Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Gospel Advances In A World Of Terrorism

I have a good friend who spends most of his time outside the United States working with missionaries, many of whom are working in "closed Muslim countries."  This past week, with the TV news filled with stories about ISIS threatening Japanese nationals, Islamist rebels advancing in Yemen and backlash against the French handling of the Charlie Hebdo affair I got a secure email from him.  I can't pass it along as it contained information that could compromise missionaries that he works with, but I will pass on - with names and locations deleted - this much:

The latest from FOX NEWS, CNN and the BBC is really: (you pick your phrase...) "making me nervous", "rising fear up inside of me", "really scary"!  Islamic terrorist cell groups being activated in Europe, the news channels are roaring with more news... all of it grabbing our hearts... YET!

Did you know: that more Muslims have become followers of Jesus Christ since 2001 than all the years before.. combined? XXXXXXX,  with whom I am staying in XXXXXXX, shared a few statistics that he has been tracking... and brothers and sisters... the news is really GOOD NEWS...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr - Gospel Preacher

This past Sunday – January 18, the Sunday before the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday – I read a portion of a sermon by Dr. King as part of my own sermon.  I chose not to reveal whose sermon it was until just before the end, saying to start with that it was “an important sermon from the history of the United States.”  Dr. King’s sermon “Loving Your Enemies” from Matthew 5:43-44 was a good application of the sermon I was preaching from Matthew 4:1-4, and I hoped it would give highlight to Dr. King as a preacher of the Gospel as well.  And let me be honest.  It is a GREAT sermon on its own.  I read it myself four different times that week.

A few friends mentioned to me afterwards that they could have listened more intently and with greater interest if they had known who the preacher was from the very beginning.  I always (try to) appreciate the feedback I get because my target is communicating, not drawing compliments, so let me apologize.  My choice was my mistake.  Aiming for a dramatic high point, I missed the target.

Let me back track and fill in some gaps:

First, Click Here to go to Dr. King’s sermon in full.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Different Response To Same-Sex Attraction Than You May Have Heard Before

I’d like to encourage you to read this blog post from my friend and colleague Tim Habecker, director of missions/Outreach at Hope EPC here in Spotsylvania County.  It gives important first-hand perspective on matters of homosexuality, same-sex attraction and the Christian faith.

Perhaps you listened to NPR’s Weekend Edition this past Sunday morning. If you did you were introduced to a pastor and his wife from western Pennsylvania. What you likely had no way of knowing is that there is just one degree of separation between you and Allan Edwards…and it is me.  Click Here to read Tim’s entire blog post. 

Click Here to listen to the NPR interview with Tim’s friend Allan.  It is titled “Attracted to Men, Pastor Feels Called To Marriage With A Woman.”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Planning For 2015

Some of these things are still on the drawing board – being prayed through and planned – but they are clearly emerging with the leading of God.  I want to share my encouragement, help you be aware and praying as well as give the Spirit opportunity to begin leading you into your place with what is emerging.  Here are a few of the things on our horizon:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Marriage Inequality – A Problem Caused By Redefining Marriage

How do you ensure that an airplane and an elephant have equal rights?


Answer: You don’t.  An airplane and an elephant are different in so many ways that talking about equality between them is pointless.  The two are simply different, not unequal.

It is absurd to talk about equality between an airplane and an elephant until you first get rid of the difference.

Which is why I say that “Marriage Inequality” is a problem that is caused by redefining marriage.  The romantic union of two men is as different from a marriage of a man and woman as an airplane is different from an elephant.  The two relationships are not unequal.  They are different.  At least until you redefine them in a way that erases or obscures the difference.

Jesus and the Two Mars Hills

 I was struck recently by sad news about the two Mars Hill churches, which reminded me once again of my own need for Jesus.

You know the two Mars Hill churches? 

The one in Seattle was founded by Mark Driscoll and experienced dramatic growth under his spiritually abusive leadership.  Pastor Driscoll resigned recently amidst the scandal of that abusiveness.

The other Mars Hill church is in Grand Rapids, MI.  It was founded and led by Rob Bell until he resigned to pursue his own take on a modern faith.  It was a take that left behind the historic foundations of Christian faith.  Rob and I are graduates of the same seminary.

Friday, September 19, 2014

So You Think God Has Multiple Personalities?

I didn’t set out to be a “Heresy Hunter.”  But once I saw THREE churches in our county that said they believed in “One God who has existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” I knew I needed to look further.

While I do not and have never thought that these churches were staging a deliberate subterfuge to undermine 16 centuries of Christian belief, I do think that defining the Trinity as “One God with Three Personalities” rather than “One God in Three Persons” is a dangerous misunderstanding with real consequences.  I’m posting this because I have now seen such statements on the websites of other churches in cities that I have recently traveled to.
Subscribe to Grace in FXBG by Email