Often as Christians we’re discouraged by sin in our lives. We’ve come to faith in Jesus, we’ve received the gift of the Holy Spirit and we want to life lives that honour God.
And yet we still lose our temper, still succumb to sexual sin, still covet our neighbour’s donkey or BMW, still tell lies, still steal lustful looks, still gossip at work, and still think racist thoughts. We continue to sin.
We may be overcome with a sense of failure and disappointment.
We may lose our assurance that we belong to God.
Continue reading The Christians’ struggle with sin
Many churches today have embraced the new sexual revolution in the name of love.
“As long as people love one another and are true to themselves”, is the new battle-cry.
These LGBT-affirming churches say that they are very loving and caring to affirm same-sex relationships, same-sex marriage and the notions of transgender and gender fluidity.
Churches and church leaders not affirming LGBT relationships are lampooned as bigots, homophobic and hatemongers.
In stark contrast, the letter of 1 John in the New Testament (the letter of love!), says that the LGBT-affirming churches and leaders are not acting in love, but rather in hate, because they are not telling those in their care the truth about sin.
Continue reading The hatefulness of LGBT-affirming churches
Years ago, in South Africa, you were classified according to the colour of your skin and the coarseness of your hair. You were told where you could and couldn’t live. You were told which bus you could and couldn’t ride. You we told who you could and couldn’t marry. Racism is part of our history. South Africa, the USA and many other countries have struggled and continue to struggle with racism.
A good definition of racism is: an explicit or implicit belief or practice that distinguishes or values one race over other races.
A racist believes that their race, whatever it may be, is superior to other races.
Continue reading The Bible and racism
Christians never set out to be caught in scandalous sin.
The pastor never set out to have an adulterous affair. The member of his church first came to see him after her close friend had died. She came for counselling to help her grieve.
They cried together and hugged and made another appointment.
At the next appointment, the pastor held her hand – he thought it would be a comfort – and when she left, after they made another appointment, they hugged again and shared a quick kiss. Meanwhile the pastor himself was feeling stressed out and undervalued; finally, there was someone who really appreciated his ministry.
The church appointments became home visits. The hugs lingered. The kissing increased. And they ended up sleeping together.
Until one day, her husband arrived home early.
Continue reading Killing me softly
Bruce Jenner is a 1976 Olympic decathlon men’s event champion. He was given the unofficial title of “world’s greatest athlete” for the win and became “an American hero” by winning the event back from Soviet Union during the Cold War. He is also an American television personality and stepfather of the Kardashian children. In June 2015 Bruce changed his name to Caitlyn and began to refer to himself with feminine personal pronouns. He is now described as the most famous openly transgender person in the world. He, through surgery and hormone treatment, now believes he is a she. He has apparently “transgendered” to become a woman. And the world applauds his/her great courage.
Continue reading You must change
King Manasseh is a conundrum. He was the most evil king Judah ever had and yet he was the longest reigning king. (cf. 2 Chronicles 33) In the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles every king’s life is summed up either by, “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” or “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” No matter what the king’s military gains, political accomplishments, feats of bravery or economic successes, in the end it boiled down to this one thing.
Continue reading He did evil in the eyes of the Lord
Of course the basic starting point in dealing with sin in our lives is to make sure we are Christians. Jesus said in Mark 7 that it is “out of the heart comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder” and so on. In other words, the problem is not what we wear or whether we have a tattoo or not, but our hearts, our very selves. We need new hearts, we need to be converted, we need to be born again. That is the first step.
Secondly, we need to be disciplined. Job said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin.” (Job 31:1) Job did not presume he would automatically or magically grow in godliness, but made a covenant with himself to work on his holiness. The apostle Paul said, “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
Continue reading Being ruthless with sin