Make no mistake. The debate in North Carolina and across the nation is not first and foremost about rights for sexually bewildered people. To a certain extent, the discussion is not even about sexual privacy—although there is an obvious connection between that colorful topic and the ultimate issues. The real matter at stake is our culture’s constant rejection of God’s creation order and its blatant denial that God created us male and female—and then called that very good.
First, we take care of business that might get between us and the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s what Jesus’ earliest followers did. When Jesus left, an angel barked, “Why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky?” “So they left the mountain,” the story says, “and returned to Jerusalem,” to “the upper room they had been using as a meeting place.”
How do we provide greater educational opportunity? It’s not rocket science. It’s by lowering financial barriers to college. It’s by doing what we can to make sure the grandkids have the freedom to choose which college is best for them. We would hope that when it comes to making important decisions like which college to attend, finances would not be the only factor to consider. In fact, I would argue that it should barely be a factor at all. And having worked in the student financial aid field for much of my life, I speak from experience.
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.