Open Book
Light Bulb

culture vs. the search for truth

What if your teenage daughter suddenly declared herself transgender. Should you acquiesce with the activists’ claim that she’s mature enough for medical treatments that will permanently affect her health, fertility and future? Or, could she possibly be influenced by societal pressure?

Dr Lisa Littman (MD, Brown University) doesn’t have the answer. Transgender activists didn’t even want her to ask the question.
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what we believe, why it matters

What does it mean to be a Christian? Believers desperately need a clear, communal, global identity.

The heresy of 21stCentury Christianity is our exaggerated and distorted commitment to individual liberty. Many believers are so out-of-balance they’re indifferent towards the body of Christ. Believers who privately define Christianity and personally choose how to practice it, make the church a social club.
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timeless or temporary?

Recently, during Sunday Q&A, a couple of questioners asked how to tell the difference between what in the Bible was cultural and so temporary, and what is divine revelation and so timeless. It’s a question Christ-followers ought always be prepared to answer.

The Bible recounts practices that were cultural and so temporary: animal sacrifice, head-coverings, polygamy, religious warfare, etc. The Bible also claims to record divine revelations: creation, divine mercy via Jesus, the fatherhood of God, kingdom of heaven, etc.
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church leadership cover-up

Last week a Pennsylvania grand jury published a 900-page report detailing sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by 300 Roman Catholic priests over a 70 year time-period. The grand jury details the victims’ horrific stories. It also documents the carefully managed coverup by the highest levels of the US Catholic Church.

Forensic accounts of priests raping the sons and daughters of Christ remind me of Judas. Not even
Dante’s Inferno imagined crimes as sacrilegiously perverse. In the majority of cases the victims were adolescent males, but boys and girls as young as 7yrs-of-age were sexually abused by men trusted as representatives of Christ.

~ Adapted from an article by Prof. Pecknold, Catholic University of America ~ Read More…

#metoo hits the church

This month, the entire leadership of Willow Creek Community Church resigned. It was sudden. It was unexpected. It was necessary.

40 years ago a twenty-something youth pastor and a bunch of creative Christ-followers launched the seeker-sensitive movement in a rented movie theater. Bill Hybels, their leader, would become a church-growth rock star.
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this is on us

North Platte, Nebraska is an isolated town of 24,000. Throughout World War 2 soldiers, sailors and aviators traveling towards combat rode troop trains through North Platte where the Union Pacific Railroad made stops to take on water.

The townspeople (1940’s population 12,000) made those stops special. Starting in December 1941, they welcomed every troop train—up to 23 a day. Volunteers greeted 3,000-5,000 soldiers a day with sandwiches and gifts, music and even dances. Every day of the war, townspeople were at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier.
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human identity & divine authority

Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, earned accolades for his marriage sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markel. We do indeed underestimate the power of love. We doubt its effectiveness. All people are precious in His sight. Read More…

We Hold These Truths

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

July 2, 1776 the thirteen British colonies in America voted unanimously (the New York delegation abstaining—awaiting instructions from their legislature) to “dissolve the connection” from the Kingdom of Great Britain—adopting a
Declaration of Independence. Read More…

Syrians at a Seder

Adapted from an article by Masada Siegel a freelance writer covering international affairs and travel:

“Germany is where I met Saqib. While working a trade show in Frankfurt with my dad in 2011, a man walked over from a nearby booth: ‘I am Saqib from Syria. It’s a country in the Middle East next to Lebanon.’
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Memorial Day

To honor Memorial Day this past Sunday we introduced our open prayer time with the video Mansions of the Lord. It’s lyrics mourn the loss and brokenness of war, while honoring soldiers with the hope of “divine embrace, eternal light in the mansions of the Lord.” I was surprised to learn this is a recent hymn, composed in 2002 for the movie We Were Soldiers. Read More…

making your kids suicide bombers

Dita & Puji Kuswanti and their four children went to church last Sunday in Surabaya, Indonesia. Actually, they went to three churches. But they didn’t go to worship. The Jakarta Post reports they went as suicide bombers.

At 6:30am teenage sons Yusuf and Alif, age 18 and 16, rode their motorcycle into the Santa Maria Catholic church, detonating their suicide bomb as early mass concluded. Five people in the church were killed.
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two queens

This is not about trans-sexuals. It’s about Queen Esther—more particularly her immediate, deposed predecessor Queen Vashti. The Old Testament book of Esther is rather strange. God is not mentioned. The author is familiar with Persia; Israel not so much. It records events among Jews who chose to remain in exile rather than return to Israel. Its hero, Esther, becomes Queen of Persia via sexual favors to the king. Read More…