What Is the Greatest Deception Against the Church?

Last week I wrote a post called The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled. A lot of people disagreed with me and some wondered if my title was just hyperbole. Sadly, it wasn’t. I meant every word I wrote:

I believe the “existence of denominations and factions within the church is the greatest deception Satan has ever committed against the church.”

But here’s the thing–I’m just one person. One little blogger in a giant blogosphere. One member of the Body sharing my thoughts and feelings. Like I’ve said before, I never want to claim that I have the corner on Truth.

None of us does.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d turn the question over to you. Continue reading What Is the Greatest Deception Against the Church?

Friday Findings: Sinners, Strange Fire, and True Love

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectI gotta say, it feels good to be blogging again. I mean, I’ve missed it. I’ve also missed perusing the interwebs because when I wasn’t blogging, I wasn’t really online. So discovering again all the goodness there is to share each week makes me happy. Here you go:

The other day, I ran into a friend and he told me about a blog I needed to check out, so I did. It’s called Toward Fatherhood and I’m hooked. It’s funny, wise, original. I’ve added it to my daily read list. You should too.

Pope Francis, You Had Me at Hello, and Lost Me at Sinner. This was an interesting article and while I don’t agree with it all theologically, I greatly empathize with the author’s heart.

Why We Need Denominations. So remember when I wrote a post this week about denominations and you all got into it in the comments (which I love, by the way). Well a day later, I stumbled upon this post from Relevant about why we need denominations. Go figure.

This week, Rachel Held Evans celebrated her 10 year anniversary while Jonathan and I celebrated our 8th. She wrote about the myths versus the realities of marriage. I found myself agreeing with much of what she had to say. What about you?

A little Strange Fire humor. ‘Cause I had to. I’m sorry. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.

A little Strange Fire seriousness and response from Frank Viola, in part 1 and part 2. These are the only articles or posts I have shared or will share about the controversy.

Sarah Bessey crawled inside my brain and my heart and my soul this week and put it all on a page. Brilliance and beauty in one, like she does.

And my favorite Friday Finding for the week: the video below. It’s a bit long, but trust me–it is so worth it. If this isn’t one of the most powerful and tangible displays of Jesus loving His Bride and this truth being represented in marriage, I don’t know what is. It’s True Love.

So which was your favorite from this list? Got anything fascinating, enthralling, or downright life-changing you’d like to share with me?

The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

If someone were to ask you what has caused more harm to the Church as a whole, how would you answer? Because I don’t what I would have said a few weeks ago, but then…

During a church meeting a few weeks ago, a member of my church family said: “The existence of denominations and factions within the church is the greatest deception Satan has ever committed against the church.”

I nodded my head in agreement.

I’ve felt that. I’ve known that. I had just never put it into words.

As my friend said this I was immediately reminded of the movie The Usual Suspects and that bastard Keyser Soze. Satan, the Great Illusionist and Perpetual Deceiver, always scheming. Continue reading The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

Friday Findings: Deathbeds, Adoption, and No One at Church

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectThis week’s Friday Findings is a hodge-podge of the weird, kooky, silly, touching, and heartbreaking. Just the way I like it. Enjoy.

These awkward Jesus pictures have been floating around Facebook. If you’ve missed ’em, here ya’ go. You’re welcome.

This might be my favorite finding of the week. It is worthy of its own post and I found it fascinating. There’s not much to say except that we all long for something. Every single one of us–famous or not–is seeking something more, Someone more, whether we are able to articulate that longing or not.

The Top 5 Regrets People Make on Their Deathbeds. This is so poignant. Number 4 spoke to me especially. I am not good at maintaining friendships. It has always been work, but I do not want to carry any regrets. Which one speaks to you?

I really really like Halloween. Not so much the demons and darkness bits, but more so the costumes and the candy. Sorry if you don’t feel the same. And I enjoy a scary novella from time to time (I’m currently reading some H.P. Lovecraft. Know him?). I’ve always enjoyed the creepy, the bizarre, and the morbid. What can I say? So when I found this list of some of the scariest books ever written I smiled.

This story breaks my heart and pisses me off for the sheer fact that any child living in America should never have to do this. I can’t criticize though. I haven’t opened my home to any orphaned children…yet. God used this story to open my heart up even more to the idea.

An Open Letter from Asian American Evangelicals to Stop Being Stereotyped. A thought-provoking and heart-felt plea. “We have imagined and hoped for such a different future for the church, one in which racial harmony would not be an illusion, but a tangible reality.”

What Doesn’t Impress Me–A Message to 20’s and 30’s. Frank again. Bam. And ouch…in a good way.

Why Nobody Wants to God to Church Anymore. I have to say, I very much agree with the author’s reasoning as to why people just don’t want to go to church these days. I sympathize. Heck, I empathize. But the only thing this article did was make me ever more grateful for a church body literally freed from everything on this list.

There you have it. Maybe one of my favorite round-ups ever. What about you? Did anything on the list get you thinking? Got anything good to share with me? WHat have you read, loved, disliked, or rejoiced over this week?

Why My Church Rarely Does “Prayer Requests”

Ah, the prayer request. The quintessential Christian experience–sitting around in a circle, sharing often benign, usually safe, terribly tame “prayer requests” with one another.

They usually sound something like this: “I really need a new job or a pay raise. So pray for that please.” Or “My fiance and I are trying to figure out when to get married. Please pray that God would tell us.”

(Let me also preface this post by stating that I am not anti-prayer request. of course not. I have been apart of many groups, be it Bible studies or women’s groups where prayer requests were a welcome and important part of gathering. But God has also shown me something different…)

It’s funny because after becoming a believer, I just went right along with the whole “prayer request” model. I didn’t know any differently. I certainly didn’t know any better. Why would I? Except that when I look in scripture I see no prayer request like model. Now, I’m not one of those people who says “If it ain’t in the Bible, don’t do it.” Please, no. The Bible isn’t exhaustive because God is an infinite God. I don’t try to squeeze Him into a few hundred pages.

All that to say, just because prayer requests aren’t in there, doesn’t mean scripture says nothing about prayer, in general. It says a lot about prayer in fact. But, don’t worry I’m not about to give you an overview of what the Bible says about prayer (zzzzzzz….).

What I am going to give you, however, is a glimpse into how my church family prays for one another which does not usually include prayer requests. Hopefully, you be encouraged to read about another way to pray. Continue reading Why My Church Rarely Does “Prayer Requests”

Friday Findings: Pleasing God, Don’t Be You, and Sh*%theads

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectYes, I know you can hardly believe it…I’m not only writing, but I’m writing a Friday Findings post. I think it’s been about forever since I wrote one of these suckers.

I’ve missed them. I always read so much rad stuff that I want to share with you guys each week and hopefully I’ll be at it again.

So lets get the party started.

Jamal (and his wife) do it again. If you don’t follow, read, or subscribe to Jamal Jivanjee yet, do it! His blog produces so much conversation, prayer, thought, and revelation in my life. No joke. Jamal often does interviews on his blog. I was honored to do one, in fact. A few weeks ago, he interviewed his wife Brandie and it broke me wide open. Her answers were filled with such wisdom, truth, and beauty. I even shared some of what she said with my church family in our corporate gathering.

Stop Trying to Be You–Jesus. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–Sammy is the dude version of me. I love everything he writes. This was no exception. 

What Pleases God. I love the simplicity yet profundity of this post by Frank Viola. Be encouraged by this.

This is Why I Date Shitheads (When I date at All). I hope you’re not easily offended by language and such, because if you aren’t, you can enjoy the witty, pithy, wisdom and hilarity of my friend Chelsea Batten. Chelsea is a real writer, not a blogger like me. She is a master word-slinger and I’m jealous of her craft. Read it and enjoy. 

Have you seen this video yet? I posted this gem on my Modern Reject Facebook page (which you should so totally “Like” so we can be even more of BFF’s). If you missed it there, watch it here. Or watch it again, but grab Kleenex first. Can anyone say “snot-fest?”

And finally, a while ago Google Reader said bye-bye. If you used to subscribe to Modern Reject via RSS and haven’t found a new way to subscribe, here are a few recommendations. I personally have started using Bloglovin’ and I like it so far. You can find me here.

Or if feeds and technology aren’t your thing, you can add me to your inbox. I promise to be short and sweet (mostly). Just type your email address into that nifty little box at the top of the home page. And wait for a surprise from “The King”. Promise, it’s worth it.

Whew. Done.

And I loved every second of it. Get to reading already, but not before you tell me what you’ve been reading, loving, watching, and enjoying lately. Go!