To Catch a Predator

July 30, 2012

image_pastor_993740163We can’t say we weren’t warned.

Jesus talked about wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Paul talked about charlatans and phonies.

I’ve been thinking a lot about them.  How do you know a spiritual predator, a charlatan, a false preacher when you see one?

I mean, I know they are everywhere.  You don’t have to look hard.  The church is full of clowns.  You’d think they’d be easy to recognize.  Yet they still have huge followings, sell millions of books, and lead people by the nose every day.

So I thought I’d take a crack at “diagnosing” all the false teachers out there, identify a few “symptoms” of being a spiritual phony.

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Hey everyone, I’m heading home from vacation and my blog sabbatical.  Just one more “best of” post – for nostalgia’s sake, and I’m back on Monday, July 30.

You want to know what the next big cause is?

No, environmentalism isn’t going away. Though it turns out that those eco-friendly wind farms actually contribute to global warming by stirring up all the hot air floating above us. Water and shoes and war and nutrition aren’t going away as causes either.

But people need a sexy new cause to keep their attention. And the spotlight on bullies has been growing brighter for a while, and I think it’s going to stay that way for a long time. And like most pop-culture causes, it didn’t start with Christians. In fact, I have yet to see any prominent Christians throw their hat in the bullying ring at all.

So I have a question for you, Christians. Are we going to let this be another cause that’s too “liberal,” or “secular” for us, and let it pass us by? Or are we actually going to do something?

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Today, I’m really glad to bring you my blogging friend, Zack, author of the fantastic blog, The American Jesus.  Read, comment, and then go follow his blog and his Twitter.  I’ll be back on Monday, July 30.

Did God really create the world in only six days?

Was Noah really able to squeeze two of every animal on earth into the ark?

Are the streets of heaven really paved with gold?

Answer any of these questions the “wrong” way among the right group of people and you’re likely to get yourself into a world of trouble. After all, something is either “true” or it’s not, right?

But what does it mean for something to be “true”? If a Biblical story isn’t a historical account of something that can be documented through archeology, does that necessarily make it not true?

Many of the battles lines in the church today seem to be drawn around how this issue of how we should interpret a given passage from scripture. In other words, should the Bible be read “literally” or “metaphorically”?

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Yeah, I’m still on vacation, but I’m still with you in blogging spirit.  Today, you even the second ever brand new post on my new column at Prodigal Magazine, “Art Room Parables!”  Sweet!  Check out this little preview and then head over to Prodigal to read the rest.

We are all artists.IMG_1529

That was the bold claim I made in my first Art Room Parables column.  I’ll admit, I didn’t offer any explanation up front, and maybe you don’t believe me.  I think I even may have bristled a few people with that claim.

“But I’m not creative…” you say.

“I can’t draw a straight line.”

“I like math.”

“I’m a left-brained, type ‘A’ personality.”

“Artists are weird and fruity.”

“Science geeks are boring.  They aren’t artists.”

It wasn’t a typo.  I really meant it, even for all the left-brained, type A, non-creative people, the moms, dads, students, scientists, mathematicians, ditch-diggers and pencil pushers.  So let me explain why you, yes you are, in some way, an artist.

Keep reading at Prodigal Magazine.

I’m on vacation from home, work, and the blog July 16 – 27.  But that doesn’t mean the blog is going dark!  I’ll be featuring a couple of guest posts, a few reruns of some of my favorite posts you may have missed, and there will even be a fresh post on my new column at Prodigal Magazine.  Regular programming will resume Monday, July 30.


A generation ago, people talked about “tolerance.”

“Tolerance” meant that people lived next door to their neighbors in peace, and minded their own business.  Didn’t matter if your neighbors were a different religion or political party or sexuality.  Just live and let live.  Granted, it was a new concept for a lot of people.  Seems some people still don’t have the grasp of it.

We still talk about tolerance.  We use the word every day.  Heck, the cardinal sin you can commit is to be “intolerant” of someone.

But “tolerance” today means something totally different.  Because “tolerating” each other is no longer enough.  It’s not enough to “live and let live” or to mind your own business.

Want to know why our culture is so divided, so polarized?  Because we’re self-righteously waiting for a truckload of “tolerance” that we’re just never going to get.  The irony is that it’s only going to get worse, the more hung up on tolerance we become.

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I’m on vacation from home, work, and the blog July 16 – 27.  But today, I’ve got a sweet guest post from K.C. Procter, who blogs at ‘Some Wise Guy.’  K.C.’s been a good blog friend to me for a long time, and I’m really happy to feature him here today.  Leave K.C. some comment love, and then visit his blog and Twitter.  Regular programming will resume Monday, July 30.

superflyHi. My name is KC and I’m an alcoholic.

And I’m a Christian.
And I drank one beer with dinner last night.
And I’m still going to Heaven.

To be more accurate I’m prone to alcoholism. I have a family background in depression, ADD, substance abuse and have a tendency toward obsessive/impulsive behavior. Based on my family history (and what I understand of biology) my brain has a chemical imbalance that causes me to be inclined to drink too much.

But I don’t. Why?

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