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Tag Archives: sin

Real Heroes Run and Hide

Running and hiding doesn’t immediately summon images of heroism. And to be truthful, a lot of times, running and hiding is simple cowardice. On many occasions, the Lord has called people to obey in the face of seemingly impossible odds. In these instances, backing out would have been succumbing to fear and rebellion.

But as saturated as our culture is with action flicks, we have an immense admiration for crazy guys who look danger in the face and laugh. We cheer when the cinematic protagonist, armed with nothing more than a pie tin and plastic spoon, rallies himself to charge the bad guys head-on as his friends are all begging him not to go and get himself killed. Then, of course, since this is Hollywood, he trounces all opposition, suffering nothing more than the obligatory flesh wound on the bulging bicep. We gawk at and envy this kind of self-assured boldness. We applaud the foolhardiness and invincibility complex, calling it “courage”. We begin to admire real life people who are prepared to forge ahead, come what may, giving no thought to potential consequences.

However, the book of Proverbs shows us that there is a time where the heroic thing is actually to run and hide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in Bible, Heart Stuff, Proverbs

 

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When “Why Not?” Isn’t Good Enough

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the book of Daniel lately. This is my current favorite book in the Bible. If you’ve read the blog for very long, you’ll also know that I’ve written a fair amount on it (and I actually should pick up on that again soon).

In the past few days, I’ve been particularly struck by Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank…” Daniel’s choice was radical. It rubs greatly against the grain of our Western culture. Daniel wasn’t looking for what was permissible; he was setting his heart on what was holy. In other words, he was setting his heart on what was transcendent to the society he found himself in.

Technically, Daniel did not have to take a raw+vegan+water diet in order to maintain a basic level of righteousness. This is actually quite an important point: Daniel didn’t choose his diet because it was required of him by God or by the Law. Let’s think about what he could have been eating and drinking. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Bible, Daniel

 

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Blame: The Game Where Everyone Loses

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

People have been blaming each other for as long as there has been something worth blaming someone else for. Clear back in the Garden of Eden, we see the first man and woman, coming off of the first sin, already explaining why their sin was not entirely their fault. Adam blamed his sin on his wife and on the God who put her on earth with him. Eve blamed her sin on the serpent. Both were seeking to justify their actions based on the actions of others around them.

Neither excuse held any water before the Lord.

Their claims even had some merit on a surface level. Would Adam have eaten the fruit if Eve didn’t do it first? Would Eve had even considered trying it had the serpent not come along?

Maybe, and maybe not. We don’t know for sure. But God did not look at the logical chain and go, “Oh, so it’s all the serpent’s fault then.” He dealt with Adam and Eve individually for the real choice they each had to make before taking a bite. The serpent could not “make” Eve try the fruit. She chose to do so. Eve could not “make” Adam partake with her. He chose to do so. Each were responsible for their own sin.

Most of us are pretty familiar with this concept. But I’ve been considering this lately as it pertains to two pretty touchy areas: body image and lust. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2009 in My Two Cents

 

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Sin, pleasure, and really ugly shoes

I saw an ad on the Internet the other day that was promoting some website that sells shoes. There it was in the sidebar, in all its tacky marketing glory. A pair of platform heels was featured in the picture, with this caption beneath: “Sinfully Unique.”

I had to do a double-take to be sure I read it correctly.

Um. When did uniqueness become a sin? I’m pretty sure “Thou shalt be bland and indistinguishable from thy neighbor” is nowhere in the Ten Commandments. Leaving aside the fact that the shoes were hideous, which might persuade me to say that there was something fundamentally wrong with them, “sinfully unique” is a laughably confusing description.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2008 in Intimacy with God, Knowledge of God

 

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Harmless Entertainment… or not

I can’t quite place why, but this is weighing on me tonight and I thought it was worth sharing. In short, this is what’s on my heart: we have got to be vigilant about guarding what we let into our lives as entertainment.

My desire is not to create a list of do’s and don’ts as far as what one may or may not watch or listen to. Rather, I’m thinking of the words of the Apostle Paul: “…’Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything” (1Cor 6:12, NIV). Within our systems of entertainment lie all sorts of subtle traps that try to master us. We let down our guard in order to be entertained, and don’t notice the strings attached to the things we allow inside our souls. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2008 in Heart Stuff, Intimacy with God

 

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Daniel 3 – God is Able to Deliver

I love this chapter. You’ll probably hear me say that a lot in reference to the book of Daniel, but I can’t help it. This is a great book. Daniel 3 is one of those stories that we need to reclaim from our mental flannel-graphs and take seriously again. This is amazing.

To begin with, I have to notice the irony of this setup. In chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream about a gigantic statue with a head of gold that gets ground into powder by a supernatural boulder. The dream terrifies him so badly that he can’t sleep. So what’s his response? “Hmm, I think I’ll go build a gigantic gold statue.” Nebuchadnezzar was a brilliant man, but this is definitely one of the stupider moves of his political career. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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John 3 is Starting to Make Sense!… Sort of.

So while meditating on the Gospel of John, I’ve run into chapter 3. There is some weighty, powerful stuff in John 3. “God so loved the world…” Go think about that one for a few years. No, I’m serious.

However, as cool and significant as John 3 is, it has also been a bit intimidating to me for a long time. I would read it, scratch my head a little, feel a bit excited in my spirit, but not having a very clear idea of what was happening. One of the things that has perplexed me for awhile was Jesus’ seeming ADD throughout the conversation. Depending on how you read it, it can seem like He disregards Nicodemus’ questions entirely to preach about whatever happened to be in His head at the moment. I mean, right off the bat, Nicodemus gives Him a compliment, and Jesus returns the favor by stating that he can’t enter the kingdom of God yet.

However, a little adjustment in how I think of Nicodemus has changed all of that for me. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2007 in Bible, Gospel of John, Theology

 

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