Posts

Integrity Matters

     In America in 2021, integrity is often hard to come by. Politicians promise one thing, and then the news reports what they miss and don't fulfill. But people don't trust the media either . A record 56% of Americans believe the media is intentionally misleading them. In other arenas, people promise love to another and then don't mean it. And employees may feel they are in demand, and do less (visit a restaurant in 2021). Other Americans accept benefits and insurance for being unemployed when they could be employed instead, but do not as a lifestyle choice. Even medical doctors are trusted less than they once were , even pre-Covid. And the list goes on. I'm sure any area tested except a minor few would show similar results. All of that is just illustrating a point.      Yet: Integrity matters, but it is elusive in our times. This means we as Christians, as living out our faith, must examine our own hearts and minds to ensure we are people of integrity (Psalm 116:11).

Surrendering to Ministry - Seminaries to Attend

So maybe the Lord has lead you to surrender to ministry. Wonderful! Congratulations.  If so, that is a great calling, to aspire to be an overseer, 1st Timothy chapter 3. Paul commends that. Next steps? Often today a person will go to a Bible college or seminary to get doctrinal, leadership, and evangelism foundations.  But there is a dilemma: where? A large number of schools exist for theological education, but there are some top choices.  While talking to a wider group of friends lately, I've had some ask, "where should they go for a Bible degree or seminary?" It's a fair question. But posing it is easier than answering it, due to the mixed theological environment today among professors and administrators.  It is much harder than it once was, to keep track of a "good choice" of seminary/Bible college.  When you are asked that today, in mid-2021, the answer may differ from even five years ago. The rise of CRT, identity politics, and changing denominational o

A Great God

Just a quick reminder. It was once said by famed Christian missionary J. Hudson Taylor, "Not a great faith we need, but faith in a great God." Amen.

You Cannot Fumble Your Salvation

     Recently, I came across when looking for a sermon illustration, a story of the Top 10 worst NFL fumble situations in history. The article covers some classics. Here is that article . An example many remember is the 2006 fumble of quarterback Tony Romo with the Dallas Cowboys. A divisional round was very close and the game was within just one point. That is when Romo fumbled the ball from a snap and the Giants benefited from it. Oops. This is not to pick on Romo, he had lots of great plays too (most will admit). But he didn't always measure up, despite the practice, coaching, and need to do so. People are like that before a completely holy and perfect God (Romans 3:10; 23). The wages or earnings of people, it is spiritual death, Romans 6:23. But there is good news. It's all about Jesus, not you.       What I find wonderful to remember for the Christian person, is you cannot fumble your salvation if you have placed saving faith in Jesus Christ. When a person calls upon the L

A Weekend Reminder

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 As you are taking in your weekend, remember that in these crazy times we all live in, it is good to rest and find refuge in the LORD. According to Proverbs 18:10, there is a promise for that. Are you doing this? Return to it, if not, and God will receive you!

Gallup Poll: Membership in USA Churches Lowest in Decades

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 A recent set of polling data of the United States found that church membership (and other religious groups) is at the lowest it has been in decades. A significant drop in membership occurred from the 1998-2000 range to today. Over two decades a supermajority (around 70-73%) claiming membership in a church, synagogue, etc., went to less than half the article reports (47%).  Now the research is more broad than say a George Barna poll that is more focused on evangelical churches. However, the hard work of the people at Gallup is still useful to gauge what is happening in our culture and our time. Most of us in sharing the Gospel individually and in church life, are not completely surprised by the following poll data: The article may be found at:  https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx This speaks to several factors as Gallup also reports. They mention the rise of the "Nones," persons who claim no religious membership or prefer

United Methodist Denominational Changes

        For any of those keeping track for various reasons, the United Methodist Church has seen a lot of changes due to Covid and rule changes. Friends of mine who are in the UMC explained that a split was likely in 2020. However, once the lockdowns started impacting everyone the meetings were put off for a long-time. Now they are changing rules and anticipating long-distance voting on issues.        A link to some of the info is here:  https://religionnews.com/2021/03/22/united-methodist-bishops-cancel-virtual-special-session-of-general-conference/ .         In general, it appears they are in a holding pattern, which might then impact their decision to stay united as a denomination or not, in theory. In such a polarized world, that may not be possible though. But the excess time the UMC has gained, could give perspective on some votes or issues. It certainly allows any renewal movement more time to think and ponder what God might have them to do. Much could happen between March 2021