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
Warning: In this post, I intend to call a spade, a spade. Which means there will be strong words that don’t normally appear on this blog. My use of these words won’t be excessive, but if you find such language offensive, it might be best to skip this piece.
There have been several reports in the news lately about states that are seeking to place further restrictions on their food stamp programs (called SNAP). The argument is that welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to buy certain items or shop in certain stores if they’re receiving government funds. Aside from the fact that these new limitations will only serve to further deprive and humiliate the poor, SNAP fraud is already the lowest of any government program, at less than 4 percent. The little bit of fraud that is committed usually occurs on the retailers’ side. Continue reading
When it comes to the topic of sex and Christianity, there exist three viewpoints. Let me know if any of these sound familiar.
The Fundamentalist: “Sex is only for marriage between one man and one woman. The Bible says that whoever sins sexually sins against his or her own body. Premarital sex defiles the marriage bed and carries a lifetime of regret. A person who has been promiscuous has squandered his/her purity and, therefore, has little of value to offer his/her spouse. A defiled marriage is doomed to have serious problems.”
The Average Christian: “Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to have sex outside of marriage. But it’s really hard to adhere to the Bible’s commands. I mean, if I love the person and think we might get married, it should be ok, right? God will forgive me if I ask. After all, He understands what I’m going through. Besides, I know too many people who married before being sexually intimate, and they later discovered they weren’t sexually compatible with their spouse. I don’t want that to happen to me.”
The Agnostic: “I’m so sick of the whole abstinence issue! When are people going to wake up and realize that the Bible is totally irrelevant to the lives of modern people? I’ve slept with a few different people; so what? I used a condom and everything turned out fine–no STIs or unwanted pregnancies. I even enjoyed it. All this guilt-tripping over sex only hurts people. Young people need to know their own bodies and discover what they like in bed before committing to someone permanently. Otherwise, they end up trapped in repressed marriages with no self-confidence.”
Talk about some widely differing views! Yet I have to say, for the record, I don’t wholly agree with any of them. Continue reading