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Clearly Identifying the Enemy

I realize this is a very thin line. We must not compromise the truth and we must continue to engage and combat sin within our culture; but, we also must find a way to do that without abandoning the call to love our neighbors. If we get this wrong and engage the wrong enemy, the church loses its evangelistic voice and begins to abdicate its responsibility to proclaim truth and the good news of the Gospel within the culture in a compelling way. Outsiders will be viewed as enemies who need to be destroyed or avoided rather than potential worshipers in need of redemption. The church will spend its resources in building its own subculture rather than invading the culture with truth, saturated in the love of Christ.

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How Are You Waging War?

I have embedded a video below that has greatly convicted me.  It is about 9 minutes long and includes an excerpt from a sermon by Allistair Begg.  Begg’s incredible accent alone offers reason enough to watch all 9 minutes, not to mention the great beat in the background; but, it will be well worth your time for a number of reasons if you click play. Before you watch it, though, please consider some of my thoughts… I would consider myself a fairly political person.  Most of the time you will find my radio dial in my car set to talk radio!  I know, I’m boring.  I enjoy political banter more than most, probably, and am generally interested in the happenings of the day.  I consider myself a strong conservative, as well as someone who very much loves his country.  Why am I telling you this?  Because, as you watch the video below, you will understand my struggle with it.  Although I

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The Only Cure for Bullying

Awareness has been raised.  The hashtag campaign is in full force.  Celebrities and stars have enlisted in the fight.  Bullying, in many ways, has become one of the key issues of our day.  And for good reason.  Bullying poses a real threat to young people all across our country.  It has brought about trauma and tragedy.  It is an issue that really must be addressed.  However, can the pandemic of bullying be solved through celebrity shout outs and hashtags?  Although all these things might raise awareness, the ultimate answer to this question is ‘no.’  The primary reason for this is that the anti-bullying message becomes convoluted and confusing when it comes from a culture of bullying.  Consider the following.

What to do about ‘Noah’

I’ve read several reviews of the upcoming movie ‘Noah.’ All I have read confirms exactly what I thought would be the case, that is that the movie does not at all convey the Scriptural story of the historical Noah, the story of the Ark God commanded him to build, or the story of the flood that occurred in his day. This news has not shocked me one bit. I have seen knee-jerk Christian reactions, bashing Hollywood and the film’s writers, producers, directors, actors, etc, angrily calling for Christians to boycott the film. I have also read more level-headed Christian leaders who present the film with the reality that it is, namely a piece of fiction adapted from a story from the Bible. So far, I have not read anyone associated with the film even suggest that the film depicts the Scriptural story of Noah. In fact, I have read where the director has stated that the film is absolutely not

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Are we teaching our children grace or moralism at Christmas time?

There may be no greater time for parents to both teach and illustrate grace to their children than at Christmas time. Grace is the very reason for the holiday in the first place. We set aside a special time each year to celebrate the coming of Jesus as a baby in a manger. John writes that, “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Even this is an understatement of the amount of grace given through the arrival and subsequent work of Jesus in his incarnation. Because of its sin, humanity finds itself at enmity with God and rightfully under his judgment and wrath. But this baby born 2,000 years ago came on a rescue mission so that this position could change. Christmas serves as a reminder of the greatest gift ever given to the most undeserving of recipients. It recalls the commencement of the way that God would demonstrate his love for us, in that

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Should my child participate?

How should believers go about deciding what extra-curricular activities their children should participate in? How relevant is this question to every believing parent!? I have heard this debated and heard so many very strong opinions on the matter. Basically, I have encountered two extremes, though, in which almost everyone seems to belong. First, there are those who involve their children in very little or no such activities at all, fearing that the sheer amount of commitment that is demanded today will keep them from being involved in church or family events. Second, there are those who involve their children in any and every activity their hearts desire, with little or no regard to sanctification or the cost the family must pay. In many ways, this area of life mimics the holistic view of how Christian should involve themselves in the culture, with most falling in one of two extreme camps: cultural withdrawal or non-critical assimilation. Both extremes can be dangerous,

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The New Religion: Self-Actualization

All people are desperate for a savior.  I know this because I see the ebb and flow of our culture.  As it continues to conjure up new ones, people run to them in droves.  It never ceases to amaze me how the masses can be manipulated and wooed by such insane people and notions.  America has a surging new religious movement.  It’s called self-actualization.  I say ‘new’ because of the incredible emphasis on this idea in the present day, but, of course, there is nothing new under the sun.  Every ‘new’ cultural religious movement is just warmed-over idolatry, and, like this one, usually includes self-idolatry at its core. Within this new religion two specific ‘denominations’ can be identified, of course there are probably many others, but these two are definitely the most prominent.  Each employs a plethora of ‘prophets,’ but have one primary figure leading the charge.  The two are extremely diverse, but the heart of each finds its root

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Some thoughts on the Public/Home/Christian School Debate

My good friend and partner in the gospel, Ron Young (Church planter in Quebec), posted an article on Facebook this past week by Dr. Albert Mohler.  The article is linked below, but offers an overview of the evolution of public education. This evolution has not been a good one, and Dr. Mohler clearly offers a solemn warning to parents whose children roam the halls of public schools in the present day.  I very much appreciated Ron posting the article, and even more the brief discussion that followed. As I continued to think through that conversation and this issue, I sat down and began typing some of my thoughts out.  I understand this can be a touchy subject for many, but I also believe that just because an issue is touchy shouldn’t mean that we as believers have to avoid it.  I hope that you will see in my thoughts below that I am not using this post to advocate a

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No Little Disturbance

As I have thought about and prayed for so many brothers and sisters around the world who face intense persecution, my mind has brought me back to a verse in Acts that I love. About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. (Acts 19:23) A couple of years ago, I had the incredible opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus while in Turkey. I remember being in awe as I walked down the street toward the familiar ruins of the ancient library. On the approach to that magnificent structure, though, I became aware of what used to be small temples where only fragments of statues of ‘gods’ remain. I vividly remember one, in particular. I have to admit, I wished all along that journey that I had taken time to research the meaning of the ruins before this walk, but I knew right away that this one particular statue had to be a tribute to a

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