On Christian Radio

June 27, 2008

Has anyone noticed a trend in Christian radio over the last few years? It has become downright fluffy. As far as I know, the city of Columbia has one Christian radio station and the overwhelming majority of the time the content on the station is so fluffy it almost floats away. A few years ago it was not like this. However, I have noticed that Christian radio stations in three different metro areas that I have familiarity with in the Southeast have been becoming increasingly sappy. The reason for this is fairly simple: the target audience of these stations is a mother in her 30’s that drives a mini-van. I spoke with a representative of a Christian radio station and this person openly admitted to that person being their target audience. I have nothing against Christian women in their thirties that drive mini-vans, but I am not one of them.

Additionally, I do not always want to be fed content that is “positive and encouraging.” Sometimes I need to be convicted of sin and draw close to Jesus. Sometimes I need to hear some intelligent conversation about Christian topics. Sometimes I need to hear old Christian hymns of the faith. Sometimes I’d like to hear Christian rock that is not mainstreamed. In short, a Christian radio station that is consistently programmed towards “positive and encouraging” sappiness with talk shows that include a twenty minute story about the host’s “build-a-bear” experience is missing out on a very large segment of believers: men. And those men are turning their dial to sports talk or Fox News on their way home to and from work and turning off the Christian sappiness.

The point of this rant is that Christian radio that is “positive and encouraging” is a good thing. However, it does not encompass the totality of Christian life. In fact, it alienates a large segment of its potential listener base and gives a very “pansy” vibe to those unbelievers that may tune in interested in what a Christian radio station is like. In a world where men are consistently being feminized and domesticated, it does not help that our Christian radio stations are not far behind. The only answer to this problem is for radio staions to (a) diversify its target audience or (b) listeners to start new and supplementing stations.

Again, I’m all for being positive and encouraging. But the Christian life is not a walk in a park on a sunny day. It is full of real issues that cannot be pushed under the rug. And the more we push and hide real Christian issues the more men will be turning the station.

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Obama and Dobson

June 25, 2008

The following is an article from Baptist Press concerning comments made between Barack Obama and James Dobson. Obama’s comments solidify the prevailing humanistic, postmodern and pluralistic belief that one’s faith should be kept privatized and should have nothing to do with government laws. The flaw behind this type of blatant discrimination of faith is that this idea of keeping one’s faith to himself is in fact a faith belief in its own right. This is very much the type of hypocrisy that we are forced to live with as government seeks to tighten its control of more and more of our liberties.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson used his broadcast June 24 to criticize Barack Obama’s usage of Scripture, saying the presumptive Democratic nominee misrepresents biblical passages.

“I think he is deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview — his own confused theology,” Dobson said on the radio program.

Dobson’s words come as Obama reaches out to evangelicals, who in recent presidential elections traditionally have voted Republican.

At issue during the broadcast was a keynote speech Obama gave in June 2006 to the conference of the Call to Renewal, a liberal Christian organization. Several clips from the address — in which Obama criticizes the way social conservatives have used Scripture in pushing public policy — were played on the program.

“[E]ven if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christians from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?” Obama asked. “Would it be James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount — a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application. But before we get carried away, let’s read our Bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles.”

Tom Minnery, president of government and public policy for Focus on the Family, said Obama’s interpretation is off the mark.

“Laws that applied to [the Israelites] then — the Levitical code, the dietary laws — no longer apply,” Minnery said. ” … [I]t seems that he is vastly confused about the details of biblical exposition. I think he is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter. I just don’t know whether he’s doing it willfully or accidentally.”

Said Dobson, “He says we ought to read the Bible. I think he ought to read the Bible.”

Minnery noted that Obama recently “cited the Sermon on the Mount as justifying same-sex marriage.” Minnery was referencing a March campaign speech by Obama in which the senator from Illinois defended his support of civil unions and said, “If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans. That’s my view. But we can have a respectful disagreement on that.”

In another segment from the June 2006 speech played on the broadcast, Obama said, “Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. What do I mean by this? It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons … but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I can’t simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

Dobson said Obama’s views on democracy, too, are wrong.

“What the senator is saying there, in essence, is that I can’t seek to pass legislation … that bans partial-birth abortion because there are people in the culture who don’t see that as a moral issue,” Dobson said. “And if I can’t get everyone to agree with me, it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. Now, that is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution. This is why we have elections — to support what we believe to be wise and moral. We don’t have to go to the lowest common denominator of morality, which is what he is suggesting.”

Dobson noted that when Obama was a state legislator in Illinois, he opposed a bill that would have required medical attention be given babies who survive abortions.

“That, to him, was a moral position. To me, it’s anathema,” Dobson said. “Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of tiny babies? What he’s trying to say here is, ‘Unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe.’ I thank God that that’s not what the Constitution says.”

Obama’s 2006 speech also drew a response from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on his blog. Writing in June 2006, Mohler called Obama’s position “secularism with a smile.”

“Sen. Obama seems to believe in the myth of a universal reason and rationality that will be compelling to all persons of all faiths, including those of no faith at all,” Mohler wrote. “Such principles do not exist in any specific form usable for the making of public policy on, for example, matters of life and death like abortion and human embryo research. This is secularism with a smile — offered in the form of an invitation for believers to show up, but then only to be allowed to make arguments that are not based in their deepest beliefs.””

I have this seersucker suit (although it doesn’t look as cool on me as the guy in the picture). Anyhow, I bought it back in 2001 and well, let’s just say it doesn’t fit like it used to. So, I went to the alterations place today and the lady told me that it would need to be let out a whopping 2 1/2 inches. 2 1/2 inches? Wow. The only problem is that there are only two inches that can be let out. Therefore, I have three options: (1) lose weight, (2) buy another suit, or (3) suck in.

As I was listening to John Piper preach on The Echo and the Insufficiency of Hell this morning, I realized that when I die and am resurrected, I will be given a new body and the clothes that I wear will never need altering because my body will be sinless. Not only will my body be sinless but all the redeemed who live with horrible birth defects, who live in a vegetative state, who live in chronic pain, and who live lives where their bodies just don’t work like they used to, these too will be redeemed. What a wonderful day that will be!

If you’d like to hear a good message on why there is seemingly “pointless” suffering in the world (car accidents, murders, natural disasters, cancer) I highly recommend this message by Piper. You can download it on iTunes dated 6/16/08.

Centri Kid Day 4/5

June 19, 2008

We’re leaving home today! I’m writing this late on Thursday night and you are probably reading this on Friday morning. You will see your kids later this afternoon! ETA is 3 pm although we may be earlier. The plan is to be leaving the college at 10:15 am with a stop for lunch around Greenville. Call the church around noonish to get more of an exact time.

We have a had a great week with the kids. Each child here at one point made us laugh, gave us inspiration, and furthered our relationship with them. I must say that every one of these kids are wonderful. One customer at Hardee’s on the way up commented to me that we had the best, most well behaved group of children that he’s ever seen! I take full credit, of course. Just kidding – they have a wonderful, God-fearing parents.

Make sure to ask your child what award he/she won during our last church group time on Thursday night…see you today!

Centri Kid Day 3

June 18, 2008

Yesterday’s theme was “Know Your Script.” The Script being the Bible. Campers learned about how the Bible is more than just a rule book – it is a story about Jesus. Also, every person has a story and every Christian has a story of how they came to know and love Jesus. Last night myself and Mike Chase shared our stories (testimonies) with the children. It was great to see how they responded to hearing those.

Today’ s theme is “Spotlight.” God wants all people to point toward Jesus. Every action that we do either points people toward our Savior or points people away from Him. We are to point people toward Him in an ultimate act of worship.

One highlight of the week so far has been the group leader bible studies. While our children are off in their bible studies, the chaperones and group leaders have their own. Yesterday we listened the Bible read in 20 minutes. Four camp leaders read parts of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation that revealed God’s ultimate plan for redeeming man, Jesus. It was cool to hear how it all unfolds and how the Bible has so much to say about Jesus.

Today during our Bible study time, we had an intense time of prayer. Each adult leader received numerous index cards that told us to pray a certain way or for a certain thing. It was a humbling time of confession and renewal.

Tomorrow is the last full day!

Definitely a highlight of camp so far are The Lads. This band of three guys are from New Zealand. They have a fantastic testimony of how they ended up in America. They were a Christian rock band that had played all over Australia and New Zealand. They decided to take a trip to American and while they were here they had some things happen to them and found themselves bankrupt. They had no gigs and no name recognition in the states. Then, someone asked them if they had ever thought about leading worship for middle school and pre-teen kids. They, in fact, had never thought about it. However, they decided to give it a try and the rest is history.

The Lads wrote the theme song to Worship Kidstyle, which is the program that we use on Wednesday nights during the summer.

They are a fun band who write lyrics that pre-teens can really latch onto and contemplate. They certainly have been a highlight this week.

This morning was the first day of bible study and tracks. Every child is pre-assigned a team that they are on and this is the team that they do Bible study with. They are placed with children from other churches in order to get them out of their comfort zone. The tracks involve recreation and activities that the kids choose to participate in. Right now they are finishing up their first track and then they’ll head on to their second track. After that we’ll have our group picture and then free time.

Keep praying that your children will grow deeper in Christ this week. The Centri-kid staff has been praying for your child by name for weeks and are ready to help your children grow.

I’ll try to have another update tonight and hopefully some pictures!

Also, thanks to those parents and leaders who sent mail. We handed out mail today and it made their day. I even got three letters!

Centri-Kid Day 1

June 17, 2008

*Welcome to the Centri-Kid journal. Parents, if any of you are reading this, be sure to let others know. I am planning to post a recap every day. I’ll write it at night and it will be posted at 6 am the following morning. *

Well, the first day at Centri-Kid is in the books. We had an uneventful bus ride to Toccoa Falls and everyone got checked into their rooms. Here are some interesting observations and facts from Monday.

Dinner was nuts. Picture 400 hungry kids plus chaperones waiting in long lines for food. Add to the fact that the drink machines didn’t work and it took us a good 20 minutes to get seated. Once we did, we devoured our meal.

Football – Before dinner the 11 boys and me played some two-hand touch football. The problem with these guys is they all wanted to be quarterback. So most of the time was spent yelling about who the QB was…still, it was a blast before we had guys stepping in ant piles!

Worship – was a great experience. There was an awesome band that played loud rock/praise music. You could tell it was eye-opening to our kids who are used to choir robes and orchestra.

Rooms – Well…there were a few minor issues with a shower not working and a sink being clogged, but other then that the newly renovated rooms have been better than I expected.

Overall, it has been a blast so far. The kids are really enjoying themselves and are looking forward to the rest of the week. This post will be published first thing tomorrow morning but I’m writing it now and I’m beat. Parents, your kids are having a great time!