Category Archives: Conviction

A Saint In Babylon

Ever feel like this? You think someday you might?

Picture for a moment that the sea of stiff-armed sycophants are citizens of the cosmic empire of darkness and that’s you in the middle of the circle. You’re in “Babylon” and while the rest are currying the favor of their king, you remain unbowed and unbelieving, steadfastly loyal to your eternal citizenship.

Right now it may mean you get overlooked for that promotion, uninvited to that block party or left out of the family reunion. Perhaps laughed at or ridiculed behind your back or under people’s breaths. One day it might very possibly mean your life.

This lone figure, August Landmesser, was a member of the Nazi party from 1931-1935, but sent up for two years’ hard labor for fathering children with his Jewish wife, thereby “dishonoring his race.” Continue reading

Pulling No Punches (But Throwing None Either)

NewSpring Church Pastor Perry Noble recently delivered a hard-hitting message on the seriousness of sexual immorality in the church. For those who take sexual sins lightly, he made it clear to them: “You’re not saved.”

Though a lot to take on in one message, Noble tackled adultery, friends with benefits, pornography and homosexualityas the four common sins that Christians have come to tolerate.

“In America, it’s cool to be tolerant,” he told thousands at the S.C. megachurch on Sunday. But “Jesus literally tells the church there are certain things that you are to not tolerate in the church.”

The message was meant to cause discomfort among Christians. Some even got up and left in the middle of the message in earlier services on Sunday, Noble told attendees at the evening service.

But his goal wasn’t so much to condemn Christians as it was to encourage them and help them break free from sexual sins.

“What you and I pursue will ultimately determine what we do and who we become,” he stated.

For those pursuing sexual immorality, they have ultimately turned their back on Jesus, he said repeatedly.

He called it a “spiritual impossibility” to pursue adultery and Jesus at the same time. Continue reading

Either Way…I Still Praise Him.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
(David, Psalm 139:5)

We are distressed/hard-pressed/troubled/squeezed on every side…
(Paul, 2 Corinthians 4:8)

Nobody puts ‘Baby’ in a corner.
(Johnny Castle, Dirty Dancing)

I’m feeling ‘hemmed in’ these days. Diminished. Limited. Grounded, like a teenager: no keys, no car, no friends. Just school, then home.

On top of that, I feel cornered. Outnumbered.

It’s redolent of a scene in Thor where the Viking hero and his compatriots infiltrate the Frost Giant’s lair and are met by a relentless enemy in wave after wave, each giant becoming more formidable than the last and more numerous than before.

Yeah, that captures it nicely.

On every front a vexing battle is being waged and it seems like I am losing ground.

Ministry.

Family.

Finances.

Friends.

Health.

Some fronts are more like skirmishes while others border on “Shock and Awe.” These days I look like the Arizona border, Iraq (in March, 2003) and Afghanistan all rolled into one. Continue reading