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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

The Future Looks Bleak When We Don’t Have All the Information

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) Yesterday, I went on a road trip with my daughter. We chatted while we drove, ate lunch in a charming city, and […]

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Why Many Christians Doubt That God Loves Us

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.” (John 14:7) The 1980s was a big time in establishment Christianity, and as college students, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I attended the closest thing to a […]

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Why Political Activism Is Not the Christian Answer

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“John answered, ‘The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”‘ Luke 3:11 Arguing with people rarely produces a result acceptable to either party, and arguing with […]

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Why Do Some Christians Make So Much MONEY?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38-39) Within polite Christian religious circles, […]

Apathy Is Worse Than Anger

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Revelation 3:15 The Biblical book of Revelation, despite assurances from those who make movies about it, is a complicated book, […]

It’s a Secret, but Many Christians Do Distrust God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 We all approach life from a certain world view. And while the dictators of politically correct doctrine decry bias as a bad thing, it’s really just a realistic thing. No matter […]

Modern Day Apostles

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and […]

Are You a Brave Christian?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13) We have just finished our every-few-years […]

Is God Keeping You on a Short Leash?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5) Have you ever felt as if God were keeping you on a very, very short leash? I know, it’s not a good image, […]

Why Do We Follow These Leaders?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30) Jesus did […]

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8) Whenever I tell an appalling church story, I am sure to be scolded. “Not all churches are like this!” is the general response. “You shouldn’t be so harsh […]

Where Does All the Tithe Money Go?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32) If you attend conventional church for any time at all, you will […]

Corporate Christianity: 5 Ways to Stop Thinking Like Office Workers

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Family, teamwork, community — for years these words have circulated through our corporate business culture as a means of convincing people that the workplace is warm, caring, fuzzy, and cuddly. What’s intriguing is that the same words are employed within Christian […]

Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The problem with New Year’s resolutions isn’t that they’re easy to make and difficult to keep — which is true on both counts — it’s that we feel like such failures when we fall, and give up, mid-February, on the […]

Are You in the Process of Leaving Church?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Leaving church — whether a specific fellowship or the industrial model altogether — is not a decision people make lightly. Nor is it one that others take well, and if you are in the process of dropping out of a […]

Anxious and Troubled about Many Things

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-41 is a familiar one to many, especially women. The other day, I even ran across the term, “Martha Syndrome,” which I’m sure I have, because of a pronounced tendency (according to every […]

Are You the Only One Going Through What You’re Going Through?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I do not like dealing with mechanics, computer technicians, dentists, and plumbers, among other people — not because these professions are bad, but because for the most part, the people involved in them fix stuff — my stuff. And one sentence I’ve […]

Rich Christian, Poor Christian — Which Are You?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have just spent the last hour cleaning off my desk. To my left is a pile of papers that, if they were dollar bills, would buy me a weekend trip to Hawaii. And that’s just envelopes and circulars: the […]

Why Standing up for Yourself — at Church — Is So Important

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Just how obedient are Christians expected to be — and who expects them to be this way? In recent posts, I’ve been discussing Christian submission toward leadership (Must We Obey Church Authorities? and Is It So Bad to Be a Lone Wolf […]

Is It So Bad to Be a Lone-Wolf Christian?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Self-defense is a good thing to know — many women wish we possessed enough simple martial arts skill that we could tumble an assailant to the ground, whimpering. But physically defending ourselves isn’t the only arena of importance, and even if we can’t find, or afford, […]

We Don’t Need Celebrity Christian Permission to Stand up for Ourselves

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t tend to keep up on “Christian News,” because it pretty much looks like the standard misinformation and disinformation that the rest of the media world puts forth, only with the words “Jesus” and “God” thrown in enough to […]

Confusing God with Santa Claus? Yes. And No.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As Christians, we scold ourselves a lot, not the least of which is about prayer. Have you heard this one? “God isn’t Santa Claus, you know, and He gets tired of our putting a wish list in front of Him […]

Silly Little Rules

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In a recent conversation with a five-year-old, it came out that using a pen, in kindergarten, is a prohibited activity. Violation of this particular law results in the punishment of putting one’s head down on the desk. What strikes me most about […]

Reading the Bible without Supervision

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Many Christians — myself included — have looked to various events and stories of the Bible as paralleling our own lives. We derive wisdom, teaching, instruction and comfort from the Exodus adventure and subsequent wanderings of the Israelites in the desert, […]

What If You’re Too Timid to Be “Bold for Christ”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I became a Christian at 19. For the first 25 years, I diligently attended church services, which means that I came into regular contact with Christians comfortable in that setting, and for the last eight years, I have been transitioning […]

Why Ordinary Christians Can — and Should — Speak up

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When you live in a small town with a major employment base being the school district, you’re not particularly popular when you speak against the party line. But since the friends you make by constantly agreeing with others aren’t real […]

Christians: Let’s Admit That We Don’t Know It All

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have to be in a certain mood to read the book of Proverbs, which consists, primarily, of pithy — yet wise, and true — statements in couplet form. Part of me always thinks, “Most of these were written by Solomon, […]

Christian Misfits: “You Have a Beautiful Face”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’m sure that most of you, at some time, have found yourself in public in a somewhat disheveled state. “Nobody I know will see me,” you tell yourself. And, of course, that’s when too many people you know do, indeed […]

Is God Calling You?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our church days, when I sat in an interlocking chair, stared ahead at the big white screen, and sang words that flashed by, I used to wonder, vaguely, if God was calling me to do something, and I wasn’t hearing. […]

“Why Are You So Afraid? Do You Still Have No Faith?”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This last week on Facebook was one of general fear, anxiety, panic and despair, not so much because everyone was in and out of relationships, or because Lucky Slots wasn’t doing well, but because too many Christians are preparing for the imminent […]

Three Things Christians Don’t Say Enough

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Words are powerful, but not in the way prosperity preachers or New Age advocates claim. While words themselves do not convey any ability to create reality, simply because we utter them (e.g., “I CLAIM this blessing!”), they affect those around us because […]

When Mighty Church Leaders Fall, Do They Crush the People Underneath?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our younger years, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I bicycled through small-town America, and for housing, we often asked a local church if we could camp in their basement. Encountering everything from open-armed hospitality to outright hostility, we ultimately found […]

Are We Being Bullied to Think a Certain Way?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Think of the term, Judeo-Christian values. We bandy it about, especially we Christians, and the idea is that, because Jews and Christians share a common heritage (the Old Testament, and Abraham as our collective father), we should support one another, without question […]

Christianity Is Not a Political Party

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We have two sets of friends that we have always wanted to put together in the same room: Set A is classic U.S.A. Republican party, and they worship George W. Bush. The world ended on the day he left the […]

What Is Backsliding, and Are You Doing It?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many of us are acquainted with the word, “backsliding,” which, in its purest form, means to lose one’s resolve to follow a chosen path. A recovering alcoholic who re-enters the bar circuit is an example — surrounding oneself by temptation, and resuming behavior […]

Thriving on Spiritual Abuse

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago in my little town, there was a restaurant that was known not for the quality of its food (above average), the ambiance of its surroundings (cheap chic), or the professionalism of its staff (non-existent). It was famous, and wildly […]

Accidents Happen, but You’re Not One of Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In case you’re wondering why my typing is all off and squiggly, I cut my finger last night while I was slicing bread. Like most accidents, it happened quickly and was definitely unintentional, and yes, I know that it was […]

Near Death Experiences — Don’t Fall in Love with Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Did you read the book?” “Nope.” “See the movie?” “Nope.” “Then what makes you think you can have an opinion on the matter?” I grew up in a family of scientists, where not having a PhD in a discipline (and most 13-year-olds […]

The Power of Doubt

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Doubt is not so much a sin as it is a problem, and like most problems, it’s best to solve it, as opposed to letting it be a part of our continued existence. Too often, when a Christian asks a […]

What Kind of People Leave Church?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago, when we still attended weekly church services, a longtime acquaintance (that’s generally what we are in church situations — we’re rarely given time to freely mingle and get to know one another as friends) left. If you attend […]

Four Lies Creeping into Today’s Christian Church

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Apostasy is nothing new in Christianity. Two thousand years ago Jesus warned that false prophets “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7: 15) Given that we, the people of God, are frequently referred to as […]

The Christian 401k Plan

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The Christian existence is filled with ludicrously shortsighted sayings that sound funny when we first hear them (too often, from the pulpit), but ultimately result in the weakening of our faith and approach to the throne of God. Like this […]

The Business of Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I was in the big city, waiting to pick up air travelers who were three hours late starting a three-hour flight, and I had time in my hands. There’s only so long you can sit in Starbucks without a digital […]

God Is Not as Inept as We Think He Is

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Lately, I have been working on a bad habit, and if you have teenagers, you probably know what I’m talking about: I remind people, frequently, of obvious things to be done, and it drives them nuts. Like this, to Tired […]

Is Your “Personal Relationship with Jesus” Dysfunctional?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Dysfunctional relationships are all the rage these days. Thanks to a satiety of psychology (“Christian” and secular), self-help books, surreality talk shows, and overreaching government agencies fumbling about our private lives, we’re convinced that there’s no such thing as a normal relationship. Of course there […]

We Say It All the Time, but What Does It Mean to “Follow Jesus”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We Christians have a lamentable habit of using esoteric language, which is an erudite way of saying that we speak phrases understood by a small, like-minded group of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. Given that the gift of Christ is […]

Does God Still Speak?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many people, hearing the audible voice of God — speaking directly to them —  is incredibly important. He isn’t “real” somehow if He isn’t physical, tangible, and accessible. They are encouraged in this belief by celebrity leadership and the […]

If You’re Not Jewish, Why Do You Act as if You Are?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Because someone, somewhere will be quick to take offense, let’s waste the first paragraph of this article by stating that I have nothing against Jewish people, and if you are Jewish, I’m glad for you. I’m not out to convert […]

God: What Do You Want Me to Do Today?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We all want to do great things. For some people, it’s a matter of making a success of themselves, via money, power, fame, and name, and the ultimate goal is to be rich, well-known, secure, and powerful. King Solomon of […]

Money

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians aren’t supposed to freak out about money. Of course, Christians aren’t supposed to freak out about a lot of things, and we do, but there’s a difference between following what humans advise, and following God. If you listen to humans, it’s no […]

Despicable You? No, Not True.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Are you a Mary? Or a Martha? Actually, it’s a dumb question, especially if you’re male, but if you’re female and you’re in an emotionally charged women’s Bible study focusing on your inhibitions and failures, doubts, anxieties, insecurities, and foibles, you might […]

The Work You Do for God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You don’t have to be a Christian for very long before you start hearing the word “personal ministry,” as in, your personal ministry. You’re supposed to have one, you know. Now there’s nothing wrong with this concept; we all want […]

5 “Sins” That Aren’t Sins

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians frequently talk about grace, love, acceptance, and freedom, and indeed, these attributes are abundantly available to the person who follows Christ. Unfortunately, however, within Christian group settings (“community” is the latest buzzword), rules abound, all the more insidious because they […]

The Confident Christian, and Why He’s So Dangerous

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I was a young woman and a new Christian, I used to swoon in the presence of the Confident Christian Male. I’m sure you’ve met these Alpha Omega types: they command a room as soon as they effect their […]

Speak up, and Don’t be Afraid

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, I wrote a letter to the editor about an obscenely expensive, $20 million dollar bond our local school district is floating. As a veteran homeschooler who launched four highly literate, analytical, articulate adults into the world of work and […]

Lessons from the Easter Bunny

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Full disclosure: we do Easter egg hunts. But then again, we also do Halloween and Santa, and have been remarkably able to separate these particular family traditions from our theological viewpoints. As Christians, it’s important to not only talk, and talk, and talk […]

Einstein Said That! Or Was It Jesus?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You know, for a dead guy, Albert Einstein posts a lot of quotes on Facebook. The latest on my wall is, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more […]

Why Are Christians So Weird?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

On one of my blogs (not this one, so don’t freak out), I can see what phrases people type into the search engine to find me. One that frequently shows up is a variation of this: “Why are Christians so […]

Shutting up the Voices in Our Heads

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I just returned from posting letters in our mailbox, 3oo feet from our house. It’s a cold, foggy day, and over the crunch of gravel under my feet I heard the sibilant song of a little bird. Five little notes. […]

How Many Friends Do You Have?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In the highly controlled, conformist society into which I was born (the United States), how successful — and normal — you are depends on certain factors, many of which have to do with participating in groups. Indeed, one of the […]

Jesus Isn’t All You Need — He’s All You’ve GOT

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a social situation, somebody asks you how you’re doing, and since the most significant event in your life lately has been the loss of your job, or the diagnosis of a serious […]

Sleeping Christians: Wake. Up.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Some days, I’d prefer to leave the amusement park and just go someplace else. It is on these days that I ask God, “Do you not care, anymore, about your people? Are you just going to let them die, asleep, […]

Missional. Intentional. Authentic: Meaningless

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Considering that we follow, serve, worship, and emulate the most radical individual to have ever walked on this planet — Jesus — Christians can be really boring. Oh, I ‘m not talking about people who are suffering, and suffering hard, […]

The U.S. Is not a Christian Nation — and It Never Was

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I was visiting a friend in the nursing home last week when I found myself trapped, holding my sleeping friend’s hand, forced to sit in the same room with a Christian television show. Those of you who read me regularly […]

Salvation Is Free. Our Time Is Not.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many Christians have a thing about the word “free.” When it comes to the free gift of salvation that Jesus willingly hands us, we’re convinced that there’s a catch somehow, and it seriously can’t be as easy as it […]

This Article Really Isn’t about Sex

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Let’s talk about sex! Oh, don’t shudder, or salivate, depending upon how the word — and the concept — affect you. Sex is a gift God gave us, and we’ve obviously used it, given the 7 billion of us wandering […]

When You’re Not as Happy as You Wish You Were

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It’s not wrong, unusual, or evil to want to be happy. If it weren’t such a basic human drive, the pursuit of it wouldn’t have been mentioned as an inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. And yes, my […]

Money, Power, Fame, and Name

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It is a driving factor of human existence that we crave being loved and valued. We’ve got one shot through this life, and within the years we have been given, we ache to know that our lives have meaning — […]

Christianity Is Simpler Than You Think

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I know some people will jump all over this one, but I find my most effective time to pray is around 1 in the morning, when I have been awakened from a sound sleep and am still in a somnambulant state. […]

Your Right to Privacy: Protect It

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’ve been a Christian for 31 years, and in that amount of time you see a lot of trends and fads: The Name It/Claim it Blab It/Grab It movement that damages the pure sense of trust we have in God’s […]

You’re a Name, not a Number

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have just spent the last 45 minutes on hold waiting to talk to a representative from a government agency. At the start of the call, I was asked to enter my personalized identification number, which, in accordance with the […]

Quit Yelling at Your Brother

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our family, we have lively discussions about everything, and because we love one another, we don’t let disagreements get in the way. This is fortunate, because if we did, we would all be living in separate houses. No, it’s […]

Put Your Money Where Your Beliefs Are

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Lately, the Norwegian Artist and I have been researching various Christian associations and noted speakers and leaders, specifically to find out if any of them have links to organizations that propound a political agenda that is repellant to us. “Globalism” […]

Make a Difference, Every Day, as a Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Theoretically there are millions of Christians in my home country, the United States, but for some reason, we are always looking for a major revival before we expect to see any significant changes made in our collective lifestyle. Things used […]

Feeling Abandoned?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Let’s face it. Most of us wandering around on the planet today have not seen Jesus in person, nor have we audibly heard his voice, emanating from the sky or from the back of the laundry room. The vast majority […]

Is Your Job Meaningless?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In this technological age, one of the means of entertaining ourselves is typing random sentences into search engines and seeing what comes up. So the Norwegian Artist, in a inexplicable fit of, well, even he can’t explain why he did […]

The Atheist’s Cry to God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, someone sent me this quote by Marc Barnes of Bad Catholic: “Somehow, a hostile hatred of God is closer to love than a bored and boring apathy, for it strives — at the very least — to meet His gaze […]

Baaaaaaaaadddd Christians — Redeemed!

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Within Christian circles, we enjoy stories about people who have really, really messed up and then, through Christ, turned their lives around. You know, former gang members, Mafia hit men, millionaires who lost it all and lived in the streets, […]

The Four-Year-Old Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We were building sandcastles at the beach — the Norwegian Artist, Tired of Being Youngest, Small Person, and I — when an argument arose about the green and red plastic seahorse molds. Other than the colors, they were identical, but […]

Christian Leadership and Ordinary People

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As an ordinary person, I notice trending news and articles with words like “ordinary” and “people” in them, especially when the two words are put together. Lately I am seeing ordinary people being addressed more frequently by major Christian leadership […]

The Statement No Christian Should Make

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As a Christian and a human being, I avoid the word “should,” because it’s generally used by Person A against Person B, to get Person B to do what Person A wants. So when I use it, I’m serious. And […]

Previous Posts

Let's (NOT) Make Christianity the Law of the Land
"I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel." Daniel 7:26 There is a group -- I don't know if it's small or large, but it's fairly vociferous -- which insists the reason our nation (the ...

posted 1:02:55pm Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

A Rainbow of Silence -- Why Christians May Not Want to Speak
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak." Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 To put it mildly, Ecclesiastes is one of the less cheerful ...

posted 3:03:52pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Submission to Authority -- and the Gag Reflex
"Then Jesus said to them, 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." (Mark 12:17) On Facebook, which is as good a source of national news as any, I ran across a post lambasting our present president for doing what all ...

posted 1:36:33pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Cucumbers, Jesus, and Deception
"If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost -- also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic." (Numbers 11:5) The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are perplexing concepts, and depending upon ...

posted 1:38:43pm Jun. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Too Many People Are Going to Hell
"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Ezekiel 33:11 I intensely dislike my phone company. [caption id="attachment_1702" ...

posted 11:59:18am Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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