Monthly Archives: November 2012

Our Re-Election of President Obama

After President Obama’s re-election, pontification in extremis saturated the airwaves and print media. Some claimed the election was determined by the economy, others, changing demographics. Social media, government payouts, racism, and innovative get-out-the-vote efforts have been thrown into the mix. Others simply say Obama communicated a more appealing role of government than Romney. I don’t think any of these were the dominant reason the election went the way it did. And now that emotions have calmed and this discussion is yesterday’s news, I want to give you my view and why I believe it.

I think Obama won the election primarily because his culture was more appealing to most Americans. Obama communicates fun thoughtfulness, empathy with a smile, strength with a hug. His family would be the Focus on the Family model if they were Republicans. Since President Obama beat the odds of being raised by a single mom and grandparents, and still became the President of the United States, he models American opportunity. When he was younger he smoked, drank, used drugs, and enjoyed the girls, while at the same time excelled in school. Many people relate to some portion of that, and some admire it. He’s competent and hip, both at the same time. He’s just as relaxed speaking to a joint session of congress or to a foreign leader as he is to David Letterman, Jon Stewart, the ladies on The View, or Conan O’Brian. He’s pleasant.

Romney, on the other hand, avoided the pop culture media outlets for good reasons. He and his message were way too serious to be discussed in those formats, and he doesn’t connect with the culture of those shows. He doesn’t watch them. He doesn’t drink Coke, coffee, smoke, drink alcohol, or lust. We’ve all had pastors, teachers, or principals who were responsible like Romney in our lives. These are our authority figures who are concerned about how our decisions will negatively impact our future. They are right, but we are not so relaxed with them or smile so warmly seeing them. Having to talk to them at the supermarket is slightly awkward, and it would actually seem mildly gross to see them shirtless on a beach.

But not Obama. He comes across like a friend. He bothers people who are too serious. He makes us Republicans appear grumpy. He would be loads of fun to vacation with, is relaxed on the beach, but can kill, without hesitation, the Osama Bin Ladens of the world. I’m not discussing his specific political philosophies or governance decisions here, because I don’t think they were the determining factors in the election. I’m talking about the way he connects as a person. Obama coming to a barbeque at the house would be fun. If Romney were coming, we would have to paint, clean, upgrade, and improve. They communicate different auras. I believe this subjective intangible is what determined the election.

We Republicans were convinced that no one could win re-election with the unemployment rate, excessive government spending and national debt all sky high. We thought the ties to left-wing socialists and the sluggish recovery made a wholesome responsible businessman like Romney a sure winner. We drone on and on about particulars that don’t matter to many. Those specifics feel like “make your bed,” “brush your teeth,” and “do your homework” so your future will be bright, facts. These facts don’t feel relevant to daily American life because we are not having to pay back our debt right now, and the food stamps and unemployment checks spend just like real money.

I am sensitive to the reality that facts don’t really matter in certain situations because of the misrepresentations to the general public of my 2006 scandal. They said I spoke weekly with President Bush. I didn’t. They reported that I was a hateful preacher. I wasn’t. They said that I was a televangelist. I’m not. They said I had an adulterous “relationship.” I didn’t. They reported that I was a political activist. Never. I could go on and on but it would bore you because. . . facts don’t always matter. I was not innocent of wrongdoing, but it was the imagery and drama that stirred emotion, drew attention, landed my story on the front page and formed opinion. I had to accept the reality that the facts of my story were not necessarily relevant because I had become a symbol in people’s minds. The information that conflicted with the accepted story line felt like irrelevant minutia. I actually had a journalist tell me he didn’t want to talk to any primary sources in my story because it might influence his reporting.

I do not believe this last election was determined by hard realities, but by symbolism, world-view, philosophy, feeling, and culture. This realization is important to all of us in church leadership. Church growth experts tell us that 90% of Americans who choose to attend a church do not base their decision on the core message of the church, or its creed, but rather on the way the church makes them feel. The culture of the church is the dominate factor. I think we probably choose our spouses, grocery stores, hair salons, malls and athletic events based more on culture than we realize . . . and I believe, this is what resulted in our re-election of President Obama.

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How Many Will God Heal?

Last Wednesday night we held our first prayer meeting at St. James Church in which we focused on praying for the sick. It was incredible to sense the presence of the Lord fill the room and begin to minister to people. As that happened, God began to manifest himself in the lives of those who had opened their hearts for a touch from God.

I love the way God reveals himself. After God rescued the people of Israel from Egypt, he revealed his desires for them in Exodus 15:26 by saying, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

In Exodus 23:25-26, after God provided so many miracles, he repeats his desire that his people be strong by saying, “You must serve only the LORD your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives.”

Thousands of years later, God reveals that he rewards those who trust him and have faith in him by saying in Hebrews 11:6, “. . . it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” The rewards he offers are infinite. To sincerely seek him is a powerful action that strengthens every one of us. James 1:6-8 encourages all of us to be focused when we petition him by saying, “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

God loves every one of us so much he puts all of us in positions where we can choose him. He likes that, and he doesn’t lie about it. In Numbers 23:19, the Bible says, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” In contrast to our current culture where we are accustomed to people saying things they don’t mean, or not keeping their previous commitments because circumstances have changed or a situation has evolved, God says exactly what he means and always keeps his word. In 1 Kings 8:56, the Bible reminds the people of Israel that . . . “not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses.” And David expresses gratitude toward God in Psalms 119:89 by writing, “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven.”

Some would say, “If this is God’s plan, why are there so many sick people?” It’s because earth is not heaven. In heaven, no one is sick. God’s perfect desire for us is fully manifested in heaven. But here on the earth, we have had sickness among us since the fall of the human race. As a result, we not only have God’s will, but our own will, the work of evil, and natural law that combine to create our current reality. As a result, we have to take the initiative to stay well and appropriate as much of heaven as we can while on earth. That is why Jesus instructed us to pray in Matthew 6:10, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” We know he wants us all well.

So how many will God heal? Everyone who responds to him is ultimately completely healed, if not here on the earth, then in heaven. In the meantime, we can all know that he wants the best for us. That’s why we pray. Not because we are noble, but because we are needy. That’s why we meet with the brethren to celebrate on Sunday mornings. Not because we are perfect, but because we are not and are in need of fellowship with him and fellow pilgrims. Prayer stimulates the Holy Spirit’s activity, and the Holy Spirit delivers into our lives everything Jesus appropriated on the cross for us. God is for us, and with that knowledge, even life on earth can be a little better. So let’s pray and trust.

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I Love Hostess CupCakes!

This morning I read about the bakers union refusing to accept the contract offer from bankrupt Hostess. If they don’t come to terms, Hostess will close and Wonder Bread, Hostess Twinkies, Fruit Pies and Ding Dongs may be gone forever. This is a big deal in our country because Hostess’ annual sales are $2.5 billion, they employ 18,300 people, and operate 33 Bakeries and 570 Bakery Retail Outlets. But most importantly, Hostess CupCakes are the perfect snack around a fire on a campout in the cool mountains of Colorado. I am 56 years old, and I love Hostess products just like I did when I was a kid.

I think the bakers union is making a mistake. Since we won the cold war, more than 2 billion people have entered the global work force, most of them wanting exactly what a Hostess Twinkie symbolizes, the American dream. Many of those who were liberated from the lack of opportunity in their government dominated economies are now highly motivated to do whatever it takes to prosper. In their newfound freedom, they want to innovate, learn, work, sell, and enjoy the profits. Advancing their skills is the door to production, which allows them a better life. We won the cold war so more people could govern themselves, increase their own value and self-worth, and prosper. Many of them are doing it.

In his book, That Used To Be Us (2011), Thomas Friedman emphasizes two developments that have changed the world forever. One is globalization. Globalization impacts every one of us right now. The production of and the prices of the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the electricity we use, and the food we eat are all impacted by globalization. We need to understand globalization and how to function productively in a globalized marketplace or we’ll be discouraged that the things we did before don’t work any more. If you are a Christian, I suggest you start by reading Thomas Friedman’s older book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999). It will explain some of the changes you’ve seen, even in your church. In addition, The World Is Flat (2005), also by Friedman, is a must read for anyone who desires to succeed over the next twenty years.

The second development is the information technology (IT) revolution. Here are two examples of where we are going: in the future we will need fewer teachers because, increasingly, teaching is done more accurately and more effectively by computers. With every gain teachers unions make to increase funding their own members, they are providing financial incentive for the schools to replace them with computerized education. It will happen. It’s just a matter of time. Another example are the janitors in oil refineries in Baton Rouge who can’t clean toilets unless they know how to use the computer to check in, order supplies, and report problems. Do any of you remember having to talk to someone to schedule a flight, reserve a hotel room, or make a long-distance call? Not anymore. Those jobs were not outsourced. They were replaced with IT systems. On November 11, 2012, 60 Minutes reported that manufacturers in American are looking for over 3,000,000 new employees right now, but they can’t use unskilled, unmotivated workers. They need competent workers who can think critically, communicate accurately, and who can collaborate with others. Manufacturers today are not simply looking for people who will show up, but for those who can program, operate, and maintain very expensive, complex machinery.

The workers at Hostess need to be grateful to have a job at all. Europe just slipped back into recession, which is where we may be headed. For their own good, Hostess workers need to get back to work and to take every extra moment they have to take classes to prepare them for the 21st Century workplace. Every community now has tech schools that help people learn a skill. In January of 2012, for those with less than a high school degree, unemployment was 13.8%; those with a high school degree and no college, 8.7%; those with some college or an associate degree, 7.7%, and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 4.1%. If we want to work, we need to assume the responsibility to make ourselves competent so we can offer enough value that another is willing to pay us well.

I recently led a roundtable discussion on the east coast that was attended by a very successful businessman from Dallas who was a strong Christian. In the roundtable he said he hadn’t been to church in years because it offered no value to him. The group largely agreed. 21st Century Evangelicalism has an opportunity to do a better job increasing the value of Sunday morning worship in the lives of our hearers. Life is more than spirituality and morality. Life also requires competency, wisdom, understanding and production. I believe Christ wants everyone to be better off. I think if we will do what we have encouraged the Hostess bakers to do, stop negotiating for more money, but instead be grateful, increase our value to those we serve, and produce a better product, then we will all be rewarded.

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The Value of Sin

Romans 11:32 reveals God’s priorities. “For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone” NLT. Think about this and read it again in the NIV, “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

God hates sin in us so much he sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. So what would motivate him to bind us over to disobedience? He answers it himself. He wants to make sure we see his response to our sin, which reveals his heart of mercy. Could it be that our comprehending his mercy is of greater value to him than our sinless perfection? Could he be communicating that without him we are flawed, and our conscious realization of that fact motivates us to gratitude? He doesn’t want us to be weak, but even more, he wants us to know that he is our strength.

20th Century Evangelicalism rightly emphasized the destructive power of sin and it’s consequences, correctly encouraging all of us to repent. 21st Century Evangelicalism can now build on that foundation and teach us to respond to the sins of others like Christ does. Christ’s response to our sin is redemptive. Therefore, if we in the church start responding to one another’s sin in a redemptive way, we might better communicate the true solution to the sin problem.

Several years ago a globally known pastor with a large mega-church came to visit me. He said, “Ted, I want to encourage you. I don’t think I would say this to anyone else, but I believe there are two types of sin. One type, the easy type, is the kind we repent of. It’s the kind you have dealt with. The other kind is the kind I have. I have sins that build my ministry, increase my income, and actually cause me to be more respectable. They are the kinds of sins we don’t repent of, sins like– me actually believing I know more than others and am a pretty good guy. I believe I have the answers for everyone. I exaggerate church attendance and hype the impact of my ministry in order to encourage supporters. I blame sinners for the things I don’t like, and condemn people. We don’t repent of these sins because they are respectable. But guys like you get to repent. I envy you” (paraphrased).

This pastor demonstrated to me the point I had observed–those who address sinners in public, appearing to be without sin, often have more grievous sins than the sinner to whom they are responding. Again, the Bible is true. . . all have sinned. Without question, sin is evil. We all need to turn from every form of sin in our lives with resolve and not live in them any longer. But based on this Scripture, could it be that our response to another person’s sin reveals more about us than we think? Based on God revealing himself in response to our sin, could it be that our core is revealed by our response to the sins of another? I think so.

Our response to another person’s sin is the #1 way OUR hearts are revealed.

Our response to another person’s sin is the #1 way OUR character is revealed.

Our response to another person’s sin is the #1 indicator of whether we understand the New Testament.

God sent Jesus in response to our sin, revealing the essence of God which is love. The depth of our sin forced a public affirmation of the depth of his redemptive nature. Our weakness gave him opportunity to demonstrate his strength on our behalf. Our rebellion gave him opportunity to prove himself.

For us to authentically reflect Christ, we will have to see the sins of another as an opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel rather than using it as an platform to rail against the evils of sin and our need to rid the world of the sinners. It’s just not going to happen because. . . we are the sinners, though gratefully redeemed. We are the broken, though being healed. We must not respond to another’s sin as though we ourselves are not in need of mercy. If we imply self-righteousness in our response to others, we inadvertently deny the fundamentals of the Gospel in us and might have actually become an enemy of the Gospel in the one we are condemning. When we respond with smugness or arrogance, we deny the heart of Christ. I propose instead that when another person sins, we use it as our opportunity to demonstrate that we are, in fact, Christ-like.

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Is saying the salvation prayer actually being Born-Again?

During the last two generations of Evangelicalism, we’ve exclusively emphasized that our view of being born-again is the key to eternal life, and we’ve simplified the definition of being born-again so much that there is no measurable difference in life-style between those of us who claim to have been born-again and those who do not. Jesus was clear in John 13:34 when he gave us a new command, “. . . Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” There are markers for those who are Christians. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). In John’s first epistle, he drove the point home by saying, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. but anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (I John 4:7-8).

So we wonder why born-again believers are not known for their love? A few weeks ago, I did a debate on a Jewish web site and said that one of the great qualities of an authentic believer in Jesus is to serve, protect the rights of, and do what we can to improve the lives of people who are not like us. I illustrated it by saying it’s an honorable and noble role for Evangelical Christians to secure the rights, safety and security of everyone, whether they be willfully disobedient and sinful, or groups like the Jews, Muslims, secularists, agnostics, and others who are not persuaded that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Bible is the Word of God. Using our voices and strength to protect and serve others is not a validation of their beliefs or practices, but a demonstration of our faith in a Savior that saved us while we were yet sinners. It’s Christ-like on our part to serve others, even those whom we’ve not persuaded.

When my comments were covered in the press with typical excessive drama and misinformation, one wrote me out of concern for my soul, “Satan must have clapped his hands, having found another victim from inside church which he is now successfully using to establish his anti-christian and anti-biblical filth. May God have mercy on you!” I have no doubt that non-believers and those who don’t strive to live according to the Bible will not receive everything Christ has for them, but I do believe that the Bible instructs all of us to do everything we can to make life better for others, whether they are in the faith or not. After all, John wrote that “Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning” (2 John 1:6).

Why don’t we who are born-again know much about love? I think it’s partially because our leaders inadvertently equate the importance of Old and New Testament Scripture for us as 21st Century Christians, which has resulted in modern evangelicalism becoming a new religion based on a strange amalgamation of the Old Testament and, what I call, “New Testament Torah.” Sadly, the central aim isn’t abiding in and reflecting the life of Christ, birthed from a dynamic relationship with him producing fruit and life, but instead being correct according to our knowledge of what is good and what is evil . . . which we should know by now is deadly.

Secondly, I think it’s because our leaders don’t know much about love. To my knowledge, there is not one seminary or Bible school class, or even a workshop in a mega-church conference, exclusively devoted to training leaders in biblical, New Testament love and it’s application on a bad day. The application of biblical love in the midst of difficult situations is central to “proving to the world that we are his disciples” (John 13:35). Most of our leaders and teachers have never seriously contemplated the application of biblical love when responding to a non-believer, a sinning Christian leader, or what we might perceive as an ungodly social trend in our community. Thus the vacuum. We who have said the salvation prayer to receive eternal life as a free gift from God have been ushered into a discipleship process that didn’t teach us New Testament life and relationship, but instead Old Testament death often cloaked in “standing for righteousness” or “church discipline.” Thus, in the midst of New Testament grace, we died.

In 2006 when my wife and I went through the most difficult time of our lives, there was no difference between those who were born-again and those who were not in their response to us, our situation, or our family. Both groups had some supportive and helpful people among them, and both had incredibly hateful and meanspirited people among them. Both groups had some who tried to lighten our load, and both had some who tried to hurt us as much as they could. Bottom line, whether a person had been born-again or not, by our modern definition, didn’t make any difference.

Maybe we need to rethink what it means to be born-again? Maybe we need to transition our thinking of being born-again from a one time experience where we recite a prayer, and contemplate whether or not being born-again might be an arduous process of his loving hand transforming us from glory to glory as we grow in his lordship and grace. If our view of living in God’s kingdom isn’t for the good of others, even though we have said a salvation prayer, maybe we’ve not been born-again. When Jesus spoke of eternal life, he said the difference between the sheep and the goats was in the way we respond to socially unacceptable people (Matthew 25:31-46). When asked about eternal life, Jesus taught that it included giving all we have away to the poor (Matthew 19:16-22). Some of you may say that exhortation was specifically to the rich young ruler. I think I would respond that we don’t think Jesus’ word to Nicodemus that he needed to be born-again was exclusively to him, but to all of us.

No doubt, prayer is necessary to be born-again, but we can measure the effectiveness of that prayer in our lives. It could be that the evidence is obedience to his command to “love one another.”

This may be important for 21st Century Evangelicalism.

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I AM WHO I AM

Moses was one of the most educated people in his generation. He was educated as the future leader of the most powerful nation on earth. He had been raised as the son of the world’s most powerful man and was groomed to rule. Consequently, he understood not only the political, economic, scientific and social dynamics of his day, but he also understood the accepted contemporary spiritual practices. He knew and had worshipped the gods of Egypt. He understood God, or so he thought.

After committing murder and abandoning his relationships and responsibilities, he lived in exile in the desert for forty years, God met with him and identified himself as “I AM WHO I AM,” If we in the modern age wanted to say the same thing, we would say, “I am who I am, and you have to accept me as I am.” In order to fully grasp this encounter, we have hear God speaking to Moses with some attitude in his voice; ” Are you humble yet? Stop thinking you know who I am and what I’m like. You don’t know me, and neither do those who say they know what I do and do not do. They think they know me and can represent me, but they misrepresent me and don’t know me as well as they think they do. I am who I am. Let me speak for myself and represent myself.

I know the problems that develop when others presume to represent another. In the 2006 scandal that shook my world, I resigned, repented, confessed, and submitted. Consequently, it allowed others to speak for me without consulting me or knowing actual facts. As a result, the web is filled with distortions, misrepresenting my actions, personality, motivations, and relationships. Building on false presuppositions, many have taken broad liberties with my story without reading my books, listening to my sermons, or meeting with me, and have come to flawed conclusions. If someone tries to determine my belief systems by reading skewed reports on the web, they would be deeply mistaken. Everyone should have the liberty to represent themselves. I think God doesn’t appreciate being misrepresented and wants to represent himself to each of us as well.

So for us to understand him, we have to be willing to accept that God is who he is, whether we like him or not, and whether we like what he does . . . or doesn’t do. He enters into a relationship with us just the way we are. Then the authenticity and dynamic of that relationship improves our lives. But for that relationship to be legitimate, our response to Christ’s call must be, “and I am who I am.” Then and only then can there be the beginning of a trust saturated, life-changing bond.

Every child has to dismiss their fantasies about their parents in order to actually meet them. Every spouse has to realize that dating their spouse was incomplete, and as the years pass they actually meet one another. It’s in the acceptance of each other that we all have authentic relationship. Christ is faithful never to leave us in our worst or best days. He is always faithful.

We need to stop the pretense and be honest about who we are so we can have authentic relationships and grow. We have to practice genuine family relationships. With authenticity we can proactively learn how to invest in each other’s success, have the courage to identify with one another, and the wisdom to encourage one another in the most difficult situations. . . just like Jesus. To know Christ, we must accept that he is who he is. For us to be his family here on the earth, we have to realistically be willing to invest in one another in the midst of the realities of our strengths and weaknesses, good days and bad, successes and failures. We are a family.

That’s 21st Century Evangelicalism.

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Just Keep Going

Every one of us is a combination of qualities with which we are pleased, and others that are shameful and embarrassing. Of course, we who are Christians want the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit, Word, and the body of Christ to work in us so the negative characteristics of our lives diminish and our positive characteristics develop. As Martin Luther so famously reminded us, we are all simultaneously saints and sinners. Our goal, of course, is to have the saintly portion of our lives far outweigh the sinner in us that raises its ugly head from time to time. I believe one of the necessary decisions in our lives that will help us accomplish that goal is to simply keep going.

All of the great personalities in Scripture, with the exception of Christ himself, had portions of their lives that were dark: Noah in his tent drunk and naked after saving the world, Abraham, justified by faith, with his lies and multiple wives, David, the man after God’s own heart, the adulterer and murderer who used his position as king to cover his crimes, Peter denying Christ after walking with him and seeing his divinity first hand, Paul, after his Damascus Road encounter with Christ himself, with so many issues that he identifies himself as the chief of sinners, least of the apostles, and the one with a messenger of Satan within sent to humble him. The list could go on and on. With each of these we see victory as they move forward. Judas is a notable exception. Great remorse gripped him, he repented, declared Jesus’ innocence, and gave back the money, but in despair killed himself which, of course, ended his story. As a result, his betrayal defines his life and always will. But for those who kept going, their failure is only a portion of their story.

In our modern context, when we think of Bill Clinton, Michael Vick, David Letterman, and Martha Stewart, we see them as victors who didn’t submit their entire life story to their own failures, but instead chose to let resurrection define their lives. In stark contrast is Richard Nixon who, after Watergate, resigned, retired, and died. By not continuing in the narrative of his life, he inadvertently built a monument to his failure and will always be defined by Watergate. But Clinton won’t be defined by the scandal that precipitated his disbarment and impeachment. His scandal will always be part of his story, but as he keeps going, his scandal consumes less and less space in the narrative of his life.

We are all resurrection people. We alone decide our present and our futures. Let’s keep going.

That’s 21st Century Evangelicalism

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21st Century Evangelicals

It’s a new day. During the 20th century Evangelicals spent more money spreading the Gospel than ever before. We printed more Bibles, built more Bible schools, seminaries, hospitals, and camps than in any other century. We now have more television stations, radio stations, missionaries, bumper stickers, t-shirts and churches than ever before. We did a great job spreading the message that the Bible is the Word of God, Jesus is the Son of God, and that all of us need to be born-again. One would think we should be headed into a positive future.

But as every political campaign and, sadly, too many sermons remind us, if we get off message, we lose. 20th Century Evangelicalism got way off message. Now our gods are attendance and money, our core aim is maintaining a good reputation, and our message is some strange amalgamation of Old Testament Law, New Testament grace, and the most recent cultural trends. As a result, we are powerless, mediocre, and many of our so-called bishops and apostles are nothing more clouds without rain.

It’s time for a 21st Century Evangelicalism to arise. But it can’t be the message of the 20th Century made cool with graphics, videos, jeans and goatees. Simple iEvangelicalism or Evangelicalism 2.0 won’t do. I believe 20th Century Evangelicalism is known as a hate group by so many because. . . we actually became a hate group to many. We don’t need a repackaging, we need to discover our New Testament center. We need to start again, and evaluate the New Testament in light of current realities and revisit our purpose in Christ. The focus of this blog is to contemplate the central themes of Evangelicalism– theologically, socially, and structurally– and suggest some New Testament revisions. Many of these ideas we have explored at the Roundtables on Life-Giving Leadership, which are springing up around the country. My intent with these blogs is a life-giving journey. My prayer is that this journey causes us to become exactly what Christ intended, an authentic body of believers, all gratefully redeemed.

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