Monthly Archives: March 2015

Grace in the Darkness.

Judges 9 is a dark chapter. Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s concubine (and one of the evidences of Gideon’s failure), murders 70 of his half-brothers after being funded by the men of Shechem. The men of Shechem turn on Abimelech, which results in a bloody feud. Abimelech destroys most of Shechem, the house of El-Berith, and many of the people of Thebez. In the end, however, Abimelech was defeated by a woman who crushed him with a millstone. The entire chapter is full of sin and wickedness…not a single bright spot. Just one huge indictment on the wickedness of Abimelech and the people who fund his murder and then crown him king.

In spite of this, God still raises up a deliverer to rescue Israel. Talk about grace! Even in the midst of darkness and disobedience, God is faithful. He sends Tola and Jair to deliver Israel. And, in the midst of darkness and disobedience, God sent Jesus to deliver humanity from sin. Jesus died on the cross to redeem us, and the cross is a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness to sinful humans. Praise to Him who rescues us from darkness and delivers us from sin!

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Compromise or Stay Committed?

Christianity is often confronted with cultural challenges, and the church must make a choice. Will she compromise and conform to the climate of the culture, or will she hold fast to sound doctrine and biblical truth? I recently read this quote, which describes movements that have departed from the faith:

Those forms [of the church] which conformed so much to the environment that they sacrificed this timeless and placeless identity died out with the passing of the age, the society, and the climate of opinion to which they had adjusted themselves. The central core of the uniqueness of Jesus, of fidelity to his birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection as events in history, and of belief in God’s working through him for the revelation of Himself and the redemption of man proved essential to continuing life (Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, 492).

Note the irony in the above quote. Churches that attempted to stay relevant by adjusting to the culture died out, while those churches that stayed committed to the essentials of the Christian faith survived. This quote is a challenge to churches today. Do not compromise or conform to contemporary trends or cultural pressure. Instead, remain faithful to the gospel and the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” Remember, a healthy church remains committed to orthodoxy and attempts to live out those beliefs (orthopraxy).