Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

Redeeming Words

My new blog project exists to redeem Christian terminology from misuse and misunderstanding.

Check it out: Redeeming Words

God is Beautiful!

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Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple. (ESV)

I think all of us who profess faith in Christ would agree that beauty is an attribute of God. But do we know what that even means?

The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines it like this:

the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit

The Hebrew word from which it is translated, including similar words, indicate pleasantness, loveliness, and delight. I tend to miss all of that. Typically, I think the beauty of the Lord is some elusive thing that I can’t ever really know. Sometimes I think it’s not even worth finding out. Maybe we just don’t talk about enough. But in this Psalm, David says that he’d like to gaze upon it for ever. Wow!
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Keep Staying Tuned

Boy, time surely does fly! It’s almost February and I’m still not ready for the re-launch. But I’m close. So, in the meantime, I’ve got a semi-re-launch here, with a a bit of a new look and the riddance of some dead weight (TJ). Don’t worry, TJ and I are still friends! This was a mutual agreement and he’ll be back periodically as a contributor. 

Here’s a video that’s probably already made its rounds in the blogosphere, but provides some strong commentary by John Piper:

Encouraging Sunday Video, 12.21.08

A friend of mine gave me the book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan and it was a tremendous exhortation that I desperately needed. I see the hand of God as He is raising servants in this day for His glory. Pastor Chan is one of those whom God has gifted to speak a specific message to the church in America. His message of avoiding a lukewarm Christian life and being totally wrapped up in love for God is backed by his sacrificial life and the sacrifices to which he calls his church.

Keeping Christ in Christmas: Another Worldly Distraction

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A couple of years ago, I went to K-Mart during the Christmas season to see for myself just how anti-Christian things have become. As I stood back looking at the Christmas trees, I was amazed. I was angry. Every single box that contained a tree that would be used for nothing other than celebrating Christmas was labelled a “holiday tree.”

How dare K-Mart refuse to acknowledge my faith! How dare other secular companies change “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings!” This is all an example of secular society being so. . .so. . .so. . secular! And we Christians must stand up and do something about it. We must “Keep Christ in Christmas!” Right?

well. . .

That’s what I used to think. And that’s what many Christians seem to be devoting their time and energy to this time of year. Just recently I was invited to join a Facebook group called “Keep Christ in Christmas.” On the opposing side, groups like the ACLU somehow seemed concerned with not giving Christ the preeminence during this holiday or any other time. 

It’s obvious there’s a war going on. In particular, some have called this the War on Christmas. At large, we can classify this under the Culture Wars. But as with Proposition 8, I am prone to wonder: is this a battle in which Christians ought to fight? Or is this a worldly distraction? A soldier of Jesus Christ is not to be entangled with the affairs of this world (II Timothy 2:4). I’m afraid that’s exactly what the “Keeping Christ in Christmas” outrage is all about.

Before we choose to exhaust our God-given time and energy to any cause, we must consider if it is worthy. I pray that you would consider the following questions concerning this particular case.

Questions about Keeping Christ in Christmas:

1. Is there any biblical warrant for Christians to demand that society pay homage to Christianity?

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Dirt Devils and the Appearance of Evil

ddlogoSitting on a table in my bedroom is one of those ultra chic Dirt Devil Kones that was given to me as a gift after I had expressed my fondness for it at a department store. It is pretty cool, but it has an annoying light that stays on for as long as you have the vacuum plugged into its base. So I have to make sure it’s not connected. Oh, and I really don’t use it.

Anyway, a new believer recently asked me if it was evil for a Christian to own a Dirt Devil. His inquiry had nothing to do with the fact that I owned one – he has no idea. But he was very sincere. He wondered if owning such a brand was “marketing the devil.” 

I sympathize with that kind of sensitivity. I believe that all Christians are called to be careful to please God in every area of life. We are to abhor the evil and cling to the good. But there has to be a point in which our standards enter into the arena of ridiculous. I’d hate to live life with the Pharisaic attitude that everything is unclean and unworthy of my acceptance while I make sure that I tithe from my spice rack. Things ought to be considered, but should ever tying be so super-analyzed? I mean, if we begin to try to find every minutia of godlessness in every kind of product, we’d be forced to throw it all away.

I realize, though, that this isn’t just a problem with new believers. Seasoned Christians can oftentimes make rash decisions but they attempt to back them up scripturally. I want to make sure to say on the onset here that I’m not opposed at all to anybody’s personal standards for living. The problem comes when those standards are imposed on others and used as a basis for judgment. One of the most popular verses from the Bible to support a hyper-sensitive position on personal holiness is:

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

The argument made from this verse is that we ought never do anything that appears as though it is evil. Does that mean the Bible says I can’t own a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner?

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