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Perspective

Allowing Others Their Christian Liberty

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nunChristian liberty is the least understood and the least practiced doctrine in the Bible. I cannot prove this, of course, but based upon years of experience I believe it.

Christian liberty is the biblical teaching that once we become a believer in Christ God entrusts us with the opportunity and responsibility to make decisions about how we live. That is, he gives us the Bible as our means of knowing his moral will, then he wants us to decide what we do, what we don’t do, what practice we embrace, what practice we reject.

The Key Concept

     God gave us principles to live by. His Word presents certain moral absolutes, commands for our good requiring our obedience. These absolutes are the non-negotiables of Scripture, the will of God that does not change with culture, person or persona, gender, age, race, ethnicity, or our lifestyle inclinations. Included in this list are the big ones: idolatry, murder, lying, adultery, theft, and a few more. God’s list isn’t that long, really, but each “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” is critical to our wellbeing and we ignore them at our own peril.

A Celebration of Irrationality

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rightorwrong We live in an irrational age. Pretty much people do what they want to do, when they want to do it, with whom they want to do it. This sounds good. Sounds like freedom, actually.

But what we’re doing doesn't add up. No matter if you measure by history, religion, moral philosophy, nature, or common sense, the answer is the same: a lot of what we’re doing is irrational.

Why? Because so much of what we’re doing jettisons concern for “right” or “wrong,” defies faith and reason, and is disconnected from reality. This is the very definition of irrational.

Freedom is a wonderful thing, a blessing and a gift from God to the human race. But freedom works best guided by belief in God, individual responsibility, and personal accountability, moral concerns that remind us that life is best when lived within divine parameters. The Scripture says it thusly: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).

Facing Evil, The Boston Marathon

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runPeriodically, we look evil in the face. The Boston Marathon bombings are the latest sickening evidence evil exists and is all too alive and well.

No matter who we are, or what kind of character with which we live, evil intrudes, either from within our own hearts or from the hearts of others. It crashes in without regard for life or limb, without sensitivity or restraint, and without conscience or compassion. It’s just evil. It maims and kills and destroys. Its end is death.

President Obama said, “Make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

Understanding Evil

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evilEvil exists. We’re reminded of this each time another tragic—avoidable—incident hits the news.

“Mass killings” come to mind, a phrase now part of our national consciousness and the cultural lexicon. All we need do is say certain words and it all comes rushing back: Columbine, 9/11, Nickel Mines Amish school, Virginia Tech, Norway’s Utoya Island, Clackamas, Sandy Hook. And mass killings are only one form of evil. There are many more.

Evil also exists worldwide, of course. Killing, pain and suffering, grief and tears occur everyday in the Syrian civil war, Mexican drug war, Burma internal disputes, Pakistan and Afghanistan wars, to name only a few.

Safe at Home

Written by Editor on . Posted in Perspective

safe I survived Y2K, the Mayan end of the world has passed, the ball’s dropped, and I’m looking at another blank calendar wondering what the New Year holds.

Unfortunately, January 1st is also a day that goes down in infamy. All my New Year’s plans typically end up on the bottom of the ocean of my daily tasks and demanding schedule in just a few weeks. Yet I love getting a new start, and the first of the year is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and pen a few new goals.

Why Christians Should Behave Like Dogs

Written by Editor on . Posted in Perspective

sunglassesWhat’s hairy all over and smells like corn chips? No, this isn’t a joke. I’m referring to a leader (of sorts) I work alongside every day. She keeps my feet warm, lifting her head to meet my gaze, tail a-thumping when I call her name.

Zoe. And Maddy. There are two of them, actually, who accompany me to my home office, listening to the tap, tap of my hands across the computer keyboard, wondering when I’ll be done, watching me with anticipation perchance I ask, “Wanna go outside?”

They are great dogs—sweet, gentle. Yet they know they’ve got me wrapped around their little paws. The influence they exert on our family is tremendous. Christians would be wise to observe and learn from them.

Let's talk about Life Stories

Written by Editor on . Posted in Perspective

emergencyIt’s here!

A clean slate--a fresh start--a new year! The pilgrims’ journey continues, but with a hearty joie de vivre as a new canvas, a fresh page, beckons with a sense of adventure, anticipation, and exhilaration. Just what do we do with a happy, new year? First ask, “How does God want me to use this God-given blessing--this gift?”

Travelers we are! Our lifestory is created step-by-step. Another word for lifestory might be legacy, a written biography or autobiography. Mark Twain observed, “Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man--the biography of the man cannot be written.” We see that thought expressed in Scripture: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16: 7b).

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