Americans love the Bible. They just don’t read it that much

More than half of Americans think the Bible has too little influence on a culture they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to a new survey.

More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) think the nation’s morality is headed downhill, according to a new survey from American Bible Society.

The survey showed the Bible is still firmly rooted in American soil: 88 percent of respondents said they own a Bible, 80 percent think the Bible is sacred, 61 percent wish they read the Bible more, and the average household has 4.4 Bibles.

If the Bible is so commonplace in America, wouldn’t its moral teachings counteract the downward trend? Almost a third of respondents said moral decline was a result of people not reading the Bible, while 29 percent cited the “negative influence of America” and one in four cited corporate corruption.

More here…

What do YOU think?  Does the lack of Bible reading lead to the moral decay of our nation?

Is it as simple as getting people to read their Bibles?

Todd

9 signs your church is ready to reach unchurched people

Carey Nieuwhof writes:

Almost every church I know says they want to reach unchurched people.  But few are actually doing it.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that many churches don’t really understand unchurched people…

And part of the problem is that our model of church is designed to reach and helped churched people, not unchurched people. Churches haven’t embraced change deeply enough.

Here are 9 signs your church is ready to embrace unchurched people:

1. Your main services engage teenagers.

2. People who attend your church actually know unchurched people. 

3.  Your attenders are prepared to be non-judgmental. 

4. You’re good with questions. 

5. You’re honest about your struggles. 

6. You have easy, obvious, strategic and helpful steps for new people. 

7. You’ve dumped all assumptions. 

8. Your ‘outreach’ isn’t just a program. 

9. You are flexible and adaptable. 

These are just the points.  Carey lays each point out with some good explanation here.

I agree with Carey’s premise that most every church wants to reach the unchurched.

I also agree with him that most don’t do it (even though many trick themselves into THINKING they’re doing it).

How does YOUR church reach the unchurched?  What recommendations would you give to other churches.

In other words, “What’s working for YOU” in this area?

Todd

 

Sin is sin.

Daphne Daly writes:

The fact is that yes – the Bible does say that it is wrong for two people of the same sex to be together. However, it also says that it’s wrong to take the Lord’s name in vain. The Bible is very clear on what is sin is and what sin isn’t. It is also clear that there are no levels of sin. If someone commits murder, engages in sex outside of marriage or even lashes out in anger – it is all the same. Sin is sin. The Bible clearly states that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead for our sin. He asks for very little in return. He has asked us to be Born Again. Once we have become Born Again, we are “covered by the blood” as it states. We are washed clean in his eyes. It is pretty cut and dry without religion to jumble it up… It takes love, tolerance and acceptance for people to find their path. It is certainly not our place to judge anyone because of who they have sex with any more than it is our place to judge someone for any other decision they make. If a gay couple were to sit down next to me in church holding hands, I would just be glad they were there to hear a good word. I would open my arms to welcome them just as I would anyone else. Married or not, it is none of my business. I have yet to see any picketing going on about a man and woman living together before marriage- and that is sin, isn’t it?

Ready. Set. Go!

Agree?  Disagree?

(That means:  leave a comment below on what you think of the above paragraph!)

Todd

Source

Are evangelicals dangerous?

I find much of what this website writes to be alarmist.

And this is definitely one such piece.

Do you think there’s any truth to it?  Or is this just another ‘rally the base’ article?

Soldiers in the U.S. military have been told in a training briefing that evangelical Christians are the No. 1 extremist threat to America – ahead of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, KKK, Nation of Islam, al-Qaida, Hamas and others.

“Men and women of faith who have served the Army faithfully for centuries shouldn’t be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States,” said Col. (Ret.) Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization. It also appears that some military entities are using definitions of ‘hate’ and ‘extreme’ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.”

The briefing, which was given to an Army reserve unit in Pennsylvania, came from a U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief titled “Extremism and Extremist Organizations.”

I guess I take issue with the headline:

MILITARY WARNED ‘EVANGELICALS’ NO. 1 THREAT

I think they actually take this story from this slide (in the actual presentation):

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.44.36 AM

 

A couple of problems:

1.  This list really doesn’t rate the list of items… it just bullet points it.  I think it’s unfair that Evangelical Christianity is said to be the number one threat if they are taking it from just this slide.

2.  Also on the list: Catholicism

Is this unfortunate?

Yes.

Is this basis for an article riling people up saying the military says that evangelical Christians are the #1 threat?

I don’t think so.

What do YOU think?

Read the original article here…

Todd

Scientist sets the record straight on the Bible

“Why, when a student begins to learn the simple and credible facts, rather than fantasies, about how life emerged, should he swallow anything else that his pastor, his rabbi or his imam has told him?”

Those are the words of geneticist Steve Jones, a prominent UK scientist.

He’s not believing any of the Bible, and doesn’t think you should either.

Some of his reasoning:

1.  Adam and Eve never met:

The study of genetics proves we cannot all be descended from a real-life Adam and Eve, according to Jones. “The male tree reaches its root in central Africa around 100,000 years ago,” he writes.

“The birthday of Eve can be tracked in the same way. She lived rather less than 200,000 years ago, well before Adam. The two can never have met, let alone committed the first and perhaps least original of all sins.”

2.  The plagues were most likely to have been contagious diseases caused by changes in people’s way of life as they moved from living in villages to cities.

3.  The Great Flood was not caused by divine anger at man but was a consequence of climatic events, possibly the end of the Ice Age.

I love the last line of the article:

Jones said he was resigned to the idea that his latest book might stir controversy, but added: “I don’t mind if people burn my books as long as they buy them first.”

Unfortunately, some people will buy this book, and believe it.

LINK

Todd

Have you heard of Louie Giglio’s ‘End It’ movement?

‘End it’ is a global anti-slavery movement led by Louie Giglio.

They are sponsoring ‘End it” Sundays at churches across the country.

Elevation Church and NewSpring Church are in.  Of course, Louie’s Passion City Church is in as well.

My guess is that you’ll hear much more about this in the near future.

You can find out more about ‘End It’ here.

Todd

InterVarsity’s new evangelism phone app

The New World Gospel Presentation app, created by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, is a creative way to share the gospel right from your smartphone or tablet.

Based on material from True Story by James Choung, this free app helps you illustrate the main points of the gospel message by drawing four “worlds” on your screen.

Suggested dialogue and Scripture references are included for each world to help you explain the gospel as you draw.

The opportunity to make a decision for Jesus Christ and join his mission to heal the world is presented at the end; a suggested prayer is included.

Features

  • Draw each world by tracing its outline as you explain each step.
  • Save or erase your drawings.
  • Flip each of your drawings over for suggested dialogue and Scripture references.
  • Offer a suggested prayer to Jesus for those who want to commit their lives to Christ.
  • Email a PDF recap of the New World Gospel Presentation to follow-up after your discussion.

Download the App

What do you think?  Could you see yourself using an app like this in your personal evangelism?

Todd

 

Outpouring of love (and hatred) by Christians

I wondered how long it would take…

How long it would take before the Rick Warren haters took the news of this weekend to spread hate (in the name of Jesus, of course).

Well, USA Today picked up on some “Christians” response to Rick Warren’s son’s suicide.

And it makes me ill.

From the article:

…a shocking number are taking this moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on the digital tom-toms. The attacks are aimed at him personally and at his Christian message. Some unbelievers want to assure Rick and Kay Warren, his wife and Matthew’s bereaved mother, that there’s no heaven where they’ll meet their son again.

There are many people that I don’t agree with.  Especially theologically.

But to go after them, personally, at such a time as this is overtly unchristian.

This heartless, vitriolic, self-righteous rhetoric is about as far from Christlikeness as you can get.

SOURCE

Todd

PS – Why do you think people do this and feel that they are speaking for God and righteousness?

The message Rick Warren wanted Saddleback to hear…

Fascinating. Rick Warren did not plan to speak yesterday at Saddleback (in fact, he had been diagnosed with double pnemonia last week).  But he did ask Tom Holliday to speak on a specific subject:  ”How to Survive the Worst Day of Your Life”.

God is in control.

Todd

Are tithers better off financially?

According to a new StateofthePlate.info research study, tithers are actually better off than non-tithers.

Take a look at this graphic.

stateofplate

What are your thoughts?

Find out more here…

Todd

×

TWO WEEKS FREE: This week's top 50 stories for pastors & church leaders... Subscribe today and get your first two weeks FREE!

Switch to our mobile site