i have noticed that one of the things Christians are known for is our rules. we have rules about so many things that people on the outside will quite often look at us and wonder what we are “allowed” to do…because it may seem like we aren’t “allowed” to do much. the irony is that Jesus entered into the world through an ethnic culture that loved rules, rules, and more rules, yet His work freed them and us from these very rules. the freedom that they gained (if they chose to accept it, just like us) was that they were free from the penalties of breaking these rules as well as freedom from having to jump through any sort of hoop in relation to their religion. when Gentiles (non-Jewish people) began to believe in Jesus, there arose a question: “do they need to keep our laws?” Continue reading
I have come to believe in a certain concept that I would call a deep truth. I believe that in any given culture, the direction of the spiritual/religious philosophy will directly affect the direction of the culture itself. In other words, as goes the church, so goes the culture. What’s very interesting about this is that we as the church and culture, seemingly, are on opposite ends of the spectrum…or are we really…
i’ve said many things that i wish i hadn’t… in ways that i wish i hadn’t. this has been an ongoing struggle in my life and the longer i live the more i wish i could keep my mouth shut. the fact is that i actually can, but i choose not to… that’s the really sobering thought… i choose to be this way. there is this idea that is so popular in our culture that advocates the practice of “venting.” truth be told, i cannot remember a single time when i did this that i actually felt better afterward. nearly always during these rants, my words are severe, over-the-top, critical, and in truth…murderous… that’s the reality that hit me the hardest. Jesus told us that it was good that we knew not to kill each other, but He then amplified the admonition to not having hatred, or even unchecked anger towards each other. He essentially said that by spewing insults and venom at or about each other, we are committing the same act as murder in our hearts. i see this as a very big cultural issue, with its tendrils digging deep within the fabric of our being…effecting the ways we view one another. if we will stop to think about it, when we harbor that kind of emotion and anger toward each other, we objectify and dehumanize one another. this small thing… our speech… is a major weapon that is being used to tear away at the very fabric of existence. words carry enormous weight… think about how the world was created… “God said…” in this existence, our Creator has designed words to be powerful… the very tool that God used to create existence is the tool that is being used to degrade so much of it… irony. Continue reading
we hear the expression all the time that we live in a fallen world. sometimes i wonder if we really understand all the implications of this concept… “fallenness” is something that refers to the downward spiral of degradation that our existence endures. the universe is losing energy, stars are burning out or collapsing, the earth’s rotation is slowing, and it seems as though humanity is becoming less and less human with each passing generation. we kill, torture, maim, rape, plunder, rob, exploit, hate, slander, etc., each other more and more. i am always shocked beyond understanding when i hear of the things that people are doing to each other and to top it off, what we are doing to children… these things keep me awake at night.