Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I have received awesome feedback from you guys and lots of love and support. I can't tell you how excited I am to get this started. Although... believe it or not, I am actually a private person and opening my home does not come easily to me at all. Sure, I don't mind talking at a group of people from a pulpit or some such thing, but put me in a smaller, one-on-one situation with people I don't know and watch me freeze up and fumble for words. That, being said, I know God is bigger than my doubts, and he's got this thing under control. All I have to do is make some food and wait for people to show up. Once they are here, the rest is up to the man upstairs.
However, I need some more help from all of you. Prayer! Lots of prayer. Pray for me, my family, and for all those who will attend. Pray about who you can invite. If you are from Childress and you are on my FB friends list, then you received an invitation to opening night. If you know someone that is not on my friends list, then this is where YOU come in. Send the invite to others who may be interested in exploring Christianity. Share this with friends and family who might know someone that is searching for more! If you invite someone, please join them at least the first night so they will feel more comfortable.
God's up to something big, dear ones. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments down below or message me on Facebook.
Love in Christ,
Thursday, January 16, 2014
I want a friendly, comfortable place where people can explore the idea of Christianity without fear or criticism. I know so many people who have been burned by churches or had poor experiences with Christians and that is just so sad. This group is for anyone wanting to investigate Christianity or for anyone who's given up on "church". It's for new believers, old believers, non-believers, the hopeful, those who have lost hope, those who are exploring their options and those who feel they are out of options. It's for anyone.
It's non denominational, and I won't push a specific church on anyone. Ever. I want to adopt the Alpha approach where we offer food, a talk, and good conversation. No question is too silly or "out there." I want people to be able to ask the questions they have always had, but never had the guts to ask. I want to have open, nonjudgemental discussion about concerns, ideologies, or stereotypes without using churchy lingo. But mostly, I want people to see Jesus for who he is. I want people to see Christians the way the Bible explains them; the way we are supposed to be. I want to be real and ask forgiveness for the way the church has treated so many who have been wronged. I want to give folks Christianity 101 and the meaning of life, and have a fun time making new friends in the process.
It's serious business, and I need help. I need you to invite anyone and everyone. I need a few people to help me greet and prepare food. If you have been wanting to get involved in a ministry but didn't know how to get plugged in, then let me ask you to pray about joining me. If you know someone who would be interested in being a helper or a participant, give me a holla! Until I have my team together, I can't give an exact start date, but I'm hoping to start within the next few months. It's never too early to start thinking about friends and family that may want to come. Start putting a bug in their ear. Lastly, pray. Pray for me, the ministry, the helpers, the future participants, and those you might ask to come along. Prayer is such a powerful tool. I'm so excited (albeit, nervous) to get this thing started. I am expecting God to to great and mighty things.
Monday, April 11, 2011
"Sit down and tell me all about it."
"I don’t know what to say, but I’ll be glad to listen."
"How are you really feeling?"
"What can I do to help?"
Stage One: From Denial and Isolation to Candor: Honesty with Myself
Stage Two: From Anger and Resentment to Complaint/Lament: Honesty with God
Stage Three: From Bargaining and Works to Crying Out to God: Asking God for Help
Stage Four: From Depression and Alienation to Comfort: Receiving God’s Help
Stage Five: From Regrouping to Waiting: Trusting with Faith
Stage Six: From Deadening to Wailing: Groaning with Hope
Stage Seven: From Despairing and Doubting to Weaving: Perceiving with Grace
Stage Eight: From Digging Cisterns to Worshipping: Engaging with Love
Journaling helps to process your thoughts and feelings. It's also a nice tool for you to go back to, to check on your progress.
For more information, please check out www.griefshare.org
You can join a GriefShare group near you to learn more about the journey.
If you have more questions ask me. I'm always happy to listen and help. Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KarinMartinJohnson and message me!
In Him we Live, Breathe, and Serve!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Friday, October 22, 2010
Liberal tolerance is grounded in relativism, the view that no one point of view on moral and religious knowledge is objectively correct for every person in every time and place. This notion, as understood and embraced in popular culture, feeds on the fact of pluralism, the reality of a plurality of different and contrary opinions on religious and moral matters. Against this backdrop, many in our culture conclude that one cannot say that one's view on religious and moral matters is better than anyone else's view. They assert that it is a mistake to claim that one's religious beliefs are exclusively correct and that believers of other faiths, no matter how sincere or devoted, hold false beliefs. Thus, religious inclusivism is the correct position to hold.
Relativism, pluralism, and religious inclusivism are the planks in a creed that does not tolerate any rivals. Its high-minded commitment to "openness" prohibits the possibility that anything is absolutely good, true, and beautiful. This was the central thesis of Alan Bloom's 1987 best seller, The Closing of the American Mind. Bloom writes: "The relativity of truth [for college students in American culture] is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it." The point is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think you are right at all. The students, of course, cannot defend their opinion. It is something with which they have been indoctrinated.
According to Bloom, by dogmatically maintaining there is no truth, people who are relativists have become close-minded to the possibility of knowing the truth, if in fact it does exist. Some may say there are many truths but if you get down to it, not all can be true. To understand what Bloom means, consider the following dialogue (based loosely on a real-life exchange) between a high school teacher and her student, Elizabeth.
Teacher: Welcome, students. Since this is the first day of class, I want to lay down some ground rules. First, since no one has the truth, you should be open-minded to the opinions of your fellow students. Second....Elizabeth, do you have a question?
Elizabeth: Yes, I do. If nobody has the truth, isn't that a good reason for me not to listen to my fellow students? After all, if nobody has the truth, why should I waste my time listening to other people and their opinions. What would be the point? Only if somebody has the truth does it make sense to be open-minded. Don't you agree?
Teacher: No, I don't. Are you claiming to know the truth? Isn't that a bit arrogant and dogmatic?
Elizabeth: Not at all. Rather, I think it's dogmatic, as well as arrogant, to assert that there is not one person on earth who knows the truth. After all, have you met every person in the world and quizzed them exhaustively? If not, how can you make such a claim? Also, I believe it is actually the opposite of arrogance to say that I will alter my opinions to fit the truth whenever and wherever I find it. And if I happen to think that I have good reason to believe I do know the truth and would like to share it with you, why won't you listen to me? Why would you automatically discredit my opinion before it is even uttered? I thought we were supposed to listen to everyone's opinion. (Beckwith, Francis. Deconstructing Liberal Tolerance)
In the modern Western world, ethical relativism poses a challenge to the biblical basis for ethics. Relativism affirms that moral right and wrong are only socially and individually determined. Ethics is split off from any objective moral order. Cultural norms of morality are relative to particular societies, individuals, and historical periods. What is "right for you" may not be "right for me." What is wrong today may not be wrong tomorrow. When the idea of moral law is held in disrespect, the notion of sin softens and then dissolves. If all is relative, absolute evil is impossible. If sin is nonsense, then the notion of a Savior from sin is absurd. There is nothing from which to be saved.
Because of its denial of abiding ethical standards and of sin against a holy God, relativism is a roadblock to effective evangelism .. besides undercutting values essential for a healthy society. But the key arguments for relativism are fatally flawed.
1. Relativists often argue that a society that honors free speech and freedom of religion must relinquish any notion of absolute truth or morality because this stifles the free exchange of ideas. Dogmatism and moralism are unwelcome in the pluralistic public square. Relativism is seen as required for a democracy of ideas and norms.
But this is flatly false. One may believe there are moral absolutes and also believe that the best way to reach ethical conclusions is through open discussion, dialogue, and debate. Freedom of religion and speech does not necessitate that there can be no objectively true religion or morality. A free society guarantees your right to be right .. and your right to be wrong! I can try to persuade you of the truth of my convictions without using coercion. In fact, I may take it as a moral absolute that I should not coerce those I believe to be absolutely wrong.
The relativist has abandoned the very concept of objective moral truth. It is all a matter of opinion because everything is relative. There is, therefore, nothing objective to argue about and no good reason to believe one thing over another. This is hardly what the American founders envisioned for a free society. It more resembles anarchism and nihilism (i.e., rejection of all values) than a "marketplace of ideas."
2. The sheer diversity of moral and religious ideas within and between societies is invoked as evidence for relativism. With so many options before us, who is to say what is true or false, right or wrong? We are left with relativism.
Here again, the facts do not deliver the conclusion. A diversity of ethical and religious beliefs hardly insures that they are all somehow true. A tribal culture may be scientifically wrong in thinking that the sun revolves around a flat earth. Why can't the same culture be ethically wrong for practicing head-hunting? If you say that abortion is right and I say it is wrong, how can we both be correct when we contradict each other? Ethical relativism eliminates the notion of a moral mistake. But this is just as fallacious as saying that every answer on a multiple-choice test is correct because there is a diversity of answers.
There may also be less diversity between cultures than is often thought. Every culture has taboos against stealing. Yet a desert culture may penalize the theft of water much more highly than would a tropical culture. The diversity of moral codes does not rule out a basic agreement on deeper ethical principles. In an appendix to his excellent book against relativism, The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis listed common moral principles spanning thousands of years from diverse religions and civilizations. As Paul tells us in Romans 1-2, God has endowed with a conscience all those created in His own image, however much we efface or neglect it.
Relativism also leads to absurd conclusions which undermine its credibility. If there is no true moral law that applies transculturally, then there is no basis for one culture to condemn actions in another. Surely any morally sane person must ethically condemn Nazi atrocities as evil and praise the heroes who resisted the Reich by saving Jews from extermination. But relativism cannot permit such judgments. The morality of everything is relative .. even genocide.
If we can reveal flaws in the case for relativism, we can further argue that the moral law is best understood as flowing from the moral lawgiver of the universe. God, as our Creator, knows what is best for us and calls us to obey Him for our own good and for His glory. Yet, as Paul said, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 6:23). The universal fact of guilt and shame testifies to that, whatever the cultural setting might be.
But the good news is that the Lawgiver is also the Redeemer of those who lament over their lawlessness and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Those who cry out, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner" (Luke 18:13), can find mercy and eternal life. But the unrepentant relativist must face the absolute justice of a holy God who admits no interpretation other than His own. In the end everything is relative, but it is relative to God's absolute standards, not ours. (Groothuis, Douglass. Confronting the Challenge of Ethical Relativism)
I have to admit, that this is a subject that I am very passionate about. I got all fired up just reading these articles. Of course you can look them up and read the whole article if you wish. I feel that as a Christian, my rights are being slowly taken away by this way of thinking. If this is a free country, why is it that I cannot pray in school but Muslim children can take time out of their school day to pray to Allah? My hollidays have been disguised by pagan symbols and consumerism. Christians, I am calling you to stand up for what you believe. Be proud of who you are in Christ! We have to be vocal about our rights. This doesn't mean that we have to force our views on others. We can show them who we are just by living in the light of Christ and share when asked or the time is right. But if we are to remain in our freedom of religion, we must take action. Its faster becoming that everything is tolerated but Christianity. The Bible says that we will be persecuted and that we should be thankful in doing so, but that doesn't mean that we can't stand up for what is ours. I know I want my children and grandchildren to have the same freedoms that I have had. I will get off my soapbox for now but would love to hear feedback from you no matter what your belief.
Love in Christ,
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Attention Childress Folks!