Stop Saying “All Things Happen for a Reason”

After a tragedy, sometimes a well-meaning person will comment, “All things happen for a reason.” Is that so? If the person making this statement is operating from a Biblical world view, are they suggesting that God the direct cause behind all things that have happened? If beneath this statement lies the implication that God is…

The Real Meaning of Matthew 18:20

When two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in their midst. To be sure, these are words of reassurance. But don’t misapply Matthew 18:20. It isn’t a therapeutic passage for Christians who are depressed over a shrinking membership roster. Jesus isn’t talking about low attendance numbers or being forced to worship…

Protecting the Lord’s Supper: Why I Like that Little Cup & Wafer

If a Christian from the 1st century could travel forward in time to the 21st century and visit a typical worship service among churches of Christ, I doubt he would find any radical departures from the simple 1st century Christian worship to which he is accustomed. Of course, he would quickly notice we typically meet…

What Must I Do to be Lost?

Sometimes people get caught up in discussions about what sins will send a man to hell. Usually, the “really bad” sins, like adultery or murder, top the list with little question. Then there are the “little sins” – sins society tolerates more-or-less – like cursing, coveting possessions, recreational drug and alcohol use, or lust. Perhaps…

Why is it Sometimes Difficult to Know God’s Will?

Sometimes I wish the Bible were more specific about some things. When making big decisions – when studying particularly complicated, hot-button topics in categories of worship, morality, or ethics – when giving people counsel – sometimes I catch myself wishing that God had more clearly spelled out verbatim what He wants. However, God didn’t ask…

Why I’m Not Ashamed of Different Gender Roles in the Church

God doesn’t make mistakes. When He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18), He was not saying “Whoopsie daisy!” Instead, He was teaching that a genderless world is not good. To highlight this, God commanded Adam to name every creature in an effort to teach Adam that no animal…

Going to Church as an Act of High Treason

Getting my family to church on Sunday morning sometimes feels like we are recreating the first 10 minutes of “Home Alone.” There is nothing glamorous about it, even for a preacher’s family. After a sleepless night of babies crying, half-consciously fumbling for the coffee maker, showering, waking the kids up (who are finally deep asleep,…

How to Trick People into Rejecting Biblical Authority (Hint: Many of Our Churches are Doing a Pretty Good Job)

The road to hell isn’t obscure or hard to find. It is a super-highway, lined with familiar faces and paved with sincerity and good intentions. Many of its travelers are self-proclaimed followers of Jesus who are oblivious to their final destination (Matt. 7:21-23). They were simply pointed that way by other well-meaning ‘Christians.’ How did…

Do Two Christians Have to Agree on Everything to be in Fellowship with One Another?

It is a fact that good, honest Christians sometimes disagree about various issues – whether elders should have more than one child, whether women should cover their heads in worship, whether Christians should be pacifists, and so on. To pretend honest, truth-seeking brethren always share identical beliefs is unhelpful. This is the question we need…