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Ambassador for God? or Trolls with Truthiness.
You know the social media trap…as Jack Knox, a local satirist described it. It’s a place where people make false assertions dogmatically with little or no evidence, where many self-righteous engage in a toxic “snarl-fest,” and reputations are smeared with a “casual truthiness.” It is this ignorant and useless talk that hampers a democratic society. Preston Manning, former PC leader opined that it is this kind of negativity that keeps qualified people from seeking elected office. We have witnessed an explosion of vitriolic, ignorant, and false assertions in the wake of the US elections, and it has had a very chilling effect on decent dialogue.
When Truthiness Reigns
Truthiness, is an attempt to pass off error as if it were fact. Paul in writing to Timothy, paints a disturbing portrait of his contemporaries: arrogant, boastful, profane gossips disseminating malicious reports. They were “irreconcilable” — unwilling to listen to a reasoned argument or to find common ground for considerate discussions. Then there were others who bought into these falsehoods, rejected sound teaching and the facts, and preferred delusions to truth. His advice to Timothy was to avoid such people. Is our society beginning to walk this path?
Ambassador for God… in Chains
Knowing the climate of the times as Paul did, he still encouraged believers to continue to preach the gospel and be ambassadors for Christ — even in chains. The Christian’s role is that of a “herald” the one who goes before the King to proclaim the King’s message with authority and conviction. This is our calling and Christ tells us how we are to prepare to fulfill this role. A role that requires the heralds of the King to preach, correct, warn, and exhort with inexhaustible patience. So the next opportunity that you find time to spend on social media ask yourself. As an ambassador for God, am I fulfilling my purpose, or am I ensnared by the trolls and their “truthiness?”
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The Parental Gift that Keeps on Giving
Our world is not so different from that of our ancestors in the faith who lived in the first century CE. Believers then, as now, bemoaned the society’s acceptance of addiction, instant gratification, and self-indulgence, and many other temptations common to the Greco-Roman world. So what was a parent to do, in helping a child to avoid the seductions of society? What parental gift would arm a young person to fight the spiritual battles? How can children today be prepared to face the evils in a world that does not know or value God’s teaching?
No Effortless Success
The story of the children of Israel in the wilderness revealed that the challenge of internal enemies was greater than that of external enemies. Paul used the example of the children of Israel to focus on the need for the gift of “self-control,” so we do not fail as some of them failed. Today, leadership training talks about the “competencies” needed for success. And often, “self-management” is at the top of the list. Are parents preparing their children for the hard work involved in achieving success? More
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Is Now a Time to Repent?
Jezebel was the embodiment of one who “wandered off course, forsaking God, and engaging in sexual debauchery and spiritual idolatry. Yet even Jezebel was given time to repent, time to acknowledge her guilt, and forsake her evil ways. More
A Personal take on the question of Passover observance – When, How, and Why?
There was a time in the early church when the Quarto-deciman/Passover controversy was front and centre in the minds of those who followed the scriptures, the scripturalists. They were having to defend their practice of keeping the New Covenant Passover on the 14th of Nisan and the 8 day Passover festival, instead of celebrating Easter. They were being accused of “Judaizing.” Yet Paul, the apostles to the gentiles, made in clear in scripture that the Corinthians were keeping unleavened bread/Passover and his only admonition was that they keep these Holy Days in the right spirit, for the right reasons, so as to profit from them spiritually speaking. Today in the churches of God there continues to be controversy, and it also stems from a negative attitude towards those perceived as “Judaizers.” Here are some notes from a recent discussion on this topic: More
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Trump’s Inauguration: A Message of Warning
There is great national discord presently, over the direction of the United States, not unlike that of Abraham Lincoln’s time. Donald Trump chose to take his oath of office using Lincoln’s bible — 1853 KJV. The symbolism was not lost on many who know their history and the scriptures. Living in an age when, “the people bear rule,” the scriptures issue a warning to leaders and followers alike. God sends a message to repent and change to those with political power who have fed themselves and scattered and abused others.
Trump’s Inauguration: Making America Great
“Making America Great Again” was Trump’s campaign theme, implying that America has fallen from an earlier understanding of moral integrity. More
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2017: Reformation’s 500th Anniversary
What Has the Church learned in 500 Years?
Martin Luther in his conflict with the Catholic hierarchy, began a reformation that popularized the phrase, “Sola scriptura,” by scripture alone. And yet his life and example did not fully reflect his words. His intent may have been to “renovate” the Catholic church by removing superstition and ignorance, and aligning their practices more closely with scripture. But, history reveals the cracks in the church facade were more than cosmetic. And the results of Luther’s 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Church door was neither freedom nor unity for Christians.
What Sets Christians Free?
Though the Reformation’s 5ooth anniversary should be marked by a call to embrace the beginning precept of “sola scriptura” the reality has been quite the opposite. More
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Guard the Doors of Our Minds
The Defenceless City
The news of 2017 began with a week of lurid and horrific reports of inhumane, calloused, and brutal behaviours. Many biblical writers, from Moses to John, warn believers of the challenges of times not unlike our own. Their description of life in this “cosmos” – is one of a constant struggle between good and evil. And they advise us to be vigilant in guarding the door to our mind — exercising self-control in all situations. Without this quality of self-control people become like cities without walls. They are defenceless in the face of marauders, and vicious enemies. They fall prey and act on wicked thoughts that go uncontested. But we do not have to live this way! More