Guest Views

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Posted 8/29/14 at 12:01 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Wimp in me Hates to be Criticized

Photo: Flickr/DaMongMan - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him” (2 Samuel 16:11).

There’s something about us preachers that loves compliments and runs from criticism.

We preachers can be the biggest wimps on the planet.

Maybe it’s that way with everyone, I don’t know.

Let a preacher receive an anonymous note outlining what he’s doing wrong or a phone call dissecting last Sunday’s sermon and he is done for the week. He will be needing the attention of a good therapist.

We could learn a lot from politicians and others in the public arena. I’ve read that President Eisenhower enjoyed something like a 65 percent approval rating all eight years of his presidency, the highest of anyone since. This means 35 percent of the America public thought he was a failure. And yet, he is lauded as a winner. FULL POST

Posted 8/29/14 at 11:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

2 comments

Joan Rivers, Death, and the Hamptons

By Wade Burleson

It was sad to hear that Joan Rivers suffered a heart attack while undergoing a medical procedure, and is now in critical condition at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. The eighty-one year old comedian is a known for her biting sarcasm and verbal scorching of other famous people through comedic quips and barbs. She says that comedians should never apologize for their jokes, because they’re here on Earth to make people laugh. I'm not sure if the targets of her jokes actually laugh, but that's another story.

Photo: Flickr/David Shankbone - Creative Commons

Joan Rivers says that she reads the New York Times obituaries every day. She's looking for people she
can't date any more. She carries her humor over to the funerals she attends. "My friends are all dropping like flies," says Joan. "I go to the funerals of my girlfriends and I hear the minister say, 'She’s in a better place.' What? Are you kidding me? No, she’s not. She had a house in the Hamptons!" FULL POST

Posted 8/28/14 at 12:17 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When the Pastor Finds an Opportunity Enticing, Temptation Overwhelming

Photo: Flickr/Beshef - Creative Commons
Forbidden fruit

By Joe McKeever

(There is a scripture that goes “Enjoy your–something or other–and stay at home.” If I can find it, it goes here. So far, no luck.)

In 1994, Joel Gregory wrote a book about his short-tenure as pastor of Dallas’ First Baptist Church. He gave it the ominous title: “Too Great a Temptation: The Seductive Power of America’s Super Church.”

The title will make sense to many pastors reading this as it surely does to me. When that mega-church came calling, begging Joel to become their pastor and follow the likes of W. A. Criswell and George W. Truett, there was no way he could turn them down.

He could have, of course. But he just couldn’t. That’s because the temptation was too great. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/14 at 11:41 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

God's Creation Under the Sea

By Randy Alcorn

When I think of the first glimpse of Heaven, I think of the first time I went snorkeling. It was absolutely breathtaking. There were thousands of fish of every shape and size and color, and just when you think you’ve seen the most beautiful creation, here comes another one. It’s endless. (I've included a couple pictures I've taken while snorkeling.)

I remember after days of snorkeling walking way out and jumping off the rocks into water that was sixty feet deep. The water was so clear I had the sensation of falling, and I could see fish and shells on the bottom as if just a few inches away. For most of my life I had seldom thought about that other world under the water. But I fell in love with that other world, and often find myself thinking about it even now.

Its exhilarating, even worshipful, to be immersed in a God-made world normally beyond our reach. I remember one time snorkeling with one of my daughters, a friend, and his son. Suddenly we heard the melodic sounds of whales calling to each other. The sounds were so loud we expected whales to appear any moment. We floated, nearly motionless, just listening to musical beauty and power that defies words. I felt closer to God during that twenty minutes than at nearly any other time in my life. FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 10:34 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

1 comment

7 Things Newly Retired Preachers Need to Do

By Joe McKeever

(Do not miss the post script at the end.)

Don’t let anyone tell you there is no retirement in the Bible.

Church people will say that, of course, mostly in fun. “Preacher, the Bible doesn’t know anything about retirement.”

But they’re dead wrong.

Numbers 8:25 says, “At the age of fifty, (priests) shall retire from service in the work and not work any more.”

There it is, in black and white. I have no idea why the Lord stopped the service of these men so early, unless to give others a chance to serve.

Not that any servant of the Lord I know today is trying to play that card. These days, fifty is just the far edge of youth. You’re just getting started at fifty.

However, we post it here as a good-natured response to the smarties who insist that “retirement is not in the Bible.” (Be sure to smile when quoting Numbers 8:25.)

At any rate, it is entirely possible to retire from pastoring a church but to remain in ministry. In fact, that’s how it’s done.

We are always on duty for the Lord, whether anyone employs us or pays us a salary or not.

The day a pastor hangs it up and cleans out his office and turns it all over to the younger generation comes for all of us. I did that the first time at the age of 64 when I left the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Kenner, Louisiana, to become Director of Missions for the SBC churches of metro New Orleans. Five years later, I did it again, this time for good. FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 9:44 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

4 comments

The Doctrine of Election Is Our Only Hope in Evangelism

Photo: Flickr/Ronny Siegel - Creative Commons
Remains of the ancient city of Corinth

By Wade Burleson

"Then the Lord spoke to Paul during the night in a vision, "Don't be afraid. Continue to speak of Me, and don't go quiet; for I am with you, and no one will be able to stop you or harm you, for I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-10)

Paul is in Corinth, a magnificent Grecian city known for its wealth. The Corinthians loved their luxuries, and were renowned for their 'anything goes' lifestyles. Paul seems to have been the first person to tell the Corinthians about Jesus. The response to Paul's message seemed favorable at first, but it wasn't long before Paul became the target of violent opposition. He appears to have become greatly discouraged by the Jews hatred and the Gentiles' vice; both of which he was seemingly unable to effect. He was almost ready to give up his evangelism efforts and move to another city. FULL POST

Posted 8/26/14 at 2:35 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What I Wish I'd Been Taught in School

apple with textbooks
Photo: Pixabay/jarmoluk - Public Domain

By David Murray

My high school years were pretty disastrous – not just academically but morally and spiritually too. As I look back, I take a large part of the blame for that; I made so many wrong and foolish decisions about friends, money, relationships, media, and entertainment. I ended up leaving school one year early, and it wasn’t until my early twenties, after I was converted, that education became so important to me. A late starter, you might say.

However, I believe I can honestly say that the education system was partly to blame for my 12 year educational wilderness – with one or two exceptions, the subjects, the teachers, and the style of teaching were just so utterly boring and totally impractical.

When I look back, I can hardly believe what we wasted our time upon: FULL POST

Posted 8/26/14 at 10:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

1 comment

Four Rules to Simplify Christian Dating

Photo: Flickr/Timothy Marsee - Creative Commons

By Stephen Altrogge

Is it just me, or has the whole Christian dating / courting / dorting thing become really, really complicated?

When Josh Harris wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye, he had good intentions. He was reacting against the casual, recreational, aimless dating that had come to dominate the American landscape. He was trying to help young men and women stop hurting each other through the endless hooking up, breaking up, hooking up, breaking up, etc. Like I said, good intentions, good impulse. I’m grateful for Josh.

But, as we are so prone to do, we took good principles and distorted them and distilled them into a series of unhelpful / legalistic practices. Dating / courting has turned into an elaborate set of unwritten rules which must be followed to the letter, no matter what the circumstances. A guy must ask a girl’s dad first, then the guy must ask the girl, then the girl must say yes, then the couple can start seeing each other IN GROUPS (!). If things go well for the first eight months or so, the couple may or may not be allowed to spend semi-unsupervised time together and possibly even (GASP!) hold hands. Once the young man has firmly established himself financially and is sufficiently godly, he can ask the girl to marry him. Of course, he again must ask the dad first. Both families, as well as lots of church members, must be involved in the entire process, from start to finish. FULL POST

Posted 8/26/14 at 10:08 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Perhaps the Most Profound Thing our Lord Ever Said

boy and girl playing
Photo: Pixabay/Greyerbaby - Public Domain

By Joe McKeever

“Except you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

What’s lacking in the great majority of religious experts–of all tribes, all beliefs, all everything!–is a childlike humility.

I’ve sat across from the salespeople hawking Jehovah’s Witness and Mormon doctrine door to door and been amazed at the sheer gall and arrogance of these know-it-alls.

I’ve sat in the auditoriums and classrooms when prophecy teachers were spreading out their charts and telling far more than they could ever know, pronouncing their anathema upon anyone daring to believe otherwise and taking no prisoners in the process.

I’ve sat in massive conferences among thousands of my peers and heard ignorance spouted as truth but camouflaged with alliteration and pious phrases and encouraged and affirmed by thundering echoes of “amens” and “hallelujahs”. FULL POST

Posted 8/25/14 at 11:46 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Driscoll's Ministry Coach on Leaders Who Last

Book cover for Leaders Who Last

By David Murray

A few years ago I read and reviewed Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft, a professional ministry coach who helped bring Mark Driscoll through a past crisis of leadership. So grateful was Driscoll that he wrote the foreword to Kraft’s book, including the words:

Pastor Dave Kraft…brought me through a formal coaching process and helped me get my life and ministry in better order. He gave me permission to make some very difficult decisions for the well-being of my family and our church. He wanted me to be one of the leaders who last…Sadly, too few Christian leaders finish well and a combination of grace and wisdom cannot be overvalued. You will find both in this book. FULL POST

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