Unity. This word frequently presses on my mind in relation to the Church. There appears to be little unity these days. We’ve splintered into thousands of denominations. Even the large denominations and groups are internally divided in many ways. Churches split from churches for stupid reasons. Churches fall apart because of horrible, divisive people. So many groups make their distinctives … Continue reading "Jesus Prayed, “May They Be One as We Are One” (My Growing Passion for Church Unity)"
“Christianity isn’t a religion; it’s a relationship!” How many times have you heard that before? If you’ve moved in many of the same circles that I have, then you’re probably pretty familiar with it. I’ve argued against this line before, pointing out that a religion is simply a set of beliefs in some kind of higher … Continue reading "“Christianity Isn’t a Religion” Is a Liberal Thing to Say"
This is post 1 of 3 in the series “Using Psalms” This is the first post in a new, ongoing series of mine, Using Psalms. The psalms have been given to us as a way of prayer and worship from God. Jesus Himself prayed, sang, and memorized these songs growing up as a Jew. They were … Continue reading "Using Psalms: Psalm 132 and God’s Promise in Christ"
“I want to feel.” Isn’t that a common desire? I mean particularly for us Christians, especially evangelical Protestants. We want to feel God. Jesus Christ loves us to (literal) death, has brought us full forgiveness, and is our eternal life. Yet we cannot see Him. We cannot touch Him. He is physically away for now, … Continue reading "How to Feel God’s Love in Jesus’ Arms"
Broadly speaking, there are four kinds of people in Protestant Christianity. These are not denominational lines, but apply more broadly, affecting the entire Christian worldview. What are these sections? Liberalism, progressivism, evangelicalism, and fundamentalism. All of these are rather distinct. Liberals tend to deny fundamental tenants of Christian doctrine in favor of a more private and … Continue reading "Evangelicals vs. Fundamentalists: What’s the Difference?"
I was just reading last night Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God. At one point he comments on the ease of doing church in our own strength to draw a crowd as opposed to a truly Spirit-filled gathering of believers. He questions how many of our churches are actually like the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 … Continue reading "Francis Chan: Is Your Church Like Elijah or Baal’s Prophets?"
You cannot focus only on God. That makes no sense and is really impossible. You also must not focus only on people. That is also a serious error. What is the meaning of my blabbering? See, there are two extremes of error into which people are prone to fall. On one hand, there is the … Continue reading "Let Everything Be Cross-shaped"
Fact check: is tithing ever commanded for New Testament believers? The answer is “no.” Does that mean tithing is bad? No, it just means we are not morally obligated to give 10% of our income to church. Now some of you are thinking, “Darn heretic doesn’t want people to give to God.” Others may be … Continue reading "Quit Tithing. Give!"
I love being Protestant. I would never have any desire to become a Catholic. Not hatin’ on Catholicism, I just don’t believe it is Biblical. So don’t misinterpret me: I think we should have confession in church. Why? For this reason: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that … Continue reading "Confession? In Church?"
Every once in a while I am called to fill in for my pastor and preach. I figure that, when I do, I’ll share the sermon here. http://caleb.cleverness.us/wp-audio/Sermon%209-29.wav