Archive for June 2020

Angels, Demons, and the Unseen Realm

June 25, 2020 @ 5:19 am

We’ve seen the bumper sticker, “Don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly”. We’ve watched the cartoons where a robed, winged figure with a halo appears on one shoulder to encourage a character to be good and a red, horned figure with a pitchfork appears on the other shoulder to try to influence the same character to be bad. Some of us have even seen the terrifying depictions from Hollywood’s imagination of demonic possession and activity, and the fantastical depictions of angels and the heavenly realm.

But how much of this is fiction, and how much is fact?

When you read the Bible, what does it describe about these beings and what do the individuals who actually encountered them have to say?

What about demons?

Can you see demons or summon them?

Can you do the same with angels? Does everybody have a "guardian angel", or is that just something we made up?

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George Floyd, the Gospel, and Racial Reconciliation

June 10, 2020 @ 3:43 pm

On May 25, George Floyd, a 46 year old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. White police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down in the street, begging for his life and repeatedly saying "I can't breathe". A second and third officer further restrained Floyd while a fourth officer prevented bystanders from intervening. During the final three minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse while Chauvin ignored onlookers' pleas to remove his knee, which he did not do until medics told him to.  

Floyd’s crime? Attempting to buy cigarettes with an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.

 Floyd's death has triggered demonstrations, protests, riots, looting and outrage in cities across the country and even around the world as demonstrators demand justice against police brutality, racism, and lack of police accountability. “Black lives matter” has become the collective rally cry of so many who feel anger, pain, frustration, disappointment, and sadness that these kinds of things still happen in the United States of America.

 Meanwhile, there’s the church. The body of Jesus Christ. And during this time, many believers have become exceptionally outspoken about the injustice of racial inequity in our society. Others acknowledge Floyd’s death as a tragedy, but feel that race may not have played a factor in his murder and condemn the protests as “race-baiting” and attempts by a polarized, radically divided society to further disunity and hatred.

But what does the gospel say about these issues? How we as followers of Jesus Christ to listen to, pray for, speak out for, and enter into the pain of our African-American brothers and sisters and neighbors?

 What does justice look like right now? Compassion? Understanding? Unity?

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Baptism, the Sinner’s Prayer, and Biblical Conversion

June 4, 2020 @ 6:28 am

The Gospel- it’s a word that’s been tossed around and used an adjective and a noun, and for many people there’s not really an understanding of what it actually means. It’s the good news concerning the identity of Jesus Christ as King and how He’s provided a way for us to be forgiven and saved from our sins and brought into the Kingdom of God. But how exactly does that work?

How is someone “converted” to Christ or saved? Is there a magic prayer that someone has to recite in order to become a Christian? Or maybe it’s baptism?

Why do Christians get baptized? If someone doesn’t get baptized, does that mean they’re not saved? 

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