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Category Archives: Issues

November Newsletter Article

The day is almost here.  Tuesday, November 8th is the day we are called upon to go out and vote for our leaders.  The best (but not perfect) Bible verse concerning the importance of voting and the importance of who to vote for may be Deuteronomy 16:18:

You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.  You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.  Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

I say that it’s not perfect since there are some interpretive difficulties in taking a verse giving instructions for Israel when they are entering the promised land and applying it to our representative democracy today!  However, there are some other Bible verses that give us clear instruction regarding how we are to live as Christians regardless of the government we have.

  • We pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
  • We obey our leaders (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
  • But we always recognize that our greatest allegiance is to God, and He comes first (Acts 5:27-29).

In the midst of it all we believe that God is ultimately in control (Daniel 2:20-21), and that He can do as He wishes (Proverbs 2:11).  The issue becomes the difference between what God decrees and what God allows.  God says that certain things will happen and they do!  But other times He works in the midst of our decisions and our choices, because He can still accomplish His will.  Our responsibility then may go back to Deuteronomy 16:18, remembering that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).”  Please make your decision on November 8th based on prayer, the Word, and a continual reliance upon God’s Spirit.

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Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Culture, Issues, Newsletter

 

May newsletter article

I worry about our culture and the Christian response to it.  This issue is an age old one, with many different solutions.  Should we withdraw from culture?  Should we go along with culture?  Do we try to transform culture?  Do we exist in parallel with culture?  My musings were actually brought about by the comments of a football player, whose jersey I regularly wear.  The comments made me wonder if perhaps my allegiance should be elsewhere.  How should I respond?  What should I do, if I do anything at all?

Now some might feel that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.  After all, just because I wear the jersey doesn’t mean that I support everything that they say or do!  True, but perhaps there are role models out there that I would be better off supporting, even if they don’t play for my team!  I remember when Charles Barkley famously said, “I’m not a role model,” and belittled the idea that professional athletes serve as examples for society.  That begs the issue.  We are a celebrity culture, and we like anyone that is humorous, beautiful, wealthy, powerful, or athletic. We follow them on Twitter, and Facebook.  We buy their products.  We go to their movies.  We watch their games.  We support their campaigns.  We wear their jerseys.  And we say something about ourselves when we do.  We say something about who we like, who we support, and who we are.  And we need to remember that we are role models too! 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” We represent Jesus Christ to the world, and it should impact everything that we do.

The answer to my current dilemma is easy: I wear the colors and the logo, but not the jersey.  I support the team, but I don’t necessarily take a stand on the individual.  No, nobody is perfect.  But my responsibility as a Christian is to be and to point people to good examples and godly lifestyles, not end up in a position where I am defending what someone else does simple because I’m a fan.  I need to be a bigger fan of Jesus, which brings a responsibility of its own!  For you see, Jesus “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Culture, Inspirational, Issues

 

In answer to the question, it says we are in big trouble…

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Culture, Issues, Video

 

Theological Triage

We are going to look at “Post Reformation Growing Pains” this week during Bible Study on Sunday morning.  A few weeks back I introduced the idea of “Theological Triage” by sharing an article that Al Mohler wrote in 2004.  Here is chart and a good summary of the concept that I’m going to share in class tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Issues, Theology

 

June Newsletter Article – Dealing with Hard Relationships

We are in the midst of what I am calling my 2015 family and culture series, and we are preparing to get to the heart of the study.  As I think about family relationships, I find that I am surrounded by issues and situations that would make just about anybody cry.  It seems that every day I am being reminded that families can be difficult, and that we often need a lot of grace and understanding to get us through.  With that in mind, I’ve come up with some unofficial rules over the past 46 years that I think are very important and that I like to share with people in counseling situations…

  • You can’t turn the Adams family into a Norman Rockwell painting. I know, a little dated. What would it be now? You can’t turn the Kardashians into……anybody know the name of a mature TV or celebrity family? Anyway, I digress. The point is that you can’t do it! You can’t control what other people do, or make them behave in a different way. And that is further complicated by my next point…
  • Some people don’t want to be helped. It actually goes beyond that. Some people are violently opposed to being helped and will lash out at you if they even suspect that you are being critical of them. It’s a dangerous world out there! Proverbs says “Answer a fool according to his folly,” and “Answer not a fool according to his folly” (Proverbs 26:4-5). Which is right? Both are! What we need is discernment to understand when each is appropriate.
  • My final point is probably the most controversial, even though I don’t believe it should be. Sometimes, for your own health and well-being, you have to let go, at least for a time. Does a battered wife need to stay at home? Does an abused child need sanctuary? Hopefully you answered those questions “No” and “Yes.” But does that only apply to physical abuse? What about verbal, mental, and emotional abuse? Why should we allow that type of battering to take place? Sometimes there may be extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into account (illness, medication, etc.), but why do we often refuse to allow someone the space and distance they need to heal just because the bruising isn’t physical?

I don’t know what you are going through right now in your own life, but I would remind you of that day when “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

 
 

The Crusades…not what you think!

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/02/09/what-about-the-crusades/

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Issues

 

Pushing the boundaries…

There is so much that one could say about the upcoming “50 Shades” movie, but much of it has been written about already.

Here is an excellent article about the movie/book, and this article provides 7 lessons we can learn from the “50 Shades” phenomena.  Finally, here is an interesting read about the possible emotional effects of romance novels.

My best word on the subject comes from the Bible: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Culture, Issues