I saw some posts earlier about the validity of altar calls; I wonder if the same questioning can be raised concerning the validity of a Sunday morning service with most people looking at the back of someone else's head for the better part of an hour. Where does that appear in the New Testament? Paul was a traveler, not a regular pastor of any group, so when he visited, everyone would want to hear what he had to say, and may have even had lots of questions. It certainly seems like his letters were written to answer lots of questions, so I think when he visited them in person, they were also full of questions. In other words, his time with them was not a 50-minute 'sermon' but a give-and-take discussion group. What did they do when Paul was not there? Have more discussion is my thought.
The Lutherans should be the sponsors of this conference, since Martin Luther himself was very fond of the beer his wife made. When he was separated from her, his urgent request was that someone send him some of her beer. It is interesting to follow the history of Prohibition in this country; the level of drinking did decrease during it and never went up to the levels that it was before. Today, the US consumption of alcohol is much lower than many European countries, and Belarusia leads the way. US is at 9.2 liters of pure alcohol per person per year; that's something like a 12-pack of beer per week.
And I thought the 'blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church' On the other hand, maybe those guys on TV who 'lift weights for Jesus' could sponsor a short-term missionary trip to go to Nigeria to help them. And what about all the Christians in the US talking about their right to own guns? Why not go to Nigeria or Iraq and use them?
Nothing new here to me. Barna confirms what I have been seeing/reading/hearing for a long time. In the day when many Baptist Churches have changed their name to rid themselves of that pesty "Baptist" label to attract more people, do you think for a second they will preach anything controversial? They do not want to offend by entering a strong opinion on any hot issue of the day: Russia's involvement in the downing of the Malaysian airliner in the Ukraine, man-made climate change, immigration, gay marriage, etc. I did see in my local newspaper some photos taken from a baptism ceremony held at a beach-front park by a large Baptist church that changed its name a few years back.
Our beloved WAshington Post writer needs to get a sense of perspective. Has the writer examined the "debate" going on in the Middle East between Muslims--Shiites vs Sunnis? They 'debate' using weapons and death, while Christians use words. Has she forgotten those 'peace-loving' Buddhist monks in Burma or Thailand that had a major battle a year or so ago. I remember seeing them burn one of the opposing sides' monasteries. And then let's go to India, a land with a 1000 gods being worshiped by the Hindus. I'll bet they are not pleasant with those who want to have a fast food hamburger or good ol' North Carolina Pork Bar-b-que Sandwich. Today's liberal religion is environmentalism or Big Government--has she seen the fierce debates over Global Warming/Climate Change? I think the debates that occur--yes, even here, in the peaceful confines of this website, are nothing compared to all these other cases.