Ask Pastor John: When Do I Unfollow My Pastor?

When Do I Unfollow My Pastor? When should we unfollow our Christian leaders? When does our loyalty to God override our loyalty to a certain church? We get the question from a listener named Peggy. “Hello Pastor John. I have a burning question for you to answer. As Christians, do we pledge our loyalty to church or to God? And when and how should that line be drawn?”The way I answer Peggy will depend on what she is referring to when she says, “loyalty to church.” Does she mean loyalty to the p … [Read more...]

Ask Pastor John: How Do I Escape Regret over Hurt I’ve Caused?

Here is a humble and sincere question from a listener named Roy: “Dear Pastor John, I have been reflecting recently and was reminded of the hurts I have inflicted upon people whom I have crossed paths with. As much as I would like to seek restoration, the means of doing so are no longer practically possible. While I believe that in Christ those past wrongs are forgiven, I cannot help but feel a lingering sense of guilt and regret when I bring to mind those incidents. How do I reconcile the r … [Read more...]

Ask Pastor John: Can We Be Legalistic About Not Being Legalists?

Can We Be Legalistic About Not Being Legalists?A couple of different listeners in the past month have written in to ask, essentially, “Is it possible to become legalistic about not being legalistic?” Pastor John, what would you say? My short answer would be simply yes, but that won’t have much meaning until we provide some definitions and biblical content for the word “legalism.”Here’s the startling fact that more people need to take into account, and they need to become more careful in … [Read more...]

Ask Pastor John: Is Body Image My Idol?

Body image is a preoccupation for many, and there are huge dieting and physical training industries in our culture today. So, we have this question from a podcast listener named Jon who lives and works in Washington D.C. and who wonders about what’s really motivating him to get to the gym. Here’s what Jon wrote: “Dear Pastor John, I’m committed to working out at the gym. I have, over the years, become fit because of my consistency. My temptation is in making my body a temple of self-glory. I want … [Read more...]

Ask Pastor John: Can I Forgive Someone Who Doesn’t Confess Wronging Me?

A question from Jason: “Pastor John, hello! As you know, in Matthew 18, the parable of the unforgiving servant ends with a dire warning to those who don’t forgive: ‘So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart’ (Matthew 18:35). Verse 34 explains the ‘so’ of 35: ‘And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt’ (Matthew 18:34). I have a lot of questions about this passage, but the main two are: (1) … [Read more...]

Ask Pastor John: Explaining Hell to our Children

A question from Michael: “Pastor John, how can I talk to my 6-year-old son about hell? When any loved one has died who has also been a Christian, I have told him they have gone to heaven. But if somebody dies who is not a Christian I do not want to lie and say they have gone to heaven, but I do not know how to teach him about hell. He has extreme anxiety about death and I am afraid talking about hell may make him more anxious. He also gets very upset when he makes any kind of mistake or when I h … [Read more...]