For the Furtherance of the Gospel

(Originally printed in the Fall 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 16) Many Church leaders today are engaged in a cultural struggle over the direction of the Church. How can loving, following, and serving Jesus Christ become so divisive? The question at the heart of the controversy is: “Does man or God control the future and direction of the Church?” The proverbial camel is now settled inside the tent; it must be … Continue reading

Spiritual Disciplines and the Appearance of Wisdom

Writing to the Colossians in the First Century, the Apostle Paul warned about certain spiritual disciplines that had “the appearance of wisdom” (Colossians. 2:23) but, in fact, conflicted with sound biblical teaching and were very harmful to the Christian life. False teachers were in this case Gnostics, who crept into the church and claimed special “spiritual knowledge.” They gained influence in the church because what they were teaching felt “right” and “good” and oh so … Continue reading

Stranger Danger

(Originally printed in the Summer 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal ) When our children started school, we were introduced to the “Stranger Danger” program. With a growing concern about strangers abducting school children, we, along with most other parents, spent time talking with our kids about Stranger Danger. “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Walk in a group.” “Never get into a stranger’s car, or go anywhere with him—even if he says he knows your parents … Continue reading

The Smith System

The spiritual life and “spiritual disciplines” seem somehow, disconnected from “real life” to many if not most Christians. That is likely as true with the Old Testament people of God as it is today. If so, and I think it is, that would explain why God uses so many every day life examples to communicate spiritual truth. I was again reminded of the importance of making spiritual truths understandable to the average person as I … Continue reading