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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

Isn’t the “Good News” Supposed to Be Good?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:13) A central aspect of the gospel — which means “good news” — is that the news, indeed, should be […]

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God Gave You Your Birthday. Celebrate It!

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you.” (Isaiah 43:4) We are celebrating a spate of birthdays in our household these days, events that don’t necessarily stop with cake. The person of honor is […]

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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 […]

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Abusive Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Any time we are in an abusive or controlling relationship, it takes effort to emerge from it, our independence and self-worth repaired and brought back to health and normalcy. Information that we […]

Does God Care If We Are “Excellent”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Hosea 6:4) It’s difficult keeping up with the latest buzz words of contemporary […]

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 […]

Family and Friends Are Not Dysfunctional

posted by Carolyn Henderson

People matter. “Of course they do,” we all nod our heads emphatically.  A ridiculously easy way to bring people to tears is to show them a clip of a politician, movie celebrity, or extraordinarily rich and famous businessperson wiping their eyes and […]

What Chickens Teach Us about God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

There are two primary ways to learn about God: The first, and most obvious to all of us (even though we may not take advantage of the resource), is Scripture itself. Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Gospels, Epistles, History, or […]

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 […]

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 […]

“If I Leave Church, Will I Lose My Friends?”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many people, the one thing that stands between their leaving a church situation that is not working for them, or staying within and being unhappy, is friendship. Understandably, wherever we spend our time is where we make friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and […]

Forgiveness Is a Promise, Not a Contractual Agreement

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many Christians spend too much time trying to placate a God who will not be satisfied with anything they do, simply because He dislikes them so much. Despite this being an inaccurate understanding of the intimate relationship between a loving, […]

5 Things to Know about Forgiveness

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The first time I heard this sentence: “Jesus talked about hell more than anything else,” I knew it was inaccurate, but hadn’t read the Bible enough to say so with confidence. Now that I have grown up, as a Christian, […]

No Fear — Experience Christ’s True Love

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Jesus is love.” How often do we hear this? If we’re around Christians, or within Christian circles, then we’ve probably heard it a lot. At the same time, however, it wouldn’t be unusual if we were confused, because, though people talk about Jesus, and […]

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 […]

Practical Christianity: Tangible Things We Can Do to Live Our Faith (Part 2 of 3)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In Part 1 of this miniseries, we looked at the Great Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). It shouldn’t come […]

Practical Christianity: Tangible Things We Can Do to Live Our Faith (Part 1 of 3)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Several times, I have had people write, or say to me, “I want to live my life for Christ, but I don’t know how. It seems too difficult.” It is, and it isn’t, and at base, living for Christ involves […]

The Discipline of God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Discipline is an ambiguous word, easily misunderstood because its two major applications are so at variance with one another. In a good sense, discipline is what athletes do — training their bodies to achieve top performance through practice, hard work, persistence, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Do You Long for the Love Christianity Promises?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This weekend I enjoyed the company of three out of four of my adult children. It is impossible for me to describe to you how much I love these four progeny of mine — whenever I talk to them, play […]

Are You Awake?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

  The Bible talks a lot about being awake, and all Christians like to think that they are so: “Oh, yes — I’m awake all right to the evils of the world around me!” Quite honestly, as much as we would like […]

The Gifts We Give to God — When We Have Nothing Acceptable to Give

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I was a very young child, I wanted desperately to give my mother a proper present, but being a child, I was unable to buy or make something of the quality that she deserved. So I made regular raids […]

5 Blessings You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Enjoy

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago, I spoke with a new mom about being lonely, and mentioned that I had experienced my share of that painful condition. “Oh, I’m not LONELY!” she shot back, as if we were discussing leprosy or something. You get the same reaction when you admit, “I would […]

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 […]

Are We Stuck with Our Bad Choices Forever?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Tough love. It’s an oxymoronic — or maybe just moronic — psychological phrase that has crept its way into Christian thought. We’ve been told it’s the solution to codependent relationships, another psychophrase bandied about more frequently than words like grace, mercy, charity, patience, or […]

The Wrong Gospel and How It’s Chasing People out of Church

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I know a lot — a LOT — of people who were raised in a church, no longer attend, and want nothing to do with God. Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Methodist — it doesn’t matter the appellation, these people are on […]

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 […]

When the Prodigal Son (or Daughter) Is Yours

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11 – 31) is a familiar one to many — sometimes because we’ve been the person who has broken our parent’s heart ourselves, other times because we are that hurting parent. The principle message […]

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 Mom REALLY Wants for Mother’s Day

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that sound good, but get so taken over by marketers and manufacturers that its true meaning gets lost. People are subtly, or not so subtly, nudged into buying the perfect gift, and celebration turns […]

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 […]

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 […]

Your Learning Curve, as a Christian

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“When God dies, does He fall down from the sky?” I’m sure it doesn’t take long to identify a few theological misconceptions in this question, but when you consider that the inquirer was a four-year-old, you have to admit a […]

When You Can’t Take It Anymore

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t know about you, but I have been in particular life situations that go on so long, with so little change, that I simply want to give up. Only, I can’t. I mean, what am I supposed to do: […]

Angry Jesus: I Don’t Want to Follow Him, Either

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I ran into a statement the other day that knocked me back on my fundament (isn’t that clever? I managed to not use the words, “butt,” or worse, “ass,” and thereby avoided offending anybody). The discussion had to do with […]

Do Negative Thoughts Affect Your Prayers?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

There’s a difference between the gods of the world and the one, true, eternal God. While that sounds like an obvious statement, it doesn’t seem so when you talk to many Christians who, purportedly, worship the latter. A colleague of […]

Christianity, and the Problem of Hell

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Most people, Christians or not, don’t like to talk about hell. Many seekers abhor the subject because they ask, quite logically, “How can a God who professes to be loving, kind, faithful, and merciful toss anyone into hell? I mean, […]

The Audacity of Despair

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, the Norwegian Artist convinced me to watch the kind of movie that I — and he incidentally — hate: Pure naturalism, in which the story starts out mildly bad and goes downhill from there. Any hope that the character […]

Is It Okay to Talk to the Grave of Your Loved One?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Those of you who have read me for awhile can probably guess the answer to any question I posit that begins with, “Is it okay to . . .?” Yeah, the answer’s probably yes, unless the question is something like, […]

God, the Dentist

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Yesterday, I spent two hours in the dentist’s chair. Like many professionals these days, the dentist, and her crew, were all considerably younger than I. Maybe it’s because I remind them of their mothers that they were so solicitous, gently […]

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 […]

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. […]

Two Reasons Why the World Hates Christians

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians have a bad reputation for being unkind, intolerant, harsh, judgmental, and self-righteous. Oh, and uneducated. Now of course, anytime you speak about, or live, moral absolutes, you’ll get attacked by people who don’t want to be told — either […]

Self-Acceptance: Why Is This So Difficult?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Self-acceptance is one of those universal human issues that Christians aren’t supposed to talk about because, as we all know, we shouldn’t be worried about “self” anymore. And therein lies the problem — not the worrying about ourselves, but in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Previous Posts

Why Political Activism Is Not the Christian Answer
"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 a determined, ...

posted 11:29:52am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Watered Down, Weak Tea, Tepid Beer, Corked Wine Christianity
"'What should we do then?' the crowd asked." Luke 3:10 If you're a Christian, and you've got a question about the Bible, your place in the world, or what our Father wants you to do with your life, be assured that, no further than your local ...

posted 11:14:46am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Isn’t the “Good News” Supposed to Be Good?
"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments." (2 Timothy 4:13) A central aspect of the gospel -- which means "good news" -- is that the news, indeed, should be good. Believing ...

posted 1:09:17pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Why Do Some Christians Make So Much MONEY?
"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, we share coffee and ...

posted 12:15:10pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Is America Doomed?
"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 breath or two without being ...

posted 10:13:52am May. 08, 2015 | read full post »

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