Everything listed under: Contemporary Issues

  • Is Fasting for Today?

    Is Fasting for Today?IntroductionThe subject of spiritual disciplines comes and goes as a popular topic for Christian authors and teachers. When in vogue, most listings of spiritual disciplines include fasting as one of the desired if not essential practices. Whether in a corporate setting, be it church wide or national, or for individuals, fasting is often touted as a gateway to God’s blessing, a key to determining courses of actions, or a hallmark of spiritual sensitivity and intimacy wi...

  • Dying Well

    Dying WellOver the years I have watched scores of people die. Some died shrieking in terror; seemingly driven to insanity. Others seemed to die with a smiling countenance.

  • Jonah and the Fish

    Jonah's Whale?Hi …, …I told you I’d give you my answer to the “Jonah and with whale” question you fielded .… The account is found in the book of Jonah 1:12 - 2:10. Jesus also refers to the same event as recorded in Matthew 12:38-41. Some thoughts:1.

  • Build the Boat! Hebrews 11:7

    Walking with the GiantsThe Faith of NoahHebrews 11:7Setting the Stage for Hebrews 11Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians by an unknown author who apparently wrote with the intent to affirm the superiority of Jesus Christ and to encourage believers in their faith. Consequently, we may simply divide the book into two sections:The superiority of Christ 1:1-10:18. Christ is superlatively compared to angels and the Mosaic law. The salvation provided by Christ is central to the discussion.

  • Distinctly Christian? 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

    Distinctly Christian?NAU  2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND...

  • Engaging the Atheist in the Neighborhood

     Definition of atheismThe term is simply “no god”. Atheism can mean a lack of belief in a particular god or the belief that there is no god. Further, some atheists are non-theists while others are anti-theists.Common characteristics of atheismPopular atheism has become more and more aggressively militant in recent years.

  • Life is a Vapor James 4:13-17

    The Fleeting Nature of LifeJames 4:13-17 Introduction One day, in answer to a question about wealth from someone in the crowd, Jesus replied with a sobering parable. It is recorded in Luke 12:16-21: NAU” …The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' 18 "Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain a...

  • Gratefulness on Steroids

    Thankful for That?!2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Illust: The Apostle Paul spent roughly one-quarter of his missionary career in prisons. John McRay wrote in Christian History:Roman imprisonment was preceded by being stripped naked and then flogged—a humiliating, painful, and bloody ordeal. The bleeding wounds went untreated as prisoners sat in painful leg or wrist chains.

  • Life in a Hostle Culture

    Surviving and Thriving in a Hostile Culture: Life without Jesus John 15:1-16:15 IntroductionThroughout Scripture there are illusions to Jesus being the I AM. The Lord describes Himself in the following ways. He says ''I am the bread of life." Furthermore, He declares ''I am the light of the world," "I am the gate of the sheep," "I am the good shepherd," ''I am the resurrection and the life," ''I am the way,...

  • Local Church Statement on Homosexuality

    There are differences among evangelical churches and scholars regarding a Biblical view of homosexuality per se as well as the resultant stance and practice of a given church. However, nearly all agree that local churches and denominations must grapple with this issue. The following is a statement from one local church regarding this issue. POLICY STATEMENTDECLARATION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF _______________________________, ____________INDIANA PERTAINING TO THE MATTER OF HOMOSEXUALITY AND SAME...

  • Family Planning

    Birth Control and Family SizeSubmitted Question: “What is the Bible’s view on birth control”? Same question stated expansively: “What is a Biblical view of family planning? Clearly abortion is sin.

  • Optimism and the Church

    Optimism and the ChurchRecently some thoughts in Wayne Mack’s book Life in the Fathers House re-energized me. As he discusses the importance of the local church and our relation to it, he makes the following apt observation.The truth that the church will always be built and blessed by God Himself provides a tremendous source of hope and confidence to us as Christians. It also presents a convincing argument for the idea that we should direct our energies and efforts primarily toward th...

  • At the End

    Final WordsFrom time to time, I enjoy reading books of a different flavor than standard fare in pastoral ministries. American Soldier by General Tommy Franks, given to me by my son, Scott, is one such work.Make no mistake; the book is rough in spots, depicting the real experience of soldiering. Nonetheless, a personal retirement letter written to GEN Franks captured my attention.Dear Tommy, Congratulations on your retirement from the US Army.

  • Death is Death

    DEATHDeath: the ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell.Have you ever noticed our inadvertent tendency to sanitize death? We all do it. We refer to it “passing away” or “being ushered into glory” or “home-going” or “expiring” or “deceased.” Perhaps these are proper designations.

  • Prayer for Today

    I have found the following puritan prayer from Valley of Vision, written 4 centuries ago, particularly appropriate in our current national circumstances. Our Lord never changes. He is the God for all ages!

  • Planned Parenthood

    The Denial of the Obvious Just a thought about the current video exposing Planned Parenthood's harvesting aborted baby body parts and negotiating prices for them. Am I the only one who wonders how long Planned Parenthood can remain on the public dole? The most recent fiasco defies understanding.

  • Gay Marriage Ruling

    Gay Marriage: It's the Law!  Citizens dancing in the streets with unrestrained joy over the Supreme Court ruling that opens marriage to same sex couples and, as a practical matter, redefines marriage. This is actually happening here in the United States! And the endgame has not yet been reached!

  • Another Jesus

      A few years ago, I received an email blast addressing the issue of religious plurality fashionable at that time and a nearly foregone conclusion these days. I thought it worthy of resurrecting and passing along especially in light of the ever expanding influence of Islam today. It is based on 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4, "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity  of devotion to Christ.

  • The Christian and Politics

    Hope in God, Not the Ballot Box Introduction Recall 2 Chronicles 6+7.  During a brilliant twenty year period at the zenith of Israel’s monarchical history, King Solomon succeeded in erecting a spectacular temple dedicated to the worship of the Living God of Israel as well as building a beautiful royal palace. For the building of the temple alone, the King conscripted 150,000 workers along with 3600 supervisors!. Little wonder the chronicler concludes that upon completing the temple and pala...

  • Popular Atheism

    Popular Atheism Definition of atheism The term is simply “no god”.  Atheism can mean a lack of belief in a god or the belief that there is no god. Some atheists are non-theists; others are anti-theists. Common characteristics of atheism Popular atheism has become more and more aggressively militant in recent years.

  • Same Sex Marriage

    Same Sex Marriage At the time of this writing, homes, hallways, break rooms, news media, classrooms,  and even churches are filled with discussions regarding the gay marriage issue. Sometimes "shrill rhetoric" is a better description. While most Christians agree that the Church should strive to preserve the sanctity of marriage, opinions differ on how to influence our culture to this end.

  • Abortion and the Bible

    Is Abortion Really Scripturally Wrong? The statistics are stunning. An estimated 35 million American babies have been killed since abortion was legalized by the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973.

  • Alcoholic Drink and the Christian

    Alcoholic Drink and the Christian  I openly acknowledge that Judy and I do not drink alcohol. The traditions of our families and our churches were that of total abstinence. We never saw our parents drink alcohol, and our churches were not bashful in speaking against drinking.

  • Bankruptcy and the Christian

    Is Bankruptcy An Option for Christians? Most would offer little argument to the observation that our society is currently characterized by easy credit. Just open the mail!

  • Christian Liberty in Real Life

    Christian Liberty in Real Life Christian Liberty Briefly Described Christians rightly exult in the truth that God amazingly sets them free from the slavery of sin and self by means of the glorious death of Christ. Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.1 We, along with those newly converted Jewish believers, never tire of hearing the great news declared by Jesus himself, John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth w...

  • Cohabitation: Deviant or Different?

    Cohabitation: Deviant or Different? The Contemporary Scene The young man wanted to talk to me about marriage. He had requested an appointment because of his acquaintance with my son.