“Lost stars in outer space”-
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

“Puffs of smoke pushed by gusts of wind, late autumn trees stripped clean of leaf and fruit, doubly dead, pulled up by the roots.” (Jude 12-Message)

I like to surf church websites, but in the end I come up nauseated. There seems to be a unified effort to have the “coolest, or hipest” website. I shutter at our own website, afraid that we too have pushed too far to fit in. When you go to what they believe, you find a myriad of fancy English words that sound nice. Calling their church a tribe, or their ministry “Paraclete” because they too are helpers! I tire of the “tweets” by chatty preachers all belching out their thought of the day. Yes, I know Frank and I write “blogs” so put myself in the same category. Christian television has been “outlawed” years ago in our home. I am sure it all has it’s place and God uses all of us for his glory. One Church website says; “This is the section of website that people go see what side of the line you are on. Catholic? Protestant? What denomination? Fundamentalist? Reformed? Emergent? We aren’t sure that God is all that into labels, so we aren’t either. Here is our understanding of the Jesus story in a nutshell: God is real. God is not a white man sitting on a cloud, but is the very source of life and love and beauty in the universe. God is love. (1 John 4) Love cannot be confined, so love creates. (Genesis 1)Human beings are meant to be co-creating, image bearing, creation tending embodiments of God in the world. (Genesis 1:27-29)”
Isn’t that just sweet? Words like Hell, eternal Damnation, and sin wouldn’t be found near these church’s webpages; nor speaking in tongues, divine healing or women preachers! Do I go out and get tattoos to relate, put dreadlocks in my hair or better yet get breast implants and become platinum blonde? No none of these things should be my identity. We must join Paul when he said “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” I Cor.1:17 Gill says: ” To clothe the preaching of the Cross in the words of man’s wisdom, to seek for great oratorical effect in teaching its glorious truths, is not only not doing a service to the message of Christ, but it is fraught with the greatest danger to the Gospel, it works harm; it shuts off the power of the divine message. The true Gospel-preacher is not to stand before his congregation primarily as an orator trained in the art of rhetoric, but as a witness of Christ, bearing testimony to the great facts in and through which God has chosen to reveal Himself to men. The doctrine of the justification of a poor sinner, whose center is the cross of Calvary, is bereft of its efficiency by any deliberate display of art, which brings forward the person of the messenger rather than his message. In many modern churches in which the Gospel of Christ is occasionally, incidentally, mentioned, the very intellectual or esthetic pleasure which the hearers feel under the sway of the speaker’s artful eloquence will tend to shut off the influence of the Gospel contained in the minister’s message.”