I'm Giving Up Lent for Lent

I had an E.F. Hutton moment when I walked into a deli in New Orleans and ordered a roast beef sandwich on Friday during Lent. As soon as I realized what the stares were all about I quickly changed my order out of respect. At the same time, having lived in New Orleans for a number of years, I was asked more than once why I didn’t observe Lent. Depending upon who was doing the asking my typical reply might start with, “You mean aside from its pagan origin, its popish idolatry, and its cultural hypocrisy?” The quip about cultural hypocrisy was contextually related to Mardi Gras – you know, since we were in New Orleans and all – just saying.

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Social Justice, the Circus, and Programming Away the Gospel

I’ve called our church to keep visiting orphans and widows, adopting children, and ministering in the prisons. I’ve encouraged them to keep doing mercy ministry and working for social justice. Of course, I don’t want the church as the church to set up a program of feeding the hungry or clothing the naked. What? Let me explain.

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What About Churched Harry and Mary (and Discipleship)?

Let’s draw a picture of Churched Harry and Mary. They go to church and love the worship; they often have jubilant or overwhelmingly emotional experiences there; they meet in small groups and add their opinions to everyone else’s as they discuss the pastor’s sermon; they meet with accountability partners and bear their souls each week; and they give a little when they can.

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