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Month: July 2005 (page 1 of 2)

The Resolved Church – SD Reader Article Repercussions

The Resolved ChurchThe Resolved Church has received a bunch of unwanted response from Christians who took issue with the SD Reader article I wrote about them. (Sheep & Goats June 23, 2005) In the article, Pastor Bragg said, “Beer is one of our core values.” Subsequent discussion has flared up in numerous sources:


World Magazine
(100+ comments and counting)
Sharper Iron Forum (11 pages and counting)

Pastor Bragg writes an article to defend the criticism:

i feel as if i must defend and clarify a certain element of the resolved, and comments made by myself concerning who we are and what we do. if you have checked out the press section of this website, you have seen that there has been quite a bit of discussion from people about the infamous comment i made in the sd reader article: “beer is one of our core values.” for those of you outside of the church world, within the realm of “churchspeak,” core values seen as a necessity for all churches to establish in order to be successful. it is as if you have to have the clever and profound media-savvy, commercial-esque snips of information that define who you are as a church and how you do ministry. i don’t know if that definition is even accurate, because i don’t even really know what core values really are. i don’t think anyone really knows anymore. scholars maintain that the definition was lost somewhere in the 19th century (that is completely false, and a faint tribute to “anchorman: the legend of ron burgundy.”) frankly i am not much of a fan of the term. it seems to me that the church has been sucked into this trap of operating like a business, and we have to promote our faith in a tidy powerpoint-like presentation for people to buy whatever it is that we are selling. it’s straight pragmatism and it isn’t found in the good ole’ bible. well i don’t like the idea of marketing the gospel for anything. and i don’t think that the church operates in a bullet-point system. i think it’s messy, and in many ways, indefinable. i can’t coerce the nature of what the church is into well-packaged little fortune cookie statements that will appeal to the masses and make them want to come to church. when i said that beer is one of our core values, i was using seditious and provocative language to refute the idea that the resolved operates under a business mindset that prints core values and purpose statements over all of its literature and propogates the program of the church over the content we are attempting to communicate. the reality is that the gospel is our only core value. we treasure and love it above all other things. saying that beer is one of our core values is as accurate as saying cut-off jean shorts or cherry slurpees at 7-11 are our core values. we just don’t buy into the whole church as a business thing. church is a family and a community. church is the kingdom of God on earth, the living testimony to the world. yes, we like to drink beer, but no, we are not alcoholics and we don’t get drunk in order to preach better sermons or to make people think christianity is cool. we just don’t believe that we should refrain from enjoying something that God has granted us freedom to partake of, regardless of the tradition of the american church, which has avoided the issue entirely out of fear of making a mistake or being misunderstood. i don’t think we are revolutionaries in this, and i don’t think that it is a big deal. drew, the author of the article in the sd reader, did what any good writer would do, and used the comment as an attention grabber, which it most certainly was. but please, do not think that we are all about alcohol, and don’t judge the resolved on a single article written about us. when it comes down to it, if you come to a resolved service, you are going to be confronted with the gospel. it makes us uncomfortable, because it is offensive, but it gives us great comfort because it is our only hope in this world. all that being said, i have a terrible propensity towards sarcasm, and i have learned that sarcasm isn’t always best communicated in the black and white of printed media. so i will save my humor (which i find quite hilarious) for live audiences, and attempt to communicate in a serious and solemn, humorless fashion from now on (that was sarcasm). if this topic is of any interest to you (alcohol and the church), check out “drinking with calvin and luther,” by jim west. it is a good read and well worth your time. that is it for now kids, now go finish your homework before dinner, because homework is definitely a core value.

Listening to right now…

Death Cab for Cutie – can’t get title & registration out of my head!

Unchained Internet Radio

Unchained Radio“Joseph Smith believed there are men on the moon that dress like Quakers and live to be 1000 years old. Brigham Young taught that men lived on the sun. Until 1981, the Book of Mormon taught that dark-skinned Lamanites [Indians] would experience a change in the color of their skin should they embrace the Book of Mormon’S 2 Nephi 30:6,” said Gabriel Carlin. Carlin wrote The Truth about Mormons . He was invited to speak to a group of Unchained Radio listeners in San Diego. Carlin, a pastor of Living Faith Community Church in St. George, Utah, often travels to educate groups about Mormonism. “A lot of what people see in Mormonism is appealing, but most Mormons don’t even know all their own doctrines unless they go high up in the LDS Church.” Pastor Carlin practiced Mormonism for two years before he left the LDS Church. “I left [the LDS Church] when I realized it was not consistent with the Bible,” said Carlin. “Mormons are often surprised to hear me say that they are not Christians. Often, they respond by saying that they believe in Jesus so this must make them Christians,” said Carlin. “However, Paul warned that there was a counterfeit Jesus, a counterfeit gospel, and a counterfeit spirit in 2 Corinthians 11:4.

Full Article: Unchained Internet Radio

Our Culture's perception of Sin

I am preparing a sermon and for a portion of it wanted to look at our culture’s perception of sin. Let me know if you have a good source/site/quote…

Blogs to check out

Michael J. Moore | EP
Reformissionary
Joe Thorn

Bound4Life

Bound4Life“One-third of my generation is dead because of abortion. Forty-five million babies have been murdered,” said Edgar Savage Brown III, 25-year-old founder of the local Bound4Life chapter. Bound4Life’s website claims they are “a nonviolent revolutionary movement of righteousness that will sweep through America and establish a culture of LIFE.” San Diego Abortion“This grassroots movement is composed of teens and 20-year-olds,” said Brown. “At the events, kids in flip-flops and jeans show up to participate. The movement is inspiring a new generation of young people.” The goal of the movement is to gather ten million people to covenant to pray, vote for pro-life candidates, and obey God. Members commit to praying a 22-word prayer at least five times a day: “Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America.”

Full Article: Bound4Life

Top 50 Most Influential Churches

Wow, Mars Hill (Driscoll) got #23 and another church I attended University Presbyterian Church with Earl Palmer was #45. Kaleo Church must have been 51. 🙂

Article: Top 50 Most Influential Churches

Emerging Church – From Protest to Proclamation

Modern Reformation - The Emerging ChurchModern Reformation’s latest issues focuses on the Emerging Church. ( FAITH A LA CARTE? T H E E M E R G E N T C H U R C H). I found it interesting that D.A Carson’s article, The Emerging Church, cited ‘Protest’ first as to what characterizes the movement. I would have to agree. As I’ve been involved in three church plants personally and a handful of others through relationship often the distinguishing mark is a protest. The preachers typically begin as a reaction against what they’ve experienced. (Sadly, some react from one error to the extreme other side, which is also an error.)

Kaleo made a transition 6-9 months ago from critique, protest and reaction toward a position of wanting to positively lead people. We came up with a (dreaded for some) mission statement:

Kaleo exists to delight in God above all else, to exalt His name among all people, for His glory through Jesus Christ

More important that a mission statement was an attitude shift of ‘let’s stop tearing down what we are against and start building up what we are for’. This shift has radically altered the DNA of our church. More people are getting involved (we doubled in size in the last 6 months), more people are dying to themselves not out of false duty but desire and their is a renewed desire to be the Kingdom of God. There are so many other positive implications that I could list but I wanted to throw this out there for any church planter to consider. Don’t just be marked by protest but be known by what you proclaim with your life.

Schaeffer: Taking the roof off

Francis SchaefferSchaeffer is one of my heroes. Great article about his experience reaching the lost, proclaiming the gospel and founding a loving, missional community at L’Abri.

But L’Abri had its genesis in a spiritual crisis that engulfed Schaeffer in 1950-1951. Depressed by church politics and power struggles, Schaeffer wrestled with the question: “How could people stand for truth and purity and God’s holiness without ugliness and harshness?” He became dissatisfied, too, with his own failures to live out the faith as the Bible describes it, according to Mr. Barrs.

Schaeffer felt these problems so deeply that he began to question whether Christianity, if it has so little effect, could be true. Once again, as he did when he was 17, he plunged into Bible reading in search of answers. He found them, becoming convinced that not only salvation but sanctification and the whole of the Christian’s life are by faith. “The sun came out again,” he said, and he found “a new song in my heart.”

Now, in addition to holding Bible studies in the Schaeffer home and working with children, the Schaeffers began discussion groups for their teenage daughters and friends to hear their questions and to tell about the Bible’s answers.

On June 5, 1955, the Schaeffers drew up a plan to turn their home into a place where people could come to work out their problems and to practice “true spirituality.” Without finances and with no assurance that they would be allowed to stay in Switzerland, the Schaeffers purchased property in Huemoz, a rural village high in the mountains with a spectacular view of the Alps.

Ranald Macaulay, a student at Cambridge who became involved with the Schaeffers in the early days (and later married their daughter Susan), said the founding of L’Abri was consistent with its organizing principle: to live in constant dependence on the grace of God. At a March 11-13 Jubilee for L’Abri Fellowship at the America’s Center in St. Louis, Mr. Macaulay said the Schaeffers resolved to do no advertising for workers, no marketing to attract newcomers, no fundraising, and no planning—principles in stark contrast to most other ministries.

The Schaeffers saw L’Abri as a unique experiment—they did not necessarily recommend this radical dependence on God’s providence as a pattern for other ministries—but the needs always were met. Concerned with reaching individuals, the Schaeffers were content with small numbers. Over time, however, the effect of their work multiplied. Over 1,000 L’Abri alumni attended the jubilee celebration, an event that was equal parts conference and family reunion.

Full Article: Schaeffer: Taking the roof off

Vajrarupini Buddhist Center

San Diego Buddhism“People are Karma-producing machines. That is all we do and all we have ever been doing,” said Jeff Goin, a resident teacher at Vajrarupini Buddhist Center. Karma is the belief that for every action there are effects that occur because of this action. Twenty-five students listened to Goin teach the introductory class, Advice for a Happy Life , based on the teachings of Atisha, a spiritual guide from India. Goin taught on contentment, the third class of a six-part series. “Contentment is happy acceptance of any circumstance we are experiencing. We all want to feel good, to have happiness and contentment. Often we think, ‘I’m a good person. I don’t kick puppies. Why do bad things happen to me?’ It is because of Karma.” Goin said once the students understand Karma, they can understand how the world works and become content. “Karma is built up over multiple lifetimes as you make decisions and later feel the effect of these previous actions. What happens to us is the result of these countless lives before us. Often thousands of years can pass before we will feel the effects of our previous actions. Here lies the key to contentment. If the things you desire do not come, it is due to Karma a long time ago. So keep a happy and relaxed mind. If we are unhappy about someone who is yelling at us, we might as well be unhappy at the tide of the ocean. If we are mad that someone swindled us, we might as well be mad at clouds that bring rain. If you experience praise or blame, if you are poor or have abundant resources, you can be content knowing, I just created the Karma to experience this.”

Full Article: Vajrarupini Buddhist Center

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