The word “cult” has many connotations and many definitions, from harmless fan clubs, to dangerous systems of religious beliefs and rituals. But, I think the best definition of a dangerous religious “cult” that should be avoided by Christians is… Exclusive. They may say, “We’re the only ones with the truth; everyone else is wrong; and if you leave our group your salvation is in danger.” Secretive. Certain teachings are not available to outsiders or they’re presented only to certain members, Continue reading Who is a cult?
The Apostle Paul closes his first letter to a fledgling church with these final exhortations. This letter was written after Timothy returned with mostly good news about their spiritual growth in the Lord. It is full of thanksgiving to God for the faith, love, and hope of the new church. It also contains things he didn’t have time to teach them. It answers their questions about the future resurrection and rapture. And, it contains strong rebukes against sexual immorality and Continue reading Final exhortations to a fledgling church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22)
The Hebrew Scriptures teach endurance to live in complete harmony with each other Jesus Christ puts a strong emphasis on the importance of harmony in the church. Read A Modern-Day Parable of Romans 14 (How to avoid conflicts in the church) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 NIV) According to Merriam-Webster, endurance is defined to be the ability to withstand hardship Continue reading The teaching and example of the Hebrew Scriptures — live in complete harmony with one another
Some psalms are called wisdom psalms because they make a case for the primary importance of wisdom or instruct readers in dealing with questions, issues, and doubts that arise in life (see Pss 1, 14, 25, 34, 37, 39, 49, 73, 78, 90, 91, 111, 112, 127, 128, 131, 133, 139). Many other psalms contain elements of wisdom teaching (see Pss 18, 27, 31, 32, 40, 62, 92, 94, 107, 144, 146). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms Continue reading Psalms of instruction in wisdom and the blessing of the wise life
Self-righteousness is the sin of justifying yourself. It comes in 2 different forms: Cain tried to hide his feelings of inadequacy and jealousy by being proud of his accomplishments, which didn’t work, and eventually caused him to murder his brother (Genesis 4) Nebuchadnezzar was so proud of his accomplishments that he believed he was greater than the power and glory of God, which cost him everything until he was humbled (Daniel 4) The first is a sad hypocritical attempt to Continue reading What about self-righteousness? (the damnable sin of justifying yourself)
There are 3 different perspectives among Christianity. Part of each perspective is absolutely true. But, as always, the truth is more nuanced and more complicated than any one of these individual perspectives. We will try to present the perspectives and leave it between you and the Holy Spirit to lead your conscience to make choices for your situation. The history of Halloween is easily researched in any dictionary, encyclopedia, or simple web search… Halloween – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwiːn, Continue reading Should Christians celebrate Halloween?
I was sitting out on the porch with my wife not long ago watching the rain and enjoying the natural beauty of nature, much of which she had added by her gardening knowledge and special touch. Many times, we’ve enjoyed our mornings together this way, drinking coffee and sharing thoughts. Twelve years ago hundreds of our trees were majorly damaged by a downdraft tornado, completely destroying the beauty that God and my wife had given to our little backyard getaway. But over time, with Continue reading Imagine a place where fellowship grows
For two or three years I have been contemplating the question of why so many of God’s Children struggle to have peaceful fellowship among themselves. What are the strongholds that keep the Lord’s family from functioning in loving harmony and accepting one another as Christ has accepted each of his children? Rom. 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. What is it that causes the hard-line adherence to the minor issues Continue reading Satanic Strongholds through False Concepts versus Walking by Faith
Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. (John 17:20-21) Jesus Prayed for you, but most Christians have not answered that prayer. They have splintered into thousands of groups, sects, divisions, schisms, churches, and denominations. They have Continue reading When Jesus prayed for you to be one; that the world will believe
Prayers are an important part of Christian life. They are worship, supplication, and confession; therefore, we don’t want them to be hindered. (See 3 requirements for effectual fervent prayer: ask, seek, and knock) If you don’t want your prayers hindered, stop doing these ten things. 1) Prayers are hindered by lack of love All the virtue that is saving, and that distinguishes true Christians from others, is summed up in Christian love. When that love is missing or corrupted, then our Continue reading 10 Ways Prayers are Hindered (#5 is Shocking)