Tag Archives: culture

CULTURAL CHRISTIANS


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard


CULTURAL CHRISTIANS
The current President of the United States of America boldly states in International media that the United States is not a “Christian country!” To a generation largely ignorant of history, he lauds the (unfounded) contributions to our advancement by Muslim nations. There is outcry, but not loud, and not long. As national foundations are made to crumble, one may still hear fainted laments, “But we are a Christian nation!” I submit to readers that while this great nation was founded on the Judeo-Christian teaching of Holy Writ, the definition of “Christian” by that holy book does not agree with the common, modern understanding of the word; that reality overwhelmingly reveals that “Christian” nowadays more pointedly means “Cultural Christian.” Think about it!
Churches of all types, brands, and contradictory doctrinal standing are accepted as “Christian” because they purport to hold to the historical fact that a man named Jesus came as the Son of God into the world, and was crucified on a Roman Cross. That certainly is a true, historical and biblical fact, but accepting that alone does not qualify a person or an institution to be a Christian, except in the cultural sense.
Cultural Christians believe without question that any church is Christian simply because it purports to be. Folks do whatever is necessary to be added to the membership rolls of the “church of their choice,” but care little about learning what it teaches or where it came from let alone what Holy Writ declares. Attendance is largely limited to AME (Armistice Day, Mother’s Day, and Easter) attendees which qualifies them to boldly make their spurious claim.
Cultural Christians find that such membership may allow them to inflate claims of contributions for tax advantages, it insulates them from the outreach of more evangelical disciples, and gives them a false sense of security that they could not be in error due to the large numbers of educated people who have made, similar decisions; it affords them social, business, and recreational interaction at minimal costs.
Nowadays, humor may be extracted from the inability of young and old alike on the street being unable to answer important questions in civics, but let’s hope the questions do not turn to the Bible. It would be disastrous , which, of course, it will be when cultural Christianity is offered to the Master as being the real thing!

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Christians Cave to a Confused, Corrupt Culture! Don Boys, Ph.D.


 

http://donboys.cstnews.com/christians-cave-to-a-confused-corrupt-culture

 

The early Christian churches captured and transformed the Roman Empire with the Gospel! Famous historian Will Durant wrote, “Caesar and Christ had met in the arena and Christ had won.” That would not be an accurate statement of contemporary Christianity in view of the major mischief of the U.S. Supreme Court recently, the Congress, and the President. It appears that Churches have lost their power, Christians have lost their purity, and the culture is in the pits. Christians have caved to the confused, corrupt culture and the reason is massive pulpit failure.

 

Many loosey-goosey preachers teach that Christians should be deeply involved with the culture: sing all the popular songs, attend all the vile Hollywood movies, watch the most popular television shows, wear the newest clothes (however seductive, ugly, and revealing they may be), and be able to “jive” with the most ungodly people even if normal listeners have no comprehension of what is said.

 

However, that is not the way it is supposed to be.  Christians are not to be moved by the culture; they are to move the culture. That is not happening today. Professing Christians, even members of Bible-preaching churches, are among the most worldly, weird, even wicked people in town! Most show no shame at their ungodly life and even defend it!

 

The prophet asked in Jeremiah 6:15, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.” As years have passed, I have been surprised then shocked and stunned  at what I have observed in good churches: the general worldly attitude, the aping of the world’s dress standards, the use of four letter words, the loose handling of the opposite sex even in public. I wonder if parents have tried to instill in their children any kind of character. When reproved, they usually are offended and hardly ever are ashamed. Is shame passé like guilt, gratitude, and grace?

 

Those who declare that “It’s always been this way” are wrong. While there have always been some people without character, it has not been general until recent years. Early Christians influenced society by treating slaves, children, and women compassionately. Christians picked up abandoned babies left on the street to die and raised them as their own even when it was illegal to do so! Christ placed women on a high pedestal and Paul continued to move the culture of his day. The early Christians “turned the world upside down!” Pagan religions had the Empire by the throat and Christians broke that hold and destroyed the pagan religions with the truth. Christ’s birth even designates the date.

 

Christ established the Good Samaritan ethic to sacrifice so as to help others who were suffering. He also told us to treat others the way we want to be treated. He taught His followers to be gracious and generous to the less fortunate. Moreover, He taught us to pray for our enemies and do good to those who despitefully use us. Such teachings changed the culture and set the tone for two thousand years. The emphasis on doing one’s best, striving for success, developed into the university system of the Middle Ages; and the major left leaning, anti-Christian, socialist, anything-goes American universities were begun by the sacrificial giving of Bible believing Christians. Such institutions today are without shame, spirituality, and little scholarship.

 

High standards of justice going back to the Old Testament and continuing into the New were unknown in Egypt, Ur,

Nineveh, Greece, and Rome. Our world has been influenced far more by Jerusalem than Rome or Athens. But today the influence is Hollywood, New York, and Paris. Few Christians choose to be numbered as a “peculiar” people so they are just odd instead.

 

Jim Daly of Focus on the Family told the media it would be “foolhardy not to recognize that the culture is moving more” in the direction of support for same-sex marriage. He also signaled a willingness to work with abortion-rights groups to find common ground on adoption.  Such is the successor of Dr. James Dodson who was forced out of Focus for being too confrontational with the culture. Daly doesn’t understand that Christians are supposed to challenge, confront, and change the culture!
Recently the head of Exodus International apologized for his stand against homosexuality and their attempt to help sodomites become normal, decent people. He and his board closed down their work and faded into the corrupt culture. One reason given for the shutdown is that the culture is changing. Sure it is because of people like him who have no anchor and no chart to guide them.
Most Christians are mental zombies gorging junk food in front of a television set. Seeking liberty, such carnal Christians bounce from liberty to license to licentiousness.

 

H. L. Hastings, in 1844, visited the Fiji Islands and was shocked to find that a human could be bought for $7.00 (or a musket), less than the price of a cow! Moreover, the purchased human could be beaten, worked to death then eaten. Then, the Gospel came to the islands and about 1200 churches were established and no human could be bought for any price. The true Gospel changes the culture.

 

During World War II, on a remote Pacific island, an American soldier met an English-speaking native carrying a Bible. The G.I. pointed to the Bible and sneered, “We educated people don’t put much faith in that Book anymore.” The islander grinned, patted his own belly saying, “Well, it’s a good thing for you that we do, or else you’d be in here by now.” Christ changes the culture but modern Christians have been moved by the culture into a corrupt, cowardly, compromising life.

 

Christians should not only be right when the world is right but be right when the world is wrong.
We don’t want or need a church that moves with the world but a church that moves the world. There is movement today but movement is not always progress. All movement seems to be in the wrong direction.  At least, in the USA.

 

(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 15 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. His shocking book, ISLAM: America’s Trojan Horse!; Christian Resistance: An Idea Whose Time Has Come–Again!; and The God Haters are all

available at Amazon.com. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)

 

Copyright 2013, Don Boys, Ph.D.

 

 

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J.R. GRAVES Life, Times and Teachings 10


NASHVILLE AND THE SECOND CHURCH

Dr. R.B.C. Howell was then in the zenith of his power and usefulness. He had recently written and published his great work on Communion, which has already passed through several editions. He was a man of culture and eloquence and of great literary ability, a tremendous worker, and at that time the most influential man among the Baptists of the South. In addition to his pastoral labors in connection with the First Baptist Church, of Nashville, he also was editor of The Baptist. In that paper of November, 1845, he wrote this commendatory word concerning Graves: “He has lately come from Kentucky and, although quite young, is thoroughly educated, exemplary in piety, ardently devoted to his work, and not without ministerial experience.”

A year of indefatigable and successful labor followed, during which time young Graves was brought into conflict with the almost supreme of Methodism in that city. The influence of such a man as Dr. Howell on him must have been very great. Some one has said: “A man is the sum of his antecedents.” As we shall see, young Graves imbibed much of this great man’s spirit and adopted many of his ecclesiastical views. Here, in fact began to operate those influences and reactions which in later years led to his writing The Great Iron Wheel.

BECOMES EDITOR OF THE BAPTIST

And now opened before young Graves a new and untried field of labor, and his real life work began. It came about in this way: In 1835 R.B.C. Howell started a small quarto paper in Nashville called The Baptist. It continued for three years and was then merged in the Banner and Pioneer, which was published in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Howell retained the position of associate editor, or Tennessee editor. Five years later, in 1842, The Baptist, was resuscitated under the ownership of the General Association of Middle Tennessee and Northern Alabama, with Dr. Howell again as editor. The paper did not pay expenses and its circulation ran a little more than one thousand. Young Graves, while pastor of the Second Baptist Church, wrote stirring articles for The Baptist often controversial, which made a most favorable impression. At the General Association of 1846, Dr. Howell resigned the editorship and the executive committee of the Association elected J.R. Graves his successor. He at first declined because, in becoming editor, he would have to assume somewhat heavy responsibilities. It was characteristic of Dr. Graves that he sought to avoid heavy responsibilities, especially in the denominational life, but he at length accepted and his real life work was already begun.

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Huckabee:Evangelicals Will Walk if GOP Backs Gay Marriage


Wednesday, March 20, 2013 05:49 PM

By: Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

Mike Huckabee warns that Republicans risk losing the vote from evangelical Christians if they back away from their opposition to gay marriage.

Last week, Ohio Sen. Bob Portman announced he has reversed his position and now supports gay marriage.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee — and ordained Southern Baptist minister — was asked if he sees the GOP ever pivoting and backing gay marriage.

“They might. And if they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk,” he responds.

“And it’s not because there’s an anti-homosexual mood, and nobody’s homophobic that I know of, but many of us, and I consider myself included, base our standards not on the latest Washington Post poll, but on an objective standard, not a subjective standard.

“I have great sympathy and extraordinary admiration for Sen. Portman. I consider him a friend and I value his work in the Senate and think he’s a great person. The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think, maybe even some personal experiences, and we don’t regard a lot of these issues from the standpoint of an objective standard.

“Let me explain what I mean by that. If we have subjective standards, that means that we’re willing to move our standards based on the prevailing whims of culture. Politicians have an obligation to be thermostats, not just thermometers. They’re not simply to reflect the temperature of the room, or the culture, as it were. They’re to set the standards for law, for what’s right, for what’s wrong, understanding that not everybody’s going to agree with it.
“On this issue, I recognize the culture is moving away from the traditional standard, but it’s almost like saying, well, we have a basketball team and nobody on the team can hit the goal that’s 10 feet off the floor so we’re going to lower the goal down to six feet and that way everybody can slam dunk the ball.

“So the question is, have you improved your basketball game? Or have you actually just changed the standard so it looks like you’re doing better? And that’s my concern.”

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ENTERTAINING OR WORSHIPPING?


Fellowship in the Woodlands
By Mike Adams
1/2/2013

Most of America’s problems are cultural. Even our economic problems stem from the cultural rejection of personal responsibility and the acceptance of collective responsibility. And none of our problems would be as bad if the church was still shaping the culture instead of merely responding to it. I was reminded of this during my annual holiday trip home to The Woodlands, Texas.
I’ve attended Christmas Eve services four out of the last six years at the Woodlands Church (formerly Fellowship of the Woodlands), which is a Southern Baptist mega church that keeps its Baptist affiliation well hidden from the general public. That is symptomatic of what ails the church in 21st Century America. Production and marketing take center stage. Core beliefs are lost somewhere in the process.
Make no mistake about it; the production is good at The Woodlands Church. The set is grand and the music is wonderful. Pastor Kerry Shook and his wife Chris are largely responsible for that. Their son, a musician living in Nashville, comes home to perform in the Christmas services every year. I’ve seldom heard a more talented young singer and guitarist.
Couched in the musical productions of these mega churches, one sees an overwhelming desire to deliver a product that demonstrates the cultural relevance of the church. This is especially true on holidays when the church has more visitors than usual. This Christmas Eve, one of the singers was dressed like Michael Jackson and was moon walking around the stage as others sang. I didn’t see a likeness of baby Jesus in a manger. But I saw a likeness of Michael Jackson in a sequin outfit.
Many people dispute whether Jackson was a pedophile. No one disputes that he is still culturally relevant. Nonetheless, it was strange seeing Michael Jackson’s likeness on stage just minutes after the church staff assured parents that the church nursery provided a safe environment for their young children. Mega churches are seldom short on cash or irony.
After the music, an enormous train engine (actually, it was a life size model) appeared in the middle of the stage. It was slowly moved in on a set of make shift tracks in the midst of smoke and accompanied by the sound of a real train whistle. The pastor boasted that the whistle could be heard all the way over on highway 242. I agreed that the set was impressive. It probably took the church staff as much time to build it as would have been required to build a medium sized home for an impoverished Houston family.
The crowd at Woodlands Church also got to see a YouTube video of a man watching an old train pull into a station. I still don’t understand the point of showing the video, which featured a man so excited to see an old train that he took the Lord’s name in vain three times. Let that sink in for a minute: The Woodlands Church played (in church, mind you) a video in which a man was taking the Lord’s name in vain three times. And they did it as part of a Christmas Eve service celebrating the birth of our Lord.
It reminded me of the time I took the Lord’s name in vain in a lecture at Summit Ministries in 2010. I didn’t mean to do it. But it didn’t matter. The kids at the ministry let me have it – and rightfully so. I was absolutely in the wrong.
My question for the mega church is simple: how did the commandment-violating video get past the entire staff at the Woodlands Church without someone catching it and correcting it? It’s pretty easy to do an overdub on “oh my God” to turn it into “oh my.” But the entire staff missed it. Or perhaps they didn’t care.
Unlike my teenaged Summit students, senior pastor Kerry Shook couldn’t see anything wrong with playing that video in church on Christmas Eve – even though its narrator took the Lord’s name in vain three times. He just laughed at it. And that was all that mattered. The service wasn’t meant to honor God. It was meant to entertain.
Kerry and Chris delivered a joint sermon, which had a broad general theme connected to the giant locomotive that stood behind them. The thesis was that we need to relinquish our need to control people and circumstances and instead let God direct our lives. But during the short sermon, Kerry’s wife said something rather unusual. It had to do with holy moments in our lives. It was as morally confused a statement as I have ever heard inside a place calling itself a church.
Without batting an eye, Chris Shook stated that all of the moments in our lives are equally holy no matter what we are doing because they were all created by God. So she insisted that we must learn to live in the moment, rather than seek a holy moment – because, once again, all moments are holy, and equally so.
To illustrate the error of Chris Shook’s statement, consider these “equally holy” moments, which were “all created by God”:

-A man sees a woman being raped and intervenes to stop the attack.

-A man sees a woman being raped and decides to join in.

-A man gives his wife a dozen roses.

-A man gives his wife herpes.

-A man tells his grandmother she is a saint.

-A man tells his grandmother she is a whore.
Obviously, not every moment in our lives is equally holy or God honoring “no matter what we are doing.” It matters very much what we are doing. Everyone knows that, including Chris’ husband Kerry who contradicted his wife about five minutes later. Near the end of their joint sermon, Kerry thanked people for coming to The Woodlands Church on “Christmas Eve, one of the holiest nights of the year.”
Put simply, there can be no holier or holiest night if every moment in our lives is equally holy. Either Kerry was right or his wife Chris was right. A cannot be not-A. The law of non-contradiction matters.
Every right thinking person knows that Kerry was right. His wife needed to sit down and let her husband the senior pastor deliver the correct message unencumbered by contradictions steeped in moral relativism. The culture teaches moral relativism. The church needs to correct it.
Of course, having Chris up there was the most important thing because it shows that The Woodlands Church really isn’t a Baptist Church after all. They let women preach and that shows they are culturally relevant. A little bad theology never hurt anyone.
In our holiest moments, we recognize that sound theology must defer to the secular doctrine of feminism. Some doctrines are holier than others. And relativism is culturally relevant even when it isn’t logically consistent.

Mike Adams
Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand, due out in April.

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