He did evil in the eyes of the Lord

kingKing 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.

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Six characteristics of a healthy church

hospitalI’m sure you know of the couple who woke up one Sunday morning and the wife said to her husband, “Get up or you will be late for church!”  Her husband replied, “I really don’t feel like going to church and I don’t like the church people that much anyway.   Give me 3 reasons why I should go this morning.”  The wife responded, “Number 1:  Church is beneficial because your hear God’s Word.  Number 2: The people at church actually care for you.  3.  And number 3: You’re the pastor!”

It sounds like that church may not be the spiritually healthiest church around – at least not the minister!   Of course we should not expect perfect churches because churches are made up of sinful people.  We are forgiven, but not sinless.   God doesn’t call Christians and churches to perfection, but he does call us to make progress.

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Not your usual leadership principles

leadershipThe typical leadership conference claims to enable you to be a successful leader with all the added benefits of wealth and prosperity – if you would faithfully follow the “guaranteed-to-work” principles.   The Apostle Paul also gave us some leadership principles.  The letter of 1 Corinthians in the Bible is not a leadership manual but rather personal correspondence encouraging the church to apply the gospel to every area of their lives.  Yet, in the closing few paragraphs in his letter to the Corinthian church (chapter 16) the Apostle Paul makes some personal comments from which we may gain insight into Paul’s priorities and leadership style.

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What will our resurrection bodies be like?

body2We love superheroes.   When I was 7 years-old I just about gave my mother a heart-attack by dressing up as Batman and climbing onto a high, narrow wall and casually strolling along it.  Thankfully, she managed to cajole me down.  We especially like it when superheroes are “normal” first, then something odd happens and they discover that they have superhuman strengths and abilities.  I think we like these “superhero” movies and TV series because God has placed in all our hearts a desire for a better body.  It seems we all have a built-in dissatisfaction with our present bodies.

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Why do we believe in the resurrection of the body?

resurrectionA Swiss company has taken a fascinating and unexpected approach to memorializing our loved ones who have passed.  The company will compress and super-heat your loved one’s cremated ashes and turn them into a man-made diamond that can be worn and cherished.  It all begins with a chemical process that extracts the carbon from the departed’s ashes. This carbon is then heated to convert it into graphite. The graphite is then heated to as many as 1500 degrees Celsius and subjected to forces as high as 400 000 kg per square inch.  Prices begin at R50 000 for a small diamond.  This company is capitalizing on our desire to want to remember our loved ones and to keep them with us in some way.

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What is the Trinity? (and why is it important?)

Michelangelo's depiction of God
Michelangelo’s depiction of God

A tortoise was making his way across the lawn when all of a sudden he was nastily mugged by a ruthless gang of snails.  Later, when the tortoise reported the crime at the police station, the officer asked him if he could describe any of his attackers.  The tortoise replied, “Oh officer, it all happened so fast!” You see it all boils down to perspective!  And more than anything else we need a right perspective or doctrine of God.

 

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Should women be pastors?

 

genderApparently the latest trend is for husbands and their wives to “co-pastor” and “co-lead” churches.  On trendy churches’ websites there is most times a picture of the dynamic ministry duo introducing themselves as “pastors so-and-so”.  Is this right?  Should churches be lead by couples? Perhaps even more controversially, should churches be lead by women?  

 

1 Corinthians 14:33-35 speaks to the role of women in the church.   This passage has been a hugely controversial passage over the years and a massive problem for feminists.

As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 14:33-35)

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The truth about prophecy

mayanMany Christian leaders today claim to be prophets or to have the gift of prophecy.  In many African cities you may feel inferior if your church doesn’t have a resident prophet.  Prophets are forever sharing the visions and messages they have apparently received from God.  The increase in the phenomena of prophecy is to a large decree caused by the decrease of sound biblical knowledge and spiritual maturity.   What does the Bible says about prophecy1?

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The truth about speaking in tongues

speaking in tonguesSpeaking in tongues is probably in the top 3 issues that Christians disagree on.  Speaking in tongues, I hope to show you, is not what many Christians think it is and not what is happening in many churches today.  The Bible, not our experience, must always be our highest authority in doctrine and practice. 

Disclaimer

This is article is for Christians, dealing with an in-house issue.  If you are not a Christian, you may not know what I’m talking about!  Please do read the article if the subject interests you.

Charismatic definition

According to “charismatic” Christians, tongues is a heavenly or angelic prayer language and is a sign that you are filled with the Holy Spirit.   You use this ecstatic prayer language (that you don’t understand) to pray to and praise God (in a language that apparently devil doesn’t understand either).   “Charismatic” and Pentecostal Christians view use 1 Corinthians 12-14 as justification for this practice.  Here are six simple points I hope will help clarify this thorny issue1:

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Why you can trust the Bible

I was listening to SMILE FM this week and Riaan Swiegelaar, a psychic medium, was on air.  He offers “advice on challenges in different areas of your life and can connect with loved ones that have passed on”.  You phone in, tell him your birth date and he lets you know what direction to take. 

On Thursday night he was saying that it is crucial that you give your child the right name that can release the inner energy your child has.  Wrongly naming your child can have disastrous effects.  Imagine that!  A parent could spend their entire life worrying that they gave their child the wrong name. 

We are, everyday, surrounded with false teachings, wrong opinions and erroneous information.

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