Pastor’s Blog

Oh, The Shame

I don’t know about you, but there have been moments in my life when I have been inundated with feelings of guilt and shame. I think we all have had those moments. Sometimes the guilt & shame we felt was absolutely justified and sometimes the guilt & shame was absolutely unfair and should never have been embraced. Often we have a hard time telling the difference.

I recall feeling guilty and embracing shame one fine Saturday afternoon as we played our Junior League baseball rival. A hard hit drive from our opponent came screaming down the third base line (I happened to be playing that position at the time). The ball hit the dirt about 10 feet in front of me, then proceeded, as if perfectly targeted, to strike my sternum in such a way that every microbe of air exited my lungs leaving me collapsed on the ground. Oh, I had the ball, but the immediate pain and shock delayed my reaction to throw it to first and our opponent ended up with the, what was to be, the winning run on first. During the moment, my short stop cried out, “Throw the ball.” All I could do was mouth the words, “I CAN’T BREATHE!!! I felt guilty and I was ashamed for letting my team down.

Wikipedia describes guilt as a judgment or experience that occurs when “a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation.” Shame is the pain that results. As believers, we need to know that the Bible tells us that guilt and shame should only be embraced or rejected according to whether we have dishonored or not dishonored God. Paul tells Timothy that he should not be ashamed of the Gospel or of those who preach the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8). Many in the world may try to shame us when we share our faith in Christ, but we should never embrace these feelings when doing something that honors God.

We should also reject guilt & corresponding feelings of shame when we have done nothing to dishonor God, but may have been inappropriate or inadequate according to others expectations (such as when I was unable to throw a ball to first base while doubled over in excruciating and debilitating pain). Neither should we embrace these emotions when someone else dishonors God, but we place their guilt upon ourselves because of unfair association. Isaiah 50:7 says this, “But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” In the next Disciple, we will talk about when guilt and shame should be experienced and how to bring it under the authority of Christ.

Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris


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Um, Now What Do We Do?

Well, that is the $64,000 question now isn’t it. The further our nation retreats from the Biblical moorings given to us by God, the more pressure is placed on the Church to respond. The fact of the matter is, this really isn’t new to the Church worldwide or historically. Historically and in other parts of the globe, true Christians (not institutional religious Christianity) have often been the target of persecution and isolation from a larger world that has rejected Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is just new to us here in America where for decades prayer and the Scriptures were incorporated into so many of our institutions including school settings (but now removed). America is changing at light speed and a heavy anti-Bible believing atmosphere is emerging to challenge traditional understandings of Scripture. It is being replaced with a culture more inclined to tout the virtues of diversity (regardless of unity) and doing what makes one happy at all cost. The world (and many in the Christian world) is certainly engaging in “Happiness Quest” over “Holiness Quest.”
So what do we do now? Just as we look to the Word to know what we shouldn’t do, we need to go there to learn what we should do as well. First of all, we need to realize that persecution is a part of all who will live Godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:10-12). Our faith will be challenged by the unbelieving on a consistent basis until the Lord returns so we need not be amazed when we see it happen.
Secondly, continue to follow Jesus and His Word. In verse 10, Paul reminds Timothy how he carefully followed his doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love and perseverance, etc. We need to do the same. They definitely lived in an anti-christian world. Thirdly, in verses 14 and 15, instruction is given to continue in what we have learned, namely the Holy Scriptures which is able to make us wise for salvation through our faith in Christ. We must not be deceived or diverted to the left or the right, but continue to study God’s Word and order our lives in accordance with Biblical tenets. In verse 16, Paul confirms the Scriptures value declaring that it is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.
Finally, let us follow the example Christ laid out for us. He was kind and gentle, loving and forgiving, full of truth and grace to all who would listen to Him, yet wasted no time on those looking to pick a fight. He gave the truth to the proud and grace to the humble. He was stalwart when proclaiming what people did not wish to hear, yet He did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. We need to keep speaking God’s grace and truth (with grace and truth) to all who will listen so that the “whosoever will” may come to their spiritual senses and be saved through faith in Christ.
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris


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Uh, I Think We Knew This Was Coming

I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it, and if you have any doubt at all, I really don’t want to do it. What? I do not want to get into another political or ideological debate. But people, events and other political and ideological parties keep dragging me into it. And as long as this political tennis ball keeps landing on the Church’s “Biblical and moral” side of the court, I am compelled to address it and send it back across the net. It is not my fault! So here goes.
In light of the past Supreme Court rulings, and the pursuing discussions which followed, I think most would agree that we are seeing some significant change in the wind regarding the theological and moral compass surrounding the issues concerning marriage, family, the Bible, the Church and our national identity. The very fabric of our society is undergoing (and has been undergoing) a seismic shift away from what was held to be true for both millennia in the body of Christ, as well as the majority of mankind’s existence. And, although encapsulated in “good intentions,” it is revealing the ever increasing separation of our national and global culture, and Biblical understanding held by most men and women of God throughout world history. Having said all of that, we kind of knew this would happen.
This past month we spoke about what it would be like living in what many believe to be the “End Times.” As we read Biblical texts, we are clothed with the knowledge that “The World’s” understanding of rightness and wrongness would take a significant left turn (or right turn depending on your political station) from God’s Word. In 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul writes to a young pastor named Timothy and sets out to prepare him, and us, for an upcoming apostasy. He starts out with these words from 2 Timothy 3, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves…” STOP. I don’t want to hear any more!! (Hands on ears).
Following those first few words of Paul comes a laundry list of characteristics describing the condition we find ourselves in today. One thing interesting in verses 7 and 8, we are told that humankind would not only be unable to come to the truth found in God’s Word, but would indeed be resistant to the same (2 Timothy 3:7-8). We are living in a generation where many seek to remove Biblical instruction from all spheres of public life and consistently exalts humankind as their own savior and moral arbiter. Surely, we knew this was coming?! More on this subject in 2 weeks.
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris


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Thank You For Giving

I want to take this time to thank everyone who continues to give to the ministries of Central Christian Church. We have such a generous congregation and we all are blessed by the ongoing financial support that has become a hallmark of this wonderful congregation. So many have stepped up to provide for our needs whether through regular weekly giving or for special needs that occasionally arise. Not only have you given to the financial needs of this ministry, but you have shared your time and your talent as well, and all of us have been enriched by it. In Hebrews 6:10 we read, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” He never forgets what we do for Him and His reward is sure. In the book of Luke 6:38, we are encouraged to give to others. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you give, it will be measured to you.” Be assured that you cannot out-give the Lord. He has promised to repay some 30, some 60 and some 100 fold the gifts given in His Name and on His behalf.

However, we know that our congregation does not give expecting a return. You give because of your love for God and love for the ministry of Jesus Christ. We so appreciate your support and believe that God will bless all of those who from a pure heart give to the ministry of Central Christian Church; this congregation continues to evangelize and extend our love to the Huntington County community. In Philippians 4, the apostle responds to the giving of believers who have amply supplied for his ministry and the work God called him to. He describes a group of Christians who gave to his need “time and time again.” In the 19th verse he states this, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” That is my prayer for you and I believe, because of your marvelous generosity, God will supply all of your needs according to His riches as well. As you continue to support God’s ministry through tithes and offerings, shared talents and precious time, know that we remember you often in prayer and so appreciate the sacrifice you make.

We could never thank you enough but we so appreciate your faithfulness and support.

Be Blessed and Be Grateful and THANK YOU,

Pastor Chris


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Turtle Talk

God encounters us in a way we can understand. But we must take the time to listen and make space to listen. I have been told that researchers have conducted studies on the communication and conversation patterns of a breed of river turtles in Brazil’s Amazon territory. This research has yielded recordings of over 250 distinct sounds between a group of hatchling turtles and their mother. They were able to categorize this conversation into 6 different groups corresponding according to the behavior observed as a consequence of the “turtle chatter.” Now the communication elements are not definitive in their meaning, but it has become clear to researchers that information is being exchanged between the mother turtle and her babies. What some scientists have concerned themselves with is the noise pollution created by a growing level of modern civilization and heavy machinery that brings conflicting and distractive sounds to their world.

God speaks to us also. Not always in long soliloquies or eloquent orations, but God often speaks to us in a still small voice that can also be susceptible to distracting voices and sounds. These world manufactured distractions take us away from finding and hearing God’s voice spoken to our spirit. In Psalm 46:10 scripture tells us this, “10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” In this scripture, God lets us know of His awesome power; that he will be exalted among all people and throughout the entire world! Yet the Word of God starts with, “Be still and know…”

It is when we get in a place and a time of quiet peace that we can hear the voice of God speaking to us and telling us things that bring an intimacy to our relationship with God. Just as the baby turtles have to be in a place and time to be able to stop, hear and recognize the voice of Mama Turtle (Away from the noise of the world), we need to do the same with our Father who has opened up His line of communication through His Word and by the medium of the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirit. That is why it is so important to find a place of isolation and spend time with God before we leave our domicile in the morning, entering into the world with distracting activities and voices. Take time each morning and find a place where God’s voice becomes clear and His Words begin to speak to you.

Be blessed and be grateful,
Pastor Chris


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