To Drink or Not to Drink

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A relative of mine posted an article this past year about why Christians should not drink. I didn’t agree with most of it and want to add my thoughts to some of the points.

  • Drinking leads to drunkenness. Well, it COULD, but it doesn’t always. That’s like saying eating leads to obesity. It COULD, but it does not always.
  • It will cause others to stumble. Well, it can, so that is why we as Christians are told to look out for our weaker brother. If your drinking might cause another Christian to stumble, then you should not drink around them. Do not flaunt the freedom you have if it in any way will harm another believer.
  • It harms our bodies which are the Lord’s. It can if we drink excessively. But, we could say eating harms our bodies if we use that same mentality. Wine actually has many healthy benefits. It’s the excessiveness that is harmful, whether food or drink.
  • Alcohol is addictive. So are sweets. Actually, almost anything has the potential to become addictive and thus harmful.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.– Philippians 4:5

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Read a previous blog on this topic: Unexpectedly Better

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One Way

renjith krishnan

There are “many roads to get from point A to Point B” works well on maps. But, as Woodrow Kroll says, “As soon as you begin to drive, you will have to choose which road you will take. When you decide which road to take, you have excluded all others.”

Religious pluralism goes beyond simple toleration. It’s the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference.

I’ve not given much thought to pluralism before, and don’t claim to be an authority. I just know what scripture has to say.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. – John 14:6

How NOT to Pray

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photo – Little Visuals

1. Don’t pray to seen by men – And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward – Matthew 6:5

2. Don’t start with your wants – “In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10

The structure of what is familiarly known as The Lord’s Prayer begins with God, then goes on to mankind and our needs.

3. Don’t expect to always have the beautiful words. – sometimes we comes to God and our souls are dry and empty. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” – Romans 8:26

4. Don’t focus on yourself – Refocus your eyes on God – if you are a Christian, He is your Father – look to Him.

Approach Him with reverence, not in INDEPENDENCE, but rather IN DEPENDENCE.

Please know that I am talking to myself here as well. Thanks to Mark Soud for his messages on Matthew.

Matthew 5: The Poor in Spirit

matthew5photo by LittleVisuals

We have been slowly going through Matthew chapter five on Sunday mornings at my church. It’s something that just can’t be studied enough – I learn something new every time.

Who are the poor? Here the scripture talks about the poor in spirit. These are ones who tremble at the Word of God. They admit their true state; they see who they truly are in contrast to Christ. Many will be hated and persecuted just as Christ was.

Those who rest in THEMSELVES are the opposite of the poor in spirit. The Pharisees were like this, and many a day I am a Pharisee in my heart.

The Pharisees meant to obey God, but in the end they became so stanch and radical in very limited parts of The Law (plus all that they themselves added to it), that they became blind to Christ when He was right there with them.

My prayer is to be poor in spirit – not a Pharisee.

Do you ever feel like a Pharisee?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Jumping on the Duck Dynasty Bandwagon

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I have never watched Duck Dynasty, but I am familiar with it. I have tried to stay away from all the commentary out there but it keeps popping up on my Facebook feed. So, here’s my two cents.

I think Phil Robertson has a right to his opinion. I also think he missed a great opportunity to be a witness for Christ when asked, “What, in your mind, is sinful??

He responded, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

Sin is the breaking of God’s law. The Westminster Catechism says, “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.”

In the place of focusing in on a few particular sins, he could have given a biblical definition.  Instead, he chose a few sins that HE obviously does not participate in. He became like the Pharisee.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. – Luke 18:11

Worse yet, the crudeness of his answer was offensive to me (see link below if you want to read more of what he said), even though I believe what God’s word has to say on the subject. I did not see mercy, kindness or humility in his answer.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; – Colossians 3:12

http://fox2now.com/2013/12/18/duck-dynasty-star-suspended-for-anti-gay-remarks/

Religious?

Image   I took a “Social Attitude Test”   online today. Not sure what to think of myself. It says I am a tender-hearted  moderate conservative. It also says this is the profile one might associate with a sincere clergyman! I am “Trusting of religion and have a compassionately humanistic attitude toward humanity in general”. Hmm.

I’m also said to be economically right-wing. And politically I’m an idealist with few strong opinions.

So, what in the world does this gobbledy-gook mean? I like the part about being tender-hearted. That’s a nice way to think about myself.  I’m no clergyman, but I hope I AM sincere.

 It’s the trusting of religion part that bothers me. If I go by most of the world’s thoughts on religion, that could mean a lot of things. I don’t want to be religious in the Webster’s dictionary sort of way which says “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity”. God is so much more than an ultimate reality.

But, the Bible does give us a definition of religion in James 1:27:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

So, if someone calls me religious, I would hope it is for this reason. I am a Christian, and this is the kind of religious I want to be. 

(Ilustration “Love” by graur razvan ionut)