A law is a “fixed regulation”, something that works all the time. A good example is the law of gravity. Just because I don’t fully understand it doesn’t mean it won’t work for me. If I jump from the top of the world’s tallest building, my ignorance of the law of gravity will not excuse me from its consequences, because the law of gravity is a fixed regulation. Similarly, God has given laws of harvest. No matter who we are, or what our background is…Read Full Article
It’s time for the annual Christmas discussions. Is Christmas too commercialized? The obvious answer is “yes”, but does it matter? Aren’t we all free to decide to make this season all about shopping, or to take a more balanced approach?
Another typical question: How do we know Jesus was really born on December 25th? We don’t, and in fact there is good reason to think…Read Full Article
GraceTV has met its Victory Goal of $325,000 to pay for cable and satellite distribution. Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Partners!
By Aug 28th we had received $102,000 on top of regular giving, so we really needed a miracle, going in to the final week. Hundreds of you gave, and one person particularly gave a very large gift. We thank God that He is working through willing people. The total received is…Read Full Article
The Internet has become a haven for anonymous liars, who operate without accountability. The lies about myself, our church and ministries are too many to itemize. To list them would dignify that which is inherently evil. Grant it, a few statements are by people, who probably have good intentions, but they are just as ignorant and untrue nevertheless. Others make serious lies, which rise to the level of defamation. The worst lies are half- truths; facts are twisted and…Read Full Article
Article for St. Catharines Standard newspaper by Peter Youngren.
“Who is a Christian?”, or “What is a Christian?”, or maybe more accurately, “Who decides?”
At the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., President Obama said, “Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior”, a statement that would normally be received with great joy in the evangelical community, but not necessarily so this time. While 18% of the U.S. population believes that Obama is a Muslim, that figure goes to 40% among Tea-party focus groups, top heavy with “born-again” Christians.
So, who really is a Christian?Read Full Article
Article for St. Catharines Standard newspaper by Peter Youngren.
One of the great success stories in publishing in recent years is the novel, The Shack, by Canadian author, William P. Young. Originally Young wrote the manuscript as a gift for his six children. Several friends read it and encouraged Young to get his book published, but no religious or secular publisher showed any interest. Young and an associate launched Wind Blown Media to publish this one book, and the marketing plan was simple; a $300 website and high hopes for word-of-mouth recommendations. The hopes were realized beyond expectation, as The Shack achieved number one Best Seller success in less than a year, with one million copies sold. It remained the number one paperback in spiritual fiction on the New York Times Best Seller list from June 2008 to early 2010, with 10 million copies in print, and translations either completed or slated for 15 languages.Read Full Article
The topic of original sin comes up in the strangest places. On a recent flight I sat beside a devout religious lady, who insisted that sex was the original sin. My protest that sexuality was God’s idea fell on deaf ears. So many of our religious perceptions depend on culture, and religious affiliation. Jews, Muslims, and Hindus all have their own understanding. The concept of sin differs within each religion depending on whether you are an orthodox believer or a liberal adherent. The same goes for Christians. A Catholic has to deal with some “sins” that don’t even make it on the radar screen for Baptists and Pentecostals. Then again, evangelicals have their own sin-lists that Catholics haven’t even heard of. Our convictions will differ depending on whether we were born in Russia, Argentina, Canada or Alabama.Read Full Article
Tomorrow is Sunday, and many congregants will hear the words stated in the headline. Some pastors use this greeting as they welcome people on the front steps of the church building, and some use it as an opener for the Sunday worship.
Christianity can trace its history to a Savior born in a stable, crucified on a hill just outside the city, and ascending to heaven from a mountain. For the first two hundred years apostles and preachers conducted their services in market places, on the streets, in caves, on ships, and in the homes of their converts. There was no building called “church”, or “the house of God”, such a thought was anathema to their understanding of the Good News they had received from Jesus.Read Full Article
Can you believe the Bible literally? Books and movies today convey the idea that the Bible developed from oral traditions that were written down only centuries after the events had occurred. The time span involved would make it next to impossible to know if any stories of the Bible represent actual historical events. Take the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as an example. Can we know the real historical Jesus? After Jesus’ crucifixion and death, it is suggested, that many viewpoints emerged, one that Jesus was a mere human teacher who “lived on” spiritually in the hearts of his disciples, while others claimed that he was divine and had physically risen from the dead. The power struggle of ideas lasted for several centuries, and finally with the help of the Roman Emperor Constantine, those who advocated “a divine Jesus” won, and the four Gospels we have in our Bible today were approved, while the “lost Gospels” of Thomas, Judas and others were disallowed. Consequently, no one can really know what Jesus said and did; his deity, atonement and resurrection become legends.Read Full Article
The Easter season has reminded us again that religion deals with ridding the soul of sin, guilt, remorse and shame. There are hundreds, if not thousands of recommended ways to get the job done. In the early fourth century, empress Helena, later St. Helena, believed she had discovered the staircase that led to the guardroom in Jerusalem where Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate. Helena was the mother of emperor Constantine the 1st, who adopted Christianity as the religion of Rome, though, to this day, no one knows for sure whether his conversion was a political convenience or a heart-felt conviction. Helena saw to it that the Sancta Scala, the Holy Stairs, were transported to Rome.Read Full Article