the modern church?

PlaneI wrote about them before on my blog.

And yes, I've probably been too snarky about them, and should probably just ignore them.

But it bothers me when a church seems to go too far to scratch people where they itch - or seem to say, "Hey, we're no different than anyone else and we're certainly not as stuffy as that old-fashioned gathering of persimmons down the road."

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his favorite song of all

One of the great American choirs singing one of my favorite songs... Turn it up, and sing it out!

He loves to hear the wind sing
As it whistles through the pines on mountain peaks
He loves to hear the raindrops
As they splash to the ground in a magic melody
He smiles in sweet approval
As the waves crash to the rocks in harmony
Creation joins in unity to sing in majestic symphonies

[Chorus:]
But His favorite song of all
Is the song of the redeemed
When lost sinners now made clean
Lift their voices loud and strong
When those purchased by His blood
Lift to Him a song of love
Nothing more He'd rather hear
Nor so pleasing to His ear
As His favorite song of all

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/b/brooklyntabernaclechoirlyrics/favoritesongofalllyrics.html

three strikes

Batball2A Facebook article this morning reminded me of some dark days in my life.

The seminarian who dropped by my room one evening to tell me that he didn't want to be my friend.

The pastor who informed me that being absent from special meetings was reasoning for rejecting my application to join the church's pastor staff - and that I wasn't "personable" enough.

Others. Spilled milk. Scabs that need not be picked.

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seeing, believing, and lost keys

Key"I don’t see why faith should be seen as inconsistent with science. There is nothing illogical about miracles if a Creator God exists. If a God exists who is big enough to create the universe in all its complexity and vastness, why should a mere miracle be such a mental stretch? To prove that miracles could not happen, you would have to know beyond a doubt that God does not exist. But that is not something anyone can prove.

"Science must always assume that an effect has a repeatable, natural cause. That is its methodology. Imagine, then, for the sake of argument that a miracle actually occurred. Science would have no way to confirm a nonrepeatable, supernatural cause. Alvin Plantinga argued that to say that there must be a scientific cause for any apparently miraculous phenomenon is like insisting that your lost keys must be under the streetlight because that’s the only place you can see."

- Pastor Tim Keller from a NYTimes interview with Nicholas Kristof


The Encouraging Assembly

1churchMy past history in relation to the local church has been disappointing, to say the least. It has left me a bit shell-shocked – so much so that returning to a physical church is daunting.

In dealing with the past, I remind myself of the lessons I have learned.  I regularly employ such questions as “What if…?” and “So what…?” in finding a way forward.  But just as I find a sense of satisfaction with the resolution I have found for the tension within, a verse plucked from God’s Word threatens the calm I thought I had found:

Hebrews 10:25 – “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

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I Was Afraid of That

ChurchsmallA friend recently shared with me about witnessing some of our local churches’ attempts at their displays during a local public event. What was relayed to me was funny, but it was also troubling. Such public displays over and above the weekly church service could be powerful, but sometimes such attempts seem to end up being either hilarious or embarrassing in my humble opinion.

When I hear of things like this, and end up shaking my head and thinking how foolish or impractical or humiliating they are, am I being overly critical? Maybe. Judgmental? I imagine so. Does it justify my staying away from and out of involvement in a local church? Now that’s a tough question.

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