You know that bad penny that won’t go away?
Or, the leftovers that never seem to get eaten?
Or even the cockroaches that you can’t get rid of?
That’s how I would describe Planned Parenthood. An evil empire bent on killing as many unborn children as possible while making taxpayers foot the bill. In recent months Planned Parenthood has been forced to admit that they don’t really offer prenatal services to expecting mothers. As they try to remain relevant in the public eye amidst revelations that they primarily offer abortion services, Planned Parenthood is getting desperate.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards lashed out against republicans for daring to strip their federal funding; even though a massive majority of Americans say tax money should not be used to fund abortion. Or maybe she’s just upset that poll after poll shows Americans are becoming more pro-life with each passing year. She could still be mad about those videos released to the public showing that her top executives actively seek to sell aborted baby body parts despite clear federal bans on such practices. Evidently she has a lot to be mad about. Continue reading
I’ll never forget the conversation I had with a friend that is planting a church in North Carolina. He had been there a few years and was seeing God work in his community, people getting saved, and the church was growing. But then he made this incredible statement:
“Our church stands out in our community because it is multi-ethnic.”
I asked him to explain the statement as I had no context, no way to process it. He went on to explain that in their community there was a lot of “white churches” and “black churches.” Only white people were welcome at the white churches and only black people were welcome at the black churches. He even told me that people stood outside the churches to make sure no one with the wrong skin color tried to enter.
That is a sad statement in modern America. And yet the statement that racism is alive and well was once again made when white supremacists and Nazis took to the streets of Charlottesville, VA to try and build unity through racism. I know; it’s an irony that is somehow lost on a group that adheres to an evil, sinful ideology. Is unity possible among a group that is willing to plow a car through a crowd of people, injuring many and killing an innocent woman? I agree with Ted Cruz when he said this is evil and deserving of justice.
As Christians, we need to think biblically about this incident, and about racism in general. Before we do that, I want to point out a couple of things that are important for us to consider. Continue reading
This picture of faith leaders praying over President Donald Trump in the Oval Office recently went viral on social media. I’m not so much interested in who the people are praying for President Trump and Vice President Pence as I am the reaction from around the country.
Specifically, I found the reaction of a “pastor” very curious.
Pastor William Barber of North Carolina said that faith leaders violated “the sacred principles of religion” by praying for President Trump. He went on to say that this prayer is “theological malpractice bordering on heresy.”
These comments were made on an MSNBC show by the pastor and NAACP leader much to the surprise of many that saw the photo as something to be encouraged by. After all, many presidents in history have asked for prayer for wisdom and courage during their time as president. Apparently Barber is not one of those that is encouraged.
I’m trying to figure out why a “pastor” is so vocally opposed to the world’s most powerful leader being prayed over by faith leaders. What could possibly be so offensive to a “pastor” about our president seeking and receiving spiritual direction? What am I missing about this image of the President of the United States and his Vice President seeking prayer and wisdom from God that is so problematic?
The first glaring thing in Mr. barber’s statement is the use of the word heresy. We overuse this word in our culture so it’s no surprise that someone would call just about anything heresy these days. However, for a pastor to use this word in such a poor way is surprising. Heresy, in its original Greek form, means: Continue reading
That question has been asked more than most by lost people, critics of Christianity, and Christians seeking to understand sovereignty, grace, and salvation. It’s an honest question that needs an honest answer. And, the answer might surprise you.
The reason people so desperately want to know the answer to this question is because we are humans that care about other humans. We think about the people in remote parts of the world that don’t have a Bible in their language and wonder what will happen to them. We wonder because we care. But we also wonder because we are curious about the nature of God. Deep down, we wonder if the God we serve is kind, loving, and benevolent. Or, is He a sadistic ruler condemning people to everlasting torture.
I have a friend that moved his family to Belize for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with the people there. One of the reasons he felt called to be there was that the people did not have a Bible in their native language. My friend wanted to go and help translate a Bible and use it to share the Gospel. People often comment about how incredible it is that my friend would make this decision.
But is it really a good thing?
R.C. Sproul is one of the world’s leading theologians, pastors, apologists, and evangelical authors. His podcast is listened to daily by people across the globe. His books are in house all over the world. He is a respected Christian that ahs dedicated his life to addressing the tough questions we often ask. Recently I was listening to one of his podcasts in which he was addressing the question of whether innocent people that have never heard the Gospel go to hell. Sproul says the question is loaded with presumptions, but the answer is very simple: Continue reading
The lost world often takes Scripture out of context in order to make it mean what they want it to mean. Verses are twisted and little to no exegesis is ever used in the effort to justify sin. This is completely understandable, as lost people do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them in understanding the Bible.
What about Christians that seem to do the same thing? How do we make sense of a professing Christian that holds to an unbiblical view or takes verses out of context? That’s a big conversation reserved for another day. For today, let’s focus on some of the most abused verses in the Bible and see if we can gain some clarity on their proper, contextual and biblical meaning.
Here’s a short list of some of the most misused, abused, and taken out of context verses in the Bible.
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Christians love to share this verse. We share it with people feeling down about the path their life has taken in order to inspire and give hope. We say this verse to ourselves in the mirror to motivate ourselves to push forward. This verse, more than most others, have been printed on everything from t-shirts to mugs, mouse pads, and Bible covers. There’s just one problem: this verse isn’t a promise to modern day Christians. Continue reading
Much of my life has been spent in the Baptist Churches where cultural Christianity was often the order of the day. Our churches didn’t teach lessons on why smoking and drinking alcohol was wrong, we just knew they were wrong. As far as I knew, everyone was a Republican because only lost people were Democrats. Piano was okay but drums were the devil’s music. And you better believe that at the end of every sermon there would be an altar call.
The preacher would end his sermon by saying “every head bowed and every eye closed.” I knew that the next few minutes would be spent listening to the pianist play “Just As I Am” on the piano while the preacher encouraged people to come down front and pray. At some point the preacher would inevitably say “if you want to be saved, repeat this simple prayer after me,” after which he would recite the “sinners prayer” from memory. Then, with every head bowed and every eye closed, the preacher would ask if anyone said that prayer. He would ask people that said the prayer to raise their hand while assuring them that “no one will see and no one will approach you.”
That might be a familiar routine to you. You also might be wondering what it is and why some churches do it.
First, let’s talk about the history of the altar call and how it came to be a sacred ritual in many churches today. An article at Christianity Today shares some of the history of the altar call: Continue reading
It might surprise some to know that abortion is still illegal in Britain. In our world where abortion seems to be all the rage everywhere you go, it’s noteworthy that some countries, Britain and Ireland for example, have not caved to pressure to legalize abortion.
That could be changing soon as a result of a British medical group’s recent vote to legalize abortion up to the moment of birth.
For me, it’s hard to imagine killing a child at any stage of development in the womb. The most vulnerable and defenseless of our society deserve to be protected, not hunted and murdered. But the idea of waiting until a child is ready to be born, and then deciding to kill him/her is a special kind of evil.
The fact that a very small group of doctors made a decision that impacts a very large group of doctors and citizens does not make this any better. A recent article reports that this decision was made “by a very small number of doctors…about 0.1% or one thousandth of the total membership of the BMA” (British Medical Association). This group of more than 175,000 members held an annual meeting in which only 155-180 members voted to legalize abortion.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the entire campaign to change the abortion laws was based on a false premise. Advocates of change said that women wanted to loosen the laws on abortion. But, as the article noted, a recent poll suggests otherwise: Continue reading
Over the 4th of July holiday, my church stood along the parade route of our suburban Baltimore town. Thousands would line the street and watch the parade, many sitting in the front yard of our church. Out church decided to set up a canopy and hand out free hot dogs, chips, and water. We wanted to interact with our community and allow God to use our service as He saw fit.
One woman that sat in our front yard emigrated to the U.S. from a Middle Eastern country. It was a hot day, but she wore a long dress and her head was fully covered. It was clear to all that she is a Muslim. A Muslim sitting in a Baptist Church yard to watch a 4th of July parade. We interacted with her and treated her like the neighbor she is and thanked her for joining us.
The very next day, on July 5th, the following headline came across my news feed:
“Most American voters support limited travel ban: poll”
Less than 24 hours after hearing a Muslim from a Middle-Eastern country speak about how kind Americans are and how thankful she is to be here, I read about how a majority of Americans now support some form of travel ban. The article states:
“The Politico-Morning Consult poll found 37 percent of voters said they ‘strongly supported’ the new U.S. State Department guidelines that would deny visas to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen who do not have close relatives in the United States. Another 23 percent of voters said they ‘somewhat support’ the guidelines.”
My first thought was, “how can Christians think biblically about this issue?” Continue reading
We live in a culture where absolutely everyone has religious convictions. And I mean, everyone. There is not a single person alive today that is not adhering to some sort of religious views.
For some it’s the religion of sports and each season brings new highs and lows. But one thing is certain, not a single game will be missed. (Sadly, many well-meaning Christian parents place kids’ sports above anything else.)
For others the religion of science is king. If it can be independently verified with empirical evidence then it can be trusted and believed. Everything else is nonsense.
Many are trapped in the religion of consumerism. Adherents to this doctrine seek to consume as much information, entertainment, and pleasure as possible. It’s not merely about doing what feels good; it’s about doing what feels right. And if that “truth” changes, their “theology” changes too.
In a recent podcast I heard the speaker reference “the gospel of acceptance” and explain that some people are simply seeking a gospel in which they feel accepted. With so much division in our culture it’s easy to see how people could long for acceptance and place acceptance so high on their priority list that it becomes, essentially, a gospel. Continue reading
Wait until you read the results of this “shocking” new study concerning the families of pro-life and pro-abortion advocates.
I will never forget the day my wife told me we were having another child. I can remember every detail like it was yesterday and it plays in my mind like a slow-mo highlight reel.
A few days prior we had a discussion about our “plan” for having kids. We determined that it would be best to wait up to 3 years before having another child so our kids would be 3 years apart and spaced out in a way we thought best. After the discussion we decided we would wait another year before trying to have our next child.
The plan was good. It took into account a number of factors, including our income, size of our current house, career considerations. It was logical and made sense to wait. I’m sure many of you can relate as you have probably had similar discussions.
Then one day she came walking down the stairs to my office and laid a wrench on my desk as I was working. I looked up, a little puzzled, and asked if something was leaking ad needed fixed. She smiled and simply said, “there’s a wrench in our plan.” Continue reading