Tag Archive: Church Signs

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of northwest Ohio, southern Michigan, and northeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

salem cass united methodist church findlay 2019

Salem Cass United Methodist Church, Findlay, Ohio, no pastor listed.  (Facebook page) The church’s website is hacked.

good hope lutheran church arlington ohio 2019

Good Hope Lutheran Church, Arlington, Ohio, Steve Ramsey, pastor.

I assume Good Hope is trying to reach age 60 and older farmers with their 7:30 a.m. worship service? That’s the earliest service time I’ve ever seen.

williamstown first brethren church williamstown ohio 2019

Williamstown First Brethren Church, Williamstown, Ohio, no pastor listed. (Facebook page)

Williamstown First Brethren wants passersby to know that the message preached at their church doesn’t change. In fact, it has transformative power. This church is over 125 years old. Does anyone really believe their message has never changed? Even Fundamentalist churches can’t claim their message never changes. It does. The problem, of course, is that when you are in a religious bubble, everything seems static, and change is often hard to see.

grace united methodist church dunkirk ohio 2019

Grace United Methodist Church, Dunkirk, Ohio, David Roy, pastor. (No Web Presence) According to the Kenton Times, Pastor Roy is 22 years old. My first thought after I read Grace UMC’s sign was “premature ejaculation?”  What’s too soon? Don ‘t make us come to your church . . . just tell us.

walnut grove united methodist church kenton ohio 2019

Walnut Grove United Methodist Church, Kenton, Ohio, Douglas Flinn, Sr, pastor.

The church’s website states:

Our mission is to Invite all people to become disciples of Jesus Christ, grow in their faith and commitment and to serve our communities  and beyond.

Our vision is for Walnut Grove to be a lighthouse showing people God’s unconditional love. We will do this by helping them meet needs and improve their life skills. As people recognize God’s love for them, they will find a safe harbor in a relationship with Jesus Christ

WGUMC understands a disciple of Jesus Christ to be a person who is committed to following Jesus in their heads; is continually being changed by Jesus in their hearts; and is committed to living out the mission of Jesus with their hands.  Being a disciple is a process that never ends!

Lots of religious gobbledygook. What I want to know is this: does WGUMC’s unconditional love extend to LGBTQ people?  The United Methodist denomination is divided on social hot button issues such as GBTQ people as pastors/members and same-sex marriage.  How I interpret WGUMC’s sign message, “Build Others Up, Don’t Tear Them Down,” depends on whether LGBTQ people are really unconditionally accepted as they are. If not, then the Bible and the church tears people down. The Bible is littered with negative, anti-human commands. These teachings do nothing to affirm or build-up people. The Bible is a powerful weapon that can be used for good or bad. Sadly, far too often, the Bible is used as a tool to bludgeon and harm.

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of northwest Ohio, southern Michigan, and northeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

apostolic fellowship church plymouth ohio

Apostolic Fellowship Church, Plymouth, Ohio, Steve and Kathy Luna, pastors. (No web presence)

all believers in christ church mansfield

All Believers in Christ Church, Mansfield, Ohio, Russell Stanford, pastor. (Facebook) The church’s website says its mission is:

Minister: To minister restoration to the lost and downtrodden through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus the Christ and to a meaningful relationship with Him.

Luke 14:23  “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Jesus loves you and wants to meet your needs.

Come as you are

Everyone is Welcome

apostolic christian church paulding ohio

Apostolic Christian Church, Paulding, Ohio. Apostolic Christian is affiliated with the Apostolic Christian Church of America.

The church sums up its doctrine this way:

The doctrine of the church is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, which is recognized as God-inspired, infallible, and inerrant. New Testament teachings are carefully followed, and counsel and advice are sought from examples found in the Old Testament.

We believe salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. True faith is evidenced by obedience to God’s Word, which instructs a soul to do as the Lord Jesus emphatically taught, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The biblical pattern of repentance is observed, which includes godly sorrow for a past sinful life, confession of sins, restitution for past wrongs, and becoming dead to sin. The wonderful and matchless grace of God is given to those who are humble in heart, along with peace and forgiveness from God.

Following conversion, which is manifested by a new walk of life in Christ, the convert gives a testimony of his or her faith and conversion experience to the congregation. This is followed by water baptism by immersion. Baptism symbolizes the burial of the old sinful nature into the death of Christ, and the subsequent rising of a soul out of the baptismal waters as a new creature in Christ Jesus. This is followed by the laying on of hands, whereby a church elder prays over the new member. This prayer acknowledges and entreats the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart, and consecrates the new child of God into a life of service for him. The new member is thus formally united with the church, which is Christ’s body.

Self-denial, separation from sin and unfruitful works, and nonconformity to worldliness are integral parts of the Christian walk of life and they lead to a life of peace and joy.

This new life in Christ is exemplified by sincere effort to reflect his virtuous character in one’s thoughts, words and deeds. Despite trials, temptation, and potential sorrow, God’s grace is sufficient for humble hearts to walk with happiness and contentment in the love of Christ and to rejoice in the hope of heaven-if they are true and faithful until life’s end.

A cursory reading of their doctrine leads me to conclude Apostolic Christian is King James-only, pacifistic, and requires women to wear head coverings. Their beliefs seem to be a mix of Church of Christ/Baptist/Mennonite doctrine.

ashley love divine baptist church ashley indiana

Ashley Love Divine Baptist Church, Ashley, Indiana, Phillip Lucas, pastor. (Facebook) Ashley Love Divine is Evangelical in doctrine. On the church’s FAQ page, the following question is asked and answered:

What should I wear? Anything is fine, we do ask that it is apportiate [sic] attire though.

If “anything” is fine, why does it need to be “appropriate?” Isn’t this the exact opposite of “anything?”

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of northwest Ohio, southern Michigan, and northeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

a rope of hope ministries leipsic ohio

A Rope of Hope Ministries, Leipsic, Ohio, Curtis Jackson, pastor. Jackson describes his vision for A Rope of Hope this way:

Pastor Curtis and prophetess Deborah Jackson mission and vision  is to love God, And to love others, and to magnify the name of Jesus Christ. The vision of our church is to glorify our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to make true disciples throughout all the nations by means of missionary activity and support, to minister the ordinances, to edify believers, and to do all that is sovereignty possible and biblical permissible to magnify the name of Jesus.

abundant love church fort wayne indiana

Abundant Love Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, G.L. Bush, Sr, pastor.  (Facebook) Abundant Love’s disaster of a website says:

The Abundant Love Ministries pray that our Members, Friends,  and Visitors are Anointed, Healthy, Wealthy, and more than Conquerors in every area of their lives.

Pastor Bush’s church bio page says:

After seeking the Lord for direction with much prayer and fasting, in November 1993, the Lord gave Pastor, Elder Gary L. Bush, Sr. the vision for a church in the Fort wayne area. The first initial meeting of the new church was on November 11, 1993.

After securing a building for worship, Pastor Bush, set the first service for a “Watch Night Worship” on December 31, 1993 and the Opening Service was announced and planned for January 2, 1994.

God began sending the “such as should be saved” into Abundant Love Church with signs and wonders of the Lord. The ministry began to grow and the Pastor formed the choir and named it the Abundant Voices of Love.

During these past twelve years the “Anointing of the Lord” has been removing burdens and destroying the yoke of sin our city.

We are Spirit Fed, Spirit Led and Spirit Bred! The Word of God is our foundation, strength, and standard of faith and practice.

archbold united methodist church archbold ohio

archbold united methodist church archbold ohio 2

Archbold United Methodist Church, Archbold, Ohio, Jim Nathan, pastor. (Facebook) According to the church’s website:

Archbold United Methodist Church is known for its welcoming hospitality, come as you are nature, offering opportunity to engage with others. We recognize our need as broken people to be in relationship with God and in relationship with each other. We believe in that living, active Spirit of God that guides, encourages,strengthens, protects and sustains us in the midst of all of the trials. We follow in the example of Christ, seeking to be His disciples as we reach out beyond the walls of the sanctuary in mission and ministry. We act as the hands and feet of Christ others might know that same saving grace through Jesus and that we might build the Kingdom of God in this place and in this time. We believe that the Bible contains all things necessary for our salvation and is a living book that has life and meaning for every context of time and place.

I wonder where Archbold UMC stands on the LGBTQ issue that is currently vexing its denomination? If they welcome LGBTQ people as they are and treat them as equals, then the above statement carries weight. If not, then the statement is little more than subterfuge. As of the writing of this post, I know of only one area church that is open and affirming towards  LGBTQ people — St. John’s United Church of Christ, Defiance. Many local churches say “we love gay people, yes we do,” but their love is anything but. The goal is to evangelize LGBT people and cure them of their sexual deviancy.

bethel brethren church berne indiana

Bethel Brethren Church, Berne, Indiana, Joseph Nass, pastor.  (No web presence) Bethel Brethren is affiliated with the Charis Fellowship (formerly known as The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches).

arcadia united methodist church arcadia ohio

Arcadia United Methodist Church, Arcadia, Ohio, Erma Metzger, pastor. (Facebook) Pastor Metzger posted the following on Facebook about the LGBT controversy:

Yesterday the General Conference of the United Methodist Church concluded with the approval of the Traditional Plan. This maintains a prohibition on LGBTQ clergy and prohibits same-sex unions from being conducted in UMC churches and strengthens penalties for offenders. There is still work to be done from a judicial/legislative perspective as parts of the plan are questioned to be unconstitutional. There will be a simulcast with our Bishop, Gregory Palmer, this Saturday, March 2 at 10am in The DOCK at St. Mark’s UMC in Findlay when he will address what this means for the church. There is a great deal still happening among church leaders to work through how our denomination will move forward. Some people today are very happy with the outcome – but many others certainly are not. While the conclusions of this Special General Conference were not what the council of bishops preferred, may not be what I had hoped for, and many clergy and lay people alike are hurting at this time – I want to make something absolutely clear. Arcadia UMC welcomes, includes, loves, values and cares for EVERYONE. That absolutely will not change. We are about Building God’s Family Through Faithful Christian Service – and that will continue. We will continue to offer grace and love, and make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. Please be in prayer for all of those who are hurting, for our church as we move forward in ministry, and for the leaders of our denomination as they seek God’s guidance to faithfully lead us all. I love you all!

Pastor Metzger seems to say that LGBTQ people are welcome at Arcadia UMC. But, what if a gay couple wants a church wedding? Will Arcadia UMC and its pastor break canon law prohibiting such marriages? True justice demands such action.

 

 

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

The Gathering Place, Defiance, Ohio, Richard Buttermore, pastor According to its website, the church’s mission is:

To present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that turns non-Christians into converts, converts into disciples, and disciples into mature, fruitful leaders, who will in turn go into the world and reach others for Christ

This church wants passersby to know what exactly? As I read their message, I thought of a light bulb that has been dropped and shattered. How “bright”  is this bulb’s light? Just saying… Life teaches us that people can be crushed and harmed in such a way that there is no hope of their “light” shining brightly again. War, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence. and a host of other light-dimming acts of violence we humans afflict on each other — often in the name of God — often cause irreparable harm. And despite what Evangelicals say, Jesus isn’t very good at gathering up the pieces of shattered bulbs, re-affixing their elements, thus allowing them to shine brightly again. As a humanist, my hope is that we work to end violence against not only each other, but that which we commit against our planet and other animals.

the gathering place defiance ohio 2018 (2)

The Gathering Place, Defiance, Ohio, Richard Buttermore, pastor

My only thought was this: not if you wear a condom.

signs rt 49 south of edgerton ohio 2018 (1)signs rt 49 south of edgerton ohio 2018 (2)

These signs are from a residential yard just south of Edgerton, Ohio on State Route 49.

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

bruised reed ministries lima ohio

Bruised Reed Ministries, Lima, Ohio Facebook

deliverance temple of joy miracle outreach lima ohio

Deliverance Temple of Joy Miracle Outreach, Lima, Ohio, Doris Newby, pastor No Web Presence

god's house lima ohio

God’s House, Lima, Ohio No Web Presence

in faith ministries international lima ohio

In Faith Ministries International, Lima, Ohio, Michael Lyons, pastor. Lyons’ church bio states:

Michael D. Lyons is the Senior Pastor of “In Faith Ministries International”, a rapidly growing, non-denominational, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural congregation located in Lima, Ohio.

A native of Dayton, Ohio; he was raised in a Pentecostal spirit-filled church and surrendered his life to Christ at the tender age of 10 years old. However, his journey quickly led him to a valley that included drugs and alcohol. After spending several years wandering in the wilderness, he found his way back to the righteousness of Christ under the prophetic teaching of Bishop Ted Willis of Second Baptist Church in Piqua, Ohio, where he was ordained a Minister of the Gospel.

Pastor Michael attended Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio where he received his Bachelors in Business Administration. He has been a frequent guest on local Christian television and radio. His heart to help make a difference in Lima has caused him to serve on the board of community agencies to being the chaplain for the high school football team.

His God-inspired mission is to tell the world how to walk by faith in the covenant promises of God’s word through Christ Jesus. His thirst for kingdom manifestation along with Gods anointing and favor has allowed many doors to be open for him to preach and teach the gospel of the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Lyons’ wife Kim is the church’s co-pastor.

According to In Faith’s about page, the church is:

We are a progressive, Christ–centered, culturally diverse Church committed to training disciples for the Kingdom of God. Our God inspired mission is to tell the world how to walk by faith in the covenant promises of God’s WORD through Christ Jesus.

lighthouse church of god elida ohio

Lighthouse Church of God, Elida, Ohio No Web Presence

new creation lutheran church elida ohio

New Creation Lutheran Church, Elida, Ohio Facebook

New Creation is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). According to the ELCA website, New Creation averages twenty-two in attendance.

It is not uncommon to see church signs that say, Everyone is Welcome. Come as You Are. While congregations believe in their heart of hearts that they are welcoming, accepting people, I have found that every church has a limit as to whom they will accept.

sharon mennonite church elida ohio

Sharon Mennonite Church, Elida, Ohio No Web Presence

st pauls united methodist church elida ohio

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Elida Ohio, Paul Scannell, pastor.  Website  St. Paul’s describes itself this way:

We are people who gather for worship, friendship-building, and service to others both locally and on a larger scale through the network of the United Methodist Church.We are young. We are old. We are everything in-between. We are related by blood or related by faith. And we welcome anyone to become part of our family.

 

 

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

deerfield united methodist church deerfield michigan

Deerfield United Methodist Church, Deerfield, Michigan, William Kriechbaum, pastor Facebook

I wanted to go inside to find more information about this Christ who died and rose again for the people of Deerfield United Methodist, but alas the doors were locked. The church wants passersby to know that it supports the United States and it armed forces. Good to know…

light of catholic church deerfield michigan light of catholic church deerfield michigan 3 light of catholic church deerfield michigan 2

Light of Christ Catholic Church, Deerfield, Michigan, Jeffrey Poll, pastor Website

Light of Christ Catholic wants passersby to know that they wish them peace, love, love and happiness at Easter and always. The irony here is the memorial to a dead soldier; an emblem of violence and death, and not peace, love, love and happiness.

deerfield free methodist church deerfield michigan

Deerfield Free Methodist Church, Deerfield, Michigan, Bill Fix, pastor Here’s what the church wants you to know about them:

The beautiful sanctuary of Deerfield Free Methodist Church is shown below. It is even more beautiful in person and I want to invite you to attend. Our campus is located at 572 East River Street in Deerfield, Michigan. We are part of the Southern Michigan Conference of the Free Methodist Church of North America. Our conference is a coalition of churches desiring to advance God’s Kingdom by including people from all walks of life. We invite you to join our church family this Sunday at 10 am. Prior to the church service we have complimentary refreshments in Aunt Bethel’s Cafe located in our Heritage Hal [sic]. Come as you are and enjoy a service that might change your life in a really good way!

I thought Christianity was all about Jesus? Evidently, at Deerfield Free Methodist the star attraction is its beautiful sanctuary, and not Jesus.

 

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

seventh day adventist church monroe michigan

Monroe Seventh Day Adventist Church, Monroe, Michigan According to the church’s Facebook page, its mission is: To grow as children of God, to nurture a family of God, to prepare others for the Kingdom of God.

Monroe Seventh Day wants passersby to know “its [sic] never to late to begin again.”  As I read this sign, I said to Polly, not if you’re dead.

bible fellowship church monroe michigan

Bible Fellowship Church, Monroe, Michigan, Jim Walker, pastor  Facebook

hope church of monroe monroe michigan

Hope Church of Monroe, Monroe, Michigan, Gary Braden, pastor Facebook

christ love fellowship church monroe michigan

Christ Love Fellowship Church, Monroe, Michigan The church’s Facebook page says:

Christ Love Fellowship, a place where we help people build a relationship with God. We don’t place boundaries based on race, denomination, or background.

life bridge church monroe michigan

Life Bridge Church, Monroe, Michigan, Bill Rice, pastor Here’s what Life Bridge’s pastors want you to know about their church:

“A growing community of believers devoted to reaching the unchurched”

Life Bridge Church, located in Taylor, MI, is a young and growing church. Started in December of 2012, as a mobile church plant in Flat Rock, MI, it has been our mission to create a church that is inviting and approachable to people that don’t normally consider going to church. We teach Biblical truths in a relevant and powerful way. We believe these truths make a life-changing difference in your life, our community, and our world.

If you visit one of our services (get directions) this is what you’ll experience:

  • Casual Atmosphere
  • Weekend experiences that last for one hour
  • Friendly people
  • Thought-provoking messages based on the Bible
  • Great worship music
  • Safe & fun teaching for your kids
  • Next steps to help you follow Jesus

ONE HOUR experiences!  The perfect church for people who love NFL football or have short attention spans.

zion evangelical lutheran church monroe michigan

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Monroe Michigan, Ross Ulrich, pastor Zion Evangelical is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). According to the church’s website, its mission is:

We follow the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), to make disciples through the Means of Grace God that has entrusted to us.

​To accomplish this purpose we seek to:

  • ​Nurture: by building one another’s faith through regular worship, study and the use of the Word and Sacraments.
  • Reach the Lost: by equipping our members with the knowledge to seek out those who do not know Christ and to carry God’s message to them.
  • Build Relationships:  by providing a variety of opportunities for Christian fellowship and mutual support.

The church also has a preschool and a K-8 school.

true gospel missionary baptist church monroe michigan

True Gospel Missionary Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan, John Bullard, pastor

full gospel assembly church monroe michigan

Full Gospel Assembly Church, Monroe, Michigan No Web Presence

stewart road church of god monroe michigan

Stewart Road Church of God, Monroe, Michigan, Joseph Byrd, pastor According to its website, Stewart Road is:

We are a Spirit-filled, multi-generational, and multi-cultural church focused on Word-centered teaching.  We are passionate about worship, and committed to discipleship.

Come and experience what it really means to follow Jesus alongside a community committed to Christ.

 

 

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

All of the churches in this post are Baptist churches located in Monroe, Michigan — a city of 21,000 people. Polly and I have never seen this many Baptist churches in a Northern community this size, especially when you consider that this post does not list all of the Baptist churches in Monroe. Baptists in Monroe have a supermarket full of choices when it comes to theology and practice — everything from Freewill Baptist to Primitive Baptist.

evergreen acres missionary baptist church monroe michigan

Evergreen Acres Missionary Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan, Jacob Clawson, pastor.  Facebook

hope missionary baptist church monroe michigan

Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan No Web Presence

monroe primitive baptist church monroe michigan

Monroe Primitive Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan, Elders Tom and Randy Pitney

faith baptist church monroe michigan

Faith Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan, Brian Southerland, pastor Website

kentucky park missionary baptist church monroe michigan

Kentucky Park Missionary Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan, Kenny Goins, pastor No Web Presence

first freewill baptist church monroe michigan

First Freewill Baptist Church, Monroe, Michigan, Philip Wylie, pastor No Web Presence

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

first baptist church montpelier indiana

First Baptist Church, Montpelier, Indiana First Baptist’s website states:

First Baptist Church of Montpelier, Indiana was founded by Franklin Baldwin, brother of the leader of Montpelier’s first settlers, Abel Baldwin in 1838. It was incorporated in 1846.  The present church building, located in downtown Montpelier, was constructed in 1907 and 1908. Through the years, the families have changed but the conviction to be a church that is founded upon the Word of God and centered on Jesus has remained the same.  For over 175 years the families of First Baptist Church, Montpelier have come together to study the Word of God and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

In September of 2004, the families of First Baptist Church grew deeply concerned that so many churches in our nation were departing from the belief in the inerrancy and authority of the Word of God.  They sought to affiliate themselves with a denomination that was committed to upholding the Scriptures in belief and practice.  After much prayer, the families of First Baptist Church voted to unite themselves with the Southern Baptist Convention.  This decision was made after examining the Baptist Faith and Message and the convention’s focus on world mission.  A copy of the Baptist Faith and message can be found on the conventions website at www.sbc.net.  You can also read more about us on the Missions and Beliefs and Distinctives section of our website.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

helping hands crisis pregnancy center montpelier indiana

Helping Hands Crisis Pregnancy Resource Center, Montpelier, Indiana Helping Hands’ mission statement says:

Helping Hands’ is committed to empowering women, men and their families, through relationships, to make life-affirming decisions, and for us to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The site makes no mention of the fact that it is an anti-abortion front. Such “ministries” are common in this part of the country. On their FAQ page, Helping Hands states:

We provide information on both adoption and abortion. We can connect women with adoption resources and organizations, as well as help them through the process. We do not perform abortions or make referrals for them. We do provide accurate information on what happens during an abortion and the physical and emotional effects.

In other words, they scare the shit out of pregnant women who inquire about having an abortion.

first methodist church montpelier indiana

First Methodist Church, Montpelier, Indiana, Tim Wallace, pastor (no web presence)

I think it is safe to say that the church sign has not been updated since last October.

church of christ montpelier indiana

Church of Christ, Montpelier, Indiana (no web presence)

montpelier bible church montpelier indiana

Montpelier Bible Church, Montpelier, Indiana, Jeremy Stults, pastor (no web presence) Montpelier Bible is a new church plant, established in August 2015. Its Facebook page says the church’s mission is to:

Montpelier Bible Church exists to help know Christ, grow in Christ and go for Christ.

monroe united methodist church monroe indiana

monroe united methodist church monroe indiana 2

Monroe United Methodist Church, Monroe, Indiana, Char Allen, pastor (no web presence) Monroe United Methodist wants passersby to know that God is ready and willing to clean hearts, whatever the heaven that means. Speaking of cleaning, how about sprucing up the disheveled church sign?  I ask the congregation, what does the condition of the sign say about your church?

montpelier church of the nazarene montpelier indiana

Montpelier Cornerstone Community Church of the Nazarene, Montpelier, Indiana (no web presence)

How Christianity Sounds to Someone Not Initiated in “Christianese” 

justificationHave you ever wondered how Christianity sounds to people not initiated in “Christianese” — the special language Christians use to talk to one another about their faith? Evangelicals, in particular, have a complex vocabulary of words that only they use. When people unfamiliar with Evangelical Christianity hear or read these words they often scratch their heads and say, huh? As my wife and I travel the rural roads of Northwest Ohio, we come across church signs with all sorts of silly, stupid clichés. If the goal is to convey a certain message to unbelieving passersby, churches are miserably failing. Instead of using words that are easily understood by everyone, Evangelicals use code words or buzz words to get their message out. Christians will understand what they mean, but unbelievers won’t. Perhaps the real purpose of church signs is to say to Christian passersby, Hey, we are on your team! Praise Jesus!

The Dictionary of Christianese website has a list of jargon and clichés used by Christians to converse with one another. I have reproduced some of their list below, along with other words that came to mind as I was writing this post.

  • 10/40 Window
  • A going church for a coming savior
  • Agape love
  • Anointed
  • Apostate
  • Armor-bearer
  • Ask Jesus into your heart
  • At home with the Lord
  • Baby Christian
  • Backslider
  • Baptized with the Spirit
  • Bible belt
  • Body of Christ
  • Born again
  • But for the grace of God, there go I
  • Calminian
  • Carpet time
  • Cheap grace
  • Child of God
  • Child of Satan
  • Christianity is a relationship, not a religion
  • Covet prayers
  • Divine appointment
  • Drive-by evangelism
  • Evangelistically speaking
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • Family of God
  • Feel God’s presence
  • Filled with the Holy Ghost
  • Fire insurance
  • Food, fun, and fellowship
  • Friendliest church in town
  • Friendship evangelism
  • Frozen chosen
  • Give your life to Jesus
  • God is a perfect gentleman
  • God is good all the time
  • God is in our midst
  • God is my co-pilot
  • God never gives us more than we can handle
  • Godly Woman/Man
  • God’s in this place
  • Going out into the highways and hedges
  • Have you been in the Word
  • Have you talked to Jesus today
  • Heart for God
  • Hedge of protection
  • I see that hand
  • Is God speaking to your heart
  • Jesus is coming again
  • Jesus junk
  • Jesus loves you
  • Justified/Justification
  • Keep Christ in Christmas
  • Lie from the pit of Hell
  • Life verse
  • Living by faith
  • Lord willing
  • Lost
  • Love the sinner, hate the sin
  • Lukewarm Christian
  • Missional
  • Missionary Kid
  • Name it, claim it
  • New life in Christ
  • Not inspired version (NIV)
  • On fire Christian
  • Only one life, t’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last
  • Praise report
  • Prayed up
  • Prayer breakfast
  • Preacher boy
  • Proverbs 31 woman
  • Put on the armor of God
  • Putting out a fleece
  • Reaching the lost
  • Redeemed by the blood
  • Redeem the time
  • Redeemed
  • Red-letter Christian
  • Reprobate
  • Saved by the blood
  • Sanctified
  • Sawdust trail
  • Saved
  • Sinner’s prayer
  • Smoking hot wife
  • Soulwinning
  • Speak the truth in love
  • Spirit led
  • Spiritual birthday
  • Spiritual warfare
  • Sword drill
  • Thank you for the blood
  • The blood, the book, and the blessed hope
  • The Holy Spirit is moving
  • The Lord has placed it on my heart
  • There’s power in the blood of the lamb
  • This is between you and God
  • Transformed life
  • Traveling mercies
  • TULIP (the five points of Calvinism)
  • Turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh
  • Under the blood
  • Unspoken prayer request
  • Walk with the Lord
  • Washed in/by the blood
  • Which dog are you feeding
  • Word from the Lord
  • Worldling
  • WWJD
  • You take the first step and God will help you take the rest

there's power in the blood of jesus

I could add more words, but I thought I would let readers add their own words in the comment section. What Christian jargon and clichés should be added to this list?

I frequently use Christianese in my writing because I know it is an effective way to communicate with doubting Evangelicals. When terms such as the ones above are used, those of us who used to be Evangelicals know exactly what someone is trying to say. Unbelievers, on the other hand, don’t understand these words. Bought by the blood? Who is blood, and who or what did he buy? Washed in the blood? Eww, gross. Justified? Left, center, right, or full? Do you believe in TULIP? What color? the Holy Spirit is moving! Was he constipated? Name it, claim it! Cool, BMW, please with a smoking hot wife!

Your turn.

On the Road Looking For God’s True Church

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®.  Recently, our travels took beyond our home range to Zanesville, Ohio. From 1983-1994, I pastored an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church west of Zanesville. During my time there, we had a youth fellowship that gathered together area IFB teenagers for special meetings and events. One such church was Landmark Baptist Church in Zanesville, Ohio.

Landmark closed its doors years ago due to internal conflict. The details are, sadly, lost somewhere in the recesses of my mind. What is not lost is that a new church — perhaps God’s True Church® — has taken up residence in Landmark’s former building.  Hopefully,  the sweet, sweet irony of the following photos is not lost on readers.  The new church is called The Foxhole.

the foxhole zanesville ohio 2017 2 the foxhole zanesville ohio 2017 3 the foxhole zanesville ohio 2017 5 the foxhole zanesville ohio 2017

The Foxhole in Warsaw, Ohio was in the news several years ago for picketing New Beginnings Ministries in response to the church’s picketing (and harassment) of the strip club. The women picketing the church decided to go topless, causing quite a stir at Bill Dunfee’s Fundamentalist church. Channel 10 reported at the time:

A rural Ohio church was the site of an eye-popping protest Sunday.

The Coshocton County church has been picketing a Warsaw strip club for years. On Sunday, employees of the club took the fight to the church, and took off their tops in the process.

The sign outside New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw welcomes all, but this Sunday’s service had some decidedly unwelcome visitors: women bearing picket signs, and baring their bodies for all to see.

Thomas George said he is the man behind the protest.

“I have to point out the hypocrisy that I see,” he said.

George said he is the owner of a strip club called the Foxhole North.

He said New Beginnings has worked to bring his club to an end for years.

“They come up every weekend, and they’re very abusive and certainly unchristian-like.  Calling the girls (expletive) and (expletive).  They’re abusive to the customers. They sit out with video cameras, they take pictures of license plates, tell them they’re posting them to the web,” said George.

New Beginnings Pastor Bill Dunfee made no secret of his intentions on Sunday.

“I hope he will realize that the Foxhole has no business in this community,” Dunfee said.

Dunfee also said he makes no apologies for his crusade against the club.

“I take very seriously the responsibility as a pastor to see to it that the gospel of Christ is lifted up, that Christ himself is lifted up, and that evil is confronted,” Dunfee said.

George admitted that Sunday’s topless protest is an extreme measure, but said it’s far from evil.

Church members confronted the protestors outside of the tarps hung to protect their eyes.

“Love is the answer, and you don’t have it baby. God is love!” shouted one of the protestors.

“Ma’am, you know nothing about love. You know plenty about lust. You know plenty about sex, but you know nothing about love,” replied a church member.

Dunfee called the semi-nude protest shameful.

George said he and his topless troops will retreat when New Beginnings finds a new target.

George said he and his protestors plan to be back at the church next Sunday, and into the foreseeable future.

Ohio law does not prohibit women from being topless in public.

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

st marks lutheran church defiance ohio

st marks lutheran church defiance ohio

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Defiance, Ohio. (church has no web presence) Does God really love everyone? Really? What evidence is there for God loving everyone? If he really, really, really loves everyone, God has a funny way of showing it.

Is “resting” in the Lord the cure for insomnia? If so, why do so many Christians take Ambien?

st mary catholic church holgate ohio st mary catholic church holgate ohio

St. Mary Catholic Church, Holgate, Ohio, Nicholas Cunningham, pastor. (church has no web presence)

trier ridge community church fort wayne indiana

Trier Ridge Community Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Ross Osborn, pastor. According to Pastor Osborn’s church bio:

“God accepts us right where we are, but He loves us too much to leave us there.”

As the lead pastor of Trier Ridge Community Church, Pastor Ross has a passion for carefully unpacking the truths of God’s Word. He has served at TRCC since April 8th, 2013. Pastor Ross has ministered in four countries and is passionate about missionary work, local community outreach,and fostering growth in others to equip them to be the Church wherever they go. He enjoys camping, the outdoors, the Cubs, reading, and spending time with his wife and best friend, Lily and their two daughters, Kaylee & Kelsey.

Pastor Osborn is a Cubs fan, a sure sign that he is NOT a Christian. Trier Ridge is affiliated with the Churches of God, Findlay, Ohio.

According to the church’s What to Expect page, visitors can expect:

* A casual, friendly atmosphere

* To hear relevant teaching

*To experience engaging, blended worship

* To meet people of many ages, cultures, backgrounds

*To witness a church heavily focused on missions and outreach on the move

* To be accepted as I am

* To connect with others just like me

* To love and be loved by God and others

* To grow in relationship with God and others

* To serve and be served in a growing and thriving church community

trinity united methodist church defiance ohio

Trinity United Methodist Church, Defiance, Ohio, Judy Williams, pastor. Pastor Williams’ bio states:

Pastor Judy Williams has been with us since July 19, 2015.

​Greetings!!!

It is my prayer that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength at a deeper level than when receiving last month’s Trumpet. It is my prayer that you were enabled to love someone who seemed unlovable; and to accept someone who was different from you, just as Christ accepted you. How do you measure your spiritual growth? As a new believer we compare ourselves to who we used to be. As we mature, we compare ourselves to the Word of God. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who is always right alongside us, as we attempt to become more Christ-like.

Trinity’s vision statement states:

“Help others reach their full potential as Disciples of Christ!”

​Our hope and our call is to use our God given gifts to spread the love of our living God, the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirt for the transformation of the world starting right here where we are, and meeting people wherever they are.

In May, some congregants took a trip to Kentucky to visit Ken Ham’s monument to ignorance, The Ark Encounter.

voice of life ministries ayersville ohio

Voice of Life Ministries, Ayersville, Ohio (Church’s Facebook page)