James 2:8-9 – One of Those Royal Laws
Writings

James 2:8-9 – One of Those Royal Laws

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. The story is told of a small town mayor here in Northeast Brazil who wanted to build a…

James 2:6b-7 – Unfortunate Assumptions, Part 2
Writings

James 2:6b-7 – Unfortunate Assumptions, Part 2

Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? As I have contemplated this text over the past couple weeks, two incidents from our life here in Brazil – both involving my oldest son Michael – were brought to my…

Jezebel Waiting in the Wings
Writings

Jezebel Waiting in the Wings

The following was inspired by this tweet, and the kerfuffle that erupted around it. From: The Elders of the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel To: The Prophet Elijah Dear Elijah, The purpose of this letter is to express our dismay at the harsh condemnations you have directed of late towards the person of Her Royal…

James 2:5-6a – Unfortunate Assumptions, Part 1
Writings

James 2:5-6a – Unfortunate Assumptions, Part 1

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Living in a foreign country means that life is pretty much a never-ending series of adventures. Some…

Play Pagan Games, Win Pagan Prizes
Writings

Play Pagan Games, Win Pagan Prizes

I’ve long contended that God has a biting sense of humor. The plagues of Egypt, the talking donkey, Christ’s hilarious jabs at the Pharisees – all represent some pretty high comedy in the pages of Scripture. But even I could not have predicted the exquisite timing of the “divine comedy” that unfolded last week. I…

James 2:1 – How Not to Build a Cathedral
Writings

James 2:1 – How Not to Build a Cathedral

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. Some of the most interesting places to visit in the four-hundred-year-old city of São Luís – where God has given us the privilege of ministering – are the old churches built by the Portuguese during colonial times….

Hope for Foolish and Darkened Hearts
Writings

Hope for Foolish and Darkened Hearts

Arguing for the truth of God’s word is made that much easier when the pagans are gracious enough to do the heavy lifting. In Romans 1:18-32 the apostle Paul describes for us the sequence of degradation experienced a society that has rejected the Creator. As I read the daily headlines, I am always reminded of…

James 1:27 – You Can’t Have One Without the Other
Writings

James 1:27 – You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Certain things go together to such a degree that when they are separated, the individual parts lose all their significance. Examples: macaroni and cheese, Simon and Garfunkle, Laurel…