Questions and Corrections : My Dialogue with Pastor Andy Stanley About Homosexuality by Michael Brown

Earlier this week, after some gay websites were celebrating comments made last month by Pastor Andy Stanley, I wrote the article, “Andy Stanley on Homosexuality: He’s Really Right and Really Wrong,” sending it to Pastor Stanley via Twitter. He got back to me immediately and opened the door to some very fruitful dialogue.

While I understand this is the first time we’ve interacted and that, for the moment, there are probably more questions we have for each other than answers, with his permission and blessing, I’m sharing some of our interaction here, believing it will bring more light than heat.

Pastor Stanley asked me to listen to his entire leadership message from April to give context to the quotes I cited in my article. Normally, I can’t listen to every message from which quotes are taken (any more than I can read in entirety every book from which quotes are taken), but given the importance of these issues, I did listen in full, agreeing with so much of what he said.

What I realized, though, was that some of the most damning quotes I had read did not come from this particular message.

He explained to me that, “Some of the comments you quoted were in fact not from this message. But you took your cue from what others said which misrepresented me. They combined unrelated comments and made it sound as if they had a single source from a single time frame.”

So, while these gay websites quoted him accurately, by putting all the quotes together in one article, they presented a misleading picture of his April leadership message.

I regret that I also put the quotes together in the same context and apologize for the oversight. At the same time, as Pastor Stanley knows, the quotes themselves do concern me.

In his message, he mentioned that our churches should be the safest place on the planet for gay teens. I asked him specifically, “You’re talking about church kids with unwanted same-sex attraction, NOT kids freely practicing homosexuality, correct?”

He responded, “Correct. I’ve never met a teen that didn’t pray for change. Bishop Robinson admitted as much about himself as a seminary student. The unanswered prayer approach to this is important for church leaders.”

He continued, “We teach teenagers to honor God with their bodies and to never sexualize a relationship. ‘Sexualize’ is stronger and broader than don’t have sex.”

So far, so good. I had asked for clarification in my article and was glad to get it.

I asked him, “When you say there’s no consensus in the room [of leaders at the April conference] re: homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage,’ you mean, ‘There’s disagreement here, but we need to get back to the Word, which clearly forbids homosexual practice and does not recognize same-sex ‘marriage,’ correct? (I’m not trying to put words in your mouth; I’m trying to understand your position that you want me to correct.)”

He replied, “I just mean there is not consensus on the broader topic but certainly there should be consensus around a commitment not to run another generation of same-sex attracted kids out of Church. Everybody should agree on that.”

While I absolutely applaud his sentiments in terms of reaching out to these young people with real compassion and sensitivity, I don’t believe we can do that effectively without first agreeing on what the Bible teaches on the subject. Otherwise, if we affirm these kids in their homosexual desires (even to the point of saying that those feelings are a gift from God) or if we give them hope that they can “marry” a same-sex partner, we do them far more harm than good.

Love tells the truth, and we can be there for them and show them the love of God in tangible ways without misleading them.

To repeat: While it is good to call the church to sensitivity so as not to drive these precious young people away, it is imperative that we call church leaders to do so based on the clear teaching of Scripture on sexuality and marriage. And surely these kids want to know what we believe about these critically important issues in their lives.

When I asked Pastor Stanley for further clarity on his call for us to take one year off from the culture wars, he explained, “Seventy percent of Americans claim to be some kind of Christian. If we hit pause on the culture war for one year and 100% of believers embraced my list [of sins we should abstain from and of good works we should do] the nation would change without the culture war.

“I was making a point about our responsibility as Christians not culture was per se. The culture war is necessary because the church has failed. I’m grateful for many/most of the men and women who work tirelessly to keep public ‘servants’ accountable. I love Russell Moore.”

Once more, I’m with him 100% in calling for believers to live like believers, confident that if we do, the nation will be changed, and I’m pleased to know that he does support some on those on the front lines of the culture wars. But I’m sure we can focus on living like believers without taking any break from the culture wars. Why must it be one or the other? For me, they go completely hand in hand.

Regarding his comments on gay relationships relative to his recently released book on relationships, he told me that the comments were made more than four years ago in a different context and were wrongly linked to his current book.

While he understood how the matters could be confused, he felt it was important I understood the different contexts. I still do have serious questions about those earlier comments, but that’s as far as we were able to get in our initial interaction, which I still do appreciate.

My big question is this. In my view, any solid evangelical teacher or preacher should be able to say without hesitation, “God’s Word clearly forbids all homosexual practice, even in a loving, monogamous context, but our church is absolutely committed to loving and serving the LGBT community and offering them a place they can call home as come to know the Lord.”

What stops Pastor Stanley from making this statement? I hope to find out soon.

Better still, I hope to hear him make this statement.

Having said that, I appreciate Pastor Stanley reaching out to me and taking the time to interact, I was blessed to hear some of his clarifications, and again, I apologize for grouping disparate quotes together in one context.

1 in 4 Americans Doesn’t Believe in God; Lack of Trust in Local Churches Cited as a Reason Why Adults Are Leaving the Faith, by Stoyon Zaimov

Barna Group has released its 2015 study on the state of atheism in America, and has revealed that one in four unchurched adults in the country now identify as atheists or agnostics. The study also found that rejection of the Bible and lack of trust in the church are two main reasons why people are turning away from faith.

The study was focused on those who have not attended church within the past six months, and found that the majority of such people identify as non-practicing Christians. One in four, or 25 percent, however, were classed as skeptics, which Barna defines as people who “either do not believe God exists (atheists) or are not sure God exists, but are open to the possibility (agnostics).”

Of that number, nearly one-third said that they have never attended a Christian church service in their lives.

Barna found that the three main reasons people decide not to believe in God stem from rejection of the Bible; lack of trust in the local church; and the “cultural reinforcement of a secular worldview.”

“Skeptics dismiss the idea that the Bible is Holy or supernatural in any way. Two-thirds contend that it is simply a book of well-known stories and advice, written by humans and containing the same degree of authority and wisdom as any other self-help book,” the report said.

It added that the other one-third believe that the Bible is either a historical document that contains “the unique but not God-inspired accounts of events that happened in the past,” or do not really know what to make of the Bible.

David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, said: “The data show that some cities — and younger generations— are more Gospel-resistant than others. It is increasingly common among millennials to dismiss religion, God, churches, authority and tradition. For years, some observers have claimed colleges and universities are a breeding ground for anti-God sentiment. The data does lend support to the notion that college campuses are comfortable places for young people to abandon God and assume control of their own lives.”

The group explained that today’s skeptics, much like their counterparts two decades ago, are defined by their denial and doubts about God’s existence. Their demographics have been changing considerably, however.

As other studies have also found, younger people are more likely to be skeptics than older people. Barna says that today, 34 percent of all skeptics are younger than 30.

The statistics also showed that half of all skeptics have a college degree, and that many more women today are joining their ranks — only 16 percent of skeptics in 1993 were women, but by 2013 that number grew to 43 percent.

Kinnaman added in his statement: “Figuring out how to effectively engage skeptics is difficult. One of the unexpected results we uncovered is the limited influence of personal relationships on skeptics. They are considerably less relational and less engaged in social activities than the average American. Christians for whom ‘ministry is about relationships’ may be disappointed when they find that many skeptics are not as enamored of relational bonds as are those who are already a part of church life.”

“But in giving his followers the Great Commission, Jesus didn’t mention anything about doing what is easy. New levels of courage and clarity will be required to connect beyond the Christianized majority.”

Barna reached out to 23,000 churched and unchurched adults for the study, and found that for each survey of 1,000 people, the estimated maximum sampling error was plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Other polls, such as the 2014 General Social Survey conducted by NORC and the University of Chicago, which was released in March, also found that the number of Americans leaving organized religion is at a record high, at 21 percent.

The survey reported, however, that only 3 percent of the respondents to its poll are atheist, while 5 percent identified as agnostic, which is a notably lower number than Barna’s statistics.

Wharf Would Jesus Say About Your Spirituality? By Dan Delzell

Perhaps you are someone who says, “I am spiritual, but not religious.” OK. What else? What are the core doctrines and principles of your spirituality? And most importantly, what would Jesus say about your spirituality?

Let’s assume you treat others with kindness. And let’s also assume you try to be honest in your dealings with others. What do you think Jesus would say about those traits, especially as it relates to your soul?

Spirituality after all deals with matters of the soul, right? Outward actions are a reflection of our soul, but they don’t tell the whole story. In order to get those details, we must listen to what a person says about his or her spirituality. Such communication often reveals the “well” from which the individual is drawing their spiritual resources.

Some people are big proponents of meditation. But here again, what is the source of the meditation? Where does a person look to find a proper starting point to meditate? And if you are a person who practices some meditation yourself, what would Jesus say about your meditation?

In order for a particular brand of spirituality to be acceptable to God, it must have a stamp of approval from Jesus. He knows the kind of spirituality which is helpful, as well as the kinds that are harmful. All spirituality is not created equal, just like all prophets are not created equal. And there is even one prophet who was never created because He has always existed. Guess who?

True spirituality not only connects you to your Creator, but it also produces good fruit in your life. It makes you a better person. Jesus knows all about true spirituality. He knows what is inside man, and He knows what man needs in order to succeed spiritually.

One must look at the life and death of Jesus if one is going to understand true spirituality. And by “true spirituality,” I am not suggesting that those who practice “false spirituality” are being disingenuous. Those folks are just as sincere, even though the well from which they draw their spiritual resources is much different than the well Jesus sent into the world after His resurrection and ascension into heaven.

Jesus sent His children a source of power. But not just some impersonal source of power. Instead, Jesus sent a Person. Guess who? The Holy Spirit is just as much a Person as Jesus. Along with the Father, they make up the Trinity. And so true spirituality must by definition be connected to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If it isn’t, then it is false spirituality. It’s sincere, but it doesn’t draw from God’s well.

Jesus never approved any form of spirituality which keeps a person outside His family. Instead, Jesus teaches us the true nature of man, and the true nature of salvation. While man is good at devising various types of spirituality, man isn’t so good at aligning himself with the kind of spirituality which draws from God’s well. After all, there is only one well, and there is only one wellspring of living water. (see John 7:38,39)

In order to center your life there, it will be necessary to come to the cross. This involves admitting to God that you have broken His commandments, and it also involves repenting of your sin. And you trust that Jesus died on the cross because your life, your spirituality, and your morality will never be enough to wash away your sins against God. For that miracle to happen, you will need the cross of the Savior, the blood of the Savior, and the love of the Savior. And all three are available to anyone who will receive Jesus through faith. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

Once that happens, you have been converted. And after your conversion, the wellspring of the Holy Spirit is living inside you. He becomes your personal spiritual mentor so to speak. He will teach you what you need to know about God, and He will do it through the very Word which He inspired to be written. That’s how you start to flow in the spirituality God designed for man.

This river of living water is the one form of spirituality which comes from a well that is pure through and through. The purity of Christ and the purity of the Holy Spirit get poured into you at your conversion, and then you start living for God everyday with the goal of saying “no” to sinful desires. The more you say “no” to the wrong stuff, the more you will flow in the good stuff. The fruit of the Spirit will overflow in your heart and life. (see Galatians 5:22,23)

So let’s go back to the original question. What would Jesus say about your spirituality? Would He approve of it? Or would He point you in a new direction? And would you be willing to do whatever Jesus instructs you to do in your quest for the truth? Or are you not concerned about truth in the realm of spirituality?

There are plenty of spiritual options which deviate from the truth claims of Christ. But there is only one spiritual path which Jesus paved with His own blood, sweat, and tears. Which path will you walk upon?

80 ft Tall Jesus Hot Air Balloon to Fly Over New York Easter

A mammoth hot air balloon featuring the painting of a smiling Jesus will ascend to the skies of western New York during the Easter season.

Named “RISEN!”, the hot air balloon will be 80-feet-tall and have a volume of 105,000 cubic feet, being constructed from more than 2,000 square yards of fabric.

Sky Sail Balloons, Inc., an Ashville, New York-based hot air balloon company, will create the RISEN!, with its maiden voyage slated for this Easter season.

Geoff Turner, owner and chief pilot for Sky Sail Balloons, directed The Christian Post to a press statement regarding the RISEN! project.

“It will be as large as three average sized homes in volume, and held aloft by dual propane burners each capable of generating as much heat as 600 gas grills, over 35 million BTU combined,” read the statement.

“The balloon is constructed from over 2000 square yards of fabric, and nearly a mile of seat belt like reinforcement webbing. The steel and rattan basket is capable of carrying up to 4 passengers in addition to the pilot.”

The statement from Turner also noted that the artwork that will be featured on the balloon will be the Jack Jewell portrait titled “The Risen Christ by the Sea,” which Turner has always had an interest in.

“He has one in his home prominently displayed, and has given a framed print to his children as they have set out on their own,” noted the statement.

“So the thought came to him…what better, more warm-hearted friendly way might people be introduced to Christ and the Good News, than with a Hot Air Balloon featuring this iconic artwork.”

The Jewell portrait will be reproduced on the RISEN! balloon’s frame at a scale of 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide.

Once completed, the balloon is marketed as being available for events by Christian organizations provided the group in question affirms belief in the Holy Bible and the event itself does not advance unbiblical ideas.

My Gender Is: “Fill in the Blank”, by Michael Brown

Now that TIME Magazine has told us that transgender is the new black, I’m going to say something politically incorrect: Your gender is not whatever you think it is. Put another way, there is no such thing as, “My gender is ‘fill in the blank.'”

Unfortunately, Facebook didn’t get the memo, and so, according to AP’s Martha Mendoza, “Facebook users who don’t fit any of the 58 gender identity options offered by the social media giant are now being given a rather big 59th option: fill in the blank.” (Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true.)

One year ago, I reported on Facebook’s new policy that offered American users 50 ways to describe their gender, including up to 10 different descriptions simultaneously.

Unknown to me, that number somehow increased to 58, as noted in the most recent report. But 58 “gender identity options” were obviously not enough. Some people needed another option, one they could quite literally make up themselves.

As Mendoza explains, “Facebook software engineer Ari Chivukula, who identifies as transgender and was part of the team that made the free-form option, thinks the change will lead to more widespread acceptance of people who don’t identify themselves as a man or woman.”

Come again? By allowing people to describe their gender however they imagine it to be, this will lead to “more widespread acceptance” for them? And you can be a human being without having to identify “as a man or woman”?

In the vast majority of cases here, we’re not talking about someone with a serious, biological or chromosomal issue, because of which their gender identity is debatable.

We’re talking about people who are biologically male or female but are convinced in their minds that they are something other than their biological sex – either the opposite of their biological sex (and so, a man trapped in a woman’s body or vice versa) or some other variation (no fixed gender; alternating genders; multiple genders; no gender).

Now Facebook is making room for that option: My gender is “fill in the blank,” and so the sky is literally the limit.
But lest you think Facebook is introducing some cutting-edge innovation, they are actually late to the party.

According to a document dated February 5, 2005 – and so, more than 10 years old – the Los Angeles Unified School District Reference Guide stated that, “‘Gender identity’ refers to one’s understanding, interests, outlook, and feelings about whether one is female or male, or both, or neither, regardless of one’s biological sex.”

Your gender is whatever you perceive it to be, regardless of your biological sex, to the point that, if you believe you are both male and female or neither male nor female, that’s who you are.
And what if your perceptions change over time? So does your “gender identity.”
As explained in a 2013 NPR interview, one housing director “has clients who might be Jimmy one day, and Deloris the next,” because of which you have to “develop the habit of saying, oh, that person, that is a she, that’s Delores. It doesn’t matter that she looks rather like Jimmy or looks like she was called Jimmy by her parents” – unless, of course, today, she is Jimmy, in which case she is he.

In fact, I recently watched a video in which the speaker explained that one’s gender could actually change by the hour. I kid you not.

During the aforementioned NPR interview, one participant explained that some “high school students . . . said, I want you to call me Tractor and use pronouns like zee, zim and zer. And, in fact, I reject the gender binary as an oppressive move by the dominant culture.”
Facebook has now made room for that option: My gender is Tractor.
Why not? Who are we to argue? Who wants to be labeled transphobic and insensitive?
And what if your perceived identity is not even human, like those people who genuinely believe they are part animal? (That’s a whole other story for another article, but it’s a growing trend as well.) What if you genuinely believe you’re a werewolf or the like? How about “My gender is male werewolf”? Will that work?

I truly care for people who struggle with their gender identity, especially little children, who cannot possibly be accused of having some kind of sinister agenda, and I do hope we can get to the root of the very deep and significant issues that contribute to the feeling of disharmony they experience between their bodies and their minds.
But it is madness to have 58 ways to describe your gender or, worse still, to offer a “fill in the blank” option to describe your gender.

It needs to stop.

Your Spirit Cannot Breathe Without ‘Spiritual Oxygen’ BY DAN DELZELL, SPECIAL TO CP

Without oxygen, your body will die. And without “spiritual oxygen,” your spirit cannot come alive. Only the Lord can give life to your body. And only the Holy Spirit can give “spiritual oxygen” to your spirit. The Christian life is as miraculous as breath itself. Receiving life-giving oxygen into your spirit is as easy as taking your first breath after being born. It just happens.

There are many religions, but only one type of spirituality that produces life on the inside. False doctrine tends to make you proud of your religious efforts. True doctrine, on the other hand, involves an understanding of just how far you fall short of God’s holy requirements. To “breathe with Jesus” means in essence that you no longer trust in your religious deeds to save you. Now you are trusting Him, and what He did for you on the cross.

Before you trusted Christ, there was no spiritual oxygen so to speak in your spirit. That’s because your spirit was “dead in sin.” There was not an ounce of life in it. Your soul may have been busy carrying out religious duties, but there was no breath of God in that approach. Just striving, and pressing, and pride.

Then you saw your sin and your Savior. And you wondered how you could have missed something so simple all those years. “How did I ever think I could somehow be righteous enough to gain acceptance into God’s family?” You finally started to see your religious pride in all of its ugliness. And you began to breathe with Jesus. The Holy Spirit came inside you and caused your spirit to come alive. And you started to see. For the first time, you truly saw Jesus. And you have stood in awe of Him ever since.

“How could He love me so much? How could He want me in His family?” And yet, somehow you know that He does, and He did, and He will, just because. You now bask in His love. And as you do, you realize that your soul is breathing. And boy does it feel good.

That’s not to say you are trusting in your feelings. It’s just to say that you are enjoying this new approach to spirituality. It is fresh and real and alive. And you feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your spiritual shoulders. You no longer feel compelled to earn your way into God’s good graces. And for the first time in your life, you now realize how impossible it is to get to God that way. You now understand grace because you have received it yourself. And you are so happy to be alive in Jesus.

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It’s hard to explain to someone what the full experience of “spiritual oxygen” is like. After all, there is an “ebb and flow” to it. Since you are still “in the body,” you continue to struggle with the things of the flesh: Sickness, moods, and even spiritual attacks. That doesn’t mean you fully “get it” and understand all there is to know about such attacks, but you realize that something kind of “weird” happens at times in that invisible realm. You feel pressure from somewhere. And you begin to wonder if there might just be some spiritual adversaries out there who are working against you, and your family, and your marriage, and your church, and your new life in Christ.

You read the Bible and you learn about spiritual warfare which goes on all the time in this invisible realm. You read about angels and demons and God and the devil and sin and grace. You read about men and women who were just as imperfect as you, and yet, they too were being swept along by a higher power and a holy presence. They were being energized by their Creator, and they were breathing the new life that you now breathe in your spirit.

There is a richness to your life now that is happening on another level. You cannot fully describe it. But you know that you are experiencing it because of His grace and mercy. You know that if it wasn’t for God’s love for you, life as we know it would ultimately be hopeless. And you want everyone to know this love which surpasses understanding. You want everyone to know Jesus and His grace.

But you have come to see that there are so many who live and die and never “get it.” They are dead to Christ. That is to say, they have absolutely no interest whatsoever in His saving grace. And perhaps more than anything else in life, you simply don’t understand why anyone would turn down the opportunity to breathe on the inside.

That is your new life now. Seeing spiritual things that you never saw before, while also knowing that there is so much you won’t fully understand until you get to heaven. One thing this spiritual oxygen does not produce in you is pride. That ugly trait comes from another place on the inside of man, but not from this breath of God in your life. His supernatural breath in your soul produces a humility before God. You know you are sinner. And you know you have been saved by His grace, and that there is nothing you did to earn it or deserve it.

And so you breathe. And you live. And you ask the Lord to use your life to help others breathe. And then you go to bed and get up the next day and do it all over again. Until your body dies. And your soul instantly gets ushered into God’s heavenly kingdom.

That my friends is the life we have been given as believers. And it will never end because the breath of God is eternal. In the words of the apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (2 Cor. 9:15)

So go ahead if you like. Just breathe in Jesus today. Accept Him as your Savior. Trust Him as your friend. And begin to breathe for the first time as the Holy Spirit anoints your life and your soul with His life-giving presence. Apart from the miracle of the new birth, your spirit won’t ever take its first breath. And your religious striving will only lead to further and further frustration.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) And then you will know what it’s like to take your first breath. It’s not difficult. It’s just unique and different from anything else in the world, including every other religion. Only Jesus takes religion and turns it on its head. That’s because once you accept Christ, you serve Him not “in order to be saved,” but “because you have been saved.” (see Eph. 2:8-10) He did it all, and the spiritual oxygen flowing in your soul is a testimony to His love and salvation. This breath now moves you forward in a life of discipleship.

When Jesus breathed His last upon the cross, the world was given the gift of eternal life and the gift of spiritual breath. And as the Son of Man rose from the grave, new life began to spread across the globe. That new life has found its way to you and to the doorstep of your spirit.

Receiving Jesus into your life brings a breath of fresh air that never ends. There are of course many other ways to go through life. And every one of those alternatives is basically “breathless.” Those approaches lack His touch, His grace, and His spiritual oxygen. That’s why they leave you empty in your spirit.

But not Jesus. He will never leave you empty. You see, it is only when you “run out of breath” doing religious stuff that you find yourself in a position to finally breathe with Him. And once you start to inhale and exhale Christ, you never look back. Why would you? You were created to breathe. You were not created to spiritually suffocate.

After Christ’s resurrection from the dead, “the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:20) Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22) Simply put, the risen Messiah’s breath changed the world from that moment on.

Church Is Not Important, 51 Percent of US Adults Say BY JIM DENISON, CHRISTIAN POST COLUMNIST

What helps you grow in your faith? The Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, asked American adults that question. They listed prayer, family, friends, reading the Bible, even having children. But going to church did not crack the top-10 list.

Half of us (49 percent) say church attendance is “somewhat” or “very” important, but half (51 percent) say it is “not too” or “not at all” important. The younger we are, the worse the numbers get. Only two in 10 adults under the age of 30 believe church is important; more than a third take an anti-church stance.

Furthermore, the nature of church-going is changing. “Regular” attenders used to go to church three or more weekends every month. Now those who show up every four to six weeks consider themselves regular churchgoers. While 43 percent of those who attend church say they go “to be closer to God,” 40 percent of those who don’t attend say, “I find God elsewhere” and 35 percent claim that “church is not relevant to me personally.”

None of this should surprise us. Every age has its personality, one usually molded by its experiences. My grandfather’s generation was shaped by World War I and the Depression, and learned to value family and faith above material possessions. My father’s generation was shaped by World War II, and remained loyal to the nation and institutions they risked their lives to defend. My generation (I’m 55) has been shaped by Vietnam, Woodstock and Watergate, and learned to challenge authority while chasing material prosperity. We are consumers, attending church for the benefits it offers us.

My sons’ generation has been shaped by academic postmodernism, with its denial of fixed truth and objective ethics. They reject absolutes and prize tolerance. As a result, 59 percent of young adults who grew up in church have dropped out. They cite the church’s irrelevance, hypocrisy, and the moral failures of its leaders. One-third of young adults who have left the church blame its “anti-gay” policies. Many say God is missing and doubts are prohibited.

How do we get them to come back? I believe that’s the wrong question. Rather than measuring success by how many people go to church, let’s measure success by how effectively the church goes to people. Jesus didn’t wait for his culture to seek him. Rather, “he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39). He met felt need to meet spiritual need.

Our Lord launched a movement, not an institution. His church is an army attacking the gates of hell, not an ark built to weather a storm. Nowhere does Jesus tell us to build the church. If we build the Kingdom by taking Christ to our culture, he will build his church (Matthew 16:18).

When our skeptical culture sees the relevance of our faith in the reality of our compassion, they will want what we have. If it worked for the first Christians, it will work for us. What will you do to share Jesus’ love today?