Discerning the "Discernment Resource"

So there I was surfing the net and I stumbled upon a site entitled the “discernment resource” (www.discernemntresource.com).  How thoughtful, another watchdog site against any Christian idea that is somewhat progressive.  I read about the concerns of Rick Warren and Billy Hybels and of course the Emergent Church.   So I clicked on the first article under the emergent church and could barely get out of the first sentence.  Here it is:    Unfortunately, todays church is caught in a paradigm shift. That is, the church is moving from a modern church, where teaching fundamental Bible doctrine is the norm, to a post-modern, or transformational church in which loud, watered down, seeker-sensitive services are the order of the day.

This is what my interpreted as I read, “Unfortunately, the church is changing, because the world is changing and because both of these are made up of people, this unfortunately means that people are changing.  The church is moving from what it Jesus had meant (you know how we did church from 1950-1989 or whatever arbitrary date that is defined as the “good old days”), where milk flowed like honey and the land was plentiful, where we had our doctrine, hermeneutics and translations right.  Now we’re headed to …

Pardon the sarcasm, I didn’t really mean it.  Well … anyway, although I could go on and on about the mistakes, incorrect assumptions and flawed thinking (and please don’t blame it on the Bible), I would like to just talk about that first line, “Unfortunately the world is changing …”  It’s not unfortunate.

The world is changing because people are changing.  That writer is changing.  The world around him is changing.  This is the reality of life.  We cannot stop time, we cannot dwell too much in the past, we ought not to curse the future, but be faithful stewards of it.  It is my belief that the emerging church conversation is part of this faithful stewardship. 

My friends, fortunately, the world is changing.

Chuck Colson, Free Speech & the Beijing Olympics

I like 60% of Chuck Colson’s ministry.  Yep, I just did an analysis.  It took me all the time it takes most people to make up statistics, which according to the bureau of fraudulent statistics, is 4.2 seconds (which was also the fastest time at the NFL Combine.  Not sure what the connection is but why am I going to spend anymore time arguing with made up numbers). That said, this breakpoint post was great.  I can’t believe it, I’m outraged! And I am boycotting someone or something sometime soon!   Here’s some of it: 

The Olympic committee, back in 2001, said choosing Beijing would be a catalyst for change in China. It “may help to liberalize a country,” said the committee’s vice president, Thomas Bach of Germany. But that will not happen when, as the London Daily Mail puts it, you “kow tow” to the host country, and you tell athletes to keep quiet—which is exactly what is happening.To comply with the international Olympic Charter, Britain’s Olympic athletes are being forced to sign contracts promising they will not say anything about China’s human-rights abuses. If they violate the contract, athletes will find themselves on a plane headed home. The contract could mean that an athlete “who witnesses someone being mistreated on the way to a stadium” could not talk to colleagues about it. And they would have to “exercise self-censorship” on blogs and e-mails.  And while U.S. athletes may speak freely—they cannot do so at any official Olympic venue or press conference. Come on.  

Read the entire article here.  Chuck even gives a shout-out to Spielberg.  

Reflecting on Listening to a Sermon I Disagreed With

Granted, this may sound arrogant, but grant me the benefit of the doubt for the sake of discussion.  Recently, I listened to a sermon that I started disagreeing sharply with from the beginning.  After the first point, I found myself disagreeing with the second and it kept spiraling.  I am squirming in my seat, and contemplating, “In a world without consequences, I would stand up and say something”.

It was one of those, “We need to get back to the good old days!” charges with examples I could not appreciate it and with a tone that I could not identify with.   (Since it was Sunday, I thought it would be ok to pray twice that morning), I prayed that God would remind me of my prayer from the beginning of the service when I asked to speak through this man so that I may drawer nearer to my God.  Though there were a few points that I appreciated, after all, it’s hard to disagree with someone completely for 45 minutes), this was a hard sermon to take to heart and though I had just prayed that I would continue worshipping throughout, I was worried that our congregants would love it because I really thinking that this type of mentality causes damage to today’s church.  It was very frustrating. 

Believe me, I am not the guy who hears one or two things that are disagreeable and rule the preacher out, even if it’s a style difference.  I even find disagreement with the people that I enjoy the most but this was on a different level. 

I left feeling like I had just wrestled with someone but not in the Jacob sense, or in the conviction sense, but more in the “sharp disagreement” sense.  This really bothered me, because generally speaking, I am one to try to pursue the unity.  I prayed, I talked to people I trust, and while I’m tempted to say it was a bad sermon, it wasn’t.  Many people like it.  I just had significant problems with its thesis. 

There will be a next time, especially because of the positions that I appreciate.  The good was in the conversations that resulted with a trusted few and personal reflection.  So may God bless this man, our congregation, my heart, but I hope I don’t see him at our pulpit anytime soon.