My name is Back Row Baptist.
Well, that’s not really my name, but it’s the name I’m known by. My real name is a secret, because, well, I’m a coward.
I’m a member of a group of “Twitter Church Anons,” which are basically a bunch of people who create anonymous accounts around whatever field they work in so they can gripe, joke, and basically say the things they couldn’t say if people knew who they were.
I chose “Back Row Baptist,” not because I’m a backsliding Christian (though I do poke fun at my laziness a lot) but because I’ve seen churches at their best and at their worst. I’ve sat in the back of Baptist churches, Catholic churches, Methodist churches, Non-Denoms, etc, and I’ve had a perfect view from back here.
I’ve seen how petty, underhanded, cruel, selfish, bigoted, and backwards us Christians can be. But I’ve also seen how loving, selfless, accepting, forgiving, and kind we can be. Continue Reading
Worship is one of the central aspects of the Christian faith and tradition, and it is a divisive topic continually subject to debate and reexamination. The way worship is executed affects numerous individuals’ decisions on which church to place membership in and completely affects a church gathering’s tone.
As a musician, I have been continually encouraged to participate in and lead worship at various churches and have been led, consequently, to examine some of the questions surrounding “worship” and what exactly it is in the first place.
According to dictionary.com, worship is defined as:
Worship – n.
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage
But these definitions are only small aspects of what it means to truly honor God. Continue Reading
The passage: Luke 5: 1 – 11
The scene: Lake of Gennesaret (another name for the Sea of Galilee)
The peeps: Jesus = carpenter, teacher, healer, future savior.
Simon and some future disciples = Professional fishermen.
The Shane version:
One day Jesus was talking about the bible to a bunch of people. Jesus saw some fishermen packing up after a long day at work. He went over and got in one of the boats and asked to be taken for a ride. The fishermen, who had had a bad day, were tired and ready to call it quits but were nice guys so they agreed.
Once out on the lake, Jesus tells them to put out their nets. Grumbling ensues. I can hear them whispering, “Who is this bible teacher? Is he really gonna tell us how to fish? OMG didn’t we just clean and pack all this stuff up?!?” They thought about tossing Jesus out, but after thinking it thru, they ended up tossing out the fishing nets.
When they did, the fish filled the net so fast that it nearly broke!! They realized they were gonna sink because the net was too full, so they called out to a second boat. Even with both boats, they had trouble getting all the fish to shore. Continue Reading
Every now and then a sermon really speaks to a need in your life. It actually happens to me regularly. I have so many things the Spirit could work on me, to change. Last Sunday was a perspective changing sermon. The passage of Scripture is Romans 8:31-34. You should read it a few times today, if you get the chance. The preacher asked the questions that these verses ask, but left out the answers at first. Kind of like this:
1. Who can be against us?
2. How could He freely give us all things?
3. Who brings a charge against us?
4.Who can condemn us?
Those questions are scary, if we don’t include the Gospel answers. Who can be against us? Plenty of people. How could God give us anything? I don’t see why he should, when we deserve his wrath. We are terrible sinners, by nature and experience. Who brings accusations against us? People do. Satan does. Who can condemn us? Well, God has every right to condemn us.
Death is a hard thing to deal with, even Jesus took a while to take care of it for one of His good friends!
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Find someone who knows less than you and teach them what you know. This has been some of the most helpful and hopeful advice I’ve ever received. Mentoring or discipleship doesn’t have to be intimidating. But it is something that is expected of you. You know something about God’s word that someone else could benefit from. Someone else knows something you can benefit from. This is the Spirit of the text in the book of Titus, which says, older teach the younger.
When I was a high school teacher, I would end each school year with the Mythology unit. And concluding each unit we would watch a movie called Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. It is based off of the first book in a series.
Here is quick synopsis of the first book/movie:
Percy is the son of his mother, a human, and Poseidon in The Heroes of Olympus. He begins in The Lightning Thief as a troubled twelve-year-old boy (16 in the movie) with dyslexia and ADHD. When his class takes a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of his teachers turns into a Fury and attacks him. His friend Grover then reveals himself to be a Satyr and takes Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a place were demigods train. Percy then learns that he, being a child of Poseidon, is mentioned in the Great Prophecy given by the Oracle.
The reason I would show this is because it puts a modern twist on old stories, and helps bring them to life for the kids.
So in this first movie, Percy Jackson finds out that he is a demigod, and is taken to Camp Half-Blood. But then his mom, who is a human, is kidnapped by a minotaur and is taken to the underworld and is held prisoner by Hades. Continue Reading