Tips & Tricks #12: HOW TO BE BOLD ABOUT YOUR FAITH

TIPS & TRICKS #12:

HOW TO BE BOLD ABOUT YOUR FAITH

Bold Faith - Anglicanmom.com

I must say I’ve been very discouraged since coming to the UK. The local parish church is lovely, friendly, but it’s missing something–the desire to evangelize. They’re missing the desire to grow their church! They’re content with a congregation of 40 people, they’re content with a congregation of ages 50 and above. In one conversation with a congregant, we mentioned how timid people seem to talk about their faith, and the answer we received was that they and their children were bullied in school for being Christian. It seems this have permeated the culture in the UK and it is not culturally acceptable to even speak about religion.

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How Do You Know You’re Saved? (The answer isn’t “I prayed a prayer one time”)

narrow pathHow do you know you’re saved? This question is a very commonly asked question among teenagers and young people in the Baptist tradition. The answer that is often given by a pastor or preacher is that if there was a day in their past that they prayed to accept Christ into their lives and they meant it, then they are saved.

There are a lot of issues with this approach to salvation. I would like to address some of them, and recommend you watch this video by Paul Washer, a Southern Baptist preacher, who addresses this issue directly.

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Let Not the Sun Go Down on Your Wrath

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I struggle with anger and with lashing out. Thankfully, I tend to be quick to forgive and forget, and don’t hold grudges, but when my husband offends me or I think he’s attacking me (verbally), I go into fight mode. It’s not “fight or flight” for me–I always fight! I think the verse in Ephesians 4:26b, “…let not the sun go down on your wrath,” is a great excuse to just let out all the anger and wrath right before bedtime. However, I often forget the first part of that verse, “Be ye angry, and sin not:…” The key here is not sinning.

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We Call Our Pastor ‘Father’ (no, we’re not Catholic)

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When mentioning to our family members and friends how we are Anglican, we get a lot of confused looks and questions. Once they hear the word “father,” they think that we’re Catholic. Also, in conversations with friends who are wives of Anglican priests, they talk about getting flack for being married to a priest–thinking that all men who wear collars must be celibate! Well, this post is a little unpacking of the tradition of calling pastors ‘father,’ the clerical collar and the allowances of the men who wear them.

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What to do about Santa

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Now that we have a daughter, the question of what to do about Santa comes up. As Christians, we know that Christmas is all about Christ! The true meaning of Christmas has almost nothing to do with what Santa Claus has become today (a highly commercialized fictional character who travels with flying reindeer, fits through chimneys, and rewards children for being good).

The original Santa Claus was based on Saint Nicholas, who was an actual person who lived in the third century in the village of Patara, (now Demre, Turkey). Nicholas was born into a very wealthy family and was raised a devout Christian. When Nicholas was still very young, his parents died. He decided to obey Jesus’ words from Matthew 19:21 “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me,” and so he used his entire inheritance to help the sick, needy and suffering. He was later made the bishop of Myra and became known for his generosity.

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The Problem of Individualism in the Church

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Individualism. It has ruined the church.
We all understand as Christians that there is a need for the individual to come to faith, repent and believe in Christ Jesus as his personal Savior in order to be considered righteous in God’s eyes. We understand that we cannot rely on the faith of others to enter the gates of heaven. We must work out our individual salvation in fear in trembling. In this context the individual is important and we should focus on that. But is individualism consistent with Christianity?

The blood of Christ bought the Church (not an individual) (Eph. 5:25); all of us together (not individually) are the body of Christ; where two or three are (not one) (Matt. 18:20), there Christ is; Christ said we will be known by the love we have for one another, not for ourselves (John 13:35); Christ said the moral law is summarized in how we love God and one another, not how we love ourselves (Matt. 22:38-39). The whole Christian perspective is otherly, not individualistic!

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