Archive for the 'Church' Category


Jesus and a “Social Gospel”

Over at Huffington Post, Rev. James Martin has “changed” three of Jesus parable to reflect a Gospel that is more palatable for those who don’t feel the need to help the poor and needy because it would only enable them. His re-rendering of Jesus’ parables are quite amusing, but also have the sting of conviction in them.

His three stories are from Mark 2:1-12; Mark 6:30-44; Mark 12:17-31.


A Monday morning word for my fellow preachers…

Take heed, therefore, brethren, for the enemy hath a special eye upon you. You shall have his most subtle insinuations, and incessant solicitations, and violent assaults. As wise and learned as you are, take heed to yourselves, lest he outwit you. The devil is a greater scholar than you, and a nimbler disputant: he can transform himself into an angel of light to deceive: he will get within you, and trip up your heels before you are aware…You shall see neither hook nor line, much less the subtle angler himself, while he is offering you his bait… O what a conquest will he think he hath got, if he can make a minister lazy and unfaithful, if he can tempt a minister into covetousness or scandal!…If you will engage yourselves against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places; if you will undertake to rescue captive sinners out of the devil’s paws; do not think that a heedless, careless course will accomplish so great a work at this.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, pages 74-78.


should I stay or should I go now: reasons to leave the church and reasons to return

I ran across these two blog posts that are worth reflecting on if you are frustrated with “the church” or if you are thinking about returning to “the church”. The first blog is the reasons this woman left the church at age 27. The second blog is the reasons this woman returned to the church at age 30.

I think many of these issues are important because they go deeper than just the matters of personal preference. My observations are that many people switch churches for stylistic and/or selfish reasons. But, some leave the church because of more serious matters like crisis, major life changes, or because they fail to see how their church adequately interprets the Gospel into practice (even if they don’t articulate it that way). Other times, there is just a compelling feeling that it’s time to move on, even if you can’t place your finger on it. I find that these deeper reasons are the same ones that cause people to return to church. When tragedy or children or spiritual questions arise, people see the church as the main place to go to find answers, help, or depth.

If you are among those who have left the church, what was it that caused you to leave? What would it take for you to return? What is preventing you from returning? If you are among those who have returned, what was the compelling reason?

I would guess that people who return to church don’t return because of what makes a church “cool” (is that possible?) like logos, marketing, entertainment factors, or the like. So the reasons they do return would then include qualities like depth, authenticity, relationships, etc. Thoughts?

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