Monday, November 29, 2010

Seventh-day Adventism & Homosexuality

Out and around Westminsterphoto © 2007 Southbanksteve | more info (via: Wylio)
Recently I had an intriguing conversation with a 'young adult' attending a Seventh-day Adventist University. The individual told me of a conversation with another friend also attending the same Adventist university struggling with homosexuality.

The struggle this individual was having was about their faith and the fact that as a whole Adventism is opposed to homosexuality, sees it as a sin and tends to shun those who are homosexual. Essentially this person/ friend of the 'young adult' I was speaking to is gay and struggling with the fact that their religion opposes their lifestyle which they might believe isn't a choice. All this while at the present time attending an Adventist university.

Does this surprise you? Even for those that read this blog and aren't Adventist, do we believe that this same scenario isn't happening at other Christian universities. Young adults struggling with this issues and are afraid to come out and talk about it for fear of being judged.

Interestingly enough there is a group making a documentary film entitled: Seventh-Gay Adventist, you can go to their website by clicking here. Below you can see a clip of their ongoing project.

Homosexuality is an issue that is obviously prevalent in our society. From the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, the debate of same sex marriage, to the issue of how churches are dealing with members who may consider themselves gay/lesbian. So how is your church dealing with this? Are our churches safe places in which people can be open and talk about it?

So what do you think? How are we to deal with young adults in Adventist (or any Christian university) universities and their struggles with homosexuality? How about our places of worship? Would you be ok with open homosexuals coming to your church?

I know this is a sensitive issue, I would really like to hear what you have to say about this, here at Bathos. Here is the short video preview of the documentary called Seventh-Gay Adventism.
Note: If you receive this via email/RSS feed please click here to comment, it will direct you to Bathos website)

Seventh-Gay Adventists - Teaser from Stephen Eyer on Vimeo.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving: Why do you celebrate it?

Happy Thanksgivingphoto © 2008 Steve Evans | more info (via: Wylio)
Yes, we should thank Jesus everyday, and I'm sure that many of us do. Yet there is something special about Thanksgiving day (and the week leading up to it).

Sure we get time off, time with our families & friends, and of course the great meals don't hurt either.

For me Thanksgiving is all of the above and more. It's also remembering God's leading in this nation that we are blessed to live in. Being thankful that we still (though current events are threatening these freedoms) have the ability to worship freely is truly something to be thankful for. Thankful to God for the opportunities that are before me to be able to serve Jesus in a powerful way because our freedoms are still in tact.

I'm no sure what your traditions are for Thanksgiving, but I hope that you take the time to stop for a few moments and truly ponder and wonder the goodness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Lord I thank you for Jesus, my wife, family, for the abundant provisions you have given me though I don't deserve them. For a church family, friends, and also...Lord...for the hope we have in You.

The hope that let's me know that one day soon, we will really be free, because we will be home with You face to face. I can't wait to Thank You Jesus face to face!

To all those who take the time to read my blog, send me comments either here or directly to me I Thank You! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Take a few minutes and watch the video below detailing to some degree: Why we celebrate Thanksgiving:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why do you do what you do?

male torso in formal suitephoto © 2008 Lin Fuchshuber | more info (via: Wylio)
Last weekend during our sabbath school time (the same as sunday school:-) we had an interesting discussion in our class. Essentially the question arose: Why do we do the things that we do? Particularly speaking of things in our religious/church experience.

One example I used was the fact that at least in our church and in my church growing up, we always dressed up. We put on our 'Sabbath' best. Now I stated that this discussion was not IF we should dress up but WHY we dress up.

Most people responded that the reason was because they wanted to wear there very best before God and everybody agreed that if there best was jeans and a shirt that would be fine also. Now of course this isn't the first time in which I've been involved in a discussion mentioning the 'appropriate' way to go to church. In most cases people generally give the same answers as just mentioned adding points such as, 'if you would visit the president of the United States you would dress up/ wear a suite.' Though this is true, I would venture to say that this is perhaps not the best example to give. Yet we must stick to the issue here in this post, which is the WHY question not IF.

Now after hearing there reasons, I raised the following point. I said, 'Ok, if the reason as a whole you are saying we 'dress up' for church is to wear our very best for God. Why is it that on other occasions when we meet, let's say like: prayer meeting, a special Friday night vespers, Sabbath evening vespers, a week of prayer, or any other time we gather at the church (building) to praise God in one shape form or another do we not put the same emphasis on 'dressing up?'

Now you will have to apply this principle to your own context but I have been in many churches in which for our 'church service' we 'dress up' but, let's say, that we are having a special evening vespers most people come 'dressed down'. Why is that? Isn't the same God that we serve in the morning service the same God we want to worship for an evening vespers, week of prayer, Friday vespers or any other time we gather together in the church building to worship through song, music, and the speaking of His word? So if the reason we 'dress up' for our regular church service is that we are coming to worship God, aren't we worshiping God the other times we might gather together as previously mentioned?

Why do you do what you do?

After some more discussion one person stated that it's actually more 'cultural' than anything. To some degree I believe this statement to be correct. The real reason some come to church 'dressed up' is not necessarily only because God is being worshiped but because everyone else is somewhat 'dressed up' also. If the reason why we 'dressed up' was purely on the basis that we are coming before God, then just to re-emphasize the point again, we would also 'dress up' every time we are coming before God in worship through any kind of service.

So as the Holidays are before us and the year 2010 is nearing it's end. I always like to take time to really ponder and wonder: Why do I do what I do?

I ask then: Why do you do what you do? Don't answer the question superficially, take your time, don't be afraid of the answers, they just may lead to a fresh, more vibrant approach to your spiritual journey.

It seems to me that Jesus always knew WHY He was doing what He was doing


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Incredible Sermon on Jonah

jonah illustrationphoto © 2008 Don & Tonya Christner | more info (via: Wylio)
The bible says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Prov. 22:6) There is no doubt that the child in the video below was trained to tell the story of Jonah, and did an incredible job! It will be worth your time to check out this video.

Thanks Veronica (one of my church members) for showing me this video.

For me this is once again an example that God can work in many ways...

Be blessed and watch  the video below. (Click HERE to watch the video if you get this via RSS feed or email)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little humor:-)

[077/365] Remember to Smilephoto © 2009 Leland Francisco | more info (via: Wylio)
John Maxwell is a well known Christian leadership guru who is a highly respected and sought after as a speaker. One of my favorite quotes that comes from him and I often use and remind myself of is:

"Your attitude will determine your altitude." 
I've heard John Maxwell speak many times (via videos/CD's, etc.) and have listened to him preach several times as well. The clip below though is well...extremely humorous, especially considering the topic he mentions at the end.

As a preacher I most certainly know that things don't always go the way we want when speaking in public  and we must go with the flow, it happens to the best of us.

So among the many Christian themes we discuss here on Bathos I think it's time for a little humor...well at least I found it to be hilarious:-)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor: Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giuntaphoto © 2010 The U.S. Army | more info (via: Wylio)
His name is Salvatore Giunta from Iowa he's a 25 year old Staff Sgt. in the U.S. military that will be rewarded the highest honor that can be given to a soldier. The medal of honor.

The medal of honor has not been given to a living recipient since the Vietnam war in 1976. I don't know if you were able to see the interview that 60 minutes did with Staff Sgt. Giunta this past Sunday but you can see it below.

It's worth taking the time to see the segment. I was not only impressed by what he did to win this elite award but his humbleness about it and how he answers the last question in the interview!

I'm thankful for the men and women that serve to protect our country, as a Christian when I see and hear of  heroic actions such as this, I remember the heroism of our Lord and Savior Jesus. He came to this world to seek and save those who were lost. Jesus continues to seek these people and He has His own army called the 'church'.

Staff Sgt. Giunta didn't hesitate to seek after a soldier who was being dragged away by the enemy. May we as soldiers of Jesus Christ never hesitate on His mission to save people being dragged by the enemy (the devil) away from Jesus.

Are you a fighting soldier?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Do You Believe Boldly?

redeemerphoto © 2006 Mark Barkaway | more info (via: Wylio)
I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. Overall, if you look into what we believe we have some pretty bold beliefs. Some examples are:

1. We believe that we are the remnant, 'true' church.
2. Along the lines of #1 we claim to have biblical 'truth'
3. We believe that a lady by the name of Ellen White who died 95 years ago, had the prophetic gift, was inspired by God and hold  her writings in high regards (at least most SDA's do).
4. We believe/claim we have been chosen by God through the book of Revelation to preach the 'end time' message found in Revelation 14, to all people before Jesus comes.

Knowing that some who read this blog are not Adventist, to which I'm so glad you take the time to read the blog! I must ask you, along with everyone else. Do the above beliefs/claims sound pretty bold? Perhaps pompous? Please feel free to comment below...

Yet as bold as we may believe, I'm not sure that our bold beliefs have translated into people boldly believing. Allow me to give a brief explanation.

Jesus also gave some bold statements about Himself, as the cross was looming Jesus said: "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." (John 12:32)

Now that's a bold statement. The question is do you believe it, do we believe it? Maybe another question we should be asking ourselves is, 'Who are we lifting up?'

John chapter 12 goes on to say interestingly enough that most didn't believe but that many did indeed believe in Jesus even some of the Jewish leaders, but they didn't want to admit it, "for fear the Pharisees would expel them from the Synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God."(John 12: 42, 43)

So here's the just of where I'm getting at. Within Christian circles we continue to hear that 'millennials' those born from 1980-1991 are leaving our churches. Recently at my own denominations year end meetings (essentially all the denominational leaders from North America get together and discuss many important issues such as finances, leadership, direction of the church, and they report on different statistics) it was stated that of the 1.1 million plus members in North America about 275,000 of them are from ages 11-35! It was also stated that our church is 'graying'

No I wasn't at those meetings, but nonetheless those are facts that although not new, need to alarm us. I say us because we are not the only denomination with these such issues.

So we have the facts. Now what? What do we do? How do we reach this generation? There are books that are out there, studies that have been done and are being done, there are churches that have had succes  in reaching this age group. Yet there are no apparent cookie cutter answers.

We (Adventists) may have bold beliefs but in general they don't seem to be stopping the trend here in North America of our church 'graying.'

I don't claim to have the silver bullet, but perhaps we must return to what Jesus said, "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." Do we really believe this? If so are we ready for what it really means to believe Jesus' bold statement or are we more worried of being kicked out of the synagogue and the praises of men rather than God?

Go ye therefore...

Are you (me) ready to really lift up Jesus in our lives? Or do we prefer the praises of men?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Random Acts of Culture: Hallelujah!

Hallelujahphoto © 2007 Nick Richards | more info(via: Wylio)

The song, especially when sung with the Opera company of Philadelphia chorus and over 650 area choristers always makes me imagine that day when Jesus will come in all of His glory. That song is of course the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.

The Knight foundation if putting on what they are calling, "Random Acts of Culture." In which they bring classical artists out of the performance halls, into the streets (hence the word 'Hallelujah' on a wall in the streets:-) may have gone to far with that one:-), in different select cities where they are present. The video below is obviously one of those 'Random Acts of Culture.' 

It's pretty interesting though to see so many of the people at the Macy's sing along. I don't know what the music will be exactly be like when Jesus comes, but I can't wait until His people are gathered around His throne giving Him all worship, honor, and praise! Even so come Lord Jesus! Hallelujah!

Raise the volume:-)

So what do you think of this 'Random act of Culture?'


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Are you an influencer?

Steve photo © 2010 Photo Giddy | more info(via: Wylio)

The word 'influence' is defined by as: 
'the capacity or power of persons or things to be compelling force on  or produce effects on the actions,behavior, opinions, etc., of others.' 

I recently came across this short film called 'Influencers' the movies about page says the following:
Influencers is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion, and entertainment.
As a Christian leader topics like this always intrigue me. How is it that people become 'people of influence.?' People who impact the world in so many ways (like Steve Jobs in pic above)? Though the short film obviously has a different focus than what this blog is about, it certainly makes some interesting points about 'influence.'

No doubt that as Christians we should be people of influence. To a great degree, we should be impacting our sphere of influence, and as the definition of the word states above we should be a 'compelling force.' A compelling force of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Watch the film below. (if you receive this via email/RSS you may have to click HERE.) Ask yourself, "Is my influence as a follower of Jesus a compelling force?

INFLUENCERS TRAILER from R+I creative on Vimeo.

What can we do to be a compelling influence for Jesus to those around us?


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mega-church Bishop tells church he's gay

Bishop Jim Swilley
(screen capture from Church In The Now website)
Bishop Jim Swilley is pastor of a megahchurch in Conyers, Georgia called Church in the Now. Last month he stood in front of his church that he founded and has ministered to for some 25 years and essential told them that he was gay. He has been divorced twice and has four kids. You can see the video of him disclosing this to his church below. NOTE: The video does contain explicit language toward the very end by his ex-wife who is still part of the leadership of the church.

Watch live streaming video from bishopjimswilley at

I first heard of this story on Twitter from Ed Stetzer who is President of LifeWay research. You can read his take on this story by reading his blog here. You may ask, 'Why post this story?' Well I want to state at least two reasons why stories like this should concern us, they are related to the ones stated in Stetzer's post.

1. Swilley goes into some detail about not being able to choose the fact that he's gay. Obviously an ongoing debate. Yet along these lines of sexuality he mentions the recent incidents of teenagers being bullied and even committing suicide because they came out as gay.

We sometimes think the church is immune to this, but we are not. We may very well have teenagers and even adults that are struggling with this issue yet many times the church is silent. Are churches prepared to deal with issues such as this? Most conservative churches speak against homosexuality but are we able to show mercy, compassion, and love at the same time as we speak against the homosexual life style?

2. Swilley's understanding and interpretation of scripture obviously is obscured, for one, by his desire to bring his now open homosexual lifestyle on par with his supposed Jesus centered ministry.  He essentially goes on to say that the apostle Paul is on target about Jesus but not about sexuality. (When he mentioned this honestly I was blown away)

I obviously don't know Bishop Swilley and I respect the fact that he was open and honest to his congregation and thus far is showing grace not retaliating or speaking evil on those that are saying harsh things against him and his ministry. Though he has also received a huge positive response to his 'coming out.'

We as Christians need to stand firm on clear biblical principals. Here at Bathos we believe that a homosexual life stlye is not biblical. Yet we also believe in the sound biblical principal that we must love all regardless of where they are in their journey in life.

So what do you think of all this?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top post in October and something extra!

Far and away the number one post for October was "October 22nd, 1844: Does it still mean anything?" As a matter of fact that post has been the most clicked and viewed of all time here at Bathos. I want to again thank everyone who reads, forwards the blog to others, and the comments/discussions that have come from the different post's.

Many of the comments are not seen on the blog because several have emailed me directly with really good comments/discussions. Once again I thank you for your thought provoking comments. Nonetheless I hope more and more of you will feel open to leave the comments on the blog itself, but if you don't continue to email them to me directly!:-)

Lastly since lately I've had several post's about worship I thought posting this video from GodTube would be appropriate...get them started young praising the Lord! Jesus did say, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matt. 19:14)



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