How did we get here?

July 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Have you ever had a moment to stop and look at your life? Have you ever stopped, examined your life and where you are, and wondered: How did I get here? I’ve done that a few times and it’s always been eye-opening. I never seem to have been where I thought I was. Sometimes I was further along than I thought and other times I wasn’t as far along as I expected. As I looked back on the path that I trod to get where I was, when I began studying where I walked, I could easily see the things that had gotten me off track. Things like disobedience, willful blindness, and sin led me off of the narrow path and out into the weeds. Because of my lack of diligence or awareness I had to work harder to get back on the path. I had to push through painful thorns and cut through the vines of worldliness that were trying to hold me down and choke me out. Through God’s grace alone, I am here. I’m cut up, bruised, and worn out, but I’m here. As I was pondering these things, I couldn’t help but wonder if the body of Christ has ever done this. I can think of one time when I would say this happened, but other than that, I don’t think that something like this has ever taken place. I wonder why? Does the church not see where it is? Do they not care where they are going? Or are they afraid of what they’ll find? Regardless of the reason, I think that the church would benefit from taking a little time to look at where it is in the face of the state of the world. Continue Reading How did we get here?…

Newslinks 03/28/10

March 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Catholic hospitals endorse Obamacare
A group representing Catholic hospitals Saturday rallied behind President Barack Obama’s health care bill ahead of a House vote in which pro-life lawmakers could play a decisive role.

Ohio upholds law, protects children from porn
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld part of a state law designed to protect children from obscenity on the Internet.

Indiana student sues to stop prayer
The top-ranked senior at a suburban Indianapolis high school is asking a federal judge to stop a graduation prayer that the class voted to approve.

Iowa rep fights for personhood
A move to add a personhood amendment to the state constitution is under way in Iowa.

Poll: Abortion Support Falling among Young Adults
Over the last 20 years, support for legal abortion has continued to drop among young adults, a new Gallup poll shows. Continue Reading Newslinks 03/28/10…

Divided We Stand?

April 7, 2008 at 9:18 am | Posted in Christianity | 3 Comments
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In the body of Christ today there are many denominations of churches. There are Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of Christ, Calvinists, Nazarene, Seventh Day Adventist, Non-Denominational, and Interdenominational churches. Within these denominations there are further splits. For instance, in the Baptist denomination, you have the Baptists, Southern Baptists, Missionary Baptists and others. In the Methodist denomination you have the Methodists, United Methodists, First United Methodists, etc. There are many other denominations that I haven’t even listed!

 

Why all the denominations? What is the need for them? What is their purpose? Are they helping the body of Christ? Many of the denominations that started did so because someone disagreed with someone else about theology. This doesn’t mean that the disagreements were wrong. In fact, many of them are still being argued over today. But in the last few decades, many new denominations have arisen because people just want to do things their way. They try to be more “relevant” and culturally up to speed with the secular world. They have a theology that is very liberal and only loosely based on the Bible (if at all). Some of them even introduce ideas from other religions into their denomination!

 

Sadly, the large number of denominations in the body of Christ has been an excuse used by many for a reason not to become Christian. And, to some degree, I can see why. Which “denomination” has the correct truth? Is it the Catholic Church, which claims to have been the “Church” that was founded by Jesus in Matthew 16? Or is it the Lutheran Church, which came about because of Luther’s doctrinal and theological disagreements with the Catholic Church? What about the churches that say that the followers of their denomination are the only ones going to heaven? Do they have the “right” truth? The number of denominations in the body of Christ has been a major cause of grief for many outside the body. There are more and more people that are looking for the truth, but when they see this denomination’s truth and it contradicts that denomination’s truth, they not only turn their backs on both denominations, but they turn their backs on Christ as well. Because of the continued confusion for non-believers, many denominations have watched their attendance drop.

 

So, why are there so many denominations and what can we do about them? First, I’m not trying to knock any denominations. I know that there are scripturally sound churches in every denomination that treat the Word of God the way that it’s supposed to be treated. Sadly, these churches are becoming more and more scarce. I believe that the number of denominations is the direct result of the lack of understanding of God’s Word. I believe that as the body of Christ grew, instead of dealing with the disagreements according to what God said, the people involved handled it their own way and they either forced the disagreers out or they left on their own. Many, many churches today don’t teach God’s Word the way that He said it. They teach topical things that are “relevant”. The truth is, I don’t need “5 ways to a better job”, “3 steps to be spiritually fit”, or “30 days to a better sex life”. What I need is the truth of God, the way He said it. I need to understand what He said, in the context He said it, and I need to understand how to apply that to my life so that I become more like Him. Many today don’t do that though. They put themselves in authority over the Word and they change it to make it say what they want. Instead of letting the truth of the Word change them; they change the truth of the Word! They twist it and contort it so that it supports the point that they’re trying to make – and many in their congregations are clueless!

 

In Acts 17, Luke points out the Bereans because they listened to Paul’s preaching and then compared it to scripture “to see if it was so”. This isn’t happening in the majority of churches in the US! How do I know? Look at what’s being preached. Just looking at many of those who preach on TV, there is a great discrepancy between the “messages” given and the truth of the Word. It doesn’t matter if the message sounds good or they give a lot of scriptures to support it! If the scriptures don’t actually support what’s being said, then they made worthless. I have seen scripture notes of some pastors and have had the hardest time getting what was preached out of the scripture references listed. Why? Because they either don’t know how to study the Word, or they are trying to make scripture say what they want it to say instead of telling their congregations what God’s already said. My heart weighs heavy for these men and women. They call themselves shepherds but instead of leading people toward Christ they are leading them farther away.

 

But, why are there so many who don’t understand the truth of the Word? I believe that there are many reasons, but there are a few that stick out to me.

 

First, many don’t understand the truth because they spend their time looking for “deeper meanings”. I’ve had conversations with people who held to a doctrine that wasn’t scripturally sound and said that I didn’t see it because I wasn’t seeing the “deeper meaning”. We can’t be looking for a deeper meaning in scripture. I’m not saying that there aren’t any, but why don’t we work on reading and understanding the plain meaning first? If you read scripture and it says that God created in six 24-hour days, then that’s what it means! There’s no “deeper meaning” in that. That’s the plainest reading and that’s what was meant. I can’t help but think of the scripture “God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise”. People don’t need “deeper meanings”. The simple truth of God will change the life of the most hardened sinner, but WE’RE NOT GIVING IT TO THEM!

 

I believe that if every denomination were to turn back to the truth of the Word of God the way God said it, and stop trying to make it say what they want it to say, we would see a lot more things happen. First, we would see the denominations start to have a lot more in common than they did and the differences would be small indeed. Second, the body of Christ would be in a better position to do what it’s supposed to be doing because the energy being spent going against other denominations would be spent preaching God’s truth to the lost. We would see more people truly saved and changed instead of a large group of people who talk about being Christians but look nothing like what scripture says a Christian should. Our nation would change, as the secular world would be facing a united front of Christianity instead of a whole bunch of little pockets of Christians doing their own thing their own way. We would begin to see morality return to the nation, as those who claim to be Christian would actually be living it out and be examples for others.

I’m not trying to make a call for all Christians to become mimics of each other. God made us all with differences and we need to use those to our advantage. But, we need to have our lives based on the truth of the Word of God so that we rightly and honestly represent the risen Christ to a world that is in dire need of Him…


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