Archive for August, 2009

America – A Nation of Hindus?

August 21st, 2009 No comments

The recent edition of Newsweek came out with the stunning headline, “We are all Hindus Now.” Since, according to an earlier edition, we are no longer a Christian nation, what would give rise to this new description of American religious life?

According to the author, ”recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.”

Here’s the evidence. Many people claiming to be Christians no longer embrace Jesus’ own words in John 14:6 where He makes an exclusive claim to be “The way, the truth and the life.” It seems some professing Christians are actually more like Hindus who believe there are many different paths to God.

Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, describes American faith as what he calls  ”the divine-deli-cafeteria religion.”  We like to pick and choose the elements of religion we find tasteful while conveniently rejecting the spiritual “brussel sprouts” and other items we find less palatable. According to Prothero, this is “very much in the spirit of Hinduism. You’re not picking and choosing from different religions, because they’re all the same,” he says. “It isn’t about orthodoxy. It’s about whatever works. If going to yoga works, great—and if going to Catholic mass works, great. And if going to Catholic mass plus the yoga plus the Buddhist retreat works, that’s great, too.”

Whatever works for you. So that is how we are defining TRUTH? In reality, this approach conveniently makes YOU God. What makes you happy, or successful or whatever…

This view demonstrates the heigth of irrationality. If everything is true. then nothing is true. If God is what you want Him to be then He really doesn’t exist. You just took his place. You are the creator and your God exists for you. What foolishness!

Last time I checked, we exist for His glory and pleasure! So fill your plate with all of God’s revelation. Let’s follow the steps of King David and challenge the world to “taste and see that the Lord is good!” Eat it all. Prevent brain decay.

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Secularization and the Death of our Youth

August 19th, 2009 No comments

I just read some statistics revealed in a recent book by Ken Ham entitled, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it. Ham worked with a professional pollster to survey those who went to church every week or nearly every week and they deliberately polled conservative, Bible-believing congregations. Here are some of the disturbing findings:

  • A mass exodus is underway. Most youth of today will not be coming to church tomorrow. Nationwide polls and denominational reports are showing that the next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening at the core of the faith.
  • Only 11 percent of those who have left the Church did so during the college years. Almost 90 percent of them were lost in middle school and high school. By the time they got to college they were already gone! About 40 percent are leaving the Church during elementary and middle school years!
  • If you look around in your church today, two-thirds of those who are sitting among us have already left in their hearts; it will only take a couple years before their bodies are absent as well.
  • The numbers indicate that Sunday school actually didn’t do anything to help them develop a Christian worldview…The brutal conclusion is that, on the whole, the Sunday school programs of today are statistical failures.
  • Part of the concern is that the mere existence of youth ministry and Sunday school allows parents to shrug off their responsibility as the primary teachers, mentors, and pastors to their family.

I believe one of the major reasons for the tragic fallout is the rapid secularization of our popular culture. Christian educator, Arthur Holmes, writes, “The fact is that Western Civilization has become thoroughly secularized; Christianity is regarded as largely irrelevant to culture and science and learning, reduced to a private and inward affair.”

When our teens see no connection between what we talk about on Sunday morning and the world in which they live the rest of the week, it leaves our Christianity in the category of “irrelevant.” When we leave no room for the supernatural move of the Holy Spirit to touch hearts and lives, it sends the message that our Christianity is “impotent.”

When we combine an experience that is both irrelevant to real life and impotent to address impossible situations and challenges of life,  we leave our teens scratching their heads and asking, “So why am I here?”

We must be able to articulate the superiority of our Christian worldview as the best explanation of reality and we must boldly demonstrate the power of God by ministering the good news of the Kingdom. Fire and light is the only remedy for a secularized culture.

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Patriot Pastors – 4

August 10th, 2009 No comments

As I shared in my last post, John Witherspoon provides an excellent example of a pastor who understood his role as one called to bring the Lordship of Christ to all of life, including civil government. But, this was not always the case. Prior to 1774, Witherspoon avoided “politics” altogether. But just two years later, he changed his approach. On May 17, 1776, Witherspoon delivered what historians describe as “one of the most notable” of the patriotic sermons of the Revolutionary Was era.

In his sermon, he forcefully articulates the pastor’s responsibility to speak out against wickedness wherever it may be found:

“He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind…I do not wish you to oppose anybody’s religion, but everybody’s wickedness…It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, every one in his proper sphere, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of His name and worship, and obedience to His laws.”

Strong language! It is our DUTY to exert ourselves, in our spheres of influence, to stem the tide of wickedness in our land – especially when that wickness is being promoted by our elected officials.

Pierre Bynum, National Prayer Director with the Family Research Council, highlighted the government sponsored immorality which is coming our way in the proposed government takeover of our health care system. If we fail to fight, this is what is coming our way:

  • Every American taxpayer will be forced to fund abortion;
  • Insurance companies must provide abortion coverage;
  • Health facilities will be required to provide abortion services;
  • Regions that lack abortion services must create them;
  • Doctors, nurses and other health professionals will be required to deny the Hippocratic Oath (and believers their biblical principles) to perform or participate in performing abortions with no conscientious objection provisions to protect them;
  • Government funding will become the new “right” of every woman in America who wants an abortion (including young teenagers).

Perhaps, like Witherspoon, you have had a history of avoiding getting involved in matters of public policy. There’s no time like NOW to get involved in the fray. Let it not be said of us, “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?” (Numbers 32:6)

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