Category Archives: Theology

Our current situation…

From a local businessman and church leader- 12/15/12

I have tried putting down my opinion this morning and have found it very difficult to breathe when I try to gather my thoughts to write. Sleep was interrupted most of the night when I would find myself thinking of the children. I have no connection to any of the families other than human feelings and compassion and that seems to fall way short of reasoning when it comes to the magnitude of this loss. I don’t recall ever hearing the name Newtown, Connecticut until yesterday. Now I have. Through live news coverage of an incomprehensible act that will now live in my mind as long as I draw breath. An external enemy with years of cultivated hatred took life from us on 9/11 however this senseless murderous act was committed by a sick minded neighbor cultivated internally. I say cultivated because this was not a spontaneous loss of mind but a premeditated, evil act that totally disregarded human life. Any life taken in this manner is senseless and incomprehensible but children! What can cause anyone to commit such a heinous evil act?

Opinions as to the cause will mount in days and months to come and will mostly focus on what appears to be the obvious. As President Obama said we should debate vigorously every “meaningful” issue that would prevent anything close to this from ever happening again. However most of us will focus on the “apparent” obvious and in some cases deliberately avoid the root cause. We will reason that it is just too humanly hard to deal with. As with similar tragedies in our recent history we cannot allow this to end up media spin to promote political agendas that do not address the root problem. As with every major crisis that America is currently dealing with this one as with the others could have been anticipated because the root problem has yet to be addressed. Sure, a sick mind and guns can be debated, opinions stated and laws passed until the next tragedy however unless the root cause is addressed these tragedies will continue to occur again and again, only more frequently and by possibly different means. Anything but addressing the root cause is a Band-Aid for a gashing wound.

Evil has been allowed to develop as untreated cancer in our society and is now with great devastation is taking its toll with human life. It will be interesting to see in the coming days to see if it will be reported how many times this sick mind received hugs and told he was loved from a broken dysfunctional “family”. How many hours a day he spent playing violent video games, watching violent movies and listening to music that disregard human life produced from an entertainment industry left unchecked. Again only evidence and fruits of a deeper root cause in a depraved culture. Our human spirits and ultimately our actions are cultivated by what we allow to entertain (to maintain ones the mind) our mind and our minds have been entertained by evil rather than good. America we are beginning to reap the whirlwinds. The root cause; Acceptance of evil as a cultural lifestyle. Acceptance of evil as a society does have its moment of temporary satisfaction and pleasure but will eventually surface and result in the destructive death stench that it really is.

It is easy if you are slightly informed to cry out about the dark fruits or evidence of evil however as I said earlier, addressing, debating or merely crying out is not enough it requires action. Humanly it is much harder to address the solution, especially if you are not aware or been taught that the solution requires indivual reflection, accountability and action that is found in ancient writings. This ancient writing, if followed will have an immediate, significant and positive cultural impact.
Some will argue that we don’t want or need to change our developing culture. Really, really? Continue to follow this and future developing news stories and tell me that we don’t need to change our sick “developing culture”. Look into the eyes of the children and see what we have left them and with conviction repeat it in the mirror. We have always had and will no matter what continue to have sick minds and available weapons but we do not have to endure these evil actions that have been now experienced in Newtown.

There is a Solution!!!!

My fear is that we will debate passionately the peripheral issues, avoid the root cause and therefore once again reject the Solution.
The Solution – The ancient writing ?

2 Chronicles 7:14
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Leaders please lead!!! Pastors, Clergy, Senate Members, House Members, Governors, Mayors, Commissioners, Media Moguls, Business Leaders, please, please, please lead this great nation in repentance before God. Let us the followers see you repent through all available outlets. TV, Radio, Internet, Youtube, Facebook etc. we will follow!

We have been warned over and over and now it is time for action. Going over the fiscal cliff will pale in comparison of going over the spiritual cliff. Arrogant and prideful unbelief is the only thing standing in way of true change and solution.

America, if our leaders don’t repent, we must take it on ourselves lead our families in repentance anyway we will then have the wisdom and fortitude to appoint the correct leaders!

As for either side that attempts to politicize this act to promote their agendas that do not address the root cause, they should be prosecuted and held in contempt of human life. We will not be able to write laws, build prisons, borrow enough money and build enough gravesites fast enough if America does not repent and find its moral compass through faith in Jesus Christ.

Gary Hensley


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Has Christian America Come to an End?

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle

Has Christian America Come to an End?

By Mark Driscoll
Pastor, Mars Hill Church

Has Christian America come to an end? That question has been hotly debated since Newsweek published their recent feature story reporting that the number of Americans claiming no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990. Additionally, the percentage of self-identified Christians has dropped ten points in the past two decades.

As an evangelical pastor with one of America’s fastest-growing churches in one of its least churched cities, I do not find the report surprising or discouraging. Newsweek missed the subtle — but vital — difference between Christian America and Christendom America.

Christian America is comprised of those people who have had a truly transforming experience with Jesus Christ and are living new lives as practicing Christians. Experts such as sociologist Bradford Wilcox at the University of Virginia have well documented the fact that those who practice Christian faith by reading their Bibles regularly, attending church, praying, and so forth are far less likely to engage in acts such as adultery, divorce, substance abuse, and the like.
Christendom America is comprised of those people who have not had a truly transforming experience with Jesus Christ and are living lives virtually indistinguishable from those who are non-Christians. The confusion is that it was common in Christendom for people who did not practice Christianity to profess Christianity. This was often done for social reasons, such as living in a culture that expected church affiliation, being born into a religious tradition and assuming it was simply part of one’s identity (like a cultural or racial connection), or personally, socially, and vocationally benefitting from being connected, even loosely, to a church or denomination. Researchers such as George Barna have documented the fact that, as Jesus himself said, not everyone who says he or she is a Christian is in fact one.

Subsequently, the Newsweek report simply confirms the fact that, just as Christendom has died in Europe and the major American cities, it is now dying in the suburban and rural areas of America as well. With the social benefits of professing to be a Christian no longer in place and the social stigma of not professing to be a Christian now lifted, those who were part of Christendom America are simply no longer pretending to be part of Christian America.
Since those who professed faith but did not practice faith were confusing to account for, this is actually a good thing. Now, it is more likely that if someone is a Christian or non-Christian, he or she will state so plainly.

Therefore, the number of Christians has likely not diminished as much as has been reported, but rather we are seeing an increasingly accurate accounting of actual Christian America. The ARIS study confirmed this by saying that the number of people who claimed to be Christians decreased, while the number of people who claimed to be evangelical increased. This fact is not discouraging, but rather clarifying.

Additionally, Christianity has always reformed itself around major technological innovations. Just as the printing press enabled the Protestant Reformation, so too the Internet and video technology are changing how ministry is done. Networks are currently overtaking denominations as the gathering place for innovative young leaders, megachurches are using video to become multi-site, and young pastors are increasingly moving into cities to plant churches. Our own church planting network Acts 29, for example, now has 250 church plants and is on pace to be at one thousand churches in roughly seven years. We are not alone. As the churches and ministry forms of Christendom are dying, new churches, networks, and ministry forms are replacing them with great passion, as the ARIS study confirms. Therefore, while it is too early to tell, we may in fact simply be living in the time between the times of Christendom and post-Christendom America, with Christian America getting more innovative and devoted than ever and poised to see many more lives changed by Jesus Christ.

There is one thing that is concerning, namely the loss of the residue of some aspects of Protestant morality. For example, as authority is less and less respected, and social order becomes more difficult to maintain, and sexual sin increases the number of addicts and abuse victims (as we are dealing with by the thousands in our church), the result will be a culture that is less beneficial for Christians and non-Christians alike. This is because, although being good does not save you, insofar as the culture is concerned, it is still good. Proceeding forward, the distinctions in lifestyle between Christian America and non-Christian America will become increasingly stark and will require great service by the church in the areas of mercy and justice to help people damaged by a Christless culture.