Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Overcoming our Culture’s Definition of Tolerance to Witness to Lost People

Overcoming our Culture’s Definition of Tolerance to Witness to Lost People

Tolerance has been redefined in this generation. The word formerly meant patience and respect for persons who held positions with which you disagree. Our culture has redefined the word to mean acceptance of every viewpoint as equally valid. Tolerance now means you embrace every belief as true. Suppose you believe Jesus is the only way of salvation but your friend believes all religions lead to heaven. Tolerance once meant you honored your friend’s opinion while patiently, persuasively trying to influence him or her to change their mind. Now, tolerance means you affirm your friend’s belief as equally true with your position. This new politically correct definition of tolerance denies absolute truth and pronounces “true” whatever any person believes to be true.

Christians sometimes adopt this point of view out of fear of judging others. They take seriously Jesus’ warning, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged” (Matthew 7:1). They are determined not to be judgmental, preferring to avoid confronting anyone about their behavior or beliefs.

However, the Bible is very clear—the gospel must be shared, without compromise. A good example is Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well (John 4). She was openly immoral (John 4:18) and tried to shift the focus by starting a debate about worship (John 4:19). Jesus was nonplussed and undeterred. He kept the focus on the woman’s need for a relationship with Him. Jesus didn’t say, “I understand your choices. If adultery is your sexual preference and worshipping your way makes you feel close to God, then I affirm the truth as you know it.” Instead, He confronted her immorality and confounded her misguided attempt to start an argument about worship practices.

When you share the gospel, your attitude should reflect humility and gentleness. When your words are steeped in compassion, even bold confrontation comes across as genuine love for the other person. Your witnessing role involves persuasion, sharing the gospel, and doing all you can to convince a person to place faith in Jesus. Don’t let a misguided definition of tolerance keep you from asking people to change their beliefs.

SOLUTION: Stand firm against the cultural definition of tolerance as accepting all beliefs as equally true. Avoid the devilish misconception that holding to the truth of the gospel somehow judges others who disagree with you. Determine to share the gospel with compassion, persuading others in appropriate ways to follow Jesus.

May God give us boldness to share the Gospel to a world that desperately needs Jesus!
-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Advice for Singles from 1 Corinthians 7

This past Sunday I preached from a passage in the Bible that addressed singleness.  The following quotes should be helpful for those who are currently enjoying the gift of singleness:

Tony Evans:
“If you are single, God says you ought to be free. Free from what? Free from concern. The desire for a marriage partner should not preoccupy you. Singles, who are concentrating on marriage, are like folks who drive and talk on their cell phones. As a matter of fact, there are laws now in various states to stop people from talking on their cell phones because they are too distracted. They are running through red lights, bumping into the cars, and causing havoc on the highway. State after state now is coming up with laws to say, “If you are going to drive, drive. If you are going to talk, talk. Don’t talk and drive, because you are going to hurt somebody.” People who are preoccupied with marriage put themselves in a position of being hurt or hurting others.”

Warren Wiersbe:
Warren Wiersbe suggests five questions to be answered when considering marriage, which aptly sum up Paul’s concerns in this chapter: 
What is my gift from God? 
Am I marrying a believer? 
Are the circumstances such that marriage is right? 
How will marriage affect my service for Christ? 
Am I prepared to enter into this union for life?

Michael Green:
Instead of adopting the countless other criteria society suggests, Christians should ask themselves in which state, single or married, they can best serve the Lord. Michael Green recommends asking the following question, “Could I be equally useful to the Lord if married, or would it inevitably curtail my usefulness to him?” He then comments, “The quantity of time available for Christian involvement may be reduced once we are married, but its quality may be enhanced. At all events, I have no right to marry unless I have honestly faced the question of the impact marriage will have on my Christian life and service.”

Whether single or married, let’s give our lives for Christ and His Kingdom!
- Bro. Dave

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ice Cream Fellowship Results

I want to thank everyone who came out Sunday Night and competed for the Golden Scoop Ice Cream Award. Thanks go to Marci Grey, Linda Devine, Mike Hensley, Jamie Gibson, Tammy Reed, Margaret Lowe, Ann Nichols, and Gail Moeller for their contributions to the contest. While it was a close contest, the judges made their decisions known after much deliberation. Third place went to Doug Lester for his amazing homemade “Butterfinger” Ice Cream. In second place, Ann Nichols took the prize with her homemade Orange Ice Cream. The first place winner, and the winner of the Golden Scoop Award, was Gail Moeller with her homemade vanilla ice cream!
Taylor Grey walked home with a shiny new quarter, which was her consolation prize for missing the final question during the game – “Who wants to win a dollar bill?” Luann Hill won a pound of Hershey’s Chocolate and Denise Edwards won 2 pounds of Twizzlers for winning the “Church Lingo” Game. The final game of the night, Pictionary, saw the women beat the men.
The best part of the evening was some of the amazing fellowship that took place. One young man who had not been to our church for years was counseled after the event. Another young man was introduced to the Brotherhood ministry and made a verbal commitment to attend the meeting this week. Praise God for a fun night of Christian fellowship!

God is doing exciting things in our midst! May we join Him in His great work!
-          Bro. Dave