Monday, May 11, 2009


Okay, so Brian's comment on my last post made me want to write a new post just to go a bit more in depth in my reply... (i was just going to reply in a comment but then decided i had too much to say) and this post isnt directly to brian except like... the following line.

Yeah i agree that offending people isnt a sign that we're serving God, but i do think it's wrong if we're holding back or avoiding issues to be politically correct, or to not offend, or anything like that. I think that insults God.

(this is the part that isnt a reply to Brian)
Its saying that the listener's feelings are more important than the Truth needing to be told.

and I know some churches dont talk about politics or the pastors dont say where they stand politically, but i think the opposite should happen.

like with the '08 elections, i know that there were like prayer rallys and stuff for the Yes on Prop 8 (which i think should have been more advertised at Journey because that line is a bit blurred at Journey... like where we stand) but with like McCain vs. Obama, i think that there should have been discussions about who to vote for, teachings on how to decide in a God-honoring morally and biblically correct way, etc.

because i think that as a church, and churches all over SD we need to unite as believers and do what we can to place whoever is best in the white house. (which everyday i believe more and more WASN'T Obama, which i will post about next)

I know that there are maaannnnnyyyyy different values and moral standards and beliefs within Journey and the pastors saying their opinions wouldn't flow right with everyone, and they would really have to check their opinions before teaching them, but really, as a church we are supposed to be of one body....

and if that body has conflicting parts then it isnt right, it wont function to its fullest potential.

which brings me to another topic.

church unity...

I think that there is too much competition between churches. Numbers have become too important in the church. Personally, i think that numbers speak only so much of how great a church is...

i mean sure, if a church is AMAZING then yes there will be a lot of people coming, staying, believing, growing, etc. but you could also have a number of people having idle spirituality, or none what-so-ever, or you could have a ton of stubborn people that have nothing to do on a sunday morning...

but really, i think that if someone leaves a church to go to another one it shouldnt be so terrible or "wrong" (as ive heard some people saying,) because if someone isnt getting fed, then people should be HAPPY that they are seeking to be closer to God and encourage them, like "if you are not being fed here, if youre not growing closer to God here, please PLEASE keep searching."

i think that the goal has been messed up in the church.

numbers have gotten too important/stressed, and people actually getting fed has gone down. (not saying that churches arent trying to feed the visitors, but if you are always at a visitor level, then the current believers can only go so far)


here's where i may get a bit offensive... (im not sure if i will be or already have been or not, but still.)

I have a few issues with how things are going down right now...

i dont know quite how to word it so i apologize if i sound wierd or harsh.

why is it that we have to TRY to make sunday mornings more APPEALING to the OUTSIDE-worldly people, thus blurring a few lines in the church, and then having the in-depth, growing-closer-to-God moments or at least emphasis on spirituality more on wednesdays? i mean the Word is totally being fed on sunday mornings! no doubt about it!

BUT spirituality has been taken out of the church a bit more. like demons, angels, the whole spiritual realm, has been pushed to the side a bit more

(which i think should DEFINETLY NOT be out of a high school ministry, especially because thats where people are spiritually flexible and it is clear that there have already been attacks)

and has been replaced with fun games and entertaining videos etc. i mean yes, it is fun, and engaging, and makes the atmosphere welcoming and enjoyable, but i think that is also insulting to God. Shouldn't God's AMAZING, MIRACULOUS, AWESOME-ness be the draw? and yes i understand that there needs to be fellowship within the church, but i think that should be on wednesdays, and have the in-depth discussions, spiritual contraversial teachings, on sundays.

I mean, i love Journey, I love Brian, and all the pastors, and i think God moves in Journey, and Brian is doing a good job in Encounter, but i think that there should be some more spirituality being taught. (in all churches) more things on prayer, worship, the spiritual realm, moral values, spiritual gifts, pretty much how to be a better Righteous, God-fearing, Christ-follower, and let God deal with/move in the worldly visitors.

just sayin.


amy the abattoir said...

a few notes:

1.) i think the problem with bringing certain issues (such as politics) into church, is that you cannot, cannot, cannot find an answer in the Bible. for example, even if every church in the world agreed that Christians should vote yes on 8, the Bible also says to help the needy and experts from both parties could easily argue that the Democratic party focuses more on that aspect. So, why bring up an issue that can only be argued using flawed, human opinion into it, when it should be each individual's role to make an informed decision based on their own beliefs and relationship with God.

2.) I agree with you that churches should not be as focused on numbers and always looking for what will entertain or captivate new visitors, but it is hard to say where that line should be drawn. After all, the overall goal of churches should always be the spread the news of the Lord and it is extremely hard to do that if they can't keep teenagers and adults of all ages with short attention spans to return to church.

Anyways, I enjoyed this blog though! I haven't seen you in a while, I hope you and your family are doing well!

brian c. berry said...

hey yo.

three thoughts.

1. I like that you're trying to think through the why's of life. Keep on seeking and asking questions. I think that's all good.

2. I think there's as much danger in "being fed" as a goal for church as "only caring about vistors" is- both are ignoring the bigger picture. And both camps can be about numbers. I think your unity piece requires appreciation for all those types of ministry.

3. I think there's an implication in your words that angels and demons are spiritual topics where as things like money and dating and stuff are non-spiritual. The Bible does speak of a spiritual realm and of wordly things, but that they are folded over one another. I guess I'm saying that my prayer life should affect my money and my money is all tied up in my prayer life. As a spiritual being, I'm trying to invite the Holy Spirit to be in all of my life and that means seeing all of my life and decisions as a spiritual expression. So, not sure if that makes sense.

but anyway... yea for chasing Jesus. have a great day and I'll keep chasing him with you.

Summer said...

First, amy, i agree that you may not find everything about politics in the bible because there wasnt such a thing as a president back in bible times, but i think that as a church it is good to discuss views on politics and how they coincide with moral values we should have from the bible. And, im not saying take all the fun and music and movie clips out of church services, but i think the main focus should be getting the word out first, and then add a little thing here and there. im just concerned that it may get worse and jesus will be pushed aside more and more.

and Brian, i think that there is a way to be in somewhat of the middle. i think that if the bible is too "dumbed down" for visitors (who you dont know their spritiual backround) it will be hard to reach them with the awe-inspiring Jesus. but that is just my opinion. and also, i think you could take things like your money and be spiritual about them but that isnt the type of spiritual that im specifically talking about. i think that things like actual spiritual warfare should be talked about as well as how to be spiritual in your daily life.

i appreciate you both reading my blog and commenting your opinions :]]]]]

brian c. berry said...

you'll be happy to know that in the fall... a "spiritual warfare" series was already on the docs. So... one more reason to stick around and bond with us while you're still south of 18 :)

and for what it's worth... dumbing down is not my goal. not talking over is. You're correct we don't know a visitors spiritual background. So, I try hard not to treat believer like idiots or those who don't know God like one either. But that "middle line" is hard to walk- especially in 35 minutes or less.