Newslinks 06/27/10

June 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Sherwood’s new film focuses on fatherhood
The pastor of the church that made the hit movie Fireproof says his congregation’s next film will stress the importance of fathers in their children’s lives.

Adopted child joins Mark Hall this Father’s Day
The lead singer of the Christian band Casting Crowns says adopting a little girl from China last month has given him insight into what it means to be adopted into God’s family.

Emmy nomination for pro-life program
A pro-life TV show has received a nomination for a regional Emmy Award.

Guns in church bill headed to governor
Concealed weapons will be allowed in some Louisiana churches after all.

Reformed Bodies Sign Off on Merger
The two largest reformed church bodies officially merged on Friday to become the World Communion of Reformed Churches, representing more than 80 million Christians. Continue Reading Newslinks 06/27/10…

“Marking” a generation

August 2, 2008 at 8:37 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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For the past few years, sometimes due to the church that I was attending, I have heard pastors, preachers, teachers, and Christians talk about “marking a generation”, “reclaiming” the next generation, or “raising up” the next generation. These phrases are really starting to annoy me. From what I’ve seen, most of the people saying these phrases don’t seem to have any clue what it means to mark, reclaim, or raise up anything. I’ve also got to ask a simple question. How many times has the next generation been marked, reclaimed, or raised up? Where has it taken them? Are they any different than they were before? I understand that there will be some that will be changed, but I’m talking about an entire generation.

 

The thing that started this whole shebang was an invitation that was given to me by a well-meaning coworker. I have other differences in belief with this person, but so far, I’ve been able to keep my head down and color. The invitation was to her church’s youth conference. The copy on the invitation is as follows (names have been changed to keep those people from embarrassment):

 

Trans4mation:08

Ezekiel 9:6

Marking this generation for God!

 

Healing, Deliverance, Salvation, Repentance

 

August, 1st-3rd

Friday & Saturday @ 7pm & Sunday @ 10am

 

Pastors Mr. and Mrs. So and So

Conference Hosts

 

Akron Smith

Christian Record Label

Gospel Hip Hop Artist

 

Pastor Blah Blah Blah

House of Prayer, USA

Youth and Young Adult Pastor

 

Pslamist

Host town’s Anointed Rhymer

 

Brother Song & Crew

Formerly of a band I’ve never heard of

 

DJ Bill

Lighten’ (not the way to spell this).. It Up On The Turn Table

 

One of a Kind

God’s Hip Hop Girl

 

On the back, it says this:

 

Activities Include

 

Nightly Giveaways

Hip Hop Dance

Drama

Mime

 

5 on 5 Basketball

After Party on the Patio

Youth Leaders Breakfast

Sunday Night Skate Party

& Much More

 

I was told how AWESOME this was going to be and how I needed to get any youth I know to this event. I looked at the invitation, studied what was on it, and put it in my Bible. There were a ton of things that I wanted to say, and just as many questions that I wanted to ask.

 

How, exactly, do you mark a generation? Do they know that they’re marked? Will there be something that sets them apart that is readily recognizable? If not, are you really helping them? The only thing that I saw on the invitation that remotely could help change the youth was the word “repentance”. When you mark a generation, what is expected of them and do they know this? Do they even know that they’re getting marked or is this some kind of stealth ninja evangelism event? I can’t help but wonder what will be preached at this event. Most of the people listed on the invitation are singers/hip hop artists.

 

I also can’t help but wonder what they’ll be giving away, how much time will be spent in 5-on-5 basketball games, and whether or not there will be any time left over for the “healing, deliverance, salvation, and repentance”. And, what about the AFTER PARTY when it’s all done?!?! Is this a party or a Christian event? Who are they trying to fool? The kids that they’re trying to mark? “Maybe if we call it a party, they’ll fall for it and come in and then get saved and be marked and be REAL Christians”…

 

This is ridiculous! What’s truly ironic is the verse that is used for the basis of this entire façade is Ezekiel 9:6:

 

“Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple.

 

I wonder if they spent some time reading the context of the verse that they used? The context of the verse begins in Chapter 8. Ezekiel is sitting in his house with the elders of Judah before him. While he is sitting there, the hand of God falls on him and he sees a vision. In this vision, God shows Ezekiel the abominations of the very men sitting in front of him! The elders thought that no one knew what they were doing in secret. God revealed the idolatry that the priests and elders were living in. There were people in the temple who would face the east and worship the sun! IN GOD’S OWN TEMPLE!!! Because of this, God says something very chilling:

 

Eze 8:18 “Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I will not listen to them.”

 

The idolatry of those who are supposed to be leading God’s people has become an affront to God and He prepares to send judgment. God shows Ezekiel exactly what He’s going to do. In Chapter 9, God calls the executioners to Him. Six “men” gathered in front of the Lord with “their shattering weapon in their hand”. Among them was another “man” with an inkhorn. It was the job of this “man” to mark the foreheads of those who have remained obedient to the Lord and were weeping and groaning over the abominations of the elders. The six destroyers were to follow behind the man and kill anyone who did not bear the mark of God. They were to start in the temple.

 

Eze 9:9  Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood and the city is full of perversion; for they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’

Eze 9:10  “But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor will I spare, but I will bring their conduct upon their heads.”

 

If this event is truly focused on God and changing a generation, it will be full of God-centered worship, and expository preaching. Forgive me if I sound critical, but I have a really hard time understanding how mime is going to “mark a generation”. I don’t understand how 5-on-5 basketball is going to make a lasting impact on anybody for Jesus Christ. The only thing that can make a lasting change in man is through the study, understanding, and application of God’s Word. All of this needs to be done rightly. It’s not taking a verse and making it say what you want it to say. It’s about studying the Word of God to understand how He meant it. When we understand how God meant it, we can rightly apply it to our lives and it will change to be more like Christ. Not the Christ that many seem to preach about today, but the One that is witnessed to in scripture.

 

I truly pray that there will be changes happening at this “Christian” event this weekend. I find myself having a harder and harder time believing that the modern church has the ability to do more than baby-sit the youth. I really want to believe that the church can actually raise up the youth to continue the Great Commission that all of us who believe have been given. I still want to believe that there is time. In the back of my head, I have this nagging thought that time is running out


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