The pendulum often swings when following truth (biblical principles). At one extreme is legalism. Legalists have self-righteous attitudes that rate spirituality by how well a person follows rules. This we want to avoid at all costs lest we become modern-day Pharisees.
A legalist often has a sliding scale mentality — the more rules and regulations a person follows, the more spiritual they become. The legalist often forgets that we are saved because of what Christ did, not by what we do. He, or she, may have the tendency to view struggling Christians as counterfeits because they don't measure up to the standards of the legalist. Most Christians will struggle with legalism from time-to-time. That's why it's important to check motives, remove the "plank" from our eye, and respond in love.
The compromiser, sometimes referred to as a "Las Vegas Christian," is at the other extreme, and compromises God's word by their lifestyle. They forget that God's absolutes are guardrails through the canyons of life. They don't prevent us from enjoying life; they protect us from falling. I Peter 2:16 warns us "not to use liberty as a cloak for vice." In other words, we can artfully use liberty to hide addictions, sins, and destructive lifestyles. more >>
A California couple was forced to take on their daughter's school loan debt after she suddenly died in 2009, which have intensely strained their finances since their pastoral salaries are not able to cover minimum payments.
Steve Mason, lead pastor of Oasis Church in Redlands, California, is the co-signer of his daughter Lisa's private loans and is now burdened with a large monthly payment. He and his wife, Darnelle, also became legal guardians to their daughter Lisa's three children after her death.
"We've pretty much gone through our retirement (funds) already," said Steve, reports CNN. "We didn't have a lot saved to begin with and now any extra money goes to the kids, as it should, and then whatever we can pay on the loans, we do …" more >>
Kelsey Grammer is speaking to the man convicted for the 1975 rape and killing of his sister for the first time this week.
Freddie Glenn and two accomplices kidnapped 18-year-old Karen Elisa Grammer from her job at a Red Lobster restaurant in Colorado Springs 39 years ago. The victim was then raped for four hours before having her throat slit, according to The Daily Mail. Glenn, now 57, is serving a life term behind bars at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility. On Tuesday, Grammer attended a parole meeting for convict, and even offered forgiveness after listening to his apology.
Actors Chris Pratt and Anna Faris wanted to start their family soon after getting married, but they never planned on a medical crisis bringing them closer together. Pratt recently opened up about the birth of his premature son Jack and how it restored his faith in God.
"We were scared for a long time," Pratt said of the time his son Jack spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after being born nine weeks early. "We prayed a lot."
"It restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored, but it really defined it," Pratt told People magazine. "The baby was so beautiful to us, and I look back at the photos of him and it must have been jarring for other people to come in and see him, but to us he was so beautiful and perfect." more >>
Katy Perry opened up about her plans for the future, including non-traditional ideas for a family in an interview this week.
The 29-year-old pop star comes from a Christian background, with both parents becoming evangelical pastors during her childhood. In more recent years however, Perry has renounced her religious upbringing, even admitting that she is no longer a Christian today. In another deviation from her childhood, the singer said this week that she wants children someday, whether there is a man in her life or not.
The hit, made-for-Netflix, series "House of Cards" exhibits how men craving power will don a public mask in order for private gain. It's a story about men living with two faces: a public persona and a private will; an image vs reality; a means to an end.
Two-faced men live with the imminent tragedy that their house of cards will crash. One final straw can destroy everything, breaking the camel's back. Men living this way, will do virtually anything to protect their polished myth. Inner turmoil ensues. Character gets twisted. Relationships suffer. Self-protection takes over. Private division and destruction follow.
This dynamic can become even more oppressive for a Christ-following man. We want to present Christian, play the role and rarely, if ever, let anyone look under the hood. There can exist a disconnect between identity and activity; resulting in a synthetic versus authentic Christian witness that is one card away from collapse. more >>