Complementarianism. Egalitarianism. Female Preachers. Patriarchy. And so on. If you’re one of those Christians who spends any time on social media, you have probably noticed a good deal of recent discussion between Christians of various stripes about the roles of men and women in the home and in the church, and lots of debate about what certain people have had to say about all of that. This post is about these things, just to warn you. To state my intentions up front, my desire in this post is to look at what God has to say about male leadership in the home – in marriage, specifically – in one particular verse of the Bible.… Continue reading
Words are powerful. The tongue is a small but influential instrument. And it is incredibly difficult to use that little instrument in a good, beneficial, and God-honoring way. Recently I spent some time reflecting on James 3:2-12 and what it says about the use of speech in the Christian life and found eight truths in that passage worth meditating upon. In this post, I’d like to share those 8 truths with you.
James is About Consistent Christianity
The letter of James is about the importance of living out a consistent Christian faith and the sad tendency for all Christians to contradict our faith by the lives we that we live. And in this sobering passage, James (one of Jesus’ younger brothers) exposes one of the most common and most troublesome ways in which Christians contradict their profession of faith in Christ, which is, by the words that come out of our mouths.… Continue reading
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
Yesterday evening my heart was grieved to read the news of the death of Jarrid Wilson; a high profile, 30-year-old pastor from California, who took his own life Monday evening after a long battle with depression. News like this is as tragic as it comes. The darkness of depression is very real, and Christians are in no way immune from experiencing it. Neither are pastors, as Wilson’s death demonstrates.
I didn’t know Jarrid Wilson or know much about his ministry, but I have experienced something of the darkness of depression and deep discouragement in pastoral ministry, and I know that depressed and discouraged pastors are far more common than many understand. One of main reasons that depression, despondency, and discouragement become very real possibilities for those in pastoral ministry is that ministry is filled (as all of life is) with innumerable sorrows that no one in this life will ever see or acknowledge, but God.… Continue reading
I have long “struggled with my weight,” as they say. For as long as I can remember, adjectives like fat or overweight or husky or big boned have accompanied the way I have thought about myself. Even in my more athletic days when I played sports year-round and could jog a couple of miles without feeling any pain in my knees and shins and lower back, I was still a big guy; chubby even. A chubby, more-or-less athletic guy, who loved to eat, and was highly self-conscious about the results that eating had on his physical body.
Additionally, for as long as I’ve thought of myself as an overweight person, I have also thought of myself as a Christian.… Continue reading
Later this month by God’s grace, I will reach my six-year anniversary as the preaching pastor of my local church. I realize that this is not an incredibly long time and that compared to many faithful pastors, I’m still a snot-nosed kid with all kinds of things yet to learn. Yet, I actually find it astonishing that I’ve made it this far. Truly, this is all of grace. I say that because I’ve come to realize that being in ministry poses a myriad of threats to a man’s spiritual health.
I remember hearing it said somewhere that ministry will either make you a better man, or a far worse one. Like Paul discusses in 2 Corinthians 12, the privilege of knowing the Lord and the riches of his revelation, can easily become a source of pride and puff a man up with great conceit. There is no guarantee that your soul will thrive in ministry; despite the hours you may spend in the serious study and proclamation of Scripture, and the number of people you counsel with the Word, and even the effectiveness of your ministry. You can actually be a very effective pastor while your spiritual health is failing miserably. That’s just the way the cookie of God’s mysterious Providence sometimes crumbles. It is very easy for pastors to do ministry in a way that does not cultivate their spiritual health, and in fact hinders it. Mining Scripture exclusively for teaching material, giving counsel to others that you do not personally live by, putting in extra hours at the office to escape from other responsibilities, ministering to the church to the neglect of your family; these are just some of the ways you can be very busy as pastor and very unhealthy as a Christian.… Continue reading