The Importance of What We Do in Secret
According to Jesus, it is what we do in secret that matters most.
Nevertheless, hypocrisy lurks everywhere, not least in Christian ministry, and we ignore it at our peril. Godliness must be found in the heart if it is to be genuine. The one who prays more in public than in private, or only gives at special events when likely to be thanked for it, or practices spiritual disciplines... Continue Reading
A Prayer for the Day; A Prayer for a Friend
Praying for spiritual refreshment of those in ministry.
Paul longs to see his brothers and sisters in Rome again. He desires to encourage them and be encouraged by them. He knows that God grants sustaining grace and peace through the Word, prayer, and the fellowship of the saints. So while they are praying for them, he is praying for them as well. Paul,... Continue Reading
Down the Decadent “Ashley Madison” Avenue
Thirty nine million adulterers, signed onto “the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”
What the world needs now is genuine expressions of moral purity. Our task is clear: “I urge you, says the Apostle Peter, as sojourners and exiles [in the pagan world] to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against... Continue Reading
Did Religion Make the American Civil War Worse?
Faith may have inflamed the conflict, but one lasting legacy of the war may be the toll it took upon American faith.
From the Civil War onward, American Protestantism would be locked deeper and deeper into a state of cultural imprisonment, and in many cases, retreating to a world of private experience in which Christianity remained of little more significance to public life than stamp-collecting or bridge parties. Appeals to divine authority at the beginning of the... Continue Reading
Pope Francis To Followers: “Koran And Holy Bible Are The Same”
Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican’s guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein, are just as valid as the Holy Bible.
The pontiff drew harsh criticisms in December after photos of the 78-year-old Catholic leader was released depicting Pope Francis kissing a Koran. The Muslim Holy Book was given to Francis during a meeting with Muslim leaders after a lengthy Muslim prayer held at the Vatican. Recently, the Bishop Of Rome addressed Catholic followers regarding... Continue Reading
In A Liberal Society Trinity Western Should Be Free To Educate According To Its Beliefs
The movement to render the university unpalatable is not exactly the stuff of liberal tolerance.
The forces against Trinity Western may say that they are in the business of advancing rights and justice, but they are really on a crusade to subdue and punish everyone who does not see the world exactly as they do. Canadians who actually hold liberal principles should support the university’s efforts to have its law... Continue Reading
University of Tennessee Tells Staff And Students To Stop Using ‘He’ and ‘She’ – and Switch to ‘Xe’, ‘Zir’ and ‘Xyr’ Instead
The university told its staff and students to stop using 'he', 'she', 'him' and 'her' – and begin using terms like 'xe', 'zir' and 'xyr' instead
‘When our organizational culture shifts to where asking for chosen names and pronouns is the standard practice, it alleviates a heavy burden for persons already marginalized by their gender expression or identity.’ There is no information on the numbers of students on campus who do not identify as the traditional genders, as the university’s official... Continue Reading
13 Things a Pastor Should Never Say to a Congregation
Obvious no-no’s pastors should never be heard uttering from the pulpit
“If you don’t [fill in the blank], I will leave.” Never give a congregation an ultimatum, or you will find yourself on the losing end of that proposition. “In closing. Finally.” (For the 5th time) Never tell the congregation you’re almost through. They will not hear another word you say. But if you do, keep... Continue Reading
My Wife’s Plea to Christian Men
Is it really that difficult? You would almost think that this one sin is beyond the power of the Holy Spirit.
Stop believing that this is a special sin that women just can’t understand—we do understand sin. This isn’t a special sin, it is just sin: God-belittling, Christ-mocking, Spirit-despising sin. Stop pretending like there are no future consequences to your actions. Stop putting your selfish desires first. Stop engaging in activities that bring shame on the... Continue Reading
Rebuilding Marriage Culture: A Fourfold Mission for the Church
The Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, redefining marriage everywhere in the United States, has left many of us wondering: What do we do now?
“Here I want to suggest four things the church in particular should do to help rebuild a strong marriage culture. After all, the church – either through action or inaction – will play a major role in the debate over the meaning of marriage.” The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, redefining marriage... Continue Reading
Hacking “Ashley Madison” – A Pastoral Perspective
How will we in the church handle knowing who is on the list? What are we going to do about the members on the list?
The death of ministries, marriages, hopes and dreams now become nightmares. But in the midst of this “death march” we have good news. There is a Savior who, on the Cross, has won the victory over sin and removed the sting of death. By His amazing and transforming grace He can make roses of majesty... Continue Reading
Why They Hate Pro-Lifers So
It is always a good idea to stand in the other person’s shoes.
One of the stunningly obvious perceptions of those in favor of abortion is summarized by Harvard-educated Paul Swope: “Women do not see any ‘single’ good resulting from an unplanned pregnancy. Instead they must weigh what they perceive as three evils, namely, motherhood, adoption, and abortion.” The pro-life argument is overpoweringly clear to me. But... Continue Reading
9 Things You Should Know About Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger has repeatedly surfaced in the news the past few weeks
On a radio show, Sanger is reported to have said that “morons, mental defectives, epileptics, illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and dope fiends” ought to be surgically sterilized. If they wish, she said, such people should also be able to choose a lifelong segregated existence in labor camps. Due to a variety of current... Continue Reading
Christian Missions And The Spread Of Democracy
Protestant missionaries played an integral role in spreading democracy throughout the world. We could preserve our own if we learn from their ways.
Today we may think of missions as mere footnotes in the historical sweep of economics and ideology, but Woodberry argues that prior to the mid-twentieth century, “missionaries were the main source of information about life in the colonies.” It has long been evident to me that the most successful societies in the world are... Continue Reading
Hong Kong Christian Groups Feel New Scrutiny From Mainland
The attention from Beijing has raised concerns here about encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy
“As the government of President Xi Jinping has stepped up efforts to limit the influence of Christianity in the mainland, including a controversial campaign to take down crosses in parts of eastern China, the activities of some of Hong Kong’s churches have come under official scrutiny.” For years, the Rev. Philip Woo, the feisty... Continue Reading
Why We Fail at Family Devotions
I think the main reason we fail is that we make it too hard
“I am convinced a lot of people fail because we feel that Word and prayer are not enough. We read books and blogs by people who do so much more and feel that we do not measure up. We finish, see that only 5 minutes have elapsed, and feel like that can’t possibly be enough.”... Continue Reading
Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?
People struggling with assurance of salvation approach me and ask, “How can I know I am saved?"
It’s possible to love a caricature of Jesus rather than Jesus Himself. So when I ask people “Do you love Jesus at all?” I’m not asking whether they love a Christ who is a hero for kids or a Christ who is a good moral teacher. I’m asking whether they love the Christ who appears... Continue Reading
Ligonier Suspends R. C. Sproul Jr. Over Ashley Madison Visit
Reformed leader admits accessing adultery website 'in a moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity.'
“With the revelation of the hack has come the revelation of my sin. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016,” he wrote. “I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And now the world is informed. My... Continue Reading
A Note to Christian Men
Their first reaction when an woman walks in is to look her up and down. A momentary evaluation which will decide whether she is worth a few more lingering looks and thoughts.
What does this tells us about these men – the “evaluators”? It tells us that the power of lust and desire for sexual gratification, even through brief visual stimulation, is compulsive and controlling. It is the most immediate and powerful impulse. Everything else, for that moment or two, becomes unimportant, in order to get a... Continue Reading
10 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Weariness
When we’re weary we can find fresh strength, joy and motivation in Christ.
Being a disciple of Jesus is hard. He said we must daily take up our cross and die to ourselves. He calls us to serve, love, and look to the interest of others. Following Jesus yields immeasurable joy, but we can also grow weary from day to day. Weary in parenting, weary in serving, weary... Continue Reading
Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
I’ve been noticing more and more strange teachings on femininity and biblical womanhood in the last couple of years.
I realized that the Ask Pastor John answer that I responded to last week basically comes right out of his teaching in Chapter One of RBMW. So I decided to skim over the chapter again. It has been shocking for me to reread this as a more mature woman. Some parts were actually quite unbelievable.... Continue Reading
The Three Functions Of The Law In The Christian Life
As Paul recognized in Romans 7, there remains a persistently difficult relationship between the justified, saved sinner and God’s holy law.
The law remains the law and we remain sinners. “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar” (1 John 1:10). The nomist thinks that, now that we have grace, we have no need of the gospel or that the gospel is only to help us obey the law. The antinomian thinks... Continue Reading
Pro-Choice or Pro-Options: On Leadership
Great leaders make tough choices and, in so doing, commit themselves to courses of action that can bring praise but also excoriation.
Much of the culture surrounding Christianity at the moment militates against the kind of commitment that making a choice, rather than merely having a choice, demands. The language of conversation, so popular in certain quarters, has a certain open-ended quality to it. Once upon a time, arguments and debates were designed for the express purpose... Continue Reading
Southern Baptists Will Cut 600 to 800 Missionaries and Staff
David Platt: International Mission Board overspent $210 million over last 6 years
The first of the cuts will come from voluntary retirements, followed by a restructuring. Overall, the IMB could release as many as 800 employees, according to an FAQ posted on the IMB’s website. Currently, the IMB has about 450 staff and about 4,700 missionaries overseas, down from 5,600 in 2009. Platt said earlier this year... Continue Reading
Doctors Advised My Mom to Abort Me
Quite literally, my mom gave her life for mine.
As a pastor, I am sensitive to the guilt of those who have had an abortion, knowing that God is a God of forgiveness and healing. My prayer is that more families, single moms and confused couples would have the courage and selflessness that my mom displayed to reach out for help. May we reclaim... Continue Reading
Killing Sin by the Spirit, Post 2 (Know and Live Your Identity in Christ)
Step 2 is to fully understand who you are in Christ and to begin living life out of a mindset that comes from your identity in Christ
You need to spend time meditating on passages like Colossians 3, Ephesians 2, Romans 6 and 1 Peter 2. These passages will help you solidify your understanding of your new identity in Christ. But do more than read and think. Pray. Sing. Worship God for your new identity in Christ. Then, as you’re living your... Continue Reading
China Honours Christian Missionary And Olympic Athlete Eric Liddell
British Olympic champion and missionary to China, Eric Liddell, has been honored with a statue in his native China.
The British educated athlete who was nicknamed ‘the flying Scotsman’ and born in Tianjin, returned to China in 1925 to serve as a missionary teacher, where he mostly remained until his death in 1945, in a Japanese civilian internment camp. On Monday, the marble sculpture of Liddell, captured in mid-stride, was unveiled in Tianjin… ... Continue Reading
The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship Music: Eight Reasons
By imminent decline of contemporary worship music, I do not mean imminent disappearance.
“Contemporary worship” to me is an oxymoron. Biblically, worship is what angels and morning stars did before creation; what Abraham, Moses and the Levites, and the many-tongued Jewish diaspora at Pentecost did. It is what the martyrs, now ascended, do, and what all believers since the apostles have done. More importantly, it is what we... Continue Reading
Who Am I?
Knowing who we are as Scripture defines us
I am so grateful I have not been left to my own wisdom to understand who I am and who we are as human beings. What conflicting ideas exist among us! Thankfully, God’s Word makes sense of what would otherwise be senseless and random….the Word is robust enough to give clarity amidst the complexity. ... Continue Reading
A Review: ‘Perspectives On The Extent Of The Atonement: Three Views’
There is genuine profit in reading an exposition and defense of varying views that goes beyond the needs of the beginning student.
Carl Trueman defends “Definite Atonement,” arguing that Christ died with the intention of saving his elect. His essay consists of two primary planks: 1) The Particularity of Intention in Christ’s Saving Mission, and 2) The Objective Efficacy of Christ’s Work…. Grant Osborne defends the “General Atonement” view in a series of steps that Christ died for everyone,... Continue Reading