Comfort or Awesome?

This fall, I was challenged by a picture, similar to this one. It was a simple picture, just two circles. One with the word “Comfort” written in it, and the other “Awesome.” Just two circles, yet a powerful image.

The speaker explained that each church has a choice, that they can choose to be a church of comfort. A safe church that takes little to no risk. A church worried about keeping everyone happy and not stomping on anyone toes. A church worried about the attendance, and numbers, and the tithing.

Or, a church can choose to be awesome. A church that’s not afraid to take risks and rely on the Holy Spirit. A church more worried about preaching the Bible than offending. A church that cares more about spreading the Gospel, feeding the hungry, taking care of orphans and widows, focused more on Kingdom work than numbers or church politics. A church of comfort or of awesome. And notice that these two circles never intersect; a church can’t be both. They must choose one or the other. Comfort or awesome. Continue reading

Cannibalism is Frowned Upon

“My mother was a Lutheran missionary from Scandinavia, and my father a deacon from Mexico. They tried to convert each other, but they got married instead. . . . Then they died” (Nacho Libre).

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a cannibal is, “one that eats the flesh of its own kind.” Though prevalent in fallen nature (Romans 8:19-23), especially in the Bug Kingdom, the average human usually shivers at the thought of eating the flesh of other humans, and they should. Holding in vomit at the thought of twisted individuals, such as Albert Fish or Jeffery Dahmer, cooking up human meat and devouring it like beef or pork. For cannibalism is a disgusting practice.

Though the Bible does not outright condemn it, it can be concluded that cannibalism is indeed wrong, for murder is a sin, since every man and woman is created in the image of God (Exodus 23:7, Genesis 9:5-6), unlike the animals, that God has given us dominion of and permission to eat (Genesis 1:26-31, 9:1-6, Acts 10). Blood is off-limits (Leviticus 17:10-14, Acts 15:20). And the times that the Israelites resulted to cannibalism, were dark and desperate times in their history, such as the siege of Jerusalem–a time of holy judgement being afflicted upon them because of their rebellion, their sin, and their refusal to repent (Leviticus 26:29, Deuteronomy 28:53-57, 2 Kings 6:26-29, Jeremiah 19:9, Lamentations 4:10). There’s a reason why many were turned off when Jesus told a crowd that they could only have eternal life, if they ate of his flesh and drank of his blood (John 6:53-56), and it’s because cannibalism is gross, dark, and sinful. Yet, it’s a crime that many churches are guilty of. Continue reading

A Parable of Unity

getty_510414120_20001125200092800_380320I [Paul] therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:1-7).

What if there was a city like Unity?

Like many cities in the United States, Unity houses several church buildings and denominations; however, unlike other American cities, there is something different about her. Continue reading

The Fruity Truth

“You can count the number of seeds in an apple. You can’t count the number of apples from that seed.”

—Shawn Daggett

When you hear the word ‘fruit,’ what is the first thing that you think of? Perhaps it’s the aisle of your local grocery store or the crates at your farmer’s market, and the images of apples, bananas, oranges, and guavas fill your mind. Perhaps you think of a vineyard or the fake fruit on display at your grandmother’s house, or maybe you imagine a banana covered in ice cream and chocolate syrup. For me, I begin to salivate, just a little, for I prefer the sweet juiciness of fruit over the taste of any vegetable.

Fruit, is also present within the Bible, and is referred to in a variety of ways. Continue reading

It was not Beauty that Killed the Beast

The story of King Kong, is a tragedy. For the story ends–at least this version of Kong’s story, for Legendary’s King Kong in their MonsterVerse will soon (2020) be facing off against Godzilla–the story ends, with the iconic scene of the ape being slayed by airplanes a top of the Empire State Building. Then, the famous line is uttered, “It wasn’t the airplanes. . . . It was beauty killed the beast.” Of course my brother would joke, “No, it was the bullets,” but I would like to propose that it was another killer. Continue reading