"The scribes and Pharisees represent another kind of man in the world today. In the story, ironically, they are church people. They take religion seriously, yet they are trying to block the work of God. They are involved with religion, yet they want nothing to do with healing, freedom or the giving of life. They are trapped in their heads, caught up in their moral principles, blinded by their doctrines. They watch from a distance, critically observing what is going on, in order to accuse. They are men of ill will, but ill will carefully disguised. The best way to be a hateful person and not to feel an ounce of guilt about it is to be hateful for God." (>>)
"But when I hear about a church spending $130 Million on a building campaign, I get pissed off. That is money stolen from poor and homeless people, from hungry children unable to eat day-to-day, from programs that would have helped people survive. […]
"And for what? Leather seats for the large dollar contributors while many families within the community have no furniture at all to sit or sleep on? […] Numerous wide-screen TVs to read the songs lauding how much you love the Jesus who told you to give it all up and take care of the poor, the widows, the sick, and the imprisoned? A large fountain that pumps a massive number of gallons of water when people have no clean water to drink?" (>>)
"In such an environment ethical acts will emanate from the body just as heat emanates from light. One will not have to be taught that they should look after their neighbour as if it were something that we need to be told, they will simply be more inclined to do so." (>>)
"Pardon me, I'm just gonna use your poor kid to teach my rich kid a lesson for a minute. I'll be out of the way in no time — Oh, and I'll leave you some shoes… and a toothbrush." (>>)
"You can denounce mother culture in anger, place a mark on your forehead – like Cain – and wander the earth defining yourself by what you are not. You can tell the stories of how mother culture let you down and abused you. But the happiness you gain from each telling will lessen until your stories bring you only unhappiness. But still you will tell the stories, because somewhere along the way your pain has become your identity." (>>)
" 'The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.' " (>>)
"Welcome to today’s moralistic therapeutic deism. Welcome to evangelical Christianity, American style, the home of spiritual technology that provides quick fixes and sure results, guaranteed." (>>)
"And so, more testimonial evidence that the real evangelical religious enterprise in America is building full service family-friendly activity centers…" (>>)
"I canâ€™t imagine that any religion in the history of humanity has made as many clearly false claims and promises as evangelical Christians in their quest to say that Jesus makes us better people right now. With their constant promises of joy, power, contentment, healing, prosperity, purpose, better relationships, successful parenting and freedom from every kind of oppression and affliction, I wonder why more Christians arenâ€™t either being sued by the rest of humanity for lying or hauled off to a psych ward to be examined for serious delusions." (>>)
"The revolution we now call the emerging church movement may not be as sexy as it once was. It may not be feeding our endless obsession for what's new and what's next. It may not have arrived in current form the way we had wanted or anticipated. It may not be stroking our egos as much as it used to, now that some random guy on the streets of Dallas can probably define 'missional' without our help. But it is far from over." (>>)
"We do not know how many members we have. Youâ€™d think we would, given that there are only around 100 people who attend regularly. We have all the names written down, so we could count the members. And we would if the need ever arose. But the only reason I can think of to count members would be to have an answer when other ministers ask me how many members we have." (>>)
"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obligated to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close." (>>)
"I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church along the Gulf Coast in Texas. It was a suburban church nowhere near a bus line, protected as it were from most demographics that didnâ€™t have our common interests…" (>>)
"… 'conservative,' inerrancy loving evangelicals who claim to be doing verse by verse exegesis are often just hanging their own thoughts and advice onto a shallow reading of the text." (>>)
"I haven't memorized all of the cute things to say,
but I'm working on it." (>>) [MP3]
"Sort of like Nixon in a Christmas parade." (>>)
"Why canâ€™t we just talk like human beings talk to one another?" (>>)
"Everybody wants to say they looove them some Jebus, but they're sooooo mad at the Church for not being eschatologically perfect in the middle of history, which excuses them from actually practicing the Christian religion and living in community." (>>)
"I don't really believe but I sense something important is going on." (>>)
"I was raised, as a Christian, on inviting Jesus into your heart and giving over your life to him, and he will make you whole again, undo your pain, and shield and protect you from real hardship and trouble. Nobody ever expressed it quite as bluntly or as superficially as that, but that was the message I heard anyway. Jesus will make everything all better. You wonâ€™t have to be afraid of life anymore…
"The more I have thought about Jesus in his own context, and tried to understand him as his disciples would have, as his contemporaries would have, the more disconnected he has become from the Christ of my Christian youth. The more sense Jesus made as a 1st century Jew, the less plausible he became as a timeless big brother intent on undoing the litany of errors I am so gifted at making…
"I realised that there really wasnâ€™t a place for my Casper-the-friendly-second-person-of-the-Trinity-messiah any more. He didnâ€™t exist, he wasnâ€™t real." (>>)
"It seems to me that this call to communal spiritual formation challenges us to reimagine the gospel itself. Perhaps the challenges of living the dreams of God in the post-industrial world go beyond methodology problems. Perhaps we have been propagating a limited message, reducing biblical authors to sound bytes that cut the gospel message into so many pieces that we are left with little more than statements of what we believe rather than the broader story of how we are to enter into God's story through a life lived in faith." (>>)
"Over and over, Jesus reached into the lives of people like that preacher. The last, lost, least, losers. The unacceptable, the unreformable. The failures and the frauds. Those whose lives could not be tidied up with a little cultural religion. And from that, we have constructed a Jesus who prefers the 'good Christian.' A Jesus who wants moralizing and religious superficiality. A Jesus who hardly needs to die for us, because a little exhortation to do better and keep on the straight and narrow are more our style. A Jesus without a cross, but with smiles and blessings for our homes and marriages full of 'Christian moral values.' " (>>)
"If our Catholic friends were charging $50 to come to a mass at the local stadium, weâ€™d all be shocked, but the major CCM groups make millions from tours and record sales. Even Osteen sells seats to hear his vapid talks. Tetzel was the bad guy in the reformation, but itâ€™s among evangelicals that Paula White, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer proliferate and profit from the devotion of the Christian public; all because they promise genuine spiritual experience.
"I havenâ€™t seen any Catholic teachers openly promising a dollar return on your financial giving lately. Evangelicals have enough such con-artists posing as ministries to fill several television channels. I loathe indulgences, but Iâ€™ll take them over the promise to get rich by way of Jesus.
"It is among evangelicals that one can write literally endless books promising more, more, more and more spiritual experience. We are Experiencing God, but we still want Our Best Life Now and our Purpose Driven Life courtesy of the Prayer of Jabez. We all know the next 7 easy steps to Being a Better You is in the mail.
"Christian consumerism is just one witness to the state of our spirituality. There are many others. Ministerial burnout. Pornography addiction. Divorce. Prayerlessness. Church hopping. Sexual promiscuity. Rampant materialism. Pastoral turnover. Addiction to fashion, sports, pets, opinions. Hours spent in front of video game screens, staring at web sites, reading MySpace, talking to our friends on the cell, saying nothing.
"And then weâ€™ll go to church on Sunday and hear the minister say the LOST are living empty lives and donâ€™t have the joy of the Lord. Itâ€™s a good thing the few lost folks in our churches are too polite not to laugh out loud." (>>)
"The only good thing that ever came out of church was the amazing feeling of getting home and taking off those damn shoes. It was a weekly footgasm." (>>)
"We say so much about the healing power of the body of Christ, but it seems like most of my friends in the body were too busy attending church choir or leading their small groups to check up on me." (>>)
"I loved the Church for Christ made visible. Not for itself, because it was so often a scandal to me. Romano Guardini said the Church is the Cross on which Christ was crucified; one could not separate Christ from His Cross, and one must live in a state of permanent dissatisfaction with the Church.
"The scandal of businesslike priests, of collective wealth, the lack of a sense of responsibility for the poor, the worker, the Negro, the Mexican, the Filipino, and even the oppression of these, and the consenting to the oppression of them by our industrial-capitalist-order–these made me feel often that priests were more like Cain than Abel. 'Am I my brother's keeper?' they seemed to say in respect to the social order. There was plenty of charity but too little justice. And yet the priests were the dispenders of the Sacraments, bringing Christ to men, all enabling us to put on Christ and to achieve more nearly in the world a sense of peace and unity. 'The worst enemies would be those of our own household,' Christ had warned us." (>>)
"Weâ€™re spiritually unformed, amused, entertained, materialistic, defensive, and celebrity driven. The concepts of silence, loving neighbor, serving others, building true community and becoming apprentices of Jesus are lost in our theological wrestling leagues, church growth hype, constant spin and self-assured lecturing." (>>)
"Evangelical Christians talk about life transformation by the grace of God. At the same time, millions of people have tried what evangelicals have recommended- conversion, church, prayer, Bible reading, deliverance, worship, discipleship, Christian events, retreats, music and on and on- and remained the same. Unchanged." (>>)
"And come on, weâ€™re big boys and girls now. We can make friends with whom we want, read whatever we like, and have our pick of spiritual directors. Weâ€™ve got a great big church and two thousand years of Christian history at our disposal, both the good and the evil. Letâ€™s leave off our complaining that nobody dropped 'a good way of being Christian' in our laps and rather do the hard work of discovering it ourselves. Take some responsibility." (>>)
"I think that the Church is the only thing that is going to make the terrible world we are coming to endurable; the only thing that makes the Church endurable is that it is somehow the body of Christ and that on this we are fed. It seems to be a fact that you have to suffer as much from the Church as for it but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it." (>>)
"…I like the fact that most of the people donâ€™t know me and I donâ€™t know them. I can come to church, enjoy the singing and sermon, and leave, not worrying about anything or anyone. Your way of meeting seems too serious and far too personal for me." (>>)
"The gospel for him equals the doctrine of penal-substitutionary atonement… Jesus said that the gospel was 'the Kingdom of God is at hand.' Shouldn't we let Jesus tell us what the gospel is?" (>>) [MP3]
"We believe that today's church […] is in a serious spiritual crisis and needs a reformation of theology and practice… From […] investing in maintenance Christianity (pastors, buildings, church programs) to aligning our finances and possessions with God's heart and purposes: the poor and oppressed, reaching the unreached, mobile apostolic teams, and serving our communities." (>>)
"Mark had written several articles for secular magazines and had been interviewed a few times on the radio and had gotten this reputation as a pastor who said cusswords. It is true that Mark said a lot of cusswords. I don't know why he did it. He didn't become a Christian till he was in college, so maybe he didn't know he wasn't supposed to say cusswords and be a pastor. I think some of my friends believed that it was the goal of the devil to get people to say cusswords, so they thought Mark was possessed or something, and they told me I should not really get into anything he was a part of. But, like I said, I was dying inside, and even though Mark said cusswords, he was telling a lot of people about Jesus, and he was being socially active, and he seemed to love a lot of people the church was neglecting…" (>>)
"I realized that my best answers didn't answer their questions because they were asking questions on a deeper level: they weren't just asking, 'What's the answer to my question?' They were asking, 'How can you be sure any question can receive a definitive answer?' " (>>)
"Clearly, what conservative Christians have been reading about the Emerging Church has not been accurate." (>>)
"And sometimes I am not really sure on things, I have to admit.
My theology? No.
My interpretation of it? Not really. But sure enough to take a step of faith out into my world. How sure do you have to be? If I was absolutely certain of everything, why would I need faith.
Am I certain of the Biblical meaning of the 4th head of the second beast in the Book of Revelation? Yes! . . . i mean . . No!
Do I believe the Book of Revelation? Yes
"Job's friends were certain of their truth, but they were certainly wrong. Job himself was not certain of why God was allowing his scabs to grow unchecked on his body but he was certain of the One in whom he believed. For what is it worth, and if anybody is listening (this will probably be dismissed and forgotten) but I am absolutely convinced, beyond doubt, in the One True God and his Son Jesus Christ. He is true and his word is truth. He died for sinners and died for me. He is my Saviour. That truth is both propositional and narrative and I believe it both ways, sideways and upwards and downwards and i am living out my life in accordance with that Truth. Dannggittt!!!! Why cant you people hear me??? Are your ears closed???? Or will you only listen to what you want to hear???
"Jesus loves me this i know
for the bible tells me so
"I believe in truth. However, I am not completely sure that my last sermon is the absolute truth. Nor do I think that these words I am writing are absolutely true, and to say that my words, or any other human construct born in the minds of men and women, are true on the same level as the Personhood of God . . . is an insult to God is who far more TRUER than anything i can come up with down here on this side of eternity where i see dimly, as if through a glass.
"[But you didn't hear me say that. What you heard is; 'Blah Blah blahBlah']" (>>)
"Instead of 'If you were to die tonight, do you know for certain that you would spend eternity with God in heaven?' the new question seems to be, 'If you live for another thirty years, what kind of person will you become?' " (>>)
"Even permissive Christians seem scared to drink a substantial amount of it. 'It's okay, every now and then, to have a glass of wine at dinner.' I'm sorry. I find that sentiment lacking. It lacks a certain boldness. There is always a risk in pleasure. In sex, a man may be lacking in selflessness from time to time, yet he should not abstain for that reason. In business, one may give way to greed every now and again (or perhaps often), yet that is hardly reason to abstain from running a store. Boldness is heavily correlated with certainty, and that is precisely why the Church I know is so modest, so unoffensive, so… conservative." (>>)
"The first Reformation was about freeing the church. The new Reformation is about freeing God's people from the church (the institution). The original Reformation decentralized the church. The new Reformation decentralizes ministry. The former Reformation occurred when clergy were no longer willing to take marching orders from the Pope. The current Reformation finds church members no longer willing for clergy to script their personal spiritual ministry journey. The last Reformation moved the church closer to home. The new Reformation is moving the church closer to the world. The historic Reformation distinguished Christians one from the other. The current Reformation is distinguishing followers of Jesus from religious people. The European Reformation assumed the church to be a part of the cultural-political order. The Reformation currently underway does not rely on the cultural-political order to prop up the church. The initial Reformation was about church. The new Reformation is about mission." (>>)
"Although I do not doubt the possibility of God choosing to show a person 'the light' so they can see the error of their ways, I think we should consider how many people make these sorts of claims, and how different their views are on what God revealed to them. While [one] person's apparent God-given revelation might let them in on the fact that homosexual action is sinful, another person might be equally convicted that God revealed to them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with homosexual activity." (>>)