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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

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 […]

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Four Important Men You’ve Never Heard of

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Depending upon our interests, those of us who live in the world of mass media can rattle off names of note in the sports arena, TV land, cinematic Fantasia, network “news,” political affront, musical medley, or the religious circus, er, circuit. So […]

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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 […]

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Why Do We Follow Celebrity Christians?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have spent a goodly portion of my life working past, and through, an impatient, calloused, uncaring, indifferent, and unlikable God, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only spiritual seeker with this issue. The Querulous God is regularly taught […]

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 […]

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, […]

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

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In the first two parts of this miniseries on how to practically apply Biblical wisdom to our lives, we looked at the two Great Commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and […]

Why Doesn’t God DO Something?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

On one of the Christian Google-Plus communities I follow, a perfidious little troll regularly posts photos of starving children, highlighting his point with accompanying commentary like, “Where is the good and gracious God?” Actually, he’s more verbally adroit than that — quite clever, actually — and to avoid confrontation or actual dialogue he […]

Longing for Success

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you want people to read an article you write, or watch a video you post, just make sure that the title has the word, “Success” in it. (I know. I just did that. Did it work?) Fortunately, I am […]

Five Steps to Achieving Your Impossible Dream

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Sixteen years ago, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I had an improbable dream: we wanted to find a place in the country and raise our kids there. I say improbable because 1) we had four kids and 2) we […]

Will We Ever Say Good-bye to the Legacy of the Vietnam War?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Anniversaries are supposed to be celebratory things, generally of weddings, when a couple starts a whole new life together. How odd that we use the same word, “anniversary,” to acknowledge — surely not celebrate? — the unwanted introduction of the Vietnam War […]

Satan’s Three Lies

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you read the Gospels at all, at some point you’ll run into the temptation of Jesus, by Satan, in the desert, since the story is in three out of four of the books (Matthew 4: 1-11; Mark 1: 12, 13; […]

Worthless in the World’s Eyes

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Tradition is great stuff. If you attend church, you know that once a year you’ll read Luke Chapter 2 — the birth of Jesus, and given the amount of actual Bible reading that too many Christians do throughout the rest […]

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 […]

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 […]

Praying for Something BIG? Five Points to Ponder

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We serve a God who does impossible things. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had a baby when she was 90 years old (Genesis 18, 21). The Israelites escaped the Egyptians by walking through the parted Red Sea — with the pursuing Egyptians drowning when […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Don’t Worry: It’s NOT All up to You

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Pretend, for a moment, that you’re a horse. Not an old plug, swaybacked and ugly, so derelict that nobody even wants you for free. I mean, seriously, God loves you as his beautiful, precious daughter or son, so once in […]

“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.” Yuck.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Okay, let’s find a Bible verse. Ready? “God helps those who help themselves.” I’ll give you a few minutes to look, but to save you time, you’ll find it in 2 Obligations 13: 36,  right before the “Cleanliness is next to […]

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 People Lie to Us

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Sometimes, the truth is so simple that it’s difficult to believe. Take manipulation, for example, which is to control another person’s behavior, generally without his knowledge, and in an unscrupulous manner. The word is not used in a positive sense. […]

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 — […]

Break away from Controlling People

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It’s not too late to give yourself the gift that you will treasure throughout your life, wrapping it up as a year-round, realistic New Year’s Resolution as well: Aggressively and unapologetically learn to think for yourself. In a society that […]

Seminar Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We are a society with little time to read, reflect, think, or meditate. Increasingly, our dialogue with one another is limited to whatever one-liners we can fit onto a Tweet, a text, or a Facebook post, and while I love […]

Sham Christians: Don’t Be Fooled by Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us, but just because somebody announces that he is a Christian, doesn’t mean that he’s telling the truth. And yet, this maxim is obviously not getting through to the general […]

Christian Prosperity: What Does It Look Like?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As an intelligent person, I know that the Make a Million NOW! type books only make a million for a limited number of people, not the least of which are the authors. Nonetheless, there’s always that little bit of aggressive, […]

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, […]

Previous Posts

Do We Treat Fellow Christians Like Servants?
"And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him." (Ephesians 6:9) We like to say that a sign of civilization is that we do not have slaves. It's an odd misconception,

posted 1:50:23pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Are You a Brave Christian?
"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) [caption id="attachment_1532" align="alignleft" width="361"] How many of us, in our minds, live a movie? It's more imp

posted 1:29:24pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Is God Keeping You on a Short Leash?
"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? [caption id="attachment_1526" align="alignleft" width="349"] Reins are for horses and leashes are for dogs, but the principle is the s

posted 10:38:46am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Without God, We've Got 10 Minutes, Tops
"The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) I never see this verse without thinking of the AWANA program, regarding which, after 10 long years of heavily participating in it, I still

posted 2:09:55pm Mar. 18, 2015 | read full post »

The Christians Who Choose to Leave "Church"
"Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore." Hebrews 13:13 If you've ever done anything in contrast to the status quo, you've no doubt been shot with criticism by those who remain in the group, and are appalled that you would dare to leave. [caption id="attachment

posted 12:55:26pm Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

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