Don’t Forget This 1 Fact About Christ’s Death

I’d rather have been crucified.

That’s the thought I had in my head one morning in the shower.

A few months ago, my pastor preached a moving sermon using the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste as an illustration--a story I had not heard before.

Let me briefly tell it here:

The Anatomy of Evil: How to Sin in 2 Easy Steps

That fruit must have looked so good.

Imagine the beauty of Eden: the deep greens of the flora dotted with brightly colored fruits of all sorts.

Imagine the sweet, intoxicating smells that occupied the air.

Imagine the soothing sound of rushing water that flowed from the four rivers in the garden.

Imagine how good everything tasted.

Everything Eve had sampled to this point was amazing--each new food tasted better than the last.

But there was that one tree.

Why the Question of Easter Paganism Is Irrelevant, Part II

Last week, I argued that it does not matter whether or not Easter traditions like dying and hiding eggs and the Easter bunny are pagan in origin.

Now I would like to extrapolate on that point using three main passages from the New Testament.

Sin Originates in the Heart

The first is from the gospel of Mark. In the passage some Pharisees criticize Jesus’ disciples for not washing ceremonially before eating. In response Jesus says to these Pharisees, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” (Mark 7:9).

The ceremonial washing referred to in this passage is not part of the Law of Moses but rather a tradition passed down through the generations (Mark 7:3). The Pharisees were focusing on man-made rules, rather than on the things that really matter.

Ironically this could be used by skeptics as evidence against practicing Easter traditions like hunting eggs. The argument is that eggs and bunnies are traditions that we practice at the expense of God’s commands. Is there any legitimacy to this?

Why the Question of Easter Paganism Is Irrelevant

A few years ago I was introduced to the idea that Easter is a pagan holiday.

I don't remember where I first heard or read it, but the implications of the idea stuck with me:

-God does not approve of how we celebrate Easter (or that we celebrate it at all).
-We are all ignorant Christians serving false gods.
-If I hide eggs for my kids on Easter I am sinning against God.

To borrow an Oklahoma phrase, “Do what?”

What If You Didn't Really Hear From God?

I remember sitting in the car immersed in a mixture of confusion and elation. I wasn't angry, and I wasn't really sad. How could I be? We were going to have a baby girl.

Between frantic texts to every person we knew, I said to Katie, "I guess I didn't really hear from God."

She said, "Is this going to rock your faith?"