God loves some of us.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. God’s eternal love has specific recipients. The love of God is fundamental to the atonement, John 3:16. James Montgomery Boice differentiates between value and intention in regards to the atonement. The value of Jesus’ death is infinite. The question rather is what is the purpose of Christ’s death, and what He accomplished in it. Did Christ intend to make salvation no more than possible? Or did He actually save those for whom He died? Reformed theology stresses that Jesus actually atoned for […]

How to Face a Jealous God

“If jealousy is a deadly sin, isn’t God sinful, since He is a jealous God?”   Premise One: God is a Jealous God. Nahum 1: 2 tells us, “A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; the LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies.” [a]Scripture quotations are from The New American Standard Bible: 1995 (The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA) This is verified in Exodus 20:5. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity […]

How to answer, “Religions are myths.”

One of my neighbors recently posted her advice for everyone to live without religion. Here is what she posted: “Religions are myths. Love yourself and be kind. My inspiring thought for today is that we only can judge ourselves. There were no brutal blood sacrifices needed to make you whole. You’re a whole person just as you are. Live in that freeing truth. You are not the chief of sinners, but youve (sic) made mistakes, easily corrected. Live lawfully, kindly, and lovingly. You don’t need a book to tell you right from wrong. You are good. You are worthy. […]

How to Construct a Worldview

While reading Matthew 5:15 it occurred to me that in the same way that a lamp beneath a basket is obscured, that if a person was under a basket he would not clearly see the world outside the basket. He would experience obstructive filtering of external light. [a]While I do not think that this is the intent of this biblical passage, it provided me with a mental picture to serve as an illustration. Only bits and pieces of the outside environment would pass through a woven basket. If you were inside the basket, you may glimpse a bit of […]

How to Overcome Fear

“Just tell yourself not to fear.” This is not biblical advice. The Scriptures do not teach us to eliminate fear by refusing to think about it. Faith is not a denial of the truth. Faith does not require me to lie to myself or others. There is no incantation to speak over fear that will magically banish it away. Let’s ask the Scriptures about conditions for not fearing. God’s Presence is stronger than fear. Psalm 23 is a favorite. “I won’t fear because You are with me” seems to indicate that God’s presence in our lives can be stronger […]

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

Bishop Kenneth Edward Untener penned a homily for John Cardinal Dearden, Archbishop of Detroit, to deliver on the occasion of the Mass for Deceased Priests, October 25, 1979. This poetic reflection, “We are Prophets of a Future Not Our Own,” was taken from Untener’s text of Cardinal Dearden’s message. As a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero,[a]On 24 March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero delivered a sermon in which he called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God’s higher order and to stop carrying out the government’s … Continue reading Bishop Untener included it in […]

Why does God hate people with handicaps?

Was the Leviticus meme written by someone completely ignorant about the Bible? …or was this anti-Christian meme written by someone who deliberately wanted to change the real meaning of the Scripture? Here is an example of the Leviticus meme: Leviticus 21 contains no reference to God’s hatred of anyone. Leviticus 21 does not refer to the Church. Leviticus 21 does not forbid persons with handicaps from attending or ministering in Church. Leviticus 21 does not apply to everyone. It applies only to a few specific members of the family of Levi. The name of Levi is in our name […]

What is the ultimate mission of the Church?

Recently, I was in a training in which Scripture was cited and then this question was asked. The Scripture was from Revelation chapter 7. 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing […]

How to Cope With the Impending Loss of Your Job

Death is Not the Only Source of Grief The loss of a loved one is the most intense grief that a person can experience. However, there are other losses in life that also produce grief. For example, if you know someone that has health problems and can no longer care for himself, you know that loss of independence is extremely difficult and stressful. Loss of your job creates real grief. Surprise! Grief Happens As Soon As You Know Grief begins when you learn of an impending loss. Some people call it anticipatory grief or preparatory grief. It is the […]

How to Break the Jargon Barrier in Your Church

Jargon is a specialized vocabulary that is distinctive to a specific group. Jargon creates an impressive image. If you want to sound like an expert, use the distinctive vocabulary that is specific to that field of knowledge. Knowledge of the correct use of jargon can make you seem like an authority in a given field, regardless of whether or not you have any actual in-depth knowledge of that field. Jargon provides a tool to create a stronger internal identity.[a]Jargon can function as branding. And sometimes branding becomes jargon, as in Kleenex and Coke. Each of your social groups creates […]