Yes, striving to be good soul doctors, we carefully look for the subtle evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all our friends who who profess faith. But usually it is just that, a bit more subtle. This was blatantly obvious. Mr. Talent was suddenly talented, gifted, overflowing in proclaiming the word in a way he hadn’t been just a few minutes previously.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people not gathering with their church for a variety of reasons. Some may not be gathering as they seek to honor the Lord and obey their conscience. Others may be put off by the added hardship that the pandemic has brought to Sunday mornings. In this time, if there is not a matter of conscience, all Christians should press into the hardship and gather with the saints.
Misuse and abuse of pastoral authority is tragic and real. But slanderous false claims against pastors, that are unverified and yet still accepted as true, destroy the work of the Lord. The Church must grow in its discernment and application of the biblical to not only protect themselves from abusive pastors, but from slanderous wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Here was a group of men, a group very diverse in terms of age, background, personality, and gifting. And yet they worked well together, appreciated their differences, and even celebrated them. The one gifted in preaching would praise the one gifted in systems, who would praise the one gifted in wisdom, who would praise the one gifted in the biblical languages.
The neighbor waved his gun in one hand and gripped Frank’s throat in the other, yelling into his face. Frank and his daughter kept their eyes on Patty, knowing that there was great danger in her fiery nature exploding on these neighbors. It had always been her personality to fight back even in response to small provocations, which here could lead to a dangerous escalation… and possibly to their deaths.
Aren’t Western missionaries oppressive colonists enforcing their culture upon another? Is there any standard by which to measure a missionaries work? Listen to Stacey, a missionary in Cameroon with her husband, reflect on these accusations with biblical truth.
When we assume our own personal or cultural applications are the same as the biblical principle (sometimes we even do this in the name of fighting relativity), we tend to trample on Christian liberty and fight about the wrong things. We can divide the body of Christ over silly things like food, just like Paul warns about.
We don’t like to be motivated by fear, at least not in our relationship with Jesus. Fear sounds too much like duty. We want to be motivated by love and do things because of delight. Granted, this is also biblical (2 Corinthians 5:14). But being motivated by fear is also biblical, and human.