Why I’m Looking Past the Blood Moons (and you should too)

BT_blood_moon_final

CAUTION–Darren will rant in 3…2…1…

Fellow Christians, am I the only one a little tired of hearing about Shemitah, Blood Moons, Red Heifers, Pale Horses, Black Horses,Yellow Brick Roads, Little Green Men, Yellow Submarines, etc. (and of those making gobs of money on these things)? It doesn’t make you a prophet to say judgment is coming, and you don’t need signs in the heavens, Jewish dates, or troubling headlines to proclaim it. Yes, judgment is coming. Judgment has ALWAYS been coming. This is NOT brand new information!

If you’re a Christian, don’t get overly caught up in the headlines, or the stars, or the moons. Don’t rush out to buy the books that focus on these things. All we need is found in the book we already have–THE Word. Are all these things in that Word? Kind of, although Apocalyptic Literature is deliberately open to interpretation, which is why prophecy preachers can use the same scriptures over and over again for brand new headlines. But where they appear, they are just SIGNS. Continue Reading →

5 Reasons I Haven’t Left the Church

crop headshotMy article today on charismanews.com:

I recently read Frank Viola’s thought-provoking article, “10 Reasons Why I Left the Institutional Church in Search of the Ekklesia,” and for that reason, I suppose I should give a description of what I mean when I say “church.”

When I use the term “church” I mean that thing we do when we sit down with other believers weekly and typically stare at the back of everyone’s head, except one—the orator—whose face we get to see for 30 minutes. (60-90 if you’re Pentecostal or Charismatic like me.)

And since Mr. Viola had 10 reasons and I only have 5, I guess that makes his argument twice as effective as mine.

It’s widely popular to talk about how young adults, from my generation on down, (I’m 35, ouch, that hurts to write) are leaving the church. It’s a mass exodus of immense proportions (is that redundant?). I’ve recently seen many talk about their reasons for walking away from church, so I thought I’d share the other side of the coin: 5 reasons why I haven’t walked away from church. (For the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.)

When God Fails, Can You Still Trust Him?

failure

I recently had an epic fail. Even though my wife’s best friend is a professional hair dresser and would gladly come cut my hair in my home, I cut my own because, as my wife says, I’m cheap. This had never caused an issue before, but alas, all good things must come to an end.

I cut my hair in front of the mirror so I can get a good look at what I’m doing. As I was cutting, I lifted the clippers up toward the top of my head, and for a brief moment the clippers disappeared behind my arm. Apparently during this brief moment in my blind spot, the guard silently fell off…like a stealth ninja hair guard. I then pressed the clippers to the top of my head with no guard whatsoever, gashing a 2 inch hole into the side of my hair. Continue Reading →

Should Your Church Euthanize Small Groups?

NOT small-groups

Someone recently pointed me to a blog post that said churches should “euthanize small groups.” You can read it here. I think it’s fairly old, but new to me. At first I feared the author might be an insane murderer, but as I read, I realized he didn’t mean it literally. When he said we should euthanize small groups, he simply meant the practice of such a thing in church, not the groups themselves (whew).

The author made several arguments, stating that small groups don’t really create disciples but, rather, they tend to create ineffective, half-hearted friendships that don’t truly fulfill the Great Commission.

Okay, I could buy into that to some extent. It’s certainly been true of many of the small groups I’ve tried to be a part of. But it’s not true of all of them. So it’s a highly over-generalized idea. I’ve been a part of some truly close-knit, spiritually effective small groups, as well.

I don’t think we need to kill our small groups. But, there certainly ARE some things we could euthanize Continue Reading →

A Response to Rachel Held Evans – “Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church” p. 1

nomoreexcuses

I’m a fan of Rachel Held Evans. Mostly because she speaks her mind, even when she knows it won’t be popular. We live only a few miles from one another in the heart of the Bible Belt. Her opinions on many topics—the Bible, God, church, social justice, homosexuality, etc—are opinions that I hear often from countless friends in our age group.

I recently read her article for CNN, “Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church.” If you haven’t read it yet, click here.

Rachel said she’s 32. I’m 34, so we were both raised on Saturday morning cartoons, cordless phones with extendable 4-foot antennas, and Pop Rocks and Coke (they don’t kill you!). She wrote that although she has one foot in Generation X, she tends to side with Millennials on church stuff. On some topics, I could very easily say the same.

I liked her article. She’s analyzing the dilemma quite well as she often does. My dilemma has nothing to do with what she wrote. The problem is I’ve heard this argument countless times over the last several years.

Continue Reading →

The Can’t Miss Cure for Biblical Illiteracy

Countless studies, books, and websites reveal to us that we have become a biblically illiterate people. It’s not only a problem in society; it’s also a problem in the church. And it MUST be addressed lest we fall off the abyss of tainted theology and doctrine and start writing books about love that wins. This we want to avoid.

biblical-illiteracy guy

So how do we cure biblical illiteracy? After much pondering, I’ve come to a very poignant and painful conclusion. To cure biblical illiteracy, we must… Continue Reading →

Top 5 Discipleship Posts

My passion is discipleship, thus, my site title (see big black header above). You may notice that my post title says I’m sharing my top 5 discipleship posts, but I actually have 6. That’s because, as I’m sure we’ll all agree, “top 6″ would just sound ridiculous.

So here’s my top 5 (i.e., 6) favorite posts pertaining to discipleship. Enjoy.

What Is Discipleship?

Is There Any Value in “Classic” Sunday School?

What Does Your Church Have To Offer?

5 Reasons I Haven’t Left The Church

What’s My Line? the loss of personal convictions

5 Reasons Your Discipleship Strategy May Be Stuck

5 Reasons I Haven’t Left The Church

Its widely popular to talk about how young adults, from my generation on down, (I’m 34, ouch, that hurts to write) are leaving the church. It’s a mass exodus of immense proportions (is that redundant?). I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about their reasons for walking away from church, so I thought I’d share the other side of the coin: five reasons why I haven’t walked away from church. Continue Reading →

What Is Discipleship?

What does that say? It’s pronounced “di-shipe-uhl-shmip.” I REALLY wanted to make that the name of this entire blog site, but everyone I pitched it to shot me down. I need more humorous friends. They just don’t get it. (If you’re my friend and you’re reading this, I’m NOT talking about you, just everybody else. You have a great sense of humor. I like you. We hate them.)

I think we have a discipleship problem in America, so I’ve decided to dub what we do “dischpleshmip.” At some points we’re close to true discipleship, and at other points, we’re a million miles away.

Continue Reading →

What DOES Your Church Have To Offer?

What does your church have to offer? That’s the question I hear asked often when people begin looking for a church. Our consumer driven mindset has trickled into our choice of churches. So, we pick the one with the best “stuff.” This has led churches to competition—he who has the most toys wins. I’m fine with churches having stuff. I like stuff. Stuff is good. Stuff is awesome. I love the playgrounds, the laser lights, and the broadway-like productions some churches offer. There is certainly nothing innately wrong with such things. Cool stuff is, well… cool. But I recently read a story that reminded me of a few things: Continue Reading →