What You Don’t Like About Your Church (And why that’s good)

I have this conversation quite often with members of my church and with believers outside of my church. It is usually sparked by a discussion of something this person doesn't like about our church or about the church they attend. Now, let's assume the disagreement is not related to doctrinal purity, moral integrity, authoritarian abuse (issues I believe are grounds for leaving a church). Let's also assume this is a gospel-preaching, Word-saturated, bible-believing church. Let's also assume the disagreement is not over a 2nd-tier issue that is not orthodoxy, but valid reason when choosing a church (mode of baptism, denomination, etc). So we're dealing with issues of preference. This is what I tell people who tell me there is something about our church they don't like or about their church they don't like: "Good." It's good that you're involved with a local body of believers with whom you have disagreements and varying preferences. Why? Because that...

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Why Hobbies are Better When They are Not Idols

John Calvin famous said our hearts are great "idol-making factories." A good, wholesome, beneficial pursuit can quickly become an idol. For me, I find that my pleasurable hobbies can often lead to idolatry. Sports is perhaps the biggest threat. I'm a big time fan of team sports. I love the NFL, the NBA, and Major League Baseball (when our Chicago teams are competitive.). Sports is a terrific way to enjoy leisure time, great way to occupy creative and emotional parts of our minds and to find common ground with others. But it can also become an obsessive pursuit. Let me explain. There are seasons when I'm so completely locked in on sports. For instance, last NBA offseason and the season were terrific, perhaps one of the best in many years in the League. During that season I was checking Twitter constantly to see where LeBron might be signing. I watched many...

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