Not to nitpick, and go offtopic but please don't throw your church under the bus, I have no church where I live in China. Fellowship is a prievliedge, iron sharps iron, be satisfied that you can even call them brethren, and even simple things such as praying together are precious, because many don't have it.
That's just how the world always worked, a constant bid for power. Go ask any African if they think China is slowly but surely colonizing them, most will nod in agreement. Anyone ever play the board game called "Risk"? This reminds me of that.
Thanks for the replies and information. It's information like that makes us understand immigration better. It's feels silly that we sent troops to the middle east, when there is a real need near our neighbhor s
Some churches simply don't care who teaches there, as long as they look good on the outside. Many times I visit some church, and people invite me to teach their children class, or bible study without even knowing who I am. Many people see an experienced and educated person and they immediatelly sacrifice their kids to them, which is why I hate things like that, the church becomes a free babysitting club open to all, rather than the church. I have a very low opinion of the modern church, which is strange because sermon audio has so many good preachers, but it's not represented in the real world.
in 2011 I gave my first Bible away to a dear friend who wanted to commit suicide. I was saved for only a few months and had to leave for USA. I did not know I would come back to China, but eventually I did, and met my friend, who was now divorced and a single mother, with no money. My Bible was still with her, but almost never used. I looked through it and my notes, and saw how much I had grown! I left the Bible with her, and we have not talked since.
Having worked in magazine advertisement, the magazines are dictated by their ad companies, articles are often requested to be biased toward a product. This the price you pay for getting someone else's money.
I would love to have their last magazine to be on one topic: Biblical Marriage and how anything else is just perversion. But they said it themselves, they are not here to judge.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
I read that during the great depression, church giving increased. Like the context of Hebrews says, money can become a real trap if it rules our hearts. And the more wealthy we seem to get, the worse we are, the harder it becomes to part with our hard earned money.
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"
We need higher preaching standards I have these standards when evaluating preaching:
1. If a mormon, catholic, or any other religious unbeliever comes, will they amen that message? Because they should not, because of the many differences they have with God. This sadly happens a lot.
2. The Roman catholics also have preaching, and depending on the priest, they do a good job of verse by verse, simply because they have a "preach through the bible in 1 year" type of plan that they must preach expository messages. Now the question, is how should our sermons be different from them? In my opinion, there is a clear difference from their sermons, and the many sermons found on this site, I think it's the detail and context, and also the pastor answers some questions that the congregation might have. Most Catholics have no apologetic experience.
I sometimes read old (19 century) sermons and missionary reports, and the needs are surprisingly the same as today. My favorite author is Isobel Kuhn, Hudson Taylor and George Muller, both their biographies helped me understand that humans being pigs, barbarians, corrupt is nothing new, each one struggled with apathy in their churches, just like many of us who struggle today..
"that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, "(Philippians 2:15 ESV)