Have You Lost Your Focus?

I hope and pray this message finds you and your family safe and well as we all continue to weather the storms of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As we remain hunkered down in our bunker, my wife and I just finished watching several online church services with great and timely messages given by pastors we have come to personally know and love. The worship music was also awesome and very uplifting, just what we needed!

One message in particular seemed very fitting for the times we find ourselves in right now. The theme of the message was “Learning to see better in the dark, or in the dark times in our lives.”

Today is Palm Sunday. It is the day Christians around the world celebrate the day Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem to face His enemies who were preparing to arrest Him and ultimately crucify Him for crimes He never committed.

He knew very well the painful future He was heading toward, and He knew very well how excruciating the pain would be until He took His last breath. Nevertheless, He kept obediently moving toward that dreadful end rather than running from it. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42 – NLT)

In our pain, whatever it may be, the lens of faith can get out of focus. In our pain, we can find it very difficult to focus on much of anything else but our pain! And unfortunately, that can lead to a myriad of other problems if left unchecked.

Here are four points we should all try to remember when it comes to dealing with pain and the dark times in our lives:

  1. Pain has the potential to push us closer to God. A couple of great ways to start drawing closer to God are committing to daily prayer and reading the Bible.
  2. Pain has the potential to point out changes we may need to make. Whether it is physical pain, financial pain, marital pain, or anything else, we have to seriously ask the hard question, “What do I personally have to do to help resolve this pain in my life?”
  3. Pain has the potential to be the greatest platform God may use to impact someone else’s life. Many years ago, before becoming a Christian, my gambling habit led to serious financial pain in our household. Once I was delivered from my gambling habit, I used that experience to help many other individuals and families work their way out of the painful reality of debt and the mismanagement of their finances.
  4. God has the power to change our perspective in the midst of our pain. We live in a fallen imperfect world, therefore no matter how hard we try to run or hide from pain,  some painful event will always catch up with us sooner or later! It’s how we ultimately deal with it that counts. Will we include God in the process of working through it, or not? “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12 – NIV)

Dark days in our lives and pain usually go hand-in-hand. My prayer is, today, you will make Jesus Christ the Light of your life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2Corinthians 5:17 – NLT)

Do what you can to address the pain in your life, and let God do the rest. And, may the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be with you and yours always.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

How To Teach Your Children To Drop Out Of Church

There usually is a silver lining in every bad news scenario if we look hard enough.  With the coronavirus still threatening the entire world, it seems the silver lining in this one may be more people drawing closer to God through prayer and online church services.

However, if you are concerned about the spiritual direction our youth and young adults are heading in these days, the comments and charts below, by Jared Wilson, are worth reading and taking to heart.


Jared C. Wilson  |  March 10, 2020

A recent LifeWay study confirms the church dropout rate for young adults continues to hover around 70 percent. “The good news for Christian leaders is that churches don’t seem to be losing more students than they were 10 years ago. While the dropout rate stays roughly the same (actually down 4 percent), the outlook on dropouts returning is actually looking worse.

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However, the difference in the dropout rate now and then is not large enough statistically to say it has actually improved,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

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There are definitely some things we can do to work against this distressing trend.

The epicenter of influence on kids to or away from church is in the Christian home. So, working backward, what are some ways religious families may be reinforcing the dropout trend, despite their own hopes? Here are six:

  1. Attend church sporadically.

If you treat church like an option, your children will too. If going to church is contingent only on nothing else going on, if sports or hobbies or vacations frequently take priority over gathering with God’s people, how could this not over time imprint itself upon your kids?

  1. Complain about your church.

We were extremely careful not to complain about problems at church, or even discuss disappointments or circumstantial discouragements, in front of our kids. We didn’t want them to come to see church as a place that discourages mom and dad. We didn’t want them to nurse any grievances against even the idea of church because of our thoughtless exposure, of our hurts about it to them.

If your kids are constant witness, even at a young age, to your complaints, disappointments, disgruntlements, conflicts, or even gossip related to the church, you nurse their gradual disillusionment.

  1. Insulate them from the rest of the body.

I’m convinced this is one of the biggest reasons kids raised in church drop out of church. Their experience of the church is limited wholly or mostly to youth group culture. Everything revolves around their interests or even entertainment. They are not integrated into the body. They do not engage with the inter-generational beauty of the whole church.

  1. Ignore their crucial questions.

Parents and leaders who do not equip students with apologetics or direct answers to cultural questions teens are asking about gender, sexuality, race, and the like. All of these common phenomena implicitly tell students that church is not a place where they can get answers for real life.

If we are not helping students shore up their faith with answers to questions they will eventually face at college or beyond, we should not be surprised when they decide church has no vital place in their lives. We should not be surprised in fact when they decide Christianity doesn’t have the intellectual or cultural gravitas they need in the real world.

  1. Church hop.

There are obviously good reasons to leave a church. But families that hop from church to church as kids grow, or tastes change, or disappointments accumulate, train their kids to treat church not like a family one commits to through thick and thin but like a consumeristic product one can always throw away for a perceived upgrade. And this is just one step away from deciding church in general isn’t useful.

  1. Marginalize or muzzle the gospel.

In 2010, the True Love Waits campaign analyzed the results of years of their campaign to encourage sexual purity among Christian teenagers. They were shocked. The campaign that largely focused on the risks of pregnancy and disease, and the biblical prohibitions of sex outside of marriage, had virtually no effect on even churchgoing kids who had explicitly pledged to remain virgins until marriage.

Co-founder Richard Ross reflected in a Christianity Today article about the findings: “The promise is kept most tenaciously by teenagers who have moved beyond moralistic therapeutic deism and who adore the King of Kings with awe and intimacy.”

“For teenagers who know Christ,” Ross continued, “that is a far stronger motivator than a desire to avoid disease and pregnancy. Risk avoidance is a weak motivator during adolescence. . . . Teenagers need to know about the risks of promiscuity, as well as about the benefits that total life purity brings. But the most powerful way to impact prom-night decisions is for parents, leaders, and peers to more fully awaken teenagers to God’s Son.”

The law is good and must be preached. But the law cannot do what only the gospel can.

The church is the family made by Christ’s gospel. He has broken down the division between us with His blood and united us to each other by uniting us to Himself by our faith (in Him alone). When you push the gospel to the periphery of your own religious interests and your own consideration of the church, it has the effect of disconnecting students from the only power we have to win them to Christ’s body.

If, for instance, church is a regular Sunday for you but not a gospel-driven priority of your daily life—in prayer, in fellowship, in service—you show your kids that church is simply a place to go, not a people with whom you belong. And if you raise them under the shadow of the law rather than the light of Christ, you make engagement in church look like a means of earning credit with God or meriting his favor or looking religious or “spiritual,” all of which is a recipe for burnout and maybe even spiritual depression. Center on the gospel in your daily life and pray your kids flourish under grace.

If you’re interested in ensuring your kids become part of the dropout stats, any or all of these six practices are a great means of “discipleship.”


I hope you’ll agree, this is not the kind of “discipleship” our youth and young adults need!

Praying you and your family are staying healthy and growing closer to God through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

A “PERFECT” Song In Fearful Times

I pray this short post finds you, your family members, and your friends in good health and free from the ravages of the coronavirus as it continues to wreak havoc around the world.

If you believe in the power of prayer, please continue to pray with me and the millions of people around the world who are asking for God’s grace, mercy, peace, protection, and healing in the midst of so much fear, stress, anxiety, and sickness.

This week, instead of consuming your time with a lengthy post, I want to share a song with you that has touched my heart to the core. As often as I’ve listened to this song, I still find a great deal of peace and comfort in the words and music every time I play it!

The name of the song is “PERFECT” rearranged and sung by a lovely young lady named Philippa Hanna. I hope you’ll give it a listen. It’s about four and a half minutes long and I’m betting you won’t regret the time spent listening.

Enjoy it by clicking HERE.


Praising the Prince of Peace, ALWAYS.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

The Power Of God & The Coronavirus

I don’t believe anyone living today has ever witnessed anything with the potential to completely devastate and wipe out the world’s entire population like COVID-19, better know as the coronavirus!

It was on December 10, 2019  in Wuhan, China that a seafood merchant in this city’s Hua’nan market, first started to feel sick. Thinking she was getting a cold, she walked to a small local clinic to get some treatment and then went back to work.

Eight days later, the 57-year-old was barely conscious in a hospital bed, one of the first suspected cases in a coronavirus epidemic that has paralyzed not only China but practically every other country around the world, and has crippled the global economy in many ways.

The first known U.S. coronavirus case was announced on January 21, 2020 in the state of Washington.

It’s a flu-like virus that spreads very quickly and it appears no one is immune from it. However, as we have learned thus far, seniors with current chronic and severe health issues are at the greatest risk and most vulnerable to contracting this virus.

The good news is much is being done quickly by both the private sector, governments around the world, and especially the United States government at the local, state, and federal levels, to provide the policies, equipment, and tests needed to combat the spread of this virus.

I think we can all agree the coronavirus has caused a lot of anxiety, fear, and pain in more folks than just those who have been diagnosed with this virus.

Anxiety and fear of the unknown, of sickness and death, and of having our lives turned upside down with school closings, business shutdowns, childcare issues, travel bans, food, medicine and healthcare shortages, and the list goes on and on!

So, how and why did all this happen in what seems to be the blink of an eye, and what does the coronavirus have to do with the Power of God?

Well, in my opinion, it all depends on who you ask.

An atheist or humanist would probably say it’s just a random occurrence (stuff happens), or look for someone to blame for failing to anticipate such a catastrophic event, or try to find a way to blame it on climate change.

Panic, chaos, and uncertainty would run rampant. Without a belief and trust in a Sovereign God, the remedies and solutions to problems are left in the hands of imperfect humans without Divine guidance!

A Christian or God-fearing individual would say something quite different. We understand that all of God’s creation is under His complete and sovereign control. Nothing that happens in this entire universe He created, good or bad, escapes His eyes and His ability to control the outcome if, when, and how He desires to deal with it.

Christians also understand that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not the author of evil and does not will bad things to happen to His created order. However, He has temporarily given limited power and authority to another who is the author of evil, lies, and deception, and allows him to wreak havoc on individual lives and world events with God’s permission.  His name is Satan, along with his band of fallen angels!

Because most Christians believe the Holy Bible (God’s Word) is infallible (cannot err) and believe it is absolute truth, here’s what Christians know for sure.

The Bible tells us one day a great tribulation, or great distress, is coming before God ends all life on earth.

Jesus answered His disciples: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect (Christians) those days will be shortened.

Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect (Christians) from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.'” (Matthew 24:4-14,21,22,29-31 – NIV)

So, why did God allow the coronavirus to impact the entire world at this time? Your guess is as good as mine. He’s God and we’re not!

Did He allow it because it is the beginning of the end? Who knows!

Did He allow it to give us a glimpse into how quickly something can happen that turns the entire world upside down and into mass chaos? Who knows!

Or, did He allow it for either or both of the above reasons to powerfully grab the attention of those who are still lost and wandering aimlessly and fearfully through life without any hope or purpose for what tomorrow may bring?

If that happens to be you my friend, here is the most important question you should be asking yourself right now: “Where do I want to spend eternity once God does pull the plug on my life, and on the entire world, to end it all”?

The “Good News” is you can secure your place in eternity living with God and His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, in the new Heavens and new earth He has promised. Or, you can roll the dice and keep doing what you’re currently doing, hoping for a different outcome. Someone once said that’s the definition of insanity!

Here are the next steps you can take right now to secure your relationship with Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. It’s as easy as ABC:

  • Acknowledge you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior who can forgive your sins and offer you eternal life.
  • Believe Jesus Christ is fully God, fully man, sinless in nature who came to earth through a miraculous virgin birth offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice, shedding His blood on a cross for the forgiveness of your sins, and was raised from the dead so you too will be raised to eternal life with Him. Put your faith and trust in Him, and Him alone.
  • Confess your sins to the Almighty God who created you and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)

Then, ask God’s Holy Spirit to come into your heart and mind as your Comforter, your Encourager, and your Guide to convict you of evil temptations and sin and empower you to repentance (changing your heart and mind to turn from sinful thoughts and actions).

If you have prayed to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, let me be the first to welcome you into His Kingdom as my new brother or sister in Christ!


May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

What Is Sin?

The Bible teaches that all of life is to be lived to glorify our Sovereign Creator. There is a moral order to all of creation, and violations of that order only lead to adverse consequences!

A famous contemporary movie star was once asked in an interview, “What is sin?” I should have cut out the article, but I did jot down the response: “I don’t even know what’s considered a sin anymore, nothing feels like a sin!”

In the Bible, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you do eat of it you shall surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16,17)

At the very moment when Adam and Even took a bite of that forbidden fruit, sin and death were introduced into the perfect world God had created for them! Consequently, they were banished from Eden by a Holy God who cannot and does not tolerate disobedience to His commands and principles. Plain and simple, this is God’s definition of SIN whether we like it and agree with it or not!


How To Live a Life Pleasing To God:

Since I believe God’s Word is absolute and infallible truth, let’s start with a refresher course of the Ten Commandments,

(Exodus 20:3-17):

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

So, if like the movie star, you too don’t know what a sin is any more or nothing feels like a sin to you, the Ten Commandments are a good starting place.

However, there are some grey areas in life where it’s not as easy to discern sin from activities that are just controversial or poor decisions. I’ve come up with a list of mostly familiar topics we find people dealing with or engaging in today that are Biblically defined as sin or can lead to sin.

It’s also important to understand that no sin is worse than any other in God’s eyes.  Your sins and my sins may be very different, however, all sin is equal on God’s scale of justice and worthy of death! “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a)

I sincerely realize some of the information below will be provocative and even anger some readers. I have tried to keep my personal comments to a minimum and let God’s Word speak for itself. I’m just the messenger, so let’s take a look at this list from A to Z:

Abortion: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Anything growing is ALIVE! Man-made laws legalizing murder of the unborn at any age is an abomination in God’s eyes! This sin ushers in a myriad of consequences on those deciding to have the abortion, to those who market and perform abortions, and to nations and governments who make despicable laws legalizing abortion.

Addiction: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). When a habit begins to consume one’s thoughts and actions, and then gives way to dependency, it has become a god in one’s life. The consequences of addictions are many. From job loss, fractured families, costly rehab and recovery expenses, to all sorts of criminal activities, jail time, and even death.

Adultery:You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). The consequences of extramarital relationships range from broken marriages and families to domestic abuse and violence leading to jail time and sometimes even death.

Anger: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31a). Controlled anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can lead to positive outcomes. Getting angry at the way certain people groups are treated and doing something for positive change is a good thing. But when anger spirals out of control, the consequences can lead to mental and physical abuse of others, violence, and even death.

Anxiety: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7). Anxiety grows when we don’t have peace with the circumstances we find ourselves in, or with the decisions we’ve made or need to make. We all want to feel like we are in control of our lives, but when things start spinning out of control, anxiety and stress can grow to unhealthy levels and work against us. God wants us to place our trust in Him and His ability to know what’s best for us. Without a belief and trust in Him to do His part, we are left to our own devices.

Bestiality: “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile (ruin-my insert) yourself with it” (Leviticus 18:23a). You can decide for yourself what the consequences of this sin may be!

Bi-sexuality: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (1Corinthians 6:18) “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another” (Romans 1:24). Needless to say, sex with multiple partners can bring on all sorts of unforeseen consequences!

Bitterness: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31a). See Anger.

Cheating: “skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales” (Amos 8:5b). “Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong” (1Corinthians 6:8a). Cheating can bring on all kinds of consequences and tarnish one’s reputation in irreparable ways!

Covetousness: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17). Being content with what you have will bring peace to your soul. Discontentment breeds needless anxiety and stress, as well as other possible consequences.

Debt: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (Romans 13:8a). All debt must be repaid. Filing bankruptcy to avoid repaying a debt does not excuse your responsibility. You have sinned against your debtor. “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

Deceit: “Do not deceive one another” (Leviticus 19:11b). “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:…a heart that devises wicked schemes” (Proverbs 6:16,18).

Divorce: Jesus replied, I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9). This sinful act leads to broken marriages, broken families, and psychological issues arising from trying to cope with feelings of abandonment. There are many other emotional issues that can arise from this one sinful act including anger, rage, bitterness, stress, and anxiety. All these emotions, if not properly controlled, can also lead to a myriad of other sins.

Fornication: A sexual act between unmarried individuals is known as fornication. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (wickedness)” (Galatians 5:19).

Greed: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:…evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5b,6). “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).

Hate: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (1Thessalonians 5:15). Hating what is evil or wrong in the world can lead to positive change if addressed properly with love. However, when hate burns uncontrolled and then turns into violent acts and death, we have crossed the line into sin.

Homosexuality: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable” (Leviticus 20:13). “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:24-28).

Idolatry: You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Exodus 20:4). “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5,6). Anything or anyone we worship or elevate above the God who created the universe and all that is in it and on it is idolatry. Consequences are sure to follow!

Incest: A sexual act between family members is known as incest. “If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be publicly removed from their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible. Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible” (Leviticus 20:17,19).

Kidnapping: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). Criminal acts bring obvious consequences.

Lust: Jesus said, You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27,28). See Adultry. Jesus is saying here that even our evil thoughts are sins in God’s eyes! It is wisdom to assume that if we don’t let our thoughts get out of control, then there’s a very good chance our actions won’t either.

Lying: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). “The LORD detests lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22a). “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:…a lying tongue, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16,17b,19).

Murder: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

Pedophilia: A similar sin to “lust” where evil sexual thoughts of children can lead to evil activities. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). God does not take lightly the abuse of children!

Pornography: Jesus said, You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27,28). See Lust and Adultery.

Profanity: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7). “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these:…filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:8).

Rage: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31a). See Anger.

Stealing: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

Terrorism: You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Regardless of one’s reasons for maiming and murdering innocent men, women, and children it is still sin in the eyes of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and severe consequences are sure to follow.

Transgenders: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20,21). There should be no argument or confusion concerning one’s birth gender! When we attempt to play God and make changes to the way He has created us, we are asking for consequences to follow.

There are some additional activities and issues we may face in life that fall into that grey area. Biblically speaking, they are either not considered outright sins or not specifically talked about in the Bible. Only when we have made any of them a god or idol in our lives do they cross over into the sin category. Also, we can fall into sin when any of these bring us to a place where we are mentally or physically hurting ourselves or others. These grey areas include:

Bullying, Complacency, Conceit, Criticism, Depression, Discontentment, Drinking alcoholic beverages, Drugs (legal & illegal), Ego, Envy, Fear, Frustration, Gambling, Guilt, Hoarding, Intolerance, Judgmentalness, Laziness, Narcissism, Obesity, Physical Abuse, Prejudice, Pride, Procrastination, Racism, Selfishness, Self-righteousness, Sleeping, Smoking, Sodomy, Unforgiveness, Vanity, Verbal Abuse, Work


This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope you get the point! God does not tolerate sin. And when we sin, there are painful consequences of varying kinds and magnitudes that God will either rain down on us or allow us to wallow in for a time at His discretion. This may sound harsh, but He’s God and we’re not!

What IN The World Is Wrong With This World? The sin IN you and me!

Unless there is a real heart and mind change, brought on by a new life in Jesus Christ, nothing morally and ethically will change in people’s lives, in our nation, or in the world, and the days will continue becoming darker for greater evil to prevail.

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

The Best Explanation For President Trump’s Popularity

Whether you are a ProTrumper or a NeverTrumper, once you read the article below, you should have a better understanding of why President Trump is so popular with his followers.


Trump’s ‘lack of decorum, dignity, and statesmanship’ By Evan Sayet in his article “He Fights”:

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Here’s my answer: We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

We tried statesmanship. Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?

We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?

And the results were always the same. This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party.

I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks.

I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent.

Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”

The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60’s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.

The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors. Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming.

Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today.

Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking soldier. In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank. But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum then, Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.

Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent b@#$%^&$ , I read your book!”

That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics. That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis.

It is a book of such pure evil, that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.

Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do. First, instead of going after “the fake media” — and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri — Trump isolated CNN. He made it personal.

Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.” Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. They need to respond.

This leaves them with only two choices. They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery. The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve. It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.

Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s church.

Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.

So, to my friends on the Left — and the NeverTrumpers as well — do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”? Of course I do.

These aren’t those times. This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50 years.

So, say anything you want about this president – I get it – he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times. I don’t care. I can’t spare this man. He fights for America!


Your vote matters!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Look For The Blessings

“IF YOU ARE DISTRESSED BY ANYTHING EXTERNAL, THE PAIN IS NOT DUE TO THE THING ITSELF, BUT TO YOUR ESTIMATE OF IT; AND THIS YOU HAVE THE POWER TO REVOKE AT ANY MOMENT.” – Marcus Aurelius


Count Your Blessings – A Great Story!

Two women who had been friends for years but had lost touch ran into each other while out shopping one day. In an effort to catch the other up on her life, one of the women said, “We were blessed with the fire in the attic last year. The fire didn’t destroy that much, but the water and smoke damage was extensive.”

“Why that’s terrible!” the other woman replied.

“Oh, no! It was a real blessing,” the first woman countered. “You see, the house had been in my husband’s family for years and was badly in need of renovation. The fire forced us into doing what we’d been putting off, and once all the repair work was done and we were able to move back in, it was just like moving into a brand new home.”

“Oh, I see. I guess that was a blessing after all,” the other woman agreed.

”A big one. Then another blessing came when my husband, Jack, tripped over some wire left by one of the contractors and broke his leg in three places.”

“Oh, come on now. How could that be a blessing?” the astonished friend asked.

“Because while we were at the hospital getting his leg set, a tornado came and blew the house away.”

“Oh, no!” the friend declared, and then a moment later added, “Okay, I understand you were spared, but losing your home like that, why that’s nothing short of tragic! I frankly don’t see where you find the blessing.”

“But that was the biggest blessing of all, you see, because after we cleared away the debris left by the storm, we found a small underground cellar where my husband’s grandfather had secretly kept an antique coin collection worth a sizeable fortune. We always knew there was a collection and that it was valuable, but until that tornado revealed it to us, no one ever knew where it was. Now we’re rich!”

As the story illustrates, even those experiences we deem calamitous can carry the seeds of a greater blessing. It is often only in retrospect, however, that the benefit reveals itself. And whether or not it reveals itself and how quickly it does so, is dependent upon only one thing: our own individual perspective. We determine whether something will be a blessing or a curse by the way we choose to see it.

Life is an ongoing process, and most of us meet something at almost every turn we wish were different. Just because something is not turning out the way we want, doesn’t mean it won’t.

While the story of the two women may sound far-fetched, we all know people who have suffered tremendous setbacks only to look back years later and declare the experience to have been a blessing.

Become a hunter of blessings, actively seeking them out in every experience and person you encounter. No matter how bad a situation or person might seem, say to yourself and mean it, “There’s a blessing in this, and I will find it!” Follow this regimen for a while and you may very well discover that you’ve poked a hole in every problem and sent every misery packing.

When the apostle James wrote to the members of the early Christian church that they should “count it all joy,” he had a good reason for doing so. He understood, as did Benjamin Franklin nearly 2000 years later, that life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it. And when you take life as a blessing, it tends to become one.


At this point someone might be asking, “How can staring death in the face be viewed as a blessing?”

That’s an excellent question!

Some might answer, “At least the pain and suffering will finally be gone.” And that is certainly true. However, it’s a very shallow and hollow answer when the reality of eternal death is ignored.

Christians, those who believe in and trust Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord of their lives, view death as the ultimate blessing because they know where their eternal destination will be:

“Then I saw a new Heaven and a new earth; for the first Heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’

 And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8)

We determine whether something will be a blessing or a curse by the way we choose to see it.

How do you see your eternal destination?

If you don’t like what you see, it may be time to make some serious changes now while you still can!


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Leadership vs Management

WOW, what a great Super Bowl game yesterday! Whether or not the team you were rooting for won or lost, I have a feeling we may see both of them back in next year’s Super Bowl. What do you think?

I read the post below from Elegant Themes yesterday after the game and decided to re-post the content for you, especially if you are in a management or leadership role.


Leadership vs Management: The Difference That Will Change the Way You Work

Posted on February 2, 2020 by Lindsay Pietroluongo

Managers can be leaders and leaders can be managers, but when you get down to it, there are significant differences between the roles. Leaders may or may not have authority, but they always find a way to push people forward – to lead them to where they should go. On the other hand, managers direct employees on what to do and how to do it. They keep the business running like a well-oiled machine. Let’s talk about leadership vs management, and how you can combine the best of both worlds for the sake of your business.

What is a Leader?

Leaders showcase and share their vision to inspire the people around them. They’re driven by passion. They don’t mind a bit of chaos and a lack of structure. Leaders tend to:

  • Change the expectations and moods of customers
  • Delay solving a problem so they can better understand its causes
  • Pay attention to ethical behavior
  • Set goals based on desires
  • Understand and visualize the purpose and value of work
  • Use empathy and intuition to relate to people

What is a Manager?

Managers protect the structure of an organization. They control how the workplace runs and they strike the correct balance of power. They believe in persistence and hard work – in rolling up their sleeves and getting it done. Managers tend to:

  • Build competence in employees
  • Have an analytical mind
  • Look for control and stability
  • Resolve problems fast (even if they don’t understand the significance of a problem)
  • Set goals based on the company’s culture and history
  • Take a tactical approach to get work done in a timely manner

Leadership vs Management: The Main Differences You Should Know About

Leadership is what pushes a company forward to reach goals and succeed, and management is what keeps a company running like a machine. You need both roles filled, and knowing the distinct differences between them will help you get the balance right.

Motivations

The biggest difference between leadership vs management is motivation, which is best illustrated in how each type of person sets goals. Leaders set goals based on shaping ideas instead of reacting to demand. Managers set more straightforward and practical goals based on history and forecasting.

A leader may set a goal to create or enhance a product that will meet the needs of customers, even if customers don’t realize they have those needs yet. This type of goal is less predictable and reliable than a manager’s goal, but the risk means there’s potential for huge growth.

A manager may set a goal to have a certain amount of product available in a specific store by a set date in order to meet customer demand. This type of goal may not perform as well as a riskier goal that takes off, but the tried-and-true approach can mean guaranteed cash flow.

Risk

Leaders purposely seek out risk and danger, while managers work hard to minimize risk. Leaders prefer growing pains to stagnancy or tradition, especially if a potential reward is on the other side. Managers don’t see anything more than the danger that comes with risk – they don’t notice the opportunities like leaders do. That’s not to say that managers are worse than leaders; companies need to balance risk and reliability to grow in a sustainable way.

Work Tasks

Leaders are often more creative than straightforward managers. Leadership takes an imaginative approach rather than a clinical one. Managers have an easier time handling mundane work, like administrative tasks and analytical tasks, than leaders; leaders can almost seem allergic to that type of work.

Influence

There are different types of influence when it comes to leadership vs management. A leader can influence what a customer wants by coming up with novel ideas and solutions. They wait to see how audiences respond, and if they respond well, they dig deeper to round out the options and deliver what’s best for the customer.

The type of influence a manager has is more manipulative (though not in a bad way). They can influence the decisions people make by framing the choices to point to the correct one. Managers are able to subconsciously steer people – employees or customers – to make the choice the manager wants them to make.

For example, when you want to buy software, you’ll choose from tiered packages. The middle package is usually highlighted in some way. The customer loves it because it offers the best value for their money. It’s also the best option for the company. The cost is higher than the cheapest package and subscribers are more likely to stick with it than the pricier option. The customer thinks they’re making the choice, but they company led them straight to it.

How to Combine Leadership and Management in a Company

It’s not necessarily leaders who climb the ranks to become managers – the succession of power doesn’t always coincide with who’s a good leader. In that way, you can have leaders who don’t move up in their career and high-level managers who aren’t skilled at leading. That’s okay, so long as you have both roles filled at a company and if leaders are given a lot of freedom to make a difference. Here’s how to build a company that has equal parts leadership and management.

Offer the Proper Training for Leadership vs Management

Since management relies so much on structure, process and doing things a certain way, it’s a lot easier to train someone to be a manager than to be a leader. Leadership is more innate than management. It’s possible to teach and enhance some aspects of leadership, but, for the most part, people are inherently leaders (or not), and they may not even know how skilled they are at leadership until they see how they naturally influence others. That said, leadership skills can develop over time through experience and practice, and even through purposeful self-development, like taking leadership training courses.

Clarify Each Employee’s Purpose

After (or before) telling employees what’s expected of them and teaching them how to do it, explain why they’re carrying out certain functions. What is the purpose of their role? What are they adding to the company?

Show that Progress is Always the Goal

You can illustrate that continued progress is the company’s main goal when the business is doing well and even when something’s gone wrong. For example, once goals are reached for the quarter, come up with new goals to work on until it’s time to start on the next quarter’s regular goals. Or, maybe something has failed. Managers are excellent at taking the next realistic step forward, but also ask yourself and the team what that failure’s learning lessons are.

Create an Accepting Work Environment

In an open work atmosphere, employees feel like it’s okay to approach higher-ups with different ideas. They may have discovered a way to do their job better or they could have a suggestion for improving a process. Or, they may question why certain rules are in place, in which case management should consider whether a rule should be hard-and-fast or a more flexible guideline.

Set Up a System for Applying New Ideas

Simply gathering ideas isn’t enough. There should be a process for adding new ideas to the mix, one or two at a time that go through a trial basis before becoming a permanent part of processes. Risks should be taken, even if they’re taken in measured amounts while the rest of the company runs as usual.

Rethink Leadership vs Management Communication Styles

A manager tells an employee they did a great job by saying, “Great job.” A leader adds more personalization and emotion. For example, “Fantastic job! I can always count on you to come through.” Before sending off an email, take an extra minute to quickly revise it and warm it up.

How Leaders Can Influence Management Without Overstepping Boundaries

Typically, leaders don’t care about control and organization, but managers do. Managers can feel threatened by leaders – even leaders who can positively impact the business – because disorder is bound to follow. Managers may also feel that their level of authority is being challenged when really it’s just their approach or idea that’s being challenged.

While leaders focus on risk and change, that has to be properly communicated to management so approval can be given to move forward. The potential outcome can be framed in a way that the manager can understand and analyze. For example, a leader may say, “If we try XYZ, there’s a possibility we’ll see this percentage of growth. Here’s an example of a competitor that did something similar and how they benefited.”

Final Thoughts on Leadership vs Management

While logic and strategy are necessary, creativity and inventiveness may be considered more important, and they should be allowed to be stoked and to grow. At the same time, a company that is solely run by creativity and imagination won’t have the structure needed for analysis and operations. When you’re able to have leaders and managers working together, you’ll increase productivity, improve communication, develop better relationships and boost the workplace overall.


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

How To Become A Billionaire

You Have To Start Thinking Like One!

Have you ever wondered why the super rich keep getting richer and most everyone else just keeps getting by, or worse yet in some cases, keeps going backwards financially?

As a man (woman) thinks, so he (she) is. (Proverbs 23:7)

Scot Anderson, author of Think Like A Billionaire, says, “Billionaires think differently than we do. If we took all of a billionaire’s money away, in a matter of time, they would be right back to where they are today, because of the way they think.”

The following words of wisdom are excerpts from Anderson’s book.


Billionaires Think Differently About:

MONEY: We look for ways to spend money. Billionaires look for ways to invest money.

When it comes to money, the wealthy have self-control. This is one of the biggest battles you have to win in the inside of you. To have self-control you need vision. Vision brings restraints, boundaries into your life. Without vision you have no boundaries.

Your vision dictates your outcome. If your vision is big, your outcome will be big. If your vision is small, your outcome will be small.

INVESTING: We invest just a little. Billionaires realize investing is the key to abundance.

JOBS: We think a better job will make us wealthy. Billionaires know that a job will never make them wealthy; investments will.

RISKS: We stay away from risks because we might fail. Billionaires know if they don’t take risks, they’ve already failed.

Ask any billionaire how he got where he is today and he will say, “Risks!” You cannot achieve success without stepping out. We stay average because we play it safe. Billionaires become wealthy because they stepped out and took a chance. We say, “What if we fail?” Billionaires say, “You fail if you don’t take a risk.”

Most billionaires have had more than three businesses go under. Most billionaires have gone bankrupt at least one time, some multiple times.

Life is full of risks. We face them every day. If you want to have any success in life, you have to be willing to try some things, take a few chances and step into areas that are new and often unfamiliar to you.

You have to study and learn but you also have to work and apply what you learn for success to happen.

One of the principles that you have to commit to is becoming a person of action. In life, everything we do that has a reward to it also involves some risk. There is no reward without risk.

Failing at something does not make you a failure unless you stop trying.

PROBLEMS: We try to avoid problems. Billionaires see problems as opportunities to make millions.

Nothing happens in life just because you want it to. You have to make some effort. There will always be obstacles to your progress. But you have to start thinking differently about the problems you face. They cannot be things that cause you to give up. They have to be overcome.

What stands between you and success? You have to identify it and figure out how you are going to conquer it and be successful in whatever you are doing. You must think differently so that you are not intimidated by the obstacles.

Billionaires know that problems are what make life so great. Problems are where millions are made. We ignore problems. Billionaires conquer them. We try to get away from problems. Billionaires go after problems. We want a problem-free life. Billionaires know that problems are what life is about.

Successful people welcome challenges. They look for mountains to climb. The average person tries to find a way around mountains instead of climbing them. They try to circumvent and avoid problems. They try to get away from any negative circumstances in their lives, so they avoid and never face their problems.

If you want to move to the next level, you have to become a problem solver, not a problem avoider. How successful you become in life is based on how you handle problems.

If you are a problem solver on your job, your boss will love you. You will become irreplaceable in his life. He’s going to give you raises and promotions and do anything he can to keep you there. Do you want job security? Become a problem solver. There are plenty of problem finders in every business. Problem solvers are the ones who rise to the top because they are so rare.

Understand this. The more successful you are in life, the more problems you will have.

PREPARATION: We prepare today for today. Billionaires prepared today for the opportunities of tomorrow.

Billionaires know that life is about windows of opportunity. If they are not ready for the window, they will miss the opportunity. People have windows of opportunity open for them all the time. But they usually miss them because they are not prepared. The windows close before they take action.

If you do not prepare for things that will happen in your life, you will go through every single day the same way. You will not grow or change. Billionaires use a portion of time each day to prepare for whatever comes their way tomorrow.

What you want in life will not just drop in your lap. Windows of opportunity will open and, if you are not prepared for them, they will pass you by. The amount of preparation that you do will determine your harvest.

You have to seek wisdom and prepare for the opportunities you want. Knowledge and wisdom will catapult you in your business or whatever you do.

TIME: We waste time. Billionaires see time as their most valuable asset.

A billionaire’s most valuable asset is not his money. It is not his car, his house, even his corporation. It is his time. Time is the only limited resource we have. I can get more money. I can get another car. But I can never get more time. My time here on earth is limited.

The successful do not waste their time. They do not let it get away. They maximize every minute and every hour of every day. Time is irreplaceable in your life.

Your time and how you use it now is producing your tomorrow. You have to ask yourself one question. What are you producing? If you do not commit your time to learn how to get where you want to be, you will never go anywhere.

You have to identify your time wasters and you have to remove them.

Change your mind and you will change your future. Start today. Tomorrow depends on it.


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Progressive Christianity – Very Important To Understand What It Is & What It Is Not!

If you’ve been following any of the news about the Democratic candidates running for President in 2020, then you’ve probably heard the term “progressive Christianity”, especially by the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg.

I’ve been a Christian since 1986 but I must confess I had never heard of “progressive Christianity”. Once I heard Mayor Pete and others using this term ever more frequently, I felt it was important to learn more. Especially since Mayor Pete seems to come off so pious quoting verses from the Bible, and never misses a chance to rebuke those who don’t believe as he does.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind anyone quoting verses from the Bible. It’s just when they leave other important verses out of their conversation that I’m driven to question their sincerity and real intent.

Below are “The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity” taken from their website (www.progressivechristianity.org). You will see three versions. The current version, the 2003 version, and the original version. Only the current version is found on their website. I found the 2003 version and the original by doing a lot of digging.


The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity

By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who:

  1. Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life – Current Version

Have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus – 2003 Version

Proclaim Jesus Christ as our Gate to the realm of God – Original Version

  1. Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey – Current Version

Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us – 2003 Version

Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the gateway to God’s realm – Original Version

  1. Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
  • Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
  • Believers and agnostics,
  • Women and men,
  • Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
  • Those of all classes and abilities – Current Version

Understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’ name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God’s feast for all peoples – 2003 Version

Understand our sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’s name to be a representation of God’s feast for all peoples – Original Version

  1. Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe – Current Version

Invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable (including but not limited to):

  • believers and agnostics,
  • conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
  • women and men,
  • those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
  • those of all races and cultures,
  • those of all classes and abilities,
  • those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope,
  • without imposing on them the necessity of becoming like us – 2003 Version

Invite all sorts and conditions of people to join in our worship and in our common life as full partners, including (but not limited to): believers and agnostics, conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, homosexuals and heterosexuals, females and males, the despairing and the hopeful, those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities, without imposing on them the necessity of becoming like us – Original Version

  1. Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes – Current Version

Know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe – 2003 Version

Think that the way we treat one another and other people is more important than the way we express our beliefs – Original Version

  1. Strive for peace and justice among all people – Current Version

Find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions than in the answers – 2003 Version

Find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions than in the answers – Original Version

  1. Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth – Current Version

Form ourselves into communities dedicated to equipping one another for the work we feel called to do: striving for peace and justice among all people, protecting and restoring the integrity of all God’s creation, and bringing hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers – 2003 Version

See ourselves as a spiritual community in which we discover the resources required for our work in the world: striving for justice and peace among all people; bringing hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers – Original Version

  1. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love – Current Version

Who recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege – 2003 Version

Recognize that our faith entails costly discipleship, renunciation of privilege, and conscientious resistance to evil–as has always been the tradition of the church – Original Version


Notice with each new version there is a “progressive” watering down of the older versions.

Although I can agree with some of what these versions are teaching, from a strict biblical perspective as I understand and interpret the Bible, these versions do not represent the Christian faith I profess to follow.

As far as I’m concerned, “progressive Christianity” is just another fancy term for “smorgasbord Christianity”. Pick the verses you like from the Bible and subscribe to believing and preaching them, and just discard the verses you don’t believe or like.

This may work for Mayor Pete and those who follow his “progressive Christianity”, but it doesn’t work for the Creator of the universe, the One who wrote THE original version through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Finally, I would caution Mayor Pete, and all “progressive Christians” to be careful how they preach and teach their version of Scripture.

In the book of Revelation, Chapter 22, verses 18-19, God says, For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

To God be the glory. AMEN!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

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