I want my cupcake! That’s what I said YEARS ago when I got home from trick or treating as my dad took away the freshly frosted pastry that I had in my plunder. The reason for this confiscation was because some nut jobs the previous year had given out dangerous treats and parents were warned not to take food which wasn’t properly packaged. I was bummed. (I actually snuck back to the trash later on and retrieved my snack.) But every year the question arises as to what Christ followers should do about Halloween. The only time I really get nervous in this quandary is when someone says definitively that everyone who claims to be a Christian MUST take their point of view. (more…)
Honestly I thought it was just another cynical blog post. A joke! That’s what I thought two days ago when I first read that Mayor Ann Parker and her staff had sent out subpoenas for the sermons from a number of high profile preachers in Houston. I mean the whole thing just sounded a bit too Orwellian with thought police in tow to be real. However, as the hours went by and the day on the calendar changed, more and more posts came out and new articles like this one by ABC News confirmed the insanity. I’d expect this from the former Soviet Union where Deb and I lived for two years. Certainly North Korea would be appropriate. America though seemed out of the question. But thus it is true. The city of Houston has sent subpoenas to some ministers who have taught a Biblical stance on homosexuality.
Because I do not technically live within the Houston city limits I don’t expect to get a notice in the mail; at least for now anyway. Even if I did I’m not sure I could comply as I don’t actually write out sermon manuscripts. If called upon though I’d have no problem inviting anyone and everyone to check out my sermons online or even better yet, to drop by and see us at The Crossings for one of our Sunday morning gatherings. I’ve never preached a purely topical sermon over Homosexuality and especially with Mayor Parker at its core. For argument sake though, if I did, I suppose it would go something like this. Here is a quick and simple, deductive sermon outline with 4 points that I might preach. (more…)
Well here we go again. Every six months or so some self-proclaimed expert gains temporary notoriety by boasting from their special research that the authenticity of Bible and the claims of Christianity are a sham. Today’s scholar, Michael Paulkovich, writes to prove the messiah is a myth by citing more than 100 writers of the first and second century in which none of them mention Jesus. In short, his first argument being that if Jesus really did exist, then theses educated experts would have written about him. However, the simple absence of Jesus in the documents of these writers does not logically conclude that they had never heard of him. Even if they did not have knowledge of Jesus this does not prove that Jesus was a myth. All we know for certain is that they didn’t write about him. In one sense though, this would actually be expected as the mission of Jesus was not one of vying for public recognition. Jesus didn’t come for the paparazzi of the day or swim in the circles of the writers that Paulkovich referenced. Rather, Jesus spent most of his time with the least of humanity. The other side of the coin of which Paulkovich fails to research is the archaeological and historical writers of the era who did speak of Jesus. Here are just a few historians of the day who wrote about Christ. (more…)