Will you go to hell for smoking marijuana?

We like to put things in boxes. We like tidy answers. Will you go to hell for smoking weed? No. Should you smoke weed? No. Many parents are going to have to start figuring out what they believe about marijuana. Most states that have legalized it have set the legal age at 21 which is wise.

Here is why I think legalizing marijuana is a bad idea.

  1. Wider use and acceptance. The legal age is 21 but so is alcohol and go to any High School party, college campus alcohol is everywhere. Is weed in these places now? Yes. But legalization will make it far worse believe me.
  2. People typically smoke it to get high to alter conscience
  3. I believe that the “drunk with alcohol” scriptures apply to “getting high on drugs”

How the Catechism keeps us from bad theology

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Kevin DeYoung in his fantastic devotional exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism explains the threefold outline of the Catechism in such a concise and profound way.

Question one of the Catechism shapes our whole existence. The first thing we need to know as a Christian is that we belong to Jesus and not to ourselves. But it doesn’t help much to know all about comfort and joy if we don’t know what is required to live and die in this comfort and joy. Belonging to Jesus and not ourselves means knowing three things: guilt, grace, and gratitude. The rest of the Catechism will follow this threefold outline.

First, we understand our sin. Then we understand salvation. And finally we understand how we are sanctified to serve. All three things are necessary. If we don’t know about our sin – which brings a true sense of guilt – we will be too confident in our abilities to do right and make the world a better place. We will ignore our most fundamental problem, which is not lack of education, or lack of opportunity, or lack of resources but sin and its attendant misery. But if we don’t know how we are set free from this sin and misery – which comes through God’s grace – we will try to fix ourselves in futility or give up altogether in despair. And if we don’t know how to thank God, showing gratitude for such deliverance, we will live in a self-centered, self-referential bubble, which is not why God saved us from our sin and misery in the first place. If Christians would hold all “three things” and not just one or two, we would be saved from a lot of poor theology and bad ideas. – Kevin DeYoung

As I am walking our own children through the Catechism I find myself convicted and moved to worship and the beauty and majesty of the truths it holds. If you are a parent looking for a great devotional check out “The Good News We Almost Forgot.” It is written to be read as a weekly devotional but can be read as frequently as you desire I read it all as quick as I could. Such a great book. Highly recommend it. If you are a fan of the Catechism this book will deepen your love for it. If you are skeptical or new to the Catechism it’s worth checking out.

Youth Culture and the New Relevance

christianity_orthodoxy_1920x1080Having served in kids ministry for 15 years and working in youth ministry for much of that time, it seems there has come a shift.  There has been a shift is our country as well as the Christian subculture.

You will often hear cultural experts talking about kids leaving their faith and how these kids need to be reached. We need to stem the rising tide. In our eagerness to solve this dilemma, we are making the wrong conclusions. We think the problem is a lack of relevance. We think our faith is not “hip” enough for the kids. So we create these algorithms of success that sounds like this: cool music + awesome lights + the perfect amount of fog = Jesus might be ok after all. Lights and music aren’t the problem it’s that we have prescribed the wrong medication. We have misapplied relevance and have actually given kids more of what they don’t need and less of what they are actually looking for.

What your kids need to know about sin

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Where did sin come from and why do I sin?

The biblical account of the fall is found in Genesis chapter 3. The understanding of the fall it’s causes and it’s far reaching effects are essential for parents and their children alike to full understand. It is understanding the nature and the cause of the fall that we are able to see the need for redemption and ultimately restoration. We do our kids a massive disservice when we minimize the nature of sin. It is only through a clear understanding of sin that we see ourselves as we truly are and are then able to see Christ as He is. John Newton the former slave ship captain later famous hymn writer who wrote Amazing Grace on his death bead said in such captivating forum “I don’t remember much but I do know that I am a great sinner but I have a great savior.”

Are Miracles Real?

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Eric Metaxas is rolling out his new book “Miracles” tomorrow. I had the privilege of reading it in advance. I read “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” last year and enjoyed it so much I read several of Eric’s other books. Many of Eric’s latest books were biographical so Miracles in combining theology and biography was a bit of a twist from his most recent offerings. Being part of a church that is Charismatic in expression and Reformed in theological practice, I was interested in the direction Metaxas would take on the supernatural. Knowing his background of Greek Orthodoxy, and that he has attended primarily more mainline denominational churches, I became even more curious on his thoughts concerning the miraculous. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.