An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 2)

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  (2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  (3)  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  (4)  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  (5)  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

This is the second installment in this series – which is going to have quite a few installments before we are finished. As I mentioned last time, my intent is to end up compiling these posts, including many of your comments and insights, into a book by the same title – An Appearance of Godliness.

The Apostle Paul warns us here that the last days, that is, the church age in which we live and which will terminate with the return of Christ, is not going to be an easy time for Christ’s true people to live in. There will come times of difficulty.  But the difficulties Paul had in mind are not things like economic downturns, pandemics, car crashes, or broken water lines. No.

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 2)”

Judgment of the Wicked is Part of the Gospel

1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV  Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,  (9)  understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,  (10)  the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,  (11)  in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

What is the gospel? Most professing Christians would say that it is a simple, short sentence. Something like: “Jesus died for your sins on the cross and if you believe in Him as your Savior, you will go to heaven.”

But I can remember, even many years ago, wrestling with this question – “just what is the gospel?”  And I can tell you that the answer cannot be condensed down into 25 words or less.

Continue reading “Judgment of the Wicked is Part of the Gospel”

Some Thoughts on Churches that Abuse the Abused

Recently we watched a movie called A Call to Spy. It was about World War 2 and Britain’s efforts to send agents into Nazi occupied France to gather intelligence and help organize resistance fighters. One out of three of these agents never made it back home.

The movie specificially focuses on the inclusion of women in these ranks and the account is based upon real people who actually operated behind enemy lines. The movie showed the tactics of the Nazis to capture spies and force information from them. It also showed the methods of Hitler’s hordes to control the populace by instilling intense fear into them, along with flooding them with propaganda.

As I watched, I could not help but see similarities between the Nazis and so many of the churches and church leaders who protect abusers and oppress the abused. There is bullying. Threatening. Silencing. False teaching (propaganda). And then there were the scenes in the movie of women spies who had been captured, tortured, and imprisoned.

I know that I will be accused of exaggerating and there will be the angry responses of “how dare you accuse your brothers in Christ of being like the Nazis.” But it’s true. There are definite similarities in methodology.

And I would simply say – if you don’t want to be accused of being like a Nazi, then don’t be like a Nazi.