Welcome to my blog. I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and – join the conversation.

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I’m a businessman, elder in one of the more conservative mega churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and for over 25 years a full time spiritual mentor of men. I love introducing people to Jesus and truth from God’s perspective. I’m also an NPR listener and student of our culture because I want to understand how the world and a younger generation think, so I’m prepared to engage in conversations which are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious.

Following Jesus is the only hope I have of living this life with purpose, energy and expectation. I hope to end my days on earth still meeting young men at Starbucks who have no interest in God, being the patriarch of my family, cheering them on to godliness, making sad people smile and the lonely – laugh, giving the poor hope, pointing wayward men back to their families, teaching the whole counsel of God and keeping myself unstained – God’s reputation and mine intact.

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Welcome to my blog.
I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and join the conversation.

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Why Your Children May Not Adopt, “The Faith of Their Fathers” (and What You Can Do About It)
Posted by Clare
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For two decades, I’ve spent a lot of time with college and post-college “Christians.” Many of them grew up in the church, from good families, many went to Christian schools and claim to be Christians. But something just wasn’t right. They were living with their girlfriends and still showing up for church. They rarely attended a Bible study or regularly read the Bible, but said they “believed in the Bible.”

Clearly there was a disconnect. This highly edited article written by Andy Stanley for Outreach Magazine, identifies the problem better than I could. So if you are a parent or grandparent, you first need to understand better exactly what the problem is.   Next week, I’ll give you a few ways you can begin to address this problem.

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The Myths That Not-Yet-Christians Believe About God
Posted by Clare
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It should come as no surprise that people who are not-yet-Christians have accepted and therefore repeat things about God they believe are true, but in fact are not.

Today, let’s briefly talk about just a few of the most common myths, even some Christians believe.

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“The Bible Clearly Says…” and Other Things Christians Often Say
Posted by Clare
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It’s stunning how often I hear grown Christians claim “the Bible clearly says” something that other Christians believe it “clearly says,” just the opposite!

We have Baptists who believe the Bible teaches believers baptism and Calvinist, the baptism of infants.

You have serious Christians who believe the Bible clearly teaches that women should never teach men and others, “no problem.”

Even more serious, Armenians believe salvation is a human decision, while the majority of Protestants believe salvation is God’s decision, start to finish.

So who’s not reading the Bible clearly?

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Myths That Many Christians Believe
Posted by Clare
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It’s surprising how often I’ll hear Christians repeating a “truth” that the Bible does not support. Worse yet, repeating a truth that is an outright falsehood or actually antithetical to a biblical worldview!

In all fairness, I don’t blame them. All of these people truly believe these things because other Christians have passed them on. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common of these Christian “urban legends” and myths, that have found their way into our “biblical worldview.”

1. All sins are equal in God’s sight.
I’ve met with men deep in pornography or who have left their wives, who have taken comfort in the fact that we’re all sinners. Which is true. But some sins are clearly more serious than others. How do we know that? In the Old Testament, some sins were punishable by death;
Adultery (Leviticus 20:10-12)
Incest (Leviticus 20:17)
Murder (Exodus 21:12)
Perjury (Deuteronomy 19:15-21)
Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:14-16)
(and a dozen or so more.)

There are many other sins listed primarily in Exodus, Deuteronomy and Leviticus. How do we know they are “lesser?” Because God’s punishment for them is of banishment, making restitution, doing some ceremonial cleansing or making sacrificial offering. In other words, God considered some sins far more serious than other sins, hence the lesser punishment.

Then, where in the word did the “all sins are equal” idea come from? It may be from this fact, that all sins are an offence against God and must be dealt with by faith in Jesus Christ.

But actually committing adultery is worse than thinking about it. And murder, is still more serious than anger, even though all four are still sins.

2. Christians shouldn’t ever judge other Christians
The root of this myth is a misunderstanding of Jesus words, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Here’s the question; Is this a prohibition against all judging, or a warning about the hypocrisy of judging others before examining our own sin? Let’s read on.

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:2-5

Now read Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5. We are commanded to judge and punish other Christians under some circumstances. And it couldn’t be that only “sinless” Christians can do this. There aren’t any!

Most theologians agree that the current interpretation of the “judge not, lest you be judged” passage is a warning that if you have a serious sin area in your life, or are secretly committing the same sin that you’re now judging someone else for, you either need to repent of that sin, or excuse yourself from passing judgment. I’ve known elders who have excused themselves from voting to discipline a man divorcing his wife because at that time, this elder and his wife were having a very tough struggle in their own marriage. I admired his integrity and I believe it’s a proper application of the warning against hypocritical judging.

The Bible does flat out prohibit us judging non-Christians. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked person from among you.’” 1 Corinthians 5:12, 13

In next week’s blog, I’ll cover a few more of these myths or misunderstood teachings.

Question: Do you have some “myths” you’ve heard or wonder if they are true? Let me know.

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