A brother in Christ said it during a church business meeting about the legal challenges facing the church. We were talking about whether the church could continue to preach on the subject of biblical marriage. For transparency’s sake, allow me to disclose that the topic was whether preachers could still declare that gay marriage was not biblical marriage, whether the church would come under legal pressure to not say so.
Christians are, as it turns out, already responding to this challenge. Continue reading “Meeting in a cabin by the creek”
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).
One of the church’s most serious diseases is the idea that it is the church’s job to “serve me.” How often have I heard someone say, “I’m leaving that church. It just never fulfilled my needs.”
Instead of seeing the church as the channel to be served, why don’t we look on the church as the conduit to serve others? Continue reading “Prayer of Francis of Assisi”
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance?” (Micah 7:18).
How is it that we can come into the Lord’s presence to worship him, and come away with the image of someone or something other than God?
Whether it be the majesty of the architecture, the “entertainment” value of the worship “production,” or the charisma of the preacher, when we leave worship, and our enduring memory is something other than God, something was wrong! Worship should be in honor of the Lord, and the Lord alone! Anything less would be idolatry. Continue reading “TV Church”
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Consider the difference between the “Jonah” preacher and the “Jeremiah” preacher. Apparently one would have thrilled at seeing Nineveh burn under fire and brimstone; the other wept as his beloved Jerusalem burned.
In my opinion, churches of Christ have got it right for the most part over the last 170 years or so. I am saddened and disturbed by those brethren who feel we have been wrong to call men and women back to the Scripture and restore New Testament Christianity, who think there is a better way, a more noble plea. Continue reading “Repulsively right”
This week a student dropped a Thank You card by my office.
I’ll live on that for a month!
It was an act of grace by a young person more mature than her years. Students have no idea how much such a gesture means to a teacher. Expressing gratitude is an act as graceful as a tree swaying in the wind or an athlete swooping in to catch a ball. Continue reading “The other grace”
I ran across an excellent definition of worship the other day. It comes from the pen of William Temple:
“Worship is the quickening of the conscience by the holiness of God, feeding the mind with the truth of God, purging the imagination by the beauty of God, opening the heart to the love of God, and devoting the will to the purpose of God.”
Continue reading “Quickening the conscience”
We have all observed the extraordinary pull of peer pressure on our children. There are totalitarian regimes in central Asia that offer more freedom of thought and expression than junior highers. Joseph Stalin allowed more dissent than these kids! Which is to say that it’s not easy being a Christian young person. And, if we older people are honest, peer pressure affects us, too. Continue reading “Some questions to ask of an activity”
Let’s start with an important declaration: I think we all want the church to grow. The question is, how?
Church growth has become an industry these days with studies and literature all over social media. Those who care about the church might lend some of these an ear. And yet there are cautions to observe, too. Continue reading “How to build the church”
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, I know it very well” (Psalm 139:14).
The theory of evolution, as you know, asserts that nature changes over the eons by a long series of advantageous mutations, selecting the ones that help and rejecting those changes that hurt. Usually supporters of the theory like to point to such things as an elephant’s trunk, which apparently began as a normal mammal’s nose, but over time lengthened to the powerful but dexterous limb that is the great creature’s most distinctive feature. Continue reading “The mouse trap”
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” (John 14:15).
One of the silliest lines in an old movie (“Love Story”) is the one where a character declares, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Two thoughts come to mind here; the first is that, assuming we’re human, we will make mistakes, and thus need to say, “I’m sorry.” The second is, woe betide the relationship where one partner actually thinks he never errs and so never has to say, “I’m sorry.” Continue reading “Love is not free”