The First Love Get-Back: Ephesus, Evangelicals, and the Players of the Church Game

What did it take to foil a church, sever a culture in two, and frame the message of Jesus, turning it into something to manipulate others for material gain? Was it fundamentalist legalism? Baby boomers? Abusive church leaders? Donald Trump? Nancy Pelosi? The gender revolution? We could journey through the prior decades and gives scores of potential answers, particular moments in time, individual "anti-Christ's" 1 John mentions, and deflect the personal blame for the institutional ruin the American Church has been left to deal with. But in reality, we can look to the book of Revelation where the Son of Man in a revelation to John tells the Church of Ephesus in flashing neon lights to see where white Evangelicals screwed it all up: "I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. I know that you have persevered and endured ha

Where, Who, and Why is the Church?

In his 2012 book  The Righteous Mind,  Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt said that religion was a product of evolution in the mind of man with the hope and intent of greater social and community connection.  That means religions like Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity were only developed as an outflow of man’s evolving mind hoping to come closer and closer together with the people around them. We Christians would eye such a statement with a baffled look and a hurt spirit, saying in total confidence, “That couldn’t be true about the Church.” There are people in this country who were born into “churchgoing homes.” There are people in this country with no church concept growing up, only to be brought into the fold in their elder years. There are people in this country who in the womb were at church, and later on, they could not take the culture anymore. Still, everyone in this country has some opinion of the Church, either good or bad. The American Dream transformed the American

Can't We All Just Get Along? An Approach for the Kingdom of God

The fireworks have been swept up from the driveway. The Fourth of July is behind us, and Americans have returned to their daily lives walking divided, polarized, and disunified, stuck to their screens only to be more disillusioned by the enemies of their public and private lives. Think of the new hotshot hire vying for your job or the new kid who switched schools striving after your crush’s attention. What about the political pundit driving your best points? Our fellow American citizens, day in and day out, pose as our most significant threats. In the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist was at the top of his game, prophesying to the masses as a trim carpenter, John’s cousin, marched onto the scene. When the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth, established his earthly ministry before the resounding voice of John the Baptist, what did the nomadic prophet declare?  Step off my turf. I need to secure long-term buy-in from these people.  No, because this was the man whom he prepared the way. He unde