Only Christianity Deals With Our Sin

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One of the marks that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions is that, for  followers of Christ, their sin is dealt with completely by Christ on the cross. This sets Christianity apart from other religions, because other religions require their followers to perform works in order to balance out, or surpass, their own sinfulness with good works. The followers of other religions, including Roman Catholicism, are doing their best to “be good” in adhering to their religious precepts, but in the end, all they can truly do is “hope for the best” when it comes to judgment day.

This is not so for the true Christian, because the judgment day for the Christian has already taken place…on the cross. For the Christian, by the time he/she comes to the point of trusting in Christ for salvation, their sin has already been dealt with on the cross, even sins not yet committed.

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Top 2015 Posts For the Year: Posts 20-16

We are continuing our march to the end of the year by looking back at the Top 25 posts of the year on TimothyJHammons.com. We started yesterday with posts 25-21, and today we are looking at posts 20-16. Here they are:

20. IF:Gathering — Another Gospel…Again This is about another of the many ministries that sound really good on the surface but fail in their understanding of the gospel. You might say they are more Humanism 101 than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

19. The Meaning of Shibboleth. Written back in 2010, this post deals with the political nature of our society and the Shibboleths that are used to silence debate. For example, back then, if you mentioned you watched Fox News, that brought about a level of condemnation from the more liberal minions.

18. We Are to Stand Against Evil. This post was born out of the realization that far too many pastors never address the evil in our culture. They will refer to men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer all day long, but never stand against the tide of evil as he did.

17. In Memory of Stokely Hammons, October 25, 1969 – December 27, 2014. One of the most difficult posts I have written since I began blogging.

16. The Church is Called to Worship, Not Change the World. Far too many in Christian circles think the role of the church is to change the world. It is not. The role of the church is to worship God. Our Creator may use the church to change the world. That is His job. Not ours.

I will post 15-11 tomorrow.

Top 5 Bible Verses You Will Never Find on a Bumper Sticker, But Should

badquoteWe are getting close to that time of year when people will start posting Top 5 or Top 10 this, that, and the other thing posts. Some of these posts will be things like the Top 5 Bible versus of the year, according to BibleGateway.com. I did that a few years ago and it was quite predictable: John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:3, Proverbs 5:3-6, and Romans 8:28.

Usually these verses are ripped kicking and screaming out of context and used like a rabbit’s foot or a lucky charm. If the verse fits for our immediate concern, we are quick to rip it from the pages of Scripture to make us “feel” better in the moment. Never mind the deeper messages behind these verses, we want instant gratification. Not only do we want instant gratification now, we want it before we even know we want it.

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Top 10 Guy Movies of All Time, According to Timothy

Well, since in posted my top 10 chick flicks of all time, I thought it only just and right to attempt to post my top 10 guy movies of all time. Please note that this is a real challenge since there are so many great guy movies out, compared to chick flicks. After all, once you have seen one chick flick, you get the idea. It’s only a variation between actors and supposed outcomes. Basic plot line: boy meets girl, conflict arise, conflict subsides, happily ever after.

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Top 10 Posts of 2013!

Time for our year-end reviews of what has been hot over the past year as far as posts I’ve written. I already know the number post for the year without even looking at the stats. As I told Heath on his blog, it is Blue Bell Ice Cream: Top 10 Flavors. When I wrote it on July 5, 2011, I never imagined it would become my top post. Apparently, Blue Bell Ice Cream is extremely popular.

While I wasn’t surprised at that post, there were a few that did catch me off guard and had no idea they are slowly creeping up the charts. So starting with number 2, since I’ve given you number 1 already, here are the rest of the Top 10 Posts of 2013.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Attend Christmas Parties

Yes, you could say that I’ve been burned by the spirit of the Christmas party spirit. Please note the non-capitalization of the word “spirit.” That is intentional because as I review my recent Christmas party adventures, and ones even farther back than this, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas parties, and more broadly the celebration of Christmas itself, is not good for my spiritual well being and rarely involves the Holy Spirit.

I’m not saying it is bad for your spiritual well being. Just that I don’t think it’s good for mine. So given that stipulation and the fact that this is my blog, I’m completely and totally right on this subject… for the moment. I could change my mind with new evidence, but given the case before us, this is my position right now. (Nothing like taking a strong stand in the shifting sands of such a deep and important subject).

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Ten Things Pastors Don’t Like About Pastoring

This Top-10 List is from Thom S. Rainer, who is the CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. He conducted an informal survey of pastors about what they didn’t like about the ministry and came up with the following ten items. I agree with some of them, and disagree with others of them. Out of a selfish sense of preservation, I will not comment on any of them or let you know which ones I agree with. However, if you come across one of the 10 that angers you, I don’t agree with that one.

10. Dealing with budgets and finance. “I have a pastor friend who has a finance major. He was in business before he went to seminary and he loves working with numbers. Not me. I get nauseas at the thought of working on the church budget.”

9. Weddings. “Emotions are usually high at weddings. Some people are difficult to handle. Plus the rehearsal, ceremony, and reception take away my whole weekend. I wish we could pass a law that no weddings can take place during college football season.”

8. Announcements in the worship service. “This past Sunday I was asked to announce that one of the older Sunday school classes was having a garage sale to raise money to repair the pipe organ. Their hearts were right, but I had to talk about a garage sale and a pipe organ right before I preached.”

7. Persistent critics. “You have to deal with critics if you are a pastor. I just struggle with those who are always on me about something. They never let up. It can be demoralizing.”

6. Anonymous critics. “I shouldn’t even let anonymous critics bother me. If they don’t have the courage to use their name, I have no reason to dwell on it. But, I’ve got to admit, it really bugs me. I find myself wondering throughout the day who it might be.”

5. Counseling. “I really envy those pastors who are counselors. They get energized by listening to people at their points of need and hurt. I have to admit that my mind wanders and I watch the clock. I don’t think I really help anybody when I counsel.”

4. Treating spouses like they are paid staff members. “I really hurt for my wife because we have one church member that expects her to put in the same amount of hours at church as I do. My wife is taking care of our three preschool children at home, but she feels guilty every time the church member talks to her.”

3. Supporters who don’t support pastors publicly. “One guy was ripping into me at our last business meeting. But he didn’t bother me as much as my so-called supporters who remained silent the whole time. They’ve told me that they are behind me, but they weren’t there for me when I needed them the most.”

2. Funerals of non-Christians. “I’ve been a pastor for nearly thirty years, and I still struggle when I’m asked to do the funeral of someone who never professed Christ. Most of the time my funeral message is directed at the family, and how God will comfort them. It’s still not easy.”

1. Business meetings. “Let me know if you come across a pastor that actually likes church business meetings. I want to find the secret to his moments of delusion.”