Over the years, many mainstream Christian groups have gone out of their way to criticize Israel — most notably, the Presbyterians, in some harsh and ugly ways. Question: why this mainstream Christian obsession with Israel?
While I used to read Jesus’s teaching on money and possessions as a burdensome call to sacrificial (even boring) living, owning less has actually resulted in a better life, full of freedom and joy and peace. I began to recognize that Jesus wasn’t calling me to a boring life; he was calling me to a more abundant life. Here are a few of the surprising spiritual benefits my family and I have experienced since deciding to own less stuff:
this is how many people today feel about God—that he’s distant, grudging, nit-picking, unsympathetically harsh, unpredictably wrathful, unreasonably strict in his demands of us. So it’s no wonder that for many of us…“Prayer may conjure up a heavy sense of duty—something we ought to do, and struggle to do.”
As Jesus’ story of the forgiven runaway son shows, that mercy has made us children of our heavenly Father, created to live in a close, warm relationship with him, as part of his family, with all the protection, provision and privileges which that entails. Remembering the kind of Father we can come to will draw us to real prayer.
Consumers of mainstream news can be forgiven for believing that Germany is awash in refugees. The truth is that they are seldom seen on German streets, and that most Germans go about their lives without ever meeting a refugee. The refugees are there—1.2 million entered Germany last year—but they are out of sight, in what Germans infelicitously call "camps."
There are a multiplicity of reasons that isolation can creep into a Christian’s life, and not all of the open doors for isolation are sinful. A good job promotion can be the cause or a sick family member who requires much attention and care. There are sinful patterns that create isolation from the church as well, and obviously both the isolation and the root cause need to be addressed properly. As with many other sins, isolation from the church can sneak up on a family without notice.
Last year, I was the stereotypical millennial: I held three random part-time jobs and posted everything on the Internet. I had dropped out of school two years before for a job that I thought would be my career, and I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. I felt stuck and lost and like I was floating in the middle of the ocean with no sign of dry land. And while that feeling is absolutely terrifying, it forced me to stop and take inventory. Here are four things I learned from that year—my year of not having it all together:
The problem with this one particular message is that it sounds really good on the surface — and it even feels right. But when we dig deep into the true gospel, the “gospel of God” as it is often called, we will see that it misses entirely what we have been called to as saints of Christ Jesus. Here is their idea, summed up into one quotable phrase: “You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.”
We live in an age where “speaking your mind” is considered a virtue and a hailed as a sign of good leadership. But is this trait something the Bible commends? Should Christians be known for “speaking their mind?” There are several truths about our speech we should consider from Scripture:
Fifty years ago this month, Time magazine published one of its most famous and controversial covers. Splashed in bold red print across a black background was a short, simple and yet intensely provocative question: “Is God Dead?” While belief in God is strong in the United States, the number of people who no longer consider themselves to be part of any religious denomination or tradition has risen dramatically in recent decades.