All posts tagged: politics

Why does God approve war and violance in the OT?


Frankly, parts of the Old Testament are sometimes difficult to accept, especially as they relate  to God’s character. Take his command to King Saul of Israel: “Now go, attack the Amalekites  and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women,  children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Samuel 15:3, TNIV). Camels and  donkeys? Children and infants? Or how about this statement regarding Israel’s destruction of  Jericho at God’s prompting: “They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword  every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys” (Joshua 6:21,TNIV)? Is the God of the Old Testament a lover of war and destruction? Is God a warmonger who  arbitrarily takes out his frustration? Reading certain passages, one could get this impression. This issue presents quite a challenge for Christians who have come to believe that love is the defining attribute of God. Even more so, these passages often propagate the doubts of non-Christians who are skeptical of God …

Celebrate Small Stuff


The great Michelangelo once sculpted a figure out of marble as his friend stood by and watched. Well, this friend of his left for a business trip and after a while he returned and didn’t really see any significant progress in the work that Michelangelo was doing. Upon hearing the criticism of his friend, Michelangelo told him that he had indeed done some work on the marble figure by softening certain parts, straightening the lips, defining the muscles and polishing here and there on the marble figure. To his surprise, his friend said that his efforts were trifle. But Michelangelo replied, Trifles they may be, but trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. Are you in the habit of celebrating the small things in your life? Do you stop and acknowledge how blessed you are? Marriages and relationships fail because spouses pay little or no attention to the little things. Believers live in fear and ingratitude because they fail to stop for a moment and count their blessings. New converts grow discouraged and sometimes …

The Most Influential Evangelist You’ve Never Heard Of


The Most Influential Evangelist You’ve Never Heard Of by BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY Listen to the Story All Things Considered [9 min 8 sec] transcript EnlargeHarry Cabluck/AP Republican activist David Barton speaks before testifying before the Texas State Board of Education in 2009. August 8, 2012 David Barton says Americans have been misled about their history. And he aims to change that. Cue The Tape: How David Barton Sees The World “It’s what I would call historical reclamation,” Barton explains, in his soft but rapid-fire voice. “We’re just trying to get history back to where it’s accurate. If you’re going to use history, get it right.” Barton has collected 100,000 documents from before 1812 — original or certified copies of letters, sermons, newspaper articles and official documents of the Founding Fathers. He says they prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas — something you never learn in school. For example, you’ve been taught the Constitution is a secular document. Not so, says Barton: The Constitution is laced with …

Oh how I hate small groups!


A few years ago I preached a message at a thriving church where I served on staff. It was at the time small groups were gaining momentum. Every church around the world and especially here in the USA was all about getting people of the same interest, same profession connected in the same group. Unfortunately, I began to notice that all the cool people were joining groups with  other cool people – you know, like some did in high school. And the not so cool people we being left out. So I preached on a passage from Romans 12:16: Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. After my message I was sent into the office of the big man on campus (senior pastor) where I was grilled for a few minutes. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to hang with like-minded folks, but if we really want to live in authentic community, we need to understand what community really …