Posts Tagged ‘church’

What’s RIGHT with…(part 1)

“Read my new blog, titled ‘what’s wrong with Christian Hip-Hop’…read my new blog ‘what’s wrong with the Church…read my new blog ‘what’s wrong with Christian leadership…” Good lord, the ship must be sinking. Call the National Guard and get us out of here because this ship is GOING DOWN! Somebody please call 911. Christian Hip-Hop is in a state of emergency! The Church is in a state of emergency! Leadership is in a state of emergency! SOMEONE HEEEEEEEELP!!!!

wait…what?…its really not that bad?

Who the heck are all of these Chicken Little’s screaming about what is WRONG with everything?!?! You want to know what’s wrong with all of these things? The bloggers running around like mini-Glenn Becks talking about what’s wrong with everything. “Yeah, but I also provide a solution to what I’m talking about too!” WHO CARES!?! So what happens, if we dont listen to your opinions, its all doomed? Allow me to use my free speech to respectfully ask you to refrain from using yours for a while.

Allow me to use my free speech to tell you about what is RIGHT with the local church.

You know what’s RIGHT about the local church? The countless numbers of people who you will NEVER hear of feeding the homeless and treating them like the image bearers of God they are. The kind of loving treatment that is the hallmark of the Body of Christ. The kind of love that sends a fame through out the collective, unknown members of the city that have no homes or phones but they have each other and brag about the love they received at that local church.

What’s right about the local church is the number of unknown people that dedicate their time, talent and treasure to seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ propelled through out their communities. What’s right about the local church is countless, nameless saints of God helping the single mom out with her daily needs because the child’s father REFUSES to pay child support and money she makes from her 3 jobs just barely covers her rent and utilities.

What’s RIGHT about the local church is the number of men who wrap their arms around the younger men to encourage them, pray for them and give them incredible, invaluable amounts of encouragement. The men who silently love their wives and children in a God honoring way so that their sons and daughters see a healthy definition of a man.

What’s right about the church is the number of untold miracles that didn’t come with a fake shake and a fall to the ground. The miracles that didn’t come with a book table and an annointed rag to purchase. But the miracles that were done in tearful prayer after the service when no one was there. The miracles done in another believer’s living room as they held an informal prayer gathering.

The countless stories of needs being met, pained people comforted by the God inspired love of their brothers and sisters in Christ, the untold salvations happening in public school cafeterias, the people dedicating their time to see illiterate youth learning to read, the people breaking free from addictions,  the people going from worship of self to the worship of the one true God, the people selling things on eBay to give to families ravaged by storms and for tents in Haiti, the people running marathons to raise awareness and funds for issues like sex slave trafficking, the people fighting to erradicate poverty– THAT’S WHAT’S RIGHT WITH THE CHURCH!

And if you don’t see it, then maybe you need a new church or maybe you need to spark a change in your own.

So share with the rest of us, what do you think is RIGHT with the church?

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Are we missing something?

Okay, I try to keep my blog as free from politics as I can. People have said to me that I should be involved in local politics. I’ve told them that I can’t be in politics because I care about people too much. But as we draw closer to November 4th – the day we vote for our next President here in the States – and as the DNC is here and the RNC is fastly approaching, the “issues” keep coming to mind.

Now, I have not 100% supported a candidate yet, and PUBLICALLY I won’t. If you want to know who I THINK I’m voting for, call me or email me. I won’t discuss it publically or on my blog. What I AM NOT is a blind party voter. I’m actually a proud registered independant.

But as the “issues” get thrown around, my question to my Christian brothers and sisters is this: Are we missing something? We argue vehemently about abortion and gay marriage. I agree, abortion in most cases is wrong. (Let’s save that discussion for another thread, okay?) But are there OTHER issues that we should be on the front lines of fighting for and we aren’t? Are there other HIGHLY MORAL issues that require the Church to be front and center on that we are leaving in the shadows of our fight for abortion? Is there something that the Church SHOULD be the champion on and instead we’ve chosen to be an innocent bystander?

Or, is abortion the only giant we need to slay? Would we reclaim or “Christian Nation” status after we rid America of abortion or are there other evils we need to be in the forefront of fighting?

What do you think? Is abortion it, or is there something else?

Live Big

This month, in our youth church I’ve been leading a series called “Go Big.” The 3 things we honed in on during this series are:

Week 1: Pray Big

Week 2: Love Big

Week 3: Live Big

This past week was part 3 and I must admit, it was the most encouraging, inspiring and challenging message I’ve done. It wasn’t as “motivational” so to speak as the first 2 weeks, but it was definitely the most hard hitting. 

I asked the question “How would you live if you knew God had called you and was with you?” I heard a near unanimous “wow, that’s deep!” This question took on a whole new meaning for me before I preached this message.

Last Sunday, we had the main missionary we support and one of my pastor’s mentors Dr. George Kutty pay us a visit. My pastor being the gracious mentee, gave him a few minutes to speak after service. These few minutes would be earth shaking for me. While talking about his missionary work to India – where he has a Bible college and a vision to plant 10,000 churches in South Asia – he mentioned that his next trip is going to be in the hostile environment of Yemen. WHOA! He said some people were worried for him and his safety on this trip. And after he said that, his next statement rocked me to my core. He said:

I’m not worried about Yemen. I fully expected to be martyred on my last trip to India, so I know God still has more for me to do.

He said he EXPECTED TO BE MARTYRED! And he went anyway! He willing packed his bags and went on a trip to India EXPECTING to die. WHAT?!?! He didn’t say he was thinking it may happen, he said he FULLY EXPECTED IT! And he STILL willing packed his suitcases and bought a plane ticket.

This brings a brand new meaning to the question “How would you live if knew God had called you and was with you?”

So think about that question, read this and this. After doing that, do what I believe I’m pushing myself to do more and what I believe Dr. Kutty is doing – LIVE BIG.

On behalf of the screw ups – I’m sorry

The history of Evangelical Christendom has seen its share of glorious highs and embarrassing lows. From the respect and adoration that Billy Graham has earned throughout the decades to the scandals of Jim Baker and Ted Haggert.

Many of you reading this blog may have been scarred by the effects of the negative things that have taken place in recent history. From Ted Haggert’s misconduct, to Todd Bentley to most recently The Healer song debacle. The fall out from these events may have left you hurt and may have even damaged your faith in God.

Realistically, you know that not all of us so-called “evangelicals” are like the negative images you see on the TV or on the internet. Despite what you know, the preacher that cursed at you personally or lied to the world globally has left you with a bad taste about God, the Bible and Christianity. In your eyes, you believe that they royally screwed up. And not only did they screw up, it seems like everyone is acting like what happened to you is not a big deal – and THAT is the most frustrating part.

Well, on behalf of all of the screw ups who lied, cheated, stole, deceived, adultered, murdered and molested – allow me to say one thing: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry those things happened to you. I’m not sticking up for them, I’m not defending them. I am simply apologizing to you for what happened on behalf of my brothers and sisters. I don’t think you deserved what happened to you. I’m just taking what happened to you and putting it in the open so that you can finally have some sort of closure.

Please, I ask that you forgive my brothers and sisters in Christ for what they have done. Not because they “deserve” your forgiveness, but because you deserve to live free from what has happened to you and you deserve the right to see God clearly. You deserve the chance to hear what God has to say to you without the filter of the pain that my brothers and sisters have caused you. Forgiveness will give you the chance to remove that filter.

Understand my heart, I’m not saying that I’m some super Christian without faults. i have my faults, and I recognize my faults are many. I’m not here to judge you or my Christian siblings for what happened. God knows, that honestly I am capable of the same thing – if not something worse. And really, neither you or I can take the righteous high ground to say that either of us is better. I know I can’t. I’m imperfect and I need God’s grace and quite honestly I need the grace of others too sometimes.

I’m not saying what happened to you wasn’t a big deal. It was, and for that again – I apologize. I ask that you extend forgiveness to my brothers and sisters in Christ who have wronged you. Not for their sake, but for yours and mine. Your sake so that you can lift that remove that anger and see God clearly. My sake so that when we meet, you won’t see them when you see me – but you’ll see me.

So, on behalf of the screw ups – I’m sorry.

The “Healer” Lie – The Aftermath

The Healer controversy is shaking up worship and youth ministry communities across the globe. Now, apparently Mike G. is being ordered to appear before the cops to explain what happened to all of the money that was raised for him. This rabbit hole goes deeper and deeper.

But here’s a better question, what will the aftermath of this be? Given the blackeyes the evangelical community has taken in recent weeks with Todd Bentley leaving his wife and ministry and now this situation, what will the fallout be? How should the church at large respond?  Should the church at large respond at all? Should it be handled by his family, parents and pastors?

Are we going too easy on him? Where does the church draw the line between John 8:6-11 and 1st Corinthians 5:5?

My question for the Body is not a question of forgiveness because I don’t think we should harbor anything in that regard. Christ died for us and forgave us, so ought to forgive others.

A bigger issue that the church needs to be prepared for is the fact that the people who were influenced by this song may have some very, very negative reflexes from this. How do we counsel them? I’m not worried about Mike G. because he seems to have enough good people around him to help restore him, just like scripture suggests. But how do we deal with the reaction to this type of deceit? Do we sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen? Do we say “but the song is still awesome”? Do we say “I know you have been deceived by someone and your trust has been violated and on behalf of my brother in Christ – I’m sorry”?

We’re going to need a bigger trap!

Yesterday was our first service in our new building. We’re still rennovating but it just wasn’t wise for us to pay a mortgage on the new building AND a lease on the old building. So yesterday marked the official beginning of Crosspoint Church in Newport, RI! (we changed our name when we moved to the new building in case you were wondering)

Not everything was hunkey-dorey though. If it had to be plugged in – it didn’t work well. The temporary sound system we used works great – just in other places. The echo in there was overwhelming. We haven’t put up sound absorbers or installed the EQ yet, so the sound was wierd. The temporary computer wasn’t jiving well with the Easyworship software. Mind you it worked JUST FINE on Saturday. So, with 20 minutes to go before service starts – we decided to out the songs in Powerpoint. Usually, not a terrible option, but with only 20 minutes to format and input 8 songs it went over about as good as a steak salesman at a veggan convention.

So the sound was bad and the visuals for music and the message were bad – but that didn’t stop ANYTHING! People worshipped loudly and passionately. People listened to the message intently. I’m not sure if its because Pastor Steve was bringing it or if it because the echo was so bad you had to pay close attention so that you can understand him – EITHER WAY people were locked in and walked away with some nuggets for life.

Oh, and the building was packed. As we looked the number of chairs we put out and the number of lives that filled those chairs, if we keep this up – we’re going to need a bigger trap!

I smell a second service coming really soon.