Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 8.14.17 – Black and White Racism In A Culture of Gray Morality

Think about these instances:

  • President Obama struggled to call radical Islamic terrorism by that name.
  • Over the past weekend, President Trump failed to use the words “white supremacism” and “terror attack” when referring to the awful events in Virginia.
  • I saw on Twitter that someone had written a widely recognized church leader asking if they should discipline a member of their congregation who attended and refused to disavow the message of blatant white supremacism. (For those wondering, the answer would be yes.)
  • Some are re-thinking pedophilia as a mental disorder.

These instances may or may not surprise us, but they do fit what I think shows a larger tendency to gloss moral issues.

What we see in these examples points to a blurry, gray approach to morality where everyone can determine their own and demonize those who desire more clarity.

A question, from the halls of Dr. Phil thinking: how’s that working for you? (Note: I don’t visit the halls of Dr. Phil thinking on a regular basis!)

When relational, sexual, and general ethical issues reduce to the sum total of human input or reasoning, we have a problem. Morality, if you believe in an absolute morality, must come from a greater source. I believe that source is God, who exists eternal (always has and will) and possesses full authority over the earth as its Creator. I believe the Bible’s endless references to the truth of God’s Word establish clear moral lines for our thinking and behavior.

And if you don’t believe in an absolute morality, you believe it’s okay for everyone to make up their own standards. This will guarantee relentless shifting in moral standards like we see in today’s culture.

So no, I am not free to make up what I want to think about gender, sex, marriage, race, and criminal offense. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I submit my will to what the Bible says and seek God’s grace as I strive to draw closer to His will always.

And no, people who espouse views of one race as superior to others aren’t right, can’t be right, and never will be right. This is clear. God has clear boundaries for human behavior.

Think. Do you think the kind of racism we saw this weekend is the only kind present in our country? It exists on much smaller levels, perhaps including our own hearts and minds. If you struggle at all with racism, repent and ask God to forgive you. If you mean it, He will. Jesus died so you can experience forgiveness for racism or any other sin. Trust fully in Jesus’ sacrifice, one we could never make. Be clear with your morality and don’t draw back in fear regarding moral issues. God loves us enough to give moral boundaries to us!

Act. Meditate and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to live more fully the commands to love God and neighbor (see Matthew 22:37-40). Seek practical ways to live for justice, unity, and harmony. As with any form of obedience, it will come with challenges to our thinking, time, and perhaps other resource as well.

 

 

Monday Challenge 8.14.17 – Charlottesville, Bad Sermons

Right to it with some links to make you think!

Charlottesville

I wish I didn’t have to have links about this. I’m beyond disgust with this. This movement stands for nothing Christian and nothing American.

10 ways Charlottesville and white supremacy can still happen.

White conservative Christians need to oppose this movement.

Racism, in general, is wrong. This article covers the events in Charleston a couple years ago, but the principles transfer easily to current events.

We must speak with moral clarity. This point is huge. This article also includes a number of meaningful tweets from a variety of sources.

Questions: How much do you care about these events? Do you think this is the only kind of racism existing in America today?

Bad Sermons

Some good spin here on bad sermons.

Question: How does this help you understand and make something of the (hopefully) occasional klunker?

The T.V. That Created Donald Trump

Interesting article here about T.V.’s influence on Trump’s persona.

Question: How much do you believe in a connection between The Apprentice and “The President”?

Tuesday Rambling 8.8.17 – Growing Spiritually

  • Do you have an adequate definition of spiritual growth?
  • This morning, some questions to evaluate about spiritual growth…
  • How might God want to make you more like Himself?
  • How might God want to bring you in line with what it says in His Word?
  • How much do you love Him?
  • How much do you talk to Him, or listen to Him?
  • What growth in loving others has developed in your life?
  • For what do you wait? How well do you wait?
  • What do you ask God for the strength to endure?
  • Do you wrestle with justice? How do you act in pursuit of it?
  • How much do you trust yourself? How much do you REALLY trust Him?
  • Do you often repent and ask for forgiveness, or do you sometimes take his forgiveness for granted?
  • How might God change your speech and its patterns?
  • This rambling applies to the author as well as the reader.
  • Hopefully this will stir us in our love for God – Father, Son, and Spirit.

Monday Challenge – Parenting Balance, Sexual Sin and Repentance, Forgiveness

Good morning,

I’m glad to be back after a short break for vacation and missions travel. If a challenge sounds dull, you wouldn’t have your eyes on this site right now. Go!

Dad, Thanks for Not (Always) Showing Up

The content of this should challenge. I’m not totally sure about the way he communicates (or the bad grammar – personal bias), but he makes some points worth digesting.

Question: What standards do you let other parents place on you?

Sexual Sin and Repentance

Can you repent without changing? This article does a great job of speaking about sexual sin, recovery, and repenting – all from a counselor’s perspective.

Question: How would you approach the topic with someone coming to you for advice?

Questions, And Developing A Culture In Which to Ask Them

This smattering of thoughts about question-asking cultures will force some good thinking and action (imagine that!)

Question: How much do you value questions?

Forgiveness

What a challenging way to evaluate whether you need to forgive. Very practical!

Question: Honestly, does this challenge you to forgive someone?

Tuesday Rambling 7.18.17 – About The Local Texting-Driving Tragedy

Time to ramble about a heavy topic:

  • A young woman driver took the lives of two teens Memorial Day weekend.
  • She influenced the lives of countless other teens and adults.
  • Now, she faces manslaughter charges as evidence shows texting and driving caused the accident.
  • I believe in justice. If at fault, I believe she would do well to come under the justice system and accept the proper penalties for her behavior.
  • No one should question that part.
  • But I’m troubled…
  • Why do so many people comment about this story as if she is less than human?
  • What if your best friend did this? Would you care then?
  • Do we not think the lifetime of knowing her irresponsible actions cost lives will inflict punishment?
  • Does public compassion even exist?
  • The Bible wouldn’t exclude hope for this woman. The Bible shows how God uses murderers, adulterers, for His purposes and glory!
  • God’s forgiveness is a powerful thing: I hope she experiences it. She has much worth!
  • Further, does this driver’s legal trouble and failure make you feel better, like at least you don’t bear HER kind of guilt?
  • Like somehow her sin is worse?
  • You’ve never picked up your phone while driving? Nothing like this could ever happen to you?
  • You’re beyond looking away and something going wrong in an instant?
  • The first accident I caused happened while I was fiddling with my CD player, trying to play more music in the car.
  • May God judge this driver. May her penalty encompass the gravity of her crime.
  • But may she know she has hope…of salvation and eternal life should she place her faith in Christ!
  • Let me encourage you to live, think, comment, talk, and act in that tension.