So… how AM I doing?

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds, or do they get figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and every rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit. And a rotten tree can’t produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, you will know them by their fruit.” (Mt. 7:15-20)

This leaves me with a sense of evaluation. Only this evaluation can’t come from ME. It must from others around me.

How IS my fruit? How AM I doing?

The illusion of being “pro-life”

For me, growing up in a conservative Christian environment and coming into voting age in the “Reagan Revolution” this is what I knew: It’s all about abortion. It’s all about being pro-life.

Then, the narrator off to the side (who I didn’t hear at the time and wished to GOD he had been just a little louder) whispered: “It wasn’t about abortion at all.”

Read more

The Pharisee in me

“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisee, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20)

For us, as self-righteous white conservative evangelicals in America, we can all too often quickly declare, “Done. And done. I’m not a Pharisee!”

Read more

The power of the Sermon on the Mount

Since reading Dallas Willard’s book, The Divine Conspiracy, about 20 years ago, the Sermon on the Mount has been more influential in my living and study and mindset than any other portion of Scripture, with the possible exception of Ephesians.

Can you tell I get something out of it?

This is the fascination and wonder I will always have with Scripture. Every time I move through even the most familiar passage, I am stunned with something new. It’s a joy that often leaves me asking, “When did they put THAT there?”

“Evangelical” as a political label

I am reminding myself of this fact: it is a discussion about white evangelical voters. Here is the comment from David French:

The bottom line is that the percentage of white Americans identifying as Evangelical grew from 25 to 29 percent between 2016 and 2020, powered mainly by the fact that 16 percent of Trump supporters who didn’t identify as Evangelical in 2016 started considering themselves Evangelical by 2020.

Read more

Warning to the white American conservative church

This passage leapt into my spirit as the Spirit said, “This is the warning for the self-righteous church in America.”

Matthew 3:7-12

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Lord, give us ears to hear.