REBLOG: Bob Russell – A Spiritual Myth – Divorce Rates

I subscribe to Bob Russell’s blog and he had one that I thought needed shared with anyone who might read mine.
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A Spiritual Myth – “Divorce Is Just as Common in the Church as in the World.”
Written on May 18, 2014 by Bob Russell

Have you ever heard these statistics? “Fifty percent of American marriages end in divorce and the divorce rate in the church is just as bad as the divorce rate in the world.”

I’ve always had serious doubts about those stats. They didn’t seem consistent with what I was witnessing every day. But they are often cited by the world to undermine the credibility of those of us who stand for Biblical marriage. “What right does the church have to say anything about the traditional family when Christian marriages are a total failure?”

However, a recent book by Shaunti Feldhahn titled, “The Good News About Marriage” is shattering some of the spiritual myths about the widely accepted divorce statistics. The author has recently completed an eight- year study that points out that the statistics that have been reported repeatedly by the media are nowhere close to being true.

Half of all marriages are not ending in divorce.According to the Census Bureau, 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse! And the 28% who aren’t, includes those whose spouses have died. Feldhahn writes, “No-one knows what the average first-marriage divorce rate actually is, but based on the rate of widowhood and other factors, we can estimate it is probably closer to 20-25%. For all marriages (including second marriages, and so on), it is in the 31-35% range, depending on the study.”

Feldhahn suggests another myth that needs to be countered is the notion that “A George Barna study found that the rate of divorce is the same in the church.” She writes, “Actually the Barna Group found no such thing and George Barna himself told me he would love to correct this misunderstanding…because he wasn’t studying people “in the church.”

The Barna Group studies were focusing specifically on the divorce rates of those with Christian and non-Christian belief systems and didn’t take worship attendance into account. The vast majority of Americans profess to have Christian beliefs but less than a third actually attend church regularly and take their commitment to Christ seriously.

Feldhahn wrote, “So I partnered with the Barna Group and we re-ran the numbers: and if the person was in church last week, their divorce rate dropped by 27%. And that is one of thesmallest drops found in recent studies: overall, regular church attendance lowers the divorce rate anywhere from 25-50%, depending on the study you look at.

If I am interpreting her statistics correctly, that means that 80-90% of marriages where the couple attend church regularly remain INTACT. That’s still too many divorces, and since, “God hates divorce,”we need to do what we can to enhance relationships and deepen commitments. But it debunks the lie that Christian people who go to church are just as quick to get a divorce as those who don’t.

There’s an old saying that any lie, no matter how absurd, if repeated often enough will eventually come to be believed. Let’s not believe this myth anymore. While the church has flaws that need correcting, let’s quit bashing the church for sins it hasn’t committed. Let’s honor those who have remained faithful. Let’s encourage our youth to respect Biblical marriage and get involved in a local church. Let’s not buy into the falsehood that we have no right to espouse traditional marriage because it has been a complete failure.

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).

*Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-trained social researcher, popular speaker and best-selling author of “For Women Only”, “For Men Only” and “The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages”, which have sold more than 2 million copies in 22 languages worldwide. Her research is regularly featured in media as diverse as The New York Times and Focus on the Family, Cosmopolitan Magazine and The Today Show. With “The Good News About Marriage” Shaunti is eager to support leaders in moving marriages from discouragement to hope. Get updates at http://www.goodnewsmarriage.com.

Bob Russell Ministries: http://www.bobrussell.org

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Leaders or Mascots?

What is a mascot? According to Dictionary.com a mascot is defined as: “a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck.”
What is a leader? Same source but it says: “a person who guides, directs, manages and inspires others to follow.”

It got me to thinking… as a church leader of God’s people and one who is responsible for helping others to become His, am I a mascot or a leader? That is, in the church am I simply a symbolic figure that has been adopted by a group of people hoping that I will help them find happiness, make them comfortable, ease their troubles and bring them good luck in life? Or am I someone who guides, directs, manages and inspires people to follow the One I am following? In the church, it seems to me to be a difference between a job and a calling. A mascot has a job, a leader has a calling. A mascot is a representative of the people. Therefore he or she tries to please them and make them comfortable and happy. A Christian leader however is representing Christ and see his or her calling as pleasing Christ whether that makes the people happy or not.

Maybe, for me, A.W. Tozer said it best: “In order for the Church to be on mission we must have Christ honoring prophets in our pulpits again instead of just mascots. These leaders will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.” Of God and Men, 11-13.

It makes sense doesn’t it? Why would we devote our lives to representing people that will never be completely pleased when we can lead them to see the ONE who knows all, sees all, loves all and will eventually give them perfection?

I for one don’t want to settle for being a mascot.

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Working Worship

The following was put together by combining Colossians 3:22-24 and a couple of Puritan Prayers from the book, The Valley of Vision. I used it as a Responsive Reading at a service recently and was asked by several people to share it so I thought I’d also place it here. I changed some of the Puritan words since we no longer speak with 1600 verbiage, but I hope it helps view our jobs from His perspective. I for one will refer to it often as my vocational prayer. Use it as you see fit.

A Worker’s Worship

LEADER: O My Lord, let not my vocation be approved only by men…
ALL: nor merely to win the esteem and affections of people.

LEADER: But may my vocation be worthy of your approval…
ALL: as I work not only for wage or human recognition but to bring You glory.

LEADER: Grant me the wisdom to obey my employer…
ALL: while I work with all my heart to honor You.

LEADER: Place people in my path…
ALL: and grant me the privilege to use my vocation to share Your Name.

LEADER: May I live high above a love of things temporary…
ALL: while being seen as true, faithful, loving, pure, and devoted to You.

LEADER: Look upon me as Your worker…
ALL: and keep me from self-importance.

LEADER: Let me walk and work…
ALL: humbly in dependence upon You,
in Jesus Name. Amen

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The “Spiritual Answer Man”

I attended the Drive conference a few weeks ago at Northpoint Church in North Atlanta and at a break-out (workshop for those of you over 50!) I heard something that has had my brain rattling ever since. This nugget of truth has not only had me thinking but seriously re-evaluating the way I teach, lead a small group and even talk things over with my family. This altering and possibly transforming truth came in  the form of three questions:

1. How many questions was Jesus asked in the New Testament?
2. How many questions did Jesus answer in the New Testament?
3. How many questions did Jesus ask in the New Testament?

We were given a few minutes to ponder that question. Our breakout leader asked us to use specific numbers, not just general concepts. That was a bummer because I had already figured that the answer to #1 was more than #2 and that probably the answer to question #3 was more than both #’s 1 & 2.   But that wasn’t what the leader asked for so I started thinking in terms of specifics. Now I possess a Bachelor’s degree in ministry and a Master’s degree in Theology and so I found myself confidently saying to myself, “I have no idea!” The brutally honest truth was that no matter what numbers I used I was just guessing. But here’s what I said: Answer to #1: 125; Answer to #2: 50 (I figured saying less than half was a good bet!) and Answer to #3: 200. What numbers are you putting there? I’ll wait for you to complete the exercise…  go ahead.

Ready for the answer?
1. How many questions was Jesus asked in the New Testament? 183 questions either asked directly or indirectly.
2. How many questions did Jesus answer in the New Testament? 3 questions were answered directly. (How should we pray? Luke 11; What is the greatest commandment? Luke 18 and  Are you a king? Luke 23)
3. How many questions did Jesus ask in the New Testament? 307!*

I was stunned. Have you ever heard a statement or had a time when something said or something you read just made you stop and go, “Whoa, that means….” This was one of those times for me.

The first question that popped into my head was, “If that is true (and I’ve since confirmed it is) why do I think I have to have all the answers?” That led me to another question: “Why are we as teachers/preachers and why does the church seem to think we are to be the ‘spiritual answer man’?” After meditating on this some I have come to the conclusion that we as a church have for decades spoon-fed people to the point where we have enabled spiritual lethargy! C.S. Lewis said it much better than I ever could in his book, God at the Dock, when he wrote: “We can make people attend to the Christian point of view for a half an hour or so, but the moment they are gone from our lecture, they are plunged into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted.” In other words our easy answers have not prepared them for the spiritual battle that they face.

What we should have been and should now be doing is helping people look inside and discovering answers for themselves! Don’t we all learn better when through struggle, study and introspection we come up with the solution to the problem or question ourselves? Here’s where I’ve landed: While I am to give people the tools to come up with the answers I am no longer going to just glibly give them all the solutions! In many cases our churches are filled with weak, anemic Christians and it’s our fault!

I think it’s time (I know it is for me) to stop playing “spiritual answer man” and start asking realigning and transformational questions. As Richard Rohm wrote in the forward to John Dear’s book, The Questions of Jesus, “We made of Jesus a systematic theologian, who walked around teaching dogmas, instead of being an engaging transformer of the soul (by his questions).” Here’s the truth: “Easy answers instead of hard questions allow us to try and change others instead of allowing God to change us.”

So, all that has led me to ask myself two things:
1. Am I actively listening to someone when they are talking so that I might hear their questions?
(Or while they’re talking am I either trying to figure out the answer or just waiting for them to take a breath so I can give them the answer?)
2. Am I willing to ask question(s) in response to their question and in so doing allow them to wrestle with the spiritual truth that they really need?
(Or as I now admit, sometimes it’s easier, cleaner and makes me look better when I just answer the question?)

So, I’ll leave you with two questions:
1. What does this teaching technique of Jesus say to you?
2. How does it apply to how you are teaching or even talking with others?

I’m certainly not going to answer those for you!

*The Questions of Jesus, John Dear, 2004, Doubleday. (Forward by Richard Rohm)

I Once Was Lost, Don Everts and Doug Schaupp,, 2008, InterVarsity Press.

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Outlive your Life (Noah did!)

“Outlive your life.” That is surely what Noah Mikel Smith did on February 10, 2013.

Noah never took a breath in this world but woke up in celestial paradise. Noah never felt our arms around him yet his first hug was from the Father of all. Noah never said a word yet his influence is being seen as if he was one of the greatest preachers of our time. How? Through those who love him and trust in the One who provided Noah’s first real home.

Certainly, Noah outlived his life. Yes, he lived… oh, not in this world per se, but he lived in his Mom and it is through the courage and faith of his Mom and Dad that his legacy  lives on. I have been so impressed with Zach and Amber’s outspoken faithfulness during this painful time. Instead of hiding behind their pain they have communicated their trust in God and therefore speak volumes for their son and my grandson.

It’s always been amazing to me that Jesus doesn’t call the qualified but always qualifies the called. He does that when they are willing and sometimes even when they can’t even speak for themselves. You see Noah is qualified to communicate through those who love him and I believe he is loudly saying to all: “My parents, my family and those who believe speak for me about the ONE who provides at this very moment my eternal home that all who love Him will experience. They are able to get through this pain with faith rather than fatalism, with trust rather than anger. You can too if you will build a relationship with HIM who brings hope to the hurting, light to the darkness and whose promises last forever!”

Thanks Noah. We miss you but the encouragement and reminder that you’ve brought us through your parents and those that love them has been amazing.  I can’t wait to see you and tell you that in person! My hope and prayer, when I do go Home to meet Jesus and you, is that people can say as I do of you right now… he outlived his life.

(Our grandson, Noah Mikel Smith, was still born to our son and daughter-in-law, Zach and Amber on February 10, 2013.)
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God… what were you thinking? A question of timing.

Each year as Christmas comes I find myself shaking my head at what God has done. I cannot fathom, in my earthly thinking, how God’s one and only Son could give up the perfection of heaven to come and live as one of His created beings. How he could experience this lowly life in order to give his life for me! While I cannot fathom it I truly rejoice in His decision. No greater love has ever been expressed!

And yet, not only do I find myself in wonder about the fact He came, I also find myself stunned by the manner in which God sent His Son. I’m especially bewildered by the timing. Why send Jesus during the Roman empire times? Why not do it now when He could have announced it on the internet? Can you imagine God’s Facebook page? “Something big is about to happen… my Son is coming to visit… not me, but you!” What a tweet that could have been. And yet when I look at it a little deeper I realize the timing  does make sense. Consider the following:

  • Alexander the Great had conquered the world and Alexander had established Greek as kind of a universal language. Thus, when Jesus was born, it was one of the rare times that almost all the people of the world could communicate with each other.
  • After Alexander the Great, Rome conquered the world. Now, it was no picnic for the Jews to be under Roman oppression but Rome made it possible for worldwide travel. Good roads were built, visa’s from one country to another were unnecessary. This was the time of “Pax Romana,” peace established through Rome’s military strength. So it was a rare time of peace when missionary travel, like for the apostle Paul, was very easy. Also, during this time the Jews were spread around the globe. When Jesus was born, because of persecution and because of the poor economy in Palestine, the Jews had settled in almost every land. So, in nearly every village there was a little pocket of people who believed in one God and that He was going to send a Savior. And so the soil had been cultivated in almost every region of the world for the reception of the gospel.

That’s why Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his son…”  It wasn’t when I would have done it but but it was no accident that God picked out that one day in history. His timing was exactly right. When Jesus was crucified, over His head was a sign that read, “King of the Jews.” And that sign was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew; a reminder that Christ was dying for all the peoples of the world, at exactly the right time.

But there was one last minute detail that needed to be worked out. The prophet Micah, in Micah 5:2 had predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were residents of Nazareth. Nazareth was 80 miles away from Bethlehem. Charles Swindoll wrote: “Augustus thought he was hot stuff, prancing about the palace, demanding that census. In reality, he was little more than a wisp of lint on the prophetic page. A pawn in the hands of the commander of `operation arrival.’” Mary and Joseph, at just exactly the right time, had to take a trip to Bethlehem. And while they were there, the time came for the baby to born, exactly as God planned.

I don’t know about you but just the timing of Jesus’ birth blows me away. Because it makes me realize how amazing God is. His choosing of that day in history demonstrates His perfect knowledge of the human condition, of my condition. God knew exactly what I needed. I’m not a mistake maker needing counseling or encouragement. I’m a sinner needing a Savior. And that is what God has provided… at exactly at the right time.

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Angus T. Jones – Walking the Thin Line of Grace and Truth

Angus-T-JonesAngus T. Jones is a big star on the CBS show “Two and a Half Men.” At 19 years of age now, he has literally grown up on that sitcom before the eyes of a nation. The show (which I have only watched a couple of times) deals with themes and topics that could not exactly be called wholesome. It is ripe with sexual innuendo and makes no attempt to hold up sexual purity (in fact it ridiculed it on the show I saw) or much of anything pure at all. But it still must have been shocking to millions who watch that show regularly when a few days ago in a video interview Angus said this: “I’m on Two and a Half Men, and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it; please stop filling your head with filth….A lot of people don’t like to think about how deceptive the enemy is. He’s been doing this a lot longer than any of us have been around. So we can’t play around. There’s no playing around when it comes to eternity.”

Whoa! Brave 19-year-old! Angus makes $350k per episode and yet he’s willing to bite  the hand that feeds him for the sake of the truth. According to reports the young man “found God” and became a member of a 7th Day Adventist congregation last June. Since then he’s had difficulty in harmonizing his biblical beliefs with his role on “Two and Half Men.” Immediately reaction to the video quotes was mixed. Those that disagreed said that Agnus was unbalanced, unstable and hypocritical for taking $350k an episode and yet slamming the show. Many said he should be fired or worse! On the other hand,  many believers applauded him saying he was simply telling the truth about much of what is offered on TV. But then yesterday Angus apologized.  In part he said, “Without qualification, I am grateful to and have the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on Two and Half Men with whom I have worked and over the past 10 years who have become an extension of my family.  I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that.”

 Was Angus back peddling? Was his previous “truth-telling” simply an angry rant? Isn’t what he said the first time true? Isn’t much of our media espousing non-biblical and even anti-biblical ideas? Isn’t the enemy (satan) a deceiver as Agnus said? Shouldn’t somebody stand up for what is right and call it what it is? Well, while I cannot disagree with what Angus said in his first remarks it may surprise you to hear that I think while he was right he was very wrong! Why? Because it’s not what he said as much as how and where he said it that was a mistake. We must be careful that we do not pull up the truth because we speak it without grace.

Ephesians 4:15 tells us to tell the truth but to “speak the truth in love.” It’s why 1 Peter 3:15 says, “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…” It is why Jesus, when giving the parable of the Tares in Matthew 13, says not to go in and start pulling up the tares or weeds because in doing so you’re liable to pull up some wheat too.

You see, we’ve got to be careful that we give the message in such a way that it doesn’t do more harm than good. In Jesus’ story in Matthew 13 the roots of the weeds were so interwoven with the roots of the wheat that much of the harvest would be destroyed if the farmers start yanking out the tares/weeds. And sometimes well-meaning, overly aggressive, angry Christian’s do more harm than good. They start flailing away at evil and they minimize the harvest. When we fight in the flesh the people in the world get the idea that we are fighting against them. We are fighting a spiritual warfare. God isn’t mad at sinners He’s mad about them! He loves them.. He just hates the sin that is destroying them. And we cannot let them think we hate them by the way we share the truth.

While you may not agree with my assessment I think as believers we can all agree that it is a think line to walk, this line of grace and truth. Hopefully Angus will keep his convictions, leave the show (which he can contractually in a year) and then mature in his faith to the point that he spreads the loving message of Jesus in a way that won’t give a mixed message: that he’s against something more than he’s FOR the Truth – the grace filled One who wants to give everyone the truth and life.

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Sticky Love

“Out of the mouths of babes.” That phrase is taken from Psalm 8:2 and refers to the cute and often profound things that can come from the lips of small children. I had such a comment and experience with one of my grandchildren this past weekend.

We had the privilege of visiting two of our children and their families in Palm Beach Gardens, FL for a few days and loved being with them and with our 8 grandchildren.

Brady

At one point we were at a soccer game and Brady, my 3 old grandson, was sitting with me on the bleachers mauling a sucker. I mean he was really enjoying it but I think more was on his face and hands then in his mouth! You add the sucker to the fact he had been playing in the wet grass and he was one dirty kid. And then, when he was at the height of his “sticky-ness,” he said, “Grandpa, I want to sit in your lap.”

To my shame the first thought that entered my head was how big a mess he was and so I said, “Brady, I’d love for you to sit on my lap but maybe there’s a wipe we can use first.” To which he said, “But Grandpa, you don’t need a wipe for me to sit with you.” Wait! His thought was not that he was dirty but that I might need a wipe? Oh, man. And that’s when it hit me… Brady doesn’t care what I look like, he just wants me to hold him. So, I took this sticky, messy boy into my arms and on my lap.

Like me, you have probably made the same spiritual connection. When it comes to God, I’m the sticky one. I’m the one that is much more a mess with my sin then Brady ever could be with his sucker and dirt. And yet, while God provides me a “wipe” in Jesus, He doesn’t ask me to clean myself up before he takes me in His loving arms. Romans 5:8 says, “This is how God demonstrated his love for us: He died for us while we were still dirty with sin.” (SEV) How glad I am that God didn’t wait for me to find my own wipe and clean myself up before he expressed His love for me!

Out of the mouths of babes…” and Brady!

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Bible believers need to vote Platform NOT Politician in November

I’m tired of the rhetoric. I’m weary of the constant personality attacks on BOTH sides! I’m disgusted with the ads. In short, I’m fed up with the politics. The Presidential election this November will be, by all accounts, a close one. That does not surprise me for I understand that we are a nation of very different views and very diverse value judgments. However, what continues to disappoint and even shock me are the number of Bible believers that put the majority of their energy and voting power on issues like the economy, jobs and health care rather than on the Biblical values that need to be defended in our voting.

Let me be clear. I don’t dislike President Obama. On the contrary I take 1 Tim. 2:2, where it tells us to pray for our leaders in government, very seriously. I think President Obama is personable, a loving husband and father and is not trying to purposefully be or do evil in any way. I also have nothing against Governor Romney. Gov. Romney’s being a Mormon does not lead me to think that he would rule by the edicts of Joseph Smith rather than by the Constitution. He too is a loving, family man who wants the best for our country. But it is very clear that these men want to go about leading our country very differently. Both sides are passionate about their views, both sides have some good and bad in their political stances. So, how do we as Bible believers choose who to vote for in November?

I have a solution.{Surprise! :-)}
If you hold the Bible to be the authoritative Word of God then vote the for party PLATFORM that most closely aligns itself with Biblical values rather than the politician. More directly, vote for either the Republican or Democratic candidate who’s party platform (that which communicates the objectives and principles which with they agree and support) speaks most closely to the Bible’s values. (I do not purposefully want to offend  Independents but let’s face it, the person elected as President is going to be either a Republican or a Democrat.)

So, let me ask you. Have you even read the platforms of the two parties? I have and will give you links to do so yourself. But in my humble view when you read both platforms you will be in agreement with one and recoil from the other in terms of which one is closer to Biblical values.

Let me give you just two primary examples of what I mean.

1. MARRIAGE. The bible is very clear in terms of what constitutes a Biblical marriage. Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6. “Haven’t you read,” Jesus replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” It is also clear in scripture that while those who participate in a gay life style are to be loved and treated with respect, they are living outside of God’s will for relationships. (As are heterosexuals who live together without being married or are promiscuous in their love life.) So, what do the Republican and Democratic platforms say about this issue?

Republican Platform: “We believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.”
Democratic Platform: “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (Traditional marriage) and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.”
Which view do you think most closely aligns itself with the Biblical view?

2. ABORTION. I know of no serious Bible student who does not recognize that scripture teaches that life begins at conception, not at birth. Such passages as Exodus 20:13, Psalm 139:13-16, Romans 9:11, Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:41,44 clearly teach this value. So, what do the Republican and Democratic platforms say about this issue?

Republican Platform: “Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity  of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
The Republican Party Platform also explicitly addresses partial birth abortion:
We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended.”

Democratic Platform: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
{There is no language addressing partial-birth abortion.}

Which view do you think most closely aligns itself to the Biblical view?

If you are a Bible believer I strongly encourage you to read both platforms. As you do simply ask yourself this question: “Outside the realm of money, jobs, size of government or any other political issue, which platform directly and most closely addressed Biblical values for such things as marriage or sanctity of life? Can I vote for a person who represents a platform that does not align itself with such basic Biblical values?

This November, when you vote, why not vote for the platform, instead of the politician, if you see that one platform has principles and objectives that support Biblical views on even ONE issue more so than the other platform?
As for me and my vote: I will serve the Biblical world view.

Link to Republican Party Platform click HERE.
Link to Democratic Party Platform click HERE.

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“Come and See”

If you are like me you are surprised by the following:
82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited. (According to research done by Dr. Thom Rainer’s and documented in his book The Unchurched Next Door. That’s not the only surprise. (and this one blew me away!) Only 2% of church going people ever invite someone to church in a given year. Rainer’s research goes on to say that seven out of ten unchurched people have never been invited to church in their whole lives!

I am not advocating that we try to force people to come to church. But here’s the apparent truth: If we will invite them, they will come. If we don’t invite, they don’t come.

We need to say what Philip said to Nathaniel. Nathaniel began to argue whether Jesus could be somebody based on the fact that he came from Nazareth. Philip didn’t argue the point. He just said, “Come and see.” The woman Jesus talked to at the well did a similar thing. She didn’t give a lecture on 12 reasons to believe that Jesus is the Christ. She just said, “Come and see.”

Think about your co-worker, your neighbor, your family member that is far from God. Have you tried to build a relationship with them so that you can invite them to a hearing of the Gospel? Who is it that you might be able to this week say, “Come and see.” It just might make an eternal difference in their life!

 

 

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