Blessed Are the Pure in Heart, for They Shall See God

Jesus said that those who are pure at their very core are the ones who will see God

“The thing that keeps us from having the vision of God now is our impurity, our sin. John said that when we see Him, we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. The question remains as to whether God will glorify us in heaven, allowing us to see Him as... Continue Reading

African Churches Urged Not to be Distracted by Western Progressives

Dr Idowu-Fearon said that he was “deeply disturbed” by seeing how Christians determined to maintain Anglican orthodoxy are being “swept aside by a campaign to change the churches"

“Our African Churches can never be social progressives in the sense beloved of the West. We will never allow our churches to be taken over by views and programmes which suggest that the Bible is wrong. We will not crumble or bow the knee to a godless secular culture that despises the Bible and what... Continue Reading

A Controller’s Story

Controlling behavior can be the result of good traits and habits carried to an extreme

To be out of control in one area or another brings on such a feeling of being overwhelmed often to the point of just wanting to give up trying. It’s bearing the constant “all or nothing” burden that really weighs the heart/mind/body down.   Kathleen Peck left an insightful comment to my article on controlling... Continue Reading

The Trinity: The Triune God for Exiles

You have a Christian life because of actions taken by God the Holy Trinity

“You have a Christian life because the Father has chosen you for salvation according to his foreknowing love. You have a Christian life because the Spirit has sanctified you, separating you from Satan, sin and the world unto God. You have a Christian life because the Son compels your obedience having purified your conscience by... Continue Reading

3 Keys To a Powerful Prayer Life

Christian, find a quiet place and a quiet time where you can quiet your heart before God

The first key is a place of quiet, a place that is free, or as free as possible, from distractions. “With regard to many of us, the first of these, a quiet place, is well within our reach. But there are tens of thousands of our fellow-believers who find it generally impossible to withdraw into... Continue Reading

Slaves of Christ

Christ purchased believers so that they can no longer claim to be their own

In the Scriptures, the most important example of a slave, however, is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Philippians 2:5-8, the Apostle Paul charges believers to have the same “mind” as that of Christ Jesus who, even though He was equal with God, took the form of a bondservant and was obedient to God to... Continue Reading

Don’t Say God Is Silent with Your Bible Closed

When we open the Bible, we find more than 750,000 words breathed out by God himself

Charles Spurgeon said, “No one ever outgrows the Scriptures. The Book widens and deepens with our years.” In my thirty-three years so far on this earth, I have consistently experienced the Bible’s ability to speak the right word, at the right time.   “Don’t say God is silent when your Bible is closed.” I don’t... Continue Reading

Are You a Discouraged Pastor?

Like any other line of work preachers can find themselves discouraged

“Timothy is warned to pursue holiness, stick to the text, and be a zealous evangelist. Pivoting out of this point Paul tells him that he is rounding third in his ministry. He is about to head into the clubhouse. The sun is setting, and he is done. Now, from the perspective of the end he... Continue Reading

The Difference Between Perfectionism and Excellence

What’s the difference between a healthy will to excel and perfectionism?

A perfectionist might admit to general failings but refuses to be specific; excellence faces up to both general and specific faults. A perfectionist is hyper-defensive of self and hyper-critical of others; excellence is more tolerant of others failings, having accepted and faced up to their own.   What’s the difference between a healthy will to... Continue Reading

5 Ways to Discern True and False Repentance

So what are you supposed to do? The person in front of you says they are repentant.

The Bible contains several aides that are designed to help believers distinguish between true and false repentance. It is important that we are able to distinguish the two, because the difference between them determines how we respond to our fallen brother or sister. If we are to bring law to the proud and grace to... Continue Reading

We Have Been Warned

It is difficult to get ordinary Christians, including pastors, to understand the reality of what’s coming

“It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions. Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject.... Continue Reading

Ministry is Discouragement

Ministry forces us to face discouragement, to learn to minister through it and even to rejoice in it

So what do we do with this kind of discouragement? How do we keep on ministering through it? And how do we rejoice in the midst of it, as Paul calls us to do in passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:16? In answering these questions and dealing with my own discouragements, I have found help from... Continue Reading

Have We Lost Our Minds?

It ought to come as no surprise that our so-called contemporary wisdom has ripened into unconstrained idiocy.

Our blindness has reached its maturity; we have lost our way, lost our sense of direction, and lost our compass. So warmed by our feelings of “authentic” self-satisfaction and cherished moral autonomy, most Americans don’t even realize we are blindly, and yes, authentically, careening into an abyss. History attests to our demise. More importantly, God... Continue Reading

JAHWEH Your Average Pagan Divinity?

The Bible nowhere presents God as a sexual being.

Sexuality is a human characteristic, designed by God for procreation but also as an embodiment of the differences knit into the created order (land/sea; human/animal; light/dark; male/female, etc.). Just as God is a transcendent Creator, distinct from creation, so creation also reflects distinction—supremely seen in the male/female distinction.   Those in the newspaper business do... Continue Reading

On Disciplining Abusers And Protecting The Sheep

We (ministers, elders, and deacons) need to learn the symptoms and signs of abuse and must become prepared to take concrete steps to help.

The church is to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27). An abuser has essentially orphaned his children and abandoned his wife. He has turned his vocation as a caregiver and protector on its head and corrupted it. Where the husband is meant to be a source of strength and safety, he has become weak... Continue Reading

Will the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Refute Eternal Functional Subordination?

The fact is CBMW has not been neutral regarding the doctrine of the Son’s eternal subordination to the Father.

It is clear that the leadership of CBMW now desires to distance the organization from the error of EFS. It would be a shame if their approach to dealing with these errors is to merely remove content from their website. What they must do is refute the errors of EFS and its impious speculations and analogies... Continue Reading

The Pastor’s PTSD: When You Cannot Bounce Back After The Conflict Is Over

PTSD is a helpful analogy to understand what pastors go through in hard times in their ministries.

One defining feature of PTSD is that the fear lingers long after the painful event has passed. And this has parallels for us and our families. After a conflict, we can ask ourselves, Why haven’t we snapped out of it yet? But why should we expect to get over it as soon as the conflict burns... Continue Reading

Social Justice Training Or Institutionalized Intolerance?

Critics say push for tolerance courses teaches university students that disagreement equals discrimination

The idea [of a mandated “social justice” training course] is not novel—a growing number of universities require social justice courses or training for all students. Administrators claim the training is needed to encourage a collegial and welcoming environment on campus. But critics argue that instead of encouraging inclusivity, liberal social justice rhetoric often encourages intolerance.... Continue Reading

Top 10 Things I Wish Worship Leaders Would Stop Saying

Some annoying phrases worship leaders should avoid or stop using.

God showed up. I think I know what is meant by this phrase. It can be a way of saying “we felt emotionally touched during the music time,” which can be an okay thing—it would be weird for Christians to never feel engaged emotionally in worshiping God—but it can also be a way of equating... Continue Reading

7 Simple but Effective Strategies to Get You Through a Bad Day

The worst time to make decisions is when you’re upset or feeling down. Your emotions will lead you to decide things you’ll regret.

Actions are one thing. Decisions are another. The worst time to make decisions is when you’re upset or feeling down. Your emotions will lead you to decide things you’ll regret. So just decide not to decide anything that day. Here’s the rule I’ve adopted in life in and leadership when I’m in bad space: Don’t make tomorrow’s... Continue Reading

I’m With the Atheists — And Against the Lord’s Prayer

My goal is to stop the blasphemous use of the Prayer our Lord gave his people to pray

So I hope the atheists win. We are allies in the effort to stop practices we, for different reasons, believe are wrong. Their goal is to suppress what they see as a violation of the establishment clause. My goal is to stop the blasphemous use of the Prayer our Lord gave us to pray.  ... Continue Reading

The Excommunicated Member Who Thanked Me

Six years ago, our elders put Jack under church discipline. Last week, he thanked me for it.

On a recent Sunday, I saw Jack again for the first time in years. He was back in town for a short visit, and he came to church with his family… Then, after the worship service, he purposefully sought me out and looked me directly in the eye. Thank you . . . for, well, for... Continue Reading

The Surprising Truth About False Teachers

False teachers are not just false in their teaching, but also in their living.

No matter how twisted the teaching, no matter how publicly shamed the church may feel over the exposé of an unethical leader, no matter how dark the days become, no matter how helpless we may feel in guarding gospel doctrine and preserving gospel-worthy lives, we have this great sustaining hope: Jesus knows how to rescue... Continue Reading

Always Go To The Funeral

I believe in always going to the funeral. My father taught me that.

“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent... Continue Reading

Don’t Waste Your Suffering #3

Let me outline some things that can function as idols and intensify our suffering

Our idols from the past and future in particular maim God, chopping off his powerful arms, tearing out his loving heart, silencing his tender words. But worse, in all, we stand at the foot of the cross and look the Father in the eye and say, “It wasn’t enough for you to crucify your Son,... Continue Reading

2 Problems with Social Action in Missions

Is the church’s true work—that which only the the church can do—being unintentionally neglected?

To put it in mathematical terms, there are two problems with today’s rush to embrace social reform missions.  The Social Gospel is a problem of subtraction:  it subtracts essential theology—sin and repentance—from the church’s message.  Social reform projects, on the other hand, threaten the church in a different way:  by addition.  When resource-consuming social projects... Continue Reading

The Problem with the Islamic View of Paul (Qureshi)

Many critics of the NT – including Muslim scholars – say that Paul was the founder of Christianity, that Paul was deceptive, that Paul hijacked the church

“The common Muslim view of Paul has significant problems even when considered from an Islamic perspective.  First, what happened to the disciples?  How were they so easily overcome by Paul that either they were convinced by his trickery and followed him, or their voices were completely drowned out and there is no record of their... Continue Reading

Am I a Controlling Person?

Considering the myth that perfect control can be achieved and can guarantee a safe and successful life.

The price of this attempt to control is an inability to show or share feelings, reluctance to trust anyone, loneliness, the stress of being perfect in everything, the fear of embarrassment, an over-sensitive conscience, a phobia about trying anything new, and an inability to relax and enjoy the moment. In pages 10-12 of Too Perfect,... Continue Reading

Aging With Grace

Do I want to buy into what the world says is of value or what God values?

Do I want to just age gracefully (aka looking younger than one’s stated age) or age with grace, taking joy in this time of life and not try to push back the clock, as if that were possible? Proverbs says Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to... Continue Reading

X- Rated Counterfeit Grace and Impact of Spectacularly Boring Monogamy

Once again, it is the vulnerable picking up the tab for those who think they can afford to make their own rules

I’m not sure what a happy mom is. Does it take multiple sex partners to be happy? Does it take drug addiction? No, these are enslavement. I am not always happy, but I have the eternal joy of being redeemed from my sin, no longer a slave, and living under the reign of true grace.... Continue Reading