’s word for ourselves. Jesus is not a candy vendor. Stop treating Him like one. With that, I’ll stop my rant. Please click through and read Kyle Donn’s whole post. You won’t be disappointed. You may get hurt though…

quote“They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”

Hebrews 11:37-38 (NIV)

Again, we read passages on the sufferings of Paul, like 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, and find our hearts stirring within us as if to say, “Ah! If I could just have that kind of faith! If I could just live with that kind of abandon! That is what I was created for!” Our generation has reached out in longing saying, “there has got to be more than this!” and is finding that heroes like Paul seem to have found it… It’s that variable on the back of our tongue when we hear the words “for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” It’s Jesus. Untamed and unadulteratedly Jesus. Unpolluted by what the church wants to make Him… Unbound by what modern Philosophers want to call Him. We only want Jesus. And no less.

This kind of Christianity is dangerously cool. And that’s the thing… it’s dangerous. Here and there, it’s spot on; but my fear is that it flirts with the edge and settles for the empty satisfaction of a cultural ego-trip – thirsty to hear cool people say: “Wow! You’re doing great things for God!”… It says, “I’ve got style… and heart.” And when our “style” starts to get a little to close to our “heart” our faith begins to become as skin-deep as the skinny jeans we like to wear.

Please read the whole thing: sexy “christianity”. — kyledonn.com.

Reblog: Strange Ire: John MacArthur, Charismatics, and Controversy

MacArthur, as you probably know, is a prolific author, radio host of the syndicated show Grace to You, and longstanding pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. Controversy’s no stranger to him – his past public comments about Christian counseling and Christian rock have ruffled plenty of feathers, mine included – but I respect him and deeply appreciate so much of what he’s written and said, not to mention his consistent shepherding of the thousands at Grace Community Church.

But I don’t think he’d return the admiration, judging by his recently released book Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship (Thomas Nelson) which has just hit the stores. Quotes from it, and from him, have also just hit the fan. Among them:

-The charismatic movement dishonors God and deserves judgment.

-Charismatics are attributing to the Holy Spirit the works of Satan.

-The Charismatic movement has made no contribution to biblical clarity, interpretation, or sound doctrine.

-God doesn’t strike it down only because He’s patient

And Joe answers this very well. Be sure you go read the whole post by Joe Dallas, who does have a bit of my personal respect in spite of my not knowing him personally. Nor do I know MacArthur, of whom I really had no personal respect in the first place because I’ve zero experience with him. But he certainly lost much of a chance of getting any when he throws out accusations that I can’t possibly be NOT working for Satan himself. I’m a fairly point-blank guy. If you said the things MacArthur said I’d probably just call you a bigoted religiously bound butthole and move on.

I’d like to point out something in MacArthur that I find bewildering before I go and let you read the rest. MacArthur is one who believes that the Holy Spirit ceased acting on earth shortly after the Book of Acts. So in his world and theology it is impossible for anyone to claim the Spirit has done anything. That’s nuts and it’s myopic. That’s my two cents worth of opinion. Move along; nothing more to see here. 🙂

Blessings.

Read the rest: Strange Ire: John MacArthur, Charismatics, and Controversy | Joe Dallas Online.

The Subtle Art of Destroying Humans – Desiring God

Children. The sweet smell of innocent laughter. The sound of a joyful uncontaminated heart. Can you imagine how offensive those lifes are to Enemy?

Kill it. Make it shut up. Make the grownups hopeless and blind them. Arrange conveniences that serve Death and fuel Guilt and Shame. Kill them all. Reduce the humans to emotional rubble and their lifes will follow.

I wonder what Screwtape would say.

“The humans who have been through the distortion tutelage usually aren’t even afraid of the right things! When a parent talks about both the hardship and the “blessing” of raising that child yes, the Enemy often makes good come to the family through this vermin, a little whiff of reality sets in. And when that happens it becomes harder for us to kill the next one. So keep bleaching from their minds the idea of these babies being real persons.”

Finish reading at The Subtle Art of Destroying Humans – Desiring God.

Got kids? Thank you. thankyouthankyouthankyou. Seriously, I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes thanking you. You’re my heroes. You’re not a “parent”. You’re a life-trainer with such an incredible responsibility it’s astounding. Prayer just went out for each and every one of you.

Reblog: Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle | From One Degree to Another | Nate Pyle

Have you ever been in the middle of the crisis feeling anguish you can’t cope with and there are no answers and the friends you thought you could count on have left you in the ditch to rot and you just wish you could curl up in a dark place to pull more darkness and isolation over you so you could wither and die? That’s called despair.

And when people tell you that God never puts anything on you that you can’t handle does it stab you in the gut and leave you wanting to claw someone’s eyes out for being so insensitive and stupid?

Sound familiar? Been there. Let me tell you I love you and I understand. Get in touch if you want and we’ll talk if you need it. I won’t tell you that stupid platitude that is nothing more than, “Oh, come on. You can handle it. It can’t be that bad. You’re not a good Christian if you can’t handle it.”

Nonsense. Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll tell you the story of the time God shattered me into into so many itty bitty pieces It’s hard to find the old me anymore. Almost 8 years ago… Another time perhaps.

A friend who has also seen some very hard times shared this blog post and it’s well worth sharing again and again.

God won’t give you more than you can handle.  If I may be so bold, let’s just call that what it is:
Bullshit.

Keep Reading via Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle | From One Degree to Another | Nate Pyle.