The Sin of Syncretism

syn-cre-tism (siNGkre-tizem) noun: the amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.

Not one time in the entire Old Testament did the Israelites completely turn their backs on God and entirely deny the God of Abraham. Instead, they tried to conflate the religion and culture and schools of thoughts of their neighbors into their own religion of Yahweh. It was more like spouses cheating on each other instead of spouses getting a divorce. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, Like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel”(Jeremiah 3:20). Some people want their cake and eat it too. Continue reading

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Buckle Up

When I was younger I loved rollercoasters. Not so much anymore. But there was a time when I wasn’t afraid to ride anything. Well, actually, I guess I was always a little afraid. How do I know I was afraid? Even after being buckled in and checked and rechecked to make sure I was secure, as soon as the ride would start, I would check all straps again and try and tighten things down just a little more. The more twists and turns and loopty-loops a ride had to offer, the more I wanted to make sure I was snug and all buckled up.

My advice to everyone right now is to check your straps, buckle up and tighten your belt. We are in for one crazy rollercoaster ride called the 2020 Presidential Elections. Continue reading

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What the Cross Teaches Us

This past week a massive fire burned part of that great Cathedral, Notre Dame. People immediately started talking about what a great tragedy it would be if the Cathedral was a total loss. I have been to Notre Dame. It is massive and majestic. It is moving to walk through the buildings and consider all her history. It would, indeed, be a tragedy if all were lost. Thankfully, though the fire did extensive damage, the building was not a total loss. There is no doubt in my mind donations will flood in across the world to rebuild this awe-inspiring church. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, said, “Just as the cross didn’t have the last word, neither will this fire have the last word.”[1] Continue reading

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A Young Colt or a War Stallion (Luke 19:28-44)

I have a confession to make. I am a big fan of “Survivor.” It’s the only “reality” show I watch. I think what draws me to this show is the social element. I wonder if I could get along with complete strangers for forty days. The only time I know of a minister being on the show, he was the first one voted off that season. The survivors said he was too bossy and assertive. The present season of Survivor is called “Edge of Extinction,” and they have added a unique twist to the game. Once a person is voted out, and Jeff Probst snuffs their torch saying, “The tribe has spoken,” the rejected player walks down a dark lonely path. Eventually, he or she comes to a fork in the path. The player now has a choice to make. He or she can either return to all the comforts of home, or go to “Extinction Island,” for an unspecified amount of time, with a chance of getting back in the game. So far, every player voted out has chosen “Extinction Island.” I don’t think reality show are really that real. But the reality of making life-altering choices is real. Continue reading

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A R.E.A.L. Life Psalm (Psalm 90)

Life can be difficult, and the older you get the more difficult life becomes. It’s no wonder the writer of Ecclesiastes concludes, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!…Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3). One thing I like about the Bible is that it often talks about real life. God’s Word deals with the difficulties, and realities of life. Continue reading

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Praise Is What We Do

John Wesley was about 21 years old when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God. Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. Continue reading

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The Air We Breathe (1 Peter 1:13-16)

“God is…”

How would you finish that sentence?

Ask a hundred people to finish that sentence and you will receive a wide variety of answers. Some people would say, “God is merciful;” “God is gracious;” or, “God is everywhere.” A few people might even say, “God is nonexistent.” If people were honest they would say, at least at times, “God is complex;” or “God is confusing;” or, “God is absent.” But more than likely, the majority of people would say, “God is love.”

God, for most people, has a great reputation. Continue reading

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