Christian Worldview: Should I Let My Child See Deadpool?

If your student is like me they love it when Marvel releases a new film. I am not really into the comics, but I have seen all of the movies they have been releasing as of late. They are funny, clean, and usually have a good message. However, I will not be going to see Deadpool when it comes out this year. Just because it is Marvel does not mean it is okay to go and see as a believer. In this short write up I hope you will see why you should not let your kid see it, and why you should not see it.

1) Language

There are a lot of opinions when it comes to language today, especially profanity. Most Christians I have encountered usually have a reason why using profanity is okay. Typically, because the Bible doesn’t explicitly forbid it and because the profanity today is not the same as then.

I think the Bible speaks towards profanity here, here, and here. The Bible also teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Your kids are already hearing this at school, sports teams, and by playing video games online. Why would we want to enable that any further? This kind of speech is not pleasing to God for us to say or to hear, and by going to see this film you’re allowing your ears and mind to be filled with speech that God finds repulsive.

Everything we say, watch, and do is to glorify God.

2) Graphic Nudity

Let me give you some 2014 stats from an organization called Proven Men:

Christian (18-30):

  • 77% look at pornography at least monthly;
  • 36% view pornography at least daily;
  • 32% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12% think they may be).

Christian men (ages 31-49):

  • 77% looked at pornography while at work in the past 3 months;
  • 64% view pornography at least monthly; and
  • 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 8% think they may be).

Married Christian Men:

  • 55% look at pornography at least monthly; and
  • 35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.

What about teenagers. This research from Covenant Eyes is pretty alarming:

“In a 2010 national survey, over a quarter of 16- to 17-year olds said they were exposed to nudity online when they did not want to see it. In addition 20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds have received a “sext” (a sexually explicit text message).

More than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.

35% of boys say they have viewed pornographic videos “too many times to count.”

 

More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13. In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18. In the same survey, 83% of boys and 57% of girls said they had seen images of group sex online.”

Part of Deadpool’s “R” rating is because of graphic nudity. You are kidding yourself if you think viewing a movie with graphic nudity will not have an affect on you or your child. With the porn industry targeting 8-11 year old boys why would we want to subject them to that? Read this quote from the linked Patheos article:

“Because males are so visual (especially sexually), pornography is almost irresistibly attractive to them. Pornography is so addictive in the male’s mind because it causes a hormone to be released that actually creates a high. It works in the male brain similar to the way cocaine does. This hormone needs greater stimulation and causes the user to need and want more each time it is released. Porn users need bigger prizes, more degrading, more graphic, and more explicit images. The erotic images viewed are cataloged in a males’ mind for further use at a later time. They also cause him to be desensitized toward women and to make unfair and unrealistic comparisons.”

If we know all of this to be true about porn, and make no mistake about it the graphic nudity in this film constitutes as porn, then why would we open the door for that to our children? Why would we pay money for what might enable a struggle in their life, and in our life, for many years to come. Christians, we aren’t called to tolerate evil or close our eyes when it’s on the screen. No, we are called to flee from it. We are called to rebuke it. We are called to be above reproach. We are called to flee sexual immorality. What signal does this send if we allow our kids to see this film, or worse, see it with them?

Bottom line: Does watching this film draw you closer to and glorify God?

Parents, it will not make you cool or liked to not allow your child to see this movie. Maybe you are considering taking your child to see this movie. Instead of doing that invest in your child’s spiritual formation. They may not thank you now but they may just do it later. Make your kid’s spiritual formation a priority even if it cost you some cool points.

Sit down with your child and explain why you are not allowing them to see this movie. Tell Jesus died because of our sins. He died so we can have relationship with him. Why would we causally indulge in the things that crucified our Savior? Instead, plan a fun evening out doing something else. Just be with them. Before the night is over spend time in Scripture together. It’s an infinitely better story, and one that will also change your kids life in a much better way.

 

Syrian Refugees from a Christian Worldview

By now you have probably seen the news that the governors of Alabama, Michigan, and Texas will bot be allowing Syrian refugees. Those fleeing for their lives will find no safety in these states. As this news broke I watched on Facebook for responses. I watched local politicians pander, I watched people refer to mosques as training grounds for terrorist,  I watched people celebrate refusal to help those in need. And I understand these celebrations. After what happened in Paris it is obvious that there are people who want to kill over an ideology. That while most Syrian refugees are running from what we are afraid of some are slipping into that guise to to perhaps bring home. While I understand this fear from a Christian worldview I cannot accept it. So how then does the Christian respond to this?

We need to recognize we are not far removed from being an enemy ourself. Before we were regenerate we were enemies of God, and we hated God. Colossians says this about our pre-regenerate life, “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” Ephesians 2:3 says that were born as “natures of wrath.” While were yet sinners in this way Christ died for His elect still. While we hated God, He loved us in the way of death on a cross. When we opposed Him, He welcomed us.

Read Matthew 25:35-40 and James 1:27. The biblical mandate is quite clear. We care for the orphans, the widows, and we offer what we have to those in need. There is no prerequisite to this, we simply act as God dated towards us. We as image bearers of God are to reflect the characteristics He puts on display. Loving our enemies, caring for them, and even when they hate us we offer a helping hand. We do not look through the lens of an American worldview, but of a Christian worldview. This does not mean we do not seek justice against the terrorist who bring harm. We can and should do that. It just means when someone is in need of help, we help.

On the flip side of all of this is an eternal perspective to keep in mind. Many of the Syrians fleeing have never heard the gospel clearly or at all. They do not know who Jesus Christ is, or have not clearly understood who He is. In that state when physical death comes, so does an eternal spiritual death. Women and children who have never heard of Jesus will spend eternity in Hell. How can we as recipients of this good news be okay with that? How does that cause celebration?  Friends we are living for a different Kingdom and must always live with those actions in mind.

You cannot beg for America to be a more Christian nation and to seek God only when it is convenient to what you believe. I hope you are as grieved as I am. Grieved at the celebrations of refusal for help that may bring physical and spiritual death to many. Grieved by instead of letting the great commission coming to us we have chosen to refuse the opportunity to evangelize to thousands, and to provide safety for christians who are in danger.

I understand the fear of letting military aged men here. I think at a minimum we should offer safety of women and children. I understand the fear of what that may bring to us. I understand it is a tricky situation and we should never intentionally put ourselves and others in harms way. I am not advocating that. I simply ask you to pray. What would Christ have us do?

As one of my Facebook friends put it, “If we stop loving others when we’re inconvenienced, threatened, or afraid… did we really ever love at all?” Our job here on earth is simple: to know God and to make Him known. A great way to do that is helping refugees as God has done to us, and using that as an opportunity to point people to the Gospel.

Do You Have to be Baptized to be Saved?

This question has been asked to me a dozen times in many different forms. Baptism is source of division within Christian denominations on its mode, and whether not it saves. I have never met a Christian that would tell you that you do not need to be baptized, but the question that is it necessary as a means for salvation is important to answer.

There are 2 primary text proponents of believing it is a requirement for salvation will quote, Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21. We will handle each of these verses separately. I want to make it clear now that I do believe that every person who places faith in Christ should follow with Believer’s Baptism. It is a beautiful service, something I am glad I did, and something Southern Baptist absolutely do not do enough of.

Mark 16:16 says this: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  At first glance it would appear this verse clearly says that the two (salvation and baptism) go hand in hand. A couple of quick notes regarding this verse. Many scholars debate whether it should be in the Bible, many believe it was later added and not authentic to Mark. Mark 16:9-20 is the text in questions and it includes that weird sketchy thing about snakes.

 

Let’s say this is authentic to Mark though, then is it true? Briefly, no and here are the reasons why. This teaches that belief is necessary for salvation which would be agreed upon with other Scriptures that only make mention of belief being necessary. John 3:18, John 5:24, John 12:44, John 20:31, and 1 John 5:13 are some quick examples. Look at Mark 16:16 more closely, it comes up with two basic statements:

a) This who believe and baptized will be saved.

b) Those who do not believed will be condemned.

For this to teach Baptism is necessary for salvation then it must teach about those who believe and are not baptized. It makes no mention, and the Bible makes no mention of those who might do this. So clearly it does not teach you must be baptized to be saved. Instead we believe and that saves because salvation is instantaneous like with the thief on the cross (who was not baptized and went to Heaven.) The Bible clearly teaches in Romans 4 and Galatians 3 that we are saved by faith alone just as Abraham was. Acts 10:44-46 teaches that Cornelius was saved before he was baptized. Scripture is consistent on this subject.

On to 1 Peter 3:21 which says: Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Again we have a single verse used to describe an important doctrine which is never the case. So let’s take a good look at this and see what Peter is really saying. Peter clearly teaches in this passage that baptism is not salvific. All the water does is wash away the dirt but it does not save you, meaning that the passing of water over body does not cleanse anyone. What he is talking about is what Baptism represents. Baptism is represents and inward faith, as evidence by one’s appeal to God for the forgiveness of their sins (good conscience). Baptism is an outward sign of an inward regeneration and only represents salvation because it is grounded in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter is simply connecting baptism with belief. It is not the getting in a baptistery, pool, or ocean part that saves but is the “appeal to God for a clean conscience” which is shown by baptism, that saves us. The appeal to God always comes first. First belief and repentance, then we are baptized to publicly identify ourselves with Christ.

Dr. Kenneth Wuest, author of Word Studies in the Greek New Testament says it much better than I do. “Water baptism is clearly in the apostle’s mind, not the baptism by the Holy Spirit, for he speaks of the waters of the flood as saving the inmates of the ark, and in this verse, of baptism saving believers. But he says that it saves them only as a counterpart. That is, water baptism is the counterpart of the reality, salvation. It can only save as a counterpart, not actually. The Old Testament sacrifices were counterparts of the reality, the Lord Jesus. They did not actually save the believer, only in type. It is not argued here that these sacrifices are analogous to Christian water baptism. The author is merely using them as an illustration of the use of the word ‘counterpart. So water baptism only saves the believer in type. The Old Testament Jew was saved before he brought the offering. That offering was only his outward testimony that he was placing faith in the Lamb of God of whom these sacrifices were a type….Water baptism is the outward testimony of the believer’s inward faith. The person is saved the moment he places his faith in the Lord Jesus. Water baptism is the visible testimony to his faith and the salvation he was given in answer to that faith. Peter is careful to inform his readers that he is not teaching baptismal regeneration, namely, that a person who submits to baptism is thereby regenerated, for he says, ‘not the putting away of the filth of the flesh.’ Baptism, Peter explains, does not wash away the filth of the flesh, either in a literal sense as a bath for the body, nor in a metaphorical sense as a cleansing for the soul. No ceremonies really affect the conscience. But he defines what he means by salvation, in the words ‘the answer of a good conscience toward God,” and he explains how this is accomplished, namely, ‘by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,’ in that the believing sinner is identified with Him in that resurrection.”

By adding Baptism as a necessary requirement to salvation you are adding to salvation. It simply says that Jesus work on the cross is not enough to save us but is dependent upon a physical action by man. Instead, the Bible teaches salvation is instantaneous for the man/woman dead in their sin and baptism is how we express the renewal in our life. Remember Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. The Bible is clear and one or two single verses out of context do not trump the consistency of the Scriptures. I refuse to believe someone who comes to salvation and dies the next day before they are baptized, or on their death-bed, to any other plethora of situations will not inherit the Kingdom of God because the Bible does not teach that.

That being said get baptized and go baptize others in the name of our salvation, Jesus Christ.

The Church and America-WIll You Help Change the Trend?

Below in this blog are some hard facts for those a part of the church in the United States to look at. The numbers at first glance will not be encouraging, and honestly it is very sad to see. The good news is we as christians possess the power to change this through evangelism. Evangelism is something we talk about but the numbers must ask us if it is something that we actually do. A lot of churches have programs geared towards evangelism, but they for the most part are not effective in the US. Look at the statistics below and see what the church is dealing with in the culture. Ask yourself as a Christian, if you are one, what you will do to change these numbers.

-It takes 86 church members (all denominations) in the US to reach 1 person for Christian’s

-Issue: Not the specific number but the fact it continues to rise.

-Polls report 41-43% of Americans say they attend church on a given weekend

-the real number is 17.5% of Americans actually attend church on a given weekend

-85-94% of our churches are non-growing

-There are some that are growing but we have to ask why? Lost coming to Christ, or transfer membership?

-In the past decade, the US population has increased by around 9%

-US church attendance has decreased by 9.5%

-We are fighting in a hole with a 18.5% deficit

-No state has maintained a level of church growth that has kept up with population growth

-Northeastern USA is growing the fastest, south is the greatest decreasing

-Not a single county in the US can report more people attending church than 10 years ago

-1972, Southern Baptist baptized 140,000 teens and in 2008 they baptized 75,000

-1 out of 4 Southern Baptist churches will baptize 0 people

-1 out of 3 Southern Baptist churches will baptize 2 or less people

-In the SBC, the number of church plants increased between 2010-11 from 780 to 990

-but the actual numeric change in church was only 37 (smaller gain in 40 years)

-The number of people who claim no religious affiliation has doubled since 1990

-non-believers represent the 3rd highest group of Americans, first time in American history

-after catholics and baptist

-there at least 195 million unchurched people in the US (nearly 2/3 of the population)

-This makes the US 4th largest unsaved nation on the planet

-behind China, India, and Indonesia

-Within 10 years the USA is expected to overtake Indonesia for 3rd place

-Studies indicate that over 70 million people in the US could be close to or on the path toward salvation

-If 70 million were saved, it would be the greatest spiritual awakening in the history of our nation

-In fact, less than 10% of the unchurched would be considered antagonistic or hostile toward the church

-The “enemies” we see are the ones suing the schools or on TV.

-Most are open to discussion and willing to talk.

-Over 90% of out active church members (generous, can be 98%) will never share their faith

-This is utter disobedience to the command of Christ.

So take the numbers for what they are. The good news is if you are a believer you have the power of Jesus Christ inside of you, and that is the power that saves people. The power that equips you to handle rejection, answer the hard questions, and direct people to God as he reveals Himself to them. Let us reach our neighbors.

Jesus is Better than Santa Claus

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We have just wrapped up the Christmas season and 2014 is nearly upon us. During this time of the year we hear a lot about Santa Claus and we hear a lot about Jesus, or we hear a lot about the lack of hearing a lot about Jesus. Honestly though we probably think a lot more about what Santa is bringing us rather than what Jesus is offering us. When we think about it though honestly Jesus is so much better than Santa Claus. Here is why that is true:

Santa is a Legalist 

Nobody like a legalist, no one. Living your life by a strict and moral compass, and expecting the same from others. This is exactly what Santa does! He is making a list and just in case you slipped up he is going to check it twice. If you are good then he rewards you, but if you are bad he completely embarrasses you by giving you coal.

Santa does not give gifts

I know what you are thinking what about the gifts under the tree on Christmas day. Though there may be presents there that does not make them gifts. It goes back to Santa being a legalist. You earned those gifts by correct behavior throughout the year, or you got coal for not being good. A gift is something you do not deserve. Santa convinces us to be good so we can earn our gifts, and that is the opposite of what a gift is.

Jesus is not a legalist and offers the greatest gift

Jesus however offers the true gift. That while we were dead in our sins he showed love by dying for us (Romans 6:23). This gift we could never earn, Jesus earned it for us. For us to attain salvation apart from Jesus is impossible. None of us our righteous, and are indeed born separated from God (Ephesians 2:3). The works of Christ on the cross is what brings us life and unites us with God (Romans 5:19).

So while Santa is good and all, Jesus is so much better. No matter how great your Christmas was remember: The best gift was not and never will be under the tree, but it died on the tree for us. That is love, and that is the greatest gift. This gift is for anyone no matter how good or bad they are, because not one of us is good. So let’s accept this perfect gift, let’s talk about it all the time, and let’s invite all to take part in this life changing gift.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Newtown: A Year Later

Last year we witnessed something that is all to common as twenty first-graders and six educators were killed by Adam Lanza, who then shot himself. I remember sitting on my couch shortly after having surgery and watching the events unfold before us. So many questions. Where was God? Why do bad things happen to good people? How is this fair? As I thought through the things in my mind I posted this to my social media:

“With the tragic news today in Newtown, CT a man in China stabbed 22 elementary students. This is not an American problem, this is not a gun problem, this is not a time to promote your political agenda, it is a sin problem.  Evil exist, and the enemy comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). This world is depraved, evil, and hurting. Let it know someone has come to save it. Tell the world about Jesus.”

Sin is Real

I believe this still to be true. God was there in Newtown, he was in absolute control and nothing occurred without His permission due to His Sovereignty. That is comforting to me, that in the midst of chaos and tragedy God sits on the throne in control. What would horrify me is if these events occurred and God was not in control, that is terrifying. Still, sin is a everyday reality much like death. Sin brings death and has ever since the fall in Genesis 3. Sin will not stop until Jesus comes and makes all things new. So until that day we cling to Him and we tell the world that only He can save.

Humanity is Evil

We keep in mind none of us are exempt from death, or even good (Romans 3:10). Instead we are separated from God until we are reconciled back to Him through faith in Jesus. Bad things do not happen to good people, because no person is good. In the history of the world there has only been one good person and they crucified him.

God is Fair

Christ came as the God-man and rightfully took our place. So when these events happen we might have a home with him eternally. We are not exempt of this evil in the world, but we can have the guarantee of salvation. God is too fair. Jesus hung on a treat so he could intercede to the Father on our behalf. So he could tell the Father my blood covers that. My hope is not in this world, that these events will end, or that people will become good. None of that will happen, my hope is in the life and death of Jesus Christ which is credited to me as righteousness.

Let us see Jesus through Newtown, let us proclaim Jesus because of Newtown. The only comfort, peace, and guarantee we will ever truly possess and know on this earth.

John Piper penned this from his blog at Desiring God:

Newtown, we remember. We still feel. We pray that Jesus Christ will come to your homes this Christmas. There is none like him for healing. None. Because he was

Perfected through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10)

Despised and rejected. (Isaiah 53:3)

Ready to be wounded. (Isaiah 53:5)

Enduring anguish. (Isaiah 53:11)

Poured out in death. (Isaiah 53:12)

Raised to help. (Romans 14:7–9)

No one suffered more. And his was a gift. The greatest Christmas gift ever. It really is a gift. Free.

No one else can feel what he has felt. No one else can love like he can love. No one else can heal like he can heal. No one else can save like he can save

Is He Really Your Lord?

I am currently reading the book Multiply by one of my favorite pastors, Francis Chan. I strongly encourage all to check out this book ($5 at LifeWay) and the Multiply Movement that he is leading (http://www.multiplymovement.com/). The premise of the book is pretty simple, disciple-making. It makes for a great Bible Study, or personal read if you rather. As I go through the book I plan to reiterate points that Chan makes and that I see and are helping me grow.

So what does it mean to be a disciple? Well, to put it as plain as possible it is a follower. Rabbi’s had disciples in this day, men who literally followed them everywhere to learn to be like them. Becoming a disciple of Christ really means to obey His call to follow. Chan makes the point that it is impossible for a disciple to not like end up like the teacher (point is made with the reference of Luke 6:40). What better person to end up like than Jesus Christ, am I right? The whole point of being a disciple of Christ is “to imitate him, carry out His ministry, and become like Him in the process.

Unfortunately, for a lot of churches I feel like they have gotten away from this point. I wrote a blog last Easter about this issue. That so often we hear that if we pray the prayer that we will be saved. Now I don’t know about you, if you tell me that if I repeat a prayer after you then I went spend eternity in a lake of fire, well sign me up! That is not what salvation is at all. It’s faith in Christ, but we will get into that more in a minute. Anyone can call themselves Christian, in fact 73% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. More accurate numbers though portray that it is much more likely that 200 million of America’s 300 million residents are lost. If you look at my previous blog on my upcoming mission trips you can see the even more troubling global statistics. The call for discipleship is urgent fellow believers. It is not a call though, it is a command and I wouldn’t take disobeying God Almighty too lightly.

Chan points out that when we talk about discipleship most of us ultimately jump out to Matthew 4:19. You know the verse, Jesus says “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Now this is a big verse, I mean this guy just walks up to these guys and says follow me and they do. However, we often skip over something very important. Just two verses prior in Matthew 4:17 Jesus tells the very same men “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So before we can even follow we must repent!

What does it mean to repent. Is it to bow are heads and close our eyes, and ask Jesus to forgive us for the same sin we have committed for the thousandth time? To some maybe. However, repent means to literally “to turn” or to go in the opposite direction you are going. To flee from your sins is common church talk. The book has a great illustration of this. If I were to tell you that someone was coming to your house with some guys and going to attack what would you do? You would prepare! Maybe you would arm yourselves, seek shelter, call the police. Regardless you would not sit there and do nothing as someone is coming after you. Jesus is telling the disciples to be prepared for His kingdom is at hand.

Christ makes it very clear that we need to repent. That we are living a life that is in direct contradiction to the Word. We can go down the Romans Road, which tells us we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), that sin leads to death (Romans 6:23), but thankfully while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Repentance then leads to salvation, which is the grace of God. There is nothing you and I can do to save ourselves. No one is good enough, because our good deeds are like filthy rage. Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul tells us that we do nothing but it is a gift from God, and we should not boast in our works. Chan sums it up as “All Salvation requires is faith: Do you believe that Jesus is who He says he is?”

Often we hear that Jesus was a good man, but not God. I have actually had Jewish people tell me they believe he was a good teacher, but not the promised Messiah. Which is a completely ludicrous idea if you ask me. Claiming to be the Son of God was punishable by death in Jewish custom (and in the car of Christ), so how on earth could this make him a “good” man. I believe it was CS Lewis who said “Christ was one of two things: He was either who He said he was in the Son of God, or he was a liar.” So by no means can you think Jesus was a good teacher, but not God.

Faith in Jesus is not easy though although it is simple. Faith in Jesus means that you are declaring that he is Lord. Now that is something that we hear is it not? “Jesus is Lord!” “Jesus is Lord of my life!” or my favorite “Jesus is one of the most important parts of my life.” One of the most important parts? Are you kidding me, Christian? Jesus is life! Apart from him we are dead and slaves to the darkness, never limit Him to a part of your life. What does it mean then for him to be Lord? Lord means that he is the owner and master. So when you say He is the Lord of your life then you are saying He is the master and the owner! Do our lives reflect that? Do you believe you actually belong to Him, and your life is no longer you own but that author and perfecter of our faith?

“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with you body” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. He gave up His life so we could live, He paid for it and if you believe in Him He owns it. You cannot claim to be a Christian but not change your lifestyle. We have watered down salvation to a prayer, but it is so much more. It is a lifetime commitment of change, pursuit of holiness, and love for others. The greatest advice I have ever gotten in my life is “Serve God, serve others. Love God, love others” but do our lives reflect that? That’s what Christ was all about.

“The problem is, many in the church want to ‘confess that Jesus is LOrd’ yet don’t believe that He is their master.” That is impossible for this person to truly be saved. Repeating a prayer that is not even in the Bible will not save anyone. Raising your hand at a convention or rally is not good enough. The only true response to Christ is surrender, repentance, obedience, and following. If Jesus is really Lord of your life, then it belongs to Him. You don’t decide what you do with your life, He does. And that plan is perfect! It may not be prosperity like some preachers promise, you may die young like Jim Elliott. However if you commit your life to following Christ it will be a life of rejection, reward, persecution, and great fulfillment. There is not greater joy than doing life with people. Not just going to church with them, or weekly Bible study. Truly doing life like the disciples did, telling people about Jesus. Not just inviting them to Church, but going out to them and helping them.

I think we need to constantly evaluate out lives and ask, is He Lord? We go through slumps, we sin, and we are in constant need of Grace. We must always repent to new sins that come our way. Are we being a light to others, I think if we challenge to ask ourselves that daily we will be on the right direction.  Onward to being a disciple, and making disciples.