If you were to ask someone if there are problems in the church today, most anyone you ask will say, “yes!” There is evidence not only in the news, but in worship services, book shelves, and television. We can easily see the evidence when we consider all the different ways that church leaders are trying to combat it. The Emergent Church movement and the Purpose-Driven movement are just two examples of people who are trying to find ways to be “relevant” and “seeker-sensitive” all in an effort to reclaim influence in today’s culture.
Yet even with the mounting evidence, it is a rarity for someone to step up to the platform and declare what the problem really is.
Further Reflections on a Day Among Atheists at the Creation Museum
In a sea of T-Shirts bearing scarlet ‘A’s and pictures of Charles Darwin, one man’s garment did not fit.
Standing in line for our tickets, I noticed him right away. At first all I really noticed were the words “heaven” and “NOT,” and at that glance figured is was a slam against the idea of an afterlife and pearly gates in the sky somewhere over the rainbow. Then I became quite surprised: this particular atheist sported excellent Christian theology! Later when I saw him inside the museum noticed what was written on the back:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this NOT from yourselves, it is the gift of God— NOT by works, so that no one can boast.
The irony was amazing! Here I was, a Christian passing as an atheist, and I end up running into an atheist who decided to wear perfect Christian theology on his shirt.
For so many it is a given that the world is round. We know that the earth rotates on its axis which causes the sun to appear to rise and set. We know that the moon moves around the earth and that during a lunar eclipse it is the shadow of the earth on the moon that makes it seemingly disappear. We know that we can take a cruise literally around the world and not fear falling off the edge.
Once upon a time that was not such a firm belief for some. Stepping outside your front door in the desert with its intense lack of vegetation, it may be easy to assume that the distance you can see could bring about a belief that the world is indeed flat. Relying on personal observation, however, is widely accepted with limited value because there are far more “worlds” beyond our ability to see or touch.
Believe it or not, as recently as the past 60 years people were still convinced that the world was flat. It was in 1956 that the Flat Earth Society was founded by Charles K. Johnson on this very idea. Johnson claims that he shared this belief in the “truth” along with an extensive list of people throughout history who were “flat-earthers.”
Let’s make this an open forum… please leave a comment on what goes through your mind when you watch this video.
For those of you who have been following me for some time know that I have had to do this before: click here if you missed it.
Several people have mentioned to me concern about a recent post regarding Starbucks as a model for the marketing of the church. While I thought that I had dunked it in my vat of sarcasm enough for it to ooze and drip, apparently it was not quite obvious enough.
Seriously, though my honest thoughts on marketing the church are that it is important to look professional and not like we just rolled out of bed to preach the gospel. The message of Christ, however, should always speak for itself, with no need for help from us. The Word of God is living and breathing, alive and active.
Frankly, I am ashamed of churches that put so much time, money, and attention into branding a sermon series or making sure that they do something to get on the evening news that they miss what is most important. If you undercut the gospel message to sell your product, then what are you really doing it for?
Again appreciation to those who challenged me about that post, and you know who you are. I hope that you will chose to make your comments public next time so that we can use this as a forum to challenge one another through dialogue. To those who have stopped reading accordingly and who may never read this I would say the same thing.
If you say some of the things I do then you are bound to get some of them wrong. That is the beauty of the community we share as followers of Christ: when we get out of line we can be confident in gentle, although firm correction and challenge.