You wish every church says this in their bulletin. I wish every church acted like they intend to in their bulletin.


That statement was quite brutal on face value. But I hope you can hear me out. 

There was a blog that went out by some people which was admittedly quite inspiring. You can read it here. http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/2012/07/how-to-welcome-people-to-your-church/ 

This is a church bulletin that welcome you if you sing, act younger than you are, have a past, are poor, drive in NASCAR, or have a gambling addiction. 

It is a great bulletin. It’s a great statement. It’s very powerful. And sorely does need to be said. But it’s tougher to do. 

I’ve been involved in church a good number of years in my life. I’ve been to quite a few in the City of Calgary. And while I believe that the intention of the churches has been acceptance, it hasn’t always been the case. I’d like to share my perspective. 

I wasn’t a rich person growing up. I had to scratch and claw to make ends meet at times. That scratching and clawing didn’t bring me nice clothes or a sense of style. Or social skills. In the early 90′s, I had crazy hair. Hair that went up…and up…and up, I was also loud. Not because I shouted, I was just loud. (Still am). Also, I was at times kind of rude and a jerk to some. 

Those things didn’t help me fit in to the groups. I wanted to and tried to, but at times I felt like the outsider. There was always someone better looking to talk to than me, for some. Or smarter. Or had a haircut. 

That being said, I have made some great quality friends at church. Some have been friends for a long time. And those I treasure. And I have made some changes in my life so I am easier to get along with. Maybe my worldview doesn’t quite fit into most churches, but I can say I’m generally accepted 

Also in the time I have been at church, I have seen others go through the same rejection I did. For different reasons, but still. Many that have a past at times haven’t felt that they fit in church. Perhaps because they have had some stuff happened to them. Perhaps there is other circumstances that lead to this. 

Last Sunday at my church, I met someone who went to the church for the same length of time that I did. And it was the first time I met her. I find that odd, in a place that is intentionally welcoming, that it takes that long to meet people. I also find it odd that at most churches we are actually told by the person at the front to shake hands with our neighbour. 

The point I’m making is as much as churches want to be those types that accept everybody, it actually is tough to do. The reason I think is because it takes time to do that. Any quality friendship takes that. People go into most churches with the expectation and hope that they will be, but can be disappointed when it is not. 

People come to church based on what they see in a bulletin. They will stay based on what they see in the community.

Agree or Disagree: The Boycott of Chick-Fil-A and other organizations of the same stance.


Have you had Chick-Fil-A? I haven’t. I’m sure it is tasty. Fattening. And Fast Food like.

Somehow this fast food restaurant has created quite a fuss. Not because of their tasty goodness, but because of their stand in the Same Sex debate.

In an interview conducted with Baptist Press, Dan Cathy has admitted they stand for “Biblical Values”. http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271

Of course when you stand for “Biblical Values”this jumps us into the “Gods plan for marriage” which he gets into. The problem is they have not only shared their vocal opinion, but they have also funded groups like the Family Research Council which the Southern Poverty Law Centre as a hate group.

I was thinking about this today. I keep hearing from some Christians that they feel that there values are being violated. There are some Christians that feel they are being persecuted for their beliefs. Yet I wonder why we keep hearing stories about Christian organizations standing opposed to everything that is not. And will be quite vocal about it as well.

Want a good example? Good on the Facebook site of The Christian Post. There are many people, including myself, that have challenged peoples view on there. We have been told, that our “worldly” view is not welcome on this site by the Christians. By the way,I’m a Christian.

Just because you might be a Christian and you have the Bible to back you up,that doesn’t give you the right to keep other people down. No sorry, Jesus doesn’t back you up. And people being hurt or angry at your comments is not persecution. For you to say it is a complete and utter insult to those who actually have been.

So when  groups like Chick-Fil-A gets involved in some questionable funding, it is fair for that too be questioned. If they want to claim that they support Biblical values, then it would be fair to ask exactly what that means.

 

Agree or Disagree: Danielle Smith on funding sex reassignment surgery.


Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party was interviewed this week on a show called I Dig Your Girlfriend. In the interview, she stated that she would support funding sex-change operations.

I’ll rewrite this paragraph again.

Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party was interviewed this week on a show called I Dig Your Girlfriend. In the interview, she stated that she would support funding sex-change operations.

 This is the same Wildrose that had Allen Hunsperger in it? This is the same Wildrose, some Albertans were quite scared of?  Yes that one.
 
Just to be clear, this is not an expected policy change for the Wildrose. As a mater of fact, it would quite likely  too be rejected. But it is now out there for discussion. And it’s expected to be a robust debate.
 
Here is the interview. http://idigyourgirlfriend.com/2012/07/danielle-smith-podcast/
 
She also wrote a column in the Calgary Sun which you can read here.  http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/07/25/smith-wildrose-isnt-afraid-of-robust-debate
 
I have been quietly following the discussion, and I must admit I find this odd. Danielle Smith said last year that they would not get involved in discussions like this. Now it seems that is what they are known for
 
Last year, we did discuss this idea of government funding sex reassignment surgery. I’m sure you have an opinion on that. It was interesting to see who and how this was handled. It was also interesting to read the response from the party and others.
 
So, what do you think of how this was apporached. How people responded? And do you have an opinion if this something the government, provincial and federal, should be involved in?

Agree or Disagree: Faith Healers have been a disservice to a reputation of Christianity.


I think when one sees a Faith Healer on TV, there is many that might cringe or at the very least question ones motives.

In 2003, The Fifth Estate put out this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQSgFQON8IY documentary on Benny Hinn. In spite of some of the things mentioned in this and other similar documentaries, he is still very popular. If you go on his website, you can find dates that he is on tour, which includes a date in Toronto on August 9.

Benny Hinn  is not the only one. Another one that has made the rounds is a guy named Todd Bentley. Bentley has been around for a while. Here is a small clip from Nightline. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LJICxXnvlw

Tens of thousands have come to him to expect a healing. However he was not a saint. This is a clip of a confession of Todd and his now wife that were living in an affair while they were on tour.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHDHedCkjzo&feature=related

In both cases, these people are under great demand to go to services and conferences. People are still going looking for a healing and a miracle.

So have these guys, and others like them have done a disservice to the reputation of Christianity?

And a side question.What does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit?”

Agree or Disagree: Men and Women can just be friends without sexual attraction


I think it is well established  that men and women can be friends, but some might say it is not possible without someone being attracted to another.

This article suggests it is not possible for one to not be. And for some the attraction is seen as a negative not a positive. The article is here.

http://www.canada.com/life/women+friends+should+they/6553963/story.html

What are your thoughts?

Agree or Disagree: The shooting in Colorado is the fault of the… Church


As I said yesterday, there has been a few options we needed to remove from the shooting in Colorado last weekend. No, it’s not the fault of gay people, or the lack of Christians values. But apparently, I missed one.

In this blog, David Jesse, blames the church.. You can read this here. http://www.thirdoptionmen.org/blog/dark-night-rises-light/

Here’s a quote.

Yes, the world is getting darker.  The movies out of Hollywood are getting more and more violent.  Society is becoming more and more obsessed with evil.  But these facts are not the problem; they are only the symptoms.  When we see the world getting darker and darker, we have to wonder where the light has gone.

So my question to you is, does the “Christian Church” need to take some responsibility for this shooting? 

Before this goes any further,the Coho shooting was not because we turned away from Christian values!


Every time there is a major tragedy somewhere, we seem to get some fundamentalist Christian organization expressing that the reason for things like this is because we are “turning away from Judeo Christian values”.

This time it is Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. He is the first to blame the lack of Christian values as the reason for James Holmes for shooting 70 people in a movie theatre.

Read his column here. http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147524440#.UAmH9AX3SIU.twitter

So let’s just get this out of the way so we can move on.  For those using the Bible as an example, there was murder, rape, torture and tragedy. Before 1963, there was murder, rape, torture, and tragedy.

The shooting Friday didn’t happen because of a lack of prayer. It also didn’t happen because there are gay people on earth. It also didn’t happen because there are other religions other than Christianity.

It happened because someone made a decision to shoot a gun.

Can we please put a stop to this suggestion? It’s just simply not true.

A week with lots of questions, but going forward some answers.


It’s been a tough week in terms of major news stories. We all have seen the pictures, heard the interviews, and read the stories. We will probably learn more about James Holmes then we care to know. We will learn about the shooters in Toronto as well.

This week, we talked about guns, fathers, relationships and abuse of power. Let me touch on these things this week with some of my opinions on each topic.

Guns: There was graphs, and cities to illustrate why or why not there needs to be gun control. Too me, I’m not entirely sure for what good purpose there is for everyone to have a gun. James Holmes happened to carry 4 into a movie theatre. I’m sure there is at least 14-15 victims friends and families that will ask why? I follow that question

Relationships and Power: The comments given on the “rant” is leading me  to believe that there is more to break down and discuss then there a simple statement. I’m in thoughts of how to do that.Might be a key part of next week.

However as an update, Jared Wilson did post this on his blog this morning. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/gospeldrivenchurch/

Fatherhood: Very clear from the discussion, the issue is not being a father, but being a responsible parent, and more over, a responsible human. We can debate all of the issues that are beneath the surface, but the fact is people decided at some point to pick up a weapon and shoot other people. The shooter is the one responsible for his/her actions. Period. 

This also has lead me to think of ways to broaden this discussion going forward.

Meanwhile, remember the victims and their families of some of the difficult situations this week. Things like this can take a lifetime to recover or reconcile with. This is not the time for a cheap cliche, but a time for sober support.

The prayer that keeps going in my mind is an often used prayer: Lord, break our heart for the things that break Yours.

Agree or Disagree: Violence can be attributed to a lack of Fatherhood


In the wake of two terrible mass shooting this week, one in Canada and one in the USA, questions are being asked why?

Over the next weeks and months, there will be many theories given from many experts as to why. There will be calls for tighter gun control, which will become an issue in the US Presidential race this year. Mayor Bloomberg has called for both Obama and Romney to state their positions on this.

Another theory going forward that will be discussed is the role of Fatherhood. Charles Adler wrote this column in todays Sun http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/07/19/guns-but-no-dads. Here’s an excerpt.

Fatherhood took a bullet in Canada a long time ago. And in some Canadian communities, it has taken many bullets. I’m tired of the avoidance of the D word. Where the hell is dad? Who is dad? Leaving these young men with nothing in their lives but a tricked-up car, an iPod loaded with gangsta rap, and a gun loaded with shells.

The answer coming from many is they’ve got everything they need. But these kids don’t know what it’s like to have the kind of dad most of us grew up with. A father with high expectations of us.

I am not a father. I have some very good friends that are single moms, and their kids are outstanding and well behaved. I also know some kids with a solid mother and father that are not.

I certainly understand where Adler is coming from. I think there is an issue with fatherhood in society overall.But  I think it not as simple as saying this violence is because of dads is a bit of a generalization. Whether there is a dad in the picture or not, it was the person or persons involved choice to pick up a weapon and shoot it. The responsibility starts there.

That being said, it has been noticed that there is a lack of really good male role models and mentors impacting some teenagers right now. Note I said mentors, any man can be a father. Many of you might know the difference going forward of what the difference between a good one and bad one is

As we look into these situations and we examine people like James Holmes for example, I imagine there will be much to analyze. Perhaps the discussion going forward is how good men can step in and help out teenagers.

Agree or Disagree: This man is being rightfully punished for holding a Bible Study


There is a story that has gained some steam a man by the name by Michael Salman is being jailed for holding a Bible Study. At least this is what the headlines say.

The headline was spread by some Christian publications like Relevant and Christian Post. And with good reason as it is a surprising story considering it is in Phoenix. Here’s his YouTube video.

Here is an article to add, to which I need to point out something in this article.

“City officials claim that he’s running an operation that is reminiscent of a home church — but without the required permits. And according to Fox’s Todd Starnes, Phoenix court documents show that he violated 67 codes”

I want to give some sympathy as it appears that the family has been through an ordeal. Bu there seems to be something missing from the story. I’m pretty certain based in what I know that there are many house Bible Studies and or Small Groups in Phoenix Do you think what happened here is right or are we missing something here?