RSS

Tag Archives: Ecumenical

How Much Cultural Contextualization is Too Much?


You hear it said all around you these days. “We have to broaden our appeal if we are to reach our culture.” ” We have to be relevant if we are to reach our community.” Ok, so far so good. However, the devil is in the details (so to speak). How far can you go in broadening your appeal or being relevant without going too far?

I studied for and received an MBA degree several years ago. I had been studying the seeker and emergent programs for about 8 years prior. I was surprised to find that the methods used in marketing & advertising of consumer goods are the EXACT SAME ONES being used by many of the new-fangled church growth programs.

Let me count the problems with this.

1) God and His word is not a consumer good that can be judged on the basis of the presumed merit in the mind of a shopper. The church attenders assume the posture of consumers and they demand to be entertained or they will simply move on to the next supplier.

2) People cannot be influenced to ‘accept’ God or to ‘make a decision’ for God. Examples where people were manipulated into joining a church instead of being saved show that simply joining a church results in a falling away very soon afterwards. Often, the people are disillusioned and bitter for having been ‘sold a bill of goods’ by a religious system. Contrast this to people who hear God’s word and cry out to Jesus for salvation. They persevere in the faith.

3) Worldly people who are lured into a church because of world-mimicking gimmicks do not last very long in that church. Statistics tell us this fact. The reason for this is that the church is a poor substitute for the flesh-satisfying lies of the world. A flesh-lite substitute will soon be replaced by a fully flesh-satisfying vice provided by the world.

There are more items but this should suffice for this discussion.

So, when the church promotes gimmicks in order to increase their attendance, exactly whom is being fooled? I am afraid the church is the one being fooled. God builds His Church. His sovereign gift of salvation by grace through faith in His Son Jesus is the only “process” that is valid. God directs, we respond. God transforms, we conform to the image of Christ (slowly over time).

So how much cultural contextualization is too much? The amount that confuses the issue of sovereignty.

Never give people the wrong impression of who is God and who is not. Expound upon the greatness of God. Tell God’s WHOLE story. Some people’s lives will be changed. We were never called by God to sharpen His brand. He needs no spiffing up to be marketable in 2011. God is as Relevant now as when He created everything.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Burning the Koran… Almost a good idea.


Op-Ed by the Truthinator:

A Florida church is planning a “burn the Koran day” for September 11 of this year. The article dealing with their plans is copied below. I put this into the “almost a good idea” category. Why? I see it like this: Christians must stand up and tell the truth. We are exhorted and commanded by scripture to do this. Islam is indeed a false religion and the devil is behind it. I commend the church for taking a stand for truth.

Now for the bad news. I think having a book burning is always a bad idea in modern times since the fire is what gets the attention and the reason for the fire usually gets left out.  I would say this well-meaning church could have thought of at least five or six better ways to speak out against the rising tide of Muslim-sympathetic coverage by the US news media, by politicians, and by ecumenically-minded “evangelical preachers/authors”.

I encourage us all to stand for the truth. I also remind us all that standing for the truth is rarely popular or convenient. When we stand, be careful to stand and not pontificate. The former will cause people to take notice even though they may not agree. The latter simply adds fuel to the fire that the enemy has designed to engulf us.

Florida church plans to burn Quran on 9/11 anniversary

AFP, Aug 1, 2010, 12.21am IST

 
MIAMI: A Florida church said it plans to publicly burn copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, prompting threats from Islamic groups and warnings the move will trigger a rise in hate crimes.

The Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida said on its Facebook page it will hold an “International Burn a Koran Day” on September 11, asking other religious groups to join in standing “against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!”

“Islam and Sharia law was responsible for 9/11,” pastor Terry Jones said. “We will burn Qurans because we think it’s time for Christians, for churches, for politicians to stand up and say no; Islam and Sharia law is not welcome in the US,” the organizer of the burning action added.

Reactions to the Koran burning announcement were swift. Members of the Al-Falluja jihadist forum have threatened to “spill rivers of your (American) blood” and “a war the likes of which you have never seen before”.

Mainstream Muslim groups also denounced the move and lamented the sentiments promoted by the Gainesville church.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9:1-21 part 2


Daily Truth Bible Study   Acts 9:1-21 part 2 Bible Study Bible Study Acts

The doctrine of election. We are waist-deep in it so let’s continue. Where exactly does the Bible say that God sovereignly elects man? Well, I would point you to begin in Genesis and continue to Revelation. Throughout the Bible, God sovereignly does what He does…He  chooses whom He chooses…He hardens whom He hardens. Anything less would be our work of ‘making a decision’ to allow Jesus to be our Savior and to allow God to be the sovereign creator and Lord of all! 

I am waiting for the dust to settle…Ok. Now, let’s look at what we see and hear today. People believe and preach in some places that man makes a decision to follow Christ. And this is true to an extent. But, the main thing to understand is that man cannot make such a decision unless He is chosen by God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God. Not by works lest anyone should boast.”

Some try to suggest that God selects those whom He knows will accept Him ultimately. This still suggests that man sovereignly chooses to allow God to be God. Man has some ability to be good, in other words.

The calamity of American society is that we are a self absorbed nation. We cannot fathom that we are not in control of everything. We even get to determine who God is and what He can and cannot do. Not! The Bible is not in harmony with American thought.

Man is dead in his sin. This death is total and complete. It is unalterable apart from God. The sinner cannot do anything about his condition. Psalm 14:1-3 sums this up precisely, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Ok, so much for man having some amount of goodness or ability to choose God. Let’s look at something Jesus said concerning the subject in John 6:37-40, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” And John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

In the passage above, the crowds were following Jesus because He had fed them physical food. Jesus changes the direction of the conversation and teaches them what it really means to follow Him and who can and does follow Him. Those that God gave Him follows and stays secure in Christ. No one comes to Christ unless the Father draws them. Man does not come up with the idea nor does man have the impetus to do anything apart from God but to hate God and the things of God (refer back to the passage from Psalms). Romans 8:7 says that the carnal mind of man hates God and is not subject to God’s law nor does it have the ability to be.

God sovereignly chooses to save and whom to save. He is able and just in doing so because He is God. Saul is an example of one chosen by God.

 class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”mceItemHidden”> class=”hiddenGrammarError” pre=””>Acts Acts Acts “>Acts “>Acts “>Acts “>Acts “>Acts “>Acts “>Acts “>Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts  Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Election Election Election “>Election “>Election “>Election “>Election “>Election “>Election “>Election “>Election “>Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Election Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty “>Sovereignty “>Sovereignty “>Sovereignty “>Sovereignty “>Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty Calvinism Calvinism Calvinism Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist “>Calvinist “>Calvinist “>Calvinist Calvinist Calvinism “>Calvinism Calvinism Calvinism Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Calvinism Calvinism Calvinism Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Theology Doctrine Daily Truth Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Christian Christianity Religion Religion Religion Reigion Grace Grace Grace Hope Hope Hope Change Change Change  Doctrine Doctrine Bible Bible Bible Relevant Relevant Relevance Post-Modern Happy Church Truth Truth Truth “>Truth Truth Truth Emergent Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Emerging Church Emerging Church Discernment Discernment Discernment “>Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Peace Mercy Grace Peace Mercy Grace Apologetics, Hermeneutics, Soteriology, Mercy, Grace, Peace, Hope, Change, Bible Study Acts Acts Acts Acts
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,