Christianity Tag

what side I have found that when it comes to Christians, what they believe, stand for depends on what side of the fence they are on, there current place in life. Like recently a friend posted on FB their support for a new bill that will pour billions into steam cell research. A year and a half ago like the majority of Christians they where against it, but do to current situation in their family they are now on the other side of the fence on that issue.

Just as Christians are against abortion, tell their 13 year old daughter get pregnant, or a single Christian girl gets pregnant, then they switch sides on the issue, they take the side that benefits them at the hour of their situation.

It’s no wonder the world no longer take Christians serious, we do not stand on what we say is truth in our own lives.

This is why the church needs to get back to teaching the word of God, teaching that obeying is not an option, that it is God Word, truth, the truth that all other things are measured by. That the word of God is to change our beliefs, not ours rewrite the bible. Christianity is not a set of beliefs you pick and chose from when they meet your current needs or life situation, but yet that is what it has been come in the US.

11-17-09 Last week there was quite a buzz around the internet social networks about a statement made by a well known pastor at a church leadership conference. He stated that they should focus on building a online church community rather than a brick and mortar church.

He stated that it is not necessary for people to attend a church, that being part of a “online church” is all that one needs as a Christian. That being part of a body as to in person, gather to gather face to face is not needed. That pastors should be moving from a live congregation to a virtual online congregation, church only. That’s the way to to church now, virtual community via the web, twitter is the way to do church fellowship.

I can not express how much that saddened me, to hear that the leadership, movers and shakers of the church world (the under 35 crowed) adapting that mindset. Seeking to do away with real church, biblical church. The gathering of the body is the heart of church, it’s very essence. Gathering together for fellowship, for each to exercise their Spiritual gifts for the good of the body is why we meet, to build up one another, encourages each other, brake bread, share a meal, lay hands on each other and pray, lest see them do that online, in less than 140 characters.

So for him church is only a 30 min feel good sermon that you pay 10% of your income to listen to on line. This just does not set right with me. I’m a community person, fellowship is a necessity, so I guess people like me, people who believe the scriptures will just have to go elsewhere than “virtual church” in the near future for that.  

110309 An estimated 1.5 million evangelical Christians joined Brazil’s annual "March for Jesus" on Monday in Sao Paulp, Brazil, an event sponsored by a church whose leaders recently returned after being imprisoned in the U.S. for money smuggling.

Now in its 17th year, the march unites faithful from hundreds of evangelical churches and attracts dozens of Christian bands, preachers and local celebrities.

It is organized by the powerful Reborn in Christ Church, whose leaders said they had hoped to draw 5 million people to gather around a central Sao Paulo plaza where the main stage was located.

74 percent of Brazilians identify as Catholics, down from 84 percent in 1990. Fifteen percent classified themselves as evangelical Protestants, up from 9 percent in 1990.

"It’s one giant party for Jesus," one participant said, standing among a noisy throng of revelers.explo72

Associated Press writer Bradley Brooks in Rio de Janeiro. read full story here.

I remember the good old days here in America when this type of activity was a regular event, being a child of the 70’s. I remember the Jesus movement well, when thousands of followers of Christ held marches on school campuses, streets, rallies in parks an schools campuses, and filled stadiums. I miss those days when love and passion for Jesus was so white hot, when every follower of Jesus was passionate about sharing Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, and the result was we baptized hundreds at a time. Church where growing so fast we where taking over closed stores and warehouses, sadly today churches are closing, dying off, and I do believe there is a connection. We need to get that fiery hot passion back, for Jesus for the lost.

 

Photo from Expo 72 in Dallas, TX

flashforward-logo The new TV show Flash Forward (ABC Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET) debut last night, with an interesting show plot. If you did not see the first show, the plot is that everyone in the world blacks out at the same time and has a flash forward to their future. And while blacked out they see for two minutes and seventeen seconds, his or her life six months in the future on the same day. What they where doing on that day, what their life was like. And a FBI task force sets out to find out what or who cause it and why it happened.

One of the character points out that everyone was changing how they lived and how they have a different outlook on their lives based on what they saw about their future. People where beginning to change the way the lived, their outlook about life. Those who saw a bad future on that day where now seeking to change that outcome, create a different future for themselves, avoid the for seen event.

And I thought about that, how the author of the book that the show is based on, understood if we could see the future, even a single day, it would effect our life choices now, how we live now. How true that should be fore every follower of Christ, for we have seen the future, not just ours but the future of the all mankind, all of creation. How the story will end as they say.

We followers of Christ have had our own Flash Forward, only we have seen more than two min of the future. We do not know the exact date of events like in the show, they had a time line, we do not, it could be tomorrow, next month or ten years from now.

So my question is has it really changed the way we live compared to those who have not had a Flash Forward, seen the future. Has knowing the future really changed what we live for, what is important in life, what our life priorities are? Do we really live in light of our Flash Forward?

the love revolution jm This is a great book, a must read for every Christian and really everyone. This subject is one I am most passionate about! There are over 2000 scriptures where God is speaking about the poor, needy and orphans, this is the one issue most on God’s heart. And therefore it should be the priority for His people, the poor are the ones most dear to the heart of God and should be for His people also.

The book is about getting it, understanding the heart of God, aliening our hearts with His, understanding our responsibility to the poor and needy. Moving from a selfish life, a self centered life, to one of love for others. Having our hearts break over the things that break God’s heart.
At this books core is the story of author, Joyce Meyer and how she finely got what God says about our duty to the poor and needy, how she was changed and how her ministry changed also when she got hold of Gods passion for the poor and needy. This book is about her encouraging others to get that same passion, to get Gods heart for the needy, and take action as she did. To understand our calling to take care of the poor and needy, do something, to act on what God said, to walk the talk as they say.

Ted Kennedy was asked once how he could have such an obsession with the condition of the poor being he grew up with privilege, so much wealth. Kennedy replied with a question; asking reporter if he had never read the bible?.He got it. And it dictated his life, his work, the focus of all most every bill he authored in the senate (I’m no fan of Kennedy’s political stance, but admired his passion for the poor and social justice.). This is what Joyce wants for her readers, that just as it took hold of her and her life, for it to take hold of her readers and change them.

In Matthew 25 Jesus said He will separates the sheep from the goats of those who call Him Lord, and says to the sheep, that being the ones that have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, given drink to the thirsty, and visited those in prison, visited the sick. Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: But He said woe to the goats those who did none of these things. This is an issue God does not take lightly, this book is about being found a sheep in Jesus’ story.

Sweatshops I was very angry when I was made aware of the fact that Christian items from bible covers to t-shirts are being made in factors which abuse and traffic workers, that is sweatshops.

The Just Holy Hardware Campaign in Australia launched last week as part of a movement to end slavery, especially slavery of children, in the production of religious items.  The initiative, aims to provide religious organizations in Australia with paraphernalia made under fair labor conditions, with a "no-slavery" guarantee.

This is something that should not be happing in the US, how can it be that Christian goods sold in Christian book stores are being produced in sweatshops, by human trafficked people, children. There should be someone taking up the cause to stop this practice such as the Just Holy Hardware Campaign to put an end to this practice here in the US.

The Association for Christian Retail needs to adopt a set of standards similar to the ones adopted in Australia, it would make a huge impact on the lives of the slaves who are right now suffering in silence while making religious artifacts. Send them a letter or call them and tell them you do not what Christian goods to be made by salve labor, in sweatshops, by people caught up in human trafficking. Tell the Association for Christian Retail to adopt a set of anti-slavery standards for the production of Christian goods by signing the portion on this link! That the good are to be produce by people earning a good wage, in good working condition.

Click here to sign a letter to end this practice here in the us here.

man praying redChinese Christians spend two to four hours a day in prayer. While the average American Christian spends on average ten minutes a day in prayer.

WHY PRAY?

1. We pray because you love God. We spend time with God in prayer and communion because we love him. Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we, if we love God, will desire to be with Him and to fellowship with Him in proportion to our love for Him. And being Jesus said “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Mat 10:37) so shouldn’t we be spending more time with Him?

2. We should walk in the spirit of prayer, to pray without ceasing. Prayer is to be a way of life, when Paul said pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17), he meant just that. A lot of what it means is as it says about Enoch “he walk with God” that is he was in constant communication with God, talking with God all day. If you have seen the Movie or play Fiddler on the Roof, you have seen a truth about Jews portrayed in the Jewish characters, they where constantly talking with God about everything they did all day. They had dialog with God both asking Him what to do, seeking His wisdom, and thanking Him for all things, as well as complaining, Oy Vey. The main character Tevye is always talking with God, about everything, even asking God to bless a new sowing machine.

3. If we are truly walking with Christ, seeking God’s will in everything. Then we should be talking with God about every aspect of our life, hour by hour. Seeking God will for every decision as we encounter then. Should I buy this? Do this? What is your will for me in this God? Our work decisions, personal decision. It’s not just starting our day with a quick prayer what is your will for me today? God can not give His will for you that day, every aspect of your day in a short prayer. It’s a play by play coaching, a as you go guidance. But in every action asking before we do it minute by minute. Praying instantly for others as we see their needs, with others at the moment of need.

That’s how we are to walk, live with God. In constant dialog, prayer. That is not done in ten min a day.

israel-flag There are more Bible reasons why Christians should support Israel than I could list in this post (100’s of verses), being one with Jewish roots does give me both prejudice, a bias as well as possessing intimate knowledge on this subject.

But simplify we will take the verse found in Genesis 12:3
"And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

That  alone should motivate every Christian to bless, support Israel. God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People.  History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.

I was pleased to read an article in The Jerusalem Post that ’50 million US Christians back Israel’

Christian supporters of Israel who gathered in Washington last week did not just sit through policy briefings and lobbying sessions; they danced the hora, blew a shofar, sang Hatikva and celebrated all that they love about Israel.

“We’re here to tell you and the people of Israel that there are 50 million Christians in this nation who support you and the State of Israel,” said CUFI founder John Hagee to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who joined the conference via satellite.

I say, Amen! & Amen!!

Read the article here.

go Jesus told His followers to GO, not stay, not sit, but GO! I envision God looking down sometimes and saying to His people ‘What part of Go, don’t you understand?’

Go is one of the most powerful words Jesus used, command he gave His people, most life change two letter word in the bible. God told Abraham, Moses, Noah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Paul to Go just to name a few. That little word changed men, nations and the world.

 

 

Lets read Jesus’ words:

  • Mat 10:6  But rather Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  • Mat 10:7  And as you Go, proclaim, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
  • Mat 19:21  Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me.
  • Mat 28:19  Therefore Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
  • Mar 16:15  And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.
  • Luke 10:3  Go! Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
  • John 8:11  And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more

 

So according to Jesus we are to:

  • Go to the lost
  • Go proclaim the gospel
  • Go proclaim the Kingdom of heaven
  • Go to the poor and give to them
  • Go teach the nations His teaching
  • Go and baptize
  • Go as lambs among the wolves
  • and finally Go and sin no more

 

So are you Going? does this list describe your daily activities, your To Do list for the day? It should. I know I need to get Going more and staying less.

So how do we fix our going problem, simple, just Go like Jesus said to. Let that one little word change your life and the world around you. Go!

keith green Keith Green is one of my all time favorite Christian singer/song writers no one since him has impacted the Christian world with such encouraging songs. He’s lyrics challenged Christians in their walk with God like no other musical artist. In so many ways His concerts where like sermons being song.

A great example is his song ‘A Sleep In the Light’ probably my favorite song of his, the lyrics motivated me every time I heard the song. I can not count the number of times that the song came into my head, in opportune times to share the gospel, jump starting me to do so.

This song is so needed in the American church today, one that needs to be played in every church and on every Christian radio station, this message need to come from every pulpit, because the church has never been more a sleep as it is today. Read over the lyrics below, let it take hold of your heart, Hear it here.

My favorite lines are “How can you be so dead When you’ve been so well fed Oh, Jesus rose from the dead And you, you can’t even get out of bed

Light’: by Keith Green

Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don’t you care, don’t you care
Are you gonna let them drown
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
"Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord"
You know it’s all I ever hear
No one aches, no one hurts
No one even sheds one tear
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds
And He cares for your needs
And you just lay back
And keep soaking it in,
Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?
Cause He brings people to you door,
And you turn them away
As you smile and say,
"God bless you, be at peace"
And all heaven just weeps
Cause Jesus came to your door
You’ve left him out on the streets
Open up open up
And give yourself away
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay
God’s calling and you’re the one
But like Jonah you run
He’s told you to speak
But you keep holding it in,
Oh can’t you see it’s such a sin?
The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just can’t fight
Cause it’s asleep in the light
How can you be so dead
When you’ve been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can’t even get out of bed
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead
Come on, get out of your bed
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t pretend the jobs done
Come away, come away, come away with Me my love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, my love.