Posted 8/27/14 at 10:34 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
(Do not miss the post script at the end.)
Don’t let anyone tell you there is no retirement in the Bible.
Church people will say that, of course, mostly in fun. “Preacher, the Bible doesn’t know anything about retirement.”
But they’re dead wrong.
Numbers 8:25 says, “At the age of fifty, (priests) shall retire from service in the work and not work any more.”
There it is, in black and white. I have no idea why the Lord stopped the service of these men so early, unless to give others a chance to serve.
Not that any servant of the Lord I know today is trying to play that card. These days, fifty is just the far edge of youth. You’re just getting started at fifty.
However, we post it here as a good-natured response to the smarties who insist that “retirement is not in the Bible.” (Be sure to smile when quoting Numbers 8:25.)
At any rate, it is entirely possible to retire from pastoring a church but to remain in ministry. In fact, that’s how it’s done.
We are always on duty for the Lord, whether anyone employs us or pays us a salary or not.
The day a pastor hangs it up and cleans out his office and turns it all over to the younger generation comes for all of us. I did that the first time at the age of 64 when I left the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Kenner, Louisiana, to become Director of Missions for the SBC churches of metro New Orleans. Five years later, I did it again, this time for good. FULL POST
Posted 8/27/14 at 9:44 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Wade Burleson
"Then the Lord spoke to Paul during the night in a vision, "Don't be afraid. Continue to speak of Me, and don't go quiet; for I am with you, and no one will be able to stop you or harm you, for I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-10)
Paul is in Corinth, a magnificent Grecian city known for its wealth. The Corinthians loved their luxuries, and were renowned for their 'anything goes' lifestyles. Paul seems to have been the first person to tell the Corinthians about Jesus. The response to Paul's message seemed favorable at first, but it wasn't long before Paul became the target of violent opposition. He appears to have become greatly discouraged by the Jews hatred and the Gentiles' vice; both of which he was seemingly unable to effect. He was almost ready to give up his evangelism efforts and move to another city. FULL POST
Posted 8/26/14 at 2:35 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
My high school years were pretty disastrous – not just academically but morally and spiritually too. As I look back, I take a large part of the blame for that; I made so many wrong and foolish decisions about friends, money, relationships, media, and entertainment. I ended up leaving school one year early, and it wasn’t until my early twenties, after I was converted, that education became so important to me. A late starter, you might say.
However, I believe I can honestly say that the education system was partly to blame for my 12 year educational wilderness – with one or two exceptions, the subjects, the teachers, and the style of teaching were just so utterly boring and totally impractical.
When I look back, I can hardly believe what we wasted our time upon: FULL POST
Posted 8/26/14 at 10:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Stephen Altrogge
Is it just me, or has the whole Christian dating / courting / dorting thing become really, really complicated?
When Josh Harris wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye, he had good intentions. He was reacting against the casual, recreational, aimless dating that had come to dominate the American landscape. He was trying to help young men and women stop hurting each other through the endless hooking up, breaking up, hooking up, breaking up, etc. Like I said, good intentions, good impulse. I’m grateful for Josh.
But, as we are so prone to do, we took good principles and distorted them and distilled them into a series of unhelpful / legalistic practices. Dating / courting has turned into an elaborate set of unwritten rules which must be followed to the letter, no matter what the circumstances. A guy must ask a girl’s dad first, then the guy must ask the girl, then the girl must say yes, then the couple can start seeing each other IN GROUPS (!). If things go well for the first eight months or so, the couple may or may not be allowed to spend semi-unsupervised time together and possibly even (GASP!) hold hands. Once the young man has firmly established himself financially and is sufficiently godly, he can ask the girl to marry him. Of course, he again must ask the dad first. Both families, as well as lots of church members, must be involved in the entire process, from start to finish. FULL POST
Posted 8/26/14 at 10:08 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“Except you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
What’s lacking in the great majority of religious experts–of all tribes, all beliefs, all everything!–is a childlike humility.
I’ve sat across from the salespeople hawking Jehovah’s Witness and Mormon doctrine door to door and been amazed at the sheer gall and arrogance of these know-it-alls.
I’ve sat in the auditoriums and classrooms when prophecy teachers were spreading out their charts and telling far more than they could ever know, pronouncing their anathema upon anyone daring to believe otherwise and taking no prisoners in the process.
I’ve sat in massive conferences among thousands of my peers and heard ignorance spouted as truth but camouflaged with alliteration and pious phrases and encouraged and affirmed by thundering echoes of “amens” and “hallelujahs”. FULL POST
Posted 8/25/14 at 11:46 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
A few years ago I read and reviewed Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft, a professional ministry coach who helped bring Mark Driscoll through a past crisis of leadership. So grateful was Driscoll that he wrote the foreword to Kraft’s book, including the words:
Pastor Dave Kraft…brought me through a formal coaching process and helped me get my life and ministry in better order. He gave me permission to make some very difficult decisions for the well-being of my family and our church. He wanted me to be one of the leaders who last…Sadly, too few Christian leaders finish well and a combination of grace and wisdom cannot be overvalued. You will find both in this book. FULL POST
Posted 8/25/14 at 11:39 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Randy Alcorn
Communication is crucial. Every affair begins with deception, and most deception begins with seemingly innocent secrets such as, “she doesn’t need to know this.” If you’re married, regularly evaluate your relationship with your spouse. Watch for the red flags of discontentment, poor communication, and a poor sexual relationship.
We live in a fallen world. Even Christian marriages can become filled with resentment, boredom, or hurt. This makes us more vulnerable to the intrigue and excitement of a new person. The answer, however, is not a new person, but a fresh appreciation of the “old” person. Boredom can be overcome, and attraction can be rekindled.
A man in our church shared with a group of men that he found his eyes wandering from his wife, who no longer seemed attractive to him. Realizing this was not God’s desire, he committed himself to praying daily that God would make his wife the most attractive woman in the world to him. Within a month that prayer was decisively answered. After hearing his story, another man did the same thing and also saw dramatic results. Both of their marriages are better now than they’ve been in years. (Perhaps their wives were praying the same thing, but I am convinced God answered the heartfelt prayers of these men.) FULL POST
Posted 8/22/14 at 11:55 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“Be ye kind to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
For good reason, young beginning pastors do not take the standard old texts for their first sermons. Few feel qualified to produce a full sermon on such subjects as:
John 3:16. The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12). Salvation by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Love one another (John 13:34-35). Forgiveness. The home. Kindness (see above).
That’s why beginning preachers almost always gravitate to the exotic texts. They find those strange little metaphors, unusual verses, and unfamiliar images and light on them.
Perhaps it’s easier to get their minds around such, I don’t know. One of my first sermons was suggested by “a house in a cucumber patch,” from Isaiah 1:8. That image had brought to mind an old bungalow where some relatives of ours used to live far out in the country, but which was later abandoned and soon completely covered by kudzu vines. Eventually, a massive mound of green vines stood there, hiding what used to be a house. What point my sermon made from that has long been forgotten. FULL POST
Posted 8/22/14 at 11:48 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Phillip Jensen
One of the characteristics of an addict is denial. We do not mean to tell lies. We are just unable to face reality.
We cannot face our own weakness and dependency. We do not want to admit the pain and suffering that we are causing. It is easier to find comfort in our addiction than to fix up our lives.
But our addiction is rarely private. Humans are social creatures. The damage of our addiction usually affects the lives of others. Those who love the addict are always hurt for them. In time they are also typically hurt by them.
Most addictions spread to every aspect of life. The alcoholic, the problem gambler, the heroin user, the pornography customer cannot contain their addiction to one part of their life. Our addiction leads to one bad decision after another. Our businesses and careers falter and fail. We frequently have motor or industrial accidents. Addicts often use and abuse people. We usually destroy our own families. FULL POST
Posted 8/21/14 at 3:49 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By David Murray
Every recent poll agrees, American optimism is dying.
When asked if “life for our children’s generation will be better than it has been for us,” fully 76 percent said they do not have such confidence. Only 21 percent did. That was the worst ever recorded in the poll; in 2001, 49 percent were confident and 43 percent not.
And it’s not confined to one group either. The rich are as down as the poor, women are as down as men, blacks are as down as whites. Young people are only slightly less depressed than the old. Democrats are marginally happier than grumpy Republicans. Dana Milbank concludes: FULL POST