I finally found out!

I finally found out why I have got so many hits on my post “Not So Encouraging.” I WAS featured on Old Truth’s website on March 27th. Here it is a month and a half later and I finally find my post! I think the buzz is finally going down because since I posted the 46th comment on my buddy Derek’s “New Calvinism” I have had no response. Here is a pic from Old Truth’s site…

Will Goodwin had an excellent post on the issue. I definitely agree with him 100%!

Not so encouraging…

My pastor friend Michael at Oak Leaf has broken his rule about commenting on critical web sites about his church. He has been very nice in his responses, but the Calvinist of the world are uniting against him. I am no theological expert by far… but there are some things that these guys are saying that absolutely scare me. I just got finished reading Romans not to long ago (I wish I would have been to the mens crack of dawn bible study).

Romans 10:9-15 says:

9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]

14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

If you boil down what some of these Calvinist are saying… they are saying that God is really mean! They say he has already selected an elect group of people that get to go to heaven, and then all the other people he has chosen for them to go to hell. I’m sorry… but I just don’t see how if anyone can call on the name of the Lord and be saved, then have problems understanding that. Anybody can receive a new heart by accepting Christ as savior and making him Lord of their life.

I am not a theologian – so I might be wrong. I just feel that fighting over if somebody was actually saved or not is a waste of our energy. I am afraid that many of these guys need to examine themselves. I am afraid they are calling out Michael because they are jealous of his ministry at Oakleaf growing while their elect flock is dying out. I don’t know these guys hearts so I can’t tell. They might really think they are ridding the world of false doctrine. I don’t mean to come off mean, but this has just been a trend that has been disturbing me lately. I could go on more and more about Puritan reading (Anybody heard of the Salem Witch trials?) and things like that, but I really don’t think this is the place. I am no expert so what I say is purely opinion. I think I am going to have to put one of those disclaimers on my blog saying “Any opinions, conclusions or hints of wisdom expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of ______________, or any of the staff members.”

Tough Skin

For the past several weeks I have been have been following Perry Noble’s post on dealing with criticism. Perry has whole websites dedicated to criticizing him and his leadership style. They mainly focus on how he is too over evangelistic… wow… How can you not be excited about a ministry that is bringing people to Christ.

If people who spend hours creating websites to criticize pastors wasn’t scary enough, Oak Leaf Church Pastor Michael Lukaszewski had even scarier people come out of the wood work with comments on one of his latest post.

Michael is right on target with his views on children in the church, but this subject created teeth gnashing and scathing comments.

TJ writes

“This is utter hogwash……what in the world are you doing showing the last samuari in the service anyway…..Jesus said let the children come to me…if the service can’t be for the whole family maybe you should rethink CHURCH….FAMILIES and CHILDREN…….USE THE BIBLE and get rid of thse stupid movies in the serivce…..we left a church because they showed the Incredibles to BABYSIT ths kids instead of have a WORSHIP SERVICE…we left another church becasue they had THE EMPEROR’s NEW GROOVE on the screen…what does that have to do with Jesus…some flip, lame mumbled answer of “there’s a lesson in it”……the children’s “minister” told me…..we have sex in the church services, 3-D movies in the services, American Idol backdrops in the services, coffee bars, cafe’s, bowling alleys…DO WE HAVE JESUS IN THE SERVICES…..I AM HIS PRESENCE……
NO!!! WE HAVE A 3 RING CIRCUS…..clowns on PARADE from the Pulpit to the nursery workers….
GROW UP!!!”

Please note how TJ says “I am his presence” – I know this has to be a typo but I can’t help noticing the implications behind that statement.

Shannon Ledford writes

“You sir as the pastor of your church ought to be ashamed of yourself for snipping back at your congregation through your blog. The word childish comes to mind.
The whole tone of your post is sarcastic. That is really juvenile coming from a pastor. However acting juvenile seems to be the latest fad in some churches.
Also you claim in a rather sarcastic way that there is nothing honorable about having your child in a service that is not designed for children.
Your ignorant. You can’t even realize the foolishness of what your saying. Little children can’t come to your morning worship sevice because the content might be to crass or to off color etc….. I ask you sir Where is the honor in that?
In a world full people that are bombarded by the filth of our present culture we have sharp dudes like you giving them more of it in church.
I know this flies in the face of the poor current state of what is considered “Ministry” today in evangelical circles but have you and those of your ilk ever considered the thought that maybe just maybe people out there are looking for someone and something to rescue them from the world the flesh and the devil? Instead all the hip , cool, so called relevant folks are doing nothing but becoming another avenue for the devil to spread his deceitfullness.
Maybe if you preached the Bible instead of videos and movie clips from stupid movies you might not have to put a rating on your sevices.
How pathetic.”

Wow… How scary is that. It’s amazing what somebody can write hiding behind a computer screen.

Jack writes:

“Does the church really need relevant series on SEX??? Preach the word and quit conforming to the world pastor.
When I read rubbish like this, it makes me sick! Apostasy has arrived!”

Yes the church needs relevant series on SEX! Sex is in the bible – just read Song of Solomon. It is scary that people don’t think that biblical teaching on sex has no place in church. Where else are people going to learn about God’s plan for sex? Jack’s statement is scary to me on so many levels.

Donald writes:

“Now we know why you were not called of God to lead anyone…

you are a selfish child yourself (evident from the tantrum you have put on display…typical American, child of a boomer, who was spoiled and is now a little selfish, degenerate, who is in rebellion to the Lord God and to busy worrying about me, me, me… (and showing many biblical signs that you may need to “check yourself”, for those who can understand that means “examine oneself” to see if you really are in the faith…
I think the kiddie room with crayons and fun and toons, may be the place for you!”

Does self-righteous describe this… No comment from me except – SCAREY!

Jen writes:

“I sat through many adult church services (old fashioned ones) and I remember a lot of things that I didn’t realize until later.
Yours is not a church; it’s an ex-rated entertainment centre.”

Wow Jen! I am impressed she remembers things… The few things I remember from “big church” have never realized themselves to me. If Jen wants to see an ex-rated entertainment centre… I’m sure I could show her one, but I know that Church wouldn’t be in any of there names.

I didn’t mean to belabor these statements over and over again… I just wanted for yall to get the scope of how rampant this critical problem is. Fortunately later comments to the article were positive and uplifting. Not everybody is in the business of pulling people down.

Be positive and encouraging in your comments.

Pastors… follow Perry’s lead in not wasting time responding to critics. When I first learned that Ed Young has his assistant filter his letters, emails, and notes I didn’t fully understand why, but if you are being bombarded by criticism this is a great way to help deal with it.

Lay people… be encouraging and uplifting to your leaders. There is a huge weight on their shoulders, and they need to be supported.

Just a few late night thoughts on some things that have been bothering me.