One of the things I have come to realize in my first few years of pastoral ministry, is that unexpected questions of all kinds come, and often as a pastor my job is not to provide an answer so much as provide a road-map to help the questioner come to a biblical answer for themselves. Lately, I think because of events that have recently been in the news, I have been hearing a question I never anticipated, “Pastor should I, as a Christian, get/carry a gun?”
Now before I get into the nitty gritty, in the interest of full disclosure, let me give you a little bit of personal background.… Continue reading
Nuance seems to be a dirty word among some people. In the last few years I’ve heard people mocked for applying theological nuance to situations or doctrines. Any elder will tell you many situations and resolutions in the church require wisdom. Part of making wise decisions requires evaluating different factors and precise nuances to a situation. But I get it too, sometimes the Bible seems to be clear on an issue so the call to nuance sounds like philosophical jargon to “make the Bible say what it doesn’t say.” As a friend said to me once, “The biblical categories are clear, human situations are not.”… Continue reading
The binding of a fellow Christian’s
conscience is strange business. For the purposes of this discussion I’ll define
the binding of conscience this way: to tell a fellow believer that their
conviction or practice in an area of adiaphora (something that is neither
prohibited or mandated by Scripture) is wrong and that they must change their
conviction and practice in order to be right.
It seems like a no brianer,
right? Well it is a no brainer, for one
simple reason. Scripture says not to.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother…The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.
… Continue reading
It is Christmas day. And for many that means spending time with extended family. And there is great joy in that. It is great to see and enjoy time with family members. But for believers there can be a tinge of sadness. For many of us getting together with family means getting together with unsaved family members; for some of us it means getting together with only or mostly unsaved family member. And often after the last present is unwrapped and the left overs are cleared away and you are in the car on the way home often a wave of sadness comes; those people you love so much are headed to hell.… Continue reading
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
The more time that I spend over the years reading and thinking about the account of Jesus’ birth, the more I think…this is such a strange story! By “story” I don’t mean “fiction.” I simply mean that it is a truly peculiar string of events. Take the sign that accompanied the birth of the Christ-child. No, not the star that rested over the place of his birth. Not the angels appearing to announce his birth to shepherds. I’m talking about the surprising sign of a dingy manger.… Continue reading