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1050 Danforth Ave
Toronto, ON, M4J 1M2




Extra thoughts on current series and events.

How Six Spiritual Laws Can Help You Grow!

Pastor Charles


Do you like laws?

Often people rail against laws, rules, boundaries and restrictions today. But the truth is we need them.

The cry of #MeToo movement and so many others are actually cries FOR laws, rules, boundaries and restrictions. Abuses happen because people aren’t honouring social, moral and judicial laws.

Physical laws benefit us, too. If we didn’t understand and work within - even pushing the boundaries of - the laws of physics, we wouldn’t be able to fly, use our cell phones, or even read this on the internet.

There are spiritual laws, too, which benefit us. The analogies between agriculture and spiritual growth are many as well: The more we follow the laws of good farming, we get better harvests, less disease, pests and health in general for us as we consume beautiful produce. Likewise for spiritual laws: The more we follow them, the more we are healthy, strong, disease free, resistant to pests, etc.

This Sunday we start Breakthrough Prayer!, a series corresponding to 40-days of prayer for us from October 1 through November 9th. To have breakthrough, we need to employ the powerful benefits of spiritual laws to our advantage! So, October 6th, we’re covering the Six Laws of Spiritual Growth from Rick Warren. I say they’re from Rick, as that’s where I got them. But that doesn’t mean they’re “Rick’s rules.” Rather, if they’re true, it’s because God made them true. Rick didn’t discover them for the first time. They’ve been known throughout the ages. But he “discovered” them for himself and shared them, as others have done. And as we’re doing starting Sunday.

So I invite you to join us in this journey of discovery, discipline and breakthrough starting this Sunday @ 10:30 am (coffee/tea at 10!) @DanforthCC.

I pray you break through with God in all your areas of need, too!

HEY ALL! HERE’S THE LINK TO THE SERMON PODCAST! Check it out and LMK what you think. Blessings!

GRACE Paralyzes or Empowers? Are you an "Eeyore Christian"?!


Memes. They can be discrete little highlights in our day. Or annoyances.

Maybe a “Christian” meme gave you just the encouragement you needed in a dark moment. Maybe a meme from a competing moral worldview darkened your day.

My concern are memes which, though possibly true in their greater context, are too easily misconstrued in their contextless state. We lift a thought out of its surrounding context, and then it can mean anything. Consider the following that I saw this week:

  • God loves me just the way I am

Is this true? Yes. But it’s incomplete. And therein is the danger. And the danger isn’t illusory, for I also easily found what people did with it, using this thought to justify their immoral behaviour. We take “God loves me as I am” and conflate it with “I don’t need to change…because God loves me just the way I am.”

Here’s another:

  • If God wanted me otherwise, He’d have created me otherwise.

And this one was shockingly easy to find in larger memes then self-justifying any and all moral states of humanity. Think of it with me Socratically for a moment out at the logical/illogical extreme: A person says they’re born to love (sexually) children, and thus uses this thought to sexually abuse children. Does that make it ok? If God created me that way, well then it must be okay, goes the thinking. Another says they were born to kill - I’m a natural born killer. That’s my greatest fulfillment and pleasure. Does this justification make all their killing ok?

You see how meme-thinking is fertile ground for erroneous thinking. It’s not deep thinking at all. Quite the opposite. It’s not really thinking at all, but rather mere emotional self justifications for the way I am.


Some have been paralyzed by a meme sized image of God’s grace in their lives. Specifically, if we only see grace as the equivalent of forgiveness and nothing more, then our image of God’s grace is way too small. And being too small, we become paralyzed by tiny grace. Limited grace. Inadequate grace.

We end up becoming “Eeyore Christians,” or as Dallas Willard said, we are believers suffering from “miserable sinner theology.” This is NOT what God has in mind for you or me!

The GOOD NEWS is that God’s grace in its full spectrum is rich, wonderful, abounding, transforming and even too great for us to totally comprehend!

In this week’s message, we explored The Paralysis Problem in two parts (it paralyzes both us and Jesus!), and The Provision Solution in two parts, too.

And, even more important, was the Application section. This is both interactive between you and a good Christian friend as you use the dialogue questions to “activate grace” together, and the “yoked with Christ” self-assessment in three ways, too. These three ways are expressed in our mission statement: Love God. Love Others. Serve our world.

Interested? Listen to the whole message on our sermons podcast page now. This is my adaptation of Ray Hollenbach’s message of the same name and branding (purchased for our use through Then, use the contact form, reply, and let us know how God is moving in your life in greater measures of His grace today! And, while you’re at it, SHARE this with a friend who needs more liberating and empowering grace of God today!

GRACE IS: More Than Blind Forgiveness




Week 1: Grace is more than blind forgiveness.

Sarah (a pseudonym for a real person) was doubly trapped: She was trapped in a marriage with a “rage-o-haulic” and trapped in an inadequate concept of grace. Sarah is a believer, but not her husband. He’d fly off the handle, sometimes even being physically abusive. She loved her husband, seeing the good things in him, but also lived in fear of the next attack. What if he hurt her so bad she couldn’t recover or bore lifelong scars? He was always so apologetic and mortified afterward, begging profusely for forgiveness.

We’re in a four-week series based largely on the series of the same name from Pastor Ray Hollenbach, available through (Why use a service like this for resources like these? Large churches have resources to produce all the accompanying multimedia that small churches like ours benefit from!).

As a Christian, Sarah knew that she’d been freely forgiven of her sinful shortcomings by God’s grace. And she knew that she should also, in grace, give forgiveness. She didn’t deserve God’s grace. Her husband didn’t deserve her grace. Yet God gave her grace, and she gave grace to her abusive husband.

Make no mistake, this is a horrible situation. One similar to stories I’ve heard and counselled couples on, too. No woman should be compelled to remain in a physically abusive household. Nor one of extreme emotional abuse either. She should demand he get help.

Yes, grace demands he get the help he needs.

This might sound surprising, and if it does, it may mean we like Sarah have a deficient understanding of God’s grace. You see, we often think of grace as being passive, not strong and active. We think of grace as merely unending forgiveness, failing to realize it is - in God’s Kingdom - so much more!

To learn more about how grace is more than blind forgiveness, go to our SERMONS page to listen to this first instalment of the series. then plan your visit with us (links are on the HOME page) and join us this Sunday for the next in the series - Paralyzed, or Empowered, by Grace?! See you Sunday at 10 for pre-service fellowship, and worship starting together at 10:30.

#TheGodQuestions - Is God Real?



Our culture today has tried hard to program us to think there isn’t any real, good, or easy answers to this question. It has, in fact, set up lots of roadblocks along the way, too. Like “prove to me God exists,” or “if I can’t see it, weigh it, feel it, it doesn't exist,” and the like.

But what if we can “see” God? What if we can “prove” God’s existence?

All it takes is faith.

Blasphemy! cry the so-called rationalists of today! Faith is for the weak minded!

Actually we all live by faith every single day. And, of course, like any person seeking to be rational, we need to define our terms, too: What do I mean when I say “faith”?

Faith is belief based on reasoning, facts and prior experience. Faith is acting on what I determine to be the best of probabilities of something being true. Thus, when I take an action, I’m expecting an equal and opposite reaction. I expecting when I do “x” then “y” will result. We all do this, every day.

As Hal Seed puts it, we all use faith on a daily basis:

  • You and I put money in the stock market, with the faith that we won’t lose it all.

  • You and I take a job with a company, in faith that they’ll pay us every couple weeks.

  • You and I got married, believing we’ll live in a committed relationship for a long time.

  • You and I got up this morning having faith there’d be enough air to breathe all day long.

Every day, you and I make faith decisions and faith based actions - decisions and actions based on reasoning, facts and prior experience.

But, as Hal reminds us, that doesn’t mean that we’re expressing faith blindly, or willy-nilly and irrationally:

  • We invest in the stock market after reading a company’s prospectus

  • We accept a job after researching the company and interviewing with the employer

  • We get married after knowing the person for a season, their family and friends, etc.

  • We don’t even think about our faith act of breathing, for there’s always been enough air and we believe there’ll always be enough air (the quality of that air is a different discussion).

In fact, the world and universe is remarkably well ordered. Predictable despite its intricate complexity. It reassures us to daily make faith steps that things will continue in generally well ordered and predictable ways.

How does this relate to believing in God?

Well, that’s the rest of the story we’ll be discussing on Sunday.

I invite you. Join us in the sharing. Join the discussion. Let’s talk. Sunday, April 28 @ 10:30 AM. See you there: 1050 Danforth Avenue, Toronto.

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Witnesses to the Resurrection



As I write this, tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday.

“The resurrection is a myth!” “People who believe this are sad fools to be pilloried and pitied!” These are the types of social media postings I was reading just days ago. The post was written from the perspective that the mythology of the resurrection was the common position widely accepted today, and that those who believe it are deluded, simple headed and to be comically ridiculed.

The writer’s opinion and attitude were thick: WE believe in science and evidence, not myth and lore!

Really? Are you quite so sure about that?

The sad comedy, according to evidence and credible testimony, is that this poster’s position on the resurrection is the mythological one: The resurrection of Jesus is widely accepted by the vast majority of serious scholars today, not vice versa. If you’re going to listen to evidence and it’s careful examination, then you’ll want to revise your opinion.

But where is the average believer in Jesus to find evidence to support faith in Him, the Word of God as received in the Bible today, and in His resurrection? This is of critical importance, for Romans 10:9-10 tells us that head and heart-felt belief in the resurrection is essential to life-transforming and saving faith.

More than can be packed into a single sermon - for those are often too dry and dense like some German black breads - this posting will serve for those seeking something deeper on this topic.

Consider the following links:

  • Podcast conversation between apologist Frank Turek and Gary Habermas, one of the leading researchers of this historical veracity of the resurrection.

  • You can even take a basic or advanced online course from Gary Habermas

  • As I’ll credit in tomorrow’s sermon, here’s the link to the RZIM podcast Ask Away with Vince and Jo Vitale and host Michael Davis Easter and the Resurrection

  • If you enjoy video presentations, here’s a short defence of the resurrection from Andy Bannister when he was with RZIM and now serves with Solas Centre for Public Christianity

  • And here’s a video of Ravi Zacharias’ one hour presentation on this topic.

These will be more than enough to satisfy passing and serious interest, and get you moving for yourself and with your friends in conversation about the resurrection of Jesus.


Header image: Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Praying Daily Scriptural Prayers for God's Kingdom Advance



CLICK HERE to download a pdf of this you can print and put into your own Bible ... and share an extra copy with a friend because it prints 2 to a page! 

Prayer is one of, if not the most, essential way we connect with God and His Kingdom. Worship, the Word, fellowship and service are the others. We need all of these, and in proper balance and proportion to each other, for a healthy, growing and well-rounded spiritual life and growth in Christ-likeness.

Yet prayer is the one we’re challenged to be in “without ceasing” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:16).  And prayer is at its most powerful when it is selflessly focused on others and the greater good. Let us, then, follow these Scriptural prayers for not only ourselves but also each other at DCC on a daily basis, since God has also given that there is power in agreeing together in prayer! 

Sunday: Matthew 6:9-13  

Prayer for all ministry gatherings today to be anointed to overflowing, evidenced by salvations, healings, deliverances and growth both spiritually in quality and numerically in with people coming into the Kingdom of God at DCC. Follow the format of Lord’s prayer given to the Disciples and to us. 

Monday: John 17

Jesus’ prayer for all believers in this chapter is astounding in its unified focus: That we might be one in Jesus, with the Father, by the Spirit, as the Body of Christ, united in divine love for each other. We are intentionally left by Jesus in the world to be His representatives, and that starts in the quality and quantity of our love within the Body of Christ, evident to all who see our lives. Pray for oneness, unity and love in the Body. 

Tuesday: Ephesians 1:17-19

Here Paul is led of the Spirit to pray and record this prayer for our teaching, benefit and practice: Pray for increasing transformative revelation in each member’s life, following the pattern of this verse. 

Wednesday: Ephesians 3:16-19  

The Spirit’s second recorded prayer through Paul for the Ephesian Church and us is that we’ll be strengthened, rooted and overflowing in Him. Follow this rich pattern of prayer for each member of DCC. 

Thursday: Philippians 1:9-11

As the Spirit led Paul to record his prayer for the Philippians, so too we follow this pattern praying for abounding love and righteousness! May this prayer be answered in all at DCC so that our love in Christ and righteousness be evident to all, drawing people into the Kingdom for His glory. 

Friday: Colossians 1:9-12

Praying for the church in Colossae, Paul is led of the Spirit - and thus we are, too - to pray for transforming knowledge, power and fruitfulness in our lives. Follow this passage and prayer for all at DCC! 

Saturday: Acts 2:46-47 & 16:5

These are not specifically prayers in Scripture, yet we ought to pray the same move of the Spirit to be evident in our lives individually and collectively: That we should continue in fellowship, the Word and worship, so much so that people will be attracted, drawn in, saved and join us in this Kingdom life and journey together! Pray specifically that nothing keeps people from coming to worship together as the Church on Sunday! 

Thank you for praying in faith and believing together in God’s good work among us all! 

Foundation Problems (Pics!)

Pastor Charles


As current worshippers at DCC know, we're Leaning In in prayer this year as we're seeking God's face for the move of His Spirit in our midst, so that we can be Reaching Out in 2018. This is our theme for the year: Leaning In, Reaching Out. There is an essential, irreducible component here: God's actions always include both - His work in us results in His work through us to those around us. 

As current worshippers at DCC know, we're also engaging a building proposal and prayerfully considering it for our future. Why? Because our building is NOT the "church" (because the Church is people, not properties). Rather, the building and property are tools in our hands. What are the tools for? To fulfill our mission and calling. What is our mission and calling? 

We exist to be and to make fully committed imitators of Jesus in the areas of Danforth and East York! We do this by Loving God, Loving Others, and Serving Our World.

Our building is now 70 years old, though the congregation is much older. In fact, our roots go back to the Hebden Mission itself more than 100 years ago! This is at least the 3rd property the church has owned and operated, all for the purpose of the propagation of the Gospel. 

But it no longer serves us well in that regard, as it is too limited in functionality, and it has multiple issues, including the foundation. Thus, we must act responsibly and strategically in the management of our building and property to empower ministry, not restrict it. 

Most people don't see (yes, literally "see") these issues because it's not germane to coming to the building to worship or minister, nor are most people part of the maintenance staff, nor governance of daily operations. Thus, hearing we have foundation problems might come as a surprise, or be easily dismissed because they don't "see" the problems. 

So, to rectify that, I'm posting the pictures here taken over the past 2+ years: 


Water damage from seepage: We spent $15K fixing the outside before verifying this dried up the problem - at least for now. This picture shows new metal studs being put in place for a drywall covering. (The $15K "fix" was less than the big fix of $50K. Yikes.) 

Water damage from seepage: We spent $15K fixing the outside before verifying this dried up the problem - at least for now. This picture shows new metal studs being put in place for a drywall covering. (The $15K "fix" was less than the big fix of $50K. Yikes.) 

Closer view from the bottom looking up. Here and other location show the cement parging has completely separated from the brick and block foundation. Continued water seepage will further degrade the mortar between the bricks and blocks, ultimately leading to foundation failure. 

Closer view from the bottom looking up. Here and other location show the cement parging has completely separated from the brick and block foundation. Continued water seepage will further degrade the mortar between the bricks and blocks, ultimately leading to foundation failure. 

Close up at the bottom of the stairs where seepage was the worst. A panel was installed here so we can continue to open the panel and view the wall condition. 

Close up at the bottom of the stairs where seepage was the worst. A panel was installed here so we can continue to open the panel and view the wall condition. 


Remember the huge cabinets lining the outside wall? When they were pulled back, they were so full of mould that most of them had to be thrown away. Again you can see the mould and mildew, indications of how persistent and bad the water seepage was. 

Remember the huge cabinets lining the outside wall? When they were pulled back, they were so full of mould that most of them had to be thrown away. Again you can see the mould and mildew, indications of how persistent and bad the water seepage was. 

Mould and mildew had penetrated into the cabinets: Supplies stored inside were so infected, they, too, had to be thrown away. Here you can see seepage was at both the higher groundlevel outside and at the footing level on the bottom. 

Mould and mildew had penetrated into the cabinets: Supplies stored inside were so infected, they, too, had to be thrown away. Here you can see seepage was at both the higher groundlevel outside and at the footing level on the bottom. 

A broad view of the read storage wall behind the cabinets, showing seepage high and low. 

A broad view of the read storage wall behind the cabinets, showing seepage high and low. 


Every Fall and Spring we have have standing water in the furnace room. This picture isn't too bad. Two years ago it was over an inch deep covering half the room.  

Every Fall and Spring we have have standing water in the furnace room. This picture isn't too bad. Two years ago it was over an inch deep covering half the room.  

During the Nursery/CE Room renovation, removing the existing walls, we discovered the metal studs and sill plate (running on the floor, on which all studs rest) had completely rusted away. That is evidence of longstanding moisture in this location. In other words, this is a continuing problem that will not "go away" because we ignore it. 

During the Nursery/CE Room renovation, removing the existing walls, we discovered the metal studs and sill plate (running on the floor, on which all studs rest) had completely rusted away. That is evidence of longstanding moisture in this location. In other words, this is a continuing problem that will not "go away" because we ignore it. 

In another location, removing the pink fibreglass insulation reveals the level of damage to the foundation wall itself and old defunct pipes that add to the problem. 

In another location, removing the pink fibreglass insulation reveals the level of damage to the foundation wall itself and old defunct pipes that add to the problem. 

Detail shot of rust, mould, mildew and general deteriorating wall material building up on one of the old defunct pipes. All this and more are hiding behind our drywall on the actual foundation walls.

Detail shot of rust, mould, mildew and general deteriorating wall material building up on one of the old defunct pipes. All this and more are hiding behind our drywall on the actual foundation walls.

These problems on the East foundation wall, where our "green lot" is, have not yet been addressed on the exterior of the building. We will have to spend more thousands of dollars to address the drainage problems affecting the East side of our foundation. 


Starting in the corner closest to the CE Room/Nursery entrance, here you can see evidence of long-standing moisture degrading the metal studs and drywall. This points to more foundation problems moving all the way along the East foundation wall. 

Starting in the corner closest to the CE Room/Nursery entrance, here you can see evidence of long-standing moisture degrading the metal studs and drywall. This points to more foundation problems moving all the way along the East foundation wall. 



Anywhere you see places where something behind the drywall is PUSHING OUT from the surface, this is evidence of moisture actively seeping through, rusting and eroding our foundation structure. 

Anywhere you see places where something behind the drywall is PUSHING OUT from the surface, this is evidence of moisture actively seeping through, rusting and eroding our foundation structure. 

Multiple points pushing OUT from moisture seepage, here in the front East stairwell, plus evidence the drywall was repaired years ago ... thus this is a longstanding, ongoing issue that will not "go away" if we just ignore it. 

Multiple points pushing OUT from moisture seepage, here in the front East stairwell, plus evidence the drywall was repaired years ago ... thus this is a longstanding, ongoing issue that will not "go away" if we just ignore it. 


Our building will not, fall down on us today or tomorrow. But it does mean that our building will not continue to serve the coming decades and generations. If we want (and we do want) to serve not only ourselves but also the coming generations, then we must act now to move in the right direction. The building proposal before us addresses these issues and more, empowering us with the new building, greater space designed to meet our current and future needs, to glorify God and serve our community. 

Come, let us build together for today and for the future! 

Resources for Living a Powerfully Influential Life!


Hey everyone: In this morning's sermon I mentioned these resources:

  • CLICK HERE to go to Carey Nieuwhof's blog posting on sharing your faith! Blessings are upon you as you are Jesus' active witnesses! 
  • Silverio Gonzalez shares an excellent, short 7-point article on How to Share the Gospel without being a Jerk! CLICK HERE to go to this great article. 
  • Are you more of a video person? Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason also posted this past week a short video on how "closet apologists" can come out with confidence in sharing the Gospel, too. CLICK HERE to go to the page for this great resource. 

These are two more resources to help you and me fulfil our purpose at DCC: We exist to be and to make fully committed imitators of Jesus in the areas of Danforth and East York!  To do that this year, we're aiming for EACH ONE to REACH ONE by the end of the year! 

God bless you as you share your faith and hope in Him with others! 

Biblical vs False Leadership and Submission


In last Sunday's sermon we looked at the 'secret' to harmonious homes and workplaces. This was one instalment in our series working through the letter to the Colossians. Chapter 3, verses 18 through chapter 4, verse 1, is rather controversial today. We don't like the ideas of submission, obedience and certainly not that of being a "bondservant." 

So how do we take and apply this passage of the Word to our lives today that does justice to the passage and is still both applicable and transformative? 

The whole idea of submission in our wider culture is, unfortunately, warped. Just look at the book and movie series on Shades of Grey. Others have written plenty on that, so I won't go there. Rather, I'm interested in us coming to a Biblical understanding of what the Holy Spirit, through Paul, was saying to husbands, wives, employees and employers. How did they understand it in their day and age? 

This is called context, and is key to properly understanding what the Spirit was addressing. Digging a bit to get the right context to the first hearers helps us unearth the treasure some two millennia later. It's worth the effort. 

First, let's address the errors. And many of these errors have been tolerated both within the church world and outside it for far too long. Now the #MeToo movement is a symptom of our cultural progression and, with hope, rise out of this mire. 

I credit @Amy_K_Hall, who contributes online content with Stand to Reason, for bringing Wayne Grudem's comments on this issue from his work Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. The leadership errors of the world and church in the past have included what Grudem calls "errors of passivity" - such as when a husband is weak in his leadership (e.g. a "wimp"), or the wife is inordinately submissive allowing her husband to dominate her (e.g. a "doormat"). On the flip side, there are also "errors of aggressiveness," wherein either the husband is a "tyrant" or the wife a "usurper." 

None of these reflect the Christ-like ideal we are to strive for. If husbands are to "love their wives as Christ loved the church" (Ephesians 5:25, emphasis added), then no husband can fulfill this rule while being domineering, oppressive, abusive, neglectful and the whole host of other negatives that are manifested in disfunctional relationships. If husbands love their wives "as Christ loved the church," then there's no problem with submission.  

Likewise, if wives "submit to their husbands as is fitting in the Lord" (Colossians 3:18) and "submit to your own husbands as to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22), no wife will then be a usurper, a Jezebel, or the one who "wears the pants in the relationship." 

Yet, we struggle still. 

Here's the key embedded in every verse of Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5: Every reference includes some form of statement - as well as being written in the saturated context - of having your eyes on Christ, looking beyond the role being filled by the other person, be they male, female, young or old, worker or business owner. 

Keep your eyes on the prize: Jesus Christ. Serve in your role "as unto the Lord" in all things. Only in this way do we continue to strive toward - with the Holy Spirit's wonderful and irreplaceable constant help - the ideal that Jesus embodies. Only then can we be the husband we need to be, despite what our wives behave like. Only then can we be the wives we need to be, despite what hour husbands behave like. And the like for children, employers and employees, too. 

No, this simple viewpoint doesn't address every contingency, such as egregiously abusive relationships in all these roles of life. Most of us don't live there. Yet even if we do, we'll still find solace, support and sanctification in keeping our eyes on the prize of Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit's work of recrafting us into the image of Jesus, to the glory of the Father. 


Best Apps for Bible Reading?


Photo: Jenny Smith on Unsplash:

Photo: Jenny Smith on Unsplash:

My wife and I are like many today who pretty much "always" have our cell phones with us since we don't have a landline to the house anymore. And besides, it practically goes without saying that smartphones are our multipurpose interfaces with all things electronic and online. 

And that includes our Bible reading, too. 

I was very pleased to have a fellow DCCer ask what Bible app I used and would recommend. This is perhaps in response to my nearly weekly encouragement that everyone MUST be in the Word daily. Why? Because the "world" is talking to you constantly every day. Thus, the only way to consistently filter, assess, keep or reject what you hear from the world is to be in the Word daily.

Our exegetical study of Colossians took us to 3:15-17 Sunday, including "be rich in the Word." Let's be honest with each other: Getting a single dose of scripture on Sunday isn't enough for your week. Thus the old adage "Seven days without the Word makes one weak." And let's continue being honest: The single verse or two at the top of a page of someone's thoughts in a prepared devotional -- be it Our Daily Bread, Streams in the Desert, Morning and Evening, or some other Christian "great" -- is a paltry daily meal, too.

Am I saying you shouldn't use them? No. I'm saying that shouldn't be the only Word you're in on a daily basis. Rather, be in the Word itself. Your Bible. Not some other booklet or blog. 

Why not? Because that's saying that some man or woman's thoughts are more important than God's thoughts directly. Devotionals written by others are supplements, not the primary. They're appetizers, not the main course. 

For those with electronic reading devices such as smartphones, tablets, a Kindle or some other e-reader, or even your laptop or desktop, there are today many great apps to help you be in the Word. The Share Faith website is maintaining an article listing both iPhone and Android apps with their starter features. Go HERE to view that list, and pick which appeals to you most. 

And, because I've been asked many times, I use Olive Tree's Bible study app on my laptops and smartphones for years. Maybe it will work for you, too, but you do your research and make your own decision.

Once you get into the app you've downloaded and tested (remember, if you don't like it after a day or week of use, try a different one!), be sure to find in the app where you can subscribe to a daily reading plan. Be in the Word daily. You will be blessed, and so will people around you! 

P.S. I like and recommend following some version of a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. It might take you more than a year, but these give you and me the overarching view of God's plan we need. Look for ones that have you both in the OT and NT daily. Be blessed. 

Can we still witness effectively in the 21st Century?


Witness, or technically "evangelism," has a bad rap in society today. And for believers who do try to witness, many tell me its hard. Perhaps harder than we've ever experienced it before. 

Why is that? 

The world has changed.

For LOTR nerds, yes I hear echoes of Galadriel's words, too, "The world has changed... Much that once was is lost...." And for the rest of us, I hear the echo of something said following 9/11. Some pundit quipped that it was the day everything changed. This was quickly and insightfully followed up with a better thought: It was the day we realized everything had already changed. The world as we knew it was already gone, we just hadn't realized it until that moment. 

In many of our sanctuaries, pews and heads, we're only beginning to wake up to the fact that the world has definitely already changed. Despite cries for revival, good ole time religion, turning back the clock, etc., none of these will work. 

Why not? 

Because the world has changed.

That doesn't mean witness is dead. Rather, it means that our old styles of witness are dead. The message is eternal, but it is constantly in need of contemporary clothing.  And we like those old clothing styles. They're comfortable. Familiar. Easily slipped into. 

And ineffective. 

Tim Keller, Martin Lloyd Jones and others have outlined this change:

  • In the 50s, Billy Graham - among others - "perfected" crusade evangelism. 
  • In the 60s, 70s and 80s we moved to personal (programmatic) evangelism. 
  • In the 90s we moved to seeker services. But that still requires seekers. 
  • In the 21st C, we largely don't even have seekers in churches. So now what? 

Those evangelistic styles developed in the Modern era don't work today in our Post-Modern era. Why not? Here Tim Keller helps us understand with three problems presented by our current social milieu. This is a quick summary of just these points; to see the full 75-minute presentation of this entire topic, go here

1. The "Truth" Problem, wherein all truth claims are perceived as constraints and exclusivism, and these are vehemently rejected. In our Postmodern world, no one gets to make exclusive claims (though, yes, you and I might recognize that that claim just made is in itself an exclusive claim). 

2. The "Guilt" Problem, wherein old evangelistic programs were built upon the assumption of an awareness of guilt: We're broken people who don't measure up to some ultimate standard. Yet Postmodernism is a rejection of all ultimate standards. People don't have a sense of guilt any longer, because that sense of guilt was built upon a general revelation of the gospel in Western society. 

3. The "Meaning" Problem, wherein claims to ultimate Truth in the Bible are rejected, because, in Postmodernism, words and texts don't really contain meaning. Why not? Everything is a matter of personal interpretation. No one gets to claim what any text, including the Bible, means because no one gets to make any definitive claims about its meaning and interpretation. 

So how do we witness effectively in the 21st Century? 

Keller, among others, again helps point the way: There is at least one good aspect to Postmodernism. They're seeking community. They're looking for relationships. Because in them we're seeking for authenticity. And, in authentic relationships, we find our common brokenness and humility. And, as Christ followers, we can not only share authentically our brokenness and humility, but also how we've found help and hope in the grace of Jesus Christ. 

Years ago, returning from overseas, I heard a quote that at first I held at arms length and questioned: "The key to evangelism today is hospitality." The further we go in this Postmodern world, the more I'm finding that to be true. 

How are you loving your neighbour as yourself? For therein we find the fulfilment of our relationship with God, too. [And, if that thought makes you hold it out at arm's length and question it, see these passages: Mark 12:31 & Galatians 5:14.]

CSJ - Was (Is) it all for nothing? Definitely not.



Last Sunday we distributed the link to direct worshippers concerned about the current administration's unreasonably stubborn position on their mandated attestation to the Canada Summer Jobs grant applications. An unknown number went online and signed, and a great number of us without easy access to the online petition signed the hardcopy petition. Our Office Administrator then faxed in a copy and delivered a hard copy to our local MP's office. 

Then, Monday, March 19, the vote came down: With the exception of a single Liberal MP*, all Liberal MPs voted the party line to strike down the motion. What was the motion? Brought by the Conservative Party, it sought to uphold the right of all applicants to apply without having to attest to believing in the government’s ideological position. 

So what happens now? 

  • Pray. Continue praying. Pray harder. Our scriptural responsibility and act of worship to the Lord is to be obedient to the commands to pray for those in authority over us. Pray for God's wisdom to prevail in them. They need it. 
  • Watch. Don't let this fall by the wayside. This is a critical issue like few others. This, if not addressed successfully, has the distinct future possibility of stripping all churches, fellowships, denominations and other religious charities of their charitable status. No kidding. That's not an overstatement. YOU CAN "WATCH" BY SUBSCRIBING TO BARRY BUSSEY'S BLOG HERE.
  • Speak. Don't be silent. Continue speaking to all our elected representatives and to all your friends. Highlight the violation of charter rights of the freedom of thought and religion, and how when governments and societies go down this road, it's not pretty. Not at all. Speaking with love and reason (both) changes hearts and minds. Don't be silent. 

I'm told privately that this will likely go a long way...maybe even to the Supreme Court of Canada. We as a local church will be represented in that legal action, as we, too, can demonstrate harm of loss due to the actions of this government to restrict our access to the CSJ funds. Though this will  take some time and work quietly in the background, it is a journey we must and is worth taking. 

* I commend Newfoundland MP Scott Sims for voting his personal conscience, recognizing that the government's approach of dismissing our concerns, saying in effect "don't worry about it; just sign it." No one in a free, democratic society should have their core fundamental beliefs (and Charter rights) trampled on by the government, and then further have the offence waved off as inconsequential. Hear, hear, Scott Sims! 

Imitating Christ at your 35%


"We exist to be and to make fully committed imitators of Jesus in the areas of Danforth and East York." This is our personalization of Jesus' Great Commission to each of us who worship, grow and fellowship together at DCC. He is the Head of the Church, and His commission compels us. His heart compels us. His compassion compels us. His vision compels us. His Spirit and His Word compel us to be and to make other fully committed imitators of Jesus! 

To that end, we work as a ministry team to be better, always growing, imitators of Jesus. And we work to engage, edify and equip all our fellow believers to do the same. 

So how do we grow as disciple-makers? 

We need to imitate the example of Jesus. This is appropriate, for the word "disciple" essentially means imitator.

And that's why I've selected the book, video and interactive format on Wednesday PMs following Dr. Robert Coleman in his classic and best-selling The Master Plan of Salvation. 

We will necessarily also follow up with other training formats and materials, too, for more specialized environments, too. Here's one: 

The average person spends 35% of their working years at work. 

Given that the average person spends up to 33% sleeping, during our productive working years, that means we spend the majority of our time engaging with other people in our workplaces. 

To help you specifically with that environment, here are a couple resources from the Theology of Work Project, a ministry blog that I subscribe to. The following are shared from their blog, for you to access these resources: 


Soul Purpose: Making a Difference in Life & Work


Grounded in God’s call to us in Scripture, this book will help you explore God’s purposes for your life’s work. Soul Purpose includes a workbook that will help you unpack and tell your unique story. You’ll look at your personality, knowledge, talents, skills, spiritual gifts, and finally, your values, desires and passions. Read Soul Purpose for free.


This book is all about making decisions that are consistent with our Christian faith – especially in the workplace. In Just Decisions, a case study will help you look at the three most common approaches among Christians for making moral choices. You will consider how much the Bible provides help in each of these approaches. Then, you’ll explore combining the three to gain a balanced and integrated approach to decision-making. Read Just Decisions for free.

Celebrating Women, not 50 Shades of Dumb


photo: Peter Hershey @

I Tweeted on Thursday, International Women's Day, how much we appreciate and advance women @DanforthCC: Our elders are women; my Vice-Chair is a woman; our Secretary is a woman; our Treasurer is a woman. Our Church Administrator is a woman. Most of our ushers and other volunteers are women. We appreciate, value, uplift and promote women in the Kingdom of God! We believe in your value, worth, intelligence, heart, creativity, resilience and more. 

Thank you, ladies, for all you are and all you do. You're amazing. 

So what's with the second half of this title? 

I don't claim credit, as that goes to Joshua Pease at Thriving It was through his email newsletter wherein he highlighted Gary Thomas' posting on "50 Problems with Grey."  Please use this link to Gary's posting to read his points. 

Why do I tie these together, women and 50 Shades? 

Because 50 Shades demeans women, it does not elevate women. And I will resist what demeans women, or anyone. Demeaning people, especially for personal gratification, is not summum bonum in any way. Don't fall to the deceptive trap of entertainment to justify what is essentially socialis malum,  a social evil. 

Gary, in his post, outlines 50 ways that do that. It's a great, thought-provoking piece, so I bring it to your attention. May you be blessed and grow stronger by it. 

Our desire and purpose @DanforthCC is to see people, both men and women, to grow into the full potential and healthy relationships with God and each other. 

Heresy: Is it still relevant? Should I worry about it? How do I recognize it?


See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
— Colossians 2:8

Paul wrote the letter to the believers at Colossae to keep them on the right path of orthodox faith, and to refute what has been termed "the Colossian heresy." Which brings up a good question: What is heresy anyway? 

In our current series on Colossians, we keep bumping into this, so it makes sense to give it a bit more of a definition. Heresy is defined as "belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine," with synonyms of dissension, nonconformity, and more. Orthodox is the opposite of heresy, meaning that it "conforms to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right and true; established and approved." 

Of course, our world today likes to promote nonconformity, even dissension, along with suspicion and rejection of authority, orthodoxy, and all things truth with a big "T." As soon as we stop, think and dig down on such positions, though, we find that all our rejection of orthodox belief and practice in the name of individualism and freedom is actually destabilizing, producing conflicts and ultimately self-defeating.

So, how do you and I, theologically, recognize heresy from orthodox belief? As I've shared on Sundays in this series, the essential heresies of the New Testament all deal with the person of Jesus: Who is he? How does he relate to God the Father? And the Spirit? Was he just a man? Was he divine? Etc. And all these questions are important because flowing out of them are issues that affect our salvation.

Timothy Paul Jones is a former pastor who now serves as seminary professor and associate vice president at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the U.S. He's done us the favour of producing a short video outlining the early church heresies and how they relate to the four core beliefs about Jesus. CLICK HERE FOR THAT VIDEO. 

Just like those trained to recognize counterfeit money (they're trained mostly in how to recognize the real, more so than just the hundreds of ways a bill might be faked), you and I can recognize what is counterfeit (heresy) about Jesus by recognizing four core beliefs about Jesus. Note this: All four must be true for a doctrine about Jesus to be true, as all are put forward and affirmed in Scripture:

  1. He was fully human.
  2. He was and is fully God.
  3. He is one person.
  4. And, He has two natures, both divine and human. 

Dr. Jones will list the four major New Testament heresies by their names, but note this that he mentions, too: All the Christian cults and heresies of today (Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc.) are actually not "new" but repackagings of the same old heresies of the early church, too. 

What do you and I take away from all this? Our own salvation is wrapped up in what we believe. What you believe is necessarily important, because it is directly associated with your eternal salvation! (Cf. Romans 10:5-13). So, be on your guard for your own heart and faith against heresy, as well as your friend's around you. You and your friend will be glad in this life and all the next that you did. 

Our Latest Sexual Revolution vs. the Holy Spirit


Are we entering a new sexual revolution? Or are we now realizing the downsides of the last sexual revolution? And how do we as Christians act and react in the middle of all this? 

It'd be easy to try and ignore it all. But then, we'd be irrelevant to the world we live in. And the Spirit never calls us to be irrelevant, but by His presence and power in our lives to be supremely relevant to people around us. 

Greater minds than mine have been gifted of God to speak to us about these things. Sometimes my role is to find and share their counsel with you, which is what I do with this blog posting and referrals to two resources: 

We need the Spirit of God. And we need more of Him, too. That's our only hope of overcoming in this life. He's our hope of restoration and renewal. He is the answer we need. 

  • Are you convinced of this? Or are you frustrated or even jaded by such comments? Dr. Peter K. Gabriel is a theologian, professor and published author. And again, before you "turn off" or turn away thinking this will be too dry, deep or boring, I invite you to read his blog posting Why do PENTECOSTALS care so much about SPIRIT BAPTISM?

Combined, these two blog postings will serve as rich resources speaking life-giving truth to your soul, as they have to mine. 

May the Lord meet you and bless you on your way this day. 

Jesus Didn't Make Excuses // Witness Like Jesus

Pastor Charles


Jesus stated clearly his purpose to Pilate, the Roman authority in Jerusalem in his day:

 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
— John 18:37

He reiterates this in his glorified state to John the Revelator, too: 

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.
— Revelation 3:14

In the first installment of this series, I recommended the following which was Tweeted from our church account (follow us @DanforthCC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram): 

You cannot imitate what you do not know. How well do you know Jesus? #truefaith #sundayservice #dcc
— Pastor Charles

If we're really going to be Jesus' disciples - which essentially and irrevocably means "being an imitator" - then we, too, must be witnesses. He was a witness to the truth. We to will be witnesses to the truth. 

But why don't we? 

Patrick Morley in his book The Man in the Mirror shares a list of common excuses. I've used some of these. Which have you used? 

  • I know I should be witnessing more. I have the desire, but I don’t do it. I allow other things to get in the way. (Yep. That's me. You, too?) 

  • I just don’t feel like it’s my responsibility. (That's the pastor's/church's/evangelists'/missionaries' job, not mine)

  • I don’t know any non-Christians. (Really? That's not like Jesus at all. He hung out with not-yet-believers all the time. He couldn't be a witness to the truth without it. Neither can we.)

  • I’m too busy. I just can’t afford the time. (Yep. That's me, too.) 

  • It’s just easier to not risk offending someone. (This one is very common in Canada today!) 

  • I’m so uncomfortable. I’d be so embarrassed.

  • I had a bad experience…don’t want to do that again!

  • It could be too costly to my career.

  • I’ve been told not to talk about religion at work.

  • I feel ill-equipped. I just don’t know what to say.

  • Me? You’re kidding! Who’d ever listen to me?!

  • The thought is terrifying to me. I could never do it.

Or, did Morley miss yours? What will you insert here? 

To turn the corner, begin acting with true faith imitating Jesus and being his witness, starts with what's in our heads and hearts. If we don't believe something, then we won't do it. That's the essential test of faith that James talks about in his gospel: If you don't do it, it's not real faith. 

So, to help us get our heads - and thus our hearts, too - into the game of imitating Jesus as a witness, Morley shares these 5 CONVICTIONS

  1. The single most important need people have is to know Jesus Christ personally.  “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  ~ Acts 4:12

  2. A Christian should feel a certain sense of urgency to tell the good story. Peter and John replied (to the Jewish council), “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  ~ Acts 4:19-20

  3. People will listen only to someone they trust. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsider; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasons with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” ~ Colossians 4:5-6

  4. People will consider us credible on the basis of their values, not ours. Therefore, we must earn their respect by the way we live. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasons with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” ~ Colossians 4:5-6

  5. To speak well we must prepare in advance. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. “  ~ 1 Peter 3:15

And it's #5 that really gets us: If we have no intention of being a witness, we won't prepare. If we do intend to be a true faith imitator of Jesus and be a witness, we prepare ourselves in obedience to 1 Peter 3:15 (and other passages) to do so. 

One of the best ways to be prepared is to take a small New Testament and/or Gospel tracts with you. Have a tract in your wallet always. A New Testament in your car/purse/backpack/briefcase/etc always. 

And another way to always be prepared is the card that was inserted into your bulletin on Sunday. Did you miss that? It's the header image for this blog posting. Print it and use it for yourself.  List 3 people you already have some level of relationship with. Then begin following the three steps on the card: a) Ask the Holy Spirit daily to work in their hearts, preparing them; b) for yourself, asking for faith, wisdom and boldness (all three) to be Jesus' witness to them; and c) for opportunity to share, even if it takes creating that opportunity ... like Jesus did with the Samaritan woman and her entire village when he said, "I must go through Samaria"! 

May the Lord bless you as you take these steps of true faith to better be Jesus' witness! Be sure to reply in the comments section, sharing your faith adventures. 

The Bible and Science


In our final week of our summer series What's the Elephant in your Living Room? we have a cluster of questions all relating to the Bible and Science. This post is a summary response with links to a number of specific examples the questioner posted. It's also a resource for the sermon content, too. Below my responses with links to the inquirer's questions, you'll find the resource webpage for the list of 10 scientific facts found in the Bible that I shared. This list highlights my ONE BIG THOUGHT for this message: 

The Bible is not a scientific textbook. Rather, it is God’s message to us... and it is scientifically accurate.

This ONE BIG THOUGHT is important for reframing our mindset as we approach this topic, and it serves as our mental hook on which to hang all this stuff. Now to the inquirer's questions: 

Now to the inquirer's questions: 

1.  The first (compound) question is: What is the church point of view on climate change? Why is the Bible Belt in the U.S. refusing to acknowledge climate change as a fact?

I think the best kind of answers are from those well informed. Here's an article and video link to the webcast The Years of Living Dangerously in which Don Cheadle interviews climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, who also happens to be an Evangelical Christian. In the article, she lists five reasons why Evangelical Christians in the South (U.S. Bible Belt) have a 20% lower belief in climate change in response to this question. 

2.  And our second (very compound!) question is: How do we balance Scripture and theology with modern science and what has been learned and discovered in modern times...  

From here the questioner lists five different examples, asking about the relationship between the Bible and some scientific viewpoint. To answer these, please see my comments or links to other resources for you to consider: 

  • e.g. creation vs. evolution; This question is way too broad to consider here as there are a wide range of diverse positions across the entire spectrum. Let me say this as my opinion, however: I don't believe in "evolution" as popularly conceived as life having evolved from inorganic matter by chance, and by continued chance evolved into higher and higher orders of being until we reach the complexity and consciousness of our human state today. In this respect, the theory of evolution is trumped by the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (and a law always trumps a theory; please examine the difference between a theory, a hypothesis and a scientific law). What's that, you say? The law basically states that all things move from a state of organization and coherence to disorganization and incoherence. In other words, all things are slowing down and breaking down. I challenge you to seriously put your own thoughts or the thoughts of your evolutionist friend to come up with a "hard," verifiable example today of an organism having mutated and "improved," plus (because this is required to prove evolution) that this mutation is being reproduced and outperforming the otherwise original or unmutated population, driving them out of existence. Since evolutionists want to claim that theirs is a scientific worldview, then please show us all the evidence. And the evidence is not a few fossils that are subject to theories of what may have happened. On the other hand, I do believe God created us and perhaps all of life with an ability to adapt. We can adapt to changing conditions, but this is not the same thing as "evolution" wherein something changes from one species to another species entirely. 
  • e.g. the timeline of the Bible vs. the timeline of modern science gives us - that the earth and universe are billions of years old: Again, there's a huge span of positions on this on all sides. To answer from both Christian and scientific points of view, please consider The Faraday Papers from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. Also, consider the website Science and Belief.
  • e.g. how do we incorporate that we all came from Adam and Eve, when we know there are so many different races with distinct genetic differences and who have lived all over the world. In reply: If by "genetic differences" you mean our differences in our physical appearance that we classify as "ethnicities," these are again simply the process of adaptation. Here's a "humane" example of what has happened to humanity through the millennia (as it is considered inhumane to experiment with humans in this same way): All dogs - yes, ALL dogs, all sizes, all breeds, all centuries, have evolved by human manipulation from wolves (yes, more than one "wolf" breed). Research the evolution of dogs (because that's what it's called today, not because it's "evolution" as popularly defined above). Correlate that with our ability to adapt, too, a God-given ability. 
  • e.g. how do we account for “the big bang” theory? Again (yes, "again") the question touches upon a hugely broad field and question, with widely varying viewpoints. One I find particularly compelling, however, is this video freely available on YouTube. Great stuff! 
  • e.g. how do we account for the recent finding that there is another planet similar to earth that can also sustain life? The Bible doesn't say anything conclusively for or against life on other planets. But Dr James Emery White does a great job addressing this popular question and how we as Christ-followers can respond to it. Enjoy! 

I trust each of these will help you as you fulfill Psalm 111:2, 

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.


As the ONE BIG THOUGHT states, the Bible isn't a science textbook from which we study science. Yet it is scientifically accurate. And that makes sense with the Biblical worldview: God is creator and sustainer of all things. Therefore His messages to us are logically coherent and consistent with His scientific knowledge of all things. 

Now I didn't come up with that list on my own, but - as shared with speaking - are drawn from what is called The Evidence Bible. It is a Bible that has extra resources added to help the user share confidently with those posing science-based questions. Here's the link to their web page on this topic, which you'll see includes more than the 10 that I shared on Sunday. 

May you be blessed as you examine these for yourself, and share them with your friends. May your friends come to find God and His message in Jesus Christ, as testified to in the Bible, true, compelling, and resulting in saving faith. May you journey with them in growing obedience to Jesus Christ throughout your lives. 

Can We Trust the Bible?


We're continuing in our series What is the Elephant in Your Living Room? and I'm enjoying the process of searching the Scriptures, books, websites and other scholars to help you answer the questions put forward. This week's question deals with defending the veracity - the verifiable truthfulness - of the Bible. 

It has been often stated something like "serious scholars no longer question this historicity of Jesus." Yes, it's accepted as a fact: Jesus did exist! But to your and my friends who probably aren't serious scholars, then we need to review these facts with them. Just to establish this one point, check out these pages: 

  • Wikipedia page titled "Historicity of Jesus," second paragraph. Read together with them as much as each of you like all the references to support this fact. 
  • Here's a great example, too. This one is from an avowed atheist. And still he is defending the historical fact that Jesus existed to other nay-sayers. Hilarious. 
  • This is actually an easy point to address. Just google the question with your friend and look at all the responses from responsible journalism in support of it (while also noting that there will always be irresponsible nay-sayers...but do they really want to be like them?!). 

Once we've established that Jesus is indeed historically proven, then let's see how that fact coincides with what the Scriptures say about Jesus. And even more, how mathematically ... well, either impossible or miraculous ... him fulfilling all of these (or even just a few) staggers the mind. And remember: We're using science, mathematics and historically verified documents to demonstrate that faith in the person of Jesus actually isn't "crazy" at all, but quite rational. 

To do this, however, will take more space than I usually contain in a single blog posting. So, I'm sharing HERE a document from a website (the source link is inside this document, and I give all the credit to them for compiling it). WARNING: It's 18 pages long! Most of that, however, is a list of Scriptures where you'll find the 365 prophecies and passages about Jesus. The preface to that list, however, is the mathematical examples of how miraculously impossible it is that one person fulfils all of them. May you enjoy reading this article, searching the original source website, and the Scriptures about Jesus. With this, may Jesus be lifted up in your eyes and the eyes of your questioning friends. Why? Because, when He is lifted up, He draws people to Himself. And that's just what we want with our friends, too. 

In addition to the above, let me also refer you to the excellent and highly accessible ministry website called Answers in Genesis. They have a series of pages about seven compelling evidences that the Bible is true. Excellent stuff to bless you and your inquiring friends! 

And one more addition! Dr. Timothy McGrew is a Christian theologian, historian and apologist. In a recent conference he shared the incidental details of 8 different passages and how they speak to the veracity of the Gospels due to the knowledge of the authors. The video is about one hour long, so settle in for a good listen and take good notes! 



The ONE Unforgivable Sin


In our series What is the Elephant in your Living Room I addressed the questions regarding unforgivable sins. As we were suddenly struck with technical difficulties and everyone was without the visual aid of the slides, here are some summary notes and points. 

Where do we see "unforgivable sins" in the Bible? 

  • Matthew 12:22-32 & Mark 3:22-30, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
  • Hebrews 6:4-6 & 10:26-29

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Many have asked me this question sincerely wondering through the years, "Have I blasphemed the Holy Spirit?" My general response to each is always the same, and though it seems lighthearted on the surface, it is actually a genuine and true encouragement: "If you're seriously concerned whether or not you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, then Fear Not! You haven't!" 

How can I seemingly glibly make such a response? Let's see: 

Wayne Grudem, in his epic and useful tome Systematic Theology , p. 508, in my ©1994 edition, outlines three requirements and characteristics for those who actually blaspheme the Holy Spirit. They are: 

  1. A clear knowledge of who Christ is and the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him. 
  2. A willful rejection of the facts about Christ that his opponents knew to be true, and 
  3. Slanderously attributing the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ to the power of Satan. 

A quick review of these makes it clear why I respond the way I do to those with this fear, for the fear is illusory: Anyone genuinely concerned about having done this hasn't done it because the person who has blasphemed the Spirit wouldn't be concerned about having done so. They wouldn't care because they reject Christ and His Holy Spirit. They knowingly and provocatively make their slanderous statements from a heart thoroughly hardened. 

What about those other passages? 

Both of the passages in Hebrews (6:4-6 and 10:26-29) deal with people who have made confessions of faith in Jesus, but then thoroughly and irrevocably apostatized (abandoned, denied, forsaken, broken with, renounced, etc.) their faith. Again, if you're concerned you've done this, then you likely haven't, because you're not apostatized. 

One more passage of concern

What is the "sin that leads to death" versus those that don't "lead to death" in 1 John 5:16-17? 

Basically, it's this: If anyone dies in their sins - in other words, having not confessed and followed Jesus in this life, then they die unrepentant. Salvation comes only by the Person of Jesus, and our personal positive response to Him. He alone provides the payment for our all our sins. For any who don't accept his substitutionary sacrifice, then we pay the price for our own sins: Eternal separation from God.

That sounds harsh. And it is. But here's the Good News. The eternal Father God doesn't want you do die in your sins. That's why Jesus the eternal Son came in the flesh, lived a sinless life, allowed Himself to be reviled, tortured, killed and buried. Because He was/is sinless, death had no power over Him, and He was resurrected! And having provided the perfect (i.e. sinless) human sacrifice - the only one ever in all human history -  He offers it freely to all by faith in Him. 

The ONE unforgivable sin is to reject - even to simply neglect - Jesus, His message, His offer, and His salvation in this life. 

Will you accept Him and His offer today? Will you choose to follow Him all the rest of your days on this globe? If so, then you have a great hope in this life and the next. 

Reply in the comments to this blog or call me at the church office. I look forward to hearing from you.  

Pastor Charles