Some modern day teachers appear to be a little confused about what the Bible has to say about conviction. One of the favorite scriptures of the no-conviction-for-believers crowd is Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (NKJV)
If you have spent any time in Sunday School, Children’s Church or Vacation Bible School, you have probably heard the parable of the wise man and the foolish man. But it is more than just a story, it begs the question, which one are you?
The story is found in Matthew 7:24-27. In the story, the wise man built his house upon a solid rock foundation. When the storms came, the house stood strong. The foolish man however, built his house upon the shifting sands. When the storms came, the house fell with a great crash.
Notice that both of the men built houses. Both of the men presumably lived in their house. The houses probably looked pretty much the same. It is even possible that foolish man’s house looked even better. After all, he probably did not spend as much money on his foundation, or land, so he had more money to put into the cosmetics. When the storms came however – and they always do – the foolish man lost everything.
How many times have you heard the refrain, “Faith is a private matter?” It has been repeated so often that it has become sacrosanct to many. The truth however is far removed from the rhetoric. It doesn’t matter how many times a lie is repeated or how profound it may sound, a lie is still a lie.
Last week I happened to catch a few minutes of the Glenn Beck radio program as the team was discussing comedian Louis C. K. ‘s monologue on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live. During the monologue, the entertainer joked about racism and child molestation. While some of his racism comments were perceived as controversial, it was the topic of molestation where I believe he really stepped outside the boundaries.
Likewise, some so-called sacred cows are not sacred cows at all, (a sacred cow being a false god) instead they are immutable principles of God’s universe that should not and cannot be violated without severe consequences.
Confused on the metaphors yet? Let’s break it down.
OK, this is probably not big news to those who know me. I learned something while attending a Conference last week. One definition of a freak is something that is often unusual and unexpected. Who knows, maybe you are a freak too.
My beautiful, wonderful and long-suffering wife ,Teri, is probably tired of hearing it, but I frequently say to her, “I must be a weirdo!” or “I feel like I was born in the wrong century.”
As our cities burn, I am straining to hear the voice of God speaking clearly through His church. While there are a lot of church leaders speaking, much of what is being said is not helpful and therefore is obviously not the voice of God.
In Romans 12:18, Paul the Apostle wrote, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (NIV) Some will quickly argue that it was written to a different time, with different people and different conditions. Indeed it was. It was written to a church that was ostracized from a pluralistic society that blamed natural disasters and other unfortunate events on the people Paul was writing to. Just a few years after this letter, Paul himself would die at the hands of Roman executioners, Peter would be crucified upside down and Nero would blame the city fire on Christians. This is the same guy – by the way – that liked to wrap Christians in oil soaked cloth and set them on fire to light his gardens in the evening.