Pastor’s Blog

Pastors Blog / 05.11.2019

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...

Pastors Blog / 05.11.2019

Truth is an important word within the scriptures. It is a word mentioned over and over, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The scriptures teach us that we are changed or sanctified by the truth. It is truth that brings us to God as we recognize we are all sinners, unable to achieve righteousness outside of a true relationship with God. As believers we are to practice, live by, the truth (1 John1:6). Paul says it this way: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). The latter part of verse 24 is more literally translated “in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” This would line up with what many commentators say, that truth should be seen as a source of the righteousness and holiness that is being created in the new person. The idea here is simple; truth has a direct connection to righteousness and holiness in our lives. The opposite would also be simple; a lack of truth will have a direct connection to the lack of righteousness and holiness in our lives. Truth is directly connected to our spiritual lives and is required in our day-to-day walk as believers in Jesus Christ. With all of this comes the reality that we often do not know the whole truth. We may hear information first or second or third hand. It may be passed on by those who have only heard only one side of the story or who want to pass themselves off as the appointed representatives for a specific opinion or...

Pastors Blog / 23.10.2019

Are you easily offended?  What types of things do you find yourself becoming offended at?   We can be offended by something as little as someone not saying hello to us.  As a person who has struggled over the years with being over-sensitive and reading into things, I have prayed for God to help me become unoffendable.    It is only natural to have our feelings hurt, and because we are human beings, we will sin against each other.  How are we, according to Jesus, to handle it?   One of the most radical concepts Jesus ever spoke about was forgiveness.  When Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times? ”Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22   In other words, Jesus was saying that every time a brother or sister sins against us, that we should forgive them.  That was a radical departure from the Old Testament law which said an eye for an eye.   Another radical concept that Jesus taught was the idea of resolving conflict in Matthew 5:23-24:  “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”  We need to settle differences before approaching God!  And key here is that if we know we have offended someone, we are to go to him or her.   Let Christ’s humility be your example. Some of the most powerful words in the New Testament can be found in Philippians 2:5-7 and 17:  “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,...