The Passing Fancy of Fad-Driven Faith

This gal just gets it. She hits the bullseye, then draws back her bow and splits the embedded arrow right down the middle. Harriet Baber, a journalist for the UK’s Guardian comments on the Crystal Cathedral’s recent filing for bankruptcy, then proceeds to pinpoint the failings of modern evangelicalism.  Here’s an excerpt:

So if you wonder why Americans are, anomalously, religious it is because we have evacuated religion of all content. There are of course theological doctrines on the books, which church members tick off, in the way that they agree to accept screenfuls of conditions for installing new software. But most have no serious interest in these theoretical matters. Whether signing on for a new therapy or self-help programme, trying out a new diet or a new church, they are looking for a bag of tricks, a collection of gimmicks and recipes that will get them the material prosperity, perfect health, beautiful bodies, ideal relationships and complete happiness to which they believe they are entitled.

Read the full article HERE.

HT: Crosstalk blog

Are Christians Still Under the Curse of the Law?

These Southern Baptist preachers seem to think so. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new prosperity non-gospel.

“Give and Live” – New Prosperity Gospel in the SBC from FBCJax Watchdog on Vimeo.

*** Sorry, the video wouldn’t embed.

This kind of thing isn’t new. My old pastor taught a tithe sermon once a year where he informed us that we were under a curse if we didn’t bring in a full 10% (off gross, of course).

In answer to the question proposed in the title: I give you Paul the apostle:

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14 ESV)

Self-Righteous Indignation

I did something today that I usually don’t do.  I posted a comment on a Yahoo! article.  Lately, I’ve become fascinated with reading responses to various articles on world events – things that may have a religious connotation – either directly or indirectly.

For example, I read an article this morning on Yahoo! about the horrifying events unfolding in Indonesia concerning the perpetual volcanic eruptions that seem to be getting more violent, despite expectations to the contrary.  The comment section had grown to nearly 4,000 comments before I decided to enter the fray.  Of course, I didn’t read every single comment, but just enough to get a sampling of people’s opinions on the matter.  I was appalled (but not the least bit surprised) at the callousness of some commenters who looked down on the Indonesians as an inferior people.  The reasons for their inferiority varied: morons who built villages on the sides of an active volcano; Muslims who are facing divine judgment for their false religion; etc. etc.   Some were quite harsh and merciless in their appraisals.  The general consensus for all the negative reactions is this:

the Indonesians are just getting what they so richly deserve.

As I read through these comments, shaking my head at such self-righteous attitudes, a scripture popped into my head.  it comes from the Gospel of Luke.  In chapter 13 Jesus is thronged by thousands and in response he begins to instruct the people.  At one point: Continue reading