Agree or Disagree: Pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples should be prosecuted.


Going to Christian churches, there are certain things that you hear that makes you shake your head.  As an example,from time to time, you might hear comments about the coming “End Times.”

One of the things I heard some Pastors say was in regards to the legalizing same-sex marriages. There was concern that if they as a Pastor refused to perform a same-sex marriage, they could be prosecuted. Personally, I didn’t see that coming. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember this concern was addressed.

However, apparently in Idaho, something has changed.

If this story is true, there appears to be a movement to prosecute Pastors who refuse to perform same sex marriages.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp are Ministers in Coeur d’Alene.  They were told to perform a same sex marriage or face jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Too be clear, the above story has had several clarifications and disputes.

This is just one example. This is a response from the New Civil Rights Movement to the story which you can read here.

I’m going to let you read the story. Then, I simply am going to ask this question.  I’m curious where this goes.

Do you think Pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples should be prosecuted under the law? Should the face jail time? Should they be fined?

Do you think that the Pastors that are concerned about being forced to marry same-sex couples have something too be concerned about?

Why or why not?

Agree or Disagree: Christians should support the death penalty


If you are Albert Mohler Jr, your answer would be Agree.

How would I know that?

Well, he wrote this blog encouraging Christians supporting the death penalty.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/01/why-christians-should-support-the-death-penalty/

I would like to highlight a point from his blog. It’s about Christianity and morality.

American society is quickly conforming to a secular worldview, and the clear sense of right and wrong that was Christianity’s gift to Western civilization is being replaced with a much more ambiguous morality.

We have lost the cultural ability to declare murder – even mass murder – to be deserving of the death penalty.

What might be of concern for people like Albert Mohler is some recent survey on the topic. As a matter of fact, a recent survey shows that a majority of Christians would disagree with Mohler.

Here’s a recent blog from Jonathan Merritt highlighting some numbers. In particular, I would site the numbers around those born between 1946 and 1964. A general perception would be, and please excuse the term, “old school”. Likely a bit more traditional or conservative thinking people.

They show a number of only 42% of that group support the death penalty. Read more here.

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/01/17/among-us-christians-declining-support-death-penalty/

Now, for many Christians, the instant answer around anything is well Jesus. So a fair question would be what Jesus would think about the death penalty.

I have had many of conversations with Christians saying that Jesus WOULD support the death penalty. One argument I have heard is the fact that Jesus was on the Cross and did not say anything. So, He clearly is for right?

This article would disagree. It would argue Jesus did not support the death penalty. Here’s a quote from this post that I would like to point to.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/05/jesus-death-penalty/361649/

Many forget that Jesus once served as a one-man jury on a death-penalty case. In a famous New Testament story, an adulterous woman was dragged to Jesus’ feet. The woman was guilty of a capital offense and had been caught in the act by at least one witness. The law mandated her death but Jesus prescribed a different response: “Let whoever is without sin cast the first stone.” He was teaching that only a perfect being—only God—should have power over death and life

Now, there has been some recent discussion if the story of the woman caught in adultery really happened. That’s a debate for another day and another time. For now, let’s discuss this.

Do you think Christians are obligated to support the death penalty? Actually,let’s take this one step further as well. Because this has been something I have been thinking about. The idea that certain Christian thinkers feel that Christians should think one certain way.

What do you think about Christians strongly suggesting that other Christians one specific opinion on topics like the death penalty, abortion,  and homosexuality? Is that a good idea?

About The Son of God


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  You might have heard that there is a movie called Son of God. It’s being released February 28.

 

 It’s a movie about Jesus and you know who is excited? 

 

 Pastors Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Craig Goeschel, Miles Mcpherson, and Ray Johnston. Also, Archbishop Jose Gomez is too!

 

They are so excited that they have decided that on February 27, the day before opening night, to take over multiplex theatres in their city. The purpose is that they will be distributing tickets for people to see it. How many? Glad you asked. 

 

According to an article written on the Christian Post, here are some numbers for you.

 

  • Joel Osteen (Lakewood Church) – Houston, Texas – Distributing 8,000 tickets from an anonymous donor
  • Craig Groeschel (LifeChurch) – Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma – 18 Campuses. Weekly attendance of 60,000 and Bible application with over 100 million downloads
  • Archbishop José Gomez (Archdiocese of Los Angeles) – Over 4 million members
  • Miles McPherson (Rock Church) – San Diego, Calif. – Weekly attendance of over 10,000
  • Unpolished Entrepreneurs Group (Crossroads Church) – Cincinnati, Ohio – Weekly attendance of over 10,000
  • Jerry Falwell, Jr. (Liberty University) – Lynchburg, Va. – Over 12,000 students
  • Ray Johnston (Bayside Church) – Sacramento – Weekly attendance of over 10,000

 

It is interesting to note that Crossroads Church have estimated that booking a one night event cost $33,600. If we use this number and we multiply it by 7 churches involved in booking these Multiplex Theatres here is the total.

$235,200. This would be for one night of booking. $235,200

 

 It’s interesting to think about that number. Then it is interesting to think about how many people walking or driving to see this movie, will go by some of the “least of thees” that the Son of God talks about.

 

Yesterday, I took some heat and criticism for, well criticizing this idea. Someone suggested that I was “fighting the Body of Christ”.  I’m not trying to fight, I’m trying to bring in a perspective. 

 

Think about this. At the drop of a hat, 10 churches dropped $235,200 for ONE DAY at a theatre. What if this money was used differently? What if instead of spending this money this way, one person took another person for a coffee and had a real conversation about the Son of God. Or, maybe instead of booking a theatre where people can sit and watch a movie, you send people out to places in your community that need support.

 

You might argue that churches already do that. I agree with that. But you know what, I need to say this and it may sound harsh.

 

People are REALLY  tired of the same old,same old approach to the Son of God over and over again.  A picture with a handsome, white Jesus with eyes like stars, and sultry, sexy (oops said sexy) voice. People know who Jesus is, and they know this is not it. And quite frankly, many would question if this  is “What Jesus Would Do”.

 

Sometimes I think some Christians think Non-Christians can’t read.

 

People know about the Son of God They also know the stories. They know the story about feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves and two fish. They also remember the story about Jesus turning the tables in the temple. Calling out “The house of God has been turned into a den of thieves!”

 

Based on that, some might wonder if spending $245,000 for a one night bash is really something Jesus would endorse.

 

They also know who the Son of God was. The type of person He was. They know He was genuine. They know He was approachable. They know He was sincere. They know He was willing to talk. Really talk.

And they don’t see the slick advertising, smooth talking, sharp dressing, events something that the Son of God would be a part of.

 

Others may wonder if some churches combined in their efforts of $235, 200 for more than a one night event, what a positive impact that can REALLY  be to communities in need. They imagine if for a moment how that can help some of the really needy in their own community. Spending $235,200 may lead to cynically ask what the churches real motivation is? And the current conclusions in peoples heads are not very flattering.

 

It’s tiring and it what is turning people off from main stream Christianity. Non-believers and frankly believers alike. They are tired of the fear mongering, superior acting Christians. They are tired of the bombarding of Multiplexes, spontaneous baptism, colouring books,and snake biting pastors. They are tired of the circus act.

 

They just want a real conversation about the Son of God. And they want the representatives to simply act like Him.

Can’t we just give them that?

Agree or Disagree: There is a war on Christmas


Agree or Disagree: There is a war on Christmas

This picture is becoming very frequent throughout the year,

Happy Holidays.

The intent of this is to cover all of the holidays that happens during this time of year. These include the following:
Hanukkah
Winter Solstice
Saint Lucia’s Day
Soyal
Christmas Eve

And of course….

Christmas.

Christmas is THE time many Christians and also do celebrate. It is a fabric of our culture for many religious and non-religious. However , many Christians have expressed at the concern turning Merry Christmas into Happy Holidays. The reason is of course because of Christ. They feel that, and sorry to be cliche here, but Jesus is the reason for the season. It is important for them to celebrate that aspect. So, some feel that the phrase Happy Holidays takes that away.

Some Christians also feel that the over commercialization of Christmas is a concern as well. The focus on Santa Claus, Frosty and other non-Christian elements take away the “true meaning of Christmas.”

What do you think? Is there a war on Christmas?

Agree or Disagree: Christian missionaries are promoting a “Gospel of Intolerance”


I know that title may put some of your backs up. However this video is making an interesting point.

This above video is an 8 minute documentary called Gospel of Intolerance. It is discussing the involvement of some in the Evangelical movement surrounding the law in Uganda that will essentially put to death homosexuals. These are the same producers who created a video called God Loves Uganda which covers the same topic.

This video does bring up some interesting points. The fact is, many Christians, and perhaps other faiths as well, see Africa as a spiritual hot bed. That is evidenced by the amount of organizations going there.

I have been a part of many conversations around the idea of missions. There has been some debate on some of the motivation, as well as the purpose of missions. There seems to be some shifts around how mission groups should operate. Moving away from of an “evangelizing” model to more of a “practical” model.

One of the excellent points the video makes about asking the question of where your money is going. It’s a question that needs to be asked more and more. Not only specifically in missions, but in other non-profits as well. If I gave money to the organizations involved in this video, I would be extremely disturbed about a preacher chanting a ban of homosexuality. I would also be extremely disturbed that homosexuals are being condemned by any mission organization.

However, my fear with this video is it presents a very unfair negative image on missions and the efforts in Uganda. Fair enough to call out the International House of Prayer and show what is going on. But, they are certainly not the only organization there. As a matter of fact, it is very important to note prominent Christians like Rick Warren has opposed this law.

This leads to an important question. I imagine those that have been or currently are involved in the mission field will have some things to say on this. As well as others as well.

How effective have Christian missions been overall? Not only in Africa, but in Asia, and other parts of the world as well. What has been good and what maybe hasn’t worked?

Agree or Disagree: We are ignoring what is happening to Christians in Egypt


This is a video is from Michael Coren from Sun News.

I know that many of you will have an instant rejection of this. However, I will encourage you to watch this video.

There seems to have been very little coverage to what is happening to Christians and Christian churches in Egypt. 30-50 Christian churches have been targeted and attacked there. There is also an article you can read here from the New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/world/middleeast/attacks-rise-against-egypts-christians.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I know that some have a resistance to all things Christian. However, I have also seen some of those same resisters of Christianity discuss the dignity of humans as well as the rights of humans. Surely this is a concern to see this type of attack on people?

So, the question is the attacks of Christians in Egypt being ignored? If so, why? I have one theory and it might not be popular.

I wonder if some people are ignoring this due to some hostility towards the behaviour of Christians.

What do you think?

Agree or Disagree: Science is trying to disprove the existence of God


Agree or Disagree: Science is trying to disprove the existence of God

In my many years in church, I’ve been a part of many conversations about conspiracies against Christianity. Some of these examples include:

-Backmasking and how secular music is a tool of Satan

-The Gay Agenda

-The Anti-Christ and One World Government.

Now some of you might have a chuckle about this, but there are some sincere people that believe that Christianity is under attack.  And a case in point would be the article presented for us here today. That the scientific community is trying to disprove the existence of God. 

 

This article is preparing you for a debate between Lawrence Krauss and William Lane Craig about the very existence of God and sciences involvement.

There are, as you know  many perspectives on this topic. But do you think that the scientific community is trying to disprove the existence of God?