Category Archives: church issue

Sin in the family of God ( A thought on the Bible )

Listen to a thought on the Bible. You can also read it below.

How should your church deal with sin with somebody in the body of Christ ? How should my church deal with sin of somebody in it’s body who has committed willful sin.
Hi I’m Billy David Dickson with a thought on the Bible.
Sadly there are immoral behaviors being committed by folks who are followers of Jesus in our world.
That brings up a tough issue for churches which are submitted to the Lordship of God’s book, the Bible.
They don’t want to give a blessing to willful sin by those in her body. At the same time the church is called to be a place where grace is extended. The church after all is a hospital for sinners.
I believe at times there is a place for church discipline.
A bigger question however is not how our churches will respond to sin among children of God, but how you and I should respond when a brother, or sister is involved in immoral behavior.
To answer that question we just have to open our Bibles to John chapter 8. Here some religious folks have brought to Jesus a lady caught in adultery.
Here is how John 8 reads…
3″ The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
Did Jesus condemn this lady caught in sin. No he did not. Too often us believers try to be the Holy Spirit. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to convict believers of sin. That is not our job. There might be times when it is proper to point out a sin to a brother, or sister in Christ. We should never condemn another member of the family of God.When we find out another believer is in willful sin we should pray for him. If possible we should reach out to her in Christian love.And out attitude should be, if it was not for the grace of God,I could be where that soul is.

That is a thought on the Bible.
Until next time,
I’m Billy David Dickson

All Rights Reserved, 2017
This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on https://billydteacher.wordpress.com/

Is Jesus the only way ?

Listen to some commentaries or read them.

I disagree with Breakpoint more religious faith is not always good

( Billy’s thoughts – Below is a Breakpoint commentary. This is one time when I disagree with the host of Breakpoint. In the commentary the host says it is a good thing people are becoming more religious.

No debate if by religious faith we mean following the God of the Bible the Lord Jesus. At the same time you can be religious, and not know Jesus. You can even be committed to a church, and be lost spirituality.

For example I know people in the Catholic Church who love the Lord. However when the leadership of that church teaches Mary is sinless they are in conflict with the word of God. All have sin. Everyone including Mary needs Jesus as their Savior. When the Pope says we don’t have to go through Jesus to go to heaven, there is a problem. The key is not to be religious, but to know Jesus Christ who many Catholic folks do know.Faith in King Jesus is what people need. Not religious faith.

Read the commentary below, and decide what you think based on the Bible, and a Christian worldview. )

Ever hear the old saw that religious people are on the wrong side of history? It isn’t true. Turns out, we’re on the right side of the future as well. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.

A year ago, National Geographic told readers that “religion is rapidly becoming less important than it’s ever been, even to people who live in countries where faith has affected everything from rulers to borders to architecture.”

But as Rodney Stark documented in his recent book, “The Triumph of Faith,” that statement is wrong. In fact, it’s the opposite of the truth. According to Stark, “The world is not merely as religious as it used to be. In important ways, it is much more intensely religious than ever before . . .”

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. For years, Chuck Colson, John Stonestreet, and I have been telling you about the explosive growth of Christianity around the world, especially in what is called the “global south.”

We’ve told you about what’s happening in places like sub-Saharan Africa, and even China, which, by some estimates may have more Christians than any other country by the middle of this century.

But the story that Stark tells goes beyond these two examples. The growth of Christianity in Latin America is, in many respects, just as amazing as its growth in Africa.

That might sound strange, since Latin America has been ostensibly Christian since the sixteenth century. But until the mid-20th century, it was largely a nominal kind of Christianity. As recently as the 1950s, only between 10 and 20 percent of Latin Americans were “active in their faith.”

The arrival of Protestant missionaries, especially Pentecostals, changed this. Not only did they succeed in turning nominal Christians into practicing ones, they also forced the Catholic Church to, as they say in sports, “up its game.” This, in large measure, took the form of the Charismatic renewal.

Today, Charismatic Catholic rallies fill the same stadiums as Pentecostal ones. And the result is that in large parts of Latin America, sixty percent or more of the people attend church on at least a weekly basis.

Another largely untold story is what’s happening in India. The son of a BreakPoint colleague recently traveled to India. One Tuesday, he went to Mass. When he arrived, he was stunned to see that the church was full—so full that the worshippers poured out onto the street. On a Tuesday.

Late last year, Christianity Today ran a story on “Incredible Indian Christianity.” Since 1980, the number of pastors sent out by the Delhi Bible Institute has grown from 100 per year to nearly 7,600 in 2015. As CT tells us, part of India’s so-called “tribal belt,” which runs across central and northeast India, is becoming India’s “Bible belt.”

But even in Europe and the United States, the rise of secularism has been overstated, if by “secularism,” you mean “denying the supernatural.” For example, sociologists consider Iceland to be one of the most secular nations on Earth. Yet, here’s a list of things that a significant percentage of Icelanders believe in: reincarnation, elves, gnomes, fairies, fortune tellers, and Spiritualism. You find similar results across so-called “secular” Europe.

Here in the U.S., the same period that witnessed the rise in the religiously unaffiliated did not witness a decline in church attendance or an increase in atheists. The increase in the so-called “nones” was a function of people who rarely, if ever, attended church finally admitting as much.

Those who claim that people of faith were “on the wrong side of history” have it exactly backwards. Religion, especially Christianity, is not in decline. It’s going from strength-to-strength. You just need to know where to look, or, in this case, what to read.

Justice Declaration Calling the Church to Action

( Here is the Breakpoint radio commentary from yesterday. )

A declaration is being released today that would have been near and dear to Chuck Colson’s heart. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.

 

Reflecting on his seven-month stint at the Maxwell Federal Prison in Alabama, Chuck Colson wrote in “Born Again,” “I found myself increasingly drawn to the idea that God had put me in prison for a purpose, and that I should do something for those I had left behind.”

And so, for the next four decades, that “something” turned into something(s), under the auspices of Prison Fellowship, the organization he founded to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to men and women behind bars.

But Chuck, in his thorough study of Christian theology and worldview believed there was more to living out the faith than evangelizing the lost, as important as that is, of course. And so he also committed time, energy and thought leadership to criminal justice reform. Chuck knew from experience that prison often amounted to little more than warehousing offenders, which left them completely unprepared for the day they were released, which is why three-quarters of those released from state prisons are re-arrested within five years.

Twenty-years ago, when America went on a prison-building/lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key frenzy, Chuck forcefully criticized this approach and began developing and advocating the biblical idea of Restorative Justice.

Whereas our criminal justice system views crime as an offense against the state, restorative justice insists that there are three parties to the crime: the offender, the victim, and the community, which includes the offender’s family.

While protecting the community is the first goal of restorative justice, it isn’t the only goal. The ultimate goal is the restoration of all relationships broken by crime.

And so Chuck advocated for alternatives to incarceration for less-dangerous offenders. In addition to being less expensive than incarceration, these alternatives help maintain ties to the community, including Christians in the community.

And of course, Chuck insisted that victims must be treated with respect and dignity. Where possible, they should receive restitution and be kept abreast of the developments in their case. Chuck also advocated for what are known as “Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs,” where offenders learn how their actions affected their victims. While not for everyone or in every case of crime, this process can bring a measure of healing and even forgiveness where before there was only brokenness.

While Chuck’s commitment to criminal justice reform may have been occasioned by his stay in prison, his ideas and beliefs about the need for reform grew out of his Christian worldview, especially his beliefs about the imago dei and the responsibility of the church to engage the brokenness in the world.

The church, Chuck knew, possessed resources the state did not, And thus there’s a unique role for the church, particularly in the task of moral formation. The lack of moral formation in communities, especially connected to broken families, was another chief factor, Chuck believed, contributing to the explosion in the prison population during his lifetime.

And so the Colson Center has joined with Prison Fellowship, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Association of Evangelicals to sponsor “The Justice Declaration,” which is being released today at a press conference in Washington, D. C. The Declaration calls on Christians and churches to create a “justice system that is fair and redemptive for all.”

While Christians can and will differ on how best to accomplish this and other goals, what we can’t differ on is the need to emulate Chuck Colson in his desire to “do something” about the situation in our prisons and in our communities. Which is why nearly 100 Christian leaders have signed the Justice Declaration.

Please come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary to read the Justice Declaration. And please, consider adding your name.

Pastor: Punish wrongdoers here – they face death back in Iraq

Read the story.

Sharing Christ with a Mormon

Listen to the commentary
or read it here.

 

The Mormon Church is right on this

Mormon church severs some of its ties to the Boy Scouts

Be careful what you wish for by Cal Thomas

Read the column.

 

Lessons from so called TV preacher Benny Hinn

I should admit straightway that Benny Hinn is well outside the mainstream of evangelical Christianity in both his theology and practices. Many inside the world of evangelical Christianity might say that what he does has nothing to do with what “we” do. But to a watching and skeptical world, the theological and ethical differences between a Benny Hinn and those who follow much more biblical models of behavior are difficult to discern. And that’s the first lesson we can learn: We should be more direct and straightforward about “calling out” organizations that do not follow biblical models of behavior and ministry. Defending the Gospel does not mean merely defending it against the Richard Dawkinses and Peter Singers of the world, but also against the Benny Hinns and Creflo Dollars.

Secondly, Christian organizations should be models of transparency and financial disclosure. Currently, the law requires tax-exempt organizations to file Form 990s. These forms have basic information about an organization’s financial condition. The law also requires organizations to make these forms available to the public. (A great source for 990s is http://www.guidestar.com.) However, churches are exempt from this requirement.

( More )

For the First Time, Russia Ranked Among Worst Violators of Religious Freedom

Russia’s ongoing crackdown on religious minorities, foreign missionaries, and evangelists has earned it a spot among the worst countries in the world for religious freedom.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which flags religious freedom violators for the State Department, listed the former Soviet state among six new Tier 1 “countries of particular concern” (CPC) in its latest annual report, released Wednesday.
It is the first time in the commission’s almost 20-year history that Russia has made the list. A total of 16 countries currently hold the CPC designation, and another dozen are being reviewed as Tier 2.

( More )