Posts Tagged ‘Church’

As fully devoted followers of Christ we are mandated by Christ Himself to go and share the good news of salvation through Him alone with the lost. Sadly though, many countries are actually closing their doors to missionaries on the ground, even though statistics show more than two-million people search daily for spiritual matters online. I believe that makes Social Media and online church campuses a great way to reach those people in those countries, because they’re out there searching.
What type(s) of online tools/sites have you used to engage those in the world that are hurting, broken, hopeless, and lost? Share a story of that interaction if you you’d like. 

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Is the local church still relevant in today’s world? Share your thoughts as to why or why not.

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I got permission from one of the best bloggers that I know to share one of his recent blog post. All credit for this post goes to http://thewayitcouldbe.com and Chad Missildine. Post found at 25 Ways to Become a Christian Atheist.

The Christian Atheist: Someone who believes in God, but lives as though He doesn’t exist.  Someone who has gone to church for years but realizes their relationship with God has done nothing to change how they lived. Here is a link to Craig Groeschel’s blog with info on the book and how you can pre-order his new book The Christian Atheist.

I was a Christian Atheist for many years and had a blast (for awhile)! I picked up the below tips from personal experience and by watching others.  Live your life incorporating as much of the below as possible and you can become a Christian Atheist:

1. Don’t submit yourself to any form of accountability in a local church. Just set your own rules and whenever you don’t like something, just change churches….again.

2. Don’t ever open your life up to others. Instead live in a bubble and make sure all your relationships are surface level.

3. Go to church every time the doors are open. Listen really closely to the message, and then don’t think about it once you leave.

4. Blame the “church” for your lack of spiritual growth and don’t take personal responsibility for you or your family.

5. Make your kids go to church all the time, but don’t ever show them any evidence of your faith at home. This is a great way to create other Christian Atheists.

6. Don’t ever talk to anyone about your faith. Make it all an intellectual pursuit in your own brain, in your own world.

7. Be as divisive as possible with other Christians. Make unchurched people thankful that they have nothing to do with you and your arguements.

8. Be rude to waiters, kids, and poor people. Kick dogs too while you’re at it.

9. Be hateful all the time to certain groups of people.

10. Wear a cross around your neck while you defile God publicly with your body in public.

11. Make your kids your god and don’t ever serve any one outside your family.

12. Don’t serve anyone ever. Instead fill your schedules every night of the week with as many activities as you can.

13. Don’t ever pray. Hearing what God would have you do is way over-rated!

14. Don’t ever seek out truthful feedback from others about what they see in you.

15. Worship your money and your success. It’s all about you.

16. Judge people frequently and be thankful you are better than they are.

17. Say Christian things all the time like “brother” or “praying for you,” then never do what you say you are doing.

18. Have an emotional affair with your spouse and don’t ever tell anyone about it.

19. Blame the church for your kids’ lack of spiritual growth. Don’t ever take personal responsibility.

20. Put “Christian” on your Facebook or Twitter profile, then blend in with the rest of the world with what you post.

21. Don’t ever forgive your self or seek forgiveness. Instead, just try to be a good, moral person without God in your life.

22. Don’t ever listen to other people.  Talk about yourself during the whole conversation. This will give them hints that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.

23. Don’t ever engage with the Scriptures. Allow your mind to become numb to the things of God.

24. Place your popularly above your desire to be obedient.

25. Read about becoming a Christian Atheist from TheWayItCouldBe.com, then continuing to live out many of the above items.

What other ways can one become a Christian Atheist? Please share!

Chad, Thank you for this thought provoking, gut wrenching, heart transforming, insight, into “the cultural church.”

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Person, Place, or Thing.
This past week I had two separate conversations about this thing called church. One with a coworker here in Arizona. The other with a friend who lives in the Middle East. The conversation with my coworker was about church, him possibly attending and what church is. This coworker stated “There are so many ones to choose from and they’re all different, how can you know it’s the right one? That the one you attend is teaching the right thing?”
It got me thinking about the church I partner with as well as my co-worker and so many others. We are in a Western Culture with a Western Mindset, where the church is a place we go, place we spend an hour a week, a place where you just check your God box and then go about your business. For us in the West, the church has become a building, a denomination, ours verses yours. First Baptist, Presbyterian, Phoenix First Assembly, Healing Place, LifeChurch.TV, even NewSpring Church. Is that all church is? A Place?
In talking with my friend in the Middle East I got a different perspective. We discussed ‘church’ and in his perspective we are heroes. He was brought up where church isn’t a place but a thing. A place where church isn’t welcomed with opened arms. It’s not that they don’t congregate in one place, it’s that people in his country view church as a thing, a movement that sprouted from the West. Where its soul purpose is to dominate and reign. A movement that attempts to infiltrate government. A movement that attempts to cause division within families by setting one family member against another. It’s a mindset of church being a movement that causes so many to reject it’s principles. Personally, when I read scripture, and I read about what church is intended to be I don’t see it as a place, its not described that way, nor as a movement, its not described that way either.
I see church as a people. In fact when you see church in scripture, the Greek word used is Ecclesia, it simply means called out ones, not called into, not called for. But simply called out. See, the scriptures say the church is a people that sometimes congregate together for fellowship, to lift each other up as a community of believers, a people that can create change in government, in family, but not by their own movement, but by the spirit of God. To live as a fully devoted follower of Christ.
I submit to you that the church wasn’t created for us, but as followers of Jesus we are the church created for the world, not as a place, not as a thing, but as a people. A people that doesn’t seek their own agenda, but instead the agenda of God. His purpose, His will, His passion, His desire. I believe the church according to scripture is depicted as the bride of Christ.
Now if the church was simply a place then admittingly it would seem as if she were riddled with bipolar multiple personality disorder schizophrenia. Is that the bride that the very son of God is looking to wed?
Now if the church is simply a movement then would Jesus be wanting a bride that shifts her option at her whim, as she sees fit, no matter others perspective, feelings or thoughts. Would He want a runaway bride? Would you?
Now if the church were a people that came together with one mind, in one accord, fully devoted to Christ in passionate Love, with nothing around them but Him. A people that not only believed, but knew that He knows them intimately, all their past, all their present, their passion, their desire, their hopes and hurts. That He knows how many times they have fallen short and how many times He has forgiven them completely. A people set apart to be His Ecclesia, to be the bride of Christ.
So for me the church…. Person? Place? Thing?
YES! A people called out, set apart that at times come together in a place whether that place be called LifeChurch East Valley, Chase Field, or Phoenix International Raceway. A people called out, for a movement, not of their own design nor desire, but one initiated and motivated by God, for God, through God. To create the radiant Bride of Christ.
Person, Place, or Thing. Share your thoughts. You have mine.

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