Monday, January 30, 2017

On Church: Episode 28, Cult of Personality

In this episode of the podcast, Dalton and Matt talk about the cult of personality that so often arises around pastors. So often, celebrity pastors encounter spectacular falls--but all clergy are susceptible to falling from grace. How can we avoid temptation and survive in ministry? We tell some stories and offer some advice.

Jesus at the Door (a guest post from Matt Lacey)

Jesus at the door.

It is as if the Red Sea not only swallowed up Pharaoh but the Jews he was chasing as well, in order to keep those on the other side of the sea safe.

The United States will no longer allow refugees from 7 countries to enter its borders for sanctuary (unless you have friends in high places)*.

The story (and plight) of all refugees is the story and the plight of the people called Israel, as well as Jesus and his followers.

'But that was so long ago, and the world has changed so much. ISIS would kill Jesus if he were alive today.'

It is ignorance and/or apathy not to see a direct line between the story of the people of Israel and refugees today. Suffering is suffering. Persecution is persecution.

'But ISIS are killing Jews and Christians!'

Rome killed Christians. Egyptians killed Jews. Axis powers killed Jews. America has killed

'But they weren't trying to bomb and create terror on a mass scale.'

They, arguably, did far worse in many cases: torturing their victims and making them suffer publicly as an example to others.

'But it is Muslims we must look out for; letting them in isn't worth the risk'.

More Americans have died at the hands of Christian terrorists on US soil since 9/11. No Syrian has ever killed an American on US soil.

'We have to defend ourselves.'

Fair enough, but just know you are throwing Baby Jesus out with the bath water.

Trump says he is making an exception for persecuted Christians from these countries. But when you isolate groups of people, saying: 'this one can come, this one cannot', you have shown the world that you no longer consider the story of the Gospel a priority.

Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq. The US is shutting its doors to those who are victims of some of the worse violence on this earth today. But it really doesn't matter what countries are mentioned in this executive order, because when you keep out those suffering and persecuted from any country, you also keep out Christ.

*Trumps executive order makes a provision for the State Department and other branches of the government to make exceptions as they see fit. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

On Church: Episode 27, THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH

Happy New Year, everybody! In this episode, Matt and Dalton talk about the future of the church. What will it look like? How will we do church in the coming years? We look into the crystal ball and speculate.