Chuck Swindoll is a Dangerous Heretic?

That’s right, folks.

One of the Christian radio stations here in the ATL did a promotional piece a couple of years ago in which the station’s censor was complaining that he had the most boring job on the face of the earth because his station was so clean.

Well, it looks like the censors finally found themselves something to do.

Last week a major Christian network dropped Chuck Swindoll’s “Insight for Living” radio broadcast from their stations.  They’ve been monitoring it for seven years now (wow, that’s somebody with an awful lot of time on their hands) and have now come to the inescapable conclusion that Chuck Swindoll’s shockingly rude, crude, vulgar behavior cannot be tolerated any longer.  Among his many crimes:  repeated use of outrageously crude, vulgar and offensive words such as buns, heck, crap, and balls; recounting details of a prostate exam; encouraging people to see “The Lion King”; and mentioning someone who didn’t change their underwear every day as a sermon illustration.

But rather than trying to recount the whole story myself, I’ll let you read it over at Monday Morning Insight.  It will tell you everything you need to know.  If you really want the full skinny and have lots of time on your hands, here is the full press release from the network that dropped Swindoll, courtesy of the good people over at Slice of Laodicea.

Folks, if you need any proof that we as evangelicals live on a completely and totally different planet from the rest of the world, this is it right here.  Notice that the only people who are feeling any outrage about this whole thing are Christians.  That’s right.  The rest of the world just doesn’t care.

As Christians we are instructed to “come out from them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17).  But if that causes the rest of the world to look at us and say “What planet are you from?”, then we’ve got it all wrong.

Fellas, Have You Ever Thought of Doing Anything Like This for Your Wife?

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This is the Cornstalk Fence Hotel, located on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  The wrought iron fence in front is made to look like actual cornstalks.  If you examine it closely you will see that that actually is corn on the stalks.

This fence originally came from a house on St. Charles Avenue in the uptown area of New Orleans.  (I am not sure if this is the original fence from that house or just a copy.)  The owner of that house was a wealthy 19th century landowner who married a girl from Iowa.  He wanted to have something in the house that would remind her of home; thus the cornstalk fence.

Fellas:  Have you ever thought of doing anything like this for your wife?

Of course, this begs the question:  Why would anyone living in New Orleans want to be reminded of Iowa?

C. S. Lewis on the Dangers of National Repentance

I love to write diatribes critiquing the present state of evangelicalism.  If you have been tracking with me for any length of time I’m sure you’ve picked up on that.

And then I come across this little bit of writing by C. S. Lewis.  It comes from an essay entitled “Dangers of National Repentance”, which is in his book God in the Dock.

When we speak of England’s actions we mean the actions of the British Government.  The young man who is called upon to repent of England’s foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbour; for a Foreign Secretary or a Cabinet Minister is certainly a neighbour.  And repentance presupposes condemnation.  The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the more congenital one of bewailing–but first, of denouncing–the conduct of others.  If it were clear to the young that this is what he is doing, no doubt he would remember the law of charity.  Unfortunately, the very terms in which national repentance is recommended to him conceal its true nature.  By a dangerous figure of speech, he calls the Government not ‘they’ but ‘we’.  And since, as penitents, we are not encouraged to be charitable to our own sins, nor to give ourselves the benefit of any doubt, a Government which is called ‘we’ is ipso facto placed beyond the sphere of charity or even of justice.  You can say anything you please about it.  You can indulge in the popular vice of detraction without restraint, and yet feel all the time that you are practicing contrition.  A group of such young penitents will say, ‘Let us repent our national sins’; what they mean is, ‘Let us attribute to our neighbour (even our Christian neighbour) in the Cabinet, whenever we disagree with him, every abominable motive that Satan can suggest to our fancy.’

Continue reading “C. S. Lewis on the Dangers of National Repentance”

The Most Photographed Lightpost on the Face of the Earth

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Here it is, folks–the most photographed lightpost on the face of the earth.  It is the lightpost at the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip in the French Quarter of New Orleans, directly in front of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is a bar which has been in continuous operation since the 18th century, which easily makes it the oldest bar in the United States.  Legend has it that Jean Lafitte used this place as his base of operation when he was at the peak of his power.

This is the last bar on Bourbon Street; there are no more bars to the north of Lafitte’s.  It is a few blocks north of where the bulk of the Bourbon Street bars are; for this reason not very many of the tourists make it here.  But a lot of the ones who do, love to stand in front of this lightpost, with Lafitte’s in the background, and have their picture taken.

Where Do Wealthy People Live in Baton Rouge?

As I’ve said already, WordPress has this neat feature that lets you see the search terms people use to find your blog.  Well, a couple of days ago somebody came here wanting to know where wealthy people live in Baton Rouge.

I can answer that question.  I know of a couple of places where wealthy people live in Baton Rouge.

–Near the LSU Lakes.  The neighborhood right around the LSU Lakes on Dalrymple Drive, and then the Garden District area directly north of that, are nice neighborhoods that have a lot of nice old houses.

–The Baton Rouge Country Club area, near where Essen Lane, Jefferson Hwy, and Old Hammond Hwy all come together.

–The Country Club of Louisiana area, on Highland Road near where it crosses I-10.  Snoop Dogg has had a house in Country Club of Louisiana.  Jimmy Swaggart has a house on Highland Road near Country Club of Louisiana, or at least he did back in the day.  I have no idea what he is doing nowadays, or if he still owns that house.  But that ought to tell you something right there.

Well I hope that was helpful to you, whoever you are that asked the question.

Fight Club 8: May God Have Mercy on My Soul…

…regarding my responsibility to adhere to the doctrine of inerrancy.

Sorry folks.  I can’t do it.  And here’s why.

Inerrancy is a relatively recent invention.  It was devised in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a response to modernist challenges to the Christian faith which arose from the scientific community, which was being taken by storm by Darwinism, and from the scholastic community, which through higher criticism attempted to challenge the reliability of Scripture and the veracity of the historical facts contained in Scripture.

Modern evangelicalism was born largely as a response to these challenges.  One of the key doctrines that modern evangelicalism came around was the doctrine of inerrancy, which basically goes like this:  The Bible is the divinely inspired word of God.  God is the author of truth.  God cannot tell a lie or make an inaccurate statement.  Therefore the Bible contains nothing whatsoever which is false or inaccurate.  If it does, then it is not and cannot be the word of God.  It is the word of God, so we know that it does not. Continue reading “Fight Club 8: May God Have Mercy on My Soul…”

If There Was No Such Thing as Evangelical Protestant-dom

Today I would like to direct your attention to a post by John Dennis entitled “If There Was No Such Thing“.  This post is not a denunciation of Christianity, but instead a challenge for us to take a long, hard look at our religion and our religious culture, and see just what it is doing to us.  Just what kind of people are we becoming because we uncritically accept what the culture of evangelical Protestant-dom tells us about what we have to be in order to be Christian?  Read this post and consider it for yourself.

A Little Something More on Evangelism

I would like to return to the subject of evangelism for a little bit.

I’ve written at length about my aversion to the typical evangelical way of doing evangelism.  So now let me write about something which I can say “Yes” to.  Allow me to direct your attention to a post on Michael Spencer’s blog which describes what I believe is the proper approach to evangelism.

Michael Spencer is the chaplain at a Baptist boarding school in southeast Kentucky which serves a high percentage of international students, many of whom are not Christian.  This school does something which is unique among Christian schools–at least those of the evangelical stripe:  It does not restrict access to any of its programs to only professing Christians.

I believe that this is the way we ought to do evangelism.  Talk about and present the Gospel to our non-Christian friends if the opportunity presents itself, but show some respect for what they believe.  Allow them the freedom to not believe and to still be our friends.  The cup of cold water (Matthew 10:42) is to be given to the one who is Jesus’ disciple, but it is also to be given to anyone who is thirsty, regardless of whether or not they believe.

Just think how much good we could do in our world if only we would make it our business to just serve others, without getting hung up on whether or not they believe.

Q&A with Elliott Moon on Worship Music

At this time we are going to take a little pause from the Fight Club series.  Today I will change things up a bit by inviting longtime friend Elliott Moon to share this space, and to offer a somewhat different perspective on some of the issues that I hit upon in my earlier posts on worship.

Elliott Moon is the musical director at Browns Bridge Community Church, a new campus of North Point that opened last fall in the Cumming area, about 45 miles north of downtown Atlanta.  Today he is here to offer his thoughts on worship music and the worship culture of evangelical Protestant-dom as he sees it from his vantage point.  So without further ado…please welcome Elliott Moon. 

JD:  Tell me about yourself.  What led you to become involved in the world of worship music?  What led you to the position where you are now?

EM:  I am 32 years old, married with 2 little girls.  I have been playing drums for 22 years, professionally for 14.  I got involved in the world of worship music through my youth group at church.  We had no idea what it meant to worship with the instruments that we had. There was no place for them in “big church” so we would set up our band in Sunday school, and play songs that we heard on the radio, but we just rewrote the lyrics to fit “church.”  Not until I went off to school at Samford University, did I start to explore the idea of worship, what it meant, and how I could play a role in that.  I started traveling with a worship leader that I met at school, and se spent most of our time leading at youth retreats and summer camps.  After school I moved to Atlanta where I had accepted a job as Technical Director at a church.  I did that for a year, then I decided it was now or never if I was ever going to try to make a living at doing music full time.  So I started playing with different artists in town, and eventually was able to sustain my living that way.  I landed with Steve Fee where I played for him for 7 years.  It was during my traveling with him that I learned a ton about worship, and not only that, but I started to realize that I not only enjoyed playing music, and leading in worship, but my heart was to pastor.  That’s when things started changing for me, and I how I ended up in my current role as Music Director at Browns Bridge Community Church. Continue reading “Q&A with Elliott Moon on Worship Music”

Fight Club 7: I Heard from God Today!!!!!

For those of you who are just joining us, we are in the middle of a series called “Fight Club”, in which I am taking a long and pointed look at many facets of evangelical Protestant culture.  I have not been hesitant to write pointed diatribes about various facets of evangelical Protestant-dom on this blog, but these are going to be especially pointed and especially ugly.  Thus the name “Fight Club”.

In previous editions I have looked at prayer, worship, and evangelism.  This time around I will be tackling the evangelical view of hearing from God.

I will begin by linking an article by Bill MacKinnon entitled “No Voices in My Head”, which I trust will help to move us in the direction that I wish to go. 

One of the key things that drew me into the evangelical Protestant camp and has kept me there lo these many years is the idea that I can hear directly from God.  That God has something special to say to me and to me alone.  That God has something special He wants to do both in my life, and in the world through my life.  (Now I’m not talking about hearing an audible voice from God, or a voice that is audible to me alone.  While God does speak to people in that manner, the occasions on which He does so are very few and far between.  What I’m talking about is knowing in my heart that I have received something special from God that is uniquely addressed to me, and that as a result I know how God feels about me, what God wants to say to me, and what God wants to do in and through my life.)

There.  I just confused the issue a whole lot, didn’t I?  Well, it turns out that the issue isn’t as simple even as that. Continue reading “Fight Club 7: I Heard from God Today!!!!!”