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
If you join a local church, you can pretty much expect that, at some point, you’ll experience some level of hurt. The offense may be as mild as a friend neglecting to say hello on a Sunday morning or as devastating as leadership taking you out of a ministry you enjoy. A few of these hurts are intentional and malicious; most result from plain old thoughtlessness or misunderstandings. Occasionally you will experience hurt because a brother or sister has called out your sin.
I write from 48 years of Continue reading
In response to the article I wrote Monday, a reader from Australia commented that the only churches near her were five Hillsong churches. My heart broke for her, causing me to pray that the Lord will open up something that allows her to enjoy fellowship opportunities and to serve the body of Christ. I ask each of you to join me in praying for her.
As I read her comment, my mind went back to 2014. John and I had just Continue reading
The short answer is no.
Blogging isn’t conducive to short answers, however, and perhaps a longer answer would be more helpful than simply quoting Hebrews 10:25 as a definitive proof text. While that verse certainly carries all the authority necessary to teach that Christians need to meet regularly with their brothers and sisters in the Lord, looking at other passages can help us develop a fuller understanding of why we need to devote ourselves to a local body of believers.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me admit that John and I can’t attend our church during the winter months due to health concerns. And this past Sunday, the RIDE got us there late and picked us up early, completely depriving us of fellowship opportunities. But (and mark this point) we maintain contact with various people in the congregation, keeping accountable to the pastors and elders. We continue serving the church as best we can while we’re providentially hindered (to borrow a phrase from Michelle Lesley) from making personal appearances and/or encouraging our church family.
Resisting the temptation to get on my soapbox about Continue reading
Originally published April 12, 2017:
The continued exodus from Biblical Christianity doesn’t shock me as much as it used to, but it saddens me. Friends whom I once greatly respected as sterling examples of Christians, both for their doctrinal fidelity and their moral purity, have been embracing liberal theology and/or moving into blatantly sinful behavior patterns. A few, but only a very few, are honest enough to acknowledge that they aren’t following the Lord. Most, however, foolishly believe that He has led them to make these tragic choices.
“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
There have been far too many times I’ve looked down my sanctimonious nose at Continue reading
Many professing Christians acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross to forgive their sins. Okay, that’s a start. But sometimes it seems as if they don’t understand the full implications of His death.
To put it bluntly, few of them really believe that, had they not been brought to faith in Christ, they would deserve eternity in hell. Indeed, few genuinely believe hell even exists. Nor do they honestly believe that their sins are serious enough to warrant eternal punishment.
Such a dismissal of a literal hell creates a casual attitude toward salvation, it seems to me. Consequently, the Lord’s sacrificial death doesn’t compel them to respond in adoring devotion.
But the redeemed sinner who grasps the truth that Christ snatched her from the jaws of hell responds much differently. Precisely because she knows the condemnation she deserves, she freely abandons her life to Him. She knows she’ll never be worthy of what He’s done on her behalf. She simply wants to show her gratitude by living for Him.
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Arguably the biggest problem with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is the insulation from face-to-face communication. It always has been easier to say things in writing rather than speaking to someone in person; I get that. Twice, I received romantic rejections from men who wrote letters because they lacked the courage to face me. Writing puts us in control by shielding us from the reactions of others.
As a complication, social media provides a layer of anonymity. We may not have ever met that person we fight with on Twitter, and we may never meet her. So we don’t feel all that bothered if we end up Continue reading