Monday, October 27, 2008

Postmodernism Podcasts

For those of you who cannot join us for the free 5-week lesson at Grove Church on Postmodernism and Contemporary Christianity, we are posting podcasts of the lessons on the website. The first two lessons are currently available with more to come as they take place. Visit the "Podcasts/Other Resources page" for more details. There is also a link to the latest podcast on the Home Page.

Keeping your eye on what is important

I am currently out of town on a business trip, and fortunately my hotel has free WiFi. I won't say exactly where I am so that I do not come across as "calling anyone out" and we can just keep our comments general.

As I was driving this morning, I passed a church with a sign out front, just like all those signs we use to announce when Sunday School and worship begin, or sometimes to put up cute little sayings designed to bring people through the front door. But this sign was different. This one said something to the effect of, "It is your Christian duty to vote against Sunday store hours." I may not have it exactly right. After all, I was driving at the time and couldn't write it down.

Now I assume that this locality still has some form of Sunday blue laws prohibiting at least some types of stores from being open on Sundays. I understand why Christians do not work on Sundays (I, for one, will not go into my office or do any office work at home on Sundays), and I certainly understand why an establishment like a Christian book store or even Chick-fil-a, many if not most of the employees of which are Christians, would not be open on Sundays. If your business chooses to do this, great.

But this sign appeared to be telling Christians that it was their "duty" to vote against allowing other, non-Christian businesses to be open on Sundays. Essentially, they are telling Christians that it is our duty to legally force others to observe our Sabbath.

I am not going to go any further into the merits of the position this church was advocating, but I am going to take issue with them telling Christians that they have a duty to vote a particular way on this issue. So now we will have some Christians saying we must vote this way, others saying we shouldn't, and before you know it we have divisions forming within the church. Are these divisions over the theology of salvation or over the true identity of Christ? No, they are divisions over blue laws.

We need to be careful where we draw the line when we are telling other Christians what they have to believe and what they don't if they call themselves Christian. Are Baptists going to tell Presbyterians that they are not Christians if they do not believe in full immersion or adult baptism only? Are we going to say a church is not Christian because it allows for Saturday evening services and Sunday, not Saturday is the Sabbath?

Be careful when you tell other Christians what they "must" believe, or what it is their "duty" to do. Our "duty" is to live as much like Christ as we can in this world, and to continue to grow more and more like Him. Part of that, as Paul tells us in Ephesians, is to live as one unified body, with Christ as the head. Let's not start down paths that could lead to division unless we are reasonably sure that whatever issue is involved really warrants it. I'd venture to say a Christian's position on blue laws doesn't rise to that level, so I will not be telling anyone what their "duty" is to vote one way or the other.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Free 5-Week Program on Postmodernism

"I'm glad Christianity works for you, but it really isn't what I'm looking for right now."

"We really shouldn't attach labels of 'right' or 'wrong' to other people's ideas. After all, everyone is right. It just depends upon your point of view."

"Truth is all relative."

Do any of these comments sound familiar? They are all examples of the "postmodern" thought that has seeped into our culture and even into the church itself. Are these statements consistent with what the Bible teaches about Christianity? Find out by coming to a FREE five-week program on "Postmodernism and Contemporary Christianity" every Sunday morning from 9:15am-10:15 am beginning October 20, 2008. Join us for these user-friendly lessons as we compare postmodern beliefs to the scriptures. Learn how to share your faith in today's society. No philosophy degree required!

The classes will be held at Grove Presbyterian Church, 50 East Bel Air Avenue, Aberdeen, Maryland, on the second floor of the Monroe Building. Click here for directions. No advance registration is required. Just show up ready to learn.

Each class will be approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour in length, followed by a 10:30 worship service in the church. Based upon a book Ten Minas President Ken Coughlan is currently authoring, "Postmodernism and Contemporary Christianity" is more than merely a Bible study. While the lessons will dive into the scriptures, they will also explore some cultural and philosophical issues. Unfortunately, while most of our churches today do an admirable job of teaching what Christians should believe, they give short shrift to why Christians should believe it. By better understanding what people around you believe about reality, you will be in a far better position to reach them with Christ's truth.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. So bring your Bible and your willingness to learn and join us for these classes. We hope to see you there.