Archive for the ‘Sin’ category

When Sin Crouches At the Door

May 20, 2017

depositphotos Image ID: 39910063 Copyright: ectorass

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7

We know the story of Cain & Abel. They were the sons of Adam & Eve. They both offered sacrifices to God. Cain gave an offering from “the fruit of the ground”, and Abel of the “fat portions”[1] from the “firstlings”[2] of his flock. (Genesis 4:3-4) All was good, right?

Well, no. God “regarded” Abel’s offering, but didn’t “regard” Cain’s offering, and that is when the problem started. Cain became angry[3], and his “countenance fell”. (Genesis 4:4-5) We know the rest of the story: Cain ends up killing Abel.

Lest we be tempted to think that we don’t need to pay attention to the details of this story because we aren’t like Cain – we would never kill anyone – consider these words of Jesus:

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court….” (Matthew 5:21-22)

Anyone who has ever been angry with another person, might do well to consider the details of the story of Cain and Abel.

(more…)

Appearances and Realities

April 21, 2017

Depositphoto Image ID: 141475556 Copyright: SIphotography

My son posted an article written by a young woman who was chastised by an older woman for wearing holy jeans in church. She was accused of being disrespectful to God. I am reminded of the charge Jesus made against the Pharisees about being whitewashed tombs.[1] They looked good and clean on the outside, but they were empty on the inside.

We are good at making ourselves look good on the outside, but that isn’t what counts.

Jesus was pretty clear when he told us that we should stop judging by appearances.[2] How did this elderly woman know that the young church attendee was disrespecting God? God judges the heart,[3] and God alone.[4] He weighs our motives.[5] The people who look good to us, may be anything but good[6], and the opposite is certainly true as well.

It’s no wonder that millennials are leaving the church in big numbers. If this older woman represents what is important to the average churchgoer today, the Pharisees are still leading the way in religious circles.

The thing is that human nature in the 1st Century is the same as human nature in the 21st Century.

We live with an illusion that we are somehow more enlightened, less barbaric and more advanced than our ancient counterparts. We want to believe that we have made progress over time and are getting better. We don’t stone people to death for moral crimes anymore (at least in many countries). Activists parade in the public square today to support human rights rather than gathering in the public square to watch executions (in many countries anyway). But we shouldn’t ignore the signs that suggest a different narrative.

More people were killed by genocidal rulers in the 20th Century than in all the previous centuries combined. Look at the awful number of people killed in Chicago alone by handguns every week, month and year. We don’t burn babies on the outstretched arms of Molech anymore; we tear them limb from limb in the womb. In many countries around the world, we still stone people to death, cut off their limbs, burn their faces and even through homosexuals off of roofs with the sanction of social and governmental blessing.

Appearances are deceiving.

(more…)

What is Hidden Will Be Made Known

February 16, 2017
A strange suspicious confident hacker standing with a hoodie and leather jacket in front of sepia brown urban concrete wall concept

depositphoto Copyright: ra2studio

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. (Luke 8:17)

Shakespeare was right. We strut and fret our hour upon the stage.[1] But who are we performing for? Our friends and family? Neighbors? The public? Do we perform for ourselves alone?

We have but an hour. Rather, it is more like a minute, a second… a millisecond in the scope of time on this stage of the universe in the very small act we call human history.  According to Shakespeare, our lives are an idiot’s tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

That may be so if there is no God and no life beyond this brief, strutting hour. It would all be meaningless, an idiot’s tale indeed, if this universe was not the work of a Creator and we, His image bearers.

(more…)

Conflating God with People

February 7, 2017

ed-sheeran-concert


I have an old friend who is “disgusted” that many Christians supported Donald Trump and were a significant factor in Trump winning the election. She, like many women (and men), cannot get past the infamous words that Trump spoke how about a woman reporter. I won’t repeat them here. They are too vulgar for polite company.

My friend has been so turned off of Christians and “the” Church by the fact that many Christians voted for Trump and were a factor in electing him, that she no longer goes to church at all after decades of being a church-goer.

I don’t want to get into politics here. That isn’t the issue I’m focused on.

I have family and friends who say that they can’t believe in God, or can’t believe in the Christian God, because Christians are hypocrites. This is what leads me to write this piece.

(more…)

The Importance of How We View God and Ourselves

January 27, 2017
depositphotos Image ID:31614317 Copyright: DesignPicsInc

depositphotos Image ID: 31614317 Copyright: DesignPicsInc

The story of the sinful woman who wipes Jesus’ fee with her tears and anoints them with oil is a tender but rather uncomfortable story. [i] A Pharisee had invited Jesus to eat with him at his house. While reclining at the Pharisee’s table, a woman, a known sinner, came up behind him.

Where did she come from? How did she get into the Pharisee’s house? Was she, perhaps, a daughter of the Pharisee, one of whom he was not very proud? was there something else going on? We don’t know.

When she came up behind Jesus, she was weeping, and she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped his feet with her hair, kissed his feet and anointed them with oil. A greater display of open, unabashed affection is hard to imagine. Thinking of the vulnerability and openness of her affection is even uncomfortable.

The Pharisee was taken aback, as we would be, mumbling to himself that surely Jesus must know who this woman is. Her reputation was well known, at least to the Pharisee.

(more…)

Viewing God in the Mirror of Our Lives

June 22, 2016

“Now we see as if in a mirror dimly… but then we will see face to face.”[a]

The filter through which we see God is the physical, spiritual, emotional and conscious person we see staring back at us in the mirror. Our image of who God is comes filtered through our own selves.

Think about that for a moment….

If our sense of who we are is distorted, our view of God is distorted. If we don’t see ourselves accurately, we can’t see God accurately.  Having an accurate view of God requires us to have an accurate view of who we are.

(more…)

The Temptation to Complain

May 9, 2016
Photo by Beth Drendel

Photo by Beth Drendel

Why should any living man complain?[i] You are alive! Therefore, you have hope.

Your life, no doubt, has not gone the way you hoped it would. Looking back, there may be many regrets. You may deeply wish that you had known then what you know now, and if only you had some foresight, some sheer luck perhaps, things would be much different.

But things are what they are, and no amount of wishful thinking will change the course of events that have happened to this point.

Have you made mistakes? Be honest! We all make mistakes, and not just mistakes of choice – we all do things we should not have done. We have all done things that we knew we should not have done because they were not right.

We try to “redeem” those mistakes. Sometimes, we try to redeem them by re-characterizing our actions, thoughts and decisions, owning them as if they were right because they are who we are.

That is the temptation of modern life. “Be who you are” – whatever that may be. “Never apologize for who you are”.

But who are you?

Are you your own person?

(more…)


t2gospel

Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Convergent Christianity

Where Evangelical, Charismatic and Historic church expressions are brought together in unity.

Urban Poetry

Where Legends Live in Words. A Digital Art & Poetry Wordpress By Linda J. Wolff

The Truth Will Make You Mad

Skeptical believer. Christian anthropicist. Post-partisan Hayek-Friedman-Reagan classical liberal.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

Comments on the New Testament and Early Christianity (and related matters)

WIT

Women in Theology

Reflections

We are what we think.

Rationalising The Universe

one post at a time

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

Boosterclub Blog

Supporting positive change

The Invisible Things

Articles in Apologetics

Overflow

Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

The Freedom Fight

Fight for Life. Fight for Liberty. Fight for Freedom.

Defending Hope

We Must Always Be Ready To Give A Reasoned Answer For The Hope That Lies Within (1 Peter 3:15)

Today's New Reason to Believe

Integrating Science and Faith

Testimonies

Christ Inspired

PastorBrianChilton.wordpress.com

This website has moved to BellatorChristi.com. Go there to see the latest posts and podcasts from Brian. Blessings!

SixDay Science

Faith in Science | Science in Faith

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

Mitch Teemley

The Power of Story

%d bloggers like this: