Articles

Articles

“Don’t You Dare Label Me!”

“Don’t You Dare Label Me!”

By Paul R. Blake

            I am underwhelmed by the contemporary hue and cry against “labeling,” yet another tactic in the arsenal of the political correctness movement. People, paradigms, and personal choices are not exempt from this foolishness. “You can’t label me, you can’t use words to identify my choices; I get to choose the names and words for what I am and what I do.” Really? What an amazing blend of pride, self-centeredness, and ignorance!

            Putting labels on things is how people find the exit door during a fire, or put vanilla instead of valium in a cake, or go to Philadelphia instead of Patagonia. Labels facilitate communication and clarify speech. Unless, of course, the label is intended to cause harm or is pejorative. Then, it has the opposite effect of inhibiting communication. However, it must be understood that offense is not unidirectional; that is, sometimes the speaker intends offense, and sometimes the hearer is trying to be offended.

            Jesus labeled the scribes and Pharisees as “hypocrites.” He saw their behavior and identified them with a word that accurately communicated the nature of their conduct. In fact, in Matthew 15:12, the disciples went so far as to ask Jesus if He was aware that He offended them. Jesus was underwhelmed by the fact that they were offended by His having described them with clarity. You see, the sharp, accurate term He used to identify them was designed to bring them to a crisis: either they will be awakened to their own double standard and be moved to change, or they will choose to be offended and dismiss the Lord’s efforts to edify them.

            Likewise in our own time out of fear of offending the audience, preachers and teachers who scramble for inoffensive ways of expressing the Gospel often fail to communicate the whole truth. The power in the Gospel is its ability to bring sinners to a crisis: “Do I seek forgiveness of my sins or do I forget that I am a sinner?” To blur that message out of a misguided sense of over-politeness robs the Gospel of it power to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

            Leave political correctness to the politically minded. Call a sin a sin.

Two Journeys

By Steve Melton, May 31, 2020

 

The journey of Moses and the Exodus, with our lives,

Has a great comparison and connection. 

It could not happen by chance,

If we meditate with insight and reflection.

 

The Israelites were slaves, Pharaoh was their master.

Crying for help, Moses was sent to free.

Satan was our master, we were slaves to sin.

Now through Christ we overcome, from sin we can flee.

 

With Pharaoh in pursuit, they crossed down into the sea.

On the other side, they became a new nation.

Those baptized into Christ, have their sins forgiven.

They died to the old life, formed a new relation.

 

Moses stops at the mountain.

The temple and law had its start.

Now God gives Christ’s new covenant.

Within us is the temple, the law written on our heart.

 

In the wilderness, they wandered forty years.

Only Joshua and Caleb remained true.

We are now in our own wilderness journey.

Many saints have fallen, will we make it through?

 

Finally, they crossed the river Jordon.

The promise land they secured.

At death, we cross our river into heaven.

If in Christ, we have endured.

Jesus Had…

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.

He had no army, yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime, but they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us.

If You Plant…

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap an eternal reward.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Test Your Bible Knowledge of Kings

1. I was the wise one

2. I was a man after God’s own heart

3. I was the first king of Israel

4. I was the king that divided Israel

5. I was the first king of the northern ten tribes

6. I was the last king of Judah

Upcoming Sermons

6/7/20 AM - Wasting Precious Ointment; PM - The Changing of Seasons (Conclusion to Solomon’s Seasons)

6/14/20 AM - “We Ourselves Were Also Once…”; PM - Greeting the Saints at Rome

6/21/20 AM - “Is My Name Written There?”; PM - The Bones of the Prophet

6/28/20 AM - “When for Deeper Faith I Seek”; PM - Out of the Tombs and Into the Light

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