Author Archives: Pastor Mark

Divorce rate among Christians.

For my entire life as a Christ-follower, I have heard that the divorce rate among folks in the churches I attended was no different than that of the secular population. It always puzzled me that somehow those who were really working hard to have a Biblical influence in their lives would look no different in the marriage department than anyone else.

This kind of promotion of statistics did not help me. Were we all really the same? Just because the average divorce rate in the US was roughly 50%, did that mean I had to fall in the statistical quincunx box. I didn’t want that for my life.

The other day, I ran across a more reasonable chart showing some data on divorce rates in various religious demographics.

Finally, some relief.  Not true after all. I feel so much better. I want the best relationship with my wife I can possible have and remain faithful to my vow “til death do we part.”

As I expected…

I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.

Yet after posting a blog post on the “Jesus had a wife” Papyrus yesterday, this comes out today.

My reasons for posting was for those of you who follow archaeological matters, scholarly stuff, and just want to know more.

I liked this line from the article-

“It’s possible to get hold of an old bit of un-written on papyrus and write some new stuff on it,” Watson said. “There is a market for fake antiquities throughout the Middle East … I would guess that in this case the motivation might have been a financial one.”

Day 1 of 40 Day Prayer for America, Sept. 28, 2012

Day 1

Target: Apathy

Psalm 127:1

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

In 1787, Benjamin Franklin told state delegates, “If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? … ‘Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.’” He then called for daily prayer to keep God in the business of the nation.

Prayer:

Father God, forgive us for allowing this great nation to slide through our fingers as we sat back in silence, never standing up for our Christian beliefs. We have been selfish and apathetic, caring more about pleasing men than pleasing You. We now humbly come before You, seeking Your unmerited mercy and limitless favor. In order to survive, we must rebuild our nation as one nation under God, serving no other gods but You. With You all things are possible, and it is through the power of the cross that we are able to do all things through Christ Jesus. We ask that your anointing blood flow over our nation, that it cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and that it wash us whiter than snow. May the sacred blood of the cross bring us to a place of renewal and revival, where You are once again pleased with the state of our union. May we do all things with excellence, bringing honor to the one true God, in whom we dwell and have our being. We ask that you saturate our homes with the attitude of gratitude, and renew a right spirit within us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

John Hagee Ministries

Weighing in on the Fourth C. Papyrus.

No one really knows where it came from. The fragment of papyrus is no bigger than a business card. First surfacing in 1997, the wispy section of fiber contains portions of sentences scrawled  in Coptic professing, quite clearly, that Jesus had a wife and that it is OK for her to be one of his disciples.

Papyrologists struggle with empirical evidence of those who state the document is authentic. The type of material, the ink used, the language, the wording, the style of lettering, the apparent emboldening of the word TA for “my” preceding wife, and much more. Is it a forgery just to throw folks who say his singleness and celibacy are relevant to his divinity, message, and lifestyle?

It is certainly possible for this to be authentic in date. However, the question arises as to the author and the purpose of the writing. Gnostic gospels and writings have for millennium been known for their errant descriptions and fictitious nature, almost revisionist in pursuit of something completely different than the historic Jesus.

Would it matter to any of us? Does it change how we perceive and/or Jesus?Does it change his message? What if it were true that Jesus were married? What if the gospel writers, Paul, Peter, and even James and Jude, both half-brothers of Jesus kept that information from us in their letters? Much less that it potentially was Mary Magdalene, a woman of questionable career choice early in life?

Or is this just a red-herring to whip folks into a frenzy? A ruse to mess with the Catholic Church tradition of single clerics?

Here are some links detailed articles on the matter:
Our own very own, Denver Post

NT Blog - “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” blog post

Concordia Theology BlogAn Ancient Manuscript and Jesus’ Wife?

From the Boston Globe “Harvard professor identifies scrap of papyrus suggesting some early Christians believed Jesus was married”

Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K. - “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed.”

Thank you Denver Seminary for your ongoing scholarly work on matters like this. You force me and others to think theologically, spiritually, and worshipfully.

Marble’s Monday Menagerie 09.24.12

Never underestimate the value of ordinariness.  “When you life is full of ordinary thing.”

Before you criticize your Pastor read this.

Knowing when to say “I don’t know” works for everyone.

Something theological that got me thinking.

Come on men sing!

The logic of religious violence.