Agree or Disagree: Christianity preaches a Watered Down Gospel

I must warn you, this video might come across harsh.

This is a preacher named Paul Washer. He is well respected by some Christians because he is speaking “truth”.

He and many other Christians feel that the gospel Christianity preaches is watered down. It lacks conviction, purpose. It is fluffy. The word grace is overused.

Paul Washer ends this part of the video. And he like so many others would tell you this is the gospel.

“My job as a preacher is to preach God as He is. So Holy, So great, So magnificent, that He is unattainable. And I’m to preach that man is so low, and so despicable that even carnal Christians would be offended by my sermon.

And only then would Christ become so necessary, that man would be a fool to turn from Him.”

Do you feel that the Gospel has been watered down? That we’ve strayed from truth. From conviction for the expense of “cheap grace”?

Or, would you side with a statement that someone like Rob Bell would say?

The Good News is better than that.

Agree or Disagree: Journalism has reached an all time low

If you haven’t seen this interview, this was the interview CBC Newsworld did with Toronto Councillor.

This inspired today’s discussion as he said it in this interview.

It also inspired me to write this column

Agree or Disagree: There are realistic reasons why women cheat.

Agree or Disagree: There are realistic reasons why women cheat.

This is an interesting blog from Yahoo today.

The writer, Carson Griffith and dating expert Renee Lee gives 5 reasons why women cheat. 

They are.

1.Going through a transition.

2.Not feeling Adequately celebrated.

3.Feeling a relationship ended.

4.It’s just not fun anymore.

5.It’s Boring in the Bedroom.

There is more detail on the blog as to why.

Do you feel that these or any other reasons for that matter are realistic reasons for one to cheat? Or, would you say there is no excuse?

Agree or Disagree: There should be a difference between a Christian lifestyle and a Non-Christian lifestyle

Agree or Disagree: There should be a difference between a Christian lifestyle and a Non-Christian lifestyle

Just to warn you, some of you will really like this video. But some of you really will not.

And the intent of me posting this video, and this question is not to say one is better than the other. 

However, for some of you, you have been in the church your entire life. Parents brought you to the church since you were born You have heard the message of Jesus and the Bible The very words that you were told are life-giving, life-changing and well life.  You might even post on an online dating profile that you are a Christian. And if you are asked, of course you would say that you are a Christian. But if your friends were asked by someone if you were, they might have trouble answering.

Then there is some of you that have never entered a church in your life. You haven’t read a book in the Bible. You quite frankly wouldn’t read the Bible. But many of your friends notice something different about you. You just simply and clearly know what is right and wrong. You might sarcastically remind us religious folk that you don’t need no god to tell you what is right.

Some Christians will argue that it is not the case. The Christian is the one that is “salt and light. Not the non-Christian who doesn’t know light.

But many “of you know different. You read online comments. You associate with them. But you can’t really tell the difference.

The question is, should there be?

And what should the difference be?

How much do we know about who we think we know?

If you are a church goer, you might have heard this word called “Fellowship.”
Fellowship, is a Christianese word some people use. It’s Christianese for “let’s go hang out”. The attempt of the word “Fellowship” is to have a conversations that “edify the Lord”.

As a church goer, I have been to many “Fellowships”. If you are looking to have “Fellowship”, here is the general recipe for good Christian Fellowship.
a) After service, spend 30-45 minutes debating which restaurant everyone should go to.
b) Gather at decided restaurant. In a large table. If everyone cannot fit at table, bring more chairs to cause fire hazard.
c) Order water. Be rude to waiter or waitress who cannot get you water in a sufficient type.
d) Don’t leave tip. If possible, leave Bible tract or encouraging sign how “The Lord loves them”.

In reality, this is not always the case. Once in a while, you can engage in an interesting conversation or two. Many good friends have been made by this Fellowship. Even some dates and marriages.

There is also another factor in Fellowship. Every once in a while in these gatherings, there will be one who seems really spiritual. They will often talk about the Lord. They might even talk about some miraculous happenings in their life. How they came from a drastic situation, like the streets or drugs. Or they escaped a cult. It catches the attention of some at the table. Their eyes pop. Maybe as you are in one conversation, your ear is slightly perked to this conversation. You and everyone else is so amazed by the miracle. Praise the Lord, a soul is saved. A connection is made. Phone numbers and Facebook friend requests abound.

Next week, we connect again. The person that has caught everyone’s attention now has control of the conversation. The person now might ask someone at the table “What is your testimony?”.
The person asked feels a little sheepish. They were brought up in a Christian home. But they have lost that fire……

The person interrupts. They tell another story about another miracle in their life. Eyes bulge. People listen. They might even lead in a prayer. Someone might even think they should talk to the pastor so their testimony can be shared to the church. You know, so we can all be encouraged in the Lord.
More time passes. The conversations with this person continues. They continue to talk about the Lord. They might bring in a Bible. The thick ones that make them look like a person of God. However as the conversations continue, you notice some things that are not…. what would be the word for it…. consistent. There is something sitting not right in your gut and you can’t figure out exactly what it is. Maybe you ask someone, and they remind you of the grace of God. But there is still something gnawing at your gut that this isn’t quite right. You think, maybe it is Satan playing tricks with your mind.
In some cases, eventually there becomes an incident that causes a division in the group. Perhaps this person is in the middle of it. Some know the story, but there is an awkward hush around it. No one wants to talk for fear of gossip. Friendships end. People switch churches. In some cases, faith is ruined.

This comes to my mind because there was a recent story here in a church in Calgary. It’s a story of someone who was described as a father figure, and very trustworthy. He seems to have a kindness for women with sons. He became a church leader.

Unfortunately, he was charged with possession of child pornography. He was taking advantage of young boys sexually. He made friends of mothers and earned the trust of sons. The lawyer said he has never seen so much child pornography owned by one person.

I was reading some comments and some perspectives from some people. Some blame the church. Some blame the leadership in the church. Based on what I know, the church has some great people who attend it. It has been an influential church in the City of Calgary for years. And this isn’t the only church in the city that something like this has happened. There was another incident in another church within the last couple of years. Who to blame and why this happened is truthfully anyone’s guess. Without knowing the entire story, the only real thing to say is this was awful.

I do wonder about a couple of things though. These are things I was thinking about reading the story. How well do we really know people? I mean, really know people? We get impressed with the idea or the image of someone? In church circles things are said like “He really loves the Lord” or “He has a heart for God”. It creates a spiritual pillar of someone who maybe is not what we think. I see that particularly in our observation of church leadership. There is such an impression with words, songs, talents and eloquence, that we don’t actually take the time to know who they are. We get ideas, positively or negatively about someone without knowing someone.

The second thing I was wondering about is this. That little gnaw in your gut about something that doesn’t feel or seem right. How much is that ignored? The gnaw comes and somehow you convince yourself that it is nothing. Then it comes back. You then argue it away. Then something happens and you realize why you have had it in the first place. Should that gnaw be explored more?

Was this person really known or did someone have an uncomfortable gnaw? I don’t know. Maybe I would guess the answer is both. I don’t know.
I do know that I need to take the time to know more about people. And spend time with them. Ask the right questions. And also be available to do the same for others.

Agree or Disagree: It’s time to abolish the Canadian Senate

A major news story last week with the scandals involving Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin and the Canadian Senate.

Duffy and Wallin are both former Conservative Senators who have been questioned for their spending reports. They are former because they have resigned based on these allegations.

Interestingly enough, according to a report in the National Post, Duffy and Wallin are amongst the top 10 of all Senators in expense spending. Wallin was second at $369,593 while Duffy was ninth $298,310.

You can read the article here.

This has lead many to question the actual value of the Senate. A group of people that have been placed, by government. Not elected by the people. For many, it has felt like a patronage appointment. It has given a sense of entitlement for those involved.

The question is, do you think it’s time to abolish the Senate in Canada? Or, are there some sort of reforms that can be considered?