Watch Aaron in the film Holy Wars

Friday, December 29, 2006

Adding to the Gospel

Sorry my blogging has been sparse lately. I've been in Orlando with my inlaws. Here is a post I wrote on Aug. 20th 2006

I would like to give my readers a little pop quiz. What must a person believe to be a Christian? This is a multiple choice quiz.

A. The universe is less than 10,000 years old.
B. You must tithe off your gross income, not your net income.
C. Women are created to be subjugated to men.
D. Global warming is a left-wing conspiracy.
E. God wants the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights to be annexed to the State of Israel and all remaining peoples to be either driven out or in subjugation to the Jewish people.
F. Everyone in the Western Hemisphere who lived and died before 1492 will be in hell for eternity.
G. God tortures people endlessly in literal flames.
H. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.

Only one of these statements is the correct answer. Can you guess which one? Everything else, if made compulsory to become a Christian, is adding to the gospel. Is it any wonder why the world doesn't want to hear our "good news?"

Thursday, December 28, 2006


This is a public service announcement. Given the serious nature of what I am about to write, I ask that you devote your full attention to the words you are looking at right now on the screen. What you do not know may kill you...well...not exactly, but it will cause you unbearable pain and frustration of wasting an entire 45 minutes of your time at Disney's MGM theme park.

I am referring to the Narnia "tour" at MGM. When I go to a show or a ride or take a tour or do anything at Disney World, I expect high quality. After all, it is Disney World and everything that they do is top notch. Picture this, the park is so crowded you can barely put two feet in front of you when you walk. You know you will only be able to do maybe four or five rides during your 9 hour stay. Everyone in your group wants to do the Narnia attraction so you agree. You wait a full 35 minutes in a crowded line. You enter inside (of course, the place is packed like sardines) and you see a wardrobe. You think wow this is going to be awesome! You walk inside the wardrobe and their is a large screen, not large enough to fill the room, but perhaps twice the size of a very large screen TV. You look up and see an actress playing the white witch who warns you about entering her domain....and then the lights go out.

What happens next is perhaps the most anticlimactic moment of your life. You watch an extended preview of the film Narnia (which you've already seen) and then the lights go back on. You think that this can not possibly be the end of the ride, but then you see the door open and people filtering outside.

That was it. I stood in line for 35 minutes to watch a preview of a movie I had already seen. I wasn't the only one a bit miffed. One by one I watched and listened to the complaints of every single individual as they walked out the doors. I wanted to give a fair warning to all those who were waiting in line, but I chickened out. Therefore, I am writing this post to redeem myself.

I wonder if Jesus felt the same way when He cursed a fig tree for not producing any figs. What a tragedy if our lives give others the same feeling.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The wonderful world of Disney

For the past few days, I've been living in a fantasy world. A world of dwarfs, reigndeer, Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus, and everything in between. It was the world that a man named Walt Disney created to be enjoyed by children around the world-whether the children are 8, 28, or 68. And from around the world they come. To the surprise of myself and my family, we have found that the average visitor to this magical kingdom does not speak English. We have felt like a bit of a minority with our white skin throughout the week. Last night at Epcot center, they combined a lazer show with a fireworks display to the song "Peace on Earth". To listen to the music and to watch the fireworks explode over a pond surrounded by buildings representing numerous countries from around the world, I couldn't help but think about how wonderful heaven will be with so many different types of people from around the world.

I honestly feel like I've been reliving my childhood over the past few days. The last time I was in Disney World was when I was five and all I remember is the Dumbo ride and It's a Small World. Now that I am older, I can take all the sights in and log them in my memory.

Here is a good question to ask: How likely is it that a place such as Disney World could have originated in a non-Western country? The answer is not very likely at all. It has not always been assumed by people throughout history that childhood is something to be valued. I can hardly imagine Disney World originating in a Muslim or a Buddhist country ( The reason why Disney world could not have originated in a Muslim country is because the painting of living forms is considered idolatrous. Buddhism isn't likely to produce Disney World either because of its emphasis on absence of desire). Neither could I imagine the society in which Jesus was born extolling the values of childlike wonder and imagination. As Westerners, we believe in art and inspiration and imagination as values largely because the founder of Western Civilization (at least the good parts of it) believed that the Kingdom of God had to be entered as a child- an idea that would have been considered preposterous in His day.

So whether the man Walt Disney was a Christian or not, his ideas could have only found their fullest expression in a society that values childlike faith and imagination. It may have taken 1,900 years for ideas such as this to develop, but develop they did. And the world is a better place because of it. It is in this sense that the gospel of Jesus is good news for everyone. Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu children enjoy Mickey Mouse just as much as Christian children do. The values that Jesus introduced to the world enrich all of our lives. Our Savior is so good that much of the world agrees with His teachings whether they realize it or not.

So the next time you see Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Goofey and you remember the wonders of your childhood, you can thank the man who made it possible. The man who inspired Walt Disney. His name is Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Scary Statistics

Sorry I haven't been consistent these past couple of days. I've been very busy. I was watching the evening news the other night with Katie Couric and they gave a statistic that I thought was interesting. They said that in the 70's, the average college student stated that what they wanted to get out of their college experience was a meaningful philosophy of life. Today the average response is to train for a career to make lots of money.

Then I heard on Bill O Reilly's radio broadcast something even scarier. I'm not even sure if this is true, but the statistic is that approximately 95% of Americans adults have had pre-marital sex.

It seems like today's generation has traded philosophy and meaning for money and sex. I think it is time for a revival!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Do you believe in Santa Clause?

It's the most wonderful time of the year. A time of family, fun, and holiday cheer (hey that rhymes) and, I might add, a time when the world celebrates the existence of someone they know is not real but would love to believe he is real anyway. (Sorry, Pete. I really hate to be the one to break the news to you). Yes, I am sure you know by now who I am talking about. He is the man with a belly full of jelly and a heart full of cheer for all the good little boys and girls around the world (at least the ones born in Christian countries who have heard of his existence, believe it or not, they actually celebrate Christmas in some Muslim countries too).

Santa must have a full time publicist working overtime during the month of December because never does this jolly fat man get so much media attention than during this magical month that the world refers to as the "Christmas season" (or..should I say holiday season?). I'm referring specifically to what is now a permanent part of American culture...the Christmas movie. I've seen almost all of them. Well, at least the ones that have to do with Santa Clause- films like Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Every year my poor mother puts herself through watching the movie "Prancer." Why my mother cries every time when actor Sam Eliot ,who plays a gruff, macho, overworked father down on his luck, gets in touch with his inner child by actually believing that a reindeer can fly is quite beyond me.

Then again, maybe it's not so beyond me. For I myself after watching Polar Express wanted to write a letter to the director and say "I'll have you know that I am not one of those adults who has forgotten about Santa Clause. I still believe." Knowing that this would not look very good on a psychiatric evaluation, I declined.

Believe it or not. I actually have a point in all this. The question I have is this: Why does our popular culture exalt the value of child-like faith even when it is a faith in something known to be false? Perhaps the "believing is seeing" lines in these films are an attempt to pander to evangelical Christians. But if that is the case, then we are really being patronized and laughed at behind our backs. Although I think this can be a part of the explanation (hence the emphasis on faith in Polar Express), I would like to think there is something deeper going on here. After all, it is primarily non-Christians that make such a big deal about Santa Clause. Many Christians, at least the evangelical ones that I know, are rather miffed at S.C. overshadowing J.C. during the holiday season. Certainly we know that it is not only Christians that watch these movies and shed a few tears when an innocent child or a cynical adult discovers that there really is a Santa Clause.

Could the answer to this strange paradox be that there is something within all of us that wants to get in touch with our inner child? If this is true, then the question becomes why is this the case? Who or what put it there? For what purpose? There was a Jewish rabbi that lived 2,000 years ago that said a few crazy words about "entering the kingdom of God as a child." Could it be that Jesus, the real reason for the season, knew that as long as there were humans, then their would always be a need for child-like faith? If this is the case, then I suspect that this humble carpenter from Nazareth may have a few more things to say about reality that we need to know about. After all, truth is very difficult to escape no matter how hard you try.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Are you religious?

What do you think of when you think of the word "religious?" If you're like me, you probably have a bit of a semantics crisis when a non-evangelical asks you if you are religious. Let me explain. Growing up in a charismatic church, the word "religious" had a very negative connotation. A person thought to be "religious" was a person thought to be "old-fashioned, legalistic, not open to the manifestations of the Holy Spirit." Growing up with this definition of the word, it was rather strange for me when I finally went to a public high school at the age of 15 and met people who did not grow up understanding my religious lingo. When people would ask me if I was religious, I had to stop and think about it. Given the fact that I was very outwardly religious in the beginning (yes, I was the one who carried a Bible around and wore Christian t-shirts, I did mellow out after a while though), I am certain that it probably never occured to those who asked if I was religious that in my own context, the word "religious" was an insult.

Having had 10 years to sort through my identity crisis, I now ask the question: Why should the word "religious" be an insult? After all, didn't the Apostle James say "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

If we take James' criteria seriously, it takes a significantly moral life to be able to claim that one is religious. Why should the word "religious" have to mean self-righteous and legalistic? I think objections to this term within American evangelicalsim are far more cultural than Biblical. If the word religious or religion means compassion for the poor and an upright life, I hope to God that I get more religious in the years to come. Shouldn't we all?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tribute to Steve Irwin

The other night I was watching Barbara Walter's special on the 10 most fascinating people of 2006. One of the people that Barbara interviewed was Steve Irwin's wife. I have to say that I was deeply touched by the way that she talked about him. She described the way Steve appreciated the simple things of life and how he allowed his children to role around in the mud and get dirty. He didn't sweat the small stuff. In the midst of her tears she gave the most honest description of her late husband, "He was fun." Everything I saw in the interview showed me that this was no Hollywood marriage, nor was their love a fairy tale for the cameras. Everything that I could see was 100% genuine. In a culture with very few healthy celebrity role models, it was very refreshing to see a family where first came love, then came marriage, then came the babies in the baby carriage. Let's pray that God will raise up more role models to lift the standard in our sex crazed narcissistic culture.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pakistani Christian hunted by Muslims

This article comes from Pastor Tim, a friend of mine who pastors a church in Missouri. Speaking from the viewpoint of someone who has been to Pakistan twice, I believe every word in this story.

My Friend Hunted by Muslims

Maliq (not his real name) was born and raised as a Muslim in Pakistan. This last weekend he visited my personal family and my church family. We learned a great deal from the story he shared with us.

Maliq was forced to study the Qur’an as a young boy. His instructor would repeatedly bruise him with a stick until he learned the Arabic verses correctly. He grew up believing in Islam but never had peace in his heart.

Eventually he became a military officer, a highly regarded position in Pakistan. Even with this success, including personal servants, he was full of anger and bitterness.

At age 25 everything changed for Maliq. He audibly heard the voice of Jesus speak to him. Soon afterwards he saw Jesus in a vision. He was later to discover that many Muslims have heard or seen Jesus.

After realizing that Jesus was much more than the Qur’an had to say, Maliq became a dedicated Christian. His life was threatened because Islam calls for the death of anyone leaving Islam.

He fled to a Christian village. According to Maliq, Christians in Pakistan must live in segregated communities and can only hold the most menial jobs. After two years, Maliq married a Christian woman and they had two children.

In the late 90’s, while the children were still very young, the local Muslim population rose up against the Christians. A rumor was spread that the Christians were tearing apart Qur’ans and speaking against Mohammed. The rumors were not true but they instigated a huge mob to attack his village.

Maliq remembers the day of the attack vividly. All 500 homes in his village were burned, men beaten, women raped and kidnapped, and everything destroyed. Incredibly, the very next Sunday, 20,000 Christians gathered in his village to worship Jesus.

The authorities turned a blind eye to the incident, but some Christians in another city went to the streets to protest. The government demanded from the protesters the names of the people they had found out about the incident from. Maliq’s name was one of the names given.

From then on Maliq has been under threat of death from his own government. He miraculously fled with his family from Pakistan and now lives in the U.S. He still receives death threats and his own parents in Pakistan are constantly being watched and threatened. I want to thank Maliq for his personal courage, his willingness to share his story, and the labor of love he still carries on for the persecuted church of Pakistan.

[Comment to this article at]

By Pastor Tim O’Brien

Rock of Ages Church and Ministries

For Daily Guide Publication, December 15, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Aaron's nightmare

Two nights ago I had a very disturbing dream. I had rented a car and was at a full service gas station. At first it was rather nice having a friendly person fill my tank and air my tires for me, but at the very end, I received an incredible shock when I looked at the price of the gasoline. The full tank cost over a thousand dollars. My shock led to fear, then anger, and, at the end I did what real men supposedly never do, I cried.

I think that God may be trying to tell me something. If you haven't read my post "Road Rage" yet, then you need to. If there is something I have learned from my travels around the world it is that we in America really are clueless when it comes to the devastating spiritual, emotional, and psychological effects of abject poverty.

And yet, what do we do about it? We may give pocket change to a few charities here and there, but the abiding principle usually is-out of sight, out of mind.

Here is an issue that we evangelicals hear very little about in our churches: social justice. Yes, we hear a lot about how not to be poor (e.g..if you will only tithe and give offerings, then God will bless you so that you won't be poor), but we hear very little about the social, historical, economic, and political conditions that create conditions for poverty around the world. There are historical reasons for this by the way, the chief reason being that these issues are often associated with the political left (although, to his credit, Pat Robertson was, in fact, a leading advocate for third world debt relief at the turn of the century) and the left is, of course, associated with secularism.

That's too bad because history shows that it was primarily liberal Christians that were behind the civil rights movement. It's time for "judgment to begin in the house of God." There are issues that affect the world that evangelicals had better not miss the boat on. One is third world debt relief. I would suggest to my readers to educate yourselves on this issue. Here is a place to start. It's time that we get on the right side of history.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Iran's twisted logic

In today's news, Iran is hosting a conference of "scholars" from around the world to look into the question of whether the holocaust really happened. According to President Ahmadinejad, we in the West have all been duped by "Schindler's List."

Excuse me Mr. Ahmadinejad, I've actually been to Auschwitz, the camp in Poland where Jews were gassed to death. It happened.

Somehow I don't think Mr. Ahmadinejad really cares about the truth. Look at this classic case of Iranian doublespeak.

"If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt. And if, during this review, it is proved that the Holocaust was a historical reality, then what is the reason for the Muslim people of the region and the Palestinians having to pay the cost of the Nazis' crimes?" Mottaki said.

Let me get this straight. If the holocaust didn't really happen, then why should Israel have been created in the first place? If it did happen, then why should the Palestinians pay for Euroope's crimes?

Sounds completely logical to me!

Here is the scary part: The West is actually turning a blind eye to allowing this man develop nukes.

The Western world needs to wake up. Ahmadinejad is Hitler.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Is Islam evil and wicked?

I wrote this post on April 28th, 2006. I'm reposting it because I feel it demonstrates a gracious, but firm approach regarding truth claims in other religions. The post has a few insignificant word changes.

Something I've noticed in the blogosphere, particularly among the Christian blogs, is the consistent portrayal of Islam as an evil and wicked religion. This phrase was coined by popular evangelist Franklin Graham and has sparked much controversy in the media over the past few years. Given the increased polarization in the world today, I think it is necessary to restore some intellectual honesty to the issue.

What do I mean by intellectual honesty? First, let me start by saying that the radical Islam of the terrorists is nothing short of demonic in inspiration. I have no problem with saying that the likes of Iran's current president Ahmadeenijad and Osama Bin Laden are the moral equivalent of Hitler in our generation. The Islamic-fascist movement is the most serious threat to the world's population in the 21st century. Having said that, I feel that Christians need to approach the moral question of the Koran with some honesty. One of the harshest criticisms of Islam by Christians is the fact that the Koran advocates the spreading of its religion through military struggle. To be sure, this is an unavoidable aspect of Islam regardless of what moderate Muslims and the Western media has to say. Anyone who believes that the Koran does not advocate theocracy is not playing with a full deck.

My question is this: Is the concept of theocracy in the Koranic sense necessarily evil? Here is where the intellectual honesty comes in. How can we as Christians say that Islam is evil and wicked for engaging in military struggle, suppressing freedom of religion, and seeking to establish a theocracy when the God in our Bible basically did the same thing in the Old Testament? The answer is-we can't. But we can say that the Islamic concept of theocracy is a step backwards in God's plan for the human race and is out of step with the values that Jesus introduced to the world.

When Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world" and "For all who take the sword will perish by the sword", He forever did away with the idea that the sword is a legitimate means of spreading religion. Through his life and teachings, Jesus introduced to the world the concept of freedom of the conscience. The idea that man should be free to make his own decisions regarding his eternal fate uncoerced by the state is what eventually led to concepts such as freedom, democracy, and human rights. For the sake of world peace, let's pray that the values of Jesus beat out the competition in our generation.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Aaron's least favorite altar call line

Since a Christian growing up in a historic liturgical Christian denomination would have no idea what an "altar call" is, the title of this post definitely betrays my background. I am a red-blooded American evangelical Christian. For millions of people just like me, the words "altar call" flow just as easily off the tongue as say, "Merry Christmas." We know exactly what it means. The altar call is the portion of the church service (or evangelistic crusade service) where the preacher makes an invitation for sinners to receive Christ. At least, that is what it used to mean. Nowadays altar calls can be so general that the whole church must come forward lest an individual face social embarrasment (e.g...If you just want to be closer to God, please come forward). In many churches I've been to, I've seen people coming forward to relieve stress from their lives and then the preacher throws a bait and switch and leads them in the sinners prayer. The preacher then makes the poor souls face the congregation while hundreds of people are clapping for the new soul registered in the Lamb's Book of Life. The evangelist in me wants to scream out "That's not the gospel!", but then I realize that I am in a crowded building where nobody knows who I am and I keep my objections to myself lest I embarrasment.

I must admit that, as an evangelist, I have committed my faux pas as well. As much as I hate to admit it, I have indeed used the "every head bowed and every eye closed" line, usually because judging the nature of the crowd, it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Even in that, however, I would move on to a more public commitment usually by asking the people to come forward to make their confession known publicly. Therefore, my least favorite line is not "every head bowed and every eyes closed."

Having ruled out the most obvious altar call line, what could possibly be my least favorite? Here it goes: "I am not asking you to join a church, I am asking you to join the family of God." The "every head bowed every eye closed" line is usually a matter of etiquette or crowd control, but the "I am not asking you to join a church, I am asking you to join the family of God" line betrays a much bigger problem-a problem ,I might add, that is rooted in American culture. For my faithful blog readers, I would like to pose the question to you. Can you think of a reason or two why I do not like this line? Discuss!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Letter from Jesus

Below is an e-mail I received from missionaries Mike and Becky Kuelker. Mike and Becky have a ministry in Mexico to indigenous people living in the mountains. I'm not sure if Becky wrote this herself or if this was passed along to her. I have mixed feelings about the content. On the one hand I absolutely see the point that we Christians should not be overly concerned about the trend of replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays"-as if we need Office Max to validate our faith. And, of course, we need to practice the spirit of Christmas through kindness and generosity. On the other hand, I am also aware of the danger of the secular progressive movement that seeks to remove all vestiges of religion from public life. This is exactly what the communists did to Catholics in Poland and to Orthodox believers in Russia. Although the beginnings were subtle,the result was nothing short of oppression. Either way, I thought this would provoke some good discussion.

Dear children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of you're predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth just, GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that let Me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can & may remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you & what each of our tasks were. If you have forgot that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it.

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile it could make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot-Line: they talk with people like that every day.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love & Good News to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals & whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them (and I suspect you don't) buy some food & a few gifts & give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me & they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

P.S Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me & do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above & get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember,


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Why I do what I do

Last Friday I was at the funeral of a beautiful baby girl named Hannah Cooley who went to be with the Lord. My friends, Cassidy and Dave, the grieving parents were, like all parents around the world who lose their babies, grieving. In the midst of the grief and the pain was a kind and compassionate pastor who, like many pastors around the country and around the world, preached a sermon of comfort probably like he had done many times before. The words were exactly what a Christian as myself would expect. They were words of comfort, empathy, and like we would expect, hope.

I confess that the word "hope" slips rather easily off my tongue. You would think that all over the world, when people suffer tragedies such as what my friends experienced that there would be people to comfort them and give them hope for the future.

Wrong!!!! If I were at a Buddhist funeral in the hill tribes of Thailand, I would be hearing a very different message. Although I have never actually been to a Buddhist funeral, I know enough of the Buddhist faith to know that when a loved one dies, it's sianara. Think "Anna and the King." The king could not grieve because that would trap his beautiful daughter's soul. The goal of Buddhism is not to enter into a joyful reunion with God and the family of God in heaven, but to free your soul of all earthly attachments and finally enter the ultimate state of nothingness-Nirvana. Not exactly chicken soup for the grieving mother's soul.

The situation is little better for a Hindu parent. In fact, from the perspective of millions of people in India, if your baby dies it is probably because either your household god is punishing you or it is because you have bad karma because of some atrocious sin in your past life. In other words-"If there's tragedy in your life, it's probably your fault."

A Muslim women would be asked to accept that it is the will of Allah for her baby to die. She would be comforted with the fact that if she is really good in this life, then she may get to go to heaven and see her child again. Maybe, that is. In Islam, it is absolutely impossible to have assurance of one's salvation. It's all up to the will of Allah.

A tribal African parent may have to hear that the reason for the baby's death is because a dead ancestor is offended.

And the list goes on..and on...and on...and on.

People ask me why do I do what I do. Why hop around the world and try to impose your beliefs on people who are already happy in their own beliefs?

The question stems from a false assumption, namely, that people are happy with their beliefs. The assumption may be standard in western academia, but take it from me, someone who has actually related to people around the world and not just read about them, nothing can be farther from the truth.

What motivates me to preach the gospel? Five words- There's hope in Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Interviewing Jesus

I wrote this post on April 18th, 2006

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Jesus were to be interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey show? My wife was watching Oprah yesterday and I just happened to overhear a conversation on the show between actress Kathy Bates and actor Billy Bob Thorton. Of course you know that , as a guy, I could never admit to watching Oprah, so I will have to leave it to your imagination as to whether I was actually engaged in watching the show or not-but I digress. Billy Bob Thorton asked Kathy Bates an interesting question. If she could interview a historical person, who would she want to interview? Kathy replied that she would like to interview Jesus and ask Him who He really was. That caught my attention.

I imagine that if Jesus were to be interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey show today, or the Today show for that matter. It doesn't matter. Pick your favorite media personality and imagine him or her asking Jesus "Who are you really?" I imagine Jesus would say something like this:

"I am the bread of life." "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever."
"I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved."
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And he who lives and believes in me shall never die."
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without me you can do nothing."
"I and my Father are one."
"Before Abraham was, I am."

Given the fact that this is an imaginary media personality steeped in a Western materialist worldview, I can imagine that the interviewer would then promptly reply -"Come on Jesus, tell me who you really are."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Truth in other faiths?

Last week, I wrote a post about a Hindu myth that taught a moral lesson compatible with Christian belief, namely, that self-sacrifice leads to moral reflection on the part of the persecutor. I then asked the question how is it possible that non-Christian religions can contain ideas compatible with Christianity? In the film "Holy Wars", after clearly establishing a no-compromise approach regarding the identity of Jesus and the necessity for a decision to be made regarding Him, I make a point to say that we Christians, if we are to gain credibility in the modern world, we have to see that there is goodness in other people and in other faiths.

Lest anyone think that I have now become a pluralist (the idea that all religions are culturally conditioned and are therefore equally valid), I feel that I must make a case from Scripture that, although non-Christian religions are largely under the domain of darkness, truth and goodness can still be found in them.

There was a Christian who lived 2,000 years ago who would agree with what I just said. His name was, surprisingly, the Apostle Paul. How do I know that? If you read Acts 17:22-32 carefully, you will discover that, although Paul was addressing idol worshipping pagans, he didn't write their religion off completely. Consider this startling statement: "Therefore, the one whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you." Think about this for a moment. These were idol worship pagans who just happened to build an altar to an unknown god. Paul tells them that they were actually worshipping God without knowing it. That's rather generous, don't you think?

Consider also, that, in this passage, Paul quoted from a pagan philosopher who wrote in a preceding time,"For we are also His offspring." In response, Paul says, "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God...." Paul agreed with a pagan philosopher! This shows that Paul expected to find truth even among people outside the realm of Biblical revelation.

This should not surprise us. Paul also says in Acts 14:17 that God has not "left Himself without a witness." Ecclesiastes says that "God has placed eternity in the hearts of men." If Jesus really is, as the Apostle John says "the true light which lighteth every man coming into the world," then we should expect every man to have some degree of light. The light, by the way, is Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word who existed with the Father before time began.

I realize that what I have written brings up a lot of questions. I've barely scratched the surface in presenting the evidence to back up my case but, trust me, there is much more. The bottom line is this: non-Christian religions are a mixture of truth and error. Jesus Christ, the eternal God made flesh, is the final revelation that all men must come to know. It is our job as Christians to point men and women everywhere to the loving and gracious God revealed in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Seeking validation

I must confess that I have little to write about today,so I must reveal the secrets of the universe in three short statements.

1. My brother Paul says that math was created by the devil. After much theological reflection on this subject, both of us agree that if this is true then you, Toby, the math genius of the universe, need to seriously repent.

2. Please rent the movie Akeelah and the Bee. The movie teaches a valuable lesson about not being afraid to be great.

3. Please read my posts "Road Rage" and "Jesus and the rich young reprobate." These are great posts and none of you have had the decency to call me an idiot for writing them. Shame on you!

Have a great day everyone.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jesus and the rich young reprobate

I have a theory. It may sound ridiculous to some and elementary to others, but, hey, this is my blog and I am entitled to throw across whatever hair-brained idea that comes to my overactive mind -as long as I have readers who are gullible enough to believe that I have something intelligent to say.

So here goes.

My theory is that since the Bible says, "God is love", then He must love everybody. (Perhaps I should have titled this post, "Deep thoughts with Aaron D. Taylor." ) It's a simple idea really, but let me elaborate. My theory further says that if God loves everybody, then He must want everybody to be saved. Not a bad extrapolation I might add,even if it wasn't in the Bible. Let me take this thought one step further. If God wants everybody to be saved, that must mean that everybody includes people of all faiths and all walks of life. Notice that I did not say that everybody will be saved, just that God loves everybody and wants them to be saved. In other words, the only condition a living creature on planet earth must meet for God to love them and to want them to be in heaven with Him is to be an authentic human being (the technical term would be homo sapien).

Alas my simple mind has gotten the best of me-or so many of my evangelical Christian colleagues around the world would say. For don't you know, oh simple one, that the fact that God is love doesn't mean that He actually has to love everybody? Some would try to convince my simple mind that yes, God does love everybody, but only in a creaturely sense. In other words, God may love everone as His creation (a form of self-admiration I might add), but that doesn't mean that He actually has a desire to pursue a relationship with everyone. In other words, oh simple-minded Aaron. God loves all people in a creaturely sense, but not in a relational sense. And don't you know, oh simple one, that the fact that God wants everybody to be saved doesn't mean that He actually intends to save as many people as possible. There are some that God has chosen to be reprobates-people that He loves as His creation but for whom He has no intention of pursuing a relationship with.

And then I open my Bible to the story of the rich, young ruler. A man who, if anyone would fit the description of a reprobate, it would be him. The man did not want to give up his bank account to follow Jesus. What a chump! And then I see that the Bible says that Jesus, "looking at him, loved him."

You mean that Jesus loved the rich young reprobate?! Hmm....I wonder if that means that Jesus loved the fact that He created him, or that He actually loved him? Well, I guess we'll never know.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why should I be interested in God?

I would like to share an insight that I must admit does not come from my own ingenuity (which should come as a surprise to no one). I have my friend Rudy Tan, a British Christian, to thank for this one.

Why should I be interested in God when God is associated with people who don't like me?

Let me repeate this one more time so that my Christians friends will not miss the point.

Why should I be interested in God when God is associated with people who don't like me?

That was Rudy's response when I asked him why so few young people in his country were interested in church. I was rather shocked when I walked around one day asking young people where I could find a particular church and most of them looked at me like they didn't even know what a church was. According to Rudy, there is a huge generation gap between the older people and the younger people in British society. Young people are viewed as wild, rebellious, and destructive-not the kind of people that dignified church folks would like to have around in the Lord's house.

I realize it may look like I am flip-flopping on this one, but I really do believe that churches should provide a way for young people to express themselves in ways that are meaningful to them. The issue, though, is much deeper than the style of music and the way the preacher dresses. The issue is a matter of the heart.

Let me repeat one more time what unchurched people are telling us church going folks:

Why should I be interested in God when God is associated with people who don't like me?

Now let me add a little of my own insight...(yes, it does happen from time to time)

How could I like someone without seeing good in them?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Road Rage

I've heard it said that character is who you are in private, not what you are in public. This sounds fairly reasonable to me, but, unfortunately I think I may have found a loophope. You see, the other day I did something privately that I would never do publicly. So, in order to redeem myself, I have decided to make my private failure a public one. As twisted as this logic may sound, I think there may be some truth to what I just said-but I digress.

Yesterday, after driving through a toll booth in Chicago, I did something that Christians should not do. I lost my temper. I pulled over to the side of the road and I slammed my fist against the steering wheel as hard as I could. After apologizing to my wife, I began to think about what made me so upset.

The incident that prompted my road rage was passing through a toll booth thinking that I could use a credit card (I have done that many times because usually the toll is around $3.00 in most places I go). First of all. I didn't know there was going to be a toll booth. Secondly, I figured that I could use my card if there was a toll booth. Thirdly, I didn't have any change and, unfortunately, in this case, the toll was only 80 cents.

The jerk behind the counter gave me no mercy. To him, I was a pennyless low-lifer mooching my way through life at other people's expense-at least that was the impression I got during our 20 second encounter.

So why did I lose my temper? It wasn't because of the huffy toll booth operator. It was myself that I was mad at. I was humiliated that I couldn't scrape enough change for something so simple.

I ask that you, my readers, think about this incident for a moment. If I, a Christian, could lose my temper out of humiliation for not scraping together 80 cents to pay a toll booth operator, just imagine how millions of men and women around the world feel living in slums and barely surviving? Do you think they feel humiliated? Heck yes, they do. Even nature itself teaches that fathers have an instinct to want to provide for their families. I wonder how men who live in cardboard boxes feel when they are unable to provide a decent living for their wives and children?

Furthermore, how do you think the masses of people around the world feel when they watch films about life in America while they are barely able to put food on the table? Do you think that they might feel angry, humilitated, robbed, or dare I say...cheated? My point here is not to say that Americans are to blame for the world's poverty. I am absolutely unqualified to make such judgments. My point is to take you into the minds and hearts of the world's poor. I wonder if, in their minds, we are the toll booth operators of the world.

The problem with poverty is not its physical effects, but its emotional and spiritual effects. Poverty is the ultimate dehumanizer because it cuts to the heart of human self-worth. This is why it is all the more remarkable that Jesus uttered these four words that have changed human history "Blessed are the poor." For Jesus, value comes not from one's net worth or even the ability of one to provide for himself. For Jesus, value comes from being loved by God-something that all can claim-whether rich or poor.

There are some who are poor because of laziness, but there are multiplied others who are poor because of oppression. Still others are poor because of just plain bad luck. Yes. I said the word "luck". Even the Bible says, "Time and chance happen to all." If we Christians can learn to see the poor of this world through the eyes of Jesus, then the world would be a much better place.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's last Thanksgiving

This excerpt comes from e-sermons.

It is interesting to note that it wasn’t until we were at war, the Civil War
to be exact, that our Thanksgiving holiday was officially recognized by
Congress. It had started in the small Plymouth Colony in 1621 when the
English Pilgrims feasted with members of the Wampanoag (Wam·pa·no·ag)
Indians who brought gifts of food as a gesture of goodwill. The custom grew
in various colonies as a means of celebrating the harvest. In 1777, over 100
years later, the continental congress proclaimed a national day of
Thanksgiving after the American Revolution victory at the Battle of
Saratoga. But it was twelve years later that George Washington proclaimed
another national day of thanksgiving in honor of the ratification of the
Constitution and requested that the congress finally make it an annual
event. They declined and it would be another 100 years and the end of a
bloody civil war before President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last
Thursday in November Thanksgiving. The year was 1865. It might surprise you
to learn that it took still another 40 years, the early 1900’s, before the
tradition really caught on. For you see Lincoln’s official Thanksgiving was
sanctioned in order to bolster the Union's morale. Many Southerners saw the
new holiday as an attempt to impose Northern customs on their conquered

Thanksgiving today is a mild-mannered holiday full of football, hot apple
pie, and family reunions. But that’s not a realistic historical picture of
Thanksgiving. It is more often born of adversity and difficult times. So
many of the greatest expressions of thanksgiving have occurred under
circumstances so debilitating one wonders why people give thanks. It would
seem the more reasonable response would be bitterness and ingratitude.

Paul writing from a prison cell and probably knowing that he would soon die
by the guillotine writes to the Philippians, “I give thanks to my Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor imprisoned in
1943 for his political and Christian opposition to the Nazi regime, was
executed two years later. On the day that the sentence was carried out he
conducted a service for the other prisoners. One of those prisoners, an
English officer who survived, wrote these words:

Bonhoeffer always seemed to me to spread an atmosphere of happiness and joy
over the least incident, and profound gratitude for the mere fact that he
was alive... He was one of the very few persons I have ever met for whom God
was real and always near... On Sunday, April 8, 1945, Pastor Bonhoeffer
conducted a little service of worship and spoke to us in a way that went to
the heart of all of us. He found just the right words to express the spirit
of our imprisonment, and the thoughts and resolutions it had brought us. He
had hardly ended his last prayer when the door opened and two civilians
entered. They said, "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, come with us." That had only one
meaning for all prisoners--the gallows. We said good-bye to him. He took me
aside: "This is the end; but for me it is the beginning of life." The next
day he was hanged in Flossenburg.

Out of great suffering have come the greatest expressions of gratitude. And
so I suggest to you this morning, we have all the more reason to celebrate

The rest of this sermon can be obtained by joining
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Lessons from Kali?

Kali is the Hindu goddess of death and destruction. She is fierce, terrifying, and destroys all in her path. The other gods try in vain to end her rampage of destruction, but nothing seems to work. Is there anything that can cause one so bent on death and destruction to change their ways? According to the Hindu myth, yes there is. Kali has a husband named Shiva who decides that he is going to do something to get through to her. Here is the story as found in Wikipedia.

Once Kali had destroyed all the demons in battle, she began a terrific dance out of the sheer joy of victory. All the worlds or lokas began to tremble and sway under the impact of her dance. So, at the request of all the Gods, Shiva himself asked her to desist from this behavior. However, she was too intoxicated to listen. Hence, Shiva lay like a corpse among the slain demons in order to absorb the shock of the dance into himself. When Kali eventually stepped upon her husband she realized her mistake and bit her tongue in shame.

Let me tell you another myth. Darth Vader was an evil apprentice to an evil emperor. Though he used to be one of the good guys, his twisted heart caused him to roam the galaxies crushing all opposition to his evil ways. Is there any way to get through to a man so evil and corrupt? Yes, there is, according to George Lucas, the writer of Star Wars. Darth Vader had a son named Luke Skywalker who refused to believe that goodness was extinct in his father. Skywalker knew that the only way to provoke moral reflection in his father would be to voluntarily place himself under the power of his evil. When the emperor tortures Luke with his lightning bolts, Vader intervenes and his soul is set free.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should. For we Christians also have a similar story. God creates man. Man does great evil. Man inflicts pain on God. Man reconsiders his ways. The difference is that the myth that we believe in really happened. Yes, the details are very different, but the truth is the same. Self-sacrifice leads to moral reflection.

But wait a second here! The myth of Kali is found in the religion of Hinduism, a religion that worships multiple gods-something forbidden in Scripture. And Star Wars? Every educated Christian knows that Star Wars is based off of Zen Buddhism. How is it possible that those who are blinded by the kingdom of darkness could have any degree of spiritual truth in their belief systems?

That, my friends, is a question that demands serious theological reflection. Mark my words. The question of how Christian revelation relates to those of other faiths is the chief question that theologians will have to tackle in the 21st century.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The scariest movie of the year

Anyone want to take a guess at what was voted the scariest movie of the year by Hollywood insiders? It was not the latest Freddy Krueger movie, nor was it the latest Halloween movie. It wasn't some teenage slasher flick with some guy running around with a chainsaw. No. What was voted the scariest movie of the year was a feature length documentary called Jesus Camp, a film that follows three young children to a Pentecostal Christian summer camp.

You may be thinking to yourself "What??!! A Christian summer camp is more scary than Friday the 13??!!" If you don't believe me, check out the reviews. If you are like me and you were raised in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, then you are certainly familiar with the yearly trip to the lake where you go swimming and horseback riding during the day and get filled with the Holy Spirit at night. I attended several of these as a kid and I think that I have turned out to be a normal rational human being....okay I realize that might be a bit debateable so you'll have to humor me for a moment and pretend you agree.

So what is so scary about Jesus Camp to the outsider. Well, besides the fact that children are dressed up in military outfits symbolizing that they are warriors for God (which to an outsider who doesn't have an inside perspective would see that as the same thing as some Wahabbi Islamic Koranic school teaching children the concepts of Jihad), the leader of the camp, Becky Fisher, is seen decrying the evils of evolution, the deception of global warming, and, of course, the incarnation of the devil himself-Harry Potter.

Here is the ironic part. I am sure that there are Christians rejoicing that the gospel was preached through this movie. The sad part about it is that the secular critics didn't seem to get the memo that those involved wanted this to be a witnessing tool. While I appreciate the sincerity of the subjects of the film, I have to ask these basic questions.

1. Is denying evolution as a natural mechanism central to the gospel?
2. Since when did global warming become a central issue in the Christian faith?
3. Is J.K. Rowling really a Satanist seeking to poison the minds of innocent little children?

The last question I have to ask is the most important one. It demands careful attention. Since when did we evangelicals become more known for what we are against than what we are for?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Muslim attacks on Ethiopian Christians

from: World Evangelical Alliance - Religious Liberty Prayer List
- October 25, 2006

In early October Ethiopian and Somali Muslim fundamentalists
in Dembi, western Ethiopia, attacked Christians celebrating their
traditional Meskel (“cross”) festival which marks the beginning
of spring.

Dutch news agency Reformatorisch Dagblad reported 31 Christians
were killed, dozens were taken hostage, five churches and hundreds
of homes were burned, five other churches were seized and converted
to mosques, and some 3,000 Christians were displaced and are
now receiving emergency food aid through Samaritan’s Purse.

Please pray for God to protect Christians in the Horn of Africa
as religious (and regional) tensions grow. Somalia’s al-Qaeda-
linked Islamists have declared jihad against Ethiopia. Christians
in the Muslim-populated outer regions of Ethiopia are suffering
rising Muslim hostility.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tree of Life discovered in London

Out of all the things that I saw last week in London, the most fascinating sight was not Big Ben, Parliament, Windsor Castle, or even Buckingham Palace. At the British Museum in the Africa section I saw something that moved me to tears, it was the Tree of Life. Out of the atrocities of the civil war in Mozambique came a Christian led movement to trade guns for tools. This was inspired by none other than a Christian Bishop. Take a look here at a picture of the Tree of Life and the story behind it. Don't just take a passing glance at this link. Think about it for a few minutes and let the message move you. After you have looked at the link read this Scripture. If this does not convince you that a Christian Worldview has the power to bring peace to the world, I don't know what will.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Back from London

I am back from the most intense week in my life. As most of you know
by now, I have been participating in a feature length documentary film
called "Holy Wars" and am one of the main characters in the film. The
film examines the twin worlds of Christian fundamentalism and Islamic
fundamentalism and what that means for the world today.

Earlier this year, the director came to St. Louis and did extensive
interviews with me and also filmed me at home and at church. During
these interviews I outlined very clearly the claims of the gospel, in
particular the idea that there is no middle ground when it comes to
examining the claims of Jesus-either He is God or He is not. One
comment I made that I know will be in the film is that to neglect to
examine the claims of Jesus is to play Russian roulette with your
eternal soul. The other three Christian characters are an Iranian
convert that has a TV satellite ministry in Iran, a messianic Jew in
Israel, and Teg Haggard, the former president of National Association
of Evangelicals who has recently been ousted from his position due to
a sex and drugs scandal.

The film also follows me going to Pakistan and preaching the gospel.
I know they have some excellent footage of me preaching. I took the
director through the Christian villages and showed the poverty and
oppression that the Christians face due to an oppressive Muslim
majority. I have also been told that they will cover this in the

Last week, I went to London and engaged in a debate/dialogue with a
radical jihadist for the purpose of the film-which will most likely be
the film's climax. Without giving too much away, it was very intense.
One interesting aspect of the conversation is when he tells me that
America is to blame for the current Jihad against the West and when I
asked him what would happen if we made a treaty with the Muslim world,
he admitted that the treaty would only last for a few months and then
they would come after us again. Quite an admission!

In the end, when I realized that there was no possible way of
reasoning with him to change his mind, I knew that my only sane
objective would be to build common ground and perhaps win the
audience. I believe I took the moral high ground in "removing the
plank from my own eye" on behalf of Evangelical Christians in the
West. I made some positive statements about Islam as well as the
cultural left in America and delivered a loud and clear message that
we Christians have to learn to realize that goodness can be found in
other people and other faiths besides our own. I then talked about
how fundamentalism is not a religious problem, but a human nature
problem. It is a tendency to see the world as "us" verses "them."

In all of this, I believe that I maintained my integrity as a
Christian and to the essentials of the Christian faith. When Khalid
invited me to the mosque, I accepted the invitation and observed a
Muslim prayer service. This will probably play a prominent role in
the film-perhaps even end the film. I do not offer what I did as a
suggestion for every day Christians, but I think that what I showed is
a willingness to engage the other side-something I think that those of
us who have devoted our lives to teaching and propogating the
Christian faith should consider. I am hoping that what I did will
also cause some reflection on the part of Muslim leaders to perhaps
attend some Christian churches and see what they can learn from us-or
even come over to our side. I think that a willingness from leaders
on both sides to learn from each other is the only way out of this
global mess that we are in today. If this does not work, then we in
the West will have to defend ourselves and not let Islamic extremists
destroy our civilization. I hope that people from all sides of the
debate, whether secular humanists, Islamic jihadists, or
fundamentalist Christians will hear my message loud and clear. All of
us have to learn to see goodness in people that are different than us.

Thank you for your prayers. Please pray that the Lord Jesus Christ
will be glorified through this film.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Two very intense days

Yesterday and today I did probably the craziest thing I will ever do in my life. I debated a radical jihadist for a feature length documentary film. I can't even begin to describe how I felt both yesterday and today. I realized after yesterday that the only objective I could possibly have is to attempt to be a bridge builder. I've learned a lot in the process. The film will be interesting. I imagine a lot of people will see it. Will write more next week.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

revelation + reason = truth

What is the problem with religious fundamentalism? For the most part, religious extremists have the attitude that revelation=truth. For example, a radical jihadist Muslim would believe it is okay to kill people for choosing another religion besides Islam because they would say that is what the Koran says so it must be right. An agnostic or an atheist, however would say "Divine revelation? Nonsense! I don't even know if divine revelation is possible. If there is such a thing as absolute truth, then reason alone is sufficient for discovering it." This equation could be summed up as reason=truth.

A Christian, on the other hand, says, "You mean to say that a God capable of creating flowers, galaxies, peacocks and human eyeballs would not be able to reveal Himself to human beings if He actually existed? Nonsense! If God exists, divine revelation is possible."

Those who take an extreme position on both the Bible and the Koran have no difficulty in believing in divine revelation, they simply see no need to add reason to the equation for establishing a criteria for truth. The problem with this equation is that it doesn't seek to clarify which revelations are genuine and which ones are not.

The unique Christian perspective is this: revelation + reason = truth. In the New Testament, God is intrinsically bound to reason. This is the meaning behind the Greek word "Logos" which is translated "Word" in John Chapter 1. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." If God is the Word and the Word is reason, then anything that God does should be expected to be reasonable by any normal human beings' standards, especially if human beings are created in the image of God. This is why Jesus and the Apostle Paul appealed to human reason so often in their interactions with other human beings.

As far as I know, Christianity is the only religion or philosophy that believes that truth is grounded in revelation from a personal being (as opposed to Hinduism and Buddhism which denies God as a personal self-aware being) and then seeks to establish reason as a criteria for judging divine revelation. This is why the Apostle Paul admits that if "Christ has not risen from the dead, your faith is in vain." Whether Christianity is true or not (which of course, as an evangelist, I believe it is) one still has to admit that only Christianity subjects itself to vulnerability by establishing reason and historicity as a criteria for judging its claims.

The Bible says, "Come let us reason together." Anyone up for cappuccino?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Walking in Windsor

Earlier today,I took a train to the Windsor Castle, the place where Queen Elizabeth stays during most weekends. Let me just say,as a Jefferson County hillbilly, I felt a little out of place. It struck me as I was walking through the magnificent banquet hall that I was walking the halls of the rich and famous-along with all the other commoners in the room. On a big screen T.V. they showed a video of a banquet in the very same room for the King of Jordon. I asked the guy standing next to me, "I wonder what you and I have to do to get invited to something like this?" This produced a mild British chuckle in the man who promptly replied, "I don't think I would like it much. That's not for me."

I understood completely. I, too, am a good old-fashioned commoner. But, then again, I began to think to myself, "What if this place did not exist and there was no such thing as a royal family? So much of the Bible deals with kings and monarchs. After all, Jesus is the King of Kings. We sing songs about "the splendor of the king clothed in majesty" but do we really know what spledor and majesty look like?"

When compared with such awesome displays of wealth and glory, the vast majority of the human race clearly fit into the category of the have-nots. The common tendency is for the "have nots" to resent the "haves." My question is this-what if there was no such thing as royalty or aristocracy? Without such visual displays of magnificence and would we ever realize that magnificence is possible?

The good news of the gospel is that the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, has invited all of us into His palace-both in heaven and in our hearts. While it is true that in heaven we will be feasting with the King, all of us can feast on the love of Christ in the here and now. In God's palace, hillbillies and yuppies are invited to the same table. God's aim for every Christian is to "obtain the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ." I am thankful that, even on this dusty old planet called earth, I can be reminded what glory looks like from time to time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Jetlagged in London

I arrived in London this morning. I've wanted to go to England all of my life. There is such a rich history here. Right now I'm a little too jetlagged to appreciate it. One thing I noticed that I think that many of my American friends would find interesting is that on the 10 pound bill is a picture of Charles Darwin. I can only imagine what kind of political firestorm that would set off if there was a move to put Charles Darwin on a $10 bill in the United States. London is already starting to feel like a very different place.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Missing Abraham

Yesterday, I was driving in Kentucky and I just happened to pass a sign indicating that Abraham Lincoln's birthplace was a few miles away. Since it was 4:45 p.m. I knew I had to act quick if I wanted to arrive on time to pay my tribute to the man who freed the slaves and preserved our union. When I finally arrived at 4:55 p.m. to my surprise I saw that the placed closed at 4:45 p.m. Talk about bad luck.

So, to soothe my conscience for missing my golden opportunity, I must pay tribute to the man through boring my readers with sentimental babble. Please bear with me for a moment. I'm seeking a little redemption.

Here are a few thoughts about honest Abe.

1. He had a crumby life but made the best of it.
2. Although he would have been labeled as clinically depressed by psychologists today, his life lifted the depression of those he freed.
3. He is the classic example of failing many times only to succeed in the end.
4. He was criticized as a tyrant in his day, but history has judged him kindly since.
5. The filmakers of the latest Planet of the Apes should have never replaced his statue with an ape. That was cheap.

So there you have my humble reflections on the life of one of the greatest men who ever lived. Moment of silence please.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Watch this-Billy Graham and Woody Allen

Check this out. I attended a workshop last week on how to get on secular radio and television programs to promote the gospel. One of the attendees mentioned the Woody Allen interview with Billy Graham as an excellent example of how to handle the secular media. I checked it out yesterday and it is hilarious. Here is the link. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Conversion story from India

Do you want to know why people from other religions convert to Christianity? Here is a story that might help you understand. No matter what country or religion a person is from, human needs are still the same.

from: Gospel for Asia ( - July 4, 2006

In a small farming village in Andhra Pradesh, a team of Gospel
for Asia missionaries was going door-to-door, passing out gospel
tracts. The men knocked at the door of one house, but no one
answered. Noticing an open window, they looked in to see if anyone
was home. A woman was hanging from a rafter with a sari wrapped
around her neck! Frantically, the missionaries broke down the
door, rushed in, and untied the woman. As the woman slowly recovered,
she told them her story.

Her name was Heena. She had married Surya. But Surya had no job.
He was an alcoholic and did not care for their family's welfare.
He would come home drunk and beat her. Henna was forced to work
all day in the fields to support their two sons. Exhausted and
despairing with no peace in their home and no hope in her heart,
Heena planned to end her life.

After hearing Heena's sad story, the missionaries began visiting
her house regularly, counseling and sharing the love of Jesus
with her and Surya. As a result, both accepted Jesus Christ into
their lives. Prayer meetings are now being held in the couple's
home every Friday. And because their neighbors see their changed
lives, a mission station has been established in the village.

Full story here

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thoughts on One Night with the King

Like many of our Christian friends across the country, my wife and I went and saw the film One Night with the King on opening weekend. I have to say that I think it was a good film. I'm saying that not because I am a Christian and that is the politically correct thing to say. I really do think the film was well done. It helps to see the story of Esther on film to really grasp the fact that this orphaned Jewish girl defied an entire empire, not only an empire, but a world wide empire!

Since I am not a film critic (as if that wasn't obvious), I would like to concentrate my thoughts on a passage in the Book of Esther that I have been thinking about a lot lately. After Esther clearly explained to Mordecai the risk of appearing before the king, Mordecai said something to her that is highly relevant for all of us today. Here is what he said.

"Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, then relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

I would like to give a few comments on this verse and relate it to the idea of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility in the area of world evangelism. There are three truths I would like to relate this verse to this subject.

1. The danger is real. People really are lost without Christ. "Do not think you will escape..."
2. God is perfectly capable of reaching the lost without my help..."then relief and deliverance will arise from another place..."
3. Although everything will turn out right in the end, if I don't do my part, I'll be judged. "But you and your father's house will perish."

Think about it this way. The Bible teaches that in the end, everything will turn out exactly the way things are supposed to be (see I Corinthians 15:28). Let me ask all my preacher friends a question-How would your life change if you realized that in the end everything will turn out right regardless of what you do? I mean "everything" in the ultimate sense at the end of history. What theologians call "the consummation" is a fancy way of saying "What God wants, God gets". I'm not giving a license for laziness here. I know things will turn out all right for God in the end, it's myself that I think I should be concerned about.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why I would be a Quaker

Here's a little test. What do you think of when you hear the word "Quaker"? Perhaps you picture a jolly white haired man in front of an oatmeal box or you think of someone driving a buggy (actually that is Amish). The word "pacifist" might come to mind since Quakers do not fight in wars. You may even think of the term "holy roller" and you would be right, since the original Quakers (who referred to themselves as "friends") were given their name as a derogatory term because they would "Quake" under the power of the Holy Spirit (sound familiar Pentecostals?).

Let me give you a few other words to add to your database- womens' rights, prison reform, abolition of slavery, democracy, religious freedom, equality-all of these words should be the first to come into your mind when you hear the word "Quaker" because the Quakers were the people that pioneered these concepts for the human race.

Earlier this year I read the book Uncle Tom's Cabin. In the story (which takes place in the 1850's), author Harriet Beecher Stowe describes the Quakers as those who were helping Negro slaves escape to freedom. In a time of hatred and oppression, that is remarkable in and of itself. But what is even more remarkable is that the Quakers would allow the "Negroes" to eat with them as if they were their equals. Shocking! Where did these crazy holy rollers get such a revolutionary idea? After all, even Thomas Jefferson didn't exactly have black people in mind when he penned the words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."

I'll tell you where they got the idea. They got it from the Bible. They had the audacity to believe a tiny little verse in the gospel of John which says that Christ is the "true light which lighteth every man coming into the world"(John 1:9). Quakers believed that since every human being has the light of Christ within (they used the term "inner light"), then every human being is equal in value. The theological term for this idea is prevenient grace, and it is a beautiful concept. Quakers believed that the inner light in every human being can be accepted or rejected, but never ignored. Instead of seeing the world as "us" verses "them", they saw each human being as a bearer of the Christ image, regardless of how the individual may or may not have responded to the light.

I would like to believe that if I were living in the 1850's in North America, that I would be affirming the equality of negro slaves by inviting them to dine with me in my home. I would like to think that I would have stood up for them and thrown all of my energies into fulfilling the Biblical mandate to "set the captives free". But, deep down, I don't really know if that would have been me. Perhaps I would have swallowed the conventional theology of the day which said that slavery was a God-ordained institution. If I wanted to justify it, I could have twisted many verses of the Bible to justify white superiority. I hope that my heart would have made it hard for me to do that. I hope that I would have been like the Quakers who believed that every human being they met was a child of God equal in dignity and value. Hope is the key word. Perhaps I should rename this post "Why I wish I would have been a Quaker."

Wishful thinking may be nice, but it is never really helpful in the long run. Perhaps a better question is this- what needs to change in my thinking today to make into the kind of person that would have done what the Quakers did yesterday? I'm going to make a bold statement here. Please don't burn me at the stake. Here goes. If my current theology does not produce in me a goodness to the degree of 19th century Quakers, then whatever theological concept that is preventing this from happening needs to be flushed down the toilet.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The gospel of condemnation

This post was written on August 24th, 2006

I was watching Prime Time last night and they did a segment on twins at war in the womb. They showed the story of a young woman and her husband who were expecting identical twins. Everything was going well until the mother sensed she was having problems. It turned out in the ultrasound that one of the fetuses was stealing blood from the other fetus. In order to correct the situation, the doctors performed a surgery, but to no avail. The couple was then faced with a heart-wrenching choice. Should they abort one baby and save the other or should they risk losing both children by doing nothing?

Understandably, both parents were in agony over the decision. How could they choose one child over the other? At the same time, how could they risk losing both lives when they could save one? The father, evidently God-conscious, prayed that God would make the decision for him. The next day, one of the babies died. He never had to make that decision. After the other baby was born, it died a few days later.

Not only did my heart go out to this couple, this indicident also gave me an opportunity for a little moral reflection. What could this couple have done? I imagine if they had chosen to abort one of the fetuses to save the other, some in the Christian right would have screamed bloody murder. But then, what about the other side? I imagine that some on the far left would have practically accused them of double homicide if they had made a conscious choice not to abort one baby to save the other. The far left would have accused them of sacrificing both of their babies at the altar of their moral convictions.

And then I imagine there are some Christians who would say that if the young couple would have had enough faith, then God would have healed both babies. They take the wonderful Scriptures that inspire faith for miracles and then turn them around to bash the heads of those who seem unable to put their faith muscles to work.

What is my point in all this? My point is that in our search for moral and spiritual absolutes, we can easily miss the heart of Jesus who came "not to condemn the world, but to save the world." We also forget that, according to Jesus, mercy is one of the "weightier matters of the law." As long as we are on this side of eternity, life will not only be filled with black and white decisions, but every shade of grey in between. Somehow, I think God understands this much better than we humans who are ever too eager to assert our moral superiority over others.

The gospel of salvation can easily become the gospel of condemnation on both sides of the current culture war. The good news is that Jesus died and rose again to give this couple the hope that they will one day see both their babies again. It's about time we Christians drop our superiority complexes and start pointing people to the good news.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Your sins are forgiven

This post was written on August 4,2006 Read carefully. This article has broad implications

As promised, I said that I would be writing posts over the next month about the nature of the gospel and its relationship to today's society. It would be helpful to start with one simple question. What is the gospel? We know that the word "gospel" means "good news", but what precisely is this "good news" that Christians are supposed to share with the world?

I remember one day in Bible School when a woman named Sally Green suggested to my School of Missions class that the message we are suppose to share with the world is "Your sins are forgiven!" I remember that almost as soon as these words left her mouth, most of the class immediately turned against her. The common objection was, "What about the need to repent? Don't people need to be made to feel like they are sinners first? What about hell, wrath, and judgement?"

All of these are good questions, but they betray a basic misunderstanding regarding the gospel. The way most people understand the gospel is, "Repent so that your sins can be forgiven." Although this sounds Biblical, the truth is actually the other way around. The true gospel is, "Repent because you have been forgiven."

Don't take my word for it though. The Apostle Paul is a far better guide on these matters than I am. Let's hear what he has to say about what precisely is the message of the gospel.

"Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses against them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

According to the Apostle Paul, the message of the gospel is, "God is not counting your sins against you. He has reconciled you to Himself. So, therefore, repent and be reconciled to God." Remember that Jesus Himself said that His message to the world is, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:19)

Think also about the parable that Jesus gave to Simon, one of the religious leaders of His day. Jesus said, "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?" (Luke 7:41-42)

Notice that Jesus said the man freely forgave the two debtors. Jesus then asks the question of which man will love more in return, the man who owed little or the man who owed much? You see, when God forgives, He forgives freely. His call to repent and to be reconciled to Him is in light of the fact that He has already freely forgiven you. Remember that Jesus did not ask the woman who was caught in the act of adultery to tell Him that she was sorry and that she would never do it again before He forgave her. He simply told her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." (John 8:11) Notice that Jesus forgave her first, and then He told her to repent. That is how it is suppose to be.

Bottom line: Sally Green was right. The gospel is in fact, "Your sins have been forgiven!" In light of this, God is now calling men and women everywhere to repent, believe the good news, and enter into a wonderful new relationship with Him based on love, grace, and truth. Now that's good news!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Casual Christianity-should we really boast about this?

Tonight at the NGA conference, there was a room called "The Cave" where they had the Stations of the Cross. I remember this way back when I was 6 and 7 years old in Catholic school and they taught us about the stations of the cross (After the second grade, my parents left the catholic church and raised me in an independent charismatic church). I find it very refreshing that in an evangelical protestant conference for evangelists, there is an appreciation for the contributions of other branches of Christianity. I think this is part of a larger trend within evangelicalism of rediscovering the older historic traditions of the Christian faith. Growing up in the charismatic movement which prided itself in casualness, I've found that lately I've had a deep hunger to experience Christ in quiet reflection through art and beauty. I have to admit, I feel much closer to God in a Catholic cathedral staring up at the beautiful artwork portraying the life of Christ than I do in a crowded church clapping hands and shouting praises. Maybe that's just me. I realize that both are necessary. I am glad there are different expressions of worship within the Body of Christ. In traveling around the world, I have come to realize that Christianity has a built in adaptability factor in adjusting to different times and places.

Sometimes I feel , however, that in the current " Christian youth movement" that emphasizes punk rock, hip hop, and battle imagery, the art of reverence for God is often lost. I can even remember mosh pits during the praise and worship service in the youth group I was raised in. Often the mentality is that since kids like to rock and roll, why can't we get them to rock and roll for Jesus? That'll bring them in! Church has to be "cool". Don't get me wrong. I am not opposed to Christian rock music, punk music, metal music....or any other kind of music that is dubbed "hip" by today's young people. I'm just wondering if we are losing something in our search to be "cool" or "non religious" (a charismatic buzzword). I've been wondering lately if the charismatic pride for casualness that I grew up with is really something worth boasting about.

Maybe I'm just an old man trapped in a 28 year-old's body, but I would love to hear choral arrangements of classic hymns such as "Softly and Tenderly" "It is Well" and "There is a Fountain" sung in church or...God forbid... an evangelistic event. Can anyone else relate to this or am I just weird?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NGA Conference-a prodigal comes home

Tonight was the first session of the Next Generation Alliance Conference with Louis Palau Evangelistic Association. We are here to learn and to network with other evangelists that are shaking the world for Christ. I feel like I am in a Who's Who gathering of preachers. The atmosphere is very warm and encouraging. There is a sense that we are all in this together. Louis Palau spoke about how although we are living in frightening times, God is every bit as excited about the task of the Great Commission as He has always been. Palau spoke with passion, humor and grace while warning the proud and encouraging the discouraged at the same time.

One of the most touching moments was when Louis's son Andrew spoke about how, although he was raised in a godly home, he had rebelled for the first 27 years of his life against anything and everything to do with Christ. Although his father would gently and lovingly encourage him to follow Christ, he continued in his rebellious ways. He drank, did drugs, got involved in bad relationships...just about everything the prodigal son did. I am sure there were a lot of people who probably looked down on Louis at that time because of his rebellious son, but would that have been fair? According to Louis, we all have our own decisions to make about our relationship with God. I am thankful that Andrew Palau eventually made the right decision.

The cost of vengeance-The Prestige

Rhiannon and I went to see the movie The Prestige yesterday and, I have to say, I think it is a great film. With enough twists and turns to make your head spin, the film also teaches a valuable lesson about the cost of vengeance. Without giving too much away, the story is about two rival magicians who develop a feud that ends up costing them everything. Given what is happening in the Middle East and in various other regions around the world, I think the world can learn a lesson from these two dueling magicians. As all who watch this film will see, bitterness really does poison the soul.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Signless in Seattle

For all of you who love frustration, I have a little excercise for you that may give you your frustration fix. Go to Seattle Washington and park in the public parking directly across from the famous Seattle Space Needle. Park your car and walk around for a while so that your body and your mind is not as alert as it normally is. Upon leaving the parking lot, follow the sign to lead you back to Interstate 5, which is the only highway that will take you where you need to go. You will notice the blue Interstate 5 sign with an arrow pointing straight ahead, but when you follow it, you will soon discover that the sign leads you to nowhere. If there is a sign to tell you to turn right, then it is invisible and only seen through the eye of faith. When you finally see another sign that says Interstate 5 and the arrow is slanted to the right and you can not tell if it is telling you to go straight or to go right, go straight because if you go right, you will just have to turn back around.

Another piece of advice, if you are looking for The Champions Center (a church pastored by Kevin Gerald) and you are on U.S. Pacific Hwy E and you cross the bridge looking for Portland Avenue, take the first stoplight and go left. Don't expect to see a sign because there isn't one.

Do I sound a little frustrated? Okay, I'll admit it. I am. Of course, there is always the possibility that I might be a little nimwitted when it comes to the road, but for the love of everything sacred and holy, shouldn't it be a little easier to find where I am going in this frustrating, but beautiful city?

Now that I think about it. I wonder how non-Christians feel when they are looking for answers from their Christian friends? Or better yet-I wonder what kind of signs that I have been giving lately? If Christ lives in me and I represent Him, shoudn't those seeking spiritual truth have the right to expect me to give clear directions? As the Apostle Paul said, "If a trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?" I think it is fair to ask myself what kind of signs I have been giving to those around me. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who needs to be asking this question.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Touched by a deaf man

Okay, so I lied. I said I wouldn't post today, but I'm posting anyway. The hotel here in Portland, Oregon actually has wi-fi. Logging onto the internet from my laptob in a hotel is actually a new experience for me. It looks like I've finally joined the 21st century!

We actually had to fly from St. Louis to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Portland. How out of the way is that! Can you imagine if we actually drove this route? People would think we were crazy. Air travel can be so peculiar.

I did want to mention a feature I saw on the ABC Morning show for Delta Horizons. I saw a story about an African American man who was deaf and mute and was born with polio. For the first six years of his life, he could not walk. After his mother sent him away to a special school for the handicapped, he eventually learned to walk. When he became an adult, he got a job washing cars at a Honda dealership and has worked there for 20 years only missing three days.

What was so touching about the program was the man's enthusiasm for his job. He loved washing cars. His enthusiasm and love for life was so incredible that he merited the attention of a prime time news channel. And, by the way, he was not mentally handicapped as far as I could tell. He just loved washing cars and brightening people's days. Watching the program reminded me of the Scripture, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ".

In true Christianity, there should be no division between the sacred and the secular. Whether you are standing in front of multitudes preaching the gospel or fixing leaky faucets, if your attitude is that you are doing your job to glorify God, what a difference you can make!

There really aren't very many words that I can say but that this man deeply touched my heart. I saw Christ in him and I don't even know if he is a Christian. I think we all need a reminder from time to time about the beauty of serving Christ in the simplicity of life.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Talk amongst yourselves!

After months of moderating comments, I have decided to turn off my comment moderation feature at least for the moment. I will be out of town for the next few weeks, but will attempt to continue posting depending on my internet access.

Since I will definitely not be posting tomorrow, I have decided to give you, my readers a topic to discuss.

Here is the question: What are the implications of the Big Bang theory in the origins debate?


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Clarification on government imposed morality

I want to clarify something I wrote in my post on government and morality. When I say that it is the government's job to impose morality on its citizens, I mean it to the extent of the government's obligation to protect human life and secure basic human rights for all (moral judgments I believe the government does have a right to impose on its citizens) So, if a government rules over a people where the majority or minority of the people believe in ethnic cleansing or killing religious apostates, then the government not only has the right, but the duty (according to the New Testament perspective on the role of government) to secure the right to life and religious freedom for all of its citizens, even if the majority of the people do not want these rights and liberties. This is why I can say that, once a politician recognizes a fetus as an authentic human being, he or she has the obligation to defend that life, howbeit through means which are consistent with the government in place.

When it comes to moral judgments outside of the realm of protecting its citizens and securing basic human liberties, then I agree that these kinds of judgments should reflect the will of the people. Although I do not believe in total democracy (where everyone votes on everything), I do believe that in a representative government (a republic), people have a right to vote for politicians that reflect their moral views-and moral views should not be a priori excluded just because they come from religious conviction.

Bottom line: there are sane limits to the idea that the government should not impose its morality on unwilling citizens. When it comes to protecting human life and securing basic liberties, all governments should strive for these things regardless of what the people want.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Geeks of the world unite!

This one's for you Sherry.

Yesterday, my wife and I had lunch with my longtime friend and mentor, Jack Harris along with his wife Sherry. During the course of the conversation, Jack suggested that I begin speaking to youth groups (something I already had in mind to do). The next thing he said was rather humorous. He said that he, himself, being a whopping 52 years old was a little too old for the job. The news came as a surprise to me. I can remember being 16 years old when Jack rode into my youth group's worship service with his long hair, goatee, and Harley Davidson. All he had to do was tell one story of casting out a demon in India and all of us youngsters would hang on his every word. Jack is the kind of guy who, somehow you suspect, that if he wasn't a born again Christian engaged in evangelizing the planet, he would probably be a Godfather. Jack is the king of cool whether he knows it or not. My suspicion is that he probably knows it, but his inner humility keeps him from admitting it to himself.

And then there's me. Although, growing up, I always wanted to be cool; I've always been more like Clay Aiken than Marlon Brando (Okay, I'll admit it. I actually do sing in the shower imagining myself trying out for American Idol) In grade school and junior high, I was the brainy kid in school. Of course, since my class was only 10-15 people, that wasn't saying much. It wasn't until I went to a public high school and started taking honors classes that I realized that I was the smartest of the dumb and the dumbest of the smart. Great! I'm neither brains nor brawns, how uncool is that!

After years of frustration, I finally figured out that I should probably just go with my geek self. Allow me to let my readers in on a little secret-there are far more of us than there are of them! Shh.....tell only who you must....we wouldn't want the cool people of the world to find out our secret plot to overthrow them...geeks of the world unite!

As enticing as that may sound, we geeks know that will never happen. Now that I think about it, I'm kind of glad that could never happen. I don't know about you, but I'm glad that God made all kinds of people in this world. After all, what would the world look like if we were all the same? The good news of the gospel is that God invites the Screeches and Napolean Dynamites to the same table as the Donald Trumps and the John Waynes. The beauty of the Church is that it is filled with all different kinds of people set free by the love of Christ. Whether you are a geek or a stud, a professor or the town idiot, there's room at the table for you. God invites you and me to His table not on the basis of who we are, but on the basis of who He is. What the world needs more than anything is unconditional love- and this is exactly what God has given us in Christ. If you've never come to the table, it's time to "Taste and see that the Lord is good" What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking....I hope to see you there.