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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

Not even close: Socialism isn’t about social media, being social or ‘sharing’

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Not even close Socialism isnt about social media being social or sharing

Leftists would like their label for organised evil to mean something other than subjugation and mass murder.

We tend to avoid making light of America’s favourite socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [aka ‘AOC’] from the rationale that when someone is making a mistake it’s best to just get out of their way. However in this case, this is not about the women whose antics will cause her ideology of organised evil to be laughed from the pantheon of practical governmental forms. This is about an adorable 8-year-old and perfect her impression of Ms. Cortez, specifically the point that socialism isn’t about being ‘social’, ‘social media’ or ‘sharing’.

For those who haven’t seen this viral video, it’s a perfect rendition of ‘AOC’ and her ruminations on climate change and socialism.

In light of this adorable impression, we will take this occasion to eviscerate what seems to be a very odd understanding of some basic words on the part of the National Socialist-Left.

Socialism is not about being ‘social’

No doubt this partially arose from certain elements who like to weaponize words to maximum effect. First principles hold that politics can be considered to be of the two basic forms: Individualism or Collectivism. With priority given to either the Individual or the collective.

Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians favour the rights and freedoms of the Individual. Certain civil Liberties such as the common sense human right of self-defence stems from this first principle.
Even though it may at first blush seem counterintuitive, the individual striving to improve themselves and their lot always tends to do the same for everyone else. As stated in The Wealth of Nations:

‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.’ – Adam Smith

Conversely speaking, Collectivism is the other basic form whereby the group is favoured over the Individual. In point of fact, since a group is merely an arbitrary aggregation of individuals with no true form, the result is that it cannot have any true civil Liberties. This is exemplified by the treatment of the common sense human right of self-defence. Whereby the principle ‘collective’ rights is applied, meaning there is no Liberty in this regard.

Individualism is vastly superior to Collectivism

Collectivists like to phrase their construct of one of the labels of their base ideology as simply adding the suffix ‘ism’ to their idea of ‘social’ or group dynamics to make ‘social+ism’. Even though this word has come to signify the worst excesses in authoritarianism.

The problem is that when the ‘rights’ of group are prioritized, the rights of the individual disappear. Despite the window dressing of supposedly being ‘Liberal’, the Collectivist-Left only sees the group as having importance. Individuals become disposable to the whims of the collective. This is how the Left terms idea of self-defence as unimportant and how they end up will millions of dead individuals.

Socialism is not about ‘sharing’

Despite being extremely late to the party of collectivist ideological thought, Karl Marx did imbue one of the lines that epitomises it’s base principles with the saying: ‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.’

Sharing has to be a voluntary process. Such is not the case with socialism where that ‘From each according to his abilities’ is done at the point of a gun. This is why the Collectivist-Left obsesses over the disarming of individuals with Liberty control aka ‘Gun Reform’.

The Takeaway

Leftists love to exploit the language to hide their true base ideological intent. This is why they use words like ‘socialism’ or ‘Liberal’. They cannot be honest about what they truly want: control over everyone.

Thus, they have to pretend that ‘socialism’ means being social or sharing instead of an ideology that is truly organised evil at its core.

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Culture and Religion

John 16:33 – ‘ye shall have tribulation’

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John 16:33 ye shall have tribulation

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 (KJV)

One of the most confused and misunderstood verses in the Bible is John 16:33. In it, Yeshua comforts His disciples as well as those in all all generations of the upcoming tribulation. He tells than that they will have tribulation. They will be tested. The will be persecuted. The good news is that they will not have to overcome the tribulations as those in the past have had to overcome.

Yeshua has already overcome the world. Regardless of what tribulations come, we are protected through faith. As long as we stay true to Yeshua as Lord and Savior and do the Will of the Father through until death, we will be saved. In the past, the Will of the Father was based upon our responses and how we handled persecution. Once Christ was resurrected, we no longer had the same burden. We need only to look to Yeshua and believe on Him as our salvation through the tribulations and we can be saved.

Incidentally, this is one of the verses commonly used to fight the concept of a pre-tribulation rapture. While it is clear He is talking to His disciples, it’s a message that transcends time and acts as a reminder that we don’t need to worry about the problems in the world. We simply need to walk through the narrow gate.

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Culture and Religion

CNN does 67 updates for Sri Lanka story with ZERO mentions blaming Islamic terrorists

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CNN does 67 updates for Sri Lanka story with ZERO mentions blaming Islamic terrorists

The narrative has already been set by American mainstream media on how they’re supposed to handle the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday. There are certain things that can be said and others that must be avoided at all costs. With reporting that has spanned nearly 24 hours and included 67 updates to the story, guess how many times CNN blamed Islamic terrorists for the attack.

If you guessed anything higher than zero, you gave CNN way too much credit.

I scanned the entire series of live updates they’ve been doing since the news broke. It’s all within one long story, making it easy to search for individual words, so I did. The results were depressing but expected. Even at this late hour, they still have not acknowledged the possibility that the act was committed by Islamic terrorists.

The closest they came to blaming radical Islamic terrorists in their primary coverage story was a mention in a quote by Diplomatic editor Nic Robertson in which he notes the obvious – that it has the “hallmarks” of Islamic terrorism – but then quickly notes that there are no known radical Islamic terrorist groups in the area.

“It is a very confused picture in terms of who may or may not be responsible. The Sri Lankan civil war ended 10 years ago, a 25 year long civil war, and the Tamil separatists there were a secular group. It would be very, very unlike them and their tactics ever to attack churches and particularly on such a holy day.”

“It has the hallmarks — or is intended to have the hallmarks — of Islamic extremists. But, again, these kinds of groups are unknown in Sri Lanka.”

This last notion is absolutely untrue, of course, as we now know the Chief of Police in Sri Lanka issued a warning about the Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ), an Islamist group led by Mohomad Saharan.

The CNN report mentioned the word “Muslim” four times: twice to note the percentage of the population of Sri Lanka that is Muslim, once to warn against reprisals against Muslims, and another to note there have been attacks against Muslims by Buddhist groups. Not once was it even speculated the attacks were carried out by Muslims.

The leftist narrative must be maintained and CNN will not break their allegiances. This was just some people that did something. It may look like an apple, but CNN will scream “banana, banana, banana” for as long as they can.

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