If people know nothing else about Christianity, they know that it doesn’t approve of sexual sin. Unfortunately, large swaths of the church have forgotten that.
Child abuse and sexually predatory behavior scandalize both church and society. Too many people who grow up in the church reach adulthood without learning biblical standards of morality. Children of ordained ministers shack up with their blessing. High ranking denominational leaders favor homosexual marriage and ordaining homosexual clergy.
Many point out that Jesus himself said nothing on the subject of homosexuality. As if that means he had no objection to it. But homosexuality is a kind of sexual sin.… Read the rest
Jonah is the story of a disobedient prophet who repented. Eli is the story of a disobedient priest who did not. Jonah comes across as petulant even when he finally did God’s bidding. Eli seems in nearly all of his dealings as a very godly man. Jonah’s story is familiar enough that I won’t summarize it here, but I suppose many fewer readers even know who Eli was.
We first encounter Eli in the first chapter of 1 Samuel, where he is a bit player. Hannah, a barren woman taunted by her husband’s other wife, prayed silently, but in great anguish, at the tabernacle.… Read the rest
“Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls come a-tumblin’ down.” Then he and his people sinned. The next part of the story didn’t go as well for them. Joshua decided to attack the small town of Ai next. They chased his warriors out of town and killed some of them. What happened?
Most obviously, someone named Achan took some of the spoils and hid them in his tent. God didn’t appear to Joshua and tell him what had happened and what he thought about it. He hardly ever does.
I have written previously about Achan’s sin, how God revealed it to the people, and how they had to carry out his gracious judgment.… Read the rest
Have you ever had to deal with a totally unreasonable person? What about some bosses you have had, or perhaps a neighbor or even family member? I know there are times in my life that, if I had Godlike powers, say, a thunderbolt to wipe someone off the face of the earth, I would have cheerfully used it. That’s the way of sinful humanity. We’re much more prone to exercising judgment than grace.
The Bible knows its share of tyrants. Daniel 2:1-13 introduces Nebuchadnezzar when he was about 25 years old. A seasoned military leader, he had only recently become king.… Read the rest