Recently, I hear more and more people using the word moderate in their conversation. Maybe this is because we are enduring one of the most turbulent and divisive elections in our history. Passions run deep on both sides of the political aisle. To define oneself as moderate allows for a bit of wiggle room and can produce a bit of civility in those who might hold opposing views. Moderate, when used as an adjective, carries the idea of average- in amount, quality, and intensity. As a verb it means “to make or become less intense or rigorous,” and as a noun it refers to “one who holds moderate views in politics or other areas of thought.” So in the explosive and emotionally charged world we live in, maybe choosing to be moderate is a good decision. However, I do not believe this is true for Christians when it come to their faith. Christianity has never been viewed as a moderate set of beliefs by those outside of its influence. The history of Christianity is colored with the blood of those who held firm to the faith yet withstood some of the most brutal persecutions known to man. However, more and more churches today are struggling with moderate Christianity. Moderate Christianity is much like many of the beliefs peddled in the market place and on social media. It is grounded in the comfort of self and promotes average as the social norm. Above all, it strives to be less intense and rigorous in sharing and living out its beliefs. Its mantra is “don’t rock the boat.” C.S. Lewis once made this observation, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” Moderate Christianity was not an option for Lewis, and it is...
Tis the Season
Advent. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it is the beginning of the church year. Tis the season when Christians, both young and old, have an opportunity to reflect on the first coming of Jesus and prepare for his promised second coming.
The Advent Season accompanies a specific time in the calendar year. It begins on the Sunday closest to November 30 and includes the four Sundays prior to Christmas and concludes on Christmas Eve. The first mention of Advent in the writings of the Church ca be traced to AD 380 in Spain. By the sixth century the Church had settled on December 25 as the date for Christmas and designated the four Sundays before Christmas Day as Advent Sundays.
Celebrating Advent means celebrating the coming of Jesus, his birth and his life, his ministry and his teachings, his death and his resurrection. Even more, it means understanding that his coming was an expression of God’s love. “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:9-10 ESV
The Advent Season continues to be a clear and concise reminder of God’s love for sinners. It is a season filled with his wonder and his glory. It is a time when we celebrate Christ’s first coming and our hearts are accompanied with anticipation and joy for his second.