• Have Your Forsaken Your First Love? Questions to Help You Gauge Your Love for Christ

    by Shawn Merithew on July 26, 2016

    “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)

    As God gives us one of the greatest assurances Christians have in the Bible, why does he choose the virtue of love as the main descriptive for His people? Why doesn’t he say, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?” Or, since the context of Romans 8 speaks much of suffering, why doesn’t He say, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who take up their cross and follow Jesus.” Why does God, through Paul, choose to elevate the virtue of love here in this verse? (more…)

  • Dear Christian: THINK Before You Jump On The Bandwagon Against Indiana

    by Shawn Merithew on April 1, 2015

    photo-1427348693976-99e4aca06bb9 We are obligated by Scripture to serve, love, and even sacrifice for the sake of manifesting Christ and communicating His gospel to all persons, whether they be homosexuals, racists, liars, murderers, idolaters, fornicators, tyrants, or any other type of sinner. Christ has instructed us to love even those who are our personal enemies, even when they are persecuting us and pouring out hate upon us. (Matt 5:44, Luke 6:27,35) We are to live this way because we ourselves were once murderers, liars, fornicators, racists, homosexuals, and persecutors of Christians (1 Cor 6:9-11). The only difference between us and any other sinner is the fact that we have been forgiven through faith in Christ. And because we now love Him, we are compelled to actively demonstrate His love and communicate the truth of His grace and forgiveness to all of our fellow sinners, without exception. (Titus 3:1-8) (more…)

  • WANTED: A New Denominational Metric

    by Shawn Merithew on March 23, 2015

    tEREUy1vSfuSu8LzTop3_IMG_2538The metric system never really caught on here in the United States. Most all of us learned it in school, and though we are reluctant to admit it, it is a much better system. A thousand millimeters makes a meter, and a thousand meters makes a kilometer. Could conversions be more simple? But using the metric system is like having to speak the Spanish I learned in high school — it’s difficult and unnatural for me. It doesn’t matter if I have a hard time remembering how many feet are in a mile; I like the ease and comfort of what I’ve always known.

    When we talk about how we measure health or success in our Southern Baptist Convention, we also have a system of measurement that we find quite comfortable. Amidst all the information we record on our annual church profiles, there are three main measurements that seem to define church health: number of members, number of baptisms, and number of dollars given to the Cooperative Program. Any church with an upward trajectory in these three units of measure is labeled ‘Missional’ and the pastor is automatically qualified for upper echelon leadership in the SBC. This is just how we think. It doesn’t matter that this system isn’t exactly biblical and that it frequently hides an underlying pandemic of unregenerate membership. These units of measurement are comfortable, easy to track, and they are what we’ve always known. (more…)

  • Back to the Question of Situational ethics

    by Shawn Merithew on January 18, 2013

    This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to consider the story of the Hebrew midwives in Exodus, chapter one.  They were commanded by Pharaoh to kill the boy infants born to the Hebrew women.  Because they feared God, they refused to obey Pharaoh’s command.  When called to account for their failure to heed his command, they lied and said that the Hebrew women were vigorous and gave birth before they arrived.

    We find a similar story in Joshua, chapter two.  Joshua sent spies into the land to discern the strength of Jericho.  The two spies were hidden by Rahab the harlot on the roof of her house.  When the authorities came to her seeking to arrest the spies, she lied to them; she sent them out on a false report and continued (more…)

  • Law and Grace in "Les Miserables"

    by Shawn Merithew on January 10, 2013

    Lisa and I recently had the opportunity to view the latest movie release of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables.”  I am always very cautious of commending any product of Hollywood, but I found the layered story of human suffering and the juxtaposition of law and grace very moving (more…)

  • Great Questions for the New Year

    by Shawn Merithew on January 2, 2013

    So how are you doing on your New Years Resolutions?  By the time you receive this, you will have already had 3 or 4 days to work on them.  Are you still watching what you eat?  Are you still exercising?  Are you still keeping up with your Bible reading and study?  Are you still (more…)

  • HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE TRAGEDY AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY

    by Shawn Merithew on December 20, 2012

    It is very hard to process a tragedy like the one that took place in Newton, Connecticut this past Friday.  Murder of even one person is appalling.  Mass murder is exceedingly horrific.  The mass murder of children is inconceivable.  We must continue to be in prayer for the families affected by this tragedy, especially this week, as so many funerals are conducted and as the town reels in emotional trauma.  Pray specifically that the gospel of Christ would be lifted up (more…)

  • SPIRITUAL WARFARE — THE BELIEVER'S RESPONSE

    by Shawn Merithew on December 4, 2012

    Last week, I wrote an article on the biblical reality of Spiritual Warfare.  Near the end of that article, I noted that Satan is a created being who fell from heaven because he rebelled against God.  Though he is powerful, God is still completely sovereign over him.  He is nothing (more…)

  • SPIRITUAL WARFARE

    by Shawn Merithew on November 28, 2012

    I believe that most of us have had the experience before of sensing a severe spiritual attack.  Perhaps it was through personal adversity, marital or family difficulties, or even through challenges faced by a church, but it was clear that demonic forces were at work to create discord and bring destruction.  Despite what many might think, spiritual warfare (more…)

  • Taking Up the Call to Social Gospel Ministry

    by Shawn Merithew on November 8, 2012

    We were blessed this past Lord’s Day to observe Orphan Care Sunday here at Morningview.  The testimonies were excellent, the worship was very meaningful, and it was a joy to explore with you the theological basis and practical outworking of Christian adoption through the sermons.

    During my Sunday evening sermon, one of the points of application I made for us regarded the importance of raising up the next generation to be responsible for caring for those in need.  During the last century, the church has surrendered numerous aspects of social ministry to the secular state, thereby divorcing itself from ministry opportunities where the gospel is critically needed.  In specific regards to orphan care, we often see unwanted, abused, or neglected children as the problem of the state rather than (more…)

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