Easter, the common name for the holiday marking Jesus Christ’s return from the dead, represents Christianity’s trump card- the unique claim to eternal life. All other world religions have had human founders that lived, then died. Their lives had meaning, but ultimately their death meant nothing. In Christianity, Jesus Christ’s death meant EVERYTHING. It meant everything because by first-person historical accounts it was a death that lasted only 2 nights.
No other world religion has first-person historical accounts of their leader coming back to life. Why?… Continue reading →
I am a born-again Christian who attends a non-denominational Protestant church. At first thought you might think the election of a new Pope should not matter to me, or that I might even scoff at Catholic claims of papal authority and the whole black smoke/white smoke conclave theatrics. However, a major characteristic (and dare I say “admirable quality”) Catholics have in their ranks is organizational unity (for the most part) of their 1.2 billion adherents worldwide. In contrast, under the Protestant umbrella which approximately 840 million subscribe to some flavor or another, there are more denominations (re: divisions) than you can shake a stick at.
At the top of this organizational unity within Roman Catholicism is of course the Bishop of Rome – the Pope. Since Pope Benedict announced his historic resignation, I have immersed myself in researching Catholic beliefs and theology out of mere curiosity and intrigue. As an adult convert to Christianity, everything is still relatively new to me so I just try to soak it all in with an open mind. Continue reading →
Recently I was perusing CNN.com when a certain article, linked only about half way down the front page, caught my eye. The article was a community-submitted blog post called “Why I Raise My Children Without God”, and as someone who blogs about Christian perspectives I could not resist reading this mother’s take on things. I must admit I immediately felt an inner grieving of the Holy Spirit for her and almost clicked away after the first paragraph. However, I forged ahead and read through the whole article wincing with every sentence.
After finishing the article I sat in utter disbelief of this mother’s utter disbelief, and pondered what to do next. Should I just put it out of my mind and let her charges against God go unanswered, joining the large chorus of atheism becoming ever more prevalent in our fallen society?
The year begins with big ideas and lofty goals. Then without notice hours turn to days, days to weeks, and weeks to months until suddenly we are back where we started- at January 1st again- with not much accomplished. Life seems so temporal- because it is.
So what can we do about the fact that life passes us by and we only seem to spin our wheels? The answer, though it doesn’t seem intuitive, is to slow down.
Late last month Angus T. Jones, the child star who plays the character “Jake” on the CBS “hit” show “Two and a Half Men”, became embroiled in a controversy when a YouTube video of him calling the show “filth” went viral. A large part of the attraction of this story is that these comments are a direct result of Jones’ recent conversion to the Christian faith. Despite this story’s convergence with two of this blog’s topics- entertainment and Christianity- I have initially refrained from writing about it.
The show’s co-star Ashton Kutcher has now weighed in, saying he wants Jones fired immediately, and calling him a “spoiled brat”- a rather ironic epithet coming from Kutcher for sure. As more time has passed to let the story play out, and in light of this recent criticism from Kutcher being made public, I feel the desire to opine why Jones’ comments were unavoidable given his recent life change. Continue reading →
I join everyone in mourning over the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre. Words cannot make sense of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012. In people’s attempt to rationalize the actions of an obviously deranged 20 year old young man, many are already turning to the government for answers.
I try to put myself in the shoes of one of the parents dealing with the loss of their precious child. I almost immediately come to tears just imagining my 7 month old being ripped from this life into eternity so suddenly and cruelly. While my tears are nothing compared to the extreme sorrow, emptiness, and anger those parents and family members of the fallen must be experiencing, one thing is for certain- I would not be looking to my government or it’s leaders for answers. Nor would I be blaming them. Continue reading →
The Bangor Daily News recently ran a pretty extensive article on the often-cited approaching doomsday of December 21st, 2012 as set forth by the Mayan calendar. While most scoff at the possibility of there being any credibility to the Mayan prediction, there are conspiracy theorists and “doomsday preppers” that aren’t taking any chances- stocking up on everything from nonperishable food items to guns and ammo.
However, from the Christian perspective the reality of The End of our time here on earth coming before our natural death is nothing to be scoffed at. And even if it comes after we die, our short time alive must be spent in preparation. Continue reading →
There recently has been an uproar over the City of Bangor calling the Christmas Tree a “Holiday” tree in downtown’s West Market Square- even though they made this change 15 years ago. I find it disingenuous for city officials to have made this change in the name of political correctness- especially because no other faith-based holidays use a tree as a major symbol. However, what I consider even more disingenuous is people getting all worked up about this being an example of “taking Christ out of Christmas” when a majority of these same people only want to talk about Jesus Christ this time of year, and only in this context.
What’s most unfortunate is the large percentage of the American population that have taken Christ out of their lives year around. Then when the Christmas season comes they become the flag-bearers for keeping His name stamped on pagan traditions and in the stores that promote the greed and materialism our Savior was so dead-set against. Continue reading →
It would be insincere to say I was surprised by the results of the same-sex marriage vote in Maine this time around. I uphold that as a supporter of traditional marriage, it was out of principle- not hate- to vote No on Question 1. But a majority of Mainers have spoken, and because we live in a democracy rather than a theocracy, we must begin to move beyond the debate over civil marriage as Christians.
While there are many places in Scripture that seem to exactly describe where our culture is today (Romans 1:24-32 is one New Testament example), the question that remains is what are we to do about it? One thing we should NOT do is just gloss over such warnings and ignore the Word of God at these uncomfortable points, or explain them away as not applying to our current situation. But correction and reproof from Scripture are for those inside the church, not those on the outside (see 1 Corinthians 5:12-13).
Some form of a local church community is necessary for the Christian to continue to grow in their faith, and truly live out the life for which we are called during our short time here on earth. However, “local church” isn’t just meeting in a building every Sunday, nor does it have to be in a building at all. What is required, though, is fellowship with- and allowing ourselves to be accountable to- other Christians.
Despite the popularity of wanting to “go it alone” in our culture today, especially when it comes to our faith journey, this is not a viable option for the Christian who desires to live to their fullest potential.
I hear many self-professing Christians say, “I believe in God, but the whole church and organized religion thing just isn’t for me.” When pressed further on the topic, reasons typically fall somewhere on the spectrum of disagreeing with one or more topics they may have heard on any given Sunday, to very serious personal hurts caused by church leaders or fellow attendees. One thing is certain, there is no “perfect church”- once you think you’ve found one then chances are you’ve ended up in a cult. Furthermore, churches are just like the rest of the world in that they are made up of imperfect people. Continue reading →