Somewhere back in time someone decided that sexual sin is the worst kind of sin. In many churches sexual sin is the line over which you may not cross.
Sex before marriage is the worst thing a Christian teenager can do. Sleeping around is the worst thing a Christian woman can do. Looking at pornography is the worst thing a Christian man can do. Adultery is the worst thing a Christian married person can do. And if a Christian leader, or pastor, has problems with any of these things, that’s the worst of all.
“Now let’s get back to the mission of our church.” This has been one of the most repeated phrases among Seventh-day Adventists following the 2015 General Conference decision regarding women’s ordination. This phrase suggests that because we have been deeply engaged in study and discussion on women’s ordination, that this has caused us to lose focus on our mission of reaching the lost.
Have you ever been there,
at the crossroads of life?
Looking both ways
but not knowing which is right.
Staring into the distance, trying to see
just a glimmer of light?
As if at a stop light that never turns green,
you're stuck at the intersection of me and He.
But the roads aren’t labeled
for as far as you can see.
Father. It’s a weighty word for me. Like stained glass, the image it brings to mind is a mosaic of different colored fragments. Some are beautiful. Some full of tension.
Strength. Sometimes gentle strength, sometimes raw and frightening. Provision. Authority. Protection. A disciplinary look or word. A few spankings. Many more cuddling hugs. And then a big gap, missing spaces, leaving a picture less than half formed.
Torrential rainfall, stifling heat, spectacular lightning, and a lone rose blooming in the backyard all served to remind me this week of the beauty and brilliance of nature.
One of Robert Frost’s 1915 poems, entitled Rose Pogonias, comes to mind as I reflect upon the variety of spectacular sights, sounds, and smells the Lord has created for us:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matt 5:14-16).
Andrews University students launched “Free Intelligent Conversation” three years ago and it’s grown into an international trend with people in cities from Illinois to Italy and everywhere in between participating. In this TEDx video, Kyle Emile discusses why he and some friends started the movement and how the world benefits from intelligent conversations.
Hope is an easy concept to talk about, but not always easy to actively practice. As human beings, we hope for many things: health, happiness, and love, to name a few. As Christians, our hopes are even greater: we hope for Jesus’ soon return, to see Him face-to-face, to be reunited with loved ones in heaven.
An oft used phrase is, “our hope is in the Lord,” but what does this really mean? Truly, the Lord gives us hope, but what are we to do with that hope once we have it?