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Friday, March 26, 2010

L. Are you Lukewarm?

Sent from a friend via email. Thought it was good. From a book called Crazy Love. It describes what a Lukewarm Christian is and signs of being one. This of course is something that Christ told us not to be.
  1. Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly; it's what is expected of them to be "good Christians."
  2. Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church... as long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living.
  3. Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.
  4. Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin.
  5. Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for the "extreme" Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call "radical" what Jesus expected of all His followers.
  6. Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, friends, or coworkers. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about "private" issues like religion.
  7. Lukewarm people gauge their morality or "goodness" by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren't as hard-core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as the guy down the street.
  8. Lukewarm people say they love Jesus and He is indeed a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money and their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives.
  9. Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion really isn't possible for the average person; it's only for pastors and missionaries and radicals.
  10. Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends and other people they know and connect with. There is little love leftover for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached.
  11. Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money and energy they are willing to give.
  12. Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven.
  13. Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.
  14. Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum to be "good enough."
  15. Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.
  16. Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, came from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.
  17. Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens - they have their savings acct. They don't need God to help them - they have their retirement plan. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live - they have it mapped out. The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God!
  18. Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren't very different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn't be more wrong.

Thank you for sending this our way.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

XLIX. My Show Place

It's the rage of the whole country and culture. It's man's new best friend. It's America's new national past time. It is social networking at it's greatest achievement. It is neo-voyeurism. And we're hooked on it. And it is quite disgusting that it has done these things to us. Yet, we let it go on because we have become so complacent with the things we do, nothing disturbs us and nothing we do (especially on a personal basis) seems to be wrong. Facebook. Myspace. Twitter. Even blogs. The desocialization of society has begun. Maybe Wall*E isn't that far fetched from reality. Here are the results from last month's poll: How do you view things like Facebook and MySpace?

  • 3% said these things are great. How in the world are these things great? Because they get info out to people? So can a TV, radio, newspaper, and hmmm... a phone. Because it can get a lot of information fast to a lot of people? So what?
  • 53% said these things can be great but can be abused. "Can be" is the most important phrase of this choice. Anything has the potential to be a good thing.
  • 32% said these things are abused more than being used for beneficial reasons and need to be monitored. More than not. Don't people know that most sex crimes start with the smallest of imagery and then lead up to worse things? Ask NBC when they do their Dateline episodes on Internet stings and pedophiles.
  • 10% said these things are detestable and need to be abolished. Well at least some people know how to think.

It may be a passing phase that the world is going through but it doesn't seem like this type of community service is going away anytime soon. In fact it looks like it may usher in a whole new way of life; the kind of life where no one really has to deal with anyone else except through their avatars. TRUE STORY: There was a young child who was addicted to this stuff. The parents decided they had to ban their child from using it and they felt like it was a bear trying to get the child to understand why it was not needed. But the parent was doing the same thing. It is kind of hard to teach a child these things when so many adults are doing it and the adults are thinking they need to do it too. It's just another thing in this life that says "look how important I am. I have a Facebook account".

Cell phones, blue tooth ear pieces are the same way. Sure they can be used for positive things but in reality they are something to showcase who we are, hmmm...something prideful maybe. Something that takes us away from important things in life. If they are used as a witnessing tool fine, but that is not what we (99.99%) do it for and we know it. It's not just Facebook. It's our whole culture. You walk into Walmart and see people with blue tooth in their ears. And you think to yourself, "how important do you think you are that you have to answer that thing in Walmart? I mean if it was Macy's or something, okay, but you're in Walmart". Now that is kind of facetious but when you look deeper at the person, watch how they hold themselves when they have this thing on. They seriously take on a superiority complex attitude. Why can't they just have a phone? And of course they have to have it on "ring" so people can hear them when they get a call instead of vibrate. This is a pet peeve. But it does remind us of the culture we live in. Anything to bring attention to ourselves. But the Facebook thing...some will say it's a way to keep in touch with friends. That's why there are phones. If it's a friend from high school, and if you don't have their phone then apparently they weren't that close to them anyway.

Posting things twitter-like? Who cares if someone is eating at that time? And then the teenager way of doing it...posting things they don't think anyone will see. They hide their parents from seeing by hitting the hide button on their personal settings page. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Parents don't know what their own child is saying, or worse yet, they do know and don't care.

There is an addiction to these things. This following commercial seems harmless and is trying to be humorous but in reality is it really portraying how pathetic we have become?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQR67HXVt14. Notice everyone has their phone out while they are supposed to be in communication with the one they are with. This is actually quite sickening if you think about it. Our society has deteriorated because no one knows how to talk to each other. Could it be this bad as the commercial shows? have we gotten that dependant upon this little thing called the cell phone (mini-macro-world-communicator-entertainer)? Students in school don't know how to handle each other anymore when they walk down the halls together because they don't know how to actually talk in a correct way. Conversations are shortened to IDK, LOL, ROFL, NVM, BTW, WTF, OMG. So when real crisis happen, no one knows how to deal with it, because typing something won't cause the problem to go away. Students don't do homework anymore because they are talking on Facebook all night long.

It causes impatience, neglect, disappointment and even bullying and sexting. Nicely done. Parents don't even listen to their kids anymore, they're too busy downloading pictures and playing with apps.

BTW, Blogs? Same thing. Get a life. Those who blog must have nothing else to do with their life. That is why this writer has three. See the point?

It' not the technology that makes these things bad. It's the availability for anyone of any background to use that makes these things bad. Even Christians who have problems dealing with addictions can make these things have a negative impact on their witnessing. Some people may celebrate the name of Christ on their site and then in their photo sections have a picture of people in compromising and promiscuous positions. If you are a Christian and are not using it for real witnessing but for your own pleasure then you have lost all credibility to being a witness. And if you are one of those people, then shame on you.

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