Articles

Articles

Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9

Do you believe that you must confess every known sin to God? For many years earlier in my ministry, I made statements such as the following: “In order to be restored to fellowship with God and to be filled with the Spirit you must confess every known sin to God.” What am I to think of such instructions now? Sadly, this teaching adds a layer of requirement for our forgiveness not intended by God. And it may lead to confusion…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part IV

Because I’m writing these articles first online (perhaps later as a small book), I will take the liberty to edit as I’m going. This happens as I realize the need for improvements in the writing or content, sometimes reflecting comments and questions being sent to me. Speaking of the questions that arise, I will also be able to answer some of them in the practical section about implementation, Part V, and in Part VI, a section I will add just…

Memories of Apartheid

Years ago in what was then called a “Colored Township” in Capetown, South Africa, I wondered at the hatred that caused that circular black burn mark on the street close to the front door of the gentle believers who had opened their hearts and home to me. What causes a person to “necklace” another with a flaming tire? In those days of both Apartheid and tribal strife, nerves were strained. Many mornings in that enchanting country we awoke to read…

Note to Bible Readers: “I Married an Ugly Man!”

Suppose you were a mail order bride from another country. You dream about what kind of husband this foreign man will be as you take the boat across the ocean. When you first set your eyes on him, you’re disappointed. He’s ugly! But the contract is signed and as he throws your bag on to the carriage, you have your first realization that, in fact, he’s a kind man and really wants the best for you. As you travel down…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part III

In Part I, we saw that the Lord’s Supper is a weekly meal. In Part II, we saw that the Lord’s Supper is an experience of intentional fellowship. We live out that fellowship in a focused way in the meal itself. In most churches this meal is nonexistent. Rather, the Lord’s Supper has become for many the most independent and even private (or vertical only) aspect of worship in their gatherings, essentially emptied of the fellowship with one another which…

Listen Free to Wasted Faith

Wasted Faith Audio Book Listen to Wasted Faith by clicking “Play” on the black bar below.   You can also download the MP3 of Wasted Faith here. Right-click and choose, “Save this file.”

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part II

In Part I we saw that the Lord’s Supper is an actual meal. At the center of that meal is the bread and wine (or the less fermented juice), about which we will talk later. We also saw that this was a weekly meal. It was, no doubt, the way early believers thought of church life together. They would have said, “We come together to eat.”  But Paul also expressed a concern related to that meal that had already caused…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part I

The purpose for these five articles: I want to stimulate the churches to eat the Lord’s Supper as an actual meal for the purpose of augmenting authentic fellowship in Christ, while highlighting the special cup and bread which symbolize the only reason for our union, worship, and mutual edification. Alexio had become a believer in Christ when the Apostle Paul visited Corinth in Achaia, today’s southern Greece. Corinth was the largest city there, out-sizing Athens. He was a wealthy man,…

Our Parents Should Have Told Us: Manners for Social Media in Polarized Times

1. Describing others with demeaning epithets is arrogant and unbecoming. Let’s run as far from it as we possibly can. Calling a person “stupid,” or “an idiot,” for instance, tells us more about our character than theirs. 2. Making uninvited humorous comments about physical characteristics of others is childish at best, but also rude and condescending. It often shows disrespect for God as creator. Even in jest, it should be cut out of our speech repertoire. It would help to…

A Broken Relationship with Dad

Over many years I have seen that a person who has a rupture in relationship with his or her father and does not know how to find acceptance and peace with God through Jesus Christ, may be susceptible to many difficulties in this life. Broken child/parent relationships of any kind very often present in ongoing bouts of rebellion and anger or crippling despair and perceptions of inferiority, outside of God’s help. Some carry these attitudes internally while weakening them, and…

The Role of Timothy and Titus: Apostolic Representatives, Not Pastors

I sometimes hear respected Bible teachers refer to Timothy as the pastor of the church in Ephesus. One of my favorite expositors also refers to Titus as the pastor on the island of Crete. But were Timothy and Titus really pastors? Pastor Titus? Titus is never mentioned in Acts, but his name is found often in Paul’s letters. After Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment (at the end of Acts, around A.D. 62), he ministered with Titus on…

Two Kingdoms: How Christians View Their Citizenship

The greater reality as believers is that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God and of His Christ (Anointed King) and are therefore aliens in the world. This first reality competes with a second one: we are temporary citizens of a country in this world and are not yet physically in the Kingdom of God as it will be when our King returns and sets it in order. We should not be unconcerned for our temporary country where God…