An Unabashed Appeal To JOIN Religion & Government

Talk about taking a passing remark out of context! In a personal letter, Thomas Jefferson mentions how church and state should be separate. But I’m convinced where we’ve ended up is no where close to what he intended! I’m so tired of historical revisionists trying to convince us that biblical values and Judeo-Christian ethics had no place in the founding of our nation. Or — worse yet — that they have no place now. Consider these founding remarks…

“…Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia….” — Mayflower Compact

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence….” — Declaration Of Independence

“I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth, That God governs in the Affairs of Men! — And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His Notice, is it probable than an Empire can rise without His Aid? — We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring Aid we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel…. I therefore beg leave to move, That henceforth Prayers, imploring the Assistance of Heaven, and its Blessing on our Deliberations, be held in this Assembly every Morning before we proceed to Business.” — Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” — George Washington

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! What a Utopia, what aParadise would this region be.” — John Adams

And, of course, the quotes could go on and on and on. But one of my favorites:

“Yes, if our religion had more to do with our politics; if, in the pride of our citizenship, we had not forgotten our Christianity; if we had prayed more and wrangled less about the affairs of our country, it would have been infinitely better for us at this day.” — John Mitchell Mason (1770-1829), in his book published in 1800

Happy Birthday, America! May GOD bless you!

Biblical Ethics (book review)

Like every book from Oswald Chambers, be prepared for Biblical Ethics to hit you right between the eyes! In my lifetime the term ethics has had so many qualifiers added to it –

  • …situational ethics…
  • …biomedical ethics…
  • …wartime ethics…

…as though ethics becomes something changeable if you are in a difficult situation. But in clear, unequivocal language, Oswald Chambers brings all ethics back to the Bible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Barna’s Megathemes For 2010

I really appreciate the research that The Barna Group undertakes. I always find such timely insight into the mindset of people’s attitudes on matters of church and religion.

Their annual year-end report reveals the “megathemes” that they have observed emerging throughout the year. I encourage you to read the full article for yourself by clicking here, but the six megathemes for 2010 are:

  • The church is becoming less theologically literate.
  • Christians would rather be with other Christians than reach out to others.
  • Pragmatism is becoming more important than spiritual principles.
  • Christians are becoming more interested in community activism.
  • Tolerance is more accepted in the church.
  • The church’s influence in their local community is almost invisible.

Wow, looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us in 2011!

At Calvary Assembly of God, we’ve been streamlining our ministries to help us address these megathemes.

  • One way we are doing this is through our Next Level Groups. Each group is laser-focused on addressing where someone is in their faith walk, and helping them take the next step. These groups are more discussion-based than teaching-based, which allows us to be more individualized and intentional in helping increase biblical literacy.
  • We have a heavy emphasis on community involvement. We are involved in the B2B (business-to-business) group, the Community Action Network, the city and township official meetings, and the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association.
  • We are also involved in so-called activism efforts on the local level: Michigan Right to Life, Alpha Family Center, and Women At Risk International.
  • We are front-and-center in the traditional Cedar Springs events: Community Action Night, the Spooktacular, the Red Flannel Festival, and Mingle With Kris Kringle.
  • And we’ve planned two series of messages in 2011 to engage and activate our congregation. One is called Salt & Light to address how we can (and should) be people of influence in our communities, schools, and work. And the other is The Q Series where my Sunday messages will be answers to questions the congregation and community at-large have submitted.

What do you think about Barna’s Megathemes?

If you are a pastor or church leader, how do you plan to engage these megathemes in 2011?

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