Agree or Disagree: You will take your kids, or you will host “Trick or Treating”


Today is All Hallowed Eves, or Halloween.

Tonight many children will be dressed in costumes. They will likely go from house to house asking for candy. Well, some of you will anyway.

Some of you will also be hosting the little children come to your house. They will come, and there will be some very adorable costumes. You will give candy. Well, some of you anyway.

It seems to me from where I’m sitting, which is on my couch by the way, is that less and less people are participating in the going to the house and collecting candy. It appears they are choosing other options.

Is this true?

Agree or Disagree: Don’t be so heavenly minded, that you are no earthly good


Agree or Disagree: Don’t be so heavenly minded, that you are no earthly good

Come hear me good brothers come here one and all
Don’t brag about standing or you’ll surely fall
You’re shinin’ your light yes and shine if you should
You’re so heavenly minded and you’re no earthly good
No earthly good you are no earthly good
You’re so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good
You’re shinin’ your light yes and shine if you should

Johnny Cash.

 

It’s a song from Johnny Cash and it’s a common saying within the Christian community..

Don’t be so heavenly minded, that you are no earthly good.

I attached a blog that gives an opinion on this.

What do you think?

The House of Steven Furtick….


The House of Steven Furtick….

There was an interesting discussion on my Facebook about the story of Steven Furtick and his 16,000 square foot home.

http://blog.trutv.com/dumb-as-a-blog/2013/10/29/pastor-says-new-16000-sq-ft-home-is-gift-from-god-gets-standing-ovation/index.html

Both sides have some perspectives. However, I thought it might be interesting to share the original investigation from wcnc.com in Charlotte.

Listen to this and feel free to comment.

Agree or Disagree: The Senate Scandal will be the demise of the Harper Government


Agree or Disagree: The Senate Scandal will be the demise of the Harper Government

The year was 2004. It was revealed that the Liberal Party of Canada, led by then Prime Minister Paul Martin, was involved in an infamous sponsorship scandal. The scandal was run from 1996 to 2004 and also involved Prime Minister Jean Chretien. $2 million dollars of contracts were awarded without a proper bidding process. $250,000 was added to one contract price for no additional work. $1.5 million was awarded for work that wasn’t done.

In 2006, The Conservative Government formed a minority government.

The year is 2013. Three Conservative Senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Pamela Wallin  are involved in some inappropriately used expense claims. Yesterday, Mike Duffy claimed, or if you would prefer, revealed that the Conservative Government paid a cheque first of $90,000 to pay back the expenses. Then a cheque of $13,500 to cover his legal bills. Duffy claims that Prime Minister Harper coached him to lie about the $90,000 cheque.

 Interestingly enough,the next election is set in 2015. Do you think that this will be the demise of the Harper Government? Or, as Bruce Stewart suggests in the above column, Harper should resign?

Agree or Disagree: Society is ashamed of virginity.


Agree or Disagree: Society is ashamed of virginity.

I must admit, it has been……awhile since I’ve been on a “date”. So for this, I’m going to use my imagination.

Picture if you will ladies that you are on a date with a guy. The date includes a great dinner at a great restaurant he knew you would like. Maybe, for example the guy has a great hat and tie! He’s a good conversationalist, great listener and all in all, a gentleman.

The date, not surprisingly considering who he is, is an excellent date. You are amazed at how much time has gone by. You start thinking, I’m having a great time! The meal was awesome!  The server encourages, or insists that you have dessert. 

“Nah, you know, I’m stuffed” You say

” Hmm, I could use some more” I… He said.

So the decision is made.  Dessert!

Of course, this requires coffee as well!

The date moves to a more comfortable stage. The stage where you feel you can open up a bit more about your past. The topic turns to past relationships.

Suddenly, a moment of hesitation happens inside you. You are not sure if you want to tell the truth here.

“I’ve had a few relationships” You say.

Except, that’s not truth. You haven’t had a few relationships.

You haven’t had any relationships.

But you are actually afraid of admitting this. Perhaps, even ashamed.

According to the link and slideshow above,  some women are apparently ashamed of admitting to men that they are still virgins.  They are afraid of being judged. 

Now, allow me to make a couple of points. I pointed out on this imaginary “date”, relationships, not sexual partners. The reason is many do find “partners” personal. This was a first or an early date. 

That being said, I have noticed that there is some cultural trends towards a mocking of the idea of virginity or choosing abstinence. I have also noticed many show respect to those that have.

What have you noticed? Do you think society is ashamed of virginity?

Agree or Disagree: Extroverts will have more sexual partners than introverts


I’d like to talk about a book I’m reading.

The book is called Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

The author is Susan Cain.  Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, O: The Oprah Magazine; Time.com and Psychology.com. She has a TED Talk that has over 3 million views.The book does some really interesting and work on how  introverts contribute to our society. As well as how they are misunderstood. I highly recommend reading this book.

I’d also like to talk about how I read books.

I read them very slowly and deliberately. I pause and think about what I’m reading. Particularly when it’s something I need to  think about. So, when I read this, I had to stop and think.

Or consider this trade-off: human extroverts have more sexual partners than introverts do-a boon to any species wanting to reproduce itself-but they commit more adultery and divorce more frequently, which is not a good thing for the children of all those couplings.

“Really” I thought to myself. I never gave this much thought. I would be mostly considered an extrovert, and I’m not sure that is accurate of me personally. 

She doesn’t talk too much about this extrovert and introvert dating specifically in the book, she does write this article which expands on her thoughts.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2120187/Revenge-introverts-Its-assumed-extroverts-best-life-new-book-claims-quite-opposite-.html

What do you think? Do you believe that Extroverts will and have more sexual partners than introverts?

 

Agree or Disagree: Jesus is a pacifist.


Agree or Disagree: Jesus is a pacifist.

This article from Mark Driscoll has angered from the pacifist movement.

To summarize the article, Driscoll basically said that calling Jesus a pacifist is a sin. Here is a portion of what he says.

Today is a season of patience as Jesus Christ waits for people to come to repentance. Jesus is not a pansy or a pacifist; he’s patient. He has a long wick, but the anger of his wrath is burning. 

He also attempted to distinguish the difference between killing and murder. Here is an example.

God is the author of life and sovereign over death, and Romans 13:1–4 shows us that, to an extent, God delegates his authority over life to those lawfully appointed leaders—the state, or the “governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1). Sometimes, in order to encourage virtue, discourage vice, and reduce personal vengeance and anarchy, it is right for the state to take the life of a criminal or to use violence to defend against oppression and attack.

If someone tries to murder you, and you defend yourself with lethal force in order to protect the lives of you and your family, that’s not murder. When a police officer gets out of their car and suddenly comes under heavy fire, if they return fire and kill the person who’s trying to murder them, the officer is not guilty of sin.

Many have taken a choice, a serious conscience choice to be a pacifist. Some, well not some, many, actually resonate with the  non-violent choices Jesus made. One example that comes quickly to mind is when Peter strikes one of the guards arresting Jesus with a sword. Jesus heals Him. Another quick example would be the concept of the teaching of turning the other cheek.

However, there are verses where Jesus showed some anger. One quick example is in when he turned the tables on the money changers. Or the example of His anger towards the “religious” of the day. Both perspectives have some points.

So, two questions.

1) Is Jesus a pacifist.

2) What is the difference between killing and murder? Is there one?

 

Agree or Disagree: Christianity has devalued The Charismatic Movement.


Last week, John MacArthur had a Conference for a book he wrote.

The book is called Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending The Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship.

The conference and the book is a direct criticism of the Charismatic movement of Christianity. This is not the first time he has done this. In his opening address of the conference, he admitted he spent decades of his ministry critiquing the Charismatics. He has also written books called “The Charismatics” and “Charismatic Chaos”. He is also a strong believer that the spiritual gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12 have ended. He believes they ended in 100 A.D.

For your interest, I posted this video for you. However, I will particularly point out at about the 35 minute mark of this talk. This is what he says.

“The Charismatic movement continues to dishonour the Father, it dishonours the Son. But more specifically, it dishonours the Holy Spirit.

If you one of the Charismatics, you might be offended by this.

Wait, he goes on.

The movement itself has done nothing to enrich true worship. It has made no contribution to Biblical clarity. It has made no contribution to Biblical interpretation . It has made no contribution to sound doctrine.

While MacArthur is free to make this claim, the fact is it isn’t true. For the evidence, I will start on a personal level. Then I will go to a broader level.

On a personal level,some of my church background is from the Charismatic background. One of my first introductions to Christianity was a little Pentecostal church in Calgary. I came from a Catholic background. So entering this Pentecostal church, with instruments like a drum, an electric guitar, and a keyboard was a shock to my system, Seeing people raise their hands like they were asking a question to a teacher was also a shock to my system.

However, the people I met, and there are very many of them, were really special. They stepped and cared about a guy that might have been hard to care for.. I found out that hand raising was a sincere worship to God. That encouraged to worship God. They introduced me to the Bible, which I was actually scared of at first, but ended up enjoying reading it. And still read it today. I also had a Youth Pastor who was very intelligent and taught Scripture well.

So on a personal level, I disagree with MacArthur. I would say that on a personal level, the Charismatic movement has had a lot to contribute.

However, MacArthur doesn’t know me and I don’t know him. Quite frankly, if we met, we would probably not get along. We clearly do not look at the world the same way. But his critique is not about my personal story. It’s about the broader contribution to the church community. For that, I think it would be good to look at three contributions. I realize this a little simplistic, however the intent is to give a broad overview to them.

They have had a huge influence on the way we worship. I would say it’s one of the key strengths they have done. They have given time, talent and even creative expression far above just music and to other areas.Actually, that is quite unique to the many of the typical traditional faiths. It is not an uncommon thought about seeing a difference in worship between a Charismatic Church and elsewhere.

They have given life to the Bible. Often will hear and notice some unique verses that they bring out that others may not have noticed. They seem to have made the Bible more accessible than other traditions.

They have spoken and taught about the Holy Spirit. They have also talked about money. Generally, those two topics have been avoided by churches, Agree or Disagree, they have talked about them. When it comes to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, there have been many Christians I know that are not quite aware of who and what exactly the Holy Spirit is.

I could go on. Their role in social justice, mission work and ability to adapt to the times around them. The point being that the Charismatic movement has spoken into church history and should be commended for their role. Not declared into hell by a simple generalization.

In saying all this, there has been some valid criticism and concern by some of the behaviours done by some involved in the movement. At times, many of the leaders have seemed motivated more by your money then glorifying the God they worship. We cannot deny in anyway that this happens. However, that does not give permission to show a blatant disregard to the many amazing people involved in the community. The fact is many Christians of many different traditions have critiqued that. Including the Charismatics.

In closing, I would liker to give a few thoughts on MacArthur and this Strange Fire Conference. For a Pastor of 40 years that has been given the respect he has within the Christian community, his comments on a church movement are 100% unacceptable and inappropriate. I would highly suggest Mr. MacArthur read 1 Corinthians Chapter 1. Specifically, verses 12 which says this.

What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasfn”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

The Christian community has a rich history of contribution from many different denominations. Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans, Anglicans and many more to share here.

Instead of accusing one of “Strange Fire,” perhaps it is time to stoke a fire of unity.

 

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Agree or Disagree: It is time to implement Mandatory Voting


Last night, all of Alberta had their Civic Elections. I’d like to start this conversation with numbers of some of the percentage’s of voter turnouts in some of Alberta.

Calgary  below 30%

Edmonton- 34%

Red Deer 31.4%

High River-66%

Now other than High River, the numbers are really low. Some would argue average for civic elections. However many, including me, feel this was unacceptable. The amount of information through Social Media and other forums allows you to research candidates. Many are advocating for several people online.  There is quite frankly, no reason why you don’t vote.

However, most of you did not. And those who did vote are a little upset you didn’t do your democratic duty.

Some are now suggesting that it is time to implement Mandatory Voting.  So if you are over the age of 18, you are legally expected to exercise your vote.

What are your thoughts?

And perhaps, I should ask the question to the non-voters. Why didn’t you vote?

Agree or Disagree: The City of Calgary is…..corrupt?


http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/2730607452001

This is another interview between good buddies Ezra Levant from Sun News and Street Church Pastor Artur Pawlowski.

This interview was conducted about a week ago. According to Pawlowski, he has some “shocking” documents from Alderman Druh Farrell and as Street Church has specifically reminded people on their Facebook page, Muslim Mayor Naheed Nenshi. These documents show that Farrell,Nenshi, and the City of Calgary have deliberately been preventing Street Church from feeding the poor in Calgary.

I’m going to add this link http://www.streetchurch.ca/court-decisions-mainmenu-94/1025-top-secret-files

It’s a link to the specific proof they have that this is happening.

However, as always, when Ezra Levant and Sun News are telling stories, you have to look further into the story. For this, I need to point to a specific quote that Pawlowski said in this interview.

Pawlowski points out in the interview that this shows that any complaints against Street Church are not “grassroots”. They are made up by the city. That is not true. There have been several complaints to Street Church. This is an article, and a column the Calgary Beacon wrote back in January 2012.

http://beaconnews.ca/calgary/2012/01/calgary-street-preacher-ready-to-sue-city-for-religious-persecution/

http://beaconnews.ca/calgary/2012/01/sun-columnists-anti-muslim-trash-talking-has-no-place-in-canada/

I’m going to point you to a couple of interesting things.

The first thing to point out is something that you will read in the second column. One resident, Derek Sweet told Editor Markham Hislop that Pawlowski would show up one or two days a week with his van and food for the less fortunate, then bellow so loud on his bullhorn for an hour or two that Sweet was unsettled in his condo several blocks away.A former unnamed alderman also told Hislop that Pawlowski would shout out “homophobic” remarks. So, that would prove that there are complaints made against Street Church.

The second point about Nenshi and Farrell being as they were called in this interview “Anti-Christian”. I don’t know about Farrell, however I know Mayor Nenshi has been spotted at several church events the last few years. He has even spoken at some of them. Nenshi has shown support to church communities. During the flood, he encouraged people to find solice in prayer or whatever religion people practice. So, the anti-Christian remark is also inaccurate.

I would also point you to some comments from representatives from both Street Light and the Mustard Seed. They are considered Christian organizations and they have fed the homeless for many years in Calgary. Both organizations stated that historically the City has been supportive of them. So, if the City has been as Levant and Pawlowski continuously state “Anti-Christian”, should not more Christian organizations be feeling the same thing? They aren’t.

Pawlowski used an analogy of a restaurant in the interview. I’d like to use a car for a response. If I’m driving over the speed limit and I’m caught, I get a speeding ticket. If this continues to happen, I will continue to get speeding tickets. Over the amount of 8 years, I can complainin my several outlets how the police are out to get me. I could even come up with “shocking” proof that they are corrupt. But, did I stop speeding?

Street Church can call bias all they want. The fact remains their actions and behaviour on Calgary streets are concerning to many people. Specifically, many Christians who do not see this as behaviour that actions Jesus would do.

Also, remember a while back Nenshi and Levant got into a Twitter war over a comment Nenshi said that Levant felt was terrible and inappropriate? And that Levant never called Nenshi a bigot? Remember this.

Levant ended this interview leaning closer to the camera and stating in a strong voice,
“Nenshi and Farrell are vicious Anti-Christian bigots. And we got the proof.”