Showing posts from September, 2019

Authentic Christianity is Not a Cult; American Christianity Is

Since writing a term paper on Cultism in college, I have been fascinated at the similarities to traditional "cults" and the present climate of Conservative, American, Evangelical Christianity. In the year 2000, the father of one of my best friends accused me of being a cult leader. He didn't like me, this I already knew. Knowing what I did about cults and cult leaders, I easily dismissed the accusation. I was a Pastor, not a cult leader. 

Or was I?
Upon further research and honest reflection, I realized that I was kind of a cult leader. I sure didn't set out to become one. I was fresh out of Bible College and a Seminary student. I was just doing what I was taught to do. 
The first Pastor I ever served under was Rev. Ray Truett in 1990. He let me preach occasionally and took me under his wing. My first sermon included some political commentary about Walter Mondale being the antichrist or something. I had heard someone at my home church make these claims and I thought I w…

What We Believe vs. Why We Believe It

I have long been a fan of comedians like Bill Maher and the late George Carlin. They are more than just funny guys. They are seekers of truth. They ask the questions no one else dares or even thinks to ask. It would behoove any Christian to listen to George Carlin's, "Religion Is Bulls**t," bit. Here is the link (language warning).

To be clear, I am not saying I agree with the late Mr. Carlin. In fact, I know why I don't agree with him. And that is the point of today's post.

I recently saw Bill Maher's movie, Religulous. I respect what he was attempting to do with this film. He visits all kinds of people from all kinds of religion seeking answers to hard questions. What struck me was that no one could defend why they believe what they believe. Now, I realize that Maher is a very left-wing comedian, and that he probably didn't ask the most intellectual people on the planet the tough questions so he could get laughs. That is, after all, his job.

It is clea…

Why Should the devil Have All the Good Churches?

In the pioneer era of what we now call, "Contemporary Christian Music," a singer/songwriter, the late Larry Norman, posed a similar question with,"Why Should the devil Have All the Good Music?" 

Our church is doing a sermon series called Hot Topics. People have submitted questions on index cards and each week one of our pastors takes a question and expounds on it. Yesterday's question was, "Why do people in the satanic church seem more content than those in the Christian church?" My spirit tells me that whoever asked the question is struggling with their faith journey because of what they are witnessing in Conservative American Evangelical Churchianity. 

In 1997, I was doing church planting in New Hampshire. We were going door to door taking surveys about the perceived needs in the local community with a clever transition into a gospel presentation. We were approached by a couple who called themselves, "Born Again Pagans." We (my partner David…