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“Fake News … in the Church!” (November 2020 Update) 

We hear a lot about “fake news” today and the news and social media seem to be rife with it! Sometimes it is hard to know what or who to believe. But this problem is not unique to the modern world (even though it is compounded by the “freedom” of social media). It is not even unique to the secular world – “Fake news” can even be found in the church.  

Let me give you an interesting example from church history. Athanasius was the primary defender of the deity of Jesus are the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. When the council was convened, three different groups were represented. One group represented Arius who was accused of heresy for saying that Jesus was not God. He claimed that God the Father and Jesus were different in essence.  Eusebius of Caesarea led the second group. He suggested a compromise – Jesus and the Father were not the same essence as Arius claimed but they were similar. Jesus might not be God but at least he was divine. The followers of Eusebius comprised the largest group at the beginning of the council. The final group, the smallest group of bishops, was led by Athanasius. He argued that Jesus was God – he was the same substance or essence as the Father because they were both God!  

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“Government, Bah Humbug! …” (October 2020 Update) 

Why does government exist? There are many opinions about government. Especially during election years, people espouse all sorts of opinions about government. But why do we have government? There is really only one reason – because of sin. Now I know that when I write that, many of you are thinking, “That’s right. Preach it! The problem with government is sin – sinful politicians, godless laws, and sinful corruption and unfair taxes.” Some will even say that government is a “necessary evil.” And many will say, “it is time to do away with government all together.” 

But that is not what I mean at all. Government exists because we are all sinners. If there was no sin, there would be no need for government. Government exists because sin exists. When sin passes away in eternity, there will be no need for government. But until there is no sin, government is an absolute necessity.   Continue Reading »

“Lies and Deception …” (September 2020 Update) 

It’s that time again when the eyes of all Americans turn to the elections. In American elections, there are many things that are unpredictable. But one thing we can be sure of – we will all hear a lot of lies and deceptions! And it’s not just from one party but it seems to be the “nature” of (most) politicians to use exaggerations, lies and deception to get themselves elected. In fact, unfortunately, an old joke is mostly true: Question: How do you know when a politician is lying? Answer: His lips are moving! Fortunately, there are a few politicians who do not fit this joke – unfortunately, they are few! 

But what is the reason for this? What is the source of all these lies and deceptions? And more importantly, how can we navigate this election year and avoid falling for the lies and deceptions?  Continue Reading »

What really matters? Black lives matter! Blue lives matter! All lives matter! While all these statements are true, one thing matters more – truth.  And when truth no longer matters, nothing else will.

For Christians, truth is an absolute. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul speaks about the resurrection of Jesus. He presents a long list of witnesses who saw Jesus risen from the dead.  He even includes a group over 500 people who saw Jesus at the same time. Paul tells us that, if the resurrection did not take place, then we are liars and we are above all men to be most pitied! Why? Because Truth matters! Continue Reading »

“True Freedom …” (July 2020 Update) 

Freedom means different things to different people. To some, freedom means having no restraints and no responsibilities. But this is not true freedom. Real freedom always includes limits and responsibilities. If freedom meant no restraints, then everyone’s freedom would take away freedom from others. Still others think freedom means having no accountability. It means being able to do whatever you want without any consequences. This is also not true freedom. Freedom without accountability always results in anarchy and anarchy always backlashes into totalitarianism – eventually taking away all previous freedoms. True freedom has consequences, responsibilities and restraints.  

In his State of the Union address in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated his view of what the world needed in calling for Four Freedoms that were essential for every human being – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. His speech was a call for Americans to recognize that such freedoms could only be possible in a democracy. It was a warning that the growing forces of Nazism and Communism would always seek to reduce and eliminate these freedoms. It was a reminder that people came to the United States seeking freedoms that they were denied in their homelands. It was a reminder that the very foundation of American life is rooted and grounded in freedom. 

But there are some freedoms that are even more important than the ones outlined by President Roosevelt. All of Roosevelt’s freedoms can be taken away from us. That’s why we fought against Japan and Nazi Germany in the 1940s. That’s why America has stood for freedom against the Soviet Union during the years of the Cold War. That’s why the United States continues to stand against socialism and anarchism and other forms of oppression even today.  

 

In Romans 8, the Apostle Paul reminds us that all believers have Four Spiritual Freedoms that can never be taken away from us!   Continue Reading »