Empowered & Engaged

Legalism vs. Liberalism

Not too many years ago preachers preached about sin and judgement, fire and brimstone, and portrayed God as angry and demanding.  Conversely, these days we have preachers who have swung the pendulum too far the other direction into love, love, love and grace, grace, grace.   One end of the spectrum is legalism and the other end is liberalism.  Neither are biblical.  The truth is in the middle of these two extremes and we better get ahold of it quickly! Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, during his days on earth, for their pious attitudes and their need to control people with legalism.  He also warned us that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17-20).  Abolishing the law swings us into a form of liberalism, and abuse of grace, that Paul emphatically warns against in Romans 6:1-2.    God is both a God of judgement and a God

Spiritual Malnutrition

There is an alarming trend occurring, according to a 2017 Barna poll, indicating a decline in not only Bible reading, but also in believing it to be either the literal or inspired word of God.  At the time of the poll, only 20% of people polled believed the Bible to be the literal or inspired word of God and read, used, listened to the Bible 4 times a week or more.  The percentage of pollsters who believe the same, but engaged with the Bible less than 4 times a week was a mere 38%.  If we were looking at a cross-section of the general American public, this may not seem so bad…may even look promising.  However, Barna Group’s demographic is Christians and Christian churches.  So, why are so few Christians reading their Bibles?  And what exactly are the implications of this, individually, corporately and culturally? In

Gates & Walls of Our Hearts

We are instructed in Proverbs 4:23 to guard our hearts with all diligence because ALL the issues of life flow from it.  This has always been a bit of tricky passage for me to understand how exactly we execute that.  Until today. I was discussing with someone very close to me, all the ways that we individually, and corporately as the body of Christ, have compromised in seemingly small, innocuous ways.  The church has become far, far too entrenched in the culture of the world.  The church was supposed to CHANGE the culture, not blend in with it.  When the Jews were captive in Babylon, many adapted to the culture.  When they were FREE to go, many, many chose to stay because they became enamored with the culture….the very one that captured them to begin with!  They came into alignment with the very darkness

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