Human beings by nature are divisive. We like to categorize, control, and push away those who do not act or look like we do. The Church is meant to reflect a level of unity that puts the world on notice, and certify that the return of the everlasting King of the universe is immanent. We are intended to be a visible, physical representation of the kingdom of heaven. So the question then becomes, why are we so divided? Within American Christianity there are over 1,500 different denominations and world-wide there are as many as 41,000. That’s right; this is how many denominations there are in Christianity alone, not religions in the world.
Well I asked and you guys delivered, so here we go. This week I am writing on the topic of how we speak to one another, not only as brothers and sisters in the faith but also in how we dialogue with other people in general. Now I had always known that scripture had quite a bit to say on this topic, but I had underestimated how much it had to say. So without writing a book…I am going to focus on one or two texts in particular and go from there.
Sunday morning has been called by many, “The most segregated hour in America.” There was a time I would have vehemently denied such a remark…that time no longer exists. If you remember last week, I wrote about how in Michigan 8.2 miles separates a poverty stricken area from one of the most affluent communities in the country. I also made the observation that when you go to churches in those areas that you are likely to see a community that reflects the area in which is presides. This observation is confirmed by a study carried out by Lifeway Research and published January of this year.
It is amazing to me how good we are at deceiving ourselves. One moment we are doing something we should not be and in the next moment acting as if the previous moment never occurred. Seeing things for what they are rather than how we’d like them to be can be a challenge. Every man who committed an evil act began in that act with good intentions. Hitler wanted to see the German people be proud in being German again. His love for his people, and his culture drove him to madness. He is now considered the most evil man of the 20th century if not the most evil man to have ever walked the face of the earth. Hitler had deceived himself into thinking that his actions were right, despite the physical evidence proving that they were not.
Satan is winning . . . and we are letting him. It’s a sad reality that I for one am ashamed to admit, but it is a true statement nonetheless. If there is anything Satan is good at, it is accentuating our current flaws and taking advantage of them while they are at their most potent. Human beings are naturally sectarian . . . we are naturally afraid of things that aren’t familiar to us, that don’t make sense to us.
I usually don’t react to articles. I usually work through whatever God has on my heart or answer a question that one of my readers has sent to me, but today I am reacting to an article that in my mind could become dangerous if not corrected (which is the reason for my interaction with it). The article entitled, “8 Signs You Are Under Spiritual Attack” published on Charismamag.com. I am going to try to lay out for you how I am going to approach this: first I am going to identify what spiritual warfare is not; then I am going to identify what spiritual warfare does look like; and thirdly I am going to give some tips on how to do combat with the enemy.
Since my call to Christ some 15 years ago, I have heard many different ideas and concepts about death. Many of these ideas are ones that ascribed to for most of my life. Death is an uneasy topic…a topic that will quite literally send some out of a room faster than any other topic of conversation. It is…morbid…a thing that no person truly likes to talk about because…well it is inevitable.
Growing up in a church that was more “traditional”, I have had my fair share of soul searching regarding its usefulness. I have wavered back and forth throughout the years going from anti-tradition to tradition super freak and then back again countless times. I am finally at a place of stability after years of prayers and study. Growing up my family went to a United Methodist Church. Why there? Well my mom made the decision and she grew up Southern Baptist in the 60-70’s…I think that pretty much sums it up.
A few posts earlier I made some comments about my hopes and dreams for my now newborn son—what I wanted him to become, what I wanted to instill in him. I am not a person taken back by much. I have seen my fair share of tragedy, heartache, joy, and elation, but I never expected this. Many friends who are already parents had told me how immediate the love for their child was; how when they were born it was literally love at first sight.
My favorite day of the year is upon us…a day that I am surprised is not more important and more celebrated by Christians everywhere. Sure, we go to a service…but are we really celebrating what has occurred in the tomb? Is going to a service and going to a family member’s house for dinner really what Easter is about…or is there something more. Having a son…I am trying to think on ways that he can understand the importance of Easter.
You know, submission is not a word that we like in our society. It is not a word that sounds like it denotes freedom and the pursuit of happiness. It is a word that pushes us to place ourselves behind others in priority and to consider others needs before our own. Obedience is another word that is not very popular, one that makes most people shutter at its very thought.
Transgenderism once called Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and most recently renamed Gender Dysphoria is defined as a person with, “…a strong desire to be the opposite sex.”(Young, 1999).
Your question pertains to the final bit of this chapter where Jesus quotes from Psalm 118:22-23 and then interprets its meaning. Remembering the section right before this where Jesus excludes the religious elite from the kingdom He then goes on to state that the kingdom will be “taken away from you.” Who is the “you” in this sentence…is it the religious elite again…or is he speaking to the wider audience?
In our modern world, a word like extremism will turn heads. It is a “buzz” word that immediately identifies someone who has gone too far regarding an ideal, thought process, or worldview. Most common within our society is this word’s association with Islamic organizations like ISIS, Hamas, and Al Qaeda.
The further in my walk with the Lord I have come…the longer I have recognized that God’s calling upon our lives is a difficult thing. We are not called to live comfy lives, where our comfort zones are not breached and we are not stretched to a limit that we never thought ourselves capable of baring.
It is amazing isn’t it? To see how easily distracted we become when in the midst of another activity. It is almost as if it is nearly impossible for a person to only do one task at a time now a days.
In just a few weeks, my wife will give birth to our first child. As time has gone by I have thought more and more on the things I will be teaching him, and the ways I will be teaching him.