“The Problem With American Christianity is…”

How often have you heard that begin a statement? Or maybe its in the form of a question or they will substitute “Christianity” with “church”.

It seems too often that message is muttered in different ways and the person saying it always has the answers.

I want to throw this out there, and there will be some irony in my message.

The problem with American Christianity is people telling others what’s wrong with American Christianity.

Rarely do you actually hear a person talk about their own flaws, commonly you hear about the flaws of others.

Rarely do you hear about the flaws and problems of a person’s own church or denomination, commonly you hear about the flaws and problems of other churches and denominations.

This leads to anger, resentment, sadness and a wide variety of negative feelings.

Also many planks in a person’s eye goes ignored as they attempt to address their brother’s. This gets in the way of their sanctification and spiritual growth with God.

I know all these things said to be true because it describes me!

I get so angry at others, I don’t understand why they don’t think a certain way or behave in a Christian manner.

Then I end up thinking ungodly thoughts and behaving in unchristian ways.

Lord have mercy on me and help me better.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Kings 8:1,6,10-11,22-30,41-43

Tuesday – Psalm 84

Wednesday – Ephesians 6:10-20

Thursday – John 6:56-69

Dealing with Hostility to God

Throwback Thursday. I really hadn’t done a lot of Bible study or apologetics study before this entry but I still think the entry holds up.

The Good Word

“There is no evidence for God”

“I don’t believe in imaginary Men in the Sky”

If someone tries to argue with them on the issue they say, “That’s a straw man argument!”

You ever see these comments? Any article that has anything to do with God always has these type of comments. They claim that there is no science to back up the existence of God. The entire universe isn’t enough. Every creature, every plant, every natural thing on this Earth serves a purpose.

We know that everything on Earth comes from something or someone but we are supposed to believe that the Universe comes from nothing and is completely random.

The mathematical possibility of such a thing occurring is laughable. They claim there is no scientific books on God, that is a lie. There are hundreds of books dedicated to the matter. Also look at some of the most…

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Be Warned Don’t Become The Wolf

We hear often that we must beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This a very true and important message found in scripture.

I’ve heard recently from a Pastor that a good Sheppard protects the flock from the wolves.

That is also true.

However when doing so a person must become mindful of their behavior and emotions.

I’ve seen this too many times, a person begins to become angry, hostile in their defense of God’s Word and the flock. They begin to mock, scoff and forget to call to repentance the person they’re targeting. Then before you know they’re more and more people they deem, “wolves” and “heretics”. Before you know it the line becomes blurred and there seems to be more wolves then sheep.

What seems to happen is the Sheppard now has become the wolf.

What then happens is only destruction and bloodshed. To the outsider looking in all they see is two wolves surrounded by destroyed sheep. Even worse the original wolf may looked like the victim and the one who was trying to defend the flock looks like the perpetrator.

So how does this become avoided?

We stand firm on God’s Word by having it in our hearts, minds and spirit. That way our hearts will resemble God’s, our minds will think like God’s mind and His Spirit will be guiding us along the way.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

Tuesday – Psalm 111

Wednesday – Ephesians 5:15-20

Thursday – John 6:51-58

Blessings Will Come

With everything going on right now, and in the past two years, I think this is the best entry for this week’s Throwback Thursday.

The Good Word

Remember God is always there.

Fear not He is with you in your suffering and anxiety, combat what is distressing you with the power of God.

Remember He will never forsake you.

Jesus told us our Father in Heaven values us more than the birds in the air who He provides for.

He also said He has a place prepared for us when we pass away.

God will take care of us on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Trust in Him, the blessings will come. You know this because He provided His grace so you’re already blessed!

Keep watch and look out the blessings can come from anywhere or from anyone.

The Lord will provide because He loves you.

Have a BLESSED week,
Chris

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Labels Can Be Burdensome

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people view the world, primarily how Christians view the world and it’s on going issues.

Despite all of us in the faith following the same Bible and the true and living God we seem to have a lot of different views points on things.

This leads to a lot of anger, frustration, resentment and even sadness in the Body of Christ. We get divided on these worldly topics and even claim that others are less Christian for taking the other side.

Now they’re some clear cut views on issues that as a Christian you should have but I’ve heard some outlandish accusations by Christians against other believers on issues that are not so clear cut. Often they will take scripture out of context to try and fit it into their world view or situation. That is both wrong and dangerous.

Specific examples of this would just be distracting from the point of this entry so instead I’ll focus on why I think this is happening.

It’s because of labels, labels can be burdensome.

Think about it, I’ll use myself as an example.

I’m a white, male, American, Christian who is mostly conservative.

Think about what comes with each of those labels, thoughts, behaviors, opinions. Some of them will contradict with each other and I will most likely look at things differently than someone of a different race, sex, nationality, political ideology or religion.

That’s not even going into upbringing, environment and other factors.

So what do you do about this? How do you not contradict yourself while you try and understand other people who are different than you?

You shed your labels and focus on the Kingdom of God. That may sound easier said than done. Believe me, I know it’s hard. Reading the Bible has convicted me many times, causing me to question my opinion and views.

As hard as it may be, think about how rewarding it would be to try and see the world like God does. How much a relief it would be to be able to have the focus on God?

What if instead of all those labels you can look at things as a child of God?

Redefine yourself. I’ll go first.

My name is Chris, I’m a child of God, a Christian who just happens to be white, who is also a man, who currently lives in the United States.

God help see the world like you.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Readings:

Monday – 2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33

Tuesday – Psalm 130

Wednesday – Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Thursday – John 6:35,41-51

Jesus loves the little children

The Good Word

Remember that song Jesus loves the little children?

Here is a selection from Matthew 18, it is verses 2-7, “2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through…

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More on Biblical Context

I have a follow up to last week’s blog about Biblical context.

I have an example that at I wish to discuss on one of the hot button topics in theology discussions, the topic is the Gifts of the Spirit.

The two biggest Gifts debated on is speaking in tongues and prophecy.

One side there is cessationists who believe tongues and prophecy are not for the day and then charismatics and continuationists think they’re for today. I mean this generally as many hold to different views.

In the Bible it says the Gifts will cease when the perfect comes. There is different views on this topic but that is not the point of my what I’m writing.

My point is looking to the Bible.

Personally I hold to the continuationists stand point because scripture doesn’t show the Gifts ceasing and I still see signs of the Holy Spirit doing great things through believers but I also see a lot of non-biblical behavior going on with how to seek after and utilize the Gifts.

Here is what the Bible says about the Gifts of Tongues and Prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:1-25,
“14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

6 Now, brothers,[a] if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider[b] say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign[c] not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”

It seems there is a lot of debate on the how and misuse in churches but it’s right in the Bible on what the Gifts are meant for and how to use them.

So that’s my example, now go read the Bible, it in itself is a gift from God.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

More on the gifts of the Spirit:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/gifts_of_the_spirit

Daily Readings

Monday – 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13

Tuesday – Psalm 51:1-12

Wednesday – Ephesians 4:1-16

Thursday – John 6:24-35

Another Look At Biblical Context

I’ve written before about the importance of knowing context in the Bible I am further reminded of this when I read discussions from other Christians about a wide variety of topics.

Sometimes I see Christians use select scripture and base their entire behaviors and beliefs on those few scriptures however if you do this you may be basing your beliefs and behaviors on something that is not correct because you didn’t read the entire chapter and understood the context. Many times people even read articles and books about scripture that has a few verses in the content but they don’t actually read the actual full content of the Bible.

This can be dangerous, people can manipulate scripture to make it sound the way they want. Some can abuse scripture and others can go their entire lives adamantly believing something only to be shocked to find out the Bible teaches something different than what they have been told. Worse their emotions might lead to them completely ignoring scripture because they’re attached to what they have been told.

It’s your job to read the scripture in it’s entirety, know God’s word not just part of it or your may not know God’s word at all.

I heard a Pastor named Michael Rowntree use an analogy, he said imagine if someone took a book and just picked parts of that book out of context in order to know what the book was about.

That would be a poor way of reading and understanding the story.

Now imagine doing that with the most important book in the world the Bible.

That is a wise thing to think about. 

Read the Word of God, know the Word of God and Love the Word of God.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Michael Rowntree’s Church: Wellspring Church: https://wellspringdfw.org/
Remnant Radio (He is a Co-Host of this show): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC31RZ-b3D1w452JLuzLVl4Q

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 2 Samuel 11:1-15

Tuesday – Psalm 14

Wednesday – Ephesians 3:14-21

Thursday – John 6:1-21