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    Random thought on the morals of sexuality

    In our day today, many Christians oppose the increasing tolerance toward extra-marital sex. Of course, some are militant, but others are honestly opposed to the proliferation of loose sexual morality while remaining non-judgmental.

    On the other hand, many Christians are being ostracized by the media and others for their “conservative” and “irrational” or “archaic” views on sexuality. The continuing crisis of pedophilia among ministers doesn’t help us on this front.

    However, the thought came to me today that in ancient Greek society, pedophilia (in the form of pederasty) was a natural and common part of early education. Boys who grew up without having an adult male sexual partner were outcasts. The ancient Christians opposed this practice heavily. Who was right?

    Of course the lesson I take away from this is twofold:

    • Societal sexual morals have always been loose and opposing that looseness in the past has proven to be the right course of action.
    • Christians, especially leaders, must live well by a higher standard if we ever expect anyone else to follow suit.
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    At the National Day of Prayer Service

    Yesterday, at the National Day of Prayer noon service, I had the chance to lead with some people from our church, a new musician friend in Adam Jansen and some local pastor friends.

    At the end of the service, I said to the crowd: If you don’t have a church home, I want to shamelessly ask you to come to ours. With so many churches represented there, I gave a brief pause for shock value, and then pointed to the other pastors who were joining us and said, “Because, Tom, Justin, and Adam here each lead great congregations of our church.”

    It felt a little awkward, but also refreshing to speak of the different congregations in Lafayette as “our church.” Perhaps that kind of talk will catch on at least with me.

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  • Front Page Tough Questions

    Why do Christians go to church?

    This last Fall, we took a survey in our church asking people to rank our church from “ick” to “wow” on various categories. This is a non-scientific study, of course, but the vast majority of our church attendees gave our church a “wow” on our preaching and mid to high marks on everything else. Also, my own anecdotal research shows that the vast majority of people in our church found our church because they were intentionally looking for a church.

    As a result, I have a few ideas on why Christians go to church when they go. Please weigh in with your perspective as well. Continue reading

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  • Front Page Tough Questions

    Why Christians Should Go to Church

    Yesterday, I started a series of posts on why people go to church. Studies show us that large portions of the population claim to have a strong relationship with Jesus yet studies also show that large portions of the population rarely or never go to church.

    Today, I continue that discussion.

    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Hebrews 10:25

    Why Christians SHOULD Go to Church

    The writer of Hebrews gives us two reasons people should go to church and two obstacles that must be overcome. Continue reading

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  • Front Page Tough Questions

    Why do people go to church?

    This morning, my wife heard on the Christian radio station that a recent study reports 67% of Americans claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus that affects their daily lives.

    However, just last weekend, I heard a statistic that currently 17% of Americans go to church. I think that means specifically that on any given week, only 17% of Americans attend a religious service. The number of people who attend at least one service a month is surely much higher than that, but still, the number is astounding to me.

    If two-thirds of the population feels they have a life-altering relationship with Jesus, why is church attendance so low and apparently going down? Continue reading

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  • Explaining the Bible Front Page

    Exile & Renewed Hope

    This post is part of a series on explaining the whole bible.

    Exile

    The kingdom of Judah ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the brightest young people to Babylon. However, Jeremiah had predicted that the exile would last only 70 years, and Isaiah even predicted a king named Cyrus would be the one to return the Jews to their homeland. It turned out that both were exactly right.
    Continue reading

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  • Front Page VIP

    Thoughts on the Problem of Evil

    It seems so capricious and uncaring that a God would allow his own son to suffer, until you get the bigger picture that God loved the sinful world so much that he sacrificed one son, for three days, to gain billions of children for a sinless eternity.

    We look at all pain and suffering from the human side of the cross, from the perspective of the disciples on Friday. From that angle, the crucifixion is the most terrifying work of evil ever done. Evil got Jesus, and it might get me too. God sacrificed his son, and he might sacrifice me too.

    However, if we wait around just three days, we can gain a glimpse of the cross from God’s side, and in light of the resurrection, we see that the worst possible evil, was only temporary. The apparently careless God was working out an eternal plan.

    Evil is temporary. Good is forever. The most apparently evil moment in history was simultaneously the moment of the greatest good.

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  • Front Page Tough Questions VIP

    Why does God let us face trials?


    James 1:2-3 gives the standard Christian answer to this question:

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…

    Of course, knowing the Sunday school answer and being okay with it are two different things entirely, but this week, I have gained a new perspective on the question that I thought I would share with you. Here are some significant verses from my devotional reading this week:
    Continue reading

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  • Front Page Leadership Stuff I Find

    Cooperation Makes for a Good Day

    Found at this other blog.

    Quoting the original article:

    This unexpected, spontaneous, and scripted dance (aka Flash dance) was performed by over twenty thousand people. How did they do it?

    1. Planners recruited 800 people using Facebook and Twitter
    2. Choreographers taught a simple dance to these 800 “dancers”
    3. Dancers were planted amongst the crowd, who then the dance to the people around them
    4. Music started playing, people started dancing.

    One person doing the dance is funny. 100 people in the front of the stage doing the dance is entertaining. Everybody doing the dance in unison is amazing.

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  • Front Page My Spiritual Life

    “Our God” (a song)

    For a couple weeks now, I have been dissatisfied with the modern worship songs we’ve been singing in our church. The music is great, the beats are fun, the lyrics are powerful, but honestly, they aren’t very deep.

    In particular, the majority of modern rock-style worship music puts God in the second person. Everything is about how great “You” are or about our relationship as humans to “You.” The problem with that kind of music is that it only works for people who have a relationship with God close enough to call him “You.” There are many people for whom God is only “God” or “He” and there are many times in our lives when we need to remember that God is “God” and not just another “You.”
    Continue reading

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