Showing posts from October, 2013

Hot Topic: Drugs

One thing we've learned over the years is "Just Say No" doesn't really work. Everyone knows the harmful effects of illegal drugs. We know the dangers of over-consumption of alcohol. We know how damaging cigarette smoke can be on our bodies. And yet we just can't say "No."
Paul knew that "Just Say No" was a lousy way to prevent sinful activities.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Colossians 2:20-23, emphasis added) Zero-tolerance policies and "…

What Do You Know?

On Wednesday nights I am leading our teens through the Gospel of John. We just started it a few weeks ago and are still in chapter 1. It seems like every time I read through the gospels something new jumps out at me. It’s all been there for 2000 years, but I notice something new every time.

This time through John’s gospel I have noticed how often the words “witness” and “testimony” are used. John the Apostle writes to tell us about the things he has seen (1:14). John the Baptist was sent by God as a witness to testify concerning God’s Chosen One (1:34).

The normal context in which a witness testifies is in court. A witness cannot tell more than they know, but that’s okay. All that is required is that they simply share what they do know. It doesn’t really matter if they know all the thoughts and motives behind the event about which they are testifying. All that matters is what they saw and experienced. Eye witness testimony paired with physical evidence is usually enough to convince a…

Hot Topic: Is the Death Penalty Right or Wrong According to Scripture?

So far this year 29 people have been executed by the State. Those 29 "victims" of capital punishment were responsible for the murders of (at least) 49 people. Last year there were 42 men executed who were responsible for (at least) 70 murders. []

Is it right or wrong for the State to sentence someone to death? That question is so loaded that I'm not really going to go there. Are there some crimes and some criminals that deserve the ultimate sentence? I think so. There must be consequences for our actions. The more violent the crime, the harsher the consequence should be so that, in theory, people are deterred from committing such crimes. In practice, however, human history has shown that no matter how severe the punishment, crimes will still be committed. People will break human (and divine) laws regardless of the consequences.

Back in the very beginning, God created Adam in the Garden. God had ONE RULE. That's it. Don't eat from this …

Model Minister #1: Preaching Boldly

[A 10 Part Series based on Paul's Ministry as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12]

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

As a minister, one of the hardest obstacles to overcome is the fear of offending someone. This is true inside the walls of the church building as much as it is outside. It takes guts to preach the gospel to nonbelievers, but it takes real boldness to remind believers about the gospel they claim to believe.
(I'm going to focus on the kind of boldness needed within the church, since it is mostly my fellow Christians who read this blog anyway.)
It's a sad reality that there are "church members" who believe complaints and criticisms are gifts of the Holy Spirit. Even though they are willing to pay professional min…

Hot Topic: Bad Language

Does the language we use matter?

I'm not talking about improper grammar and syntax. I'm talking about the actual words, phrases, and sentences that come out of our mouths. Curse words, lies, gossip, rumors, dirty jokes, insults - these are all heard within the first fifteen minutes of powering on our televisions. And if you pay attention, these are all heard throughout the day coming out of the mouths of those who claim to be Christians.

There are some out there who simply refuse to believe that words have any power or hold any sway on the state of our souls. But while "THE WORDS" might change over time, it's more of a heart issue than anything else. So I will not sit here and tell you which words not to say (and neither does Scripture), but I think we are all smart enough to figure that one out.

What I do want to do with this post is to simply string together quotations from Scripture and from modern times without my added commentary. I don't think I need to ad…

Hot Topic: How do dinosaurs fit into the Bible timeline?

Some questions are simple. Some questions are complex. Some questions seem simple until you begin to pursue the answer. The question about dinosaurs is that third kind of question in my opinion.

I do NOT claim to be any sort of expert or definitive voice on this issue, and there are a lot of matters that need to be addressed in answering this question. The dinosaur dilemma involves everything from age of the earth to evolution to ancient history and pre-history of mankind.

I think the following videos from Apologetics Press are very helpful in answering the dinosaur dilemma in both a biblical and a scientific/historic way.

While I may not be an expert, here are some things I know (and many of them were covered in these videos).

1. God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. God created gigantic lizard creatures just like he created the blue whale. His power and might are on display through what he has created.

2. Evolution, especially as Darwin suggested it, cannot …