Posts

How Misinterpretation Can Lead to Bad Theology (Part 1: Communion)

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If you have been around me for any amount of time and asked me a question about the Bible or a Bible verse, you have probably heard me say the phrase:  "Context is everything."  Many people's answers concerning Scriptures in question are often found in the context of surrounding verses.  In today's meme driven culture that focuses on snatching singular verses out of context for the sake of producing doubt or shame in one's faith, this is an important truth to remember. However, faithful and well meaning Christians, who only wish to build faith in Jesus Christ, have erroneously done the same and caused unintentional harm to the body of Christ because of misinterpretation of Scripture.  This misapplying of the Scripture has a profound effect on a person's view of themselves, on their view of God, their ministry within the body of Christ and their worthiness of Christ's sacrifice.   Let me give a common example that is consistently misinterpreted: Therefore,

20 Years Later: My Thoughts on 9/11

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Recalling 9/11 If you were an adult 20 years ago, chances are you know exactly where you were when our world changed forever.  However, chances are you may not have realized what forces were put into motion following the tragic events of that day. Where was I?  I had just become a Youth Pastor in Albuquerque, New Mexico a few months prior (A position I still hold to this day.).   I remember being disoriented driving into work that morning.  I lived about 5 minutes away from the church at a local apartment complex at the time.  During my brief drive in, my radio was filled with chatter over a plane hitting one of the twin towers in New York.  I truly thought that it might be a radio drama that I had cut in on.  Somewhere during the drive it hit me that these were real reports.  At the time, the official word was that it was a tragedy and the cause of the crash was unknown. Shortly after arriving at work, the second plane hit the other tower and our world changed forever.  Unlike the fir

The Danger of Incomplete Knowledge

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I have gotten a lot of things wrong lately.  Mostly, I have gotten things wrong because at the time I originally thought something about some current issue, my knowledge was incomplete.  However, I have learned not to put most of my immediate knee jerk reactions to every story out there on social media for the world to see.  (It only took me 15 years to learn that lesson). There is a scary danger in our instant world and self-created echo chambers...the truth suffers.  Not my truth or your truth but THE TRUTH.   Let me give you an example from our headlines today.   Troy Aikman was caught on a hot mic talking about the waste of jet fuel because of a fly over to a mostly empty stadium.  Immediately, the twitter storm raged.  People defended and people berated.  People turned it into a moratorium on Aikman's patriotism.   My initial reaction to the whole thing was the following: Maybe Troy Aikman had become an environmentalist of sorts and saw the waste of jet fuel as something that

When Has Justice Been Served?

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My heart hurts for this generation, but not for the reasons that would seem obvious. In these distressing times of injustice, the true core beliefs of people come out.  It is the reaction I am most concerned with because it demonstrates that seeds of unbelief preached by another gospel, which is no gospel at all, have infiltrated the hearts and minds of many youth, young adults and even adults and pastors that I have known discipled and partnered with for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The false gospel is known as Critical Race Theory (or CRT) and is part of a larger subset of belief known as Critical Theory (CT).  Many believers have been espousing facets of this theory throughout the current crisis brought on by the injustice done in Minnesota...and they may not even know they are doing it. However, in order to properly compare the reaction against the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must identify specifically the point of contention, the Biblical solution

Rhetoric Matters

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A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  --Proverbs 15:1 There aren't a lot of gentle answers today, are there? Our politicians, our news & entertainment media and our social media conversations and posts are filled with outrage and vilification.  People who disagree with us, aren't just wrong, they are evil.  And not evil in a Biblical sense that they have fallen short and are in need of redemption, but evil in a sense that they do not deserve the dignity or respect due their position or their humanity. In the wake of the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, we find ourselves asking the question again:  "What could we have done to prevent such a tragedies?"  Maybe nothing.  Maybe there was such evil in the heart of these individuals that no matter our actions, they would have still found their way to take revenge on people they deemed worthy of death. However, at the same time, I can't help but believe that the rhetoric o

What 18 Years of Ministry Has Taught Me

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Today marks my 18th year in ministry...at the same church! Being in the same place for nearly two decades gives a depth of perspective often not experienced by those in ministry because many do not make 18 years in ministry and even those who do often have that experience split between many different churches. So in honor of the 18 years of ministry I have been blessed to serve, I would like to share 18 things that I have learned during this time.  Some of these things are painful, some of these things are harsh truths and some of these things are insurmountable blessings. 1.  God uses incredibly flawed people, of whom, I am the greatest. I know myself better than anyone else.  I know how terribly flawed I am.  Yet, I am amazed that God still works through me, even on my worst days.  I can remember, on more than one occasion, where my attitude and my actions didn't line up with where God wanted me to be and the same day hearing how a sermon or teaching given under those les

Why "Infinity War" is a Pro-Life Movie

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I have always been a superhero geek.  During my youth and adult years, I have collected many comics from both Marvel and DC.  I follow superheroes, not just for the fantasy (I mean who doesn't want to run the speed of light or fly), but for the compelling characters and struggles these characters must triumph over. Many of the successes on the big and small screen today had their origins in the pages of a monthly comic.  You think waiting a week is a long time to see what happens to your favorite hero next, try waiting a month.  Yet, if you are an avid comic book junkie like I was, you memorized which week your favorite comic hit the stands so you could be at the store on the arrival date.  Then, you would go out to your car and spend the next 20 minutes consuming the next chapter in the story colorfully splashed across a couple dozen pages.  A satisfying tale could sometimes take a year or two to flesh out. Marvel has done an astonishingly good job in mimicking this same proce