In 1975, Bill Hybels and Dr. Bilezikian discussed a concept that would be one of the most impacting—and one of the most misunderstood—in the Western Church.
While they implemented may ideas, some of the more notorious included diligent research and feedback, emphasis on local community, and effective communication. These principals, and others, grew their numbers at a startling rate, and eventually drew respect of many in the American Church, including some of their largest opponents from their early years.
Why was their such a misunderstanding, though? And why do many Christian groups misrepresent what Hybels did at Willow Creek? Perhaps this is easier to understand if we review three closet assumptions held by many Christians in America…
1. Research and market feed back are shallow, aesthetically-focuses, and greed-driven, only used by top-heavy, bureaucratic, for-profit businesses.
2. Good Bible teaching must use big words that normal people shouldn’t understand. Since seminaries teach with big words, those big words must be taught to the plumber in the pew before he can understand the Bible… even though those big words aren’t in the Bible. · · · →
Zombies, perverts in airport security, and now the movie theater seats show the same criminal genius as the movie theater screen. Where did it start?
Rather than thinking legal/policy, just for a moment, connect the spiritual dots. The music and entertainment industry’s blatant agenda, tolerance without wisdom, hate is everywhere, immorality defended, murder aliased abortion, spite for the Ten Commandments… “Religious rules only oppress people,” they say. What’s wrong with forbidding murder? Wouldn’t it have been nice if the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not commit murder,” had been welcome in a Colorado theater at midnight on July 20?
Movies don’t kill people. Guns don’t kill people. Baseball bats don’t kill people. People kill people. Human beings give power to tools and inspiration of death and sadness—and we give such power through participation and tolerance of sin. What about giving power to tools and inspiration of Life? We can’t outlaw love for morals, then ban weapons of crime anymore than we can demand more jobs while punishing employers who create those jobs. · · · →
Recently, I had a large number of hits on my blog from a single location. Someone sat at his computer and literally clicked through every article I’ve posted. I know when someone is doing their homework on me, whether through a blog or checking my references… not that I mind of course. Let’s just be clear that background checks are rarely done in secret. More importantly, it made me remember something I noticed in the highly-divided American denominations: lack of fellowship.
American denominationalism—including divisions between “independent” congregations with a denominational spirit—are filled with argumentative Christians who are well-versed in literature of their “opponents”. Very few, however, show any sign of regular fellowship with influential leaders from the “other side of the tracks”. Christian denomination leaders don’t seem to actually sit down and have regular fellowship inside their respective cliques.
At most, they accidentally meet back stage at a conference like Promise Keepers. · · · →
OPINION—Much of what we know from long history is anecdotal at best, coming from tradition. But could that actually be more credible than the academic obsession we have today?
General Eisenhower insisted that as many photographs as possible be taken of the Jewish Holocaust aftermath because, some day, so he claimed, someone would try to deny that any of it ever happened. Now, not even a century later, accredited academians and even Middle-East governments are making the denial Eisenhower predicted. What’s the point in certification if it doesn’t stop such obtuse lies? Perhaps, certifying the lies was Satan’s intention all along.
Tradition tells us that there were two zodiacs. Yes, TWO! The first was held by Noah (the guy with the ark) and his ancestors. Supposedly, Noah believed that the stars told a story of a loving Creator God who would redeem humanity through a suffering messiah borne of a virgin. · · · →