My previous post generated some great discussion, ranging from "Can't we all just get along" comments to sentiments of "If we just practiced discipleship, evangelism would take care of itself." Others seemed surprised that anyone in their right (renewed) mind would ever try to separate the two because they clearly go together.
Allow me to introduce a perspective into the ongoing conversation (or in some tribes and cultures, the battle!) between those who favor one over the other.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
If you and I were having coffee and I wanted to see where you stood on this issue, I would ask you the following questions... FULL POST
Posted 10/23/14 at 11:02 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
It seems to me that there is a constant discussion, or you could call it a debate (or you could even call it a family fight) among us evangelicals over whether we should be focusing all our attention and efforts on evangelism or discipleship. Trust me...this is a big deal in the church right now. If you could hear just a small fraction of the conversations I have as I travel and preach...
Because I am an evangelist (see Ephesians 4) by call and trade, I get bombarded by the discipleship camp with questions like, "What happens after all those people respond to the gospel when you preach?"
Because I am a pastor, I also get comments from soul winners like, "If all you ever do is teach the Bible to Christians, how will the lost ever hear the gospel and be saved?" FULL POST
Posted 10/22/14 at 3:35 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
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.
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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