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Regardless of where you land on the gun debate in America (I’m a Canadian, so I don’t have a horse in this race), I hope you’ll find this article by John Piper interesting:
My main concern in this article is with the appeal to students that stirs them up to have the mindset: Let’s all get guns and teach them a lesson if they come here. The concern is the forging of a disposition in Christians to use lethal force, not as policemen or soldiers, but as ordinary Christians in relation to harmful adversaries.
The issue is not primarily about when and if a Christian may ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. There are significant situational ambiguities in the answer to that question. The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.
I’ve heard that maxim a few times and I’ve got to say I feel at a slight advantage in seeing it executed. Here is what I mean. I tend to preach through books of the Bible. I’ve been the pastor here at FBC Marionville since June. On day one I started a series in Mark. I’m in chapter 10 now. We’ve covered a variety of topics. Some themes repeat but I still don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to say something so many times that I’m getting sick of saying it.
As we come to the end of the year and press into yet another new year, it is always beneficial for us to evaluate our commitments and priorities from the past year–noting the ways in which we have, by God’s grace, grown in certain areas and the ways in which we desperately need to grow in other areas. When people make New Year’s resolutions, they tend to fixate on their own personal health and wellness—something for which there is much to be said. In the church, believers often commit to such things as “reading through the Bible in the year” or “starting a prayer journal.” While these—and similar resolutions—are honorable—there is one area of supreme importance where growth is always needed yet sadly neglected. It is the need for us to resolve to give our lives to Christ in the worship and service of the local church. In a very real sense, it is right for us to insist that the church should come first in the order of priorities of our lives.
Last Wednesday I saw my family doctor with some puzzling symptoms, and he suspected Parkinson’s disease. He referred me to a neurologist, and on Friday, she confirmed that I definitely have Parkinson’s disease.
In fact, “conversion” isn’t considered civil in our politically correct world—it smacks of intolerance.
And, more often than not, we tend to think of ourselves on a spectrum of spirituality. After all, we’re all spiritual beings. But some of the most supposedly “spiritual people” in today’s time have admitted they don’t know and have not seen God.
St. Nicholas appears to offer some help. On the one hand, he offers a certain “Christian” flavor to the Santa myth. In the war on Christmas, Christians have a secret weapon. We have a man behind enemy lines, hiding in plain, red-coated sight. Likewise, St. Nick grounds Santa in history. The complaint of Christian parents vis-à-vis Santa has long been: how can we say Jesus and Santa are real without expecting our kids to doubt the former once they stop believing in the latter?