Guest Views

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

Posted 3/12/12 at 11:55 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Keep in Mind that You Are Going to Die

By John Goldingay

Paul McCartney is the same age as me. Discussing with him his plans for the future and how long he would continue touring, a recent interviewer in the Rolling Stone asked him what he thought about dying on stage. Paul recoiled and asked, "What kind of question is that?"

Rather a good question, Ecclesiastes would say; death is a subject he keeps coming back to. He deals with the subject most systematically in chapter 9.

Faithful and wise people and their deeds are in God's hands. Both [God's] loving and repudiating: a person does not know either beforehand. Everything is as it is for everyone. A single lot comes to the faithful person and to the faithless, to the good and to the pure and to the polluted, to the person who offers sacrifice and to the person who does not sacrifice. As the good person so is the offender. The person who swears is like the person who is afraid of an oath. 3This is the bad thing about everything that occurs under the sun, that there is a single lot for everyone. Further, the mind of human beings is full of badness and there is madness in their heart during their life, and afterwards – to the dead. Because whoever is joined to all the living – there is hope. Because a living dog is better than a dead lion. Because the living know they will die, but the dead don't know anything. There is no more reward for them, because their memory has been forgotten. Both their loving and their repudiating, their passion, has already perished. They have no more share forever in all that occurs under the sun. Go, eat your food with gladness, drink wine with a good heart, because God already approved your actions. At all times your clothes should be white and oil should not be lacking on your head. See life with the woman you love all the days of the empty life that you have been given under the sun, all the empty days, because that is your share in life and in your labor that you expend under the sun. Everything that your hand finds to do, do with all your energy, because there is no action or explanation or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, where you are going. I again saw under the sun that the race does not belong to the swift people, the battle to the warriors, nor food to the wise people, nor wealth to the discerning people, nor favor to the knowledgeable people, because time and chance happen to all of them. 12Rather, a person cannot know his time. Like fish that are taken in a bad net and like birds that are taken by a snare – like them, human beings are trapped by a bad time when it falls on them suddenly. FULL POST

Posted 3/8/12 at 3:58 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Sexual Sin in the Ministry

By Harry Schaumburg

For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries.

I wish our experience was unique.

Several years ago a seminary professor told me: "We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every student is struggling. The question we ask: 'How serious is the struggle?'"

One missions agency told me that 80% of their applicants voluntarily indicate a struggle with pornography, resulting in staff shortages on the field.

Pornography is just one level of sin, a form of visual sex, or heart adultery. Physical adultery includes an affair, multiple affairs, prostitution, and homosexuality. Other sexual behaviors within the ministry are such heinous "unfruitful works of darkness . . . it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret" (Ephesians 5:11–12). To face the crisis we must correctly understand the nature of the problem, ask God to search our own hearts, and be committed to restore each one caught in sexual sin "in a spirit of gentleness" (Galatians 6:1).

I have pondered long and hard two questions: Why do people repeatedly return to sexual sin and why do people turn away from sexual sin? FULL POST

Posted 3/8/12 at 3:51 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Forgiveness for Moms Who Fail

By Robert Jones

In my twenty-five years of pastoral ministry, I don't think I have met a mom, including a preschool mom, who feels like she has done a good enough job. Most mothers labor under the weight of guilt—of frustrated ideals, imperfect performance, and deficient production. The laundry remains undone; story books unread, and tempers flare. . . .

Distorted Guilt

The guilt you feel may be distorted guilt. We may wrongly place ourselves under a law we erect: "Good mothers should do X, Y, or Z," even though X, Y, or Z may go beyond what God's Word commands. I think of my friend—a good mom by any fair standard—who believed that all good moms should take their kids to the library three times a week. Sometimes those false standards come from outside of us—the ideals of your church or small group, your mother's model, your mother-in-law's advice, or the latest book or blog from your favorite Christian counselor.

Sometimes they come from our own perfectionist hearts as we seek to establish and live out our own legalism and self-righteousness (Philippians 3:3-9).

True Guilt

On the other hand, your guilt may be true guilt. You and I certainly fall short of God's standards every day. We fail to love the Lord our God with everything we've got and we fail to love our spouses and children the way we selfishly love ourselves. Whether you are mother of a pair of preschoolers or a dad (like me) with two grown children, the apostle John reminds us, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us... If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives" (1 John 1:8, 10). FULL POST

Posted 3/8/12 at 12:26 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Jesus Feeds 5000 Because Of A Little Boy's 5 loaves and 2 fish

By Duke Taber

This morning I want to share with you the message I shared with my congregation about one of the best Bible stories in the New Testament. It is the story where Jesus feeds 5000 men plus the women and children all because of one little boy’s generosity in offering his lunch consisting of 5 small loaves of bread and 2 fish. In an age where people have become cynical about giving and some unscrupulous modern day preachers have abused their flocks with the overemphasis of money, I find this story refreshing. It was not about the size of the gift, or the expected return from the gift, but instead it was just the innocence of a child wanting to help in any way he could. So come with me and take a second look at the story where Jesus feeds 5000.

News Flash! Jesus feeds 5000 people or more!

The loaves and fishes Bible verse

John 6:5-13
New Living Translation (NLT)
5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip replied, "Even if we worked for months, we wouldn't have enough money to feed them!"
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up. 9 "There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?"
10 "Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, "Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted." 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

The motive behind Jesus feeding 5000

All 4 of the gospel writers record the loaves and fishes miracle. In Mark’s gospel chapter 6 it says that Jesus was moved with compassion when he looked upon the people. It says they were like sheep without a shepherd. It was because of this compassion that He set about to do this miracle. Compare His motive with the motives of the disciples. They wanted Jesus to send them away. Problem solved! Out of sight, out of mind. When Jesus said no to that idea, then they tried to convince Him that it was impossible. They couldn’t earn enough money fast enough to do it. Then Jesus had to lead them even further but they still didn’t get the idea. In Mark’s gospel it is written that Jesus told them point blank for the disciples to feed them. But even then they didn’t get what Jesus was getting after. Do you honestly think that the disciples went out to that deserted place without any food? I believe they had their own supplies sufficient for themselves but instead of having compassion on the crowds and having a generous spirit, they were more concerned for themselves. Peter, finally finds 1 young boy who was willing to help. He had a small sack lunch and was willing to give it away to help the people. In the innocence of a child, the young boy has the same compassion on the people as Jesus and gave what he had to help others. How refreshing that is compared to the disciples motives or for that matter some of our own motives when we give. FULL POST

Posted 3/8/12 at 11:35 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Save cash or pay down debt?

If your church has cash leftover after expenses, you may be thinking about paying down your mortgage. But there are other options that may be better.

In today's lending environment underwriters tend to be more interested in cash balances than loan to value of a building. In most cases it would be better for a church to hold on to their cash and move balances over to the lender at closing.

Lenders look at cash balances as a safety net the church can rely on if giving drops or unexpected expenses arise. The church can pay down its mortgage after closing if cash balances remain comfortable.

A church should have a minimum of 3 months worth of expenses in savings. It is a good idea to keep these funds in an interest bearing savings account separate from the operating account so the church is not tempted to use these funds.


By John Berardino, Sr. Vice President, Griffin Capital Funding

Posted 3/8/12 at 11:08 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Bible Lessons Rush Limbaugh Must Have Missed

by Valerie Elverton Dixon

Controversial radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has apologized for his awful comments against Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who spoke to Congress in support of a health-care mandate requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception. Fluke came to national attention when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee refused to allow her to speak at a hearing on the issue.

The refusal led Democratic women on the committee to ask: "Where are the women?"

Later, Fluke testified at a non-official forum organized by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. At this forum, Fluke spoke about the importance of hormonal contraception medication in treating other conditions that affect women's reproductive health. Not all birth control pills are used for contraception. There was nothing about her testimony that comes anywhere close to the portrayal advanced by Limbaugh.

I have written about the clash of rights between religious liberty and equal protection under the law for women elsewhere, so I will not labor the point here.

No matter the reasons for Limbaugh's objection to the mandate, clearly he has failed to learn one of the principle moral lessons that Jesus taught: "Judge not, so that you may not be judged." (Matthew 7:1) FULL POST

Posted 3/8/12 at 11:04 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Harold Camping's Apology: A Welcome First Step

By Jason Boyett

From the iPad 3 announcement to the Super Tuesday primaries, it's been a busy week in the news world. So you're forgiven if you missed a significant development involving a popular, controversial radio host who said some regretful things. This powerful broadcaster offended sensible people. He proved himself demonstrably wrong. When he finally apologized, fans and critics began discussing the sincerity of his regret.

You're also forgiven if you thought this was about Rush Limbaugh.

The apologetic broadcaster is none other than Harold Camping, the 90 year-old founder of Family Radio who spent the last two decades warning that Jesus would return and Judgment Day commence on May 21, 2011. Though the designated date passed without incident, Camping stood firm. He announced that he'd been virtually correct despite all evidence to the contrary: an invisible, "spiritual" judgment had in fact occurred, he said, and the world was still on schedule for destruction on October 21, 2011.

That day came and went, too, noticeably lacking in apocalypse. Months earlier, in July, Camping had suffered a stroke and was no longer broadcasting. He secluded himself in his Oakland home. He retired from his Family Radio role in October. Harold Camping stayed quiet. FULL POST

Posted 3/7/12 at 4:40 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Infographic - Global Warming: Skeptics vs. Scientists

The following infographic from Information Is Beautiful compares the arguments for and against global warming.

Posted 3/7/12 at 2:58 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

1 Million Tweets Daily Defend Iranian Pastor

By Anna Sekulow /  ACLJ

Tweet for Youcef
Image Credit: ACLJ

The message to Iran is clear: The world is watching, crying out with one voice for the release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.

The ACLJ's Tweet for Youcef campaign is now reaching more than 1,000,000 Twitter accounts each day in 89% of the world's nations. The pressure on Iran has never been greater to stop this violation of the ultimate human right and free this persecuted pastor.

Share this infographic on Facebook and Twitter, and Tweet for Youcef today:

FULL POST

Posted 3/7/12 at 11:05 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Sensational Archaeologists

By James K. Hoffmeier

"If it's too good (or too bad) to be true, it probably is" goes the saying, and one archaeologists commonly use when a colleague in the field makes what is trumpeted to be a sensational discovery.

James Hoffmeier
James Hoffmeier

This is probably the case of the ballyhooed announcement in New York on February 28th. To promote the sale of their new book, The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find that Reveals the Birth of Christianity (Simon & Schuster), the authors, biblical scholar Professor James Tabor of University of North Carolina (Charlotte) and Canadian documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, unveiled their discovery of what they believe was the tomb of Jesus.

How the tomb was probed in Jerusalem is a amazing story. Discovered in 1981 after an explosion in connection with a construction project, the tomb was initially investigated by Amos Kloner of the Israel Antiquities Authority. It was cut short by Ultra Orthodox Jews who threatened the archaeologist. He had extracted a few artifacts and one ossuary (i.e. stone carved bone boxes). Ossuraries often have the name of the deceased etched on the end or side of the box. Time did not permit him to examine and photography the other ossuaries. The tomb was sealed and subsequently condominiums built over it. FULL POST

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