Sodom, Gomorrah, and Illegal Aliens, Part 2

When the evangelical right considers the issue of illegal immigration, it’s rare for someone to bring up the word of God as somehow relevant. Instead, we conservative, right-wing Christians tend to think very much like conservative, right-wing non-believers. Our views are rarely distinguishable from those of the Republican Party’s National Committee. For example, Jerry Falwell wrote, Continue reading

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Sodom, Gomorrah, and Illegal Aliens, Part 1

aliensWe’ve been studying Abraham at church, and we eventually found ourselves talking about Sodom and Gomorrah. Looking for some depth, beyond the obvious condemnation of homosexuality, I pulled out the trusty computerized concordance to see what else the Bible says about Sodom.

There are about 25 references to Sodom after the account of its destruction by God, and of these, only one uses Sodom in conjunction with a condemnation of sexual perversion Continue reading

A Communion Meditation: The Pattern for the Lord’s Supper

CommunionLuke’s account of the first communion service is fascinating. Jesus first shares the cup and then the bread. They then eat supper, and then Jesus again shares the cup.

It has often bothered me that the cup was before the bread or else that they took a meal between the bread and the cup. (But it gives me great comfort for the time, many years ago, when I presided over the Lord’s table and blessed the cup before the bread!) Continue reading

On Baptizing Your Children, Part 2

BaptismI think your child being baptized should be seen rather like your child joining the army. It’s a great honor. The child will be incredibly well-equipped and trained. He or she will mature rapidly. But he or she may also be taken overseas for years at time, suffer injuries, or even die in the service.

Just so, when our children commit to Jesus, they aren’t buying an insurance policy Continue reading

On Baptizing Your Children, Part 1

BaptismWe recently had a three-generation baptism at church. A young girl, her father, and grandfather all descended together into the baptistry. The grandfather spoke movingly on the meaning of becoming a Christian–the commitment it involves–and the father baptized his daughter. It was simple and powerful.

One of the truly wonderful traditions our congregation has is allowing a father to handle the baptism of his child. Continue reading

Amazing Grace, Part 2

Amazing GraceI just watched the movie. Loved it. How rare to find a movie where the heroes are politicians and (believe or not) a Latin-quoting lawyer–and they’re all Christians acting in faith!

My Concern with Youth Ministry

YouthI’m deeply concerned about the state of youth ministry nowadays. As adult ministry is trying to mature from providing “goods and services” to the membership and instead being “missional,” I’m not seeing a comparable maturation of our youth ministries.

I mean, ask your youth minister this question: “What is your foremost goal for the kids in your ministry who’ve already become Christians?” You’ll get one of these answers: Continue reading