This is an old humorous clip. It features a Baptist Church singing about Christmas (Er, plus 12 Doctrines that their pastor taught them). The kids seem to learn an earful in one seating…Please, sing along! 🙂
M and J were a missionary couple who were working in Uganda. (Story was first posted in Feb 2013) Every week they sent updates on their progress with evangelism in the community or the growth of the local church and new orphanage that they are setting up. Some times there were moments of deep heart ache (especially when the gospel was rejected) but nothing lightened up my heart with a good old laugh than this particular week’s ‘veggie tale’. Apparently not every thing that is green and leafy is lettuce:
The Mistake – (J writing) While at the trading center on Saturday, I saw two ladies sitting on the veranda of a little restaurant with bags of green leaves for sale. The leaves were a lovely shade of green, and I thought I should buy some of them and take them back for our orphan children to eat. I asked the ladies how much one bag would cost, and they replied, “It is seven hundred shillings.” That seemed a little high to me for greens so I went into the little restaurant and gave out some more tracts and asked the owner (who happened to be a lady that I knew quite well) how much a little bag should cost. She said that 700 shillings was the usual price. So I went back outside and started digging in my purse for the money. I was going to buy 7 bags to take home so there would be enough for all of the children to enjoy. As I was digging in my purse, the lady inside the restaurant called out, “Who are you buying that for?” I replied that I wanted to take it back for the children at home. “What children?” she asked. …Read More!
I had my first golf game today. In recent weeks (or has it been months now) there has been loads of rain and rather grim grey wintery weather -not that that is something strange on the queen’s island. Today the weather has been mild in the early teens (11-14 Celsius and 52 F for my American friends) which is almost good and glorious enough to light a barbecue in Scotland (I hear).
Nevertheless here in the Southeastern part of England, I took my whiskers out for my very first game of golf. I do not know how Tiger Woods manages to do his thing but if he had a game as agricultural as mine, he would be recruited by the American mining industry without any questions asked.
Stepping out in the brilliant golden yellow spring morning sunshine with a bag full of clubs and a dozen (soon to be lost golf balls) I submitted my humble soul to the elements and hazards of the 72 par Basildon Golf Course. …Read More!
Ever turned on a radio station and found a nice song (read Contemporary Christian music) playing and then suddenly frozen while singing the distantly familiar words when you almost reached the end of some stanza? (Well, honestly I sometimes stop at the titles of some of the contemporary songs seeing how sentimental and romanticised most of them have become.) That aside… I couldn’t help laughing when I read of Tony-Allen’s “thorn in the side” moment. I thought such moments only happen to me:
[Tony-Allen:] So a while ago, I was at a worship service, and encountered the song “How He Loves.” As I was singing, I came to an abrupt halt when I encountered a specific lyric in the second verse:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss…
I stopped singing because my jaw literally dropped to the floor at seeing those last words pop on the big screen. “Sloppy wet kiss”? Did someone seriously put “sloppy wet kiss” in the lyrics of a worship song?
I must be growing old..and becoming a legend. I have seen several Popes come and go (and of recent wait for this) I have witnessed a Pope resign from service! It sure is an absolute rarity -and this has happened in my life time! Wasn’t it just the other day that the white smoke was puffed out of the Vatican chimneys to announce the installation of a new “man of God” with the zeal and enthusiasm of a spring chicken and the agility of a rabbit to absolve helpless sinners of their iniquities, venerate saints and springboard helpless souls from purgatory? Wasn’t it just a wink ago that Pope Benedict XVI made his first tour of the world to declare his commitment? And just before any one can say ‘Smith Wigglesworth’ guess what he has declared:
… Pope Benedict XVI made the shock decision to quit the papacy because of his deteriorating health. [gasp!]
In a decision that has surprised even his closest aides, the 85-year-old Pontiff said his strength was ‘no longer adequate to continue in office due to his advanced age’.
He announced his resignation in Latin to a meeting of Vatican cardinals this morning, saying he did not have the ‘strength of mind and body’ to continue leading more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide.
The decision is unprecedented. He is the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and no Pontiff in history has stepped down on health grounds. …Read More!
Funny list of Bible riddles (or rather misapplied hermeneutics)
Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.
Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out A little prophet.
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?
Q. Who was the first drug addict in the Bible?
A. Nebuchadnezzar. He was on grass for seven years.
If you’re going to be good at fishing, you’ve got to learn to think like a fish. If you’re going to be an effective fisher of men, you’ve got to think like a lost person. Here’s the problem. Unfortunately, the longer you are a Christian, the less you think like an unbeliever…To catch fish, you’ve got to know their habits, their preferences, and their feeding patterns. Certain fish like smooth water. Others are bottom crawlers. Some like rushing water. Others hide under rocks. You’ve got to know what the fish you’re trying to reach like to do. If you’re going to understand and reach non-Christians, you’ve got to begin with their mindset.-Rick Warren
Still scratching my head till I can get my hair cut straight enough to become hip and “relevant”. I think I will reach there next year! Trying!!
I have never thought that kicking a ball that is burning with vivid scorching flames would make one more spiritual. How does a soccer match make you “more spiritual”? Thanks for asking, you see…
For these players have been preparing for these football matches for 21 days – praying and fasting and learning to ‘tame fire’.
When they are ready, the tough 60 minutes of football begins – played in bare feet with a burning coconut which has been soaked in kerosene for two days. The burning matches take place over 60 minutes – and the players may go through four coconuts before the game is over.
Each coconut soaks for two days, ensuring it is drenched with flames and ready to burn.
Then the players place the ball in the centre-spot, and prepare to play – lighting a match to the match-day ball.
One big danger facing evangelism in our day is that we focus on too many gimmicks (entertainment e.t.c) that by the time we come to the gospel message we have forgotten our mission. You do not have to go very far to see churches “trying to be relevant”:
God wants his messenger to have the spiritual needs addressed, which super-cedes all other needs. It is God, through the Holy Spirit that we start with, not man. Seeker sensitive preaching is determined by the audience, the target is the “felt needs” or what people think is needed in their life. But who knows better, the sinner or God? Our teaching should start with the Holy Spirit leading us into the Scripture. The apostle Paul made it clear “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10-11). The gospel offends when it is spoken correctly but for those who come to the cross it heals.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. ~ 2 Tim 4:3
For some reason Michael Patton’s “Beginner’s Guide to Christianity” has left me rolling on the floor. Okay, (crawling back into the chair) here is an excerpt and read with a pinch of salt:
1. “Heads bowed, eyes closed . . .”: During a church service, you may hear a preacher abruptly break into this unexpected dialogue with the audience: “Heads bowed, eyes closed. If you have accepted Christ into your heart [more later], I want you to raise your hand.” Don’t get scared. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. It is not a fancy way to steal your money or pull anything sneaky. It is the preacher’s way of helping the uncomfortable seeker feel more at ease about accepting Christ. It is best if you just follow instructions here.
2. “Into the Word”: This is a portion of an important phrase that may be communicated by seasoned Christians in many different contexts. It always has reference to the Bible. Yes, I know, the Bible is more than one word, in fact it is thousands, but once you are a Christian, it becomes singular and has a definite article, “the,” attached to it. If you hear someone say, “Are you in the Word?,” this is another way of saying, “You need to read the Bible if you are going to be spiritual like me.” IMPORTANT: This has no relation to the phrases, “Word to your mother,” “Word up,” or just plain “Word.”
3. Backslidden: This has no reference to the past event of sliding down a hill on your back. It is used to refer to those Christians who are now suspect in their original confession due to their current participation in a particular sin.
On a lighter note, here is why the Arminian and Calvinist did not cross the road….
15. We are not sure if the Arminian will cross or not. No one knows. Not even God.
14. The Calvinist believes that “road crossing” ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the completion of the New Testament.
13. He has felt the draw of the other side of the road and the Arminian has resisted thus far.
12. Calvinists were not elected to cross before the foundation of the road.
11. The Arminian heard someone yell at someone on the other side calling him a dork. He thought he said “Dordt.” It scared him.
10. The Calvinists said road was called Tiber Ave.
9. The Arminian shipwrecked on his way across therefore he never made it.
The message that one gets from the questionable theological liaisons is that doctrine doesn’t matter. You can have a Reformed soteriology, but hold onto an Arminian ecclesiology, believe in a non-trinitarian quasi- modalist definition of the God head and even have an Emergent missiology. Who cares about doctrine? Be…..pragmatic!
You don’t have to stay true to your orthodox convictions. Just blend in and appear cool…with a swagger. …Read More!
10. “The Bible says that God is not concerned with outer appearance . . . neither should you.”
9. “The Good Book said that I might be visited by angels unaware, but something must be wrong with my interpretation, because I am perfectly aware of you.”
8. “I noticed you crying during alter call, can I help?” Bonus:“Until this moment, I thought I had the gift of singleness.”
7. While giving a her a TULIP say, ”This Totally depraved person has been Unconditionally drawn to you, Limiting himself to your Irresistible beauty that is Persevering beyond all others.”
6. “God may be the bread of life, but you are the butter.”
5. “The [sight] of you leaves me apophatic.”
4. “Well, gouge out my eyes and cut off my hands. If I hang around you much longer, I won’t have any limbs left.”
Motivational speakers are in high demand. Motivational sermon series sell like hot pan cakes in many churches too. These days actually some pastors prefer to be called life coaches or motivational speakers. Speaking of which a popular secular motivational speaker will have a lot of ‘splaining to do when he failed to help a group of fanatics “unleash the power within”. You see…
Nearly two dozen people were treated for burns on their feet after walking on hot coals during a motivational seminar conducted by self-help expert Tony Robbins in San Jose, California, local media reported.
Firefighters treated at least 21 people for burns to the soles of their feet, several of them second- and third-degree, on Thursday night, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. At least three people went to the hospital, although none of the injuries was life-threatening, the report added.
It was the first night of the motivational seminar called “Unleash the Power Within,” a four-day Robbins event attended by some 6,000 people, the Mercury News reported
Contrary to urban mythologies spawned by ignorant sooth sayers and idle whisperers Calvinism is not about trends in fashion. It’s actually far from having a high view of man. So, if it’s not about v-neck t-shirts or tight skinny jean pastors, then what is Calvinism about? I am glad you asked. You see…
Calvinism, also known as reformed theology, is a movement within orthodox Protestantism that … adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual to where he is then able to and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation… …Read More!
If you are into prosperity gospel, you will probably be happy that the “Financial Breakthrough Spiritual Warefare Bible” by Morris Cerullo is available at the small price of $200. No kidding. However I realise only two people have made comments about it on the Amazon website. I find the comments rather interesting. One enchanted buyer was glad to say:
My mother absolutely loved this Bible, but she lost it one day. She was so upset that I rushed to Amazon to see if I could replace it. I found the same version she had with the leather cover and it was a good price, so I bought it. It shipped quickly and she was impressed with the condition of the item. No complaints here.
However another customer called Kaylee was rather not amused and wasted no time in pointing out that:
I would not give 2 cents for any of his books, let alone his bibles. The man is a HERETIC and a SWINDLER. Save your money.
Oh by the way Morris Cerullo has started recruiting for a “Joel’s army”. A team of immortals who will bring judgement on the ungodly (the ungodly being those who oppose them). And you can buy some more religious junk and junta paraphernalia
Jim West never pulls any punches. He doesn’t beat about the bush either and that’s the reason I love his blog. Today we will visit his blog and listen in on a question and answer session. Hey, do not say I did not warn you 😉
First, let me thank you for your blog. I love it. I do have a question. What is your definition of a mega church?
That’s actually an easy question to answer- a mega-church is any church which is so large that the Pastor doesn’t know the names of every person who regularly attends. Such Pastors aren’t truly pastors – they are merely functionaries, public speakers. Pastors know their flock just as shepherds know their sheep. It is no accident at all that the early Church seized on the analogy of the Pastor as shepherd.
For that reason a church which is so big that the Pastor can’t or doesn’t know those who come is no longer a Church as such but a group, an ‘audience’, nothing more.