No, the world won’t end on September 23rd and, Fox News, believe it or not, there is no such thing as a ‘Christian numerologist.’ (And, who are the other Christian numerologists in the headline, beyond the one quoted?)Every time end-of-the-world predictions resurface in the media, it is important that we ask ourselves, “Is this helpful? Is peddling these falsehoods a good way to contribute to meaningful, helpful discussions about the end times?”Of course, the answer to this is no, they most definitely do not.Every time.
Dividing up your tithe is “better than tossing an occasional spare $5 bill into the collection plate and thinking we have done our part,” said Douglas LeBlanc, author of Tithing: Test Me in This. But it isn’t what God asks.“How I donate money expresses power,” LeBlanc said. “If I carve my tithe into slices of my own liking, I tighten my grip on power, and mammon tightens its grip on me. I am better aware of the ever-deepening joy found in God’s generosity when I surrender control of the first 10 percent to the community that welcomes me, a wretched sinner, week after week and challenges me to become something more.”
One of the most foundational lessons for church leaders in a fast-moving, ever-changing world is to remind yourself what business you are actually in.You are not in the Sunday school business.You are not in the traditional (or contemporary) music business.You are not in the door-to-door visitation business.You are not in the… well, plug in whatever method or program you like.You are in the worship business.You are in the discipleship business.You are in the community business.You are in the ministry business.You are in the evangelism business.
Hmmm… Would you agree fellow Lutherans? FH
Dear Pope Francis, Maybe you have heard: 2017 is a big year for Lutherans. Many are giddy with excitement as we commemorate the audacity of a certain 16th-century Augustinian monk, who on Oct. 31, 1517, nailed his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg. Fingers flutter across keyboards feverishly extolling or disputing Martin Luther’s contributions and flaws. But I—one who has marinated in American Lutheranism most of her life—find myself writing to you, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps
America’s youngest religious groups are all non-Christian. Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are all far younger than white Christian groups. At least one-third of Muslims (42%), Hindus (36%) and Buddhists (35%) are under the age of 30. Roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans are also under 30. In contrast, white Christian groups are aging. Slightly more than one in ten white Catholics (11%), white evangelical Protestants (11%) and white mainline Protestants (14%) are under 30.
About 17 percent of Americans now identify as white evangelical, compared to 23 percent a decade ago, according to the survey. Membership in the conservative Southern Baptist Convention, the largest U.S. Protestant group, dropped to 15.2 million last year, its lowest number since 1990, according to an analysis by Chuck Kelley, president of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Source: News from The Associated Press
Thought provoking. FH
We wonder why people are turned off by Christianity. I have news for us: it’s not Jesus who is offending people much these days. It’s us, his followers. I fear that a large sector of Christianity in America needs to get saved all over again, and I say that with tears, fear and a good deal of trembling.