Quote: True Change

True change is always motivated by the Good News. No one can follow the imperatives of God apart from getting totally exploded by the cross of Christ and what he did. When we obey God, we’re not merely following a rule-maker but also pleasing the heart of a perfectly good father. So when you break His commands, you’re also hurting the heart of a graciously good dad.

Mega-Post: Female Pastors, Neo-Feminism, and The Scary Words Submission, Quiet, and Penis

In reference to this.

Feel free to skip around on this post.

Anonymous questions:

– Hi. I enjoyed your last post. I am a woman and have been struggling with Scripture for a long, long time about complementarianism vs egalitarianism in the church. Despite my struggling, my conviction is the former. I am guessing yours is as well. So can you give me your view (and on submission, historical context of Paul’s teachings, etc)? Also, what if there are few men in a certain area unable to do pastoral work for w/e reason.. is it better to have a woman do this work rather than no one?

– In reference to your recent post about qualifications for pastors, could you also address this issue: must pastors be male?

– Can you explain 1 Timothy 2:11?

Please allow me the humility to throw down some groundwork for our discussion.  Also please know that I am one person interpreting a controversial text, and disagreements here shouldn’t lead to division.  Feel free to skip around if you read on.

I can’t continue unless I explain neo-feminism.  It is a form of feminist values gone wrong, in which instead of equal rights calls for a debasing of masculine values and a superiority of feminine ones.

I have little problem with feminism since its true spirit is to heal the historical deficit of women’s rights.  But neo-feminism is a clever corruption, often subtle and much more entrenched in our culture and mentalities than we presume, as we’ll soon see. 

We are also such a product of our times that we’re blinded to much of the ideas that have clawed into our psyches.  C.S. Lewis’ famous argument of chronological snobbery is helpful to read here.

No doubt that I will say disagreeable things and I don’t claim to have all the answers.  Yet I stand on these convictions because I don’t want to be a relativist passionless fool who compromises in a politically correct culture of catering.  As best as I know how, these are my personal biblical foundations.  Please seek for yourself as well.

Continue reading “Mega-Post: Female Pastors, Neo-Feminism, and The Scary Words Submission, Quiet, and Penis”

Quote: Every Word

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna … to teach you that people do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

If you’re in the wilderness, you’re exactly where you should be. The question is: how will you be?

— Deuteronomy 8:2-3

Don’t Believe The Lie: Defeat Matters Less Than The Moment After It

Get back up. Don’t believe the lie. Grab His hand, the one always extended. Remember who you’re made to be. Don’t look back.

Continue reading “Don’t Believe The Lie: Defeat Matters Less Than The Moment After It”

Quote: Glorify

As Christians, the most important question in every circumstance is not what do I want, what do I think, why do I need, what do I feel? The question is always this: what would glorify God? What would show love, obedience, and trust in God. How can we respond, react in such a way that He would be pleased and honored because THEN we always end up with the right answer.

— Mark Driscoll

How To Cut Someone Off The “Christian” Way

Anonymous asked a question:

I want to cut my brother out of my life because it’s hurting my faith & self-esteem. i wanted to know your opinion on taking bad influences like him out of your life … am i a bad person for even wanting this? how should i get past this whole ordeal?

Dear friend, first please know that cutting people out of your life is absolutely acceptable as a last resort. I say this with hesitation, since we’re all so quick to find reasons to give up on others (me included), but there’s no rational reason to stay in a place of abuse and endangerment. We must discern the difference between finding someone unpleasant and running from someone tyrannically cruel. If the person we’re talking about is mercilessly manipulative or physically abusive, then much of what I’m about to say must be cautiously applied, or even withheld. And forgiveness doesn’t have to mean friendship.

When it comes to family, the dynamics make it brutally difficult to exercise boundaries. Family is tangled with history and an almost helpless weight of loyalty. If conflicts with friends are firecrackers, then family is like defusing an atomic bomb.

Please allow some grace as I try to give unbiased advice both to you and myself.

Continue reading “How To Cut Someone Off The “Christian” Way”

Quote: Favorable

If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.

— C.S. Lewis

Quote: Lord

“You will not find a verse in Scripture where people are told to ‘bow your heads, close your eyes, and repeat after me.’ You will not find a place where a superstitious sinner’s prayer is even mentioned. And you will not find an emphasis on accepting Jesus. We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him. Accept him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don’t we need him?”

— David Platt

Quote: Ruthlessly

Conflict provides an avenue for spiritual growth. To resolve conflict, by definition we must become more engaged, not less. Just when we want to “tell the other person off,” we are forced to be quiet and listen to their complaint. Just when we are most eager to make ourselves understood, we must strive to understand. Just when we seek to air our grievances, we must labor to comprehend another’s hurt. Just when we want to point out the fallacies and abusive behavior of someone else, we must ruthlessly evaluate our own offensive attitudes and behaviors.

— Gary Thomas

That Crazy Moment When You Just Want To Quit Everything

Sometimes I just want to quit, but not just quit: like completely explode and flip tables and throw office supplies and kick over the water dispenser and tell the jerk co-worker why his existence is unnecessary and go fricking buckwild down the hallway yelling obscene profanities at everyone who dares to step into my zone.

I play this over carefully in my head, premeditating my furious wrath to the most miniscule detail down to making the universal gesture at the exit for “You guys are Number One.” I’m a meteorologist charting out the path of a hurricane, except I’m laughing about it like some evil scientist in his basement.

Maybe that’s not healthy. Am I alone in this? Because I sense I’m not the only Drama Queen here.

Continue reading “That Crazy Moment When You Just Want To Quit Everything”

Quote: Active

Only a fraction of the present body of professing Christians are solidly appropriating the justifying work of Christ in their lives. Many have so light an apprehension of God’s holiness and of the extent and guilt of their sin, that consciously they see little need for justification. Below the surface, however, they are deeply guilt-ridden and insecure. Many others have a theoretical commitment to this doctrine, but in their day-to-day existence they rely on their sanctification for justification … drawing their assurance of acceptance with God from their sincerity … their recent religious performance or the relative infrequency of their conscious, willful disobedience. Few start each day with a thoroughgoing stand upon Luther’s platform: you are accepted, looking outward in faith and claiming the wholly alien righteousness of Christ as the only ground for acceptance, relaxing in that quality of trust which will produce increasing sanctification as faith is active in love and gratitude.

— Richard Lovelace

What About Tattoos?

Anonymous asked:
What do you think about tattoos? A “Christian” tattoo. Should a Christian not get one?

It depends on who’s asking.  When Jesus comes back with a tattoo on his leg, his head on fire, a sword coming out of his face, holding seven stars in his hand, riding a warhorse and wearing a robe dipped in the blood of enemies he just killed — no one is going to ask him, Dude should you have a tattoo?

I’m mostly kidding.  But the root truth remains: It just depends on who’s asking.  It depends on your motives. It’s a heart issue.

Continue reading “What About Tattoos?”

Quote: Believe

I believe in Jesus. That means I believe less and less in money, good looks, success, popularity and all the other stuff people say will bring you security and happiness. I believe less and less in my own ability to run my life. The more I believe in Him, the less I need anything else.

— Lee Younger

Quote: Subtle Temptation

Satan tempts us at the point of our physical needs, not that we might gratify them to excess, but that we might think of nothing else, and satisfy them at the expense of our usefulness in this world.

Satan tempts us at the point of our ambitions, not that we might engage in positive evil, but that we might simply accept the fact of evil, learn to live with it, come to terms with it, and maintain a quiet reverence in the presence of it.

Satan tempts us at the point of our religion, not that we might disbelieve in God, but that we might demand certainty, that type of certainty of God that leaves nothing to faith, nothing to God himself.

These are the moral struggles that have reality for people such as we are. The subtle temptation to renounce our duty in favor of what is attractive, that insidious allurement to a kind of half-goodness which is the essence of everything bad and which is more productive of suffering and hatred, war and misery in this world than all the designs of wicked and greedy people combined.

— Arthur Leonard Griffith

Quote: Groove

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God ‘has put eternity into man’s heart.’ At some level, in the deepest part of our soul, our soul remembers, however that happens, what life was like before the fall. At some really deep level, our soul has this impression cut into it by the fingers of God, like the grooves on a record, encoding the memory of what it was like before sin entered the world. We remember, at a really deep level, that at one time we were full, and at one time we were happy, and at one time there was nothing weighing us down. Our souls are outright groaning to get back there. But the void is God-shaped.

… What is Jesus saying? He is saying, ‘I am eternal. I fill the void. I fit the groove.’ … In the end, there is nothing under the sun that brings lasting fulfillment. You have to look beyond the sun. The groove in our hearts cannot be filled with the temporal. It demands eternity.

— Matt Chandler