I remember attending a Pow Wow in Ohio a few years back. Native people were doing dances around a circle while a bunch of white people like me watched. There were lots of dances, but one of the dances was a memorial for the veterans who fought for America during its various wars.
I got tired and sat down and so did a few other people. It was long. The announcer told us all to stand back up to honor the people who died for this country. I stood back up in pain, but made it through.
My point is, these people literally had their nation taken from them by force but now consider themselves Americans and honor the flag. They expect white people to honor their service just as much as any other American. They don't give you the option to sit down or take a knee.
What I found interesting about the Pow Wow, was its purpose. It is an attempt for many different native tribes to preserve their culture. Yet, in preserving their culture, they now incorporated their new American culture into mix, and now many join the military on behalf us all. WOW!
They were trying to preserve their culture, but as fellow Americans, not as people who view themselves as something other.
I found this powerful, so I stood.
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?
What is ISIS doing that is causing young white kids to leave everything that comes with Western Civilization behind? So far I see three things.
They have a cause, a mission.
They are not trying to make it easy or promising life will be "better". In fact they may loose it.
They fight for what they believe in.
What do we do? We go to a service for couple hours a week.
Churches that fight over little things will never recruit Christian soldiers to fight for what really matters.
Do we make Christianity too easy? The seeker sensitive movement model has obviously failed. Our churches churn through members and the ones who stay don't really stand for anything that would put them at odds with the culture. The church overall is NOT MAKING an impact and we are loosing ground.
Early on in church history, visitors were expelled from the church for communion, as the church was exclusive. During this same era, it tooks years to actually become a Christian and you could be dismissed if you were not faithful in your classes.
The next time a young person is in one of our megachurches and buys a latte, he may start wondering "Is this all there is to Christianity? I want to believe in something that requires my life, not my allowance money."
And this is the exact young person who saves saves his money and buys a ticket to the middle east. Church, we are making this too easy.
Matthew 8:20 (ESV)
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
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 me. 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.
To inspire the girls at our boarding school, I showed them "Hoosiers" starring Gene Hackman last night. Now they can't wait to begin basketball practice.
I used to preach at the church of the town where the film was made. I'm kind of proud of that. 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).
Today is the anniversary of 9/11 and sadly it is our lowest point in American History. Our government is now going to facilitate a nuclear device to destroy Israel, or one of our own cities. The danger of this can not be overstated nor the incompetence of the Republican Party that has ceded its power to the President allowing this to happen. This Iran deal is very dangerous and goes against all common sense.
Years ago I watched my friends and family trying to make history instead of trying to do the right thing. The result is that we have elected a President that is on the side of the same terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and most of America sleeps. God help us.
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.