Are Christians Supposed to Judge Others?

Jesus says in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, that you may not be judged.” From this statement one might conclude that judging is prohibited, but in the next verse the context helps us understand that the passage is not a prohibition. Rather it is a warning: “For in the way that you measure, it will be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2).

Luke 6:36-37 records a similar statement by Jesus: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. And do not judge and you will not be judged, and do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Set free and you will be set free.”

The starting point here is following the Father’s example of mercy, and a sound standard of judgment. A few verses later, Jesus reminds His listeners to beware of the log that is in their own eye rather than trying to remove the speck from someone else’s eye. Read more about Are Christians Supposed to Judge Others?

Is the Sin of Gluttony Neglected in Our Pulpits?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon against gluttony—and that’s saying something. I’ve attended Bible-preaching services multiple times per week for more than 40 years. On the other hand, I’ve seen writers depict gluttony as one of the greatest evils of our time and the lack of preaching against it as the top—or near-top—failing of the modern church.

To be sure, some have exaggerated its importance. But are they right that it’s a neglected topic?

As I’ve researched gluttony in Scripture and in church history, it’s become clear that I’m not yet ready to answer that question. But I do want to offer some points to consider in order to frame the question. Read more about Is the Sin of Gluttony Neglected in Our Pulpits?

The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch

(About this series)

CHAPTER II - The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch


During the last quarter of a century an influential school of critics has deluged the world with articles and volumes attempting to prove that the Pentateuch did not originate during the time of Moses, and that most of the laws attributed to him did not come into existence until several centuries after his death, and many of them not till the time of Ezekiel. By these critics the patriarchs are relegated to the realm of myth or dim legend and the history of the Pentateuch generally is discredited. In answering these destructive contentions and defending the history which they discredit we can do no better than to give a brief summary of the arguments of Mr. Harold M. Wiener, a young orthodox Jew, who is both a well established barrister in London, and a scholar of the widest attainments. What he has written upon the subject during the last ten years would fill a thousand octavo pages; while our condensation must be limited to less than twenty. In approaching the subject it comes in place to consider Read more about The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch

Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 2)

Using the death illustration (see Part 1), Paul taught that we can choose to allow God to transform our allegiance to following our desires and let Him work in us to engage a new life. Here, we’ll take apart what Paul wrote, because it has some “religious” terms that can lead us in the wrong way if we don’t carefully understand them.

First, Paul made clear in verse two that sin’s hold on us is changed because we have died as believers.

I feel alive, how about you? Who has died? Clearly what he said was that our surrender to Jesus Christ was like a “death” to self-direction, or at least that is what it was supposed to be. Let me illustrate: If I were to join military service this week, I would cease my ability to serve this congregation. I would cease making most all decisions in my life, and my days and nights would be surrendered to the military authorities to whom I gave charge of my life. I wouldn’t decide when I woke up in the morning, nor when I went to bed. My clothing, hairstyle and daily schedule would be entirely surrendered to their charge. I would eat what they told me to eat, when they told me to eat it. I would, in effect, “die” to self-choices. Paul made it clear that my commitment to Jesus was intended to be very much like that. Read more about Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 2)

The Christian and Church History

From Faith Pulpit, Summer 2015. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

As I study church history, 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 is a comforting passage. When one studies the discipline of church history, many unsettling episodes present themselves. We often wonder how people could make the decisions they did, and even more, how they justified those decisions with the authorities they used.

We as Bible-believers have the benefit of going back to the divine source—the Word of God—as our authority. Whether we realize it or not, we are affected in the way we think by the events of the past. And it is true that no person or group can be completely isolated and not use their own personal understandings to interpret the Bible. Further, try as we might, we often struggle to understand the context of the Old Testament and even first-century Christianity.

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Sunday Evening Services Are Dying

Pastor Dean Taylor’s church recently decided to continue conducting Sunday evening services. His thoughts below are aimed mainly at the Calvary congregation, but they offer a helpful perspective on why one church is keeping the practice going—as well as some ideas for doing this service effectively. —Editor

I’m speaking of a national trend. Many churches that used to have a Sunday evening service don’t anymore. There is much theorizing about reasons for that. Thom Ranier wrote about it last year. His article, along with the comments, is very helpful in understanding this trend.

Our pastors recently spent time analyzing, discussing, praying about, and planning for our Sunday evening gatherings at Calvary. We believe there is great value in what is provided during our second Lord’s Day gathering. This service is a vital part of our church’s life. We are refining the service’s focus and content and encouraging our people to make the effort to avail themselves and their families of what we prepare and offer. We want to give our people good reasons to make the second trip. Read more about Sunday Evening Services Are Dying

Apologetics & Your Kids: Part 3 - God, Man & the World

Last time we looked at the importance of commending a biblical worldview to our children. If we can communicate that, then we have given them a solid frame of reference from which they can comprehend the world about them and make decisions about which directions to take in it. That is a valuable gift; and it is one that will be increasingly needed in the years ahead.

The Wisdom of the World Versus True Wisdom (1 Cor. 3:19)

I said last time that we would begin to see how the right worldview helps us do this. Let me start by listing again those pat catch-phrases which are frequently met with in the world: Read more about Apologetics & Your Kids: Part 3 - God, Man & the World

Making Church History Relevant for Pastors & Students (Part 2)

From Faith Pulpit, Summer 2015. Used by permission, all rights reserved. Read Part 1.

Example: Transubstantiation

The Fourth Lateran Council of the Catholic Church in 1215 mentioned the term “transubstantiation” to describe what happened in the Mass. Transubstantiation taught that the bread and wine actually and literally became the body and blood of Christ. But how could this be, seeing how everyone still tasted bread when they partook? The doctrine had been building steadily for some three centuries prior, but how could the scholastic intellectuals of that day explain and justify something which obviously went against the experience of everyone who participated? Read more about Making Church History Relevant for Pastors & Students (Part 2)