What’s God Saying By This?

Lately I’ve been having fun doing the Christian Football Picks. I was sent some information by my uncle about an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal about football and intelligence. Seeing as how the Wall Street Journal has gone the way of all newspapers–forcing readers to register to read their on-line version keeping more people from reading their stuff–I will have to quote my uncle, who does not have a tendency towards lying in any way, especially not about a critical issue like this one.

“There’s an article in the Weekend Journal titled The NFL’s Smartest Team. They took the intelligence test scores of football players in college and figured out the average scores for each NFL team. The test is the Wonderlic Personnel Test. The average score for all takers is 21. The Rams are the smartest team with an average score of 24.6. The Bears are 7th, with an average score of 22.6. The dumbest team — Green Bay with an average score of 19.1 and nine players with scores below 14.

Interesting fact — of all occupations (not just football players) the lowest average score for any occupation is 14.69 — for “packers.”

If only we were able to figure out what God meant by this. Hmm. . .

How Many Do You Need?

Faith is a weird thing. Faith is weird because people are weird. Some people have little trouble exercising faith, we call them “naive.” Others need so much proof that there really is no such thing as faith–if seeing is believing then believing isn’t believing.

I came across this verse yesterday and it made me laugh. Acts 1:3

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Why is that funny? He “gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.” How many did it take?! Isn’t one enough? How do you know I’m alive? You know it and you don’t even see me. Not only that, He is doing this for His chosen guys, the ones who should have expected Him to be alive anyway. You would think Jesus would show up and they would say, “Oh, yeah, hey, how’s it going? I was wondering when you’d get here.” Instead, He has to prove it to them many times.

You and I were not there when Christ arose, yet we are called to believe it happened. It’s a tough choice. It’s not ever going to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. But thank God for the promise of John 20:29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Feel It

Yesterday my daughter Elizabeth was playing and was happy and wonderful. Then something happened and the pretty bracelet she was wearing broke. Oh the tears. I tried everything to console her. But the sobbing continued. It got a bit frustrating but I admired her. Her longing for beauty and perfection. And it does stink that cute bracelets have to get broken in our world. Satan is a big bully, breaking little girl’s bracelets for no reason.

In the evening I was playing some tunes on my radio a bit loud and Elizabeth came down to join me. I started dancing with her. She wouldn’t let me stop. We danced for three songs when she was called away to bed. “Can we play music and dance again tomorrow daddy?” Oh man, melting my heart even now.

It’s a temptation to squash kids, tell them not to get so upset, don’t get too excited, I might not be able to dance tomorrow. But my daughter longs for perfection and for eternity. She shows it so clearly. I love that.

It seems as if the Church tries its hardest to squash people. Don’t have too much fun. Don’t get angry. Don’t get upset. Don’t laugh. Don’t cry. Don’t play loud music, unless it’s in the Spirit of course.

We squash believers and then tell them to go out and attract people for Christ. Right. How’s that work now? The world won’t listen to people who are more squashed than they are. C. S. Lewis said, “We castrate the gelding and then bid him be fruitful.” That’s the Church. That’s why it’s so ineffective and that’s why no one comes.

I Am Not Ashamed, Mostly, Sort Of, I Mean It Depends. . .

I saw this blog post this morning at The Christian Mind about getting people into church. Keith quotes from an article about mega-churches bringing people in. The article has the following quote, “If you can’t get them into your building in one way or another, they’re not going to hear your message.”

Not only does Keith have a problem with that, so do I and many others. Why is it that the Church believes it must do something to attract people to the message? It’s as if we’re ashamed of our message, we don’t believe it has pulling power. We think that a rock concert, or a panties party, or Mr Bean can do the job the Word can’t.

For all the talk of the Holy Spirit and how powerful He is, I sure don’t see it in practice. We tend to believe that WE have the power and the marketing ability to get people to Christ. Quite frankly, it makes me sick.

If we’d cut all this junk, get our pastor’s noses into the Word, have them go through life growing and living and feeling and then presenting their growth to a group of people with passion, power, and insight, the world would flock to us. If we cut out the junk, got back to the basics. The foolishness of preaching is what God chose. I don’t know why. But all else besides that is only dressing. It might get more people INTO CHURCH, but that’s not the same as getting them INTO HEAVEN.

What’s our focus? What are we here for? Why are we so ashamed of our God? Of our Gospel? Of our Hope? Of our Savior? I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation. It’s not the power of you unto church. Get it right.

Hollywood Goes To Church

The Church of England can’t get people in their churches, we can’t seem to keep people out. Hollywood is now moving into churches by showing promotional snippets in churches of movies that are “moral.”

Disney is pushing their new movie “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” which is, for some reason, about golf, in churches. And I quote this brilliant statement, “Its themes are about family, about not giving up on your dreams, courage,” said Dennis Rice, head of publicity at the Walt Disney Studios. “They are very secular virtues, but they also could potentially be Christian virtues.”

Riiiiight. What movie doesn’t “potentially” have Christian virtues? Good thing that boycott with Disney is over, or else pastor would have to speak for three more minutes. God forbid.

Some professor who knows more than you said, “Increasingly, the church realizes that spiritual conversations are happening in the culture and we are in danger of being left out of the conversation.” This is where I have problems. I don’t care what conversation the stupid world is having. The world is supposed to come find out what conversation we’re having!

The world is supposed to ask a question of the hope that is in us. We’re not supposed to go find out and question the hope that is in the world. Please. Boy this is irritating. I need to stop doing so many news stories. I’m gonna go knit some panties.

Why Would Jesus Party?

As we’ve been documenting, the Church of England has been having troubles getting people to church. They have pet Sundays, Mr. Bean videos, internet equipped church pews, etc. Here’s the latest in their attempt to get more people to come to church–lingerie parties.

I’m serious. Here is a quote from a bishop of the Anglican Church, “What a tragedy that we are surrounded daily with television programmes, art, film and even real-life stories sold to magazines and newspapers that champion casual sex and pornography, yet as Christians we often have so little to say about it.”

Yeah, and what a tragedy that the church hasn’t yet exploited it for church growth. They also propose doing murder mystery evenings, pamper parties, knitting clubs and book clubs as ways to spread the word about how cool church is. $10 the lingerie party gets more people than the knitting club.

I got a great idea, next Friday my church is going to have a knit your own panties party, followed by the reading of a murder mystery. That’ll bring em in. I really think the answer is to start preaching a Gospel worth listening to. Give them hope. Show them life. Don’t play games.

Anti-Itch Reminiscing

Oh man, I kill me. I read a bit more of my paper. Dying to share more with you. The next part of the paper is writing about what I learned about myself the past semester being Spiritually Formed.

I also learned that I have had an exceptional doctrinal training. I knew this before but am even more convinced of it now. Most of my opinions on doctrine and how they should be lived are a minority here. Because my views are a minority here, I know that I must be right. I have very little trouble, compared to many classmates and professors, defending my views and being pleased with the lack of inconsistency within them.

Then there’s this bit, which just slays me.

As a side note. I am currently cleaning the library every morning. There are exactly 86 signs in the library which say not to eat or drink in the library. 86. You can count them, I did. Yet every day there is food and drink all over the library. Why is this? Perhaps the sad condition of the church is a reflection on the sad condition of it’s leaders. If the leaders don’t follow rules, how can the church? Just a soap box item there.