Pastor's Corner

1 Feb
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Mid-Week Challenge

How do you know if you are having an impact on your culture? I’m sure there are many ways to list but one of the ways that jumps out

at me is when I see religious articles on news sites like The Huffington Post that seek to educate us on the practice of Christianity and

the validity of Evangelical leaders. (Derek Penwell does an annual assessment of Franklin Graham entitled “Why Franklin Graham is the Worst

Thing to Happen To God In A While” and other writers claim Christianity is in turmoil http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-franklin-graham-is-yet-again-the-worst-thing- to_us_588f512be4b06364bb1e27d3 : http://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/denison-forum/trump-travel-ban-3-biblical-priorities.html : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-christianity-is-in-

turmoil_us_5890c474e4b04c35d5835324)

Thanks to the election of Donald Trump the news media has been talking nonstop about many of the issues that Christians have been fighting for since the beginning of our nation. True, it does appear at times that they have made it their mission to oppose many of these things but when you look at the heart of what they are saying, both sides must be honest about the fact that we want the same thing. Everyone needs to pause for a moment and realize that opposition happens due to the methods of the opposing side not the intended outcome. We cannot get so emotional about an issue that we forget that we are supposed to be on the same side. As in all emotional conflicts someone has to stand up and be the adult. What those who seek to put Christians in their place by quoting a bunch of Scripture about helping the poor and making accommodations for the immigrant fail to realize is these passages are among many that tell us how to live. Those that use these passages in an accusatory way also fail to read these in proper context and application, let alone the common sense factor that God imparts in all of us.

That is why those who are followers of Christ must make it their mission to understand the full Word of God. As with any discipline in life, nothing happens by simple “osmosis.” Weak preaching, lack of personal Bible study and a general apathy toward culture have put the Church at a huge disadvantage in the current conversation. When casual Christians are confronted by the world with Biblical passages that deal with the poor or immigrants they are ill-equipped to respond because they have not done their own due diligence in rightly dividing the Word of God. They have no answer because they have no personal Biblical foundation. When preachers fail to cover the “difficult passages” they have failed in their calling to preach the whole of Scripture and have become prophesy to themselves. Acts 20:27 & 2 Timothy 4:3

Instead of looking at the cultural stir going on right now as a burden we should be looking at it as a blessing. This is an opportunity because it gets people to read the Bible. But we cannot pick and choose the passages we follow and we must be prepared when passages are randomly thrown our way. Proper context and application is the key to understanding. The Bible warns us to be aware of every opportunity to share the truth in Scripture. If we miss out due to poor preparation, the blame falls on us. You don’t have to be a Biblical Scholar but you should know what you believe and why you believe it.

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their intimidation; do not be shaken.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ - 1 Peter 3:14-16

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan 

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