Dr. Matthew R. St. John

Lie #3: Tradition Trumps the Mission

August 15, 2010

Ironically enough one of the greatest threats to the health of the church today is, well, the church itself and its tendency to bask in its own glory; to supplant its unique mission with the status quo; to live in its past successes (and sometimes failures) while refusing availability to the high calling it has in this very moment to lead on the edge of hope with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Choosing tradition over the mission is evil and destructive, and echoes the activities of the Pharisees of old, to whom Jesus offered this penetrating rebuke: for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God (Matthew 15:6).

 

Lie #2: Unity is More Important than Theology

August 8, 2010

In a world where religions can violently clash with one another, and where a hunger for justice and harmony is strong, seeking unity over doctrinal differences is appealing and even welcome. And yet, just as a house without a strong foundation will fracture or perhaps even fall, so too will followers of Christ who lack a solid theological underpinning. The idea that unity is more important than theology can be alluring, but the reality is it is naïve, divisive, and, frankly, dangerous, leaving people like “waterless clouds, swept along by winds” (Jude 12).

 

Lie #1: The Prosperity Gospel is Legitimate

August 1, 2010

More destructive than many of today’s social ills is the lie commonly embraced within Christianity telling us that if we just have enough faith we can be healthy, wealthy and happy. The reason it is more destructive is that it is something promoted within the Church, by so-called preachers claiming to have a word from God about how you can have your best life now. And yet such teaching stands in stark contrast to Jesus’ standards regarding contentment and discipleship, encouraging a self-absorption that ends up leaving many empty, disillusioned, and, therefore, wounded.

Recognizing an Unsavory Alliance

July 11, 2010

One sure sign of things to come-perhaps unfolding now before our eyes-is the gathering of an unsavory alliance against Israel.

“Stay Awake”

July 4, 2010

Jesus gives us a heads-up on things to expect regarding the end of days as we know them.

Restore the Fallen

June 13, 2010

Breakfast with the disciples gives Jesus the opportunity to care for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs, particularly with Peter who certainly was still wounded from his action of disloyalty.

Believe Without Seeing

June 6, 2010

While seeing the resurrected Jesus proved helpful to Thomas, believing without seeing him brings a special blessing because of the measure of faith employed and then validated when Christ calls one home.

"It is Finished"

May 30, 2010

Since the Rebellion a payment has been sought to satisfy the need for justice. With Jesus’ death that payment was made.

"Behold the Man!"

May 23, 2010

Pilate’s presentation of Jesus to the Jewish mob reveals a key feature regarding God’s salvation plan: a man had to die.

"What is Truth?"

May 9, 2010

Pilate’s question of Jesus about truth reveals a deep hunger regarding reality that Jesus alone is able to fill.

Remember the Lonely Moment

May 2, 2010

Peter’s denial of Jesus confirms Jesus’ prophetic words to his eager disciple while highlighting the loneliness that comes with drinking the Father’s cup.