Tag Archives: pastor

Pastor Says it is “Bordering on Heresy” to Pray for the President?

Posted on August 10, 2017 in Public Policy, Religious Freedom, Theology by

These comments were made on an MSNBC show by the pastor and NAACP leader much to the surprise of many that saw the photo as something to be encouraged by. After all, many presidents in history have asked for prayer for wisdom and courage during their time as president. Apparently Barber is not one of those that is encouraged.

I’m trying to figure out why a “pastor” is so vocally opposed to the world’s most powerful leader being prayed over by faith leaders. What could possibly be so offensive to a “pastor” about our president seeking and receiving spiritual direction? What am I missing about this image of the President of the United States and his Vice President seeking prayer and wisdom from God that is so problematic?

Why Are you in Church on Sunday Morning?

Posted on May 30, 2017 in Theology by

For years church leaders tried to convince us that being a hip, trendy, and relevant church was the key to doing church right. It was about professional bands, cool video graphics, and more ministry choices than you can fit on one bulletin page. But after many years and many failures even the well-respected church growth guru’s are admitting that it’s really about the preaching.

But not just any preaching. The trendy “talks” that cite one Bible verse then shares stories, jokes, and illustrations for 40 minutes are also failing. What people are really looking for is teaching from the Bible that expounds the Scriptures and connects them with daily life. In other words, expository preaching. What exactly is expository preaching?

How Would You Answer This Question: What is the Gospel?

Posted on January 18, 2017 in Theology by

There is much confusion and misinformation in our world about what the Gospel is. Some people think the Gospel is doing good things, living “right” (whatever that means), or going to church once in a while. Many Americans believe that being born in America or in a particular part of the country is enough “Gospel” to save someone. And other, well meaning “church people” would say that the Gospel is doing good deeds as a form of “servant evangelism.”

Still, there’s those pesky mega-preachers that claim to know Jesus and say that the Gospel is loving people. All you gotta do is flash a perfectly white smile, say some fluffy, inspiring cliché’s and, voila, Jesus.

None of this is the Gospel. So the question remains, what is the Gospel?

The Faith of Chip and Joanna Gaines Makes Them (And Us) “Cultural Heretics”

Posted on December 21, 2016 in Marriage, Sexuality, Theology by

You probably saw the article a couple of weeks ago decrying the fact that Chip and Joanna Gaines attend a church where they teach that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The now infamous hit piece by BuzzFeed lamented that this very popular TV couple are conservative, Christian Americans that believe in traditional marriage.

This personal attack on the Gaines has much to teach us about the new reality we live in as part of the sexual and moral revolution.

If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a short recap from a recent article:

The Evangelical Theology of Donald Trump…or…Lack Thereof.

Posted on April 20, 2016 in Public Policy, Theology by

I’ve written several times about the concerning reality that any self-identified “evangelicals” are supporting Donald Trump for president. This curious truth says less about Trump and more about the people supporting him; especially the theology of those people.

Michael Horton is a brilliant scholar of biblical theology. He is a professor and author whose books are often used as text books in many college classes. Horton has penned an article analyzing the connection between Trump and his Christian following. In particular Horton highlights the theological implications behind the strong support for Trump from America’s believers.

After sharing a brief history of the shallow extent of Trumps religious upbringing in a controversial church setting, Horton recounts the support from well-known evangelical sources:

Ga Gov Nathan Deal: Religious Freedom doesn’t Need Protected – No One’s Being Sued Here

Posted on April 12, 2016 in Marriage, Public Policy, Religious Freedom by

There’s a verse in the Bible I’m learning to understand more as our culture moves toward complete rebellion of God’s principles. That verse simply states, “you cannot serve God and money.” (Matt. 6:24 ff)

Now, some would say this means you can’t be rich and serve God, but that’s a false conclusion. One look into Scripture reveals many people that were indeed rich and were used of God; King Solomon is just one example. Nope, that verse is teaching that your priorities cannot be both the pursuit of money and the pursuit of God and serving God.

Our society has become driven by money: the pursuit of money, the protection of money, and the acquisition of more money. And when money is threatened it is not a surprise to see people make decisions in favor of money rather than in favor of serving God.

Is Donald Trump What American Christians Deserve? Maybe?

Posted on April 6, 2016 in Public Policy, Theology by

If you didn’t know better, you would be convinced that a vast majority of evangelical Christians support Donald Trump for president. If you didn’t know better.

There is no doubt that the mainstream media is propping Donald Trump up in his bid to be elected president. No one says the crazy things Trump has said on the campaign trail and survives unless the media is helping. Liberal outlets even seem joyful in their reporting that “evangelical Christians” are lining up to support Trump. But is it true that evangelicals en masse are prepared to vote for Trump in this year’s election?

I don’t think so.

Yes, it’s true that Trump has secured (for now) a large part of the Christian vote. We could have a discussion on the difference between “self-identified Christian” and those that are truly Christ-followers, but I’ll save that for another time. For now let’s just agree that many church-going people intend to vote for Trump in November and that reality is causing a stir.

Never in my years of presidential elections have I witnessed so many prominent evangelicals vocally oppose a republican candidate. For the most part church leaders and other prominent evangelicals remain silent. Not because they don’t have opinions and prefer one candidate over another; but because they prefer to focus on the Gospel instead of politics. (That’s also another conversation.)

#FreeSaeed Has Come True! Pastor Saeed Has Been Released!

Posted on January 28, 2016 in Religious Freedom by

It has been confirmed by multiple sources that US-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini has finally been freed from the Iranian prison he was held in for more than three years.

Sources including Christianity Today and his wife Naghmeh confirmed the release of Pastor Saeed as a part of a prisoner swap between the US and Iran. The United States released 7 prisoners and Iran released 4.

Pastor Saeed was first taken in 2012 while he was in Iran helping to build a government approved orphanage. He had been warned not to participate in house churches while Iran, but was given clearance to help with the orphanage. While on a bus he was taken, arrested, and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Pastor Saeed’s wife became a tireless warrior pleading for his release. She spoke with anyone that would listen, including religious and political leaders all over the world. Mrs. Abedini’s legal representation, The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), gathered more than 1 million signatures in its effort to secure Pastor Saeed’s release.

Here’s Why More Than 700 Pastors Left Ministry – And What We Can Do to Help

Posted on January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized by

I spend a lot of time during my job talking about “market volatility.” It’s something people know exists, don’t quite understand, and have a lot of questions about. So I spend time explaining it, calming fears, and answering questions. As I thought about “market volatility” I was struck by a couple of articles that made me realize the pastorate is one of the most volatile markets in existence.

When we think of volatile markets we think of ups and downs, gains and losses. If you’re an investor you think of your account value and what the market does to your investment. When the market goes down you incur a loss that can take some time to recuperate. When the market goes up you see a gain that you want to protect. It’s easy to see how the pastorate is very much like the market in its volatility; ups and downs, gains and losses.

But while historically the market has always had periods of volatility – and that doesn’t look to end anytime soon – the pastorate doesn’t have to continue as a place of volatility.

A recent article at The Blaze shared the results of a study conducted by LifeWay Research. The study centered on the main reasons pastors quit the pastorate before retirement age. The study boiled the answers of 734 former senior pastors down to five main reasons:

What If You Showed Up At Church Sunday Morning and Heard This?

Posted on January 14, 2016 in Life, Theology by

uppose you went to church on Sunday morning to hear God’s Word and listen to a sermon or lesson intended to help grow you spiritually. You’re eager to know how God’s Word applies to your life today and how you can look through a biblical lens at the issues that permeate our culture. You sit eagerly waiting to hear the message God has given your pastor when the pastor begins by say he/she wants to discuss the biblical support for abortion!

That may seem far-fetched; as if there is no way any pastor would express support for something so obviously wrong. Right?

Unfortunately the reality that there exists members of the clergy that regularly teach God’s Word to those gathered in their congregation while also supporting abortion is true. Even sadder is that it is not one or two “rogue” or isolated pastors adhering to this lamentable position. In fact, according to a recent article, 53 pastors in the state of Texas alone support abortion:

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