Engaging the CultureTweet
Posted 3/24/13 at 6:29 PM | George W. Sarris |
I was saddened to learn of Rob Bell's decision to affirm Gay marriage.
It was particularly disheartening for me because I believe in God’s never-ending love for all. Bell came out as a sort-of-spokesman for that view with his book, Love Wins. His support for Gay marriage, however, adds fuel to the idea that all who hope for an ultimate restoration of God’s entire creation are "liberal" and don't base their beliefs on the true teaching of Scripture or find support for it in the historic teachings of the Christian Church.
I don’t fault Bell for his desire to promote more love . . . more fidelity . . . more monogamy . . . and more people who are committed to each other. Those are clearly Biblical themes that should resonate with all those who call themselves Christians.
I don’t fault Bell for questioning the “teaching of the elders” in his desire to awaken a lethargic Church to its true mission of reaching out to needy people with the message of God’s love for all. That is a message that Jesus communicated to those in authority in His day who arrogantly boasted of how they alone knew what God really wanted. Jesus told them to “go and learn what this means – I desire mercy, not sacrifice!” FULL POST
Posted 10/23/12 at 3:21 PM | George W. Sarris |
Yogi Berra once famously said,
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
That is definitely true when it comes to politics. Things often change very dramatically in a very short period of time. However, I’m still going to make a prediction about the outcome of the current presidential election that I think will prove to be true.
Mitt Romney won the election in last night’s debate.
Most of the media coverage leading up to the debate predicted an all-out fight, with both of the contenders in attack mode. After all, this was a foreign policy debate. Romney would certainly assail President Obama on his handling of Libya . . . and Afghanistan . . . and Iran. But, that didn’t happen. Romney didn’t attack. He pointed out differences. And, he also pointed out areas of agreement. He did something that this country has not seen in a very long time.
The Real Issue FULL POST
Posted 9/25/12 at 2:30 PM | George W. Sarris
I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am a registered Independent.
I voted for John McCain in 2008, but I was not unhappy when I learned that Barack Obama won the election. I was glad that the country made the historic step of voting in an African American to the highest office in the land. I was hoping that he would succeed in providing a good role model as a husband, father, and wise leader – especially for many in America’s inner cities who don’t have strong male role models in their homes.
I listened to some of the speeches given at this year's Republican National Convention, and I listened to some of the speeches given at this year's Democratic National Convention. As expected, some in each were powerful and delivered well. Others fell flat. They occurred at political nominating conventions, so I expected them to be partisan.
As I look out at the landscape of this country right now and try to understand what is the best course for us to take in the future, three things really concern me. FULL POST
Posted 8/8/12 at 11:42 AM | George W. Sarris |
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth!
That is not a very controversial statement among Christians. Whether they believe in Special Creation or some kind of Theistic Evolution, most sincere Christians agree that God did it. The controversy, of course, revolves around questions relating to how He did it. Did He create by divine fiat? Or, did He use the mechanism of evolution to bring the universe and all of its complexities into being?
I have discussed this issue on numerous occasions with friends I consider sincere, dedicated, thoughtful Christians who disagree with me – and often with one another – on the “how” question. Most of those discussions have been civil dialogues where we have been free to state our cases clearly and challenge one another directly. Perhaps the most amazing outcome from these conversations is that we are still friends! FULL POST
Posted 7/26/12 at 11:26 AM | George W. Sarris |
I read with interest Jerry Newcombe’s article, Whatever Happened to Hell? posted June 19 in the Opinion section of ChristianPost.com. It was apparently written a day before the Colorado shooting.
In the article, Newcombe mentioned with chagrin the republishing into paperback of Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins – which he considered
. . . a major seller that for all practical purposes denies Hell (or the import of it). What makes this more difficult to stomach is that it was written by "an evangelical pastor."
By placing the reference to Bell as an evangelical pastor in quotes, he clearly questioned the legitimacy of that identification. Newcombe explained in the next paragraph that Bell did not actually deny that Hell exists, but that
. . . he denies essentially that any people will go there. FULL POST
Posted 7/19/12 at 2:37 PM | George W. Sarris |
Would you be willing to take a 6 question survey about your thoughts on Heaven and Hell?
That was the question I asked people sitting in front of the Public Library in New York City on two different days last week.
As you can imagine if you’ve ever been in New York, a lot of people said “No” even before I asked the question. Others were visitors from other countries – some spoke English, some did not. One elderly couple was visiting from Israel. A man and his two daughters were from Columbia. A woman visiting from London thought it was very interesting. And, another who was born in Russia but had lived in New York for the last 20 years, looked forward to an opportunity to freely share her thoughts.
It was clearly an unscientific survey, but I wanted to see what “real” people “really” thought about the afterlife, since death – and not even taxes – is the only thing we can actually be sure of in life!
Interest in the Afterlife
There has been much discussion recently about Heaven and Hell.
On July 6, 2012, Barbara Walters hosted a 2-hour special on ABC's 20/20 entitled, Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There? In it, she interviewed people from many different faith backgrounds on their beliefs in Heaven. She touched on the issue of Hell at the end of the program. According to the website TVByTheNumbers, it was the top rated network program for the evening for adults 18-49. It beat out NBC's Dateline, as well as reruns of CSI:NY on CBS, Bones on Fox, and Supernatural on CW. FULL POST
Posted 6/29/12 at 12:21 PM | George W. Sarris |
Are Evangelical Christians allowed to think for themselves and question the “tradition of the elders” in their pursuit of truth?
According to Christian Post Reporter Napp Nazworth’s article about theologian Peter Enns’ observation that Young Evangelicals Want to Rethink What it Means to Be Evangelical, the answer may actually be an emphatic “No!” – at least, not without being called a heretic . . . or a wolf . . . or a false teacher.
Many within the Evangelical movement today – and not just those who are young – have honest questions about what the Bible actually teaches on various issues. Many within the movement, however, are extremely reticent to engage in any significant form of dialogue on those issues. They feel they have received a tradition from the elders that should not be questioned. FULL POST
Posted 6/21/12 at 1:39 PM | George W. Sarris |
By George W. Sarris
When was the last time you had lunch with a real “sinner?”
I don’t mean someone who disagrees with you on a theological issue, or is a member of a different church or denomination, or smokes and drinks beer or wine (assuming you don’t), or has an attitude you don’t like. I mean someone whose lifestyle and value system are clearly in conflict with the standards of Scripture.
I ask that question because Jesus had meals with “sinners” quite often!
He was maligned by those who opposed Him as a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.
When Matthew answered the call to follow Jesus, he held a great banquet for Jesus at his house – at which time many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.
As He told the parable of the lost sheep, the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear him – to which the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” FULL POST
Posted 6/11/12 at 1:49 PM | George W. Sarris |
By George W. Sarris
“It's sin not to like the true doctrine of election. It's sin not to like what God likes.”
So states John Piper in a post dated June 4, and prominently displayed for over a week on the front page of ChristianPost.com
Dr. Piper’s logic is correct. It is ultimately a sin not to like what God in fact likes. However,his premise is wrong.
If he had said that it is sin not to like the true Biblical doctrine of election, I would not have been nearly as concerned. As I pointed out in a previous blog post, the Biblical teaching on God’s sovereign purpose in election is not referring to election to salvation. Rather, it is referring to God’s election to service of those He has chosen to be His instruments. FULL POST
Posted 6/8/12 at 11:45 AM | George W. Sarris |
By George W. Sarris
I am not for abortion . . . I am for Women’s Rights! I want to see an end to sex discrimination and a raising up of the status of women! Abortions should be safe, legal, and rare. . . . Every abortion is a tragedy, but . . .
How many times have we heard pro-choice politicians tell the American people that their desire to defend a “woman’s right to choose” is motivated by an even deeper desire to end sex discrimination and make this tragic procedure as infrequent as possible?
No matter what their rhetoric . . . it’s all a lie!
The defeat on May 31 of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act in the House – a bill that would have made abortion for the specific purpose of sex-selection illegal – made that very clear. Those who voted against the bill were not interested in making abortion rare. And, they were certainly not seeking to end sex discrimination or defend women’s rights . . . at least, not the right for women to exist! FULL POST