Thinking Out Loud

June 5, 2013

Wednesday Link List

This is a picture Shane Claiborne posted on Twitter of the community where The Simple Way ministers in Philadelphia: Sprinklers open for cooling on a hot day

This is a picture Shane Claiborne posted on Twitter of the community where The Simple Way ministers in Philadelphia: Sprinklers open for cooling on a hot day

Be sure to read the post which immediately precedes this one, about Calvinist propaganda for kids… And now for another day on the links…

  • “If a church tells the Scouts they are no longer welcome to use their facilities a whole bunch of kids, most of whom are not gay, are going to get one clear message: You’re not welcome at church. Fighting the culture war has already hurt the Christian image, as we are much more recognizable for the things we are against.” Before your church has a knee-jerk reaction to the situation, take 90 seconds to read this including the updates in the comments.
  • And speaking of people we make unwelcome in the church, here’s a story like no other: A particularly buxom young woman (i.e. size DD) unravels a sad tale of a lifetime of being marginalized by the local church.
  • Another great, concise (about 12 minutes, I think) sermon by Nadia at House for All Sinners and Saints on Hope. Realistic church motto: “We will disappoint you.” Click this link to the text, then click the internal link to listen, then click back to follow along as you listen. 
  • 30 Churches in Holland, Michigan are covering their individual church signs this week with burlap on which is painted “One Lord, One Church.” This is a movement designed to promote unity between the denominations.
  • The White House has issued a statement pressing the Iranian government for the release of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, but Iran does not recognize his U.S. citizenship
  • Yesterday’s Phil Vischer Podcast was the best so far! Phil and panelists Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor are joined by anthropologist Brian Howell discussing short-term missions.
  • Teapot tempest or major issue? A Methodist pastor refuses to stand for God Bless America. Hours later, The Washington Post has to run a separate article to showcase all the responses the first article got.
  • For the pastor: A different approach to mapping out your fall (and beyond) adult Christian education program
  • Also for pastors: What to teach about tithing? Andy Stanley teaches percentage giving. But as Jeff Mikels points out, some people don’t like that concept.
  • The K-LOVE Fan Awards are out! Guess what? They like Chris Tomlin. Wow, there’s a surprise! See the winners in all nine categories.  
  • If you don’t mind wading through a lot of posts to unearth some classic wit and wisdom — and several bad worship team jokes — there’s always Church Curmudgeon’s Twitter feed.
  • Rob Bell is on the ‘cover’ of Ktizo Magazine, an e-publication built just for tablets.
  • Porn is an issue for women, too.  Maura at the blog Made in His Image shares her struggle and suggests that step one is sharing your struggle with another person.
  • Also at the same blog: Christian women, should you buy that itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polkadot bikini? Rachel says its a matter of exercising God-given responsibility.
  • We mentioned the blog Blessed Economist once at C201, but I’m not sure if we did here. It’s economics — the real thing, not personal finance — from a Christian perspective. Here’s a short piece to whet your appetite, there are some longer case studies there as well.
  • A friend of ours who graduated recently in film studies has posted a 17-minute short film about a band of orphans Fleeing through the wilderness of post-apocalyptic British Columbia in search of food and shelter who take refuge in an abandoned church and face a horrifying choice.
  • Also on video, a group of high school teens at Camp Marshall got together in 2011 to produce a rather artistic video of the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing that serves as a music video and a camp promotional video
Found at Postsecret, but this post actually isn't very secret; a lot of people express this same sentiment online

Found at Postsecret, but this post actually isn’t very secret; a lot of people express this same sentiment online

1 Comment »

  1. It would appear Jeff Mikels’ blog post is conveniently blocking out my attempts to counter his recent article linked above: the one concerning ‘To Tithe or Not To Tithe’. So I’ll place the rant against the article here. Hope he finds it and seriously reevaluates his weak and damaging position on the practice.

    Addressing Jeff Mikels on ‘To Tithe or Not To Tithe’

    Flawed arguments through and through, and because of which, you will alienate any newcomers to the church. Congrats.

    Let’s deal with the facts: we’re not ‘under law’ and due to that, we need not have our children circumcised any longer as an ‘act of faith'(or allegiance thereto) correct?

    Why then would you basically insist that 10% giving by church folk is the way to go? Tithing too, is an old testament requirement – part of the law and demonstrable in a prior-to-law example (Abraham’s 10% gifting of of goods acquired by plundering a enemy which was given to Melchizedek – plundered any enemies lately?).

    Here’s something 10-percenters (as I refer to them) never consider: you, by mandating a restrictive figure (10%), may be hampering the giving efforts of those who have a LOT of dispensable income (higher margins) and who could give more than 10%!

    The New Testament NEVER creates any Christian practice which may directly result in pride by direct implementation of such practices/works. If you implement the 10% rule, those who cannot contribute to the tune of that figure are bound to feel guilty and underachieving. As for those who give it (10%), they will all too easily be able to have pride for maintaining their particular financial commitment of 10%. They will measure their commitment to their church by their contribution. They will be taken ‘more seriously’ by the pastors/deacons while those who do not give that figure will be thought of as less invested in the church. Favoritism, here we come.

    Realistically, the North American souls who’ve come into the church looking for solace from the pressures of the world do not need to sit in a pew – maybe for the first time – and hear a sermon on 10% giving when they’re barely keeping their heads above water financially. My wife reminded me of a gal in our former town who said, “Yeah, and my husband isn’t a believer – am I supposed to hand over 10% of his income as I’m a homemaker and that’s where the money comes from?” How’s that going to witness to a non-Christian?

    1TIM 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    Paul actually says, family before churches here! Therefore the church should encourage to give as one is led, as befitting their available income placed in reserve at the beginning of a week and also according to their individual measure of faith, as mandated by the New Testament. If it means some brick and mortar building’s lights go out, then God’s church will continue in homes like it did in the first century. If we believe in a Gospel that ‘the gates of hell will not prevail against’ then why should we worry if a church building and it’s various programs is under-funded?

    That being said: is the 10% figure a good ‘shoot-for’ amount for giving? I can’t say that it isn’t. But for that figure to be preached from a pulpit or instituted as a rule of the church or denomination – bad practice – a return to law-based religion. You will encourage ‘compulsion’ in giving. And didn’t you just quote the Scripture above: 2 Cor 9:7-8 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Sorry – there is no 10% mandate in that verse. Not a hint of it. How you ended up using it to justify your manipulation of scripture to prove you point is abstruse to me.

    I strongly recommend you reconsider your position on this issue so as not to implement or advise something that is harmful to those seeking hope and relief and freedom from judgement upon their entering the church. Below are some helpful guides to hopeful reset your thinking toward a New Testament dynamic re financial giving in the Christian church.

    Click to access EatingSacredCowsDownload.pdf

    Flagrant Regard

    Comment by Flagrant Regard — June 5, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

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