“Why Divorce Isn’t In Our Vocabulary (Or Our Dictionary)” is an article written by the daughter of a good friend. It tells the story of what one husband did to help demonstrate his commitment to his wife and the impact his actions had on his children. Encouraging story and a great example to follow.
Category Archives: News stories
Can evangelical Christians and Mormons become co-belligerents against a common enemy? Can Southern Baptists and Mormons work together to combat a secular worldview?
These are the questions addressed by Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in an address given yesterday at Brigham Young University. His address is entitled, “Strengthen the things that remain: Human dignity, human rights, and human flourishing in a dangerous age.” At the heart of his address is the central truth, “Men have forgotten God.” As a result, we have developed a secular worldview that relativizes morality and “actually undermines the very values that the prophets of the secular age claim to cherish and preserve — human dignity, human rights, and human flourishing.”
In his conclusion, Dr. Mohler makes the following statement.
In the Book of Revelation [3:2] we find the letter from the Lord Jesus Christ to the Church at Sardis. He commands that church to “strengthen the things that remain,” and those words certainly fit the challenges of our own culture and our own times. Without hesitation, we do our best to strengthen the things that allow and provide for human flourishing, that bear witness to human dignity, and that undergird human rights. We bear witness to the truth that these good things are not our own achievement or the result of our social experimentation, but are instead gifts of a sovereign and loving God, who brings himself glory and blesses his human creatures with these good gifts.
The task of those now living is to defend these truths in a time of danger — and defend them we must and we will. But we are not called merely to defend them, but to fulfill them and to receive them and to find our joy in them. This means that our task is not only to defend marriage, but to live that commitment before the watching world. Our task is not only to point to the dignity due every member of the human family at every stage of development, but to defend the defenseless and to work for the affirmation of this dignity in everyone — from the elderly to the infirm to the child with Down syndrome. We are not only called to defend human rights but to contend for them, and to insist that these rights are non-negotiable only because our Creator endowed us with these rights, and allows no negotiation.
When I was with you last October, I said something that got picked up by media around the world. I said that I believe that we will not go to heaven together, but we might well go to jail together. That was last October. That was four months and a few days ago. Since then, federal courts in your own state have ruled that your legal prohibitions of both same-sex marriage and polygamy are unconstitutional. Since that time, the President of your church has been summoned to appear in a secular court in London. Since that time, just over one hundred days ago, so much has changed.
Civil and criminal penalties have recently been leveled against bakers, photographers, and florists who could not in good conscience participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony. Erotic liberty is in the ascent and religious liberty is in peril.
We may go to jail sooner even than we thought.
This is why our conversation is really important, and why we need to stand together on so many urgent concerns. Most importantly, we are now called to defend religious liberty for each other, so that when they come for you, we are there, and so that when they come for us, you are there. We are learning anew what the affirmation of religious liberty will demand of us in this dangerous age.
Whether or not you agree with his conclusions, Dr. Mohler will make you think.
A recent headline helps explain how we have gotten off track. Go Figure: Facebook Read Daily More Than Bible gives a statistical view of the popularity of the internet versus Scripture.
Facebook’s numbers are epic. More Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible and it has more monthly users worldwide than most continents have people.
Facebook, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Tuesday, says worldwide it has 757 million daily active users. Of those 19 percent are in the U.S. and Canada, so that’s more than 143 million people checking Facebook daily.
The Bible used to be the go-to for statistics about reading, pre-digital age. A 2006 CBS News poll found 15 percent of U.S. adults read the Bible or other religious texts daily. There are about 267 million adults in the U.S. and Canada. That means about 40 million people reading the Bible daily.
40 million people in the USA and Canada read the Bible every day as opposed to 143 million people in the USA and Canada checking Facebook. Our values are more influenced by friends and culture than by God’s Word. Is it any wonder we struggle with the problems we face?
How do you turn a New Years resolution into a life-changing habit? That is the question posed by the folks at the Disney Institute in a helpful article entitled, “Habits, Not Resolutions: How to Break the New Year Cycle.”
Every year, Americans resolve to do something new, different, better in the upcoming year. Yet, only 8% succeed. Why? Maybe we tend to treat our resolution as another item on an already full to-do list.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with to-do lists, lets try something different this year. Lets turn just one New Year’s resolution into a habit.
The focus of the article is on how to make creativity a daily habit. But it got me to thinking, “What if we adapted the approach to spiritual growth? How could we use the principles to promote Bible study and prayer, giving, service, sharing our faith, or any other spiritual discipline?”
It is a good question to ponder, and hopefully will prompt some life changing thoughts and habits.
Love the graphic in The Seattle Times about the Seahawks and home field advantage, “Seahawks secret weapon: the home field advantage at CenturyLink.”
Let’s hope they live up to it.
While most Christ followers acknowledge that Jesus made a huge difference in their lives, sharing that knowledge with others is not the easiest thing for us to do.
Is Evangelism Going Out Of Style? is the latest research from the Barna Group that shows the difference between evangelical’s thoughts about evangelism and our practice. If you are like me, the article will prompt you to reevaluate your approach and practice regarding this subject.
Granted, firefighters need to be flexible and adapt to any situation, but this event certainly took it to a new level.
Oddball stories tend to catch my attention, even more so when they occur near where we used to live.
During this time of year, we are aware of CEOs who come to church. They are the Christmas and Easter Only attenders. Now, Kevin DeYoung has written a thought provoking article on “The Scandal of the Semi-Churched.” These are the folks who are here one Sunday and then gone for two. He concludes with five questions each Christian should ask themselves about their commitment to the local church. I’d encourage you to read the article.
On Friday night, Carol and I learned firsthand what happens when you whisper “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
We had tickets to see Phantom of the Opera at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in Providence, Rhode Island. (Since our seats were in the second to last row of the upper, upper balcony, we were just barely inside the theater. But we were there nonetheless.) The show was scheduled to begin at 7:30PM. Due to technical difficulties (an electrical failure which caused the computers which operate the stage and sets to fail and necessitated a reboot) the show did not start until 8:30PM.
They allowed us to enter the theater and sit down just after 8:00PM. Around 8:15PM, the stage manager explained there was an electrical failure and they were still trouble shooting and making sure the sets were safe. He explained they needed another 15-20 minutes. Most of the audience understood and we waited patiently.
The first act of the musical was delivered well and we stretched during intermission. The second act began and with it came an illustration of the power of suggestive thinking. (Another illustration in search of a sermon.)
During the opening scene of Act Two, the Phantom appears on the staircase of the opera house, delivers his new opera and then challenges Rauol and Christine. He exits in a display of pyrotechnics.
Shortly afterwards, we began to smell what we thought was something burning. As the news report explained, the pyrotechnics malfunctioned and created more smoke than usual and the smoke drifted to the third-floor balcony where we were sitting.
Knowing that there was an electrical malfunction before the show started, and sensing what appeared to be a burning smell, people assumed there was a fire in the theater. (People added 2+2 and came up with 6.) The whisper of “Fire” began to echo through the third floor. People began leaving in waves. Rather than an orderly exit as the news report stated, it was a full out panic as people in our section were climbing over seats in an effort to get out. (Since there were no alarms and no announcements, we stayed calmly in our seats.) Eventually, the house lights came on and the production was halted. Several people were calling 911 and soon the third floor had a full complement of fire personnel doing a safety check.
After a twenty minute delay, the production started where it left off, albeit minus at least one third of the patrons in the upper balcony who did not return to their seats.
In spite of the interruption, the cast and crew performed admirably and delivered a good show. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the PPAC management who did little to communicate what was going on.
Blogger Tim Challies has an insightful post on the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year–Selfie. For those not familiar with the term, “A selfie is a photograph of yourself taken with a mobile phone or other handheld device, and uploaded to social media—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any of the others.” Adweek recently did a rather creative article where they reimagined famous newspaper photos as selfies.
As Challies explains,
When we combine mobility with cameras and social media, we have not only the ability, but also the desire, to be constantly in one another’s view. We carry our phones and use social media and snap selfies not for others, but for ourselves. No one really wants to see your face superimposed in front of the Statue of Liberty; you want people to see you there! We feel this great desire to keep ourselves in other people’s consciousness. But even as we constantly elevate ourselves into one another’s gaze, we want to make sure we control what they see of us. The selfie is the inevitable result of a world of customization, a world of self, a world of carefully crafting an online identity in which we are sovereign, in which we are our own gatekeepers.
The selfie isn’t bad. It just is. It’s a fact of life in this digital world. But amidst the selfie’s ubiquity, don’t miss what it tells us about ourselves and about the way we present ourselves to the world. The selfie is not a photo of your face as much as it is a snapshot of your heart.