This and That – 11-09-13

Should Every Church be Multiethnic? –  Ethnic diversity is sitting right under our nose but we can’t see it. We’ve been so accustomed to homogeneity in church that we can’t see that the America around us is becoming more and more diverse. So we think that homogenous churches are just fine.  But they aren’t. – Christena Cleveland

Is All Sin Equal in God’s Eyes? – However, it is equally correct to express that some sins are more serious than others. Certain sins are more significant than others because the consequences are more significant. We observe this in the New Testament, in Paul’s description of sin in Romans 1. Here we see the progression of sin so that as people are given over to their sin and rebellion, they progress into sin that is more and more serious. We also see this displayed in the laws of the Old Testament where, for example, the consequence for theft is not as grave as the consequence for murder. There are degrees of punishment for various sexual sins so that some are punished with a fine, some are punished by banishment and some are punished by death. Each is sin, but each is judged to be more or less serious; the punishment accords with the crime. Of course we see it today as well, reflected in our civil laws and reflected in our parenting and church discipline and every other area where laws exist. – Tim Challies

Am I “Lord” of my Wife? (1 Peter 3:6) — The point in 1 Peter, culture aside (if that were possible), is that the wife is to treat her husband with respect (according to v 1, in a “submissive” way), but I am not convinced that there is a term in the English language that conveys that properly. I can’t think of a specific word that Robin could use to address me that would convey respect without violating the other aspects of our relationship such as love. – Bill Mounce

Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime? – More to the point, is ministry — particularly well-paid ministry in a large, vibrant church — really that hard?  Perhaps it is.  But is it as hard as working in the secular world, where one’s faith might be subject to ridicule on a daily basis and where one might actually lose one’s promotion or even position because of one’s Christian convictions?  Is preparing sermons as hard and boring and depressing as working in a dead-end job on a shop floor somewhere?  Is such well-paid ministry as mega church pastors enjoy as depressing or worrying or even frightening as working for minimum wage and fretting about how to pay this month’s bills?    I very much doubt it.  It seems to me that many of us work in churches where we as ministers are among those most protected from the harsh realities and dangers of life in a post-Christian world.   So we should not flatter ourselves about how hard and dangerous our calling is. – Carl Trueman

The Gospel for Obamacare’s Victims – What can Christians and the church do in this situation? First, confess our sin of omission. It’s tragic that Christian conservatives have not led the way in proposing legislation or designing healthcare programs that demonstrated practical love to the weakest in our society. We’re good at protesting against the evils of abortion and gay marriage; we’re not so good at providing for those who are impoverished by sickness and disease. The result? Under the guise of caring for the poor, the behemoth of Obamacare is changing the very nature of the relationship between the American people and their government, and also using the opportunity to impose social change and immoral values on individuals, families, and businesses. – David Murray


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