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The Upward Call

18
Oct

Should a Christian be Involved in the Recreational Use of Marijuana?

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marijuana-leaf
This is a guest blog by our year long intern at North MacArthur--Trai Evans.   The power of influence is amazing.  There are two kinds of influence: good and bad.  Bad influence encourages wrong actions and thoughts by example.  On the other hand, good influence encourages healthy actions and thoughts by example.  As Christians, we have a big responsibility, and that is maintaining our good influence by being lights to the world (Matt. 5:14).  When it comes to the Christian being involved with the recreational use of marijuana, let’s look at a few reasons how marijuana can hurt our influence.  ...
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07
Sep

Baptism: Why All the Controversy Part 4: Infant Baptism--Consistency/Partial Salvation

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babychristened
Last time I talked about how infant baptism began being a practice and how it continued to develop into the 4th century and became more common. This week, I want to follow up and talk about the current state of infant baptism and how it demonstrates a clear departure from a Biblical foundation.   As I began to study about infant baptism in the current religious would, a few very important discoveries were made. The first was the absolute inconsistency as to the purpose of baptism. Children, according to John Calvin, come into the world under condemnation and sin. This doctrine...
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17
Aug

Baptism: Why All the Controversy Part 3: Baptizing Infants

Posted by on in The Upward Call
babychristened
Infants baptism is a huge issue when trying to discuss baptism with others. The Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterians, and Nazarene churches all practice infant baptism. How did this practice begin and what does the Bible say about it?               Most people want to attribute this practice to the doctrine of original sin, but this is not really the case. Although there is some controversy over whether infants are born with sin inherited from the parents or whether they are born innocent and remain that way until an “age of accountability,” this is not the predominant reason that infant baptism came...
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31
Jul

Baptism: Why All the Controversy Part 2: The First Slight Change--Method, Affusion or Pouring

Posted by on in The Upward Call
Baptism Santa Cruz
It is important to know what the Bible teaches about baptism, but it is also helpful to know why certain errors in teaching about Biblical baptism began. One of these errors developed early starting in 251 A.D.   During the first 200 years of the church, all sorts of ceremonies developed about baptism, including offering a prayer or exorcism over the water to cleanse and sanctify it before the person was baptized (Cyprain). This would eventually become the holy water that is now used to baptize infants in several denominations. However, one of the first major changes to Biblical baptism came...
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19
Jul

Baptism: Why All the Controversy?

Posted by on in The Upward Call
baptism-slide
In order to help us understand why we are the greater minority in our teaching of baptism for adults, by immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, I want to take the next few weeks and go through some of the major changes that have taken place in the teaching of baptism over the years. I want to accomplish two things by doing this: (1) to help member of the Lords’ church to be a RESOURCE to others when discussing baptism, and (2) to help some who may be coming from other fellowships to evaluate their own baptism in the light of...
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20
Apr

Are the Thorns Growing In Our Hearts?

Posted by on in The Upward Call
Rose-with-thorns
I was recently rereading the parable of the sower that Jesus told in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 and I really began to do what he asks of us, “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matt. 13:9). In this week’s blog I want to concentrate on what Jesus tells us about the soil that tries to develop with thorns in it.   As someone who does some yard work on the weekends as most of us do, I have noticed that sometimes the most beautiful plants in my garden have thorns. Of course, roses produce a beautiful flower and many of them...
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06
Apr

Mercy Not Sacrifice

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mercy triumphs over judgement
It is tough once we have a little bit of righteousness in our lives to figure out to handle it. We begin to feel like we are better than we probably are, yet we are not as bad as we used to be. However, this little bit of cleansing can have a detrimental effect like it did on the Pharisees if we let it.   Jesus was reclining at the table of a house with many tax collectors and sinners and the Pharisees saw this and began to hurl stones at Jesus in the form of this type of statement,...
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28
Mar

Why Did God Leave Us Responsible for His Plan?

Posted by on in The Upward Call
responsibility1
One of the really interesting ideas of Scripture is when Jesus goes back to heaven and has left 12 men responsible for carrying on a plan that was conceived from many, many years ago. Jesus has accomplished his work, but how are human beings going to do taking the message of his resurrection and teachings to the rest of the world?   Almost 2,000 years later, we would have to conclude that God knew what he was doing. The message has survived, and it is continuing to be shared among people of every nation. Has it gone as God wanted? We...
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09
Mar

A Fitbit for the Spirit

Posted by on in The Upward Call
Fitbit image
One of the hottest new trends is the Fitbit.  In fact, my daughter Mikayla got one for Christmas and I decided to get one to be able to challenge her in making her daily goals.    The way the Fitbit works is that it is intended to increase your awareness about how much you move/exercise, and how many calories (how much food) you consume, resulting in the ability to track information and allow you to adjust these measurements in order to become healthier.  For example, since I got my Fitbit, I know about how many steps I take a day which results in...
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24
Feb

A Firm Center with Soft Edges

Posted by on in The Upward Call
jam-doughnut 1603342c
Recently as I was reading, a writer introduced me to a phrase that caught my attention. He was talking about being able to have conversations with others who disagree with us and he used the term “firm center with soft edges” to describe our attitude with others. This is the opposite of the jelly-filled doughnut that has a firm edge with a squishy center. However, I am afraid, as Christians, many of us operate like the jelly-filled doughnut rather than the other way around.   What does it mean to have a firm center with soft edges when dealing with...
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28Oct
Fall Festival Sat, Oct 28 @ 4:00 PM
29Oct
29Oct
Young Men's Service Sun, Oct 29 @ 5:00 PM
 
 

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