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Showing posts with the label Christian Love

Being Merciful to the Toxic

 By David Petersen - Posted at The Lutheran Witness: Christ calls us to love our enemies, to act with mercy. We should not as a knee-jerk reaction insist on our rights. We yield to the weak in faith and attempt to win a brother. There is a sense, however, in which that mercy has limits. Jesus does not command that we suffer abuse and injustice passively. He does not teach that our forgiveness means we completely forget what has been done to us nor does it eliminate boundaries. Stewards guard their resources to fulfill their vocations. Boundaries with the toxic There are times when Christians need to set extreme boundaries for their relationships and there can even be times to separate from others. Jesus instructs us to separate from those who refuse to hear godly rebuke from the church and amend their ways (Matt. 18:17). They aren’t to be indulged forever. Jesus commands us to leave those who won’t hear His Word (Matt. 10:14), to be shrewd as serpents in the world (Matt. 10:16) and eve

Vengeance Wins?

The Minn. Lt. Gov. advocating for the “Day of Vengeance”  By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate: Published March 31, 3032 Tomorrow in Washington DC, a few miles away from the church I pastor, will be a rally called the “Trans Day of Vengeance.” The event will be led by the “Trans Radical Activist Network,” and has been promoted by political leaders around the country. Supporters of the “Trans Day of Vengeance” say that the Trans Community is under attack, and their protection can only come through retribution. This week has exposed a seething, violent hatred towards those who won’t fly the rainbow flag over their homes, churches, and on their social media accounts. That the Day of Vengeance takes place the week of the Nashville shooting is no coincidence—or if it is, one of the leaders of the trans movement called it “a happy coincidence.” The media has shown its hatred for the church as well—with major outlets even strongly implying (if not outright declaring) that the church i

Killed by what they thought would save them

 By Stephen Steele - Posted at Gentle Reformation: Seventy years ago, on the last Saturday morning in January, the MV Princess Victoria left the port of Stranraer in South-West Scotland. She was heading for Ireland with 179 people on board – but never arrived. The flawed design of the ship meant that the car deck was flooded as ferocious waves pounded against her, in the worst storm anyone could remember . Distress messages were sent out, but the confusion of the storm meant that for most of the time, the wrong location was broadcast. Finally able to get their bearings, the radio operator stayed at his post, allowing others to escape. He broadcast SOS messages until the very end and was posthumously awarded the George Cross . The captain and ship’s officers all went down with the ship. 135 perished and only 44 survived. The sinking ship is vividly portrayed in the above painting by Norman Whitla (late father of RPTS Professor David). The painting shows lifeboat number four, containing

A Little Help From a Dear Friend

 By Rev. Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Thomas Boston On Ways to Prevent the Devil's Attacks As ARP’s one of our forefathers in the faith was a man by the name of Thomas Boston. I love to read his works and recently I read a sermon of his from 2 Kings 2:14 where he is making some complaints about the lack of piety and the growth of sinfulness in his day in Scotland (ca. 1713). Desiring to see his people not fall into the same trap Boston gives six helpful examples of ways the individual Christian can work to help in his own heart to prevent a slackness in his hope in the Lord. For our prayer and worship help today I will list them with some commentary. 1) Stir Yourselves Up to Repent and Reform. (Rev. 3:2) This is key. Much like in Daniel 9 where the prophet is moved to recognize Judah’s deserved punishment in Babylon the Christian must begin with his own sin and need for personal growth in holiness before he can call upon his brethren to likewise move forw

The Christian Sabbath and the Law of Love

  By Rev. Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Seventeen82: I’m known for being a little bit of a one-trick pony when it comes to the 2nd and 4th commandments, and I own that. Though to be honest there is a reason for it, that ain’t exactly all my fault. I didn’t choose this battle ground, it came to me. Here I am minding my historical self and a wave of 20th century Americanism washed over where I was sitting. Within our confessionally Reformed camps there are several related issues that seem to come up regularly in both exams for the ordaining of ministers, and in the general life of the Church. And at the end of the day, in my opinion, it has to do mostly with a lack of consideration of other person’s liberty. Individualism is our national god. Presbyterianism, if it should be known for anything, is a covenantal and corporate faith, born out of the spiritual union we share together. When it comes to the Christian Sabbath there are particular applications worth considering today, which we’ll

Joni and Friends helps evacuate families with special needs out of war zone

 By Timothy Cockes - Posted at Baptist Press : NASHVILLE (BP) – With the war in Ukraine continuing to make worldwide headlines, Joni and Friends, the ministry organization of Joni Eareckson Tada, is expanding its usual outreach to disabled persons by assisting them in evacuating the country. In written comments to Baptist Press, Tada said the devastation caused by Russia’s invasion has left disabled persons among the most vulnerable. “In-country senior services and disability support programs have been significantly damaged and special-needs families are struggling to survive,” Tada said. “The urgent plight of elderly and disabled Ukrainians is more desperate than ever.” Tada, founder and CEO of Joni and Friends , has herself been a quadriplegic since the age of 17 after experiencing a diving accident in the Chesapeake Bay. She established Joni and Friends in 1979 to minister to families affected by disability. Continue here...


 By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch : These two are hugely influential – but only one leaves an everlasting legacy: If you asked 1000 people in Melbourne or Chicago or London who Anne Van der Bijl is, probably at least 99 per cent would not have a clue. If you asked the same 1000 people who Mick Jagger or Keith Richards is, probably at least 99 per cent would have a very good idea. While the former is largely unknown, and the latter are world famous and easily recognisable, just one has left a lasting legacy. While we all know about the Rolling Stones, Anne (or as he is more well-known: “Brother Andrew”) is in the eyes of the world a mere nobody. But older Christians at least would know all about him. Here I want to compare the pair, or rather, contrast the pair. And I do this for two reasons. A new three-part documentary on the Rolling Stones is airing now on television, while Brother Andrew has just passed away – on September 27, at age 94. Let me speak to each. Continue h

Spiritual Abuse: Seeing What We Don't Want to See

By Kyle Borg - Posted at Gentle Reformation: I wasn’t even ten years old when I first saw the truth of abuse. One evening a policeman showed up at our door. After talking to my mom and dad I was brought into the dining room. The officer gently explained that our neighbor — who ran a daycare out of her home — was in trouble. He opened a manila envelope and hastily showed me pictures. The pictures were of a boy younger than me covered in bruises. The officer was clearly uncomfortable. He knew he was exposing my ignorance to a harsh reality. He didn’t want me to look but he needed to know if I had heard or seen anything. He knew that to bring light to the situation I needed to see the darkness. In the end, seeing those pictures was more important than not seeing at all. This is the world we live in. It would be nice if we could close our eyes and leave unseen the sin in, toward, and around us. But that kind of naivety isn’t proper for Christians. It’s not appropriate for people characteri

Memphis Church Mourns Death of Church Member Abducted, Murdered while Jogging

By Milton Quintanilla - Posted at Christian Headlines: Published September 8, 2022 A church in Memphis, Tennessee, is mourning the loss of a young woman who was recently kidnapped while jogging and later murdered. Eliza Fletcher – a wife, mother of two and kindergarten teacher – was kidnapped by a man at around 4:30 am last Friday (September 2) while jogging near the University of Memphis campus. According to Church Leaders , her husband, Richard, called the police when his wife did not return home from her run. After a long and intensive search, Fletcher's body was found on Monday. The suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Cleotha Abston Henderson, was taken into custody and has been charged with first-degree murder, premeditated murder and first-degree perpetration of kidnapping. According to Commercial Appeal , Henderson was released from prison in 2020 after serving nearly two decades for kidnapping. After her body was found, Fletcher's church, Second Presbyterian Churc

After Roe: What’s Our Job Now?

 By George Grant - Posted at Ligonier Ministries: Circumstances change. Laws, courts, and administrations come and go. Elections raise up and cast down the mighty. Popular opinion waxes and wanes. But through it all, the callings and responsibilities of Christians in this poor, fallen world remain the same. Taking our stand for life wasn’t first thrust upon us by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and we are not relieved of that duty by its now overturning this year. The pro-life movement is not a recent phenomenon or innovation. Rather, it is two thousand years old. It was inaugurated on an old rugged cross, on a hill called Calvary. It is best known as Christianity. Caring for the helpless, the deprived, and the unwanted is not simply what we do; it is who we are. It always has been. It always will be. Life is God’s gift. It is His gracious endowment upon the created order. It flows forth in generative fruitfulness. The earth is literally teeming with life ( Gen. 1:

Ex-lesbian turned Christian who fled country to protect daughter free after more than year behind bars

 By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network: LOCKPORT, N.Y. — An ex-lesbian who fled the United States over a decade ago to protect her daughter from having further unsupervised visitations with her former partner is now free after spending more than a year behind bars. She had surrendered herself to authorities in January 2021, months after her daughter turned 18. “Praise the Lord with us. Our sister, Lisa, has been released,” reports Pablo Yoder , a Mennonite pastor who serves in Nicaragua. “After about thirty minutes of hearing comments from both sides, Judge [Richard] Acara gave Lisa’s sentence as ‘time served’ … [T]he judge agreed with the others, yes, even the prosecution, that it’s time to ‘move on.'” A reported 50 to 60 Christians were present for the May 23 hearing to support Lisa Miller, who had pled guilty to a charge of “international parental kidnapping” in February 2021. She had been held at the Niagara County Jail in Lockport, New York, about 40 minutes nor

Hope and Comfort for Uvalde, Texas

By Angela Wittman, editor "Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.  ~Psalm 30, Verse 5 (NKJV) "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. ~Romans 12, Verse 15 (NKJV) As Christians, we are called to offer hope to a dying world and that hope is Jesus Christ. We are to pray, show compassion and to weep with the brokenhearted. But as followers of Christ, we also know with certainty that we have a Christian hope to be reunited with our loved ones who have died in the Lord, and that hope is to be shared with those grieving.  I sincerely pray that we will be lights shining in this dark world and that we will rise to the occasion by offering comfort and the blessed hope only found in Christ Jesus. News Links:  Outrage at Shooting Uvalde, Texas  (Veritas Domain - The Domain for Truth) SBTC dispatches ministers in wake of Uvalde elementary school  shooting ( Baptist Press) Gunman Kills 19 Children in Texas School Rampage  (AP - CBN) 19 Students

The Dead Seriousness of Careless Words

 By Tim Challies A technician for an airline neglected to check the logs from previous flights and therefore failed to take action on a control problem that had recurred multiple times over the past days. His carelessness was one of the factors that led to the plane crashing on a subsequent flight. An engineer failed to set the brakes on parked tanker cars which soon begin to roll of their own accord until, out of control, they skipped the tracks and exploded. His carelessness led to widespread death and destruction. A truck driver became distracted by a problem with his trailer, failed to notice a stop sign, and sailed through an intersection at high speed, putting it immediately in the path of a fast-moving bus. His carelessness claimed the lives of many passengers and earned him a long sentence in prison. Each of these people was called upon to account for his carelessness, for his neglect, and for all the devastation that came from it. And rightly so, for carelessness is no small m

The Tongue: A Matter of Life & Death

 By Bill Smith - Posted at Kuyperian Commentary : Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18.21 Disagree with someone, criticize his lifestyle, or question his choices and you might be accused of violence in present-day Western culture. “Words as violence” has become something of a trope for anyone who feels injured and wants to use the power of victim status to cancel another speaker. [1] While the “words as violence” weapon is overused by the thin-skinned narcissists in our culture, there is truth in the fact that words have power that can be used violently, even causing death. The apostle John sees the ascended Jesus, the Word of God, riding a white horse having a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth–words–to strike down the nations (Rev 19.13-16). Words can destroy. But words are equally powerful to give life. They can be used to instruct and encourage people to move in the right direction. Death and life are in the pow

Pray for Ukraine and Ways to Help

‘Miracle from God’ needed, Ukrainian Baptist leader, Southwestern alum, says  By Ashley Allen - Posted at Baptist Press: LVIV, Ukraine (BP)—“We need a miracle from God,” Yaroslav Pyzh, president of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, said from his western Ukraine home in a Zoom interview with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s news staff on the evening of Feb. 26. As he prays for the miracle, Pyzh is marshaling the people and resources of his school to help refugees of the war. Pyzh, a 2012 Doctor of Philosophy graduate of Southwestern Seminary, has served as president of the Ukrainian seminary since 2013. Lviv is 600 miles west of the capital city of Kyiv, where Russian forces have been trying to capture the nation’s capital since invading the country in the early morning hours of Feb. 24. Many Ukrainians have been fleeing the country through the western Ukrainian city, which is approximately 40-miles from the shared border with Poland. Initially, Pyz

A Son of A Refugee’s Appreciative Letter to a Church in Middle America

 By Slimjim - Posted at The Domain for Truth: The year 2021 is coming to a close. I’m beginning to reflect back this year. Having a blog helps. Soon I’ll write my post of the top posts of the year. But as any writer knows, there’s some posts that one might think should have done better but didn’t make the top 10, etc. Earlier in August I wrote “ A Son of A Refugee’s Gratitude for Christians in America’s Mid-West .” Some of you regular readers of the blog who followed the site for years have said it was probably one of the best posts I wrote. I think I agree. If you remember August was the fall of Afghanistan. The comparison of Vietnam to Afghanistan made me think about my own family history. It turns out the next day after I wrote that post we got a letter from the church that sponsored my mom’s family to the US. It was very emotional for my sisters and I reading it. I also saw the timing was providential. Read more...

How a Holocaust Survivor Thanked the Courageous Christians of Le Chambon

This protestant church is where pastor André Trocmé called for non-violent resistance to Nazism in June 1940. It is located in Haute-Loire, France. (Source: Wikipedia - Pensées de Pascal  )  By John Stonestreet and Glenn Sunshine - Posted at Breakpoint: Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village in south-central France. Back in 1940, the total population of this area, including the surrounding villages, was only about 5,000. Still, under the leadership of their Protestant pastor André Trocmé and his wife, Magda, the residents of these villages were responsible for saving up to 5,000 Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. In late January, Holocaust survivor Eric Schwam passed away at age 90. According to a BBC article, Schwam, a native of Vienna, arrived in Le Chambon in 1943, a refugee along with his mother, father, and grandfather. After the war, Schwam eventually returned to Austria to live a quiet life. However, he never forgot the people of Le Chambon

A Son of A Refugee’s Gratitude for Christians in America’s Mid-West

 By Slimjim - Posted at The Domain for Truth: These days as some of us pray for Afghanistan and wanting to find out more news of what’s going on there on the ground it can be frustrating with how little we know, and what we do know is distressing. Its also been a time that I’ve seen some reflect back the last 20 years since 9/11. For me it led me to think also about my own family’s history as the events in Afghanistan have been compared to the fall of Saigon. I thought I share this, in gratitude to God, and the kindness of American Christians in America’s Mid-West. By the way this post isn’t political partisan politics, nor a support for interventionist political policy, but simply stories of the human experience, and thoughts about with God and also his work through Christians in America. My mom’s side of the family had family members that were involved militarily with America’s secret War in South East Asia against the Communists while the Vietnam War was raging on. Some of you re


 Posted at Reformation Scotland: Our culture constantly suggests to us that the key to happiness is unconditional self-love. The implication is that this is the ultimate love and it will guarantee us success and security. This creates what one writer has called a toxic culture of self-love that will never satisfy. We do not need to go to the opposite extreme, instead we need to turn from focus on self to the ultimate love Christ has for His own. It is self-denying, self-sacrificing love for the unlovely, dealing with rather than accepting sin. Those who are His own turn from sin and by grace depend on Him alone by faith. There is very much to be gained from contemplating this ultimate special love that Christ has for His people. We have a description of this love in John 13:1: “when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end”. This is one of the first passages that T


Source: By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Core Christianity: Covid-19 can officially be added to the list of small things that have caused great upheaval. Since its onset, this tiny virus has not only attacked the health of over a hundred thousand people, causing thousands of deaths—it has also affected politics and economics, changed habits and lifestyles, and generated a flurry of emotions. As many other things today, it has easily infiltrated our political thought, causing discussions to become even more volatile. It has been said that the way we respond to disasters (including epidemics) has to do with our values and views of life, death, and humanity. If so, Christians who draw their values and beliefs from God’s given revelation should respond in a distinctive way. We know this. We know we should trust God and love our neighbor. As simple as it seems, the reality is often different and our knowledge is often difficult to translate in the appropriate