I have a confession to make, a couple of weeks ago I really didn’t want to got to church. I hadn’t slept well Saturday night, and when I did fall asleep (after reading for a couple of hours in the middle of the night) I had an unsettling dream, not the kind that is frightening, but the kind that causes you to wake up angry and agitated ( I dreamt my dog was dognapped, and I was out for justice Liam Neeson style). The weather was changing and every old injury in my body (I’ve broken both ankles, and most of my fingers; had a major hip reconstruction, including osteoplasty; had a major shoulder injury including multiple broken bones from a deck collapse; I played a contact sport, often on artificial turf, at a serious level and skied 30+ days a year into my late 30s and have all of the attendant aches a pain that go with that) ached. … Continue reading
What role do we expect miracles to have among people? Would we expect a miracle to lead an unbeliever to Christ? Does a miracle solidify faith? Would it lead those in opposition to join our cause? Are miracles a sign of truth saving faith?
These are some questions that need to sit on the foundation in this discussion. First, perhaps, what are we talking about? Does a miracle occur when your spouse finally puts his shoes up? Is it a miracle when your teenager simply says, “Sure, I’d be happy to do that dad?” (That second one probably is a miracle, lol).… Continue reading
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.
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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.