'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 7)

'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 7)

A Different Style of Evangelist: Laborers on the Loose

The disparity between what Christ and Paul did in evangelism and what we do, at least in the West, is dramatic. Let me explain a few of those differences: 1. The first radical departure from Jesus and Paul is our concept of time-specific, meeting-oriented evangelism. You will read in vain in the New Testament to find so many days of evangelistic preaching scheduled for Jesus or Paul and conducted at 7 p.m. in a certain location. You do not find…

What Do You Do With Immorality?

When the apostle Paul heard that there was immorality in the Corinthian church, he was shocked. The brand of immorality was of such a kind that the sensibilities of the pagan world would even be offended—”a man has his father’s wife”. But his amazement was mostly because the church tolerated it as a badge of honor. The church had so distorted the meaning of love that it was proud of its acceptance of such persons. “And you are arrogant. Ought…

The Value of Hanging Out

I have just spoken to a lady from Germany about her kids in college while my Lebanese friend was standing by. Both work at the local coffee shop where I am writing this piece. Just prior to that I spoke with other acquaintances from South Korea who own a T-shirt business at the city market downtown. Business is not so good for them right now, but they smile and talk with me most mornings I’m there. I met yet another…

Why Should I Join a Church?

The title of this introduction raises a good question, doesn’t it? Even among those who support the idea of church membership, there are valid reasons to wonder why most churches have established membership roles as well as procedures for welcoming people into membership. For example, we cannot overlook the fact that the word “membership” is not used anywhere in the Bible. No matter how hard you look, you will never find a verse or passage in the New Testament that…

A Really Funny Gospel for Kids

I watched a portion of a video designed for the purpose of telling Bible stories and presenting the gospel. The entertainer was dressed like an angelic Elvis Presley, complete with wings. The clothes and movements of the entertainer’s body were an overstatement of the real Elvis. My friend touted the act as "soooooo funny." It was. I mean that he was so funny that I could not help but laugh. What should we think about this approach? First, the combination…

Caught in Our Shame: Comments on the Recent Barna Report

The recent Barna report on evangelical beliefs in mainline churches is almost too excruciating to read. In the report, statistics concerning the 12 largest denominations are tallied. Barna polled 6,038 adults with random telephone interviews nationwide. Tim Ellsworth of the Baptist Press summarized the findings. I have included the pertinent data: The study’s findings identify an alarmingly high number of church members whose beliefs fall far short of orthodox Christianity. For example, 41 percent of all adults surveyed believed in…

The World Trade Center and Our First Acts

The wilting sadness of the World Trade Center tragedy—the dead bodies in the dust, the people jumping out of windows, the angst of the traumatized, the weary searching, the yearning eyes of family members, the apparent senselessness of it all—leave disturbing imprints on our American soul. What are we to do? First, we should pity all who do not know Christ. We will all die, but not all will die in such a tragic manner. Some who perished are now…

Entertainment Evangelism, a Response to a News Reporter

Hello, this is B____ L_____, religion reporter for the W_____ E____. I am writing an analysis story on a trend we see hear of "entertainment evangelism." D____ C____ of Current Thoughts and Trends magazine said you would be a good person to talk with. In a couple of weeks, a group called "Impact World Tours" affiliated with Youth with a Mission will have a crusade here. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the group but they will put on…

The Integrity of the Local Church

The following is a portion of a conference message presented to the Midwest Southern Baptist Founders Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 14, 2001. I have chosen chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians to help us consider the integrity of the New Testament Church. This is a short chapter with only 13 verses out of which I wish to uncover five observations. Before I read this passage let me tell you a story that took place in 1837. A protracted meeting was…

Serious Preaching

I have been considering for some time the desperate condition of preaching in the West. I have even toyed with the idea of writing a booklet entitled Serious Preaching. Such preaching is out of vogue, but I still believe in it. Please know that I’m not talking about serious sweating. It used to be said that if a man didn’t fill his hanky with sweat, make himself hoarse with screaming and wind up walking on about two inches of his…

The New Gospel: Appealing But not Revealing

It cannot be overstated that the most pressing issue in the American church at present is the prevalence of unregenerate church members within our ranks. When the current surveys of American life place those who call themselves believers in Christ about the seventieth percentile and climbing, conservative Christians ought to finally awaken to the immensity of the problem. Deception is pandemic. It is as if a modern Constantine christianized the masses while we were asleep. Spurgeon said, “Everyone has a…

The Sensitivity of True Worship

We don’t have to look far to discover how sensitively God measures the worship of Himself. Cain, firstborn son to the progenitor of all man’s sin, was rejected by God and turned over to his degenerate and murderous heart all because his worship was wrong—in motive and in method. A bit further we find Nadab and Abihu severely judged with instant death for offering “strange fire” at the altar—an offense so serious to God He did not allow their father…