Friday, May 13, 2011

Church Discipline and the Cross

I’ve been thinking a lot about Church Discipline lately, and its not fun thinking.  I’m guessing that most of my unchurched friends would not know what I’m talking about if I brought it up in conversation.  A few of my church friends would know and speak of the importance of Church Discipline and need for more of it.  I suspect most churched people – like me – have experience with it and cringe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reading With Gospel Eyes: Record? Or Advocate?

There is a simple question that  each person reading the Bible needs to answer in order to better understand the message:  Does this passage record an event, practice or principle?  Or does it actually advocate it?  Discerning that difference quickly clears much of the confusion that I hear people struggle with.

The point is that the writers of the Bible often faithfully record things that they do not intend to advocate, especially as timeless, universal principles or behaviors.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Them and Us: Different Flavors of Presbyterian

It's easy to be unaware that there are different "flavors" of Presbyterian in the United States today.  Depending on just how you count, there are about eight distinct and separate denominations right now that have "Presbyterian" in their name.  I usually try to avoid making much of the differences out of a sense of public civility.  I prefer to keep family arguments inside the house.  Unfortunately, there are some decisions being made right now in another Presbyterian group that I need to distinguish myself from.  What you will see in the headlines is about Presbyterians deciding to ordain practicing homosexuals.  And now, a bit more of the rest of the story.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Line Between Good and Evil: Reflections on the Death of Osama bin Laden

As a citizen of the United States, I applaud the work of our Navy seals in apprehending and finally killing Osama bin Laden. We all owe a debt of honor and gratitude to the military and intelligence personnel who have persevered and worked for this day.

As a resident of planet earth who has a hope for peace and justice for all, I could only receive the news of his death with a mixture of sadness, thankfulness and relief.  As a follower of one called the Prince of Peace, I understand that until He returns to establish His kingdom on earth, there will be times that even the use of measured and accountable violence to resist evil is appropriate.  This is certainly one of those times.

But let me ask a question: Where do you draw the line between good and evil?

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