Diminishing Distinctions

When we see truth in a non-Christian worldview, we see what it adopted from what is real, what is true, what is Christian. We did not need to go to that worldview to find it, for it is already present in what God has revealed as true. They borrowed from truth, not the other way around. We notice it only because we know what truth looks like as the Holy Spirit and Scriptures are our tutor. However, when we borrow what is not Christian, what is not true, from a foreign worldview we borrow that which belongs the prince of lies. We borrow that which deceives, binds, destroys, Continue reading Diminishing Distinctions

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8 Things to Consider Before Watching Tonight’s Presidential Debate

dog-watching-tvThe nation will be tuning in to watch the first Presidential Debate tonight. Chances are most of us have already chosen who we will vote for. For many of us the debate is more like a boxing ring to see how well our candidate of choice will dominate the floor.

There is a segment of the population that will be chagrined at the election of either nominee. Their candidate of choice will not be on the platform tonight. Others are fearfully voting one way to avoid voting another. Some people are firmly aligned with one candidate or the other.

Regardless of what group we are a part of, we can apply a few guiding principles when watching the Presidential debates. Continue reading 8 Things to Consider Before Watching Tonight’s Presidential Debate

Breaking Free of Facebook

a.aaa-Even-The-Cats-Use-Facebook-Facebook is not real. It does not give us a real picture of real life. It is manufactured. It is an imitation of socializing. It provides a false sense of community. It provides a daily dose of drama. It can also provide amusement, social networking, and helpful information. But it often takes more than it gives.

Topics of great import fade away as quickly as a summer thunderstorm. They clamor for attention with mighty displays of hype and drama only to be replaced by the next storm unleashing its fury against our walls. One day it is threats of missiles from North Korea, the next day it is the war in the Ukraine, then it is the horrific acts of ISIS, then it is the sale of baby parts by Planned Parenthood, then it is Cecil the Lion, then bathroom laws, then a Gorilla takes center stage for a few days. Now it’s Orlando and with it the hotly debated Second Amendment. As each matter demands our attention the last one fades into obscurity. Continue reading Breaking Free of Facebook

Why Are We All Arguing?

cookie-cutterIf we all thought the same way, we would be in trouble. When we are free to think for ourselves, we are free to think poorly as well as rightly. We are free to think sideways, backwards, or not at all. If we are not free to think worse, we are not free to think better.

When I watch debates raging across social media, I think we have all gone mad. We seldom debate to reach truth. We debate to dominate and stamp out the opposition. I’m free to share my opinion, but your opinion should not exist. This is proven when we are angry at someone for saying something we interpret as stupid. Continue reading Why Are We All Arguing?

There is No Way Like Jesus

We aren’t in Kansas anymore! There is a Wicked Witch. There are flying monkeys doing her bidding. There are Lions, and Tigers, and Bears which we need to befriend. There is a prophesy waiting to be fulfilled. There is a quest that requires courage, love, and a renewed mind.

The old ways will not work anymore. They have withered away because they are of no use in this world. When we try to use them they stand out like a sore thumb and only wreak havoc where we hoped to force compliance. We are the foreigners in a strange land. Yet we treat the land’s inhabitants like they are the foreigners. We have long since lost the high places where we had the privilege of setting the tone for society. Now we clamor loudly. We threaten to boycott. We gripe and complain. We demand better behavior. We lament the state of society. We point the finger. We feel guilty that we cannot make the nation come under the conviction of God by our sermonizing. Continue reading There is No Way Like Jesus

Thoughts on Church and Judging Believers v. Unbelievers

1corinthiansI Corinthians 5: 9-12

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

This passage provides two great points for discussion. The first is that there is a distinction between those who are joined to the church and those who are of this world. In order to “expel” there must be a physical group from which this “wicked person” is no longer granted admittance. This expelling includes that he is no longer to be associated with as a member of this community or welcomed to sup at the table with this community. The person is not expelled by believers from being a believer, but expelled from the church, a local community of joined believers. Continue reading Thoughts on Church and Judging Believers v. Unbelievers

It’s a Wonderful World

What if you could look at an object and have its history mapped out before your eyes? You consider a book and a timeline unfolds tracing all the ideas back to their origin. You whistory-homealk through the door of an institution and its history fills-in, in complete detail, as you traverse the hallways.

There are people who have such knowledge. They hear an idea and can tell you of the philosophers who first introduced it according to known history. Others read a style of writing and can identify the writers who influenced this author. Some can hear a musical composition and can tell you the history of the style and what songs influenced the composers. But for most of us, learning the origins of ideas, institutions, culture, and worldviews requires Continue reading It’s a Wonderful World

The Specialty of Freedom

I’m becoming of the persuasion that freedom is more a responsibility than a right. It’s not a condition of human nature, but a product of it’s voluntary restraint. Thus, freedom is not endemic to fallen humanity, but a condition rightly available to humanity. It is an environment we work to obtain and maintain. Man can neither bestow it nor impose it. We cannot achieve it by wresting it away from another. Removing the tyrant often results in a different, and perhaps, greater enslavement. Lack of oppression does not equate with the presence of freedom any more than a lack of war infers a presence of peace.

George-Washington-PresidentLaws do not create freedom, they protect freedom. Government, in a free nation, is instituted among men to ensure the preservation of freedom for the good of the whole. However, if the freedom being protected decays, the laws cease to function as its preservation. George Washington famously opined that America’s government was for a “wholly religious and moral people and inadequate to the governance of any other.” 

Freedom, then, is endemic, not to a state of nature, but to a state of being that is Continue reading The Specialty of Freedom