A Texas megachurch is facing criticism after a viral TikTok video showed a rehearsal of its Christmas production with drummers flying over the crowd on wires. The church says it’s simply offering its best to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Critics say it’s an extravagant violation of Jesus’ humble spirit. Who’s right? New data says Americans are far more isolated and lonely than ever before, and it’s not because of Covid. Is the church the solution or part of the problem? And a researcher offers three surprising explanations for why the decline of religion in the U.S. didn’t start until the 1990s.
Then, Old Testament scholar Carmen Imes answers questions about the book of Exodus. Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? What does it really mean to take God’s name in vain? And how do all of the details about the tabernacle apply to Christians today?
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0:00 - Intro
2:49 - Megachurch Christmas production
21:12 - Loneliness
39:01- Why Americans are leaving their churches
53:29 - Sponsor: Faithful Counseling
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Interview with Carmen Imes
BibleProject Classroom on Exodus - https://bibleproject.com/classroom/overview/exodus-overview/
Carmen Imes - https://twitter.com/carmenjoyimes
55:42 - Interview intro
57:16 - Why Exodus is important
58:55 - Pharoah’s heart being hardened
1:03:58 - Taking the Lord’s name in vain
1:10:54 - Tabernacle
1:19:05 - Golden calf story
1:26:05 - BibleProject Exodus course
Links mentioned in news segment:
Holy Post 529: Rapture Anxiety and Why Analog Discipleship is Better with Jay Y. Kim - https://www.holypost.com/post/episode-529-rapture-anxiety-why-analog-discipleship-is-better-with-jay-y-kim
“Texas Megachurch responds to backlash over opulent Christmas show” (Houston Chronicle) -
“Americans are choosing to be alone. Here’s why we should reverse that” (Washington Post) - https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/23/americans-alone-thanksgiving-friends/
“Why Americans are leaving their churches” (Religion News Service) - https://religionnews.com/2022/12/01/why-americans-are-leaving-their-churches/
“Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters” by Carmen Joy Imes - https://amzn.to/3uQbKKp
Carmen Imes on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/c/CarmenJoyImesPhD
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