Let's talk politics.  This election year is out of control.  Have you watched a debate or interview with any one of the Presidential candidates?  I don't know what is happening.  I don't fully align with any political candidate or party. I am trying to figure out which political party is the best political party for me.  Maybe you can help me figure it out.  I have written about how to chose a President earlier here.

Which political party believes this complete list?

1. All lives matter starting at conception.  So, abortion is wrong, but adoption is beautiful.

2. The financially poor matter to God and should be taken care of by local churches and Christian ministries. 

3.

I have noticed something in my years as a pastor. Are you ready? Here it is.

Most people don't want detailed doctrine; they want legitimate love.  Read that again in the details.

Before some of my friends push back, notice I used the adjectives "detailed" and "legitimate."

Let me explain.

Doctrine

Followers of Jesus looking for a local church home today tend to look past detailed doctrine like Calvinism, Arminianism, Creation and End Times Theology.

Where does morality originate?  

What does it have to do with our world and the presidential race?

The World

Our world is very corrupt, bankrupt and in disarray. Just a quick look at the last few days of news will tell the story. 

Terrorists attacked Belgium this week.  

ISIS is on the move with the purpose of taking over the world.  

Reports of 400 trained terrorists have been dispatched to Europe.  

Governments are ignoring countless millions need water and food around the world.

I have a confession to make. Many times my prayers do not line up with what I read in the Bible.  When I read Paul's prayers for the churches he planted and equipped, I see a pastor pouring out his heart for his people.  These prayers have challenged my heart and have changed the way I am praying for the church I lead.

In Ephesians 3:14-19, we have an example of one of Paul's prayers.  He is in jail, chained to a soldier.

Have you bought your chocolate, flowers and heart shaped candy for your sweetheart yet?  Hurry, it is almost Valentine's Day.  Many believe this is what Valentine's day is all about, but what is the back story.  

Who was Saint Valentine?  

What was his story?  

Brace yourself.  

It might not be what you thought.

The romance and love is not as big a deal as our current culture has made it.  Although Saint Valentine's views of marriage are a big deal in the story.

With nearly a million people were predicted to surround downtown Denver today to see the Championship Broncos travel down 17th Street to the capital building, unity was in the air.  One color prevailed.  The hashtag #UnitedInOrange was one HUGE reality.  The Denver Broncos united a city, even a State around a football game.  Amazing when you think about it.  All the individual differences and walls of ethnicity, economics, politics and even religion fell in a moment.

President Obama visited and spoke at a Mosque this week (source).  This is not unusual, as other President's have visited and spoken at Muslim Mosques in history, but for some reason this got me thinking, praying and studying.

In general, there are two streams of thought in theology that work their way out into the church.  There are Calvinists and Arminians.  These are named after two men who interpreted and see God and Salvation differently.

Calvin (French Theologian from 1509-1564) influenced Reformed Theology and Arminius (a Dutch Theologian living from 1560-1609) influenced Wesleyan Theology (named after John Wesley, English 1703-1791).

There are a handful of topics in the Christian church that can be contentious, but should not be.  This is not something to "break fellowship" over, but it is still a very important topic to understand from God's perspective.  The roles of men and women in ministry is one of these topics that requires the hard work of Biblical digging.  Some passages in the Bible are clear on the surface, but others need work to understand and apply.
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As I have transitioned from Associate Pastor of over 15 years to Lead Pastor in a small/medium sized church I am still a rookie learning lessons along the way.  I love to read, study, research whether to get ready for a sermon or seminar.  In addition, I am a life-long learner of leadership, ministry, the local church (and soccer). :-)  I want to give God my best, so I have been reading about local church replanting, revitalization and general church planting.
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