There is this perception that the average church-attending male teenager must be clean-shaven, have hair that does not grow past the collar and wear slacks or a suit to church on Sunday. And, in some places, this is indeed what you see. However, it is not a prerequisite.
With the Easter egg hunts over, the baskets of chocolate distributed and the History Channel’s Bible series coming to an end, it is easy to feel the post-Easter blues. Perhaps you came to church on Easter Sunday with your college friend. Maybe your coworker nagged you into coming. Then again, you may have visited your grown child’s church for the first time and simply do not know what to think.
Anyone who has ever spent a few minutes in school knows that teachers ask questions to which they already know the answer. The same is true for parents. As a mom, I may ask who cut the hole in the curtain, but I already know the answer. I just want to hear what junior will say. Will the child be honest? Or not? In some cases, questions can be loaded with a deeper meaning that becomes clear as soon as we give the answer. In this scenario, the answer requires a course of action to be taken. Is this something we will embrace? Or not?
There was a time when the Israelites had a chance to enter the Promised Land. God encouraged them to send out some spies to take a sneak peek at what would be in store for them. As noted in Numbers 13:17-20 and 27-30, they failed to see the opportunities but instead focused on the obstacles. Rather than having an unconditional faith that trusted in God’s way of working things out on their behalves, they showed him lukewarm loyalty that shrank back from obedience when a decision had to be made.
The holiday season is right around the corner. Thanksgiving meals and Christmas gatherings are looming large. Would you believe that sometimes these festivities can be a bit challenging for Christians? This is particularly true when they visit family or friends who are not disciples. It is even more difficult when the family members engage in behaviors that are not in harmony with the faith. What is the disciple to do?
Giving money, tithing, contributing to the needs of the church, taking up a collection … call it what you will, it is a sore subject for some in the church as well as many outside of it. Their mixed feelings are not totally unfounded. There are plenty of well-publicized incidents where so-called church leaders bilked their flocks out of hard-earned moneys to fund their own lavish lifestyles. While this type of behavior is clearly not in keeping with scriptures, there are still some persistent myths that beg for a busting.