Have I committed the unforgivable sin? This coming Sunday I will preach on The Unforgivable Sin from Isaiah 22. One of my Bible students has asked me repeatedly over many years whether or not he has committed the unforgivable sin whenever he “falls into sin.” He asks this because he thinks that the unforgivable sin is to curse and swear at God out of his own frustration and anger. My response to him is always the same, “The fact that you ask and wonder about this tells me that you have not. Yes, you have sinned, as I have, but you have not committed the unforgivable sin. Those who do commit the unforgivable sin very likely don’t know and don’t care.” Continue reading →
I have heard tradition described accurately as giving a vote to our ancestors. As with all principles, the principle which explains the law supersedes it. In Mat 15 Jesus says as much when he says “Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” The Law of God had been equated with the tradition of the Jews. This is the point of the accusation “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?” Continue reading →
As many of your know last weekend America took one step closer to becoming a kingdom of priests and a holy nation at the 2015 Follow Me conference. Although I only attended two days I know that my opinion is held in high esteem by many who won’t read this- so I have in some degree of futility decided that my thoughts ought to be placed here. Since MJ expressed great admiration for the 3 part testimony this report will be in three parts.
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I plan to continue sharing each summary. Feel free to jump in at any time. I hope to share my reactions to questions posed to me from time to time by people of the non-affirming conscience. Whenever I say “God is love”, the response is often, “But God is holy.” The non-affirming conscience rightly concerns about the holiness of God. Are we disobeying God? What is God up to? Is there any possibility that God could be doing a new thing among gender and sexual minorities?
We are a few weeks away from the Midwest conference. The questionnaires were carefully made and chosen. I have developed below some other notes on the passage Matthew 9:1-13
In this passage our Lord is brought a man who is paralyzed. After proclaiming his sins are healed Jewish leaders accuse him of blasphemy. At this Jesus heals the man and sends him away. The second part is on the calling of Matthew.
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For those interested, I would really like to have more theology related discussions here. I have been learning that a robust and helpful understanding of the Bible is rooted in exegesis, hermeneutics and homiletics (i.e. meaning, application, message). So for today’s Sunday musing, I’d like to share some quotes from my new book and ask: How do you approach the Bible?
A bit of disclosure is in order here: Since September of last year, I haven’t been attending church on a weekly basis. I’ve attended Catholic Mass a few times and have taken communion and have also had ongoing conversations about the Bible and life with others and have done my own personal study on biblical topics, but nothing like being plugged into a faith community on a regular basis. To some this may be disconcerting or off-putting, like who takes a half a year off of church and then preaches a sermon? But I thank Rhoel for reaching out to me and befriending and simply talking to me on a human-to-human level. One thing that I really appreciate about the West Loop community is you all’s desire to understand and practice the gospel in a loving manner. So I thank you all for accepting me and giving me the privilege to speak here today. I don’t take this lightly and I don’t want to waste your time, but instead I want to hopefully communicate an important point about the gospel that I think we, including myself, often miss. I’ll attempt to make my point in thirty minutes or less and end with a nice cherry on top which is an example from my own life.
There was once a man flying from New York to Omaha. In the airport garage he was attacked by a gang. They took his laptop, his wallet and his cell phone, beat him up, and ran away, leaving him bleeding out and near death.
This is a copy of my testimony from last Sunday that was given before the message.
Today’s sermon really touched me. I felt like it spoke to recent events in my life. Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near. Repentance is more than ethical improvement. It is the spiritual transformation. Last night friend of mine shared with me an article by a catholic priest called “Why having a heart of Gold is not what Christianity is all about.” The author talked about how Immanuel Kant started a trend that the claims of revealed religions are absurd and unverifiable, and that what is really important is ethics and being moral.
This is the message I prepared in the Philippines. I was asked on a Saturday around 2pm. I typed it on a phone. I was allowed to pick anything, and I picked 2 Corinthians 7:8-10. It turned out to be shorter than I intended but I suppose that is just how God intended it. Feel free to say anything in the comments. I am not trained and am quite frankly no good at this whole speaking thing. As I told them and I will tell the reader here: if it is good thank God, because it sure wasn’t me.
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