Five Tools to Develop Spiritual Maturity – Saddleback Style

I stand in amazement at the audacity of Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren. He has deceived himself (along with countless multitudes of star-struck pastors) into believing that his self-manufactured, man-centered methodologies will bring about tremendous growth in our churches and in our spiritual lives. This article from that I found through a link on Christian Research Network has Warren explaining the five tools he uses to develop spiritual growth. For those who don’t like clicking on links, I will list them here: Continue reading

Three Links in the Chain of Bondage

I have come to understand over the course of this past year what the true definition of bondage means when spoken of in a biblical sense. Bondage is a state of utter slavery to forces stronger than man’s will. Whatever a man is in bondage to, he is a slave to serve for all of his days. The state of bondage is so overwhelmingly powerful that escape from it is beyond hope. The scriptures teach man is in bondage under three separate and distinct systems. Continue reading

God Hath Said: Death from a Divine Perspective

I’m beginning a new section here at A Peculiar Pilgrim called God Hath Said. I draw this title from Genesis chapter 3 where Satan, in the form of the serpent, calls into question God’s commandments to Adam and Eve with the words ‘Hath God said?’ Eve retorts to the Father of lies with a confident ‘God hath said’.

Way to go girl! Except for that eating the fruit off the forbidden tree thing… but I digress.

The point is, I will periodically post little snippets of scriptural truth that may not be common knowledge to those not real familiar with the bible.

So, without further ado, here is my first offering. Continue reading

Sanctuary or Auditorium – Does it Really Matter?

I had lunch with a friend the other day. The topic of church growth came up, as it often does. He informed me of a trend in his church that has provoked him as of late. He has noted that the place believers gather together to offer praises in worship to their God, the place where the bold proclamation of God’s word is presented to the people, the place once known as a sanctuary is now simply being called an auditorium.

This isn’t an isolated occurrence. When my old church moved from their sanctuary into the gym (preparing for growth) the term sanctuary was dropped and it became an auditorium. Even the conservative baptist church I attend now calls it an auditorium.

My friend was so troubled by the terminology he confronted the pastor about it. He argued that the church has been referred to as a sanctuary throughout history and carries with it a sense of awe and reverence in the presence of the Holy that should not be changed.

In light of our discussion, a question has been hammering in my brain the past few days: Continue reading

Has God Performed a Work in You?

“Since Scripture declares that all who are truly saved are the workmanship of God [Eph 2:10], then the question I must ask is, ‘Have I been the subject of that workmanship?’ The question is not the sincerity of my decision, or my resolve, or my whatever-I-want-to-call-it. The question is not, ‘What have I done with reference to Christ and his salvation?’ The essential question is this: ‘Has God done something in me?’ Not, ‘Have I accepted Christ?’ but, ‘Has Christ accepted me?’ The issue is not, ‘Have I found the Lord?’ but, ‘Has he found me?’” – Albert N. Martin

Crowded – But spaced Out

Following closely on the heels of my post on Solitude, I offer this observation of our high tech society.

We live in a narcissistic world. Our tech gadgets, which have become increasingly portable, allow us to enter into our fantasy worlds no matter where in the world we might be. ‘Me time’ is experienced now anytime, anywhere and anyhow.

Sitting in an airport terminal, waiting on a delayed flight to resume? No problem, simply check the latest news and sports scores on your cell phone.

Waiting in a long line at the grocery store? Just whip out your MP3 player and tap your toes to your favorite tunes.

Bored with the Sunday sermon? Just crank up a favorite movie on your iPod and drift away.

Family get together at Grandmas? Forget about it! You have an appointment to take down the dragon’s lair with all your online buddies in a riveting massively multiplayer online RPG.

Itching to evangelize? No need to get your rear out of that chair. Just play on a virtual life simulation online, build a church and preach the gospel.

Notice what’s missing from all these scenarios? Continue reading