One of the key principles of Christian discipleship is that to say the same things over and over again must not be grievous to the teacher, because this repetition is safe for the disciple (Phi. 3:1). I remember hearing an anecdotal story about someone in Lutherâ€™s ministry telling him that he was always saying the same thing in all his sermons, and by gum, when will Luther say something new. Luther replied, â€œWell, when you start living what Iâ€™m preaching now, then maybe Iâ€™ll consider preaching something else!â€ We are creatures that oft forget, and need continual reminders of what it is we actually believe.Â [Read more…] about The Lion on the Other Side
A pastor friend of mine, Shawn, is fond of saying, â€œYou can either scream at the darkness, or you can light a candle.â€ More
and more I have seen the wisdom of that statement. Christians can see darkness a mile away, and get really loud about it. Yet, we are not so swell at being, well, you know, the whole â€œlight of the world thing.â€ Christians are often appalled at the wickedness of the culture and the compromise within the Church. I did a little research before I wrote this, and you can find whole websites devoted to â€œunveilingâ€ all the wolves in sheepâ€™s clothing. Apparently, some guy who owns a website finds it to be his personal commission from God to lump Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, CS Lewis, Joel Osteen and Oprah into one massive heretical lump.
We live in a viral age. For good or ill . . . and Iâ€™d say the majority of these viruses bode for ill. I have seen two articles twittering their way across the book of faces and receiving a bunch of â€œlikes;â€ that not so ancient and ever so irritating, serpentine degradation of public discourse. As an aside, I do not like â€œlikes.â€ In saying this, I know that people will â€œlikeâ€ this blog, thus, as I sigh and accept the inevitable, I return to the topic at hand with hopes that this discussion will help push us to a greater degree of discernment as to what we â€œlikeâ€ as Christians. [Read more…] about Leaven in the Lump
Scripture warns us to take heed over 60 times, and each of these instances would provide a profitable meditation for our soul. We are exhorted, when we think we are standing, to take heed lest we fall (1 Cor. 10:12). The nature of manâ€™s soul is such that we can be starving spiritually, and yet think ourselves healthy and robust merely because we do a whole bunch of spiritually oriented things. Modern Christianity is filled with many instances of this standing but actually falling paradox.
The flesh is always itching, and no amount of Gold Bond will help. There are numerous ways humans seek to scratch the itch, and the fight I want to pick is not primarily with the backscratcher or the ointment, it is with the itch itself. The fleshâ€™s itch is the itch for gratification.Â Although God made us to be satisfied, delighted, even overjoyed, we decided that we want to be satisfied by anything other than Him. We donâ€™t mind using aspects of Who He is to gratify us; but we donâ€™t want just Him, only Him, nothing but Him. Human nature is such that it is always seeking ways to be satisfied, soothed, petted, and coddled. We itch for appeasement, pleasure, and self-satisfaction. The itch should simply be called â€œselfishness.â€Â [Read more…] about Scratching the Itch
In light of Doug Philips’ resignation, one thing to keep at the forefront of our minds, and I’m sure Mr. Philips would concur, is that our
faith rests on the shoulders of the Almighty, flawless, faultless Christ. Let God be true, and every man, including you and I and Mr. Philips, a liar. God’s Word is the word we build on, not the example of the flawed vessels which God has condescended to fill!
Limp-wrists are all the rage. Our modern Christian culture, with its skinny-jean clad worship leaders, hawaiian-shirted Pastors, and cigar-smoking small groups has become proficient in the art of ineffectuality. We have bought the bait that tolerance and acceptance is the most important expression of Christian love. We love by accommodating, cow-towing, and placating the culture. I remember hearing about a church that sent out surveys to their community asking: â€œWhat sort of church do you want?â€ Well, whatâ€™ll you know, they wanted a church that gets out in time for the game, allows dad to export his fatherly responsibility to a 28 year old youth pastor with a cool haircut, sermons that include clips from a movie about two dumb guys (one dumber than the other), and a great worship bandâ€“pyrotechnics and all.Â [Read more…] about A Great Mountain, and a Crumbling Statue
In a recent foray through David Daniellâ€™s meticulous biography of William Tyndale, I have been stirred more than once by this simple warning: â€œBeware Erasmus.â€ It has become a slogan I have begun to frequently whisper to my soul, (for reasons that shall soon become clear) to provoke me to stay on guard against the enchanting fumes of pride. We recognize the perceived deadness of the previous generation and we refuse to follow in that path; we, instead, want a robust and living spirituality. Iâ€™ve seen my peers pursue this healthy desire in two very unhealthy ways.
[Read more…] about Beware Erasmus