MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Christian, When Was the Last Time You Read Your Bible?

September 9th, 2016 Viewed 786 times

Professing Christians are not reading their [B]ibles as much as they used to — and some Christians don’t read it at all.  Beth Stolicker of Mission Network makes a good case as to why Christians must read and memorize Scripture.  As Christians “we need to be able to recall full Scriptures, the redemption story, and the Bible’s full frame. That’s hard to do if Christians are only familiar with a few verses here and there.”

Western Christians’ Bible reading crisis

Jehoshaphat – The Good King

September 8th, 2016 Viewed 811 times, 2 so far today
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series We Three Kings
English: Josaphat was the fourth king of the K...

English: Josaphat was the fourth king of the Kingdom of Judah, and successor of his father Asa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we have passed the Christmas season, and believe that the magi of old did not appear at the manger, but at some point later, I would encourage us to look at another set of kings—three kings in the Old Testament with whom God was pleased. These three kings of the many have a story to tell us and a path for us as we endeavor to walk in the ways and will of God.

The first of these kings is one of my personal favorites. Jehoshaphat was the son of Asa—one of the good kings of Israel. His father’s legacy was one of fighting the king of Israel, removing the Asherah—the poles that were being worshiped in the high places of Israel—and purging idol worship from the land. He followed after God like King David, and left for his son a land that was following after God.

When the Minority Threatens the Majority

August 16th, 2016 Viewed 801 times

Reading through the Book of Acts with my Sunday School class has been providing me with interesting insight into what it must have been like for the “followers of the Way” shortly after the Ascension. There was a lull, or time period where the religious leaders weren’t quite sure what to do about the Apostles– with many suggesting that faith in Jesus would never catch on, and even if it did, it wouldn’t amount to anything. It wasn’t long before they changed their minds and started to persecute and kill believers, which caused the Gospel of Jesus to go to Europe and beyond.

This minority voice threatened the majority belief.  In Jerusalem, the majority was Jewish in their faith.  They mentally and verbally assented to the coming Messiah while carefully guarding their power amassed by strict regulation and tight partnership with the Roman governing authorities.  Jesus of Nazareth threatened all of that– calling out this two-faced behavior while claiming to be the true God and King of a kingdom not of this world.  This was a problem.

Every country that allows minority viewpoints to have oversized say will eventually have to grapple with this problem, as by definition that minority viewpoint or group is probably not reflected of the norm of the culture that it is living within.  This is definitely the case of the immigrant and refugee populations that are embedded within the Western Democracies that have accepted them in from their war torn land.

Much like the house guest that requires that you change your thermostat temperature to their liking, only watch shows that they like on television, or else, many of these minority populations are having a negative impact on the cultures that have welcomed them into their “homes.”  From the overt issues of killings, rapes and attempts to change the laws of the lands to the death threats that Christians have received for having Bibles, eventually the majority peoples of these lands are going to face an important decision: Continue with the dilution of the majority– maybe to the point where these people replace their homeland and culture with the minority one, or remove these minorities from the land.

The Pharisees tried to remove “the Way” from their land, and it spread throughout the world, changing everything that it touched.  The Native Americans accepted the white people into their lands, and it changed their land to what is now the United States.  Is our culture worth protecting, or is it something that we believe should be changed?

The only thing we know for certain is that the world that we received from our parents will not be the world we give to our children.

FREE Bible Activities for Kids!

August 15th, 2016 Viewed 762 times

For those of you who missed the post, or aren’t aware of how Busy Books are designed, they work on a point system. Kids bring the books to church with them, and earn points by listening to, and checking off key words during the sermon. This teaches them to pay attention, and listen closely. They also earn extra points if they read their Bible during the week, if they bring their Bible to church, if they pray in the morning, etc. …

FREE Bible Activity Pages for Kids!

I Don’t Hate Gays

July 2nd, 2015 Viewed 1048 times, 1 so far today

2015-07-01-hate1

Click the image, read the whole thing.

Why We Don’t Read Our Bibles

June 15th, 2015 Viewed 1103 times, 2 so far today

Bible Study 2 by George BannisterThe Ordinary Pastor makes an obvious statement in a post Let’s Be Honest: Reasons Why We Don’t Read Our Bibles:

If we were to survey Christians at evangelical churches in America most people would agree that they need to read their Bibles. They understand that it is both required and good for them. But the sad truth is, many do not. This lands us in that strange place of knowing, but yet still avoiding, what is good and beneficial for us.

Why do we do it?

Compassion, The Bible and the Pro-Life Movement

June 9th, 2015 Viewed 646 times

pregnant-mom-stress.jpgOver the weekend, Jill Stanek asked a question in her post Stanek weekend Q: How to respond to assertion abortion isn’t in the Bible?:

How do you respond to Knox and others like him who say that since abortion isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible as a sin, it is not only not a sin but a deed to be supported as an act of faith?

From the beginning of the Bible, children have been called a blessing.  Adam and Eve and Noah and his family were all commanded to be fruitful and multiply.  Barren womb were saddened and begged God for children (when they weren’t giving their handmaidens to their husband in an attempt to get children that way– which God does not command and violates monogamy).  God commanded that someone that attacks a pregnant woman such that a baby dies owes the family for the loss.  The Old Testament writers talked about how God knit them together in their mother’s wombs, and often before birth mothers were told about the greatness of the exploits of their unborn children.

Indeed, when talking about the unborn and about children, God is anything but pro-choice.

How To Live Victoriously In This Evil Age

June 9th, 2015 Viewed 822 times, 1 so far today

windowslivewriterprayformypastor-c8adsay-your-prayers4.jpgLori Alexander gives us this:

Ephesians 4 is a great chapter to study in how we are to live victoriously in this evil age and explains why man is so evil without Him. First of all, God has given preachers, prophets, teachers and others “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Therefore, make sure you are listening to preachers and teachers who teach the Word without watering it down in any way. Find a strong, biblically-based church and always beware of false teachers.

God’s purpose in this is so we are not longer like babies in our thinking, but mature believers in Christ able to easily discern good from evil. Then we will be able to speak the Truth in love to others who are beginning to wander from the faith or are in outright rebellion to God’s ways. Our purpose is to become like Jesus, since He is the head of the church, our Savior, and Lord! [Living Victoriously in this Evil Age]

Government and Morality

May 8th, 2015 Viewed 946 times, 1 so far today

George Washington once commented that in order for a society to survive it needed to have a strong moral character.  This character existed outside of the government at the founding of the United States– as can be seen by the fact that many came to this land for religious freedom, many of the Founding Fathers were religious leaders in various denominations, and the pulpits of the land had a lot of sway in what happened.  This moral foundation did not have to be codified because there was a common, Judeo-Christian framework by which all people of the land held common mores and values.

One of the biggest problems of a multicultural society that cherishes different religions, viewpoints and traditions instead of melting them all together and adopting the common framework is that eventually there will be disagreements between people groups on issues of morality.

We see this front-and-center in the culture wars of the past few years– abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, profanity, drunkenness, etc.

Do Churches Believe Their Doctrine?

May 7th, 2015 Viewed 997 times, 2 so far today
English: Pond and church, Mill Hill Village. T...

English: Pond and church, Mill Hill Village. The church building is the bethel of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, a christian group which originated in Nigeria in 1964. See http://freespace.virgin.net/dolly.daniels/doctrine/doctrine.htm for information on the beliefs and practices of the organisation. Photo taken from the south – the pond is frozen over. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is much in the news today about what true Islam is.  Is it the kind that practices jihad and terror attacks or the more moderate version?  Depending on what you believe about this religion colors how you answer this question.

What I’ve found is that this is an appropriate question to ask every person who clings to a faith or cites a preference for an individual religion or worship.  In the different churches that I’ve visited or been a part of there has always been the lingering question about how a church’s doctrinal statement and the practices of the individual believers match up.

At one church, we were getting into the habit of reciting the church covenant and what we found was that as we did this not everyone agreed on some of the cultural things– specifically, does the Bible condemn all alcohol or just being drunk.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.