Morality

Morality is discussed in the posts below either directly or through critiquing social and political issues and their implications.

Thumbnail image for Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Dr. Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Dallas, shares his view of how Christians should respond to the Paris terrorist attacks. He addresses the government’s role in protecting its citizens and how radical Islam (ISIS) should be bombed. In this short clip, it is not clear that Jeffress shares his thoughts on every aspect of the Paris attacks including its effect on the refugee crisis. Christians, per Romans 13, expect the government to seek justice on radicals like ISIS et al. Yet, caught in the middle are thousands of Syrian refugees who have been driven from their homes. These refugees …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Kim Davis is Not the Problem with Evangelical Christianity

Kim Davis is Not the Problem with Evangelical Christianity

Fellow Southern Baptist, Pastor Russell Williams, gave three reasons related to Kim Davis’ case for why Evangelical Christians are losing. He begins: Since I am a pastor of a southern Baptist church please allow me to weigh in on the case of Kim Davis, the lady in Kentucky who refuses to issue a marriage licenses to a same sex couple. I am a licensed Southern Baptist Minister which means I can legally marry people (not that this makes my position more authoritative). I simply disagree with brother Williams and do not believe Kim Davis is the problem with Evangelical Christianity.  Below …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Hillary Replaces Jesus and President Obama Is Inserted Into a Hymn

Hillary Replaces Jesus and President Obama Is Inserted Into a Hymn

Voices from the Heart, a women’s alternative chorus, recently changed the words for a Christian hymn replacing Jesus’ name with Hillary Clinton’s. According to a Facebook post, they sang this alternative hymn to about 1,200 people. I would understand if this were a Weird Al Yankovic tune – there would have been some creativity and humor. But these women were serious! Yep, this chorus took the African-American hymn Woke Up this Mornin’ which is about Jesus and made it about Hillary. This alternative hymn certainly comes across as Hillary worship. I wish I were surprised, but I’m not. People have been worshiping …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for If Chick-fil-A is Denied a Lease, Will Christians Have to Stop Sharing Their Views Publicly?

If Chick-fil-A is Denied a Lease, Will Christians Have to Stop Sharing Their Views Publicly?

Denver City Council members have placed a Chick-fil-A lease at the Denver International Airport on hold over its LGBT positions. Apparently, some council members do not like the Christian positions CFA president, Dan Cathy, shared three years ago. The backlash from Cathy’s comments energized supporters to hold a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day giving the company huge revenues. But the Denver council members believe a moral issue is in play if they allow CFA a place in the Denver International Airport. One of the members is concerned CFA profits would be used to promote discrimination. (Despite the fact that CFA allowed itself to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for National Protest Planned Parenthood Day Marietta, GA with Dr. Alveda King

National Protest Planned Parenthood Day Marietta, GA with Dr. Alveda King

On the morning of August 22, 2015, my wife and I attended the National Protest Planned Parenthood Day in Marietta, GA. We had a mixture of around 600-700 people. I jumped on Periscope and recorded live video on the scene and captured Dr. Alveda King  speaking. Dr. King spoke against abortion and in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. A couple of pro-Planned Parenthood folks slipped in with their signs behind King while she was speaking. This gave King a chance to address those folks, share her story about her two abortions, and set the record straight about her uncle, Martin …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar has been caught in yet another sexual sin once the hacked Ashley Madison database was leaked. (His responses noted below.) On one hand, I am surprised at this revelation. On the other hand, I am not surprised because, sadly, any of us men are only a few clicks away from being Josh Duggar. It Could Have Been You Do you think you are better than Josh Duggar? Do you think nothing like that could happen to you? Think again. We live in a culture that is saturated in sexuality. Sex appeal was discovered long ago to be a key ingredient …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Another Planned Parenthood Undercover Video

Another Planned Parenthood Undercover Video

Planned Parenthood has been caught on video in another undercover sting. If you thought past undercover videos were bad, this time the Senior Director of Medical Services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been caught selling body parts of aborted babies. Dr. Russell Moore, president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, weighed in on the video. Sadly, some have reported his article “Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling” to Facebook as abusive thereby blocking the link. Dr. Moore writes: I must admit I was speechless for close to an hour. I saw a video …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently ruled that gay marriage is a right legalizing such marriages. thereby redefining marriage. The support for this decision among professing Christians has been striking but so has the backlash. The reaction to the SCOTUS ruling from some Christian circles has revealed a kind of hatred for the homosexual community. Let me explain. Jesus commanded Christians to love others. In fact, he taught that one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. But that was the second greatest commandment. The first is to love God with all our …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Loving Bruce Jenner

Loving Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Summer Olympics men’s decathlon gold medal winner, recently declared himself a woman and changed his name to Caitlyn. As you might imagine, reactions from those supporting Jenner, as well as those disapproving, has been intense. I am one who disapproves. Yet, I have been praying for him. At the same time, I wonder how an Evangelical Christian, like myself, might love Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner? There are at least three reasons: 1) he is made in God’s image, 2) he is a sinner, too, and 3) he needs the Savior, too. Jenner is made in God’s image …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Wheaton Drinks the Kool-Aid by Larry Farlow

Wheaton Drinks the Kool-Aid by Larry Farlow

Wheaton College, a leading evangelical university, now sponsors a student group for homosexuals. This group, called “Refuge,” is designed to provide a “biblically faithful community” for homosexual students. According to an article on the Christian News Network: …the Wheaton Chaplain’s Office hired Julie Rodgers, a “celibate gay Christian,” to lead the group as student counselor. Rodgers believes God uses her homosexuality to glorify Him. “As God has redeemed and transformed me, he’s tapped into those gay parts of me that now overflow into compassion for marginalized people and empathy for social outcasts—he’s used my gay way of being for His glory …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

I am currently teaching through a series on the Book of James at church. We are only into the second chapter but one thing is certain, James is not bashful, he is not afraid of speaking the truth. James is the brother of Jesus and he did not believe his older half brother was his Savior until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Reviewing James’ letter shows us that his faith was strong and he was determined that people would hear the rightful message AND how it should impact their lives. James’ faithfulness in speaking the Word of God eventually led to …keep reading »

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When Don Lemon Does Not Understand Ryan Anderson’s Arguments for Marriage

In the above clip, CNN Anchor, Don Lemon, debates Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author of What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense, over same-sex marriage. However, Lemon does not seem to understand Anderson’s points. Specifically, Lemon does not grasp that 1) same-sex marriage is not illegal, 2) SCOTUS is deciding on redefining marriage, and 3) children do best when with their married parents. Same-sex marriage is not illegal Anderson’s point is that two people of the same sex will not be arrested for marrying each other. The “marriage” may not be recognized, but the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Refusing Service to a Same-sex Wedding is About Marriage Not Homosexuality

Refusing Service to a Same-sex Wedding is About Marriage Not Homosexuality

When a Christian baker or florist refuses service for a gay same-sex marriage, the issue is marriage not homosexuality. Apologist Greg Koukl has made this point several times and I agree. But is the claim true? Yes! Barronelle Stutzman, for example, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, refused to provide flower for the same-sex wedding of her gay friend, Rob Ingersoll. Stutzman provided flowers for Ingersoll for years despite him being gay. The issue clearly was not simply about his homosexuality, but her Christian convictions about marriage. I would further assume that Stutzman (and other Christians of the same convictions) would have …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Transgender Student Elected to Homecoming Court

Ethics: Transgender Student Elected to Homecoming Court

What would you do Wednesday! Recently, here in Metro-Atlanta, a local CBS news headline tells a story that will most likely become more common in the days ahead. The headline reads: Transgender student at Metro Atlanta school elected to homecoming court. Some may be surprised to find out that the high school in question is in a very conservative area. In this post, I would like Christian parents to consider what they would do if they found their kids in the scenario in the above story. Your son comes home from school excited. You ask him, “What’s up?” He tells you that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Working for Wind

Working for Wind

I’ve been busy lately reading and writing closing out the seminary semester. Throw in the fact that I’ve not been sleeping much and I’ve got a battle between sleep and school. Juggling seminary, work, and home life can be exhausting at times and even frustrating. Sometimes I wonder – why all this studying? What’s the motivation? As with anything we Christians do in life, our motivation should be to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31). Our reason should be kingdom motivated. That is, God’s kingdom, not our own. One of the temptations in America, in ministry or otherwise, is the temptation to seek our …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Reasons Why I Am Encouraged By Mark Driscoll’s Open Letter Apology

3 Reasons Why I Am Encouraged By Mark Driscoll’s Open Letter Apology

I am going to share a couple of reasons why I am encouraged by Mark Driscoll’s leaked open letter apology (copied below). And it is not because he and I share the same first and middle names, spelling and all. Seriously though, I was just about to close twitter when I saw a link to the letter in my twitter feed. I was going to come back to it later, but decided to click the link instead of clicking close. Not sure what to expect, I was encouraged by Driscoll’s letter. So, instead of second guessing Driscoll’s motives and picking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Over at the Gospel Coalition, Alex Medina asks in the title of his post Must Art Be Evangelistic to Be Christian? Since the question is really about art made by Christians, let me re-phrase the question. Must Christian art be evangelistic? Or, a fuller version of the question from a Facebook friend, “Does a Christian who does music have to talk about Christianity or anything about the gospel in their music?” I emphasized the words “must” and “have to” above to set-up my brief answer. No, a Christian artist does not “have to” only produce evangelistic art. Evangelistic art is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Valentime’s Day Again?

Valentime’s Day Again?

Valentime’s Day is what I used to call it as a kid. I thought people were saying time. I would occasionally hear tine, but I just thought people were talking too fast. Calling it Valentime’s Day made more sense to me because it sounded like it was time for something to be celebrated. I had no idea what a tine was so time made more sense to me. Of course, then I wondered what a Valen was and what I was supposed to do with it. So, as a kid I didn’t understand Valentime’s Day. As an adult, I have a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Atlanta Storms: A Reflection on Life

Atlanta Storms: A Reflection on Life

The South is getting hit with unusual weather lately. In fact, a couple weeks ago I wrote about, and shared pictures of, the ice and snow storm that hit Metro-Atlanta. Now, as I write this, the ice is melting from another storm. The storm lasted two days and is hopefully over though its effects will last a bit longer. Thankfully, people, especially buses full of children, were not stranded on the roads this time. Unfortunately, people did lose power and there were some emergencies. Sadly, there have been about a dozen or so deaths in the South due to the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

I get what Platt is saying. I wish we (yes, me) would be more excited about our Sunday times of worship and fellowship. I wish we Christians would learn how to relay the excitement about our weekend fellowship just as we would after seeing the latest box office hit. Anyway… Your thoughts? Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Pictures: Atlanta Snow Storm Abandoned Vehicles

Pictures: Atlanta Snow Storm Abandoned Vehicles

I previously shared about my inability to drive home which led to a night in the Sandy Springs shelter in Snowed Out Atlanta: A Night in the Shelter. Below are a few pictures I snapped on the what home of abandoned vehicles on the Sandy Springs/Cobb County line at the Chattahoochee River. (My wife asked a friend of ours to make an “I survived” t-shirt about the Atlanta snow storm, so she did: “I Survived the Georgia Gridlock Blizzard January 2014.”) [Note: Images may not load on mobile devices.]

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Thumbnail image for Snowed Out Atlanta: A Night in the Shelter

Snowed Out Atlanta: A Night in the Shelter

Last night I left my office to go home at about 12:30 in the afternoon. Seven hours later I had traveled 3 miles. I stopped at Firehouse Subs in Sandy Springs only to meet some of my fellow stranded Atlantans. We ate dinner at Firehouse watching as cars inched forward on Roswell Road for over an hour. I decided not to get back into traffic going and resume my .5 MPH pace. I figured I would sleep in my car, but my wife had other ideas. She was not going to worry about her stranded husband all night sleeping in …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Considering La Shawn Barber on the Theological Beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Considering La Shawn Barber on the Theological Beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an American icon who is rightly remembered for giving his life working to advance Civil Rights. He was also a Baptist pastor though it seems not much is known or said about his theological beliefs. Below, King’s beliefs will be noted as La Shawn Barber laid them out in her article Assessing the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her piece will help answer the question – what where Martin Luther King, Jr.’s theological beliefs? First, Barber’s whole article is worth reading to get a good sketch of King’s life under the following subtopics: “Kings Life …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Free Sanctity of Human Life Bible Studies

Free Sanctity of Human Life Bible Studies

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in January as the National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This designation continued with the presidents who followed Reagan. The third Sunday of January is upon us and LifeWay Christian Resources would like to help us think biblically about the sanctity of human life. The sanctity of life is something we should think about everyday. In fact, everyone thinks about the sanctity of their own lives everyday without realizing it. Each of us subconsciously act in ways of self-preservation because our lives are important to us. Self-preservation actions include visiting the doctor …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty Rebrief: Phil Robertson Is Not My Spokesman

Duck Dynasty Rebrief: Phil Robertson Is Not My Spokesman

Below is a brief response to Trevin Wax’s article at the Gospel Coalition site titled Duck Dynasty Debrief. I am in basic agreement with most of Trevin’s piece. However, I am going to respond to a few items under the subtitle “Phil Robertson Is Not Our Spokesman.” If you have not heard of Duck Dynasty you probably have not been to Kroger, Walmart, social media, or almost anywhere on the internet in the last month or so. The Duck Dynasty brand is showing up on various products including candy, motor oil, bedding, jewelry, t-shirts, etc. Seeing the brand everywhere is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Conspiracy: How to Use the Media to Control Citizens

Conspiracy: How to Use the Media to Control Citizens

Maybe I’ve read Behold a Pale Horse one too many times, but the scripted news below exposed by Conan O’Brien fits nicely into a conspiracy theory. OK, confession: I haven’t read nor owned the book in over a decade. I also have not been a Free Mason in over a decade. Yet, Conspiracy theories are fascinating on many levels. I don’t really buy into conspiracies, but the amount of truth that seems sometimes found in them can be scary. For example, watching the humorous videos below from Conan showing scripted news reports is a little frightening. Sure, it is funny …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty: A&E Tolerates Phil Robertson…Sort of

Duck Dynasty: A&E Tolerates Phil Robertson…Sort of

Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended from filming by A&E on December 18th. Now, 10 days later A&E has removed the suspension. Phil is again filming the show with his family. A&E released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter explaining their reversal. The network stated, in part: “We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold. But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

One United Methodist Youth Pastor, Tyler Smither, stated his position that What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter. He wrote the article in light of the recent Phil Robertson GQ interview and  Frank Schaefer’s defrocking over performing his son’s same-sex marriage. Smither is wrong that it does not matter what someone believes about homosexuality. The importance of what is believed on the subject is easily seen, for example, by how it divides each side, both for and against. The big issue Smither raises is the one he uses  as the reason why one’s position on homosexuality does not matter. He asserts that calling homosexuality …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ex-Gang Member Surrenders Life to Jesus Christ

Ex-Gang Member Surrenders Life to Jesus Christ

The following is by guest blogger, Tommie Scott, who is the son of one of the first Crip gang members in the United States—Big Tommie from Watts Jordan Down Projects in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of “The Tommie Scott Story: From Gangs, Drugs, and Crimes To Soldier For Christ.” His documentary may be found on YouTube. Check out his story below! We live in a world that says, “Live for the here and now!” “It’s all about me.” “It’s all about my race, my group, my social standing.” A world that says, “Just go on and gain all …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Köstenberger on Plagiarism

Köstenberger on Plagiarism

In his book, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholary Virtue (Good News Publishers, 2011.), Andreas Köstenberger addresses the topic of plagiarism. He tackles the subject under the sub-title “Diligence and Vices” encouraging the reader to be diligent in their work breaking sinful vices including laziness. In part, he writes that is is a form of theft. “If you plagiarize, you are engaging in a form of theft, stealing the intellectual property of others. What is more, once a scholar’s reputation has been marred by plagiarism, it is virtually impossible to regain credibility. Even if those whom you harmed by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Trueman on Christian Celebrity Culture

Trueman on Christian Celebrity Culture

Carl Trueman writes about the recent dust up between Janet Mefferd and Mark Driscoll in If the Top Men take over, who will ask the hard questions? He touches on the pass that celebrity Christians often seem to get versus that of ordinary Christians. Trueman points out that “celebrity culture” has “corrupted the young, restless and reformed movement.” However, such an infection goes beyond the YRR movement, as I can personally attest to as a Southern Baptist who received threats over a recent article. Ironically, I know a few men who would probably be considered celebrity Christians in certain areas of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part II by Brandon Smith

Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part II by Brandon Smith

In case you missed part one, read it here: Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith. Hope In the end, we do not know the answers to every question about how and why God saves anyone, but his Word is very clear that the proclamation of the gospel is a key component to transformation (Romans 10). People’s hearts cannot be ultimately changed for the better by new legislature, war, personal enlightenment, or secret philosophies; it can only be changed by the sin-stomping, life-altering life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith

Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith

In a world of subjective truths, tolerance, and acceptance, Christianity has become nothing more than ‘another’ religion in the eyes of many. Western culture, in particular, is grievously enamored with the idea of self-reliance, self-dependence, and self-worth. Christianity is extremely counter-cultural because it teaches the actuality of human depravity, the necessity for a savior, and an eternal focus for our temporal lives. For unbelievers at-large, this can be something that can seem intolerant and outdated, a tradition steeped in rigid tradition, and a stumbling block to the progress of the society and the world. For Christians, however, depraved humanity in …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Russell Crowe: Surprised by Noah?

Russell Crowe: Surprised by Noah?

Yesterday, I posted the official movie trailer of Noah which stars stars Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. I even posted brief insights about the stars’ religious views. I wondered about the biblical accuracy of the movie. I think Russell Crowe in the interview blurb below partially answers my inquiry. Crowe believes the audience is going to be surprised to find out what kind of person Noah is…. Ironically, Crowe implies that the movie is what teaches us the truth about Noah. He says: At one point in the story the son says, “I thought you were chosen …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Noah: Official Movie Trailer

Noah: Official Movie Trailer

The official movie trailer for Noah has been released. Noah stars Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. It will be in theaters March 28th, 2014. The synopsis: After visions of an apocalyptic deluge, Noah, the world’s only righteous man, is chosen to undertake a divine mission to build a massive ark to save his family and all of creation before the impending rains fall and the flood waters rise. Check it out! Looks like a fantastic production with top rated actors. However, I am sure many of us will be watching closely for biblical accuracy. Whenever Hollywood …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Imitating Church: Atheists Engage in the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Imitating Church: Atheists Engage in the Sincerest Form of Flattery

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” wrote Charles Colton in 1824. Today, Colton’s words are possibly being lived out in the most ironic fashion – Atheist ‘mega-churches’ take root across US, world reports Gillian Flaccus in the AP. The AP reports that “several hundred people” attended or, more specifically, USA Today‘s version of the story states “more than 400 attendees.” The problem is that 400 people does is not enough to meet the definition of a megachurch. The numbers to qualify as a megachurch is attendance between 1,600 to 2,000 plus. But it is a catchy headline. Not A Church Next, the biblical definition …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Creating Persecution: Bus Driver Pastor Fired for Praying with Students

Creating Persecution: Bus Driver Pastor Fired for Praying with Students

The StarTribune is reporting that a Pastor loses bus driving job for praying with students in Burnsville, Minnesota. George Nathaniel, a bus driver and pastor, was fired for praying with students on his bus after being warned not to. When I read the story I thought – why create this kind of controversy or persecution? Granted, the news report Mr. Nathaniel complained of persecution over his firing. Yet, this is certainly a controversy that could have been avoided. The StarTribune reports the termination letter stated: “There have been more complaints of religious material on the bus as well as other complaints regarding performance. In accordance …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Would You Let Your Child Wear a KKK Costume for Halloween?

Would You Let Your Child Wear a KKK Costume for Halloween?

Every year kids’ Halloween costumes seem to more resemble what should probably be adult costumes. Even so, for years children have dressed up like Satan, demons, murderous movie characters, vampires, pirates, wicked witches, etc. In recent years there were news reports of sensual costumes for little girls – is that even possible? This year, there are reports that one popular costume is based on a celebrity musician made popular by her shocking stage acts. Of course, there are more innocent, fun and silly costumes too. Yet, all kinds of costumes exist that represent immorality, evil, lewdness, death, etc. They all …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

As soon as candy in the trick-or-treat bag rings, a smile on a child’s face sings. It is Halloween again in America. Christians will discuss and debate whether or not they can or should participate in Halloween. In this post, I will offer some brief thoughts on Christians and Halloween. One thought that crosses my mind is: if Paul could eat meat sacrificed idols with a clear conscience Christians can take their kids trick-or-treating to get candy for fun. Some Christians object to Halloween regardless of whether or not some form of satanic promotion is involved. The claim sometimes made is that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith was on the Pete Kaliner Show discussing the recent controversy over N.C. Pastor Steven Furtick, of Elevation Church, spending $1.7 million to build his new 16,000 square-foot mansion. Smith and Kaliner begin the show talking about pastors’ salaries in light of accountability, transparency, and living sacrificially. Kaliner brings up Furtick’s answer to critics that he makes his money from book sales and conferences. And that Furtick and his board of advisers speak at each other’s conferences and events promoting each other.Smith argues that the church is what gave pastors like Furtick their platform for success. He then points to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Liverpool Care Pathway, Obamacare, and Death Panels

Liverpool Care Pathway, Obamacare, and Death Panels

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare as some call it, is in the process of being implemented in the United States. As the ACA moves forward concerns over death panels have increased. Some dispute whether or not death panels truly exist in the ACA. Yet, even some Democrats are concerned: ObamaCare ‘death panel’ faces growing opposition from Democrats. The issue is that someone outside the family – bureaucrats – would have the power to make life and death decisions. Will the ACA be similar to The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) healthcare program in the United Kingdom?  The LCP gives power to health …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World

What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World

A few years ago at a football game at my daughter’s high school I was blessed with some free profanity. While walking to the car, five teenage boys were walking together close by cussing generously and loudly. Also walking close by was a family with two little kids. After about the third blessing from the teens, I spoke up telling them to watch their language. Thankfully, they stopped. When I was a teenager I rarely cussed, but when I did, I certainly did not do it in public or around adults. I had too much respect for people to freely …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson Debate Homosexuality

Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson Debate Homosexuality

Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson debate the acceptability of homosexuality within Christianity on the Unbelievable Radio Program. The Bell – Wilson exchange below is fascinating – fascinating because Bell never directly answers Wilson’s question about the biblical foundation for accepting homosexuality in the church. Bell makes general statements about Scriptural interpretation without naming general Scripture. Toward the end of the video, Bell makes emotional appeals about Christian fellowship around the disagreements over homosexuality. Bell says he and Wilson are brothers and would take the Lord’s Supper together. Wilson doesn’t say whether or not he would break bread with Bell. Check …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preacher Arrested in Scotland for Street Preaching

Preacher Arrested in Scotland for Street Preaching

Josh Williamson, pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, Scotland, was recently arrested in Scotland. The charge? A breach of peace. Some allegedly complained he was preaching too loudly. He wasn’t even using an amplification system. The arrest was captured on video. Read the whole story at: Jailed for Preaching Jesus in Scotland! Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for How Miley Cyrus Could Really Shock the World!

How Miley Cyrus Could Really Shock the World!

Given that her name seems to pop-up just about everywhere these days – I was thinking about how Miley Cyrus could really shock the world. It seems every other day Miley Cyrus is a top twitter trend. She is one of the top searched people on Google. One of her recent music videos broke a record for most views in 24 hours. Cyrus has seemingly shocked her way to attention with her recent actions. Many fans and onlookers tuned in and continue to do so with every new sexually suggestive Cyrus performance. And everyone is shocked! But why is everyone shocked? …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching: Loaded Language and Name Calling

Preaching: Loaded Language and Name Calling

Loaded language and name calling have become a fine art in American religious rhetoric where they should have no place at all. “Redneck,” “fundamentalist,” “secular humanist,” and “liberal” are almost as common as favorite biblical terms. Religious periodicals advertise conferences on “real” evangelism and for “real” women, implying of course that some are unreal. Name calling is intensified when a strong contrast is made. An example of such contrast occurred in the context of a debate within a Southern Baptist association meeting. Referring to the preceding speaker, a pastor declared that he was not surprised at the speaker’s position because …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Facebook Unfriending: Shaking the Digital Dust

Facebook Unfriending: Shaking the Digital Dust

Jesus sent his Apostles out to visit homes to proclaim God’s kingdom taking nothing with them. At those homes where the message was rejected, Jesus told them to shake the dust off their feet as they left. Shaking the dust off their feet was a sign of judgement against them for rejecting God’s message. Christian do not witness door to door as they once did. However, many Christians go from digital door to digital door in this age of social media. Sometimes Christians on social media have an encounter from which they must shake the digital dust and move on. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Always Remember

Always Remember

I will always remember the September 11, 2001 attacks (9/11) that took place 12 years ago today. I will always remember the big screen TV I was watching in my office as the attacks were happening. I shared this information in 2011 in Never Forget. A lot has happened in the United States in the past 12 years since 9/11. That attack united Americans – for a short time anyway. No doubt we will express feelings that we are again united on this anniversary of the attacks. During our time of mourning and recovery, religions that do not go together …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why is Rehabilitating Christians OK?

Why is Rehabilitating Christians OK?

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) complained last year about a psychiatrist in Oregon who used reparative therapy. The SPCL complained that this type of conversion therapy – “literally converting from gay to straight” – is unethical and dangerous. But this year it is okay for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to seek a sort of conversion therapy if you are Christian business owners who seek to life and work by your Christian convictions. You must need help if you are Christians who run a bakery that refuses to promote a same-sex wedding with your product, right? Even if …keep reading »

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Labor Day 2013: Your Work Matters

Labor Day has an interesting history. Some trace its beginnings to the socialist Robert Owen, who claimed May 1, 1833, as the day for the beginning of the millennium. But the first May Day or Labor Day celebration occurred in Paris on May 1, 1889. Most of the countries that observe a labor day do so on May 1. In the Soviet Union it is an official holiday. Canada and the United States have fixed the first Monday in September as Labor Day, and in these countries it is a national holiday in which all classes, not simply workingmen, participate. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Praying to the Abortion God

Praying to the Abortion God

When the battle over the separation of church and state rears its ugly head, it is normally Democrats who are attempting to keep the church  from participating in state issues. At times, the fight is to remove prayer from political gatherings. Given the types of prayers recently promoted by some Democrats in Iowa, it is easy to understand why some want the church separated from the state. Why? Seems some Democrats and pro-abortion activists have their own god to pray to! The prayers in the video may not be clear enough to understand. Let me help. (HT: Robert Laurie) “We …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Can Christians Eat Black Pudding?

Can Christians Eat Black Pudding?

In his book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life,  Sinclair Ferguson writes the following in chapter 37, “Eating Black Pudding.” It was years ago now, but I still remember the discussion. I was making my way out of our church building some time after the morning service had ended, and was surprised to find a small group of people still engaged in vigorous conversation. One of them turned and said to me, “Can Christians eat black pudding?” To the uninitiated in the mysteries of Scottish haute cuisine, it should perhaps be said that black pudding is not haggis! …keep reading »

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Worship Video: Keep Yo Business off Yo Facebook

Facebook has now infiltrated a local church through a praise song of sorts. The song offers a much needed warning message for Christian Facebook users. The proverbial joyful noise warned the congregation – “Keep yo business off of Facebook, Sunday you actin’ like a saint, But yo Facebook status say you ain’t, Keep yo business off of Facebook.” While it is unclear which gospel musician is going to turn this hit song into the next Grammy, I hear next week’s social media Sunday sensation will be titled – Don’t Be Tweetin’ Yo Trashtags. Whether you love or hate the song, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Extra: Martin Luther King Uninvited from Own Event!

Extra: Martin Luther King Uninvited from Own Event!

The above headline is not beyond imagination were Martin Luther King, Jr. alive and scheduled to appear at a recent event from which gospel singer Donnie McClurkin was uninvited. McClurkin was set to appear at a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial concert, but was uninvited over his views on homosexuality. What I will show below is that McClurkin and King have similar views on homosexuality. And if McClurkin was uninvited there is good reason to believe that King would also have been uninvited. Ironically, McClurkin is a former homosexual who was delivered from the curse of homosexuality. I understand that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Help the Scott Family!

Help the Scott Family!

Imagine Imagine – you just celebrated 15 years of marriage along with 6 little blessings from the Lord. Despite the rough economy, you’re doing okay. Your wife resigns from her job to follow her dream of going to nursing school. You put down the $5,000 you saved on a late model car. Then – imagine losing your job. Thankfully, early retirement money saves you – for a few months – while you both look for new jobs. Your wife’s nursing school is on hold. Unfortunately, the car and rent payments don’t have a hold button. The bank gets the late …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should pastors try to be cool? was published on the 9Marks ministry website. In response, I will provide a different perspective by asking the question – Should pastors try to be uncool? 1. Being an uncool pastor is not the power of God unto salvation—the gospel is. If your evangelistic success is thought to depend on a cultivated uncool image, your trust may not ultimately be in the Holy Spirit working through God’s word; but in the ability to attract people to said image because it is outwardly different from everyone else. 2. Being disconnected to the culture is a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Christian Lawsuits?

Why Christian Lawsuits?

So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! (1 Corinthians 6:4-8, ESV) Why are Christians suing, or threatening so …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Reeder on Christians Skipping Church for Ball Practice

Reeder on Christians Skipping Church for Ball Practice

“Pastor Reeder,” they explained, “we want to honor the Lord’s Day, but our children’s sports programs are on Sunday.” We sat down and I listened to their story. Their local recreation league scheduled ball practice on Sundays. Should their families skip worship for ball practice? Should they pull their kids off the teams? Eventually they decided, appropriately, that obedience to Scripture and family worship on the Lord’s Day was far more important than team sports. That may seem like an obvious choice to some readers, but it is not the norm. In the child-driven families of today’s culture, it took …keep reading »

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How Should Muslims Beat Their Wives?

Watch below as Islamic cleric, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Denawy, answers the question, “What’s the Islamic view on the beating of wives?”

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Thumbnail image for Why Did Reza Aslan Write ‘Zealot’ – A Book About Jesus?

Why Did Reza Aslan Write ‘Zealot’ – A Book About Jesus?

The interview below from the FoxNews show Spirited Debate between host Lauren Green and author Dr. Reza Aslan has lit an internet fuse. Green, a Christian, interviewed Aslan, a Muslim, about his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The question has been asked if this is the worst interview Fox has ever done. Some charge Green with holding double-standards when comparing this interview to another she did with a Baptist who wrote on Islam. One of the reasons for Green’s questions was to allow Aslan to address criticisms from Christians. The bigger picture is that Dr. Aslan …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for How Racist Are Americans?

How Racist Are Americans?

The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial has given Americans a view of the racial division and sensitivity that exists in this country. There is no question that racism exists in America, but many have wondered just how deep that racism runs. The question, “How racist are Americans?” may be difficult to answer accurately. However, we can get an idea of how racist Americans are perceive to be by one another. Rasmussen Reports provides such a perception in More Americans View Blacks As Racist Than Whites, Hispanics. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Loving Matthew Vines

Loving Matthew Vines

Matthew Vines promotes the acceptance of “gay Christianity.” His approach includes changing Christian teaching on homosexuality by offering re-interpretations of long-standing biblical views on the subject. So how might Christians respond to Matthew Vines? How might the church love him? First, I am aware of two thorough responses to Vines’ interpretations promoting gay Christianity. The responses are listed below and they provide great apologetic responses worthy of study to correct Vines’ agenda and interpretations. Matt Slick at CARM offers a written response – Matthew Vines. James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries offers an audio response – Gay Christianity Refuted. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for I Am Not Proud To Be An American

I Am Not Proud To Be An American

Today is July 4, 2013 – American Independence Day. And I say Happy Independence Day, but I am not proud to be an American. I did not choose to be born in America. In fact, I had no choice in the matter. Therefore, I find is hard to raise the flag of pride for something I had no hand in. However, I understand Americans are a proud people. We united around pride after the attacks on 9/11 for a time – a short time. The power of pride to unite Americans was short-lived. The sword of pride cuts off others …keep reading »

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Christian Kindle eBooks: Free and Under $5

Currently On Sale 99¢ Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever Manhood Restored by Eric Mason Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller $1.99 The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler Rooted & Grounded by Abraham Kuyper Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur The Three Wise Women by Christin Ditchfield The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode $2.99 Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ by Thomas Fleming Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason The People of God by Trevor Joy Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie The Dating Manifesto by Lisa …keep reading »

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Legalism and Love: The Motive Behind Our Works by Joshua Shaw

Joshua Shaw is a church planter, seminary student, and writer. He and his wife are in the process of planting a church in Denver, CO where they work for the outreach organization CARES with Apartment Life. Read more from Joshua and learn more about his ministry at Spirit-Filled Truth. He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit Titus 3:5 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Man of Steel: 20 Reasons Superman is Not Jesus

Man of Steel: 20 Reasons Superman is Not Jesus

Ross McD over at Metro blogged Man of Steel: The top 20 reasons why Superman is Jesus. Some of the comparisons are silly and some are loose parallels. I get the comparison to Jesus which could be made in some sense anytime a singular hero saves the world. Life is filled with the creation, fall, redemption theme starting in the book of Genesis. Man’s sinful passion is to be God. Or more so – to be better than God. Superman is not Jesus though he may be a super man; he is not the God-Man. Jesus did not need a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Baptists, Boy Scouts, & Homosexuality

Baptists, Boy Scouts, & Homosexuality

Many Southern Baptists have decided to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of American since the Boy Scouts have officially welcomed openly homosexual scouts beginning 2014. Cutting ties over homosexuality is understandable, but ignores the larger, overlooked gospel issue of pluralism. Southern Baptists (I am one) passed a resolution in 1992 supporting the Boy Scouts for their “refusal to allow homosexuals as Scout leaders and its commitment to maintain references to God within its oath and literature.” As far as I know, these are still the Boy Scouts’ positions. Of course, they folded on allowing openly gay scouts (not leaders) …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Who is Causing Americans to Lose Their Religious Influence?

Who is Causing Americans to Lose Their Religious Influence?

On May 29, 2013, Gallup released the results of a poll concluding that Most Americans Say Religion Is Losing Influence in U.S. One question from the poll asks: At the present time, do you think religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life or losing its influence? The results were that 77% affirm religion is losing its influence on Americans. Another question asks: If more Americans were religious, would that be positive or negative for American society? The answer was that  75% of Americans believe more religion would be positive for America. So, there is a 2% …keep reading »

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When Tolerance Attacks

While thinking about tolerance I decided to poke around online. I found the incredible video embedded below. It’s incredible in the sense that it is hard to believe how awful the  American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) volunteers were treated by same-sex marriage advocates. The video is ironically titled – Attacked By “Tolerance”. I don’t know much about the TFP group, but they appear to be Roman Catholic. As a Protestant, I tolerate TFP’s theology while standing with them on marriage and family (best I can tell). But what is shown in the video is clearly …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Faith-Based FEMA

Faith-Based FEMA

Check out the short interview below in devastated Oklahoma where the tornado struck. Brian Williams, the reporter, mentions that “there’s FEMA and then there’s the faith-based FEMA.” The man being interviewed explains that we can’t wait on the government to help in this situation, but the Baptist men are going to “get it done tomorrow.” If you’d like to donate to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to help those affected in Oklahoma City click here to donate online or call 1-866-407-NAMB (6262).

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Thumbnail image for How to Make a Lot of Money Preaching

How to Make a Lot of Money Preaching

Below is a clip from the 1972 documentary Marjoe. Marjoe was a fake evangelist which he admitted in the documentary explaining that he would manipulate people. His real name is Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner who may be recognized from past movie roles or from the 80’s TV series Falcon Crest. The Internet Movie Database provides the follow quote from Marjoe. It is not clear from where and when Marjoe was quoted. I emphasized in bold what seems a key part of his approach. Apparently, he knew the kind of experience people wanted and could draw them and control them by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Charles Spurgeon on God’s Judgment and Tragedies

Charles Spurgeon on God’s Judgment and Tragedies

In the wake of the recent tragedies from the tornado in Oklahoma, I thought sharing a 150 year old sermon from the Prince of Preachers might be appropriate. The sermon below was delivered by Charles Spurgeon on Sunday, September 8, 1861 in light of two disasters that hit close to home for him. In weeks prior to the sermon, two different train collisions happened weeks apart. The train wrecks took more than 38 lives and left hundreds injured. Some Christians replied that the lives taken in those wrecks were part of God’s judgment. In response, Spurgeon preached to refute the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Who Are You In Christ?

Who Are You In Christ?

In his letter to the rambunctious church at Corinth Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). In Philippians we can find confidence with Paul that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Our benefits in Christ are noted in the following chart.  Position (Standing)  Condition (State)  In heaven Spiritual Life New birth New man New nature New creature Justified Forgiven In Christ  On earth Physical Death First birth Old man Old nature Old creature Condemned Guilty In Adam Over …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ministry Success: Being or Having?

Ministry Success: Being or Having?

I found the following quote from Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership very interesting in today’s church environment. I don’t understand the authors to say that having a large congregation, facilities, et al. are bad or sinful. Rather, they are focused on the desire to have those things that is the problem – the state of being vs. having. At the core of the problem is personal ambition and the insidious desire to have or possess something that is not able to be possessed-namely, success. We live in a culture obsessed with both having and success. And this desire has …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Invisible Bible Verse on Judging Others

The Invisible Bible Verse on Judging Others

I recently commented in a comment stream on that wonderful social medium of gracious exchange – Facebook! In the heat of the exchange that Bible verse from Matthew 7 used its powers of invisibility again. The issue was on judging sin in others in light of loving the sinner and hating the sin. (Something from Gandhi, not the Bible.) I’m not opposed to loving the sinner and hating the sin, but I wonder if this mindset makes it easier to excuse or overlook sin. I was then given the ole log in my eye challenge. Let’s look at the verses …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 2

Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 2

I had previously announced the upcoming Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference with the theme – What Makes a Godly Woman?  Proverbs 31. Yesterday, I blogged day one and today is day two of the conference – the final day. I also want to mention that worship music was lead by Shelly Johnson. Below is the second day’s recap of the conference – in rough draft. First presentation: Andy Andrews He begins talking about speaking and listening using kids as an example. We begin encouraging them when they are young and slowly slide away from encouragement as they age with humor mixed through …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 1

Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference Day 1

I had previously announced the upcoming Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference with the theme – What Makes a Godly Woman?  Proverbs 31. Below is the first day’s recap of the conference. The notes are in rough draft form. First presentation: Pastor Johnny Hunt Johnny starts talking women who win. We need men to be the prophets, priests, and kings in the home that God has called them to be. But often the women are an important part, foundational, of their leadership. Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint. (Proverbs 29:18a ESV) It’s now how we start, but how …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Problem is Repentaphobia Not Homophobia

The Problem is Repentaphobia Not Homophobia

Much debate as ensued in the current push to redefine marriage as accepting same-sex couples. This redefinition of marriage is touted as a “homosexual rights” issue. Within this current climate of said debate a new mile stone for homosexual rights activists has come to pass – the first active male professional athlete has come out admitting he is gay. That athlete would be, of course, NBA player Jason Collins. OK, great! Now let’s play ball, right? Not so fast because – for some reason – the conversation quickly turned to religion. It appears that Collins claims to be a homosexual …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chris Broussard Answers Questions on Homosexuality and Christianity

Chris Broussard Answers Questions on Homosexuality and Christianity

Today, on Power 105.1 FM, Chris Broussard, Christian and sports analyst for ESPN, called into the Breakfast Club radio show. He began explaining that he is not perfect, but strives to be Christlike. He then explains the mark of a Christian in light of falling into sin, willful sinning, the repentant, and the unrepentant. When challenged about the Bible condemning homosexuality, Broussard briefly explains where Christians stand in Christ today under the New Covenant vs. adhering to particular laws under the Old Covenant. Broussard handled himself well and was a great witness for the Kingdom despite some of the crass comments …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Homosexual Activist Agenda: Destroy Marriage

Homosexual Activist Agenda: Destroy Marriage

A friend recently pointed me to a radio show on which LGBT rights activist and journalist Masha Gessen was a guest. Gessen, herself a lesbian,  made some interesting admissions about the homosexual agenda. While some may deny that such an agenda exists, she was very clear that those pushing for same-sex marriage lie when they don’t admit that such a marriage would change the institution of marriage. (Thanks to the Illinois Family Institute for the transcript.) “It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ravi Zacharias on the Acceptance of Homosexuality in Christianity

Ravi Zacharias on the Acceptance of Homosexuality in Christianity

Ravi Zacharias is asked, “Is it possible for a man or a woman to live a sincere Christian life as a homosexual?” Zacharias was very interesting because frames the answer by placing sexuality in the sacred category. He does this by sharing a story of someone asking him why Christians treat racism differently than homosexuals.  

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Thumbnail image for Coming up: Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference!

Coming up: Johnny Hunt Women’s Conference!

Join me at the up coming Johnny Hunt Womens Conference! I’m not a woman – I know. But since I live blogged the men’s conference I was asked back. Plus, my wife will be there. So, let’s see then…. The theme:  What Makes a Godly Woman?  Proverbs 31 Who? The speakers are Johnny Hunt, Janet Hunt, Andy Andrews, Anita Renfroe, Francesca Battistelli, and Shelly Johnson. When? Friday Evening, May 3 and Saturday Morning, May 4. Where? First Baptist Woodstock. How much? Purchase online for $50-$60. The schedule? Friday Evening, May 3 2:00 PM Doors Open 4:30 –  6:30 – Dinner …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Instant Tweet Resources to End the Gosnell Media Blackout!

Instant Tweet Resources to End the Gosnell Media Blackout!

Why was I invited to the Facebook event Break the Gosnell Media Blackout – TweetFest Public? First, the event page provides the following background on Gosnell. Kermit Gosnell is currently standing trial on 7 counts of first degree murder for killing newborn babies delivered during abortions. Gosnell has also been charged with one count of third degree murder for the overdose death of his abortion patient, Karnamaya Mongar. If convicted, Gosnell could face the death penalty. The problem is the main stream media seems to be avoiding the case. So, let’s get #Gosnell trending on twitter. I’ve taken the suggested …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is Liberty University a Gay-Affirming School?

Is Liberty University a Gay-Affirming School?

To ask whether or not Liberty University is a gay-affirming school seems like an odd question given the reputation of its founder, Jerry Falwell. Many conservative Evangelicals today would not go as far as Falwell did in certain areas, for example, calling one of the Teletubbies gay. Given Liberty U’s “Reprimands and Consequences” in the code of conduct, one may even wonder how well Jesus would fair as a student. Nonetheless, I ask the question of gay-affirmation and Liberty based on Brandon Ambrosino’s story in The Atlantic. Ambrosino shares his coming out story in Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University A former …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for You Aren’t Who They Say You Are by Ray Carroll

You Aren’t Who They Say You Are by Ray Carroll

Ray Carroll is author of Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World. He blogs at Fallen Pastor and is a contributor to Provoketive Magazine. All of us have been called a horrible name at some point in our lives. Whether we cut someone off in traffic, hurt someone’s feelings, committed a major sin and caught the eye of the public, or someone just didn’t like us – we’ve all been called something bad. I can think of hundreds of names I’ve been called. Three years ago, while pastor of a Southern Baptist church, I committed adultery and disappointed a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 5 Biblical Affirmations Not to Affirm

5 Biblical Affirmations Not to Affirm

I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Those affirmations are from Isaiah 14:13-14 (ESV). The verses are taunting the king of Babylon in his downfall expressing his evil motives and thought life. All of those prideful, worldly affirmations seems to be man’s default. We may not literally express ourselves like these affirmations, but the spirit of them may …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why “Preachers’ Daughters”?

Why “Preachers’ Daughters”?

A&E has a new reality TV show named “Preachers’ Daughters”. The hashtag for the show was trending on twitter. While I was reading what people were saying about the show on twitter to my wife I went to the Facebook page that was linked on twitter. The Facebook page describes the show as, “Lifetime’s provocative new reality show, “Preachers’ Daughters,” follows the lives of three families for a behind-the-altar look at what happens at home after the sermon concludes.” The show got even worse and we had not even watched it. Out of curiosity, I pulled up episode 1 on …keep reading »

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Blog Brief: The Golden Rule and Same-Sex Marriage

According to President Obama the Golden Rule was his reason supporting same-sex marriage. Is this a justified position from a Christian perspective as Obama posits? I don’t think so. Ed Stetzer wrote a piece on the latest research that, sadly, 64% of Americans believe legalization of same-sex marriage is inevitable. Stetzer reminded us of Obama’s Golden Rule comment. What Obama actually said was quoted in a 2010 USA Today article. The President stated that he and Mrs. Obama are: both practicing Christians and obviously [same-sex marriage] may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Great Letter for Christian Husbands to Write Their Wives!

A Great Letter for Christian Husbands to Write Their Wives!

My mentor had me do an interesting exercise that involved writing a one page letter to my wife. The contents of the letter were me expressing to my wife what it is to be a Christian husband. I was to write what it should look like for me, Mark – not you, a pastor, a preacher, or anyone else – to be a Christian husband. The letter was a very fruitful exercise, but it was more than an exercise. I had to take a long, hard, prayerful look at what I had been, versus what Scripture says I should have …keep reading »

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Blog Brief: On Taming the Tongue

Quick and easy access to social media like blogs, twitter, Facebook et al. make it easy for Christians to pop-off with the fingers at a moments notice. Sometimes we may not even think about the repercussions of our words. I know because I’ve done it. After we catch ourselves we think we’ve got to be more careful with our words. We try harder. Yet, Scripture, in James 3:7-8 states, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is …keep reading »

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Church? No Thanks, Hypocrite!

People often dismiss the church because they claim Christians are hypocrites. And all non-Christians have a perfect symbiotic relationship between belief and practice, right? Wrong, but Christians need a better answer than, “You do it too!” A comment about Christians being hypocrites came up yesterday while teaching Sunday School. I was teaching from James 3 on taming the tongue. The gist of the comment was that if Christians would tame their tongue (through the power of the Holy Spirit) and stop gossiping, etc. unbelievers would not call us hypocrites. Generally speaking, are Christians really hypocrites? I don’t think so. First, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Unexpected, Expected Death

Unexpected, Expected Death

The Lord Jesus said,”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”1 For Christians, anxiety shows a lack of trust in God. Anxiety can also be very unhealthy and can destroy a person. So many, some say most, things people worry about never turn out the way the person worried it would anyway. Yet, there is part of life that is unavoidable no matter how much worry is poured into it. No matter how filled with anxiety or how at peace one is there is the unavoidable …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!” Session 3: Unspoken: I can’t Forgive Myself (Walking Out of Our Prisons) 1 JOHN 1:8-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for JHMC: Session 2 – Truth that Keeps Us Free

JHMC: Session 2 – Truth that Keeps Us Free

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!“ Session 2: “Power to Walk Free” (Truth that Keeps Us Free) Gal 5:16-18, 22-24 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep …keep reading »

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JHMC: Session 1 – Truth that Frees

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!“ Session 1: “Bible Engagement/Bible Reflection” (Truth that Frees) Psalm 19:7-14 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; …keep reading »

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Westboro’s Phelps Family: America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis

Louis Theroux of the BBC does a video expose of Westboro Baptist’s Phelps family. I hate calling them a church and hate calling them Baptists though I know those are empty labels. Also, see the previous article about Westboro on this site: Westboro Baptist Revealed: Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed. – Remember as you watch – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Should Males Make Decisions on Abortion?

Should Males Make Decisions on Abortion?

There is a pro-choice abortion argument that states men should not make decisions or laws on abortion since they are male. Since only females are anatomically designed to carry and give birth to a child they are the only ones who may have a valid say on abortion. Pregnancy and abortion will never physically affect a man the way it they do a woman so men should be silent. There are several angles in which to frame this argument. Some, like recently retired libertarian radio talk show host Neal Boortz, even blamed President Obama’s recent victory on the position taken …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for This Week: Join Me at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference

This Week: Join Me at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference

Join me this week at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference! “Escape Plan: Sin is a prison; let’s break out!” Register now for the dates below. Conference 2 February 8-9, 2013 (Contact me if cost is keeping you from registering.) I will be live blogging conference 2 this coming weekend. Check out the break out sessions at: 2013 Breakout Speakers. Johnny Hunt will be delivering the following three keynotes. KEYNOTE 1: “Bible Engagement/Bible Reflection” (Truth that Frees) Ps 19:7-14 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Note to Christians: Tip Well or Don’t Eat!

Note to Christians: Tip Well or Don’t Eat!

Of course, the story of “pastor” Alois Bell scratching out the 18% mandatory tip on the receipt and writing in “I give God 10% why do you get 18?” is all over the internet now. I first learned of the story when my friend Marty wrote “An open letter to a fired waitress: I’m sorry we are so stingy.” Bell has explained herself in an interview (see below). One waitress, who did not wait on Bell, posted an image of the receipt on the atheism section of reddit which set off the current viral firestorm. Bell left out of her …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is Abortion the Answer for Unwanted Children?

Is Abortion the Answer for Unwanted Children?

Sometimes a pro-abortion argument is made that it is best not to bring unwanted children into the world. That argument is actually a case for contraception not abortion. First, abortion is not contraception. Contraception is something done to prevent conception or pregnancy. By the time a woman is pregnant it is too late to use contraception because a baby has all ready been conceived. So contraception is one way, as long as it does not fail, to prevent bringing an unwanted child into the world. The best prevention is abstinence. Now, to the question at hand. Is abortion the answer …keep reading »

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Is Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) Right on President Obama?

On the day of President Obama’s inauguration, Mark Driscoll sent out the tweet below. There was mixed reaction to the tweet. A lot of people agree with Driscoll and a lot disagree – probably, much like the divide in the country. Regardless of personal feelings, is Driscoll right biblically in his comments on Obama? Why or why not? Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know. — Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) January 21, 2013

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Does Sho Baraka’s Song “Jim Crow” (aka Nigga Island) Harm the Gospel?

Chrisitan hip-hop artist, Sho Baraka just release his latest album Talented 10th. Prior to the album release the single “Jim Crow” was released at Hip Hop DX. The official name of the song seems to be “Jim Crow,” but many also refer to it as “Ni**ga Island.” The title of the song alone is bound bring disagreements, especially, from a Christian artist. You can read the lyrics and listen below, but here is the hook: I feel I’m trapped in a crazy place. Asking the Lord for amazing grace. I see the masses wanna change me. I’m waiting for someone …keep reading »

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When a Good Guy Writes an Inconsistent Blog Post

I love Tim Challies. That is, as a Christian brother. In fact, I hope to say hello to him this month at the G3 Conference as he travels to my neck of the woods. Last time I saw him was at the 2010 Band of Bloggers gathering. We stood next to each other talking to different people and did not get to meet. Anyway, Challies is a good guy. He has even been gracious enough to help me get votes the last two years for the Blogging Scholarship. I’m letting you know up front that I have nothing against him. …keep reading »

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A Blogger’s Night Before Christmas

To blog before Christmas when all through the ‘net, Watchbloggers were reading for their appetite to whet. Drafting a post to spread cheer – a Christmas song, But wait – someone on the internet might be wrong! The blog readers wonder and wait with baited breath, For the next post to be published to their RSS. That’s what he tells himself this Christmas Eve, His true presents come with the comments they leave. Hearing clatter outside, he jumped out of bed, But then thoughts of blog stats ran through his head. To check for new comments and stats he did …keep reading »

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Christmas Like Clouds and Wind

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. (Proverbs 25:14 ESV) Gray clouds darken the sky. Gusts of wind moves trees like an invisible force. The sun is hidden yet still there. Check the weather report, put on a rain coat, grab an umbrella – prepare. Your hair blows wildly as you walk to the car, but everything else is in place in case you have to change plans. You’re prepared; prepared for rain. Rain is a glorious life-giving, life-sustaining act of nature – God’s nature. As a Christian, you …keep reading »

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Hardest Part of the Christian Life is the Easiest to Understand

I was talking with a brother about our upcoming discipleship groups. He mentioned that the material is not as doctrinally deep as he would have liked. Knowing how proud doctrine and knowledge once made me – I got his point! Not that he was being prideful, but I understood. I thought about my own failings for a moment. Like a flashback in a movie that  takes the viewer through years in a few seconds – I thought about all of theological readings, seminary classes, etc. Despite my studies I was no champion over sin. I encouraged my brother that these …keep reading »

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Grief: Finding Hope Again

Grief: Finding Hope Again by Paul David Tripp (New Growth Press) is being offered online by the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). You can read it below and may find it extremely helpful if you are grieving or helping someone else who is grieving.   Open publication – Free publishing – More ccef

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Death, Murder, Hope

Death Death is one of the few parts of life that is unavoidable. Death comes in various ways from natural to accidental to sometimes murderous. All death is sad, especially, to those close to the deceased. Yet, it is normally less difficult to mourn a natural death than an accidental or, especially, a murderous one. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was neither natural nor accidental – it was murder. Pure evil. It is time to pray for all of those affected by the murder of the six adults and 20 children. Pray for the family, friends, and acquaintances. …keep reading »

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Is Erick Erickson Right on the Evangelists’ Failure?

Conservative political blogger and talk radio host Erick Erickson, in his article “The Evangelists’ Failure“on RedState.com, shares what he sees as one of Evangelical America’s biggest failures. Erickson is more than a conservative political pundit. He is also an Evangelical of the Presbyterian persuasion. I have listened to Erickson many times on the local radio station while sifting through Atlanta traffic. He is a sharp, insightful, and fair brother. Based on some of the information he provides to his listeners, he is also politically well-connected. I appreciate brother Erickson’s insights on culture and politics, but I’m not convinced of his conclusion …keep reading »

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Coexist: Truth or Fairytale?

 

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Embarrassing the Kids

If you have kids or have ever been a kid then you know what it’s like when kids are embarrassed by their parents. Kids may feel embarrassed at any given time they are around their friends or simply in public. Kids feeling embarrassed by their parents is not a new or isolated idea. Such embarrassment is portrayed on TV shows and in movies. Sometimes kids make up any excuse or walk longer distances to avoid being picked-up, dropped-off or escorted somewhere in front of their friends. Sometimes parents catch on and, in good fun, purposely embarrass their kids. Why are …keep reading »

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Genius the Movie Featuring John Lennon

Living Waters ministry has put a new video called Genius. Check it out below!

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The Reach of Pornography in the Church

Denny Burk quotes Heath Lambert on pornography from the latest issue of JBWM. Pornography is the defining sexual sin of our day. In Christian circles adultery and homosexuality often capture more headlines, but I am persuaded that in terms of sheer numbers they cannot hold a candle to the devastation of pornography. Last year I counseled six people struggling with homosexuality and around eighteen caught in adultery and fornication. I don’t know exactly how many I helped who were locked in pornography, but the number is in the dozens. As bad as that number sounds those people are not the …keep reading »

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How Do You See Other People?

Apparently, the “Get Service” video below has been around since 2007 or so. I saw it for the first time yesterday. It offers an interesting perspective on self-centeredness and thinking about other people. As a Christian, this video hit home for me in light of the gospel. For example, driving everyday in Metro-Atlanta offers a buffet of frustration from inconsiderate and illegal driving – if I choose to eat from that platter. Unfortunately, some days I eat well to my own sinful demise. I can’t control other peoples’ driving or anything else for that matter. But I can control myself and …keep reading »

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R.I.P. Zig Ziglar: Zig Talks About Coming to Jesus at Age 45

Christian and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar has gone home to be with the Lord at 86 years old. Zig was a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas. In 1985-86, he even as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Zig is famously known for motivational speaking. He has helped many people throughout the years in their business and their personal lives. I started listening to Zig’s motivational tapes in the mid-90’s through the encouragement of a co-worker. I still occasionally listen today. In the video below Zig shares with talk show host Philippe Matthews …keep reading »

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Todd Friel Graciously Answers Critic During Open-Air Preaching Event

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Contentment: Philippians vs. Black Friday

Black Friday and all of its craziness has come and gone for another year. Now it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. It is a good thing that Black Friday has passed because of all of the crazy things it makes people do, right? Wrong. Black Friday isn’t the cause of peoples’ sinful behavior, but an avenue that draws it out. Black Friday allows people to show, to an extent, where many find contentment. Some people like comfort foods, some people like comfort buying. There is nothing inherently evil about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Rather, it is people acting on their evil …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Black Friday: Depravity on Display

Black Friday: Depravity on Display

The above image of Black Friday headlines are from Drudge Report. They show violence, theft and ridicule – all over trying to buy stuff at a better price. Funny, all of those people can live without the stuff they are fighting over. They did not have any of those things on Thursday, the day before the Black Friday emotional and physical plight for stuff began. Thankfully, not everyone who shops on Black Friday are part of those headlines. There is nothing wrong with having more stuff in the right perspective. Sure, there are a few things I’d like to have …keep reading »

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Thankful Poem

Thankful Lord, I am thankful for so many things. You gave me new life of which my soul now sings. I am closer to going home with each breath. On my final day – eternal life through your death. Thankful Lord, I am thankful for so many things. I can trust you each day no matter what trouble it brings. When I am overcome and my soul in despair. You do not let me go Your saving hand is there. Thankful Lord, I am thankful for so many things. Until I reach Your presence You keep me on eagles’ wings. …keep reading »

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A Reply to the Danger of Calling Behavior ‘Biblical’

Recently, Rachel Held Evans’ article “My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’” was published on the CNN Belief blog.1 I’m going to reply. My goal is not to take hammer to fingers, but to point out inconsistencies in her positions. My assumption is that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 ESV). Therefore, the Bible does have something to say, directly or indirectly, on most life issues. There should be no …keep reading »

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A Christian Politician, What If?

The U.S. presidential election is over. Many American Christians believe that we had to choose between two not-so-great candidates. We argued over what kind of person for whom a Christian should or should not and could or could not vote. When is the last time America had a solid Christian presidential candidate? What would such a candidate look like? Pulling together a few Scripture verses instructing Christians on how they ought to live their lives – I thought, what if? Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you …keep reading »

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Election Thoughts: Christians Live Among Evil Choices

During this 2012 Presidential election cycle many Christians feel they are left with only two voting choices: a liberal, professing Christian and a non-Christian, Mormon. Therefore, many Christians feel they are left with a choice to vote for the lesser of two evils. Other Christians will not vote at all or choose a third party candidate effectively giving their vote to one party or the other. The overlooked issue? Christians often daily choose between the lesser of evils. Even though Christians often choose between the lesser of evils it seems that this dilemma only matters during Presidential election time. Two …keep reading »

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Video: Mitt Romney Speaking Passionately About Mormonism

Jan Mikelson of WHO-Iowa discusses Mormonism with Mitt Romney. Mikelson challenges Romney’s Mormon faithfulness. Mormon eschatology and values are discussed including views on abortion. Romney is tired of defending and talking about Mormonism because he “is not running as a Mormon.” (HT: Chad Miller)

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Did Mike Huckabee Warn that Voting for Obama Will Send You to Hell?

The following video narrated by Mike Huckabee is called “Test of Fire.” The video challenges Christian voters in the 2012 Presidential election. Some are claiming that Huckabee is assigning those who vote for Obama to hell. What did Huckabee just say? Again, at about 42 seconds he states: Christians across the nation will have an opportunity to shape the future for our generation and generations to come. Many issues are at stake, but some issues are not negotiable: The right to life from conception to natural death. Marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. It is an egregious violation of our …keep reading »

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Christians Should Cherish the Opportunity to Vote

For the Christian, involvement in the political realm is as mandatory as involvement in the other ordained institutions of God. If “righteousness exalteth a nation” (Proverbs 14:34), then the righteous must be involved. It is through godly influence of righteous citizens that a city prospers (Proverbs 11:11). The Creator of heaven and earth is also the Creator of social institutions, and He wants His people involved in these institutions. He wants us to bring Him honor and glory by our involvement. A classic example of such involvement is provided by the Apostle Paul, who was not ashamed to be a …keep reading »

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God’s Sovereignty and Voting

A heated Presidential election is upon the consciences of many Americans. It is time to vote. Many will vote and some will abstain. Only one of the two main candidates will win. How does a Christian react if their candidate loses? How is a Christian comforted when voting – as many believe – for the lesser of two evils? As with all of life Christians trust in God. The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:1 ESV) What of the lesser evil? What if the lesser evil turns …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for I was Almost Born this Way

I was Almost Born this Way

It was a nice warm day like most days. I’m not sure if the sun was out or not. I have not actually experienced the warm glow of the sun – yet. I looked forward to it though. I heard so many things from the outside. I could only guess what they were. I looked forward to them all. Oh, I yearned to experience a life filled with love. I just knew that life was coming soon with the way you cared for me and fed me. I was so warm and comfortable all the time on the inside. I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Illustrated: 5 Reasons a Baby is Not Part of a Woman’s Body

Illustrated: 5 Reasons a Baby is Not Part of a Woman’s Body

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Presidential Debate Wordles

 

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Thumbnail image for Demon Test Only $9.95 – A Helluva Deal!

Demon Test Only $9.95 – A Helluva Deal!

Bob Larson is offering a 21 question Demon Test® for only $9.95. On his personal website the headline reads “Spiritual Freedom Church” with a registered acronym “DWJD®.” If the Demon Test® were not bad enough Larson’s daughter and friends have the site ‘Teenage Exorcists’. Why is this test a helluva deal? Satan will take your soul for free, but to pay $9.95 for a “Demon Test®” to dabble where Jesus has not called Christians to dabble is a deal from hell. Larson may laugh all the way to the bank while Satan laughs at the opportunity to play on peoples’ …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Christians are not immune to racial, cultural, or theological bias and blindness. Those types of bias and blindness may be more apparent in Christendom for the Puritans and Martin Luther King, Jr. – cultural and theological heroes to many Christians. Precious Dust Up The dust up over Christian rapper Propaganda’s lyrics in his song “Precious Puritans” recently brought some of these issues to the surface. Propaganda charged the Puritans, broadly defined, with certain racial moral failures charging white privilege against some pastors who quote the Puritans. Some Christians argued that Propaganda defined the Puritans too broadly and unfairly charged them. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 5 Essential Questions on Playing the Pharisee Card

5 Essential Questions on Playing the Pharisee Card

The folks from the excellent Lutheran radio show Issues, Etc. have allowed me to post their article “Playing the Pharisee Card”. Calling someone a Pharisee when disagreeing over Christian doctrine or methods is a great way to shut down debate. But how accurately is the Pharisee Card actually played? The article below answers the following five essential questions on playing the Pharisee Card. Were the Pharisees concerned with doctrinal purity? Were the Pharisees resistant to change? Were the Pharisees unconcerned for the lost? Why did Jesus really condemn the Pharisees? Who are the real Pharisees? Playing the Pharisee Card I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Forum: Should an Inability to Encourage and Show Compassion Disqualify a Pastor?

Open Forum: Should an Inability to Encourage and Show Compassion Disqualify a Pastor?

In their article, “What are warning flags to watch out for when considering a man as a potential elder?” 9 Marks ministries offers 13 warning flags. Two of the warning flags stood out in a discussion I had with a good friend in early 2011 as I was going through my seminary courses. The discussion was part of the ongoing process of understanding how one’s theology works out in real life; a road that never ends. While all of the warning flags are worthy of discussion, the two that stood out and seemed to go together well were 6 and …keep reading »

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John Newton: Christians, True Patriotism and Government Involvement

John Newton (1725 – 1807), well-known for penning the hymn “Amazing Grace,” wrote a letter to a friend giving his views on Christian involvement in government affairs. Newton briefly defines true patriotism from a Christian perspective. Would Newton title his position today as – Gospel-Centered Patriotism? Dear friend, Allow me to say, that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms. When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, …keep reading »

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One Million Porn Free Christian Men?

Southern Baptist Pastor Jay Dennis has started a movement to address the problem of pornography in the church. The movement and website is called One Million Men Porn Free. Christian counselor Harry Schaumburg comments show the seriousness of the church’s pornography problem. For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries. I wish our experience was unique. Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Celebrate Labor Day: Work to Rest

Celebrate Labor Day: Work to Rest

The first Labor Day was celebrated Tuesday, September 5, 1882. However, it was not until 1894 that Congress made Labor Day a legal holiday on the first Monday of every September. Over 100 years have passed since the first Labor Day and the United States is still celebrating. It is tough to imagine much celebration in parts of America with the official unemployment rate charting over 8%. Celebrating Labor Day when there has been no labor to celebrate might seem ironic. Americans, however, have always been a resilient people who fight to recover and restore what has been lost. Even …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Catholic Priest Blamed Victims in Abuse Cases

Catholic Priest Blamed Victims in Abuse Cases

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Benedict Groeschel, a Roman Catholic Priest, claimed that “in a lot of cases” the “youngster is the seducer” in cases involving priests and sexual abuse. The link to the original story is still active, but the offending interview replaced with an apology. However, Catholic columnist Matt C. Abbott capture part of the interview and reposted it with commentary. Some of Groeschel’s disturbing comments follow. [Interviewer]: Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no? [Father Groeschel]: A little bit, yes; but you know, in those …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Racism, Not Religious Freedom

Racism, Not Religious Freedom

It is not racism if someone does not want to vote for Barack Obama and wants him out of office because of his politics. It is racism if you tell a black man that you do not want him bagging your groceries because he is “negroidal”. This really happened in Big Sandy, TX. BIG SANDY — A Hawkins man is claiming his civil rights and religious freedom were violated earlier this year when a black man sacked his groceries and a Big Sandy grocery store owner banned the customer from the business. DeWitt R. Thomas filed a federal lawsuit in …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Pray for Late Term Abortion Day

Pray for Late Term Abortion Day

Kelly Clinger at LifeSiteNews shares a heart-breaking story about a woman who aborted her twins when she was about 20-weeks pregnant.1 Clinger reports that the abortion took place on a Wednesday – late term abortion day – at Orlando Women’s Center. The only mother’s warmth those twins had known was taken away from them by their mother. The woman also has daughters who will never know their twin siblings. How will her daughters react to the abortion? What will mom tell them? What do mom’s actions teach the daughters? Admittedly, the mother does not want her daughters. Those poor daughters, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Do Christians Pray for Barack Obama’s Death and Spiritual Disembowelment?

Do Christians Pray for Barack Obama’s Death and Spiritual Disembowelment?

Walter Rhett at the Democrats for Progress website claims that some Christians are wrongly using Psalm 109:8 to pray against President Obama.1 Is there something unbiblical about praying Psalm 109:8 for Obama which states (ESV), “May his days be few; may another take his office!”? That verse alone does not seem problematic to pray for someone whom a Christian deems as a poor leader for the country. However, Rhett paints a wider picture in his criticism by noting the context of verse 8 as if one must pray verses 7 – 15 also. When he is tried, let him come …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for An Observation: If Gay is the New Black

An Observation: If Gay is the New Black

Some who fight for the acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriage not only attempt to redefine marriage, but frame the topic as a civil rights issue. One of the more persuasive arguments for same-sex marriage is to contend that the issue is conceptually/ideologically the same as black Americans’ fight for civil rights. In other words – gay is the new black. Brother Voddie Baucham recently penned the article – Gay is Not the New Black.1 Bauchman begins with the following statements concerning same-sex marriage and civil rights. The idea that same-sex “marriage” is the next leg in the civil rights …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What do LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois and Westboro Baptist have in Common?

What do LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois and Westboro Baptist have in Common?

LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois wrote a petition against Chick-Fil-A and plans to have a “Kiss-In” where “LGBT supporters will show their disdain for Chick-Fil-A’s policies with public displays of affection in front of their restaurants.”1 The infamous ‘god hates fags’ Westboro “Baptist Church” that seems to protest just about anything American that draws attention to themselves.2 What could these two opposing groups possibly have in common? A few thoughts. Both act against God’s word. Both are intolerant of opposing views. Both need the gospel. OK, what else?  

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Thumbnail image for Was the Zimmerman-Martin Tragedy God’s Plan?

Was the Zimmerman-Martin Tragedy God’s Plan?

On February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman shoot and killed Trayvon Martin during a physical altercation.1 Media attention to the details surrounding this case seem to change daily and it has once again gained popularity by raising the question – Was Zimmerman’s killing of Martin God’s plan? Recent attention has focused on Zimmerman’s comments about the event being part of God’s plan, but both sides of this tragedy have mentioned God’s involvement. First, Zimmerman’s recent comments from his interview with Sean Hannity. HANNITY: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Three Times in Modern History the Word “Person” Has Been Redefined

Three Times in Modern History the Word “Person” Has Been Redefined

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Thumbnail image for Why is this Good News?

Why is this Good News?

Dear readers, read the following Scripture. “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24 ESV) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for “Zombie Muhammad” and U.S. Sharia Law

“Zombie Muhammad” and U.S. Sharia Law

In October 2011, atheist Ernest Perce dressed in a Zombie Muhammad costume for a Halloween parade. Perce was attacked by Muslim Talaag Elbayomy for wearing the Muhammad costume. Perce and Elbayomy went to court in Pennsylvania over the situation and a Judge Mark Martin ruled in favor of the Muslim, Elbayomy. What did the judge say during his ruling? And Mr. Thomas [Elbayomi’s defense lawyer] is correct. In many other Muslim speaking countries – excuse me, in many Arabic speaking countries – call it “Muslim” – something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society, in fact, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Brief thoughts: Abortion and Reproductive Rights

Brief thoughts: Abortion and Reproductive Rights

The pro-abortion, pro-choice crowd argues that abortion is a reproductive right. However, there is a problem with this line of reasoning. In order to have an abortion, reproduction must have already taken place i.e. a human life must exist in order to abort it. A right to reproduce, or have offspring, is not the same as a right to abort, or terminate the life of said offspring. In actuality, abortion is a counter-reproductive action since it kills a human being that is already living. It is possible that babies in the womb would like the same reproductive rights that others …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Franklin Graham on President Obama’s Christianity

Franklin Graham on President Obama’s Christianity

Below is a one minute clip cut from a longer interview (see below) where Franklin Graham is asked whether or not he believes President Obama is a Christian. Check it out. The MSNBC hosts call Graham out for inconsistent answers. On the one hand, Graham will not definitively say whether or not he believes Obama is a Christian, but leaves the question for Obama to answer. On the other hand, Graham has no problem believing that Rick Santorum is a Christian. However, the above clip does not tell the whole story. In the actual interview Graham says the following. [Obama] has …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Woody Harrelson On Christianity

Woody Harrelson On Christianity

GQ magazine published an interview with actor Woody Harrelson. In the interview, Harrelson is asked about the Gospel and his Christian upbringing.1 He was raised in church studying the Bible and preached his first sermon at age 17. GQ: Can you tell me about when you preached the Gospel as a child? Woody Harrelson: I was very religious growing up. My mom still is. We went to church all the time, went to Bible study; we even did Bible study at my house. I went to a Presbyterian college, you know, I was in….all the way, and so I remember …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Real Marriage: Heeding Pragmatism Over Biblical Criticism?

Real Marriage: Heeding Pragmatism Over Biblical Criticism?

Mark and Grace Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage has drawn much attention. The attention comes partly due to its content and partly due to some critical reviews.123 Denny Burk probably offers the most thoroughly biblical critique to date. Today Burk linked to an article on CNN’s belief blog titled “Pastor’s detailed book on sex divides reviewers, sparks controversy.”4 The CNN article provides a few interesting responses by Mark Driscoll to his critics. I would like to briefly consider Driscoll’s responses from the CNN article. First, I would like to explain why I am responding. My initial reading of Driscoll’s comments …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What Will You Do with the Christmas Gift?

What Will You Do with the Christmas Gift?

Another Christmas has come and gone and a new year is around the corner. A year lies ahead both to use this year’s Christmas gifts and think about next year’s. However, some gifts are all ready used up although some are advertised as gifts that keep on giving. There is only one gift that keeps on giving. This gift was given to all, but did you receive Him or reject Him? What will you do with the Christmas gift? The Christmas gift given, but not received by all is Jesus Christ. Yet, His birth is celebrated by millions on Christmas …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

In his article, “Tim Tebow Trivializes Religion” Bill Press uses Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:5 to call Tim Tebow a hypocrite. 1 In light of Press labeling Tebow a hypocrite he also wishes that Tebow would “STFU”.2 Press, a Roman Catholic, attended a Catholic university and earned a degree in theology.3 The 71 year old Press, then, would be considered an older more learned man than Tebow who, it seems, should have some wisdom to share. Did someone say hypocrisy? In Matthew 5, Jesus did say: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching On Sin and Responsibility

Preaching On Sin and Responsibility

Sin and responsibility may not be the most comfortable topics about which to talk or preach. No one really wants to consider that they are responsible for something they did i.e. sin. It is much easier to blame sins on someone else as if they some how caused the sin and, therefore, avoid personal responsibility. It is much easier to compare one’s sin to another person’s much worse sin in order to minimize sin and personal responsibility. Is taking personal responsibility of sin minimized because of the way sin is expressed at times from the pulpit? Is the sinner a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Gospel in the Liquor Store

The Gospel in the Liquor Store

The following true story is about a seminary student sharing the gospel in a liquor store. The student is an acquaintance and the story is shared with permission. This is all that will be revealed of this student. One of the most divisive disagreements among conservative Christians is the subject of Christians drinking alcohol. Tim Challies highlighted and commented on some of the recent disagreements about Christians and alcohol.1 Challies provides a big picture view of the subject with a caution to younger Christians to use their freedom wisely when it comes to alcohol. I pray the following story is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for So You Want My Daughter?

So You Want My Daughter?

I’ve always been intrigued about why a Christian would want to date or marry a non-Christian. A solid biblical case can be made that a Christian should only date or marry another Christian.1 In a mixed dating situation the Christian is not trusting Christ nor finding Him sufficient, but is looking elsewhere to satisfy certain needs. Of course, as with many areas in life Christians fall short and there is always places in their lives where Christ is not primary. This is an admission rather than an excuse for Christians to date non-Christians. As one friend of mine said about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Are Christians to Blame for Gay Teen Suicides?

Are Christians to Blame for Gay Teen Suicides?

John Shore created the video below and used it to ask if Christians have some culpability in gay teen suicides in an article at the Huffington Post. 1 The question of whether or not there is a gay teen suicide epidemic has also been raised.2 The video did not make me mad, but it did annoy me. The caricature of Christians portrayed in this video annoyed me more than anything. I can say that I don’t recall ever having a conversation with anyone like the one portrayed above. But then I thought of a few other things. Is this really …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Whether or Not To Leave a Church Over the Pastor’s Sermons

Ethics: Whether or Not To Leave a Church Over the Pastor’s Sermons

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is based on a real life dilemma from a reader who is struggling with how he or she should remedy their situation. I will give the gist of the situation, but the reader who sent the inquiry will remain anonymous. Let’s see what advice you would give your friends. A married couple who are personal friends have been attending and serving their local church in as many ways as they can. They have been involved in this church since moving to the area a year ago. They love the church and love serving …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Exterminating the Canaanites

Exterminating the Canaanites

Richard Dawkins recently explained why he would not debate William Lane Craig.1 Dawkins does not like that Craig defends God’s commands to the Israelites in the Old Testament to destroy certain people groups that were inhabiting the Promised Land. He claims that Craig has a “dark side” and that “Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament.” Dawkins quotes Craig on the extermination of the Canaanites and takes issue with Craig defending God’s commands for such actions. In one of my Old Testament text books I came across a perspective (shared …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Hating Viki Knox: A Missed Opportunity in First Amendment Rights

Hating Viki Knox: A Missed Opportunity in First Amendment Rights

Viki Knox, a Union Township New Jersey high school teacher, was recently suspended with pay for comments she made on her Facebook wall. In her comments she criticized the lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender history month display at her school. (This display is pictured at the right.) Although the Facebook comments have been removed a New Jersey LGBT rights group, Garden State Equality (GSE), has posted a PDF copy exchange.1 GSE is active on their Facebook page calling for Knox to be fired from her teaching position. Their petition for the school to act against Knox is titled “No Hate In …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastoral Candidate Answers Questions on the Trinity

Ethics: Pastoral Candidate Answers Questions on the Trinity

What would you do Wednesday! For years T.D. Jakes has been unclear when challenged to give his position on the Trinity. His most recent answers to questions on the Trinity are from a radio appearance in 2010 which I’ve transcribed.1 Even though he mentions that he believes that God exists in “three Persons,” he offered an unexplained qualification by stating that he believes this in a “way that Persons is a limited word for the Godhead.” I would like to bring Jakes’ answers on the Trinity to your church by way of a pastoral candidate. During a pastoral search, your …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Deacons Call for Pastor to Resign

Ethics: Deacons Call for Pastor to Resign

What would you do Wednesday! Joe McKeever has a sad post about a real life situation with a great outcome over at SBC Today.1 McKeever describes a call he got from a pastor who was informed by his deacon board that they voted he should resign. Not only should the pastor leave, but he should do so silently without informing anyone of the role the deacons played in his resignation. Imagine this happened to your pastor, but he did not resign. Instead, he brought the issue to the congregation. During a congregational meeting your pastor explains what happened. The deacons …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for iHeaven: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

iHeaven: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

The creative genius of Steve Jobs has left its mark on the world. Jobs’ ideas and implementation of those ideas raised the bar significantly in technological advancement. He left us with Apple products that have changed the ways information is used, accessed and shared. His ideas will live on and most likely continue to spur competition providing continued advances in technology. These advances will continue to change the way many work and live. It might be said that Steve Jobs left us with an iHeaven. The idea of iHeaven is one of here and now because it will not be …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Class

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Class

Fourteen year old Fort Worth, Texas high school student, Dakota Ary, was suspended from school for stating his personal opinion that homosexuality is wrong. Dakota is an honor student who has never been in trouble at school. His one summary sentence sums up the event. We were talking about religions in Germany. And I said that I was a Christian. I think being homosexual is wrong. Hey Dakota, just remember Jesus words, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b ESV) I wonder if this school would suspend someone for religious …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Southern Baptists: Racial Relations and Spiritual Worth

Southern Baptists: Racial Relations and Spiritual Worth

Victor Irvine Masters, D.D. (1867-1954) while Superintendent of Publicity of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention was asked to write a mission study book at the 1914 Southern Baptist Covention. The Home Mission Board published the book in 1915. I recently shared Masters’ perspective from this publication in two areas: 1) Southern Baptist doctrinal conditions1 and 2) Calvinistic Methodist influence on early American Baptists.2 In chapter 12, “The Past and the Future” Masters offers some harsh words for the way some Southern Baptists have treated black people. Sadly, it was not until June 1995, 80 years after …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Baptism by Pouring-Joining a Baptist Church

Ethics: Baptism by Pouring-Joining a Baptist Church

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario takes place in a Baptist church. However, non-Baptists may give share their perspective too. The situation has to do with new members being brought before a local Baptist congregation for membership affirmation. The congregation is gathered and five new members and one family are being affirmed. The first two have all ready been introduced, gave their testimonies and were accepted into membership. The to be affirmed is a family of three. They are introduced and stand up to give a brief testimony. They moved from a town an hour away where they …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Never Forget

Never Forget

I will never forget September 11, 2001. I was sitting in the office with my colleagues waiting for the stock market to open watching the news on the big screen TV. Around 8:45 am the news channel’s focus moved from stock to shock as it reported that a plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. We were glued to the TV not understanding what just happened. About fifteen minutes later we watched the second plane hit the South Tower. We sat stunned not knowing that at that moment the U.S. was under …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Would You Pray at Ground Zero?

Would You Pray at Ground Zero?

An interfaith prayer vigil will be held at the National Cathedral for the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It seems that no Evangelicals were invited to participate along side the “dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.”1 Should Evangelicals have been invited? Carl Trueman addressing Southern Baptists seems to think that not being invited is a good thing since no invitation means no compromise.2 Mike Horton weighs in with a thoughtful response asking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: New Church and a Pastor’s Affair

Ethics: New Church and a Pastor’s Affair

What would you do Wednesday! The scenario for this dilemma takes place with the reader just moving to a new town and visiting a new church. The situation involving the church and its pastor is, sadly, based on a true story. Upon taking a recent promotion your company moves you to a part of the country that you’ve never even driven through. Not only have you never visited this new town, but no one you know is familiar with it either. Your biggest concern is finding a new church home. An internet search for a church prior to moving turns …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: A Death and the Age of Accountability

Ethics: A Death and the Age of Accountability

What would you do Wednesday! Dr. Lemke recently wrote about the age of accountability.1 In the comment of that post Lemke mentioned that the Presbyterian position which denies the age of accountability has “always been a bit embarrassing pastorally — or as the saying goes, it won’t sell in Peoria.” This post will use age of accountability in a pastoral situation involving a father and the death of his son. (Note: Anyone may share their thoughts whether from a pastoral perspective or that of a friend, etc.) The situation is that  a man has just lost his almost 13 year …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Leader Publicly Drinks Alcohol

Ethics: Church Leader Publicly Drinks Alcohol

What would you do Wednesday! There has been a lot of blogging about Christians and alcohol lately. Today’s scenario will follow suit and deals with seeing a church leader drinking alcohol in public. It’s Friday evening and you’re out to dinner with a few friends from church. Dinner is in an open area where several restaurants have outside eating areas that allow the patrons to see one another. The area was set-up to encourage community interaction where many people and families walk around and socialize both before and after dinner. While getting ready to eat laughter coming from a table …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Rough Seminary Semester, Part II

A Rough Seminary Semester, Part II

In part I, I shared about some of the issues my family and I faced during the 2011 spring semester which ran from January – May. God taught me a lot during that time. Some of what He taught me I’m still digesting while other lessons He taught me I’m not sure exactly how to put into words. In this post I will share some of what I am able to express that I believe God taught me through this time as well as some of the activities He lead me through. Running over the potholes of life describe in …keep reading »

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A Rough Seminary Semester, Part I

Thumbnail image for A Rough Seminary Semester, Part I

This past 2011 spring semester (January – May) was rough. A lot happened in that five month span. I knew it was going to be busy since I was taking four classes in addition to my family, job, deacon duties, my daughter’s high school graduation and a teaching assignment at church. I began to feel the weight of the semester at the beginning when I found out how much reading and writing two of the classes required (these were week long intensive classes). Not long after being home from the one week intensives a friend’s father committed suicide. In light …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Brewing Controversy: A Respectful Disagreement with John MacArthur

Brewing Controversy: A Respectful Disagreement with John MacArthur

[The following reply is a guest post originally published on spencernix.com (hyperlink removed the site is currently hacked) by friend and fellow blogger Spencer Nix. Spencer is a north Georgia native and Lead Pastor of Isaac’s Keep in Canton, Georgia. He enjoys connecting with people and their story and living life simply and beautifully in his corner of Creation, the intersection of north Atlanta and Southern Appalachia.] Or it’s more Puritan title: Brewing Controversy: A 12 Point Respectful Disagreement to the Estimable Rev. John MacArthur over the subject of Beer, which We Greatly Enjoy and Hope He Someday Will, too. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Anders Breivik Needs to be Crucified

Anders Breivik Needs to be Crucified

After Anders Breivik went on a killing spree various media sources identified him as a fundamentalist Christian. Many Christians rejected that claim, not only because of his actions, but because of the words he wrote in his manifesto. I even quoted Breivik’s manifesto in Was Anders Breivik a Christian? to refute the claim that he was any kind of Christian. Defending the name of Christ in light of those claiming Breivik was a believer was the right thing to do. Yet, in defending Christ many of us missed an opportunity in the moment. Of course, Breivik is still being talked …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Female Pastor Presented to Preach Sunday Morning

Ethics: Female Pastor Presented to Preach Sunday Morning

What would you do Wednesday! The inspiration for this week’s post comes from a real issue that happened in a local Southern Baptist association. Surry Baptist Association in North Carolina disfellowshipped Rocks Baptist Church for calling Bailey Edwards Nelson, a female, a their pastor. Then, Dave at SBCVoices asked – Are Churches with Female Pastors Southern Baptist? (I’ve even offered my own take on the issue.) In light of Dave’s post a similar scenario will be presented. The scenario takes place in a conservative Southern Baptist church. The church uses the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as its official statement …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Adding Alcohol Abstinence to the Church Covenant

Ethics: Adding Alcohol Abstinence to the Church Covenant

What would you do Wednesday! Your pastor recently read John Piper’s article Alcohol and Church Membership that explains why Piper pushed to have the phrase on abstaining from the use of beverage alcohol removed from his church covenant. Upon further consideration your pastor decided to do the opposite of what Piper did. He proposed to add a phrase to the church covenant calling for all members to abstain from all beverage alcohol. The abstention from alcohol would extend to all church staff, members, and those seeking membership. At the congregational meeting your pastor presents the following phrase to be voted on …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Southern Baptist Pastor Becomes a Calvinist

Ethics: Southern Baptist Pastor Becomes a Calvinist

What would you do Wednesday! All week anticipation of this Sunday’s sermon has been high since the planned topic is election. One of your fellow church members has recently embraced Calvinism so you’re hoping the pastor gives some good biblical arguments to discuss with him. Last year in a sermon your pastor made it clear that he was not a Calvinist though he was not hostile to them. He just disagreed with Calvinism though has no problem calling them brothers in Christ and working together with them in ministry. Recently, you’ve read two posts by a non-Calvinist SBC pastor –What I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for On Frivolous Prayer and Reverence

On Frivolous Prayer and Reverence

Given the discussions on the recent NASCAR prayer both here (A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?) and elsewhere the commentary below from Calvin offers helpful perspective to consider on prayer. In the first quote, Calvin addresses the state of the mind and reverence to God in prayer. Let the first rule of right prayer then be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God. This we shall accomplish in regard to the mind, if, laying aside carnal thoughts and cares which might interfere with the direct and pure contemplation of God, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?

A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?

Below is a transcript and video of the invocation “prayer” that Pastor Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, TN (near Nashville) recently gave at a NASCAR event. I’m not sure how to respond other than to scratch my head and think of this in light of the state of American Christianity. Of course, he had to be Baptist, but atleast he’s not Southern Baptist as far as I can tell. So was Nelms offering a prayer, a parody or blasphemy? Heavenly Father, we thank you tonight for all your blessings. You said in all things give thanks so …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Was Anders Breivik a Christian?

Was Anders Breivik a Christian?

My prayers go out to the people of Norway and all of those affected by the vicious murders of Anders Breivik. My intention is not to make less of what happened in Norway, but to explain that his murderous actions were not of the teachings of Christianity. I expect to see reactions from other conservative Christians denouncing Breivik’s actions while offering prayer and empathy for those suffering grief and loss from his terrible act. It is a good time to remember Jesus’ words. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Is God the Author of Evil?

Is God the Author of Evil?

Is there any sense in which God can be said to be the author of evil? In the quote below one author answers yes. See if you agree. God is the author (is in sovereign control) of everything that happens. Evil is something that happens. So God is the author of evil. If this is correct, then even if God is not the author of any evil “thing,” would He not still be the author of evil events? In which case, God would still be the author of evil.1 The author then quotes several Scripture passages involving God’s sovereignty. He …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Dear Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Same-sex marriage, May I call you SSM? Thanks! So, what are you? And what have you done with marriage? Actually, you haven’t done anything with marriage. I’m here writing you. Yes, this is Marriage sending you a note. I’m a little upset that you’re trying to do away with me by re-defining me. However, I am not some novelty act, but a staple of society. Men and women use me to build families by bringing children into the world who then repeat the cycle. I am still here today, but not if it were up to you, SSM. For …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Organizes To Ban Mosque

Ethics: Church Organizes To Ban Mosque

What would you do Wednesday! Local Muslims have found a building in the neighborhood that they’d like to turn into a Mosque. The zoning notice is up and a city hall meeting will be taking place very soon. There has been talk around town both for and against. Some very vocal citizens are absolutely against adding a Mosque to the town and plan on trying to convince the local government to not let it be built. Another group who are just as vocal are not promoting the building of the Mosque, but recognize the Muslims’ freedom to build and will fight …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Jim Wallis and Richard Land Debate Morality and the Deficit

Jim Wallis and Richard Land Debate Morality and the Deficit

The video topics break down as follows: Why the budget is a moral document (02:34) What’s the real cause of the deficit? (05:04) Debating taxes for the wealthy and entitlements (08:14) Jim: The poorest shouldn’t bear the brunt of balancing the budget (03:03) Does baby boomer retirement make means-testing necessary? (05:11) The parable of the British piano tuner (06:44) Land and Wallis begin agreeing that debt is a moral issue. Wallis says that the spending on the poor is not the cause of the deficit and wants the faith community to provide a “circle of protection around the poorest and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Popping Off Is Not Pastoral

Popping Off Is Not Pastoral

Christianity in America seems to be in a constant state of decline rather than a constant state of repentance. One sign of this decline is the way in which celebrity rather than Scripture seems to have become the lens through which certain pastors are evaluated. This type of bias undermines the witness of the Church to nonbelievers. One recent example is when well-known pastor Mark Driscoll posted a flippant comment on Facebook which gathered over 600 comments in response. Offended blogger Rachel Held Evans responded and the flame Driscoll lit spread across the online Christian community. (Note: Driscoll has replied with …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: If Your Pastor Says You Suck?

Ethics: If Your Pastor Says You Suck?

What would you do Wednesday! As you roll out of bed Sunday morning to get ready for church the memory of an uncomfortable conversation with the pastor earlier in the week takes over your thoughts. “I never complain. Maybe I shouldn’t have complained about the music,” you think, “but our recent worship songs have been more like ‘God is my girlfriend‘ songs than they are Christ-centered. Maybe I was a jerk. Overly critical. I tried to offer biblical reasoning in my critique. I love my church and my brothers and sisters in Christ which is why I’d prefer more God-centered …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Atheist Hopes for Brokeback Mountain Moment

Atheist Hopes for Brokeback Mountain Moment

Steve Walsh on the CNN religion blogs reports that New atheist movie ‘The Ledge’ evangelizes godlessness. The film is written and directed by outspoken atheist Matthew Chapman. Apparently, Chapman wants to make an an atheist character into a Hollywood hero with a Christian being the bad guy. Chapman is pushing for a form of atheist evangelism or at the very least a wider acceptance of atheism. “My hope was to make an emotional appeal,” says. He hopes it’s a “Brokeback Mountain” moment for nonbelievers. Chapman believes that a successful film with an atheist hero will influence people to more readily accept …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Which Pastor, Anger or Homosexuality?

Ethics: Which Pastor, Anger or Homosexuality?

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario was built upon an actual question that was asked to a group of Christian men about which pastor they would choose in a given situation. Read on. I also believe that a measure of homophobia has existed in many Southern Baptists. My evidence? I asked a group of professing Christian men in my town this question several years ago: Suppose your church has been searching for a pastor. After months of meetings and interviews the final two candidates have been selected. At this point in the pastoral search process it is time …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for More Photos of Alabama Tornado Damage

More Photos of Alabama Tornado Damage

I recently posted about an area in Alabama that did not get much media coverage and is in need of help. (See: Help Needed for Overlooked Alabama Tornado Victims) The folks mention in that post can still use your help. I’m thankful and encouraged by the responses to help so far. I’ve been sent some more pictures from the same area which are shared below.

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Thumbnail image for NFL Star David Tyree On Gay Marriage

NFL Star David Tyree On Gay Marriage

A few highlights and comments. At the beginning of the video Tyree offers a question which all Christians can apply to their lives regardless of profession. He asks, “Do our fans mean more than our position in eternity?” He then explains that marriage is the “only relationship that actually mirrors a relationship with God. It’s very unique in that way.” He also states that society permeates three things on males 1) sexual conquest, 2) economic prowess and 3) athletic prowess. Further, he explains that those three things aren’t intrinsically bad, but they can become that way if they are the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Help Needed for Overlooked Alabama Tornado Victims

Help Needed for Overlooked Alabama Tornado Victims

The recent tornadoes that ripped through Alabama left several devastated victims. Unfortunately, over 200 of those victims died and most of the survivors are now rebuilding their lives. As far as I know many of the tornado hit areas received national or regional news coverage. I am writing today about an area that did not receive much news coverage. There is an area in Alabama named Clifton Corners which is around the Fort Payne and Rainsville areas. The above picture was taken minutes before Clifton Corners was hit. As I understand it the area got some local news coverage, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did the Gay Clergy Lie?

Did the Gay Clergy Lie?

The StarTribune reports that Presbyterians to allow gays to be ordained ministers. Note: Those Presbyterians would be of the PCUSA branch. I’m sure many would call them PiNO’s (Presbyterian in name only.) Thankfully, some in the PCUSA spoke against the newly affirmed policy which will now allow openly gay and lesbian members to be ordained clergy. Something caught my eye while reading the story. OK, several things caught my eye, but one thing in particular. A few quotes will be provided in order to show the point in asking – Did the gay clergy lie? First, what the new policy …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Army Chaplain Preaches for Memorial Day

Ethics: Army Chaplain Preaches for Memorial Day

What would you do Wednesday! It is the Sunday before Memorial Day. It has been a weekend full of Military appreciation. Television stations have run specials with great reminders of the sacrifices of the many men and women who have served and are serving in America’s Armed Forces. The gratefulness of living in such a free country warms the heart. And the thankfulness for those who have sacrificed for such freedoms makes this upcoming holiday all the more endearing. You wake up wondering what the message will be in worship service this morning. There is a guest preacher, but no …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Camping Missed It: Judgement Day is Everyday

Camping Missed It: Judgement Day is Everyday

Unfortunately, by now Harold Camping is probably a household name. A household name that is probably not widely cherished among households. Camping will most likely be known as that false Christian Judgement Day teacher until the day he dies. Since he is approaching 90 years old he probably will not be with us much longer. But is there still time for him to get it right? Yes, there is still time for Camping to get it right. I don’ t mean that his third time for predicting the end of the world later this year will be the charm. Maybe …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Name the Racist Church?

Ethics: Name the Racist Church?

What would you do Wednesday? Tony Morgan recently wrote a post entitled This White Church Doesn’t Want Black Members. His post is the account of a true story of the racism exactly as the title suggests. It is from this sad story that I offer this weeks ethics question. The scenario is that you have a good friend in town who was the pastor at a local church. While you don’t attend his church you are familiar with it and know a couple of their members. Your friend has been the senior pastor of this church for the last six …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for How Would Jesus Tax?

How Would Jesus Tax?

Lawrence O’Donnell vs. Rush Limbaugh: Biblical lessons from the media? Or – How to do eisegesis? Guess which one argues for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian, a Former Muslim, Wants to Burn Qur’an

Ethics: Christian, a Former Muslim, Wants to Burn Qur’an

What would you do Wednesday! This week’s situation has to do with a current controversial subject, Qur’an burning. This scenario is a different from the Qur’an burning by Terry Jones that took place in Florida. The person in today’s scenario has a different perspective and reason for his position although he hasn’t quite made up his mind. Let’s think. A man in your church has been a Christian for eight months now. Not only is he a new Christian, but he is also a former Muslim. His conversion to Christianity has been life changing. In a conversation recently, he shared …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Hell Now

Hell Now

Whatever change of trouble a child of God meets with, it is all the hell he shall have. Whatever eclipse may be upon his name or estate, I may say of it, as Athanasius of his banishment, it is a little cloud that will soon be blown over, and then his gulf is shot his hell is past. Death begins a wicked man’s hell, but it puts an end to a godly man’s hell. Think with thyself, what if I endure this? It is but a temporary hell: indeed if all our hell be here, it is but an easy …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Daily Appropriating the Gospel

Daily Appropriating the Gospel

When we look at Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we realize that it is easy for us to follow false gospels of various kinds. We need to remind ourselves that all of us follow and lean on various false gospels. Detecting them is difficult because they often are below our theological radar. Few well-churched Christians would actually claim that good parenting, punctuality, etiquette, physical fitness, and active church involvement would be a way of achieving peace with God, but we live as if these are proven ways of gaining God’s love and favor. We need to begin with an assumption …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Wisdom of Solomon, Obama and Abortion

Wisdom of Solomon, Obama and Abortion

Obama and Solomon1 There has been much past discussion about Obama concerning his stance on abortion.  This discussion is not going to end anytime soon and rightly so.  I’ve made the point and so have two other bloggers recently that as Christians we must pray that Obama seeks God’s direction and changes his position on abortion.  The wisdom Obama has shown thus far is what he said at a Planned Parenthood event earlier this year. “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (source) I don’t see any wisdom in that statement.  For more …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Church Sign: Gospel or Moralism?

Church Sign: Gospel or Moralism?

In a message this morning about post-modernism the church sign pictured above was put up as an example of what post-modernists are rebelling against in the modernist Christian culture. The question that crossed my mind is whether this picture is an example of reaching out with the gospel or with moralism?

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Thumbnail image for Book Review: The Purity Principle

Book Review: The Purity Principle

Alcorn, Randy. The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails (LifeChange Books). Sisters: Multnomah Books, 2003. Randy Alcorn is a well-known Christian author and speaker. He has written over 30 books which include both fiction and non-fiction. He is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries (EPM) through which he has ministered to people in many countries. Prior to founding EPM Alcorn was a pastor for 13 years in the state of Oregon. Much like the name of his ministry, in The Purity Principle (TPP), Alcorn seeks to address sexual purity from an eternal perspective. That is, from …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Spurgeon on Impressive and Borrowed Sermons

Spurgeon on Impressive and Borrowed Sermons

Justin Taylor recently posted TGC Asks Don Carson: When Has a Preacher Crossed the Line into Plagiarism in His Sermon? Carson starts by explaining that it is always wrong to preach someone else’s sermon as if it were your own. A related question is whether it’s right or wrong for a preacher to admittedly deliver another’s sermon. While people will disagree whether or not it is proper to borrow sermons, it seems that practice is nothing new since even Charles Spurgeon addressed this topic. While Spurgeon mentions sermon borrowing directly, the whole quote below has implications for preaching borrowed sermons. “Fourthly, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Six Megaproblems and the Gospel Ain’t One (via Barna)

Six Megaproblems and the Gospel Ain’t One (via Barna)

Yesterday, Barna posted the results of a the study – Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010. The six points are numbered below in bold. The research is based research conducted throughout 2010. I’m unsure how many polls or people in total were involved. It gives me no pleasure to read these conclusion, but I am also not surprised. There is a lot that could be said about the six points, but I will only comment briefly on each one. It seems that points 2 – 6 all fall back on the problem in point 1.

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Thumbnail image for Mad At God?

Mad At God?

Eric stormed into my office and flopped into a chair. “I’m really mad at God.” Having grown up in a strong church family, he’d met and married a Christian girl. Now he was the picture of misery. “Okay…so why are you mad at God?” “Because,” he said, “last week I committed adultery.” Long pause. Finally I said, “I can see why God would be mad at you. But why are you mad at God?” Eric explained that for several months he’d felt a strong, mutual attraction with a woman at his office. He’d prayed earnestly that God would keep him …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Contentment and Pride

Contentment and Pride

Another rule is, that those in narrow and slender circumstances should learn to bear their wants patiently, that they may not become immoderately desirous of things, the moderate use of which implies no small progress in the school of Christ. For in addition to the many other vices which accompany a longing for earthly good, he who is impatient under poverty almost always betrays the contrary disease in abundance. By this I mean, that he who is ashamed of a sordid garment will be vain-glorious of a splendid one; he who not contented with a slender, feels annoyed at the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Gee, Thanks

Gee, Thanks

It’s The Hurt That Counts Marie Paule Thielle of Metz, France, who is only 3 years old, has received the Bronze Medal for “an act of courage and dangerous sacrifice.” But the one she rescued does not like her. The story: When Marie’s playmate, two-year-old Denis fell into the municipal pool, she grabbed him by the hair and held his head out of the water until her screams for help were answered. Said Marie: “He doesn’t like me now because it hurt when I pulled his hair.” [Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Should Pastors Accept Gifts from Members?

Ethics: Should Pastors Accept Gifts from Members?

What would you do Wednesday! This weeks question deals with the subject of pastors accepting gifts from church members. Depending on the gift, some may see accepting certain gifts as inappropriate. For example, in 2009, a story broke where there were allegations of inappropriate monetary gifts to a pastor. Tom Rich started a blog over concerns that his now former pastor was taking inappropriate gifts and misusing the church’s money. One online ministry offers a Pastors’ Code of Ethics which states in part that pastors:

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Your Pastor Reveals He is Gay

Ethics: Your Pastor Reveals He is Gay

What would you do Wednesday! It was a normal Sunday morning worship service. Everything was moving along as usual until the pastor began his sermon. He stood up and began what seemed like a sermon introduction. Instead of preaching he began explaining that he needed to come out or confess something to the congregation. His confession is much like that of Jim Swilley in the video below. His confession? He is gay. Although he and his wife divorced several months ago, he plans to remain a celibate. He also plans to stay as the pastor of the church. What would …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ridiculous Item: ‘Jesus was HIV Positive’

Ridiculous Item: ‘Jesus was HIV Positive’

Apparently, South African pastor, Xola Skosana, has claimed that Jesus was HIV positive to raise awareness about how poorly churches treat people who are HIV positive. This report comes from the Daily Mail Reporter story ‘Jesus was HIV-positive’: South African pastor sparks outrage with bizarre claim. A bizarre claim and then some. ‘Wherever you open the scriptures Jesus puts himself in the shoes of people who experience brokenness,’ the Pastor told the BBC. ‘Isaiah 53, for example, clearly paints a picture of Jesus who takes upon himself the infirmities and the brokenness of humanity. ‘Of course, there’s no scientific evidence …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Member Invites You To R-Rated Movie Night

Ethics: Church Member Invites You To R-Rated Movie Night

What would you do Wednesday! It’s Friday night and your husband has already left for a deacon retreat for the weekend. He’ll be home Saturday night so you’ve got Friday night and Saturday free. You will miss him, but know that you will only be apart for one day and it will allow you to spend some time with friends. One of the other deacon’s wives calls. She asks if you want to come over and have a movie night. She tells you that the movies are a surprise and you will have to come over to see what they …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Heaven, Hell and Politicians

Heaven, Hell and Politicians

Below is a story using a politician and his choice between heaven and hell illustrating the tactics some (many?) politicians use to get votes. I thought it interesting so I decided to share it. The author is unknown at this point. I will be glad to attribute it if someone can tell me the author’s name. While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator was tragically hit by a car and died . His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. “Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: The Abandoned Husband

Ethics: The Abandoned Husband

What would you do Wednesday! Bob married Martha eight years ago, and they quickly had three children.  After six especially tumultuous months, Bob came home from work one day and found a note taped to the refrigerator: “Dear Bob, I can’t keep giving anymore.  I need some time for myself.  Good-bye for now.”  The financial stress on Bob has been great since his factory wages only partly meet the needs of the family.  Bob has lost his home, and the children have moved in with his parents.  Two years have gone by and after repeated attempts to find her, Bob …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Religious Freedom: Jesus vs Islam

Religious Freedom: Jesus vs Islam

Religious freedom in this country seems to have taken a turn. Maybe a new definition is in order. Religious freedom: mention religion and you’re free to find a new job. Examples of this can be found in situations where Jesus or Islam have been mentioned. The mention of both have resulted in some form of job loss. As far as mentioning Jesus, several years ago I pointed out that a Chaplain suspended for sharing the Gospel. And this year a Chaplain in the N.C. House of Representatives was fired for praying in Jesus name. What about Islam?

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Thumbnail image for Is Your Church White?

Is Your Church White?

Is your church white? That is the disturbing question what was email to a church in Apex, NC. Ken Keathley recently shared this inquiry over at Between the Times in his post A Shocking Question. The context of this disturbing question was: We know the Lord loves all of us, but we believe in honoring the Culture the Lord gave us, so we are seeking a traditionally ‘White’ church as opposed to Multi-cultural. Is your church White? Read the whole post to find out how the pastor answered this disturbing question. A question that I’m mostly surprised about, but not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Christians Are Jerks! Update

Christians Are Jerks! Update

Jennifer Johnson on The Examiner offers more insight of this story in Local church makes headlines. She quotes the people behind the billboard, Pastor Chris Beard of Christ Covenant Church. “We actually blew up a lot bigger than we ever expected,” Beard told The Examiner. “We talked with (CNN’s) Headline News today (Oct. 15). We wanted to reach out to the community and send the message that as a church we messed up – and it looks like we’ve got people’s attention. Really, we want a chance to say that all the things people say about Christians can be true, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Positive Thinking With Apostle Paul

Positive Thinking With Apostle Paul

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: A Yoga Class Starting at Church

Ethics: A Yoga Class Starting at Church

What would you do Wednesday! Sitting down in the pew on Sunday morning you open the bulletin that you just grabbed on the way in. You look through for anything new going on in your church. One new byline reads: New Outreach Opportunity: New Yoga classes starting, twice a week. Sign up at the church office. Invite your friends!

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Terminal Care for an Elderly Cancer Patient?

Ethics: Terminal Care for an Elderly Cancer Patient?

What would you do Wednesday! Eighteen months ago, a seventy-one-year-old Christian woman developed cancer in a kidney.  Physicians removed the kidney.  Now, however, the cancer has spread to other parts of her body, including her brain, so she has become permanently unconscious.  Her second kidney is now failing, and she needs dialysis.  Dialysis might keep her alive for six to nine months.  Without dialysis, she would probably survive a couple of weeks before drifting off into a relatively painless death caused by the buildup of toxins in her body.  An experimental drug that

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: A Homosexual Asks About Christianity

Ethics: A Homosexual Asks About Christianity

What would you do Wednesday! You have the opportunity to minister to a friend who is a practicing homosexual.You’ve had some passing conversations with him about Christianity. He’s never wanted to engage too much and believes he knows where you stand. He thought it might hurt your friendship if you talked too deeply about Christianity and homosexuality. However, the recent allegations against Eddie Long have made him curious. He is also reminded of

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Thumbnail image for Thomas Brooks’ Four Prime Things

Thomas Brooks’ Four Prime Things

I did some quote mining from Thomas Brooks Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices from the chapter ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’. I found Brooks’ words to be very insightful, practical and challenging. The ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’ is a letter he wrote to his congregation. He was very humble in the letter which can be seen in the prayers he asked for concerning himself. However, the quotes I chose are focus on his exhortations to his congregation of which the universal congregation may benefit. We live in a different culture and time than did Brooks. Yet, it just seems like we don’t think as …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Aborting Your Anencephalic Baby

Ethics: Aborting Your Anencephalic Baby

What would you do Wednesday! You and your spouse have found out in the last few weeks that the child with whom you are pregnant has been diagnosed with anencephaly, a fatal genetics disorder in which the cerebral cortex of the brain does not develop at all. The skull is somewhat flat and quite deformed looking. Only the brain stem, which controls all the nonvoluntary actions of the body, such as heartbeat, respiration, and digestion develops. The child will be born in a permanent vegetative state and is not likely to live longer than a few months, though some have …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Potential Deacon Struggling with Pornography

Ethics: Potential Deacon Struggling with Pornography

What would you do Wednesday! This week’s scenario involves a deacon candidate. One of your friends tells you he has been called to be a deacon. Soon he is going to meet with your pastor(s) and a few of the deacons who will talk to and evaluate his qualifications to be a deacon. The problem is that he has been struggling with pornography for the past three months. And you know this! You’ve been there to help him through this sin. You’ve prayed with him, called him to account and now you’ve explained that he must confess this sin to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Burn A Koran Day In Your Community

Ethics: Burn A Koran Day In Your Community

What would you do Wednesday! There has been a lot of discussion about Islam lately. As Sept. 11 approaches I can only imagine how talk of Islam will draw many emotional responses. We’ve talked a bit about the Ground Zero Mosque.  Understandably, it continues to be an issue. An issue on which Christians disagree. Today’s scenario is in the context the current issue of Koran burning. Many people have stood up for the legal right

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Excluding A Single Parent from Church Membership

Ethics: Excluding A Single Parent from Church Membership

What would you do Wednesday! The scenario is that a single mother is a member of your local church. For several years she seemed to be living faithfully for Christ. She was present on Sunday morning and often during other church events. It was difficult for her at times and the church even helped her financially and with food when she needed help. Then, to your surprise she

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Business Bribes

Ethics: Business Bribes

What would you do Wednesday! The scenario is that you work for an international company that works, directly and indirectly, on projects with governments in the Middle East. You the leader on a team for a project that is about to begin. The contract is with a local Middle East government in which several officials are involved. The contract is huge with revenues projected to be millions of dollars. And you are excited since the bidding, negotiations, contract, etc. are complete. Or so you thought.

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Thumbnail image for Study Your Sin

Study Your Sin

Should Christians study their sin? Do we have a tendency to take sin for granted? Each person must answer that question for themselves. The answer may become clear upon an individual’s study of their sin. It reminds me of hearing Paul Washer’s challenge, “Do you have a new relationship with sin? Because, if you don’t have a new relationship with sin, you don’t have a new relationship with God.” In light of this I’ve recently thought about a question that Christians might challenge one another with, “How is your private sin life?” Then, I came across the excerpt below which …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Ground Zero Mosque An Artificial Controversy?

The Ground Zero Mosque An Artificial Controversy?

There has been some interesting back and forth in Christians and the Ground Zero Mosque. I’m not sure a consensus will ever be reached even by Christians. Meanwhile, a friend sent me an article that offers another perspective on the Ground Zero Mosque. It’s from the Independent Institute whose mission is to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. The article is Histrionics Over the Mosque: Symbolism Crowds Out Reality by Ivan Eland. He opens with: The American media, and to a lesser extent the world media, focus on symbolism at …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Update: Christians and the Ground Zero Mosque

Update: Christians and the Ground Zero Mosque

UPDATE: Daniel linked an article by Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, two Muslims who are on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress, entitled – Mischief in Manhattan: We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation. This article shows that there are atleast some vocal Muslims who get it. There has been much talk (and I’m sure a lot more to come) over whether or not a Mosque should be built two blocks from Ground Zero. Though popularly called the Ground Zero Mosque it may more accurately be called an Islamic Center. Not that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Staff An Illegal Immigrant

Ethics: Church Staff An Illegal Immigrant

What would you do Wednesday! The scenario involves a lady employed full-time by your local church. She came recommended by another local pastor and has been employed for six months. You hear a rumor from a friend that she is in the USA illegally. You rebuke your friend for the rumor. You then take the gossiper to go talk to the lady and apologize. The lady accepts the apology and doesn’t offer any reason about why such a rumor might have started. Just then your pastor walks in

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Thumbnail image for Frank Turek Refutes Judge Walker’s 10 Gay Marriage “Facts”

Frank Turek Refutes Judge Walker’s 10 Gay Marriage “Facts”

Frank Turek of CrossExamined offers a refutation of 10 of Judge Vaughn Walker’s finding of “facts” used to overturn Proposition 8 in order to legalize gay marriage. Turek writes – Second, Prop. 8 doesn’t violate the Fourteenth Amendment because every person in America already has equal marriage rights. We’re all playing by the same rules — we all have the same right to marry any non-related adult of the opposite sex. Those rules do not deny anyone “equal protection of the laws” because the qualifications to enter a marriage apply equally to everyone — every adult person has the same …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Immodest Dress In Church

Ethics: Immodest Dress In Church

What would you do Wednesday! The scenario is that you are friends with a couple at church who are always in Sunday School (or whatever you might call it). Spring comes and you notice that this couple has stopped coming to Sunday School. Although they do attend corporate worship as usual. You go to your friends explaining that you’ve noticed they haven’t been in Sunday School. Out of concern you ask if everything is okay. They explain that since spring had come a certain individual in class has been dressing in clothes they consider to be immodest. The explain that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Resign Church Membership To Avoid Discipline

Ethics: Resign Church Membership To Avoid Discipline

What would you do Wednesday! The scenario is that a fellow church member whom you are fairly close to is under church discipline. There will be two issues to decide on. Your friend is a single lady. It was discovered that she is having an inappropriate relationship with her boyfriend who attends another church. The congregation voted to

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Cohabitation In the Church

Ethics: Cohabitation In the Church

What would you do Wednesday! You are friends with two church members who are dating each other. They officially joined your congregation 12 months ago. They faithfully attend corporate church functions and have been singing in the choir for the last six months. Upon having dinner at his place (you thought) it looks as though both of them live in this home. You inquire and are told that they moved in together 11 month ago, just one month after joining the church. They further admit that their living arrangements

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Thumbnail image for Hell, Are You Offended?

Hell, Are You Offended?

Last week I mentioned that Christianity Gives Atheism Life. Some atheists have gained much by their push against a God they don’t believe exists. In a similar vein, some people who don’t believe in hell are offended when others believe they are headed that way. Why?

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Unwanted Pregnancy

Ethics: Unwanted Pregnancy

What would you do Wednesday! A fifteen year old girl was invited by your daughter to a youth outreach event at your church. Her boyfriend had just broken up with her. She was really upset and needed to get away and thought a church event would be something nice to go to. The gospel was shared with here and she came to faith in Christ during this event. This young Christian has been

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: To Pray In Jesus Name Or Not?

Ethics: To Pray In Jesus Name Or Not?

What would you do Wednesday! Consider being in a situation similar to that of Pastor Baity when he was recently fired for praying in Jesus name. Baity got to say one prayer before the N.C. House, but then he was not invited back. He is protesting his firing and the N.C. House prayer guidelines are being looked into. The situation to consider:

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Staff And Internet Pornography

Ethics: Church Staff And Internet Pornography

What would you do Wednesday! Upon borrowing a church staff member’s computer to use the internet a shameful discovery is made.  The URL address bar auto-populated with a pornographic website. While nervously trying to close the website an open folder is clicked on and maximized only to find a handful of pornographic pictures. Upon calming down for a moment the web browser’s history reveals a few more of these sites. What do you do? Understanding the Matthew 18

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Thumbnail image for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

My wife and I watched the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas this past weekend. In a way it was sort of fitting that we watched it during the Fourth of July weekend. The movie was a great reminder of the freedoms of this great Nation. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is set in World War II in Germany. The two key characters in the movie are two 8 year old boys. One of the boys, Bruno, is the son of SS Commandant Ralf. The other, Shmuel, is a Jewish boy, in striped pajamas, imprisoned in a concentration …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Will A Christian Nation Earn God’s Favor?

Will A Christian Nation Earn God’s Favor?

Dr. Michael Youssef answers the questions, “How can you say America is a Christian Nation? How can a country be Christian?” in Can there be a Christian nation? He answers that it is the individuals, not a country or culture, that are Christian. He explains that people refer to America’s Christian heritage by the moral virtues as seen in its laws and ordinances. He then goes on to write about evoking God’s response with the following:

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Thumbnail image for SB1070: Take illegal immigrant to church, get arrested?

SB1070: Take illegal immigrant to church, get arrested?

Is it possible to get arrested for driving an illegal immigrant to a church service under Arizona law SB1070? This is what E. J. Montini proposes at The Arizona Republic in his article Church, state clash coming under SB 1070. Montini begins: “The first person arrested under SB 1070 might not be an illegal immigrant, but your pastor.” Why?

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Thumbnail image for Mercy Ministry: Church or World?

Mercy Ministry: Church or World?

In 2006, Modern Reformation Magazine provided two articles from a series entitled Mercy Ministries: Two Perspectives. The articles were written by William H. Smith and Randy Nabors. I’ve numbered them I and II, respectively, and linked them below with selective quotes and bullet points. In article I, Smith argues that the mercy ministry of the church is primary to its members. He explains that the church’s service is to one another in word and sacrament rather than serving the world in word and deed. In article II, Nabors argues that the church needs to focus outside of its walls to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A note on selfishness

A note on selfishness

How many times does a mother say,”Billy, share your toys with Bobby” or “Bobby, you musn’t grab toys from Billy like that”? As Billy and Bobby grow older, they learn that such obvious acts of selfishness are socially unacceptable, so their selfish acts become more subtle, but

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Thumbnail image for Adrian Rogers on integrity

Adrian Rogers on integrity

Ephesians 6:14a Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth (NKJV) The Girdle Of Truth – The Believer’s Integrity A soldier in Paul’s day had a leather girdle that he tightened about his waist to protect his loins and carry his weapons of warfare, such as a dagger or sword. The belt also held his tunic together so it wouldn’t be snagged. In Christian armor, it is integrity that holds everything else together. If you do not have integrity in the big and small things of your life, you are going to lose the battle. Without truth everything falls apart. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Passing of Michael Spencer the iMonk 1956-2010

Passing of Michael Spencer the iMonk 1956-2010

Sadly, this week Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, passed away. He was no stranger to expressing his views and stirring up conversations on them, both for and against, in the blogosphere. It is no surprise that his death is stirring up the blogosphere. This time though the conversations are that of grace and appreciation. It was in June of 2009 at the Advance09 Conference. I was upstairs talking with my good friend Russ while checking out the display tables. Then, I saw Michael walk by.

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Thumbnail image for Open letter to Miley Cyrus

Open letter to Miley Cyrus

I was recently directed to an interview with Miley Cyrus in Parade. The interview reveals some thoughts on her move away from a young star branded as Hanna Montana into maturity and a more private life. More revealing is the fact that she was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in 2005 and gives some insight into how she sees her Christian faith. As a Southern Baptist, or more importantly, as a Christian I am concerned about Miley’s statements on Christianity. I have this observation about American Christianity summed up with this statement – American Christians have freedom to their …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics question: Kill or be killed?

Ethics question: Kill or be killed?

Last night in ethics class we were proposed a scenario that I’m going to propose here. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Ready? Here goes! You and your group are visiting a country that is in the middle of a civil war. All of you are then captured by one of the militias. In order to be set free you must prove that you are not on the opposing side. This militia has also captured an innocent person who is their prisoner.   You are given two options: Kill the innocent prisoner to prove your on their side which will set …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for I am Tiger Woods

I am Tiger Woods

‘I am Tiger Woods’ is a popular slogan repeated by several kids in a Nike commercial. Given Woods’ recent transgressions that phrase is even more true today. Except the adults are missing. GASP?! It’s true, as I mentioned in another article, Tiger Woods and the cross, he is just like the rest of us. I am not talking about the money or the golf. I am talking about the transgressions. The sin. Woods’ sin might look different in manifestation than yours, but your sin is still sin. Even the slogan ‘I am Tiger Woods’ can push people to

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Thumbnail image for Gospel Then Morality: Lesson From Abortion Counseling

Gospel Then Morality: Lesson From Abortion Counseling

What can Christians learn about the Gospel and change from abortion counseling? I recently attended a fundraiser for Cobb Pregnancy Services (CPS). It was a great night of fellowship and celebration of what God is doing at this organization. A young pregnant lady gave her testimony of how God used CPS to convince her to return to Christ and keep her baby. Great news, but she

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Thumbnail image for Alcholism Vs Legalism

Alcholism Vs Legalism

If you’ve read my testimony you’ll see that I grew up in a legalistic religion.  I could never be good enough.  I was the on the receiving end of the the never ending road of legalism.  Whether it was a cuss word or a beer, I was done. 

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Thumbnail image for Dear President Obama – No!

Dear President Obama – No!

Amen! Spread the word. The world needs to watch.

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Financial Omniscience

Below is a great quote by Ben Stein on knowing the future, especially, the future of financial and economic markets. I am bemused because I have long noticed that almost all economic pundits and soothsayers – whether on television, in newspapers, or at brokerage firms and conferences, are asked to tell the future. And most of them agree to try to do so, and the really successful ones actually say they can do it – and they say it with extreme conviction. Some of them are stunningly well paid for their efforts, even though they are wrong decade after decade. …keep reading »

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Shut Up Christians!

The movie is actually called Speechless: Silencing the Christians.  Just watch the video and ask yourself – Is there a pro-homosexual agenda at work?  If so, is it affecting families, our nation, and religious freedoms? In the video you will also see reference to and quotes from the book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen which does seem to spell out a pro-homosexual agenda. What do you think? Is there an agenda? Mark

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Miss America Interview

On Feb. 10, Pastor Wilken interview the new Miss American, Katie Stam, on the Issues, Etc. radio show.  I’m assuming Wilken got the interview because Ms. Stam is a Lutheran and her mother teaches at a Lutheran school.  Though I may be wrong.  I wanted to make a few observations about the interview. Slight Rant I think Wilken asked her some good questions.  He even asked her if the Miss American Pageant exploits women.  As tempted as I am to go there I don’t want to spend time on this topic.  Stam’s answer is a “no” here because of the …keep reading »

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Instant Millionaire!

When I first got the email I’ve share below I was just going to post it to show share the attempted scam.  It’s either a scam or someone is actually willing to give me $4.5 million!  Yeah, I’m holding my breath.  I’ve seen stories on investigative reporting shows about such scams.  Then I thought, why do people continue mailing and emailing these fraudulent requests?  Why did so many people fall for the current Wall Street scandals?  Why do people attempt to commit this fraud to begin with?  The main reason these things happen is because the perpetrators and the victims …keep reading »

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Obama, Abortion and Pay Grades

Christianity Today’s morning article Obama says abortion comment at megachurch forum too flip has some interesting quotes from Obama speaking about his answer to when a baby gets human rights at the Saddleback Forum.  Remember, Obama first said that this question was “above my pay grade.”  One immediate problem with that is many people are voting either for or against him based on this very issue.  And it is clear that he also has an opinion on the issue based on his voting record and his own words.  If he really thought it were above his pay grade he would …keep reading »

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Sin Sells But Who’s Buying?

Sin sells, but who’s buying?  If we were to answer this question based on the recent success of Katy Perry today vs. Katy Perry Hudson several years ago, I’d say that many are buying.  Just consider the two Christianity Today articles from back in 2001 and today in 2008.  It seems as though Hudson, though appealing in her music, came and went.  While Perry spent some time at no. 1. Who cares, though, right?  I do for one.  And, well, her parents apparently do according to the recent Christianity Today article linked above.  Quoting the artist’s mother. I hate the …keep reading »

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Views on homosexuality

LifeWay has just released research on views of homosexuality from a telephone survey.  The groups included in the survey were Americans in general, Roman Catholics, Protestants and another called “born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Protestants.”  I’m not quite sure of the distinction of the last group from the Protestants. A quote from the article by friend and Research Director, Ed Stetzer. “Almost a third of Americans and almost half of those who do not attend a place of worship – the people we are trying to reach – say our view of sexual morality would negatively impact their decision to visit …keep reading »

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End of the Spear preliminary thoughts

There has been talk about the blog-o-sphere concerning the lead character in the new movie End of the Spear. In “real life” the actor who plays this character is a homosexual. I should say their are disagreements over whether or not a homosexual should have played this part. I just want to ask one question for those supporting a homosexual in this role. How would you feel if your favorite theologian/evangelist (i.e. Luther, Calvin, CH Spurgeon, Edwards, Knox, Wesley, Augustine, etc.) were potrayed in a biographical movie by Hugh Hefner?

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Desperate Housewives for kids

I couldn’t believe it when my wife was at the store shopping for the daughter. She was looking for something specific and I was on the phone with her. She then saw something that she just couldn’t believe. I asked her what it was and she told me about the Desperate Housewives Dirty Laundry Game that was in front of her. Looking at the online description we read: Welcome to Wisteria Lane. A neighborhood where things begin with a secret and end with a scandal. And everyone’s trying to hide their dirty laundry. So don’t bother knocking. Just open a …keep reading »

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Purpose driven crystal meth?

Earlier this year Brian Nichols was in custody at the courthouse in downtown Atlanta and about to go to trial on rape charges. Nichols got free, killed four people and escaped. He ran to a suburb and ended up at Ashley Smith’s apartment. Smith talked him into giving himself up and allegedly used Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Drive Life to get through to him. A couple of excerpts: For some reason, the one with the gun untied her and let her go get the book, and like a kid sharing something newly discovered, Ashley ran and got The Purpose …keep reading »

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