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Pastor Finds Perfect Bible Passage To Illustrate Movie Clip (via Babylon Bee)

Babylon Bee is a satirical site featuring fictional Christian news stories.
Any resemblance to actuals Christians is pretty intentional, but meant to evoke wry humour.
Here’s an example that focusses on preachers who search out Bible verses that illustrate their sermon illustrations:

Gary Wright, lead pastor of vision at Passions Church, reportedly stayed up nearly all night on Saturday before finally finding the perfect biblical text to illustrate the 3-minute clip from the classic 1995 war epic Braveheart he was set to exposit Sunday morning.
“It got real hairy there around 2 a.m.,” Wright told reporters in a candid interview after the service. “I carefully exegeted Mel Gibson’s masterful speech before the film’s depiction of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, but I just couldn’t come up with an appropriate Bible passage to really drive the point home.” But according to Wright, God came through for him in a kind of divine intervention as he faithfully reviewed the actor’s famous monologue, in which he inspires his troops to go forward into battle.
“It just hit me—Christ empowers His followers to go out into the world even though we might lose our lives. Matthew 16:24-25 was the obvious choice to illustrate more clearly the point that Mel Gibson was trying to make in his inspired scene.”

Read at Babylon Bee.

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Soap Opera Praise Songs

This video is a compilation of praise songs written using soap opera titles for lyrics.
Be careful watching this while drinking beverages.
Also be careful lest you find yourself singing along.
(I thought the fourth song had a bit of an EMU vibe to it…)

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One Church’s Easter Sunday Star Wars Themed Musical

This is for those of you who think I exaggerate or make this sort of stuff up.
The video makers visit a church on Easter Sunday.

I’m starting it at 45 seconds.

Here’s the sermon.

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The ‘Softer’ Prosperity Gospel

You won’t find too many folk supporting the most strident form of prosperity gospel.
However there’s a softer, less strident form which can find its way into gospel affirming churches.
You’ll hear Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:13 a lot more often than John 3:16 and Matthew 6:33.
It’s not that the gospel is denied.
It’s that it is assumed, and in its place practical messages are preached that never explicitly ground their lessons explicitly in the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection.
(A post like this won’t usually find itself linked to on our town’s Citywide Church Facebook page.)

From the 9Marks blog:

While evangelicals have traditionally decried the prosperity gospel in its “hard” form, there is a softer form of this teaching that is all too common among us. Often undetected by Bible-believing Christians, it assumes the gospel and leads its adherents to focus on things like financial planning, diet and exercise, and strategies for self-improvement. In contrast to the hard prosperity gospel, which offers miraculous and immediate health and wealth, this softer, subtler variety challenges believers to break through to the blessed life by means of the latest pastor-prescribed technique.

Here are some tell-tale marks of soft prosperity gospel.

1. Soft prosperity elevates “blessings” [even ‘prospering’] over the blessed God.
2. Soft prosperity detaches verses from the redemptive framework of the Bible.
3. Soft prosperity diminishes the curse that Christ bore and the blessing of the Holy Spirit.
4. Soft prosperity relies on pastor-prescribed therapeutic techniques.
5. Soft prosperity largely addresses first-world, middle-class problems.

(Read more explanation at the 9Marks blog post by David Schrock.

While never being so crass as to claim Jesus died and rose again simply so local businesses could have a healthier bottom line, soft prosperity will emphasise better business results as the answer to our prayers instead of growth in more Christ-like character in adverse circumstances.

We need a biblical gospel which exhorts people to know that Jesus died and rose again to make them a transformed person, not just comfortably well off.