August 6, 2012

Marriage Equality & The Double Standard

I once read this in the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

At least, I thought that’s what I once read in the Constitution, but perhaps I was just imagining that’s what I was taught in elementary school.  Either way, according to the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Community (LGBT), or at least some supporters of it, this amendment isn’t really true at all, or at least, if it is, it’s only true for THEM to denounce Christianity, to spread hate towards traditional marriage, or make outrageous demonstrations to try and make their point.  However, we’ve learned that if you are a Christian, and you speak out against homosexual marriage, - or more to the point- ANSWER A QUESTION REGARDING YOUR OPINION OF IT – then apparently you are a hateful, spiteful, homosexual hating bigot.  Interesting.

I would think that stating what your religious beliefs are, and in this case it was a belief resting on Scripture, would be an example of “the free exercise thereof” of said religion.  Not to mention the fact that if you say something, stating a religious belief, and someone comes out and tells you that you can’t say that, that it would be attempting to “abridge the freedom of speech”.

Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-Fil-A, had every RIGHT, not just to his “opinion”, but every RIGHT to answer the question regarding homosexual marriage the way he did.  However, because he exercised that right, not only he, but his company is now the target of hateful, spiteful, and distasteful attacks from supporters of the LGBT community.  Attacks that have nothing to do with the real issue at hand.  Let me say this here, and I will come back to it, but the majority of people spewing hate towards Christianity, the Bible, and the president of Chick-Fil-A don’t really care about the issue of so-called “marriage equality”.  Surprised?  Don’t be, but I’ll get to that.

I think what surprises me the most, is the pure, plain hypocrisy that these supporters demonstrate.  They want equality, but not when it comes to Christians being able to state what they believe (i.e. Dan Cathy & Kirk Cameron) they want the right to express their opinion, to call Christians bigots, to make distasteful (and ultimately ineffective) displays in front of establishments that sell chicken, but don’t you dare ever say what you believe about the Bible and homosexual marriage!

Some of these people claim they are just trying to wipe out homophobia, trying to wipe out discrimination, trying to right the world from bigotry.  But here’s the kicker – Chick-Fil-A doesn’t discriminate against homosexuals.  As far as I know, they aren’t banned from eating there, nor are they prevented from working there.  So where exactly, is this horrible, hateful, discrimination that they are screaming about?  Seems to me it doesn’t exist – at least in this situation.

The problem is this:  When someone like Dan Cathy makes a statement like this:
What the LGBT community hears is this:  “I hate gay people”

Those two things are not the same.  One does not equal the other.  This is something that community must get through their heads.

If they want the right to say they want marriage equality, then it would be logical, even courteous, to allow Christians to say they don’t believe in homosexual marriage.

So let me get back to something I said earlier, which is that I believe most of the LGBT community doesn’t REALLY care about “marriage equality”.  If they did, they would be doing things to actually make a difference, not ranting and raving, spitting and bashing, or kissing each other in front of fast food establishments.  No, what that tells me is they just want to complain, they just want to cause a stir, they just want to make a scene.

There is probably a time coming when Christians will be jailed (or worse) for “hate speech” by saying they think homosexual marriage is wrong.  Are all these supposed defenders of freedom, anti-discrimination, anti-establishment, anti-bigotry people going to come to OUR rescue then?  Are they going to protest in front of the prisons and jailhouses?  Are they going to clamor and yell and scream for OUR rights to state our views on homosexual marriage?  I doubt it very much.

Their main issue is they simply don’t like what God said in His word, and are rebelling against it.  It isn’t about marriage equality, it isn’t about helping victims of violence, it isn’t even about Chick-Fil-A.  It’s about the sin that resides in all of us. 

Having said all that, I want to conclude with three simple statements:

Homosexuality is a sin.
Treating homosexuals poorly simply because they are homosexuals, is a sin.
Stating that you believe that homosexuality is a sin, is not a sin.

If families kick a homosexual out of their house because they are homosexual, I think that’s wrong.  If people beat up someone because they are a homosexual, that is wrong.  But simply stating what the Bible says and then saying, “I agree with what the Bible says regarding marriage”, is NOT wrong. 

I support you, Dan Cathy, for supporting Scripture.  Thank you. 

I think I’ll go have a chicken sandwich.

March 12, 2012

Kirk Cameron & GLAAD

In an amazing twist, it turns out freedom of speech is only acceptable if you dislike Christianity and it's principles.  (Sarcasm definitely intended)

Kirk Cameron ruffled some feathers over at GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) when he made the following comments regarding homosexuality and gay marriage on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight (Click here to read the article containing backlash to Kirk Cameron's comments ) "I think that it's unnatural."  I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.  I believe marriage was defined by God, marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the Garden between Adam and Eve.  One man, one woman for life till death do you part.  So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage.  And I don't think anyone else should either.  So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don't."

These comments were respected and valued of course, by fellow actors and GLAAD. 

Just kidding.  Of course they weren't, as the "tolerant" once again showed how truly "tolerant" they are. 

Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Progams at GLAAD, came back with this amazing display of rhetoric and logical reasoning ability:  "In this interview, Kirk Cameron sounds even mroe dated than his 1980's TV character.  Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans...with an increasing number of states recognizing marriage equality, Americans are seeing that marriage is about committed couples who want to make a lifelong promise to take care of and be responsible for each other and that gay and lesbian couples need equal security and legal protections.  That's not 'redefining' anything."

THAT, is Graddick's argument?  That Cameron sounds 'dated'?  Please.  This is the same group that wants equality for gay and lesbian couples (supposedly) based on the constitution?  How old is that document anyway?  Trying to be funny and clever is one thing, but Graddick just sounds like some kid pushed him around on the playground.  Cameron is "out of step" with a growing majority of Americans?  Okay, and what's the problem with that?  A growing majority of Americans think it's okay to murder babies.  Guess I'm out of step with them too.  As if what the majority of Americans think really determines morality.  "Out of step"? We aren't talking about hairstyles or clothes or what the latest new fad is here. We are talking about principles that Cameron holds, and believes come from Christianity. But I guess because he is a Christian, his viewpoint isn't as valid as those who want to smatter him with mud. I'm willing to bet that if the "majority of Americans" decided on a whim that it was okay to murder Graddick's wife, or steal his money, that he would be okay with that, since afterall, what's important here is what modern-individualistic-have it your way-Americans think is "in step". Oh, and guess what Graddick?  When you have a definition for something, and you change that definition, then you ARE redefining it.  If in fact these "increasing number of states" thought that gay marriage was inherit in the American way and Constitution all along, they wouldn't have to CHANGE THE LAWS, ... would they?  That's like saying Italians are defined as people from Italy, and then claiming, no, actually, Italians are people from Italy, and people from Poland.  States ARE redefining marriage if they have to change the law to accomodate these "life long promises". 

But the brilliance doesn't end there, as a bunch of former actors with twitter accounts furiously used their thumbs to dismantle Kirk Cameron.  Let's take a look at the wisdom of the stars, shall we?

Alan Thicke: "i'm getting him some new books.  The Old Testament simply can't be expected to explain everything."  - Really Alan?  Kirk never claimed it did.  But, by the way, have you read the NEW Testament?  It has something to say about homosexuality as well.  What is there to explain sir?  That when God formed Adam and Eve, and they became MAN and WIFE, that it didn't really mean Adam and Eve, and that it needs to be explained that it really meant, "well, just any two people under any circumstances that just promise to take care of each other =marriage?" I want to know which of these "new" books will explain "everything".

Martha Plimpton: "The word 'Equality' shows up too much in our founding documents for anyone to pretend it's not the American way."  - Of course Martha, and I'm sure that when our founding father's forged those documents, they had in mind women sleeping with women and men sleeping with men.  Gotcha.  I'm sure that's EXACTLY what they meant. 

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family 'star'):  "The only unnatural thing about me being gay is that I had a crush on Kirk Cameron until about 24 hours ago." Who is Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and who gave him a twitter account?

But I want to bring you one more quote from Graddick, that gets to what I think the real issue is. 
"Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation."

Here is the real issue.  Graddick, (along with those "growing majority of Americans") has no concept of what God has declared in His word.  That shouldn't be surprising.  However, let's set the record straight from a biblical perspective.  It is not BEING homosexual that "condemns" people according to the Bible.  Being homosexual, or lying, or committing adultery, or gossiping or whatever other sin you want to bring up, is a result of ALREADY being condemned due to what happened in the Garden of Eden at the fall.  These things are a natural outflowing of sin that is already present.  As someone once said, we are not sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners.  Listen to what Paul, (inspired by the Holy Spirit) wrote in Romans... "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.  For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.  They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.  They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (Romans 1:18-31)

Now, do I hate homosexuals?  Absolutely not.  Do I think they live in sin?  yes I do.  But then again, I think ALL of us live in sin - INCLUDING homosexuals.  That's simply what the Bible says. I think it's a sin.  Kirk Cameron thinks it's a sin.  We both think that because our conscience is held captive to the Word of God. All people are sinners who need the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.   We have every right to express that view as much as GLAAD or actors want to express their dislike of the morality and Christianity found in Scripture. Again, I don't hate homosexuals, but I've also never been fond of the kind of irrational emotionalism that reared it's ugly head in the backlast against Kirk's comments.

Thanks Kirk, I think you're right on.  It takes a brave person to proclaim their stance when they are "out of step with the majority of Americans".  Then again, truth never has been popular.... perhaps this is why the Lord exhorts us to spend so much time thinking about it.

March 2, 2012

The Hunger Games

I picked up the “Hunger Games” for about 6 dollars at a Walmart around Christmas time.  I’ve never been a fan of reading something because it’s a fad, but for the price, and the fact I had heard nothing but good things about it from friends of mine, I was compelled to read it.

That’s the key word for this review.  Compelling.  “having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect.”

I found “The Hunger Games” compelling.  Let me just say that I have a distaste for things that become fads.  However, it has to be noted that sometimes there is a good reason it becomes a fad.  Agree or not, I believe this is what has happened with the Hunger Games. Is Suzanne Collins the best author I’ve ever read?  No.   Is this the best fiction book I’ve ever read?  No.  However, Collin’s can tell a story, and tell it with suspense, there’s no question about that.  For me, this was a page turner.  I love a good story, and this is a good story.  Although I had an idea of how it would end, how Collins arrived there was, in a word, again, compelling.  She did a masterful job ending every chapter in such a way that I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. 

The three main Characters, Katniss, Peeta & Haymitch are crafted well, and it’s a proven fact that if no investment is made in character, then it doesn’t matter how good the story is, you simply won’t care.  Inner turmoil and character clashes abound in this book and thus makes this what I would call a heavy – not hard, but heavy – read.  Especially for young adult fiction, which this book classifies itself as.  Be forewarned, there is a lot of death, but that’s to be expected based on the premise of the book.  Set in what the perhaps not-so distant future,  the Capitol, or controlling city, selects one boy and one girl from the surrounding towns, or “districts” as they are called, to compete for their lives and their district.  This happens in the book’s namesake, the Hunger Games.  Where only one competitor, or “tribute” can survive.

The story keeps moving, and as I mentioned, it’s quite a ride to the end, with unexpected twists and the theme of desperation carrying you along.  I think what makes part of it so compelling, is that while the premise is crazy – it’s not THAT crazy.  Knowing the depravity of man and just how fallen this world is, the world of the “Hunger Games” is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the “Hunger Games”, and recommend it.  What didn’t I like about it?  I will only tell you if you’ve read the book, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

****SPOILER ALERT****  Do NOT scroll down if you have yet to read this book and plan on doing so.  I reveal the ending and don’t want to ruin it.  I’m serious.  Don’t scroll if you don’t want to know.  I won’t be held responsible for it.  I’m not kidding.  Oh no no no, you aren’t going to blame me buddy, it’s on your head if you scroll down and ruin it for yourself.

Okay, so what didn’t I like about it?  The ending.  Oy vey!  The ending!!  After this compelling story, after reading chapter after chapter as a race to the end, I get to the end and I think… WHAT?!?  Now, before I continue, I will say the ending is most likely a setup for the next book in the series, “Catching Fire”, so I’m hoping that book cleans up the mess that this book left.  After all the build-up of the idea that only 1 out of 24 can win.  After all the time built into the suspense on who will it be, Katniss or Peeta, …  the book ends with BOTH of them winning?  It makes no sense and really takes away from the rest of the book if you ask me.  Especially because of WHY they both ended up surviving.  Because if they both died, the Capitol would be embarrassed??  Really?  Since when would the Capitol care?  All the audience wanted was a show, they got one, and because the two last survivors would have rather died together than decide who would live, then the Capitol decides to develop a conscience?  I mean, this is the same Capitol that CONTROLS the districts right?  The same Capitol that FORCES the tributes to compete in the games right?  The ending just didn’t make sense after all the buildup and suspense.  The Capitol really shouldn’t have cared and changed the rule like that if they weren’t going to go through with it.  If they said only one can win, then only one should have won.
But, overall, great book. 

February 15, 2012

The Trellis & The Vine

I'm currently reading the Trellis and the Vine, and admittedly, I'm not finished with it yet, but I have recently finished chapter 8, "Why Sunday Sermons Are Necessary, But Not Sufficient". Of course, being the high-churchman that I am, I was not very impressed. So while a full review of the book may be forthcoming, I present the below my disagreements and arguments with the current chapter.

The Trellis And The Vine, Chapter 8

pg 94 - "However, there are also very real (and obvious) disadvantages with this approach.  For a start, the ministry that takes place in the congregation will be limited to the gifts and capacity of the pastor:  how effectively he preaches, and how many people he can personally know and counsel.  In this model, it becomes very difficult for the congregation to grow past a given ceiling (usually between 100 and 150 regular members)."

This paragraph is based on a presupposition first and foremost.  How do they KNOW the ministry will be limited to the gifts and capacity of the pastor?  I think the most glaring objection to this paragraph comes from scripture.  "And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues."  God is the one who has appointed pastors to serve the congregation.  God is the one who has given these men the gifts they need.  Even if the man is not an effective preacher, or does not get to know everyone on a deeply personal level. isn't it God who uses weakness to show his strength?  It seems as if the authors are taking the holy spirit entirely out of the equation when talking about ministry being limited to the gifts and capacity of the pastor.  The church did quite well with a man named Paul whom God appointed despite not being effective in preaching in person, and who didn't know everyone in the churches he planted.  The second objection I have to this paragraph is the assumption that the congregation (in their mind) cannot grow past a certain number is labeled as a "disadvantage".  In this way of thinking, the authors are putting the standard of effective ministry on numbers of regular members, which goes against the very theme of their entire book.

pg. 95 - "Perhaps the most striking disadvantage of this way of thinking about ministry is that it feeds upon and encourages the culture of 'consumerism' that is already rife in our culture.  It perfectly fits the spirit of our age whereby we pay trained professionals to do everything for us rather that do it ourselves.  The tendency is for Christian life and fellowship to be reduced to an hour and a quarter on Sunday morning, with little or no relationship, and very little actual ministry taking place by the congregation themselves.  in this sort of church culture, it becomes very easy for the congregation to think of church almost entirely in terms of 'what I get out of it,' and thus to slip easily into criticism and complaint when things aren't to their liking."

Another paragraph based on assumptions and presuppositions.  There is no proof that it feeds upon and encourages the culture of consumerism in our culture.  What the authors are doing are perfecting a terrible injustice - taking the spirit of the age and saying it fits this model of ministry, rather than saying that the spirit of the age has crept into the church as a whole and is trying to change the ministry much in the same way the authors are speaking against it.  There is a reason not all are pastors or teachers.  Called them trained professionals if that makes it easier to fit the chapter, but in a world where everyone is a shepherd, then all you have are sheep with no leader.  The fact that people have made Christian life about an hour and a quarter on Sunday morning has about as much to do with the model of ministry as "There was a man from the land of Uz whose name was Job", has with the Calvinism/Arminianism debate.

pg. 95 - "For all its historic strengths, the professional pastor-as-clergyman approach speaks loud and clear to church members that they are there to receive rather than to give.  As a model, it tends to produce spiritual consumers rather than active disciples of Christ, and very easily gets stuck in maintenance mode.  Outreach or evangelism, both for individual congregation members and the church as a whole, is down the list."

It seems that the desire of the authors to downplay tradition as something as evil has left them vulnerable to not recognize the history of the "classic Reformed-evangelical model" that they think produces so many disadvantages.  The fact of the matter is, looking historically at the corporate worship service - (going back a lot farther than the reformation, back to when Israel gathered at Mount Sinai) we find that members ARE there to receive!  To receive the law, to receive the gospel... to receive Christ!  If that makes someone a spiritual consumer, then that's exactly what we would want to strive for isn't it?  To have people so enthralled with the word and with Christ that they want to "taste and see that the Lord is good" - that is BIBLICAL spiritual consumerism.  In addition, it's tiring that the authors want to make every statement an all inclusive, or all exclusive statement.  For instance, if church members are there to receive, why does that automatically exclude the idea they are there to give as well?  Those things can co-exist and are not mutually exclusive.  As far as the last sentence about outreach and evangelism being "down" on the list, - that is simply an untrue statement that is based more on the imagination of the authors rather than facts of history.  In this "classic Reformed-evangelical model", some of the very first protestant missionaries came from Calvin's geneva.  Luther himself housed students and refugees for years and told them the gospel while taking care of their physical needs.  It was the "Classic Reformed-evangelical model" that ignited the fire in the hearts of thousands which led to some of the greatest "evangelical" preachers the world has ever known.  It seems that the very title of this chapter should be very concerning.  When they say that the sunday sermon is necessary but not sufficient, they are claiming that the preached word is necessary but not sufficient.  That is a dangerous biblical proposition.

pg 95-96  "In many respects, this first way of thinking about pastoral ministry reflects the culture and norms of a different world - the world of 16th and 17th century Christianized nations, in which the whole community was in church, and in which the pastor was one of the few with sufficient education to teach.
Once again, the obvious dislike of tradition shown by the authors rears it's ugly head.  It reflects a different world, and because it does, does it mean this world is any better?  Are we to change those things because OUR culture and age are mixed up and entirely subjective?  Why was the whole community in church?  Does that question cross the minds of the authors?  Could it possibly be because God was using His preached word to change entire nations of people?  Was this "different world" such a bore?  Was there ever a time in history next to the very early church in which God's word was going forth as strongly as it was in the 16th and 17th centuries?  The reformation was known as a time that recovered the gospel - and that time has influenced Christianity for the better, because it was an echo of the past, when pastors actually believed the preached word WAS sufficient, that it didn't have to be dressed up or aided, but rather it produced a natural outflow of the very things the authors are wanting to focus on.  The problem is, when you want to focus on the results rather than the source, then eventually the source of those things will become unimportant, and when that happens, it can truly be said that they have "lost their first love".  That's the great thing about the preached word... it transcends all cultures and deals with men as sinners, and Christ as Savior.  That's the mindset behind all the funky bible translations.

pg. 99 - "We have been arguing from the Bible that:  All Christians have the privilege and responsibility to prayerfully speak the word of God to each other and to non-Christians, as the means by which God gives this growth."

I would argue that in this model, the pastor is nothing more than a cheerleader with a divinity degree, only there to cheer on the members of the congregation  in their efforts of evangelism, rather than being an appointed servant in the office of the church to preach the word of God to depraved sinners.

pg. 102 - "The sermon is a rallying call..... To say that sermons are necessary but not sufficient is simply to stand on the theological truth that it is the word of the gospel that is sufficient, rather than any one particular form of its delivery.  "

I could not disagree more.  First, the sermon is NOT a rallying call.  If that is what the authors believe the sermon to be, then it's no wonder the entire chapter is based on false presuppositions.  The sermon, far from being a rallying call, is God's means of slaying sinners with the law, and raising them up in Christ with grace.  The preached word (i.e. sermon) is not the center of a pep rally trying to fire up the emotions of it's hearers.  As far as the idea that it is the word of the gospel that is sufficient, rather than any one particular form of its delivery" goes.... that is refuted by scripture.  It is by the foolishness of PREACHING (the form of the word's delivery) that God intimately links with the power of the word.  When you change the delivery or the means you will without a doubt begin to change the message as well.  That is why there are so many movie clips shown in place of sermons today.  Because people simply don't believe, as do the authors, that the preached word is sufficient.  Yet, the preached word is God's ordained means of regeneration, and it has worked for thousands and thousands of years.  In fact, where would the authors themselves be if this "Classic Reformed-evangelical model", which has so many disadvantages as they say, where would they be right now without it?  Preaching is not just one of many forms of delivering the word, it's the GOD ORDAINED means.  If this was not the case, Paul would have done better to put on plays and tell jokes in the areas of Corinth, Ephesus and Rome.  Instead however, he wrote this:  13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."
It seems as if Paul held preaching in high esteem.  It also seems if it was just one method among many, he would have mentioned the others in this passage.

pg. 103 "Adam (Peter) goes on to define preaching as the "explanation and application of the Word to the congregation of Christ in order to produce corporate preparation for service, unity of faith, maturity, growth and upbuilding."

I would define preaching (as did the reformers) as giving people Christ.  It's ironic that in the same chapter that claims the classic reformed-evangelical model as producing "consumerism", that it would then lend credence to a quote that says preaching's job is to "produce" various things.

All in all, the straw-man that the authors have built, which basically says that this classic reformed-evangelical model has no room for personal ministry, is one they themselves feel they need to fight because it has no basis in scripture or history.  Calvin himself, who held the office of preaching in high regard, and would never say the preached word is not sufficient, built a school to train ministers.  As previously noted, Luther took students and others in in order to train them, and for him there was nothing more important than preaching CHrist to the congregation.  C.H. spurgeon was a great example of the classic reformed-evangelical model of ministry and yet, much to the disbelief of the authors i'm sure, still managed to build 2 orphanages, a pastor's college, a book fund for training clergy, doexens of sunday school classes for school-children, his own hymn book, and catechism, and a church that had 5000 members.  But, according to the authors, as they admit, their view is a stereotype, in which those things - preaching the word, and personal ministry are mutually exclusive in that model.