"Trayvon Martin"...mention that name and you unleash a flood of emotion and turmoil. This young man was tragically shot to death at age 17 and his death has raised a firestorm of controversy. Was it self-defense? Was it racially motivated? Should his killer have been arrested immediately? Will there be justice? These are all questions that we have no answers for – sorry! What we do want to discuss though, is the emotion, reaction and desire by some for vengeance. Is vengeance ever appropriate for us to take? What if justice is NOT served? Does vengeance give closure? What does it really mean to leave things like this in God’s hands? Are the Old and New Testament different on this? Stay with us as we look into this important question.
Ten years ago today, the world changed. If you look back to that fateful day ten years ago, you undoubtedly remember where you were and what you were doing that morning when you heard the news of the terrorist attacks on America. You undoubtedly remember the string of emotions you went through – from horror and disbelief, to sadness and grief, to fear and then anger and perhaps even rage, and then back to the numbness of your original disbelief. This morning, ten years later, we want to respectfully reflect on the events of that day and find in it lessons of strength and courage. Come and walk with us...
It is no secret that the Middle East is a hotbed of trouble and confusion in today’s world. How did this all come to be? Is the nation of Israel God’s chosen people and if so, does that mean that they are above the rules that the rest of us must follow? Are there consequences for being God’s chosen? Does Israel have divine rights to their land? Stay with us as we look into Israel, her Biblically bumpy path towards God and then her 20th and 21st century path towards God.
So yesterday, May 21st, was a much anticipated day for many, and I would guess a day of great disappointment and even bewilderment for those same people. What might they be thinking now? Did God not deliver what His word promised? What are the rest of us thinking? Were these people foolish in their commitment or were they misled by what appeared to them to be undeniable scriptural logic and harmony? Harold Camping’s prophecy failed utterly. Does this mean that God’s word failed along with it? Stay with us as we examine the short term aftermath of expectations gone bad in light of God’s plan.
The time draws near – May 21st, 2011 is fast approaching along with the bold predictions of a rapture and the world beginning to come to an end. Last week we talked about the reasons WHY Jesus returns and looked at his return as an unfolding process rather than a singular and dramatic event. We will focus on HOW Jesus returns and in the light of these predictions for this coming Saturday, I would say that this is a pretty relevant subject. Is Jesus returning this coming Saturday, or are the predictions all wrong?
This was a tragedy. The recent earthquake, just off the coast of northern Japan, was the fifth largest ever recorded in human history. While the quake itself was not terribly damaging, the tsunamis it spawned were another story. From a personal standpoint, I have NEVER seen anything so destructive and powerful as those waves which literally engulfed everything in their path. So, what does all of this mean from a Christian standpoint? Did God make the earth quake – did God send the waves? Could God have stopped this? Stay with us as we consider these difficult and piercing questions.
The recent newscasts from around the world depict a growing sense of dissatisfaction with civil government. Reports from Muslim nations in the past few weeks reveal a surprising amount of anger towards the totalitarian governments, even when the rulers are ostensibly fellow Moslems. Dictators, kings and rulers long entrenched are coming under assault by mass demonstrations in the streets. Already we have seen the Egyptian Hosni Mubarak government changed. Muammar Qadaffi of Libya is under pressure from his people and now from the world to step aside. Similar sentiments are occurring in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Somalia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Kashmir, and Iran. Other governments such as China, Russia and Pakistan are already taking steps to undermine any civil demonstrations against them. Even in the United States, we are experiencing angry demonstrations by state and union workers over proposed cost cutting state-level budget changes. Everywhere we look we see growing unrest in civil, religious and economic circles. Is this just like any cycle of change sweeping the world or does it indicate something more fundamental and earthshaking? Is this the beginning of the biblical Time of the End?
Money – the Apostle Paul says the love of it is the root of all evil, yet we cannot survive without money. Furthermore, we cannot spread the good news of the Gospel without money. So what do we do about it? What are the responsibilities of the true church towards money? Should there be formal tithes collected or should such giving be left to the discretion of each who gives? Does the individual Christian have a monthly bill that he or she owes to God? How much giving is enough? Stay with us as we look into one of those subjects that everyone has an opinion on – $$$$money$$$$ – where does it fit in relation to the Gospel?
Anger, revenge and grudges! Sometimes our tolerance for others wears thin and we just want to...why we just want to let ‘em have it! Let ‘em know the heat of our wrath and the consequences for what we see as their wrong-doing and misbehavior. We want them to know that they can run but they cannot hide, for the long arm of justice will prevail! Now that that’s been said, the question is, SHOULD that be the way we think and act? Is there ever a time when we as Christians “take off the gloves” and show the full force of our dissatisfaction? This weekend, being the ninth anniversary of 9/11, we thought it appropriate to not only assess our position nine years later, but also to try and understand some current events and put it all in the context of God, tolerance, hard-heartedness and forgiveness.
Haiti is a small country, with 8-9 million as their population. It shares a small island with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is a poor nation, as a matter of fact, it is the poorest nation in the entire Western Hemisphere. This small and poor nation happens to sit atop a major fault line in the Earth’s crust. The recent earthquake in that small and poor nation caused death, destruction and horror the magnitude of which has not even become clear as of yet. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands died and countless hundreds of thousands are homeless, hungry and now subject to the next disasters of the aftermath – disease and starvation. Why? Did this have to happen? Could not the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, have stopped this disaster and saved all those innocent lives?