To Sign or Not To Sign? (Thoughts on Church Membership)

Recently we had our first “Official” membership class at the Crossings and it was a lot of fun.  It was just neat to see so many new and old faces excited about what God is doing in our own little part of the Kingdom.  It was neat to see people stepping up to the plate in heartfelt commitment.  Now I understand that in the greater body of Christ there’s been some debate as to what to do with Church membership.  Some claim it is not a Biblical principle and others hold the opposite position and see it as a great practicality for our day.  On my part I lean toward the second camp, so I’ve listed 7 reasons at the bottom of the post as to why we’ve gone with a formal membership at The Crossings.  But I think the greatest reason why I fall on the side of a designated church membership for the located body of Christ actually comes from a true story from our time in the former Soviet Union(more…)

Ground Zero Mosque and the Power of the Gospel.

There’s been a lot of debate recently over the building of an Islamic Mosque and community center just two blocks away from ground Zero in New York.  The issue took on more steam this past weekend as President Obama endorsed the group’s constitutional right to construct the building.  But then on Saturday, the President was reported as saying that while he upholds that “Muslims have that right, that doesn’t mean he believes it is the right thing for them to do.”  There sure are a number of ways to look at this.  I understand and have felt the same knee jerk reaction of many who have pointed out that the men who flew those planes into the Twin Towers in New York were led by a strict inner interpretation of the Qur’an (Koran).  So the initial thought of a group of Muslims meeting yards away from where such a tragic event happened can cause one to wince.  But when the dust clears and the heart beat slows down, I believe the group in question ought to be allowed to carry on with their plans.  But my main reason for such a position may not be easy to see at first.  Here’s what I’m thinking. (more…)