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Showing posts from May, 2011

Sensuality and Legalism

When living the Christian life we are faced with a narrow road and two ditches, sensuality and legalism. Sensuality is characterized by doing whatever we want to do. It is living for whatever makes us happy in the here and now. There is no forethought to what the long-term implications are, but only rationalization of our actions for maximizing pleasure immediately. Legalism puts rules and personal righteousness above concern for others. It promotes uncompromising confidence in ones own views and leaves no room for the possibility of being wrong.

The fate of those who crash their lives into these ditches are the same. The sensuous, "everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Eph. 5:5)." Likewise, the legalistic, "you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in (Matt 23:13)." Being a Christian…

Human Justice

Does God endorse the death penalty? This question elicits passionate responses from both sides of the debate. Reaching a consensus on this question is improbable but it is worthwhile to discuss since God is the judge of all the earth.

The first distinction to be made is that individual Christians should generally not take justice into their own hands, especially if it only affects them. Dietrich Bonhoeffer would argue that there are times when individuals need to take justice into their own hands for the sake of other people, however, that is a more complex discussion which is not the purpose of this article. Jesus tells us, "do not resists the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:39)." It is clear that when injustice is done to us we should not seek revenge or retaliate but love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44). However, God does give authority to the government. Paul speaking about the …

Once saved always saved

If you go to the top of the CN tower there is a glass floor that you can walk on. Some people enjoy walking on it and looking down, and others are so terrified that they will not go near it. It is not that they don't believe it will hold them up, it is that they don't believe it will hold them up. They understand the materials are strong enough, but there is something deep inside of them that thinks, what if?

When it comes right down to it, they have to admit that they don't believe it is safe. Their actions show what they believe even though they can acknowledge that it is not reasonable. This is very similar to those who profess to believe in Jesus Christ, but do not act like it. James summed it up nicely when he said, "faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:17)." People who do not live out their faith, don't actually believe it. There are people who at one time professed Jesus Christ, but who now claim there is no God. These people ar…