Slideshows

8 Idols That Exist in the Church Today

8 Idols That Exist in the Church Today

I’ve never had the urge to bow down to a metal cow, a carved human, or a wooden pole. The idea of chanting or dancing around a six-armed deity or pot-bellied statue doesn’t even come close to getting me excited. I’ve never wanted to make offerings to rats living in a shrine.

But that doesn’t mean I’m immune to idols. The idols that trip me up as a church leader aren’t tangible figures of supposed gods and goddesses. They’re ideas and beliefs that can, if left unchecked, crowd out my worship of the one true God.

Pastor Carey Nieuwhof hits on this idea in a recent article for Charisma News. He transparently lays out the eight idols that commonly impact him in his desire to serve the church:

“John Calvin was dead on when he said, ‘Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.’ Discard one, and you'll simply create another…”

So, what idols cause him fits?

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5 Ways We Can (and Should!) Keep Celebrating Easter after the Actual Day

5 Ways We Can (and Should!) Keep Celebrating Easter after the Actual Day

You can always tell that Christmas is coming, even before it’s close. Radio stations start playing Christmas carols before we’ve even eaten all the Halloween candy, and commercials beckon us to start our shopping before we’ve even bought our Thanksgiving turkeys. Our nativity scenes are set up for weeks, and our advent calendars keep us counting down to the day baby Jesus entered our world. Christmas isn’t celebrated on just one day-- it gets a whole, long season.

Easter on the other hand? Usually, Christians dress up for one fancy Sunday service and forget about it all days later.

“Why do we spend an entire season of the year thinking about and celebrating Christmas, but just a weekend thinking about and celebrating the impact of the resurrection,” Trevin Wax asks.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/kevron2001

7 Things Christians Should Know about Abortifacients

7 Things Christians Should Know about Abortifacients

Editor’s note: This is the tenth article in a monthly series on what Christians should know about bioethics. To read the other articles in the series, visit ERLC.com.

It's important for Christians to be informed on issues of bioethics. Knowing about abortifacients is part of that. You may not even know what that word means, and that's what this article is for. It will help you to understand what abortifacients are and the concerns many Christians have about them. Read on to find out what you need to know.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/AntonioGuillem

4 Ways America and the Church are on the Wrong Track

4 Ways America and the Church are on the Wrong Track

"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" Psalm 85:6

I'm not referring to all churches collectively in this article, but to the large majority who have drifted away from God. The present condition of the church leaves one to wonder if the lack of the fear of the Lord is contributing to her spiritually dead condition.

With rapid fire changes within a culture saturated by political correctness and relativism, we are inclined to ask if there is any hope for America. If we continue down this slippery slope, there is little hope. Apart from a national spiritual awakening, it will be difficult to turn the Titanic around—the vessel has been struck; what's inside is spilling out. But if God brings revival...if we once again set our hearts and minds on Him...there is tremendous hope. Revival means to awaken, restore, renew, or repair. In churches across America, crowd appeal and pleasing the masses tends to be the goal rather than calling out destructive lifestyles, which can result in revival and renewal.

A deathlike, deep slumber, has overtaken the church: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead" (Revelation 3:1). The beacon of light has faded, the salt has lost its savor, and the message of the cross has been edited out of most sermons. We have lost our fervor for the truth. Have we considered that we may have offended God? Consider the following:

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Bizarre Facts about 10 U.S. Presidents That Sound Unbelievable but are True

Bizarre Facts about 10 U.S. Presidents That Sound Unbelievable but are True

U.S. Presidents are often viewed with an untouchability. But these bizarre facts show that they are no different than the rest of us, some even weirder!

While you may know something about each of these leader’s political leanings, their personal likes and dislikes may be lesser known. Our presidents have had their share of embarrassing moments or peculiar eccentricities – like Grant being ticketed for speeding or Hoover’s staff hiding in bushes at his request! These are the tidbits you probably were not taught in history class.

We thought it would be fun to take a peek into the lives of the U.S. Presidents and see what unique information is out there. These may not be deep, dark secrets but they give great insight into the private life of those called “Mr. President.” We hope you enjoy this unique look at these leaders who have shaped our country and some of their bizarre quirks.

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Week - What Is the Significance of the 8 Days of Easter?

The Holy Week - What Is the Significance of the 8 Days of Easter?

Holy Week spans from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Do you know what happened on the days leading up to the crucifixion and after? Russ Ramsey, pastor and author, has written a helpful article for The Gospel Coalition titled “Easter Week in Real Time.”

When we celebrate Christmas there is a merrier tone, but when we celebrate Easter (though we should be glad in our hearts) there should be a more serious tone. We need to understand the cost of our happiness and the great sacrifice that made it possible.

Following is the Holy Week, the eight days of Easter, explained in more detail. This will hopefully help your observance of Easter be more meaningful this year.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/RomoloTavani

Here's What 5 Christian Leaders Had to Say about Gun Control

Here's What 5 Christian Leaders Had to Say about Gun Control

Gun control has become a central national issue in recent times, especially after the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. People were are pro-gun and pro-Second Amendment have been clashing with those who want stringent gun control laws. Where do Christians fall in this debate? As you may expect, even within the Christian community, there is not perfect agreement. Some Christian leaders have spoken out against stricter gun control legislation, but others have argued that something must be done. Still others have tried to draw the focus back to the issue of flawed human nature and how we need to do better regarding reaching the mentally unstable. Below are the thoughts, ideas, and arguments of five Christian leaders following the rise in gun violence. While there are no easy answers, perhaps reading these differing views will give us a broader picture.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/StephanieFrey

These are the 6 Beautiful Songs Billy Graham Chose for His Funeral Service

These are the 6 Beautiful Songs Billy Graham Chose for His Funeral Service

The Rev. Billy Graham’s funeral was held today, March 2nd in Charlotte, North Carolina. As ChristianHeadlines.com previously reported, about 2,000 people were in attendance, including President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The funeral took place in front of the Billy Graham Library in a massive 28,000-square-foot white tent, which was a throwback to Graham’s famous crusade in Los Angeles in 1949, which many believe solidified his status as a renowned evangelist.

Graham had been clear that he wanted his funeral service to reflect the message of the gospel which he spent his life preaching. Even his headstone will have the simple yet fitting phrase: “Preacher of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

To that end, he specifically chose six hymns that beautifully communicate the gospel message which he wanted people to sing at his funeral. ChristianityToday.com listed the six songs Graham chose:

Photo: A casket carrying the body of Rev. Billy Graham is carried to his funeral service at the Billy Graham Library on March 2, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A spiritual counselor for every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama and other world leaders for more than 60 years, Graham died February 21 at the age of 99.

Photo courtesy: Brian Blanco/Getty Images

6 Wrong Ways Christians Are Praying

6 Wrong Ways Christians Are Praying

I was waiting for my knife to be sharpened at a gun shop. I couldn’t help eavesdropping on a conversation between the shop clerk and a customer who was enquiring on how to apply for a gun license. In South Africa we have some of the most intimidating gun control laws in the free world. The process can take over a year. One of the requisite steps is that you must provide a substantiated motivation as to why you want the firearm. The gun shop clerk was coaching the customer on how to craft his motivation using the exact wording that would improve his chances of a positive outcome.

As I was listening to all of this it occurred to me that people are willing to put a lot of effort and thought into making requests that are important to them. But often when people want something from God, they put no thought into how to frame their petitions. They assume God will accept any request, from anyone, in any format.

Well, they would be wrong.

God has very specific ways in which he wants us to communicate with him and make requests. And Jesus coached his disciples on this very topic. In Matthew 6 Jesus provides a template for prayer that has become the most famous and repeated prayer of all time, known as the Disciples’ prayer, the Lord’s prayer, or simply as the “Our Father.” Jesus taught how to pray on two different occasions, in Matthew 6:5-13 and Luke 11:1. And although the two prayers are as similar as fraternal twins, they are not identical twins. The dissimilarities prove that Christ never intended this as a formula or rote prayer. It was a model or pattern for prayer. Of course, it is not wrong to pray it word-for-word, but that was not the intended purpose of the prayer.

Let’s examine some of the wrong ways to pray. Six insights from wrong ways to pray:

13 Presidents Who Were Influenced by Billy Graham

13 Presidents Who Were Influenced by Billy Graham

Billy Graham — who died Wednesday (Feb. 21) at age 99 — met with 13 American presidents, from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. Quotes from interviews, correspondence and other writings give a glimpse into the evangelist’s relationship with each successive occupant of the Oval Office. Each president with whom Graham met couldn't help but be impacted by his faith. These quotes allow us to see small glimpses of the truly monumental influence Rev. Graham had on these presidents as they sought to lead the nation.

Photo: Franklin Graham, Billy Graham, and former U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton bow their heads in prayer during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately 1500 guests attended the private dedication ceremony for the library, which chronicles the life and teachings of Evangelist Billy Graham. Former U.S. Presidents Clinton, Carter and Bush made short speeches during the dedication ceremony.

Photo courtesy: Davis Turner/Getty Images