Is “The Church Losing Its Young People,” or Are “Young People Leaving the Church”?

Though the unresolved results of the title question are the same, the solutions sought to “fix” the problem are very different based upon which scenario is perceived to be more accurate.  If "the church is losing its young people," then typical solutions proposed are to change the church to make it more attractive to the target group. But, if "young people are leaving the church," we need to change the hearts and minds of young people regarding the place and purpose of the church as God intended it.  Let’s reason through a few things in these regards…

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The Purpose of Law

Perhaps oversimplified (and yet still accurate), the purpose of “law” and its administration is to keep us physically safe and secure, cf. Romans 13:1-7.  It is not the law’s purpose to make us “happy,” “healthy,” or “wealthy”- only through physical security to provide the opportunity to pursue those things for ourselves if such is our desire.  But, when the law seeks purview into other areas, it quickly runs amuck.  For instance, when the law becomes interested in carving out niches for this or that special interest group, to provide them with peculiar advantages more than physical safety and security, it necessarily begins to infringe on the provision of physical safety and security for other members of its citizenry.  Though these things are true, they are not brought to our attention here for political or citizenship purposes….

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Are You an “Excellent Wife”?  (Men, keeping reading- this question is for you also!)

Proverbs 31:10-31 is a daunting text.  The wife/mother depicted is so…. so perfect, and yet the description of her seems to be such a hopelessly unattainable aspiration for women, and also an impossible expectation for men to seek and find such a wife.  Nonetheless, let’s note, in overview fashion, some of the characteristics and habits of the wife whose value is “far above jewels.”

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Has American Religion Lost Its Faith?

For the most part, the answer is “Yes.”  Here’s why….

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Instrumental Music in Worship?  What’s the Real Issue?

Instrumental music (“i.m.” afterwards) has been a part of mainline denominational worship for only a little over 100 years.  So?  History tells us that i.m. was not part of Christian worship from its inception for about the next 1900 years.  “Why not- what changed?” thus becomes the appropriate question.  Let’s see if we can provide a clear answer…

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Not Being Ashamed

We’ve likely all heard or said, “There’s no shame in …”  Shame can be a good- though perhaps temporarily painful, and helpful motivation (cf. 2Corinthians 7:8-13).  But if taken to extremes, it can also be devastating and debilitating (cf. 2Corinthians 2:6-8).  These negative consequences of shame have led to some seeking to eliminate it altogether. But this also eliminates the potential benefits of shame.  However, if we’re not careful, there are a few things of which we can become ashamed that we shouldn’t…

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“Gress”

I’m intrigued by words that we only use with prefixes or suffixes.  For example, I’ve never heard anyone speak of someone being “gruntled”- only “disgruntled” (yes, I am aware that a pig with laryngitis is “disgruntled”).   If a prefix or suffix can be added, doesn’t the root necessarily have to be a word?  Apparently not, at least not in English.  Consider:  If “gress” was a word, and therefore had a meaning, it would have to refer to “movement.”  This conclusion is forced by all the prefixes we add to “gress” that have to do with the direction or type of movement they describe. Consider that…

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Is America a “Christian Nation”?

First, the disclaimer: this is NOT a political article.  It is hopefully a thought-provoking introspection of national beliefs and values, and therefore, identity, from a distinctly spiritual perspective. I could be wrong, but I think the term “Christian Nation” is typically used to describe America (by Americans) based upon the notion that either: a) the country was founded upon “Christian” principles and beliefs; or, b) “Christianity” is its most popular religious persuasion- that more people identify themselves as Christians than any other religious affiliation.  The merits or fallacies of either of these ideas will not be debated here.  Instead, it seems more spiritually profitable to examine what “Christian Nation” actually means, so let’s give that a whirl instead…

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Spring Brings Blooms and Lessons

If you haven’t noticed the extraordinary amount of tissues being used lately (due to pollen/allergies), or the beauty of the Bradford Pear and Red Bud trees beginning to display their bouquets, Spring is upon us.  Soil is being turned and tilled for delicate green promises of future goodness.  Seeds are being meticulously pushed into what is hoped to be fertile soil.  And we’ve had some of those warm, sunny afternoons that make a man think about dusting off his fishing rod, and perhaps buying some “sure thing” lures.  You know, the ones that are probably designed more to catch men than fish!

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The Pivot Point of Human History

From the spiritual perspective, the cross of Jesus is the pivot point of human history- everything prior looks forward to it in anticipation, and everything since looks back in appreciation.  Please notice the Word of God in these regards…

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Daily Verse

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”

- Psalm 103:17-18

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