Archive for the ‘Church & Society’ Category

Church Ministry-I-E

15 Dec

When the church has a choice of dealing with government agencies or church related agencies, it seems to feel that the government agencies are more qualified. I was working for the welfare department when a church first approached me to help them develop a ministry to the poor. The church had no one that was experienced in working with the poor and knew I was a pastor as well as a Social Worker. While the government has many professional staff that have much that they can teach the church, many frontline government workers do little to deal with the problems clients face. While government workers have the training, they work mostly with paperwork and rarely get directly involved with clients. When I worked for the welfare dept., I sent out the forms and the client filled them out and sent them back. I reviewed the form and approved them, if they qualified. I was only supposed to contact the client if I had a problem with the paperwork. I wanted to help many of them and often went outside my assigned duties to help them, when I could, but I rarely had time to do much. Workers can rarely delve deeper into the client’s problems then seeing that they have the necessary paperwork and meet the necessary criteria, due to heavy caseloads. If they can’t help, they generally tell them to look elsewhere. On the other hand, church agencies often deal directly with clients and seek to locate other resources the client may have that they can use to help themselves. In addition, they are often aware of a wide variety of resources beyond their own which they can refer clients to. As a result, government agencies often refer clients they can’t help to church agencies like the Salvation Army who are more aware of resources available and have more time to help.



Church Ministry-I-D

15 Dec

Christians wonder why so many people don’t like the church in spite of all the good they do. During the cold war between Russia and the US, both sought the favor of African and South American countries. Russia sent arms so dictators could control their people while the US sent food, yet the people rioted against the U.S. A study found that the US sent the food but left it on the dock. The Russians transported the food to the people and the people thought the food came from Russia. The Russians told the people that America was rich but refused to help them so they rioted against the US. The church today has turned Social services over to the government and para-church organizations. Since the para church organizations get their support from the community, not from the churches, unbelievers see them as community organizations, not Christian organizations. As a result, the people love the government and don’t like the churches, which they see as uncaring and unconcerned.



Fourth Sunday of Advent-Dec 18

15 Dec

Hope For Our Community-  Because Christ lives, there is hope for our community. While liberal proponents complain that churches provide no benefit to the community and merely take up valuable space that could be used by tax paying businesses, churches provide a valuable resource for the community. While many liberal churches now support abortion and Gay privileges, Bible believing churches continue to uphold the value of life, the value of the rule of law, the value of the family, and the value of the individual. Bible-believing parents often have stable marriages which provide consistent training to their children in moral living which would not exist if the churches did not exist, since there are no other organizations in our society that promotes those values on the scale that the church and other religious based organizations do. Churches provide support for non-government social service agencies which provide invaluable help to those struggling which goes far beyond the sterile monetary support they get from government agencies. We are seeing the effects of the loss of Christian values in our society as killing increases, lawlessness increases, families crumble, and suicide increases. As churches are increasingly silenced, it will only get worse.


Eleventh Sunday of Kingdomtide-Nov 20

17 Nov

Freedom and Domination-The prophets were very clear about responsibility. The saying had been, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge”, implying that the children suffered due to the sins of their parents. While all mankind suffers because of the sins of Adam and Eve, it is because we choose to follow their example and choose our way over God’s way. God gave the law to direct our behavior towards what God had intended but our desire is to obey the letter of the law while getting around it to get our way if possible. Since our heart seeks to disobey, even when we outwardly obey, our heart isn’t in it and we are rebelling against God’s law, and the penalty for sin is death. The people later demanded a king like the other nations but God warned them that the king would tax them and conscript their sons and daughters for his benefit and would lead them away from God. In fact, that is what the kings did. The prophets reminded the people that “the soul that sins will die”. Each man is responsible for his own behavior. Men want to have someone else in charge to make decisions and take the heat for bad decisions. When we appoint leaders over us, we are authorizing them to make decisions on our behalf. We then become responsible for their decisions. If they don’t do what we want, we should remove them if we can. If we can remove them and do not, we are consenting to their decisions. When leaders take power by force and try to force us to do something that violates God’s will, we must decide whether we will obey them or obey God. We cannot claim we violated God’s law because man told us to, because no man has the authority to override God’s commands. Ultimately, God will hold us accountable for our behavior and will hold them accountable for theirs.


Tenth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Nov 13-B

13 Nov

Church and State-B Jesus illustrated the real separation of church and State when asked about the taxes. He stated that we should render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God, that which is God’s. Since God created everything, everything is under His domain, including the government. However, God has established governments to keep the peace and maintain order and taxes and laws are necessary to carry out their responsibility. Since God created life for a purpose, only He has the right to determine when it ends and since God laid down the ground rules in the Ten Commandments, man does not have the right to change them or set them aside. The government is established to enforce them, but does not have the right to abolish them or change them. The Constitution recognizes that we have certain God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and established procedures to protect them through the safeguards it established. The liberal politicians do not recognize God, so they do not recognize anything as being under God’s domain. They believe that their right to pursue happiness takes precedence over other people’s right to life and liberty, and feel they can change the law or set it aside when they wish, in order to pursue their right to happiness. Clearly there is a conflict of world views. Everyone must choose who he will follow, God or man. God has set before us life and death. Following God will result in life and following man will result in death, because disobeying God is sin and the wages of sin is death. Eve chose the fruit of disobedience over the fruit of following God and many people today still choose the way of death. Many today do not know they have a choice and choose death by default. The church needs to teach them the way of life.



Tenth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Nov 13-A

13 Nov

Church and State-A Liberal politicians cry out when Christians call for protecting life, saying that the Constitution requires a separation of church and State. It does but not like they say. The Constitution prohibits the government from passing laws restricting the free exercise of religion. It does not prohibit the church from voicing its opinion on religious matters. Speaking one’s views on the value of life falls under the Constitution’s protection of free speech. You do not lose the protection of the Constitution simply because you are a Christian. Without God, man seeks only his own best interest. He can say that he wants what is best for everyone, but when it comes to doing it, he puts his interest before everyone else’s. That creates conflict as every man seeks his own interest. If four people have one pie, they cannot all have all of it. God calls us to seek what is best for everyone.  True Christians and Jews recognize that and put God’s law before man’s law when the two conflict. Dictators fear true Christians and Jews because the dictator cannot force them to disobey God. There are many that believe they are Christians and Jews and may even attend church or synagogue, but when forced to choose, they choose to obey man and not God. Many who attended Christian churches supported Hitler when he came to power or at least stood by and did nothing when he exterminated the Jews, those who were crippled, and the mentally deficient, because they knew what Hitler would do to them if they opposed him. They put their own interest ahead of God’s law and preferred to play it safe.  Many Christians did choose to obey God and spoke out against Hitler, and Hitler put many of them in prison or killed them. Dictators may severely punish those who stand up for God, but God’s people know that the rewards in the end are well worth it.  The church today faces a similar choice. It can remain silent as it did in Germany, or it can choose to stand up for God.



21 Oct

When the churches supported para church organizations, the churches worked along side the organizations and were able to meet spiritual needs while the organization ministered to physical needs. Clients suffer because most physical needs either derive from spiritual needs or create spiritual needs so the two are intertwined. Since the churches have divorced themselves from the para church organizations, it leaves the para church organizations without the resources to minister to the spiritual needs of their clients. Since those in need go to the organization rather then the church, the church no longer has the contact with those in need that would enable them to minister to the spiritual needs. Most Social Service units in the Salvation Army are attached to churches and the pastor and Social Worker work together to minister to physical and spiritual needs but most para church organizations lack that support.


Fourth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Sept 25

22 Sep

God’s Values vs Man’s values

Man looks at things from his own perspective, while God sees the whole picture. Man’s values are those that appear to benefit him and fail to realize the fact that what benefits others will ultimately benefit him. Without God, we are centered on getting things for us. If there are four people and one pie, man sees the benefit of getting the whole pie, but everyone can’t have the whole pie. There will be a struggle and only the strongest will get the pie. They all will only benefit if they divide the pie. God laid down His values in the Ten Commandments and throughout the Bible, to provide for the benefit of everyone, but they seem foolish to man. Why should we give in order to receive when all we have to do is take it. If we give, the other person may not give back, but if we take it, someone else will want to take it from us. We will only find peace and happiness as we understand the love of God and see things from His perspective. In the weeks ahead, I will be examining the various values and how God and man see them differently.


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10 Sep

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Twelfth Sunday of Pentecost-B

17 Aug

Ministry to travelers – Few people think about those that travel, yet a large portion of our society travels at one time or other. Many travel by car and by plane but many also travel by bus. Many spend only a short at their destination before returning home. Most will stay in motels while away from home. Those who regularly attend church at home may or may not seek a church to attend while they are away. My wife and I usually seek a church to attend on Sunday when we are away from home. We usually do a computer search to find a church nearby and how to get to it, however many travelers may not be able to or may not want to take the time to research it. Motels used to have notebooks in each room with a list of nearby churches compiled by local ministerial groups, however I have not seen any for years. Searching usually requires going through the phone book to get names and then looking up their websites or Facebook page. Since we usually are not familiar with the area, we must then look up directions to them, to see if they are nearby. That is a lot of work. Unfortunately, many churches do not have addresses on their websites or Facebook page. I may look up First Church in Columbus, Oh and it will pull up a list of pages for First Church. Many of them may be in New York, Texas, Florida, or someplace else. If the site doesn’t list the city and State, you don’t know if it is the right one. If it doesn’t list an address, you have no way to know if it is nearby. Obviously, travelers are not going to visit them. Putting addresses on websites and Facebook pages would be a big help. It would also help those moving into an area find a new church home. Distributing a list of nearby churches to local churches with directions would help many travelers find a church to attend.