A friend of mine asked me these questions. I zipped off a reply to him, but thought it would be interesting to see how some others answer them. So I dropped an email to them and wait to hear their comments.
For convenience, I’ve numbered his questions.
=== Begin questions
Allegations shake up Evangelical group – USATODAY.com
In an article about the Ted Haggard scandal, a USA Today article describes the Protestant evangelical moment thus with four points:
“Evangelicals profess the truth of the Bible, the saving power of Jesus’ death, the need for personal conversion and the call to actively spread their faith to non-believers.”
What points would be describe us?
Politics Blog Â» Blog Archive Â» We want what we want
“‘We are who we are. We have what we have. We want what we want. We have a right to seek the representation that will get it for us,’ Mr. Fox said.”
Man of the world, Mr. Michael J. Fox.
I’ll give you 999 guesses as to what this is. Hint: I took it inside my office at 1:30 p.m.
Quote from Mark Steyn’s book, America Alone
The Left, for its part, offers an appeal to moral virtue: it’s better to pay more in taxes and to share the burdens of a community. It’s kinder, gentler, more compassionate, more equitable. Unfortunately, as recent European election results demonstrate, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: once a fellow’s enjoying the fruits of government health care and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest; he’s got his, and if it’s going to bankrupt the state a generation hence, well, as long as they can keep the checks coming till he’s dead, it’s fine by him. “Social democracy” is, it turns out, explicitly anti-social.
This works out spiritually the same way. Why make such a big ruckus over departures from Scripture when you can still worship the way you want to while you live? It’s a problem for a younger generation to tackle. Much like Hezekiah upon receiving news his sons would go into captivity for his show-all to the Babylonians: “‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, ‘Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?'” Never mind his sons would be taken away and made eunuchs in the Babylonian king’s palace. As long as he wasn’t troubled.
The Christian Chronicle – Dialogue: A conversation with Chuck Whittle
“In the 1990s, all the churches that were sending people here were so excited. You could come over and convert souls in two weeks. Well, nations arenâ€™t brought to Christ in a day. Cultures arenâ€™t changed in 10 years, not in two generations. And we need to develop that attitude â€” not just in Russia but wherever we go â€” that we hasten their growth as much as we can, but we canâ€™t expect Russia to go from a communist nation trying to destroy religion to developing mature Christians in five years and withdraw our support.
“We need missionaries, people to walk alongside the Christians, watch them stumble, encourage them and not lose faith that God is in control and that God will bring the fruit. We just need to keep working.”
You hear this, brothers and sisters? Our massive support needs to go here, to supporting long-term missionaries. Instead, we’re into service projects and short-term missions that, while they may contribute some, have little real effect on church growth and development. Nor is support of nationals the answer; most American funds devoted to supporting nationals are poorly used and nearly impossible for a stateside church to evalaute. But churches do it because they see it as a shortcut. There are no shortcuts in missions. It is a long-term effort, and fickle churches who plop money in a field for a few years and then cut and run fall will produce little for the kingdom of God.
In my junk file today of unwelcome emails, one sported the title, “Happy New Year.” (OK, I admit, it was in Portuguese.) It’s the 1st of November, two months yet until 2006 calls it quits. My first reaction: it’s a bit early yet, my friend.