Capital Punishment:Does God desire the death of a sinner?
We have already mentioned that in the case of abortion and suicide (as well as martyrdom and heroic death) that any taking of a human life is displeasing to God, breaks Shalom, is contrary to a life of holiness, and is harmful to one’s soul. Yet, the same God who has commanded, “Thou shalt not kill,” has also given his clear consent to the taking of human life for certain grievous crimes. Proponents for the death penalty do us no good service when they deny the first. Advocates for the sanctity of human life do us no good service when they deny the second. Too often we try to resolve the issue in our favor by playing with the overly nuanced definition of terms thereby, using many words, we complicate and confuse the issue rather than clarify it. Another tactic, which the Christian ought to shun, is to reach for an obscure and difficult to understand passage and then, rather than admit that we don’t understand it, impose a meaning upon it which the Holy Spirit never intended. Continue reading “Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: Part 3 Capital Pumishment”→
(How sad it is that the state of the UMC is such that any satire must be clearly labeled as such. This is satire. It is more tragic satire than comic. It is akin to the irony of, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” However, I can imagine any number of U.S. bishops who could deliver this message as written and with a straight face. So, I reiterate: This is satire. Bishop Achrestos offered us assurance and calm following the 2019 General Conference. While the bishop is fictional, all events, quotes, and actions he describes are actual. One may take issue with their characterization or their significance but not the reality.} Continue reading “Bishop Achrestos Addresses the South Carolina Annual Conference”→
The Blood of Christ. We have forgotten how to speak of it. The debate in theological circles has moved from which theory of atonement best describes the work of Christ on the cross to a debate as to whether there is any atonement at all. Contemporary Christian music avoids the blood. Mainline hymnals edit it out. I have heard a district clergy meeting sing out, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the love of Jesus.”
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then saith he to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (John 19:25-27)
A much better sermon on the thief on the cross by Dr. Carl Hoefler can be found here. This is a greatly abbreviated version of an evangelical sermon of my own which addresses common misapplications of lessons from the thief. It may be criticized as belonging to another century. The critic is right. It’s from the first century.Continue reading “You Are Able: Are You Willing?”→