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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
If you are wondering about what to pray for when it comes to the church in Africa, do pray for faithfulness to the message of the gospel. Conrad Mbewe a local pastor in Africa in his recent newsletter from Kabwata (Zambia) laments:
[This post was first run here in 2012] I came across a pamphlet today. It was given to me at the traffic lights while waiting for the lights to go green. It read as follows:My name is Stella Mwanza from Sinda (Eastern Province). I used to read in newspapers and listen to the radio about how different people were testifying concerning Pastor Elijah and I was so impressed with his healing powers that I decided to try him as I had a lot of problems.First, my husband was divorcing me as he accused me of having an affair with another man and even doubted our lastborn child. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and this calmed down my husband and now we’re happily married with our kids.I introduced a friend of mine to the same pastor who had an unstable marriage because her husband was sexually weak and had a tiny manhood. She was going out with other men to satisfy her sexual desire though she loved her husband. Pastor Elijah invited the couple to his place and prayed for both of them. Now they are back in a good relationship. Thanks to Pastor Elijah. …Read More!
“Pastors are supposed to be under-shepherds of Christ. Too many modern preachers are so bent on understanding the culture that they develop the mind of the culture and not the mind of Christ. They start to think like the world, and not like the Savior. Frankly, the nuances of worldly culture are virtually irrelevant to me. I want to know the mind of Christ and bring that to bear on the culture, no matter what culture I may be ministering to. If I’m going to stand up in a pulpit and be a representative of Jesus Christ …Read More!
A hundred to two hundred years ago (just like two thousand years ago) there were bold preachers who preached with Bibles laid wide open and read aloud the text for the people to hear the word of God. Most of these stood on street corners and market places and they reasoned and persuaded men to consider their ways in light of the holiness of God. In more recent times most ‘men of God’ prefer to be popular and few now preach on sin or even call people to repentance. It’s actually more lucrative to hold motivational lectures on personal self esteem and significance. These are topics that have fifty one shades of grey and are liked by the main stream audience.
Recently one popular conference speaker and pastor, Louie Giglio, was hand picked to offer his pastoral blessings and benediction at the soon coming presidential inauguration. An apparent invitation too big to turn down for the popular man of God. However what happened next can only be described as a comedy of errors. Sexual liberation groups picked on an old sermon preached over fifteen years ago on “repentance and sin” leading to Louie being dis invited (or did he dis invite himself?). Some pastors like John Piper were quick to tweet and call him “a hero” but was he really?
Pastor Louie later [as noted by Ken Silva Apprising Ministries and Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith radio in link and audio below] seemed to reluctantly admit that he no longer is keen on stressing some of the things he was passionate about: …Read More!
Spurgeon thus described “the difficulties and privileges of a pastor’s wife”:
I would not marry a minister, because the position of minister’s wife is a very difficult one for anyone to fill. Churches do not give a married minister two salaries, one for the husband and the other for the wife; but, in many cases, they look for the services of the wife, whether they pay for them or not.
The Pastor’s wife is expected to know everything about the church, and in another sense she is to know nothing of it; and she is equally blamed by some people whether she knows everything or nothing. Her duties consist in being always at home to attend to her husband and her family, and being always out, visiting other people, and doing all sorts of things for the whole church! Well, of course, that is impossible; she cannot be at everybody’s beck and call, and she cannot expect to please everybody. Her husband cannot do that, and I think he is very foolish if he tries to do it; and I am certain that, as the husband cannot please everybody, neither can the wife. There will be sure to be somebody or other who will be displeased, especially if that somebody had herself half hoped to be the minister’s wife! Difficulties arise continually in the best-regulated churches; and the position of the minister’s wife is always a very trying one. …Read More!
Most mega churches grow by creating Hype! To maintain the experience one has got to keep building up a consumer base by promising a better experience each time and “an awesome entertainment” the next time. It is quite disorienting since its all done in the name of Christianity. Actually some Sunday
services experiences these days begin and end without the name of Jesus, God, sin or righteousness being mentioned. Well, recently….
A Colorado Springs megachurch pastor became disillusioned when he began to follow on Twitter around a dozen high-profile pastors whose ministries he respected.
These pastors would regularly tweet something that was, in Pastor Brady Boyd’s opinion, overflowing with hype. “Super Bowl of all Sundays,” “the megamonster of all sermons,” “I can’t think of another time I have been more excited about preaching a message,” they tweeted as they touted upcoming weekend services.
“How can it be, week after week?” Boyd, senior pastor of New Life Church, wrote in his newly released [book].
Sadly, the result of hype is a church full of consumers.
“It would be easy to blame church congregations for the madness that has consumed our gatherings these days, except that from what I see from their pastors, we’re conditioning them to behave this way. We hype and promote and position and tweet and inadvertently create pews full of consumers instead of devoted worshipers of God,” Boyd stated.
“We hyp-ers are setting up our people to expect an experience, instead of teaching them to encounter their Lord.”
Duh, has the penny just dropped?
You can imagine the uproar that could occur if the above notice met congregants to most mega churches. Well not only mega churches do ‘Altar Calls’ but most churches I know do. We all know when that moment is a bout to be breached….when the pastor gives a nod and the pianist and worship leader begin to take their places.
But what’s wrong with the ‘Altar Call’ you ask? Well here are ten reasons but first Thabiti Anyabwile humbly explains:
I’m sometimes asked by people why we don’t do “altar calls” at our services. Like the people who ask the question, the churches in my personal background pretty much all practiced “altar calls” at the conclusion of a sermon or service. I’ve seen them done in very poor fashion, and I’ve seen some pastors be really clear about the gospel, repentance, faith, and the fact that “coming forward” does not save. I date my own conversion to the preaching of Exodus 32, which concluded with an altar call.
So, why don’t we practice “altar calls”? I don’t think the pastor who practices an “invitation” at the end of a sermon is in sin, but he may not be acting wisely either. This list of reasons, compiled by Pastor Ryan Kelly of Desert Springs Church, is a pretty good summation of some of my thinking (HT: Z).
1. The altar call is simply and completely absent from the pages of the N.T.
2. The altar call is historically absent until the 19th century, and its use at that time (via Charles Finney) was directly based upon bad theology and a man-centered, manipulative methodology. …Read More!
Since the time of Simon the magician there has always been a relentless surge for the miraculous. (Actually in the days of Jesus many loved following him just for fish and bread). Simon in his day was a local celebrity. He was a magician of sorts, and had mesmerized the locals with his arts. And they had given him the title “The Great Power of God”. And he loved it. He basked in his reputation and fed off the admiration and respect he received. I bet he would have made it big time on the talk show circuits around Jerusalem.
Speaking of circuits, a local pastor recently found a signs and wonders tent pitched up right near his church. Pastor Scott Rodriguez did what every pastor ought to do in this kind of situation:
Brothers, several have been asking for some backstory/context on these videos. Mrs. Muldoon set her tent up across the street from our church (it is still there until Sunday 5/20.) I received a call from one of our people that some families that attend our church were sitting in her audience. Others were there to pray and share the gospel afterwards with people leaving. They had been accosted by a young man named Devon, (the managers son) on the evening before when he overheard one of our young men talking with someone after the service about the call of Pastor being reserved for men. …Read More!
Erik a young pastor recently visited a pastor who has buried 200 members. No, he wasn’t the village undertaker. And no, his cooking wasn’t that bad. However there is a lot to learn from this profound story. Here goes….
I was recently spending some time with a minister who is nearing retirement. He was going through his office and packing up boxes, books and other personal items. He directed me to a large box and told me to take a look. I saw dozens of manilla file folders with names on them.
“What are all these?” I asked.
“Funerals.” The pastor said.
“How many?” I inquired.
“Over two-hundred.” He soberly replied.
There in his office I was struck with so many emotions. Here stood a man who has buried over two hundred of his parishioners. And here I stand, a young-buck having buried a grand total of zero of our members.
The seasoned pastor went on to tell me that he cannot throw this box away because in every folder is a life.
“In every folder is a life, a soul. And in each one is a piece of my life.” He said, holding back obvious emotion. I almost lost it too. …Read More!
It is probably a step in the right direction when you hear that Perry Noble has used the word “sorry” in a sentence. Many times I have had to send my kids out of the room when he has appeared on television. What? Not only because he played “High way to Hell” as a worship song and declared his sermons are PG-13 rated. No, my concerns are much deeper as he holds the office of pastor yet displays such a lethargy to wards godliness that he is more than a distraction to the preaching of the gospel. It’s good to see that my concerns over his course language, aberrant theology and conduct have been shared by many. And you see….
After South Carolina Pastor Perry Noble apologized to his congregation for criticizing those seeking more discipleship, a Christian apologist and radio host said a simple apology isn’t enough. He suggested that Noble go on a “Repentance Tour.”
Chris Rosebrough, host of Fighting for the Faith, noted on his program that the public apology was a step in the right direction, but he also doesn’t think Noble should stop there.
“I personally think that at this point the magnitude of the error disqualifies Perry Noble from being a mentor to pastors,” he said. Because Noble made those statements at a leadership conference for pastors, Rosebrough said he has to do more to undo the damage of those statements than just apologize to his congregation.
The controversial comments were made at a 2009 conference called Unleash, an annual leadership event conducted by Noble’s church, NewSpring.
During his session, Noble told pastors that “the person that always screams I want to go deeper” is “the jackass in the church.” …Read More!
I know social injustice and racial issues really cause a lot of polarizing tension in communities. But the bible says that the solution to the depravity, wickedness and injustice in this fallen world is the gospel. If the right balance is not made with most of these social issues and agendas one can get preoccupied running down rabbit holes chasing shadows. What do I mean?
“We’re standing as the church of nonviolence to say that a hoodie is not a weapon,” said Senior Pastor Rev. Raphael Warnock. “We stand in solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin. We stand in support of our children who deserve better than to be stigmatized and stereotyped.”
Pastor Warnock stood in the pulpit on Sunday wearing a maroon Morehouse College hoodie.
Ebenezer is one of countless churches across metro Atlanta and the nation recognizing this as “Hoodie Sunday.”
‘Hoodie Sunday’ is just another band aid social fad. Social justice is good but it has it’s place and shouldn’t replace the exposition of the word of God nor the preaching of the gospel on Sunday. Why should congregational worship of God be put on hold on Sunday because of a social agenda? …Read More!
The latest buzz in numbers of those flocking to a new church will always cause ears to prick up. The stats are certainly impressive, the buildings expensive, and the congregations expansive. And perhaps there is plenty of reason to be enthusiastic— lost people are attending weekend services. Isn’t it? But does the evangelistic philosophy behind the so-called “Church Growth Movement” match up to or follow the biblical model? Does it meet Scripture’s standards or does it fall short of God’s expectations? Where do “church growth consultants” come from and why do they insist on pastors identifying their number one asset “the high capacity person”? If all this is news to you FBC Jax watch dog explains….
Let’s start things off by looking at a 6-minute video produced by Jim Sheppard, the CEO of a consulting firm named “Generis”…
Jim produced the video [above] for an event called “The Nines” [in 2010], where 100 leaders gave 6-minute talks on the Internet to help church pastors… In his video, Jim explains to church leaders how they need to develop strategies for going after the very wealthy in their community, who he calls “the high capacity people”.
Here are some quotes from the video: …Read More!
What would we do with out fashion? What would we do without celebrity and vanity? Why not bring it all to church? The world we live in is visually driven and so is the culture. We are excited, enticed and ensnared by what we see. The billboards scream at us, the television adverts constantly beckon us to feed our base urge to desire and covet what we do not have. Yes, we love it don’t we?
If only we could get for ourselves a man and celebrity to feed this primitive urge of depravity. A man to point us to vanity. A man to scratch our itchy ears and teach us things that we yearn to listen to. A man to boost ourself esteem. We will be ready to pay him double and even triple if he can call himself our “man of God”. He could carry the title of “pastor” for all we care.
Some say the office of pastor is a sacred one. One with which comes an immense amount of responsibility. But in our endless search for self aggrandisement we want a hireling that we can call pastor who can desecrate this office. We are many so we will be able to set up a mega church if need be. We will build our man in a mansion and a private jet if he wants one. He could even publish some books and stuff that we deem relevant like seven day sex challenges.
All this is will be his only on one condition. He should not tell us about sin, righteousness and judgement. You see we don’t do bible. …Read More!
This one is really embarrassing. If a “Christian” continues to sin willfully and persistently and maintains a life of sin and deception not only does he bring shame to the name of the Lord, but also will cause every one to wonder if he truly is a Christian as he claims to be. Bewildered church members who had constantly been burgled were recently left dumbfounded when they caught their perennial burglar. You see…
The burglary victim noticed on several occasions that medications were missing from the home, the release read. The burglaries occurred while the victim was away from the home so the victim set up a video camera in hopes of catching the suspect. …Read More!
On a lighter note:
One day a Pastor, a Vicar and an Atheist go on a fishing trip together. They are in the boat and the Pastor says,” Oh! No! I left the paddles on shore!” So he proceeds to get out of the boat and walk on the water to the shore to get them. Once he had gotten back into the boat the Vicar says,” Oh! No! I left the bait on shore too!” And like the Pastor the Vicer exits the boat and walks on the water to get the bait. When the Vicar climbs back into the boat the atheist yells,” Well if you guys can do it so can I!!!” and proceeds to climb out of the boat, but he falls into the water. At this piont the Pastor says,” Do you think we should have told him where the rocks are?”