“Alright, alright, but what IS the gift?”

Photo by <a href=“https://unsplash.com/@fableandfolk”>Annie Spratt</a>The sun was slowly setting over the horizon. The reds, oranges, and purples were magnificent. Our bellies were satisfied from the meal and the laughter was contagious. A cool breeze gently blew as we gathered on the deck with the Scriptures open. We began reading… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known...
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Is the Church called to be “Counter-Cultural”?

Photo by Samantha SophiaI read many articles and books about what it means to be “the Church.” As a pastor of a new congregation I think that I need to continue to refine and deepen my understanding of what the Church ought to be. A concept that consistently pops up, particularly in blogs, is that the Church is “called” to be counter-cultural. This idea is foundational to what many refer to as the “culture war” that has been raging for decades in the United States. To be faithful to the Church necessarily demands that you are in a posture that is “counter” to the culture, at least that’s how the thinking goes. I am growing unconvinced that there is such a call. What I am more convinced of then ever is that the Church is called to create culture. As I continue to study and read the Scriptures and work really hard to apply their truths to my life I am learning that the...
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