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Showing posts from 2017

Driscoll Returns, ‘Christian Today’ Melts.

Sometimes in the course of events, a peculiar thing happens that then triggers a response more peculiar still. This is what we now see with the return of Pastor Mark Driscoll to the church scene.
For those unfamiliar with the drama, Mark Driscoll was a church planter and Bible teacher who made a big impact in the least churched city in the USA: Seattle. Thousands professed faith in Christ through his ministry. But he left the church that he had started under dark circumstances. No, it wasn’t adultery as is so often the case with some of these big-name preachers. Rather, it was heavy-handed leadership―resulting in many spiritually crushed church members―that drove him to resign.
Now, three years later, he is leading a new church and many are downloading his sermons once again. This is not without some valid controversy―for reasons we’ll mention soon. But what is most noticeable is not his peculiar return. It is the reaction among those who lean left of classical Christian teaching: the …

Pornography: The Bane of Wanna-Be Elijahs

[Extract from the bookElijah Men Eat Meat]
Herod’s sin of lust that leads to the Baptist’s decapitation serves as a good moment to address a relevant issue: pornography.
The internet has made pornography―once only a snare for those minority of men willing to go out and buy a magazine―a trap to us all. And not just the men. Increasingly women are getting caught up in it too. Pornography is a far greater weapon of destruction in the church than any activism could ever be. It has become Jezebel’s main weapon, keeping back a generation of Christians from going forward in confidant spiritual growth and ministry.
Now let us never misunderstand: sex is a good gift. We do not think of the human body as bad. God made it. I am convinced that boobs are a sign that God loves us and wants us all to be happy. Let us give thanks where thanksgiving is due. But pornography turns our natural sexual drive into a system of chemical terrorism. One minute we're going about our business in a state of heal…

Jezebel: Our Whorable Queen

[Extract from the bookElijah Men Eat Meat]

Ahab married Jezebel, then he proceeded to worship Baal.’ -1Kg 16
Queen Jezebel is a Baal-snogging, fake-teaching, pride-marching, man-manipulating, Yahweh-blaspheming, prophets’ blood-drinking monstrosity of a female.
And that’s being nice.
This daughter of Ethbaal, the Phoenician King, grows up surrounded by power, education, luxury, and evil. Of course, she doesn’t think of it as evil. No one sees their culture’s sins for what they are. It is like air to a child or water to a fish: it’s so much a part of us that we don’t even know it is there. She thinks her culture is the rule by which others should be measured. Yes, Israel is used to being surrounded by pagan neighbours and their debauched royalty. But now we have a problem. The problem is that this ghoulish gal now has a throne in the midst of God’s holy nation. It’s one thing for a boat to be in the sea. It’s quite another thing for the sea to be in the boat. And the nation is taking in …

Elijah: It Begins

[Extract from the bookElijah Men Eat Meat]

Elijah said to Ahab…’ -1Kg 17
He ends his prayer, lifts his head, and stands. The sweat from his exertion kisses the cool mountain air as he surveys the familiar hills all around. He knows today is the day. Today he goes to the city.
The city. Samaria. Geographically, it is only 30 miles and one river crossing away. But it may as well be 3,000 miles and an ocean away. The city is where the educated, religious, and political elite play their polished games. And, as a man from the rugged terrain of Gilead, it isn’t really his vibe. He doesn’t do polished very well. Even his wardrobe places him apart from the posh urbanites. His rough camel hair tunic and old leather belt contrast sharply with the latest designer threads brought straight to the Samarian top shops from the boats that dock in Tyre’s port. As a Gileadite, he doesn’t do dandyism. Elijah isn’t your model metrosexual.
The Prophet sets out. He has been given a message from the Heavenly Ki…

Ahab: Profile of a Beta-King

[Extract from the bookElijah Men Eat Meat]

Ahab did more of what Yahweh considered to be evil than anyone before him.’ -1Kg 16
Ahab. Before we can really talk about Elijah, we must present our wayward King. Ahab is the 8th King of Israel since the nation broke away from Judah after the passing of King Solomon. He is the son of Omri, a military general who led a coup to take the throne. Omri and the six Kings before him passed in quick succession, giving Israel a rocky 58 years of initial leadership. Ahab will reign for 22 years, providing a measure stability for Israel.
But this political stability costs a great deal. For Ahab drinks down more perversity than all the previous Israeli Kings combined. A toxic culture has grown under his kingship that exceeds anything his apostate forefathers knew. It poisons everything. Darkness becomes the new normal.
How does Ahab create this spiritual swamp? To start with, Ahab promotes Baal worship into Israel. It has become all the rage among the wh…

Of Freedom & Foodolatry

Early in my days as a preacher, I thought that sex and gender related issues were the most offensive things that one could talk about from the pulpit. After some time, I began to think that money was the most offensive. People seemed to be more upset when you told them what to do with their wallet than what to do with their genitals.
But now I think the most offensive issue has to be what people put in their mouths (and that’s not a reference to the first set of issues previously mentioned). The subject that people get most defensive about is the food they eat. This makes a pastor’s job a challenge as the Bible actually says a good deal about food. 

Sadly, to avoid stirring conflict, many ministers fail to address the subject at all. This is cowardice and doesn’t actually serve the flock of God. It is also tragic as our generation has numerous problems with food ranging from anorexia and bulimia to the obesity epidemic that is destroying the health of millions in the UK, the USA, and ma…

Theological Fascism in a Skirt

I have had the privilege of knowing more than one woman who carries the title of ‘pastor’. Many of them are perfectly lovely ladies with whom I merely disagree about church structure. Most of them carry the title together with their husband and work as a ‘pastoral couple’ (think Brian and Bobbie Houston of Hillsong). I don’t hold to that view, but still, these women seem to love the Lord and the lost and I don’t spend my time arguing with such ‘Egalitarians’. But the Egalitarian movement is being hijacked by intoleristas. These are the men and women who not only will fight for women’s ordination but who will fight against you for disagreeing. They are the Feminist Gestapo and sadly they are gaining ground. This is perhaps best illustrated by a horrendous piece (Here)published online by Faith & Leadership from Duke University of all places. Their missional subtext is A learning resource for Christian leaders and their institutions. I don’t know what leaders or institutions would fin…

Dear Pro-Gay Christian Friend

[Response to the letter Dear Non-Affirming Christian]
Dear Pro-Gay Christian Friend,
Thank you for taking the time to write me. Sadly, it seems you misunderstand why I met with you for coffee. Please let me explain my motives by defining the words in my salutation above. Would this be too terrible a way to go about it?
Let’s start with ‘friend’ shall we? You rightly question this term as an accurate description of our relationship. For now, let's simply say I mean it as an expression of good will - but will return to it again at the end of the letter. Then there's this term, 'pro-gay'. By this, I don't mean your personal sexual urges. There have historically been – and are today – countless godly leaders in the church who have deep sexual and romantic attractions to people of the same gender. In spite of their desires, they remain celibate and teach orthodox views of gender and sexuality. In your letter, you repeatedly refer to me as a ‘non-affirming Christian’, but I …