Category: Commentary

Dark day in the city of lights

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I’ve never been in a war. But I see the clips from Las Vegas, and it looks like a war zone. I can’t imagine the chaos when facing that barrage of bullets.

Whenever these tragedies happen, there are incredible stories of heroism. They say the shooting lasted for roughly ten minutes. It’s incredible that a person who was so well armed, shooting from a distance, was able to get tracked down so quickly. People stepping up to take care of strangers. There will undoubtedly be stories of people who died to save lives. People who shielded loved ones with their own bodies, valuing the life of another ahead of their own. There are always those stories in the face of evil. And I think that’s what we should remember. There are more people who want to help than to harm. Continue reading “Dark day in the city of lights”

A priest, two goats, and salvation

 

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Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons @fir0002

For observant Jews all over the world, this evening, the Day of Atonement is remembered. The Day of Atonement is the most holy of days in the Jewish calendar. It’s an annual picture of forgiveness that people could have. While Christians don’t celebrate this day, it’s one worth studying because everything about it points to Christ and the gospel.

Atonement refers to God’s work of dealing with our sin. Because of sin, the relationship between man and God has been broken. Continue reading “A priest, two goats, and salvation”

Where I was on 9/11

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Adapted from an essay of the same title, originally published September 11, 2011

I thought it was an accident. When my high school principal announced over the PA system that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. I distinctly remember hearing someone in the back of the class mutter, “terrorism.”

It’s an interesting juxtaposition sixteen years later. In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago. While at the same time, I remember it like it was yesterday. Almost every year on September 11, I watch different documentaries about that day. And it’s never any less shocking that that happened. Continue reading “Where I was on 9/11”

There’s no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again

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Being born again is another word for the doctrine of “regeneration.” It is a supernatural work that God does within a person who comes to faith. All Christians are born again because all Christians have experienced regeneration. There’s no such thing as an unregenerate Christian. That’s not a Christian!

Being born again is about coming to Christ, turning away from sin, and trusting in Jesus as your Lord and savior. And when we come to him, there is grace. There is forgiveness for our sins. Continue reading “There’s no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again”

Contrary to past media reports, Hurricane Harvey shows most Americans aren’t so hateful, after all

There are multiple videos of “human chains” being formed to save people from rising floodwaters in Houston. An old man trapped in his car. A woman going into labor.

Incredible videos of heroism. People potentially endangering their own lives to be good samaritans.

I see those videos, and no one cares who voted for whom. No one cares how rich or poor someone is. No one cares what color someone’s skin is, in fact you see people of different races coming together. There’s no discrimination, or hatred, or malice. Continue reading “Contrary to past media reports, Hurricane Harvey shows most Americans aren’t so hateful, after all”

Society shows why we need the gospel as it vilifies Osteen

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Blood is in the water and the sharks feast. This week’s meal is Joel Osteen. The pastor of America’s largest church is being vilified because he didn’t open up his church to flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.

In the court of social media, you make a mistake, and there is no forgiveness. It’s a shame culture, and no matter what a person does to make things right, it’s too little, too late. It’s just them doing good because “they got caught,” it’s just them doing good because there was a backlash, it’s just them doing good to try to put up the facade that they’re good (but they’re not good). And even if they do the right thing, it’s not because they learned from a mistake. When we’ve seen someone fail, especially someone we already dislike, their good deeds count for nothing. Their goodness is viewed with cynicism. Continue reading “Society shows why we need the gospel as it vilifies Osteen”

Is Harvey Osteen’s Katrina?

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There have been numerous articles criticizing Houston mega-church pastor Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, the largest church in America for not doing enough in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and for not letting people stay in the expansive church facility as a shelter.

In terms of his prosperity gospel theology, there are many reasons to criticize Osteen. I’m not a fan of him. Continue reading “Is Harvey Osteen’s Katrina?”