Welcome to Provocative Church

As you browse, read and share the many articles, our hope is that you may find this site an encouragement to your faith and Christian life.

Worship

We were created to worship. And we are to worship God with every aspect and area of our lives - presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

The Church

The bride of Christ can often times be difficult and messy - but it is Christ's beautiful mess - to which He is the head and chief cornerstone.

Ancient Future

Our faith comes out from a rich heritage and history. It was during the formative years of our faith that creeds, confessions, traditions, and liturgies were developed. These practices and traditions recaptured will not only anchor us but move us forward in our faith.

Freedom

There is freedom in the gospel as it proclaims that in Christ we are sons and daughters of the King. The importance is learning to preach those truths to our heart and life everyday.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A culmination, and an inauguration.


Some pictures from my ordination last Sunday.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Cartoon Jihad

From Pastors.com newsletter, this was an interesting thought as it relates to all the attention recently of Islamic hostile reaction to the offensive cartoons.

"The work of Muhammad is based on being honored and the work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very different reactions to mockery. If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation. This was his saving work: to be insulted and die to rescue sinners from the wrath of God." - John Piper, desiringgod.org

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Those Christians

This was a great post from Mike Garner's blog. It comes from an anonymous letter to Diognetus possibly during the 2nd century. I think it communicates well the calling of the church to be provocative...


"For Christians are not differentiated from other people by country, language or customs; you see, they do not live in cities of their own, or speak some strange dialect, or have some peculiar lifestyle.
This teaching of theirs has not been contrived by the invention and speculation of inquisitive men; nor are they propagating mere human teaching as some people do. They live in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put them. They follow local customs in clothing, food and the other aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us the wonderful and certainly unusual form of their own citizenship.

They live in their own native lands, but as aliens; as citizens, they share all things with others; but like aliens, suffer all things. Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and every native land as a foreign country.
They marry and have children just like every one else; but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are at present in the flesh but they do not live according to the flesh. They are passing their days on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey appointed laws, and go beyond the laws in their own lives.

They love every one, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich. They are short of everything and yet have plenty of all things. They are dishonored and yet gain glory through dishonor.

Their names are blackened and yet they are cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as aliens, and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any reason for their hostility.

To put it simply - the soul is to the body as Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all parts of the body and Christians throughout all the cities of the world. The soul is in the body but is not of the body; Christians are in the world but not of the world."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Ordination and Installation


This Sunday marks the culmination of a long journey, I will be ordained and installed by my Presbytery. Of course this isn't the end, but rather the beginning of a new season of ministry.

I thank God for His unending faithfulness in my life. And I am grateful for the love and support of my beautiful wife and children, and for the welcoming arms of the Big Creek Church family.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

the eBay atheist visits Old St. Patrick's Church

Here is Hemant's first entry into his blog. His next visit is Willow Creek Church, so his visits should provide a good variety of experiences...

Old St. Patrick's Church
I stepped into an Irish Catholic church yesterday morning for my first mass experience. I expected a sermon but I got very little of that. People were already silent when I walked in, praying, though mass hadn't started. This was admittedly a short service, but I think it encompassed what I expected. The pastor read a couple Bible verses, shared some stories, and then gave out communion. Somewhere in there, there was a lot of kneeling.

I did find myself listening pretty intently when the pastor talked about how we shouldn't value materialistic things (in lieu of god). He talked about how he had given up smoking decades ago, but he said the exact year, month, day, hour... he even kept the last ashtray he used. He had my complete attention. Then he talked about communion and I faded. But for a good 2 minutes, I was quite into it.

The idea in itself isn't a bad one. I mean, whether you're a believer or not, we should value family and friends before fads and trends. The Bible takes it a step further and says put your god before even your loved ones. Which makes no sense to me. The whole story about Abraham having to sacrifice his son Isaac never made me think Abraham was a good man. He was someone willing to sacrifice his family. And from an Atheist's perspective, he's having to do it due to voices that he's hearing in his head. Which is just frightening.

Otherwise, the service was pretty low-key. I did wonder if every person that attended actually knew why they did every ritual they did. Why kneel? Why do the sign of the cross when you enter? Why say the Hail Mary? I mean, I guess I have an idea of what they're supposed to mean, but like any ritual, if they didn't do it, would these people be any different?

Tonight, I'm going to change gears completely. I'll be going to Willow Creek Community Church, which is *the* megachurch near Chicago. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

-Hemant

Keep visiting his blog to read comments, responses and follow-up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

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About


Bill Reichart is a Pastor, Ministry Leader, Writer, Speaker and Digital Entrepreneur.

With over 20+ years of ministry experience Bill currently works as the Atlanta Area Director with Christian Medical and Dental Associations. Prior to working with CMDA, Bill worked at
The Vine Community Church (formerly known as Big Creek Church) in Forsyth County, GA. While at The Vine, Bill gave leadership to the Connecting Ministries and Small Groups.

Also, Bill worked on staff
with Campus Crusade for Christ for over 16 years. Over the years, Bill has worked with college students at University of Rhode Island, UVA, and Towson University outside of Baltimore, MD - his home town.

While working with college students, Bill started taking classes at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) and in 2004 he finished his MDiv. at RTS in Orlando.

Bill is married to a beautiful woman for over 20 years, and has two cute daughters that have captured his heart.



If you need to contact Bill, go to the contact page.

To find out more about Bill you can go to his LinkedIn profile:

View Bill Reichart's profile on LinkedIn






Library





My entire library is online!

Feel free to browse and look around.




Monday, February 06, 2006

It has been revealed...

...who won the bid for the Ebay athiest. This article from the Off the Map website explains more.

Ebay Atheist Hired by "Off The Map"

By Jim Henderson
Hemant Mehta is selling his atheistic attention on Ebay. For the highest bidder, Hemant agrees to attend a church with an open mind and report his findings to them.

Off The Map won the bid last Friday night!

Hemant is our newest staff member!

For the past five years, Off The Map has been a leader in helping Christians discover how they are perceived by non Christians. We even encourage churches to hire "lost" people like Hemant and pay them to complete a church survey so the pastor and leaders can hear directly from those they say they are trying to reach.

Hemant will be doing a number of surveys for Off The Map in the greater Chicago area over the next few weeks. A local Chicago paper wrote an article mentioning our interest.

If you would like for your church to be part of this interesting opportunity send us your request and we will let you know if you can be in the mix.

Hemant will be posting his findings on this blog each week.

Check it out

Super Bowl is over...but isn't there more?

Quarterback Tom Brady Seeks More (from Preaching Today.com)

Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, is not only one of the NFL's best players, he is also one of the NFL's best stories.

At the tender age of 28, he has already won three Super Bowls—an accomplishment that ranks him with some of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game. Brady's loss to the Denver Broncos in the 2005 playoffs was his first in the playoffs, compared with 10 playoff wins in the last four years.

But with all of Brady's fame and career accomplishments, he told 60 Minutes: "Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, 'Hey man, this is what is. I reached my goal, my dream, my life.' Me, I think, God, it's got to be more than this. I mean this isn't, this can't be, what it's all cracked up to be."

"What's the answer?" asked interviewer Steve Kroft.

"I wish I knew," Brady replied. "I wish I knew."

Citation: Interview with Steve Croft of 60 Minutes (11-6-05), www.cbsnews.com

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bidding has ended..

Update, the bidding on sending an Athiest to church has ended, the final bid was $504 (that translates to 50 days of church).

The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005 - Christianity Today Movies









The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005 - Christianity Today Movies

Christianity Today has just posted a very good list of this year's past movies that strike redemptive themes. Movies are the stories of our culture, and what better way to create conversations about spiritual issues with those around us than movies. I agree with most of the choices from Christianity Today, because I have seen many of their selections. One addition that I would make to their list is the last Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith. Most of the films mentioned on their list are already on DVD, and therefore they are readily available.

Friday, February 03, 2006

In this for the long haul...

More photos of our team in Bay St. Louis, MS Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

eBay an atheist to church

eBay an atheist to church

This came my friends at thinkchristian.net...

Proving once again, you can buy and sell anything on eBay, an atheist is offering to go to church-for a price.

For every $10 you bid, I will go to the Church for 1 day. For $50, you would have me going to mass every day for a week.

My promise: I will go willingly and with an open mind. I will not say/do anything inappropriate. I will respectfully participate in service, speak to priests, volunteer with the church if possible, do my best to learn about the religious beliefs of the church-goers, and make conversation with anyone who is willing to talk. (Though I do reserve the rights to ask the person questions about the faith.)

I will record my visits through a journal, pictures, or whatever other method of proof you'd like-I will uphold my promise.

You can't make this stuff up!

Check it out yourself

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Just got back from Bay St. Louis, MS. This is the second trip our church has taken to help the Hurricane Katrina victims. It has been 6 mos. since the storm, and the area looks like the storm came in yesterday. I was sobered by the utter devestation, and this is from my experience in 2004 where our family lived in FL and had 3 hurricanes come over our house in a 6 week period. Let us not forget our neighbors on the Gulf Coast. They still need our help and prayers. Posted by Picasa