How Can I trust the Bible when it was used to justify slavery?

The theme of the Bible is freedom. The main event is a slave rebellion. The book was written by slaves and addressed to slaves. (Exodus 1:13). Throughout the Old Testament God reminds readers where they came from, “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2). The Creation account given to these freed slaves announces that all human beings are “created in the image of God.” Equality and dignity are grounded in the Creator. The New Testament expands the theme to include freedom from sin and death. Slavery is described in the Bible but it’s important to remember that description is not endorsement. Lots of other bad acts are also

Parenting Your Child's Online Life

The hottest selling tech item these days is the Chromebook. Every household with school-age kids engaged in remote learning has at least one and maybe more. It’s almost as essential as McGuffey’s Reader was in bygone days. Almost everyone agrees that no child should be left alone with the internet. The word of parents from Proverbs 5:23 comes to mind, “He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.” Many parents scramble to stay ahead in monitoring and supervising their children’s tech use. In this pandemic season it’s become even more of a challenge. Google has introduced free screen-time controls that families can use to protect and supervise their childre

Please don't shoot the police.

Jesus was shockingly mistreated by the police. And the soldiers led him away inside the palace ... And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him ... (Mark 15:16-19) Christians have a keen interest in protecting prisoners. As we mourn the mistreatment of Jesus under the law, we also mourn race-based mistreatment under the law. Christians have never demanded the elimination of police. Policing takes many forms throughout the world. One thing is universal: there will always be a moral responsibility to enforce the law for

Rise of the twenty dollar ordination

“Pastor, I just got ordained online for $20 so I can do my best friend’s wedding. What do you think?” What is ordination? Is it important anymore? In Scripture, the offices of church leadership such as pastor, teacher, evangelist are regarded as spiritual gifts of God (Ephesians 4:11-12). One does not aspire to these positions based on personal interest instead, God calls individuals to fulfill these roles in the mission of the church. This gifting and calling by God is discerned and recognized by the church. The church then authorizes these people for formal leadership in the church. It’s this process that Paul alludes to in 1 Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect the gift you have which was given

The God Test

Rev John Mulder was the pastor of Dearborn First United Methodist Church in 1978. That summer a couple of college students home for the break went to youth choir practice to connect with some old friends. Rev. Mulder preached to the choir that night on generosity. Those two students hadn’t told anyone yet but they were entertaining thoughts of getting married. Mulder said something that changed the course of their financial lives, “Give 10 percent, save 10 percent and spend the rest in joy and thanksgiving.” So they committed themselves to this idea and it became a lifelong practice to this day! In 1869, Thomas Bramwell Welch first pasteurized grape juice as a non-alcoholic substitute for co

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