Posts Tagged ‘youth group’

So, I’m reading WOW News’ CNN Belief Blog and I find a story that seems appealing. One sentence into the thing, I’m incensed and feel like dog cussing some folk… but for the grace of God.

Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

This is a must-read for any real Christ follower

To some, that sentence may not mean a thing and you’re thinking, “Grow up, HiScrivener.” To others, you are reading beyond the text and seeing the pandemic upon us – lukewarm pablum, uncommitted Christ followers and milquetoast preachers who the last time they experienced any “fire and brimstone” was slipping while placing a Duraflame in the fireplace.

[Author Kenda Creasy] Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

Now that’ll preach!

And the girl is legit too. Dean, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of “Almost Christian”, is testifying about something many of us have been exclaiming for year. The Church has become a social club, not a hospital for the hurting. Why else do they call these big box churches “Evangelical Lite“?! Because there is nothing heavy being taught in these places.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with megachurches providing the pastors in charge are serious about teaching the Word of God the way it needs to be taught. However, if some of the altruistic benefactors of no condemnation and bumping up the church numbers to one-up the next toolbox are only interested in the weekly offering, then Houston, we have a friggin’ problem.

“If this is the God they’re seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust,” Dean says. “Churches don’t give them enough to be passionate about.”

Some do, but visit any “The Largest Megachurches” lists on the Internet and most of them are pioneered by guys who are very successful for rehashing and requoting Zig Ziglar, Sun Tzu and their grandmama. Their needs to be more passion about Christ, more conviction about living for Christ and honestly, if some folk warming a pew can’t take it – split!

The Church is a house of love, but we live in a world of hate. And if you aren’t getting some tough love and challenges on Sundays, what good is it?I would continue, but quoting her is too much fun:

Some adults don’t expect much from youth pastors. They simply want them to keep their children off drugs and away from premarital sex. Others practice a “gospel of niceness,” where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says. “If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation.”

MEMO to Pastors everywhere: Get this woman to teach in your church the first Sunday possible!

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Go straight to jail

There is no go for them to pass

Ofttimes in the world of law enforcement, the bad guys get away. Then, with some due diligence, the bad guys gets caught and are thrown in the pokey.

And then there are cases like this one that make you scratch your head, scream out loud and wonder, “If I was God, I would so hurl a lighting rod straight up his blessed assurance.”

Don’t believe me?

Dateline: Concord, N.H. where we are introduced to a girl who loves Jesus, goes to church and is active in her youth group. That is until she was raped by a jackleg perverted fool more than twice her age who went to church with her.

Then…

After being raped and impregnated by a fellow churchgoer more than twice her age, a 15-year-old Concord girl was forced by Trinity Baptist Church leaders to stand before the congregation to apologize before they helped whisk her out of state, according to the police.

It’s not like she was the town hussie and wore a scarlet letter embroidered on her ‘Hello Kitty’ shirt. This was a girl victimized and assaulted by some guy that if “vengeance was mine” would be looking at a gang of convicts on death row. Daily.

According to the story, this girl was sent to another church member’s home in Colorado, home-schooled and “not allowed to have contact with others her age.” Because when you are scarred in every way, that’s great love resembling Christ.

It wasn’t until this past February that Tina Anderson, who is now 28, decided to come forward after reading about other similar cases, “realizing for the first time it wasn’t her fault that she had been raped,” she told the police.

Psychology aside, don’t you think the so-called Christians she was forced to live with had a little… well, a whole heaping lot to do with her believing what that twisted and sardonic troglodyte did to her was her fault? Moving on…

Ernest Willis should have been caught 13 years ago.

Public Enemy #1... for now. (Courtesy: AP)

The silver lining? Meet Ernest Willis, 51, the man who did it and someone I hope learns how balmy the climate of the underworld really feels like.

However, there is a little stain to that cloud. It seems, according to an AP report, the girl’s former pastor Chuck Phelps may have been responsible for throwing her in a U-Haul halfway across the country.

Evidently, the “leaders” of that “church” had a ringleader (who is no longer “pastor” at said church).

Police have said their 1997 investigation was shelved because they could not locate the victim, and they are now investigating how much church leaders knew about the allegations.

Phelps said Anderson’s mother made the decision to move her to Colorado, while his role consisted of helping to find a family for her to live with. And of course, if you are buying that, then I happen to be in the market for some sweet real estate in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Call me?

You know, I know what this world is coming to. My only prayer is that I will be going much sooner than this mess will be coming. Thank you Lord Jesus, and please place your anointed Holy Spirit around that woman today.

More happy stuff next time, Wall Watchers. Peace.

If you have to advertise it, will they still come?

If you have to advertise it, will they still come?

For any Wall Watcher that has ever dealt with the lowest common denomination… er, denominator and accepting someone as a result of “God giving them a second chance,” I give you the ultimate test of faith:

Meet Mark Hourigan of Louisville, Ky.

There was protest Thursday over a Louisville sex offender who will be ordained as a minister on Sunday. Mark Hourigan admits he sodomized a child, went to prison for it, and now wants to become a pastor. And members FOX 41 News spoke with say they’re okay with that.

Peter was an angry dude. Noah was a drunk. David had someone killed just so he could step that man’s wife. Paul killed Christians… for kicks. And I completely sucked growing up and didn’t meet the Lord until later in life.

Yet, somehow, God worked in all of our lives (and yes, I did just lump myself with those greats. Hey, if I don’t, who will, right?)

That said, would you go to this guy’s church? It’s not like his testimony is drugs or porn. It’s child abuse and sodomy, not quite the tandem you want to hear from a pastor during testimony time.

Imagine the folk at the church who say they accept their newly ordained pastor. It’s all good. He’s preaching the word and people are being edified. Then the announcements come, “Church, it’s time for Youth Camp!”

Since, this is a small church, guess who is camp counselor? Good ol’ Pastor. You still happy-go-lucky about your newest leader? GULP!

Oh yeah, and then there’s this… mind you, life after prison.

Hourigan says he was married but got divorced right before going to prison. Members of his small, pentecostal church say Hourigan has children and now also a gay partner.

That’s it. I’m out. I got nothing. Anyone? Bueller?

Yeah. It's been awhile since they walked with God.

Yeah. It's been awhile since they walked with God.

Recently, WOW News’ The Pew Forum released a gripping study entitled “Faith in Flux” that is certain to make you scratch your head and wonder just what people have been doing while “walking with God.”

And don’t worry, this is equal-opportunity sequestering. So, first, I would like to get all those who consider themselves “Catholic” to huddle up close to the warmth of your monitor as you see what has been uncovered of your ilk.

Of those surveyed raised Catholic and are now unaffiliated, why?

  • 71% just “gradually drifted away”. Hrm. If only all that Latin and liturgy was more entertaining. It’s not a movie people, it’s God!
  • 56% were not happy with the church’s abortion teachings. Liberalism in the church? Anyone? So the news and Hollywood has more sway than God. Nice.
  • 43% said their spiritual needs were not met. Yeah, that happens when the youth group goes suddenly vacant. (Giggle).
  • 27% advised it was the clergy sexual abuse scandal. And who could blame them?!

What about those Catholics who decided to flip and go Protestant?

  • 70% found a “religion” they liked more. Well, unless they went to Buddha or Mohammed, they didn’t find a religion people. It was more like a denomination shift change during study hall. Oy! Oh, there’s another one!
  • 32% were dissatisfied with the atmosphere at worship services. Um, were you expecting the Pope to break out with the “Top 10 Feng Shui tips to attract more parishioners”?
  • 21% were unhappy with the rule that priests couldn’t marry. Yeah, 100 percent of those results were from priests.

Protestants. Yeah, I’m talking to you, heathens. So, why are you now unaffiliated with the Church?

  • 71% just drifted away from religion. Anyone seeing a trend here? More on that in a minute.
  • 50% stopped believing in the religion’s teachings. And I’ll bet 100% of my rent that it was because of WHO was doing the teaching.
  • 25% were dissatisfied with the clergy over the congregation. So, I guess the other half were asked the question within hearing range of their former pastor. Just a thought.

What about the reasons you joined another faith within the Protestant Reformation… er, another church?

  • 85% enjoy the newer services and style of worship. Anyone still going to argue with Joel, Bill, Ed and the boys? Bueller?
  • 50% were called by God. Hrm. Wonder what happened with the other 50% who didn’t answer the phone?
  • 36% were attracted by a particular minister. See above at 85%.

Now time for the rant:

1. What is with all this “just drifting away”? Do you mean to tell me Jesus went to the cross for people to wake up one day and tell the Lord, “We can just be friends”?! Um, not so much. Regardless if I am one of those once-saved, always-saved folk (and I am… NOTE: John 3:15-18, John 10:28-30 and Jude 24), but I question whether those drifters were ever serious about their relationship with God in the first place.

Scrub your heavenly flubs. Amen.

Scrub your heavenly flubs. Amen.

If you personally discover what it means to be saved, to be redeemed, why on earth would you try something else? Are chill bumps that addictive? Does God really bless you in the club? Wherever they find themselves, the most miserable person in the world is a truly backslidden Christian.

Drifted. That’s a load. The only thing these wayfaring, lukewarm toadstools drifted from is the regimen of being a Christian. Yes, Jesus welcomes you just as you are. But it’s his house now.

Brother… Sister… you gonna’ take a bath to wash off that muck and mire before you step foot in his crib. (NOTE: The slick advertisement in the picture). Think you won’t? Well, um, there’s another place that is a bit more balmy where you can get your ashy feet anywhere you want. But don’t say you weren’t warned.

2. Who are we walking with anyway? Last I checked the noted poem in small churches across the country, “Footprints in the Sand,” the only time we aren’t walking with God is when he is carrying us! Jesus isn’t that interested in people who can’t commit. With all that “spew you out of my mouth” stuff, I figure massaging his tonsils is not where I would be crazy about hanging. Perhaps these knobby-kneed folk didn’t get that far in their personal journey through the Bible?

Whatever the case, if you want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, look up… not down. Keep your eyes on the ground and you could bump into something that will slam your face hard. You know, like an Episcopal church that says it embraces everyone, only to discover that embrace is a skosh more intense among same-sex groups. Now, now, Jesus loves all people. And there is nothing wrong with a person who says he or she is swinging that way… except for the way you are heading if no one has the temerity to tell you what is really up.

Aside from the analogy, if you are walking with the King of Kings, ask a brother for his sandals. If your feet are hurting that bad and you don’t feel like walking any more, maybe you just need to walk a mile in his shoes.

3. There’s something afoot among Protestants. Now, this is purely subjective because I am one, but what up with those statistics. It’s almost trendy to shop for churches like clothes. “Well, that preacher just doesn’t fit what I need.” Or, “The youth group wasn’t as exciting as an arcade. Let’s go to Dave N’ Busters.” How about, “How come everyone is in these fancy suits? I like my jeans. I’m out.” And then there’s, “Gurl. Look at that heifer in the choir. You know they just keep her in the middle to make the choir look bigger.”

Where are the people? The A/C was too cold.

Where are the people? The A/C was too cold.

Whatever the case, people are transient with their theology more and more every day. Whatever happened with all the biblical analogies comparing us as trees?! If you are going to make a difference in any church, you must set your roots deep. Because lets be honest, churches would be perfect if it weren’t for all those people who walk in there and set down their blessed assurance wherever they feel.

Stay awhile. You will get offended. And if you do… so what? Who are you there to worship? God Almighty or some huckster in a fancy suit?

Listen, here’s where all this walking leads us:

God doesn’t tempt us to sin (James 1:13). He doesn’t even lead us into temptation (Matthew 6:9-13). He leads us through love and grace. If you end up somewhere you shouldn’t be, guess whose brillance you have to blame?

Your apathy brought you there. Your discontent kept you there. Your billigerence prevents you from being welcomed anywhere else.

All that is outside of God. Remember him? Your walking buddy?

Deuteronomy 8:6 tells us to “observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and revering him.”

People can observe. You know, if it’s from the cheap seats. They can even walk, providing they are permitting potty breaks every 10 minutes. But the “reverence” thing. Tsk. Folk have issues with that. Why? We let them.

So I’ll end not with a verse but with a maxim:

Walking with a friend in the dark is far better than walking alone in the light. ~Helen Keller

I… well… you know, I got nothing. That says it all. Happy walking, Church.

There’s an axiom in Latin that makes the unlearned think of taking a night out to the club:

Audio. Video. Disco.

Compliments to the Australian Herald

Compliments to the Australian Herald

Believe it or not, that’s not about some multimedia experience. It means, “I hear. I see. I learn.”

Well, in today’s fast-paced society hungry for a theological fix, most folk aren’t as concerned about church as they are viewing Jesus on TBN or Daystar, hearing him on a Hillsong CD or their sacred iPod or clicking a God clip on YouTube.

(Because, it seems most folk ain’t going to Tangle… just sayin’.)

Needless to say, there is a lot of hearing and seeing going on, but perhaps the learning could improve just a skosh.

Evidently, that report got back to the Holy See because Pope Benedict XVI it’s presumed the only dumb ones are the young ones… and where are they hanging out these days? Online.

First, it was their own search engine. And now, the Papacy has gone buck wild by creating its own Facebook page, Pope2You.net.

And since there are about one billion Catholics on earth, Il Papa figured it would be a great idea if they could all come to him for a change, including a holy YouTube page, sacred iPhone apps and a WikiCath page.

So, why all the tech geek in the Vatican? Ask the Catholic News Service:

It’s an effort to allow younger generations find a “simple, fresh site to work as a hub from which users can find some new ways the universal church is present in the digital world.”

Seeing how things have been iffy for priests to get online in the past years, it’s commendable that the Pope is cool with this effort.

But hey, as long as there’s a massive firewall, some beefed-up Norton antivirus or, at the very least, has hired Robert Langdon to help out with the new symbols Pope B16 will encounter.

You know, items not in his lexicon like “LOL,” “411,” “WTF” and of course “MSG” (and no, that’s not Chinese take out).

Huzzah. Hope this works because form what I have heard, seen and learned about the propensity for old dogs to attain new tricks is um, “2G2BT.”