After I had prepared to write this article I went on the internet and did a search on ‘guilt and shame’. As I scanned through the articles listed, amazingly there was only one religious entry in the top twenty, and that one made no mention of Christ’s Gospel; it was an analysis of how people who participate in riots may be driven by guilt and shame. Other than that one article who, according to Google, was interested in the topic of guilt and shame? Psychology journals, Success and Leadership studies, even parenting articles concerned how parents might not be able to raise their children properly because of guilt and shame in their life. All the articles were trying to help people succeed in life, and were concerned about how….
Obviously the secular world realizes how important this topic is. They acknowledge that guilt and shame could impede a person’s prosperity, success, and ability to interact with others. Yet the real answer to guilt and shame is not in human self-help, but in the Gospel of God’s grace.Read Full Article
Most people have a strong dislike for those who act and talk like they and their opinions are the center of the universe. These are the people who have a solution to every problem, and they never seem to have the time or patience to listen to an alternate point of view. We try to tactfully avoid such people, or sometimes in sheer desperation we may find ourselves exclaiming, ‘Who in the world, do you think you are?’
The exception is…Read Full Article
What is God’s love? Many think of it as a big strong rope, a lifeline that God dropped down from heaven, and now we have the privilege of trying to climb it. In other words, God sent Jesus because of His love, and now that He has done His part, the rest is up to us. God has thrown us a rope and now we need to climb ever closer to Him. There are many Christian books that tell you how to climb faster, higher, and with greater success. Many study such books, underline them and then get on with the task of holding on to the rope and clawing ourselves upward to God.Read Full Article
Critics of religion often point to the many wars, killing and strife caused in the name of religion both today and throughout history to deride its very essence and purpose. Much has been made of this point. If you haven’t heard these arguments make your way to a local bookstore and go to the religious section. And, yes, the blame goes in many directions. No religion is off the hook.
That criticism has also been pointed closer to home, within the ranks of our “Christian” community. How about the fact that we kill our own. No, maybe not physically, but in every other way. When a believer sins, or God forbid a minister, they are publically humiliated in the name of Christianity. Often the hands of those who do this sacred spiritual exercise are more soiled than the hands of those they are “purifying” to ease their self righteous piety.
“Look at the mess the world is in. If there is a God of love he sure didn’t do a very good job”, is a frequent comment. Believers may respond, “Well God gave us a free will, we make our own choices”, and from there the discussion goes back and forth. Consider for a moment, what the world and we, the humans, who inhabit this planet, might be like if we were created without the ability to cause harm, evil and destruction. Who would we be? Would such a world even be possible? Are there limits to the power of an Omnipotent God?Read Full Article
In any business, you need a customer, and a product that meets the actual or imagined need of that customer. The business of religion is not all that different. The need of the adherent to a religion is fueled by two vital ingredients; a guilty conscience and a displeased deity. Skilled practitioners of religion, any religion, know how to nourish both concepts, on a weekly, or at times even daily basis.
The idea of a guilty conscience is perpetuated by a continual focus on how we must do better; pray more, study harder and be more active in our religion. God may be described as loving, merciful, almighty, and all-knowing, but he (or she) must always be at least slightly displeased. There must be the sense that we are not quite measuring up to the standards set by the Divine.Read Full Article
I was recently having my coffee and multigrain cereal, when I turned on the TV to catch the morning news. Talk show hosts Michael Reagan, son of late president Ronald Reagan and Stephanie Miller were on CNN’s early morning show discussing gay marriage. The segment was triggered by a beauty pageant where the American contestant was asked by one of the judges concerning her view of marriage, to which she replied that it is the union between one man and one woman. They showed the video clip and I thought the American beauty queen expressed herself rather well. Her statement had however received a furious and, in my opinion, degrading response from one of the judges.Read Full Article
March 16, 2009
After three wonderful services at the Celebration Church yesterday, I left for Africa at midnight. Now I have a seven hour layover in London, and, I must admit, I don’t think I will ever get fully adjusted to air-travel, security checks, lineups and your biological time-clock being turned upside down. I’ve found a quiet spot in a corner of Heathrow airport to try to sleep sitting in a chair: it’s not working very well. You can see the effect of the financial situation—-a lot less travelers than normal.
Phil is back again. No, not Dr Phil, our local church Phil. He has a lot of good thoughts, this time about fig leaves. So, here is Phil…Read Full Article
I know you all have heard of Dr. Phil. He has a lot of insights into human relationships and he gives helpful advice. I’m sure many are able to enjoy self-improvements as a result of listening to Oprah’s favorite doctor.Read Full Article