Five Factors That Create a Culture of Hate

I am not going to do any second-guessing as to background and causation of the tragedy in South Carolina. The facts themselves are horrific enough: a young white man spends some time in worship in a historically black church and then kills nine of them including the pastor. Somewhere along the line, he learned that hating those who are different is a permissible, possibly even admirable, way to live. Instead of dealing with what may have or may not have happened in his upbringing, I want to suggest some larger societal factors that I think are coming into play here. Perhaps we … Continue reading Five Factors That Create a Culture of Hate

Appeal to Scripture as the Ultimate Authority Leads to Schism

I sat in a giant, rich Baptist church on Sunday, and heard the pastor say, “Just trust me on this one,” as he pronounced with authority the demise of the US and the rise of the Antichrist over the issue of same-sex marriages. Baptist churches are all independent–none has to answer to another. They can and do teach anything they want and all make their appeal to the Bible as their ultimate authority. I spent about 25 years in the independent church world.  There the Bible is the ultimate authority. Disagreements are rampant; cult-like churches common. Indoctrination serves as the main … Continue reading Appeal to Scripture as the Ultimate Authority Leads to Schism

Mystery Worship: Fear and Tribulation Bring in Money and People at Prestonwood Baptist

“Wow–Joel Osteen and The Summit in Houston have nothing on this place!” So my companion commented as we walked into the cavernous worship center of the main campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. Tier after tier of green-cushioned pews, … Continue reading Mystery Worship: Fear and Tribulation Bring in Money and People at Prestonwood Baptist

The Seduction of Young Men and Destruction of Compassion by the Neo-Calvinist Church Planting Movement

When the theology says, “You are a totally depraved human being. Nothing good can happen to you unless the sovereign God decides to grant you a blessing,” then those who are “blessed” find perfect justification to believe that the poor … Continue reading The Seduction of Young Men and Destruction of Compassion by the Neo-Calvinist Church Planting Movement