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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

Submission to Authority — and the Gag Reflex

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“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 […]

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Eating with Sinners — It’s Not So Difficult

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (Luke 15:2) One of many accusations leveled against Jesus by religious leaders was that He consorted — and actually seemed to enjoy being […]

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Is America Doomed?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Live a life worthy of the Lord and . . . please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power.” (Colossians 1:11) It’s difficult to take a […]

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Not a Leader? Good! God Can Talk to You

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“The man answered, ‘Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.” (John 9:30) A well-meaning Christian once loaned me a book by a highly promoted Christian woman leader. (I make a point of […]

Does It Bother You, That People Lie to Us?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?” (Habakkuk 1:3) For many years, like many people, I was contentedly asleep, focusing the majority of my time on minor, day to day things, allowing those things to swallow up an […]

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 […]

It’s Comforting to Be Wrong

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It is an never-ending source of comfort to be me that I am so frequently wrong. Never-ending, because on a daily basis I manage to miss the mark more than once, whether I’m talking about the weather or making a […]

Psychotic Cats and God’s Love

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I am writing this with a psychotic cat sleeping on my lap. I recognize that, to people who don’t like cats (and even to many who do), ALL cats are psychotic, but this one is a rescue kitty, chosen by one […]

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 […]

Yes or No: Does God Hear Our Prayers?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We’ve all had days when we wish that we were back in bed, before we even climb out of it. Not long ago, I faced a situation — not a major one, but not so minor that it wouldn’t add its weight of stress […]

Free Yourself from Bible Study Myths

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why won’t you attend Bible study?” a man asked me once. “Do you hate studying the Bible?” Seriously, when you get a question framed like that, it’s best to just talk about the weather. The person asking will never understand […]

Is Singing in Church the Only Way to Worship?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you’re a Christian, and you’ve attended church, then you probably recognize the term: “Worship Service.” This is the time, just after the announcements and immediately before the sermon, when the congregation corporately sings — from the hymnal or off the PowerPoint […]

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 […]

The Kingdom of Heaven — How Do We Get There?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

How to get to heaven is a piece of information that from the beginning of time, humanity has wanted to know. The rich young ruler of Matthew 19:16 – 29 (Mark 10: 17 – 30, Luke 18: 18 – 30) […]

False Leaders, Speaking in Our Name

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our younger years, prior to children, the Norwegian Artist and I traveled through and lived in South America, where our most fervent hope was that we would be thought to be Canadians, Danes, Australians, or anything other than Americans, […]

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 […]

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 […]

What’s So Bad about a Comfort Zone?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you haven’t heard the term “comfort zone,” then you must never attend church. Or work in a cubicle. Or listen to politicians. Comfort zones — that area of life where we operate, well, comfortably because we understand our circumstances, […]

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 […]

Myths Christians Believe about Movies Like Noah

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The flood of media love for the Russell Crowe movie, Noah, awashes the brain. It reminds me of Mel Gibson’s 2004 Passion of the Christ, and people are saying the same things now, as they said back then. Let’s look at some […]

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 […]

Just How Naked Do I Have to Get?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When you’ve been a Christian long enough, you start to see a theme in discussion material. One of the laments you frequently hear is, “There’s no UNITY! If we were truly one in Christ, there would be no denominations!” Another […]

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 […]

Should Christians Think?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t mean for this to sound like the first line of a cheesy bar joke, but do you know how to get Christians reading your blog post, buying your book, or listening to your sermon? Use a title with […]

Previous Posts

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 »

I'd Like to Change My Job Description
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 4:23, 24 If you've heard enough church sermons, maybe you've run into the joke about the man who ...

posted 4:11:08pm Jun. 12, 2015 | read full post »

The Obnoxious Jesus
"When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.' " (Luke 5:21) Jesus Heals a Paralytic. This is the chapter heading that one of my Bibles (NIV Study, 1985) uses to describe passages in Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26, ...

posted 12:10:04pm Jun. 10, 2015 | read full post »

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