Can church services be rigged?

A process is rigged when it is tampered with and manipulated in order to replace the normal outcome with a desired result. For example, Donald Trump is making unsubstantiated claims that the American presidential election process is rigged against him.

Rigging an election takes away the voice of the voters and replaces it with the desire of the rigger(s). Election rigging is common in some countries, but has been very rare in American elections.

Perhaps we should turn our attention to another kind of rigging and ask: “Can church services be rigged?”

What is the normal outcome of a meeting of Christ-followers?  Jesus said: “Where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” Jesus was not talking about a theological concept. The real, actual presence of the living, resurrected Jesus is the normal outcome of a gathering of Christ-followers. According to the New Testament, Jesus is not only present in a gathering of Christ-followers, He is also supposed to be the Head of the meeting (the actual leader, personally controlling the gathering).

Paul of Tarsus instructed Christ-followers: “Do not quench the Spirit.” In other words, we are being told not to rig a church service (or our daily lives) by hindering the living Jesus from working through the Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul taught that the Spirit is supposed to be actively working in a meeting through various people. In verse 26 he wrote: “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”

When church goes against that verse and doesn’t allow people to speak out in a meeting, doesn’t it takes away the voice of those present? When ordinary Christ-followers are required to be silent in a meeting, could that be a form of rigging a church service?

Perhaps it is time to go beyond church as usual and back to 1 Corinthians 14:26.

Posted in election rigging, evangelicals, formal religion, organic chruch, organized religion, political environment, political issue, political positions, politics and religion, presidential election, stealing an election, Uncategorized, voter fraud | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan: Is church missing the train?

You can attend a weekly lecture about sailing for years, but nothing is going to happen until you put your boat in the water, raise your sail, and catch the wind of the Spirit. The answer is Jesus Christ within!


Is church missing the train? Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature by thinking outside the box and challenging people to get on board. He wrote: “They talk about a life of brotherly love, show me someone who knows how to live it. There’s a slow, slow train coming up around the bend.”

Christianity should be that train that goes beyond sermon-talk and actually shows us how to live “a life of brotherly love.” But we seem to have derailed, cause a train can’t run on one wheel rolling and Christianity can’t roll on one man talking in a church building.

Dylan sang: “My train is overdue, To your memory I’m clinging, I can’t escape from you.” Christ’s train, the members of His body functioning together in surrender and obedience to His Headship and control, is long overdue! I cling to the written memory of the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 14:26: “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.” I can’t escape from that concept that the Greek New Testament calls ekklesia.

A gathering of Christ-followers with only one man doing all the talking is like a train with only one wheel rolling and all the rest frozen in place. To go forward to “a life of brotherly love” we need every wheel (every Christ-follower present in a worship meeting) to speak out in obedience to the Spirit.

“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” –1 Peter 2:5. “How does it feel . . . to be like a rolling stone?” Church as usual has most of us so stuck in our seats that we have no idea. Perhaps it’s time to let ordinary people show and tell what God has done when we gather in Jesus’ name.

If Dylan can win the Nobel Prize for Literature, then surely Christ-followers can go beyond church as usual and get on board with 1 Corinthians 14:26.


Posted in body of Christ, born again, Can't escape from you, Christianity, church, Dylan, faith, my train is overdue, Nobel Prize for Literature, organic church, salvation, serve somebody, the answer is, trains, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you know Jesus?

“But who do you say that I am?” –Jesus Christ (Mark 8:29)


Do you personally know, follow, and obey the living, resurrected Jesus?


Posted in Are you saved, Are you washed in the blood, hearing Jesus, historical Jesus, Jesus calling, Jesus Christ, Jesus Culture, Jesus freaks, Jesus is alive, Jesus is Lord, Jesus Movement, Jesus prayer, Jesus saves, Jesus Take The Wheel, Just give me Jesus, Looking unto Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ, meeting Jesus, resurrection of Jesus, risen Jesus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Uncategorized, was Jesus a good man, What a friend we have in Jesus, What would Jesus do?, you shall call Him Jesus | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make America polite again

There’s nothing great about rudeness and bullying. It’s time to make America polite again!


Posted in acts of kindness, anger, arrogance, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, kindness, lovingkindness, name calling, negative campaigning, presidential campaign, Presidential politics, pride, Uncategorized, unkindness | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No time for spectators in church –MLK


Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way: “There are many people who have caught the dangerous disease of ‘spectatoritis.’ Such persons are only spectators or onlookers but not participants. Such persons watch the minister and choir indulge in prayer and praise. They come to see what is going on rather than to help create, give direction and enrichment to what is going on. The mood of the true worshiper is not passive, but active. He comes not just to get but to give, not to observe, but to participate; not just to see what is going on, but to contribute to what is going on.” —The Reconstruction of the Church –On What Pattern?

Why doesn’t the institutional church give Dones (people who are burned out on and leaving traditional church, yet still love Jesus) an alternative to leaving? There are plenty of places for people who like passive church meetings where everybody sits as spectators. However, churches have not provided worship opportunities for people who want open sharing and participation according to 1 Corinthians 14:26. Perhaps now is the time to open up to Spirit-led participation. Take the first step and visit The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, TN. (I was recently interviewed about how we meet at Berry Street @….)

“People are leaving their churches because they feel excluded. Excluded from participating in the communication of the message.” –Thom Schultz

“When the ministry was left to the professionals, there was nothing else for the people to do other than come to church and listen. Soon Christianity became nothing but a spectator sport.” -Ray Stedman

Learn more @ this link.

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, African American church, Black history month, black-church, body life, creativity, house church, innovation, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK, MLK quotes, Quotations, Ray Stedman, religion, religious innovation, simple church, spectatoritis, spiritual innovation, Thom Schultz, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hangin’ with Mother Teresa


I’m inspired and challenged! I feel like I have been spending time with Mother Teresa.

If you have ever thought that you would have liked to meet and visit with Mother Teresa, now is your chance. You can read her private letters and personal stories from people who knew her well, in the book, A Call to Mercy–Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve.

This book is not only uplifting reading, it’s a great resource for ongoing encouragement in your life. Here are a few of the quotes:

“Love is for today; programs are for the future . . . So be concerned with what you can do today.”

“Keep giving Jesus . . . by your example, by your being in love with Jesus, by radiating His holiness and spreading His fragrance of love everywhere you go.”

“We cannot work for peace, nor give peace, if we do not have that peace in our own hearts.”

“In the silence of the heart, God speaks.”

“Let us not use guns and bombs to overcome the world but let us radiate the peace of God and extinguish all hatred and love of power in the world and in the hearts of all men.”

“By helping others you will be rewarded with peace and joy.”

“That unborn child has been carved in the Hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved not only now in this life, but forever.”

“By adopting a child couples receive Jesus, but by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus. Please don’t kill the child.”

“It is true; some of you have done the wrong thing in killing the unborn child in your womb through abortion. But turn to God and say, ‘My God, I am very sorry for killing my unborn child. Please forgive me. I will never do it again.’ And God, being our loving Father, will forgive you. Never do it again–and believe me, God has forgiven you.”

“For me, the greatest development of a human life is to die in peace with God.”

“Give Jesus a free hand to do with you what He wants.”

“Let us make prayer a daily habit. Prayer not to murmur a few words and spend some time, but prayer with the heart and fervent wish, prayer that should come from within.”

Here’s the official “Author bio”: “Mother Teresa (1910–1997) was born in Skopje (present-day Macedonia) and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin in 1928. She left the Loreto order in 1948 to begin the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Her service to the poorest of the poor became her life’s work. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was beatified in 2003. Editor of Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC, PhD, was associated with Mother Teresa for twenty years and is now director of the Mother Teresa Center, which has offices in California, Mexico, India, and Italy.”

I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review.

Posted in forgiveness, hearing God, hearing God's voice, humility, inner peace, nonviolence, peace with God, prolife, prolife prochoice, right to choose, right to life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mr. Potato Head all ears? Or the Body of Christ?

Are you familiar with Mr. Potato Head — a Playskool/Hasbro toy that originally came out in the 1950s? Mr. Potato Head was so popular that he was included as a character in the Toy Story movies. He has also been a regular in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a Mr. Potato Head balloon.

Originally Mr. Potato Head was a box of separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato. (However, because of getting so many complaints about rotting potatoes and due to new government safety regulations, in 1964 Hasbro started including a plastic potato body in the Mr. Potato Head set.) I had the original when I was a child. It was great fun to play with. I always liked getting out of the box with Mr. Potato Head and pinning the his parts in unusual places on the potato. I created some strange looking Mr. Potato Heads.

Perhaps church has done the same thing I did and produced some unusual concepts of the body of Christ. Can you imagine a Mr. Potato Head with rows of ears lined up all over his body facing one solitary mouth? That’s been the primary way that church has been structured since the first few centuries. We’ve lined up rows of passive listeners (ears) to sit and hear one man (1 mouth) talk. However, the Bible asks an interesting question about the entire body of Christ being reduced to ears: “If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Perhaps we could to allow for the many various parts of the body of Christ to share in a church meeting instead of leaving everything under the control of one part acting as the mouth. 1 Corinthians 12:14 reads: “The body is not made up of one part but of many.”

There are so many gifted people in any gathering of Christ-followers and the Holy Spirit wants to use all of them. Perhaps it is time to let some of the many ears in our churches have the freedom to be the parts of the body God is calling them to be.

Perhaps we need to go beyond Mr. Potato Head and allow the living, resurrected Jesus to be the literal, controlling Head when His body meets together. Learn more about how to do that here. If you live in Nashville, come and see various parts of the body expressing their gifts as they are prompted by the Spirit at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207 on Sundays at 10:45 am.



Posted in 1 Corinthians 12, alternative church, church programming, church programs, house church, Nashville, organic church, participatory church, Salvation Army, simple church, thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment