Monthly Archives: November 2014

Law Three: Know Where You’re Goin’

porter'slawsI once worked for a pastor who said if you’re going to choose between Bible study and hearing me preach, I encourage you to come to Bible study.  The pastor in question proclaimed the gospel with enthusiastic acumen, but as the years went by, only later did I understand fully.

As our senior pastor has often taught, the purpose of the church @ Myrtle Lake is to glorify the Lord God by preaching and teaching Christ and Him crucified.  But, how does “Bible study” glorify God?

yogiberraWell, when Yogi Berra was asked about the chances for the Yankees winning the 1957 pennant, he answered, “If you don’t know where you’re goin’, you’ll probably get there.”

Until we know where God wants us to be, we won’t know where we’re goin’.  If we don’t know where He wants us to go, we’ll probably get there.  We will not know what He wants nor where He wants us to be—without Bible study.

Bible study is a lamp at our feet.  It helps us see the Way because the way is narrow—it is neither broad, nor easy to find, according to my Jesus.

I’d love to see you next Sunday in Bible study, or next Wednesday, or at Band of Brothers on Mondays, or Sunday afternoon in Logos Academy classes, or Sunday evening in Logos Prep classes.  As you can tell by all these opportunities, the church @ MyrtleLake loves God’s word, for He is the Word, and the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

Bible study:  Know where you’re goin!

Finding A Gospel in the Media

Way back in Genesis 1:26 Holy Spirit said the gospel would be known through us. We humans were created in God’s image—if people were to see God, we need only to look at ourselves. Although our mirror is “but a poor reflection” (1 Corinthians 13:12), it nonetheless tells us much about the God we serve.

God loves family and faithfulness in His created beings. If we look carefully, we can see these attributes in ourselves as mirrored by the media we create and consume.


For example, through NetFlix Sandra and I have become recent devotees of Parenthood. “Family” is the paramount theme of NBC’s hour long drama. Parenthood’s drama ebbs and flows with Braverman family crises and their resolution. Our hearts are warmed weekly as we see siblings stick up for each other, uncles hire nieces, and parents sacrifice everything for their kids.

The drama of Parenthood is driven also by marital faithfulness. Infidelity is sometimes temporarily tolerated, but is nonetheless vilified. Faithfulness serves as the benchmark for relational success in Parenthood.

Adultery is, thank God, still a source of dramatic tension in the media. When infidelity no longer creates anguish, then we humans have indeed forgotten our roots. God created us to be faithful, and to recognize un-faithfulness as something improper, if not downright evil.

But, what about God? What gospel do we see when human attributes, even Godly attributes, are put on a pedestal? In Parenthood, for example, “family” is golden, celebrated and praised as paramount. Make no mistake about it, God Himself supports this value—after all, Scripture says we are worse than infidels if we do not care for our family (cf., 1 Timothy 5:8).

But when “Family” becomes our raison d’être, our very reason for being, we lose sight of Who gave us this wonderfully potent attribute. Bottom line? “Family” is the idealized idol of Parenthood. Their struggle to pray, even at Thanksgiving says it all. Parenthood’s gospel? Family saves.

Are we going to keep watching Parenthood? Probably. It is an engaging series with considerable social and entertainment value. But now we will watch with caution. To celebrate God’s attributes within us without recognizing the Source of those attributes is at least spiritually retarded, if not downright seductively idolatrous.

Is a gospel of “family” or any human attribute, even a Godly attribute, the gospel? No. The gospel needs to be our benchmark—Jesus saves.


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I encourage you to share with me your analyses of media you like to read, click, and/or watch but also recognize your need to consume cautiously, if at all.

November 2012 & 2014 Were Tests of Moral Obedience

The election of 2012 was a test of moral obedience.  Being a former political operative (Tallahassee) and pollster (Chicago), I knew Romney did not have a chance.  But I didn’t know I would feel morally jilted—I did the right thing, but I was not satisfied.
When you vote for what is right, instead of who will win or what fattens the wallet, it tests your integrity.  Mine was tested again this recent Tuesday night watching the returns.  I wanted so much to be on the “winning” side.  Then, it hit me.  I am.  Let me tell you what turned me around…

It wasn’t the defeat of the candidate for whom I voted in 2012, Romney, even though I’m a registered Democrat.  It wasn’t our current return to the political status quo—aka political stagnation?  It was the Biblical immorality expressed in new ballot initiatives about denying rights to unborn people, equating marijuana with recreation, and denigrating marriage as a God-gifted covenant.

  1. It is immoral to kill unborn people (Jeremiah 1:5).  God has a plan for those in the womb even if we can’t hear their cries.  The deaf are we who hear not their cries.  God is not deaf.
  2. It is immoral to approve a drug whose primary goal is intoxication (Proverbs 23:20-21).  Sure, marijuana can have positive effects for those seeking pain relief.  But, do we really need another cause for DUI?  Yes, it’s “positive” —provided you don’t drive, think, work, or behave under its influence.  And, it is potentially immoral for the rest of us to pay for its abused uses and their effects on the health care system, or on our fragile families.
  3. It is blatantly immoral to tolerate, much less approve, that which is evil and call it “good” (Malachi 2:17).  Sensitive to being labeled “intolerant,” and feeling appropriately culpable for its own hyperactive sexual promiscuity, the heterosexual community has upgraded cultural tolerance to conspicuous approval of homosexuality in general and homosexual marriage in particular. Homosexuality is no more a sin than adultery, yet we wink at one and embrace the other.  We humans are an odd lot.

Sure, I sound out-of-touch and muddle-headed, but there is a reckoning.  You see, we’re watching a great game being played out on the world stage.  It’s exciting, and sad.  It’s tragic, and pleasing.  It’s lovely, and repulsive.  BUT, we know who wins.

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns … He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.”  [Revelation 19:11-13]

When the Lord of lords and King of kings wins, we win.