Tag Archives: 9
One of the most striking features of this decade is the slow but certain death of cultural Christianity. By that I mean there was a time when you could say you were a Christian, spout off a few cliché “biblical” phrases, and people shook your hand and said “God bless you, brother.” But that time is coming to an end as we realize that many people have mistakenly believed they were Christians for one wrong reason or another.
Cultural Christians are becoming easier to spot due to their use of clichéd statements that have no foundation in Scripture. We’ve all heard these statements come out of the mouth of church-goers at one time or another. We’ve probably even said one or two ourselves.
Statements like “cleanliness is next to godliness” and “God won’t give you more than you can handle” have been used so often that many people believe they are biblical and can be found somewhere in the Bible. When you mention that such phrases are man-made and have no root in Scripture you will be met with confused looks and questions. But, like many things that came out of cultural Christianity, these, and other statements are simply…wrong.
A recent article listed “9 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe.” As I read through the article I couldn’t help but recall conversations with friends that have used each statement. And, as one might expect, these phrases appear often on social media either as a post or as a response to a friend.
So what are some of the statements used often by Christians despite the fact that they are not biblical? The list includes:
How would you answer this question: “Is your church healthy?”
Odds are if someone asked you that question you would quickly, and enthusiastically say that your church is a wonderful, loving place where everyone gets along and Jesus is King. And that may be true. But the question is whether or not your church is healthy. That means taking a closer, honest, look at the inner workings of the church and seeking to assess whether things are working properly or not.
I’ve been in dozens of churches in my life. As a pastor’s kid I have more memories of church and church-related things than I do anything else. (That’s another topic for another post.) What I can honestly say is that I have rarely been part of a church I would say is healthy. More often than not churches are not healthy and in need of some help. The difficulty seems to be diagnosing the problem so that proper steps can be taken to rectify the situation.
Thankfully some help is out there. In a recent article for The Gospel Coalition, Pastor Kevin DeYoung shared “9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church” along with some thoughts on how to diagnose each problem. This doesn’t mean every possible struggle a church could face is listed – there are only 9 after all. But this is a good place to start.
Joe Carter writes for the Gospel Coalition, among other venues, and does a great job of research and writing. Besides that, he’s a really nice guy. Carter has written another in his “9 Things You Should Know” series, this one concerning the story of Noah. While we are quick to relay the basic story of Noah from the Bible, Carter brings out details that few ever consider. Considering how badly the new Noah movie portrays the biblical events, these very biblical facts from the Noah narrative are worth taking a look at. Here’s Carter’s list:
1. The story of Noah is told is chiastic parallelism (or chiasmus), a figure of speech in which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second. If you assign the letters A and B to the first appearance of the key words or phrases and A’ and B’ to their subsequent appearance, they follow what is commonly referred to as an A-B-B-A pattern.