Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series
Christian Post recently published this summary of Groeschel’s sermons, and I take strong issue with it, which I will explain below the long excerpts from the page – but if I didn’t blog my criticisms of this guy’s sermon, I was going to go nuts -several of his points or assumptions annoyed me up the wall:
(Link): God Is Not Your Puppet, Says Pastor Craig Groeschel by A. Kumar
Here are some excerpts from that page, and I will comment on this below the excerpts, which is pretty long, so please bear with me:
Pastor Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Life.Church, has started a new series, “I Want to Believe, But…,” to address difficulties some have in believing in God.
In the series’ first sermon on Sunday, the megachurch pastor dealt with the notion that God should give us exactly what we want and when we want it.
“God is too big to be a puppet of mine,” he stressed.
Some believe in God and others don’t, but there’s “a newer category of people that are saying, ‘I wanna believe in God but I’m struggling to,'” the popular pastor said as he introduced the (Link): series to the congregation on Sunday, the 21st anniversary of the church.
Continue reading “Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series (Re: Unanswered Prayer, etc)”
One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis
November 2016. (There is a moderate amount of swear words in the post below)
Some of the points in the post, in brief (the long explanation is below):
- I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior before I was ten years old
- I have read the entire Bible.
- I spent many years reading books ABOUT the Bible (e.g., books about its formation and history)
- I spent years reading Christian apologetic literature
– so do NOT tell me that I “do not understand Christianity” or that I was “never a REAL Christian to start with”
- I currently have doubts about the Christian faith and/or aspects of the Bible
- I have not rejected Jesus Christ Himself
(he’s pretty much Christianity’s only good feature or selling point, as far as I can see at this point)
- I am not an atheist
- I am not a Charismatic
- I am not a “Word of Faither”
- I was brought up under conservative, Southern Baptist and evangelical teachings and churches
- Even though conservative Christians claim to believe in the Bible, they
- cannot agree on what the Bible means or how to apply it – this is a huge problem as I see it in the faith
- they diminish the role of the Holy Spirit or deny Him and that He can work for Christians today, because they are “hyper sola scriptura” and have reduced the Trinity to “Father, Son, and Holy Bible,” (this is also problematic),
they usually do this because they are hyper-cessationist and paranoid or hateful of Charismatic teachings or practices
- they teach that most to all of the biblical promises are not for Christians today but are only for the Jews of 5,000 years ago, there-by teaching that the Bible is NOT relevant for people today (this is also problematic)
- If you are a Christian, do not act like a smug dick about any of this and immediately disregard any points I have to make about God, the Bible, or other topics, because in your view, I am a “Non-Christian who was ‘never’ really saved” -not to mention, that is not even true.
I was in fact “truly” saved, and I am / was, a “real” Christian.
- No, I don’t want to enumerate a detailed list of reasons why I have doubts about God, the Bible, or the faith.If I were to provide such a list or explanation, your average Christian would only want to debate each and every point to argue me back into fully believing. (A witnessing tip to Christians: doing that sort of thing is NOT an effective way of “winning back a lost sheep to Jesus.”)
I find that people who are both Christian and Non-Christian (and several other categories of people I bump into on Twitter and other sites) get frustrated when they cannot easily box me in.
People seem to be more comfortable with labels, but I’m not sure what label I would give myself these days.
I have briefly tried to explain my current religious beliefs on my Twitter bio, and I explain them a little more on my blog’s “About” page and have mentioned them in a post or two over the course of the last few years I’ve been blogging here.
Here is my background:
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior prior to turning the age of ten.
That means: I believed that Jesus took my sins upon himself, he was without sin, he paid the price for my sins, and was raised from the dead three days after having been crucified – and if I believe in all that, if I put “saving faith in” Jesus (as opposed to mere intellectual assent), my sins have been forgiven by God, and I go to heaven when I die.
I read the entire Bible through when I was 18 years old, and afterwards, I read a lot of the Bible in the years after. Prior to that age, I had read portions of the Bible when younger.
Continue reading “One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis”
Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable
Off to the right hand side of this blog I have a blog roll. Linked there is “Unbelievable,” a podcast by a Christian guy who normally covers topics pertinent to Christian apologetics. He usually has some pretty interesting shows.
I was (am?) a life long Christian but one who’s been doubting the faith the last few years.
I have not totally left the faith itself, but there are parts of it that I’m having trouble accepting or grasping now.
At times, I am disappointed in or by, or angered by Christians, or the behavior of other Christians. That plays into some of the struggles I’ve been having with the faith.
I don’t think I can ever hop on board the Atheist train. I don’t think atheism is intellectually feasible. It seems so devoid of hope, too. And some of its adherents seem just as fundamentalist as some religious theist types. Some of the militant atheists are also smug and condescending as all get out, traits which I have always reviled.
So, this particular episode of Unbelievable looks to be pretty interesting, though I’ve not actually listened to it yet – I’ll probably listen to it later (if so, I may edit this post at a later time with my thoughts on it):
(Link): Why do evangelicals lose their faith? Os Guinness & Rodney Wilson (pod cast / audio / radio show)
- Christian author and cultural critic Os Guinness’ new book called “Fools Talk: Recovering the art of Christian persuasion” is aimed at helping Christians develop a confident and winsome approach to engaging those who are closed to faith.
- He engages with ex-evangelical Rodney Wilson who has researched the reasons why evangelical Christians lose their faith in his book “Killing God” as they discuss the cultural and doctrinal barriers to embracing Christian faith.
EDIT: new post reflecting on this podcast:
(Link): No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)
(Link): Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour (part 1)
(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin / Why some Christians turn agnostic
(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church
(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)
(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything
(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)