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One in Christ

In 1994, Rwanda saw mass murders on a scale that has hardly been matched in modern times. Members of the Hutu tribe massacred members of the Tutsi tribe wherever they could find them. Members of the different tribes had lived alongside each other in peace for years but that did not stop the slaughter. In the midst of this holocaust, 13,500 Christians gathered together in the town of Ruhanga. They were from many different denominations: Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, and others. What made them unique was that they were from both tribes: the Hutus and the Tutsis. When the
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Baylor

When I went to Dallas for a seminar the other week, I took the time to go down to Waco and re-visit Baylor University. I got my Ph.D. from Baylor in the late 1980s and I had not been back since that time. To say that Waco and Baylor have grown is an understatement. I spent a lot of time driving around the campus trying to find some landmarks to help me. I did discover most of my old haunts but it was not easy. The huge, new football stadium dominated the campus. The main interstate highway had been totally
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Fatal Flaws

  I have just finished reading some material that Bill Easum published from 21st Century Strategies entitled “Eighteen Fatal Church Mistakes to Avoid.” For those of you unfamiliar with Reverend Easum, he is a United Methodist pastor who has been involved in church growth analyses for years now. I will not bother going through all of the mistakes that he listed but I do want to elaborate on a couple of them. First, he believes that churches make a fatal mistake by undervaluing the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. We have churches filled with conflict and controllers who fight
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Generosity

  The amount of money given to the Christian church in America has been declining for the last several years. The decline has been so significant that the only other period of time in American history that we saw a similar decline in giving was during the Great Depression. This is despite the fact that we are undergoing a financial recovery, even if it is a sluggish one. The financial crunch that Christian churches are feeling is made worse by the fact that there are hundreds of new non-profit charities out there today competing for everyone’s dollar and getting it.
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Waco

  Vanguard College Prep is a high school in Waco, Texas known for its high academic standards. Thanks to a story picked up by CBS’s “On the Road,” they are now known for outstanding sportsmanship. It began when they were scheduled to play a team from Gainesville, Texas. That team happened to be composed of players who are confined in a teenage correctional institution. Whenever the team from Gainesville played, they obviously did not take a student cheering section with them. Sometimes a few parents went along, but they usually were prevented by money problems from accompanying their children. So
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Church Attendance

  Have you noticed that your church seems emptier lately? Attendance at most Protestant churches has been dropping steadily in the United States over the last few years. Experts have posited numerous reasons for the decline and many people are making a fairly good living coming up with solutions to the problem. One problem, though, is that these solutions do not seem to be working. But, in America, that does not appear to be too big a handicap. All one has to do is look at the multitude of diet books on the best seller lists. If they worked or
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Bible

  Don’t you just hate it when the bible is right? Actually, I know a lot of people who somehow manage to always find things in the bible that agree with what they think. I, on the other hand, often find reading the bible to be an enlightening but troublesome experience. It is troublesome because I come away knowing once again that I am a sinner in need of God’s grace. The Good News is that God’s grace is available if we confess our sins and accept that grace. I think often about what Paul wrote in Romans 7: 19:
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Last Meal

  In the fourteenth chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus gives what scholars have labeled “the Farewell Discourse.” It is the way in which Jesus attempts to prepare his disciples for his imminent death. I have often wondered what we would say if we knew that a particular lunch or supper was the last time that we would eat with a loved one. Many years ago, I was finishing up my dissertation for my Ph.D. at Baylor University in Texas. I would only come home to Danville for a couple of weeks at Christmas. To do this, I would
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Jesus is Lord

  I have been helping some of my fellow pastors prepare for their theology exams which are given in preparation to become Elders in the United Methodist Church. One of the questions that is asked concerns how do we interpret the concept that “Jesus is Lord.” It seems to me that our position on that question strikes at the root of many of the problems in the American Christian church today. First of all, there was a Greek translation of the Old Testament that was used by the writers of the New Testament and it used the Greek word for
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A Problem with the Bible

  I recently read a great article called “My Problem with the Bible”, by Brian Zahnd. He offered a unique perspective on the task of reading the bible. Basically, he said that most of the time history is written by the victors. Thus, our version of history is heavily weighted towards those countries that were fortunate enough to come up on the winning side. In the case of the bible, however, that does not hold true. The bible is written from the perspective of the underdog. It is the point of view of the Hebrew slave, the downtrodden Jew who
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