Posts

Showing posts from April, 2012

Weekend Preview

Image

Dulling Down Christian Education

Image
In 2008 I attended the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum hosted by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  One of the keynote speakers was Bart Ehrman , bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus and several other volumes that basically seek to undermine the trustworthiness of the Biblical text.  Though Ehrman is a noted atheist who has renounced his faith in God, Christianity, and the Bible, he is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and a noted New Testament lecturer.  How ironic. In his opening comments Ehrman stated, “I teach at the University of North Carolina and I’m teaching a  large undergraduate class this semester on the New Testament.  And most of my students are from the South, most of them are raised in good Christian families, and I have found over the years they have far greater commitment to the Bible than knowledge about it.” Ehrman then went on to share that during the previous semester he started off the first day of

Josiah and the Reform of Student Ministry

Image
The statistics vary depending on the study sample, but some estimate that as many as 82% of teens who attend Southern Baptist Churches will leave the church within one year after graduating high school.   There may be many causes of our failure, but I suspect part of the problem is that student ministry has become like most facets of church life. We major on experience rather than expectation.   What if we approached student ministry with a new set of standards?  What if student ministry moved away from presentation and into exploration?  What if we made less of the party and more of the search?  What if we did not just desire, but actually expected 20 year olds to enter the third decade of their life with maturity, responsibility, and the ability to make a difference?  What if we spent less time and effort on entertaining students and invested more in strategically equipping them? The Bible says of King Josiah, For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a b

Why Attend Marriage Events, Reason #4, Marriage is a Long Shot

Image
On Thursday our church ( libertybaptistchurch.ws ) is privileged to host Mitch Temple , author of The Marriage Turnaround .  Mitch will be with us from 7:00-8:30 sharing on the topic of “ Making Marriage Your Business .”  Why should you take the time to be here for this important event?  This week I will share with you some reasons why you should attend: REASON #4 Marriage is a Long Shot If you have ever played golf or launched a rocket into space you know that when it comes to the long shot, a little bit makes a big difference.  A few degrees becomes hundreds of miles depending on how far you go.  Since most of us are still waiting to launch our first rocket into orbit, let’s talk golf.  Hitting a golf ball a long way is not as difficult as it is to hit it the right way.  This is why the optimum shot lands in what is called the “fair-way” and everything else is referred to as “rough!”   Hitting a golf ball into the rough is easy.  Just make a slight mistake off the tee

Why Attend Marriage Events, Reason #3, Its Cheaper Than Divorce

Image
On Thursday our church ( libertybaptistchurch.ws ) is privileged to host Mitch Temple , author of The Marriage Turnaround .  Mitch will be with us from 7:00-8:30 sharing on the topic of “ Making Marriage Your Business .”  Why should you take the time to be here for this important event?  This week I will share with you some reasons why you should attend: REASON #3 Its Cheaper Than Divorce It costs a lot to be married.  It costs even more to end one.  While the costs of divorce fluctuate greatly based on the economics of the family involved, Divorce360.com , by using U.S. household averages, estimates that the divorce in America costs $53,000 on average.  While it is true that couples can file an “uncontested” divorce for as little as a few hundred dollars, the often unseen costs associated with relocation, counseling, and acquiring a new mortgage can add up quickly.  ( see the full article ) The marriage event we are hosting this week costs only $15 per couple.  Christ

Why Attend Marriage Events, Reason #2 - You’re Dumb if You Don’t.

Image
On Thursday our church ( libertybaptistchurch.ws ) is privileged to host Mitch Temple , author of The Marriage Turnaround .  Mitch will be with us from 7:00-9:00 sharing on the topic of “ Making Marriage Your Business .”  Why should you take the time to be here for this important event?  This week I will share with you some reasons why you should attend: REASON #2 You’re dumb if you don’t. Many people may not invest time in marriage events because they believe doing so is admission that there are problems in their marriage.  It is like an altar call on Sunday mornings.  Going to the altar is like waving an open letter to the rest of the congregation that, “Yes, I sinned this week.  The preacher’s sermon was about me.”  The thought is terrifying, but if it makes you feel any better - we already knew :). The Bible teaches that wise people seek counsel (Prov. 15:22) and broken people enjoy God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  Investing time in learning is not confessing that y

Why Attend Marriage Events, Reason #1 - Staying Together Isn’t Good Enough

Image
On Thursday our church ( libertybaptistchurch.ws ) is privileged to host Mitch Temple , author of The Marriage Turnaround .  Mitch will be with us from 7:00-9:00 sharing on the topic of “ Making Marriage Your Business .”  Why should you take the time to be here for this important event?  This week I will share with you some reasons why you should attend: REASON #1 STAYING TOGETHER ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH Whenever we talk about marriage inevitably we also talk about divorce.  We often cite that the number one indicator of failing marriages in America is the 50% + divorce rate at which we go from “I do” to “I don’t.”  While this statistic is alarming, it may also be misleading. We may be misled to think that simply “staying” married is a success.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While it is true that the Bible condemns divorce, this is not all the Bible says about marriage.  The marriage is to be an illustration of the love Christ has for the church.  Marriage is

The Difference Between Pictures and People

Image
We are an image driven culture.  We now do news like we do American Idol.  We want to watch and vote.  We want to see instant images that tell the story.  We then light up the blogosphere, Facebook, and twitter somehow believing that our opinion is the only thing that matters.     Missing in all of this is any responsibility to investigate critically.  By critically I mean gathering reliable information and taking into account all sides of the story.  The problem is that critical investigation takes too much time.  We don’t want to take time to wait.  Being critical does not mean we say something about a story, it means we get involved in the story.  Yet, we are so hungry to offer our opinions that we do not take the time necessary to have meaningful conversations, do background reading, and sometimes just wait for the evidence to emerge.  All we want is a snapshot, a simple two dimensional image.  Its much easier neglect investigation and simply talk about pictures. We say

Rise of the Nations (The Dirt Series Video)

Image

From Separatists to the SBC (Week 4 - Church Who, What, How?)

Image
To compile a brief survey of Baptist life from the 17th century Separatists to the founding of the SBC is no small task.  As with any historical sketch there are various caveats of influence that hold great importance, but must remain unmentioned.  Though this is regrettable, for the sake of brevity, it is necessary.  From the 17 century Separatists to the founding of the SBC in 1845 covers around 200 years of church history and involves numerous bylines that take place in England and early Colonial America.  However, I have chosen four major themes that tend to be at the root of every historical byline.  These four themes are: Dead orthodoxy vs. eroding orthodoxy The First Great Awakening The Impact of Associations The Modern Missions Movement Dead Orthodoxy vs. Eroding Orthodoxy In a previous session we pointed out that the positive byproduct of heresy is that it forces the church to clearly define, defend, and articulate orthodox belief.  The same is true of deba

Egg Hunt at Liberty 2012

Image

Coming to America (Church, Who? What? How?)

Image
While the Reformation was doing its work in the greater part of Europe, it was also making waves in the proud monarchial tradition of England.  While some in England wanted something protestant, it was important for them to somehow preserve the relationship between the church and the throne.  The end result was the Church of England.  An arrangement that very much resembled the monarchial ecclesiology of The Catholic Church, but gleaned some of the fervor of the Protestant Reformation. The story of the Reformation in England is the stuff of historical legend and modern film.  It is during this time that we are given the great monarchial characters of the House of Tudor and the House of Stuart. The list of names here would include: Henry VIII (1509-1547) - who separated the Church of England from Rome by the Act of Supremacy.  Henry did this primarily because the Catholic Church would not condone divorce.  Henry was married 6 times.  Edward VI (1547-1553) - son of Henry VIII wh