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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Secret Capture of the Church: Why I Hope We Leave Behind the Movie Left Behind


For the record: I do believe that Jesus will return one day to planet Earth – publicly, gloriously, victoriously and savingly – just as He promised.  Those who are alive at His returning will meet Him in the air.  He will judge the world – both those who are alive and those who have died - and He will establish His Kingdom with justice, peace and life as it was created to be.  All of this has been believed by believers across cultures and across centuries and is part of the “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)

Here is what I don’t believe:  I do not believe that Jesus will return half-way and silently in order to secretly remove the church and the Holy Spirit from the planet for the seven year Great Tribulation and then “come-again again,” this time to judge and reign for 1,000 years.  These ideas are the product of a particular perspective called Dispensationalism that was unknown among Christians until late in the 19th century.

Why bring it up at all?  Because the peculiar idea of a “pre-trib rapture” followed by a 7-year period of Great Tribulation will be served up for a fourth time by Hollywood on October 3 in the movie Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage (!?!)..  And like leftover food, microwaved and served for a fourth time, I recommend that you just throw it in the garbage once and for all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beneath The Cross of Jesus

Justin Taylor offers this long quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on his blog today under the title: Bonhoeffer on What a Christian Under the Cross Can Offer that a Secular Therapist Cannot.  Click Here

I've been returning to it throughout the day.  It is stunning and inspiring and convicting.  Bonhoeffer is the German pastor who stood against the Nazi madness and ran an underground seminary to train pastors.  Life Together was written while he taught at that seminary. 

What makes a Church “Safe”?

For many people, church has never been a “safe place.”  They have experienced or heard stories of emotional and spiritual manipulation and even abuse inside the church.  Whatever True Christianity might be, the reality of day-to-day, life-on-life living with real people in a church setting can be pretty brutal.  I know.  I’ve been a pastor for most of my adult life, and have the scars, bruises and limps to prove it.  And sad to say, I may have given as much or more than I have taken.

Over the course of these many years, I’ve observed three different strategies for making a church into a more safe place for real people.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blessed To Be A Blessing

Ready, Waiting and Welcoming!
What a great time this past Monday, September 25.  Christ Covenant was able to provide a “Welcome Back Continental Breakfast” for the faculty and staff of both Salem Elementary School and Harrison Rd Elementary School on their first day back for the new school year.

We put on a spread for the 160 people in these two schools who work each day with the children near our church building.  I’m thankful to Principles Harold Morton and Deborah Frazier for the opportunity to serve those who serve the kids of our community.  


In particular, it was great to see the committment Mr. Morton and Mrs. Frazier have to their students and their families, to their staff and to our community.  We are blessed to have two leaders with such committment and faith in the positions that they are in.  I got to observe how they set the pace for an entire school.  You can believe I pray for them specifically as I pray for our community.

Christ Covenant has families who send their kids to public schools, private schools and who do home-schooling.  Mary Lynn and I used those three options as well as a charter school to get our three kids ready for college.  How you educate your children is a family decision based on the needs, resources and convictions of the family.

But praying and working for the wholeness of the community where God has placed us is an expression of our faith. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Relief for ALL the People of Northern Iraq

Christ Covenant will be joining with the other congregations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to provide relief for all the people affected by the atrocities of ISIS in Northern Iraq.  Click Here to learn more or become involved.

By “all,” I mean “all:” the Christians, the Yazidi, the Kurds and even the Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims who suffer when standing up to ISIS.  Let me explain why.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Give Them Grace: Gospel-Centered Parenting

In a recent blog post, Pastor Tullian Tchivdjian recounts a conversation with his son after a crushing basketball defeat.  It's a great example of what gospel-centered parenting could look like and what it means to "pursue the heart" with our children in the lives that they live.
“Dad, I played terrible.”

I said, “I know you don’t think you played well but why does not playing well make you so sad.”
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