Tag: churches

Building our own Tsunami

 

We know the country is in trouble. Our tendency is to point to movements, campaigns and organizations for our present circumstances. And yet, sadly, we must look at human nature, our lives in the 21st century, to realize how we’ve arrived at this moment. Most of us could not have imagined the advancement of accusations of racism, the teaching of socialism, the totalitarian lockdowns and the corruption of culture. On reflection, however, I think I can see how we arrived here.

As human beings, we are mostly averse to change; others have said that it’s not the change that disturbs us, but the potential outcomes. But first, we must acknowledge that change is even occurring. And for the last several years, we either didn’t notice the changes, discounted their importance or simply tried to ignore them. We saw the impending changes as happening outside our own lives, happening to others, and we chose not to pay attention to them. Or we flicked them away like annoying flies, disturbing our peace of mind or the predictable course of our lives. We didn’t realize that those flies that we were trying to ignore were actually tsunamis-in-waiting.

On Hagia Sophia and Spiritual Reclamation

 
Hagia Sophia without the minarets

As of Friday, July 24, 2020, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has been put back into active use as a mosque. As a Christian, I of course mourn this deeply. As a historian, however, the move does not surprise me. Many are the religious sites around the world today that were once worship sites for other deities, for other peoples, and for other mysteries, some barbaric. That historian in me says we should temper our outrage that the conquerors of a land would choose to make what use of that land that they will, for we have done the same ourselves. We should be wary of venting too much indignation over the status of a building lost ere Columbus sailed the ocean-blue and started a chain of losses for the peoples who once dwelt where we now live. In a way, Erdogan was right in his contempt for a foreign opinion on this matter; the Turks rule the roost in Turkey (would that Turkey respected others’ borders and rights as vehemently as he demands for his own country, however, as Cyprus, Syria, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Greece can all attest).

Rob Long is in for Jim Geraghty again. He and Greg rip into far left activist Shaun King for wanting all “European” depictions of Jesus torn down and discuss that the real target of many on the far left is not just religious artwork but the church itself. They also weigh in on why many police are doing nothing to stop the vandalism and destruction of statues and monuments and they address the political debate arising on the right about whether the police ought to clamp down and protect these properties or whether images of endless rioting are going to lead to more votes for Republicans in November. And they have fun with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who did nothing about rioting but is now on the warpath against illegal fireworks dealers.

Member Post

 

As Easter approaches, my Facebook news feed’s advertisements have started to fill with advertisements for area churches, beckoning me to come to their various Easter services. I do not begrudge this at all as it does make sense to for churches to advertise their existence to locals who might not know what is around. For […]

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Should Pulpits Ring with Trump – Especially This Week?

 

I was encouraged this morning by a pastor colleague that this is the moment to stand up and say something to denounce the immorality and corruption of the Trump administration. In some ways, it was the standard clerical collusion with the anti-Trump media — but at the moment in which things seem to be legally breaking against the president. I have mentioned the president only a few times in my public ministry, and certainly not to denounce him, as I did not denounce President Obama in the preceding eight years. We pray regularly for all public officials as the Bible commands, and I say very little about the goings-on of any administration.

I included below my response to this group of pastors that you may find helpful if you are considering such speech, or are wondering how your church should be responding to the present political moment:

Ricochet: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

 

CheersWhen we ask people, “What makes for a good bar?” the most common answer we receive is, “A place where people know your name, you know, like Cheers.” Rob Long may be pleased to hear that it’s not just Boomers who say this, but even Millennials often refer to the sitcom classic to describe their ideal watering hole.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my wife and I are taking this year to go to a church and a bar in every state. Every time we go into a bar, we ask people two questions, “What makes for a good bar?” and “Whether you go to church or not, what do you think would make for a good church?”
As one would expect, we receive a variety of answers to these questions.

Some answers to the bar question:

Member Post

 

I’m wondering if someone can speak to the legal prospects of conservative churches being somehow legally coerced to embrace gay marriage. If a devout Christian baker can be ordered to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, are we far from churches being threatened with losing their non-profit status for refusing to marry gays? […]

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