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10 Things I Hated About Church As a Kid

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What bugged me as a young PK growing up in the eighties?

10. Deacons sitting in special chairs in chairs up front facing the congregation. Two words: worship police.
9. Hobby-horse sermons that always focused on the evils of girls wearing shorts-shorts. Do I really need to go there?
8. Ordination by association. I saw guys with unproven character get licensed and ordained like that just because they knew the right person. Wrong.
7. Women not being allowed into church in pants. I always use to think, “What if that’s all they have to wear to church? Would Jesus still tell them to stay home?” I don’t think so.
6. Discipleship gone wrong: Actually, there was little discipleship or spiritual information after a person received Christ. Teen discipleship? BTU, ushering, or the choir. Pfff!
5. Homogeneity: everybody in my church looked like me. I thought black churches were the norm until my teens. Not God’s plan at all for everyone in your church to look only like you.
4. “Yawn!”: Making Jesus boring is a grave sin. My then 3-year old brother would complain to me, “I’m bored!” Out of the mouth of babes….
3. Deacons in a smoky back room: I always got unnerved going to the back room where all the deacons sat, smoking and counting the offering. It felt more like a casino than the house of God.
2. Irrelevant Preaching and Teaching: This wasn’t the case every Sunday but it happened enough for me to write about it over 27 years later and pray to Jesus that I never commit the same egregious error. Preaching and teaching that is not Spirit-led leaves the spirit dead. Match. Point. Game.
1. High-level hypocrisy: I know for a fact that there was major moral compromise at the highest levels of leadership in my church. One major incident destroyed my family so I’m not blowing smoke here. Here’s the lesson: pastors will never deal with issues they themselves never deal with. And churches get strangled by this nonsense.

Tomorrow: 10 Awesome Things I Learned About Church As a Kid

Written by missional girl

September 3, 2010 at 2:23 am

Jesus and the Church: Love With Your Life

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If the Church is going to impact all of the world for Jesus Christ, then we need to understand there is a gap between the way Jesus lived and the way we His disciples live. Am I living my life in a way that people know that I follow Jesus? Does the way I interact with people make them curious about the Lord? I fear that the answer is no.

If I am feeling that divide in my own spirit, then I can only imagine what the body of Christ is enduring.

What would happen if Christians started looking less like the loud-mouth right wing and left-wing power brokers who glut the news air waves and starting speaking, living, loving, and ministering like the Jesus we serve?

Love with your life.

Written by missional girl

August 8, 2010 at 12:53 am

Posted in Jesus

Christianity According to Shmuley Boteach

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According to pop rabbi Shmuley Boteach in his latest book about the late Michael Jackson:

I talked to him about one of the things that most distinguishes Judaism from Christianity. It is not the belief in Jesus as God or deity. Rather it’s the belief in the perfection of Jesus. When Christians ask, “What would Jesus do?,” they are using a model of perfection to guide their actions. And I think that makes a lot of people feel that they can never attain that high station of perfect action. I think in America we don’t like ourselves. We harbor a high degree of self-loathing because we are not realistic about, and we dismiss, our humanity.

Later, he adds:

In Judaism there are no perfect figures in the Bible. They are all flawed. The greatest of prophets, Moses, can’t get into the Promised Land because of sin. We all struggle to do the right thing amid a prediliction to do otherwise. Christians define righteousness as perfection; Jews define righteousness as struggle. We wrestle with our nature; we try to do better always. We acknowledge from the very outset the tendencies within us that are altruistic, that are greedy, that are giving, that are self-absorbed, and that are selfless.

I would only say that there is a difference between celebrating the struggle of humanity and idolizing human effort. The Hebrew Scriptures certainly acknowledge the struggle of human beings to love God and their neighbors as they keep the covenant with Almighty God. That we struggle is no shock. Of course we do; we are sinners. There is no one who does good, not one (Psalm 14:3). The power is not in the struggle but rather in the recognition of our limitation and weakness. Did not the Apostle Paul remind us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Christianity, on the other hand—biblical Christianity, does not revel in the reality of human frailty and depravity so much as it glories in the perfection of the Lamb of God. Remember: the sacrificial system was a shadow of Christ’s work on the Cross for humanity. Did anyone quibble about the requirements for sacrificial lambs and other offerings? I doubt it. In addition, the bedrock of Christian theology celebrates the uniqueness of Jesus as Lord, Savior and yes, Yeshua ha Maschiach.

We who are Christ-followers and lovers look to Jesus because He and He alone did what no human being could do in his or her own strength: fulfill the Law, something no “good Jew” or well-meaning Gentile could do—then or now.

Written by missional girl

September 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Good Friday & JWs

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Just came off of a friendly and impromptu “discussion” about Jesus with some Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their contentions about Him (e.g. He’s created and not divine) did not depress me but rather encouraged me on this Good Friday to not only contend for the biblical faith but also to rejoice in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. In a culture that in certain circles celebrates sound systems over sound doctrine, it is easy for the noise of clamoring self-important agendas and cries for recognition to obscure the Cross.

Friday–for the horror and shame He endured on Calvary–is only good because Jesus died and in doing so did for us what we could not do for ourselves (but strangely and ironically, die trying to do for ourselves).

Written by missional girl

April 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Jesus