Guest Views
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Christian Post Guest Voices

Guest authors provide news and commentary.

Posted 10/24/14 at 10:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Perfect Way for a Pastor to Lead a Different Church

By Joe McKeever

“Shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Imagine this.

You’re the captain of a mighty airship–a 747, let’s say. It’s a huge job with great responsibility, but one you are doing well and feel confident about. Then, someone alerts you to another plane that is approaching and has a message for you.

You are to transfer to the other plane and become their pilot.

So, you push back the canopy–I know, I know, the huge planes don’t have canopies, but we’re imagining this–and crawl into the contraption the other plane has sent over. You are jettisoned from your old plane to the new one.

As you settle into the captain’s seat in your new plane, you find yourself surrounded by an unfamiliar crew and you notice the controls in front of you are not the same as in the old plane. This is going to take some getting used to. Meanwhile, you and your crew and passengers are zooming along at 35,000 feet.

Your new flight attendants send word, “Captain, welcome aboard. Everyone is asking what is our destination? Can you tell us your goals for this flight?” FULL POST

Posted 10/24/14 at 10:09 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Most Honest Atheist in the World

Photo: Flickr/Anosmia - Creative Commons

By David Murray

The Atlantic has published a startlingly honest article by Crispin Sartwell, as you can see even from it’s title, Irrational Atheism: Not Believing in God Isn’t Always Based on Reasoned Arguments And That’s OK. In it Sartwell admits:

  • The atheistic worldview “is similar to the worldview of religion—neither can be shown to be true or false by science, or indeed by any rational technique. Whether theistic or atheistic, they are all matters of faith, stances taken up by tiny creatures in an infinitely rich environment.”
  • His view of the universe as a natural, material system is based on his interpretation of his experience not on a rational argument.
  • “I have taken a leap of atheist faith.”
  • Atheism can be as much a product of family, social, and institutional context as religious faith.
  • “The idea that the atheist comes to her view of the world through rationality and argumentation, while the believer relies on arbitrary emotional commitments, is false.”
  • Just as religious people have often offloaded the burden of their choices on church dogma, so some atheists are equally willing to offload their beliefs on “reason” or “science” without acknowledging that they are making a bold intellectual commitment about the nature of the universe, and making it with utterly insufficient data.
  • Science rests on emotional commitment (that there is a truth), a passionate affirmation of desire, in which our social system backs us up.

What a refreshing blast of humble and honest air! You cannot but admire such a sincere, transparent, and honorable atheist. But the article ends on a painfully sad note, which may partly explain Sartwell’s atheism, and maybe even his humility: FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 12:04 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Lies We Believe About Men: Men Only Want One Thing

Writen By Sheila Wray Gregoire

Yesterday I started talking about the lies that women often believe about men. Today I want to tackle another one: Men only want one thing. And I’ve asked Julie Gorman to share an excerpt from her book What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men.

 What more could he possibly want from me?

Greg seemed dissatisfied with our love-making. Displeased, discontented, and disappointed. Put a “dis” in front of it, and Greg probably experienced it.

I felt him becoming more and more distant.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, exasperated.

Without skipping a beat, Greg responded. “I want you to want me!”

I seethed with anger and thought to myself. What? You want me to want you? Oh, please! Get over yourself. I am so sick and tired of not measuring up to your standards. Why am I never enough for you? I never deny you sex. Give me a break! FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 11:13 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

We Owe the Pastor’s Wife a Great Debt of Love.

We’re all vulnerable.

Everyone who walks in the church door can be helped or hurt in what happens during the next hour. Whether saint or sinner, preacher or pew-sitter, oldtimer or newcomer, child or geezer, everyone is vulnerable, and should be treated respectfully, faithfully, carefully.

No one in the church family is more vulnerable than the pastor’s wife.  She is the key figure in the life of the pastor and plays the biggest role in his success or failure. (Note: I am fully aware that in some churches the pastor is a woman. In such cases, what follows would hardly pertain to her household.)

And yet, many churches treat her as an unpaid employee, an uncalled assistant pastor, an always available office volunteer, a biblical expert and a psychological whiz.

She is almost always a reliable helper as well as an under-appreciated servant.

You might not think so, but she is the most vulnerable person in the building. That is to say, she is the single most likely person to become the victim of malicious gossp, sneaky innuendo, impossible expectations, and pastoral frustrations. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 11:05 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Evangelism vs. Discipleship - Round 2

My previous post generated some great discussion, ranging from "Can't we all just get along" comments to sentiments of "If we just practiced discipleship, evangelism would take care of itself." Others seemed surprised that anyone in their right (renewed) mind would ever try to separate the two because they clearly go together.

Allow me to introduce a perspective into the ongoing conversation (or in some tribes and cultures, the battle!) between those who favor one over the other.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

If you and I were having coffee and I wanted to see where you stood on this issue, I would ask you the following questions... FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 11:02 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Evangelism Vs. Discipleship- Round 1

It seems to me that there is a constant discussion, or you could call it a debate (or you could even call it a family fight) among us evangelicals over whether we should be focusing all our attention and efforts on evangelism or discipleship. Trust me...this is a big deal in the church right now. If you could hear just a small fraction of the conversations I have as I travel and preach...

Because I am an evangelist (see Ephesians 4) by call and trade, I get bombarded by the discipleship camp with questions like, "What happens after all those people respond to the gospel when you preach?"

Because I am a pastor, I also get comments from soul winners like, "If all you ever do is teach the Bible to Christians, how will the lost ever hear the gospel and be saved?" FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 3:35 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

2 Things Christians Should Stop Doing On Social Media

These are two things I have seen on social media that makes me wonder if we are representing Jesus well? These are a couple of things to consider if you are a Christian and use social media often. I say everything in love and with the intention of helping all of us represent His name well.

  1. Stop posting inappropriate things. As Christians we represent Jesus. The Bible calls us ambassadors. With that in mind, shouldn’t we want to represent Him well? I get so sad when I scroll through Facebook, Instagram and twitter, and see a lot of the things Christians are posting. For example, lots of young Christians are posting half naked pictures of themselves, sometimes less than half naked. Others are posting, reposting and tweeting sexual memes and gifs with vulgar images and expressions. When we post things like this and then in our bios we claim to be a follower of Jesus, it sends a mixed message and distorts what it means to be a Christian. Now obviously I know none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Having said that, we still need to represent Jesus well. I challenge you to watch what you post on social media. The world is watching.
  1. Stop arguing on social media. There are times when we need debate Truth. Paul the Apostle passiontely debated truth. Having said that, that doesn’t mean we should get drug into every argument we are invited into. Use wisdom, and know when to speak and when not to speak. Know when to debate and know when not to debate. I am not saying to stop standing for the truth; we should always stand for the truth! As Christians we should be known for our love and what we stand for, not just what we stand against. When times arise that we need to debate, we should debate with love and patience, not out of anger. True story, one time someone disagreed with something I said on social media, and was messaging me about it. Instead of going back and forth on social media in a mean spirited way, I gave the person my contact info and we talked it out on the phone. By the end of the conversation, we became friends. You see, most times, social media is not the best place to debate. There are obviously exceptions, but debates are better when they are personal and done in love. The whole point of a debate is not to be right, it is to reveal the love and truth of Jesus. Unfortunately, most debates that take place on social media are done in the wrong way.

Galatians 6:1, 2 Timothy 2:14-16, Titus 3:9 FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 2:25 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Situation in Houston and the Erosion of Religious Liberties

You may be aware of the situation in Houston, Texas, where five pastors who have been vocal in opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) were subpoenaed by the mayor, demanding that they hand over materials related to what they may have said about gay and lesbian issues, and about the mayor herself. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to those who imagine there has been no serious erosion of religious liberties in America.

Al Mohler offers a perspective worth reading:

Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston — The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

The scandal over the subpoenas issued to several Houston-area Christian pastors continues, even after the city refiled legal documents, removing the word “sermons” from the demand. They have clearly not removed the scandal from their city, and from the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. As the mayor’s own comments make abundantly clear, she stands at the center of the scandal. FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 11:45 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Give Me This Day

Recently, The Holy Spirit has been opening my eyes to a reality that I had always known, but never truly experienced. And as it so happens, He has used the circumstances of my life to tutor me and teach me this invaluable lesson.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to ask their Heavenly Father for enough bread to sustain them for that day. The phrase as most of us have learned it goes..."And give us this day our daily bread."

For Palestinian farmers and peasants who heard these words, they rang true because they were reality. They knew what it was to live from hand to mouth, day by day, with perhaps only a loaf of bread to sustain their bodies and fill their bellies. They didn't stockpile food in pantries, closets and cupboards. Starvation was as close as a failed crop or a draught. FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 11:22 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What if Balance is Overrated?

Balance. It’s the buzzword of this generation.

In our hectic lives, everyone is searching for that elusive thing called “balance”, where we feel like we’re living out our priorities, we’re able to get the rest we need, but we’re still being purposeful.

What if the whole idea of finding balance is more like a millstone around your neck than it is a real thing to aim after, though?

Let me explain.

Finding Balance, in and of itself, says that some things must lose.

It says that you have to put less of an emphasis on one thing so that you can put more of an emphasis on something else. To aim for balance is really to aim for a constant series of trade-offs. You decide that this will have to go, that you can’t do this, all so that you can do this.

It’s not exactly an easy psychological process.

What if there’s a better way?

A bunch of very disparate but interesting things have led me to this conclusion. First, I was reading Kathy Peel’s book The Family Manager while staying at a friend’s home recently. Her point is that many housewives are extremely capable when it comes to organizing work or organizing big functions at church, but we can’t seem to organize our homes. The solution? Take what you’re good at and apply those same principles at home. In other words, work to your strengths. FULL POST

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