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Sep
17

The Gen2 Conference

The Gen2 Conference The Gen2 Conference is for Christian Leaders who care what happens with the Millennial generation. Evangelicals have expended unprecedented amounts of money and energy on reaching Christian youth. Christian youth ministries abound and Christian schooling options have multiplied in the last few decades, including homeschooling and home discipleship movements. Have we ever put so much time and resources into the youth, and seen so little results? The last 40 years It was the age of youth ministry. It was the age of homeschooling. It was the age of the Millennials. But did it accomplish anything? The Gen2 Survey conducted in 2013 and 2014 is the largest Christian study ever conducted on the Millennial generation. What do they believe, why, and what influenced them growing up? We looked at worldview issues, method of education, commitment to church, parent-child relationships, cultural inputs, and commitment to the Christian faith. Did the Christian homeschool movement of the last 40 years make a difference? Or, was it counter productive? What will the next generation of Christian leaders look like? What will they face? Join some of the nation’s most noted Christian leaders to examine the failures and succeses of 40 years of church youth ministry, family ministry, and home education. The Gen 2 Conference will look at how we lose. . . and how we win the next generation. Photo credit: Paramore_emofanatic / Foter / CC...
Sep
16

Caring for the Aged – A Christian Theology

Caring for the Aged – A Christian Theology One of the things I discuss frequently is the topic of Sphere Sovereignty. God has ordained various spheres of authority in society, and given duties, responsibilities and authority to each. These spheres, ordained by God, are forms of governance on the earth, to provide for the needs of people and to maintain cultural stability. Several of these spheres are: The individual, the family, the church, the corporation and the civil magistrate. Each one has its own domain, and should not endeavor to do the work of the other spheres. It is when we cross these important lines and neglect the faithful attendance to duty in one sphere, expecting a different sphere to cover for us, or when a sphere is encroached by force, that deterioration of the proper moral framework and order ensues. As Cornelius Van Til said, “The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.” Increasingly, many people, especially in the West, are becoming lazy and expecting the civil magistrate to handle the duties of every sphere. This leads ultimately to poverty and tyranny. One such sphere that has been abdicated to the civil government is health care, including the care of the aged. Charity (including healthcare, education, welfare, housing, etc.), Biblically speaking, is never the mandate of the civil magistrate. They are to bear the sword, to punish evildoers and protect the citizens (see: Romans 12 and 1 Peter 2). Instead, the role of caring for the aged, in Christian theology is placed first with the individual and the family. “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” (1 Timothy 5:4) “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) 1 Timothy 5 explains that the church will take up responsibility for “widows indeed” (women who meet very narrow and specific criteria), but except for those rare exceptions, the individual and the family are commanded to fulfill this duty. How Do We Care for the Aged and Dying? We are so far from the original order of things, that it feels like we are moving to another planet when we endeavor to take on responsibility for our lives that nearly everyone assumed just...
Sep
3

How to Become a Cult Leader (In Seven Easy Lessons)

How to Become a Cult Leader (In Seven Easy Lessons) While I understand that being a cult leader isn’t something to which most people aspire, it seems to me that there are always a number of folks out there (especially religious folks) who are about two steps away from acquiring this infamous distinction; they just don’t know it yet. Or maybe they’ve tried hard and just haven’t had the breaks. Whatever the case, I’m going to help you out by sharing the skinny on what it takes to exercise mind control over other people. (BTW, this article is a satire that contains a serious point stated in an entertaining style. Just have to say that for all my readers who are oblivious to subtleties! 😉 ) Now when I use the term “Cult Leader,” I’m certainly meaning in the classic sense of guys like Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc., but I’m not limiting it to that. The bully tactics described in this essay can also be applied (in a general but lesser extent) to other relationships, utilized by spouses, parents, employers, ministry leaders, or even just controlling friends. Here are the seven strategies you need to develop: Have a Persuasive, Charismatic Personality To begin with you have to be persuasive. People achieve this in different ways. Some use a winsome charm to seduce followers into trusting them. Others use the more enigmatic approach. For example, if you are a man, growing a really long beard and refusing to smile often gives you a certain kind of austere distance that intimidates people into fearing you a bit, and making them suppose you are really wise at the same time (after all, the heavy dudes in the Bible all had beards, right?). It is not uncommon for cult leaders to be a bit eccentric in their style, mannerisms, dress and customs, so don’t be afraid to have a flair for the uncommon and avant-garde. Keeping a bit of a relational distance from your followers, especially at strategic times, can help to create a mystique that is useful. Surround Yourself With “Yes Men” The next big thing is to make sure that nobody in your sphere is ever going to challenge you or call you out. Most healthy Christians will make sure that there is someone in their life who can look them in the eye and tell them they are wrong. However, cult leaders avoid accountability like the plague. They will quickly shun, discredit, slander or dismiss anyone who will challenge...

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© Israel Wayne.