Building Bridges

Building Bridges, Issue 16, May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020 by John Maurice

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.” (Frederic D. Huntington, Forum magazine, 1890). It is amazing to me that the quote above is from 1890. Indeed, the more things change the more they stay the same! The New Testament epistles address various threats that the church faced in the first century, and I would contend that one of the most serious threats contemporary Christians face is that of being lukewarm, rather than being on fire for Jesus. The church in Laodicea was rich, well clothed, and in need of nothing (Revelation 3:17) – which is a fairly accurate description of American Christianity. But the angel condemned the church for being lukewarm. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15, 16). The word translated as spit literally means to vomit. In other words, the Christians in Laodicea were enjoying...

 

Building Bridges, Issue 15, April 10, 2020

April 12, 2020 by John Maurice

“Jesus Christ did not come into this world to make bad people good; he came into this world to make dead people live." (Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ)   This week begins with Jesus being lauded as a king on Palm Sunday as he rides a colt into Jerusalem. The crowds sing and chant a victory song as their hope for a new ruler in Jerusalem is fueled. Yet, on Monday Jesus will begin to face opposition as the religious leaders begin to plot against him. On Thursday, Jesus and his disciples gather in the upper room. As Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper at the Passover meal, he said that the one that dips his hand in the bowl with him would betray him (Matthew 26:23; Mark 14:20; John 13:26). He spoke of Judas Iscariot. On this night, Jesus was betrayed and arrested in the Garden. He would ultimately be tried and put to death upon a cross. Even those that cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday jeered him on Good Friday as they raised their voices with the crowd crying, “crucify him, crucify him” (Luke 23:21). Holy Week shows the absolute worst things of which we are capable. How quickly people turned against Jesus – even those...

 

Building Bridges, Issue 14, March 16, 2020

April 08, 2020 by John Maurice

“Our faith and determination is in the sovereign Lord who upholds and sustains us by His power and love.” from Mid-Atlantic's response to COVID-19 Who would have thought we would be talking about college campuses closing; the cancellation of the ACC Tournament, the NCAA March Madness, and the annual MACU Rally; and a global pandemic this month? I certainly didn't, but here we are, facing a global crisis – and none of us is immune. At the very least, I hope you are taking care of yourself and washing your hands! Last week was spring break for the students at Mid-Atlantic. They left campus and scattered to the four winds by planes, trains, and automobiles. In fact, students come from 20 states, and all of those states have an increasing number of positive test results for COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the Coronavirus. As I scroll through Facebook posts, I see numerous posts that seem to make cancelling gatherings moral or spiritual issues, separating the sheep from the goats (or those that have faith or are moved by fear). I am not typically a fearful person. Perhaps that inclination is partly from a military background, which...

 

Building Bridges, Issue 13, January 20, 2020

April 08, 2020 by John Maurice

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Growing up in the 1960’s I assumed that my experience was a universal experience. When I would go to the doctor’s office, there were two waiting rooms – one for “whites” and one for “colored.” When my family went to Sears, there were two bathrooms for men and two water fountains outside of the restrooms, again, one for “whites” and one for “colored.” I did not understand why this was the case. I only knew that I sat in one waiting room at the doctor’s office and drank out of one water fountain at Sears. The elementary school that I attended was all white. There were no black teachers in my school. The only black person I saw at school was the janitor.  When it was time to go to our high school, we had a few black students, but not very many. My eighth grade shop teacher, C.B. Hall, was black, and he genuinely cared about...

 

Building Bridges, Issue 12, January 7, 2020

April 08, 2020 by John Maurice

“Church, we must remember that God isn’t calling us to just hate abortion. He’s calling us to value the life of a baby. God isn’t calling us to simply make abortion illegal. He’s calling us to make abortion unthinkable . . . ." (Christians, Being Anti-abortion Doesn’t Make You Prolife, by Dale Partridge, www.relearnchurch.org) “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 January is “Sanctity of Human Life” month. There is probably no more controversial or divisive issue confronting society than abortion. The subject of abortion has been a political hot-button issue in every election since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. Roe v. Wade was a landmark legal decision issued on January 22, 1973, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas statute banning abortion, effectively legalizing the procedure across the United States. The court held that a woman’s right to an abortion was implicit in the right to privacy protected by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The landmark decision has been controversial and since the 1973 ruling, every nominee to the Supreme Court has been scrutinized over their views concerning abortion....