Guest Views

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 10/22/14 at 3:35 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

2 Things Christians Should Stop Doing On Social Media

These are two things I have seen on social media that makes me wonder if we are representing Jesus well? These are a couple of things to consider if you are a Christian and use social media often. I say everything in love and with the intention of helping all of us represent His name well.

  1. Stop posting inappropriate things. As Christians we represent Jesus. The Bible calls us ambassadors. With that in mind, shouldn’t we want to represent Him well? I get so sad when I scroll through Facebook, Instagram and twitter, and see a lot of the things Christians are posting. For example, lots of young Christians are posting half naked pictures of themselves, sometimes less than half naked. Others are posting, reposting and tweeting sexual memes and gifs with vulgar images and expressions. When we post things like this and then in our bios we claim to be a follower of Jesus, it sends a mixed message and distorts what it means to be a Christian. Now obviously I know none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Having said that, we still need to represent Jesus well. I challenge you to watch what you post on social media. The world is watching.
  1. Stop arguing on social media. There are times when we need debate Truth. Paul the Apostle passiontely debated truth. Having said that, that doesn’t mean we should get drug into every argument we are invited into. Use wisdom, and know when to speak and when not to speak. Know when to debate and know when not to debate. I am not saying to stop standing for the truth; we should always stand for the truth! As Christians we should be known for our love and what we stand for, not just what we stand against. When times arise that we need to debate, we should debate with love and patience, not out of anger. True story, one time someone disagreed with something I said on social media, and was messaging me about it. Instead of going back and forth on social media in a mean spirited way, I gave the person my contact info and we talked it out on the phone. By the end of the conversation, we became friends. You see, most times, social media is not the best place to debate. There are obviously exceptions, but debates are better when they are personal and done in love. The whole point of a debate is not to be right, it is to reveal the love and truth of Jesus. Unfortunately, most debates that take place on social media are done in the wrong way.

Galatians 6:1, 2 Timothy 2:14-16, Titus 3:9 FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 2:25 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Situation in Houston and the Erosion of Religious Liberties

You may be aware of the situation in Houston, Texas, where five pastors who have been vocal in opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) were subpoenaed by the mayor, demanding that they hand over materials related to what they may have said about gay and lesbian issues, and about the mayor herself. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to those who imagine there has been no serious erosion of religious liberties in America.

Al Mohler offers a perspective worth reading:

Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston — The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

The scandal over the subpoenas issued to several Houston-area Christian pastors continues, even after the city refiled legal documents, removing the word “sermons” from the demand. They have clearly not removed the scandal from their city, and from the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. As the mayor’s own comments make abundantly clear, she stands at the center of the scandal. FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 11:45 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Give Me This Day

Recently, The Holy Spirit has been opening my eyes to a reality that I had always known, but never truly experienced. And as it so happens, He has used the circumstances of my life to tutor me and teach me this invaluable lesson.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to ask their Heavenly Father for enough bread to sustain them for that day. The phrase as most of us have learned it goes..."And give us this day our daily bread."

For Palestinian farmers and peasants who heard these words, they rang true because they were reality. They knew what it was to live from hand to mouth, day by day, with perhaps only a loaf of bread to sustain their bodies and fill their bellies. They didn't stockpile food in pantries, closets and cupboards. Starvation was as close as a failed crop or a draught. FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 11:22 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What if Balance is Overrated?

Balance. It’s the buzzword of this generation.

In our hectic lives, everyone is searching for that elusive thing called “balance”, where we feel like we’re living out our priorities, we’re able to get the rest we need, but we’re still being purposeful.

What if the whole idea of finding balance is more like a millstone around your neck than it is a real thing to aim after, though?

Let me explain.

Finding Balance, in and of itself, says that some things must lose.

It says that you have to put less of an emphasis on one thing so that you can put more of an emphasis on something else. To aim for balance is really to aim for a constant series of trade-offs. You decide that this will have to go, that you can’t do this, all so that you can do this.

It’s not exactly an easy psychological process.

What if there’s a better way?

A bunch of very disparate but interesting things have led me to this conclusion. First, I was reading Kathy Peel’s book The Family Manager while staying at a friend’s home recently. Her point is that many housewives are extremely capable when it comes to organizing work or organizing big functions at church, but we can’t seem to organize our homes. The solution? Take what you’re good at and apply those same principles at home. In other words, work to your strengths. FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 10:34 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

20 Questions a Pastoral Candidate Should Ask a Search Committee

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

By Joe McKeever

After the committee has grilled the pastoral candidate and the tables are turned, what information should he want from them?

Pastors toss me this issue regularly. Somewhere in the archives of our website, I’m sure we’ve dealt with this subject. However, with over 2,000 articles and no index of these things, I suggest that they google “McKeever + (subject),” and see what comes up. Usually, if I’ve written on the subject, it’ll show up in the results.

That said, perhaps it’s time to say a few more things about this.

Here’s the situation. You, the pastoral candidate, are sitting in a room with a committee of anywhere from 6 to 20 people. They have spent the evening tossing questions, real and theoretical, at you. You are drained and everyone is ready for the evening to end.

But not yet. Finally, the chair says, “And pastor, is there anything you would like to ask us?” FULL POST

Posted 10/22/14 at 9:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When You Don't See Jesus

There are times in your life when you just cannot see Jesus.

The cares and worries you face each day seem to obscure your view of Christ. Sometimes you wonder if He is there at all. Occasionally, you even question if He is real.

You look for Him, wait for Him, cry out to Him, and pray for something...anything...to give you hope. When those times come, know that you are not alone. Every single Christian who is serious about following Jesus wrestles with this reality; we know He is there but sometimes He seems invisible. Consider this...

"In putting everything under Jesus, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him." Hebrews 2:8 FULL POST

Posted 10/21/14 at 3:25 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Are Out Hearts Really Idol Factories

John Calvin famously said:

From this we may gather that man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols…Man’s mind, full as it is of pride and boldness, dares to imagine a god according to its own capacity; as it sluggishly plods, indeed is overwhelmed with the crassest ignorance, it conceives an unreality and an empty appearance as God. –John Calvin, Institutes, 1.11.8

This quote is often used when discussing the issue of idolatry in the Christian heart. The argument usually goes something like this: Our hearts are perpetual idol factories, always leading us to worship something other than God. Therefore, we must be constantly evaluating our hearts to ensure that we are not drifting into idolatry.

I have made this argument myself. I included this argument in a book I wrote. But recently, my thinking on this issue has changed a bit.

To reference that other great theologian, Jay-Z, I’ve got 99 problems, and two of them are with the “idol factory” line of thinking. FULL POST

Posted 10/21/14 at 1:12 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Avoiding Sexually Explicit Media and Pursuing Holiness

By Randy Alcorn

I am deeply concerned about the number of God's people who are opening their lives up to popular television programs, movies and books that are sexually explicit. The thing many modern Christians seem most afraid of is that we won’t be in the cultural “know,” that we will be “out of it” and consequently uncool. What we should fear more is being unholy and therefore irrelevant to a world that needs to see true followers of Jesus, not people who are just like the world except they attend church. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” (Matthew 5:13).

Do you wonder about what is and isn't God’s will for your life? Here’s one thing we don’t have to wonder about: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). FULL POST

Posted 10/21/14 at 9:46 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Voting Ensures Communities are Fed, Safe, and Economically Stable

How many times have we heard about the tensions between local African-American communities and the police in recent months? Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, Eric Garner of New York City, and John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, are a few of the names in the headlines in recent months. With the use of new technologies that support grassroots photo and video journalism, there appears to be no end in sight of making sure these kinds of stories are told. Such tensions are not the only challenges in the African-American community.

Hunger and poverty in the African-American community have declined recently, but our community still has one of the largest percentages of hungry people and persons living in poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013, showed that, in the African-American community, poverty declined slightly from 27.2 percent to 27.1 percent, compared to the decrease of 25.6 percent to 23.5 percent in the Hispanic community. Nationally, poverty decreased slightly—by 0.5 percent—last year. It is the first time a decrease has been seen since 2006. The bureau announced that 14.5 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 2013. Additionally, child poverty declined for the first time since 2000, from 21.8 percent to 19.9 percent. FULL POST

Posted 10/21/14 at 9:39 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When Grief Won't Go Away

Four weeks ago today, I preached my father's funeral. It was Father's Day. In a strange irony, I felt it was a fitting way to say good-bye to a man I loved and admired so deeply.

I had unconsciously expected the grief to taper off by now. I never actually said as much, but still, it was an expectation I harbored in my heart. After nearly a month, I should be moving on, right? He's gone, so I just need to let him go, right? I'm a grown man, after all, and I have to move on. That's what he would want me to do, right?

Unfortunately, things haven't turned out the way I had hoped. I woke up today, four weeks after his funeral, and hit a huge brick wall of sadness. As my mom used to say, "I fell all to pieces." The strange thing about it is this; I felt like I really turned a corner on this grief journey just four days ago. FULL POST

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