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Why Are We Reinforcing Misconceptions?

Posted 4/11/2017

Resurrection Sunday is coming once again, and I am sitting here scratching my head wondering why so many churches continue to reinforce misconceptions commonly held by the world about our beliefs.  Ask someone who does not regularly attend church about Easter and you will most likely hear references to the Easter Bunny, hunting eggs, and buying new spring apparel.  Some may say something about Jesus, but nearly all will mention the bunny, eggs, and getting dressed up.

Now, in case you are jumping to the conclusion that I am absolutely opposed to these things, you need to know that I think fantasy characters for children, scavenger hunts, and looking good is fun.  In fact, I have always wanted to host an egg hunt where you do a little target practice by scattering some brightly colored eggs around and shooting them while wearing silly costumes.  However, I haven’t done this yet since I can’t quite come up with a way to pull it off without someone being seriously injured or arrested.  Maybe someday; a man can dream (I think using a skeet launcher might overcome the crossfire problem).  But I digress … I do think it is a missed opportunity when the church fuels these silly misconceptions on Resurrection Sunday.

Come on; none of these things have anything to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So why do churches still host egg hunts with all the worldly Easter trimmings?  What have they really accomplished?  You know those kids go home with memories of dressing up and candy, not Jesus.  If you don’t believe me, ask them.  Ask a child that participated in some church sponsored Easter hoopla what they remember about last Sunday, and they will tell you all about the hoopla with no mention of the resurrection.  Now, I suspect if you ask a follow up question, they might make some vague reference to the resurrection but that begs the question.  If you ask me, I could probably talk about the Pythagorean Theorem, but I must confess that it was not really on my mind until you asked.  So what was really accomplished for the kingdom?

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5 Things God Expects Ministers to Do Regularly

Posted 10/28/2016

Knowing that one day I will stand before the Lord and give an account for my life, I want to be sure that I am aiming at the right targets.  As a minister, this is of particularly profound importance since “we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3.1).  I desperately want to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25, Luke 19).  If I spend my life aiming at targets of my own or other peoples making, bulls-eyes will not impress the Holy One.  I will be evaluated by how well I did hitting His targets.  Thankfully, God’s expectations or “job description” for His ministers are clearly revealed in the Bible.  Interestingly, there is no mention of membership numbers, budget highlights, or building programs as the basis for my evaluation on that day.  In contrast to such worldly targets for “successful ministry”, we discover 5 things God expects His ministers to do in Paul’s second letter to Timothy (Pastor at Ephesus).  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is enough for me to work on as I prepare to preach next Sunday.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.    2 Timothy 4.1-2

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