Tag: freedom

Another Tension – Freedom and Holiness

Another Tension – Freedom and Holiness

Encouragment
A few years ago I wrote a series of articles on God’s intentional tensions. Those seemingly contradictory verses which are campfires for division. Instead of staking a claim for which side is right I staked out the middle-ground and found God’s truth in both sides. In that series, I compared this middle-ground to a guitar string that only sings when held in tension between two points. In this article, I’m adding an additional tension to that series, the tension between freedom and holiness. Getting this tension right has been an issue since the earliest days of the church. Consider Acts 15 and the Jerusalem council concerning what laws the Gentiles (non-Jews) should adhere to. Verse 7 begins by saying “after there had been much debate…” While the Jerusalem Council did arrive at a conclu
Jesus Says Forgive

Jesus Says Forgive

Encouragment, Jesus Says
By Ben Hoerr:  In this series of posts, we’ve been taking a closer look at 28 “Jesus Says” commands. Whether we grew up attending church or not, almost all of us are familiar—at least in some measure of detail—with Jesus’ life-changing teachings and memorable parables or stories. Of all the things Jesus said, perhaps none is more challenging and difficult than his instruction to forgive others, especially when we have been deeply hurt or unjustly wronged. In Bible times, the Jewish rabbis often taught the need to forgive others was limited to three or four offenses—after that, one was entitled to “hold a grudge.” The Apostle Peter might have thought his suggestion to Jesus that one should be willing to forgive “seven times” seemed generous. But in his typical re-interpretation of the cu
Slave or Free?

Slave or Free?

Encouragment, Hope
Imagine being chained. Heavy iron links binding your hands, feet, and neck. Around you are a couple hundred other folks in the same condition.  The place where you sit is dark and stifling hot. Flies and mosquitoes mercilessly attack your skin. A door opens allowing a spear of light to pierce the darkness. An unknown hand grabs your chain and growls something in an unknown language. You stumble, your legs stiff from sitting immobile.  The growler, however, doesn’t care and yanks your chain leading you through the light. As your eyes adjust you can make out a platform, a crowd, and a chaining post.  The growler pulls you up the steps and points to where you are to stand.  Before you is a sea of strange faces wearing strange clothes. Another man in fancy clothes begins to speak, some of the