Stuff I Like – 9/20/13

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The following is a list of links to articles and posts I read this week and enjoyed. I hope you enjoy them too.

How To Spot a Manipulative Church Leader

Don talks about a bad preacher he had growing up. It is a good read about a corruptt, controling Minister.

Soon, the entire congregation fell under his spell. We loved it when he delighted in us but feared screwing up. One Sunday he snapped at the man working in the sound booth so sharply the man turned red from embarrassment. The pastor, realizing he’d gone too far, explained, ferociously, that God is a God of excellence and wouldn’t stand for mistakes, even from volunteer sound guys. He then quoted a passage about how we were supposed to be perfect even as Christ is perfect.;

Any that pisseth against the wall

Scott McKnight has an interesting post about curse words in the Bible. And he’s not talking about “Damn” and “Hell.” It is a short, interesting read.

In other words, the metaphor for humans is vulgar, an obscenity, and emerges from anger. To say of another man that he is one that pisses against the wall is to say he’s a dog, and to say he’s a dog is an insult of high order.

Reality Television, Real vs Rigged

My family and I watched the latest Duck Dynasty last night. We love the show, but sometimes I just can’t get past the ”rigged” feeling. Especially John Luke’s dentist performance. It reminded me of something Matt Dabbs has on his blog this week. He talks about our craving for reality, especially when it comes to faith.

Here is the first point, people really do want reality, especially when it comes to the most important things in their life including faith. When it comes to church we don’t want artificial. We don’t want to go through motions, play games, or spin our wheels. We don’t want an imitation faith or anything artificial. Scripted has its place, I understand that, but there also has to be room for God’s Spirit to work and for people to be real. People want real, honest, and authentic faith and that want to see that reflected in a congregational setting. It will take good leadership to find a path through that or allow a path through that but it is important we start looking that way.

Good and Evil: Speaking of the Devil

Speaking of reality, Johnathan has a great post on the reality of Evil. With all our science and natural understanding in the world, we still can’t fully explain evil. Yet evil exists, and is very powerful. It is a good read with lot’s to think about:

One of the more interesting things about Western Christianity is that we don’t really talk about the world the way the Bible does. In the Bible, the world seems to be enchanted. Anything is possible, because it is God’s world and He’s still involved in it.

Once again a disclamer for anyone out there wishing to attack me. Here it is: Just because I have linked to these sites/articles doesn’t mean I endorse everything contained in them. Take what you like, spit the rest out.

–Steven

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Photo Credit: Paul Bica, Flickr

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About the author

Steven Smith

Steven enjoys sharing God's Word through speaking, teaching, and writing. He currently serves as the Youth Minister at Fairmont Park Church of Christ in Midland, Texas, and has been working in the church since 2001. He is married to his beautiful bride Celeste Smith and they have two wonderful daughters. In his spare time Steven enjoys spending time with his family, Skiing, Backpacking, Hiking, Paddling, and Camping.

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