By the way… Is It Illegal to Follow Evidence No Matter Where It Leads?

According to an article on upi.com last week, it’s now illegal for public schools in the UK to teach Creationism as a valid alternative to evolution when it comes to the origins of the universe. I’ll leave you to the article itself, but I want to make sure you see one very interesting line in it.

The funding agreement notes that the discussion of beliefs about the origin of the Earth including creationism are permitted in religious education “as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory.”

What that means is that what is considered the established scientific theory cannot even be questioned, no matter what evidence there may be in favor of other theories such as Creationism. This is nothing less than policing thought and illegitimate indoctrination. “Only one theory is allowed,” the UK government is now saying, “ours or nothing at all.”

How long until the US follows suit?

Here’s the article.

The Heart of a Missionary — A Quote

A Missionary’s Heart:

Cares more than some think is wise
Risks more than some think is safe
Dreams more than some think is practical
Expects more than some think is possible

David and Elsie McKenney, SEND Missionaries to Ukraine (2014)

By the way… Are There Rules of Engagement When Christians Disagree?

The Internet has given us tremendous ability to reach many more people than ever before. We have easy access to get our opinions and thoughts out to people with the help of social media, blogs, podcasts, personal videos, and the like. This includes, obviously, the ability to voice our own individual theological leanings and world views. Because of this, we cannot avoid running into those of differing opinions.

I’ve seen, as I’m sure you have, many spiritual and theological conversations start out friendly and end up in heated quarrels.

“What? You think Christians today have to obey the Old Testament Sabbath Law? Are you crazy? Are you even saved???”

“I’m sorry, but if you aren’t a Calvinist, you obviously don’t believe that God is sovereign! I’m wasting my time talking to you.”

“The King James Bible is the only Authorized Bible, inspired and inerrant! If you are reading any other Bible, you need to repent!”

So, the question on the table is, How do you properly and Biblically deal with disagreements with other believers, indeed, with anyone of an opposing view?

Take a spare 13 minutes to watch this conversation between Matt Chandler, Michael Horton, and Tim Keller on this question. I would ask that you pay particular attention to what they say about not building straw men out of others’ views.

The Chief Purpose of the Church — A Quote

The chief purpose of the church is to bring glory to God by accomplishing the Great Commission pronounced by Jesus. Everything else—worship, preaching, teaching, discipling, congregational care, the sacraments, feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, and so on—while valuable for us and pleasing to God in and of themselves, are ultimately means to the end of faithfully completing the assignment given to the church by Jesus just before he left.

Richard Stearns (2013). Unfinished: Filling the Hole in Our Gospel

Stop and Observe — A Quote

In our fast-paced lives, we rarely stop and observe the world around us and, therefore, tend to consider every amazing facet of this beautiful universe as ordinary. But…it is anything but ordinary. Now science is showing us like at no other time in history that this is a universe of incredible design and complexity. It’s giving us a new perspective on a world that we too often take for granted.

Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek (2004). I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (110-11)

By the way… Will you ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers?

There is a widespread group of Christians all over the world that pause whatever they’re doing every morning at 9:38 in their local timezones to pray and “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest” based on Matthew 9:38.

I think that’s an excellent habit to get into, don’t you? I’m going to start doing this. Will you join me?

Each morning at 9:38 (set a reminder on your computer, watch, or phone), stop what you’re doing for just a few seconds or a couple of minutes and pray for the lost of the world, asking God to send out workers, missionaries, evangelists, and faithful followers to their local areas and to the farthest reaches of the earth!

If you want to get more specific in praying for the lost of the world, here are a couple of options.

SEND International (http://www.send.org/pray) has some prayer guides with specific requests for each day. For example, today (March 14, 2014) has you praying for SEND’s East Asia Sending Council, or for a Eurasia missionary couple who have just returned from Moscow.

Operation World (http://www.operationworld.org/today) is the definitive prayer guide to every nation, featuring a different nation to pray for each day. For example, today (March 14) has you praying for the people and nation of Botswana.

If 9:38am doesn’t work for you, then I would suggest setting aside a time each day that does work. The particular time doesn’t really matter; prayer does.

Let’s get more intentional about praying for the world, and don’t forget to include your own neighborhoods as you pray.

By the way… There’s Comfort for Followers of Christ Regardless of Circumstances

I was reading in the Psalms recently, and I came across a very comforting promise that says regardless of what types of trouble assail me as a follower of Christ, God is there to help me through it.

Psalms 46:1-3 (NET) God is our strong refuge; he is truly our helper in times of trouble. For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes, and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, when its waves crash and foam, and the mountains shake before the surging sea.

Have you experienced times in your life that might be characterized by earthquakes, mountains tumbling into the sea, and waves crashing around and on you? If you are a true follower of our great God, you can call out to him for help. He may not take away all of your troubles, but he will give you the strength to endure while remaining faithful to him.