The church needs to focus on creating a Gospel-centered evangelistic culture rather than just claiming to be evangelical, says Dave Bruskas, teaching pastor and executive elder at Mars Hill Church.
In a new blog post, Bruskas advises churches to steer away from focusing on baptism numbers and instead work to incorporate seven characteristics of a local church with a similar culture, as noted by the Apostle Paul in the Bible.
"While many churches would consider themselves to be evangelical, I have personally found very few of these same churches to have a strong evangelistic culture, Bruskas writes on theresurgence.com. "I wouldn't evaluate this through the number of conversions reported by churches. That is solely the work of the Holy Spirit." more >>
In the wake of the Mozilla controversy, the Duck Dynasty controversy, the Chick-fil-A boycott/buycott, and the countless examples of intolerance and intimidation against conservatives on campuses across the country, it seems rather clear that - as Michelle Goldberg notes in The Nation – there is a "growing left-wing tendency towards censoriousness and and hair-trigger offense."
But does this increasing intolerance work? In other words, does it help leftists impose their own social norms on society, or does it serve mainly to stiffen resistance and motivate opponents?
It does both, but where it works depends greatly on context. For years we've seen stigma defeat dogma (insults and mockery defeat beliefs) on college campuses, where relentless assaults on conservative values tend to leave students more liberal than when they arrived. It's not hard to understand why. These attacks can make students feel isolated - like there's something wrong with them - and the more casual adherents to any worldview find it relatively easy to shed impediments to social acceptance. This creates a vicious cycle, as shrinking minorities feel less and less empowered and the vocal majority feels increasingly vindicated in calling their opponents extremists or bigots. more >>
It's been over 30 years since the Supreme Court ruled that a woman's right to privacy includes the right to electively terminate the life of her unborn child. In that relatively short span of time, abortion has evolved from a highly controversial social taboo to a celebrated pillar of the progressive feminist agenda. Despite its current status as a sacrosanct symbol of female liberation, however, the debate over the morality of abortion rages on. Pro-life advocates approach the issue from multiple angles, in an attempt to find that one compelling argument that will convince the public of abortion's indisputable moral horror.
In Dostoevsky's epic novel, The Brothers Karamazov, brothers Ivan and Alyosha engage in a deep discussion about God – his existence and his goodness. Expressing frustration at his brother's rejection of faith, Aloysha declares that if there is no God, "everything is permitted." The truth of this observation may be seen in the ongoing debate over abortion and the seeming inability for the pro-choice side's greatest minds to come up with a winsome argument in defense of unborn human life. So long as human society continues its trend of rejecting belief in the divine and relying upon the self as the sole source of moral authority and conscience, there is little chance of popular opinion shifting decisively away from an embrace of legalized abortion.
One popular and rather obvious objection to abortion is that terminating the life of an unborn child is a violation of his or her First Amendment right to life. To deny this, one must get into the muddy question of when life truly begins and when a person acquires those natural rights articulated in our Declaration of Independence. The easy out, of course, is to claim that such matters are above one's pay grade, as our President did, and go along supporting abortion under the nebulous aegis of a woman's right to "make her own health care decisions." more >>
Four former leaders of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church recently created a website that they say will be a "safe space" to ask for forgiveness from those in the Christian community hurt by their actions while they served at the church alongside Pastor Mark Driscoll, whose leadership has come under fire.
Former Mars Hill Orange County executive pastor Kyle Firstenberg, former Leadership Pastor Dave Kraft, former Mars Hill Everett Pastor Scott Mitchell, and Mars Hill co-founder Lief Moi explained that their intention for RepentantPastor.com is "to bring about repentance for ourselves and reconciliation with people whom we have hurt."
Although it is unclear as to how many people were hurt or how they may have been adversely effected, the pastors say some of those attending the church or in leadership at Mars Hill were under problematic leadership. more >>
Along with another day comes another troubling story of how we are losing our way in America.
And this fire spread quickly, leading to Eich being burned. Some within the Mozilla community circulated a public petition demanding that Eich step down as CEO, and he did, last Thursday, after only being on the job for two weeks. more >>
Recently, I have experienced first hand the issues of Elder Care as my mother's health began to decline. I have been subjected to the maze of red tape with Medicare and Medicaid, and the difficulties caregivers endure to provide adequate care with the associated financial strain.
Indeed, life has changed drastically for senior citizens in America during the past few decades. For centuries elder care was not much of an issue. The wealthy might have hired a personal staff to care for them, and the destitute might have died alone. But when the overwhelming majority of aging seniors were no longer able to care for themselves, they were cared for by their families.
Then things began to change. More and more Americans left rural areas for cities and suburbs, often splitting up extended families. (According to US Census data, the majority of Americans lived in rural areas until about 1920.) Yet well into the mid-twentieth century, there were still enough homemakers and other relatives to care for the elderly as needed. more >>