Tag Archives: biblical
The first order says that a person, of their own volition (though through the preaching of the Gospel), decides to have faith in Christ. This faith that a person decides to exercise is the catalyst for the entire salvation process. Once a person decides for him/herself to exercise this faith, repentance and regeneration follow and the salvation process commences and is completed.
The problem with this view is…
When we forget that people in prison for committing crimes are still people, it’s easy to justify 30 or 40 years in prison. When we forget that punishments are supposed to have a purpose, it’s easy to throw someone in prison for selling marijuana, stealing a bottle of alcohol, or not paying their taxes. When marijuana is legal in one state but not another, it adds a whole new level of intricacy to the equation.
What is mind-boggling to me is the number of self-professing Christians that are unhappy with the statement. I can understand lost people hating it, they hate the truth of God’s Word. Their mind and heart are ravaged by sin and under the influence of their inherent sin nature. As enemies of God (we are all born this way), they reject His authority and the clear principles for life given in Scripture. After all, darkness hates light. Darkness craves darkness to continue evil deeds that darkness loves. So when lost people react with vitriol to a biblical statement of orthodox Christian doctrine, it’s no surprise.
But I can’t figure out why Christians are so upset.
About a year ago former president Obama announced that transgender people could serve openly in the military. The decision was criticized by many saying it would affect unit cohesion and military readiness. Others panned the decision as a drain on tax dollars that would be needed to fund hormone treatments and sex-reassignment surgeries. And of course there were plenty of privacy discussions.
One thing to be clear about in our “everything is a right” culture is that serving in the military is not a right. There’s nothing in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that says a person has the right to serve in the military. It is a privilege. If serving in the military were a right there would be no entrance requirements and people could not be disqualified based on bad eyesight, diabetes, or any other physical limitation. But, people are disqualified for any number of reasons, which is further evidence that military service is a privilege and not a right.
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.)