Karen Campbell, at her blog ThatMom, did a series of podcasts on "militant fecundity" back in 2008. You can listen to them here: http://thatmom.com/podcasts/militant-fecundity-vs-children-as-a-blessing-series/
Yesterday, in adult Bible class, the topic of "secondary separation" came up, as we talked about Evangelical Free Church values. The EFCA believes in separated living, but we are not a separatist denomination. That term "separatist" historically is connected, in part, to the doctrine of secondary separation.
"Some, I know, fall into a very vicious habit, which habit they excuse themselves—namely, that of ordering their footsteps according to impressions.
One of Jesus' most famous sayings was the three-word phrase, "It is finished" (John 19:30). But what did He mean? There was so much more yet to come! The answer is that He finished paying for the sins of the Lord's people.
We had a fine Bible study last night during Wednesday night prayer meeting, and I wanted to share the nuggets of what we uncovered.
Christians may have heard of the problem of the "weaker" brother, but can sometimes misunderstand who that is. Paul, in 1st Corinthians 8, clarifies the relationship responsibilities of the strong Christian to the weak Christian:
Chapter 8 is different from when a weak believer judges another believer. Romans 14 speaks to that sort of person. It says to stop judging (14:13), and keep their convictions to yourself (v. 22). Chuck Swindoll once warned of the "professional weaker brother" -- the Christian who demands that everyone else comply with his personal hang-ups.
The main idea of 1st Corinthians 8 is that the good of our fellow Christian takes priority over the exercise of liberty. This doesn't mean that we give in to every Christian's personal opinions. There are some Christians who need to be kindly told, "Brother, you need to respect my liberty." This also doesn't relate to life in the congregation. Paul is addressing our conduct out in non-Christian society.
But, if I know that a fellow Christian is being tempted by my influence to engage in something they feel in their heart is wrong, then I should stop doing whatever it is that's influencing them.
Christians believe in the Rapture, which is an English form of the Latin word rapio, which means to snatch up. The Greek word for this is harpazo, found in 1st Thessalonians 4:17. There are three views of the Rapture -- that it will happen at the beginning of earth's final seven years (known as the Tribulation); or in the middle of the seven years; or at the end of the seven years, at the same time as Christ's visible return. All Biblically-informed Christians believe in the Rapture. They differ over when it will happen.
1st Peter 5:8 -- Be sober-minded!
"Kingdom" doctrine is a big deal with a lot of ministries today. But is it all being taught well? Or are Christian people being given extreme expectations that end up leaving them broken and disappointed?
This is a logical outline of this morning's message:
It has become a commonplace reminder from psychologists that Christmas is a depressing holiday for a lot of people. Because we are caught up in the nostalgic sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas, they remind us of Christmases past, and of people who either are or are not with us. These memories can trigger bitter feelings, if the memories are of bad events; or grief, if the memories are grievous.
Jack is the teaching elder of Ironworks Pike Community Church. He is a graduate of Columbia Biblical Seminary http://www.ciu.edu.