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October 3rd, 2011 // posted in Media, Trends, Worldview

Telling the Truth

I was eating dinner and reading a book while my wife watched one of her favorite TV shows in an adjoining room. I have long had a deep distaste for that particular program, knowing how it has distorted facts and gutted reputations through selective editing and deceptive commentary. Over the years several friends have been deeply hurt by the program’s egregious misrepresentations.

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to read when conversational interviews occur nearby at a loud volume, so I was intermittently dragged into the content of the program. The segment that distracted me the most was the program’s farewell to curmudgeonly commentator Andy Rooney. I heard his responses to several questions. One of his statements struck me.

“A writer’s job is to tell the truth,” said Mr. Rooney.

I will not delve into the irony of that statement emanating from a program that, to my mind, is one of the most flagrant transgressors of that very sentiment. But Mr. Rooney’s words are well-taken, regardless of the source. A writer is an educator, and an educator has a responsibility to convey truth in order to advance people’s well-being.

Perhaps this hit me so hard because of my recent stop at a local bookstore. Like most authors, I am drawn to bookstores. As my wife will attest, a “quick stop” at a bookshop is 30 minutes; a more typical visit lasts well beyond an hour. During last week’s experience I was blown away by the sheer volume of pabulum and outright lies being sold to the public. Volume after volume, especially in areas concerning politics, history, religion, sociology, culture, arts, and parenting – the subjects which I perused at length – conveyed distortions that would be laughable if not for the fact that millions of ill-advised people innocently embrace those half-truths and full-on lies.

Of course such a criticism is difficult to sustain these days. Where there is no absolute moral or spiritual truth that we universally or even generally accept, then one man’s truth is no better or worse than any other man’s truth, as long as he firmly embraces it. Mr. Rooney’s statement needs to be updated for today’s world: “A writer’s job is to tell his truth” or perhaps “his version of the truth.” Consequently one could argue that a reader’s job these days is simply to consider the various truth versions available, identify which one she likes the most, and own it.

I would like to give Mr. Rooney the benefit of the doubt and believe that he really meant what he said, that his words could be taken at face value. He comes from a generation that still generally contends there are absolute truths that exist whether people acknowledge and accept them or not. Sadly, that perspective is losing ground faster than we realize. And that rapid and seemingly unrestrained redefinition of truth is a sad commentary on the depth, engagement, and influence of the Church today.

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39 Comments

  1. MichaelO

    October 3, 2011

    George,
    I am drooling while reading this T-ball set up.
    But my wife just asked me what are you so deep in thought about? So I had her read it, and she just informed me that I have to walk the dogs with her so she said you will have something to look foward to manana’. So, we will walk the dogs and we will have to climb the fence of demarcation and seperation between the standard Joplin model Pentacostal Sunday church and the Apostolic Pentacostal Saturday church that are right next to each other behind our abode. It (that fence) offends my sensibilites (inner truth knower) everyday 365 days a year. Even my dogs don’t like it and lift a leg in nightly baptismal relief.
    So as we walk I will mull a response to your most lovely provocation of truth.

  2. Susan

    October 3, 2011

    Mr. Barna, thank you for this wonderful post. This is a subject that takes up a lot of space in my heart. TRUTH! It is not complicated. When Pilate asked, “What is truth?” he was looking at pure truth; Jesus Christ. The Word of God is truth! Sadly, within the church, there is an element that prefers to pick and choose certain Scriptures as truth and deny others. They have been indoctrinated by secular thinking and pseudo-science. It is nothing new for people to want the warm, fuzzy stuff and deny the cold, hard facts (Isaiah 30:10-11). When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you must also accept ALL of Scripture as truth; even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. We, as the Body of Christ, are not just called to pursue truth, we must also communicate it. Those who believe truth is subjective are prone to deceive, i.e. the modern media.
    God bless you, Mr. Barna, for being one who pursues and communicates truth.

  3. Mike Bennett

    October 4, 2011

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, “inspired” by Andy Rooney’s comment. Your experience in the bookstore mirrors my recent trips to the public library (my “bookstore” of frugal choice).

    Your comments take me back to recent reflections on Jesus’ prayer for His followers in John 17:17: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Here’s my take on that pasage:

    “On the night before His death, in the middle of His impassioned prayer for His followers, Jesus asked His Father to set His people apart by His truth. God’s truth is revealed to us in the Holy Bible, and in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ who is ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6).

    “Using the Bible as our guide to truth, Christians will live and act in ways that set us apart as pure and holy (instead of sinful and profane). We will also be set apart to fulfill the job God has given us of preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God and serving as its ambassadors now.

    “Modern thinkers question even the existence of absolute truth, as it seems Pilate did in his examination of Jesus (John 18:38). To the sad and cynical cry of ‘what is truth?’ we are to demonstrate the veracity of the Bible by living it.”

    Thanks again for your post.

  4. Ian McKerracher

    October 4, 2011

    I struggle mightily with the state of the Church when it comes to Truth in its most objective forms. It seems first of all that there is a significant occurence of biblical illiteracy which bodes ill for most people confronted by the foggy notions of our culture. What are we to say to opponenets of Truth when they challenge us? “I know that the Bible says… but I cannot say where.” That is just not good enough.
    It is this issue in conjuction with a few others that leaves me with a feeling of impeding decimation of the Church and from where I struggle with feelings of deep saddness. It is making an attempt to steal my joy and has won some skirmishes already.

    • John, an unlikely pastor

      October 10, 2011

      Ian
      don’t give up. There is truth. He is Christ. And the gates of hades won’t prevail against his church.
      thanks

  5. Brett Campbell

    October 4, 2011

    I agree, Bro. Barna! My wife and I watched Rooney’s farewell (at least the latter portions thereof) as we awaited a much better show (and probably more accurate) to come on — a ‘reality’ race show. When Mr. Rooney made that truth comment, my thoughts were very similar to yours.

  6. Murray Henderson

    October 4, 2011

    It seems like a hopeless situation doesn’t it when our culture is screaming down the path of rejecting absolute truth. Without absolute truth, there is no “higher” morality or standard to strive for. It is simply a case of people doing their own thing without any grasp of the concept that we are going to be held accountable to an absolute truth by an absolute Truth.

  7. MichaelO

    October 6, 2011

    I too can’t watch 60 minutes. Recently while channel surfing I ran through the 60 minutes time slot and had to return to it because in a flash I recognized a personal acquaintance of mine that was on the hot seat of a weekly 60 minutes setup. Of course he was skewered and shish-kabobed in a weekly surprise unannounced meeting, 60 minutes style. All to sell time for $100,000.00 foreign automobiles when we had to bail out 2/3 of the American car industry, more and bigger insurance policies from multi-nationals, plans for the elderly to sell the equity in their home so they don’t starve just yet, a bank unjustly insulting young children so that you will switch to their bank that doesn’t but they actually do right before your eyes, viagra, cialis, a republican national committee political spot that castigates and blames those nasty long term unemployed leeches on society who won’t work, with a vow that the slothful won’t receive a red cent from the virtuous republicans, yet out of the other side of their mouth they push tax breaks and the reversal of capital gains tax for the huge globalized multi-national corporations who have moved all the former middle-class jobs to Asia, the very culprits who caused the unemployed travesty in the first place.
    I listened to Andy Rooney’s farewell piece later on CNN and was struck that his bottom line was when you see me in a restuarant, don’t say hi or demand an autograph. Just let me eat my dinner in peace.He just wants the good part of fame. At least he has enough money to eat out, 20 Million unemployed Americans don’t. Oh, I forgot to mention unemployment is not 9.1% as advertised (lied), it is actually over 20%.
    Bookstores. I am in mourning. I live on the southern Border and the one local bookstore a B Dalton was recently closed. Actually only half of the store had English books half Spanish. But now I can’t go into a bookstore and actally pick up and feel and smell and thumb one of those lovely things and hear that distinctive crackling of a virgin spine never before opened, whether they be truthful or not. Amazon just doesn’t serve that purpose, I’m jonesing the rush of handling a first edition hardback. A visit to a Barnes and Noble is like entering the Holy of Holies. The deep rich faux mahogany wood shelves, the smell of coffee and books, the low hum of intellectuals in stimulating conversation curing the ills of the world over a tome and tea, rows and rows and rows of potential truth. Although frustrating to find truth it is fun to look for it while my wife is busily pacing around in circles like a fly in the makebelieve suspense and intrigue novel section. Lately in books I have mostly found it (truth) in hidden places, places under the radar, off the map, low profile. It is an effort, hard work, not easy to find. It seems that truth comes more and more from the most unlikely places, nameless, faceless, unknown people, places and things. I think that is part of the plan of God and quite purposful on His part. He seems to often hide truth right in front of our nose.
    I find myself in such agreement with George above it is spooky.
    The norm has become rather than “Telling the Truth.” It is it seems as George says: “A writers job is to tell his truth.”
    We (christians) can’t even agree that truth is Gods Word? Then we have two versions of Gods Word, one with 66 books, the other with the addition of the Apocrypha. Both versions share the 66 books but we do not even agree on those 66.
    Then we come to interpretation of what Gods Word says.
    Beyond interpretation we have tradition.
    Tradition fracturing us into some say 22,000 sects of christianity.
    Truth, what is it?
    How can we know?
    As George says above “…job is to tell his truth.”
    Are we all just believing, doing, being, our own version of the truth, or better or worse yet someone else’s version of the truth, or is it God’s version of the truth?
    Jesus Christ was sent here by the Father and He lived truth in front of people. He demonstrated truth. He was truth. He is truth. He was and is truth in motion. Truth must be lived, and if it is not lived it can not be determined to be truth. It is not real until it is lived until it is put in motion by you with Jesus and the Holy Spirit inside of you. Until put into motion by you in conjunction with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, it is just potential truth, theoretical truth.
    When mixed with faith it becomes real truth in you. When mixed with faith and action it becomes the word of God in truth in motion now in 2011.
    Jesus Christ is our example. What did He do? He told us to do it also. He picked up His cross and hung and died on it. They didn’t hang Him on the cross He hung Himself on the cross. He told us to pick up ours and do the same daily. We must decide to hang on our cross and die as well. He did what the Father said to do, He did what He saw the Father do. We do what Jesus did, we do what we see Jesus doing in the word.
    What is that?
    First words spoken by Jesus upon beginning His ministry is: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matt 4:17)
    Repent is to turn on ones heel and proceed in another (different) direction.
    Last words spoken by Jesus after His resurection and instructions to the those in the upper room: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.
    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
    teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20.) Are we in that instruction now?
    What Jesus did in His ministry, His model, His example, His method. Matt 9:35.
    What Jesus wants us to do to Him. Matt 9:37+38.
    What Jesus does with His disciples. Matt 10:1-23
    What Jesus definition of a disciple is. Matt 10:24-42.
    How long it takes for a disciple to become an apostle. Matt 10:1-2. Immediately, micro seconds. A gift is a gift, it is not earned, it is not worked for, a gift is free and immediate. An apostle is a gift, prophet is gift, evangelist gift, and so on.
    Are you supposed to be a part of the harvest? Matt 9: 37-38. There are only few harvesters. The harvest is overwhelming. What do you honestly think?
    How does Jesus preach the Gospel and deal with the converts? Matt 9:9-13
    How quickly do Jesus converts become a worker in His harvest? Matt 10: 1-4. Matthew the Roman tax-gatherer, traitor to the Jews, sinner, scum of the earth, heathen, follower in Matt 9:9, disciple Matt 10:1, apostle Matt 10:2, harvester Matt 10:5.
    Jesus consistant modus operendi. John 9:1-12.
    Religions (christianity included) consistant modus operendi. John 9:13-34.
    Jesus method. John 4:1-42. Did Jesus send her to church? Or did Jesus leave her in her sphere of influence? Did Jesus break the Jew rule about speaking to dog women? Did Jesus judge the sinner or her men later?
    Jesus method. Mark 5: 1-20. Did Jesus leave this guy in his sphere of influence? Did Jesus send him to the pastor at church? Jesus told him to do some harvesting. Did this guy have a seminary degree. Evangelistic training? Theology degree? Did he know the 4 steps to salvation? How about the Roman road? Did Jesus tell him to sit under 10 years of sermons on hard pews?
    We have been lied to by this big monolith blundering stumbling thing called christianity.
    I have given you straight Scripture I am telling you the truth!

  8. MichaelO

    October 7, 2011

    Truth. What is it?
    Is conventional christianity operating in truth?
    I’m talking about Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Catholic, Anglican, Luthern, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Pentacostal, Charismatic, Independant Evangelical.
    Is your pastor/priest/reverand/preacher, found in the New Testament?
    I mean the model, example, of all of what your pastor does and spends his time doing, his emphasis, his fruits, his goals, what is important to him, what he would term success.
    Can you find that man in the New Testament?
    Even in broad concepts or terms expressed or implied?

    Are we as regular lay christians supposed to be controled by another christian in a position of office that is over you?
    Can you show this in the New Testament expressed or implied?

    Similarly, are we as regular lay christians supposed to be controled by a centralized hierarchy of positional leaders in positions of descending hierarchical authority exerting control institutionally?

    Are we as regular lay christians supposed to tithe to a pastor? Can you show me the “tithe” in the New Testament expressed or implied?

    Somewhere roughly about 60%-70% of people professing christianity believe the Bible to be from God.
    For the above questions we will allow that historical document (Bible New Testament) to be the guide for what is termed christianity, defining christianity.
    Taking precedence over what men think.
    I would love to know what your truth is regarding this thing we call christianity in all of it’s expressions.
    Are your groups practices in the New Testament?

    • John, an unlikely pastor

      October 10, 2011

      Michael,
      Your words are inspiring. There’s truth and He is real. To explore that point even further that you are trying to make I’d suggest you rephrase your question at the start of your Oct 7 post.
      Is conventional christianity operating in truth?
      Jesus is Truth. He’s a whole lot of other things (savior, hope, mighty God, Prince of Peace, Son of God and son of man, etc.) but for this instance let’s focus on truth. What answer do we get if we rephrase the question:
      Is conventional christianity operating in Jesus direction?
      Pax,
      John

      • MichaelO

        October 11, 2011

        Thanks John great point, that’s why we need brothers in the faith.

        “IS CONVENTIONAL CHRISTIANITY OPERATING IN TRUTH?”

        Is your pastor/priest/reverand/preacher/father/ telling you the truth, is he truly representing the kingdom of God, is he truly leading you into the truth?

    • Craig Olson

      October 29, 2011

      Michael,

      So much of what passes for Christianity today is simply an accumulation of years of man-made tradition shaped into a construct called ‘the church.’ But just as Jesus condemned the Pharisees for substituting man-made traditions for the Word of God, He would pronounce judgment on much of what we call ‘Christianity’ today.

      The church bears very little resemblance to what it did in Jesus day. People met daily in the temple courts then. They met in one another’s homes to share meals. They knew each other intimately. They helped each other when times were tough. They didn’t leave the ministry to religious professionals, but engaged in mutual ministry. They were known for their love for one another in a very brutal, inhumane world. Others were drawn to them by the deep bond of love they shared.

      The modern church is little more than a weekend worship service. Members don’t know each other much less care for one another. Ministry is left to religious professionals. There is no ‘mutual ministry’ in the New Testament sense. Worship has morphed into performance rather than adoration. Spiritual growth is measured in terms of one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ and bears no reference to the rest of the body of Christ or the advancement of His kingdom. Giving averages less than three percent of income. Christian entertainment is a multi-billion dollar industry. And folks have little to do with each other outside formal church services. They don’t care for each other. That is a job left for the government, the social welfare agencies, and the professional counselors.

      • MichaelO

        November 1, 2011

        Great reply Craig.
        My sentiments exactly.
        That’s why I’m in the “Occupy Christianity” movement.
        It is where there is no clergy vs laity but we all are priests and ministers unto God. There is no sacred and secular. There is no hierarchical authority figures over anyone, but all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus Christ and no man usurps or infringes on His authority. Leadership is by function not position and is a flat co-equal leadership. The greatest shall be the least and the least the greatest. Where 80% of every dollar is not spent on a professional religionist and a fancy building used for 2 hrs on a Sunday morning dumb mute sermon monologue observation. Where everyone watches the religious show, and is fed milky baby formula, with their ears tickled and receiving knowledge but never arriving at the truth.

  9. MichaelO

    October 13, 2011

    Authors telling the truth.

    THE PASTOR IS IN THE BIBLE…Right?
    The word pastors does appear in the New Testament:

    “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:11)

    The following observations are to be made about this text.

    > This is the only verse in the entire New Testament where the word pastor is used (a derivative form of the word poimen is used in Acts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:2-3). One solitary verse is a mighty scanty piece of evidence on which to hang the Protestant faith! In this regard, there seems to be more biblical authority for snake handling (see Mark 16:18 and Acts 28:3-6) than there is for the present-day pastor. Roman Catholics have made the same error with the word priest. You can find the word priest used in the New Testament three times. In every case, it refers to ALL Christians.

    This was taken from the book “Pagan Christianity?”
    Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, Frank Viola and George Barna authors, Barna Books, 2008, Pgs. 106 and 107.

    The authors are telling you the truth.
    Your tradition, your practice, is lying to you!

  10. MichaelO

    October 13, 2011

    Authors telling the truth.

    “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the Word of God for profit.” Paul of Tarsus in 2 Corinthians 2:17, NIV.

    IS TITHING BIBLICAL?

    Tithing does appear in the Bible, So, yes, tithing is biblical. But it is not Christian. The tithe belongs to ancient Israel. It was essentially their income tax. Never do you find first-century Christians tithing in the New Testament.
    Numerous Christians do not have the foggiest idea about what the Bible teaches regarding the tithe. So let’s look at it. The word tithe simply means the tenth part. The Lord instituted three kinds of tithes for Israel as part of their taxation system. They are:
    > A tithe of the produce of the land to support the Levites who had no inheritance in Canaan. Lev 27:30-33; Num 18:21-31.
    > A tithe of the produce of the land to sponsor religious festivals in Jerusalem. If the produce was too burdensome for a family to carry to Jerusalem, they could convert it to money. Duet 14:22-27.
    > A tithe of the produce of the land collected every third year for the local Levites, orphans, strangers, and widows. Duet 14:28-29, 26:12-13.
    This was the biblical tithe. God commanded Israel to give 23.3% of their income every year not 10%. Nehemiah 12:44; Malachi 3:8-12; Hebrews 7:5. These tithes consisted of the produce of the land-which included the seed of the land, the fruit of the land, and the herd or the flock. It was the product of the land, not money.
    With the death of Jesus, all ceremonial codes that belonged to the Jews were nailed to Christ’s cross and buried, never to be used again to condemn us. For this reason we never see Christians tithing in the New Testament, just as we don’t see them sacrificing goats and bulls to cover their sins.

    This exerpt was taken from: “Pagan Christianity?”, Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, Frank Viola and George Barna authors, 2008, Barna Books, Pgs 172+173.

    The authors are telling the truth. Your tradition, your practice, is lying to you!

  11. MichaelO

    October 14, 2011

    Authors telling the truth.

    His Priorities in Life

    You devote yourself to doing what you believe is the highest priority in life. Sometimes you may protest that you’re a victim of circumstances or others’ expectations, but your choices reflect what you believe to be the most important.
    Jesus clarified His priorities by speaking about them and then supporting those words with action. If we are to follow in His footsteps, we must embrace and pursue the same priorities to which He was committed. His mind was locked into the Kingdom of God; He taught His followers: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” Matt 6:33.
    What are the priorities that reflect our absolute sellout to the Kingdom of God?

    > Obedience to God. “Anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matt 5:19.
    > Love. “But I say, love your enemies!…If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?” Matt 5:44,46.
    > Justice. “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied” Matt 5:6.
    > Peace. “God blesses those who work for peace.” Matt 5:9.
    > Holy Living. “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Father” Matt 5:16.
    > Integrity. “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t'” Matt 5:37.
    > Generosity. “When you give to someone in need,…give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” Matt6:2,4.
    > Spiritual connection. “You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” Matt 4:10.
    > Spiritual wholeness. “Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matt 16:26.
    > Biblical literacy. “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?…Your mistake is that you don’t know the scriptures” Matt 19:4; 22:29.
    > Faith in God. “Because of your faith, it will happen….You don’t have enough faith….If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed,….nothing would be impossible….But with God, everything is possible” Matt 9:29; 17:20; 19:26.
    > Blessing people. Jesus not only regularly taught this. but His constant healing of, training, and praying for others demonstrated how to bless them.
    > Disciple making. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations” Matt 28:19.

    Apparently, that’s a life agenda worth dying for….

    The author is telling the truth. Your tradition, your practice, is lying to you!

    • MichaelO

      October 14, 2011

      I forgot to reveal where this was taken from.
      This exerpt is from “Revolution”, Worn-Out On Church?, Finding Vibrant Faith Beyond The Walls Of The Sanctuary, George Barna, 2005, Barna Books, pgs 74-76.

  12. MichaelO

    October 14, 2011

    Telling the truth.

    “Beware of [those] who like to walk around in long robes” Jesus in Luke 20:46.

    “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Jesus in Matthew 15:3.

    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
    Paul in Colossians 2:8.

    “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the Word of God for profit.” Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:17.

    “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

    Man’s tradition, man’s wisdom, according to Jesus have been found wanting.
    Are you operating according to the truth of God’s word?
    Or are you operating according to man’s tradition and wisdom?

    “It is a universal tendency in the Christian religion, as in many other religions, to give a theological interpretation to institutions which have developed gradually through a period of time for the sake of practical usefulness, and then read that interpretation back into the earliest periods and infancy of these institutions, attaching them to an age when in fact nobody imagined that they had such a meaning.”
    Richard Hanson a twentieth-century patristic scholar.

  13. MichaelO

    October 17, 2011

    Authors Telling The Truth.

    “A quiet revolution is rocking the nation. The media…scholars…the government…mostly misinterpreted it’s nature and motivations. And Christian churches are only vaguely aware that something seems different, but they have little idea what it’s all about.
    Let me be the first to welcome you to the revolutionary age. The community of faith has instigated many ages in the past. Church history recounts such times…Apostolic age…Martyrs…Desert Fathers…Mystics…Reformation…Great Awakening…Missionary…ages to name a few.
    Today we have the Revolutionary Age.
    Media belchs out endless stories about the Information…Technical…Sexual…Globalization…Entrepreneurial…Conservative…Revolutions. Most people are totally unaware of the most important renaissance of them all: The Spiritual Revolution that is reshaping Christianity, Personal Faith, Corporate Religious Experience, and Moral contours of a nation.
    …Hyperbole…Even the religious community has succumbed…pinnacle of church success is…megachurch.
    Webster…defines a revolution as ‘An overthrow or repudiation and thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the the people governed.’…it adds…’may also be a “radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure.’
    Webster is apltly describing the transformation occuring in American spirituality today.Millions of devout followers of Jesus Christ are repudiating tepid systems and practices of the Christian faith and introducing a wholesale shift in how faith is understood, integrated, and influencing the world.
    Because human beings become what they believe, and practicing what they believe is the swiftest and surest means of generating lasting change, this revolution of faith is the most significant transition you or I will experience during our lifetime.”

    This exerpt is taken from the book “Revolution”, George Barna, 2005, Barna Books, pgs 9,10,11.

    This author is telling the truth.
    Are you believing, promoting, and living, the “tepid systems and practices?”
    Or are you “repudiating them?
    Are you the “Revolution?”
    Are you a “Revolutionary?”
    Why don’t you join the Jesus Christ Revolution today.

  14. MichaelO

    October 21, 2011

    I have been observing the folks exercising their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speach for the past month.
    OCCUPY WALL ST. VS CONVENTIONAL CHRISTIANITY.

    I have come to the firm decision that the majority of those in the Occupy Wall St. movement are exhibiting more New Testament principles than the majority of conventional Christians are exhibiting.
    In fact, it’s not even a close comparison as far as I am concerned.
    Conventional Christianity should be embarassed at what Occupy Wall St has accomplished in ONE SHORT MONTH.

    The movement has went global in 82 countries of the world, with no guru, or guru’s.
    “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matt 28:19a)

    They, are pooling resources and sharing everything equally, food, money, clothes, books, money, legal advice, shelter, money, investments, money, etc.
    “And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common;” (Acts 2:44)
    “And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them.” (Acts 4:32)

    There are NO HIERARCHICAL LEADERS.
    “But Jesus called them (apostles) to Himself, and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
    IT IS NOT SO AMONG YOU, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,” (Matthew 20:25-26)
    “And He said to them (apostles), The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called benefactors.
    But NOT SO WITH YOU, but let him who is the greatest among you become as youngest, and the leader as the servant.” (Luke 22:25-26)

    They are standing up for the poor and disfranchised of this country and the world.
    It is estimated that there are 20 Million long term unemployed in America and they are being ignoored by Washington. And the republicans say they are lazy good for nothings and christianity supports the republicans?

    I could go on to other New Testament principles being exhibited by these Occupy Wall Streeters but I won’t now.
    Christianity should be at the front with a voice and money so loud that it shakes this country to it’s core with the New Testament in it’s mouth.
    But it is Occupy Wall St instead demonstrating and giving money.
    In fact conventional christianity exhibits the same greed and avarice and cold hearted position policy and inaction as our unrepresentative government does.
    American conventional christianity should be ashamed.

  15. MichaelO

    October 21, 2011

    Chuck Swindoll tells the story of an actual court case in the state of Massachusetts in the late 20′s.

    It was about a fellow who was walking along a pier when he suddenly tripped over a rope and fell into the cold, deep waters of the ocean bay.. He came up spewing salt water, screaming and begging for help, he then slipped below the waves. He was unable to swim or stay afloat. His friends from a distance heard his screaming, but they were to far away to rescue him. But, only a few yards away was a hardy young man sunbathing on a deck chair. The hardy sunbather who was an excellant swimmer heard the drowning man plead, “Help, I can’t swim.”
    But the tragedy is that he did nothing. He only turned his head to watch indifferently as the man finally sank and drowned.
    The family of the victim was so upset by the display of total indifference, that they sued the sunbather.
    They lost the case.
    Reluctantly the court ruled that the man on the dock had no legal responsibility whatsoever to try to save the drowning man’s life.

    Swindoll goes on to say, “You and I have a legal right to mind our own business-to turn a deaf ear to anyone in need, to continue sunbathing while someone is drowning. We are not obligated to respond. Indifference may not be illegal, but it is certainly immoral!
    Charles R. Swindoll; “Dropping Your Guard”, Word, pg. 121.

    How much more so are we when we have indifference to those around us in our sphere of influence who are eternally drowning, without Christ, and we turn our head, close our eyes, shut our ears, spiritually indifferent.
    Or allow our government (Republicans) to ignore millions of Americans who are long term unemployed or no health care, hungry, orphaned, while we bail out rich swindling bankers and wall streeters, and spend 9.7 Billion dollars a month on two 10 year wars.

  16. MichaelO

    October 23, 2011

    Telling the truth.
    Should Christians allow gays, to fellowship at their church?

    Should Christians allow a young woman who has had an abortion, to fellowship at their church?

    Should Christins allow a husband who is long term unemployed of say 3 years, to fellowship at their church?

    Are the above sins of a greater degree of sinfulness than: unforgiveness, judgement, greed, avarice, controling spirit over others, a self righteous attitude over others, eliteism, not observing and doing Matt 28:18-20?

    Conversly, should this group be allowed to fellowship at your church?

  17. MichaelO

    October 28, 2011

    Telling the truth.

    Jesus said: “Greater love has no man that he lay down his life for a friend.”

    Jesus said: “They shall know you by your love for one another.”

    Jesus said: “The greatest commandment is, you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart all of your soul and all of your mind, and the second is alike, and love your neighbor as your self.”

    Jesus said: “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yurself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake and for he sake of the good news, you will find true life.”

    Jesus said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    Within the current, dominant, conventional, model of Christianity experienced in America, can the above be accomplished, according to Jesus Christ’s expectations?
    If so how and why?
    American Christianity currently is not meeting Jesus expectation.
    I don’t believe we can meet Jesus expectations of us with the current conventional status-quo.
    Do you?

  18. Greg

    October 29, 2011

    “…the church of the living God [is] the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

    —- 1 Tim 3:15

    • MichaelO

      October 30, 2011

      Greg,
      Which church?

    • MichaelO

      October 30, 2011

      Brother Greg,
      The reason I ask is, for example, in another blog (Topix) I frequent there is a thread called:
      “What Divides Catholics And Protestants?”
      There are presently 67,111 comments.
      Or should I say a bloody war of words?
      Therefore; I ask, which church?

  19. MichaelO

    October 30, 2011

    Why isn’t there a vibrant, vital, sustained, worldwide, “Occupy Christianity” movement?

    • SeanD

      November 21, 2011

      A church reflects its leaders. We have handed leadership over to men who are good at business, because money has become our god. And the parable of the fool who builds barns to store more is US (USA). But scripture in I Timothy and Titus asks for men with godly character who are good at FAMILY not BUSINESS. WE DON’T RESPECT MEN WHO ARE GOOD AT FAMILY.I am a house church planter. Which most every time I share this with someone, they ask me what else I do. Or in actuality, “So, how do you REALLY make your money?” I think WE should have an Occupy Christian protest bringing light to the fact that Conventional Christianity has sold out for Mammon.

      • MichaelO

        November 21, 2011

        My Brother SeanD,
        It is time we good family men take back this faith and hand it back to the King who purchased it with His Blood!
        Leadership (so-called) which in fact is not leadership, has sinfully usurped Jesus Christ’s authority and position in the faith.
        Leadership (so-called) needs to repent from that unauthorized position, that is not given to them by God. It is from men, by men, for men.
        Todays leaders think their leadeship is hierarchical, positional, an office they fill, at the top.
        It is not.
        Leadership is functional by example from beneath as servant. By design to multiply disciples, thereby multiplying the ekklesia.
        In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said: “ALL authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.”
        Pastor’s would do well to look at the first word in Jesus statement! Notice it does not say that I have been given authority and I dole it out to modern day christian leadership.
        Furthermore in Daniel 7:13-14 is a picture of what has happened and is happening with Jesus Christ’s authority. We tend to forget this.
        After Jesus statement that ALL authority has been given to Him He then says: “GO therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”
        We have lost our focus, our prime directive, our direction. He said “GO”! Not gather and stay and build beautiful architecture and real estate and buildings and towers that reach the heavens, with our own hands.
        Leadership invests itself in others who invests theirself in others and multiplys always going not staying and building a ministry unto oneself.
        But going and building the kingdom of God always multiplying and expanding.
        Just the opposite of what we are presently doing, and the status-quo results are subtraction instead of multiplying.
        We need to repent and start reading the Bible for what it says and stop reading our methodology back into the Scriptures changing the meaning.
        There were no modern pastors in the NT.
        There were no church buildings in the NT.
        There were no 2 hour bless me sessions on a Sunday morning only.
        There was a community of believers who met daily from house to house and daily broke bread together sharing everything in common and helping everyone who had need in their believing community.
        Anything else is just hollow religion called christianity.

  20. Jeff McLain

    November 22, 2011

    Decentralization can help this. Equal voices to keep each other accountable.

    • MichaelO

      November 23, 2011

      Jeff,
      I agree wholeheartedly in decentralization and a flat co-equal leadership and believer submission to one another.
      But, with the present status-quo christianity model, this is a case for throwing out the baby with the bath water.
      The problem is systemic and the present system can not be patched, reformed, rejuvinated, or revived.
      I know, I had tried for 35 years.
      We must return to the scriptural first century model of Jesus and Paul, or commonly called the “apostolic foundation”. And wholesale reject the second, third, fourth, etc, century corruption, of the ekklesia. And wholesale 100% return to that foundation that was started by Jesus and the original apostles and prophets of the faith of Jesus Christ.
      We are entangled in the wrong “orthodoxy”.
      We need the Jesus “orthodoxy”.
      We need the original apostles “orthodoxy”.

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  21. RMS

    June 14, 2012

    The problem with Mr Rooney’s statement is that we live in a culture which embraces relative truth. That is to say, what’s true for me is not necessarily the truth for you. Therefore, as far as 60 Minutes is concerned there was an element of “truthiness” to their stories.

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