Category Archives: News

A Dickens Reminder

God bless us every one” is the plea of little Tim Cratchit in Charles Dickens’ immortal A Christmas Carol. Bobbi and I watched the Patrick Stewart version (George C. Scott is the best, just saying) last night. The lead character is Ebenezer Scrooge, a tight-fisted, always-grumpy banker who is visited by four ghosts. First, his deceased business partner, Marley, who warns of a mighty chain that Scrooge is weaving in the afterlife. Then three ghosts who come to prompt Scrooge to change before it is too late. Scrooge’s answer for the poor is to put them in prisons or workhouses. If they die, that will “reduce the surplus population.” Scrooge changes when he is forced to look upon the poor and downtrodden that fill 19th century London and when his own impending death is revealed.

A Christmas Carol was published in 1843 in London. Sharp socioeconomic divisions faced England. These divisions were the background for Dicken’s work. Mid-19th century London was not so different from early 21st century America. The lower economic class has grown poorer while the wealthiest have increased their assets.

The answer is not taxation, which only increases the wealth and the power of the political class, but true charity from Christians who give willingly and not by compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7). Charity cannot be compelled.

Out of 230 nations, the CIA Factbook says the United States has the third-highest gross domestic product. In 2019, before COVID, Sally, elections, and divisions in the populace, just over 10% of our citizens lived in poverty.

Two-thirds of Americans report living paycheck-to-paycheck. Just one shutdown or one serious illness can destroy 110 million citizens.

Meanwhile, the stock market has soared almost 60% since its pandemic low in March (S&P index).

People become poor for many reasons. Sometimes it’s a layoff or termination, perhaps a sudden illness or accident. Some people are poor because of really bad decisions. Drugs, alcohol, and gambling hurt families at an alarming rate. Maybe surprisingly, the Bible doesn’t use a litmus test to determine who needs help. Maybe, because the victims of poverty often are not the cause of their poverty. Those who refuse to work are excluded (2 Thessalonians 3:10), but their children indeed are not.

Moses wrote, “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be” (Deuteronomy 15:7, 8). In verse 11, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” God’s wrath burns against those who abuse the poor: “The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: “It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts” (Isaiah 3:14 – 15).

Jesus’ command to the young ruler of Matthew 19:21 was clear: Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  This underlines what Jesus previously said about our priorities. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19 – 21).

Last night,  after watching A Christmas Carol, Bobbi heard of a family that had been thrown out of the house where the four of them had been “couch-surfing.” This morning, It dropped to 25 degrees. Can you imagine the mother’s fear?

Thousands of currently employed, hard-working people are facing possible termination because of government-imposed lockdowns.

Many are in your zipcode.

What a mismatch between the happy crowds at the store who buy frivolities for the holidays and those who have less than nothing.

Remember the poor. Do what you can to help, for your work is of the Lord.

Who Are You Listening To?

Unrighteous church gossipI was studying Psalm 1 this morning and it suddenly hit me. God’s people need a better filter. We need to screen out the empty words of the wicked from our lives. That seems obvious but there is more to it; it has a greater impact than you might think.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the of the wicked…”

(Psalm 1:1)

Let’s say it in our way of talking: The blessed man doesn’t listen to the wicked. Would you agree that is an accurate restatement? It is. A man who is blessed by God isn’t guided by the wicked but by the words of God, “his delight is in the law of the Lord” (vs. 2). God’s words or man’s words. Our choice. But it is also our consequence to bear. The blessed man is sustained and preserved by God while the wicked will perish (vss. 5, 6).

Now, my sudden insight: We are all listening to the wrong people!

How many radio talks show hosts have “enlightened” you this week? We hop in the car and turn on the radio and there they are, feeding us all the bad news possible. On the internet there are thousands of influencers trying to conform our thoughts into a replica of their opinions.

Even the evening news programs have blurred the line between facts and opinions and hope to convince us of their way of thinking.

There are many bloggers, like me, who do the same thing. It seems everyone is trying to conform you to their way of thinking.

The Bible says be careful of who you listen to.

Suffering Job was surrounded by friends who tried to convince him that he had failed. Even his wife advised him to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). I’m glad Job rejected her words, aren’t you?

Jesus rejected the counsel of Peter. The Lord was describing his suffering to his apostles when “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him” (Mark 8:32). Jesus’ response? “Get behind me Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God but on the things of man”         (Mark 8:33). Jesus rejected unsound counsel and so should we.


Many years ago my wife, Bobbi, and I installed an under sink water filter in our home. The first time changed the filter we were shocked at the filth that had been blocked by the filter. We’ve never been without one since. We must filter the influx of opinion from worldly minded people We must be  more discerning of our chosen news and opinion providers.

Even more, I insist we spend more time having our thoughts transformed by the word of God.


“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”

(Romans 12:2)



Morality is Dead

morality is deadMorality is dead. It’s as dead as old Jacob Marley.

Maybe that is an overstatement, but morality is surely on life support, and her heart rate is dropping quickly. Previously, we have written of moral failures by politicians. But more concerning is the excusing gymnastics done by church leaders in defense of their chosen party. It has continued this week in the form of “evangelical leaders” who are excusing reports of marital infidelity.  I support most of the political positions of this person. But I do not have to agree or excuse every aspect of his conduct. Indeed, I cannot. These so-called leaders should be ashamed.

God Judges Morality

God is the righteous judge (Psalm 7:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:8). He will judge all at the appointed time (Acts 10:42; Hebrews 9:27). God will judge based on his word (Revelation 20:12). No man has the right or responsibility to send another man to hell or to grant him eternal life. Such is solely the province of God. However, we do have a responsibility to identify and rebuke sin wherever it arises (2 Timothy 4:2). Such is impossible without wise observations.

If a person denies immoral conduct, we are almost certainly left with incomplete knowledge and should proceed cautiously and with extreme humility. But we must never squander the opportunity to call sin what it is: an unholy, God-opposing act of pride.

Unchanging Morality

Morality doesn’t change and is not modified by current thought. Society is must never be the source of morality. Morality is not a democratic principle to be debated and decided based on majority opinions or votes. Morality is fixed. The Lord is the source of morality, and he doesn’t change (Hebrews 13:8). God is not a man, and he is wholly external to our world. Since he is not subject to our world, he is  the perfect lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22; James 4:12). His word has been given “once for all.” (Jude 3).

To argue that morality changes with time are a human power grab. If a man can control morality, he can then live any way he chooses. Consider the immorality of human slavery. I doubt any thinking person would call the 19th-century American slavery laws moral. They were not. Yet, those laws were legal! The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were passed by the German Reichstag and were the basis for the immoral treatment of Jewish persons. These laws and their subsequent enforcement were undeniably immoral, but they were legal! It should be clear that man has no business tampering with morality.

Calling Sin What It Is: Sin

In an effort to appease some people we have become non-confrontational. We do not wish to offend. In truth, we do no good to a sinner when we ignore his separation from God. He has developed “itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3) and we are only scratching that itch! No man is perfect. All sin (Romans 3:23). We must all work together to overcome sin. I may support many things bout a man. I may respect his successes and his thoughts. But I must never be seen as supportive of his sin.

— Bryant Evans

Saber-Rattling & the Christian

saber rattling and the christian Tensions between the USA and North Korea are ramping up. News reports this morning report that the USA is sending nuclear capable bombers to South Korea as well as a missile defense system strongly opposed by the Chinese. In fact, China is reportedly re-thinking its policy against a nuclear first strike because of the missile defense system policy. Dark clouds are building over the Korean peninsula. Now, right now, is the time to begin praying specifically for peace. There is no good military outcome. Any combat will, and always does, result in the injury, maiming and death of innocents. Far more innocents have died in our recent wars than combatants. We must seek a solution that does not result in killing children. A single nuclear detonation on the peninsula would certainly result in multiple nuclear detonations in retaliation.

By the end of the first hour, casualties could exceed well over 100,000 people. In a global thermonuclear was, deaths could easily exceed 10,000,000.

There were many wars in the Old Testament. Examples would include Jericho, Ai, the Philistines, the Amelikites, et al. These were not wars over policy or politics. The conflicts were not motivated by gain. They were examples of divine judgement against the offending nations. When 300 Israelite warriors destroyed over 100,000 Midianite soldiers, It was God Himself who directed and fought the battle for Israel (Judges 7:1-8). We cannot point to the Old Testament to show that war is good. It is not.

So what can we do in the face of a nuclear-powered leader who seems more like a spoiled brat with a screw loose? The North Korean government is a tightly closed society that adores their leader like a god. There is no one to restrain him. What can we do? We must pray frequently and specifically for the leaders involved. I am asking for daily prayers for these people.

  • Donald J. Trump, President, United States
  • Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
  • Xi Jinping, President, People’s Republic of China
  • Moon Jae-in, front runner in upcoming presidential elections, Republic of Korea (South Korea).

These names are odd to westerners but they may be the four people who can bring peace to the region. By praying now, we can beg our Lord to stifle the drumbeats of battle before thousands die. Our goal as Christians is to advance the cause of the Kingdom of Christ.  We are Christians first, citizens of the USA second. How can one spread the gospel in the hatred of war?

One more thing: When the lifeless body of a child lies in the dirt of a small village in a far away place, does it really matter whose fault the war is?

As always, your comments are welcomed and especially desired on this topic.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

How Should Christians Think of ISIS?


ISISHorrific acts of violence by terrorists have become a daily news report. Beheadings, crucifixions and rape top the list of hideous crimes perpetrated by radical terrorist groups like ISIS. Reports of terror plots and terrorist cells in America are frightening. International travel, already stressful, is now fearful.

Americans generally, and Christians particularly, are angry. We no longer feel safe within our own borders. We want to lash out at the terrorists and destroy every last vestige of them and their hideous ideology. A recent presidential debate featured terms like “carpet-bombing” and making the “sand glow in the dark,” a reference to nuclear assault on the deserts. The angst is palpable; people are angry.

Christians must be different, right? We are people of God, people of love and mercy, right? But we are frightened and angry. Don’t we have a right to vengeance?

Vengeance is Mine

Moses says of God, “Vengeance  is mine” (Deuteronomy 32:35). The act of repaying an act of evil belongs to God. We are all “wretched” before the Lord and unable to act out of pure thoughts and motives. God alone is the one arbiter of justice that can be trusted to always judge righteously.

The response of some is to repay the terrorists with a dose of their own medicine. Yet the Bible says, “Do not say ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord and he will deliver you”  (Proverbs 20:22). And Paul writes, “Repay no one evil for evil…” (Romans 12:17). He repeats the same thought in 1 Thessalonians 5:15. Peter also prohibits evil repayment, “Do not repay evil for evil” (1 Peter 3:9).

The Words of Jesus

The words of Jesus are plain and  impossible to misunderstand. The reader is encouraged to study the Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, especially Matthew 5:38-48. In this passage, Jesus highlights two sayings, anchored in part from the Old Testament. One taught repayment in the form of “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exodus 21:23-25). The other taught to love your neighbor (Leviticus 19:18). The Jews added “and hate your neighbor.” Of course the Bible never taught that.

Building on these two ideas, Jesus teaches not to seek recompense but to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39). He adds that we ought not to hate our enemies but to love them! Surely the people were stunned with such teaching. Surely people today are stunned to hear the same thing. Are we really saying we should love the terrorists? I’m not saying it. Jesus is.

The Example of Jesus

A man can talk all day; it is his actions that really teach. Jesus was a meek, humble man who never resisted those who hated him. Prophetically, Isaiah describes him this way:

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before it’s shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)

Reading the gospel accounts of his arrest, trial and crucifixion, one is struck to discover that Jesus never resisted the angry Jews or Romans. When Peter made a feeble attempt to prevent Jesus’ arrest, the Lord stopped him and repaired the severed ear of the man attacked by Peter. Given that Jesus was the most innocent man ever and given that his divinity gave access to the full power of the Godhead, Jesus could certainly of defended himself. He did not.

For one who wears the name of Christ, we are hard pressed to discover a single example of violence the Lord directed against those who sought his life.

The Example of the Original Christians

Those who knew Jesus and his apostles were likewise men and women of peace who left vengeance to God. We should note that the first Christians were facing an immediate threat to their lives. Yet,  they did not show hatred and anger toward their opponents.

Paul was repeatedly beaten and left for dead but he did not respond violently. Peter faced persecutions and often warned his readers of troubling days ahead. John was imprisoned, tortured and banished but never repaid his captors with evil. Even among those who came later, they went to their death without vile recriminations against their persecutors.

Are We Powerless to Defend Ourselves?

God has provided for our protection. As we said, God will bring ultimate justice in his own time. ((Consider the saints of Revelation who cried for justice – Revelation 6:9-11. Notice, however, that justice came on God’s schedule, not theirs.)) But God has also given the government responsibility to defend the populace. Paul says that the government does not “bear the sword in vain” and is an “avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4). The context here is probably best suited to police actions but it does not damage the text to expand our thinking to defensive actions of the state. Soldiers were never rebuked for their occupations and a soldier, Cornelius, was chosen as the first Gentile convert. This warrior was described by inspiration as a “devout” man (Acts 10:2).

Christians are defended through the God-ordained functions of government. The purpose here is not to discuss the pacifist position, but to remind Christ-followers to conduct themselves gently in the public square and to ensure a godly frame of mind in all things. We trust God’s promises that whatever happens here, He will handle for us.

So How Should a Christian Think of ISIS or Terrorists

ISIS must be stopped. Our government has a duty to protect its citizens from attack. Christians, like all Americans, expect to be protected at home and when we travel. To ignore ISIS is to jeopardize the church and her mission of evangelism. The individual Christian allows the state, through a dispassionate approach, to protect against the onslaught. While the government fulfills its responsibility, we have a task to do also.

ISIS are God’s children too. Like us, they are sinners separated from God. While their sins seem more heinous, we are also separated from God by our sins. Their sins may have greater damage and greater consequences in this life, but otherwise they are like us. These are “cousins” to the Jews, both coming from through Noah’s son Shem. Religiously, they hail from Abraham and his first son Ishmael. They are wrong, but they are still God’s children just like every other group on earth today.

ISIS needs our prayers. These men and women do not know Jesus. They do not know Jehovah and they worship a false God (Allah) through a false faith (Islam), given through a false prophet (Mohammed). Unless something happens to change the preceding sentence, they will be lost. Salvation is found in no other (Acts 4:12) and Jesus alone is the way to the one true God (John 14:6). Christians should make terrorists a part of their daily prayer plans. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies did he not (Matthew 5:44)? We do not pray for them to be saved in their sins, but to be saved from their sins through the powerful working of Scripture. We should pray for opportunities to teach them of Jesus.

ISIS Needs the Golden Rule Too. Jesus taught that we should treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves (Matthew 7:12). Now stop and consider what you would want if you grew up in a dismal place with few opportunities and no knowledge of peace. What if your entire worldview were shaped by hatred? Would you want bombs or Bibles? Grenades or grace? Missiles or mercy? It is a challenging question but the answer is simple. Let us apply the golden rule to our enemies too.

ISIS Includes Children. Children are always the losers in every war. You cannot carpet bomb or “nuke a nation back into the Stone Age” without slaughtering thousands of children. If we allow our hatred to boil over, we will surely be left to regret the outcome. We must find a way to stop the violence, not to increase it. We are seeing precious little leadership from our politicians. They seem to race to be the most hawkish. What a shame!

Christians cannot descend into the same cesspool of hatred and madness that our enemies now occupy. We must be different! We are a priesthood a chosen and different people (1 Peter 2:9, 10). It is by love, not hatred, that we are to be known (1 John 4:7, 8)

This article will anger some readers. I do not write to provoke anger but thought. In your responses, please anchor your thoughts in God’s word. That way, we will enjoy a common ground of discussion. My argument is simple: Hatred has no place in the life of the Christian.


Land of Israel

P_Israel_FlagIsrael is the center of controversy. The United Nations established the nation of Israel in 1948. Original borders were not specified but today Israel encompasses just over 8,500 square miles. The population is just over 8.2 million people. From its establishment, Israel has been the focus of war and conflict. The day after it formed and the British relinquished rule, Arab armies attacked. Israel has been successful in fending off attacks for almost 70 years. The United States is Israel’s supporter and ally. Arguably, the U.S. has no stronger ally than Israel. Many Americans support Israel because they believe God protects it. They reason that God promised them the land unconditionally and that we must back Israel or else find ourselves in opposition to God.

Israel Is Not the Israel of the Bible

The Israel of the Bible ceased to exist when invading Roman armies lay waste to the city in 70 AD. Today, Israel is a secular country established by fiat of man and not by God. Voters elect their government every four years in a nationwide election.

God’s plan for Israel first consisted of Judges, deliverers who would arise and defend the nation militarily. The people demanded a king (1 Samuel 8) and a monarchy began but that was not God’s intent. History shows that kings caused frequent problems for the nation. The Herod Dynasty, ruling in the days of Jesus and until the destruction in 70, bore no resemblance to the life of King David or Solomon. That nation was taken away in an act of Divine judgment through God’s use of the Romans.

Israel was Never Given Land Unconditionally

God promised Abraham the land upon which he traveled (Genesis 12:7). God fulfilled that promise when Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan (Joshua 11:23). Some patches remained to take, but God himself promised to handle them (Joshua 13:6).

The nations of Canaan were removed because of their wickedness. All were pagan, idol worshipping people. Joshua reminded Israel that God would protect and defend them only as long as they were faithful (Joshua 23:12, 13; Joshua 24:20). That same warning is given Solomon by David (1 Chronicles 28:9). After the death of Joshua, the people turned to idols. Time and again God warned and punished the people. They continued to disobey. By the time of Jesus, there was growing wickedness that culminated in the crucifixion of the Son of God. A generation later, the nation ceased to exist.

Israel Is Gone

The Romans destroyed the Temple at Jerusalem and to this day, that Temple has not been rebuilt.  In 363 AD, A Roman emperor ordered a rebuilding of the Temple but building ceased after initial construction ended, either by sabotage, fire or an earthquake. Christian historians ascribed the earthquake to Divine intervention against the rebuilding.

Today, there is no need for Israel. God’s chosen people are Christians (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9). There is no sacrifice required for Jesus is our once-for-all sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10). Animal sacrifices were never enough to pay for sins (Hebrews 10:4).

If you wish, support Israel because it is an ally, because it is a wise diplomatic decision. However, do not support the present secular state of Israel out of some thought that God protects it today. All Jews may be saved in Christ but not because of their nationality.


Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.


The Basis of Morality

Khalid_Shaikh_MohammedTerrible. Awful. Horrible. Confusing. Evil. Five words heard all week describing the events in France. It is hard to find words that adequately describe the carnage and brutality produced by Islamic terrorists. In my circle of associates, I know no one who would support these murderous activities.

Elsewhere in the news we hear of other barbaric events. A 10 year old girl was strapped with explosives and sent into a crowded market. The bomb was detonated killing her and at least 20 others.  In my area a man was sentenced to death this week for murdering his 3 and 4 year old children by choking them to death. His wife goes on trial next.

There is plenty of death and destruction to talk about.

But consider that every description declares or implies these events to be bad or evil. They are correct. They are evil. But what is the basis for that declaration? How can I say anything is morally repugnant or wrong? Is it simply a matter of law?

No. By declaring a thing to be wrong, we necessarily imply the existence of a lawgiver that is beyond our world. We cannot declare a thing to be absolutely wrong without God.

Indeed, morality without God is only an opinion.

Morality has only two possible sources apart from God.

Morality Comes From Law

We quickly see the emptiness of equating law with morality. Our national history is speckled with clearly immoral laws. Slavery was legal in this country until the mid-19th century. While some states did not allow slavery within their borders, the federal government did permit and condone its practice. I know of no one who would argue that slavery is moral.

Many of the actions of 1930’s and 1940’s Germany were legal within that country. Yet, when the war was over, Germans were adjudicated guilty. They were judged against the lofty standards of the victors yet we must agree that their evil conduct was legal within their country.

Oddly enough, El Salvador is being targeted by one human rights organization because abortion is banned in that country. It is illegal. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, note that law is not an acceptable substitute or foundation for morality. Even pro-abortion voices, who believe the pro-abortion stance is moral, will conclude the same.

Morality based on law is changed when opinions change. Slavery ended. Germany was defeated. If we argue that morality is based on law then we must accept that morality is easily changed and shifted. There is no objective standard. That’s not stable. It’s not moral.

Morality without God is only an opinion.

Morality Comes from Society

An advertising executive once said, “Truth is what the people believe.” I don’t agree and you probably do not either. We like to think of truth as being objective. Like 2 + 2 = 4. It doesn’t change. Truth and morality are inextricably linked. If truth remains firm and unchanging so does the behavior it reflects.

But if morality and truth are subject to societal shifts, we are again left with little more than an opinion. Until the 1970’s, homosexuality was considered wrong, even sinful. But today, society has largely changed its mind. Even some religious denominations now openly accept the practice of homosexuality. So what changed? Did morality change that quickly? If society and culture determine morality we must ask where we will be in another 50 years. Will society soften its view of pedophilia? In Utah the age of consent is 18 but a 23 year old may engage in sex with a 16 year old. In Mexico, the age of consent is 12 although there are some constraints until the child is older. Already, some communities view sex with children as acceptable in some circumstances. In this country, a small subset of the population argues for legalization of pedophilia.

What society once viewed as immoral is fast gaining acceptance. Ideas and opinions are changing.

Morality without God is only an opinion.

Our point is simply this: God, that is, a lawgiver apart from our own existence, is the only reasonable foundation for any moral proclamation. Otherwise, what is evil today is heroic tomorrow.



Two families in New York City are grappling with the power of words this morning. For the past few weeks citizens have been protesting police actions which resulted in the deaths of black men.  Sometimes those protests turned nasty and resulted in looting and lawlessness on a grand scale. The message portrayed in the media was often one of anger and even hatred for police and law enforcement officials. Now two officers are dead as a direct result of the protesters chants and actions.

Words are the tools we use to convey ideas. The abstract concepts in our head must be formed into words so that we can communicate with others. The only way you can know what I am thinking is if I tell you my thoughts. Even my actions may be misleading. But clear words allow you to understand my thinking.

“Angry words, O let them never from the tongue unbridled slip”

The old hymn “Angry Words” was penned by Horatio Palmer and appeared first in a hymnal around 1860. Palmer, a musician best known for “Yield not to Temptation,” understood the power of the spoken word.

Canadian Educator Laurence Peter opined “speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”

Chinese philosopher Confucius offered, “When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

All are good and noble thoughts but the Bible is far better.

“A hot tempered man stirs up strife but he who is slow to anger quiets contention” (Proverbs 15:18).

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11)

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19, 20)

“it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:11)

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26)

And one more, with a warning:

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36)

The events of the last few weeks seem so far away from the Eastern Shore. Ferguson, Missouri and New York City are places that usually have little impact on our lives. But words are not weakened by distance. Let us heed Biblical guidance on our speech and emotions. Let us be people who speak graciously and mercifully. Let our voice be that of our Lord. For just a words can have disastrous consequences they can also produce joy, peace and happiness. How will you use your words today?



BombyThere is a human rights crisis in the middle east. Syria is expanding its influence, Hamas is ginning up violence, Israeli vigilantes are responding violently and slowly the United States is being dragged back into a deadly conflict. But this website is decidedly not about politics or foreign affairs. But I am concerned about the human factor, especially the children.

My worries are not about the adults so much as the defenseless little ones.

Children Are Dying

In any violent conflict, children suffer and die. The cause or allegedly justness of any conflict does not change the death toll nor lessen the trauma inflicted upon the children. Christians should be heart broken. Jesus loved children and was often found surrounded by them (Matthew 19:13-15). He said that children represented the nature of the kingdom of Heaven.

These children are absolutely innocent. Their only “sin” was being born into a region where hatred rules.

Children Are Learning to Kill

Today’s killers were yesterday’s children. The mid-eastern violence is a self replicating cycle that knows no end. Children who once played with sticks and dolls today fire guns and throw hand grenades. Somehow, the cycle must be broken. Children who have witnessed bombings and killings must decide that it is not worth it any longer.

The problem is that there is no moral leadership influencing the people of the region. Hatred rules and there is no one to say stop!

The love of Jesus Christ, almost unknown in the region, is the answer. These groups are anchored in tit for tat violence that will not otherwise end. Only the message of salvation has a chance.

Christians ought be in prayer constantly over this slow moving tragedy. We pray, not because of some supposed, coming rapture or earthly kingdom, but because prayer is the only way to lessen the violence. We pray for our U.S. leaders but also for the national leaders and militant leaders. We pray for the unnamed community leaders who can influence the conflict. We pray for the mothers that they teach peace to their children.

If we fail to pray and assert our influence for good the conflict will continue until there is no one left to die. The stakes are so high.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

Elton John and Jesus

EJElton John, famed musician and outspoken homosexual activist, informed us this weekend that “if Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person  that he was, saying this could not happen.” John is speaking of legislation which would permit homosexual couples to be married in the same way as heterosexual couples. Biblically, Elton John is just wrong.

Most glaringly, he misses the point that Jesus is alive today. The resurrection of Jesus and the empty tomb are centerpieces of the Christian faith which John claims to know so well.

But as far as his claim that homosexuality should be accepted today because the “times have changed,” he is still in error. There are multiple clearly understood prohibitions against homosexuality in the Bible and there is not even a single instance of an approved homosexual relationship found anywhere in Scripture.

Elton John’s reasoning, that Scripture must change to meet modern times is an old and tired attempt to break free of Biblical commands someone does not like. Logically, if Scripture cannot stand the test of time then truth does not exist. Jesus said that God’s word is truth (John 17:17). Truth doesn’t change.

The entertainer also fails in his understanding of what God desires for mankind. In the Guardian article, John is quoted as saying, “He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.” Jesus is about love, compassion and forgiveness and the church should also pursue the same goals. But that love, compassion and forgiveness must be the same kind of love, compassion and forgiveness that Jesus has. Jesus’ goal was stated simply by the Lord himself, “For the son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

First, Jesus is about redemption. He is about rejoining man to his previous relationship with God. A relationship that had been marred by sin. Jesus does desire our happiness, but our eternal happiness is the goal, not some temporary earthbound happiness. Elton John doesn’t like the idea that his sexuality is somehow restricted or contained by God’s Word. What he fails to understand is that everyone’s sexuality is constrained in some way. All of our behaviors are limited. But those restraints serve to bring us into holiness together with our Lord.

No Christian should be found “bashing” or abusing people in any sin. We are all sinners. I daily speak for God as a preacher of his word. It is an enormous responsibility which I humbly accept. So when someone else claims to speak for Jesus, as Elton John has done, he must also bear that same responsibility. We have no permission to err. We have no right to presume. When someone speaks wrongly they should be challenged.


Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.