Sounds Good, But Will It Preach in Mosul?

I’ve never forgotten a great line from the movie, Platoon.  Perhaps you remember it.  The Charlie Sheen character, a young, idealistic, confused college boy from a comfortable middle class family, who dropped out in order to volunteer for combat in Viet Nam, is talking to one of his comrades, a semi-literate but worldly-wise country boy from Alabama.  Here’s the line, delivered with a drawl: “Shoot, man!  You have to be rich to even think like that.”

There are some theological perspectives that sound good in one context, but ridiculous in others.  In this article, Al Mohler addresses the popularity of the “Prosperity Gospel” of the Olsteens.  It’s easy to see how it appeals to upper middle class Americans dreaming of taking the next step up the ladder of the American dream.  But how would it sound to the thousands of Christians who are losing everything right now for their faith, and especially those being martyred in Syria, Iran, Iraq, and China?  Do the Osteens have a word for them?  If they just had a little more faith, if they just conceived great things in their mind, and visualized a “better you,” would God not only save them, but get them that Mercedes and house with a pool?

The sad part of all this is not that false teachers arise — that is a given — but that they are so readily welcomed by so many.  As in the case of false politicians, you can’t blame false teachers for trying to deceive us, especially when there is such good money in it.  But we can and should blame ourselves for believing and supporting them.

Mere Anglicanism January 22-24, 2015 in Charleston me encourage all of you to seriously consider attending this conference. You will not regret it.

The speakers this year are truly world class, including NT Wright, and the fellowship with other Anglicans will be rich.

You will realize that you are part of one of the great movements of our time, and come away with renewed vision for the Kingdom.

And Charleston is an absolutely beautiful city rich in Anglican heritage.

Urgent Prayer Appeal

Here in the US the stock market is breaking records, a new school year is starting up.  In Lebanon and Syria it is a different story.  These are some of the most ancient churches in the world, pre-dating the conquest of Islam by hundreds of years.  Until recently Christians in these countries have managed to live in peace with minimal persecution.  Now they are in danger of being completely wiped out.  Please join in prayer for them.  Here is a recent appeal from these churches describing their plight.