Guys, I’ll be honest. I felt a little bit torn during Easter services yesterday. Don’t get me wrong – our Easter experience was fantastic – I sensed an incredible spiritual unrest among many folks in the room. But I’ve always struggled with the religious aspects of Christian holidays in general. It isn’t that I don’t recognize and appreciate Jesus’ role as Savior. Rather, it’s because I try my best recognize it. I try my best to always be in a state of awareness that recognizes Jesus’ living and active role in every corner of my life. So religion doesn’t really interest me. In fact, it really bothers me. For example: why is Easter the only day you hear some people talking freely about the risen Christ?
Why not every day? Continue reading
I tried to avoid adding to the rat’s nest of articles and opinions surrounding the VMA performance of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, but my reading today in Romans brought the issue to the forefront of my mind. I’m not going to comment on the level of morality in the VMA performance, nor will I make any psychologically unfounded guesses as to the cause or reasoning behind the behavior. As I’ve said in a previous post, I’m not too keen on making judgements about someone I haven’t had a conversation with. What I’m more interested in is how Christians react to sin in other people. More specifically, why is it that so many folks who engage in everyday run-of-the-mill sins feel so free to make judgements on the morality of someone on a TV screen? Yes, we ought to find sin offensive if we are going to presume to follow a God who finds sin offensive. But lately, a lot of cyber-stones being thrown by folks who seem to have forgotten that we’re all guilty of something.
Maybe, even on a subconscious level, some of us feel that just because we didn’t personally get on stage and permanently ruin teddy bears for everyone, that God has given us a free pass on our less-noticed, more socially accepted sins. So today, let’s look at the mirror instead of the TV. Continue reading
You’ve probably heard people say that one should not simply say he is a Christian, but rather act like one. This, they say, is how the world will know he is a Christian.
Here’s the problem with this idea: as soon as we begin to say that our behavior is what identifies us as Christians, we start to categorize and define what we believe to be Christian behaviors. In other words, what does it mean to “act like a Christian”? If I passed out a questionnaire with that question to my (or any other American church) congregation and asked them to jot down ideas, I’m sure we would get a lot of “doing good” answers. Loving the outcasts. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the poor. Do right. Seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Help support orphans and widows. No doubt, these are all noble causes. They’re all commendable concerns. But there’s nothing uniquely Christian about them. One does not have to be a Christian to be a good person. Furthermore, one does not have to be a good person to be a Christian (Ephesians 2:8-9). Continue reading
I guess it’s no secret by now that I’ve been just a little bit disillusioned with my fellow Evangelicals lately. I think this feeling comes to many of us who, after experiencing just enough adulthood, realize that age does not inherently give a person wisdom. It’s that feeling you get when you realize that, intellectually speaking, you’re on your own. You can’t trust everything you’ve been taught. And really, you shouldn’t. I think a big part of spiritual growth is learning to question everything. After all – God’s truth can stand up to the deepest of scrutiny.
With that said, I want to re-visit the Third Commandment. It is a passage of scripture that, like so many others, has been plucked out of context and used to back up personal agendas. How can “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God” possibly back up a personal agenda? I’m glad you asked. In the modern day, over-politicized Evangelical Church where we pretend that the government has it out for us, many have embraced a “Christian” way of life that has morphed into something that is, well, completely unCHRISTian. We’ve become a group of people who carry on a “persecution complex,” clinging to a notion of self-righteousness rather than striving to actually become righteous (and to know what it means). That’s why you can log onto Facebook and Twitter today and see more Christians hating President Obama and selfishly clinging to their guns than loving God and loving others. But that’s all for another blog post. UPDATE: My good friend tells me the gun comment is antagonistic to gun owners. Rather than delete what I said, I offer this disclaimer: I am not anti 2nd Amendment. The “selfish clinging” I am referring to is in regard to those who refuse to have a civilized conversation about gun control.
I’ve been reading a lot of articles, blog posts, tweets, and status updates regarding the traditional “war on Christmas.” What was once a time to show the world a story of hope and peace has now become a point of contention between Christians and, well, everyone else.
I’d like to go on the record and officially separate myself with the school of thought behind Alice Stewart’s article, The War On Christmas Continues, Charlie Brown, found on (you guessed it) the Fox News website. In her article, she (in a way that shows no love for the lost) suggests that atheists go look into thin air and “leave our Christmas traditions alone.” I’m afraid that this kind of thinking has gotten too popular among Christians today. It’s reckless and damaging. It alienates non-Christians. It is counter-productive to the big picture. Continue reading