5 reasons for church small groups to replace “transparency” with “integrity”

1.     There are no Biblical guidelines for “transparency,” but there are for integrity

Transparency is an extra-Biblical concept. In church small group it usually seems to mean “being willing to tell us about your sin,” and I think it’s based on James 5:16, which says, “Confess your faults one to another.” Apparently the word “confession” wasn’t a good enough word—“transparency” takes it a step further: the ideal is for us to see all your faults. Continue reading “5 reasons for church small groups to replace “transparency” with “integrity””

Reason trumps emotions? 90% of evangelicals say yes

It wasn’t a formal survey, by the way. It’s just that when I asked 25 friends, 22½ of them agreed.

(So, to be clear, that survey part was a little joke.)

Anyway . . .

It seems that this belief is seen as true especially for those who have been influenced by so-called “Biblical counseling,” even if they don’t know they’ve been influenced by it. That would be the majority of people I speak with. Continue reading “Reason trumps emotions? 90% of evangelicals say yes”

When is it wrong to be a “living sacrifice”? Reexamining Romans 12:1

Romans 12:1 says,

“Therefore I exhort you, brothers [and sisters], through the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your reasonable [rational] service.”

I’ve been naïve and sheltered apparently, because I was in my fifties before I found out how this expression, this good Bible verse, had been perverted beyond recognition. For me, beyond imagining, until I learned it was real. Continue reading “When is it wrong to be a “living sacrifice”? Reexamining Romans 12:1”

Are all Christians hypocrites? A response to a Bill Hybels supporter

I know it must grow wearying to many Jesus-lovers to hear of one Christian leader after another being accused of sexual sins and even crimes.  I become weary too, but not because I believe the accusations are false or nit-picky. No, I’m glad for any such truths that are coming out, and I’m glad criminals and hypocrites are being exposed. It’s the hypocrisy itself I grow weary of.

Bill Hybels

The hypocrisy was especially brought it to my attention this time in an article my husband told me about a couple of days ago, which defended one of the recently accused, Bill Hybels (who has been accused of long-term adultery as well as attempts at seduction, allegations against whom can be found here and here and here).

The article I’m replying to, published by Christian Today (not Christianity Today) is hereContinue reading “Are all Christians hypocrites? A response to a Bill Hybels supporter”

Defeat that roaring lion

Blog posts about Scripture studies, I have to acknowledge, don’t get as much action as blog posts about news events . . . or even about wrong teachings.

But there is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures that will help us as we discern what’s true and what’s false in the church world. The quiet hours you spend in the Word as you seek Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit—even if they produce questions you can’t answer right away—will ultimately help you better see who Jesus really is and what God is really doing.

*****

Sometimes when I study a passage of Scripture . . . it reminds me of another . . . and another . . . and then I see how they link together.

The other day I was reminded of a time that happened, when Philippians 2 and First Peter 5 and Psalm 22 all pointed to the same thing, a truth driven home on Passion Week, as I pondered how our Lord Jesus was humbled . . . and then exalted.

And the roaring lion was defeated.

And it’s true for all His children too. Continue reading “Defeat that roaring lion”

No more karma Christianity

The other day I received a request to comment on the topic of God punishing us for our sins in a seemingly random way:

It was ingrained heavily when I was a child that God punishes us for things long after we’ve repented.  Any “bad” sin leads to year and years of punishment, even if it’s been repented of fully.  My parents will say this often, that someone (even their own child) is being punished because of a very bad [unrelated] sin.  I’ve felt an incredible amount of guilt and shame over my child’s health problems and always wonder if it was because of my sin.

Continue reading “No more karma Christianity”

How to handle those “forgive and forget” Scriptures

Occasionally I’ve talked with friends who have feared they haven’t really forgiven the person who harmed them. “I keep thinking about the harm,” she might say. “It keeps hurting. So that makes me think I haven’t really forgiven.”

It’s not only a common feeling, but also a common accusation.

“You’re still talking about that? You must not have forgiven. You must just be bitter.

After all, forgive and forget. Continue reading “How to handle those “forgive and forget” Scriptures”