The Compass Headlines 04-21-2017

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The Compass Headlines 04-21-2017

What Sermon is Your Church Building Preaching?

From small to mega churches, church architecture continuously preach the gospel.  What message is my church or your church preaching?   Does your church look like a corner store or like basketball stadium?  Does it like a funeral home or like a night club? Whatever shape or form your find your church in, Drew Fitzgerald, reminds us the most essential elements in our church’s architecture.  He writes,

Its form can teach about beauty, focus your heart in reverence, and fill you with awe. Your building can point to Jesus without saying a word. We don’t need more flash or showmanship—we need more thoughtfulness. We need spaces that confront our consumerism and fly our attention heavenward on the wings of the gospel…We need places of rest, reflection, and repentance, places that focus our attention toward the beauty of Christ’s death and resurrection. Your church’s heart can be seen in what it builds, both in believers and in buildings.

Next time you attend church, look around and ask, what message is my church building preaching?

 

 

5 Ways to Survive First Years of Parenting 

Often times the joy of holding a new baby quickly fades as the responsibilities of raising a child increases.  Can the stresses of new parenting be minimized?  Jancee Dunn writes, ‘University of Georgia researchers found that expressions of gratitude were “the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality.” The power of a simple thank you, it seems, is considerable.’  Also see 5 ways couples can navigate challenges of new parenting.

Am I a Christian?

“Am I a Christian?” asked Nicholas Kristof.  A Sunday school teacher and a pastor gave two different responses.  Over the past four months, New York Times’ most-well known columnist, Nicholas Kristof, has asked this question both to former US president and Sunday school teacher, Jimmy Carter, and the well-known evangelical pastor Tim Keller.  The responses given by these well known Christians might be indicative of the state of Christianity in America.
 
Tim Keller’s response to Nicholas Kristof question: 
 

So where does that leave people like me? Am I a Christian? A Jesus follower? A secular Christian? Can I be a Christian while doubting the Resurrection?

I wouldn’t draw any conclusion about an individual without talking to him or her at length. But, in general, if you don’t accept the Resurrection or other foundational beliefs as defined by the Apostles’ Creed, I’d say you are on the outside of the boundary.

President Carter’response to Nicholas Kristof question: 
 

What about someone like me whose faith is in the Sermon on the Mount, who aspires to follow Jesus’ teachings, but is skeptical that he was born of a virgin, walked on water, multiplied loaves and fishes or had a physical resurrection? Am I a Christian, President Carter?

I do not judge whether someone else is a Christian. Jesus said, “Judge not, …” I try to apply the teachings of Jesus in my own life, often without success.

 
Was Tim Keller judgmental?  Was President Carter more tolerable?  Where should the church draw the line? 

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About the author

Valmy Karemera is associate editor of The Compass Magazine and posts daily news updates on the Compass Twitter page. Originally from Rwanda, he now lives and works in Texas with his family.