“I hope this doesn’t offend you, but . . .” Whenever I hear phrases like this, I can almost guarantee you what will follow will be unkind, hurtful, and rude to the point of offensive. It’s pretty much an apology in advance meant, we hope, to excuse us for daring to speak our minds. Sharing an honest opinion isn’t wrong in and of itself, but apologizing for it while taking a tone and posture that dares the person to get offended is problematic to say the least. So is speaking without any regard for the other person and how they might be benefited or hurt,Read More →

As a Christian writer, I want to make a positive spiritual impact on my readers. Some insist the best way to do this is to hide my beliefs while trying to subtly influence the reader’s beliefs. As I understand the Bible, a faith that is hidden can’t touch anyone in a way that will draw them closer to God. What can touch people is a plain-spoken, humble faith that is neither fake nor forced but lived out naturally. When we do that in any setting, the only non-Christians we’ll offend are folks too hardened for the Holy Spirit to draw them by any means. InRead More →

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) This comes in the middle of the Lord’s prayer . . . in the garden of Gethsemane. The part most of my pastors have focused on is where he prays for unity. I’ve seen plenty of churches’ pastoral staff water down the truth and ignore doctrinal disunity in the name of unity. We seem to think being one means ‘the more the merrier!” Uh, no, it means those who are in your pews being of one mind and in one accord. We can’t have that unless everyone in the local body is functioning together,Read More →

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” (Ephesians 2:19) If you’re a Christian and you weren’t born Jewish, you’ve probably been told at some point that you’re a gentile. By birth, that is true. But you’re also a naturalized citizen of Spiritual Israel, aka the Kingdom of God. We have equal rights with the other spiritual heirs of Abraham, Issac and Jacob–while those with the physical bloodline are cut off from Israel if they’ve rejected Israel’s king (Jesus) and hence themselves renounced their citizenship.  We should of course still love,Read More →

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) In context, if I understand correctly, Peter tells us in verses 13-25: Obey the local, state, and federal government, and the leadership of any other institution you may belong to, attend, work for, or serve under. This is God’s will because it silences the historical objection to Christians’ assertion that Jesus is Lord. Based on the the Emperor of Rome’s assertion that he is Lord, non-Christians of the day felt to be a ChristianRead More →