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    Celebrating July 4th, Lesson on Repentance

    I attended two different churches on the Sunday before July 4th. They incorporated the holiday differently in their worship. One church had each military division carry their respective flags to the stage while the orchestra and the men’s choir played a rousing tune. Then six men clad in green army gear from World War 2, ran down the stage and lifted the American flag, reenacting the famous Iwo Jima flag raising. It was an inspiring production that brought everyone to their feet. When the pastor preached, he made sure to credit God for the blessings of America and that they were celebrating the cost of freedom and the men in…

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    Compromise Is Repentance

    “Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” Acts 15:20 This is the first council of the churches on a make or break theological issue and the spirit of their rabbi Jesus prevailed over the gravity of tradition, a surprising turn. Many Pharisees wanted to impose circumcision on the new Gentile ranks of Christ-followers. They saw this as an essential element to following Jesus, who himself was a Jew and circumcised: not a shabby argument. If this first council imposed circumcision, then Christianity could well have been a Jewish sect footnote.…