Did You Go To Them Privately?

Powerful Word

Social media provides a platform for anybody with access to a keyboard. In many ways, that access makes it easier for Christians to proclaim the Gospel and offer good teaching. In this day in age when fewer and fewer evangelical churches preach expositional sermons and encourage congregants to understand Scripture in its proper context, blogs, tweets and Facebook posts can serve as needed nourishment to Christians.

Sadly, social media can also enable false teachers to spread their poisonous doctrines.

Since false teachers utilize social media so effectively, we can praise God for tech-savvy people who have both the courage and the discernment to repudiate their errors. Admittedly, some writers who consider themselves discernment bloggers carry things way too far and end up making legitimate discernment bloggers look unsavory. But once you weed those writers out, you appreciate the ones who stand against error and guide readers back to the Word of God.

Invariably, those of us who expose false teachers receive angry responses, demanding to know whether or not we confronted said teacher privately in accordance with Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: It’s Not About Why A Good Man Suffers

Originally posted February 16, 2018:

God Answers

Of course I’d read the book of Job many times throughout my 47 years of being a Christian, so its story hardly surprised me as I read it this week. Yet this time I noticed Job’s attitude. During the course of his trial, it degenerates from trusting God to questioning Him to flat-out anger against Him.

Job knew that He’d initially done nothing to warrant the severe suffering that God allowed Satan to heap on him. When his three “comforters” asserted that God was punishing him for sin, he vehemently denied their analysis. Sadly, as they persisted in their accusations, Job slid into the sin of self-righteousness, eventually demanding that God answer to him!

As we know, God finally puts a halt to Job’s temper tantrum by reminding Job that He created heaven and earth. Therefore He has authority to act however He pleases, and His creatures really don’t have any right to call Him into account. Thankfully, Job then repents of his self-righteousness and receives a restoration of God’s blessings.

Let’s talk about Job’s self-righteous anger against the Lord for a bit. I’d never really noticed it until this week, but I believe it holds a key to understanding the whole message of the book.

In college, a classmate who categorized herself as an agnostic summarized the book of Job as an exploration of the question, “Why does a good man suffer?” I thought of her assessment this week as I read Job’s self-righteous protests of his innocence, and I realized the glaring fallacy of her statement.

God used Job’s suffering to reveal Job’s heart. For all his attempts at piety and obedience, deep down Job ultimately trusted in himself rather than God for his justification. God used the trial to confront Job with his arrogance. Although he’d done nothing to provoke God’s judgment when the trials began, his reaction to the unfair remarks of his “comforters” led him to express his deep-seated self-righteousness. And it was ugly.

God, in His grace, allowed Job to recognize his need for a Savior. He graciously brought Job to repentance, and then rewarded Job for that repentance. The book isn’t about a good man who suffered as much as it’s about a good God Who uses suffering to show us both our sin and His wonderful grace.

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Maybe I Should Play Solitaire More Often

Untitled-1Up until three weeks before our wedding, John and I lived 3000 miles apart from each other. At about 3:30 p.m. California time every day, he’d send an Instant Message on AOL (hey, we were scarcely out of the 90s, when AOL still ruled the internet) and we’d spend the next few hours chatting online. If he had to end the conversation before Mom had dinner ready, I’d kill time by playing solitaire on my computer.

You need to understand that I’ve never had much use of my hands, so card games posed a challenge. When my sister and I played Old Maid, Fish or the few other games I could manage, she’d wedge my cards (without looking) between a shoebox and its lid,  mentally numbering the cards from her left to her right. To play a card, I’d call out the number. Sometimes I’d forget to number them from my right to my left, causing all sorts of frustration for both of us.

Needless to say, solitaire games were — I can’t resist typing it — not Continue reading

The Local Church: Our Primary Priority For Serving The Lord

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As a Christian blogger, I spend a lot of time ministering to you — readers that I will only meet in heaven. The nature of my disability combined with my abilities as a writer make this ministry the most reasonable way for me to serve the Lord, and I praise Him for using me in this manner. If He draws you closer to Himself through what I write, all glory be to Him! What a privilege to honor Him simply by tapping on a keyboard and filling a computer screen.

I’m thankful for my pastor, elders and church family that affirm my blogging ministry and cheer me on each Sunday. And I hope that, second to honoring Christ, I represent First Baptist Church Weymouth Massachusetts well. The Outspoken TULIP isn’t an official ministry of the church, but I see many people I dearly hope that it serves as a representative of it.

In the past year, the Lord has blessed me with an opportunity to serve Him more directly through a ministry in this church. It’s a behind the scenes job, and very few people even know I do it. The obscurity, quite honestly, is the part I most Continue reading

It’s Inconvenient, This Getting Old Business!

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I looked forward to blogging this week, mostly because so many of you gave me such positive feedback on the article I wrote Friday (thanks for your encouragement). At 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning, however, the area that I fractured last December started hurting again. Of course, this week I have to finish some work for my church, so staying in bed to rest that area posed a bit of a problem.

Thankfully I worked things out so that I can finish things this evening and stay in bed the next few days. I believe I’ll feel much better after resting a few days (enjoying Animal Planet and YouTube sermons).

But bedrest means time away from my computer, which in turn means that I will be unable to blog until at least Friday. I’ll also be unable to gather Saturday Sampler links this week. I don’t know if this forced hiatus disappoints any of  you,  but it certainly disappoints me! As much as I love the fur babies on Animal Planet (when you can’t have pets yourself, you take anything you can get), I look forward to digging into God’s Word with you.

Getting older certainly is a nuisance, isn’t it?

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The Thrill Of Blogging About The Latest Celebrity Apostates

Spring BenchThere’s blood in the water, folks, and bloggers have been circling like sharks. All of us (including yours truly) know that controversy sells, and we can’t wait to boost our stats by picking apart the latest celebrity to defect.

Sometimes the blog posts serve a purpose. For instance, earlier this week I reported on Beth Moore’s compromising remarks about same sex attractions.  I made an effort to move the conversation beyond Beth Moore to examine ways both homosexuals and heterosexuals excuse sexual and romantic lusts, and thankfully many of my readers got my point. Some, however, fixated on Mrs. Moore. Their comments (especially on Twitter) revealed that they Continue reading

Mary Understood What She Needed (Or, How Do You Stop A Runaway Blog?)

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In the past couple of weeks, I’ve blogged about some fairly important topics, and I don’t regret addressing those issues. Since publishing the Open Letter To Beth Moore, my online life has been a bit crazy, taking my thoughts in unanticipated directions. At times I’ve felt somewhat frustrated that I wasn’t taking my blog where I believed it should go.

As I thought about the disconnect between what I’ve wanted to write and what I’ve actually been writing, my mind went back to the familiar story of Continue reading