Monthly Archives: July 2017

Wise as Serpents, and Harmless as Doves


A person in Baltimore, Maryland, shouting in protest of Donald Trump's election as President of the United States.
This protestor in Baltimore, Maryland, on 10 November, was one of many who took to the streets of American cities after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in a victory that surprised pollsters and mainstream media.

16 Nov. 2016: The United States has now come through one of the most rancorous presidential election campaigns in history. Unfortunately, the candidates weren’t the only ones exchanging acrimonious remarks. Their followers—if not in person, then online—also became guilty of spitting venom at each other and spreading disinformation. Sadly, some of these people styled themselves as Christians. If these things happened during the campaigning, what will happen when one of the most controversial Presidents ever elected takes office? Christians may find themselves confused over when and how to respond to situations that may arise. At this time, in this article, I want to address some general principles Jesus and His apostles gave us for responding to times of turmoil and civil unrest.

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The Dangers of the Christian Personality Cult (part 1)

by Peter Ditzel

A picture of Joel Osteen speaking at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. This megachurch that Osteen pastors boasts the largest congregation in the United States with about 52,000 attendees per week.

The world loves celebrities, stars, heroes, and superheroes. Although the production of superhero live-action films, animations, and television series constitutes a multi-billion dollar industry, we’re not satisfied with purely fictional heroes. We also take movie stars, television personalities, musicians, authors, chefs, medical professionals, even scientists, philosophers, and religious gurus of various beliefs, and we turn them into idols. We even have the various Idol and Idol-type shows around the globe in which we look for more idols. Given this penchant for elevating mere humans to larger-than-life status, it shouldn’t be surprising that we then apply our desire for idols to Christian speakers and writers.

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The Refugee Question: Answered by Christian Mercy or the Sword of the State?

by Peter Ditzel

A stained-glass rendering of the Parable of the Good Samaritan and a statue of a sword-wielding king.
A stained-glass rendering of the Parable of the Good Samaritan and a statue of a sword-wielding king show the dichotomy between the responsibilites of Christians and the responsibilites of kings. Stained glass: Church of Saint-Eutrope in Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme, France). Statue: Ninth-century King Svatopluk I of Moravia. Ján Kulich, sculptor. Peter Zelizňák, photographer.

There’s been an unfortunate mix-up. It’s happened because a lot of people, non-Christians as well as (very unfortunately) Christians, have not properly applied certain Scriptures that apply to two very different realms. In some of these Scriptures, Jesus Christ gives commands to His followers. Other Scriptures express God’s expectations for civil government. So, we have the followers of Jesus, and we have civil government. You might think it would be easy to keep these two distinct. But that’s not what’s happened. They keep getting confused.

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Comments on Luther’s “How Christians Should Regard Moses”

by Peter Ditzel

Either before or after you read these comments, you will want to read "'How Christians Should Regard Moses," a sermon by Martin Luther.

This article is an attachment to Martin Luther’s “How Christians Should Regard Moses.” I trust you have read that sermon or will soon read it. I have several points I want to make about Luther’s sermon.

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