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$.02: When is it OK to quit church?

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Chris Sonsken of South Hills Church and founder Church BOOM penned a piece on Fox News that caught my attention on Twitter. It was a good column. Read the article here. The article addressed a Pew Research finding as to why people change churches. There finding as shown by Sonsken are:

  • Sermon quality
  • Welcoming environment/people
  • Style of worship
  • Location

Sonsken does a great job in arguing that there are biblically sound reasons for leaving a church and finding a new one.

1. It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave.

2. It’s OK to leave for family and marriage.

3. It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church.

4.  It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership.

5.  It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.

Sonsken even mentions that unethical practices like abuse are reasons to leave, though not the norm for the majority of church swapping.

The reasons Sonsken gave are no cause for disagreement, and I’m sure his book Quit Church probably better articulates them.

Where I want to add my two sense on the matter is that I disagree with his assessment sermon quality is not a biblical reason for changing churches. The supposition that sermon quality is inherently a result of the person treating church like an object of consumption, as Sonsken suggests is not true. I believe sermon quality is an umbrella term for several reasons for not liking a Sunday message.

Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit. The same pastor who was previously deep enough becomes shallow once there is an offense. It’s incredibly difficult to hear from God in a sermon when we are offended by the person delivering the sermon.

This is true in many cases. A sin that is personal gets preached on and the offended party leaves. I don’t deny this to be the case. But I believe we should look deeper into the current trends of worship and focus on the mission of the church.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-21 ESV

The church is to preach the gospel, but people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is only part of the mission. The Church is tasked with making disciples. The church is meant to teach. Not every follower is at the same level in their spiritual maturity or theological depth. Some churches, larger churches in particular dumb down the bible. In public education, this would be seen as lowering the bar. In church this practice could hold back believers in their growth. Small groups are a way to supplement this, and every church should employ bible study as a means to grow discipleship.

Many churches now are focused on metrics. This can lead to theologically watered down sermons and worship. Why risk offending that person who may leave with a sermon? But if a church is more focused on using a Sunday message to give a motivational speech using an out of context passage, what does it matter if they are doctrinally sound (in their written beliefs)?

There are a lot of heretical churches in America. We have issues like gay marriage to separate the sheep from the goats. But what about the sheep that suck? If a church has the right doctrine but is more focused on metrics than the power of the Holy Spirit, their head is in the wrong place. So it is biblically sound to change churches so that your head to remains in the right place.

That is not treating church like a consumer product. That is treating church like one’s means to grow spiritually, better recognizing the mission of the Great Commission.

That is my $.02 on the matter. I hope I added some meaningful word to this topic.


This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.

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Conspiracy Theory

Why we need to believe Ephesians 6:12 today, perhaps more than ever before

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Ephesians 6:12

The idea of doing a podcast has been weighing on me lately. It’s not really even a long-term itch; after it reached my mind just a few days ago, that turned into a very stout and concentrated calling that hit my heart like a ton of bricks. It went from not being a consideration to being something I absolutely had to do in less than a week.

The first episode is done and we’re ready for people to hear it and give feedback.

This podcast’s primary topic is going to be Ephesians 6:12. If you’re not familiar with the verse, you may wonder how we intend to do an enire sustained series of podcasts surrounding a single verse. Upon reading it, you should realize that what it suggests and the topics it encompasses could easily be turned into a daily show if necessary.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

At some point, we will be moving this and other episodes we do to a true podcast hosting site. We’ll also distribute it to multiple places for download and direct listening, but to get things rolling we’ll be using YouTube and Facebook to publish the podcasts.

This one is general in its focus. Future episodes will be more specific. We want to get feedback as soon and often as possible.

When we realize we’re not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, our perspectives on how to wage this battle become more clear. Hopefully, this show will be a blessing to you as much as it has been to us.

 


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Culture and Religion

Shouldn’t the Left be held accountable for the racism of gun control?

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Shouldnt the Left be held accountable for the racism of gun control

Liberty control has its roots in racism. Why isn’t advocating for it considered to be racist?

We find ourselves at a very interesting conflux of issues these days. On the one hand, Democrats in Virginia are fighting off charges of racism while the rest of the nation’s Socialist-Left is openly talking about subjects such as ‘white privilege’ and judging people based on skin color instead of the content of their character as in the Covington Catholic high school case.

Contrast this with their incessant efforts in tearing down basic human rights, in particular the right of self-defense. Meanwhile, we have the 1-year mark of the Parkland mass murder, the fuse that set off the Left’s crusade against Liberty. The Left’s efforts in controlling the right of self-defense have their roots in racism, not to mention that their crusade against this basic human Liberty adversely impact the minority community, so shouldn’t they be condemned for their racism in this regard?

Shouldn’t the Left have to answer for this?

The issue of Liberty [gun] control is one of the Left empowering themselves at the expense of the innocent. What began as a way of depriving certain people of their civil rights has continued on with expansion to those opposed to the Left’s socialist national agenda while still fostering policies that keep minorities vulnerable.

It’s one of those pieces of history the Liberty grabber left would like to keep hidden away like pictures in a yearbook. In what hearkens back to the infamous Dred Scott decision with the right to keep and carry arms a factor, from the text of the decision:

It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.

[Our Emphasis]

We and others have touched on this subject before with the point that that the original purpose of many Liberty control laws was to render certain minorities helpless in the face of KKK terror. This is exemplified in a recent article by David Kopel on The Racist Influence on Gun Control Laws:

How do you stop a lynch mob? With a Winchester repeating rifle. That was the advice of Ida B. Wells, the great journalist who led the fight against lynching. To frustrate her work, a new form of gun control was introduced.

On June 25, 1892, Wells penned an iconic article for the New York Age, which was reprinted as a nationally circulated pamphlet, “Southern Horrors.” After noting cases in which lynch mobs had been defeated by armed blacks, Wells continued: “The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-American should ponder well is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for the protection which the law refuses to give.

While the laws are no longer overly racist, the incremental assaults on our Liberty adversely impact minorities as pointed out in article on The Racist Roots of Gun Control:

Any kind of licensing scheme on gun ownership represents a costly barrier to entry. Minorities of humble means are effectively priced out of their right to self-defense. Researcher John Lott explained last year in an article for The Hill how expensive licenses and fees for carrying weapons burden minorities and other vulnerable groups.

No matter how much progressives claim to defend minorities, supporting gun control does them a massive disservice. The fear and danger many inner-city dwellers in places like Baltimore and Chicago must contend with on a daily basis is only aggravated by the cities’ gun control policies.

Even the new rage of Gun Confiscation SWATing adversely impacts the most vulnerable. Since they may not have the resources to get back their property and their good name after it has been taken from them without due process. With these so-called ‘Red flag’ laws reported as reported on the site Bearing arms on The spike in gun confiscations thanks to so-called ‘Red Flag Laws’:

Right now, everyone seems to be crowing over the number of seizures, but how many actual tragedies have been avoided? More importantly, how many “false positives” have we seen. By that, I mean how many innocent, law-abiding people with no intention of harming another found themselves disarmed by force of law despite having done nothing wrong because someone else said they did?

While these seizures can be fought, not everyone can afford to do so, making them especially burdensome for the poor who often live in high-crime areas and often rely on their firearms for personal protection.

The Takeaway.

While Leftists have a distinct predilection in projecting their faults on others, the charge of racism is particularly galling. Since as Bill Whittle pointed out they have no real effect except on those who aren’t truly racist.

It is equally galling that Leftists incessantly push for gun confiscation and it’s precursor steps, a socialist agenda item that is steeped in racism. Meanwhile, they take on the air of being the champions of the downtrodden, the people most adversely affected by their quest for power in disarming the people.

 


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Conspiracy Theory

Launching the ‘Principalities and Powers Podcast’ shortly

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Launching the Principalities and Powers Podcast shortly

For the past few weeks, I’ve been wanting to do something around the idea that the teachings of Paul to the Ephesians, particularly in chapter 6, are not only relevant today but may be more relevant than any time in the past. Specifically, I believe we’re facing the threats Paul warned us about in Ephesians 6:12.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

My first thought was to write an article, but on various websites I’ve probably written five or six articles on the topic over the years. Then, I thought it deserved the article series treatment; one core article with several attached articles that go into specifics about what we are facing.

Again, this would have been too small. For a very brief time I considered writing a book on the matter, but anything I were to write today would be at least partially obsolete by the time it was printed and distributed. That’s the nature of today’s world in respects to Ephesians 6:12. The rulers of the darkness are working overtime and making changes to everything around us.

That’s when the podcast idea came to mind. It’s been years since I’ve participated in a weekly podcast. I’ve been on several in the past two or three years but as far as doing my own, those days are far behind me. Now, it’s time to get back to it.

For now, I’m going to do a handful of podcasts and upload them first to YouTube. It’s important to find the proper distribution, hosting, and marketing for the podcast, so rather than put the first episodes in a temporary home as I search for partners, it makes more sense to house them where I know they’ll continue indefinitely. Since I’ll be putting them on YouTube regardless of where they’re hosted for the sake of iTunes and other platforms, it’s best to start there until we’re ready for full launch.

I’d ask that those of you interested in helping push this project forward faster either donate directly to this site, which will be funding it now and likely into the foreseeable future, or at least use our Amazon link to get us some commission while you shop.

There are plenty of Christian podcasts. There are likely even more political podcasts. There’s a handful of reputable conspiracy theory podcasts that aren’t trying to convince us chemicals in the water are turning the frogs gay. But I have yet to find one that approaches this particular topic the way I intend to.

If we examine the world through a Biblical lens and report on all the things that are happening that don’t make any sense to our rational and thoughtful worldview, we’ll find the sources of many of our problems are more supernatural than many realize.

We’ll be recording episodes soon. Stay tuned!

 


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