Four years ago, I made a very public mess of my faith. In a season of obstinate resistance to God's grace and faithless disobedience to his gospel, I was "outed" for having a profile on a gay social networking app.
"It's never too late to come back to Jesus" — various versions of this statement appeared throughout the comments section of an article I wrote last summer.
Have you ever felt like your Christian experience is of such a peculiar nature that the believers around you are utterly unable to relate to you?
Is it possible to actually avoid God while submerging ourselves in spiritual disciplines and Christian activities? I believe it is.
Someone recently suggested I write about what it looks like in daily practice to live faithfully in Christ.
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a self-described atheist who blamed his adamant disbelief in God on the abundance of evil in the world.
I have recently heard a lot of chatter about a certain series on Netflix. So, after finishing Madam Secretary (which I highly recommend), I decided to give it a go.
God wants us to be watchful people. The Bible bleeds with cautionary words that are intended to widen our spiritual eyes so that we pay careful attention to the condition of our hearts.
Are they right? Is my mere experience of same-sex attraction a sin? Is it impossible for me to please God as long as these feelings persist?
I've noticed that some Christians tend to minimize the role of the mind in the life of faith. I understand that these folks want to avoid "over-intellectualizing" walking with God and point people instead to the supernatural power available to them in the person of the Holy Spirit.
"But I am the church!" — I would bet we've all heard this once or twice.
The Jesus of nominal Christianity and my own wishful thinking would never utter the words in this text.
Believe it or not, it really is possible to differ on non-essential matters without drawing blood!
Oh, Calvinism — I don't know if any doctrinal system has ignited more faith-feuds than this. Relationships have been fractured and churches have been split because believing men and women have allowed differing perspectives of God's sovereignty to arouse the vilest parts of their sinful natures.
Satan knows he will be ultimately defeated. However, as every Christian is experientially aware, this knowledge has not deterred him from his malicious endeavors.
"We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope." – Tim Keller
I didn't know diddlysquat when I became a Christian. I had attended church sporadically during my childhood, but I paid no attention to the then-to-me boring verbiage that poured forth from the pulpit.
I assume most of you are semi-familiar with drama surrounding Jen Hatmaker. Last week, "Religion News Service" published an interview they conducted with her in which she "came out" in support of same-sex relationships.
I can't tell you how many theologicalish books I have started and never finished (almost every one I own — don't judge). Recently, though, I got my hands on one I couldn't put down. Andrew Murray's Abide in Christ is a treasure chest full of spiritually-revitalizing wisdom.
I am convinced that sin takes its most vigorous and incapacitating form as it festers in secrecy. When a Christian shields his sins from others and outwardly portrays himself to be more whole and stable than he truly is — this Christian is in the direst of predicaments.
Church discipline tends to get a bad rap. Pastors and congregations that practice it or even move toward practicing it are often vilified as unloving, "religious" posers who misrepresent the tender and compassionate Christ.
Every person reading this article has had trouble in their life, does have trouble in their life, and will have trouble in their life. Though the intensity of it varies from season to season, difficulty, unfortunately, is an inescapable aspect of living in a cursed world.
I think most Christians know that comparison is a poisonous practice. Measuring your gifts, life circumstances, and callings against those of another believer always leeches away at personal contentment and fractures Christian fellowship. Yet, even still, the vast majority of us are chronic measurers.
I have two spiritual heroes, and neither of them have theological degrees. They haven't written any books, nor do they have huge social media followings (or even Twitter accounts, for that matter).
A close relative once told me, "Matt, you've always been a worrier. Even when you were a child — the one time in life when you shouldn't have a care in the world — you always seemed on edge or troubled about something. I have never been able to wrap my mind around it!"