If ISIS can attract young people to leave the conveniences of Western civilization to travel to the middle east to live in horrible conditions in the desert - just to blow themselves up - then why can't we grow our churches?
My job as a preacher has always been to make my churches more like ISIS!
Have a cause,
Quit trying to make it easy,
Be authentic and fight for the truth.
Churches that fight over little things will never recruit Christian soldiers to fight for what really matters (the gospel).
Be LIKE ISIS (minus the whole beheading people thing, that part you should leave out).
When I preach on Sunday morning I am actually following the ISBL. It is the Sunday school schedule followed by different denominations all over the world. It starts in the Old Testament and makes its way through the Bible to the New Testament.
It keeps me doing expository sermons. They are not as "exciting" as topical messages, but I think they are more nourishing. It is the difference between eating out and eating at home.
Keeps me from preaching on my favorite topics that are not beneficial to the congregation. I can't get on "my soapbox".
Makes me preach on hard passages. It is a challenge to try to turn that passage into a sermon!
Because I can't come up with fresh ideas, twice a week, for a complete year. I need a little help and it is just nice to know the passage for Sunday morning is picked out already. Saves lots of time! That way the evening message gets to be topical as I have a little more time to do something specific.
I have been amazed how often the passage matches what is going on in the culture, even the news of that week. I get to be current in my application even though there is no correlation between the schedule and the randomness of life.
I like the idea of studying the same passage with other Christians all over the world. That is what it means to be a CHURCH!
If you are offended by the message, it is not my problem, it is yours! Your problem is with the word of God! I didn't pick the passage, I didn't cause current events to align, I didn't single you out. Your very own conscious did that.
Maybe God is speaking to you?
I will never forget children playing at a McDonald's playland in Arizona. After forming teams, they began to play Kill the Walkers! Obviously times have changed and The Walking Dead has had an affect on our society.
When I was younger I always played WW II. It was me against the Krauts, freeing Europe from the Nazis. From my perspective, we were the good guys and they, they were the bad guys. Today in 2017 Americans are reluctant to designate anyone as the "bad guy" and the only true bad guys are those who point out imorality in our culture.
What politically correctness got right was that there was more to the story and not all the bad guys were bad guys. True. But in trying to justify some, polical correctness tries to justify all, leading to a more distorted reality than before.
The invitation given at the end of modern American services, is not a practice found in the New Testament. Research shows the invitation is inherited from the denominational altar call created during the Second Great Awakening. The altar call was a technique utilized to bypass the mind into the heart to create an instant decision. It is not a fit practice to make diciples, but it can get someone to come down an isle.
The one usually given the most credit for the practice is Charles Finney. The modern church views him as the father of evangelism. I do not consider this a title of distinction but rather ignominy as it has lead to the emotion based seeker sensitive practices of the modern church.
The modern invitation is rooted in revivalism. The creation of worship bands, asking Jesus into the heart, tongue speaking and dispensationalism all came into the church about 150 years ago. If you except the invitation you should be consistent and accept these other non-biblical practices as well. They all work hand in hand to bypass conviction to manipulate emotions instead of reaching the mind.
Simply put, the view of history taught to us by the modernist is wrong. The world tells a much different story that is amazingly consistent but still dismissed out of hand by academics. These “experts” feel no shame telling native people what they have handed down to each other is wrong, based upon nothing more than a world view taught by western academic institutions with degrees bestowed upon themselves.
I witnessed this first hand during my visit to Serpent Mound in Ohio. My reading on the subject had told me that early on, the scientific community assumed the local native population had built the Serpent Mound. The natives have always denied this, insisting it was built long before they got there.
This was confirmed on my visit as a worker at the visitor center retold the story of the local tribes insisting that an older culture made the mound. There was another question I wanted to ask, but I couldn't bring myself to ask it, because it was so outside the norm that it frankly embarrassed. My reading also claimed that the natives not only insisted that they did not make it, but the people who did were giants standing much taller than they. Some things you save for later.
My father grew up in Kentucky, with many brothers and sisters in a coal mining community. Their home would best be described as a shack, that rested on Cox's hill near Manchester Kentucky. They were poor, and if you were lucky you got a pair of shoes once a year, and mother made you some new clothes, but most of the time it was hand me downs.
He could have won in a landslide, now he will lose in a landslide.
Showed "Hoosiers" to the girls tonight. They loved it. Now they can't wait for basketball practice.
But have you noticed how "Hoosiers" is a metaphor for the small town church preacher?
The Coach, who is new to town is the preacher. He has knowledge and experience, but the townsfolk (the church) are used to doing things a certain way. The new coach wants to concentrate on fundamentals, the townsfolk want to keep up with what the other towns are doing. Sound familiar?
I believe baptism is for the remission of sins and is the time and place of salvation, but knowing this is not essential for salvation. I know many in the movement disagree with this point of view, but they cross the line into making baptism a work. I say this, because they require a re-baptism, even if the person understood the gospel and has been faithful every since. People who hold this view, think of baptism as the gospel and not what it really is, the proper response to the gospel. Remember, Paul said he came to preach the gospel, not to baptize. That doesn't make Paul a heretic, it just shows there is difference between baptism and the gospel itself (1 Cor 1:17).
Known as an expert in all he surveys, he freely shares his opinions on politics, science & theology using diatribes based upon careless research from tertiary sources that presupposed what he thought in the first place.