Monday, March 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
- So central is the sermon that it is the very reason that many Christians go to church. In fact, the entire service is often judged by the sermon.
- Sad part: remove the sermon from the weekly service and you will have removed the most important source for spiritual nourishment from a countless number of believers.
- Yet the stunning reality is that today's' sermon has no root in Scripture. Rather, it is borrowed from Pagan culture and nursed and adopted into the Christian Faith.
- The sermon actually detracts from the very purpose for which God designed the church gathering.
- The Lord Jesus did not preach a regular sermon to the same audience.
- The sermon is one of today's biggest road blocks to a functioning priesthood. Unfortunately, however, many of God's people are just as addicted to hearing sermons as many preachers are addicted to preaching them.
- The contemporary, polished sermon can warm the heart, inspire the will, and stimulate the mind. But it rarely if ever show the team how to lead the huddle.
- Let's be honest. There are scores of Christians who have been sermonized for decades, but they are still babes in Christ!
- Nevertheless, despite the fact that the contemporary sermon does not have a shred of Biblical merit to support its existence, it continues to be uncritically admired in the eyes of most present day Christians.
We strongly believe in teaching, preaching, prophesying, exhorting, and all forms of sharing the Word of God. We are simply saying that the modern sermon, which we define as the same person (usually a clergyman) giving an oration to the same group of people week after week, month after month and year after year is not only unbiblical, it is counterproductive.
Monday, March 22, 2010
- The gym is separating from the main part of the building. Forensic experts have led us to believe that it is because of water drainage problems. We need to do some significant grading and drainage improvements around the building.
- We have been "robbed" 3 times in the 5 years we have been here. Some feel that there is a need for increased security around on our campus. We will be adding additional motion detectors and converting some problem doors to emergency exits.
- What is remaining will be intentionally placed in a facility reserve fund for future needs so that we will not be doing this again in a few months.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
- Head to the CCF Website and click on the large visible link at the top of the home page. Type your question in the box and click "shout."
- Visit our Welcome Center at the church, grab a question slip, write your question and drop it in the box.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
- She was born on St. Patrick's day-- but probably has no idea what it represents. We may have some green bagels and green beer. Okay, maybe not the beer.
- She handles everything that pertains to Davis. Everything. I just "Daddy" him. She handles cleaning him, feeding him, dressing him, everything toys, everything, everything....
- ...and she is a MARVELOUS Mommy to Davis.
- She does all of our Laundry. I have not done a SINGLE LOAD OF LAUNDRY since we got married.
- She handles all the finances. I participate in all the major decisions, but she does all the monthly bill paying, legwork and implementation. Thank you God!
- She keeps the house clean. I do the dishes once for every 20 times she does them. (But, don't tell her because she does not realize it yet.)
- She loves the mess out of kids. Any kids that are in her life. If a parent will let her love their kid, she will do it with her whole heart. She shows it to all of you through her ministry at the church.
- She sweats me. Alright maybe not. But she loves me alot, alot. And she make me feel so special because of it.
- Finally, she really, really loves her Lord Jesus with all her heart...and that is the truth about Tricia! Trust me, I live with her and I see her beautiful heart.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
- Ephesians 4:11 is the ONLY verse in the Bible where the word Pastor is used. One solitary verse is a mighty scanty piece of evidence on which to hang the Protestant faith.
- The NT never used the word clergy or laity and does not support the fact that there are those who do ministry (clergy) and those for whom ministry is done (laity).
- The contemporary practice of ordination creates a special caste of Christian. The most important ministry is restricted to a few "special" believers.
- Luther believed that the church was simply a "preaching station"...a gathering of people who listen to preaching.
- Contrary to the early church, today pastoral care and soul care too often falls in the hands of one man- the Pastor.
- "We believe that the pastoral office has stolen your right to function as a full member of Christ's body. It has distorted the reality of the body, making the Pastor a giant mouth and transforming you into a tiny ear. It has rendered you a mute spectator who is proficient at taking sermon notes and passing an offering plate."
- Jesus Christ never intended anyone to sport all of the hats that a modern day pastor is expected to wear.
- The demands of a pastor are crushing. They will drain any mortal dry.
- Pastors live artificial lives and the pastoral role fosters dishonesty. Congregants expect their pastor to always be cheerful, completely spiritual, and available at a moments call. They also expect that he will have a perfectly disciplined family. Furthermore, he should never appear resentful or bitter. (yeah, right)
- It is "lonely at the top" because God never intended anyone to be at the top-- except His Son!!
- The contemporary pastor is the most unquestioned fixture in twenty first century Christianity. Yet not a strand of Scripture supports the existence of this office.
- Ministers were unsalaried for the first three centuries. Constantine introduced it and it is a practice that has no root in the New Testament.
- Giving a Pastor a salary elevates them above the rest of God's people. It creates a clerical caste that turns the living body of Christ into a business. Since the Pastor and his staff are compensated for ministry, they are paid professionals. The rest of the church lapses into a state of passive dependence.
- Paying a Pastor encourages him to be a man pleaser. His meal ticket is attached to how much the congregation likes him. This he is not able to speak freely without the fear that he may lose some heavy tithers.
Note: If you are bothered by, disagree with or interested in what you read-- BUY THE BOOK! In all fairness to the author, he does a fantastic job of providing extensive footnotes with Biblical and historical support for what he says. Before you conclude that he is crazy (or me, for that matter)-- read the book. I guarantee that you do not know more than the author on this topic!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
- The first century church was a fluid gathering, not a static ritual.
- Making preaching the center of a church gathering has no Biblical precedent. One historian said that the pulpit is the throne of the Protestant pastor.
- Today, the pastor is the MC and CEO of the Sunday morning church service--just as the priest is the MC and CEO of the Catholic Mass.
- Even today, in the twenty-first century, the Elizabethan pastoral prayer lives and breathes. Many contemporary pastors still pray in this outdated language--even though it has been dead dialect for over four hundred years! Why? Because of the power of tradition.
- It is clear that the Protestant order of worship did not originate with the Lord Jesus, the apostles or the New Testament Scriptures. This in itself does not make the order of service misguided. It just mean it has no biblical basis.
- Even though open sharing in church meetings is completely scriptural, you would be breaking the liturgy if you dared to try something so outrageous! You may be considered out or order and be asked to behave yourself or leave.
- Protestant liturgy cripples the body of Christ. It turns it into one huge tongue (the Pastor) and many little ears (the congregation). This does violence to Paul's vision of the body of Christ, where every member functions in the church meeting for the common good (see I Cor. 12).
- The liturgy that you sit through every Sunday, year after year, actually hinders spiritual transformation. It does so because (1) it encourages passivity, (2) it limits functioning, and (3) it implies that putting in one hour per week is the key to the victorious Christian life.
- There is a significant difference between making Jesus the invisible guest of honor and allowing him to be the practical leader of the gathering.
Note: This is a lot of stuff to just "single out". If you are bothered by, disagree with or interested in what you read-- BUY THE BOOK! In all fairness to the author, he does a fantastic job of providing extensive footnotes with Biblical and historical support for what he says. Before you conclude that he is crazy (or me, for that matter)-- read the book. I guarantee that you do not know more than the author on this topic!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
- Many contemporary Christians have a love affair with brick and mortar.
- Nowhere in the New Testament do we find the word "church", "temple" or "house of God" used to refer to a building. To a first century Christian, calling an ekklesia (church) a building would have been like calling your wife a condominium or your mother a skyscraper.
- The story of the church building is the sad saga of Christianity borrowing from heathen culture and radically transforming the face of our faith. [and for the bad- the author suggests]
- The old Mosaic economy of sacred priests, sacred buildings, sacred rituals, and sacred objects has been forever destroyed by the cross of Jesus Christ.
- The message of the steeple is one that contradicts the message of the New Testament. Christians do not have to reach into the heavens to find God. He is here! With the coming of Immanuel, God is with us.
- The pulpit elevates the clergy to a position of of prominence. True to its meaning, it puts the preacher center stage- separating and placing him high above God's people.
- The pew is perhaps the greatest inhibitor of face to face fellowship. It is a symbol of lethargy and passivity in the contemporary church and has made corporate worship a spectator sport.
- Social locations can teach a good and godly people very bad lessons and choke their lives together.
- The disjunction between worship and everyday life characterizes Western Christianity. Worship is seen as something detached from the whole fabric of life and packaged for group consumption.
- The church edifice demands a vast infusion of money. In the United States alone, real estate owned by institutional churches today is worth over $230 billion.
There does not exist a shred of biblical support for the church building. Yet scores of Christians pay good money each year to sanctify their brick and stone. By doing so, they have supported an artificial setting where they are lulled into passivity and prevented from being natural or intimate with other believers.We have become victims of our past. We have been fathered by Constantine who gave us the prestigious status of owning a building. We have been blinded by the Romans and Greeks who forced upon us their hierarchically structured basilicas. We have been taken by the Goths who imposed upon us their Platonic architecture. We have been hijacked by the Egyptians and Babylonians who gave us our sacred steeples. And we have been swindled by the Athenians who imposed on us their Doric columns.Somehow we have been taught to feel holier when we are in "the house of God" and have inherited a pathological dependency upon and edifice to carry out our worship to God. At bottom, the church building has taught us badly about what church is and what it does. The building is an architectural denial of the priesthood of all believers. It is a contradiction of the very nature of the ekklesia---which is a counter cultural community. The church building impedes our understanding and experience that the church is Christ's functioning body that lives and breaths under His direct headship.It is high time we Christians wake up to the fact that we are being neither biblical nor spiritual by supporting church buildings. And we are doing great damage to the message of the New Testament by calling man--made buildings "churches." If every Christian on the planet would never call a building a church again, this along would create a revolution in our faith.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
- MOST of the practices of the contemporary church were borrowed from pagan culture.
- The church, in its contemporary and institutional form has neither a biblical or historical right to function as it does.
- Most of our religious habits are man-made choices. In fact, you're likely to discern a pattern about the way we "do church" these days: If we do it, it's probably not in the bible as one of the practices of the early church.
- A great deal of what we Christians do for Sunday morning church does not come from Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Scriptures.
- The church building
- The order of worship
- The Pastor
- Sunday morning costumes
- Minister of music
- Tithing and clergy salaries
- Baptism and the Lord's supper
- Christian Education
Monday, March 8, 2010
Lord, sift out anything that I was not supposed to say, any of my flesh-- and let your truth and your wisdom remain. Lord, I pray that this would be the time that people begin to move into confession, repentance, healing and new commitments toward purity and sexual wholeness. May the enemy flee and take all of his lies with him. We CAN overcome, we CAN live upright before you, we CAN live lives of purity that are consistent with your heart for us. Lord, bring forgiveness to sexual abuse and pain that was brought on by others and grant courage to change our behaviors that bring on the pain we cause ourselves. Let the teaching that has come forward be the beginning and not the end of what you want to do in us! Amen!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Today, I am excited to tell you about the next sermon series coming to CCF. Staring Sunday, April 11th we will kick off a 3 week series called "Difficult Questions!" Let me tell you a few things about it.
- The purpose for it: people wrestle with difficult and sometimes awkward questions about life and faith and they do not know where to ask them. We want to create a space for people to submit questions anonymously so that we can prepare thoughtful answers and share them publicly--with the hope that they will impact others wrestling with similar questions.
- I am excited that Pastor Nelson and I will be team teaching this series from a cool stage set! I think that our combined and diverse perspectives will add to the experience.
- We will be welcoming questions from people (anonymously) through a link on the home page of our website (coming soon) and through a box at the Welcome Center.
- The Staff will receive, sort and select the questions that Pastor Nelson and I will focus on. We will probably address 3-6 questions a week.
- In addition, we are considering a time of open mic questions that we will take on the spot. We shall see.
- This all starts the week after Easter!
- Be thinking of your question to submit and be praying that Jesus uses this time to transform people!
Thank you so much for treating me like a normal person. I feel that you honor the “office” of the pastor but love and accept me as a person.
I don’t take this for granted. Many of my pastor friends tell me that they feel lonely in ministry. Many have explained that other pastors in town are difficult to get to know and trust. Others have expressed deep hurts from friendships-gone-bad with people in their churches.
My family feels loved and accepted and not judged by the church. Some people may act differently around us because they are “with the pastor.” Our family enjoys when you are yourself and let us be ourselves. I’m especially grateful when you don’t put unrealistic expectations on my children and love them as regular kids.
We’ll always try to be a good and faithful example of Christ, but we’re grateful when you love us even though we occasionally fail.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Yesterday, I posted this as my status on Twitter and Facebook: "Married folk need to stop loving their marriage and start loving their spouse! I wish people were half as concerned about their spouse as they are their marriage. I see nothing in the Bible calling us to love a marriage."
Since posting this, I have received several emails. So, I thought I would say more on this. If I am going to stir in the pot, let me stir it GOOD! ;-)
Here is what I believe: There is a danger "loving a marriage". We are not called in scripture to love a marriage. We ARE called to love our spouse, honor them, submit to them, prefer them above ourselves. The object focus of our love should be Jesus, then our spouse....not a marriage. I need to love Tricia! Then in doing so, I will naturally honor and respect the marriage covenant. I am not implying that the marriage commitment is unimportant...it just should not be an idol, and the love should be directed at the spouse, not the covenant.
Here is what I see happening all too often: People end up developing protective instincts and fears about the "marriage". They want the "marriage" to look good and the "marriage" to last. They are embarrassed if the "marriage" is struggling. I think that people can be in love with a marriage and NOT the person that they are married to. Please read that last sentence again.
I know that this is slightly different and somewhat controversial and my goal is NOT for everyone to agree with me, but to engage in thinking and increase your love for your spouse.
Did you marry a marriage? Or a person? If you love each other the way that the Bible says to, you will not need to worry about protecting a marriage, it will protect itself.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
People in my church often ask me, “What can we do to help you?”
This week I’d like to dialog about how people can truly help and support their pastor.
Your Words of Encouragement Matter.
Thank you so much for taking time to share how God is working in your life. Knowing that our ministry is making a difference is often all I need to keep going when I’d rather give up. As your pastor, I’m way more “human” than I’d like to be. In my best moments, I’m fully convinced of God’s calling and presence. In my worst moments, I feel weak, insecure and totally ineffective as a Christian, much less the shepherd of a flock.
Just last week, one of you took the time to tell me how God has used our church to change your life for the better. I didn’t tell you, but on the inside I was wondering if my efforts mattered. God used your words to minister to me in a deep way. Thanks so much for telling me how God is working in your life!
Monday, March 1, 2010
- There is something that makes you lean away from you marriage.
- Entertain another person. I wonder. What if I had. What if I would have...
- Innocent meetings, flirt a little, Good job God, they're pretty attractive...
- Meetings become intentional and planned by at least one of you.
- While in a group setting, the 2 of you linger.
- Conversations begin to be about feelings. Are you happy? What is on your mind?
- Two people begin to have isolated meetings for a fake purpose.
- Two people begin to have isolated meetings for pleasure.
- Affectionate embraces and playful touching begins…in places and lengths of time that you would never find acceptable with others.
- Kissing, passionate embraces and increased touching ensue.
- Sex! (RUIN YOUR LIFE IN 5 MINUTES)
- Affair is made public!!
(Indebted to Brady Boyd, Lead Pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, for the material.)
(Indebted to Brady Boyd, Lead Pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, for the material.)
There are no secrets. If you think that there are secrets, then throw your Bible out….you don't believe it either. –Doug Weiss