Speaking the Truth in Love

Church Blog (Page 24)

Freedom to Choose?

God gave our first parents freedom of choice. In the tropical paradise of Eden, they were permitted to decide for themselves whether to heed the divine warning concerning the forbidden tree. This freedom to choose between right and wrong has come down to all the children of Adam and Eve. Some choices, though, lie beyond…

Enemies of God’s People

The Old Testament depicts a seemingly endless enmity between the Israelites and the Philistines. For instance, the book of Judges tells of Shamgar, a man who delivers Israel by killing “six hundred of the Philistines with an oxgoad” (3:31). The far more familiar story of Samson’s struggle with the Philistines is recorded in the same…

Embarrassing but True

The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was approaching. James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (the Lord’s half-brothers) invited Jesus to accompany them to Jerusalem. There he could prove himself to the people. ”If you do these things,” they said, “show yourself to the world” (John 7:4). The skepticism implied in their challenge was confirmed by the author…

Divorce and Remarriage Questions

A permissive attitude concerning divorce and remarriage has beaten the American family to its knees. Adults bounce from one disastrous marriage to another, and innocent children suffer the consequent instability and abandonment. The church must guard against contributing to the confusion and hold firmly to the biblical principles that govern marriage. Below are two common…

The Dignity of Man

On February 12, 2009, Kyle Butt and Dan Barker met to debate the existence of God. In his closing remarks, Mr. Barker gave an analogy intended to show the superiority of the atheist’s view of mankind. Imagine, he said, that a person is charged with a crime and imprisoned. After some years the governor pardons…

Clothed In White

Beautiful flowers decorate the wedding chapel. The groomsmen and bridesmaids stand at the front of the room in their impeccable tuxedoes and gowns. The groom, handsome and nervous, is eagerly awaiting the entrance of his bride. Now the majestic strains of the wedding march swell and fill the chapel. The audience stands, turns–and gasps in…

Church and State

Public school teachers cannot legally lead students in prayer, display the Ten Commandments, or teach the Genesis creation account. According to the Supreme Court’s dubious interpretation of the Constitution, the state must sever any links between itself and religion–Christianity in particular. What biblical principles relate to this controversial legal doctrine known as “separation of church…

A Christ-Centered Church

Several years ago I heard an excellent Gospel meeting message presented by Billy Smith, dean of the Freed-Hardeman University Bible department. His sermon challenged the assembly to make Jesus the focus of faith, worship, daily living, and hope. Billy introduced his lesson by noting a common criticism of the churches of Christ. “Our denominational friends…

Can I Know?

After rising from baptismal burial with Jesus, a new convert feels wonderfully clean before God. The blood of Christ has washed away his sins, and he is certain that death will find him prepared for the day of judgment. With the passing of time, though, insidious doubts begin to creep in and steal the new…

Better than Kings

My father grew up on an Iowa farm in the 1930’s and 40’s. One Saturday afternoon his older brother, Verle, was taking a bath in a tub placed in the middle of the kitchen floor. “The Morlan girls are coming!” someone called out. Hoping to escape the eyes of his cousins, my uncle jumped out…