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

Monday Challenge 9.18.17 – Adoption, Race, Church or Club?

Good morning. Good articles. Be challenged!

Adoption

Three things they told me about adoption.”

Question: Does this help you understand adoption better or get over misconceptions you may have?

Race

This article helped me understand ways people of different races view the same events.

Question: Should you just “focus on the gospel”?

Walking in the Spirit

Or…how to NOT walk in the Spirit.

Question: How can the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit increase in your life?

The Church is…

NOT a social club.

Question: How do you know the difference?

Monday Challenge 9.11.17 – Remembering 9/11, God Killing Innocents, Reasons for Divorce?

A little later in the day, but still plenty of time for a challenge:

9/11

It’s an important day for remembering. These pictures may help you do so.

Question: Why should we remember?

Beauty of Churchgoing

This helps us think through church in our current context. Churchgoing IS beautiful!

Questions: Why do you participate in a local church? Or, why do you not? Does this help?

The “Innocents” in the Old Testament

This article discusses why God commanded the killing of innocent people in the Old Testament.

Question: Does this help you understand the question?

Common but Illegitimate Reasons for Divorce

This should encourage you to STAY WITH your marriage and help those who may struggle. Many of the “reasons” we get for divorce just don’t cut it!

Question: How does this article help you shore up your own marriage?

 

Monday Challenge 8.28.17 – Texas Flooding, Small Groups or Sunday School, Race and Education

Good (late) morning,

I am excited to share a few challenging articles with you.

Texas Flooding

This gritty account will help you understand what residents in the area face.

This article, written by a local pastor, details how to help.

Question: What can you do to respond?

Race, Education, Equality

Or, better, how those three things don’t go together in Mississippi.

Question: How does this article help you understand the types of structural challenges some face?

Church Discipleship

Small groups or Sunday School? This will give some insight into church leaders’ thinking.

Question: How does this help you understand the way church leaders think, pray, and seek God regarding how best to minister to a congregation?

 

 

 

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”?