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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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Culture and Religion

The Bible Project: The new humanity

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The Bible Project The new humanity

Nothing can replace reading the Bible, praying, and living our lives by the lessons we learn from both. There are resources available that should not act as replacements but that can often help us to understand what we learn in the Bible through simplification and analysis. One such resource is The Bible Project, a series of videos that discusses complex aspects of the Bible in layman’s terms.

Their latest video is almost too simple, but in a world that is growing increasingly antagonistic towards Christian teachings, it is a benefit that can help those new to the Bible or possibly confused by its lessons to understand arguably the most important: Why Jesus walked the earth in the first place. This is straightforward to many Christians, but others have a hard time comprehending the purpose of His life, death, and resurrection outside of the basic and repeated concept that we needed Him to die for our sins.

The resurrection represented a new beginning, one in which a man who was broken and killed because of the sins of others would be redeemed and thereby redeem us in the process. It also gives us the hope of our own new beginning, our rebirth into the faith and the transformation believers are promised. It’s a beautiful story that is too-often framed by non-believers as unfair. To the anti-Biblical mind, fairness is the only thing that matters, and the whole story seems to unfair to be believed. Only the Holy Spirit can change the hearts and minds of those who refuse to see the truth.

We are promised a gift of a transformed, eternal life as long as we believe. This is easier than some think, as the faith required to appreciate our Lord’s sacrifice is within all of our grasps.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

The far-left hates liberty. Isn’t it time to stop praising them as being liberal? Part II

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The far-left hates liberty Isnt it time to stop praising them as being liberal Part II

If we want to defeat socialism and Conserve Liberty, we have to stop using the reality defying language of the Left.

Bernie Sanders recently gave a speech inverting reality to redefine socialism. It was replete with some modernized versions of the tired old tropes of the Communist Manifesto. But the key part included some absurd assertions on Liberty that would have made a younger version of George Orwell proud.

Apparently no one can be ‘free’ unless they have a claim on the time, labor and property of others in society. In the Orwellian mindset of Bernie Sanders and others of the national socialist Left, Liberty means that you should be ‘free’.. to enslave others. No word on whether the people forced to provide their time, labor and property to Bernie voters that are ‘free’.

It is a fact that every living being from bacteria to Brontosauri has had to exert effort in order to survive. However, the Leftist mindset sees an opportunity to control every aspect of everyone’s life in trying to alter this essential fact of life. For if they can assert that every individual has a collective obligation to society at large, they get to enforce that obligation, since they consider themselves to the moral superiors of everyone else. They know this because they are the moral superiors of everyone else.

In this inversion of Liberty from the Left, freedom means that you should be provided with free healthcare, free housing, free college, free food, free childcare and just about any free benefit they can conjure up. Never mind that there isn’t enough money to provide all of these ‘freedoms’ or that the people forced to provide them could hardly be considered to be ‘free’. We’re also to forget about the fact that these ancient ideas run contrary to human nature and that they have never worked in the 400 years that this ‘social’ experiment has been run.

Part I of this series proved that the Far-Left has become the enemy of Liberty while they use labels that falsely imply the polar opposite. Even though Leftists have become increasingly hostile to freedom and basic reality, they still falsely claim to be ‘Liberal’. Part II will present the case for a two-step approach in rhetorically cutting them off at the kneecaps in depriving them of this deception.

The Orwellian language of the enemies of Liberty on the Left.

Ideas are conveyed and considered through the shorthand of language. A positive word connotes a positive thought or feeling on a particular issue, while a negative word has the opposite effect. If Leftists are good at anything, it’s in word selection and exploitation. It’s the reason they put so much effort in trying to control free speech and dictating the terms of debate.

This is why it is imperative that we of the Pro-Liberty Right avoid being trapped into using the language of the Socialist-Left, debating the issues on their terms. This unnecessarily places us in an immediate disadvantage when it’s just a question of choosing the proper words and having the discipline to use them properly.

Eleutheros to Libertas.

There is a reason the Left loves to exploit the derivatives certain ancient words. The first has its origins in Greek: free (liberated), unbound (unshackled); (figuratively) free to realize one’s destiny in Christ.

The second is a derivative of the first, howbeit the etymology is somewhat murky. The second is the Roman personification of Liberty and freedom. The ancient term Libertas has a number of positive and similar sounding derivatives with the two-syllable ‘liber’ common to the words Liberation, Liberty and Liberal.

Each of these three derivatives convey the positive idea of being unbound and free from restraint. When used by the Far-Left this runs contrary to their true meaning because their socialist ideology has the opposite effect, the assertions of Bernie ‘we must be free to enslave others’ Sanders notwithstanding.

Leftists love thinking of themselves a ‘Liberators’ or the vaunted protectors of Liberty, but it is their incessant use of the term Liberal that needs to be corrected. Far too many people wrongly associate socialistic slavery with this contrary term. While many falsely apply some sort of post-modernism ideas to the term, it cannot be denied that Liberal connotes the same positive ideas of freedom as the words Liberty and Liberator. Many associate the real enslavement of society with being Liberal and by extension Liberty and Liberation to the point that the media contradictorily uses the term to refer to socialism.

Defeating the Socialist-Left by depriving them of their false labeling.

Defeating the Leftists on this subject is just a two-step process of taking back the word and having the discipline to use Leftist instead of Liberal. Then it’s just a question of rhetorically pounding Leftists as being hypocrites in trying to sell socialistic slavery as ‘Liberation’ or ‘Liberty’.

We have already made the point that true Liberals belong on the right side of the political spectrum here, here, and here. The fact is, the Conservative-Right side is represented in the Liberal party in Australia. Consider the through the looking-glass mindset of the Left characterizing a win of the Australian Liberal party entitled as ‘How Liberalism Loses’ taking note that they scrupulously avoid using the actual name of the Liberal party in Australia.

Why it is extremely important to use the term Leftist instead of Liberal.

It should be an easy fix to the situation, given that both words start with the same letter and have the same length. It’s just a matter of understanding the vast difference in the meaning of the two words and why we all need to have the discipline to just use Leftist in referring to those people.

Those using the term Liberal when referring to the Left are complicit in perpetrating their deception on who they are. Leftists don’t consider Liberal to be a pejorative. They smile when we use the odd phrases such as ‘Owning the Libs’ because that reinforces their supposed ‘Liberal’ street cred. The same holds true for any variation of terms that have a ‘Lib’ portion.

The Word Salad approach to labeling the Left.

While many understood the logic in this effort, there are still some on the Conservative-Right that still use a ‘Word Salad’ approach when referring to the Left. They will begin using Leftist and switch to Liberal at some point, followed by the term Progressive in another instance, then perhaps switching back to Leftist in another.

No one is really impressed by the undisciplined use of these terms, there really is no point in continuing the practice. One word is sufficient, the Far-Left has no qualms about using the term ‘Far-right’ in referring to the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. This refers back to one of the Left’s biggest lies: that the Nazis weren’t socialists. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to reinforce that lie at every opportunity where up is down and Left is Right – meaning a socialist workers’ party of the Left is somehow of the ‘Far-Right’.

It is time to fight back on this front instead of conceding the language of the Left, it is how they lie about who they are and what we are. It is how they deceive people who are unaware of their true nature.

The Takeaway.

The Socialist-Left revels in being ‘Liberators’, the defenders of Liberty and of course as being Liberal.
Those positive sounding attributes belong to the Conservative-Right, that why it is important to use the correct word.

Using Leftist instead of Liberal takes away one of the Left’s biggest deceptions, why wouldn’t anyone follow that advice?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

There are still 10 Commandments even if most Christians only believe in 9

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There are still 10 Commandments even if most Christians only believe in 9

If you ask an average evangelical Christian if they believe in the 10 Commandments, most say yes. In fact, a majority of Americans believe nine of the ten Commandments are still important today. Only one commandment in a poll last year was accepted by less than half of Americans. Only 49% believe keeping the sabbath day holy still applies.

But the Bible is very explicit about the Commandments. From Genesis to Exodus, the sabbath is mentioned as being kept, including by post-resurrection Christian leaders like Peter and Paul. Nothing in the Bible indicates it has changed. In fact, it was the actions of men attempting to claim the Christian faith as their own and merging it with the pagan religions of their day that prompted a change to Sunday as the day of worship. It wasn’t by decree from a prophet of God. It was men trying to make things easier to rule their people who decided to change times and laws.

The Bible is unambiguous. In Exodus 20:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Now is not the time to debate misinterpretations of Paul’s teachings, the ones most often pointed to when pastors and Christian scholars try to justify their acceptance of the anti-Biblical change in both scope and details surrounding the permanent law of God laid forth for all men and for all time in the 10 Commandments. I’ll leave a video below from 119 Ministries that goes into the details and offers a scriptural basis for keeping the sabbath. I do not believe in all of their conclusions, but it’s a great reference nonetheless.

For now, I’d prefer to appeal to logic. Before Jesus Christ died, after His resurrection, and any time He has appeared in the Bible, neither He nor anyone else talks about moving the sabbath. I’ve heard Bible scholars infer that it was changed to somehow represent His rising and the changes that happened in the world as a result, but that does not explain why the sabbath was kept by Christians throughout the early days of the church even after His death. Historians and the Bible all agree that those who were closest to Jesus continued to keep the sabbath.

It takes a tremendous amount of eisegesis to work that change into the Bible somehow. Moreover, it completely ignores historical records that show why the leaders in the 3rd century changed the day of worship to match with the pagan day of worship, Sunday, and to separate themselves from any attachment to the non-believing Hebrews.

The Bible tells us to keep the sabbath. At no point does it tell us to stop keeping the sabbath. Instead of listening to the traditions of men who were appeasing pagans, why don’t more Christians trust the Word of God?

Here’s the video:

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