Thursday, March 28, 2013

Traditional Marriage Debate

-LGBT people are not ignorant.

-Supporters of traditional marriage are not ignorant.

-LGBT supporters are not stupid.

-Traditional marriage supporters are not stupid.

-We all get our bias from our values and when people do not live within our values, in this society, we think the other is both stupid and ignorant. 

-Everyone has feelings. 

-The prefix anti- cannot be trusted. Christians (in general) do not hate gays because they are “anti-gay marriage.” Many LGBT do not hate Jesus or the Bible.

-Christians have failed to love others as they should.

-Christians are hypocrites in the general sense of the word. We try to be perfect, be we aren’t, nor must we be to be Christians. That is the point of being a Christian. We don’t have to be perfect because we know someone who was perfect so that we don’t have to be. But most of us have honest intentions to try to live as Jesus would. 

-Christians are scared that our rights will be taken away. If gay-marriage is legalized, the next step for legislation (in our eyes) will be to close down or take away tax-exempt status for churches who will not perform these weddings because it is against their personal convictions. Things like this are already happening in school Bible clubs.

-In a Christian view of history, homosexuality has been a sign of a decrease in morality. In one Bible story, God destroyed a city in which it was the main sin. The book of Romans clearly shows the depravity of a society in which homosexuality is prevalent and the end result is that God gives that people over to themselves. God’s hand has been on the USA in its history and Christians do not want his hand of blessing taken away. (Not that this vote will be a determining factor, but is only a sign of where this country is morally). 

-Divisiveness is killing America

-Media cannot be trusted.

-This is a serious issue for LGBT because it is their identity as a human being.

-This is a serious issue for Christians because they feel their religious liberty is at stake and they do not want that liberty revoked. 

-The point of me writing this is so that when you do make your posts or statements or whatever we can be considerate of the other side. No matter how strong you feel, the solution to your problem is not going to come by hateful, inconsiderate speech. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Service idea

In January we will be returning to Northeast Brazil to plant churches. In the meantime we are on furlough ministry, which means we travel to churches, look for speaking opportunities, see family and friends, rest, get more training, etc. When I was in Michigan I went to a couple of prayer services. They were great and when I came back down south I organized one here. On Friday someone else did a variation of the prayer service and it went well.

Then I started thinking about doing this same style of prayer service for normal church services. I have been listening to a Church planting movement class online and the Professor talked about key ingredients to a church planting movement. Some of those elements are prayer, indigenous bi-vocational leadership, and something that can be copied without outside resources.

The format of the prayer service is something like this: worship, 5-10 minute devotional, 15-20 minutes of prayer and then repeat all those. Time has flown in every one of these services I have been in and people have gone away blessed. There were various speakers and so it did not depend on one person's dynamic message. There is a huge focus on the Word, Worship and Prayer; specifically prayer. The prayer time promotes application to the message and can be divided up into large group prayers, popcorn praying, small groups, pairs, alone, etc...

So what if I use this format in starting churches in Brazil? I would immediately start using nationals in the service. They would learn to pray starting with simple phrases (which is probably what God prefers anyway) and they would learn to teach as well. They would not start out preaching 45 minute services, but rather would start out leading a prayer time, then move to teaching a short devotional, then being more involved, get more training, and then leading a service somewhere else as a national Pastor/leader.

We could do this service once a week, probably on a Sunday morning or night and include a meal together. So they could arrive at 10:30 in the morning, have lunch at 12 and continue until 1:30 or 2. Or a night service could start at 5:00, have service for an hour, then a snack/meal and finish around 8:30.

The service would cover different topics each week as well. In 3 hours there is time for 4-6 devotionals. So each week you could possibly have a salvation part, an OT story, and several different topics that would give them a variety. The prayer part really focuses on the application of the devotional as we ask God to help us put into practice a certain principle, worship God, confess sins, or learn to trust Him.

Time available on the weekends or during the week could be used for further training for your leaders or whoever was interested.