Episode 158: Should Christians protest?

Highlights:
– Believers are called to love and stand for justice (Psalm 9:7-8; Mic 6:8)
– Believers are called to spread and live the gospel (1 Thess 1:8)
– Believers are called to obey authority, understanding it is established by God (Rom 13, 1 Peter 2)
– Christians can protest as long as their demeanor and message do not compromise the gospel.

Episode 157: What are some of the signs I’m harboring bitterness? What can I do about it?

Episode highlights:
– Eph 4:26-5:2 is a helpful guide.
– What is your disposition toward the person? If there is not actual anger, do you struggle with your thoughts–re-living the offense? Eph 4:26
– How do you talk about the person to others and in your own mind? Eph 4:29
– Do you have a disposition of kindness toward them? Tenderheartedness? Eagerness to forgive? Eph 4:32
– A great antidote to bitterness is to spend MUCH time meditating of Jesus’ interactions with sinners in the Gospels.
– Pray for the offender, seek opportunities to do them good, and leave justice to God. Matt 5:44-45; Rom 12:19-21

Episode 156: “So I Don’t Have to Forgive…?”

Episode Highlights:
– That an offender has not repented does not give a victim the right to hold a grudge, prolong their anger, or hold the person at arms-length.
– Eph 4:26 is a command to be poised to forgive very quickly after the offense.
– If we have obeyed Eph 4:26, our attitude toward the unrepentant will not be “I don’t have to forgive,” but “I don’t get to forgive.”

Episode 155: Should I apologize for hurting a person’s feelings with truth?

Episode Highlights
– We should not ask for forgiveness if we do not believe we have sinned.
– We should take ample time to consider both the message and manner in which we delivered it. If either were inappropriate, we should ask forgiveness.
– If after considering their hurt we still don’t believe we’ve sinned, we can prefer them by committing to be more mindful about how we speak to them in the future.

Episode 154: How should Christians observe a Sabbath rest?

Episode Highlights:
– The Sabbath rest of the Christian is the new heaven and new earth earned by Christ, and theirs in Christ.
– Hebrews 4:9 comes in a section spanning from 3:1-4:11. This context is crucial for understanding the one verse.
– Hebrews 4:9 does not speak of a literal Sabbath rest for Christians, but indicates that the Canaan land was not the ultimate rest God intended for his people; rather, it was the new heaven and earth.
– While there is no command for believers to observe a literal Sabbath, it is wise to be good stewards of our bodies by adequately resting.

Episode 153: How do we tell the difference between error and heresy?

Episode Highlights
– Three questions help us decipher heresy from error: Does it compromise the gospel? Does it compromise Christology? Does it compromise the nature of God?
– We should be reasonably patient with new believers as they are corrected on matters of orthodoxy.
– On differences that do not rise to the level of heresy, we should be gracious and patient.

Episode 152: We disagree about discipling our kids…what should we do?

Episode Highlights:
– The Bible gives us clear instruction on how to discipline our children.
– The Bible prescribes loving corporal punishment as the norm for disciplining children (Pro 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; Heb 12:6-11)
– We should incorporate loving corporal punishment without provoking our children to anger (Eph 6:4).

Episode 151: Does it really mean that? Rev 3:20

– Again, the place to start is the context, which in this case is the letter to Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22.
– The context indicates that the letter is written to believers who need to be called back to meaningful fellowship with Christ; therefore, this is not an evangelistic text.
– There are plenty of evangelistic texts we could use to press people to obey the gospel (Acts 2, 17; 2 Cor 5-6)

Episode 150: How do I counsel my daughter who tends to be “boy-crazy”?

Episode Highlights:
1. This issue provides a wonderful opportunity for discipleship within the home.
2. There is a time to be “boy-crazy.” That time is within a God-honoring, heterosexual, monogamous marriage relationship.
3. The desire for an intimate relationship is a gift, but it is a means to enjoy Christ more and not an end in itself.
4. A single person should be zealous for the things of God, namely how he/she can grow in the likeness of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 7:34)
5. We all must prioritize treasuring Christ above all else.
6. Biblical counseling may be necessary to address specific variables and receive individualized applications steps.

Episode 149: How do I build trust after betrayal?

Episode Highlights:
– Episodes 140-142 on forgiveness may also be helpful.
– Trust may not be advisable, depending upon what we mean by trust.
– The offended spouse should press into the bitterness issue by meditating on gospel themes.
– Looking to the Lord for ultimate fulfillment will prepare you both to love well and to deal with hurt.

Episode 147: Slow to listen, quick to speak?

Episode Highlights:
– The admonition to be quick to hear and slow to speak comes from James 1:19-20.
– Important principles pertaining to communication come from Proverbs 18:13, 17. We should be eager to have all the information we can get before seeking to resolve a situation. That means listening intently.
– An important diagnostic question: What am I thinking about when the other person is talking–what they are saying or how I want to respond?
– Another important diagnostic question: How often am I persuaded by the other person’s perspective?

Episode 146: Should churches close for the virus?

Episode Highlights:
– We should be gracious regarding others’ convictions.
– Heb 10:24-25 regarding not neglecting the gathering of the saints, likely has in view those who for selfish or immature reasons do not engage in meaningful relationships with other believers.
– We should not view government guidelines as anti-Christian persecution, but measures intended to preserve life, which we should champion.
– Our consciences should not bother us as long as we are worshipping via livestream in our homes and engaging with one another for the purpose of encouragement and edification.
– Committed believers know this is temporary and can’t wait to get back to church.

Episode 145: Hand-raising in worship?

Episode Highlights:
– The Bible both depicts and commands lifting our hands to the Lord in prayer and worship. (Psa 63:4; 134:2; 1 Tim 2:8)
– Our discomfort with this expression of worship is likely more cultural than biblical.
– Those who want to raise their hands should do so, unconcerned about any biblical expression of worship being a distraction to others.
– We should all give grace to the consciences of others around us on this issue.

Episode 144: Does it matter how our bodies are treated when we die?

Episode Highlights
– The Bible indicates that it is a blessing for one’s remains to be well cared for. (Gen 49:29, Exo 13:19)
– The Bible indicates that it is a curse to have one’s remains dishonored in any way. (Jer 16:4; 1 Kings 21:19, 23)
– The human body has been bestowed with dignity by God. (2 Cor 5:4; Phil 3:21; 1 Cor 6:13)
– Historically, the burning of remains has been associated not with Christian practice, but with paganism.

Episode 143: What should do if I know that my friend’s child is involved in sinful activity?

Episode Highlights:
– The Bible clearly teaches about the destructive power of sin (Rom 6:23; 1 Peter 2:11, 5:8)
– NT passages giving instruction about how to help people in sin present a principle we might call “escalating confrontation.” (Matt 18:15-18; 1 Cor 5)
– To not escalate the confrontation by bringing the parents into the circle would be unloving and would allow sin to continue to have its way with the child.

Episode 142: Taking up an offense? Part 3

Episode Highlights:
– There is no biblical category for taking up an offense in the sense that the offender is required to ask my forgiveness for sinning against my friend or loved on.
– There is nothing wrong with being angry/offended by another sinning against my loved one…as long as I obey Eph 4:26-27 and put that anger away in a timely manner.
– Our impulse as believers should be the pursuit of reconciliation (Matt 5:23-24; 18:15; Phil 4:2-3)

Episode 141: Taking up an offense? Part 2

Episode Highlights:
– Forgiveness is not synonymous with putting away your anger and pain caused by another’s sin. Eph 4:26-27, 31-32
– Our anger/pain should be dealt with very quickly, whether the person has repented or not, whether there is reconciliation or not. Eph 4:26-27
– Biblical forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a commitment, a promise.
– Biblical forgiveness is a matter of obedience. Luke 17:3-4

Episode 140: Taking up an offense? Part 1

Episode Highlights:
– Our forgiveness should be patterned after God’s. (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13)
– Forgiveness should be gracious, but costly. (Rom 5:6-6; 1 John 4:10)
– Forgiveness should be conditioned upon repentance. (1 John 1:9; John 17:3-4; Matt 18:15-17)
– Forgiveness is a promise not to use another’s sin against them. (Rom 4:7-8; Jer 31:34; Isa 43:25).
– Forgiveness is done with a view toward reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:17-18)
– Forgiveness may not remove all consequences. (2 Sam 12:1-23; Psalm 51)

Episode 139: Should we give any credence to Enneagram personality tests?

Episode Highlights
– Taking these tests can be harmless if they are not the basis for our identity or decision-making.
– As a believer, my identity is in Christ.
– As a believer, I am constantly changing by the power of the Holy Spirit.
– The bible gives me moral-guidelines and wisdom principles for decision-making that are in-line with His priorities.