Apostasy is nothing new in Christianity. Two thousand years ago Jesus warned that false prophets “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7: 15) Given that we, the people of God, are frequently referred to as sheep, the term “sheep’s clothing” imparts the disquieting concept that these false prophets will inveigle their way into the church itself, potentially fooling the saints (Matthew 24: 24). According to the apostle Peter, false teachers...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

For many people, hearing the audible voice of God — speaking directly to them — is incredibly important. He isn’t “real” somehow if He isn’t physical, tangible, and accessible. They are encouraged in this belief by celebrity leadership and the lay people snared by them, confidently assuring that God speaks audibly today, and if people aren’t hearing Him, it’s not God’s fault, it’s theirs — they’re too ordinary for God to bother with, or they don’t have enough (or the...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a social situation, somebody asks you how you’re doing, and since the most significant event in your life lately has been the loss of your job, or the diagnosis of a serious disease, or your teenager’s totaling the car but mercifully walking away unscathed, you mention this. And the person listening leans forward, touches your arm, and says, “Jesus is all you need. Excuse me while I go refresh my lemonade.” You’re Not Helping No offense, mind...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Those of us who attended church in the 1980s are familiar with the musical version of this verse. As with any Scripture that is set to music and presented during “worship service,” however, it’s easy to sing the words without thinking, and be pretty much unable to read them without the melody playing in the background. It’s worth slowing...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

“Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (Matthew 24:11) Recently I ran across a blog from a mega-pastor who was refuting the teachings of another mega-pastor. Mega-Pastor B had some decent things to say about grace, mercy, acceptance, and Christ’s love that millions of Christians have not yet grasped, but quite unfortunately wove the weft of good truth with the warp of prosperity doctrine. Mega-Pastor A, who looks like he agrees with Mega-Pastor B when it comes to prosperity,...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

Do you ever feel like you just do not know what to do? You’ve been following a path that has felt right to you for a long time and doors of opportunity have opened, confirming the rightness of your choices. But then, suddenly, like lightening in a storm, adversity strikes…challenges appear and doors slam shut in your face at almost every turn. Uncertainty and doubt emerge. Fear, too, and an uneasiness in your gut that keeps you up at night, interrupts sleep, and occupies your every waking...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

“Be no longer children,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “but grow up in Christ” (Eph. 4:15). All my spiritual life…for as long as I can remember…religious people have sincerely, but mistakenly, exhorted me to “grow up in Christ.” It sounded reasonable. And, they were quoting Saint Paul. But what did most of these religious people really mean? What did “growing up in Christ” actually mean to them? I suspect for most of them, it meant… Go to church every Sunday and, if you are a...

by School Of Life on 22 September 2017

I’m thinking about those times in life when the doubts of faith are many and the difficulties of life are manifold. Thank God, on the sailing journey of life, those times are few. Do you remember that time when Simon Peter and the other disciples were sailing on the Sea of Galilee (Matt 14)? Suddenly, unexpectedly, a storm arose quickly and it did so as if it nature was looking for vengeance on the world. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. And Peter jumped ship to join him. At first,...

by School Of Life on 21 September 2017

This morning, I opened the Gospel of John to the sixth chapter, desiring to read and reflect on what has become my favorite Gospel account of the life of Jesus. I did not get very far in the text, however, before I stumbled over these words… “A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick” (Jn 6:1-4). The thought occurred to me, “Why does anybody follow Jesus?” Then, a bit more personal, “Why do I follow Jesus?” I cannot speak for anyone...

by School Of Life on 21 September 2017

The psalmist said, “Be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “Be still”…”and know…” In the Hebrew language, when two coordinate imperatives or imperative verbal forms appear together, as in “Be still” and “know” the emphasis goes to the second command. In other words, what the psalmist is saying could be translated to mean, “Be still in order to know.” Ah! So, knowing follows stillness? So, what does it mean to “be still?” Jesus gave a hint when he said, “And,...

by School Of Life on 21 September 2017