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’ll post every Monday and invite you to weigh in.

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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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I Don’t Care What People Think of Me!
Posted by Clare
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A few years ago, I sat with a “successful” middle-age Christian man, married with three kids, who did not have a good reputation in our business community. After several people came to me about their personal dealings with him, I called him and asked him to meet with me. He attended our church and as his elder, I wanted to find out why these people were saying these things about him.

Of course, he dismissed their characterization of him as unhappy investors with completely unfounded reasons for not trusting him. He ended his defense with “I don’t care what people think of me!” as if his opinion settled it.

“I don’t think you really believe that. And as a follower of Jesus you have no choice but to care.”
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Our Heroes, Often Become our Children’s Heroes
Posted by Clare
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Over the decades, I’ve noticed this to be generally true; If a person’s parents were people their children admired, when they grew up they generally mirrored the values, virtues and spirituality their parents held. “Like father – like son.”

The old adage is true, “Christianity is more caught than taught.” That idea used to be a comfort to me. Now it scares me.
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What Is Marriage?
Posted by Clare
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A question I get all the time as the chairman and CEO of The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender www.thecenterforfaith.com, is “Where in the Bible does it say two people of the same sex can’t get married?” My answer often surprises them.

Marriage is a legal option, but not a biblical one. The fundamental question that needs to be answered is this, “What is marriage, from God’s perspective?”

My co-worker, Dr. Preston Sprinkle the president of The Center, wrote this wonderful blog, answering that very question.

When Christians dialogue or debate the ethics of same-sex relationships, they typically start by talking about the so-called “prohibition passages” like Leviticus 18:22 or Romans 1:26-27. The discussion usually focuses on whether these passages apply to modern day, consensual, adult marriages. Or some people argue that the biblical writers didn’t know about sexual orientation—that some people are born gay, but the biblical writers didn’t know this and that’s why they prohibited same-sex sexual relations. If the biblical writers knew about orientation, they’d have no problem with two adults of the same sex getting married.

These are important discussions to have and all the evidence needs to be weighed and considered. But I suggest that questions surrounding the prohibition passages or sexual orientation shouldn’t be the first or main questions asked. Instead of asking, did Paul prohibit same-sex marriage, we need to ask the ultimate question: What is marriage?
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Aren’t All Sins Alike?
Posted by Clare
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“Clare, aren’t all sins alike?” That was the question posed by a guy I was meeting with who was trying to justify a serious sin he had committed. I replied, “Nate, I don’t think even you believe that.”

All Christians rank sin – that is, we all have a mental list, or hierarchy of sins. On our list, some sins are moral felonies and others are misdemeanors. Is that true? Are some sins greater or more serious than others? Yes! (And, I’ll explain why later.)

A second question is even more intriguing, “How did you come up with your ‘list’?” Evangelicals generally have at the top of their list rejecting Christ or bad theology, while younger Christians have, not living like Christ or caring about social justice issues. Conservatives have near the top of their list, abortionists, gays and liberal theology. For liberal Christians, indifference to the poor, hypocrisy and intolerance top their lists. Rich Christians often think the poor’s big problem is laziness, while the poor believe the rich are greedy. I’ve actually caught myself looking down from my self-righteous perch at an adulterer or divorcee and glad I’m not one of them.

So, I have a theory; most of us unconsciously rank the sins we’re the least likely to commit at the top of our list, and our own sins in the middle or below. Let’s talk about why we do that.
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