Friday, December 30, 2016

A Short, Helpful Video on the Political Situation in Modern Israel

Regardless of what you think about the modern state of Israel from a religious perspective, you will benefit from this excellent video's explanation of the political turmoil between Israel and its neighbors. While the video's name is over the top, the actual content is solid.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Is Not Killing People

The older I get the more tired I grow of people offering up mindless platitudes when other people die. This is happening quite a bit right now as several celebrities have died within the past week. This blogger provides some helpful, sane, realistic, and truthful thoughts regarding what has brought about many of these celebrity deaths: substance abuse.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Small Groups Shouldn't Have to Exist

I found the above graphic on a random church's website. The clear implication is that their church needs small groups in order to do life together because "We can't do life alone." Another (I'm sure unintended) implication is that their other church activities do not involve doing life together.

It is a sad thing that so many churches in our country feel the need for small groups. The reality is that small groups shouldn't have to exist. When a church gathers, mutual edification and fellowship should automatically occur. However, churches that express the need for small groups are admitting - albeit inadvertently - that their worship services, for example, do not foster community.

When any church comes together, it ought to feel like a family gathering. Assuming that you had a nice Thanksgiving Day with family, that is how a church get together should be. You hang out, talk a lot, eat a bunch, discuss life, and maybe even watch some football (especially if an awesome team like my Buffalo Bills is playing). Christ's body comes together for the very purpose of the mutual upbuilding of the body.

In the context of church gatherings, the Apostle Paul writes, "What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up" (I Cor. 14:26).

Paul also says the following, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love" (Eph. 4:15-16).

Mutual edification is not some by-product of church meetings. It is the primary purpose of those meetings!

Small groups should not be needed because every church activity ought to be doing life together. That's how mutual edification occurs. If that's not happening, then those other activities should be quickly jettisoned.

Large churches embrace small groups (or "Life Groups" or whatever else they are called these days) because their large worship service/ceremonies do not bring about mutual edification. It's that simple.

When we follow the pattern for church life that God has given to us in the Bible, then there's no need for small groups. This is because the small setting, with meetings ideally occurring in homes, naturally leads to mutual edification and healthy body life.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, this post is a day late but I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas day yesterday. I also hope that you have some time off work this week to spend with family and friends. Against all odds, I actually have twelve (12!) days off in a row. It is glorious.

As you can probably tell, I’ve been in a blogging rut of late. I love Christ and His church and am (I hope) living this out. However, I can’t find much to write about. Therefore, my post frequency has dropped. I’d rather only blog a couple of times per month than post a bunch of filler. We’ll see what happens as 2017 approaches.

Speaking of that, I hope you have a blessed New Year and a great beginning to January!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What Can I Do? What Can You Do?

I confess to lamenting too much about what the church in this country is not. When I look in the Bible I see so much modeled for us, not to mentioned commanded to us, that the church fails do to and be. This can get demoralizing after a while.

While not ignoring the obvious problems in the body of Christ, I’d like to focus at least a little more on what the church can be. Christ’s body has great potential for good specifically because it is in Christ. Through His power we can glorify Him through edifying each other and serving the world. I’d like to spend time thinking about what I can do to make the church stronger.

It’s just so easy to point at what others are failing to do. It’s much more convicting to muse about what I can do differently. For one, I know that I need to take my focus off myself and place it upon the needs of others. I’m not saying that I necessarily like that idea, but frankly it needs to happen.

I encourage you to think along with me. What can you do differently to greater serve the body of Christ and/or the world?

Friday, December 2, 2016

"Nation Shocked, Horrified As Christians Hold Christian Position"

Satire is best served when it comes very close to reality. The Babylon Bee manages to do this again and again. A recent post entitled "Nation Shocked, Horrified As Christians Hold Christian Position" is one of their best.

Click here to enjoy.