Archives For moses

My 6-year-old daughter has been avidly reading her kids Bible.  She’s read it through several times and is now excitedly reading her sister’s kids Bible, which her sister just got her for 5th birthday this week.  Using sister’s birthday presents is always better than using your own, of course.  These are the kids Bibles that have a big cartoon picture on each page, along with 3 or 4 lines of jumbo print.  They contain most of the stories in the Bible and are divided up with an Old Testament and a New Testament.

I do love how easily my daughter believes in the stories of the Bible.  It reminds me of why the Old Testament in particular was structured around passing the faith down from one generation to another.

I also have to catch myself, remembering how easily my daughter believes in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.  Arguing with me that Santa Claus exists, even though I tell her time and time again that he doesn’t (against my wife’s will…).  Continue Reading…

OMG.

That acronym is as common nowadays as ETA or ASAP.

“Oh my God.”

“Jesus Christ!”

“Oh Lord.”

“Good Lord.”

These phrases are a regular part of most people’s vernacular, including many Christians.

Smack in the middle of the 10 Commandments, Exodus 20:7 tells us, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (KJV) (You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (NIV))

It’s easy to stop here with a black & white legalistic reprimand that people need to stop “taking God’s name in vain,” as if everyone even knows what that means or why it’s important.  Rather than another “thou shalt” just for the sake of it, let’s break this down a little:

First and foremost, the reason we are not to take God’s name in vain is because God’s name is HOLY.  It should be treated with awe and reverence, not as common or crass.  

Check this out:  Holy means to be “set apart.”  The Jews would not even say God’s name out loud because it was so holy.  When they wrote God’s name in the original Old Testament manuscripts (written in Hebrew), they would write the letters YHWH.  Nobody knows how to pronounce this because the Jews didn’t say it aloud!  In addition, when scribes were creating a new copy of Scripture, if an error was made in writing God’s name, there was no crossing it out or using white out.  The entire piece of parchment and all the tedious work that went into it would be sacredly thrown away and they’d start over!  This is a faaaaar cry from the casual way many throw God’s name around (in vain) today. Continue Reading…

This is part 2 of the old covenant Q&A asked via text messages following my March 1st sermon: (You can read Part 1 here)

 

Q: Why did the Council at Jerusalem (in Acts 15) choose a few commands from the law that Gentile believers had to follow?  Do those laws still apply to us & why?

Continue Reading…

(This is Part 2 from yesterday’s post: Is a far-fetched story like Noah’s Ark enough to dismiss Jesus?)

One is to reject the Bible all together.  I can’t believe in talking snakes and a first man who was created from the dust, so I reject everything in the Bible and hope for the best.  If I stand in judgment of a holy God someday, I’ll tell him the beginning of his book didn’t make enough sense for me.

Another is Continue Reading…

It pains me when I see Christians drift away from Jesus because they begin to see the Old Testament stories as mythology…which discredits the Bible to them…which discredits Jesus.

Those of us who grew up in church didn’t have a problem accepting that an ancient boat filled with every species of animal floated for 40 days while the entire earth was swallowed up in a flood–or that the first two people on earth named all of the animals and conversed with a talking snake who deceived them, getting them to eat from a forbidden tree that had supernatural powers.

But we get older and these stories start to feel a little far-fetched.  And on top of this, we learn about other cultures and other religions who have their own origin stories and we call them mythology.  So a thinking person is led to wonder, is ours just mythology as well?  Was I just indoctrinated as a kid who didn’t know anything different? Continue Reading…