Links & Quotes

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FAM101-How-RFRA-Works-Infographic-R5“Based on the vitriol directed towards Indiana, one would never know that 19 states and the federal government already have a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) virtually identical to the one passed by the Hoosier state. One governor, Malloy of Connecticut, blasted Governor Pence even though Connecticut’s RFRA potentially goes further than Indiana’s in offering protections to people of faith. Companies such as Apple speak of boycotting Indiana while simultaneously opening stores in China and Saudi Arabia, places of real enslavement and discrimination. While most of the rhetoric is designed to intimidate other states from following Indiana’s lead, it is disturbing to see how many Americans places greater importance on sexual freedom and economic prosperity than they do on freedom of conscience.” ―Michigan Family Forum

Here’s a great infographic explaining how the RFRA really works.

The Barna Group has some research showing what Americans believe about Jesus.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here are 5 signs that someone may have been (or is being) abused.

Interesting: research is showing that you might be healthier not getting a blood transfusion.

Seth Godin says, “Being really good is merely the first step. In order to earn word of mouth, you need to make it safe, fun and worthwhile to overcome the social hurdles to spread the word.” Read more in his post The Selfish Truth About Word Of Mouth.

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace and Bobby Conway discuss when you should stop looking at other religions…


Links & Quotes

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In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis has one demon giving advice to his young protege demon. This is profound wisdom: “You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” —C.S. Lewis

Two surveys seem to be related: First, “Fifty-four percent of U.S. teens 15-to-17-years-old do not live in a home with their married mother and father.” Read more in this post. (2) Lee Strobel reports on some findings from a Barna Group survey he commissioned: “Two findings emerged in a new national poll that I commissioned on fatherhood and faith: the younger the generation, the more people report having difficult relationships with their fathers. At the same time, the younger generation reports the highest percentage of people who are struggling with belief in God.” You can read Lee’s thoughts on this in Fathers & Faith.

Frank Viola shared this great story—In light of their doctrinal disagreements, someone once asked George Whitefield if he thought he’d see John Wesley in heaven. Whitefield replied, “I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him.”

“Grace is simply another word for God’s tumbling, rumbling reservoir of strength and protection. Grace comes to us not occasionally or miserly but constantly and aggressively, wave upon wave. We’ve barely regained our balance from one breaker, and then, bam, here comes another.” Read more in Max Lucado’s post Grace—A Never Ending Supply.

Astronomers are perplexed by the size of a black hole. Apparently it is challenging their views on the origins of the universe. Perhaps there is a better explanation….

Very moving—

Christian Disconnect

The Barna Group just released a study that looks at some of the disconnects between what Christians believe and how they live. You can read the full report by clicking here, but here are the main disconnects:

  • 81% of Christians say Jesus is important to them; but only 18% are committed to developing their relationship with Jesus.
  • 64% of Christians have confessed their sins to God; but only 12% realize how devastating their personal sin is.
  • Lots of Christians participate in “normal” religious activities every week; but “less than one out of ten have talked about their faith with a non-Christian, fasted for religious purposes, and had an extended time of spiritual reflection during the past week.”
  • Most Christians feel “comfortable” in their church; but their comfort level is only surface-deep, with no accountability nor confession.

As a pastor, I place the responsibility for these disconnects squarely on the pastors. On me.

Unless pastors are teaching this stuff — and living this stuffthe disconnects will always remain.

I’m challenged by this, and I’m going to spend some time in prayer this week regarding these disconnects. I want to take a good look at what I’m teaching and living, and allow the Holy Spirit to correct what needs to be corrected.

Role Models

The Barna Group’s latest report is out on the role models that teenagers admire. Despite all the rhetoric about how much television and movies are shaping the mindset of our kids, this study (which I encourage you to read by clicking here) reported —

So who do teenagers name as their role models? Even while limiting the answers to non-parents, family members still comes out on top. The most commonly mentioned role model is a relative—37% of teens named a relation other than their parent [parents were excluded as an answer in this survey] as the person they admire most. This is typically a grandparent, but also includes sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

… Notice that a majority of teens indicated that the people they most admire and imitate are those with whom they maintain a personal connection, friendship, or interaction.

That’s some pretty good news!

But it’s not all the news. These teens also gave the reasons why they were following these role models. The qualities they listed are what I would call “evaporating qualities.” That means we have to keep working to keep these qualities working as qualities. The teenagers listed things like:

  • Being caring, loving, polite, courageous, and even fun.
  • Living a life worthy of imitation.
  • Being encouraging.
  • Having a good work ethic.
  • Demonstrating strong beliefs.

Barna president David Kinnaman noted,

For better and worse, teens are emulating the people they know best.”

If you have teenagers in your life, ask yourself this question: Would I follow me?

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