Showing posts from November, 2015

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

Dr. Everett Piper, President Oklahoma Wesleyan University This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable. I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.” I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of…

Optimism in the Face of My Pessimism Seven biblical qualities that can nurture hope in today's church. John Huffman/ NOVEMBER 4, 2015

Afew years ago, the late communitarian Robert Bellah and his colleagues identified how radical individualism has taken a toll on our communal well-being. In Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life,they wrote about the religion of “Sheilaism.” They were referring to a woman by that name who put in a little bit of religion here and philosophy there to create her own religion, unique in its specifics to her and no one else.
Habits was long on description of problems and short on prescription of solutions. Yet toward the end of the book, Bellah wrote about a small Episcopal church in the San Francisco area. With wistful words, he described how this little group of people committed to Jesus Christ met together regularly to worship, to sing hymns, to pray, to hear sermons, to celebrate Communion. From there, they went out into the surrounding community in the name of Jesus Christ, feeding the hungry, ministering to youth, helping abused women, and caring for the me…
When the future is uncertain, it’s easy to believe the worst about it instead of expecting the best. 

But to believe the very worst about the future is to believe the very worst about God, because it means we don’t believe He can take us somewhere better than where we’ve already been. 

God has been good in the past, and He will continue to be good in the future.
From Your Church is Big Enough, a blog post by Karl Vaters: ...But, while I was stressing over numbers, Christ was creating a vibrant community of loving people at our church.
We’ve raised up and sent out missionaries, helped plant a church, trained ministry interns, worked to bring Christ’s healing restoration to families and marriages, fed the hungry, taught the scriptures, baptized new believers, seen people saved and healed by God’s grace, and more. For years, I didn't really believe that mattered because it didn’t add butts in the seats. But it did count to Jesus. And it counted to the people whose lives were changed. As I’ve allowed Jesus to give me an attitude adjustment, now it counts to me, too. In fact, one-at-a-time life transformation has become the only factor that counts to me now. Jesus calls every church and every church leader for a purpose. And he equips us with everything we need to accomplish that purpose.
Jesus calls every church and every church leader for a …

Coming to Terms with a Post-Christian World Our culture is radically rejecting Christian faith; our response must be radical, too. Rod Dreher/ NOVEMBER 2, 2015

Political and legal revolutions always follow cultural revolutions. The gay rights revolution is just the latest example of the West’s long process of emancipating the individual from all authority outside the sovereign Self. Gerson and Wehner are surely correct that Christians must learn to live in a world—I would call it a post-Christian world—that accepts same-sex marriage. And they are right to say that as a general rule, Christians should work with LGBT citizens and their allies on causes both sides support. But I see two big problems with their essay. First, it is naïve to believe that if only Christians stop making a big deal about homosexuality, LGBT groups and their allies will partner with us in other areas. Many people on the other side see orthodox Christians as the equivalent of straight-up white supremacists. It’s outrageously unfair, but that’s the world we live in. As long as we hold to traditional biblical teaching on sexuality, all the winsomeness in the world won’t …