Serving others by standing-up for them

When it comes to displaying godly behavior, the ways of doing so are numerous. In the latest issue of Gospel Minutes the following point was made after noting Joseph’s willingness to stand-up for his brother Benjamin during his incognito interaction with the rest of his brothers:

This is one of our principle duties as Christians. We are not here to just go through the motions of worship and religious activities. We are here to protect the weak. We must act when we see children abused. We must act when we see domestic abuse. We must act when we see people at risk or in danger of maltreatment and do all we can to protect them. In the process, we may (like Joseph) discover what it is in the hearts of others. In the meantime, we will be rescuing a helpless victim. (Taking Responsibility by David Thurman – Gospel Minutes – Volume 66, No. 16)

The social justice movement abuses the essence of the gospel, but the essence of the gospel comes with the responsibility of societal justice. In other words, we have a responsibility to love our neighbor, and that includes not only doing right ourselves but also helping others when they are wronged. This responsibility can be seen in the lessons of the Good Samaritan, the woman taken in adultery and even in the interaction between Jesus and Simon the Pharisee (not to mention Jesus’ crucifixion and everything that surrounded his injustice).

As Christians, we cannot “fix” the world but we can help others by being a light that reveals the difference between right and wrong.

But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:13 NKJV)

#christianity, #help-others, #joseph, #quote

What is it?

I’m not a horticulturist or even a nurseryman, but I have spent a whole lot of time in the woods. During that time I’ve seen a lot of neat things and a lot of weird things. Today I saw a new thing that made me say, “What is that?”

So I ask you, “What is it?” Continue reading

#pictures, #plants, #question

Russia is cracking down on religious freedom

The Russian court has banned the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and ordered the organization to handover its property to the government. Not good!

I don’t have sympathy with the “Kingdom Hall’s” doctrine, but I do worry about this move by the Russian government because this move is being made under the guise of the Jehovah’s Witnesses being an “extremist” organization. According to the linked-story:

“Russian authorities have put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature and prosecutors have long cast it as an organization that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives.”

I can honestly say several things about the way I feel when it comes to the people who do a lot of door-knocking, but one thing I can’t say when it comes to Jehovah Witnesses’ (unless Russian Jehovah Witnesses’ are extremely different from their American counter-parts) is that they make me think of “extremism” in relation to national security. I believe their position on certain things such as blood-fusions are unwise, but to describe them as a group who threatens lives because of such a position is as unwise as the original point-of-view. And those pamphlets don’t self-destruct when you remove them from your door!

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses can be “outlawed” in any sense of the word then I am afraid such a mentality could easily be targeted at anyone who teaches differently from the Eastern Orthodox Church or the current nationalistic mindset … including individuals who seek to be viewed only as a Christian and member of the church which predates the Eastern Orthodoxy.

#jehovahs-witnesses, #religion-and-politics, #religious-persecution

Something to pray about – young people and dating

Sometimes we look for something to pray about. Opportunities and needs abound if we could only identify them. A prayer with a purpose is a prayer with real direction. So here’s a topic that meets all three of these areas. Continue reading

#christianity, #prayer, #youth

Who saw the handwriting on the wall?

Our adult Bible-study class has been studying Daniel 5 (Belshazzar and the handwriting on the wall incident) the last couple of weeks. It’s a good study that leads to several topics: the authority of God, the relationship between religion and politics, holiness, pride, humility, and judgment to name several.

While studying the first half of the chapter a new thought occurred to me. Perhaps you have had the same thought…perhaps not. The thought concerned the actual handwriting incident.

Through the years I have seen several illustrations… Continue reading

#art, #bible-study, #book-of-daniel, #influence

The wisdom of God

You can get a PhD in Bible study but you don’t need a PhD to understand the gospel. Matter of fact, one of the largest reasons many people err with the scriptures (other than a blatant lack of study) is due to over-thinking them!

The existence of sin, the reality of the judgment and the possibility of salvation – which are all revealed through the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18, Acts 24:24-25) – isn’t hard to understand.

What muddies the clear waters of the gospel are “glasses” that refuse to see what God’s word reveals. These glasses can be political, intellectual, cultural, financial or denominational in nature, but regardless of the glasses’ nature, the result is the same … a departure from the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:11-25). And this is why, when it comes to the essence of the gospel that God wants us to know about, the aforementioned glasses are excuses (and not reasons) for why we choose the wisdom of man instead of doing what God has commanded to be done.

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NKJV)

 

#god, #gospel-of-christ, #making-wise-choices

Bird’s eye point of view

A bird’s-eye point of view can be pretty amazing. It all depends upon the bird.

A bird’s-eye point of view can belong to a soaring eagle, or the flightless ostrich. The ostrich may have a point of view from seven-foot up, but it’s not worth comparing to the eagle’s point of view. Continue reading

#perspective, #spiritual-illustrations