MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

German Protestant Church Decides It’s No Longer Christian

November 3rd, 2015 Viewed 1733 times

Country-Church.jpgWhen a Christian church decides that it no longer needs to spread the Gospel, isn’t that a sign that it’s no longer Christian?

One of Germany’s largest Protestant regional churches has come under fire from other Christians for speaking out against efforts to convert Muslims just as tens of thousands of refugees from the Islamic world are streaming into the country. 

Read more at German Protestant church’s scandalous idea rocks evangelical community [hat tip German Protestant church’s scandalous idea rocks evangelical community]

Reaching these people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be the only reason to be for bringing these people into your nation.


Image from FreeImages.com used under General Restrictions.

Are We Too Much Fun?

July 26th, 2007 Viewed 2042 times

One of the hardest questions I think that a church activity has to answer is are we trying to be too much fun.  The question that I believe we are trying to answer, though, is scary in its bluntness:

“Why should someone want to come to my church activity?”

Our answer to this question will say a lot about our ministry, what we think of God and the message that we have to give.  What I find interesting is that traditionally the feature that “sold” Christianity was salvation from sin.  Sure, there’s the promise of Heaven, and the chance to escape Hell, but when a preacher came on the scene and proclaimed the Word, people came forward, lives were changed, and a world was impacted.

Now, we have to hope that we can get a famous person to come.  Or we have to stress about what activities we have planned.  We’re concerned about if children think that we’re fun, and we’re moving as quickly as we can out of the lesson and to the times that we think the kids enjoy more: refreshments, crafts, game time, and openings/closings.  Does something seem amiss here?

Tuesday, Michelle Potter, commented that a community that she was involved with held an all day VBS.  The more I think about this, the more interested I become.  If you start to think about parents sending kids with enrollment forms (relieves the pressure of wondering whether the kids will come back), different classes you could have, more exposure, and leveraging the Christians in the community you think– whew– that’s a lot of work.

But after you get over that, you begin to wonder why we don’t do this more.  Partner churches together.  Maybe make it more than one week.  Esp if you have a church school.

Or are we just not really all that serious about reaching the lost as we say we are?

How Not To Reach Them

July 8th, 2007 Viewed 1889 times

We’ve recently gone through a series on How to Reach Them and we talked about the different kinds of things that we can do to reach those that are lost.  We are indeed living in different times– defined by two different groups of people.

Christians Tending to Themselves

This first group of Christians realizes that the numbers in the church are dwindling, but doesn’t know what to do about it.  I characterize them by the following ideas:

  • We have to keep the programs that we’ve always had running.
  • We can’t try different classrooms, because the ones we have have always worked.
  • We don’t have time during the week to do anything but the services that we normally attend.  Don’t ask us to attend service on a special night.
  • We have a problem with family so-and-so, or with the way the church is being run, so we may not be back.

It is these people that are forgetting two very important things.  Christ’s command that we love one another as He loved us was specifically addressed to believers about believers.  That doesn’t mean that we love sin, but that does mean that we should go out of our way to try to restore one another, and to look after one another.

The other thing that I think gets forgotten here is that if we’re so busy ministering to each other– who’s out reaching lost souls and discipling new converts.  Christianity was never meant to be a stale, treading-water affair, but was meant to be a vibrant faith that spread.

Christians Justifying the Means

This next category of Christian will do anything to get the message out– including some of the things I showed in a post last week.  It seems that no trick is to low, no idea to far away that a Christian will try it.

Some will use cheap tricks with $20 bills to try to get the Gospel out.  Now, no matter what you think about tract’s effectiveness, trying to hook people by making one look like a $20 just to have it be something else is deceitful.  Or maybe dressing in immodest attire and parading around a sanctuary is more the right thing to do.  Now I know that these are catholic nuns, but it’s just a matter of time until Protestants see how many men are coming in to see the women.

And it’s not just these blatant problems, it’s more subtle ones.  Christians will use gimmicks to get people in.  I have to admit, while writing my series I had to keep thinking about whether I was trying to do a gimmick, or really trying to reach people in a Biblical way.

We Need to Get Back to Basics

What we need is to get back to the Word.  To get back to original Christianity and the power of the Cross.  If we could realize what we’re here to do, and focus on that rather than ourselves I think that we’d see a big difference in our churches.  We wouldn’t have to rely on gimmicks, trickery, or clowns leading a service.  The Word of God and how it impacts lives would be on display as we lived the Word of God in our lives and in our services.

Meet Them Where They Are

April 29th, 2007 Viewed 4990 times

An often misused piece of Scripture is Paul’s statement that he has become all things to all men that he might win some.  I say misused because people have taken this Scripture to give them liberty to do things that would harm the name of Christ and emphasizes a “ends justifies the means” mentality.

Still, it will no longer do to just sit in our churches and expect the unsaved to come to us looking for answers.  Seriously, there are few instances now where the unsaved are turning to the churches for anything. There is no natural respect for the church or what it stands for, and this generation does not have the desire to return to church.  Since this is the case, we need to be out meeting them where they are.

Godly Wife: Are You Drawing Him to You with Your Speech?

January 18th, 2007 Viewed 5118 times

One of the greatest tools that we have to effect the way others feel is our tongue.  Many a leader has attributed his ability to weather the toughest times in his life because of people willing to give encouraging words.

The Bible tells us that we are to be building one another up with our words– strengthening each other, bringing people to a closer relationship with Christ.  As one flesh before God, this command is magnified in that we should be ones that draw each other with our speech.

It’s no secret that women talk more then men, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Bible has more to say about how women use their tongue in marriage than men.

Godly Wife, how do you use your tongue?  Do you use it to attract or to repel?  Let’s look at some passages about both:

Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.Song of Solomon 7:11

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. – Proverbs 14:1

A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. – Proverbs 19:13

A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. – Proverbs 27:15

What is the goal of how you speak to your husband?  Is it to make him more attracted with you or is it to somehow boost yourself.  How does your husband react to having conversation with you?  Does it seem that he wants to spend more time with you, wants to be more intimate with you, or does he tend to want to spend more time away.

Men are not as simple as some women think that they are– they take a lot more verbal abuse than you think because they internalize it.  Just think of the relationship you could have if you start or continue to use words that draw each other closer!

Question Idea taken from Questions for a Godly Wife

Legalism

September 14th, 2006 Viewed 2481 times

GavelI often wondered if the Christian life would be a whole lot easier if God would just give us direction for everything that we were to do. If we could pray and receive an e-mail telling us exactly what to do, where to go, who to meet, etc. (the reasoning goes) then it would be a whole lot easier to obey Him and we wouldn’t wonder if we were doing the right or wrong thing.

I think this is legalism’s appeal. Throughout the centuries many religions have formed that have told people exactly what they must and must not do. Roman Catholics have requirements about church attendance, prayer beads, and other traditions and formalism that tells them exactly what they must do. In tribal communities there are sacrifices to gods that must be done in certain ways. Jehovah Witnesses have a certain number of hours that they must be reaching out to get more converts.

In some ways, Fundamental/Evangelical Christianity is one of the less stringent forms of Christianity, and I believe that this is why it has a tendency to become legalistic.

Not Meeting Expectations – Conclusion

August 11th, 2006 Viewed 1739 times

Battle In the SkyHow does our life meet up with the expectations that Christ gave the disciples on that night in which he was betrayed?

We’ve seen that Jesus told his disciples three things:

  1. To expect persecution– even death.
  2. That what was to happen was to be a thing of great joy
  3. And that He had overcome the world.

We know that He told them that if they were to be His friends, to keep His commandments and to abide in His love that along with the Comforter and the ability to ask of the Father in His name requests that would be answered would come tribulation, pain, sacrifice. We know that this troubled the disciples, and even though they had been prepared they still ran.

Expecting Martyrdom

August 8th, 2006 Viewed 1821 times

Battle In the SkyPicking up in John 16, Jesus explains that He is not telling the disciples their position against the world because He is attempting to offend them, but to prepare them. He tells them that they will not only be put out of the synagogues for His sake, but there will come a time when the people believe they are doing God a favor by killing them.

We see the later fulfilled in the life of Saul of Tarsus who later became Paul. He believed that he was doing a good work by killing those of the Way– what the followers of Christ were know as before the term Christian was used of them in Antioch. In fact, the very trip on which He came to a saving relationship with the Lord, he was bound for Damascus with papers intended for him to persecute Christians.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.