Archive for category WSGAC

Last Week: WSGAC #2

WSGAC #2

imagesWhat’s     

So                 

Great          

About           

Christianity?            

              

In an earlier Post we introduced the idea that despite many regretful episodes in history, Christianity has had an enormously positive impact on society and culture.  It is in that sense that its useful and appropriate to look from time to time at why Christianity is great while not forgetting the unfortunate past.

Last Week:  Temperatures outside in Richmond were in the single digits for a few days, as they had been the week before.  (Its easy at these times to be grateful for a heated home.)

ThermometerCold

Last Week: Our Sunday School class continued to discuss “signposts” or “clues” of God, including the “moral argument.”  We looked at reasons why we can be altruistic – what makes us good from time-to-time? Why be unselfish if natural selection exalts self-preservation and reproduction as the defining “laws of nature”?

Last Week:  I helped Coach Dan with his 10K training team (Keep it Movin’) initiative for some of Richmond’s homeless, which is hosted by the YMCA.

Young

Men’s

Christian

Association

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Last Week:  As a “host” congregation as part of CARITAS, my church prepared to provide shelter and meals to some of Richmond’s homeless this week.

Congregations

Around 

Richmond

Involved

To

Assure

Shelter

See the other organizations that are sacrificing their time and resources to aid those not as fortunate.  I didn’t see any “Atheists for the Homeless” or “Humanists for a Warm Place to Sleep”.  Makes you wonder?

Host Congregations & Those Who Help

(http://caritasva.org/hostcongregations.html)

All Saints Episcopal Church
All Souls Presbyterian Church
Anointed New Life Baptist Church
Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church
Battery Park Christian Church
Bethany Christian Church-Disciples of Christ
Bethel Baptist Church
Bethia United Methodist Church
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Beulah United Methodist Church
Bon Air Baptist Church
Bon Air Christian Church
Bon Air Presbyterian Church
Bon Air United Methodist Church
Bon Secours School of Nursing
Boulevard United Methodist Church
Boy Scout Troop #310
Boy Scout Troop #1879
Boy Scout Troop #2886
Brandermill Church
Broadus Memorial Baptist Church
Brown Grove Baptist Church, Ashland
Cambridge Baptist Church
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Cedar Street Baptist Church of God
Centenary United Methodist Church
Central Baptist Church
Chamberlayne Heights United Methodist Church
Chester Presbyterian Church
Chester United Methodist Church
Christ Ascension Episcopal Church
Christ Church Episcopal
Christ Lutheran Church
Christ The King Lutheran Church
Christians in Action Middle School Boys
Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints
Church of the Epiphany
Church of the Redeemer
Clover Hill Assembly Of God
Colonial Place Christian Church
Commonwealth Chapel
Community Of Christ
Congregation Beth Ahabah
Congregation Or Ami
Cool Spring Baptist Church
Crestwood Presbyterian Church
Daily Planet
Derbyshire Baptist Church
Destiny City Fellowship
Dominion School for Autism
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Elon Baptist Church
Emmanuel Community Church
Emmanuel Episcopal Church At Brook Hill
Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer
Fairfield Presbyterian Church
Fairmount Christian Church
Federal Public Defenders Office-Richmond
Fifth Street Baptist Church
First Baptist Church, Ashland
First Baptist Church-Monument Avenue
First Baptist of South Richmond
First Congregational Christian-UCC
First Mennonite Church
First Presbyterian Church
First Union Baptist Church
First Unitarian Universalist Church
Forest Grove United Methodist Church
Four Mile Creek Baptist Church
Fourth Baptist Church
Gayton Road Christian Church
Ginter Park Presbyterian Church
Ginter Park United Methodist Church
Girl Scout Troop #235
Girl Scout Troop #241
God’s Storehouse Baptist Church
Good Shepherd Baptist Church
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Grace Baptist Church
Grace Community Baptist Church
Grace Community Presbyterian Church
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
Gravel Hill Baptist Church, Varina
Great Hope Baptist Church
Greenwood United Methodist Church
Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church
Henrico County Fire Department
Henrico County Police Department
Holy Comforter Episcopal Church
Holy Rosary Catholic Church
Huguenot Road Baptist Church
Huguenot United Methodist Church
Kingsland Baptist Church
Kiwanis Club of Richmond
Stephanie Krupa
Lakeside United Methodist Church
Laurel Presbyterian Church
Lebanon United Methodist Church
Light of the World Baptist Church
Lord Jesus Korean Church
Lutheran Church of our Saviour
Manakin Episcopal Church
Manchester YMCA
Meadowbridge Seventh Day Adventist Church
Mechanicsville Baptist Church
Mechanicsville Elementary School
Mechanicsville United Methodist Church
Messiah Christian Church
Metropolitan African American Baptist Church
Midlothian YMCA
Monument Heights Baptist Church
Moore Street Baptist Church
Mr. B’s 15th Street Café
Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church
Mt. Vernon Baptist Church
New Canaan Baptist Church
New Hanover Presbyterian Church
New Highland Baptist Church
New Life United Methodist Church
North Run Baptist Church
Northside Baptist Church
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Overbrook Presbyterian Church
Pilgrim Journey Baptist Church
Pine Street Baptist Church
Providence United Methodist Church
Quiocassin Baptist Church
Ramsey Memorial United Methodist Church
Redeemer Lutheran Church
Reveille United Methodist Church
Richmond Outreach Center
Richmond Vineyard Fellowship
River Road Church, Baptist
River Road Presbyterian Church
River Road United Methodist Church
Riverview Baptist Church
Salisbury Presbyterian Church
Sandston Baptist Church
Second Baptist Church – Idlewood
Second Baptist Church – River Road
Second Baptist Church South Richmond
Second Presbyterian Church
Shady Grove United Methodist Church – Mechanicsville
Shady Grove United Methodist Church – Short Pump
Shalom Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist Church
Southminster Presbyterian Church
St. Alban’s Anglican Catholic Church
St. Ann Catholic Church
St. Ann’s Catholic Church
St. Augustine Catholic Church
St. Bridget’s Catholic Church
St. David’s Episcopal Church
St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church
St. Gabriel Catholic Church
St. Giles Presbyterian Church
St. James the Less Episcopal Church
St. James’s Episcopal Church
St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church
St. John’s United Church of Christ
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
St. Mary Catholic Church
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church
St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church
St. Michael’s Catholic Church
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
St. Paul’s Baptist Church
St. Paul’s Catholic Church
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Temple Beth-El
The Healing Place
Third Presbyterian Church
Third Street Bethel AME Church
Three Chopt Church Of Christ
Three Chopt Presbyterian Church
Trinity United Methodist Church – Chesterfield
Trinity United Methodist Church – Richmond
Triumphant Baptist Church
Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church
Tuckahoe YMCA
University of Richmond Football Team
VCU School of Medicine Preceptor Students
Varina Episcopal Church
Virginia Muslim Coalition
Walnut Grove Baptist Church
Webber Memorial Baptist Church
Welborne United Methodist Church
West End Assembly of God
West End Presbyterian Church
West Broad Church of Christ
West Richmond Church of the Brethren
Westhampton United Methodist Church
Westhunt Baptist Church
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Winfree Memorial Baptist Church
To Blessed To Be Stressed – Women’s Group
Woodlake United Methodist Church

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What’s So Great About Christianity? (“WSGAC”)

If the reconciliation of my physical and spiritual health was not in itself a miracle, Ravi Zacharias’ invitation for me to train to become a member of one of their teams speaking on apologetics can be explained only in terms of God’s providence. (excerpt from the “Epilogue” in The Race Before Us)

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I’ve mentioned here that I recently returned from India.  There I was privileged to speak at RZIM’s “National Conference on Faith in the Public Square.”  If I told who I was on the program with (Ravi Zacharias, Os Guinness, Ken Blanchard, Michael Ducker, and others), you simply would not believe it – my whole journey (captured in The Race Before Us: A Journey of Running & Faith) is pretty hard to believe.  Over 1,200 people came from throughout India – a country where .9 % of the country is Christian – to grow in their commitment to share their faith “in the public square.”  I had an opportunity to meet many of the attendees.  One thing that stood out among them was their dedication to living out their faith in various ministries, whether it was service to the impoverished, the incarcerated, the marginalized, and others in need.

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This is the first of what will be periodic posts highlighting the efforts and unselfish work of Christians and Christian organizations. I continue to be inspired and challenged – inspired by amazing, unselfish dedication and challenged because I fall so short of their example. If we’re going to hold up the extraordinary contributions by individuals and organizations in the name of the Christian faith, however, we are well served to admit that inexcusable (some outrageous) conduct – done in the name of “the church” or Christ – exists and has existed historically.  In fact, hypocrisy by those allegedly proclaiming the gospel, but not acting in accordance it remains one of the major barriers for many seekers and non-believers. For many, they cannot “get over” what “the church” has done in history – supposedly in the name of God or Christ. By acknowledging this bad conduct, understanding that such behavior is inconsistent with Christianity, and celebrating (and gaining inspiration from) the commitment of Christians to serve others is a crucial apologetic**.

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I will begin these posts, therefore, by recalling some of these specific instances where the church has failed to act in accordance with the teachings of the person whom they say they are following.  When I refer to “the church” I will refer to any organization that believes it follows Jesus Christ.  I will not be “picking on” any particular denomination, but acknowledging the errors of the past is important.  And, just as I will address bad behavior by “the church” today as well as yesterday, I will also highlight historic and present-day achievements by Christians and Christian organizations.

This post introduces the series.  In the interest of keeping posts relatively brief, I will not address in detail any example of either bad behavior or what makes Christianity great, but to complete the introduction and offer examples of what I hope to do, I have included very short samples of (1) the bad behavior (“What’s NOT so great”) and (2) the laudable conduct (What IS great about Christianity).

What’s NOT so great

To get started, perhaps we should acknowledge perhaps the most obvious problem still affecting the Roman Catholic Church – the long history of ignoring known sexual abuse of boys and young men by some of its priests.

The question is not whether there is any justification for the conduct or the church’s reaction (or lack of reaction) to the bad behavior – the questions should be (i) is such conduct consistent with – the logical outgrowth – of what Jesus did or Jesus taught and (ii) does such conduct undermine the truth and relevance of Christianity?  (We will explore these questions in future posts.)

What IS GREAT about Christianity

Also, to get started, perhaps we acknowledge one of history’s best known examples of Christian faith worked out in selfless love – Mother Theresa’s work in the slums of Calcutta.  One of the things I plan to do here is highlight many of the “unsung” heroes of the faith.  Please share with me examples of Christians and Christian organizations that can be held up here as inspiration and challenge.

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** “Apologetic” – used here not to refer to a feeling or showing regret, but defined as “a reasoned argument in justification of a theory or religious doctrine.”  [“Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and expose the perceived flaws of other worldviews.”]

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