Porn: Truth, Lies, and a Challenge...

I recently read an article that promoted pornography as a good thing. That's wrong. Porn is actually a problem, not something to be celebrated. However, mixed in with the lies, there are a number of things the article got exactly right about porn. Let's take some time to sort out the truth from the lies. 

A Cultural Heritage Worth Protecting...

What are you? A country girl? A city boy? An Ethiopian? A lesbian? A hunter? A sports fanatic? What are you?

Today we are obsessed with identity. We want to know who we are. We feel lost in this fast-paced world that is constantly changing around us. Things that used to feel stable are quickly disappearing, and we no longer expect to grow up and live our lives in a stable community where everybody knows everybody else and their grandma. We've become transient.

A (Supposed) Right to Privacy...

Recently while talking with Abram Hess—one of the men elected and about to be installed as an elder here at Clearnote Indy—the conversation turned to the question of privacy. Abram made a fascinating observation that I want to explore a bit more here. 

You're Invited

As some of you may already know, there have been a number of exciting things happening here at Clearnote Indianapolis over the past year or so. We have moved into a newer, larger facility that meets our needs wonderfully and provides us plenty of room to grow. The Lord has also been raising up men to serve our Body as officers. Recently, the congregation voted to confirm these men, which means we are about to move out of the church-plant phase of life.

We want to thank many of you for your support and encouragement in numerous ways over the past 4 years.

Playing to Extinction

While reading about the harm that casinos do I came across this quote from the Institute for American Values:

Our first week at Kiwanis

Today was our first Sunday meeting at the Kiwanis International headquarters building. We had a wonderful time, with an Easter feast after the service. Everything went very smoothly thanks to all the help both from those in the church and the Kiwanis staff.

An Upcoming Move

This Easter Sunday, March 31, our church will begin meeting in a new location. We are very thankful to the Pike YMCA for allowing us to meet in their facility for the last three years, but we have outgrown the space they can provide. After more than a year of searching, we have found a wonderful new meeting space in the Kiwanis International headquarters.

We would appreciate prayer that the transition would be smooth, and that we can get all of the necessary work done in the coming weeks.

God's Design: Science and Theology

What is the relationship between science and theology? In my previous post, I pointed out the irony when godless scientists accidentally see God's design while the church refuses to see it.

When Evolutionary Biologists Get it Right

Our highly-evolved scientists can tell us exactly what the biological or evolutionary "purpose" is for all kinds of human attributes. Why do we have thumbs? Why do we have tongues? Ask them. They know. They believe we are the way we are for a very particular reason. They believe in a design. Granted, the designer is not so much intelligent as adamant, but the design still exists. Evolution demands that we propagate--and successfully. It is absolutely adamant about this. If we didn't, we would die out.

Why I'm not Islamophobic...

This morning I read an article on CNN by Brian Mclaren calling Evangelicals to choose between allowing Islamophobia to spread further or seeking a "more charitable approach to our Muslim neighbors." In the article he said, "Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio."&nb

On Growing Up

Recently the Wall Street Journal had an article that encouraged people to delay getting a career, getting married, moving out of your parents house. In other words, it was encouraging people to delay growing up and to stay adolescents as long as possible. Why would they encourage this? Because the human brain isn't fully developed until at least 30. Apparently it's a good idea to not make important decisions until your brain is "optimal."

On a bus monitor, bullying, authority and money...

Yesterday I was reminded of just how rich Americans are. Our conception of money is like that of a Roman general returning to Rome after sacking and pillaging enemy countries. We throw it down on those less fortunate than us in an attempt to make them like us. Or maybe it's an attempt to make us like us. 

Should we give to beggars?

Recently I received an email with the following question:

Should we give to beggars? I've seen a surprising number on street corners in Indy, all with cardboard signs.

On the one hand, I think of: "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you." - Matthew 5:42

There's also: "For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either." - 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Worldliness in the Church

What few Christians seem to realize is that a church may take a strong stand against certain flagrant sins of the world and yet be decidedly worldly. That is a fact worth dwelling upon...

The leaders of a church not infrequently follow the bad example of Jesus' twelve disciples and vie with one another for honor. That, too, is worldliness. 

We Judge Motives All the Time

Attributing sinful motives to a man today will quickly bring the response, "We can't know the heart. We must not act as though we can read people's minds." or something of that sort. But it's almost always when somebody is offended that he says this, just like people only say, "Judge not lest ye be judged!" when they are offended. The second quote is trotted out when you confront a man about his sinful actions, but it is the first quote I'm interested in. That one is used when you confront a man about his sinful motives. So let's answer the burning question. Is he right?

Helpful Quotes About Prayer

These quotes come from "The Hidden Life of Prayer" by David M'Intyre. Let them be an encouragement to you to learn to "pray without ceasing". (With thanks to Malorie.)

"The Lord filled me with desire, and made me feel that I must be as much with him alone as with souls in public."

"I should count the days, not by what I have of new instances of usefulness, but by the times I have been enabled to pray in faith, and to take hold upon God."

Marriage Is Greater Than Love

"‎Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Education That "Makes a Difference"

When we see people harming themselves, we normally split into two groups. Some of us think they must be dumb. The rest of us think they simply haven't been educated enough. Whichever camp you fall into, you tend to think the same way about all self-destructive behavior. Quick, what does a drug addict need? What does a man need who has a miserable home-life because he works too much? What does the man who can't hold a job down because he's always drunk need? What do Africans who are sleeping around and getting AIDS need?

Muslims Persecuting Christians

Here is an excellent article outlining the mounting danger of being a Christian in any Muslim country. Some people are shocked that this "religion of peace" would ever lead people to perform such violent acts of intolerance. Others point out that similar things have been done by those who claim to be Christians in the past. But rarely do you see a news article simply outlining the facts as they currently stand, country to country.

A Conference On Pastoral Care

The upcoming ClearNote Pastors' conference is going to be on pastoral care. I'm very much looking forward to attending, and I would encourage all pastors and elders who can to attend. It is one month from now, February 23-24, and the cost is only $50.

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