Christian Living

The Fine Line: COVID-19, Vaccines, and Social Media

I stopped myself recently. It wasn’t anything inflammatory or even for/against any side of the debate. It was just math; information based on calculations from other information. Zero commentary. All I had to do was copy, paste, and post.

Are you wondering what it was? Tempting as it was, and is, I had to choose to leave it alone.

Discussing COVID-19 vaccinations is a dangerous game. Just saying the term out loud sets off defense mechanisms on all sides of the camp.

How involved should we be? Can’t we share our opinion? What about if it is “just the facts”? Sounds like another “Fine Line” we have to walk as Christians.

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Ministry

You can’t be “Pastoral” with Everyone

When you are a pastor, there are two primary elements of your ministry you and the people agree on. You study the Bible and you tell people about it. Whether you preach, teach, or write, most people understand these basic parts of what you do.

Another element of pastoral ministry is counseling. Real counseling isn’t just listening and being a friendly ear to hear about people’s problems, though some who go to a pastor’s office think of it like that. It also involves sharing biblical guidance for problems and situations.

As a result of all of this talking about the Bible, the impulse for a pastor or Bible teacher is to try and speak into everyone’s life as a pastoral influence. But we do not have permission to be such a voice into every life we are connected with or bump into.

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Christian Living

The Fine Line

To be a Christian is not easy. There is a constant battle between who we could be and who we should be, what to desire and what to turn away from. No one of us is perfect and yet God calls us to strive for it.

At times we walk along a fine line and have to choose a side to fall on. Culture makes us choose. Work makes us choose. Maybe it is family or friends. In a world constantly flipping over or twisting around us, it could simply be the gnawing in our guts driving us to pick a side.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Imprisoned freedom

As an American, freedom is a term that is both familiar and foundational. There are battles over various freedoms in our Western nations, and we wonder at the lack of basic freedoms around the world.

Freedom is an essential building block of Christianity. Though it neither demands nor forces the freedoms many fight for today, it offers a deeper freedom that cannot be bound by any earthly shackles of inequality or oppression.

Proclaiming freedom for captives and the truth that sets us free, the church invites the hopeless to a life of freedom in Christ. At the Oxymoron Church, while shaking the keys of freedom before the chains of sin and death, they hold open the door a new life where hope slowly dies in a different kind of prison.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Conditional, failing love

Love. It could be the most powerful verb in any language. When we love and then act out of love, the possibilities are endless.

God’s desire to love and be loved motivated Him to create the human race. Scripture proclaims: God is love. It also tells us how we are ambassadors of Christ. If Jesus is fully God and fully man, and we are His representatives on Earth, we are supposed to be representatives of love.

The love of God, which motivated Him to create the universe and to later send His only begotten Son for our salvation, sets a high bar. Souls are searching for this love when they come to church. If only the Oxymoron Church knew how to love.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Broken Community

When talking about a topic like the Oxymoron Church, the question comes up, “Where do we start?” Do we jump straight into the big issues and risk scaring people off? Or work our way up from the little things? Let’s start somewhere in the middle.

Church is a word we often use improperly. It is not a place, but a people. It isn’t something we do, it is who we are. The church is about a group, a family, a body made up of many individuals. (If you’re my age, think Voltron.)

A healthy church is a group of believers in community. The bonds between them should draw the lonely into arms ready to embrace them, and a place at the table with many brothers and sisters.

In the Oxymoron Church, the promise of community falls to pieces. What should be one whole is smashed by division and strife.

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