Teaching Truth: Old Testament Versus New Testament
We are commanded throughout the Bible to share the truth. Throughout Scripture we are told to speak of God’s lovingkindness. power, holiness, and coming judgment to the nations. Does it make a difference if we prefer to teach just the New Testament? Does it make a difference if we are teaching a believer versus an unbeliever?
Called to Be Holy
First Peter 1:17–23 is part of the lectionary readings for the third Sunday of Easter, April 26. In this passage, the author summoned us to cultivate hope, holiness, and love in our lives, especially during trials. Many Bible scholars consider this early Christian letter to be part of the persecution literature of the New Testament (which also includes Hebrews, Revelation, and possibly James). The epistle would have been written during one of the three periods of Roman persecution endured by early Christians—under emperors Nero (AD 62–64), Domitian (AD 90–97), and Trajan (AD 111). If one holds to Peter’s authorship of the letter, the only period that fits would be the…
Tips for Teaching #1
I want to share some tips that will hopefully help us better prepare our children for the difficulties of standing strong in the faith. Encourage children to ask the hard questions. If they aren’t asking, ask them! Teach them how to wrestle with the Word of God to find the answers. We tend to shy away from the questions that are hard to answer or maybe can’t really be answered. Learning that we can’t demand answers but must be humbly thankful for the revelations God gives is a hard lesson to teach and even harder to learn. I was recently talking with a woman who grew up in a Christian…
SANCTIFICATION: Perfected…No Longer Flawed
I was once an uptight perfectionist. Yes, I admit it. My whole self-image depended upon being perfect in grades, piano performance and whatever got me awards for achievement. Yet, my flaws kept getting in the way of getting straight A’s one six weeks so that I missed out on the “straight A’s” award for that school year. I was horrible in athletics so PE was my nemesis. Then, in college, physics knocked me down big time—I just couldn’t see how to get the answers to those problems. My flaws were ever before me, and I sobbed when I couldn’t achieve perfection—which happened a lot. My self-image was tied to a…
“Christian” Homosexuality Advocates?
“Rebuke your neighbor frankly so that you will not share in his guilt” (Leviticus 19:17b, NIV 1984). This column is the first in response to a man named Donald who wrote some replies to my column entitled, “Should a Christian Attend a Homosexual Wedding?” In light of recent events, I believe it would be best to answer Donald’s comments in a more visible way, not only in the response section of my previous column. Two things first: 1. If this column appears to start in the middle of a conversation, it does not; it simply follows from the above mentioned column. 2. I have slightly edited the responses to make…
Should a Christian Attend a Homosexual Wedding?
“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention” (Ephesians 5:11-12). Not too long ago my wife was listening to New Life Live, a Christian radio and counseling program she has listened to for years. But she was shocked when she heard one of the hosts, Stephen Arterburn, say he would attend a homosexual marriage; though he admitted the other hosts might not agree with him on this decision. I was also stunned to hear about this, so I searched the web to find out what he and/or others were saying about this. I…
“Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!” An Autobiography
Journal excerpt 2012: “Do I look like a Christian? If I’m a follower of Christ, then why is my life so compromised? Why is there so much sin, so much fear, so little faith? Dare I stand up and identify myself with Christ? Will I not shame Him and shame myself?” I was beginning to doubt my own salvation. Everywhere I turned I saw flashing lights and warning signals. “Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5). I’m not…
Here’s another confession. I’m bi-polar when it comes to my spiritual life. On the one hand I can be very self-condemning: I’m a rotten worthless sinner who can’t do anything right. I wrote a song once called Failure the lyrics to which expressed how I often feel: I confess that I’m a failure This sober truth, it haunts my life Decisions made that were unwise I’ve messed up my own, and others’ lives Too many times… Yes, I beat myself up a lot. And, yes, I know Jesus loves me, but I have often asked, “But does He like me?” I fail time and time and time and time and…