Monday, July 15, 2013

All Around the Web - July 15, 2013

If Saturn were as close to us as the moon.

HT: The Atlantic

BibleMesh - Can the Church Flourish in a Culture That Embraces Sexual Immorality? |

In recent days Christians have rightly decried the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in favor of gay marriage, calling them unjust, unwise, and ungodly. The decisions will have adverse effects on society, and followers of Jesus should work tirelessly to see them overturned. At the same time, however, the Bible reminds us not to be discouraged or imagine that a culture awash in sexual immorality will rob the Church of its power. The first-century Roman Empire practiced and even embraced an array of sexual perversions, but God used that sin as a backdrop to highlight the power of the gospel and the holiness of His Church. Consider several of the cities where early believers lived.

Paul’s description of Gentile-dominated Rome included reference to homosexuality. Women there “exchanged natural relations for those that [were] contrary to nature” while men “likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another” (Romans 1:26-27). Indeed, Rome was a bustling metropolis that offered an array of sexual perversions to those seeking illicit pleasures. Yet in that city, the gospel proved to be “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believe[d]” (Romans 1:16), and the virtue of the Church was “known to all” (Romans 16:19).

Ancient Corinth was infamous for its wanton sexuality. Paul included among the common sinful lifestyles in Corinth “the sexually immoral,” “adulterers,” and “men who practice homosexuality” (1 Corinthians 6:9). Some Corinthian believers were even among those groups before their conversions. But when Paul preached the gospel there, “many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8).

Marvin Olasky - Give my regards to polygamy |

What Will and Grace did for homosexuality, Big Love did for polygamy, and the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually have to deal with it: Culture is a leading indicator of law. Those who won’t take the small step from two (of any sex) to three or four or five will be regarded as two-ist bigots.  

After Wednesday’s Supreme decision, the website Buzzfeed quoted three-wived Joe Darger as praising the court for taking “a step in correcting some inequality, and that’s certainly something that’s going to trickle down and impact us.” 
Anita Illig of Practical Polyamory told U.S. News & World Report, “We polyamorists are grateful to our brothers and sisters for blazing the marriage equality trail.” 

Early last year candidate Rick Santorum garnered criticism when he said, regarding marriage, “If you think it’s OK for two, you have to differentiate with me why it’s not OK for three.”

Eric Metaxas - Learning from Young Atheists |

Whereas his old youth pastor “knew the Bible” and made Phil “feel smart” about his faith even when he didn’t have all the answers, the new youth pastor taught less and played more.

Phil’s loss of faith coincided with his church’s attempt to ingratiate itself to him instead of challenging him. According to Taunton, Phil’s story “was on the whole typical of the stories we would hear from students across the country.”

These kids had attended church but “the mission and message of their churches was vague,” and manifested itself in offering “superficial answers to life’s difficult questions.” The ministers they respected were those “who took the Bible seriously,” not those who sought to entertain them or be their “buddy.”
Taunton also learned that, for many kids, their journey to unbelief was an emotional, not just an intellectual one.

Cal Thomas - No Standard |

The problem for people who believe in an Authority higher even than the Constitution is that in our increasingly secular and indifferent society it has become more difficult to persuade those who do not subscribe to an immutable standard to accept that view. It is nearly impossible to restrain a people intent on throwing off any and all restraints. History is full of examples of empires that collapsed from within before they were conquered from without.

The U.S. Supreme Court has narrowly, but effectively, removed another standard on the way to full acceptance of its right to redefine marriage and raise itself to a level higher than the Creator. What or who is to stop them? Various religious-political groups formed over many years to confront cultural erosion are in retreat and increasingly ineffective. 

Modern courts might have trouble with Thomas Jefferson’s declaration, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Is there anything that is self-evident today and not subject to challenge given the right circumstances?

Vision Room - 5 Reasons It’s More Important for Pastors to Use Social Media Than Churches |

  • Distant from Your People // If you are silent on social media you will increasingly be seen as aloof and disconnected as you refuse to be transparent to your community. Imagine a preacher who never told any stories about themselves? People will see you in the same light if you don’t use these tools.
  • Personal Medium // 87 of the top 100 accounts on Twitter are for people not brands or organizations. These tools are designed to make personal connection with people. As a church you can leverage them … but they are meant for people to connect with individuals.
  • Content Curation // Your people are out in the internet finding content of spiritual significance. Using social media to point to other sources of uplifting content is a part of your role. Equipping your people to follow Jesus can’t be outsourced to someone else … it’s a critical part of being a pastor. When you are silent on social media you are missing an vital opportunity to build up your community.
  • Insight Into People // Church leaders live in a bubble … often everyone we know is a part of the church. If we don’t work intentionally at it we will become isolated from the world we are attempting to reach. Engaging in social media gives you insight into the lives of people around you. Listen and watch what people are talking about it … it will give you insights to be a better leader.
  • Don’t Be Left Behind // Social media is moving beyond a fun tool for people to connect with friends to a critical communications channel. Not personally using social media is like refusing to have an email address or deciding that cel phones are too modern of a technology … you will become increasingly left behind by culture. You will lose influence.

Denny Burk - Prosperity Preachers featured in new reality show |

Post a Comment