Added Blogroll – A few words about the sites I’m linking to

Added Blogroll – A Word About the Sites I Am Currently Linking To on my Blogroll

I added a blogroll to my blog a day ago.

Word Press won’t let me add a link to this site for some reason:

(Link): World – News Site from a Christian View

Please understand I am not always in agreement with all sources I link to, and that includes links in my blog roll.

I have currently linked to the Christian Pirate Radio Show (aka “Fighting for the Faith” blog, whose host is Chris R.), and the Janet Mefferd Radio Show.

I do not agree with Mefferd on some topics. She is a gender complementarian – I am not.

Mefferd tends to fret a bit too much over topics such as abortion, homosexual marriage, the deterioration of marriage (i.e., people delaying marriage) for my taste. These topics come up regularly on her radio show.

I do not support homosexuality, homosexual marriage, or abortion, but, it is now my view that many other Christians need to spend more time “lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.”

Get out there and help people, instead of ranting endlessly on radio, blogs, in books, and on TV shows, about how evil abortion is etc. and so on.

As far as the Pirate Radio show. I have so far listened to only about 6 or 7 of show host Chris R’s broadcasts. His shows are quite long. I will be listening to more in the future.

I have not confirmed it yet, but I take it that Chris R (the Pirate Show host) is also a gender complementarian (again, I am not).

While I am in agreement with Chris R. on some issues (such as: it’s not entirely good or proper for preachers to defer from the written word of God to make all sermons about themselves, or to turn all sermons into stand-up comedy routines; many mega church pastors are greedy and seeking to fleece people out of their money; preacher Ed Young Jr is shallow and his “Sexperiment” was tacky; and Mark Driscoll is a weirdo who needs to repent), I never- the- less depart with Chris R. on some points.

Chris R., in my view, is a bit of a “hyper- sola- scriptura-ist,” as many Calvinist types are (I assume Chris R. is Calvinist / Reformed).

If I remain a Christian (I have been flirting with agnosticism lately), yes, I do believe Christians should not accept or embrace doctrine that cannot be backed up by the written Word. I am there with Chris R. and guys like him on that one.

However, I believe many hypers (hyper – sola scriptura-ists) unnecessarily toss out any and every Christian report of hearing from God outside the Bible (i.e., the hypers do not accept “personal experience” or inward leading of the Holy Spirit).

I have discussed my views about sola scriptura vs personal experience a little bit (Link): here.

(In short, I believe God can and does communicate with believers outside the Bible today, but of course, if someone’s experience, if what they claim to hear from God, obviously contradicts the written word, their testimony should be rejected.)

The “hypers” seem to feel the Holy Spirit does not work in and through believers today, that we are to use the Bible only as a means of communication from God, or God limits His communication through the Bible alone (this is also a topic that comes up with various guests on the Janet Mefferd Radio show).

Out of the other Christian Pirate Radio programs I’ve listened to thus far, I would say there was one where the host was nit-picking the “Bible” mini-series, which was a turn of for me (see this post).

Not that I’m a huge fan of the Bible mini-series – I was rather “meh” about it, but I can’t understand the extreme critical spirit of the show by some Christians.

One of Chris R’s (Christian Pirate Radio Show’s) biggest complaints with one episode of the History Channel’s “The Bible” mini-series is that various Bible characters were referred to as “leaders.” He seemed to say that the television show was implying that Jesus Christ was a leader and nothing more.

Here’s my nit pick with his nit pick: one reason Christian entertainment is often SO LAME is that the Christian producers of it feel they have to insert the entire Gospel word- for- word in every movie or song lyric they make, or Christian film makers and song writers feel they need to make the deity of Christ very explicit, really hit the audience over the head with the information.

I don’t think it necessary that the narrator of a Bible TV show explicitly say in every single episode, “Jesus Christ is not just a leader, He is God, second member of the Trinity, Son of God, humanity’s only savior.”

I don’t think television audiences necessarily need to be talked down to, or have every last biblical detail spelled out for them, in a manner that will pass Reformed or Neo Calvinist approval on every last jot and tittle of “sound doctrine.”

Consider the medium and the audience. Do you want a standard Bible lesson on a television show meant for mass audiences, or for people to learn things while they are entertained?

It’s a TV show, not a Bible lesson in a Sunday School class being taught by a seminary professor, remember that. A TV show can accurately tell the story of Christ, but it does not have to be conveyed in a pedantic manner.

Just because a television show about the Bible refers to Christ as a “leader” a few times and does not issue a long creedal statement of your preference (regarding Christ’s deity or role of savior) does not mean the show is necessarily inaccurate or heretical.

Besides that, no matter how well-intentioned the Christian producers of Christian entertainement is, no matter how hard they attempt to accurately and beautifully tell Christian truths (or to depict biblical stories), some Christian fundamentalist or Neo-Calvinist out there will always, always, always find something in the TV show, movie, or book, to pick apart and bitch about. These show producers and book authors will never please all Christians all the time.

If Chris R. of the Pirate Radio show were to make his own TV production version of “The Bible,” based on his own script, I can guarantee you some fundamentalist out there would make his own radio show picking it apart, or write a blog picking apart every last detail, claiming to find heresy and unbiblical views or lines in every other scene.

An update: I have since listened to a few more broadcasts by Chris R. (Christian Pirate Radio host).

To an extent, I do agree with Chris R. that some preachers make the Bible out to be more about them or their audience than they do about Christ, which is a little troubling.

Chris R. keeps reminding his audience that “the Bible is about Jesus; it is not about you.” -Well, yes and no.

Certainly, the overall theme of Scripture is that Christ would be sent to act as Savior, really it is. But why did Christ do that? In large part because humanity was fallen. I personally need a Savior. You reading this need a Savior. Not only were we hell-bound sinners, but the sin also affected aspects of our lives.

I believe it is a tad unbiblical, or out of place, to keep reiterating that the “Bible is about Christ, and not about you” when that is not totally true. In- so- far as I needed a Savior, yes, the Bible is indeed “about me,” and it’s message is for me, from God.

The Bible largely points to Christ, yes, but it’s simply not true that the Bible is not about us at all – as it is being recorded to tell us that we are fallen humans in a need for a Savior (who is Jesus). I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive, in that ‘The Bible is either about Christ or it’s about me (or us).’ I’d say both are involved.

I’m also a little mystified why Chris R. takes issue with people making the Bible about them, when one of his criticisms against the seeker- friendly pastors is that Chris believes churches should be about Christians, but the pastors do not believe this.

On one page (source: “For Whom Do Pastors Exist?,” letterofmarque.us/), Chris writes, (paraphrasing the views of a typical preacher responding to a critical congegant):

    “Pastor: Why are you so selfish? The church doesn’t exist for you. It’s not about you.”

But Chris says the same thing about the Bible: “The Bible is not about you.” So the Bible is not about me and is not meant to be about me, but church is meant to be about me?

As for Chris R.’s critique of Mark Driscoll and Driscoll’s defense of Joel Osteen, and specifically, Chris’ critique of an Osteen sermon “You are God’s Masterpiece.” I believe Chris declared this sermon a “false Gospel.”

Chris later argues in one radio show (this one) that “Osteen is sending people to Hell.” That’s a mighty serious charge to level against someone, and I believe it’s a false charge.

The problem is, not every sermon by Osteen or other preachers presents the Gospel or is even trying to. The point of Osteen’s sermon (“You Are A Masterpiece”) had nothing to do with the Gospel – and that’s okay.

The “whole counsel of God” may include sermon topics pertaining to teaching the history of the nation Israel, discussing sexual sin, marriage, helping the poor, etc., and is not limited only to declaring the Gospel message.

I’m sure if Chris were to ask Osteen to define the Gospel, that Osteen would be the first to say all people are sinners in need of a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ and Christ alone.

Just because every sermon is not a re-hash or re-statement of John 3:16 (which is the Gospel in a nut shell) does not make that sermon message a “false Gospel,” nor does preaching on topics other than soteriology make a preacher guilty of “preaching a false Christ.”

Christ Himself preached, taught, or opined on other topics when He walked the earth 2,000 years ago (such as adultery, poverty, worry, healing, anger, fear, etc.)

So, when Jesus Christ preached on adultery, does that mean Jesus was “preaching a false Gospel?” No, of course not. So why, if a preacher discusses adultery, or some other topic, would Chris consider that a “false Gospel?”

Now, if Osteen ever begins a sermon by saying, “I today am sharing the Gospel with you,” and then proceeds to say, “You can worship a pink bunny rabbit and go to Heaven when you die and be reconciled to God via pink bunny worship,” then I could say yes, Osteen is teaching a “false Gospel.” But simply giving a sermon about happiness or worry, or what not, is not equivalent to “preaching a false Gospel.”

One area where I feel that Chris contradicts himself a bit is that on some shows, he complains about preachers at seeker-friendly churches presenting watered-down sermons, because they are aiming for attracting Non- Christians to their churches.

But when another pastor, such as Osteen, preachers to his audience, assuming they are probably already “saved” (in that Osteen preaches on topics pertaining to those he assumes who are already Christian, so that he does not preach on salvation, repentance, etc), Chris still gets upset with the guy.

So, does Chris want preachers to structure their sermons to reach Non-Christians or to reach people who are already Christians?

Osteen is apparently preaching mainly to folks who are already “saved,” so why on earth would one expect Osteen to weekly give a fire and brimstone “repent or burn, you are a sinner” type sermon?

I, Christian Pundit, your blog owner, accepted Christ as Savior as a child.

I tire of sermons where the preacher assumes all his listeners are Non- Christians who need the Gospel presented. I am already familiar with the Gospel, thank you. I don’t need to hear it 678,900 more times.

I’d much rather listen to a preacher who gets and accepts that I’m past “stage 1” (“Christianity 101: I’m a sinner, need a Savior, Jesus is that Savior”) and am ready to hear sermons that address problems I’m facing as a Christian, and while Osteen’s sermons are not very deep, he is still servicing that particular type audience member.

I have been a Christian since childhood and have read the Bible, as well as many books about the history of the Bible, and I’ve read mountains of apologetics literature. I’ve listened to debates between William Lane Craig and well known atheists.

I long ago moved on from having to hear this message every week from a preacher:

    “You are a sinner. As such you are separated from God. You must repent and accept Christ as Lord and Savior to receive spiritual life, be reuninted with God, and go to Heaven when you die.”

I’m well versed in all that content. I have moved on. It seems that Chris R., host of the Christian Pirate Radio show, would only approve of churches that repeat the “milk” message weekly, when more mature believers need “meat” (to move past the ABCs of “you are a sinner, you need Jesus”).

It’s the seeker- friendly churches that Chris R. does not like that keep their congregants stuck in the “Christianty 101” loop which causes them to leave. Osteen, again, I admit, is not very deep, but at least he does not harp on that in simplistic cave man fashion each week: “You sinner, you need Christ, ugga ugga” every single blessed week, and that is not a heretical, evil, bad thing.

I just listened to another of Chris R’s programs ((Link): Listen to Your Blink), and he claims in that program that RHE (Rachel Held Evans) is deconstructing the Bible, is attacking the Bible, and teaching false doctrine. I don’t agree with RHE on all issues, but I think it’s far fetched to accuse her of ‘attacking the historic Christian faith’ as he does.

I may not agree with all the opinions of Mefferd and Chris R., but some of their programs are interesting, and at times, they cover topics that I believe are important.