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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Quick Bio
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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We Are Often the Average of Our Five Closest Friends
Posted by Clare
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I’ve been reflecting on a statement I heard a few months back. A trusted friend said, “we (Christians) are the average of our five closest friends.” When I pressed him for details, he couldn’t explain why. He simply has observed that to be true in his own life and in the lives of other Christians he’s known. It’s a variation of an old adage that, “Birds of a feather, stick together.”

I think my friend is right. And here’s why that may be true.

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Sanctuary Churches: Right or Wrong?
Posted by Clare
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Last weeks blog was on the topic of Sanctuary Cities. These are U.S. cities who’ve made the decision to not co-operate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency whose responsibility it is to enforce U.S. immigration laws. If you didn’t read that blog, you may want to because much of my rationale for Sanctuary Churches is based on many of the same premises.

What is a Sanctuary Church?
These are churches all over the U.S. who are taking in undocumented (illegal) aliens and their families to protect them from deportation. These churches are viewed by some to be safe havens, where law enforcement officials cannot enter, like mini embassies. That’s a falsehood. Churches have no safe haven privilege for law breakers, legally. However, most presidents from Bush to Obama, have been reluctant to enter churches to arrest and deport families. That’s a political decision, not necessarily a legal one. No politicians want to mess with churches. But since President Trump has taken office, the number of these sanctuary churches has exploded to more than 400.

So, is it wrong for those churches to defy the law and take in illegal aliens?

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Sanctuary Cities; What Should Christians Think?
Posted by Clare
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Since President Trump’s election, there’s been lots of talk in the media about sanctuary cities and lately sanctuary churches, as well.

What is a sanctuary city?
There’s no official, legal definition of a sanctuary city, because various so called “sanctuary cities” have different policies regarding illegal immigrants. But here’s the general idea;

Local law enforcement in sanctuary cities or counties don’t ask, or report the immigration status of people they come in contact with.

Enforcement of that idea can vary from city to city. Technically, and legally, what the Trump administration wants is that anytime a law enforcement agency comes into contact with a person, which can be anything from a traffic violation to an arrest for serious felony, that they inquire about that person’s immigration status, report any illegal immigrant to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and hold that person in custody until ICE can investigate.

Some sanctuary cities will do that, but only for serious, violent felonies. Others refuse to ever call ICE. Why? Why would some cities not want to co-operate with ICE? The answer to that question varies as well.

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What if You’re Invited to a Gay Wedding?
Posted by Clare
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A few weeks ago, I spent time with two friends, one of whom has a gay brother. I was asked, “How should I respond if I’m ever invited to his wedding?”

To begin with, there are no easy answers. The Bible doesn’t speak directly to that question. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit, with the Bible as our guide, does give us some guidance on this question.

One of the responses you’ll hear from gay Christians is that the church seems to be very forgiving with the high rate of divorce and remarriage in the church. (Setting aside, that the Bible does allow divorce for some reasons.) And many pastors are marrying people who have been living together prior to marriage. It seems very hypocritical to them that heterosexual Christians draw the line on same-sex marriage, even attending a same-sex marriage ceremony. I think their charge is valid. Notice I did not say, their observation validates gay marriage. It’s just that they have a point.

However, they (some LGBT+ Christians or their families) try to make this comparison; If you’ll attend a re-marriage of someone who’s been the cause of an unbiblical divorce, which you acknowledge was a sin, why won’t you attend my wedding, which you also think is a sin?

My short answer? I wouldn’t. I have in the past but, I now regret it. It is inconsistent and hypocritical. But back to my friend’s question about his own brother’s wedding. What is a reasonable Christian response?

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