Help! I’m peace loving and don’t WANT to fight wars for Jesus

Did Jesus finish the work of defeating evil or did he not finish the work and therefore we must go to battles and wars for him? Dear Thoughtful Pastor: There is a hymn called “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.”  It speaks of Christians as soldiers of the cross, marching as to war against what [Read More…]

Help! Do we ignore, avoid, or confront evil?

Evil is often disguised in a subtle call to comfort, to security, to safety. It will involve only the smallest of compromises. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: There is evil in the world, at many levels, from government and business, down to communities and ourselves. On encountering evil, what is our Christian responsibility, either as a church [Read More…]

Shall We Do Evil So That Good Will Come?

I watched part of the Republican debate last night (Dec. 15). I chose to listen with a more generous spirit than I have to date. Each candidate genuinely believes that he/she is uniquely suited to be President of the US, an extraordinarily difficult job where every single action and word will be critiqued, examined, and [Read More…]

The Problem of Evil: Deliver Us From Temptation

Please watch the short video: The illustrator and narrator have asked that continually nagging question: How can there be a good God yet all this bad in the world? Above all, this is the question the church must answer. The question and the current response to reject anything smacking of “institutionalized religion” do not erase [Read More…]

Syria, Children, and the Problem of Evil

A church member just phoned.  His son serves on one of the destroyers currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, one of many sons and daughters over there of worried parents here. We send our young to protect the young of others. Why?  Well, I’m not going to join the political fray here, other than to [Read More…]

We Are In This Together

Syria. Chemical Warfare. Innocent children and adults killed. Political instability. Denial. Blame. Egypt. Churches burnt. Religious oppression. Political instability. Worshippers killed. Anguish. Russia. Economic disaster. Growing coldness to the US. Persecuting gays and lesbians. Exodus. Sadness. North Korea. Gaining nuclear weaponry. Inexperienced leader. Needs to keep nation in crisis to hold power. Systematic, brutal suppression [Read More…]

“Stump the Pastor” Sunday

  Sunday, June 30, we will set aside liturgy and normal order for a bit in favor of an open hymn sing and a “Stump the Pastor” morning. People can ask/text/write to me any questions they wish that are on their minds, dealing with church, theology, Bible, belief or my hair. Yes, hair, as in [Read More…]

For Their Own Good: Why Not Stone Them?

A quote from this article about an Afghan doctor and his patient being stoned: In many parts of Afghanistan, particularly in remote areas, women are customarily not allowed to be examined by male doctors except in the presence of close male family members as their chaperons. Stoning is the punishment for adultery under Shariah law, [Read More…]

More on The Epic Battle Between Good and Evil

For the past few weeks on Sunday mornings, and with a couple more to come, I have been bringing messages about the epic battle between good and evil. The big question, “How do we learn to discern between the two?” One would think it would be easy. But real evil has developed the genius to [Read More…]

The Epic Battle: Message Series Starting This Sunday

“Just think how much good you could do!”  Those enticing words also may be some of the most dangerous words around–they can open the door to extraordinary evil, perfectly disguised and cloaked with something that just looks so right. Starting this Sunday, May 26, I will begin a five week message series on the necessity [Read More…]