You can complete a form. Maybe there’s a phone number to call. Or in some cases, you might even be able to make an appointment with a real live individual. In business and government services, it’s a mark of sound practice to provide people with a means of filing complaints. But what are Christians to do with their complaints over another Christian – or even an entire church? What we find, as with most things, is the Church is called to practices quite different from that of a business or government agency.
Complaints in the Church?
I know, it’s a crazy thought – a Christian complaining about those to whom the Spirit has bonded them in peace (Eph 4:3)?! It’s almost as preposterous as former slaves complaining about their liberation and longing for the good ol’ days of oppression (seeNum 11:1-6). The selfishness of the human heart will eventually express itself in grumbling and complaining, irrespective of how many people God has already killed for that sin (1 Cor 10:10-11). None of us can avoid having complaints and the New Testament assumes that other Christians will even provoke them!
Just consider the assumption behind such commands as Eph 4:2, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” The Bible assumes that Christians will have to work on being humble and gentle with other Christians. And that other Christians will require patience, even bearing or tolerating them in love. Clearly, the New Testament’s picture of the local church is not that of R.E.M., a bunch of “shiny, happy people holding hands.” No, it’s an assembly of called sinners who’ll have to lovingly tolerate a bunch of irritating qualities in one another, with patience and gentleness relating together in humility.
In short, the Bible assumes that Christians will face reasons to complain about each other. Let’s be honest, our experience has confirmed that in spades, hasn’t it? No single one of us can avoid having a complaint – or twenty-eight. As long as we have a mind and heart that prefers what we prefer, and we live with others who do the same, the friction when we meet will spark complaints.
So where again can we find the Complaint Department?
If what I’m seeing and hearing is representative of our wider culture, we are facing an epidemic of burnout among Christians, and especially among pastors. Here are the 40 best resources on the subject that I’ve collected over the years. Hope you don’t get burnout reading through them!
For more lists of online resources on subjects like counseling preaching, leadership, and battling porn, click here.
We will all suffer, of that there is no doubt. It is strange, then, that we are often unprepared for it. With that in mind, a useful exercise is to summarize Scripture and identify what words of God can guide us when things are hard.
Here is my current list of ten things to do while suffering (it is always subject to ongoing refinement).
I sometimes listen to preachers with amazement, if not awe. So many of them are incredibly effective in communicating God’s Word, so much more effective than I ever was or will be. I certainly understand that assessing effectiveness is a very subjective assignment. But, simply put, a number of preachers I have observed are incredible in explaining and applying the Word. As a consequence, God changes lives and saves people.
The best I can do is to be a student of these preachers, and to share with you seven key habits I have observed in most of them. I regularly ask these preachers about the way they go about preparing, preaching, and evaluating their messages. My list is fallible, but I do hope it’s helpful.
This article by Kevin Williamson on National Review was pretty popular, and it explains my great fear about marrying and starting a family in a society run by secular leftists.
I make a pretty poor puritan, though perhaps someday I’ll make a better one. I object to abortion as violence, including abortion actuated via relatively bloodless chemical means, and believe that it should be prohibited as a matter of humane principle. The use of actual contraceptives, such as condoms, and the question of what combinations of consenting adults do what with whom — by which I mean maintaining joint bank accounts and sharing dental plans, of course — may be of acute interest to the bishops but are not properly matters of prohibition by the federal government, the purpose of which is to protect property, thus enabling Americans to organize their lives as they will, rather than to move citizens…
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If you are a biblical Christian you of course believe in a personal, malevolent, spiritual being known as the devil. And you know that he hates God and God’s purposes. Thus he works incessantly to undermine and destroy everything related to God and God’s people.
So he hates the church, he hates Christians, he hates the Bible, he hates worship, he hates godliness, and so on. He thus seeks to thwart, pervert, debilitate and immobilise the church at every turn. So put yourselves in his shoes for a moment (admittedly not something any Christian would want to do).
If you had to devise a fiendish way to incapacitate the church, to divide the church, to compromise the church, and to destroy it from within, what diabolical scheme would you come up with? There are many such schemes that come to mind, but I can think of hardly anything better than to use the issue of homosexuality to unravel the church.
A few weeks ago I set out on a new series of articles through which I am scanning the history of the church—from its earliest days all the way to the present time—to examine some of Christianity’s most notorious false teachers. Along the way we have visited such figures as Arius, Pelagius, Joseph Smith, and Ellen G. White. As we move steadily closer to contemporary times we must pause to take a brief look at the life and ministry of Harry Emerson Fosdick, the foremost proponent and popularizer of theological liberalism.
One by one, the huge mega-churches with their 5,000+ member congregations are beginning to reveal the true agenda The Emergent Church, powered by the Rick Warren machine, is a huge promoter of Chrislam, the demonic hybrid of Christianity and Islam. Now Hillsong United in Australia thrown their hat into the ring.
Listen to the word of Hillsong United leader Brian Houston:
“How do you view God? In a desert there’s two types of birds: there’s vultures and there’s hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat. The other lives off the beautiful, sweet nectar in a particular flower on a particular desert plant. In the same desert, they both find what they’re looking for.
Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God. And of course through history, those views have changed greatly. But lets make sure that we view God through the eyes of Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the beauty of a Saviour, the loving open inclusive arms of a loving God. And that way we’ll lead out of that and you’ll be purposeful about your leadership and you’ll draw people just like the Lord Jesus always does through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Chrislam is a LIE, and it can damn your soul to Hell if you believe it. The God of the Bible and the god of Islam have nothing in common. One is real, and the other is fake. Obviously, Brian Houston cannot tell the difference.
NTEB News Desk | March 25, 2014 at 11:32 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p1kFP6-4Cb
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In a 2007, Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, was interviewed and responded to the question Are you trying to end poverty or evangelize Christianity? by saying As a Christian organization, we are motivated by our commitment to Christ to love our neighbors and care for the less fortunate……….We don’t proselytize. View article ➛
World Vision recently announced that, going forward, they will be hiring professing Christians who are in “legal same-sex marriage(s).” At the same time, World Vision confusingly claimed they are not endorsing same sex marriage via an in-house letter to their staff. All this got us to wondering about what the real issue is here. Could it be that the visible church of today is slowly apostasizing, and yet assuaging its collective conscience with the salve of legality? View article ➛
Lies that lying liars tell, and the stupid Americans that believed him
In 2010, Barack Obama promised there would be no “taxpayer-funded abortions”. In 2014, the Obama Administration is a full-fledged partner with Planned Parenthood in the abortion-providing business at taxpayer expense.
Obamacare is not only a violation of the United States Constitution, it is also an unprecedented push to increase the number of babies murdered each year through taxpayer-funded abortions.
Obama’s Many Other Lies Regarding Obamacare:
“If you like your plan, you can keep it.”
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor”
“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit”
“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital-gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
“But what we will do is, we’ll have the [Obamacare] negotiations televised on C-SPAN … .”
Mr. Obama promised the most transparent administration in American history. He proclaimed that by airing the Obamacare negotiations, Americans would see who’s really on their side. Indeed. Perhaps that’s why Mr. Obama never intended to air these in the first place. C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb later explained that his television network would have broadcast the negotiations, but “He never asked us .”
Perhaps the most disturbing of all: “I will never forget my own mother, as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment.” — Barack Obama, August 2009
The depths of the president’s dishonesty are fully revealed by his willingness to dishonor his own departed mother when he falsely claimed that her health insurance company attempted to cancel her policy. In actuality, Ann Dunham’s employer-based policy not only paid for her hospital bills and cancer treatment in full, they afforded her care at prestigious institutions like Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Straub Clinic.
The deceit is breathtaking
Obamacare is the most disastrous law of our lifetimes, one that was forced upon us in the most dishonest of ways in order to fundamentally transform America from the Land of the Free into a nation of dependents. The Obamacare days of reckoning have barely begun, and our only salvation now is to repeal this train wreck in its entirety and to be honest with Americans about what measures actually work: patient-centered, market-driven reforms. source – Washington Times
One of the big problems in America today is that a lot of people simply do not seem to care about what they are doing anymore. The level of sloth, laziness and apathy that we are witnessing in this country is absolutely mind-numbing. Of course this is not true of everyone. There are still many Americans that are extremely hard working. But overall, it really appears that people are not taking as much pride in their work as they once did. Some of the examples that I am about to show you are quite funny. Others are more than just a little bit disturbing. But they all have a common theme. Americans from all walks of life are simply giving up. Whether they are teachers, delivery people or fast food workers, the truth is that there are a whole lot of people out there that seem to have mentally checked out. (Read More….)
In a dramatic moment at the Supreme Court Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told justices that U.S. business owners have no religious freedom to reject government mandates forcing them to cover abortions.
Some of the people working in the Obama administration and in the White House are trying to “completely secularize our military” and are “hostile to Christians,” to the point that they “are anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do,” said Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of world-renowned preacher Rev. Billy Graham.
The most recent evidence of this is the move by Obama to surrender control of the Internet – the communications vehicle through which innovation travels in this 21st century – to bureaucrats abroad over which we have no control.
On March 14th, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a component of the U.S. Commerce Department, announced a plan to begin transitioning “key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder [sic] community.” In doing this, the United States would surrender ultimate control of what keeps the Internet free and accessible to virtually anyone, anyplace, anytime, to an unelected, uncontrollable “global community.”
The first half of the last century was plagued with deep seated hatred of Jews. This hatred culminated in the Holocaust, 6 million European Jews killed by the Nazi regime ruled by Adolf Hitler. For the next several decades, anti-Semitism, or the hatred of the Jews due to their heritage, declined in most areas of the world, even in the areas where the Holocaust occurred …….. Click here for full story
This will absolutely put a smile on your face. Funny thing about Europeans, they sure do know a dictator when they see one.
Obama: Well That’s Embarrassing, No One Clapped
We can only hope and pray that Americans will soon begin to wise up and give Mr. Obama this exact same reaction next time he opens his mouth on American soil to spout more lies and deceit.
NTEB News Desk | March 26, 2014 at 10:02 am | URL: http://wp.me/p1kFP6-4Cq
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