Archives For Church

We all know “unity” is a biblical concept. We know Jesus prayed that we all “may become perfectly one” (John 17:23). But in the grand scheme of things, many of us seem to rank unity as a pretty low priority. “It would be nice,” we tend to think, “but until ‘all those people’ get their act together, it probably isn’t going to happen.” I would suggest unity needs to be a far greater priority than many of us have treated it and here’s why.

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Whether it’s caused by misunderstanding, miscommunication, or downright malevolence, conflict happens. It even happens in the church. People will disappoint you, hurt your feelings, and cause you pain. But how you respond in those situations is of the utmost importance. Consider these 5 steps for handling conflict with other Christians.

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Liberalism says something like this, “Because I am accepted by God, I can do pretty much whatever I want.” On the other extreme, legalism says, “I am accepted by God because I am a good and obedient people.” Both of these positions are wrong, yet you probably consider one of them to be more dangerous than the other, don’t you? Which one do you consider the greater threat to the church?

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What is Vain Worship?

Wes  —  February 15, 2017

In Mark 7:7 Jesus quoted Isaiah, saying, “in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” But what did Jesus mean about worshiping in vain? I’ve heard many people explain that “vain worship” is worshiping God in unauthorized ways. One website claims it is “when we worship the way we want” instead of worshiping “the way God has told us in His word” (source). Unfortunately, I think that definition of “vain worship” ignores the context of Jesus’ word and gives the wrong impression about vain worship.

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The term “false teacher” gets thrown around a lot; but the definition might not be as obvious as it seems. Many people probably assume a false teacher is simply someone who teaches something that’s false. But that’s not really how the Bible uses that term. And I believe we must use biblical terms in biblical ways. Let’s examine what a false teacher is and why we should be careful calling someone a false teacher.

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While there are certainly “churches” and preachers who are taking advantage of the generosity of their members and giving Christianity a bad name, we should not allow that to stop us from talking about how and why Christians should give money to the church regularly. The New Testament says a lot about money and one of the things is says is that how you feel about money is an indication of your spiritual maturity and your love for God (Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10). So, you should really stop and examine how and why you give.

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We might say the beginning of the Restoration Movement in the United States was in 1809 when Thomas Campbell uttered these now famous words, “Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; and where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.” This wasn’t the beginning of the church, but it was the beginning of a movement to restore the “unity, peace, and purity” of Christ’s church. Over 200 years later, the spiritual descendants of this movement have far too many divisions. I believe it is time to be reminded of Campbell’s plea for unity.

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As a member of the Millennial generation, I am painfully aware that many in my age group are leaving the church. While I certainly understand why life in the church can be difficult and even frustrating at times, I love the church so much that I have devoted my life to her and to her mission. So here are four of the reasons I am thankful for the church.

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In Philippians 2:12 Paul wrote, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” That phrase is quoted a lot, but I wonder how many of us have ever stopped to consider what it actually means. I know I have personally failed to appreciate the context of this passage and have misused this passage a number of times. Perhaps you have as well. Here are a few thoughts on what it means to “work out your salvation.”

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Whether you’re teaching teenagers, adults, women, or men, I know you want your Bible class to be as effective as it can possibly be. I know you want people to see the relevance of Scripture. I know you want people to learn and to grow. But sometimes, let’s face it, it’s hard to know how to do that. It’s hard to know how to teach an effective Bible class. So I want to share with you a few things I’ve found helpful when teaching Bible classes. I hope you find these helpful as well.

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