Tag Archives: biblical
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?
My first thought was, “how can Christians think biblically about this issue?”
As I conversed with Christians about this topic it was clear that many are in the same boat I am. We want to be biblical, we want to prioritize the Gospel, and we want to be loving to foreigners coming to America. But, we also want to protect our families and the lives of those around us from people that would seek to do harm.
Let’s establish some basic thoughts and then we can discuss the issue and hopefully come to some conclusions.
If you’ve never seen The Gospel Project curriculum, it would be in your best interest to take a moment and review it. The prominent difference between The Gospel Project and other church curriculums is that it focuses on the essential doctrines of Scripture over a three-year period. The student will be taken on a theological trip through the Bible, highlighting critical doctrines such as the Bible, God, Creation, Sin, and Redemption.
Below is a list of some of the essential doctrines discussed in The Gospel Project. Take a minute and review the list. How many of these doctrines could you clearly communicate to someone if asked? This is just 20 of the 99 essential doctrines The Gospel Project studies. Consider looking deeper into this study if you are unfamiliar with these critical doctrines.
Let’s take a minute to talk about alcohol and Christians and whether or not it is permissible for Christians to ever drink alcohol.
By now you may have heard that mega-church pastor Perry Noble has been fired from his church for his over-use of alcohol. The church Noble founded and pastored for more than 15 years, New Spring Church, made the decision after first walking through the steps of reconciliation as outlined in Matthew 18. A recent article reports:
“Perry’s posture towards his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors, were of continual concern. Due to this, the Executive Pastors confronted Perry and went through the steps of dealing with sin in the church as outlined in Matthew 18. Because Perry chose not to properly address these ongoing issues and didn’t take the necessary steps toward correcting them, he is no longer qualified, as outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and the church’s bylaws, to continue as a pastor at NewSpring Church.”
I came to West Virginia from the great state of Ohio. I’d spent most of my life in Ohio and considered Ohio my “home state.” I was not thrilled about moving to West Virginia in 2001 because all I knew about the Mountaineer state was redneck and hillbilly jokes. A “city boy” like me was bound to be out of place and have little in common with people that considered “giggin frogs” a viable weekend recreation. But I came here for family.
My dad is a pastor. He had just accepted a position with a church in West Virginia and moved when I was at a place of transition in my life. We talked about working together at this new church as a family; my brother, dad, mom, and myself. The thought of working with family was something that I would not fully appreciate until many years after it was over. But for now I was excited to be living and working around my family.
Fast-forward 15 years and I’m now pensive as I leave West Virginia.
If you didn’t know better, you would be convinced that a vast majority of evangelical Christians support Donald Trump for president. If you didn’t know better.
There is no doubt that the mainstream media is propping Donald Trump up in his bid to be elected president. No one says the crazy things Trump has said on the campaign trail and survives unless the media is helping. Liberal outlets even seem joyful in their reporting that “evangelical Christians” are lining up to support Trump. But is it true that evangelicals en masse are prepared to vote for Trump in this year’s election?
I don’t think so.
Yes, it’s true that Trump has secured (for now) a large part of the Christian vote. We could have a discussion on the difference between “self-identified Christian” and those that are truly Christ-followers, but I’ll save that for another time. For now let’s just agree that many church-going people intend to vote for Trump in November and that reality is causing a stir.
Never in my years of presidential elections have I witnessed so many prominent evangelicals vocally oppose a republican candidate. For the most part church leaders and other prominent evangelicals remain silent. Not because they don’t have opinions and prefer one candidate over another; but because they prefer to focus on the Gospel instead of politics. (That’s also another conversation.)
What strikes me about her comment is her realization that her emotions were not trustworthy. Anna seems to recognize that true love is not about feelings but choices. In our current culture love is an emotion. It’s something people feel, and, therefore, can un-feel. So it’s no surprise that people fall into and out of love. But this show a misunderstanding of what true love is. The reality is that love is a verb. Love is the decisions we make each and every day.
Anna is right that what she is going through is a betrayal, and it’s hard. But she is also correct in that if she were to react according to her emotions she would surely make a “mess” into a “disaster.” So often people turn a mess, a fixable mess that could be overcome, into a disaster. Often that disaster is permanent and cannot be overcome. They do this by reacting emotionally rather than making choices consistent with a proper understanding of love.
Let’s use this example to illustrate what I’m talking about.
How would you answer the question “What is the church?”
This question might evoke answers ranging from a building with a steeple on top to a group of people that come together to worship Jesus. Whatever your answer might be there is a chance that you have not thought through the depth and intricacies of all that the church is.
The doctrine of the church, called Ecclesiology, is a foundational and yet often neglected aspect of biblical doctrine. Ecclesiology shapes everything from the leadership of the church to the way we live out our purpose each and every week. Knowing how central Ecclesiology is to the purpose and function of the church it is unfortunate that so many established churches have not given considerable attention to this critical doctrine.
In a recent post, blogger Ed Stetzer writes that Ecclesiology “must bear a great deal of theological weight” due to its importance in shaping the church.
At one time our Founders sought refuge from government persecution for their religious convictions. They left their homes to establish a place where people could freely live out their faith in every aspect of their life. What is happening today is a return to that same government persecution that our Founders desperately wanted to leave behind.
One area this seems most apparent is in the effort to force Christians to accept homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.” Sure, there may have been a goal of simply seeing this lifestyle legitimized and legalized; but that appears now to have been a precursor for the larger goal of forcing every person to accept and celebrate it. But there can now be no doubt that seeking simple “equality” is a long forgotten idea. And the rhetoric we were fed that “no one would be affected” was nothing more than a well-rehearsed talking point in a carefully crafted campaign.
A statement in an article from a couple months ago echoes what, I believe, many Americans are thinking: