Is Your Sin More “Fragrant” Than The Homosexual’s?

Homosexuality has been the blaze of social media and the headlines around the world since Friday’s Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Notice that homosexuality isn’t singled out but included in a list of waywardness that many of the churchgoers in Corinth had fallen casualty to. Read more

The Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Hasn’t Moved Me

Why The Supreme Court Decision to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Hasn’t Moved Me

In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a historic ‘victory’.

Dissenting justices have warned that Friday’s Supreme Court decision redefining marriage in all 50 states to include same-sex couples will infringe upon the religious freedoms of those holding traditional views about marriage. In Tennessee, lawmakers are already drafting a Pastor Protection Act in response to the Supreme Court ruling.

This ruling has lit up social media and Christians have been warned by legal experts and evangelical leaders to prepare for unprecedented persecution for their faith.

But to be honest with you, this decision hasn’t moved me. Do some of the ramifications concern me? Sure. But is my faith or confidence in the supremacy of Christ and the power of his gospel shaken? Absolutely not! Read more

Living The Missional Adventure

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Mark 1:17 (NIV)

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:21 (ESV)

Too often the word “mission” is thought of more in terms of a project we volunteer for, a trip we go on once a year, or an outreach event we are a part of at the local homeless shelter or juvenile detention center. While the word “mission” does mean to be sent, the truth is, when Jesus invited us into his mission, he was inviting us into the adventure of a lifetime; not into some sporadic events we choose to volunteer for here and there.

Finding our identity in Christ means that we also find our identity in his mission. As the Father sent him, Jesus as sent us. It’s not something we turn on or off like a program or event. It becomes our lifestyle—an adventure of living each day and every moment with Jesus as he breathes redemptive hope into the broken world we live in.

Every breath has a missional rhythm with Jesus. Read more

Thom Rainer: I Am A Church Member

In our Oikos Bible study series, we recently talked about what every family and household needs. You cannot have a healthy, functional family without committed, caring, and nurturing relationships. Your household needs them and so does God’s household.

We saw that the early church leaders in the New Testament didn’t see themselves as religious event programmers, but they identified themselves as spiritual “fathers” and nurturing “mothers” in the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 4:14-16, Galatians 4:19, 1 Thessalonians 2:7)

Every church member should aspire to be committed, caring, and nurturing in their relationship with God’s family. Church health is not about the size of the congregation, but the capacity to live out these nurturing discipling relationships.

Thom S. Rainer wrote a book called I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference. It is described as a remedy to the outbreak of inactive or barely committed church members, addressing without apology what is expected of those who join a body of believers. When a person’s attitude is consistently biblical and healthy, matters of giving, serving, and so forth will fall into place more naturally. Read more

Optimism Breeds a Culture of Hope

Charles Swindoll once said, “Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do… The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day… I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me, and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitude.”

Sometimes we fail to maintain an optimistic outlook because of the “if only” complex. If only I made more money I’d be happy. If only my spouse understood me better. If only I could lose some weight. If only my teenagers weren’t acting out. If only I had gotten a better break in life. If only God wouldn’t have allowed ______________ to happen. Read more

Who Would Dare to Love ISIS? A Letter from the People of the Cross

“Who would dare to love ISIS? (A Letter from The People Of the Cross” is a video created by Mighty, a media and production company out of Los Angeles, CA. Since its debut in April, the video letter has been viewed more than 430,000 times. In it, the Gospel is clearly offered to the men who have persecuted Christians in the Middle East and Africa. And it is a strong reminder to the church: no one is outside the grace of Jesus. Below is the text. Read more