4 Ways in Which I Help the Poor –Answering a Common Question

Before I plunge into today’s topic, I want to give a report that’s both sad and encouraging.

I’ve been blogging since 2008 and my recent post, Rick Warren’s Horrific Tragedy & the Sickening Response of Some Christians was the most viewed article that I’ve ever written, by far and away.

At the present time, that post has had over 4k Facebook shares.

The reason why this is sad is because of what I felt forced to write in that post. I was once again addressing the sickening behavior of “Christians” who eat their own. That would include the act of judging, misrepresenting, and even lying about their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

The encouraging part is that more and more evangelical Christians are fed up with the ugly behavior of their “professing” Christian friends who don’t wince at attacking other followers of Jesus. And they are no longer standing for it. See my post Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another, another article on the topic that has had massive views.[Continue Reading…]

Blessed Are the Undesirable

Unless you’re new to the blog, you are aware that my focus in ministry over the past few years has been exclusively on two things:

* In writing and study, it’s been on historical Jesus studies, deeper life themes, Christology, and apologetics. My book Jesus: A Theography and my Answers to Skeptics series are two fruits of that effort.

* In practical ministry, it’s been a complete focus on developing relationships with non-Christians (some of whom are agnostics and atheists) on the one hand, and walking along side of and aiding the poor and the afflicted on the other. For that reason, I spend very little time on the Internet these days.

I’ve not written on organic church since 2009 and haven’t been involved in it for several years now. Though I still stand by everything I’ve written on the subject.

I’d like to share on the present focus of my ministry.

At this moment, I have in mind the faces of the poor and afflicted whom I’ve worked with in 2012 and will continue to, God willing, this year.

Some of them have very few friends. Some of them are living in poverty. Some of them have mental illnesses that regularly torment them. Some of them have legal problems. Some of them have gone nose-to-nose with suicide. Some of them are incredibly needy.

[Continue Reading…]

What is a Christian?

The following post was written by T. Austin-Sparks. I’m publishing it on the heels of my Answers to Skeptics series because it’s a natural progression. The term “Christian” was first used in Antioch in the first century to describe the early followers of Jesus. Sparks does a great job redeeming the original meaning of the word in a day where the term has become quite murky.

“And Agrippa said unto Paul, With but little persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a Christian” (Acts 26:28).

Let us say at the outset that we are using the word “Christian” strictly according to what is found in the New Testament, and it is assumed that this will be accepted. Our enquiry will take the form firstly of a process of elimination, and we shall observe

What a Christian is Not

(1) To become a Christian is not to become ‘religious’, or to adopt a new ‘religion’.

Among non-Christian peoples, a turning to Christ is often referred to as ‘accepting Christianity’, and in what are called Christian countries conversion is frequently referred to as ‘becoming religious’. Such expressions, with their associated ideas, are altogether inadequate and indeed fundamentally false.

There was no more religious man on the earth, in his time, than Saul of Tarsus. Read what he says of himself in Acts 22 and 26, and Philippians 3. Here was a man who was just aflame with religious zeal and passion. No argument is necessary, with history before us, to prove how wide of the mark religion can be.

And that is true of ‘Christianity’, when it is merely a matter of religion. To be a true Christian is not to accept a creed or statement of doctrine, to observe certain rites and ordinances, attend certain services and functions, and conform more or less diligently to a prescribed manner of life.[Continue Reading…]