Masters Champion
Apr 8th, 2007 by Mike

I’m watching The Masters tournament interview with Zach Johnson this year’s winner. It’s his first major tournament win and 2nd on the tour. He’s giving first credit to his Lord, Jesus Christ. Atta boy!

More on Manly Church
Apr 8th, 2007 by Mike

Relevant to yesterdays post, I found a post by Chris Elrod regarding music in the church. He’s got a point about the feminization of the church. Here are a few concluding paragraphs from his blog on the subject.

The songs of yesterday were hymns about blood, victory and battle put to the beer drinking tunes of the day. Manly stuff that makes me want to go pee in the woods just writing about. Today we sing about love, peace and joy put to music that sounds like The Wiggles. Excuse me while I go watch Oprah and hug myself. To top it off, most preachers seem to get their topical message ideas from watching one episode of The View. May God have mercy on our soul.

This is not an “I’ve-lost-touch-with-today-because-I’m-an-old-fart” or pro “Wild-At-Heart” cultural thing. I’ve heard these same views expressed by many unchurched, artistic 20-something men. Musically they want AC/DC and we give them Celine Dion. Lyrically they want Tom Clancy and we give them Danielle Steel. Spiritually they want Braveheart and we give them Sleepless In Seattle. Everywhere I turn there’s this…estrogen…feel to church. It’s all so safe, sappy and sad.

If the church is going to be relevant in the coming generations we’ve got to get back to reaching men…and helping them become Godly husbands and fathers. In order for the church to reach men we’ve got to have music on Sundays that has the lyrical depth of John Newton, the musical kick of Guns N’ Roses and led by a man that looks like Ted Nugent. In order for the church to reach men we’ve got to have sermons that hit like a NFL linebacker, spoken in a voice as bold as a WCW wrestler and led by a man that acts like…John The Baptist. If there’s one thing that today’s society of broken marriages and children with no father figure has taught us…it’s that we need more manly churches!!!

Happy Resurrection Sunday.

Church for Men
Apr 7th, 2007 by Mike

It’s about time. Studies have shown that women are more attracted to the traditional church than men are. In Daytona Beach, FL, there is now a Church for Men.

Fox News reports:

The Church For Men meets one Saturday evening a month, drawing about 70 guys dressed in everything but straight-laced shirts and neckties. The service features a rock band, a shot clock to time the preacher’s message and a one-hour in-and-out guarantee.

Easter Links
Apr 7th, 2007 by Mike

Here are a few links about this Easter.

  • Article by Gerard Baker is one of the most cogent relating to our current culture.
  • John Crane of The Daily Detour wonders where the passion for the “Passion” went.
  • Dennis Bratcher give the history and a Protestant perspective on The Easter Season.
Generation Me
Apr 6th, 2007 by Mike

I found an interesting article in the Ivy Jungle Campus Ministry Update. They quote from an AP article of February 27, 2007:

All that positive self esteem teaching has sunk in among today’s college students. A study by a group of psychologists shows that college students today exhibit a higher level of narcissism and self-centeredness than those who have gone before them. The Narcissistic Personality Inventory has now been used by this group of researchers for more than 25 years. While the current students have a much higher self esteem, they also show tendencies to have romantic relationships that are “short lived, at risk for infidelity, and lack emotional warmth”, one of several indicators exhibited that show a high degree of narcissism. Lead researcher Jean Twenge has published her findings in “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever.” She has also stated that today’s technology – such as MySpace and YouTube only fuel this unhealthy narcissism.

Poor kids. Explains a lot.

Ethics Report Card
Nov 22nd, 2006 by Mike

The Ivy Jungle Network Campus Ministry Update November 2006 has two articles on the moral attitudes of college age youth. The first outlines the disparity between how the youth view themselves morally and what they actually do.

The Josephson Institute has published its report card on ethics among American Youth. In it they show that young people strongly value ethics and character (ie. 98% agree that “it is important for me to be a person with good character”) with 83% saying “lying and cheating are not worth it because they hurt your character.” 92% report being satisfied with their own ethics and character and nearly 3 out of 4 believe that “when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.” However, this idealism is coupled with cynicism and incongruent behavior: 59% agree that “in the real world successful people do what they have to do to win, even if others consider it cheating.” 82% say they lied to a parent in the last 12 months about “something significant.” 60% cheated on a test in the last 12 months and 28% stole something from a store during that time., October 15, 2006

The second compares young adult moral attitudes with the attitudes of the previous generation.

Young Adult Morality Differs from Boomers: A recent survey conducted by the Barn Group compares the morals of adults in their 20’s and 30’s with those of adults 40 and over. The results show a divergence between the “Boomers” and “Busters” with regard to 32 factors of morality – most notably 8 related to sex. Younger adults are far more likely to regard sex outside of marriage, cohabitation, fantasies, and viewing pornography as morally acceptable. Perhaps most disturbing is that those who fit into the “born again” Christian category were not very different from their peers with regard to most measures of morality – especially sex. The research shows that young people reflect the morals of their peer group much more significantly than that of their faith. October 31, 2006

While these data may be alarming to Boomers, it is vital information for Boomers to understand to be able to minister to Busters.

The old ways of holding up someone’s behavior against a standard just don’t work any more. We must be able to show how behavior affects relationships and that it has consequences. Busters just don’t accept that there are absolute moral standards of behavior. The challenge is to demonstrate the “absolute” relationship between action and consequence.

For example, many Busters belive that there is no intrinsic moral reprehensibility in “talking behind someone’s back.” But they can understand that there is a loss of trust when the person they’re gossiping to is thinking, “I wonder what he says about me behind my back?”

So, to evangelize Busters it’s much more effective to introduce the Busters to Jesus Christ through a relationship than it is to attempt to brow beat them with their sin. It is much more effective to show the effect of Christ through one’s life than it is to tell Busters they’re going to hell.

I like Mark Waltz’s approach much better than the traditional one. People matter to God.

All Christians are Hypocrites
Nov 4th, 2006 by Mike

1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings 1Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

The buzz is buzzing about the Rev. Ted Haggard, now ex pastor of New Life Church, story that he is accused 2By Mike Jones, gay prostitute of having gay sex with Mike Jones. Jones jerked Haggard out of the alleged closet because his opposition to a gay marriage referendum on the Colorado ballot next Tuesday. The buzz is, “How can such a prominent evangelical Christian be such a hypocrite.” 3Some saner voices out there are Mark Waltz who as an evangelical, himself (like me), expresses his embarrassment over this feeding frenzy and Scoop who proffers the idea that this exposure might be a positive turning point in Haggard’s life Read the rest of this entry »

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
2. By Mike Jones, gay prostitute
3. Some saner voices out there are Mark Waltz who as an evangelical, himself (like me), expresses his embarrassment over this feeding frenzy and Scoop who proffers the idea that this exposure might be a positive turning point in Haggard’s life
A Word of Caution
Nov 2nd, 2006 by Mike

From A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian D. McLaren, p. 170

We must, therefore, never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God…

Sep 15th, 2006 by Mike

The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget…. this particular Sunday sermon…”Dear Lord,” the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. “Without you, we are but dust.”

He would have continued but at that moment a little girl (who was listening!) leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, “Mom, what is butt dust?”

A Weary God
Jul 27th, 2006 by Mike

Inman, in Cold Mountain says, “I imagine God is weary of being called down on both sides of an argument.”

Thanking Jesus in Court Lands Hawaiian Man in Jail
Jul 17th, 2006 by Mike – Thanking Jesus in Court Lands Hawaiian Man in Jail
HONOLULU – Junior Stowers raised his hands and exclaimed, “Thank you, Jesus!” in court last month when he was acquitted by a jury of abusing his son.But his joy was short-lived when Circuit Judge Patrick Border held him in contempt of court for the “outburst” and threw him in jail.

Despite being released in six hours with the contempt charges dismissed, it makes you wonder what is going on in our courts. I wonder what would have happened if the man had exclaimed, “Thank you, lettuce!”

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