Book Review: Jesus Untangled

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Jesus Untangled: Crucifying our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb by Keith Giles

Giles is an intelligent writer that has done his homework and presents his case well. He is right in saying that Americans have their politics wrapped up in their Christianity. There is no morally right political party and pinning all of your hopes and dreams on any party platform will leave Christian believers disappointed. Let’s begin by analyzing what he does a good job of in this book. Continue reading

Happy Memorial Day

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I’m going to post this today and then Happy Monday as usual tomorrow. This is an update from an archive post dated 5/18/2009. 

Memorial Day is traditionally the first long weekend of summer, so maybe for you it’s just another excuse to break out the grill and water toys.  If you have to work that day, maybe it’s an inconvenience that that the Post Office and banks will be closed.  Some people will simply sleep in that day and not care why.  The American dream lives on. Continue reading

National Day of Prayer, a History Lesson

reaganFrom General Washington’s struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future. -Ronald Reagan 

The Second Continental Congress (as in the guys that signed the Declaration of Independence) first asked colonists to pray in 1775, recommending “a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting.” Only in 1952 did President Harry Truman sign a bill stating that each successive president must designate a national day of prayer each year on a date of his choosing. A National Prayer Committee was formed in 1982 to establish a fixed day annually. Since 1988 the National Day of Prayer has been the first Thursday of May. George W. Bush is the only president in recent history to host an annual event in the nation’s capital in observance of the Day of Prayer (Reagan and H.W. Bush each had one). Continue reading

Boy Scouts and How Christians Will Respond

Screenshot 2013-05-26 at 11.43.10 PMUPDATE: The SBC will vote next week, June 11 or 12, on a resolution encouraging all of its 16 million members to withdraw support of the Boy Scouts. 4,000 troupes sponsored by the SBC and 100,000 scouts would be directly affected. Read that full story here

By now you’ve heard that the Boy Scouts will be lifting the ban on gay members. The change will take effect on January 1. The ban on openly gay leaders will remain in place, but both sides agree it’s only a matter of time.

I expect many local troupes will suddenly find they are unwelcome at local churches. Not on Sunday morning, but during their regular scout meetings in what would otherwise be an empty gym or fellowship hall. Churches that currently share their meeting space or even storage areas with Boy Scouts are suddenly going to see the Scouts as a “gay friendly” organization. Before it comes up at your local church, let me tell why this is a bad idea. Continue reading

In God We Trust: Let’s Be Honest

Quick thought: I heard a preacher this morning say that “In God We Trust” is printed on all our money, and that must really tick God off.

I’ve wondered before how much longer that was going to last.  In all honesty I can’t believe our printed bills and minted coins still I have that on them.  Some ridiculous things have occurred in the name of separation of church and state.  We don’t live in a theocracy, but in a free country, and I understand that well.  Michael Spencer said that mixing church and state is kind of like mixing dog crap with ice cream; you can’t make the crap any better but it sure does ruin your ice cream!

What do you think: Is it to our credit that our money bears “In God We Trust” or is it just a lie?  Remember, this is our money we’re talking about.  We know what Americans really trust.

How to Mix Christianity with Patriotism

This isn’t really about how to mix Christianity with patriotism.  There are plenty of people already doing that.  But if you’re a follower, either online or in real life, you know that’s one of those things that makes me a little nervous.  I’ve been an American since birth and a Christian since age 12, but one is not synonymous with the other.  I get a little weird when Christians quote those Old Testament land promises God gave the Jews and act like those are about us.  A literal kingdom with borders and a king on the throne – that’s what God was doing then.  The kingdom he is building now is bigger than any one nation or one people.  We don’t live in a “Christian nation” either, and on that point I run the risk of starting a war of rhetoric.  We live in a free nation in which many people choose to practice Christianity without fear; but many choose not to as well.  The melting pot of many cultures, languages, races and religions is an essential part of our national identity.  We are not a Christian nation for instance the way Iran or Afghanistan are Muslim nations.  These are sermons I’ve preached before and I don’t want to get too distract before saying

However… Continue reading

For God and Country

The 4th of July falls on Sunday this year.  The comparisons between our liberty and freedom as Americans and the freedom found in Christ are easy to make, but we need to be careful.  I wish to present a sermon that is both patriotic and scriptural, but also fair and truthful.  The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 – the Bible was not. Continue reading