Poll on Church for Atheists

I read an amazing article in religiontoday.com by Dr. Jerry Newcombe. The article talked about how “there is a place atheists can go on Sundays. There’s a new type of ‘atheist church’ that has been founded by a couple from England, and apparently it’s taking off.”There is such a thing called, “Atheist mega-churches.” And they are all over the U.S. These are “people bound by their belief in non-belief. The founders are ‘British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans,’ who are on a tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch new Sunday Assemblies. The services consist of singing secular songs, inspirational talks, and times of reflection. Basically, it’s religion without God.”

So, with this in mind, and after telling people about this article, I asked 10 people questions about it. I first asked, “Did you know that there are Atheist mega churches all over the U.S.?” 8 out of the 10 said no, they had no idea. I asked them if they agreed with Atheist mega churches. 10 out of 10 said yes. I asked them if they would ever go to one of these churches to see what took place. 5 out of 5 said yes, they would go check it out if given the opportunity. I asked if they think there can be “religion without God?” 9 out of 10 said no.

Newcombe writes that, “The idea of atheists going to church brings home to me the notion that we are all hard-wired by the Creator to worship. We all worship something. According to the Bible, we’ll ultimately either worship Jesus, or we’ll worship something less; we’ll worship the creature rather than the Creator.” I could not agree more. These people are searching for something to worship. And if they refuse to worship the creator they will worship the creature. And….Religion without God??? That’s like being alive without breath. It’s impossible, it doesn’t happen.

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“Pro-life Shift or PR Stunt”

Andrew Branch wrote for religiontoday.com saying, “China announced Friday it will loosen family planning rules that limit most couples to a single child. Only a small percent of couples will benefit from the first change in decades to the policy, which still leaves intact a coercive system of forced sterilization and abortion. The changes were part of a key policy document following a four-day meeting of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders through Tuesday. Families in which at least one parent is an only child will be allowed to have a second child. Previously, both parents had to be only children. Rural couples have been allowed two children if their first-born child was a girl.” But is this a pro-life shift or a PR stunt?

I hope it’s a pro-life shirt. If so, I think this is great. I can’t imagine if I was married and having kids, and I was only allowed to have one baby. I would hate that. I love that they changed this policy.

New York City Having a Great Awakening?

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Joy Allmond wrote in religiontoday.com, that 20 years ago people called New York a “spiritual ghost town.””Yet, over the recent decades—particularly this last one—New York has seen a surge in evangelicalism. Some cultural experts believe the Big Apple to be on the brink of another ‘Great Awakening.’ Gregory Thornbury, president of The King’s College—the only free-standing Christian institution of higher learning in New York City—compares this rise in Christianity to the the great Wall Street revival of 1857.”

I think this is awesome. I have no doubt that God is moving here, and everywhere.

“I Give God 10%, Why do you Get 18?”

Justin Lee wrote an article in the huffingtonpost.com on something I have been seeing all over facebook. He posted a picture of a receipt and then told the story about it. “The story: The pastor was part of a large party who ate at this server’s restaurant. Like many American restaurants, this particular one has a policy of adding an automatic 18 percent tip for large parties. It’s something the computer does automatically, not something the server has any control over. According to the server, the pastor’s party tried to get around the automatic 18 percent tip by asking for separate checks, even though the same person was paying for the whole table. The server says that everyone was happy with the service; they just didn’t like the idea of a compulsory tip. The result? The pastor scribbled out the tip, leaving none at all, and adding the note, ‘I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?'”

This is just crazy to me. I’m embarrassed not only for the pastor who did this, but of how it makes religious people look. This is terrible. If it was that big of a deal to this pastor, he should have just tipped 10%, that way he wasn’t “giving more than he gives God.” But holy cow, if that’s how this man looks at it, God doesn’t want his money. We are supposed to give with a joyful heart, and if we don’t, then God doesn’t want it. So if this pastor thinks it’s that much of a burden he just shouldn’t tithe at all. This story just blows my mind. Tip your waiter because God has blessed you with money to do so. Or don’t go out to eat. 

Poll On a Minister Officiating his Gay Son’s Marriage

Michael Rubinkam wrote an article in the huffingtonpost.com saying, “A United Methodist minister was convicted Monday in a Pennsylvania church trial of breaking church law by officiating at his son’s same-sex marriage, a case that rekindled debate over the policy of the nation’s largest mainline Protestant denomination.” The Reverend Frank Schaefer tried to justify it by saying “he tried to follow God’s command to minister to all, even if he disobeyed the Methodist Book of Discipline. He said he could have avoided the trial by agreeing to avoid any more same-sex ceremonies. But he declined, noting that three of his four children are gay.” The church law has explicit bans against clergy performing same-sex weddings. “The nation’s largest mainline Protestant denomination accepts gay and lesbian members but rejects the practice of homosexuality as “incompatible with Christian teaching. Schaefer could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to losing his minister’s credentials.”

I found this case interesting so I asked ten people what they thought about it. I asked if they thought what this minister did was wrong. 5 out of 10 said yes. I asked if they approved of gay marriage, 5 out of the 10 said yes. I asked if they thought this minister should lose his credentials. 5 out of the 10, once again, said yes. I then asked if they thought it was strange that three out of his four children are gay. 10 out of 10 said yes. I asked if they thought that affected his views on gay rights. 10 out of 10 said yes.

 In my opinion, this mans minister rights should be taken away. You practice what you preach. The bible, from what this man teaches from, tells us explicitly that marriage between people of the same sex is wrong. So I’m not sure what God this man is following, but it is not mine. We are told to love everyone, but we should not encourage the wrong that they are doing. Marrying two gay people is encouraging the sin.

Gays and Lesbians in Houses of Worship

Jaweed Kaleem wrote in the huffingtonpost.com, “Nearly half of houses of worship in the United States now allow gay and lesbian members who are in long-term relationships to be members, while close to one in three now let gay and lesbian members hold voluntary leadership posts, according to a new study of more than a thousand American congregations.”

I completely agree with loving the gay and lesbian members, and yes, allowing them to be members but I don’t agree that they should be in leadership. 

“Christianity Will Become Extinct”

Kevin Eckstrom wrote in the huffingtonpost.com that, “The highest-ranking Muslim in the British government on Friday (Nov. 15) called on Western governments to do more to protect besieged Christian minorities across the world, particularly in the Holy Land where they are now seen as ‘outsiders.’ “A mass exodus is taking place, on a biblical scale,” she said in a speech at Georgetown University. “In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct.”

I completely agree with this. People are forgetting about God. They’re letting worldly things get in the way of what is eternal.

Private Schools Kicking Out Gay Students

An article in theguardian.com states, “Schools often aspire to be nurturing and supportive institutions. For gay and lesbian students, however, experience dictates that it can be a place of seclusion rather than support. In fact, in many private and faith-based schools, “coming out” is sufficient grounds for expulsion. Recently, Independent MP Alex Greenwich has moved legislation to help put an end to this in NSW. If passed, private educational authorities would no longer be able to discriminate against current or prospective students on the basis of homosexuality, transgender status, domestic status, age and disability.”

As Christians we are called to love. Do I think kicking kids out of school is loving them? No. I went to a private school and I would have been very upset if one of my friends “came out” and they were harassed or abused in any way. Kicking them out of school would be terrible. Why not love them and hope they change? I think that would be the better option.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/11/students-expelled-from-schools-for-being-gay-its-not-ok

Fifty Ministers Marry a Gay Couple

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An article in the huffingtonpost.com says, “Bill Gatewood and Rick Taylor only needed one minister to marry them at their longtime place of worship, Arch Street United Methodist Church. Instead, they got fifty.”

“Risking the loss of their credentials, the ministers came to show their support of same-sex marriage, an issue currently being hotly debated in the Methodist Church, as well as to show solidarity with an embattled colleague who has been personally affected. Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, PA, will stand trial on Nov. 18 in front of the church because he officiated his son’s same-sex wedding, which is currently against church law.”

Holy cow. No. This is so wrong. So so wrong. I can’t believe these men and women call themselves ministers. Love all people, yes. But to completely and utterly support them and marry them..no.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/50-ministers-gay-marriage_n_4260490.html?utm_hp_ref=religion