Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weak Pond Water Anyone?

      It has been sometime since I posted a blog on any subject. It's just been a busy summer. Today I was finally able to read a book I've had since February 2011 that I picked up at the M11 Conference on evangelism. Within a few hours my local Missions president called me to ask about a missions lesson she was disappointed with. In our conversation she said, "pastor there is no scripture in the lesson plan and it's all just social work stuff". We discuss what we can do to teach people the Word and get what we could out of the lesson. I have heard one leader say our leadership  has become as " weak as pond water". 

After I finished my book I did a review on Amazon and left a quote from one page in the book. I can you tell we have a publish crisis.  I will not drink pond water being passed off as Holy Water and I hope you will not either.

Listening Inside Out: Conversations with Twenty Somethings About Faith, Culture, and the Church (Paperback)

The book title is interesting and a few of the chapters had a few good thoughts. However, the entire book as a whole was one of questions and not that of conviction or persuasive answers. I believe the twenty something generation is looking for solutions and answers and what this book does is confirm that those answers are not being delivered by many leaders who should have good biblical answers for this generation. Most of the chapters became a repeated pattern under a different title. I find it refreshing when writers quote scripture to give support to their perception and convictions, but very little of this is noted in this book. It was a very liberal and weak publication for a publishing House that has been known for decades as a holiness publishing house. One page in particular stood out as being extremely liberal that addressed the subject of homosexuality in the church. The author suggested that those who are openly homosexuality should be offered membership in the church like anyone else. Homosexual is referred to as an "orientation" verses a "perversion & immorality" and that alone gives enough evidence that this book wants to influence and persuade the holiness mindset to change and liberalize ones biblical standards.

Social Justice and Compassion seem to be a higher focus in this book verses the preaching of repentance and salvation for the poor and unfortunate. We should be reminded that even when Jesus fed the multiple he did so at the end of a day when he had taught the people spiritual truth first. However, many in our day try to put the cart before the horse and wonder why we are not reaching the lost as we had in previous generations. The book is more a read on the emotional feelings verses the spiritual convictions of leaders.

" on page 38 in the chapter called "Lifestyle"  reads the following:

Let's say a homosexual man walks into your church. The most responsible thing a church can do is love him, regardless of what lifestyle he chooses. You just love him into the Kingdom. It doesn't always mean that man is not going to be gay anymore, but that's not up to you. All we can do is love people regardless of what lifestyle they choose. Obviously, questions will arise. That gay man might ask, 'What is your stance on homosexuality'? It's ok to have a stance, but it's not ok to tell him that he is not welcome at your church, or that he can't be a part of this or that. It's about loving him and telling him that you're dealing with it too. You're loving people regardless of background, race or orientation."

 I want to press him further on this perspective. "Matt, what if that homosexual person wants to join the church? If he's in a lifestyle we don't condone, do we let him join anyway?"

"Well, yeah. I mean, I don't think it's a deal breaker. This is a really tricky question because if I say yes, then I'm saying that now we allow openly gay people to be in the community. And if I say no, then it leads to a question of what we will allow them to do.

 I know that raises all kinds of questions either way you go. But ultimately, I say yes. What you're saying to that person is, 'we love you.' His thing may be homosexuality, but someone else's thing is pornography, ..................

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