The Heavy Coat of Self-Justification

fear3815It’s been about 4 months since I’ve said anything on this site. The last few articles I’d written and the subsequent reactions to those articles had driven away my desire to write. I just didn’t feel like it. It’s not that I felt that the comments were overwhelmingly unloving. I realize that a lot of people felt very disillusioned by what happened. I did too. My apathy toward writing mostly had to do with how the motivation behind what I had written was perceived by only a few people. And they weren’t exactly wrong. Continue reading The Heavy Coat of Self-Justification

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Kinesthetically Catechising Kids

My wife and I have 3 children. We have a 6 year old son, a 3 year old daughter, and a 4 month old son. I remember that one of my earliest feelings, upon finding out that we would have our first child, was one of fear. Was he going to survive child birth? Was he going to be a healthy baby? How was he going to learn words? Do I have to teach him every individual word? Will he believe the gospel? All of these things haunted me. Thankfully, he, like all of our children, survived child birth and was healthy. I also soon learned that words were something he’d largely pick up on his own. And he, like his sister, believes the good news that Jesus Christ has given His life as a substitute for sinners so that their record of a lifetime of sin doesn’t damn them when they stand before God. Instead, God will credit Christ’s perfect life to their account. And if you are a parent, or plan to be a parent, then I want to offer some encouragement and help by disclosing some things I do with my children. Continue reading Kinesthetically Catechising Kids

Fred Phelps Sr. of Westboro Baptist Church is Near Death

I’m going to keep this short. Fred Phelps Sr., founder of Westboro Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas is on his death bed. He is at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas on the verge of death. In case you aren’t familiar with Westboro Baptist Church, they are the guys who picket soldiers’ funerals, celebrity funerals, and various events. Their choice of words is horribly unkind, with posters saying things like, “God Hates Fags” or “Fag Nation” or “Fag Troops” or “Priests Rape Boys” or “Dike Liberty.” They are most known for being the “God Hates Fags church.” Their defense of the use of the word “fag” comes from the Old Testament. They claim that the term “fag” is an “elegant” term for sinners in general, and that the term denotes a pile of sticks that fuel a fire – the way that the wicked kindle God’s wrath. Only, the term “fag” isn’t used this way in our culture, and when you show up with signs saying that God hate fags, it comes off as meaning something totally different. Anyhow, I’ve been following these guys for years, listening to messages or interviews and watching documentaries. I’ve learned much about them.  Continue reading Fred Phelps Sr. of Westboro Baptist Church is Near Death

5 Reasons Why Pastor Mark Driscoll Should Freak You Out

1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

I Timothy 3:1-7

In this passage, Paul tells Timothy that there are particular expectations that a pastor is to meet. Paul doesn’t say that these are optional. He adds a “must.” These aren’t qualifications for justification, but for the Christian office of overseer. The pastor must be above reproach. This doesn’t mean that the pastor should be without sin. That’s impossible. After all, the Christian life is marked by a recognition of sin and trust in Christ to forgive that sin. Instead, he should not have a bad reputation before anyone. And this is outlined for us by the proceeding qualifiers. 1. He should have one wife 2. Sober-minded 3. Self-controlled 4. Respectable 5. Hospitable 6. Able to teach 7. Not a drunk 8. Not violent, but gentle 9. Not quarrelsome 10. Not a lover of money 11. Manage his household well 12. Keep his kids under control with dignity 13. Not a recent convert 14. Well thought of by outsiders. If someone doesn’t meet these qualifications, it means that they ought not be an overseer. It’s not difficult. It doesn’t make them more justified before God to meet these qualifications, and it doesn’t make them less justified if they don’t. It just means that they should not be a pastor.  Continue reading 5 Reasons Why Pastor Mark Driscoll Should Freak You Out

Do You Even Serve, Bro?!

Has anyone ever asked you what your “ministry” is? I was just asked this the other day. If you’re like me, a natural nail biter, this question causes you to tense up. My mind starts spinning and grasping for something interesting or meaningful or powerful to say. I say something like, “Well, I went to Bible college for a little bit, and then did some seminary, and run a blog” and then I immediately feel kind of disgusted. I really do. I wonder why I have to try to find some sort of official sounding description of myself. But, at the same time, it’s probably the appropriate answer for that question. I think we all know what the question is really getting at. The questioner is looking for something official sounding. It’s like the answer you’ve probably heard a million times to the question, “What church do you go to?” The answer that usually follows is, “Well, we ARE the church.” Of course we are. But we know what the person is really asking – “Which building do you fellowship with other believers in?” And the person asking, “What’s your ministry?” really means, “What’s the especially Christian thing you do?” The question itself comes out of a confused presupposition.  Continue reading Do You Even Serve, Bro?!

I Don’t Have Faith in the Son of God

Do you remember the miniseries, The Bible, that was broadcast in March of 2013? Spanning from the book of Genesis to Revelation, producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett sought to expose audiences to the true meaning of the Bible (the book). And though it received praise from people everywhere, it really failed to convey the true meaning of the Scriptures. Now I know I am more than likely coming off as just another irritating Internet voice claiming to know the truth. After all, the Bible miniseries was made with the help of, as Roma and Mark put it, “a wide range of pastors and academics” – Rick Warren, Joel Osteen,  & Craig Groeschel to name a few. Continue reading I Don’t Have Faith in the Son of God

Have You Heard of Grave Sucking?

Just when you think you’ve seen everything and just when you think things couldn’t get crazier within Christianity, the Internet comes prancing with tidings of weird news. And they all seem to come from the hyper charismatic camp, with stories like oil coming out of hands, gold dust appearing on people, holy laugher, barking like dogs, teeth getting filling in, getting gold teeth or heavenly jewels appearing out of nowhere. Continue reading Have You Heard of Grave Sucking?