Last night my 12-year-old son said to me out of the blue, as I was tucking him into his bed, “Daddy, we should pray before bed just like we used to.”
I felt a pang of guilt in my chest.
The former evangelical Christian in me was inwardly horrified at this apparent failure to administer my parental responsibility: To raise my children in the same way that I was raised — to become faithful, Bible-believing mini Christians.
Indeed, some of my earliest memories are of kneeling with my own father and praying before bed — and they were fond memories…
Being the Son of God probably qualifies you to disregard the opinions and suggestions of mere people, no matter how well-meaning they might be. You might expect that Jesus would have had the inside information on the divine will of God, and therefore, anyone else’s advice was a little redundant, to say the least. You may also assume that Jesus, who had a profound awareness of his life’s mission and purpose, would not be dissuaded by anyone.
Like many children of the eighties, I spent many a Sunday morning gathered around a flannelgraph in some darkened corner of a local church, listening to a well-meaning but way-too-strict older lady try to teach me how to love Jesus. Every week, this dear and long-suffering sister-in-Christ would turn up and regale us with time-honored Biblical tales like ‘David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale,’ and, of course, ‘Joshua and the Battle of Jericho’ — because what six-year-old doesn’t love a good yarn about God-ordained mass-genocide?
Ah, the joys of Sunday School.
When I was a 19-year-old youth group leader in a local church, I remember the day that two of my fellow youth group leaders fronted up to confess their sins to the pastor.
My two friends, one guy and one girl, had been dating for quite some time, and well… you know… one thing lead to another, and now they were sitting in the pastor's office about to announce their unexpected pregnancy. …
The Christian church is no stranger to scandal. Tragically, when we hear of Christian leaders falling into moral failure, we are hardly surprised anymore. I decry my own cynicism in this regard, but the sad truth is, these kinds of stories are far too common. However, one of the more recent scandals to come to light left even me shaking my head. How could the great Ravi Zacharias be nothing more than a fraud?
Over a 40 year career as a Christian minister, Ravi Zacharias built a reputation among Evangelicals as the world’s leading Christian apologist. He was the author…
GiveSendGo advertises itself as the ‘Number 1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site’ in the world. Apparently, it is a place to fund hope — a place to work together with the body of Christ around the world to make a difference.
You can donate money to many worthwhile causes at this website, including those who have tragically lost loved ones or fallen on hard times.
But that’s not all.
Once you start to dig a little deeper, you will find the website peppered with questionable fundraising campaigns with largely far right-wing political objectives. …
We don’t tend to think of Jesus as an angry guy.
After all, he was the preeminent teacher of love, grace, and compassion. It was Jesus who brought us radical and counter-cultural ideas about forgiving and loving our enemies and “turning the other cheek” instead of taking revenge on others who harm us.
Is it any wonder then that we associate Jesus with gentleness and kindness? When I was a kid growing up in the evangelical church, they even described Jesus in glowing terms as “meek and mild,” as if this were some kind of compliment.
Type “Jesus” into a…
As the end of the year hurtles towards us like a freight train, it is time to consider, yet again, all those hopes and dreams that we have for the new (and hopefully better) year ahead.
According to a survey of over 500 adults in the USA, run by consumer data website, Statista, the top New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 included: Exercising more, eating more healthily, and spending more time with family and friends.
“When you get to die,” The preacher explained, “You’ll come to face to face with God, and then you’ll have to explain everything you’ve done.”
“I can imagine that there will be a big screen where you’re entire life will be replayed — every word, every thought, every action — even those done in secret, will be laid bare for everyone to see!”
I was a teenager — one of several hundred — sitting in another Christian youth rally, listening intently to the “Good News” of the Gospel, as declared by the evangelical tradition. The preacher man went on:
A knock on the door interrupted our family dinner. I sighed and got up from the kitchen table to greet our would-be, family-time intruders. I opened the door to two well-dressed young men with Bibles tucked under their arms.
“Excuse me, Sir,” Said one of the men. “I was wondering if you had found Jesus.”
“I didn’t realize that Jesus was missing,” I said cheerily — my go-to line for these kinds of situations. “If he shows up here, I’ll be sure to let you know. Have a nice evening!” …