Monday, December 26, 2011

Evangelism: Methods, myths, mandate

I've been contemplating evangelism. It's an often used word in the evangelical world. I read this article on Christmas morning and it got me thinking even more about...evangelism. Then I read this article where Barna (a Christian research group) is quoted as saying,
"We are a designer society. We want everything customized to our personal needs — our clothing, our food, our education," he says. Now it's our religion.
 Recently (this past Oct.) the Seventh-day Adventist church, the denomination in which I am a pastor, at it's annual meetings approved an initiative (click HERE to read the document) to focus our evangelistic efforts in the big cities where statistics show an increasing amount of people are living. There is also an ongoing effort called 'Reach North America' which also has a focus on big cities.

Allow me to pause for a moment though and expand on this word 'evangelism.' No I'm not going to give you the Greek root word and then proceed to show you how it's used in the New Testament. In practical ways this word is defined broadly but at the same time it has also been implied in a narrow way.

Within Adventism to some degree when people here the word evangelism they quickly jump to 'public evangelism' or maybe even knocking on doors, handing out literature or asking someone if they want bible studies.This may or may not be the case for you but obviously this is the narrow view.

If you have had a chance to read the articles mentioned at the start of this post from USA Today things need to change not simply how we define evangelism but more so how we go forth and live the word evangelism.

This is not shocking news to anyone but here goes. We are not the only ones reaching the big cities for Jesus. We (Adventist) may be having big plans for New York for 2013 and that's great. Here's an article that came out in the New York Times about how Baptist are planting churches in New York. Again we (Adventist) all know we're not the only ones trying to reach people for Jesus in big cities.

I know, I know what some say. We have a special end time message. WE DO! The essence of this end time message though is Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection, and His soon return to make all things new. As I mentioned in my previous post Jesus is the center of Revelation and Daniel as well.

I live in the Jackson, MS metro area (the biggest city in MS:). Within about 5 miles of my actual home there are about 7-8 different churches of 6 (give or take:) different denominations. Two of those churches have well over 1,000 members and the others range from small to medium size churches by what I see on Sunday mornings.

I lived for many years in Miami, FL and normally make a few trips a year to visit family (as I'm doing now). I consider it my home away from home. The culture in Miami, obviously is vastly different than Jackson, MS. Again, you may say tell me something I don't know. This past summer I visited San Francisco and again I'll state the obvious. The culture in San Francisco is different than Miami and worlds apart from Jackson, MS.

I'm not saying that one is better than the other. This is not the point. What is the point? Evangelism is not simply about methods we use but lives that we share with those around us that express who and what we believe. 

Often the methods of evangelism is debated within Adventist circles. Surely healthy discussions are welcomed. But lets be real, is there really a clear cut answer to how evangelism should be done? Especially with such different cultures in different areas?  Public evangelism is not the answer, door to door is not the answer, the health message is not the answer. Having a certain type of music in one's worship service is not the answer. Saying we have truth is not the answer.

Please, after reading the above paragraph don't conclude that I'm saying we shouldn't have public evangelistic meetings, we should. That we shouldn't do door to door work, speak on health, have great music at our services, or speak truth in love. We should!

Yet hands down the greatest evangelism is not really a method. It's a way of living. Just like your New Years resolution diet is a method that most likely won't work, or at the very least will be temporary. If you make your New Years resolution part of your life, a way of living it will reap much greater results regardless of what it may be.

Again: Evangelism is not simply about methods we use but lives that we share with those around us that express who and what we believe.

This is not ramming people with our beliefs or our version of Jesus says...but it is about living an intentional Christ centered life within the culture that we live.

We must stop living 7th day lives. We go to church on Sabbath, feel like we've accomplished something, perhaps even heard a good sermon that stirred us, or simply enjoyed the worship experience. This all lasted about an hour. Then what? What kind of life are you living in the light of who and what you believe?

Surely we live busy lives, but business is no excuse for Christlessness. People must work, go to school, take care of their kids, and do what ever else must be done. Are we doing it though with Christ centered intentionality? Jesus is not someone we only read about in a morning devotional that last at best 10minutes  (if that) pray a little here and there (which is surely better than nothing) make our weekly appearance on our regular pew and then go about OUR business. Don't be fooled, no matter what you do, how people may view what you do within the context of societies value placement of careers/jobs, you are doing evangelism. Actually this is Jesus' plan. For you to live intentionally for HIM where ever and what ever you may be doing.

You see everyday Christians, Seventh-day Adventist Christians are evangelist's, are doing evangelism. Whether they realize it or not. People will evaluate our Jesus by the way we live out our lives. Evangelism is taking place all the time. The question is what kind of an evangelist are we?

Here's some questions (add your own as well) I believe we must all ask ourselves not only as this year is about to end but as evangelism is constantly taking place.

1. Are you living intentionally for Jesus?
2. How much time are you really spending in communion with Jesus?
3. I'm I really following Jesus in living the life He would have me?
4. What areas of my life is Jesus calling me to reevaluate and change?
5. What can I do to help my church and my community?

We live in an ever changing world, called to proclaim an ever UN-changing Christ. There is none like Him. He has chosen you and me to be His representatives in what ever place you may be, home, work, school, among family and friends. What kind of evangelism are you doing?
What kind of evangelist have you been this year?
What kind of evangelist will you be in 2012?

Evangelism is not simply about methods we use but lives that we share with those around us that express who and what we believe.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bible Prophecy: Then What?

People from a prophetic origen. That's who we are.  Whether one views themselves as conservative, liberal, or middle of the road Seventh-day Adventist, we can all agree on one thing. Seventh-day Adventist historically rose out of a group of people that were interpreting bible prophecy.

We hold public evangelistic meetings throughout the world, expounding our prophetic beliefs in hopes that some will listen. We haven't gone without detractors. People state we speak to much against the Catholic church, 666, doomsday preaching, Jesus is an endnote instead of the center of all prophecy and perhaps a host of other points that have been brought to our attention whether we want to hear it or not.

To some extent (in a general sense) some of what has been said against us is true. There have been and are some leaders, Seventh-day Adventist church members that have done are doing some of the previously mentioned 'detractions' to some degree hurting the message instead of helping it.

With that said, prophecy is obviously still important. We believe that Jesus is coming soon, that before He comes this wonderful country will speak like a dragon. That the Catholic church will play a role in last day events and the Sabbath vs. Sunday issue will be a key component, again at some point before Jesus comes.

The problem though is not with bible prophecy but what we do once we've understood the prophecies. You see the prophecies/Bible tells us some of what will happen before Jesus comes but not exactly how it will happen and obviously it doesn't necessarily tell us exactly when. Surely we have signs, but we've been having signs for sometime now and some see nearly every catastrophe or Catholic statement as a sign (ok I may be exaggerating a little to make a point:).

Surely we must be vigilant but not vigilantes. We should keep up with news that relates to prophecy (here's an interesting article by a friend and professor from the seminary I attended) but not relate conspiracy theories as last day event facts.

We must be honest, sometimes bible prophecy draws a certain type of crowd. Those honestly seeking to know about bible prophecy but also those who will ultimately focus more on the prophecies themselves and how everything will play itself out and not really factor in Jesus. The one giving the prophecy. Revelation is the revelation of Jesus, right?

You see ultimately once we've heard and understood the prophecies, then what? What does that do for our every day walk with Jesus? How should that change our lives?

Let me know what you think...


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Essence Of Living

How are you living?

This week has been one of those weeks that has truly made me reflect on this question. This past Sunday I received news that three freshman college students had died returning to school (University of Mississippi) there was no alcohol nor drugs involved according to police, just a tragic accident.

The story which obviously drew much attention and made local headlines was devastating news to one of our young people (and his family) in my church. He grew up with these boys and one was like his brother. 

The same day that thousands were paying there respects and saying there farewells to these three men, I was performing a funeral service for a man who had lived to be 87 years old.

How do we explain this? It's the age old question, one that we just don't have an answer for. Why God would allow three young men to die and devastate an entire community and others live well into there late 80's.

Then as I was preparing for the committal these words came to my mind (don't remember where it came from or who may have said it):

"The essence of man is not simply about how long we live but how well we live." 

As Christians we understand that our faith must be in Jesus even in times when we don't have an explanation, or at least not one that will perhaps satisfy us. We live in an imperfect world, a world of sin, which we believe that Jesus will one day come and make things new.

Yet in the mean time...Are we living well?

Are we living well with our family? Are we living well with our friends? Our neighbors? Are we living well with our church family (if you go to church)? 

Above all, are we living well before God?

I don't know how long it will be until Jesus comes (we've been saying soon for a long time), I don't know how long I will live. Yet there is something that I know. 

I want to live well...

What about you?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Journey to 26.2: The Finish Line! Pt.3

Well I know it's taken me longer than I would have liked, to write the last part to this three part series (check out Pt.1 & Pt.2) regarding my experience running a marathon last month.

Honestly I had started a draft, last month! Yet after reading it, I decided to actually start all over.

Here goes...

It was race day! The race would begin at 5a.m. even though I never got up once in all my training to run at this time! I was up by 3:30a.m. the adrenaline was pumping! I was glad to have some friends come, along with my wife of course there with me. Made a difference to have their support!

We arrived to encounter the nearly 600 people that would join me in running (or I them:). The excitement inside of me was now really high. Yet I kept reminding myself to run my race, stick to my game plan and let nothing nor anyone deviate me from running my race.

It was obviously dark but several folks, including myself had little flashlights. I was in the middle of the pack sticking to my pace, watching my heart rate and relying on God for endurance and an ITB syndrome free run! Another concern was the weather. It was expected that it would rain, though as the race began it wasn't raining. But it would come!

I really have to praise God, because as I began to run I just fell into my zone as they say. It was like taking one of my long runs before my injury. Actually it felt a bit smoother because it wasn't as hot or humid and I had trained a lot in very hot and humide weather (easy to do in MS:)

I essentially broke up the race into four parts (mentally): 0-6.5m; 13m (half way), 19-20m, finish line. I felt that this was more of a mental thing for me. I tried to not focus on the finish line, nor mile 20 where many talk about the 'wall' (felt that when I did 26.2 on the treadmill!). I simply thought, "keep strong to 6.5m, then only think about 13.1" and so on. Call it what you want but it works for me.

Amazingly at the half way mark I was feeling good with no ITBS pain! It was raining on and off and though I had good running socks and even applied powder to help prevent blisters. The rain, the wet roads, naturally had my feet wet. Therefore, I could feel a blister forming but simply asked God for help and ignored it. Nothing I could do, plus it wasn't really hurting too bad.

My wife and friends were going to meet me at the half way mark, but I got there before them :) so when they realized that I must have come and gone they went out looking for me. They finally found me at around mile 19. Friends by this time I was feeling it and I was going up a hill. Sure it wasn't a very steep one but at nearly 20 miles this is where training was paying off!

Pushing up the last hill on mile 19
They cheered me on and that lifted my spirits. For the most part I had kept to myself through out the entire race (did speak to one guy a few words) and now I was aiming for the finish line. I was really beginning to feel it as I was approaching the last water station (about mile 24). I had picked up my pace a bit for several miles (trying to have a negative split, last half faster than the first) and now I was paying for it. I made sure to drink water and gatorade at the last water station. Now I was really speaking to myself and saying "2 more miles Javi, that's nothing!"

By mile 25 my ITB wasn't hurting praise God but the thighs were simply burning yet I kept pushing, only 1 mile left and the rain began to pour down! I made the turn toward the finish line and though I was tired I kept pushing and even sped up the last 200 yards or so to the finish line!

26.2 done!
I've been involved in competitive sports for a good part of my life (basketball, baseball, softball leagues, intramural football etc.) I've been part of 3 mens softball teams that won it all. Yet there was something special, at least for me, in finishing a marathon different from other sports.

No doubt that the parallels (of running a marathon) to one's spiritual life are many:

1. Proper preparation is important~~It is the same with our spiritual lives.
2. Having folks cheering you on helps~~Community and fellowship is a necessity in our spiritual journey.
3. Running a marathon is not just physical it's highly mental~~the spiritual life is a battle for the mind
4. Training for a marathon or other endurance sports you will encounter some tough times, don't get discouraged, stay focused~~our spiritual life is no different, we'll get discouraged, yet we must keep our focus on Jesus!
5. When you sense the finish line is so close you can see it, you will be revived and do what it takes to finish~~Jesus is coming soon, the finish line we can almost see, trust in Him, hold on to Him and He will take you to the finish.

It's been over a month now. I already have another marathon set for next February. I'm still battling some injuries but I've learned and I'm not giving up. I hope to run several more marathons (beyond next Feb.) and I'm beginning to train for an Iron Man (no date for that).

Along the way though, one of the greatest reminders (as previously mentioned) is to fully depend on Jesus in all things. As I mentioned in Pt. 2 my identity is found in Him not in running or anything else. Everyone that finishes a marathon is called a 'marathoner'. I'd rather be known as a committed follower of Jesus, who finished the race and helped many along the way to also finish and finish strong...


Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Journey to 26.2: Part 2

In my last post I began to detail my journey to completing my first marathon. Some of my highs and lows, especially though when I was going through ITBS (see previous post). 

The human body is incredible. Really. I believe now more than ever (actually always have:) that God in His omniscient way created humans with such specific and beautiful bodies (beauty in how they function) that, for lack of another word, it's just simply amazing. I also believe that we we're born to run. What I mean is that we we're not meant to be sedentary we we're meant to be active. Obviously the body needs rest, but even too much rest is actually unhealthy.

Yet being that this is not necessary a blog about running in particular (I'm contemplating starting one, should I?) I want to talk about what I left off in the first post. Some of the spiritual lessons I believe God was...well...teaching me and reminding me of...

Lessons learned:

1. My identity is found in Jesus: Some may be saying what? We live in a highly competitive world. Running as any sport is highly competitive. When I first started really pushing myself I began to 'tweet' some of the things I was doing. Quickly folks wanted to know how far, my time, and so on. I understand, it's part of it. Yet when I had to cut down drastically on the weekly mileage it was a huge hit to my ego. I will admit. I began to really look deep into myself and take a step back from all this training. The point: who I am is not based on what I can do as an avid runner, a pastor, or anything else. My identity, who I am, is determined by whose I am. I belong to Jesus, I have given my life to Jesus not because of what I do but because of what He has done. 

I don't believe it's wrong in wanting to improve at your job, make more money, run faster, live a healthier life. But as Christians we must remember that our identity is not about our achievements, our suppose prowess in a certain sport, or what car we drive, or how big our house is. In the end, when Jesus comes none of this will be of any good to us. Only comprehending, understanding and realizing that are identity is found in HIM.

2. Cross training: Ok though I mentioned this is not a blog about running per se. I will speak a little about it here. As I was trying to shake off ITBS I needed to find ways to keep up my physical fitness without running. Ever runner knows the importance of cross training, such as swimming, biking, or even the elliptical (as long as you have no pain when doing it). Cross training saved me. In essence the last three months before the marathon I never ran more than 15miles in one day. This really wasn't ideal. Although I had obviously had many long runs of that distance and more before the injury, after, I was cautious. I wanted to make sure I wasn't flaring things back up when it came to ITBS. 

I was specific, intentional, and consistant. Part of what I focused on was obviously keeping my heart rate at a certain level that was nearly the same as when I was running long distances. My thought was if I can keep my heart able to go fast for long periods of time, I could push my legs on through the pain during the race.

Too often Christians get stuck in a certain way of doing things. They may even blame everyone but themselves for their weak spiritual lives. I could of easy have said this ITBS is too much, I can't run, I'm done. Praise God I didn't , He help me find other ways to train for the same goal. There are so many ways in which God wants to use us. So many things that I believe He wants us to do, but sometimes we seem stuck in our one way of doing things, perhaps have a little 'pitty party' about our lives and become blind to the fact that in the midst of our problems God is calling us to perhaps change things up to accomplish His mission in ways we never thought possible.

3. Trust in God: Race day was only two weeks away. I decided to run a half marathon to see how the leg was doing. It did ok, though at the end I was feeling some discomfort, not a lot, but enough to keep me thinking. Along these lines my wife had to travel to San Francisco on business and I was going with her. I was a bit nervous that the week before the marathon, when all the pro's are saying to keep your routine, I was about to change things up a bit. Also in all my training I'm not the get up at 4a.m. guy to go exercise. Yet the race was starting at 5a.m. central time and I was spending most of the week before the race on pacific time!

By this point I just put it all in God's hands. This was important to me. I had trained, re-trained, changed several things in my personal life regarding health. I was putting it in God's hands. I let go...I enjoyed my time in San Fran., even ran up and down the wonderful hilly streets of San Francisco and loved it. 

When we finally got home, race day was only three days away. By this time everyone at church knew I was running a marathon, my family back home knew, of course everyone asking, 'are you ready?' Deep inside I knew physically I was ready, but in the back of my mind I wondered would this dreaded ITBS pain return, since to some degree it still lingered....

stay tuned for part 3...the race!


Monday, September 12, 2011

My journey to 26.2

I have always loved to exercise, and be active. It's a part of me. About two years ago I began to change my exercise regiment (that's for another blog theme:), which over time invigorated me and essentially in part lead me to start training to run a marathon.

To some degree I had always wanted to do it, but never really felt motivated to put in the time and effort it takes to be able to do it and do it with some form of success (at least in my eyes). Over the course of the training I lost about 20 pounds, began to eat better, drink a lot more water, and honestly was feeling better than I ever had in some time. Surely there were some aches and pains, blisters, and the losing of some toe nails. For many, those are just part of the running experience. Especially when you first start out.

For several months I was feeling what is called, 'runners high.' I was running 50-60miles a week like nothing, training in the very hot Mississippi weather, pushing my limits beyond what I had ever done before. At one point I even decided to go ahead and run the distance of a marathon (26.2miles) on a treadmill!

Then it happened...injury! It's called Iliotibial Band Syndrome. It is a superficial thickening of tissue that essentially goes from your hip to your knee. It's a common injury among runners for different reasons. This was an injury I honestly knew nothing about. I asked around, even asked a few folks that are runners about it but honestly got very little help. I obviously read more than my share of what this injury was about online and did get some answers.

I ended up seeing an orthopedic who is a knee specialist and was a runner, got some physical therapy, and did everything they said and then some. It helped, but the worse part about it, yet the most important part was I needed to stop running in order to really allow for the injury to heal. If you know anything about running and runners this is torture!

I was humbled, upset, and to some degree worried. By this time I had already registered for my first marathon and now I was thinking would I be able to do it now that I was sidelined. Sure I was still about three months away from the race, nonetheless going from 50-60miles a week to zero was physically and emotionally painful.

Yet during this time of trying to shake off ITB syndrome, is when I believe I began to learn not just more about the sport of endurance running but about what I believe God wanted me to learn.

Stay tuned for more on the journey...


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Good or True_______Christian? Pt.2

In my last post we began to ask the question what does it mean, or what constitutes a good or true Seventh-day Adventist Christian? (or if you of a different denomination insert your particular faith).

Now I can't speak for any other faith, denomination but let's be honest. This question perhaps asked in different ways is one that many have asked or are asking but few have given in answer. I say few, but maybe there are more than what I realize that have given an answer, ultimately you will decide that.

It's interesting to me that Jesus in the gospels never called anyone to be a good or true...anything. Jesus called people to Himself. A true follower of Jesus was one who essentially died. They had died to self and become a fully committed follower of Jesus.

You see it is possible to be a good Seventh-day Adventist Christian (again you can insert your particular faith) and be a terrible example of what it means to follow Jesus. Yet it's impossible to be a true follower of Jesus and be a bad example of what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist.

I know what some may be thinking. But is it ok to wear jewelry?! Don't I have to be a vegetarian? You may also say...'but a good and true Seventh-day Adventist won't do________on the Sabbath! Right?

I believe that when we respond to the call of Jesus and embark on a life journey with Him. One's life will change, we will begin to evaluate certain things that we are doing, saying, and simply over all how we're living in the light of our relationship with Jesus. To often when we begin to ask specific and even some may say non-essential questions regarding salvation our focus is more about what we have to do in order to be more saved (which is impossible, either we're saved or not) than what should we do because we are saved as followers of Jesus.

An elder of a church I pastored told me many years ago that the only reason he was a Seventh-day Adventist was because it was the closes 'religion' that followed the teachings of Jesus that he knew of. I'll let you decide where you stand on that...but I believe he was on to something.

So I know what some may be asking now ...What does a true follower of Jesus look like? Hopefully like the person reading this post...

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt. 16:24)


Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Good or True...? Pt.1

I remember walking into the church and having a conversation with her. When I asked her, 'are you a Seventh-day Adventist?' She smiled at me, knowing why I had asked the question. She responded by stating that she was a Seventh-day Adventist even though she was wearing jewelry. I apologized, feeling that I had unintentionally stuck my foot in my mouth. She smiled again and really didn't seemed fazed by it, as if perhaps it had happened before. We had some small talk for a little longer and then went our separate ways.
This incident happened to me many years ago while in college. I honestly wasn't trying in any way to sound or be judgmental, it simply was one of those times that one wish we would've just said 'Hello how are you?' and moved on. I've been asked before (not always in so many words) 'What constitutes a good or true Seventh-day Adventist Christian? Is it that they (or most) don't wear jewelry? Don't smoke, drink (most don't), eat unclean foods? Many are vegetarians? They listen to the 'right' music (whatever that may be?) They keep the Sabbath? The ten commandments? We have the 'Three Angels message?' If they watch 3ABN, Amazing facts or the Hope Channel? All of the above? Or a combination of the above? For those who read this blog and are not Seventh-day Adventist Christians insert your particular denomination if appropriate. What makes a good Methodist Christian? Baptist Christian?..... Growing up Seventh-day Adventist I often heard phrases such as, "a member in good and regular standing", 'they are good Adventist", "they are faithful to the Adventist message" I can go on but will stop there, I think you understand. So let's dialogue, let's be honest, but lets be biblical. Are you a good or true Seventh-day Adventist Christian? Baptist? Methodist?...What does that mean? Javi

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beyond Belief?

You may have watched Nightline or the Primetime Nightline special Beyone Belief. If not take a moment and watch some of the clips now if you can.

Essentially it was about the reported apparitions of Mary the mother of Jesus. To be fair and honest this is nothing new ever since I could remember I've heard of them especially growing up in Los Angeles.

During it's primetime show Nightline used social media, meaning they added what is called a hashtag (for those who may not know what it is) on Twitter so that people who are watching and wanted to tweet about it could see what others were saying. You can go on Twitter of course even today and do a search #beyondbelief (that's the hashtag) and see what everyone was saying.

The social media dynamic really adds a different twist being able to see instantly what so many people are thinking about the topic of whether one believes in the apparitions of the Virgin Mary. There were lots of tweets coming in as I was watching the show many believed, several Christians called on people to simply believe in Jesus, and of course you had your all out skeptics.

I tweeted:

#beyondbelief the dead know nothing: Eccl. 9:5 Mary is dead and they know nothing...less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

I did get a response from what seemed to be a devout Catholic.

I have written here at Bathos about some of the foundational truth's that we as Seventh-day Adventist believe in. Before I continue I just want to say that I have respect for those who may believe in apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the same way I respect those who say they have no belief in anything spiritual except science.

With that said though, it is clear, at least to me that people (or at least the great majority of them) continue to believe that the dead are not actually dead but their spirit/soul lives on. Whether it's the Virgin Mary, uncle John who's in heaven or evil uncle Johnny who's haunting the family (please these are all generic names:-).

This belief that the dead are not really dead is the bottom line foundation to all of this. The Word of God, the  Bible says other wise. (Click HERE)

It is important I would say now more than ever that this 'truth' that the dead know nothing be heavily proclaimed with love and sincerity. NOT that it wasn't in the past. Yet as one believes that the nearness of Jesus is closer everyday and more news, movies and or t.v. shows come out with the foundation that the dead are conscious in someway, we must proclaim the truth of the bible as it is in Jesus.

Surely Mary the mother of Jesus was blessed and as she stated in Luke 1:48 "...generations will call me blessed." Mary was blessed for she would give birth to the Savior of the world. The Savior that eventually would say, "For I have come down from heaven, no to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raie him up at the last day." (John 6:38-40 NKJV).


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Adventism: The Message & Mission

Yes, I know, it's been over two months since my last post. Sometimes it's ok to take a break, as I've always stated I don't blog for money. Simply as a way to outlet my thoughts, experiences and journey with Jesus.

Enough about that for now...on to the actual reason of my post today....

 Why are you a Seventh-day Adventist Christian? If you are not, then why not?

Perhaps I'm being to upfront? Loaded question? I would say so...

I just finished this Sabbath a series entitled: Adventism: The  Message and Mission. In the series I essentially spoke on the Three Angels message and The Remnant, how we came to believe what we believe regarding those unique messages found in Revelation and what it means for us today.

For Adventist  'three angels message' and 'the remnant' are phrases that we have heard for some time. Many have grown up hearing these words maybe not fully understanding their meaning.

This post is not about explaining what those phrases mean but to simply ask to the readers of this post: Do you know what it means?

In my personal study for these messages there was one conviction that stood out. It's not necessarily a new one but a foundational one. For Seventh-day Adventist Christians (really for all Christians) our mission is derived from our message. Our message is one that is so deep yet so simple that it empowers (or should I believe) enables, and invigorates us to mission.

Maybe...just maybe one of the main reasons that Adventism is not seeing the growth in North America that it would like is because we haven't really comprehended this incredible message that fuels us for mission.

The message is what feeds the mission...

So I guess the logical question in order to fuel the mission would be: What's the message?


Saturday, April 23, 2011

He's Alive: So What?

While taking preaching classes in college and during graduate school there was something that I often heard, "So What?" Essentially the homiletics (fancy word for the application of God's word) professor's wanted to impress upon our minds the importance of answering the 'So What?' of the biblical text we would be preaching on. So what does the text we would be preaching mean for those who will be hearing it?

This Sunday we celebrate the fact that Jesus is Alive! Praise God! But...So What? Lets be honest I believed and knew Jesus was alive before today. I'm not trying to be mean, sarcastic, or belittle the importance of remembering and celebrating the fact that Jesus is alive. But...So What?

So what does that mean to you and to me? How has the fact that Jesus is alive changed your life? Have we overcome the sins that so easily entangle us? In knowing that Jesus is alive, has that sparked a revival in your life? Have you allowed yourself to be lead by Jesus (since He is alive) and truly surrendered to Him? Since the last year that you celebrated the resurrection how many souls have you personally touched by the power of the living Christ? How many have you brought to the foot of the cross?

Look at your own life (I'm speaking to myself too!) has the fact that Jesus is alive changed your character? Are you more loving? Accepting? Caring? Has it lead you to serve His church/kingdom more?


So what?  How have we allowed that fact to change our lives? If it's not changing our life...well than is Jesus really alive for us? Hopefully our answer won't what?


Carrie Underwood w/Vince Gill: How Great Thou Art (video)

I'll let the video below speak for itself on this Easter Weekend. Let all worship Him, for He is great!

What did you think, feel while watching this?


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deep Conversations...

the conversationphoto © 2007 Andrew | more info (via: Wylio)

Ever had a deep conversation like this one...

Stay tuned for some upcoming post's that I hope will stir some deep conversations...


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rob Bell: Heaven, Hell and Salvation Pt 3-MAJOR CORRECTION

2008-01-26 (Editing a paper) - 01

photo © 2008 Nic McPhee | more info (via: Wylio)

Last night I was checking my blog, read yesterdays post again and noticed a MAJOR mistake! After the posted video I started saying:

In my 2nd post in this series we concluded from the bible the following:

1. When people die they immediately go to heaven or hell. 

I somehow forgot to add the word 'DON'T' before 'immediately'! I have corrected yesterdays post you can see that HERE.

I apologize for a call this morning from a good friend and one of the readers of Bathos letting me know. Last night I tweeted the correction and another friend also noticed, laughed and knew it was just well...a typo...or should we say omission!

Hope this makes things clear!. Once again when we die we DON'T go immediately to heaven or hell! Now go and read the rest of the post:-) Click HERE



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rob Bell: Heaven, Hell and Salvation Pt. 3

I've been wanting to make a post here at Bathos but have had a very busy several weeks. Now I'm in the middle of a week of prayer for the youth, young adults of Westchester Seventh-day Adventist church in Miami, FL. It's been amazing to see God work.

With that said and before continuing with part 3 of this series of post's  let us all continue to pray for Japan! My friend Rodlie has posted on his blog simple ways that you can give to help the ongoing relief efforts in Japan. Please take a moment and read his blog and then GIVE however you can.

Part 3:

First, if you haven't been following please read part 1 and part 2 of this series to fully capture why I'm doing this. In the two plus weeks since all this began a lot has been happening. People have now actually read Bell's book, one being a friend of mine. You can read two of those reviews here (note this review is very long) and here this is my friend Gio's blog, it's shorter and more concise.

Also Rob Bell has begun going on tour promoting his book doing interviews. Make sure to watch this very interesting interview by Martin Bashir and then read the rest of the post:

In my 2nd post in this series we concluded from the bible the following:

1. When people die they don't (when I first posted this I somehow left out the very important word don't) immediately go to heaven or hell.
2. When one dies the bible calls it 'sleep' people are 'unconscious' until Jesus comes
3. When Jesus comes and resurrects His people, some will go to heaven and others will go to 'hell'
4. Hell is not 'eternal'
5. God will put an end to 'all' suffering, sin, and death, making all things new.
6. Therefore from a biblical perspective there cannot be a place in the universe will there are people burning eternally! This would then imply that sin continues and people are immortal, which they are not.

So then what about salvation? Heaven? Who will be saved?

Let's begin with a few texts about salvation: (note: you may have noticed that here at Bathos if you put your cursor over the text you can read it without going to another site. It also saves me time in writing every text out:)

Ephesians 2: 8-10 Salvation is of God from first to last.
John 3:16 Perhaps the most famous text in the bible, clearly states that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life.
1 Timothy 2: 3-4 God desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of truth. Yet God's desire is our choice. The implications: NOT ALL will have God's desire.
John 14:6 The way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. Jesus says He is the way, salvation is through Him.

Summary: Matthew 24:14 tells us that the gospel shall be preached in all places and then the end will come. It doesn't say (nor anywhere else in the bible) that everyone will believe or even that eventually everyone will believe. The scriptures are clear that salvation is found in Christ Jesus only.

With that said though a host of questions arise for example: How about those who perhaps died before hearing the gospel? What about the people in remote areas of the world will they really hear and understand the truth of Jesus? It's been said that about 2/3 of the population of the world hasn't accepted Christ. Will then all those be lost?

These and other questions are usually some of the first questions that well known Christian leaders get asked when they are being interviewed on t.v. Though it may seem like an easy answer it's actually a bit more complex.

There's a very interesting chapter in Ezekiel 18 which I truly urge you to read. Essentially God is calling for repentance, for people to turn from their wicked ways to His ways. Then the chapter finishes with God saying, "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord God. "Therefore turn and live!" (Ezekiel 18:32)

Romans 11:33 says, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 

Revelation 19:2 says, "For true and righteous are His judgments..."

At the end of it all, it is up to God! Yes God has lift us some very clear principals in the bible about salvation and how to live Godly lives. They are rooted in Jesus Christ! We need the gospel because it is good news, good news that tells me that even though I was full of bad news because of sin. The good news is that through Jesus I am made new in Him!

With that said though, I believe that there will be surprises in heaven. What I mean is that though I also desire everyone to be saved I might be surprised not to find someone I really thought would be saved in heaven. Ultimately God is judge of all and I must trust and do trust that His judgments are 'true and righteous.'

Regardless of what Rob Bell or any other famous preacher says, we must ponder the very first question posed in the bible. It's asked by God after Adam and Eve fell into sin. "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9)

When it comes to your relationship with Jesus; Where are you? You see if anything Rob Bell is right about one thing, we do have the freedom of choice. In order for God to truly be 'love' He must allow for us to choose. True love is only love when it is chosen. It can NEVER be forced or chosen for me. No one can truly force me to love God or anyone else.

So no, not everyone will be saved, not everyone will live forever with Jesus, people will burn in hell but not eternally, sin will come to a complete end! So as Ezekiel says..."Therefore turn and live." Turn to Jesus today, He showed God's perfect love, He is love! A love you can freely choose to accept or deny.

The question we must answer is: Where are you?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rob Bell: Heaven, Hell and Salvation Pt.2

image by: Graceway Media
This is my second post regarding some of the issues at hand as the Bell saga over his upcoming book has created. You can click HERE to read the first post. Although the main subject matter has been 'universalism' the teaching that at the end everyone will be saved. That teaching then brings other Christian doctrines into question such as: Is there really a hell? What is heaven like and who and when do we get there? These are just a few of the questions that arise.

Is there really a place called hell?
I want to start with the subject of hell. The word 'hell' may bring a host of thoughts into a person's mind. Especially if you've been raised a Christian, in one way, shape, or form, you've been taught that if you love and obey Jesus you go to heaven and if you don't you go to hell. But when do we go to hell? Immediately after we die? If so then the question of what happens at death arises.

Space and time doesn't allow me to fully develop and answer every question regarding this subject matter. Yet I will try and be as clear as I can be and as straight forward as I can be. Then leave it open for our community here at Bathos and those who want to jump in to ask any questions or post a comment below.

Death and Hell:
Let me tell you out front what I believe the bible teaches and then tell you why:

1. I believe the bible teaches that when we die, we neither go to heaven or hell. We are in a state of what the bible calls 'sleep' or unconsciousness.
2. We do not have 'immortal' souls, we are 'mortal'.
3. People will burn in what is called hell, but not for 'eternity'
Most evangelical Christians believe that when we die we immediately go to heaven or hell. If a person goes to hell they will burn forever. Now if those who go to hell burn forever then that would make them 'immortal' and the problem with that is at least two fold: 1. It will mean sin will continue to exist forever. 2. We humans are immortal.

No where in the bible does it say or imply that the we have an 'immortal soul.' As a matter of fact there is only one place in which the bible speaks of it and this is what it says, "...He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality..." (1 Tim. 6:15,16) Only God is immortal! Enough said, humans do not have immortality.

The bible also states very clearly that sin will not go on forever. From the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned they were taken out of Eden so they would not eat of the tree of life, resulting in sin lasting forever (make sure you read Genesis 3: 22-24) Also Revelation 21: 1-5 states that God is making all things new, there will be no more pain, suffering and no more death! If we believe these texts then those who believe that hell is an 'eternal' punishment must explain them, because it seems really hard for me to believe that God would still have some folks burning 'eternally', folks that you and I know may know, while we are walking on the streets of gold. Not only would this go against the words of Revelation (and the bible as a whole) but would this really show God's justice? (more on God's justice in a later post)

Now, if the bible says that when we die we don't immediately go to heaven or hell then what happens?  I ask you to read Acts 2. This chapter states an interesting fact about king David. It tells us that he didn't go immediately to heaven when he died (vv. 29, 34) yet the implication is that David will be in heaven! It can be said that king David was the most beloved king of ancient Israel. A man after God's heart, though he clearly made some horrible sinful choices, God forgave Him. In short if any king of Israel would be in heaven it would be king David, YET the bible tells us he's not.

In John 11 we have the famous story of Jesus resurrecting Lazarus. Again please read the story for yourself. There are several things this story brings out, but we've already gone long on this post so I'll go straight to it. First, we must take note of Martha's words when she is talking with Jesus. She says, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." (v. 24) and before that Jesus speaks of Lazarus being 'asleep' (v. 11). These text, the story and the bible as a whole let us know that when people die they do not immediately go to heaven or hell. They sleep, unconsciously. Listen to what Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, "For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything..." and also listen to suffering Job, "But man dies and lies prostrate. Man expires, and where is he? As water evaporates from the sea, And a river becomes parched and dried up, So man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens be no more, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep." (vv. 10-12)

Much has been said, thus far but lets summarize everything here concerning what the Bible teaches:
1. We've shown that when one dies they do not go immediately to heaven or hell.
2. Hell is not forever. The implications of the statements above is, there will be a hell, people will burn, but it won't be 'eternally' (see Revelation 20)
3. Death in the bible is often compared to 'unconscious sleep', the dead wait until the resurrection.

The bible is clear that 'sin' will not last forever, it will come to a complete end! Complete meaning that there won't be some place in the universe where people who decided not to follow the Spirit's call in their lives will burn forever. Again, this would make sin last forever in some part of the universe and would not necessarily make 'all things new' as the bible promises.

I know there are many text that are going through people's minds, especially regarding the bible truth that when we die we neither go to heaven or hell, but we wait until the resurrection. This is where you can email me or leave a comment below and I can answer some of the questions/comments.

In part 3 we will cover: Heaven and Salvation!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Laughter: Video

laughterphoto © 2009 Petras Gagilas | more info (via: Wylio)

After an interesting week. I praise God for the Sabbath! I also praise the Lord for laughter! Sometimes we just need to smile, laugh. God is good. Surely everything may not be going how one may plan. Yet smile, God is in control.

Check out this video below and I hope it will at least make you smile:-) (click HERE if you get can't see the video)

Stay tuned for: Rob Bell: Heaven, Hell & Salvation Pt. 2


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rob Bell: Heaven, Hell and Salvation Pt.1

Over the weekend or there about a stir began through social media regarding Rob Bell's upcoming book called: Love Wins: A book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

Rob Bell is the teaching pastor at Mars Hill church in Grandville, MI. If you were to 'google' his name, you would get more information about him than you'd probably want. With that said, Pastor Bell is known in the evangelical world as being very progressive in his theology to say the least. His new book, though it doesn't come out until March 29th has further given the impression that Bell has now really gone to far by teaching 'universalism' which in short means that at the end everyone will be saved.

A plethora of blogs, comments through twitter, and facebook have abounded since the weekend in regards to Bell and the comments made about Bell and his book that hasn't even come out. You can be up to most of what's been said by reading Christianity Today's post HERE.

In reading many of the blogs and tweets regarding the issue it's really incredible once again to see how social media has changed our world. Honestly it seems that people are quick to speak and slow to listen. A truth I'm sure I've been guilty of and through God's grace I'm trying to make sure it doesn't happen.

To some extent much of the comments first began by seeing the video marketing the book issued by HarperOne. You can see the video by clicking HERE.

I will say this I've been to Rob Bell's church (he was not there when I visited), seen most of his NOOMA videos and skimmed through some of his books. I can easily say that I don't agree with everything Bell believes and teaches. Though as mentioned in many of the comments he is a very good communicator as he is able to embed theological teachings into practical story telling and real life situations.

I won't say anything else about Bell's book here at Bathos until his book comes out and IF I decide to read it. Yet what I do want to do is begin a series of post's on the topics that Bell seems to have written a book about. Heaven, hell, and the fate of every person.

Essentially I'm going to tell what I as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian believe about the mentioned themes. It seems to be a hot topic these days thanks to Bell and media pundits:)

Stay tuned, because at the end Love does win...


Monday, February 28, 2011

God, Running, & Signs: Pt.2

In my last post I began telling about an experience I had while running not too long ago. I mentioned three brief points that I felt God was showing me during this experience. Yet I never finished the story (so if you haven't read the first post make sure you do:)
Finish Linephoto © 2010 jayneandd | more info (via: Wylio)

Part 2:

I ended the first post telling you that I had turned around and starting running back to the starting point. As I was running back I felt this urge that I should warn the folks going down the path, that I was just warned not to go down, and therefore had changed course. For some reason I was a bit hesitant, maybe I was afraid I would be ignored, or the fact that I obviously didn't know any of these folks. Yet, I thought, 'if this elderly couple warned me, I should do the same.'

So as I'm running, I'm warning people. Folks that are just walking, running, and even on bikes. Several acknowledged me, even thanked me, and yes a few honestly didn't even acknowledge me though they didn't even have earphones on! Interestingly enough though as I ran further and further away from the place that I turned around, since it seemed somewhat far away, especially for those walking, I stopped warning people.

Now, I'm just trying to make good time and finish my run, when I took a wrong turn! I didn't realize it until I saw that I had ran more than what it would have taken for me to return. In other words, I had run about 5 miles and turned, now I had ran almost 5 back and my car was no where in sight! I quickly realized where I was though, so I told myself, I'm going for it, I'm just going to run my first half-marathon.

I was really tired by now, had drank no water and remember had a rough start. I kept going and going, until praise God I saw the drinking fountain that is at the beginning of the trail, took a quick, small drink, looked at my phone and saw I still needed about a mile to hit 13.1 so I kept going and praise God I did it.

A few more lessons learned:

1. If you call yourself a Christian and know the saving power of the gospel of Jesus to change lives, along with the fact that Jesus is coming soon. What are we doing to let everyone around us that may be on the wrong path know the power of the gospel of Jesus.
2. Could it be that perhaps we just either consciously or sub-consciously believe that Jesus' second coming is not that close so as we run the race of life, we're not really warning anyone?
3. No matter what is happening in my life, your life we must persevere. Most Christians have heard the text, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) Yet if we look at the context of that text we won't be tempted to abuse it as it has at times. Listen to what Paul says in verse 12, "I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." In other words Paul says no matter what I'm facing in life I can get through it all with Jesus. We can persevere with Jesus. Keep running the race of life, you're not alone!

I don't know how soon Jesus is coming, but I believe that it's soon. Even so, regardless of time, God has reminded me and hopefully you that we must persevere in our efforts to tell people that Jesus really, really, loves them. He died for them, resurrected and is alive today ever ministering on our behalf in more ways than we know and He's soon to return. Jesus has called us! People who have repented and turned from our wrong paths, to tell others that through the grace of God they too should turn. No matter what it may cost they can trust that through Jesus they can do all things, for He is the one who will strengthen them.

As you are running the race of life are you remembering to live out loud for Jesus? Remember the finish line is closer as the pace of every moment of life comes and goes...I can't wait to see Jesus face to face at the finish line! Until then I run...


Saturday, February 26, 2011

God, Running, & Signs: Pt.1

From the start it seemed like I should've just turned around and gone home. I had set out to go for a long run, it was in my mind to run a half-marathon (13.1miles) this particular morning. I wasn't sure if I was going to go that far, nonetheless I was going for at least 10miles.
Runners set records in 25th Army Ten-Miler 091005photo © 2009 U.S. Army | more info (via: Wylio)

One mile into the run my earphones started falling off, to me this is very frustrating as it breaks my stride and focus. This had not happened in some time but a few minutes after the first time it happened again! Then if that wasn't getting to me, my side began to hurt. Now I was really upset. I had eaten breakfast several hours before to make sure this didn't happen and had not drank a lot of water either. Nonetheless the pain began to get worse and I was now only on mile 3.

Something overall just seemed to be telling me that I should stop, turn around and go home. I persisted though, fought through the side ache, made sure my earphones wouldn't fall off again, and tried to stay focused. Things seem to improve, especially the side ache as I pressed on, when....

An elderly couple walking along the trail yells at me, 'Be careful there is a herd of dogs down that way!' Even though I had my music on, I heard what they said and thanked them for telling me. So now it was decision I continue and risk being chased, bitten by dogs? Or turn around as I've been feeling for some time?

Captain, My Captainphoto © 2008 Josh McGinn | more info (via: Wylio)

For a moment I decided to continue, until? Well...I saw one of the dogs (looked like a pitbull!) in the woods about 60-70 yards away. I told myself, enough, I'm turning back! I had ran close to 5miles by now so it would be close to the 10 I would have been happy with.

Some points I ponder in this experience:

1. Many times I believe God is trying to speak to us, tell us something and we are so focused on wanting to accomplish what we want that we are not listening.
2. I believe that God in one way or another was trying to get me to not go down the path I was going through. I seem to ignore all the signs He was trying to give me. Then this wonderful couple clearly spoke to me about the danger of going down that path. God is so gracious that he sends us warnings, that if we will listen to them can change our lives
3. God ever looks after us. Now this one is a bit tough. Why? Well because so many things have happened to people that pray and love God and they may wonder, 'well was God looking after me?' I can't answer that question and perhaps no one really can. Nonetheless I have seen God's hand in so many ways in my life. If I would have gone down that path on the trail, that 'herd' of dogs could have easily gone after me and I would have had no where to run. God ever looks after us!

Are you perhaps going through something right now that God is trying to tell you something? Are you ignoring all the warning signs? Remember God truly cares about every aspect of our lives!

Stay tuned for part two: The rest of what I believe God was showing the way the elderly couple, as I turned back and passed them said, 'yea I believe one of them was a pitbul!"


Monday, February 14, 2011

Southern Adventist University: Flash Mob & Blue Hair (video)

image from:
Recently students from my alma mater, Southern Adventist University were trying to raise funds for a project to fight illiteracy in El Salvador called No More Thumbprints. One important note was that the Universities president Gordon Bietz got into the mix by saying that he would dye his hair the color of the team which raised the most money.

President Bietz is much loved and respected by the students and this is another good reason why. He's friendly, down to earth, and shows his human fun side to all of his students. At the same time as mentioned he's highly respected and looked up to. I love that he did this and the students had a blast!

Check out the video below for the results! It's been making it's way around Adventist circles.

So what do you think? If you were president of an organization would you do this?

UPDATE: After posting the video the owner has disabled sharing, to see the video on YouTube click HERE.


Be His Valentine

I remember in grade school making Valentines cards as part of art class. We used construction paper to cut out our heart shaped cards, then we had to 'accessorize' them by drawing something on it, usually it was more hearts of different colors, we would also add glitter, (art class back in my day wasn't art class without glitter:-), and lastly of course we would add our 'Hallmark' words addressed to: mom!

Honestly I hated these art projects. I wasn't much of an artist, even today I claim no drawing abilities. I always loved to see some of my classmates draw their perfect hearts, while mine looked like it had a heart attack. Yet I knew what I was doing was for my mom, I loved my mom, so even though art wasn't my best subject, I tried, did my best, in hopes that she would like it.

Of course like a great mom that she was and is, she loved it. She always gave me a hug, a kiss and told me how beautiful it was. I don't know all the psychology to it but even as a kid to hear mom say that she loved my drawing and knowing I had tried my best and done it with all my heart, frankly I didn't care if I wasn't artistically inclined like many of my classmates. Mom loved my Valentines card, that's all I cared!

In this post though I'm not going to get into the history of Valentines, where it came from, or should you celebrate it. I'm not going to ask you, have taken your significant other out to eat, bought them flowers, chocolate, or even've bought them/made a card! And, yes, I know what some say, 'everyday should be  Valentine's day with our significant other', reality is for most it's not.

Here is what I will tell you, our lives everyday, particularly those of us who call ourselves Christians, are  Valentine card's to God. Everyday He says, 'be MY Valentines' I love you. Our lives are those construction papers, that God is forming into beautiful hearts. You see as we respond and fully surrender our 'construction hearts' to God. We are assured that He will receive them with embracing arms, sure some will be really rough on the edges and some won't look so bad. Yet be assured that our God will take them all, and with great love will construct for us a new heart.

I praise God, for I am His Valentine now and forever. He loves me! He accepts my terrible drawn heart and says, "come I will show you how to draw."

Will you be HIS Valentine?


Friday, February 11, 2011

Awkward Questions about Jesus: Video

3D Character and Question Markphoto © 2010 SMJJP | more info (via: Wylio)
As a pastor I have definitely had people ask me some interesting questions about Jesus. The video below though will make you laugh and possibly even make you think about the awkward questions given by the cute English kids...

I came across this video through a blog that I read and thought I would share here at Bathos. The video has gone viral it's been seen over half a million times.

Thanks again to Todd Rhoades for posting first on his blog.

So what awkward question about Jesus do you have?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Buy From A Christian: The Christian e-bay?

Many churches are always trying to find ways to raise funds for different projects and missions. Of course since the inception of e-bay in the mid 90's many forgo having a yard sale for simply putting items on line in order to do the same without the hassle of setting everything up and then taking back what doesn't sell.
Ebay Frontphoto © 2007 Ryan Fanshaw | more info (via: Wylio)

With that in mind  here's a website that essentially does the same thing e-bay does but with a purpose as the website states. In looking through the site, it essentially has the same basic idea as e-bay but it definitely looks more appealing to raise funds. Here are some points that I found in reading through the site that really seem beneficial for a church as is the purpose of the site.

1. To list an item that is not an automobile, real estate, motor, or marine it's only $1.
2. You can list the item until it sells for just that $1. Though after three months they will notify you that the item will be removed unless you let them now that you still want it listed. There is no extra charge.
3. will GIVE 10% of it's collected fees from the item you list to the church of your choice!
4. Listing real-estate is $20 and an automobile, motor, or marine is $10 to list. (they will give 10% of those fees to the church you list also)
5. Garage sales: This feature seems like something many churches would be interested in trying. One that our church might try. will let you host a garage sale for your church, listing whatever items you want and they will NOT charge ANY fees! 100% of what is sold goes back to the church.

The one down fall that I see at this time if you list an item yourself it obviously won't get the web traffic that e-bay has thus the item may take longer to sell, if it sells. Though the 'garage sale' feature is one that again seems really helpful for any church even if it doesn't have the traffic e-bay has. E-bay also obviously has a lot more fees. Also there is no bidding on the site, you set the price and that's what it is, unless you change it.

Some though have questioned the websites name: 'Buy From A Christian' in the video below, that is also found on the website, the creator of the site gives an explanation and a history on how the site got started. The site obviously doesn't hide that it's Christian, it's intended purpose and at the same time makes clear that anyone of any faith or no faith can sell on the site.

I've listed an item to see how it goes and plan on having a 'garage sale' with my church on the site.

So what do you think? Will you talk to your church about doing a 'garage sale' on Would you post an item or buy something you may want?


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