Yes, You Are a Pharisee. Here’s What You Can do About it.

If you are at all familiar with the Bible, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Pharisees. They were some of the Jewish religious leaders in the time of Jesus, who made sure people were following the Jewish laws and customs. Many of whom also wanted to look good in front of others for how “holy” they were.

And it is easy for many of us (Christians) today to look at them, roll their eyes, and be glad we aren’t like that. Sure we aren’t perfect, but at least we aren’t holding people to unrealistic standards that God never asked them to live up to.

Except that we are like them, we just don’t know it.

Is Jesus’ Command to Take of His Blood a Violation of God’s Law?

In the Old Testament, the Israelites are commanded not to consume meat that still has blood in it. In Genesis 9:4 God tells Noah he and his family could eat animals for food, and also says “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.” It is also mentioned various times in the Old Testament laws that consuming blood was forbidden.

The God Story of how New City Church Found a Home

Email from me: My name is Dylan Dodson and I am leading a new church starting in the area in 2017 (newcityrdu.com). I saw on your guys’ website that you are moving to a new space, and was wondering what was going to happen to your space on Creedmoor road? We are looking around for potential places to meet in starting in January. Thanks!

Response: Hi Dylan. The space is still open and all set a for a church … stage, sound booth, power, and snake [sound cable] in the ceiling.

Could this finally be it? Probably not, we’ve struck out on eight places so far for New City to meet, and that is only counting the places I have had conversations with (and not all the places that might could work but we didn’t hear back from). This is Raleigh we are talking about, why can’t we find someplace to meet on a Sunday morning?!

Moving From Inviting to Investing

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If you grew up in church, or have been a part of one for a while, you have undoubtedly heard over and over again the emphasis on inviting people to come to church with you. Be it a church service, event, group, etc. And while inviting others is a good thing, it is not and should not be the ultimate thing.

Here’s why.

How to Be Faithful This Election Season

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This election is very difficult for many people. Many people don’t like either candidate from the two political parties. And there is all this buzz out there that supposedly a vote for ___ (a third party candidate, or not voting) is a vote for Trump while others say somehow the very same act is actually a vote for Hillary Clinton; because realistically a third party candidate will not win and you shouldn’t waste your vote.

But we have never had two more unpopular candidates running at the same time than we do this election. We’ve never expected our presidents to be perfect, but it seems (to many) like these two candidates don’t pass a simple human decency test.

So what should we do? More specifically, how should Christians vote?

The most repeated phrase this election we have heard is that we should vote for the person we think is the lesser of two evils; because few people really love either candidate.

I’m not dismissing this idea, as I truly do understand the dilemma. If you don’t like either candidate, why not vote for the one you think will cause less damage. And since no presidential candidate has ever been perfect, that’s what we do every four years anyway. Right?

So what do we do?

Here Is Why Black Lives Matter

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Race relations have been a hot topic for debate this year. Black lives matter is countered with all lives matter. Being against police brutality is seen as being anti-police. Kneeling for the national anthem by NFL athletes in peaceful protest is argued to be against and ungrateful for our military. The list goes on.

Up until now, I’ve said/written/posted little to nothing about all this for two reasons.

A Personal Update on Church Planting

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How are things going?

I am asked that a lot right now. We are in a unique time right now as we prepare to start New City Church. There is a lot to prepare for; things that are exciting and things that make you anxious. You feel pretty much every emotion when planting a church.

I have been hesitant to write about how I have been feeling and how things have been going because I fear how it may come across. There have been times in the past where I read posts by others planting churches, and though I know they didn’t mean it, to me they came across as either one or two ways.

There Is Nothing Fun About It

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Patience is hard. I’m not sure I know anyone who would say “patience” is one of their strengths. There’s nothing fun about it.

It’s not like being generous, because it does warm our hearts to know we helped another. Or being someone who serves others well. Even when it is hard or inconvenient, you still feel the joy of blessing someone else. List any of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (queue the “fruits of the spirit song” that is now going through your heard if you grew up a part of a youth group).

Do You Have a Social Media Policy for Your Kids?

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What do you do when someone posts something online of one of your kids that you don’t like? Do you ask them to take it down? Just untag yourself from it and hope no one really sees it? Do nothing and hope it doesn’t happen again?

Maybe you’re afraid if you say something it will cause tension between you and the person who posted it? What if it’s your spouse who posts something you aren’t comfortable with? Yet they think it is perfectly fine.

More than ever, I think it is important to have a social media policy in place concerning what you will and will not allow to be posted online.