What the 2000′s Church Will be Remembered for in 50 Years

Someone’s going to study us. We study church history from 50 years ago, and in 50 years someone will study us. Some of it will be good, and some of it will be bad. To say it will all be good is both unrealistic and bordering dangerously on the common human error of thinking that since we are currently at the farthest point in time we have ever been, that we are also at the farthest point of knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and progress we have ever been. And to say that everything we will be remembered for will be bad is to risk sounding like you’re trying to be all post-emergent, and that you have it all figured out, and that the church has become just terrible. Which is actually worse than the first mindset. In the first, at least you’re in a state of pride in something collective. That’s at least forgivable and kind of sweet. (And ya, contrary to what that last phrase would make you think, this is still a guy writing this.) But in the second mindset, there’s few things more awkward and off-putting than people who feel like they must be right and 500,000 other people must be wrong. I’m not saying it can’t happen…but let’s be real that just maybe…I know this is crazy…but just maybe we don’t have it all figured out and we’re actually going to learn some more stuff as we keep living.

And yikes, this post is turning out to sound very ‘church magazine-ish’ if you know what I mean. And if there’s one thing I fear above all else (besides the ‘off’ switch on delay pedals), it’s church magazines trying to come up with new twists on old concepts in order to shock people into reading. And then when you get to the end you’re like, ‘No, I think that verse has always said that.’ So, before I can go any farther into becoming a caricature of my own fear (if you put ‘caricature of your own’ before any object you’re talking about…it’s automatic increase in perceived smartness), I gotta do this:

Karl fails
(This is me on my bachelor party. I decided to leap out of the car while it was still moving. I intended to hit the ground running like I was Jason Statham or something. I tend to over-estimate myself. What ended up happening was…well, you can see what ended up happening. Luckily, my friend Ryan, who snapped the picture, made sure you couldn’t see……uh…everything. Yep. First step out of the car, done. My other friend, Tim, somehow managed to not run over me. Thank you, Tim. The other one? Justin? Ya. Laughing. Probably would have been laughing even if Tim hadn’t managed to not run over me.)

There we go. Any perceived smartness that ‘caricature’ may have added for a few seconds is now gone. And it’ll stay gone, as this isn’t a church musings blog. It’s ‘guitar.’ ‘For worship.’ So, most of these things that I kind of think our current church as an American/European whole might be remembered for in 50 years, have to do with music. As does most of life. Yes. And I cannot take all the credit for this post. A good deal of this has been brewed from a few talks with my father, who is quite a learned and wise man in his own rite. Much moreso than myself. Although if you end up not liking this post, I’m sure he’d be more than happy to let all the credit go to me. ;) But quite honestly, I think the majority of the established western 2000′s church might be remembered in 50 years for:

–Making ‘worship music’ synonymous with ‘worship.’ And that is bad. However, when someone says to me, ‘How was worship?’, I immediately think of the music portion of a church service. It’s become ingrained in me. And in this way, when the Bible talks about ‘worshiping God’, we tend to think that God wants more music. But in the Hebrew, the words for ‘serve’ and ‘worship’ are the same. And in English, serving someone to show how much you ‘give them worth’, makes much more sense to me than singing to them. I’ve said it before, but I can write my wife all the love songs in the world; but if I never make her dinner or take her on a date or take out the garbage, is she going to feel worshiped? Nope. The songs are supposed to be just small mirrors of what our lives should be about. But usually, when we are told to worship God more, we sing Him more songs, because that’s what we in general automatically think of when we hear the word ‘worship.’

–Bringing emotionality back into worship music. I think this is good. We see to have done a really good job making it widely acceptable to love God with all we are…and that includes deep emotions.

–Forgetting missions. I know, I know. I hate that word, too. It’s been used so much, and has been associated with so many ‘I want to shoot myself in the head from boredom’ sermons in other languages on ‘Missions Sunday’, that literally the sight of that word bores me. It does. I’m totally turning on Airborne Toxic Event right now. Yes, out-of-tune yet somehow fun guitar. Combat the boredom. However…in making the church the center of outreach, we’ve kind of forgotten to reach out. Not that I’m down on outreach-driven churches. Sweet mercy, if people can’t find God in churches, where are they gonna go? By all means, let’s reach out to non-believers in church! But it seems like we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve said, ‘Well we opened our church doors, put flyers up on the Starbucks community board, and have our billboards up! What more can we do?’ And there’s nothing wrong with that at all! But it still has to be coupled with us going out and meeting people where they’re at, rather than waiting for them to come to us. I’m guilty of this one most of all. And I’m haunted every day by a book called ‘Simplicity.’ If you can, try to pick this book up. It was kind of shunned by the church in general because, I’ll admit, there’s some questionable things in there. But at least it’s honest. It asks the questions we don’t want to. And it’s written by the lead singer of Stavesacre, who used to be a Christian band. And this guy has chosen…rather than staying in a safe church…and even more than doing ‘outreach events’, to live an outreach. Of all the places to choose to work and live, he’s chosen to live in downtown Huntington Beach and work at a coffee shop famous for the convicts and parolees that patronize it. He chose to step out and live it. And that haunts me. Because I play a well-known Coldplay intro to a worship song, and think I’ve done my outreach for the week.

simplicity
(The third cover of the book. I believe the first was deemed inappropriate for some very odd reason.)

–Making our churches more outreach-driven. hehe Alright, since I just railed on church and myself for not reaching out enough, I’ve got to say that I do think that the fact that the 2000′s church seems to have made itself much more accessible and open to the non-believers who do enter through our open doors because of the Starbucks flyers and billboards. And this, I think, is very, very good.

–That almost every one of our movements ended in a scandal. Kind of sad, but history is not kind to this type of stuff. I mean, history will make up stuff about people if it feels like it. So the fact that so many prominent heads of so many prominent Christian movements over the last 10 years have ended their tenures abruptly by the uncovering of money laundering, affairs, or any other number of the visible sins, will most definitely not be forgotten.

–Making ‘Republican’ and ‘American’ mean the same thing as ‘Christian.’ And ‘Democrat’ isn’t synonymous with this new breed of ‘free-thinking’ Christian we seem to be breeding, either. ‘Christian’ is completely different. Not all Christians love America; and I’d say especially the Christians in the underground churches of China and Indonesia and such. And not all Republican beliefs are Christian, and not all Democrat beliefs are evil. Anything beyond God’s commands (i.e. not killing babies, taking care of His creation, supporting the poor, etc.) is just politics. Nothing against America, Republicans, Democrats, or politics. But we’ve gotten to the point where if you’re a patriotic Republican, well then, you must be a Christian, too; and vice versa. And I’m not sure that’s in the Bible.

–Focusing more on the buildup of the family and the alleviation of sin than on preaching Christ or loving people. I just have this scary feeling that we’re going to get up to Heaven and tell Jesus, ‘Lord! We outlawed homosexuality, kept prayer in schools, and kept all the bad people out of our neighborhood!’ And I think God’s going to say something to the effect of (and apologies, I don’t like putting quotes around things I’m merely assuming God would say, hehe), Okay. Well, I never intended homosexuality, I like prayer, and I’m glad you showed love to your kids by keeping your neighborhood safe. Cool. So, how many homosexuals, politicians who didn’t believe in prayer, and criminals in your neighborhood did you bring with you here to Heaven? And we’re going to be like, ‘Oh. You mean you wanted people brought to You, not the world to be cleaner?’

–Making some asserted steps in art and music to create new things for God, rather than just recycling 15-year-old ‘secular’ ideas. Ya, we don’t have it perfect yet. But at least we’re going after it. The Christian music industry is far from perfect. And maybe it shouldn’t even be it’s own industry, in the purest form of simply living out Christ amidst a fallen world. But there is a concerted effort to create art for the glory of God, and I think that’s a good thing.

–Confusing people who haven’t yet come to know Christ, for demons. I know it sounds stupid, but so much of current Christian culture is based on the war model. That it’s a battlezone out there, and we’d better fight the evil or be overcome by it. Which is fine. Ya, if you’re getting overcome by sin, or by Satan, or demons, you should battle it. But we seem to always want to battle people. If someone says ‘Christianity sucks’, we immediately go into battle mode and start to battle the person. Usually with words. And it’s understandable. Sometimes in order to take a stand for something you believe in, you have to pump yourself up. The problem is that it seems we’ve never gotten past that. I mean, how much do you really believe in what you believe? Do you believe it enough not to be shaken and go crying to your Bible study about the ‘persecution’ you’re enduring when someone says ‘Christianity sucks’? But rather to say, ‘Alright. I’m gonna tell you right now that I don’t believe that. But obviously you’ve got your reasons for saying that. What do you do for fun?’ And starting a relationship. Almost always, when someone makes fun of something, they’re a little intimidated by it. Like when I make fun of Paul Walker. Ya, I think…nope, not ‘think’…he just is…a horrible actor. But if I look deep enough, I’m sure that I’m also a little intimidated that someone who I think to have so little talent, can be that much more famous, rich, and accepted than I am. And I’m sure the fact that I always lived under the delusion I was kind of good looking until I saw how good looking he is, doesn’t help either. (Wow, I just said that.) Anyway, any emotion towards something is an open door. And not just to ‘winning’ them for Christ. To actually loving them for who they are…which of course includes caring about where they end up for eternity. But it also includes hearing out their side of the story, and listening to their hurts, successes, failures, and stupid things that humans tend to say. ;)

paul_walker_int_01_550x422
(That man is a horrible actor. Such stern confusion. He is definitely better looking than I am, though. And this frightens me. Hence, I make fun of his acting skills.)

I apologize for the serious tone in this post. There’s enough serious blogs out there that claim to know the secret to 2000′s Christianity, and I’m afraid this post fell right into that. But at the same time, as the title of the blog conveys topics about understanding worship, and ‘worship’ is not just synonymous with music, I think it might be good every once in a while to look at ourselves and our culture from different eyes. And to step outside ourselves and see if the things we may have become accustomed to, are really showing any ‘worth’ or ‘worth-ship’ (can’t believe I just did the Christian word switch thing) towards God. Maybe that’s good? And if it’s not, then hopefully all of you just scanned to the Paul Walker pic and the me jumping out of a moving car pic.

Splendid.
Karl.

26 thoughts on “What the 2000′s Church Will be Remembered for in 50 Years

  1. Great post! Sometimes we needs these somber reminders to give us a flick over the back of our head or a kick in the rear.

    I particularly like the part about worship. So many see worship as music or singing God’s praise but it’s so much more than that it’s a lifestyle.

    A similar thing can be said about praise. There are 32 different word for praise in Hebrew each with it’s own unique meaning, each its own facet of praise and we just have the one.

    Something else I think the church will be remembered for is event driven church. There are so many churches out there that are absolutely massive which is great but. they often focus on the church service and not the church itself. Jesus preached to the masses but he had few disciples and we so often forget about discipleship.

    Here is a challenge for everyone-the next time you go to church ask your pastor who their disciples are.

    Hillsongs church in Australia has about 400 new Christians come to their church each month, by the end of the year only 80 of the original 400 would still be there, the year after less than 10. When a nonbeliever is discipled and chooses to give their life to Christ the retention rate of the church of which the person who discipled them is %80.

  2. About the scandal part, one thing I always found so sad, is that often times when people high up in leadership are found to have committed some kind of horrible sin, they are often forced out of the community and shamed. Not that they shouldn’t be shamed, or feel guilt for what they have done, but kicking them out? I’d think the church would be the one place they could find forgiveness.

    Maybe I’m answering it in my own head, in that they volunteer to leave because their heart is/was not in it, and that is what lead to their soulful demise.

    Remember that whole healer song fiasco?

    I’m just saying scandals happen because of sin, and we should be one of the first groups of people who know how to deal with it. People who have squandered trust should not be allowed back in those positions, at least not immediately, but kicking them out all together just seems so awful. If you can’t tell I know of some of these first hand.

    Peter, will you feed my sheep?

  3. Karl – great post, and I believe its much needed to be thinking about these things, especially in the position we are in. Like I have stated before we have a great responsibility. Even though I am not a worship leader, I am thankful that I am able to give guitar lessons at my church to a bunch of kids, err. I think a couple of adults (when they show). But for me this is a type of worship for me in that I am getting to share what God has so graciously done for me, and help prepare the next generation of worship members/leaders.

    I still have to say that back in the late 80s and early 90s, where there were quite a few movements that were so beligirent(sp?) toward rockers, that it was very tramatizing to the people and its no wonder they didn’t want to turn to the church. You know the thing that I noticed, is that Jesus was so kind, loving, and direct to those people that he worked miracles for and told them they were forgiven of their sins, in the Bible, and really the forceful to those that knew better, but still was trying to get their heads right.

    So much today as always, when people with authority in the church mess up, they are given the boot which to me doesn’t seem right, as previously stated. It was a great thing to me to see that in our church one of the pastors was dealing with an issue, and the head pastor stood up before the whole congregation and said that they were going to do everything that they could to help him through the situation. I think that is what the church really needs to be doing, showing love and compassion. That is what I would like to be remembered for the most in 50 years is that we “Got Christ and we examplified Christ”.

    Good stuff brothers, thanks for the post.

  4. Sam–great point. So you’re saying that ‘church’ may actually be becoming defined as ‘an event’ rather than ‘a group of people.’ Very interesting. I can totally see that. I think it’s great to get people in, but you’re right…if church is just about an hour on Sunday mornings, than we’re missing something.

    Great point on the 32 different Hebrew words for ‘praise’, too. It’s incredible what gets lost between languages.

    Kenrick–I absolutely agree. As a church whole, we seem to be pretty bad at the whole forgiveness thing. And we need to be better, myself included.

    I guess what really is hard, is the scandals where it seems as if the leaders were never actually feeding the sheep in the first place. Some of the money laundering ones, or ones that have been going on since before the ministry even started, or complete frauds, like you mentioned with Healer. Should we forgive them? Sure, of course. We should even forgive mass murderers, or insert your most hated sin here. But there’s a difference, especially in the eyes of people who don’t believe in Jesus, between someone who falls by having an affair, getting involved in a bad business practice, or what have you, and between those who it seems their whole point in their ‘ministry’ or ‘movement’ was fame, money, sex, or whatever.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that we should definitely be forgiving, but we should probably also take a look at what’s causing some of this stuff, so that we can guard our own lives from it. I think there’s plenty of ways to show that the church is loving and forgiving, without having to have church scandals to forgive as well. hehe :)

    However, you mentioned that you have some firsthand experience with this at previous churches. I’m not asking for details, but out of curiosity, was it handled with forgiveness, forgiveness plus restoration, or just plain banishment? And great comment by the way.

    Shane–great point about the late ’80′s movements and such. I totally agree…we see these things as a battle sometimes, and go on crusades, as it were, to alleviate the sin and dirtiness. But we totally forget that God’s not so much interested in cleaning people up before they come to know Him, and making a really clean looking sinner. He’s more interested in their soul, first and foremost. And we seem to miss that a lot. And maybe a lot of it is just out of fear. I don’t know.

    And good stuff on the forgiveness thing, too. It’d be nice if that was what we were remembered for. That the 2000′s church finally got the forgiveness thing right. I just think it’d also be nice if we were remembered not so much for forgiving the scandals, but for forgiving and accepting non-believers. Simply because it’d also be nice if scandals stopped. And I don’t mean the affairs, the porn, the drugs, pride, etc. We all fall, and even though we shouldn’t, it’s not going to stop until we get to Heaven. But the actual planned scandals, where it looks unfortunately suspicious that these things were planned from the beginning, not just falls. Or the continuous 20 year falls or what-not.

    We should totally forgive them, but it’d also be nice to get at the root of their problem, and love people enough to try to figure out the causes, and preemptively alleviate them. I’m sure that’s not realistic, but I do think it’s something to strive for, especially in my own life.

    Great points!

  5. Excellent comments gentlemen! Karl, your writing is poignant and funny. Like laugh out loud funny at times. I guess if the Sunday morning worship thing doesn’t work out for you, you could always do comedy or become a famous author. How come you’re not that funny on Sunday mornings? ;)

    I find the comments on forgiveness rather interesting. Of course, we have to agree with Kenric. Jesus tells us to forgive others as we have been forgiven, and we all know we’ve been forgiven time and time again. Yet, Karl’s comment about “getting at the root of their problem” attempts to strike a balance I think needs to exist as well. It reminds me of the verse where Jesus tells His disciples to be “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”(Matthew 10:16 NIV–thank you biblegateway.com!) One of my favorite ways of rephrasing this to my own children and former students is to use the good brains that God gave them. Maybe that’s even something the 2000s church can be known for.

  6. Karl – this is what I like about you. You like to stir it up. Good job man.

    I posed some questions to people in my small-group bible study last year:

    What would you do if an obvious gay couple showed up at church? What if they said they wanted to become Christians? Would you tell them they couldn’t because they were gay? Would you say, ok sure, but you have to give up your gay lifestyle? What if a group of Buddhist monks came to your church and asked the same thing? Would you tell them that they had to abandon everything they believed and held sacred in order to believe in Jesus?

    What would you do if science unequivocally proved evolution and the big bang? What would that do to your faith?

    What would you do if our country said that organized church buildings weren’t legal and that if we wanted to have religious gatherings we would have to do them in our own home? (The original churches were just that by the way, not huge glorious buildings with programs and events…)

    These questions were meant to get people to think outside the box when it comes to their faith. I tend to encourage people to not think of themselves as part of Christianity, but rather to think of themselves as having a personal faith. When someone says “Christianity sucks” I often have to sadly agree with them.

    In the name of Christianity we have alienated, condemned, persecuted, and placed in judgement those whom Christ has told us to love. When did Christ ever say to judge those who don’t live up to my standard? Christ called us to show His love, to tell others about Him.

    I’m sad to have to say that I believe the modern church will be seen as just that. A group who condemns and judges and doesn’t live up to the very principle that it preaches. To love one another.

    I’m not saying that this is the prevalent thing that happens in churches, but it is certainly what is seen and grabs headlines. It’s very sad.

  7. Regrettably what most folks that aren’t Christians see is religion. If our relationship with Christ was more evident, then comments like “Christianity sucks” would be a lot less prevalent.

    Hmmmm…

  8. Great post. I totally agree with you, especially on the parts about worship/worship music and outreach.
    I’ve been reading up more about worship (as I step into leading at my college fellowship) and it astounds me more and more how we separate worship from our lives, despite knowing Romans 12:1-2 backwards and forward. Good point, and I think we’ll spend our lives’ length struggling with this- we’re such a music-based society.
    A good point as well with emotionality in worship music- I go to a rather conservative church is Southern California with a rather famous pastor who is on the radio and writes lots of books (=P) and the “truth” part of “worship in spirit and in truth” is definitely overweighted compared to the “spirit.” Application of this truth is needed! Pun intended.
    As well, outreach is huge. You’re spot on when you say we make our churches centers of outreach and then forget to reach out. Spot on.
    I’ve appreciated reading your blog these last couple of days, especially your tube amp rants, HAHA! It’s made the tail end of summer break rather enjoyable and immensely educational for me. I’ll certainly keep reading!
    -Matt

  9. Nice observations!

    One thing that always bothered me was the lack of outreach… not so much the “come check out our church” kind, but the kind where we aide the poor, mentor the orphans,care for the sick, and give of ourselves to the needy. This is one of the functions that God intended of the church.

    Instead our government has taken over those functions. I’m not against the governments work towards those things, they seem to do a pretty good job, obviously not perfect, but recognizable nonetheless. But What does the church do alongside of it? Building funds, coffee shops, and bookstores… sometimes I feel as though the churches I have attended are money driven and not driven by the by the love of Christ.

    Now not all churches fit this profile, obviously, and some really do help out and minister to their communities. But this is not as evident as it has been in the past and should be now.

    Our tithes were meant not only to maintain the church but to be dispersed among the needy. Too often this isn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, I love the church, but I also recognize that it isn’t perfect and has plenty of room to grow. I fear that what my generation of churches will be remembered for is their business sense and fancy buildings; not their love.

    that’s just my little rant… :-)

  10. Karl-
    “Post-emergent”…you’re killing me. Classic. Yeah, it’s almost a bit embarrassing the things we as a whole in Western Christendom have made it out to be sometimes. A great book for you all to check out is Jim and Casper Go To Church. It is a great look into an “outsiders” perspective.

    Keep up the good posts–and I was glad to see at least one reference to delay in this serious post.

    Matt

  11. Stacey–great to hear from you! And sorry I’m not funnier on Sunday mornings. hehe ;)

    Props on pointing out Matthew 10:16. That’s a great verse, and you make a great point that we should be forgiving, and yet also wise enough to not just let the problem continue unchecked. Awesome comment!

    Tom–Wow! Great questions. And I’ll have to admit that I don’t have the answer to all of them. I wish I did, and at times in my life I thought I did; but I don’t. The evolution one is very, very interesting. I still think science has some huge holes with that theory…but there are also some well-respected Christian theologists and thinkers who have some very interesting interpretations of Genesis. It brings up the question…must you believe in Creationism to be saved, or just in Jesus? But too far away from Creationism, and then is God really God to you anymore? I don’t got the answers…but I love that you brought all this up!

    And unfortunately, I think you are right. We’ll continue to be remembered for preaching love and then failing to show it. And this one, which is even more sad, has been going on for a lot more than 50 years.

    Mark–awesome. That one stands by itself. :)

    Matthew–great to have you here! And good form on the Romans 12:1-2 thing. Worship is indeed so much more than music; but it’s so hard to knock what we’ve been taught out of our heads! At least for me. And I also agree that there should be a balance with both spirit and truth going into worship music. And I agree on the outreach thing! hehe

    Really stoked you’re enjoying the blog, and that the rants aren’t annoying. I sometimes annoy myself, so I worry about these things. lol Again, great to have you here!

    Christianpyro–whoa. That was a killer rant! And I think you’re right on. The actual reaching outside of the walls of the church is definitely lacking, including in my own life. And historically and Biblically, it is the church supposed to be meeting these needs. Great point about tithes! Wow, that’s convicting. And Jesus concentrated so much of His teaching on the poor and on love. Awesome stuff, brother.

    Matt P–hehe What, that’s not the new cool kid church term? ;) And I’ll definitely check out that book! Sounds awesome. The premise reminds me of a Rolling Stone article called ‘Jesus Made me Puke’. It’s also from an outsider’s perspective.

    And delay is just unfortunately (or fortunately!) always on my mind. It’s a sickness. lol Cheers!

  12. Toma, I describe my religious beliefs on Facebook as “Christian – Buddhist”. I’d hope we’d invite them in to see how we could speak to each other’s practice. The ideas of single-mindedness, etc. Buddha taught that we suffer by wanting things we don’t have and having things we don’t want. He taught of the 8 fold path: right understanding, right thought, right words, right action, right occupation, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. What can those traits do to my life of faith?

    I feel the same way about homosexuality. How can a homosexual person help me understand the life of faith? How can their experience help me understand things I wouldn’t otherwise know? Can their speaking out of pain in person, three feet away, make it more obvious to me what Paul meant when he said a person can understand everything without it meaning a thing if he or she can’t love? That I can employ all the modern post-critical analysis I want to understand a text, but don’t do anything other than flatten it to a page if I can’t take it out into the real world to help it live? Can these little social experiences (probably awkward) help me understand more about loving my neighbor as myself when I look them in the eyes? This is real education. People teaching me through my experiences with them what the scriptures often mean to the life of faith, and why.

    No one’s ever seen God, and if we love one another, his love abides in us. It seems that, if we try love, and if we pursue love, we won’t be led astray. In the verse just prior to the one I just somewhat referenced, John tells us that God showed us about love by coming among us. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

    If the modern church would stop so turning its eyes because of differences, I think we might have a better understand of how God loves us and what it’s like to know that love by offering it to someone else.

  13. James–that’s a great way to look at things. I think it helps us love people when we understand them. After all, they think their beliefs are correct, just as strongly as we think ours are correct. And we want them to understand our point of view genuinely, so we should genuinely want to understand theirs. And if some of their beliefs or practices can help us follow Christ better, then awesome. Buddha and other philosophers have had some very wise teachings. They may have missed that Jesus is the Christ, but that doesn’t negate everything they said. We just have to “…test everything, (and) hold on to the good…” as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, making sure the cross, and our love for Jesus, is central.

    I know in my personal life, I sometimes don’t do this because I’m afraid that their opinion might be right, and that my religion might be proven wrong. But I think the point is for us to get to a place where we are so secure in our faith, that we can listen to other religions as if we will accept them to be correct if they do indeed disprove Christ. We need to be that solid in our beliefs and studies.

    I absolutely love what you said about ‘love’. Love should be central, if we’re to follow the teachings of Jesus properly. Everything else is secondary.

    And well-put on the Scriptures part. Studying is useless if not lived. :) Love it, bro!

  14. Karl! Preach it man! You’re on fire.

    This fit perfectly with a discussion we’ve been having in our church this week about worship – too many of us fall into the “worship = church music” part, when it’s actually so much more than that. Worship is a life lived in response to who God is and what He’s done, is doing, and will do…

    Agree with you about the war mentality – that way of thinking is just toxic I think, and I hate it when I hear people talking and praying in that way – like we’re cowering in the corner all frightened. Creates too much of an “us and them” feeling which puts up a barrier in the way of effectively reaching people.

    One of your best ever posts, and with the added bonus that it’s not immediately fuelling my unhealthy lust for gear like most of your posts do ;)

    I might forward this to my worship team… just hope the pic of you jumping out of the car doesn’t scare them off…

  15. More people need to really understand this….

    “–Making ‘Republican’ and ‘American’ mean the same thing as ‘Christian.’ And ‘Democrat’ isn’t synonymous with this new breed of ‘free-thinking’ Christian we seem to be breeding, either. ‘Christian’ is completely different. Not all Christians love America; and I’d say especially the Christians in the underground churches of China and Indonesia and such. And not all Republican beliefs are Christian, and not all Democrat beliefs are evil.”

  16. James – Right on.
    I am reminded of Paul when he was in a town where there several statues dedicated to many different gods that were being idolized. He saw one that said “the unknown god” and used that to talk about the god they didn’t know.

    Had Paul strolled into town and destroyed all of those idols to then follow up with a “you’re going to burn in hell” message, do you think they would have given him any credence at all?

    Yet the Christian faith is notorious for such a thing. Jesus never said anything, not one thing, about getting your spiritual ducks in a row before entering the Kingdom.

    Romans 10:11-12,
    For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus? He didn’t get his ducks in a row. He just had faith. I don’t think God worries about the ducks so much…

  17. Baggas–love the ‘worship is a lifestyle’ part. Totally agree. And glad you’re thinking the same on the ‘war mentality.’ I know when I used to have that a lot, it was mostly because I was so afraid of being ridiculed for my faith, that thinking of it of a war was the only thing that could motivate my courage enough to go live for Christ. The problem was the people I turned off to Christianity along the way.

    And lol! Apologies for the picture! ;)

    Don–thanks, brother. I’m enjoying it, too. Lot of cool stuff being said, and I’m learning a lot! :)

    Sal–right on! I was a little worried I’d get jumped on for that one; but I’m stoked that I got at least one person with me! hehe Cheers!

    Tom–wow, great example with Paul. And you’re so right…all of us are capable of cleaning ourselves up to ‘human acceptable’ standards without God’s help…but to get past that? We need God’s help, and the Holy Spirit anyway. So having a standard for how people must be before they come to now Jesus is quite unrealistic. I think sometimes we’re just afraid of the work, myself included. If we say the couple that’s sleeping together can’t come into church and hear about Christ until they’re out of sin, now we don’t have to do the hard work with them. We just get the ‘victory’ of ‘winning’ a soul, once they clean up and then come back (if they ever do.) But if we let them in right away, now we’re in the spot of having to love, hang out, counsel, call out, encourage, etc……some new believers.

    And I hate when I let that mindset slip into my psyche. But the irony that I’ve seen is that usually the new believer still mired in sin, is often times way easier to deal with then the ‘mature’ believers. If that makes any sense. Either way, awesome comment, brother! How’s the Matchless fund coming? ;)

  18. That’s so right. It’s like all those people who start working out so they can go to a gym and get fit. What the hell? You go to a gym TO GET FIT. I love the quote “Church is a hospital for sinners.”

  19. Karl – I get you, one of the things that I have hard a hard time with, is when you have mature christians, that are doing something wrong, and you try and call it out to help them to encourage them to be there for them. The problem arises when they use bible verses, and misuse them to justify their mindset. I study but I have a hard time doing bible battles. But you take a new believer and its so easy to talk about the word with them.

    I am defiently not one of those people that have the word figured out, but I love to discuss this stuff with people and learn more, and I think that that is something that other christians should do more of. In the old testament, I remember many references that pointed out and encouraged regular people just sitting down and discussing the word.

    So many christians either fall into, I only learn the word when the preacher gives it to me, or the tv preacher gives it to me, and they don’t open up the book, or website and read for themselves.

    Hrm… I hope you can get my meaning, the last statements were kind of all over the place.

    This post has really be insightful for me, and I really love all of the feedback that has been given. Good Stuff guys (and gals) :)

  20. The Matchless fund is complete! I ordered a Lightning 15 reverb 1×12 last Saturday. I’ll send along pictures when I get it! It’s very exciting.

    And I totally agree with your assessment. It’s my opinion that the Holy Spirit will change lives. We’re just a bunch of tools. I strongly believe that the minute we start telling people to stop behaving the way they are behaving then we lose that audience. Don’t get me wrong – I also strongly believe in accountability. But the heart MUST be receptive! You just can’t tell a new believer that they need to change their life. Let the Holy Spirit do it. It’s not our job.

    And I’m excited about the Matchless.
    Hey by the way – I just traded for a Basic Audio Scarab. Wow! Great sound! I really can’t believe how cool this pedal is!

    Yeah.

  21. Sam–awesome point! (Although…I’m so one of those who works out before going to the gym. Gotta look good while you work out! Because everyone in the gym is of course looking at me. lol ;) )

    Shane–good stuff. No, I totally get you! Bible battles almost always end at a complete draw, because we inevitably get caught up in wanting to win, rather than wanting truth to win. And I too, don’t know a ton about the Bible. I’m trying to get better and study deeper, but whenever I quote things, I almost always have to search the phrase on google first. hehehe

    And +1 on the insightful comments. Way cool, everyone. I’m absolutely stoked, too, that we’ve all been able to share our opinions (even if they’re not all the same), and not have any of those internet fighting matches break out. You know, the ones that almost always end in making fun of each other’s grammar. lol You guys are awesome!

    Tom–Totally. I’ve done that sometimes where I’ll see a new believer in obvious sin, and totally feel like I need to follow Galatians 6, and then I’ll call them out and be like, ‘Havne’t you ever read Romans?!’ And they’ll be like all hurt and taken aback. And the simple fact is, No! They haven’t ever read Romans! And here I’m getting all self-righteous just because for some unknown reason in God’s ultimate plan, He chose to save me a few years earlier on the timeline. Yikes. Great point, brother!

    And sweet!!! So stoked you’ve got a Matchless coming. Just wonderful amplifiers. And Basic Audio Scarab? I’ll admit right now…never heard of it. Youtube is about to change that. :) Congrats, bro!

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