Do You Like Jesus, But Not the Church?

April 12, 2007

I always have a stack of books to read on my bookshelf. Right now, it numbers a dozen deep, but just yesterday one book came in from Amazon and I picked it up immediately. It jumped right over the waiting list.

It’s called “They Like Jesus But Not the Church” by Dan Kimball.

The first chapter starts off with a story of when he went to a local gym. He was assigned an instrutor to help show him around. During the course of their conversation she asked him what he did for a living. He’s the pastor of a church. To which she responded, “No ##$&& way you’re a pastor. I don’t believe you.”

It took him several minutes to convince her that he really was a pastor. He wasn’t anything like her impression of what a Christian was…and she felt all pastors were creepy. When asked if she knew any other pastors, she responded she didn’t. Her knowledge was simply from the stories she read, what’s on TV, and street preachers.

All throughout the book are stories of people Dan spoke with about Jesus and the church. The basic principle he found was that people will tell you they like Jesus…but they don’t like the church. The love Jesus shows is attractive, but Christians and the church are seen as negative and judgemental.

The church has become irrelevant in the minds of many 20 and 30 year olds. When I personally visit many churches, you can see the average age of the attendees continually going up. You just don’t see any new younger members who weren’t raised in the church.

What I liked best about Dan’s book is that he doesn’t just cover the problem and the opinions people shared with him. He always shares possible solutions of how to bridge the gap of Christianity and the world today…AND he does it without wimping out on the Bible and the truth.

It’s available on Amazon.com…

You can also find Dan Kimball’s blog posting about this new book over at http://www.dankimball.com/vintage_faith/2007/02/they_like_jesus.html

Jesus – Who Is He?

March 1, 2007

I don’t make any apologies for being a Christian. If this offends you, then you may not want to read this article.

Many claim God doesn’t exist. Very few claim Jesus never existed. He is a historical figure who walked the earth two thousand years ago. Several questions remain. Who is He? What did He do? And should you believe Him?

Some people say He was a Good Teacher. In fact, most religions claim this. Others say He was a deceiver. Christians say He is God and became one of us to take our place and die for our sins. And of course, the story doesn’t end there…

The truth is, He is either is who He says He is…or He’s a liar…or just outright crazy.

He said He was God (John 8:58, John 10:30). He forgave people’s sins (Mark 2:5-10). He even allowed people to worship Him (John 9:38, John 2:28, Matthew 9:18, Matthew 15:25).

He also claimed there is no other way to God except through Him.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

Wow…He sure doesn’t get along well with any other religions. In fact, He was crucified for His claims of divinity.

If He is supposed to be a good teacher, He didn’t do a very good job. His 12 disciples ran. His own people, His students, called for His death because of His claims.

They tried to stone Him for His claims John 10:33. They put Him to death for His claims (John 19:7).

If your purpose is to teach your people, and they kill you, you didn’t do a very good job. His purpose was much higher than just a teacher. He was to take the place of the sins of all humanity. Then He opened the door for us to have a relationship with God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosover believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

If His statements about Himself were not true, then He is crazy and a liar. He caused the death of Himself and His followers for His beliefs about His divinity. Why would you call someone a Good Teacher who deserves to be locked up in an insane asylum?

Some might say, “Well, those Bible records about what He said aren’t accurate.”

So the question is, if the Bible isn’t accurate, why would you believe any of it? Once someone has proven themself as a habitual liar, I have trouble believing anything they say. That doesn’t make any sense.

Some other time I’ll cover the outright proof about the accuracy of the Bible…it may surprise you!

It simply doesn’t make any sense to say it’s full of errors, but Jesus was a good teacher. If it’s full of errors, how would you ever know what He taught? You couldn’t. And He obviously wasn’t a good teacher because He was killed by His own audience.

C.S. Lewis, the author of Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, said this in his book, Mere Christianity

You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

I agree…nothing is worse than simply calling Jesus a Good Teacher. Either accept what He said about Himself…or call Him a liar.

I know where I stand.

Are You Thankful?

February 23, 2007

Today I just wanted to stop a moment…and say thank you.

Thank you to my readers.  Thank you to my customers.  Thank you to my coaching clients.  Thank you to my wife.  Thank you to God.

It’s easy to forget to say thank you.  It’s easy to keep going along thinking it’s all about us.  It’s easy to take those around you for granted.

You can always tell when someone has gotten locked up in their own selfish world….and forgotten those around them.

They’re always talking about themselves.  They’re always putting others down.  They talk about what breaks they didn’t get.  They talk about how they worked themselves up from their bootstraps.

When someone enters that mindset…they’re better than everyone else.  No one else can seem to measure up to them.

A heart that’s full of gratitude will be a heart that’s also full of love for others.

Taking time to say thank you to God and those around you will help you step out of selfishness and selfish attitudes.  It helps free your mind from worry.  It gives you a better attitude.  And it definitely makes you a much more fun person to be around.

I’ve gone through struggles in my life.  I’ve had problems.  I’ve also had success.

I went from being tens of thousands of dollars in debt to making a very high six figure net income online in just a few years.  In many ways, I feel success is a much bigger test for our personality and character than failure ever will be.

When I went from failure to success…for quite a while I thought it was all about me…that I succeeded because I’m such a genius.  People referred to me as a “guru.”  I flew around the country, signed autographs, and told people my wonderful systems of success.

I became enamored with myself.

With that, I also became “Full of Myself.”  Arrogant.  Thinking I was better than others.  Rude to those around me…because it was all about me.

Thank God I sold that business and retired from the Internet for a while.  Making money online is easy when you know what you’re doing…so I had made more than enough to go into retirement.

Was my success because I was so smart…and wonderful?

No…it wasn’t.  Let me quote a scripture from the Bible, 1 Cor 4:7, NASU Translation:

“For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

I succeeded because of God and those around me.

I’m so thankful…

  • To My Wife who has always been there for me. 

Even when others told me I couldn’t do it…She told me she believed in me.  Even when I spent money we couldn’t afford to start a business…She stood beside me.  She has been there for me when we were poor.  She was there for me when we became rich…even when she had to suffer through my arrogant and self-centered attitude. 

No one could ever ask for someone so kind and generous as she has been to me. She has always been there for a kind word…and to help whenever I’ve needed it…even when I’ve been ungrateful.

“Thank you Julie…whenever you read this….I love you and appreciate you more than anything in my life.”

  • To My Parents who always told me I could do anything I put my mind to. 

Both of my parents always told me I could be anything and do anything I wanted to in life.  They never once told me I couldn’t be a success.  Even though we had our conflicts at times (like all teenagers and young adults), I’m so thankful to them.  Thank you.

  • To My Mentors

I could have never succeeded online without the information I learned from others.  While I designed many of the techniques I used online, the ideas and basic instruction came from people in the direct mail and direct marketing world offline.  I never even spoke to a few of these people, but they’ve influenced me…and helped lead me to success.  Thank you.

  • To My Joint Venture Partners

No business is an island to itself.  I’m thankful to all those who have done joint venture deals with me or promoted my company as an affiliate.  The success has never just been my own.  It has been all of us together.  The people in this group are too numerous to mention.  Thank you!

  • To My Customers and Clients

What’s a business without customers and clients?  While I’ll never know every customer I’ve had by name, I have built strong relationships with quite a few of them.  Almost all my coaching clients become friends, because we wouldn’t work together if we didn’t mix.  Thank you to everyone of you.  I appreciate you.

  • To God 

Whether you believe in God or not, it doesn’t really matter.  He makes the sun to shine on those who love Him…and those who ignore or hate Him. Everything above was entrusted to me by Him.  My health…everything I have…everything I have or ever will accomplish comes from Him.  Thank you!

If you read this far…I appreciate you suffering today’s rambling post.

My one question to you is….What are you thankful for?

I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

September 11, 2006

It’s interesting. It seems that you’ll find many people talking about God in the business world today. There are even quite a few business consulting services which talk about adding spirituality to your business. In many types of businesses, it’s OK to talk about “being spiritual” or about how your spiritual life relates to your business life.

What isn’t OK in most circles is to talk about Jesus. Just His name is considered offensive. So you’ll allowed to talk about God or being spiritual, but people don’t want you talking about Jesus in the business world.

Well, I’m going to take a note right here from Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

I will talk about Jesus. I’m going to have to admit here that I haven’t always felt this way. In the past, I was ashamed…

No…I wasn’t ashamed of what people might say. If it makes people angry, then so be it. I’ve said a lot of things in my business that have made some people angry. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sent out a successful email or written any successful articles that haven’t made some people mad.

It’s part and parcel of being online and being personal…you’re going to make some people angry. They won’t like you. So I’ve learned to live with that part.

What has made me ashamed is the fact that most people who claim to be “Christian business people” don’t act Christian at all in their business dealings. It’s so bad that the moment I hear someone mention being a Christian that I start wondering what they might be up to…and just how are they planning to backstab me.

I’ve seen it so many times that it scares me. The moment someone mentions being a Christian in business, it always seems they’re up to something dishonest! For example, there are network marketing companies that constantly talk about how Christian they are, yet the first thing they do to a new member is teach them how to LIE about the company’s name.

A recent poll was done in a Christian business meeting about how many of the members were really running their businesses based on Christian principles. The average was lower than one in ten. Yet they talked about themselves as Christian business people.

Yes, I’ve found it hard to not be ashamed of being a Christian in the business world…simply because so many people have used Christianity or the name of Jesus as an excuse to be a crook.

We’re not perfect and we all make mistakes. We fail. We don’t do everything that we should. But let’s at least make an effort to put Christian principles in place in our business.