It’s been interesting watching the presidential election unfold in the U.S. It is truly revealing the hearts and intentions of those who claim to follow Christ.
For example, I’ve seen articles and videos from so-called prophets and church leaders insisting that Christians should vote for a certain orange-tinted candidate. And not just insist, but actually shame those who have declared they cannot vote for such a person. A few days ago, I read an article by one gentleman who says Christians who dare oppose said candidate for moral reasons are Pharisees…just like the people who crucified Jesus.
I wasn’t going to write about Donald Trump. I wasn’t going to feed the narcissistic machine. I assumed he wouldn’t get this far. I assumed the bluster would blow over after a while–that people would realize who he is and let him fade into obscurity.
When he said Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her…wherever,” I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without respect.
When he mocked a respected POW from the Vietnam War, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without honor.
When he belittled his opponent by threatening to expose his wife’s mental illness, I said surely now people will see that this is a man without mercy.
When he shamelessly ridiculed a disabled person, I said surely now people will realize this is a man without empathy.
When he called his own supporters idiots and insulted members of his own party, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without loyalty.
When the newspapers began to expose his shady business practices and multiple lawsuits, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without integrity. Continue reading →
I don’t usually do open letters (it’s against my policy), but today I feel compelled to make an exception. I’m writing to you because I’m genuinely concerned and confused about your objections to serving LGBT folks.
See, when I was growing up in church, my leaders talked about how important it was to seek out opportunities to share the gospel with others. Jesus could return at any time, and people needed to be ready to meet him. For them, this wasn’t just some pretty idea; Christians had a scriptural obligation to win souls, and everyone took it seriously. I knew people who rejoiced when sinners entered their workplace, because it allowed them to plant and water the seeds of salvation through their service.
I don’t know what has happened in the past 25 years to change all of that, but it’s saddening. If you truly believe the LGBT community is most in need of Jesus, why on earth would you advocate for laws to keep them away?
You may be wondering why I chose to reference Galatians 6:7 in the title of my series. Here is why:
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Those that sow to the flesh reap corruption. In other words, corruption is proof that someone is ignoring the Spirit and indulging the flesh. And it seems that day by day, more corruption is coming to light in America’s churches. Ministries under investigation for tax fraud. Prominent pastors accused of sexual harassment and assault. Elders exposed for turning a blind eye to pedophiles in the pews. Church discipline that has been flagged as damaging and discriminatory. The scandals continue to pile up.
For decades, many of the leaders embroiled in these scandals have written hundreds of books and preached countless sermons on “spiritual authority.” They have presented themselves as being near the top of a “God-ordained” hierarchy that requires lay believers to submit—unquestioningly—to their direction. They have then used their subsequent success in ministry to “prove” that they have God’s blessing and approval in this system of power and control.
But God is not mocked. The laws of sowing and reaping cannot be subverted. Sowing unto unbiblical authority is sowing unto pride, and pride always reaps corruption. Always. As the Bible says, a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:17). Unbiblical church authority is churning out bad fruit by the bushels. It is not God’s will for His Church. Continue reading →
What is our purpose as Christians? It is a question often asked in Church, and the answers are varied. Some say it is to worship and bring glory to God. Others say it is to tell the world about Jesus and lead people to Christ. Still others say that we have a purpose unique to each of us that God expects us to fulfill.
While I think those answers are technically accurate, they’re terribly vague and unsatisfying. What does it mean to bring glory to God? How does one effectively lead others to Christ? And if we each have a unique purpose, how do we discover it and know we are living it out?
These are questions that I struggled with for years. I didn’t just need doctrinally correct words; to really answer these questions, I had to capture the spirit of Christ’s message. To be a Christian, to be a part of the Church, means to embody Christ. So what is his mind? His will? His posture?Continue reading →