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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

The Christians Who Choose to Leave “Church”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“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 […]

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Please, Think Twice about Passing out the Bible Tract

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) I ran across a bawdy joke the other day that is definitely not the thing one shares with acquaintances or distant […]

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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 […]

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Walking in the Dark

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, a friend sent me this Bible verse from Isaiah 50:10: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Questioning Convention: It’s Part of Growth

posted by Carolyn Henderson

One of the problems of formal, prescriptive Bible studies is that, frequently, they mooooooooooove soooooooooooo slooooooooooowly through the Scriptures, focusing on one or two verses at a time and haranguing the poor words until they collapse, exhausted, and pant out, […]

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 […]

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, […]

Looking for Your Ministry? 5 Ways to Find It

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Many Christians, especially in church settings, focus — obsess — about finding their ministry, and they pore through 1 Corinthians 12 searching for suggestions: “Do I have faith? or a message of wisdom? I’m pretty sure I don’t have the ability […]

Improving Your Meditation Skills

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Meditation is one of those words with multiple meanings, and some Christians are frightened by the concept because they think that meditating involves emptying their minds completely and allowing outside spiritual forces to fill the vacuum. (Interestingly, this is a good description of what happens when […]

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 […]

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 […]

Should You Question Authority?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Should you question authority? You bet. Generally I avoid words like “should,” “ought,” and “must,” because they are frequently misused to manipulate people into doing things that they don’t want to do, as in, “You should go to Sunday School.” […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is It Enough — Just to Believe?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’ll be the first to admit that I make things too complicated, and as an astute and thoughtful reader wrote me about a recent article, The Kingdom of Heaven — How Do We Get There?, “Isn’t it enough just to believe?” […]

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 […]

Bible Reading 101

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christianity is all about being honest, and if most of us were honest with one another — say, about reading the Bible — more of us than we think would have conversations like this: “I know I should read the Bible, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Desperately Need a Place of Rest? You’ve Got One

posted by Carolyn Henderson

One recent weekend, I made mental plans the eve before for gentle recreation: a little quilting, time in the sun with the strawberry plants and their weeds, a game or two of cribbage with whoever in the family isn’t afraid of my prowess […]

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 […]

Child of God: You Are Much Beloved

posted by Carolyn Henderson

My niece has a friend whose son has tumors. At a recent visit to the children’s hospital, they passed by a little girl — 3 years old — surrounded by her stuffed animals. As my niece wrote on Facebook: “She […]

Reading through the Bible in a Year (YAWN)

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I did the most deliciously naughty thing in the bathtub last night. There. I knew we couldn’t communicate until you put your coffee cup down and focused on me. I read a book while I was soaking, which isn’t naughty […]

Who are YOU to Speak for the LORD?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Any time you stand up, stand out, or do your hair in a different style, people notice. Some individuals are really good about it, saying things like, “Cool hair. It frames your face well,” or, “That style’s . . . […]

Three Halloween No-No’s for Christians

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (see, The Big Halloween Bash), not only because it’s always been a truly fun, family affair in our household, but because so many legalistic Christians decry it. I know, it’s naughty of me […]

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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