Category Archives: Spiritual Health

Musings on what it means to be a spiritually healthy person.

The Church: Can you be a Christian without going to church?

Front Page Tough Questions

This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

This past Sunday, I ended our service by taking some live questions from the congregation, but I wasn’t able to address all the questions live. Therefore I’m tackling some of them through this blog.

Does this mean that you cannot be a Christian unless you go to church?

The simple answer is that you can be a Christian without going to church if you define “Christian” Continue reading

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The Church: Why Sundays?

Front Page Tough Questions

This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

This past Sunday, I ended our service by taking some live questions from the congregation, but I wasn’t able to address all the questions live. Therefore I’m tackling some of them through this blog.

If the church is the community of believers who are to be continually gathering and working to build the kingdom, why do we meet on Sunday mornings the way we do? How does this fit and/or conflict with the picture of the church in Acts?

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Thoughts on Evolution, Creation, and Adam and Eve

Front Page Tough Questions

Why Evolution Is True (Book Cover)
For a few weeks now, I have been teaching in my church on the topic of belief and doubt, so I have been on a personal journey to understand the mind of the atheist so I can better understand the mind of the serious person who cannot cross the line of faith and possibly understand the mind of the person who wants to believe but is having difficulty taking the final step of commitment.

In the process, I have been learning things about the Theory of Evolution that have really interested me. I’ll get to a couple of those things in a moment, but first, let me tell you my perspective on the whole evolution and creation issue. Continue reading

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Why do non-Christians go to church? (postponed)

Front Page Tough Questions

Okay, it’s finally time for me to begin tackling this question. The problem is that I don’t really know the answers so this is going to be a general musing with some of my own hunches. Therefore, I’m really interested to know your opinions on it too. Perhaps together, we can figure some of this out.

That is how I started writing this post, but that was two weeks ago, and I still don’t have any really good answer for this question, so I’m posting this now just to let you know I’m still working on it.

I’m going to be reading a book called Surprising Insights from the Unchurched to figure out the major factors leading people outside the world of church to explore the church world in the first place.

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Why do Christians go to church?

Front Page Tough Questions

This last Fall, we took a survey in our church asking people to rank our church from “ick” to “wow” on various categories. This is a non-scientific study, of course, but the vast majority of our church attendees gave our church a “wow” on our preaching and mid to high marks on everything else. Also, my own anecdotal research shows that the vast majority of people in our church found our church because they were intentionally looking for a church.

As a result, I have a few ideas on why Christians go to church when they go. Please weigh in with your perspective as well. Continue reading

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Why Christians Should Go to Church

Front Page Tough Questions

Yesterday, I started a series of posts on why people go to church. Studies show us that large portions of the population claim to have a strong relationship with Jesus yet studies also show that large portions of the population rarely or never go to church.

Today, I continue that discussion.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Why Christians SHOULD Go to Church

The writer of Hebrews gives us two reasons people should go to church and two obstacles that must be overcome. Continue reading

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Why do people go to church?

Front Page Tough Questions

This morning, my wife heard on the Christian radio station that a recent study reports 67% of Americans claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus that affects their daily lives.

However, just last weekend, I heard a statistic that currently 17% of Americans go to church. I think that means specifically that on any given week, only 17% of Americans attend a religious service. The number of people who attend at least one service a month is surely much higher than that, but still, the number is astounding to me.

If two-thirds of the population feels they have a life-altering relationship with Jesus, why is church attendance so low and apparently going down? Continue reading

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Exile & Renewed Hope

Explaining the Bible Front Page

This post is part of a series on explaining the whole bible.

Exile

The kingdom of Judah ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the brightest young people to Babylon. However, Jeremiah had predicted that the exile would last only 70 years, and Isaiah even predicted a king named Cyrus would be the one to return the Jews to their homeland. It turned out that both were exactly right.
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Why does God let us face trials?

Front Page Tough Questions VIP


James 1:2-3 gives the standard Christian answer to this question:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…

Of course, knowing the Sunday school answer and being okay with it are two different things entirely, but this week, I have gained a new perspective on the question that I thought I would share with you. Here are some significant verses from my devotional reading this week:
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“Our God” (a song)

Front Page My Spiritual Life

For a couple weeks now, I have been dissatisfied with the modern worship songs we’ve been singing in our church. The music is great, the beats are fun, the lyrics are powerful, but honestly, they aren’t very deep.

In particular, the majority of modern rock-style worship music puts God in the second person. Everything is about how great “You” are or about our relationship as humans to “You.” The problem with that kind of music is that it only works for people who have a relationship with God close enough to call him “You.” There are many people for whom God is only “God” or “He” and there are many times in our lives when we need to remember that God is “God” and not just another “You.”
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Organizational Insights from Numbers 2

Front Page Leadership My Spiritual Life

This morning, I was reading the first few chapters of Numbers. I have to be honest with you, and I am somewhat ashamed to admit, I wasn’t expecting much. Aside from a few interesting (and confusing) stories, the book of Numbers is filled with, you guessed it, numbers!

The first few chapters are all about counting the people of Israel. This tribe has 60,000 people. That tribe has 40,000 people. With twelve tribes to go through, the lists of numbers and names of people can get tedious. Continue reading

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“for the Bible tells me so” — documentary on homosexuality

Front Page Tough Questions

UPDATE: This film has been posted to YouTube if you want to watch it. link

Tonight, our life group skipped our normal routine to watch a documentary purportedly on the relationship between homosexuality and religion called For the Bible Tells Me So However, the documentary was actually on the relationship between homosexuality and the conservative/fundamentalist “Christian right.”

Basically, the title calls to mind the song Jesus Loves Me (which should communicate that God loves us) in contrast to the words of those who would claim homosexuality is an “abomination” simply because “the Bible tells me so.”

Since I have already written a few articles on the topic, I won’t take the time to rehash my position. However, I need to make a couple comments.

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