No Apologizing

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

The Bible….review #1


I am about half way through the first show.

I did find where the producers were interviewed on Bill O’Reilly.  They describe themselves as being devout Christians.  They talkedabout how they wanted to create a show that would depict the Bible as is… so how are they doing?

Well…The first major thing of note Lot and Sodom.

Okay so the show depicts this event as follows:  the two angels go to Sodom, and are apparently assaulted and wind up at Lots house.  Lot then allows the angels into the house where he holds off the crowd outside.  Lot tells the crowd that they (angels) are his guests and that he will not let them take them.  Well that didn’t please them so the angels (one of which was a Samurai master) went out and cut a pathway out of the city.

Ninja angel

 

What really happened?

Lot is sitting in the gateway to Sodom.  The two angels walk up, and apparently Lot recognizes them and refers to them as lords.  Lot invites them to his humble abode, but the angels refuse wanting to spend the night in the square.  Lot insists and finally the angels give way to Lot.  Now, while the conversation was going on someone or a group of people noticed the angels.  Lot leads the angels back to his house and cooks a meal.  Meanwhile a gang forms outside of Lots doors and they are demanding the two angels….to have sex with them.  Lot, protecting his guests offers his daughters to them.  That was unacceptable to this gang, and they threatened to hurt Lot and pressed forward to the door.  The angels pulled Lot back, struck the gang with blindness, and lead them out of the city.

I think the show really missed an opportunity with this.  Can you think of this scene where Lot chooses to protect the servants of God by giving his own daughters over to this gang of miscreants?  What a powerful message of sacrifice   This was the reason he was saved out of the city.   Also….what a way to cheapen everything that the show accomplished in a 2 minute segment.  A Samurai ..really?  Of everything that was in the show this will be the one thing remembered.  No one will be talking about the imagery of Noah’s arc or the faith of Abraham, or the depiction of Egypt (which was incredible)…but every is talking about ninja angels….

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The Bible on History Channel


So a new series is beginning on the History Channel tonight.  This series will be acting out the Bible and is creatively called….”The Bible”.  Reminds me of…”Allow myself to introduce….myself”.

the-bible-hero-v5-H


 

 

Anyway…I will be tuning in with a skeptical eye of course because cable channels like the History Channel tend to approach topics related Christianity from a secular perspective and tend to get many facts wrong or write it from the perspective that it is a fairly tale.

I will do my best to post my opinion of this show as it goes along.  I will have to say that I have pretty low expectations.  We shall see.

Here is a link to the show in case you haven’t heard of it.

Be sure to grab your Bible….get comfortable and hopefully enjoy!

Faith, Reason or both?


Below is my submission to the field exam for my PhD application.  It is unaltered and unedited.  What you are about to read was produced in 2 hours and 20 minutes. All total it was 12 pages of content.  I will say up front if you have an ocd for grammar or punctuation…you may want to turn away as this is not my strength.  I tend to focus very heavily on content rather than grammar.  That is what editors are for…

What is the relationship between human knowledge gained through research in the social sciences (reason) and those truths gained through the study of the Word of God (Faith)?

Introduction

The debate between the integration of faith and reason has been going on for hundreds of years. By and large there existed a harmony between the two until the 19th and 20th century. During recent history a large divide has now separated both faith and reason and their individual pursuit of truth. This paper will take a look at the relationship between faith and reason. This includes a brief survey of the current positions, the author’s position on the relationship and the impact on ministry that integration of faith and reason would have.

Current Positions

In order to fully understand the relationship between faith and reason a brief survey will be conducted of the current positions. It should be noted that this specific topic has been discussed or debated for some significant time and most positions have not changed historically. Mankind has always struggled with the boundaries between faith and reason and the ability to strike a balance of sorts. The three dominant current positions can be defined as follows: faith and reason are compatible (compatiblism), faith and reason are incompatible (incompatiblism), and faith corrupts reason (post-modernistic incompatiblism).

Compatiblism

Compatiblism could be said to have its roots with Augustine. This view point has been slightly modified over time, and has had one or two deviations from its fundamental premise. The premise of compatiblism is that faith and reason are compatible. Compatiblism believes that there is a unique relationship between faith and reason that allows one to work with the other.

In this line of thought all truth is from God. Therefore, any truth that is discovered is of God whether it is discovered by science, or by faith. This also extends to the notion that an unbeliever, who seeks to discover a truth through reason and without faith, can indeed discover that truth. John Calvin stated “they are superstitious who dare not borrow anything from profane writers. For since all truth is from God, if anything has been aptly or truly said by those who have not piety, it ought not to be repudiated.”1 This view holds the position that man, though flawed is able to ascertain truth through human reason. However, that truth that he obtains is from and of God.

There are some fundamental assumptions with the position of compatiblism. Those who believe in compatiblism believe that there is an absolute truth that has been given by God. As a result, the search for that truth either through faith or reason will ultimately point to God. Thus, faith becomes a sounding board for reason.

Incompatiblism

The second position to be discussed is the position that faith and reason are simply incompatible. This line of thought can be dated back to Tertullian and can be seen as recently at Van Til. The premise behind incompatiblism is that man is fallen, and through a corrupt mind they are unable to reason truth for themselves. As a result, faith is required to be able to discover the truth.

In this sense the authority of scripture is more than enough and reason must be submitted to scripture, not vice versa. Van Til states “We cannot subject the authoritative pronouncement of scripture about reality to the scrutiny of reason because it is reason itself that learns of its proper function from Scripture.”2 This position views a humans ability to reason through the eyes of scripture only and that human knowledge cannot be obtained without the Bible.

The basic assumptions of this position are very similar to that of compatiblism. Incompatiblism believes that there is an absolute truth that has been delivered by God. However, incompatiblism places a heavy emphasis on the fact that man has a fallen mind and is thus unable to reason and discover God’s truth. This position no doubt comes from scripture similar to John 16 that states that Gods will lead us to all truth, and that His ways are beyond our ways.

Post-Modernistic Incompatiblism

The final position this paper will look at is the position where faith has corrupted reason. This can more adequately be described as a post-modernistic view of faith. This position holds that faith is a lack of, and requires no intellectual authority. As a result faith in anything is meaningless. They view faith as an impediment to discovering truth through the means a reason or human knowledge.

Richard Dawkins, a well-known critic of the Christian faith described faith as “the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”3 This clearly demonstrates a combative view of faith from a humanistic stand point. In this sense there is only one side to the ability to discover truth, and that is the human’s ability to reason.

The assumptions for the post-modernistic incompatiblist are that God simply doesn’t exist. They come to this conclusion based under the assumption that science has already proven that God does not exist. Therefore, they are able to draw a conclusion that faith in a God, that doesn’t exist, is a waste of time.

Faith and Reason

Prior to looking at the relationship between reason and faith it is important to set the appropriate definitions for each. The definition of faith can be found in Hebrews 11:1 where the author states “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”4 This definition matches and perhaps is more refined than definitions that can be offered by secular scholars and dictionaries. Reason, can be defined as the discovery of truth through human means. Reason can be best described as a process to ascertain truth, with the conclusion being the discovery of irrefutable truth. Aquinas defines faith and reason as being two truths, “one to which the inquiry of reason can reach, the other surpasses the whole ability of human reason.”5 This notes the clear difference between the two from a basic definition perspective. Wilhoit comments on this further by stating that truth is “a question of origins – with faith representing the sphere of understanding as revealed by God in His Word, and learning representing the sphere of understanding as discovered and recorded by man.”6

There is a clear distinction between faith and reason in that one is obtained through human understanding, and the other is revealed by God.

Faith and reason most certainly have a relationship. The post modernistic view fails on the simple point that no matter what their own faith is, people will continue to have faith. The position of this paper is that faith and reason have three primary relationships: first, faith is dependent on reason; second, reason is not dependent on faith; and finally, faith can only exist in the absence of reason.

Faith is Dependent on Reason

When one looks at the very nature of faith it is belief in something that has not been seen. That being said there is a point in time where all faith will be revealed as either truth or not truth. In this sense we see that reason will ultimately provide a validation or invalidation of faith. Reason can serve in judgment of faith as long as the truth discovered by reason is absolute and without flaw.

John Locke concluded “reason is given the task of determining whether an alleged revelation is genuinely from God. Though it is certain that whatever God has revealed is true, reason must judge whether any particular revelation comes from God and a revelation should only be accepted if it has the backing of reason in this way.”7 This conclusion, while taken to an extreme can produce negative consequences, illustrates the point that reason will ultimately, in one day sit in judgment of faith. This is an unavoidable reality that ends with the second coming of Christ which at that point all will be revealed.

Faith can only exist without reason

This second point illustrates the reality that if a verifiable truth has been gained through reason, then there is no need for faith. To illustrate this point one need only look at the advancements in biblical archaeology and history. History now demonstrates to us that there was in fact a man named Jesus who walked around during the early first century. This requires no faith because human knowledge and reason has demonstrated this to be irrefutably true. This required an amount of faith on the part of those who lived in the 17th century (and others). In the 21st century it requires no faith to know that Jesus existed. However, it still requires faith that Jesus was the son of God, and that he arose from the grave 3 days after his crucifixion.

In this sense the need for faith will and always has been continuing to diminish as more and more truth is revealed by God. In Romans 1:18-23 Paul notes that God has made it clear to all so that none are without excuse. Aquinas stated in Questiones Disputatae de Veritate that truth discovered by both faith and reason are superfluous.8The truth of God has been available for us to find since creation. As we continue to find it through reason, it diminishes the need for faith and faith is replaced by God’s truth being revealed.

Reason is not dependent on faith

Scripture provides a clear picture that we all contain the faculty to reason and discover truth, and that it is not reliant on our faith in Jesus Christ. Looking at Matthew 16 we see Jesus talking to Pharisees about the red sky at night. The Pharisees are looking for a sign, and Jesus points out that their ability to reason is intact and working. They know that red sky at night is a sailors delight and that red sky at morning is a sailors warning. Jesus is able to rebuke them because they have the ability to reason and discern the truth, even without faith, yet they choose not to.

Those who argue that non-believers are unable to discover truth through reason are in denial as it contradicts the history of humanity. Mankind was given the ability to reason from God. Thus truth can, and has been discovered independently of faith. This demonstrates the nature of origins for the discovery of truth and the reliance of faith on reason for verification of that truth. Reason has the unique position of being able to validate faith, or theory. Faith is a belief that something is true, and reason is the process to ascertain the truth that one has faith in. As a result we see that reason is not dependent on faith, faith is dependent on reason and that faith can only exist in the absence of reason.

Fundamental Premise of Impact on Ministry

The integration of faith and reason is critical to the impact of ministry. It is important to note the author’s fundamental premise and presuppositions before discussing the impact on ministry.

The church should never lose sight of the fact that all truth is God’s truth, and that all truth that has been discovered whether through faith or reason will ultimately point to God. Holmes stated “if all truth is God’s truth and truth is one, then God does not contradict himself and in the final analysis there will be no conflict between the truth taught in scripture and truth available from other sources.”9 Additionally, one should take note that truth revealed by special revelation can only be attained by faith, and not through human reason. In this sense there are two truths, one discoverable by faith, and one discoverable through human knowledge.

Impact on Ministry

In reviewing the impact of the integration of faith and reason into ministry the author read through proposed methods to integrate faith and reason into ministry from Robert Harris. Harris concludes that in order to integrate the two we would need to bounce new knowledge off of the old verified knowledge. This would be to validate both faith against faith and reason against faith and reason. Harris also noted that it is important that truth and knowledge must transfer from one area to another. This is important in that there is one truth and that truth should be transferred from one area to another.

These two approaches offered by Harris provide a brief way to integrate both faith and reason in a way that will allow faith to be reasonably validated by reason and in a way that will trust that all truth that has been discovered will ultimately point to God and give Him glory.

Conclusion

The debate over faith and reason has heated up as of late with the New – Atheist movement. Their argument being that faith is a ridiculous notion that can never be compatible with reason. Hitchens stated “all attempts to reconcile faith with science and reason are consigned to failure and ridicule.”10 This author believes that Hitchens, and Dawkins statements must be taken with some validity and explored.

How does one draw a conclusion that so belittles the notion of faith? The author believes that it is because more times than not, these men have seen Christians express blind faith rather that reasonable faith. In fact, one could more than likely draw a comparison to Post-Modernism and New-Atheism to the downfall of intellectual Christianity. Atheists are able to draw the conclusions that Hitchens or Dawkins draw due to the fact that when challenged a number of Christians cannot express their faith from the perspective of reason, rather “you just gotta have a faith”.

Additionally, with tele-evangislm and a heavy emphasis placed on faith and spiritual revelation most Christians today do not feel the need to understand the historical background of Philippians or the arguments for law of first beginnings. This has lead to a dumbing down of Christianity and has validated the response from Atheists when Christians follow blindly.

Faith and reason do inevitably have a relationship that is organic and fluid. However both are dependent upon the one truth that has been delivered by God. This truth then should be extrapolated and applied where useful to benefit His kingdom. John 16 tells us that He will lead us to all truth. He will lead us with through special revelation or through His general revelation.

Reference List

Alexander Miller, Faith and Learning: Christian Faith and Higher Education in Twentieth Century America (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1977), p. 195 quoting John Calvin’s Commentary on Titus, Opera III

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Contra Gentiles (Translated by Anton C Pegis) New York: Hanover House 1955-1957 (Book 1 Chapter 4)

________________ Questiones Disputatae de Veritate (Translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953.

Barth, Karl, The knowledge of God and the Service of God According to the Teaching of the Reformation. New York: Charles Schribers Sons, 1939.

Dawkins, Richard.  Untitled Lecture, Edinburgh Science Festival (1992)

_________________ The God Delusion, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company 2006 p. 346

Evans, C. Stephen Faith Beyond Reason Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998.

Harris, Sam, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005 p. 65

Harris, Robert J. Defining the integration of faith and learning. Virtual Salt 9/20/2003 http://www.virtualsalt.com/int/intdef.pdf

Hitchens, Christopher. God is not Great, New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007.

Holmes, Arthur The Idea of a Christian College Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1975

______________ All Truth is God’s Truth (Downers Grove:

InterVarsity Press, 1977), pp. 53, 8, 14.

Jensen, Steven. 2009. “Faith integration and the irreducible metaphors of disciplinary discourse.” Christian Scholar’s Review39, no. 1: 37-55. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed February 14, 2013).

Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding er. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975 Book IV.

Paul II, John. “Encyclical Letter Fides Et Ratio”, 1998. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

Sproul, R. C. Defending your Faith an Introduction to Apologetics. Wheaton: Illinois, 2003.

Wilhoit, Mel. “Faith and Learning Reconsidered, the Unity of Truth.” http://www.iclnet.org/pub/facdialogue/9/wilhoit

Stott, John. Your Mind Matters. Leicester, England Intervarsity Press.

Van Til, Corenelius, The Defense of the Faith. Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Presbyterian and reformed publishing CO, 1955

1 Alexander Miller, Faith and Learning: Christian Faith and Higher Education in Twentieth Century America (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1977), p. 195 quoting John Calvin’s Commentary on Titus, Opera III

2 Van Til, Corenelius. The Defense of the Faith. Phillipsburg, 212. New Jersey, Presbyterian and reformed publishing CO, 1955.

3 Dawkins, Richard.  Untitled Lecture, Edinburgh Science Festival (1992)

4 All scripture quoted in the paper will be from the ESV version.

5 Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Contra Gentiles (Translated by Anton C Pegis) New York: Hanover House 1955-1957 (Book 1 Chapter 4)

6 Mel Wilhoit. “Faith and Learning Reconsidered, the Unity of Truth.” http://www.iclnet.org/pub/facdialogue/9/wilhoit

7 Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding er. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975 Book IV.

8 Thomas Aquinas. Questiones Disputatae de Veritate (Translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953.

9 Holmes, Arthur The Idea of a Christian College Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1975

10 Hitchens, Christopher. God is not Great, 64. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007.

God is no longer an influence on the Democrat Party


What an interesting 48 hours from the Democrat Convention.  First we have the platform being approved with/without the following items:

–          God being completely removed from their platform

–          Jerusalem not recognized as the capital of Israel.

–          Total support of Gay Marriage

–          Total support of Abortion

Then comes the incredible events of yesterday.    Words can’t even describe this.  Just watch by clicking here.

You have probably one of the most revealing and awkward moments in recent political history.  A party denying God, and then…after push back from the people…leadership attempts to put Him back in, but the delegates apparently thought differently than the leaders.  Politico reports that President Obama knew that God and Jerusalem had been removed from the platform and did nothing until republicans started to question why speakers were mentioning God…something the party did not recognize, and the heat they received for turning their back on Israel.  Thus the vote on Wednesday.

The voting results now appears to be predetermined based on this photo:

 

It would appear that the outcome was…pre-ordained

 

This would explain the chairman’s reaction when the “No’s” were as numerous as the “Yay’s”.  Needless to say this whole thing is a mess.

So what of all of this?  I would argue the following.  The original platform that was adopted that removed God and officially did not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is the true heart of the Democrat Party.  Not only does the first vote demonstrate that, but also the fact that they were willing to have a second vote due only to political pressure.  This should not be a surprise to anyone that God has been removed.  The removal presents a more consistent view from the Democratic Party which maintains that God must be removed from politics at all costs.  Additionally, the platform supports two very big issues that the Bible does not, in any way condone (gay marriage and abortion).

Regardless of what the platform says (or doesn’t say) this is what the Democrat Party has become.  As Christian’s we must weigh this heavily as we begin to vote.  Sides have been chosen and we now have a party in America which officially does not recognize God, but rather a generic faith in anything.  In 48 hours this election has had yet another layer added to it…the election of the party which recognizes God, and the party that does not.

Beginning a Legacy…


“This is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down…” This is probably the only time you’ll ever see “The Fresh Prince” (a.k.a. Will Smith) quoted in this blog, but a little over 3 ½ years ago that’s exactly what happened. Robert has written in the blog about this event on several occasions – it was the time he and I were both laid-off from our long-standing jobs in downtown Kansas City. That time was one of those defining moments in both of our lives… For Robert, it marked the beginning of a time of unprecedented spiritual growth in his life – and he’s still growing. For me, it was God indicating that it was time for me to dive in to full-time pastoral ministry and He very quickly blessed me with a wonderful ministry as the youth pastor at Heaston Church in El Reno, Oklahoma… Looking back, I remember thinking, “Wow! This is an amazing journey that God is taking Robert on”, but thinking that He had sent me to a destination rather than on a journey. I was SO wrong!

I loved Heaston Church, El Reno, and pretty much the whole state of Oklahoma; I still do… Being called to Heaston was such a blessing and very much a homecoming to me and I believed with all my heart that it was very likely we’d be there until I retired. You see, the senior pastor there was planning on retiring in a few years and I thought that it would be awesome to prove myself to the elder board and the pastor as the youth pastor, finish my seminary and then be named as the successor. My wife and kids LOVED El Reno… Andrea had a job she cherished and was running the local MOPS ministry. Church was great. Sure, there were some ministry ups and downs, but there always are. We were settled – comfortable. But I’ve come to realize that God HATES comfortable and He couldn’t let us stay that way… He was about to turn up the heat.

I’m not sure how to describe the transformation that started to take place in my heart… and it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific catalyst because there were several… I guess the first spark was that I started realizing that while I knew I’ve been called to pastoral ministry for the rest of my life, I definitely wasn’t called to be a youth pastor for the same duration! My seminary classes were also stirring in me a passion for seeing God’s Kingdom built, but also stoking dissatisfaction with how this is only marginally attempted by many churches.

All this caused me to start asking the question: “what’s next”… I posed that question to one of my mentors, Michael Porter, who suggested we face to face the next time I was back in Kansas City so that we could talk through it. So, when I was back in KC for Christmas 2010, Andrea and I had breakfast with him and his wife. I expected a lot of back and forth and some kind of fatherly advice from him… I got no such thing… Michael had founded Fellowship of Grace in the Kansas City Northland in 2006 – and he is PASSIONATE about church planting. So instead of the types of advice I was expecting, all I got was the gentle suggestion that I should consider church planting when I decided God was done with me in youth ministry.

I don’t remember if I laughed in his face out loud or not… but I definitely did at least on the inside! Andrea just looked at him dumbfounded and said: “There are already so many churches… why would we need another one?” That is absolutely the wrong question to ask Michael if you are hoping for a short or easy-going conversation with him. He shared with us the fact that there were so many people who do not know Jesus in the KC Northland and that the population keeps skyrocketing, but the number of churches has remained stagnant and church attendance in many faltering… In other words, we are losing the battle for God’s Kingdom… But that more people come to Christ exponentially quicker through new churches than they do through established ones. I could tell he was broken hearted over it – something had changed in my heart too… In retrospect, I believe that I walked away from that breakfast knowing deep down that someday I was going to be involved in a church plant, somehow, someway… but not yet (or so I thought).

From that day I began thinking and praying about church planting consistently… in actuality it became a full-time obsession for me… I thought about it several times a day, every day, for hours at a time. The classes I was taking in seminary only fueled the fire more and more! I became massively discontented with how many established churches naturally become more and more inwardly focused, lose their passion to reach people who are far from God and therefore become less and less effective at fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) – don’t get me wrong… this is not a blanket statement saying ALL established churches are poor at reaching people for Jesus, but if they are going to be successful at it, they will have to fight the natural tendency to focus inwardly. I knew that I didn’t want to spin my wheels trying to fight to get a church to bust out of a rut that had been established for who knows how long – that kind of change tends to step on a lot of toes and I don’t naturally gravitate toward the type of confrontation that would require… I realized God shaped me more to begin something new. We kept praying and keeping in touch with Michael, who did a lot of listening and questioning without pushing…

God was working on Andrea too… and by mid-summer we were both on the same page – God was definitely calling us to plant a church… sometime… somewhere… but we didn’t have a clue where or when. We weren’t sure if He wanted me to first pastor somewhere at an established church to “get my feet wet”… All along I was getting more and more restless about getting going on what I sensed deeply God had called me to… But where and how? We knew nothing about planting a new church. Michael said that when we decided to make the move he’d love to help us in any way he could – including allowing me to serve in his church as a church planting intern so that he could take me under his wing and show me the ropes.

About that same time, I started getting more and more home-sick for Kansas City. We had had several opportunities to visit back there and each time it still felt homey… Remember, we still LOVED Oklahoma, but there was definitely a tugging in our hearts over Kansas City. However, we couldn’t imagine going there to plant a new work because we didn’t want to “compete” with Glenwood or Fellowship of Grace. I expressed this to Michael and he chuckled a little… He said that we ARE in a competition, not with any other church, but with everything that distracts people from connecting with God in the fellowship of a local church. Furthermore, he said he wouldn’t care if I planted a church right across the street from his church because he knew that there are people our church would reach that he wouldn’t be able to and vice versa.

It was settled… we were going to KC and we were going to intern with Michael, but we still believed that would be a few years down the road. Then, around September of 2011, Michael dropped a bomb on us… He said that he was planning on leading his church to begin being a church that planted other churches and trained pastors to be planters and… he would very much like it if God would see fit for us to be the first couple that they trained, and by the way… they’d like to get started January 1, 2012!

That rocked our world and started us in a praying frenzy… My ministry was going really well… Andrea loved her job… the kids were doing awesome in school and we had really close friends in El Reno that we didn’t want to leave… The housing market stank and the job market in Kansas City was horrible (I know several folk who have been out of work for years)… If it was going to be it was going to have to be God.

In early October, we communicated to Burge, Heaston’s pastor, that this was what God was calling us to and he was overwhelmingly supportive assuring us that the church would allow us to search for work and housing in KC while maintaining our ministries at Heaston – it didn’t take long for God to move. I found a job within a couple of weeks of looking (I actually had a choice between two jobs) and we sold our house without ever putting it on the market. We also found new housing in KC where the mortgage was over $200/month less than we were paying in Oklahoma! Also, Heaston (and several families therein) caught the vision for the need for a new church plant in Kansas City and are helping support us as domestic missionaries as we lay the ground work for a new church and get it up and running.

All of the Barnes family relocated from Oklahoma to Kansas City and attended Fellowship of Grace for the first time on January 1, 2012. We have been interning with Michael since then laying the practical and philosophical ground work necessary for the plant to be a success… But now the time has come where we are ready to go public. We are trusting God to help us establish a new church in the Kansas City Northland that focuses on ministering to families.

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To that end, we are actively seeking partners to participate in our launch in one of 4 ways: 1) Prayer support; 2) Financial support; 3) Joining the Launch Team; 4) Joining as a short-term missionary… Please check us out at www.LegacyChurchKC.org and contact us at https://www.facebook.com/#!/legacychurchkc to hear our vision for reaching Kansas City for Jesus!

More chick fil a pictures


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Chick fil a day pictures


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It’s Chick-Fila Day!


Okay gang…It is August 1st.  Make sure you have plans to get out to your nearest Chick-Fil-A to support them.  Chick-Fil-A is a very pro Christian organization.  In case you have been in a cave:  Chick-Fil-A story.

Word

Baptist Church in Mississippi…


Folks, this comes right out of the…”what were they thinking” file.  A church in Jackson, Mississippi told a couple that they could not marry in their church because…hold your breath folks….they were black.  I wish I could say that I was kidding.  I wish that this was some sarcastic play on modern times and politics, but alas…it is not.  This is a true story.  Here is a quick rundown of the story.

Charles Wilson and Te’Andrea were set to be married in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.  Shortly after the rehearsal, Rev. Stan Weatherford moved the wedding to another sanctuary.  The reason that it was moved is that a small group within the church did not want the couple to marry there because of their race.

According to the Reverend the venue was changed to avoid conflict within the church.  Additionally, Rev. Weatherford indicated to the Wilson’s that the congregation would fire him if he married them at his church.  The Pastor did not confirm or deny this accusation.

My Pastor warns of not jumping to conclusions and to be weary where only one side of the story is told.  However there are 4 sides to this story.

Side 1 – The Wilsons – They were scheduled to be wedded in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.  They were asked to change venues one or two days prior to the wedding by the Reverend of the Church.

Side 2 – Reverend Stan Weatherford – Asked the Wilsons to change venues of the wedding.  He does not say the reason for the change. However, he does state that he was trying to maintain the peace in the church and to avoid conflict with the church.

Side 3 – the Elect few – These are the people that asked or told the Reverend to change the venue.

Side 4 – The Congregation – These are the people who found out that something happened through the news.

The odd thing here is that there is no denial from the Church that race played a role in the change of venue.  Instead we get a hindsight is 20/20 statement from the Reverend.

We also have the Mississippi Baptist Convention praying for the church, and allowing the church to work through difficulties and disagreements of the church while making a statement that they reject racial discrimination.

I have no idea what really happened, but where there is smoke, there is fire, and gang there is a lot of smoke here.  Now, we have national headlines about the Southern Baptist Convention being racists.

Baptists have a severe perception battle they are fighting on numerous fronts.  I can attest to this first hand that people cringe when they hear the word Baptist.  MANY will choose not to go to a great church simply because of the word BAPTIST!  Which is a shame.    I would be willing to bet that 90%-95% of the Baptist churches are God fearing bible believing churches.  Every belief system has it’s extreme weirdo’s, Christianity is no exception.

The Church leadership seems to have forgotten that they are representative of Christ on earth!  As a result, their actions directly reflect on Christ.  Instead of putting Christ first they put their own personal hatred and ignorance ahead of the word of God.  There is not one thing that is biblical about racism.

What is also pitiful here is that (assuming this is what happened) a Reverend WILLINGLY did something grossly wrong to protect his job and keep the peace.  Rather than honoring the word of God he feared the condemnation of man.

All I can do is shake my head at this non-sense and pray that there is some side of this that is missing.  That all of this is somehow wrong.  However…I don’t think that will be the case.

Facebook modifies their mission statement


In case you missed it Facebook recently changed their mission statement to the following:

  

Facebook’s true mission…as long as you agree with them.

What makes me say this?

I have been paying attention to the whole Chik-Fil-A thing that is taking place.  If you need a quick rundown on this FOLLOW THIS LINK.

There is now another story developing.  This one involves the censorship of a Facebook page that was supporting Chick-fil-A  by having an eat in on August 1.  Mike Huckabee is claiming that Facebook intentionally took down the page for 12 hours.  (Story is here)

The point of the Facebook page was to support Chick-fil-A and its stance on Christian values.  There is little doubt that Chick-fil-A is taking a beating regarding the gay marriage debate.  Huckabee wanted to affirm a business willing to take that stand.  Facebook apparently attempted to circumvent this by taking down the page.  Huckabee called them on the carpet.

For some this may sound like a conspiracy theory only and that the page going down was just coincidence.  I for one believe this to be intentional.  Let me tell you why:  Facebook pages simply just don’t go missing for any periods of time… for no reason.  When was the last time you can EVER recall any of the pages you have ever visited on Facebook just….disappearing?  This would have to involve a change in the code.  Only two people have that access, a Facebook developer and a hacker and hacking has not been reported at Facebook.

If this makes you feel uncomfortable with Facebook because of what it did…it should.  Not only is this type of move censorship, but it is also Facebook imposing it’s values and beliefs on you by restricting your access to this site.

I would like to encourage all of you to take part in the Chick-fil-A appreciation day on August 1.  Show your support for a truly Christian organization.  www.Isupportchickfila.com

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