Every September, students across the country gather before classes for the “See You at the Pole” event—to pray for schools, and the nation.
One 7th-grade student posted fliers with Bible verses in advance of the event. . .and get this. . .
A school counselor confronted the student at a school dance in front of her friends—informing her the fliers were illegal—because of the Bible verses.
The fliers were taken down and destroyed, based on a district-wide policy banning distribution of religious materials on school grounds, during or after the school day.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a lawsuit stating that students don’t shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate! For now the school is not backing down.
The fact is: Students can and should exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.
As a pastor you might expect I’d have something to say about it!
Hang on. . .I do!
Claiming to be a follower of Jesus—yet rejecting affiliation with a church? Really?
It’s like you’re a member of a team, but refuse to put on the jersey.
Face it—you’re not on the team.
A life lived for Jesus isn’t lived in solitary confinement.
And about those who say the church is irrelevant, hypocritical. . .
. . .the church has its weaknesses—no question, but only because we as members have weaknesses. We’re all flawed.
But the church has ten thousand strengths!
I admit the church has lots of problems—but it’s better than any alternative.
Isolationism is not a biblical concept.
With all the gathered church has against it, it’s still God’s best plan!
Some people say to me, “Oh pastor, don’t talk about political things.” And my response is that political issues are usually not simply political. They’re moral issues. Ethical issues.
All biblical issues.
If I were the evil one, I’d try to convince God’s people that Jesus’ command for us to go into all the world—does not include the political realm. Abandon that realm; that’s what I’d try to convince you.
We talk about church versus state. It does not mean God versus government. For Christians it means God is over all three types of government—the home, civil government and government in the church. God over all.
God’s Word is emphatic: go into all the world.
Guess what? It includes the political realm!
I can answer that question for you: there isn’t any time left for the people you love.
A wise man wrote a book several years ago simply called, “Margins.”
In it he suggests we try to establish “margins”—or boundaries—in our lives that allow us to protect time—time for the things that ultimately will make a difference.
I call it the “million year” test. In other words, what things are going to make a difference a million years from now?
For starters, how about your relationship with God?
How about your relationship with your family?
You may not regret accumulating more things in your lifetime—but many have regret not cultivating a relationship with God—with their family.
Now’s the time to make a correction!
If you’re a believer—it’s a great question.
Where IS the “good” in Good Friday?
Why call this particular day—Good Friday?
Good for who? It certainly wasn’t good for Jesus.
One look at the nature of the cross and we can see it was horrible for Him.
Yet–it was good for us. Great as a matter of fact!
What took place on that cross that made it so great?
. . .why is something that happened so long ago, so far away, all that relevant to you and me?
When Jesus died on that cross, He literally took your sins and mine off of us. They got assigned to Him.
Then His righteousness was assigned to you and me—so that when the Father looks at us, He sees the righteousness of Christ—His Son!
It is truly a GOOD Friday!
Thankfully in recent years, courts have ruled in favor of granting equal access to public buildings for churches.
But the government officials in New York were less than receptive to that notion.
One case in point was a church’s request to rent an office building for overflow Easter services. They were denied the request, when the state cited so-called “separation of church and state,” and referenced a policy prohibiting religious expression.
Forget the fact other performances, including Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, were allowed access.
Their policy permitted groups to use the building only—and I quote—“to advance the educational, cultural, or civic climate of the community”—close quote.
How ironic—and frankly, troubling—that state officials would not view people living out their faith as serving an educational, cultural, or civic purpose.