Tag Archives: biblical
This is likely to be a short blog post. But one I hope to build upon and expand into a cohesive doctrinal teaching regarding the church.
Recently I was in a discussion with a group of people about the church. We were talking about being hurt by the church; something I’m afraid too many people have in common. In fact, when I asked who had ever been hurt by the church I am fairly certain every hand went up. I jokingly quipped that those hands not going up represent some “really good liars.”
Call me a skeptic, but anyone that claims to have never been hurt by the church strikes me as dishonest. After years in ministry I’m just not sure there is anyone left that has not been hurt by the church.
As I reflect back on my life growing up as a pastor’s kid, ministry education, and time spent in various ministry roles, I have concluded that two things lead to much of the hurt that takes place in the church: unbiblical church structure, and unbiblical expectations placed on pastors.
Some might view such a discovery as dangerous to the biblical understanding of sexuality. I don’t necessarily agree because as it stands, without the support of research, the biblical understanding of sexuality is being relentlessly attacked. Though no such “gay gene” has been located and every attempt has failed, those certain that they were “born that way” champion their cause against any attempt to use the Bible to say otherwise. They are, in essence, distorting the biblical understanding of sexuality as we speak and twisting Scripture to fit their agenda.
Furthermore, the discovery of a “gay gene” would in no way remove or alter the biblical understanding of sexuality that is clearly taught from beginning to end. Homosexuality would no more be legitimate or un-sinful if there was a “gay gene” than it is right now. Just as alcoholism, adultery, theft, lying, or bestiality would be legitimate and biblically lawful with the discovery of their respective gene. Christians would still not be able to approve of what the Bible clearly calls sin just because a gene was found that supposedly predisposes people toward homosexuality. Sin is sin.
I’ve heard a lot of arguments for abortion that have bothered me. Many of them are selfish and take no account for the human life being destroyed. And some of those arguments have come from Christians or others seeking to gain the support of the religious community. When I hear attempts to justify abortion by distorting Scripture I cringe.
But what two “pastors” said in an attempt to justify abortion, encourage religious people to support it, and demand Christians pay for it is simply beyond the pale.
An article at LifeNews carries the comments from the Washington Post by pro-abortion Reverends, Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers and Harry Knox in their attempt to encourage Christians to support and subsidize abortion. They write:
Christians have a responsibility to be obedient to civil government. Verses such as Mark 12:17 and Romans chapter 13 make it clear that Christians have a duty to be obedient to civil government because God has ordained government “for your good.”
Knowing that Christians have a responsibility to civil government makes it hard for some to understand why we resist and fight some laws. If, they suppose, Christians are to obey government, why fight the HHS mandate or the redefinition of marriage?
For those leading the charge in these particular areas of culture change it makes no sense for Christians to expend all their energy fighting the government when they should, as the Bible teaches, submit to and obey the government. Rather than risk the loss of livelihood or be fined for resisting and opposing laws mandated by the government, Christians ought to submit and obey.
While that is, technically true, it is not entirely true and stands outside the context of Christian responsibility.
The following article from the Christian Post should serve as a very sobering warning to every church regarding youth ministry. I would also suggest that it applies to kids ministry as well. Churches that are quick to entertain and lack the ability to challenge their kids and students could be setting them up to reject faith entirely during their college years.
As parents it should be our most sincere desire to be in a church that will intentionally challenge our kids and students in their faith. We should be looking for leaders that are not just convicted in their beliefs, but know the Bible and how to communicate it. At the end of the day the fun and games must take a back seat to imparting solid doctrine and teaching biblical values to the impressionable people in our care.
I encourage you to take a few moments and read this article if you are a parent or church leader. Let us be reminded of the eternal nature of our charge to share our faith and disciple our kids and students.
Learning From Young Atheists: What Turned Them Off Christianity
It’s something most Christian parents worry about: You send your kids off to college and when they come back, you find they’ve lost their faith. The prospect of this happening is why many parents nudge their kids towards Christian colleges, or at least schools with a strong Christian presence on campus.
But in many ways, the damage has been done long before our children set foot on campus. That’s the message from a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly.
I’m a major advocate of pastors talking about “politics” from the pulpit. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a pastor, or that I’m a political junky. It has to do with my belief that at the core of every Christian is a theology that orders his or her worldview. That worldview dictates daily actions and interactions. For this reason it is critical that pastors address “political issues” from the pulpit.
Now, I want to make sure we are on the same page. When I say “political issues” I don’t mean that pastors should talk about the IRS, or the FCC, or whether our current foreign policy is working, or the state of our military. Those are not the “political” issues I have in mind.
When I say pastors should discuss political issues from the pulpit I am referring to issues that are, in fact, biblical moral issues that have been hijacked by our highly politicized culture.
Issues such as abortion, marriage, sexuality, and gender roles are not political issues; these issues are biblical moral issues that demand attention, clear communication, and biblical grounding.
A motion was made from the floor of the SBC annual meeting this year to discipline a Southern California church.
This might sound like an odd motion, but upon understanding the reason for the motion the action might be warranted.
This particular church, The New Heart Community Church, in La Mirada, CA, based on the leadership of their pastor has decided to affirm homosexual behavior.
The move came after the pastors’ son revealed in a video that he was gay. The pastor then told the church that he had decided to support his sons behavior and lifestyle. The church decided to support their pastor and change church policy rather than adhering to biblical truth.
This is important because this is the first instance of a southern baptist church endorsing homosexuality.
Filing for divorce twice as often as men, women most often say it is due to ‘mental cruelty’ (Source: Why women leave men). It seems that in most all statistics, women are worse off as a whole. They are seeing the highest levels of poverty ( Source: National Women’s Law Center), out of wedlock births (Source: National Review), and one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime (Source: Guttmacher Institute).
It demands us to ask some serious questions. Has the last century of women’s rights not touched the home? Has women’s equality not turned the tide of divorce? Has it not lifted women out of poverty instead of sinking them further into poverty? Women’s equality has failed precisely because it is misplaced from the Biblical understanding of women. It has failed precisely because it misunderstands the honor God has given to women.
In short, if you think women are equal to men, then you have too low of a view of women. Women are not merely equal, they are to be honored and esteemed unlike that of a man.
Joe Carter writes for the Gospel Coalition, among other venues, and does a great job of research and writing. Besides that, he’s a really nice guy. Carter has written another in his “9 Things You Should Know” series, this one concerning the story of Noah. While we are quick to relay the basic story of Noah from the Bible, Carter brings out details that few ever consider. Considering how badly the new Noah movie portrays the biblical events, these very biblical facts from the Noah narrative are worth taking a look at. Here’s Carter’s list:
1. The story of Noah is told is chiastic parallelism (or chiasmus), a figure of speech in which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second. If you assign the letters A and B to the first appearance of the key words or phrases and A’ and B’ to their subsequent appearance, they follow what is commonly referred to as an A-B-B-A pattern.