As Jesus is the cornerstone upon which the Church is built, so are his teachings the unifying cornerstone of Christian doctrine.

Absolutely Secure

Maybe I'm hard-nosed, but I don't trust liars, gigolos, seductive women, adulterers, thieves, most televangelists, political promises, lobbyists, the tax-man, popes, gurus, Hollywood actors, big charities, rock musicians, time payments, skunks, television advertisers, motivational speakers, doctors, slot machines, dentists, medical insurers, cigarette manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, discounts, Teflon, cell phone companies, manipulative people, infomercials about making money, bears, repackaged retail items, preachers of empty-headed fluff, multi-level marketing, pyramid schemes, food additives, biased news reporting, tailgaters, state lotteries, fast-talking salesmen, closing down furniture sales, freeware, the legal system, links to strange web sites, anything free that includes a hidden monthly fee, know-it-alls and spam. I do trust my wife, parents, wife's parents, siblings, many close friends, firemen, ambulance officers, rescue workers, nurses, farmers, my employer to pay me at least something each payday, other cars to stay on their side of the road and my dog mostly, and the Lord in everything.

Bitter Christians

In Acts 8 Peter accused Simon of being full of bitterness. In Romans 3 we see the world around described as full of cursing and bitterness. Bitterness is very toxic and it can even create whole societies that are negative, cynical and skeptical. Bitterness poisons us and twists our thinking into an illogical, emotional ruin. When we are bitter we only see evil motives in political leaders, we cause division between churches and destroy families. The nightly news feeds on bitter political, business and criminal strife. Church fights are almost always messy. Sometimes the bitterness is so deep that people just go to another church, or even start a new one. Forgiveness and reconciliation are antidotes to bitterness. Reconciliation is a very beautiful thing, but hard and it is sometimes easier after a little time and distance. Perhaps that's why the author of Hebrews 12:15 warns us to diligently avoid bitterness.

Ancient Bible Thanksgiving

A variety of Thanksgiving is celebrated in countries like the USA, Canada and Germany today. However, the idea of a harvest festival of thanks is a very ancient one. One of the most celebrated feasts of ingathering of the harvest that Christians may be familiar with is the Jewish feast of tabernacles or Sukkoth. Some Christians observe this biblical autumn festival even today. Paul gave us the right to celebrate various days according to our conscience and the freedom of worship that we enjoy in Christ. Apart from thanks for a successful harvest, what other meanings could there be in such a celebration for Christians? The feast of booths, as it is also called, pictures the same thing as Christmas, when the word became flesh and put on this earthly tabernacle. In prophecy, it also pictures that wonderful celebration at Christ's return when all nations will feast in thanksgiving style.

Fables we Christians love to Believe

1. If Christians were in power the world would be better. Actually, Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan were neither better nor worse than other Presidents of the USA. Protestant and Catholic rulers made Europe a more oppressive place than modern, secular, democratic Europe.

2. If we don't do something, Antichrist will rise and persecute Christians. Actually, prophecies do not indicate that Christians can stop it but only that Christ's return will save us out of it.

3. Christians behave better and are wealthier than their non-Christian neighbors. Actually, Paul described Christians as the weak of the world, not worldly wise. The difference is that they are saved.

4. Modern Christianity is an exact copy of the ancient way. Modern Christianity is very different than that described by Christ and experienced by the ancient Church, with a major exception: Faith in Christ is still saving faith and that is the most important thing.

Ashamed to be a Christian

If being a Christian means to condemn instead of pray for political leaders, then I am ashamed. If I must constantly focus on what is wrong with our world, then I am ashamed. If I must constantly criticize and repulse unbelievers instead of love them and be a light, then I am ashamed. If it means that I must be in constant anxiety about what men say may happen if I don't waste money lobbying for one-sided, poorly researched, bigoted religious politics, instead of giving it for the Gospel, then I am ashamed. But, I am not ashamed to be a Christian, because Christ demands that I pray for our leaders, be humble and set my hope on his kingdom not this world. Paul encourages me to focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Now that is real Christianity and therefore I am not ashamed.

Pick Up Your Mat and Go Home

Have you wasted years of your life fretting over the consequences of bad decisions? Have you spent too much time lying on a mat of troubles, laid low by foolish mistakes? Have sin and corruption made you sick in body, mind and soul? Have good friends carried you to Jesus in prayer and laid your soul before him asking for healing? Know that Jesus has seen the faith of you and your friends. Others may question in their hearts if Jesus has the authority to forgive you. Know that Jesus heals and forgives. He said in regard to a paralyzed man in Mark 2:10 that he would prove that he had the authority to forgive sins. Know that Jesus tells you also to stand up, pick up your mat upon which you have laid in troubles and sickness for too long, and go home. You are forgiven! You are healed!

I Thought You were a Good Guy

I once overheard a man blurt out, "I thought you were a good guy!" after he found out that his friend enjoyed an occasional alcoholic drink. In Mark 2:15-17 we read that Jesus ate with such inferior "sinners" as defined by the Pharisees and their rules. Are we sometimes guilty of looking down our noses at others who believe differently to us. The scribes used the word sinners in a sense of outcasts, narrowly defined by their human standards, which they mistakenly thought were God's. The Scribes and Pharisees had a history of faithfulness to the law and were proud descendants of martyrs under Antiochus Ephiphanes. They viewed others as second-rate sinners by comparison. Do we ostracize people who don't have our proud church history or meet our fabricated standards? Next time we are tempted to do so, let's remember that Jesus ate with those that religious people had cast aside.