The “essentials” of the gospel

The question of which spiritual matters are more important than others, needless to say, is a complicated matter. We would all agree that some matters that involve our walk with Christ are matters of judgment and others are matters of doctrine. Distinguishing the one from the other is often complicated. A proper treatment of this…

Chickadees

A flock of what appeared to be black-capped chickadees descended on the church property this week.  (Forgive me, Mom, if I’m ornithologically incorrect here.)  Tiny little things, just hopping all over the place looking for seeds.  Peck.  Hop.  Peck.  Hop.  Peck.

You are what you eat

Perhaps you have heard of “food deserts.”  The term refers to places where people have limited (or less) access to grocery stores and other sources of healthy food.  Now there are “food swamps” — that is, where food is plentiful, just not nourishing.  Food swamps feature lots of gas stations, fast-food joints, and other places that promote obesity and bad eating habits.  No farmer’s markets or kale smoothie shops, though.

Studies differ with regard to whether proximity to grocery stores is actually an indicator of general health.  (They sell Snickers bars at Publix, you know.)  But there’s certainly a case to be made that the food’s quality may be as much a factor as its availability.

“Food” is relative — whether the food is carnal or spiritual.  We can pat ourselves on the back all we want for “going to church” or even “reading the Bible.”  But if we are not nourishing our spirits, what good is any of it?  A preacher who does not “preach the word” (2 Timothy 2:2), substituting human philosophy and personal opinions, may be doing more harm than good.  Reading for five minutes just to say you did it, without an eye for application or contextual understanding, may be feed a sense of “fullness” that is completely misleading.

With that in mind, consider the following spiritual nutrition tips:

A few words about authority

In this space last week, I made you aware of my brief exchange with Bro. Jesse Winn, whose website article entitled “The Church of Christ: Some Thoughts on Change” has gotten a bit of play lately.  The article features 30 statements, each of then beginning with “I believe.”  They represent his current thinking on a variety of subjects ranging from church music to congregational oversight to the resurrection.  I do not have the inclination to respond fully to any of these points, let alone all of them. But I would like to address the tone of the article as a whole, and perhaps touch on a few specific points along the way.