Why does it matter whether or not all sin is described as idolatry?
It has surprised me, as I’ve researched it, how many Christians simply assume that all Christians churn out idols. To think that everyone who worships Jesus Christ is all the time actually worshiping something else is disturbing at its core.
As I studied the topic, I saw this quotation again and again from John Calvin: “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.”
In the beginning, I had a little blog called Here’s the Joy on which I just wanted to blog about the Christian life and the wonderful truths of the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, the Hope of glory. I was happy with my eight readers, and life was (relatively) uncomplicated.
Then I began to interact more and more with abuse survivors and those who blog about abuse. That does have a way of upending your world, doesn’t it? I may still have only eight readers, but my blog has taken a turn.
So yesterday I was supposed to be working on the publishing policy for Justice Keepers Publishingand other fun things, but I got waylaid for a bit by someone’s blog post with links and more links. Eventually it led me to a blog where I had a spirited discussion with the blog admin, who had said we should keep silent regarding scandals such as that about Tullian Tchividjian and Tom Chantry, because otherwise we are breaking the ninth commandment, “thou shalt not bear false witness.” Continue reading “Tullian Tchividjian, Tom Chantry, BJUGrace, and gossip”
One way abuse victims are taught to give up their rights in Christian circles is by teaching them to give up things that are presented as rights but aren’t really rights at all. (So then they’ll say, “Oh, well, yes it’s obvious I should give that up,” and then the conclusion is drawn that they should give up RIGHTS. But that’s wrong.) This is from Untwisting Scriptures, a few bits in the middle of the section about NOT surrendering your rights.
– Don’t call them rights when they’re really just desires
All too often, I find myself annoyed and perturbed when things don’t go my way. A decision someone makes at the office, a rude driver on the freeway, a long line at the checkout counter, a thoughtless word spoken by a family member, a minor offense (real or perceived) by a friend, someone who fails to come through on a commitment, a phone call that wakes me when I have just fallen off to sleep—if I am staking out my rights, even the smallest violation of those rights can leave me feeling and acting moody, uptight, and angry.
At the beginning of the book of Ruth, Naomi was bitter. No doubt about it. She said she was bitter. She changed her name to “Bitter.” (That’s what “Mara” means.) Preachers and writers often point to her as an example of sinful bitterness.
When many preachers and writers talk about Naomi they say that she—and you—should instead be like Joseph in the book of Genesis. After he was betrayed by his brothers, he said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”
Hello friends! My newest book has been released on Amazon! I’m glad it’s being released in Domestic Violence Awareness month, since in Christian circles, domestic abuse is almost always interwoven with spiritual abuse. Click here to see the book on Amazon.
I’ve been hiding in a hole lately, working on the manuscript for this book. While I’ve been working on it, I’ve neglected many emails and most of my housekeeping.
But I’m excited to say it’s almost done! I’ll be addressing topics I’ve addressed in blog posts before, but completely reworked, simplified, and expanded. I had to take a hard look at teachings that had been given by respected speakers and writers.
This post is Part Three of a larger series on the Biblical concept of bitterness. Parts One and Two were published earlier this month, covering the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews and the “gall of bitterness” in Acts.
This post is part of a much larger project exploring the Biblical concept of “bitterness,” looking at all the occurrences of the Hebrew and Greek words as they’re used throughout the Bible.
This is important, because the accusation of “bitterness” is often used to shame and blame and silence victims and survivors of abuse. (I’ve been listening to many sermons and reading articles and books to that effect.)
I believe the Bible makes it clear that bitterness definitely doesn’t always mean what we’ve been led to think it means.