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Archive for the ‘Church Trends’ Category

Todd Rhoades over at MMI admonishes Ed Young Jr. for his video rebuke to pastors. While Ed makes some good points, I tend to agree with Todd – you don’t need to cuss to tell people not to cuss.

Check it out at:

What the @$&*? Ed Young Swears to Prove a Point: Don’t Swear

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Interesting take by Ed Young Jr on how the new mind should lead us to communicate.  I know “grace” means we’ve been forgiven and free to live without the wrath of God.  But when we use vulgar and abusive language, there’s a heart issue involved.  I’ve heard preachers and church leaders curse, even from the pulpit.  Some even look on it as a freedom they have in Christ.   If you think this is a privilege, you not only need to clean up your speech, you need to take a hard look at cleaning up your doctrine.

(Matthew 15:18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

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I used to live in the Lousiana community where a church plans to construct a 199-foot cross.  It’s so tall the pastor had to get FAA approval.  The cost?  A mere $700,000.  If you must read more of the store, you can get it here.

I suppose the lost and hungry standing on the banks of the river will be thankful to look across the miles and feel less lost and hungry once it is erected.  Will they hear the gospel?  Will anyone care for them?  If they could just make it to the Jesus Shopping Mall with the Apostle Food Court, perhaps their needs could be met.   But they better be careful because the hours of operation are only 9-11am on Sunday morning.

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The American Religious Identification Survey was released by Trinity College on March 9th.  In a related USA Today article that summarizes the findings, “When it comes to religion, the USA is now land of the freelancers.”  If you take the numbers at face value, the American church landscape is going through some enormous shifts.  Here are a few of the key findings:

  • The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent.
  • Northern New England is now the least religious section of the country.  Previously, it was the Pacific Northwest.
  • Most of the growth in the “Christian” population took place amongst those who identify themselves as “Christian,” “Evangelical/Born Again,” or “non-denominational Christian.”  The survey gives credit to the growth of megachurches which total 8 million members as opposed to 200,000 in the 1990’s.
  • However, only 34% of Americans consider themselves “Evanglical” or “Born Again.”

There are several other trends indicated which I’ll comment on in future posts.  But the immediate things that are most disturbing have to do with the declining population identifying themselves as Christians yet the simultaneous growth in the megachurch movement.

The watered down gospel message preached today in many churches leaves doubt whether those identifying themselves as “Christians” are actually those who understand and believe the gospel of the grace of God.  The growth in the megachurches cited in this survey may actually be increased membership of non-believers.  This leads to the real possibility that 34% of Americans who consider themselves “Evangelical” or “Born Again” may actually be an inflated number.  True believers may comprise a much, much smaller part of our population.

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Michael Spencer  made headlines when he published this article in the Christian Science Monitor about the coming collapse of evangelicalism.  I’ll post some of my comments but I’m wondering what your thoughts might be.

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