At Advancing Native Missions we are now in a period of mourning. We have just recently lost one of the oldest members of our staff. The Reverend Gordon Shira was a part of ANM from the very beginning. Following a successful and varied ministerial career, he had spent the past 25 years doing volunteer work in our offices. He served as the mission chaplain for decades. He also did clerical work in our receipting department since the earliest days of this ministry. He was a generous, kind-hearted and deeply devout man of God. We will miss him greatly.
Being conscious of Gordon’s passing has made me aware of the issue of death, of the mortality that we all face. And it prompts me to write about death itself, and what happens when we die. May I tell you that this is an area where there is an abundance of myth and misunderstanding. Even in the church I often hear Christians make assertions about those who have died that are simply not true. We do not know everything about what happens when we die. But we do know quite a bit. The Scriptures are very clear on a number of things. Continue reading →
Question: “I have often heard that all sins are the same. There is no such thing as big sins or little sins. Is this true? Are all sins equal?” – B. in Charlottesville, Va.
My Answer: The idea that all sins are basically the same is commonly asserted today. We often see this stated when a person is criticized for committing a particular sin. I have heard people say things like this, “You can’t judge me for this sin. My sin is no bigger or worse than the sins that you commit. I’ve seen you lose your temper or speak sharply!” They may tell you that Christians have no right to label a certain sin as more offensive than any other sin. To give but one example, they may say that sexual immorality is no worse than gossip or selfishness. Their obvious attitude is this, how can you judge an adulterer, fornicator or homosexual if you, yourself, are guilty of being unkind or sharp tongued? After all, sin is sin. All sin is equally wrong, or so they say. Continue reading →