Guest Views

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 3/27/12 at 1:59 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Top Ten Reasons to Repeal Obama's IPAB Health Care Rationing Board

By Dean Clancy

1.) IPAB rations health care

The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was created in President Obama's health care law to help cut $500 billion out of Medicare over 10 years. The only tool it can use for this purpose is formulaic cuts to reimbursements for doctors and hospitals. The panel is barred from implementing or even proposing real reforms that would change how Medicare works. Medicare reimbursement rates are already low. Cutting them further will of necessity force many providers to stop accepting Medicare patients. For rural and disabled Medicare recipients, this could greatly impede access to care. If IPAB's cuts are allowed to take effect, it will inevitably lead to rationing and care denials.

2.) IPAB punishes health care providers

IPAB forces health care providers to choose between cutting off access to their patients and eventually going bankrupt. Right after ObamaCare passed, Medicare's top numbers-cruncher, the Chief Actuary, estimated that IPAB's 10-years cuts will cause 15 percent of America's hospitals to go out of business. By the way, none of the IPAB members is allowed to be a practicing physician. FULL POST

Posted 3/27/12 at 1:41 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Seven Reasons Why Young Adults Quit Church

By Christian Piatt

From time to time I revisit the question: why are young adults walking away from religion? Although the answer(s) vary from person to person, there are some general trends that I think apply in most cases.In the list below, when I refer to "we," "I" or "me," I'm referring to younger adults in general, and not necessarily myself.

We've Been Hurt: I can actually include myself in this one personally. Sometimes the hurtful act is specific, like when my youth leader threw a Bible at me for asking the wrong questions. Sometimes it's rhetorical, either from the pulpit, in a small group study or over a meal. Sometimes it's physical, taking the form of sexual abuse or the like. But millions claim a wound they can trace back to church that has never healed. Why? In part, because the church rarely seeks forgiveness.

Adult Life/College and Church Don't Seem to Mix: There are the obvious things, like scheduling activities on Sunday mornings (hint: young people tend to go out on Saturday nights), but there's more to it. In college, and before that by our parents, we're taught to explore the world, broaden our horizons, think critically, question everything and figure out who we are as individuals. Though there's value in this, it's hyper-individualistic. But Church is more about community. In many ways, it represents, fairly or not, sameness, conformity and a "check your brain at the door" ethos. This stands in opposition to what the world is telling us is important at this time in life. FULL POST

Posted 3/27/12 at 12:44 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

7 Truths a Pastor Wishes They Could Say

By Ben Reed

You may have caught my 5 Things a Pastor Should Never Say or my 7 Phrases a Pastor Should Say Regularly Off-Stage or even my 5 Things You Should Be Careful Saying to Your Pastor.

Today, I want to give a voice to the pastors who often feel trapped, and can’t say what they really want to say.

Not all pastors are in this boat. Some are riding the waves of freedom, able to speak wisdom freely. I’m thankful to be serving in a local church that gives incredible amounts of freedom.

Others, though, are trapped. Given the opportunity, here’s what they’d say.

1. This week has worn me out.

There’s a reason why there’s a distinct calling into full-time vocational ministry. It’s exhausting, often unrewarding, and will ultimately cost you your life. The work of a pastor leaves them worn out emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Pastors would like to tell you they’re worn out, but they can’t because you expect too much of them. FULL POST

Posted 3/26/12 at 12:40 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Subtle Art of Sabotaging A Pastor

(Editor's Note: This article is inspired by the C.S. Lewis book The Screwtape Letters in which a demon receives training to deceive the Christians.)

by Jared Wilson

Dearest Grubnat, my poppet, my pigsnie,

The reports of your progress warm my blackened heart. When you were assigned to one of the Enemy's ministers ten years ago, his infernal Majesty and I knew you'd have a rough go of it. The zeal of one new to the pastorate can be a daunting challenge to even the most cunning of our comrades, but we also believed that time breeds all wounds and that your task would become easier the longer your patient remained. You now prosper from that sweet spot of pastoral fatigue and assimilation. The shine of newness is gone. And up pop the cracks in the ministerial armor.

There are many temptations common among the Enemy's undershepherds but one universal temptation of them arises from their flesh and it is this: they want people to be pleased with them. Wanting to be liked is not a sin, really — to use the Enemy's terminology — but it can be quickly turned to one at the hands of a spiritual disintegrator as shrewd as yourself. Some tacks you might consider: FULL POST

Posted 3/26/12 at 11:28 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

5 Things You Should Be Careful Saying to your Pastor

By Ben Reed

You may have caught my 5 Things a Pastor Should Never Say or my 7 Phrases a Pastor Should Regularly Say Off-Stage.

Today's a bit different, though. Today, it's all about you.

Because sometimes you forget that we pastors are people, too. We’re not superhumans. We’re not mini gods. We’re people, with families. We have hobbies. We have good days and bad. We have days when we feel close to God, and days when He seems distant. We have good ideas and awful ones. We have great church members…and ones like you. (I’m kidding…)

We don’t always know what we’re doing. We’re often outsiders in many conversations, because…when your pastor shows up, you change the subject. We have struggles, too.

I want to help you out, though. Because I know you don’t want to say the wrong thing to your pastor, right? You don’t want to inadvertently offend the guy who’s getting ready to go on stage.

1. What do you even do all week?

This question is loaded with the assumption that pastors sit around, drink coffee, and read their Bible all week in a nice, quiet office. Ahh…how nice that would be. :)  The life of a pastor is much more complicated. We’re helping people understand the deepest, most profound aspects of their lives, with all of the junk that will be dredged up because of those conversations. We’re leading teams of people. We’re active in our communities. We’re slating announcements and videos. We’re crafting web pages. We’re recruiting leaders. And…oh yeah, most of us preach and teach regularly. So we study. FULL POST

Posted 3/23/12 at 12:26 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Pastoral Idolatry: 10 Common Forms of False Righteousness in Ministry

By Eric McKiddie

Brothers, we are all idolaters. If Calvin was right when he said that our hearts are idol factories, and he was, then pastors are no exception. Which insufficient form of righteousness are you guilty of seeking from ministry? Or – if you are like me – which one are you not guilty of seeking?

1. Theology Righteousness – You find your identity in your theological acumen. You earn this righteousness through the books you read – the bigger the better. Your preferred mode of baptism, the number of points of Calvinism you subscribe to (or don't), and knowledge about the latest winds of false doctrine are merit badges you wear so that everyone can gawk at your theological superiority.

2. Philosophy of Ministry Righteousness – Whether you do multi-site (or not), and whether you do multiple services (or not) are ways you distinguish yourself. You're proud of the fact that your trellis/vine proportions are strong enough for an unbeliever, but pH balanced for the Christian.

3. Big Church Righteousness – You feel secure if last week's numbers were higher than the week before. If there is no increase, then you borrow your 3rd grade teacher's red pen to dole out grades to everyone involved in the Sunday service. FULL POST

Posted 3/23/12 at 12:14 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

7 Phrases a Pastor Should Regularly Say Off-Stage

By Ben Reed

I recently wrote a post relaying phrases a pastor should never say.

Though this is important, there are also things that a pastor should regularly be in the habit of saying. And not the passing, "Good to see ya" that every pastor says. Not the trivial phrases that everyone expects.

There are phrases that every pastor should say that take you off guard. These words help build culture and show what a local church values. As they say, “As the pastor goes, so goes the local church.” (nobody that I know has said that. It just sounds catchy and works here) They speak volumes beyond what a pastor communicates from stage.

1. I’ll return that email tomorrow.

There are certain things that are pressing in nature. Everything else should be relegated to email...which can be checked and responded to tomorrow. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were the problems you’re dealing with in this moment. Most of the time, your marriage isn’t going to be fixed if we wait until tomorrow. Your job crisis won’t go away before the sun comes up tomorrow. And your parenting woes can wait until later, too. It’s okay to say, “Tomorrow.” FULL POST

Posted 3/22/12 at 11:54 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Time to Enlarge the Church Planting Table

By J.D. Payne

For too long we have been guilty of making church planting a ministry for only the high capacity, high caliber leaders. These are the individuals that I describe as the 8-, 9-, 10-caliber leaders. Now, while I am all for equipping and mobilizing such church planters (I have done this many times over the past decade.), the reality is that such leaders are a minority in the Body of Christ. They are greatly needed for Kingdom advancement–but still a minority.The examples prized in church planting today, particularly in the North American context, are generally reproducible only by this minority. The ecclesiology and missiology, while mostly not lacking biblical support, is often encased with a great deal of Western cultural expectations.

We have created a table for the 8-10-caliber leaders, with little room for anyone else.

It is time to enlarge the church planting table to make room for the majority of potential missionaries who are just as biblically qualified and called, but unable to support strategies, methodologies, and ecclesiologies developed by high-caliber church leaders.

What is most unfortunate is that while we would never turn away potential church planters who fall into the 1-7-caliber range, we ask them to come to the little table that is in place and pull up a chair. FULL POST

Posted 3/22/12 at 4:18 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

One reason I believe the Scriptures are inerrant

By Kevin D. Kennedy

Years ago while I was a master of divinity student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., I took a New Testament Survey class taught by a man who was a notorious "moderate" among Southern Baptists.

This professor had been fired from Southern Seminary in 1958 because of his views on the nature of Scripture, and he was teaching adjunctively at Southeastern that year (1987-1988) as a substitute for one of the regular faculty members who was on sabbatical. Many believe that the teaching invitation extended to him by the then-current administration of Southeastern was an act of protest, as it were, against the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. What better way to thumb one's nose at the conservatives than to hire someone who had been fired by Southern Seminary for doctrinal reasons nearly three decades earlier?

Knowing nothing about the history of this professor, I enrolled in my first semester of classes, including New Testament Survey taught by the professor. It did not take long for me to realize that he had a particular agenda. Given the circumstances in the Southern Baptist Convention at the time it was not unusual for the question of the truthfulness of Scripture to be raised in class. However, this particular professor took every opportunity to disparage those who believed that the Scriptures were inerrant. One particular occasion was especially memorable. While discussing the birth of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, he paused for a moment, slammed his hand loudly on the lectern, and declared: FULL POST

Posted 3/21/12 at 11:59 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Sharing the burdens of others: sympathy, empathy, and Jesus

By Jeremy Egerer

The other day, a young man I know through work, Eddie, approached me with tragic news. His good friend's sister, who had recently given birth, had (due to what appears to be medical errors on behalf of the hospital) given birth to a practical stillborn. She was heartbroken, and though Eddie knew I was unacquainted with her or her family, he couldn't help but share his sorrow.

I've never had an experience which could be considered similar, so I could only imagine, through a clouded intellect, exactly what she was feeling. But though I didn't know the woman, and though I'd never spent months in anticipation of a son, only to discover upon what is supposed to be a climactic moment that he would never live to call me father, I was struck by a sense of sorrow. And if I'm to speak entirely honestly, I was somewhat amazed -- on a philosophical level -- of the mysterious nature of sympathy itself.

I say this because sympathy is a condition in which we do not emotionally understand the suffering involved, and yet we hurt. Empathy, to me, seems more a natural fit for the human experience, a sharing of mutually experienced pains, one person's similar experience leading them not just to sympathize, but to understand and feel the suffering of another. But there could be little camaraderie, particularly in man's formative years, if empathy was mankind's sole resource. For though men may experience empathy, it's something into which every person needs to grow, an emotional capacity that fills with every experience, day by day, the human being becoming more and more capable of not only understanding the plights of his neighbors, but feeling alongside them. It's not often until after one loses his first love that he understands the lyrics of old country songs. FULL POST

load more