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Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Altar calls

Just a short post on altar calls. I do not understand them. Why do churches insist on using altar calls, or invitations, at the end of a sermon? To make matters worse, for me, is the mood music that goes with them. I believe this is nothing more than an emotional plea to make a “decision” for Christ. This can lead to false conversions, which I have seen.

Look to Peter for biblical use of Law and Gospel (Acts 2). Peter uses the Law to convict sinners and then preaches the Gospel to save them, those appointed to eternal life.

And another thing regarding always preaching a sermon with this end goal of invitations. If the passage addresses these matters, meaning the Gospel, then great. The preacher can use it to proclaim Christ and him crucified for your sins. If this regenerates a sinner in the pews, wonderful! However, I believe Sundays should be used to edify the Saints of God, not to convert sinners. That work should be done during the week.

Just my thoughts.

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Christian fundamentalism

In the last week, I heard this term used in a few occasions and thought I would express my thoughts. I often hear this term being used on “evangelicals”. I believe it’s usually used as a pejorative instead of conveying anything meaningful. Usually detractors use it for Christians who take the bible “literally”, believe in a 7 day creation story, young earth creationist, etc. The term is not used in any meaningful way. Now on to the two examples..

The first example occurring in the cesspool that is known as the internet forum. An atheist poster, making a comment on a Christine O’Donnell thread, ridiculed Christian posters, including O’Donnell, as Christian fundamentalists who interpret the Bible “word-for-word literally”. Taking the bait, I responded with the following:

“There are no Christians that believe in scripture “word-for-word literally” unless you think Christians think Jesus is literally a door, a loaf of bread, that Jesus came to save sheep, or a gate that sheep go through.”

Of course there was no meaningful reply, as I expected.

The second example is a

from a internet radio show called Fighting for the Faith hosted by Chris Rosebrough. It’s an excellent show in which he, among other things, reviews sermons. In this particular case, it’s a “sermon” preached by Jay Bakker, who is a progressive Christian and the son of Jim and Tammy Faye. In it he speaks about a conversation with a friend regarding the virgin birth and the resurrection. His friend, Vince, said that it does not matter if the resurrection happened. Jay responds back with, “If the resurrection is a lie, then it’s all over. I quit”. He goes on to see that he seems now that Christianity is more than “concrete facts”, then goes onto talking about the love of Christ. This is the problem when Sola Scriptura is denied…

In one of the most famous passages of the New Testament, 1 Corthianians 15, Paul discusses this matter, the Resurrection. He states in that whole chapter that we are still dead in our sins if Christ is not raised and are a people most to be pitied. Dead in our sins! What else do we know of God, of Jesus, of anything, other than what God has revealed to us. You can not deny something as central as the Resurrection and still claim to have faith. This is irrational. It’s this idea of you can’t know truth. And if you do claim that God has spoken, the people try to poison the well using pejoratives like fundamentalists.

Let us remember the words of Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:13-14).

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

 Believing in what God has revealed in the Scriptures, and not picking and choosing which to believe, is not being a fundamentalists, it’s being a true believer in the living God

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