Evangelical Swampage

“As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, American evangelicalism is clearly confused, fragmented, and frighteningly vulnerable to false teaching.

“Evangelicals are too worldly-minded and untaught to be able to recognize all the deadly errors that have made themselves at home within the movement. Evangelical leaders are far too tentative and timid in denouncing those errors—up to and including the damnable ones.

“Rank-and-file evangelicals won’t stand for it if their leaders do point out false doctrines, especially when the error is being peddled by a slick celebrity.

“These problems are serious. What we commonly refer to as “the evangelical movement” is actually no movement at all anymore. It has morphed and melted down into a variegated, muddled, incoherent swamp—without any meaningful boundaries. And we are sending to the world a message that is as garbled and bewildering as this ersatz movement.”
–Pyromaniacs

Judgmentalism and Sermons

“There are hearers who make themselves, and not the Scripture, the standard of their judgment. They attend not so much to be instructed, as to pass their sentence. To them, the pulpit is the bar at which the minister stands to take his trial before them; a bar at which few escape censure, from judges at once so severe and inconsistent.”
–John Newton

For many, it’s been a long time since they’ve listened to a sermon. The pastor says a phrase, a buzz-word and “Oop, can’t say that pastor. This guy doesn’t know anything.” And off their mind goes.

Hard to learn when we don’t listen. Even harder to learn if you think you know everything.

Satan Wants to go to Heaven Too

Desiring to go to heaven is not proof you are truly saved.

The Bible gives many tests to determine the legitimacy of your profession, wanting to go to heaven is indeed a true desire of a believer, but it aint the only one.

Wanting to escape pain, struggle, temptation is a human desire, it is not inherently spiritual. Consoling yourself with the positive thinking of heaven is not faith.

A true desire for heaven results in a purification of life, a detachment from worldly things. It is not an elevated sense of worldly things, nor is it an excuse to continue to mind earthly things.

Satan wants to go to heaven, too as long as he doesn’t have to give glory to God while he’s there. Are you in that boat, too?

A. W. Tozer’s Warning

From a review of Tozer’s life:

“With a burning desire to learn and a keen sense of educational inadequacy, Tozer began to devote long hours to reading. He not only read a lot, his mind was preoccupied when he was home, as he continually sorted out ideas and wrote articles in his mind when he could not be alone to put them on paper.

“By early 1928 the Tozers had a routine. Aiden found his fulfillment in reading, preparing sermons, preaching, and weaving travel into his demanding and exciting schedule, while Ada learned to cope. She dutifully washed, ironed, cooked, and cared for the little ones, and developed the art of shoving her pain deep down inside.

“Most of the time she pretended there was no hurt, but when it erupted, she usually blamed herself for not being godly enough to conquer her longing for intimacy from an emotionally aloof husband.”

Your Life and God’s Boring Book

I’m a reader of the Bible. Good days, bad days, indifferent days, any days I’ll read the Bible. Sometimes I look for a little extra inspiration, a little something to help me through.

It seems on those days when I need a little “pick-me-up,” I’m reading Exodus. When was the last time you heard a life-inspiring sermon from Exodus 27?

Then I consider the original writing of Exodus 27. Israel has escaped Egypt, they’re wandering in the wilderness whining about their disastrous room service, trying to make it to the Promised Land.

Then God drops on them laws about accidentally killing your neighbor’s goat, dimensions of the ark of the covenant, how to assemble the tabernacle, and on and on to such detail.

Doesn’t God know how “plot” works? Get to the story! Let me know if they make it or not! It’s like reading Moby Dick. Captain Ahab is put on hold while Melville discusses breeding habits of whales.

Apparently, and you may not know this, God did not write the Bible to inspire my life. Seriously, He didn’t. I always thought He did until I read the Book.

God wrote the Book so I could know who He is, what His plan is, what His people are here for and how His people are to glorify Him. My life is not the center of the universe, tabernacle dimensions make that point clear.

Don’t Mention Names of Other Gods

Christians know we aren’t supposed to worship other gods. We know we’re not supposed to bow down before idols, offer them sacrifices or pray to them. Standard stuff.

Commandment number one is–have no other gods before Me. We got it. Covered. Done deal.

If you read a little further in God’s commandments you’ll come across fuller explanations as to exactly how one-sided God wants us to be in our devotion to Him. Get this one:

“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”

Wow! That’s called exclusivism! Not only does Got not want us worshipping other gods, He doesn’t want us mentioning their names. Makes you question your comparative religions study doesn’t it?

Probably not. We know God doesn’t really mean we shouldn’t mention the names of other gods, just like He didn’t really mean we should pray without ceasing.

Then again, maybe He does mean it. Hmm, imagine if God actually meant everything He said.

Puritans and iPods

OK, so this quote does not exactly mention an iPod, but let us consider the morals of our Founding Fathers in our nation, our Puritan heritage in relation to our obsession with all things music:

“If you would have your sons soft, womanish, unclean, smoothmouth, affected to bawdry, scurrility, filthy rimes, and unseemly talking; briefly if you would have him, as it were, transnatured into a woman or worse, and inclined to all kinds of whoredom and abomination, set him to dancing school and to learn music, and then you shall not fail of your purpose.

“And if you would have your daughter riggish, bawdry and unclean, and a filthy speaker, and suchlike, bring her up in music and dancing and my life for yours, you have won the goal.”
–Philip Stubbes, 1583

Biggest Mistake Churches Make With Teaching Kids

I’m no fan of modern-day church youth programs. They all miss the mark for me. See yesterday’s post for more on that.

But there is one error in particular that churches make that I think is incredibly stupid–we let the most biblically ignorant teach our youth.

I don’t know why this is, but it certainly holds true for every church I’ve known. Maybe it’s hard to find people who will deal with kids. Maybe we think kids are too dumb anyway, who cares what they’re taught?

Kids are often given the filth and offscouring of teachers in the church. One of the first “ministries” thrust upon new believers is teaching kids.

We think of the benefit the new believer will get from this experience, and seemingly ignore the potential ruin this may cause a kid. The first Bible lesson I ever taught was to kids. I have no idea what I taught, but I pray to the Lord it was right.

We think that kids don’t listen, when in reality, kids do listen. In my experience, it’s the adults that don’t pay attention. Kids hold onto things. Oh, be careful what you say to a child from the Bible. Your stupid remarks may turn a kid from the Lord for eternity.

If you must assign new believers jobs, have them teach adults, they’re already thinking about lunch, they won’t mind a little heresy. They’re probably looking for a reason to leave church anyway.

12 Ways to Fix Church Youth Groups

Last week I linked to this article on my Facebook page about how church youth groups aren’t working. Teens are increasingly dumping church for other things. I made the comment that this is merely the church reaping the awful Gospel they’ve sown.

Someone asked me what my antidote for the problem is. Here is what I told them:

1) Get away from the emphasis on making a decision “to be saved” when we talk to young kids. Convincing them they are saved when only time will tell.

2) When teaching kids, we want them to learn the scope of the Bible with the emphasis on the Gospel, that Jesus Christ is the center of everything in Scripture.

3) Stress the key points of salvation–repentance, faith, bringing forth works that are consistent with true repentance.

4) Stress the important biblical doctrine of continuance–salvation is not based on a one-time event, but on the just living by faith.

5) Back off of counting numbers of attenders.

6) Stop using the church as a tool to evangelize and rather use it biblically as a way to edify and perfect the saints Ephesians 4.

7) Encourage kids to step out in faith by doing evangelism themselves wherever they are. Nothing will make a professed believer consider their profession better than this.

8) Face the grisly, yet clear, teaching of Scripture that there are many who desire to enter the kingdom of God, but only a few who enter. When the Lord returns, will he find faith on earth? Not very much.

9) Accept the fact that young people are learning, they don’t know stuff, expect them to walk away from many things in life, but also know that their true passions will be shown, if Christ isn’t one of them that means something, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something wrong with their youth group. Most kids who are coming to your youth group aren’t saved either, they just don’t know their options yet.

10) Get away from attracting youth with gimmicks and stick with the faithful, teaching of God’s Word by faithful, passionate, spiritually alive adults who live by the Word of God. Let the Spirit sort ’em out rather than letting fleshly means convince us we’re actually doing something.

‎11) Stop trying to entertain. The reason kids are leaving the church is because we’ve attracted them with entertainment. The world puts on better entertainment so they’ll go with the world on that one.

‎12) Attendance at your youth group is not equivalent to salvation

The fact that most kids stop attending youth group may indeed be one of the best things they can do. Getting away from the spiritually immature, live goldfish swallowing, goateed, guitar playing youth leaders may be a step toward following Christ.

Our job is to teach the word, be instant in season and out. Plant and water. Pray for laborers for the harvest and rely on God who gives the increase.

Sure, maybe few kids will show up, but hey, at least you aren’t being deceived by appearances.

Being Acceptable to God

Romans 14:17,18 are two fine Pauline verses oft ignored. Allow me to unignore them.

These two verses tell us that the kingdom of God (entering into the spiritual life of Christ as King) does not consist of dietary regulations, but three important Christian Virtues: righteousness, peace and joy.

If a man serves Christ in these three things, this man will be accepted of God and approved of men.

One would assume that the opposite is then true–one who does not serve Christ in righteousness, peace and joy is not accepted of God or approved of men.

How does that make you feel? It really, really makes you want to believe that false Gospel that says it doesn’t matter what you do, doesn’t it?!

Paul and “The Law”

Consistently the Apostle Paul talks about law. In Romans he mentions the word “law” 52 times.

It is a mistake to assume that each time he uses the word “law,” he is referring to the Law of Moses. In fact, if a guy were to look up the phrase “the law of” he would find the following laws listed:

–the law of faith–Romans 3:27
–the law of her husband–Romans 7:2
–the law of God–Romans 7:22, 25; 8:7
–the law of my mind–Romans 7:23
–the law of sin–Romans 7:23, 25
–the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus–Romans 8:2
–the law of sin and death–Romans 8:2
–the law of righteousness–Romans 9:31

That’s just in the book of Romans.

Paul does make a distinction between law and grace, but it is important to know that he is not advocating lawlessness. Grace does not equal lawlessness.

Anytime lawlessness is used in the Bible, it aint a good thing. Paul does have a point about law and it behooves us to figure out what it is. Figure it out!

Tozer on Hyper-Happy Christianity

“Any appeal to the public in the name of Christ that rises no higher than an invitation to tranquility must be recognized as mere humanism with a few words of Jesus thrown in to make it appear Christian.

“Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name.

“He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster.

“He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords,

“He calls them to self-abnegation and death; we call them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac.

“He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers.

“We can afford to suffer now; we’ll have a long eternity to enjoy ourselves. And our enjoyment will be valid and pure, for it will come in the right way at the right time.”

Lady Gaga and Christian Platitudes

“Be grateful for who you are and how God made you. God doesn’t make mistakes. You are perfectly and wonderfully made.” I have heard phrases like this from “Christian” teachers frequently.

It makes me want to regurgitate my bowl of cereal. Yet you hear this all the time. Especially when talking to kids. We must be careful what message we are conveying.

Here’s why. Lady Gaga, a woman who I know very little about, apparently has a new song out about sexual orientation. I’m gonna guess she attended Sunday School back in the day. Here’s one of her lyrics:

“I’m beautiful in my way ’cause God makes no mistakes.”

Hey, Gaga, God may not make mistakes, but you do hon’. God is not the author of sin. God did not make you to be a sexual pervert. You are a sexual pervert because that’s what you chose to do.

God does not make mistakes. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. These things are true, but this does not mean our proclivities to sin are His doing and are somehow OK because God made you.

Much of our teaching about our specialness and our wonderfulness are nothing more than humanism with a biblical veneer. Teach the Bible correctly. Having Lady Gaga as one of your graduates is not enviable.

Tozer on Not Living for the Second Coming

Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what’s the hurry about heaven anyway? Christianity, contrary to what some had thought, is another and higher form of entertainment.

“Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus. So say the same people who claim to believe in Christ’s second coming.

“Another reason for the absence of real yearning for Christ’s return is that Christians are so comfortable in this world that they have little desire to leave it.”

5 Things To Do Instead Of Devotionals

Hey, judgmental jerk-wad coming at you again. Yesterday I ripped apart Christian devotionals and judged all readers of them as being spiritually immature.

Today I’d like to deepen my hole I’m digging by telling you what I recommend.

1) Read the Bible–pretty self-explanatory.

2) Pray–ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, give you wisdom, and lead you into truth. Ask Him to help you apply it.

3) Read Christian Books–mostly read books written by dead guys. Books by dead guys that have survived to our time have survived for a reason. Most of today’s authors will not be read 50 years from now.

4) Pray–ask the Spirit to help you discern the spirits to know whether they are from God.

5) Keep Reading the Bible–read it over and over and over and never, ever stop. Ever. Eventually you’ll know it so well that you will immediately identify what is consistent with Scripture and what is not.

When I read about spiritually mature believers and talk to them, I find that this is what they do. They rely on the Holy Spirit to teach them. They pray without ceasing. They read doctrinal books. They exhaust the pages of Scripture, poring over it to find truth.

No five-minute devotional is going to make you mature. It just won’t. It may be a help, I’ll throw that in there, but they are a help, they are no subsitute for earnestly and zealously handling the Word of Truth.

Tozer on the Deceptive Dangers of Stupid Christian Songs

“As a pastor I have laid to rest the mortal remains of many a man whose future could not but be mighty uncertain, but who before the funeral was over nevertheless managed to get title to a mansion just over the hilltop.

“I have steadfastly refused to utter any word that would add to the deception, but the emotional wattage of the singing was so high that the mourners went away vaguely believing that in spite of all they knew about the deceased everything would be all right some bright morning.

“No one who has felt the weight of his own sin or heard from Calvary the Savior’s mournful cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” can ever allow his soul to rest on the feeble hope popular religion affords. He will – indeed he must – insist upon forgiveness and cleansing and the protection the vicarious death of Christ provides.”

5 Reasons I Don’t Like Christian Devotionals

I do not like devotionals, and by “devotionals” I mean the bite sized reflections on a passage of Scripture that come in little booklets with a page to read each day. Here is why I don’t like them:

1) Too Simplistic–they tend to treat the passage dealt with as the only passage that exists in the Bible.

2) Too Moralistic–rather than pointing people to Christ and Faith, they tend to make moral points–be nice to your wife, smile at neighbors, etc.

3) Too Psychological–they tend to treat psychological problems rather than spiritual problems. Most exist to make you feel happy rather than teach.

4) Too Corny–seriously? Life works the way devotionals portray it to?

5) Too Manageable–the short chunks of reading make you feel like you did something spiritual and yet barely gave you a glimpse at the vast magnitude that is God.

In the end, I’ve never met any spiritually mature believer, nor any reputable person from church history, that read canned devotionals. This is not making a judgment on people who do read them, just making a judgment on what I’ve seen in spiritually mature people.

“So, judgmental jerk-wad, what do you recommend people do?” I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Psychology and Scripture Interpretation

Interpreting Scripture is a complicated business. The Bible is large and proper Bible interpretation means letting the Bible interpret itself.

In other words, the Bible means what it says and you know what it means when you know what it says. Heresy comes when passages are removed from their context or when passages are treated as if they are the only verses in the Bible, or, at best, the most important ones.

I’ve heard many people quote me “the most important verse in the Bible.” This boggles my mind. How do you know that verse is the most important unless you have all the other ones?!

Modern Scripture interpretation has more to do with psychology than it does Scriptural analysis. Passages are seemingly put in the Bible to alleviate our Freudian angst.

When Jesus said “It is finished,” He meant that you don’t have to worry anymore. He did it all.

WRONG-O! Jesus did not say “It is finished” to alleviate your worry. Seriously, He didn’t. Look it up, He makes no mention of your worry. Your worry was the last thing on His mind. First and foremost on His mind was His accurate fulfillment of all that the Scripture said, that’s what He was talking about when He said, “It is finished.”

There is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, therefore Christians never have to feel guilty.

WRONG-O! Romans 8:1 has very little to do with your feelings and a whole lot to do with you escaping the judgment of God through Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul is not addressing your guilt-ridden conscience here. He isn’t, look it up, he never mentions it.

Now, these passages may alleviate your worry and guilty feelings, but I maintain that this is not the point of either passage based on the context.

The obsessive desire to make the Bible about us and our little emotions and feelings misses the point. Again, it may help your emotions and feelings, but this is secondary.

Your psychological issues will be handled quite nicely by hearing what God says and doing it. Not by trying to play games with Scripture to make you feel better about your crummy old self.

Kill the old self in Christ and let the sound mind that ensues take over. Leave the psychological problems to the Holy Spirit. He is the Comforter after all. But He can’t comfort if you’re stuck on yourself and your issues.

Prayer and Love

Praying “in Jesus’ name” means praying things that are in agreement with who Christ is. Things that are consistent with His nature and attributes.

One of the main features of Christ’s teaching is the importance of love. He says loving the Lord your God is the most important command, followed by love your neighbor. The one command He leaves with His disciples is that they love one another.

When we look at the passages that talk about praying in Jesus’ name, there are three of them John 14:12-16;15:16-17; 16:23-27, you will notice something, or maybe you won’t, so I’ll point it out cuz I’m helpful like that.

John 14 passage, right in the middle of asking things in His name He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 15 passage says “These things I command you, that ye love one another” right after He says to pray in His name.

John 16 passage on praying in Jesus’ name ends with “For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me.”

Two points on this:

1) Prayers in Jesus’ name should be consistent with Biblical love, both love for God and love for neighbor. If it is not loving it won’t happen.

2) If you have no interest in being loving it makes no sense for you to pray anything in Jesus’ name because His name represents who He is and He is love.

Again, dirty little secret, God listens to us much the way we listen to Him. If we have no interest in loving others you might as well not pray.

Romans 8:27 and Prayer

Many people quote Romans 8:27 when speaking of prayer and say something like, “The Spirit prays for God’s will to be done for you, so this is what we should pray.”

I do agree we should pray for God’s will to be done for us, see yesterday’s post. But to use this passage seems a stretch.

1) If the Spirit does pray for God’s will to be done for us, does it really matter what we pray then?

2) The words “will of” in the phrase “according to the will of God,” are in italics in your Bible, which means they aren’t in the Greek.

Young’s Literal Translation of Romans 8:27 reads, “He who is searching the hearts hath known what is the mind of the Spirit, because according to God he doth intercede for saints.”

In other words, the verse could also mean that according to God the Spirit intercedes for us, which makes no mention of what He is asking for in His intercession, which is why it consists of groanings which cannot be uttered.

What we do know from Romans 8:27 is that the Spirit intercedes for believers. His intercession is in accordance with who God is. His intercession is very helpful to us of finite minds and fleshly tendencies.

Prayer is talking to God. We don’t always know what to pray for, sometimes it seems there is no answer. The Spirit takes over in these instances for us. This is a comfort. It is not an excuse to avoid prayer, nor does it excuse disobedience to the revealed will of God.

Your Will Be Done

Another phrase tacked on before the obligatory, “in Jesus’ name, Amen,” is the obligatory “we ask Your will to be done in all things.” Or, if you really want God to hear you, say it King James-y, “Thy will be done.”

We know that it is right to pray for God’s will to be done. Unless, of course, you’re a Calvinist, then it seems rather redundant. For humorless Calvinists, of which there are many, the reason it’s redundant is in the brackets below.

(When Jesus tells them to say “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” this implies that His will is not always being done on earth, which has now caused numerous tizzies to be thrown.)

Asking for God’s will to be done is often a catch-phrase to insulate us from being disappointed when God doesn’t listen to us. It’s sort of our “out” if someone asks why our prayer wasn’t answered how we wanted.

“Well, it was God’s will that little Billy had his left eye poked out by a rabid chickadee and for his eye doctor to that day have a hangover and botch his surgery. God delights in this. Worry not for me. Just another day, basking in my Savior’s will.”

Actually, praying for God’s will is a very practical thing. As I said yesterday, praying in Jesus’ name implies praying for things in accordance with who He is, and He is sometimes called “The Word.”

Guess where God’s will is revealed? In The Word. It means the same thing as praying in Jesus’ name. I’m asking God to reveal to me, through His word and by His Spirit, what He wants me to do, or how to respond.

If you have no interest in doing God’s will, there’s no point praying for it to be done. Remember the dirty little secret no one wants to share about prayer–God listens to us much the way we listen to Him.

Don’t ask for God’s will to be done unless you want to do it. Want to know what it is? Read The Word and find out. Then set yourself to do it, because that’s what you want to happen anyway.

Supposedly.

(For my youtube video on this subject, go here.)

In Jesus Name, Amen

The classic sign-off to prayer, the signal to God that He can stop paying attention to us, is when we utter the magic words, “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Ok God, go away now.

The reason we say “In Jesus name” at the end of our prayers is because of Jesus’ instruction “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

We obviously want Jesus to do what we say, so we tack on “In Jesus name” as our magic formula for getting Jesus to hop up and do our bidding.

However, the concept has little to do with magic formulas and much to do with asking things that are in accordance with all that Jesus represents.

His name represents His authority, His power, His will and all that He is. His name is not just a title, but a representation of His power and authority. To pray in His name means to ask things in accordance with who He is.

When we ask things that are in accordance with Jesus name, it’ll happen. Let’s not forget that Jesus is sometimes called “the Word.” How do we know what is in accordance with Jesus’ name? Because it will be in agreement with the Word.

Being Watchmen

We’re being lulled into sleep by a comforting, materialistic world. There are none of us half-awake. What we need are watchmen, men who stand and give the warning. You may or may not be awake very much, but to the extent you are awake, find someone less awake and warn them. It may be the saving of their soul and perhaps, might even be the saving of yours.

Pray Without Ceasing

Several verses in the Bible mention praying without ceasing. As Christians are wont to do, we attempt to make this verse not say what it clearly says.

I’ve heard many explanations how this verse does not mean that we should pray without ceasing. The most famous loopholing says that this verse refers to the Holy Spirit interceding.

I doubt this highly. If that’s what it refers to, why does he tell us to do it? It’s like telling people to digest food. How can I make myself not digest food to the extent that someone would have to tell me to do so?

Praying without ceasing means, get this, we should pray without ceasing.

Take a break. Relax. I know I just blew your mind there. Feel free to continue reading when you feel up to it.

If you click on the link of verses above, you will notice that Paul says he prays without ceasing for the believers in Rome and for Timothy.

OK, clearly Paul is lying here! How can you without ceasing pray for two groups of people? When you are praying for Tim, you can’t be praying for Rome!

Does this mean Paul never prays about anything else except Tim and Rome? No, I don’t think so.

To pray without ceasing means to have a continual talk with God all the time. “Everything by prayer.” Our goal is to be in constant fellowship with God. Impossible? It probably is literally, but I don’t think it’s an outrageous command.

Who wouldn’t want to have a constant communion with God? We know that with the Spirit’s intercession we have all we need to do this.

The fact that we don’t is to our shame. The fact that we feel we need to change what the Bible clearly says by inventing some alternate meaning is even more to our shame.

Super Bowl and Church Jumpers

I am amazed at how loyal people are to their football teams. I’m especially amazed when it comes to Christians being loyal to their teams.

Football teams are largely made up of heathen scum men who have the morals of German Shepherds and lead lives that few Christians would ever be comfortable supporting, let alone living.

Yet, year after year, we support our teams. We don’t waver in our fandom, we brag that we stick with them “through thick and thin.” We forgive our star players for raping women and getting drunk.

Many of these same Christian fans leave churches at an alarming rate.

The pastor said something about Calvinism we didn’t like. The pastor’s wife wore pants. The pastor’s kids run in the halls. The deacons don’t wear suits. The pianist looks funny when she plays piano. Fellow churchgoers drive too nice of cars.

On and on, the list of ridiculous reasons people leave churches adds up. Meanwhile, they continue to support the same football team they’ve cheered on for the last 47 years.

No one on your favorite team has ever prayed for you. They’ve never brought you a meal when you were in the hospital. They’ve never done anything for you. But you’ll never give up on them. Oh no, they’re “your team!”

If only the Church created the unity the NFL does. We all deserve hell.

P.S.–I have to problem people cheering for teams. I do have a problem with people who quit on fellow Christians. Grow up.

Praying for Blessings

Prayer is mainly used as a vehicle by which people can receive stuff from God. We may call the “stuff” provision, blessings, honor, gifts or whatever, but it’s still ours and we want it.

Most prayer is bound up in meeting some need, getting something from God. All too often our prayers are centered on us, and at best, on other human beings.

I’m not sure this is entirely bad, but not sure it’s entirely good either. Perhaps there is someone else who should receive things that our prayers might benefit. Take a look at Revelation 5:12

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

Hmm, how often do we pray that the Lamb would get blessings, strength, honor, power and riches? How often in comparison with the frequency we request those things for ourselves?

Yowzers.