NAVIGATING DIVISION: VACCINES
on September 19th, 2022
Our church also navigated divisive issues regarding the covid vaccines.  Let’s set the background for this issue first.Americans have for a long time been accustomed to FDA approval of medications taking a long time.  FDA approval usually requires years of testing and review to guarantee that medications are safe for the public.Despite this extensive testing, some FDA-approved medications end up b...  Read More
WORSHIP WITHOUT MASKS
on September 12th, 2022
First we were told that President Trump was overreacting to COVID, that socializing in public was completely safe.  Within weeks the story changed.  We were told to fear for our lives, that two million Americans would die, and that President Trump was not doing enough to stop the virus.First we were told to sanitize because the virus spread via hard surfaces.  A few weeks later we were told the vi...  Read More
WHEN IT WAS SAFE TO GO TO WALMART BUT NOT TO CHURCH
on September 6th, 2022
Let’s talk about a political division we navigated in our church a couple years ago:  reopening amidst the pandemic. First, a few quick vignettes of some pertinent background…  On January 31, 2020, President Trump banned flights from China, the known epicenter of the virus, to prevent it from spreading through the US.  Candidate Joe Biden accused Trump of xenophobia.  The virus was no big deal. At...  Read More
REWIND: WHY YOUR PASTOR WRITES ABOUT UNSPIRITUAL THINGS LIKE NAVIGATING POLITICAL DIVISION
on August 30th, 2022
After the 2016 election, I mentioned to an old friend that I had voted for Trump.  That friend began ranting that I was a Nazi and a white supremacist (among other things).  Reasoning got me nowhere.  After several days of unsuccessfully attempting to smooth hostilities, I blocked that friend.I had another friend, this one a conservative, who attended the January 6th rally.  While I was watching c...  Read More
FREEDOM, FACTION, AND FORCED OPINIONS
on August 23rd, 2022
America’s first “constitution”, the Articles of Confederation (1781-1789), failed because the central (Federal) government was too weak to maintain the union between the states.  A new Constitution to form a more perfect union by providing for stronger central government was proposed in a series of eighty-five newspaper articles (The Federalist Papers).  In the tenth article, James Madison says th...  Read More
NO MIDDLE GROUND
on August 16th, 2022
Standing before the tree in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were faced with polarized interpretations of reality.God had said, “You will surely die”.The serpent said, “You won’t surely die”.The first pair had to choose one pole or the other.There was no middle ground.American politics during my lifetime has been about seeking middle ground between Republicans and Democrats.  Many of us didn’t lik...  Read More
FREEDOM BEFORE VIRTUE
on August 9th, 2022
God values freedom before He values virtue.If He valued virtue before freedom, God could have created a robot without the capacity to dissent, disagree, or disobey – or even think – that would have no choice but to do His will, to do good, to perform virtuous deeds.  Instead, God made humanity with the capacity to choose obedience or disobedience.  He made us free.This is the world Moses depicts i...  Read More
NAVIGATING DIVISION
on August 1st, 2022
“We struggle with the idea that Christians could find themselves on opposite sides, each side certain that his side is God’s side. Christians, we say, should be able to compromise, to agree and be at peace with one another. That may be true in an ideal world. Apparently, we aren’t in an ideal world.”Let me be right up front as to why I wrote those words last month.  There are times that ideologica...  Read More
GOING FORWARD IN TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS
on July 25th, 2022
We are accustomed to believing that peace can be achieved through compromise.America was founded on compromise.  Most in the northern states had abandoned the practice of slavery and saw it as contrary to principles of liberty.  The southern states maintained the practice and saw it as a necessity for their economic survival.But the American people, both north and south, needed each other on the g...  Read More
DESIGNED TO BE LEFT BEHIND
on July 20th, 2022
The final “end times” peculiarity I’ll mention is my view of the state of Israel and the Temple.  This is a complex subject; limited space means my explanation must be greatly simplified.I was first taught in evangelicalism that God’s main program was the nation of Israel and when the Jews rejected Jesus, God suspended that plan and took a sort of detour to save a few Gentiles (the Christian churc...  Read More
PREDICTING THE PAST
on July 12th, 2022
An earth-shaking event took place in AD 70.  After a brutal war and siege of three-and-a-half years, Jerusalem fell to the Roman armies led by Titus.  The Romans dismantled the Temple so thoroughly that its exact position was uncertain until recent years.Most Christians know little of the fall of Jerusalem because it happened after the New Testament was written and so the event itself isn’t descri...  Read More
WITHOUT THE ROSE COLORED GLASSES
on July 5th, 2022
If you’re new to evangelicalism and its teaching on the end times, you need to understand some jargon to understand what I’m talking about in these blogs.First is the term “Antichrist”.  He’s the bad guy of the future who will rule the world for seven years, hating and persecuting believers in Christ.Second is the term “tribulation”.  That’s the name given to the seven years of the Antichrist’s ru...  Read More
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