Meeting in a cabin by the creek

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”

Choosing the reproach of Christ

Like his parents, Moses would have to choose between his royal family and his Israelite brethren. Events would eventually culminate in a decision to identify with one or the other.

The Bible recalls “the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel,” and “made their lives bitter with hard service” and “ruthlessly made them work as slaves” (Exodus 1:12,13). The easy choice for Moses would have been to remain with his royal family. Instead he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:24,25). Continue reading “Choosing the reproach of Christ”

“Social Gospel” or “Covenant living”?

The “Social Gospel” is not about church “socials” or potlucks; that thinking is based on equivocation. The Social Gospel was developed by Walter Rauschenbusch, mostly as a reaction to the socio-political times around World War I. Lectures from 1917 were printed in “A Theology For the Social Gospel.” A poor summary would be preachers lining up folk to vote for political candidates who share their values, as an expression of the social gospel.

The basic idea attempted to apply Continue reading ““Social Gospel” or “Covenant living”?”

It pays to be a Christian

Joel Osteen, improbably youthful looking minister of the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, is apparently completely unaware of the concept of sin. This is amazing, as he lives in a major metropolitan center where presumably the raw side of life should be apparent, the suffering and victimization that comes from, well, the less than stellar actions taken by people. Victims of abuse, alcoholism and abandonment are evident everywhere. It makes one wonder: Does the “Smiling Evangelist” care about all those who suffer?

It’s not hard to see why his materialistic version of Christianity is popular. Apparently Jesus came to the earth, not so much to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), but to make us prosperous, have a nice house and wear cool clothes. Continue reading “It pays to be a Christian”

Politicizing Jesus

The popular meme by John Fugalsang creates a Jesus made in his own image saying Jesus was “anti-wealth.” In another version, Fugalsang says Jesus was “anti-capitalism”. Fugalsang’s meme goes on to say Jesus “never called the poor lazy.”

Jesus never mentioned being for or against any form of economics. Jesus had no wealth while on earth, but there is no biblical text that says Jesus was “anti-wealth.”

Fugalsang interprets Christ’s silence on any issue in favor of his own views. If Fugalsang is for it, then Jesus’ silence is for it. If Fugalsang is against it, then Jesus’ silence is against it. Continue reading “Politicizing Jesus”