Guest Views

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

Posted 10/21/14 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

Posted 10/21/14 at 9:32 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

5 Ways To Bless Your Pastor

You may or may not know that October is more than the most beautiful month of the year. It's also Pastor Appreciation Month. For many congregations it carries the same weight as Arbor Day. It means very little, if anything, to most churches.

Many people bristle at the idea of showing anyone extra appreciation or honor if they're being paid for doing their job. I once asked a Deacon if they were doing anything special for their pastor in October and he replied, "Yep, we're giving him a paycheck!" And he wasn't being cute. He was being serious. That attitude is completely opposite of what we are commanded to do in scripture.

How can we honor and respect those God has called and equipped to lead us? How can we avoid worshiping a personality while simultaneously loving and blessing our pastors and setting them up to win and succeed in serving us? Here are 5 practical places to start... FULL POST

Posted 10/20/14 at 12:31 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Miss It Or Make It, You Have To Take It

By Clayton King

Opportunity is a funny thing. Sometimes you can see it coming a mile away. You have time to prepare for it, you have time to pray about it, and you're totally ready when it arrives.

Other times it appears unannounced, as fast as a lightning bolt. No warning whatsoever. You aren't afforded the luxury of time to pray about it. You may not even be able to ask several trusted friends. You have to make a decision, then and there.

Truth be told, sometimes I miss opportunities because I was afraid to "take" the shot, the chance, or the risk.

For example, several years ago right before the economic recession, I had a solid offer from a buyer who wanted my house. And I wanted to sell it. I needed to sell it. But I had a magic number in my head, and they were only a few thousand bucks away. I hesitated, I didn't "take" the offer immediately (even though my wife said I should)...and literally, just a few hours later when I decided to take their offer, they had agreed on a price for another home. Less than a mile from my home. FULL POST

Posted 10/20/14 at 12:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Pastor Said, "No, We Don't Believe the Bible."

Photo: Flickr/Robert - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) and “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17).

Let’s see what you do and I’ll decide for myself whether you believe the Bible.

My buddy Kris was commenting on meaningless questions some of our Facebook friends suggested should be put before pastor search committees (our previous article). Most, she said, are useless because they presuppose the answer.

Asking a search committee “Does your church believe the Bible?” is meaningless, because they’re all going to answer in the affirmative, and you’re no better off than had you not asked it.

“Wait a minute,” Kris said, interrupting herself. “I just remembered a time when my pastor answered that differently.” FULL POST

Posted 10/17/14 at 12:33 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

My Greatest Fear In Ministry

I am afraid of 3 very silly things that are completely illogical . .

 By Clayton King

Math, spiders, and clowns. Math is confusing, spiders are killers, and clowns eat people. These are scientific facts.

But beyond the laughable fears that each of us have should be a very real and horrifying fear every pastor, youth minister, missionary, campus pastor, worship leader, wife and husband and parent, should always be mindful and fearful of . .

 . . the fear of being disqualified. FULL POST

Posted 10/16/14 at 2:17 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Two Billion People Suffer from ‘Hidden Hunger’

According to a new report released this week, a staggering 2 billion people do not get the essential vitamins and minerals from the food they eat. They remain undernourished, suffering from the “hidden hunger” of micronutrient and vitamin deficiencies.

The annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) is released jointly by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe (one of Germany's largest private development organizations), and Concern Worldwide. The 2014 report finds that, while great strides have been made to feed the world, 805 million people are still chronically undernourished because they do not get enough to eat. Even those who get sufficient calories can suffer from hidden hunger, an often overlooked yet critical aspect of hunger and nutrition.

Hidden hunger is often hard to detect, but is potentially devastating. Hidden hunger weakens the immune system, stunts physical and intellectual growth, and can lead to death. It wreaks economic havoc as well, locking countries into cycles of poor nutrition, lost productivity, poverty, and reduced economic growth. FULL POST

Posted 10/16/14 at 12:30 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Craziest Prayer I've Ever Prayed

I've asked God for big things before. I've prayed for him to heal my father of heart disease, deliver a family member from drug addiction, and let me marry a wonderful Christian woman. I've prayed for Him to supply our ministry with financial miracles and to let me meet Billy Graham. But I've never prayed for anything quite this crazy.

I am asking God to save 3,000 people this weekend at NewSpring Church.

Here are the reasons why I am praying for this.

1. I want everyone to know the love and grace of Jesus Christ. How much do you have to hate someone to be a Christian, and NOT want them to be a Christian, too? My desire is for everyone on the planet to experience the abundant life that Jesus offers. FULL POST

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