Posted 9/23/14 at 11:35 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Randy Alcorn
A reader of my blog asked if I’d be willing to share some thoughts on the practice of pastors who preach messages from other pastors and present the material as their own without any credit to its original source. This isn’t an issue that I take pleasure in addressing, but I hope it will serve the body of Christ by initiating some much-needed self-examination and dialogue.
While most pastors I know are men of honesty and integrity, it’s a sad truth that the problem of pastors plagiarizing is more wide spread than many realize, especially with the vast amounts of material available on the internet. My friend Barry Arnold, who pastors Cornerstone Church in Gresham, Oregon, writes:
I’m afraid plagiarism is getting more and more common. Once in a while I Google unusual phrases from sermons I have posted online. It is not at all uncommon to find other pastors stealing material. I’m disappointed for their sake because if they are compromising their integrity in teaching, you have to wonder what other areas may be secretly out of control as well. FULL POST
Posted 9/23/14 at 11:03 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
(Apology: For the places where I have occasionally mixed my metaphors in this piece, readers may want to know that this is my spiritual gift . Thank you very much.)
Smiley Anders, humor columnist for the New Orleans Advocate, ran this story this week.
An automobile mechanic was removing the cylinder head from an engine when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in the customer area. “Hey, doc,” he called. “Want to take a look at this?”
The eminent physician walked over. The mechanic said, “Look at this engine, Doc. I opened its heart, removed the valves, repaired or replaced anything damaged, then put everything back in place. And when I finished, it worked like new.”
“So, how is it I make $64,000 a year and you make a million when we’re both doing the same work?”
The cardiologist said, “Try doing it with the engine running.” FULL POST
Posted 9/22/14 at 3:42 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Phillip Jensen
Life without hope is unbearable. To function in life we have to be able to look forward to something pleasant that has a reasonable probability of happening. We need hope to deal with the unpleasant things of life.
If there is nothing pleasant ahead of us, life is bleak. If there is nothing reasonably predictable before us, life is too uncertain and insecure to endure.
That is why extended suffering in sickness can be so depressing. We do not know how bad it is going to get. We do not know how long it will last. We do not see great good or pleasure coming out of it. What we have in front of us lies between uncertainty and worse. And life without hope is unbearable.
However some people live on false hope. Many hoped that the last decade's prosperity would continue unabated into the future. That is proving to be a very false hope.
Yet many in our society are not worried. "She'll be apples" is the old fashioned Aussie way of saying it. They have not seen unemployment before and they are not personally experiencing it now. It is still too remote from them to worry them or still too far in the future to think about.
Hope has to be more than optimism. For optimists are notoriously irrational. Optimism can keep us going in the face of overwhelming odds. But eventually it will disappoint us. FULL POST
Posted 9/22/14 at 11:20 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“Concerning Him we have much to say… (but) you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God….” (Hebrews 5:11-12).
If we do not settle what are the basic principles and doctrines constituting faithfulness to God, we will argue over silly things, unworthy issues, secondary matters.
I’m 74 years old and the playbook says I should be a defender of the status quo, reacting against modern innovations and speaking with reverence of the glorious days of old when I was a young minister just starting out.
I’ll not be doing any of that.
The status quo is nowhere I want to camp out. The past is nowhere I want to live. Nostalgia, as they say, is not what it used to be. The past is not all it’s cracked up to be. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 5:10 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Ron Edmondson
I encounter so many struggling pastors. And unfortunately, I know so many who used to be pastors but no longer hold the position.
It may be through a blatant sin or a casual drifting from doing what they knew to be right, but it landed them in disaster. A pastor friend of mine said recently, “We need healthy churches and we need healthy pastors.”
Amen. Agreed. We must stand guard.
What are we guarding against?
No single post would be perfect. Obviously sin, but I can’t address everything that gets in the way of a healthy pastor. I can only list some that are more common in my experience.
Neglecting your soul. One of my mentors reminded me recently. “Ron, don’t forget to feed your own soul.” It was subtle. Almost given as a sidebar to our discussion. But it was gold. One of the biggest dangers for a pastor is when we begin to operate out of stored up knowledge of and experience with God. We need fresh encounters with truth and His glory. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 12:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Randy Alcorn
The disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! —John 20:19
Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! —Luke 24:31
He was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. —Acts 1:9
He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. —Philippians 3:21
Christ’s resurrection body had an ability to appear suddenly, apparently coming through a locked door to the apostles. And “He disappeared” from the sight of the two disciples at Emmaus. When Christ left the earth, He defied gravity and ascended into the air. It’s possible that the risen Christ, who is man yet God, has certain physical abilities we won’t have. Appearing and disappearing could be a limited expression of His omnipresence, and His ascension might be something our bodies couldn’t imitate. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 11:41 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
The people of Scotland have spoken and said, “No thanks!”
Thus ends the latest Scottish rebellion at least for another generation.
And for one of the very few times in my life, the side I supported, albeit with some reluctance, has won an election. Pity I couldn’t actually vote.
And a first, one of my prophecies came true. In A Scottish View on Scottish Independence, I predicted that Scotland would vote “No” by a narrow margin. I thought it would be 5-7%, but it’s turned out to be nearer 10%.
So what does it all mean? A few reflections:
1. This has been a largely peaceful process. The days of Braveheart and Culloden are thankfully long past for Scotland. Ukraine, Iraq, and many other places are not so fortunate, as separatist (and unionist) movements continue to use to military means to advance their cause. There are no tanks or claymores on the streets of Edinburgh or Glasgow this morning. FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 11:58 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By S. Michael Houdmann / Got Questions Ministries
Question: "What is the difference between dating and courting?"
Answer: Dating and courtship are two methods of beginning relationships with the opposite sex. While there are non-Christians who date with the intention of having a series of intimate physical relationships, for the Christian this is not acceptable and should never be the reason for dating. Many Christians see dating as little more than friendship and maintain the friendship aspect of their dating until both people are ready to commit to each another as potential marriage partners. First and foremost, dating is a time when a Christian finds out if his or her potential marriage partner is also a believer in Christ. The Bible warns us that believers and unbelievers should not marry each other, because those living in the light (of Christ) and those living in the darkness cannot live in harmony (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). As stated before, during this time there should be little or no physical contact, as this is something that should wait until marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 11:20 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
Recently when we posted an article about change in worship and noted that some people in our churches seem to want to return to the 1950s, one commenter who found absolutely nothing to like in the piece said, “I’d love to live in the 1950s.”
Happy Days. Chevrolet convertibles with the huge fins. Malt shops and sock hops. Mayberry was America and America was Mayberry. Ike was in the White House. Elvis was in his ascendancy. And Andy Griffith was sheriff.
What’s not to like, right?
I smile at that.
No one loves the 1950s more than those who never lived them.
My wife said, “In the 1950s, every time a plane went overhead I thought it was possibly carrying an atomic bomb to drop on us.”
Such was the attitiude of fear pervading this land.
In the early 1950s, I recall walking home from church with my grandmother after one of those meetings in which the preacher scared the living whatever out of us, and hearing the planes overhead–hey, this was Birmingham and they had lots of planes!–and I was thinking the same thing as Margaret: “We’re goners.”
You want to return to that?
Civil Defense was training people to stand on rooftops and spot aircraft, just in case one from the USSR showed up. FULL POST
Posted 9/18/14 at 11:01 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
Yesterday we looked at the seven kinds of happiness God has left for us to enjoy in the world:
And I left you with a question: Which of these happinesses did Jesus experience and enjoy? FULL POST