Daily Archives: December 14, 2013

A Marine Graduation and Thoughts of Discipleship

The Domain for Truth

Marine Graduation

Went to a Marine graduation the last few days, hence I’ve been slow in posting on here.  Some of you may know that I served in the Marines and I’ve been out for a few years now.

The trip was sentimental but it also made me think tangent to the Christian faith and specifically with discipleship.  Here were some thoughts I found it stirred within me to continue being biblical in discipleship of believers:

1. Don’t compromise the faith and teaching the hard things of the Christian faith.  If our goal is make disciples and teach them all things that Christ want us to teach from His Word, we best not compromise.  Compromise will definitely lower the quality of the disciples we forge within the church.

2. The Goal of discipling Christians ought not be to get rid of suffering in their lives but to explain and make sense of…

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Dent, Faber, Celente, Maloney, Rogers – What Do They Say Is Coming In 2014?

Some of the most respected prognosticators in the financial world are warning that what is coming in 2014 and beyond is going to shake America to the core. Many of the quotes that you are about to read are from individuals that actually predicted the subprime mortgage meltdown and the financial crisis of 2008 ahead of time. So they have a track record of being right. Does that guarantee that they will be right about what is coming in 2014? Of course not. In fact, as you will see below, not all of them agree about exactly what is coming next. But without a doubt, all of their forecasts are quite ominous. The following are quotes from Harry Dent, Marc Faber, Gerald Celente, Mike Maloney, Jim Rogers and nine other respected economic experts about what they believe is coming in 2014 and beyond… (Read More….)

To those who say there is no war on Christmas

Christmas is the most notable day on the calendar where the general American public is reminded of the life of Jesus Christ. That is why some want to do away with it.

Someone sent me an article from USA Today, which has this headline: “Not all Christians believe there is a ‘War on Christmas.'” The article quotes Christian leaders and authors saying they disagree with those of us who believe there is a war on Christmas. I could give a litany of examples of exactly how the war on Christmas has manifested itself the last decade or so. From nativity scenes no longer being allowed on the courthouse square, to schools changing Christmas break to “winter” break, from Christmas parades being changed to “winter” parades, to children being told they can no longer sing carols during their “winter” program, etc., etc. There is an intentional effort by some secularists to purge the word ‘Christmas’ from our culture. Whether it will be successful or not remains to be seen. But it’s discouraging to see some fellow Christians say – “Who cares?”

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Remove Christ From Christmas? Impossible

They are fighting against the person and the truth of Jesus Christ. Yes, activists take it out on us, but our struggle is not against flesh and blood people (Ephesians 6:12); it is spiritual. It’s not enough for them to have the freedom to not celebrate Christmas and the right to deny faith in God; their agenda is to take it away as an option for us. Talk about bullying.

Some atheists, humanists, activists, and progressives come out every year during Christmas and with the help of the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other Leftist groups, threaten to take you to court if you don’t keep quiet about this Jesus and conform to a godless culture. These are the very people who need God the most.

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Christian left pushes for ‘peace’

He then says that peacemaking is “the core of the gospel message.”

It is? Is it, really?

I thought the gospel was about the reconciliation of sinful people with the Creator. When did it become a social gospel, left-wing agenda?

And we need to define what is meant by peacemaking. One can plausibly assume it means what Jim Wallis or Brian McLaren say it means, which is oddly similar to the worldview of hippies, political social engineers, and other religious leftists.

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What is the Christmas Star?

Others suggest a meteor or a shooting star. However, the Christmas Star hung around for quite some time. Meteors and shooting stars last only moments in the atmosphere. These two are too just too brief to be the Star.

Others suggest a supernova in which a dying star implodes in upon itself. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy before fading from view over several weeks or months. The appearance of a supernova would easily be interpreted by the Wise Men as the birth of a great king according to their Babylonian religious beliefs. However, supernovas are stationary in their place in the sky. They don’t move around like the Christmas Star.

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What to do in the Midst of Your Storm

How does that line go? Everyone is either just coming out of a battle, in the middle of a battle, or about to go into one.

Here are some random suggestions on “What to do when you find yourself in the battle of your life” (or something a little less dire but still ruining your day)….

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The Intolerance of Tolerance

Mention the word “tolerance” and you are likely to get some interesting responses. Most of those responses will focus on how people have the “rights” to think, believe or act however they choose. In this view, tolerance is all about my rights and thinking on a given topic. At first, that may sound pleasant or even socially acceptable but in fact it is rotten to the core. When people who view tolerance this way apply what they think, the result is to exclude those who believe in absolute truth and absolute morals.

I was at a coffee shop I frequent often and the manager and I began to talk about Christianity. She knew I was a Christian and a ministry leader. When I go to a coffee shop I come with a backpack full of books along with my laptop. On this particular day, this manager and I were chatting when all of the sudden it became clear that she didn’t want to talk about Christianity any further. It became evident that she wanted to think how she wanted and wasn’t going to consider a thing I said, yet expected that I was supposed to consider everything she said. One time I was chatting with my neighbor who is a Mormon and I got the same sense that I was supposed to take everything he said as truth but when I made arguments for the exclusivity of Christ or highlighted to my atheist friend about the character of God, I was immediately discounted. These situations and many others like them lead me to think that people think it’s okay to think however you want, but if you make exclusive, absolute claims about matters of truth and faith then you will be viewed increasingly as a non-intellectual.

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7 Signs of a Healthy Small Group

I’m sold on small groups. There are very few ways to create an atmosphere conducive to building strong relationships than studying the Bible in the living room of a friend. I also agree with Rick Howerton about the need to consider a more organic pathway to healthy groups.

I was recently in a conversation with my coach, Danny Kirk, about what small groups look like at Grace Hills, and how we know when a group is healthy. By the end of our conversation, I had seven clearly articulated signs of group health and the kind of metric to apply to each. (And that’s the benefit of coaching!)

So here are my seven signs of a healthy small group:

Read More here: http://www.churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/171834-7-signs-of-a-healthy-small-group.html

Counseling Related Questions: How Does Psychology Work with Christian Counseling?

Psychology and Christianity often find themselves at odds. Some have promoted psychology as a complete answer to the human condition and the key to living a better life. Some psychologies consider faith in God as an illusion created as a sort of coping mechanism. In reaction to these unbiblical ideas, some Christians discount all psychology. Some fear using a soft science to help people with emotional or psychological disturbances, believing psychology to be too subjective and that man’s problems are better addressed spiritually. Some Christians, especially those involved in biblical counseling, believe the Bible contains all that is necessary to overcome any issue, psychological or otherwise; psychology is unnecessary because the Bible alone is our life manual. On the one hand, we have Christians believing that a person’s struggles are primarily spiritual and that God alone can heal, and on the other hand, secular psychologists claiming biological or developmental disruptions that man can fix himself. Despite this polarization, psychology and biblical counseling need not be at war.

It is important to recognize that psychology is not monolithic; there are many different theories of psychology, some of them even contradicting the others. The concepts of human nature, life struggles, health, and treatment modality in psychology span a broad spectrum. The majority of counselors and psychologists today practice somewhat eclectically; they are not strictly Freudian or Jungian but are versed in several theories and employ different parts of the theories for different presenting issues. For instance, a counselor may gravitate toward existential theory when counseling for grief, but bring in cognitive behavioral theory when counseling for behavioral issues. In other words, a counselor may cherry-pick what he thinks will help the most. A psychologist is free to use certain person-centered techniques without accepting theories concerning self-actualization. It is common to work out of one or two primary theories and use a variety of techniques from myriad theories.

Christian counselors often adopt certain psychological theories in part, but they do not embrace any underlying philosophies that deny God or biblical truths. In essence, Christian counselors use psychology as a tool, but they do not view it as absolute truth. Psychology is not a competing religion, but a field of study that could actually lead to a deeper understanding of humanity and, therefore, of God as Creator, Savior, and Healer.

Nouthetic counseling, or biblical counseling, is a form of counseling that relies solely on Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit to achieve results. Rather than promote any psychological theory, nouthetic counselors state that Scripture is sufficient for all human difficulties. Certainly, the Bible speaks of the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. The Word is powerful (2 Timothy 3:16–17; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:11) and allows the godly person to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). Plus, God is our ultimate healer (Exodus 15:26; Matthew 8:17). However, it is interesting to note that those who ascribe to Bible-only counseling do not necessarily ascribe to Bible-only medical treatment or Bible-only education. The question becomes what parts of life are to be led only by Scripture and what aspects can be informed by secular learning.

Paul spoke of becoming all things to all men for the sake of evangelism (1 Corinthians 9:19–23). When people are seeking psychological treatment, it may be helpful for a Christian to use psychological theories as corrected by biblical truth. A Christian counselor can use the tools of psychology to reveal to people their need for a deeper healing than what psychology can provide. Spiritual discussions are not rare in counseling rooms. A counselor is expected not to impose his or her values or beliefs upon a client, but often just opening the topic leads a client to search. And we know that when people search for God, they find Him (Jeremiah 29:13; Proverbs 8:17; Matthew 7:7).

More practically speaking, many instructions or concepts in the Bible do not seem easily applicable. For instance, we know that we should abstain from immorality, but other than through prayer and “fleeing” it (1 Corinthians 6:18), we do not know how. Psychology might provide practical techniques to overcome the struggle with lust. Knowledge gleaned from psychology may provide insight into what is encouraging a person to remain in sin, and if we can identify internal proclivities to sin, we can strip those things of their power.

Psychology may also help people become aware of the importance of expressing their emotions and bringing them to God, much like we see happening in the Psalms. Ultimately, psychology may help open the door to an understanding of our deepest needs. We will not experience full satisfaction or fullness of life through therapy, but we will increase our hunger for fullness of life. In turn, we can take our hunger to God, for life comes from Him alone (John 14:6).

Nouthetic counseling is opposed to psychology. However, there can be genuine Christian counseling that is biblical and also uses psychological theories. If well-trained Christian counselors are able to integrate their faith with their education, they can remain faithful to biblical standards but also avail themselves of the science of psychology.

Solid counseling should recognize that neither the counselor nor the client is the healer. Only God can truly heal. Counseling is one tool that can help us come to an understanding of who we are in Christ and find meaning in our lives. However, it is not a quest to find worth in and of ourselves or to find healing apart from God. Nouthetic counseling is correct in stating that the deepest problem is in the soul, and only the Holy Spirit can truly transform that.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Bible Commentary: What Are the Seven Things God Hates?

The seven things God hates are a catalog of sins summed up in Proverbs 6:16–19. While these aren’t the only sins that should be avoided, they do sum up most of the wicked things condemned by God. The seven things God hates are the sins that deal with the deep heart motives of the individual. The writer of Proverbs points the finger straight at our hearts and our sinful thought processes.

This is in line with our Lord Jesus Christ’s elaboration of the Ten Commandments during His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21–48). Sin is committed the moment it is conceived in the heart, even before it is actually committed. Avoiding the seven things God hates will help us expose our hidden intentions and motives.

The following are Proverbs’ list of seven things God hates:

Arrogant (haughty) eyes: This describes a feeling of pride and looking down upon others (Philippians 2:3, 5–11). When we begin to think of ourselves more highly and with unparalleled importance, we are forgetting the fact that it is Christ living in us and that the old self is now dead (Galatians 2:20). Often believers feel superior to other believers when they receive godly wisdom and display amazing tenacity against sin. We fail to realize these gifts were given by God through Christ and fanned into flame by the Holy Spirit and are not due to our own goodness. This sin is so detested by the LORD that Paul was kept from committing this sin by being provided with “a thorn in the flesh” to humble him (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Lying tongue: A tongue speaking is one that speaks falsehood, knowingly and willingly, with an intention to deceive others. Lying can be used to impugn the character of a brother, or to flatter a friend. It is a most detestable evil to God, who is a God of truth. Nothing we do causes us to more closely resemble the devil, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).

Hands that shed innocent blood: This refers to cold blooded murder. We may never have orchestrated killing someone or never have touched the gun or knife, but in Matthew 5:21–24, Jesus says that anyone hating someone else unreasonably without offering room for forgiveness commits a sin equivalent to murder. John reiterates this concept in 1 John 3:15.

A heart that devises wicked schemes: This encompasses thinking or conceiving evil against any individual or group for personal benefit, but also for other misguided objectives, like modern-day terrorists indulge in. Any sin is basically a wicked scheme. David’s sin against Uriah the Hittite and Bathsheba comes to mind (2 Samuel 11). The heart of an evil man continually contrives schemes to bring others to ruin, whether physically or spiritually.

Feet that are quick to rush into evil: Those whose feet are quick to rush into evil display no resistance whatsoever to sin. Having known of many examples in the Bible, and having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; Galatians 5:16), we are expected to be wise in this regard (Romans 6:11–14; Ephesians 5:5, 11). In the Garden of Eden, Eve had the first experience of temptation. She displayed no resistance to the serpent’s temptation. Instead as soon as the devil attracted her to the fruit, she “saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye … (Genesis 3:6).” Eve had sinned at that moment itself. Contrast this with the attitude of Jesus, when tired and hungry after forty days and forty nights of fasting, he refused to yield to the Devil’s tempting and killed the temptation in his mind without allowing it to grow into sin (Matthew 4:1–11). “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

False witness who pours out lies: This is similar to the sin of the lying tongue mentioned earlier, but this form of lying is given special mention as it could send an innocent person to jail or even lead to him being stoned to death as happened to Naboth thanks to false witnesses instigated by the wicked Jezebel (1 Kings 21:8–14). The prohibition against bearing false witness is the ninth of the Ten Commandments and the New Testament is equally condemning of it. Colossians 3:9–10 explains the reason for the continued prohibition against lying. Christians are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and as such, we reflect His nature. We have been released from our “old self” with its evil practices such as lying and bearing false witness.

A man who stirs up dissension among brothers: Brothers are created by God to live in unity (Psalm 133:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:9). Believers are brothers and sisters since they have one Father God and one Brother, Jesus Christ. The Church is also the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25–27). In many situations strife among brothers and even within the church seems unavoidable, but anyone who purposely causes disruption to peace in the body of Christ will displease God above all, since that person gives room for others to sin and for himself to sin further (1 John 2:9–11; 4:19–21). Moreover, Jesus pronounced a great blessing on peacemakers, the privilege to be called “sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Jesus Christ: Does the Bible Describe Jesus Being Worshipped?

Worship means reverence paid to a divine being. If Jesus was offered and accepted worship, then by doing so He was confirming His divinity. This is important because there are those who deny the deity of Christ, relegating Him instead to a lesser position than God. Yes, Jesus accepted worship. As the divine the second Person of the Trinity, He was and still is worshiped.

From the beginning of Jesus’ life we see examples of Him being worshiped. As soon as the Magi laid eyes on the infant Christ, “they bowed down and worshiped Him” (Matthew 2:11). When Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem the Bible records the initial response He received: “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ ” (Matthew 21:9; John 12:13) The word “Hosanna” ascribes all praise, honor, glory, and blessing to him who is being lauded. The type of behavior exhibited by the crowd is definitely a form of worship.

Just after Jesus, and even the Apostle Peter for a brief moment, amazed the disciples by walking on water they climbed into a boat where “those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God’ ” (Matthew 14:33). Two more memorable examples of Jesus accepting worship occurred just after His resurrection. Mary Magdalene and some other women (Matthew 18:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10) were on their way to tell the disciples of the resurrection when Jesus met them on their way. When they realized it was Him they “came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him” (Matthew 28:9).

Then there is the case of Thomas, who didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead despite the other disciples testifying to that fact. It had been about a week since the resurrection and Thomas still doubted it. Jesus, knowing Thomas doubted appeared to him and showed him the nail marks and the wound on His side. How did Thomas respond? “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ ” (John 20:28) In none of these instances do we see Jesus telling those worshiping Him to stop, as did mere men, and even angels, who were being worshiped wrongly by others (Acts 10:25–26; Revelation 19:9–10).

We continue to offer worship to Jesus today by offering ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice—offering ourselves to God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to do with as He sees fit (Romans 12:1–2). Jesus said “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). We worship God in spirit and truth by obedience to His commands. Worship is not solely about bowing to Jesus, throwing palm branches at His feet or singing and shouting about our love for Him. Worship is about responding to God’s love for us by resting from our works as He completes the work He has begun in us.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Do Not Be Surprised…This ‘n’ That (13 December 2013)

  • I’m going to bypass all of the blog chatter about the Driscoll/Mefferd debacle and just share this interview that Slate reporter Ruth Graham did with Janet Mefferd. I hope that those who ignored the thrust of the post, ‘Of Mefferd and Driscoll and Integrity‘ will note the following from the interview: “Mefferd says that ‘no attorneys were involved in this situation’ and that no one at Mars Hill Church, where Driscoll is pastor, suggested she remove the materials.”
  • Another megachurch pastor has committed suicide.
  • Well, I’m sure the pro-homosexuals are hating this story right now.
  • Elizabeth Prata shares some difficult thoughts about Billy Graham.
  • Speaking of Elizabeth, she gets the credit for finding your weekly dose of adorable.
  • These also look delicious, and they’re seemingly allergen-free, which ought to make all my health-nut, gluten-free readers happy.
  • The Christian Post seems to think that an atheist became ‘a believer‘ after receiving $100 from a stranger. The question is: a believer in what? I don’t know what’s more disheartening, this story or the slew of ecstatic comments below it.
  • Paula White wants you to learn about the power of words.
  • I have Evernote, but I have yet to actually use it. Tim Challies may have convinced me to give it a sporting chance.
  • They should bring these back.
  • Who is this man that even the banks and the mortgage lenders obey him? Answer: a false teacher.
  • There was a bit of a dust-up this week concerning Michael Brown and a claim that John MacArthur was scheduled to appear on his radio show. Here’s Phil Johnson’s statement on the matter.
  • Did Apollos write Hebrews?
  • I am really not sure how I feel about this.
  • But I know exactly how I feel about this.
  • Whew! I feel so much safer now! You just can’t trust those sock monkeys.
  • Some people’s Christmas pet peeve is hearing ‘Happy Holidays.’ This is mine.
  • Good Kindle price on Dr. James White’s Scripture Alone (note, this already has increased by 50¢ since I first bookmarked the link, so buy it quickly).
  • Here’s the link to the debate between Dr. James White and Chris Pinto on the topic, ‘Is Codex Sinaiticus a Modern Forgery?’
  • A true apostle was a witness of the risen Christ.
  • If you’ve ever been faced with—and perhaps confused by—the argument that Christmas trees are a pagan symbol and Christians ought not have one, you may find this article helpful.
  • I have a love-hate relationship with the many stairs of Pepperdine University.
  • Oh my, this breaks my heart.
  • Because it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include a link to a Carl Trueman post.
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones in a 1970 interview discussing the nature of man:

 

Read More Here: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/12/this-n-that_13.html

Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 4)

Jesus

This is the fourth installment of a new series reviewing the History Channel series entitled Bible Secrets Revealed (for others, see here, here and here).  The newest episode is entitled, “The Real Jesus,” and addresses the question of what we can know about the historical Jesus.

Not surprisingly, the tenor of this latest episode is the same as the other episodes, namely that the accounts of the Bible (in this case, the Gospels) cannot be trusted.  This documentary catalogs a number of places where (it claims) the Gospels are simply mistaken.  Let’s run through some issues that are raised.

Read More here: http://michaeljkruger.com/bible-secrets-revealed-a-response-to-the-new-history-channel-series-part-4/

Grace, Grace, And More Grace

shawshank1The definition I give for grace in One-Way Love comes from Paul Zahl:

Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable…. The cliché definition of grace is “unconditional love.” It is a true cliché, for it is a good description of the thing. Let’s go a little further, though. Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold…. Grace is one-way love.

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2013/12/13/grace-grace-and-more-grace/

The Résumé of the People of God: The Church as a Community of Grace Sharers

Note From Bob: This is the second of a Changing Lives blog mini-series on God’s vision for His Church. Read Part One: The Résumé of Pastors: The Church as a Teaching Hospital for Soul Physicians.

Christ’s Vision for the Body of Christ

Sadly, in far too many churches, the people of God are second-class citizens when it comes to the work of the ministry. If a “lay” person makes a hospital visit, that’s okay, but we want to know, “Where’s my pastor!”

Christ’s vision is so different.

Pastors and teachers serve the people so God’s people can serve the congregation and community.

Far too many “lay” people are recruited to fill a position and to fill a need—make the coffee, cover the nursery during the service—but not to fulfill a calling.

Read More Here: http://www.rpmministries.org/2013/12/the-resume-of-the-people-of-god-the-church-as-a-community-of-grace-sharers/

Tracing the Story of Christmas

In order to understand the story of Christmas, we have to go back. Not back just a few thousand years to the birth of Jesus, but all the way back, back to our first parents, Adam and Eve. God placed them in the lush and perfect garden of Eden. They had everything they needed. It was perfect. Then they sinned. As a consequence, God banished them. Now Adam and Eve lived under the curse. But as God pronounced the curse, thundering from heaven, He also gave them a promise.

Read More here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/tracing-story-christmas/

Shooing Away the Legalism Boogeymen

yoke1The “L” word. It’s one of the ugliest of all words: legalism. Defined as the idea that we can earn right standing with God, it does violence to the glorious gospel of Christ. It says, “No, sorry, it’s not enough,” to the substitutionary atoning work of Christ. It confuses the way to forgiveness, it tarnishes the gospel of grace, it lays up heavy burdens that no one can carry, it crushes hope, and fuels despair. It declares that man possesses finesse to propitiate the just wrath of God due our sin. For that, legalism is deadly and must be opposed at every level. Paul called it another gospel whose proponents are condemned (Gal 1:8-9).

Consequently, labeling something/one legalistic ought to be done with caution. To bring the charge is to say that this thing or person is in danger of propagating an unsavable system and trampling the cross of Christ. So if we label something legalistic, we better thoroughly understand the gospel, the definition of legalism, and what exactly is happening with what we are labeling as legalistic. Otherwise, we are sinning by erroneously labeling something in opposition to the cross of Jesus Christ.

Even so, the legalism card often gets overplayed. More and more I’ve interacted with Christians humbly and faithfully working out their salvation with fear and trembling, only to have the legalism card slapped on them. As such, they’re being fallaciously warned about legalism bogeymen. There are many I’ve heard of lurking in Christendom.

Here are 5 all-too-common legalism bogeymen we need to shoo away:

Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/shooing-away-the-legalism-boogeymen/

Does the Old Testament Teach Two Comings of the Messiah?

 

thumbnailca20iruvJewish people and even some skeptics like to assert that Christians are the ones who have come up with two act play about the coming of the Messiah.  In other words, since Jesus failed at the messianic task, Christians then had no choice but to make up a second coming of Jesus. I already have a post called “Was Jesus a Failed Prophet?” here.

While there is much to discuss about this topic, the real question at hand is whether the Old Testament teaches two comings of the Messiah. Let me attempt to offer some helpful tips:

Read More Here: http://www.christianapologeticsalliance.com/2013/12/12/old-testament-teach-two-comings-messiah/

The Résumé of Pastors: The Church as a Teaching Hospital for Soul Physicians

 

In Ephesians 4:11-16, Paul highlights the Bible’s most powerful, focused vision statement for the church. This passage offers God’s ministry description for church leaders and for every member. By distilling the essence of God’s call, Christ’s vision captures our imagination and motivates the shift in ministry mindset that changes everything.

Most pastoral search committees would be thrilled to read a candidate’s résumé that demonstrated the ability to preach, counsel, and administrate. Most seminaries would be delighted if graduate exit interviews indicated that pastoral ministry students perceived that their seminary training equipped them for preaching, counseling, and administrating. Being equipped to do the work of the ministry seems to be everyone’s ideal goal for church leaders.

Everyone but Christ. His pastoral ministry description demands the ability to equip others to do the work of the ministry. If seminaries followed Christ’s vision for pastoral ministry, they would focus on training trainers. If pastoral search committees desired in a pastor what Christ desires, they would throw out every résumé that failed to emphasize experience in and passion for equipping the saints.

Read More here: http://www.rpmministries.org/2013/12/the-resume-of-pastors-the-church-as-a-teaching-hospital-for-soul-physicians/