Friday, March 30, 2012

The Evangelical Industrial Complex? Palm Sunday and celebrity pastors

Palm Sunday shows the starkest contrast in the ministry of Jesus on this earth: the same crowd who shouted “Hosanna in the highest” that day was screaming “crucify Him” five days later on Good Friday. This wasn’t the first time Jesus lost popularity: in John 6, for example, thousands of His disciples left Him when they couldn’t handle His challenging message.

Jesus’ disregard for human popularity seems to starkly contrast with trends in the American Evangelical church world, especially among the great evangelical superstar pastors who have a massive following (among and outside their megachurch congregations), a sure-fire audience for the Christian bookselling industry.

The article here at about the Evangelical Industrial Complex (a play on President Eisenhower’s famed “Military Industrial Complex” speech of 1961, before he left office) is chilling. Has the American church sold out to a fandom mentality regarding its celebrity pastors, showing a fawning allegiance to them that would make a rock star blush? Give this article a good read and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ironic Picture of Year ... so far ...

What a contrast ... President Obama, whose administration is doing a bangup job of crushing religious freedom in America on an unprecedented scale, holding up an image of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and martyr who is an iconic figure of religious resistance to tyranny. The president received a copy of the book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy from author Eric Metaxas, the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast. Now, we can certainly pray that Obama will read this book and learn a thing or two about freedom of religion (as opposed to mere "freedom of worship" he and his co-religionist mouthpieces spout, where religious beliefs, practice and expression stay safely confined in the home or church building while we're forced to worship the "almighty" state).

And here's a Bonhoeffer quote our president can look up, from a radio speech Bonhoeffer gave two days after Hitler came to power in Germany: "Should the leader allow himself to succumb to the wishes of those he leads, who will always seek to turn him into an idol, then the image of the leader will gradually become the image of the misleader. This is the leader who makes an idol of himself and who thus mocks God."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Supreme Court: Colleges can ban Christian groups that disallow homosexual leaders

In one way, it shouldn't be surprising... given that we're in the end times. Plus, this is in the state where a city banned Bible meetings at a private home. But it's still a shocker. The Supreme Court said California universities can ban Christian groups for not alllowing homosexuals to be leaders. The story is here.

I'd like to see the California university system try this with Muslim groups. Mark Steyn recently reported that a British school system promoted the pro-lesbian children book Heather Has Two Mommies--but pulled it from the curriculum overnight when Muslim parents protested against it.

Maybe the Christian groups should forget the "university recognition," keep their meetings off campus and evangelize on campus.