Category Archives: love

What the Bible Is–And Is Not

Today, we begin a new series on the character of the Bible. A number of topics will be on what the Bible is not, but this article is about What the Bible Is. We must first realize that our perspective … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, inerrancy, Jesus, love, New Testament, Old Testament | Tagged | 75 Comments

How Important are ‘Correct Beliefs’ to God?

Many believers think people who claim to be Christian but stray too far from ‘correct beliefs’ are not Christian at all. And the corollary is that they are going to hell—just for not getting their beliefs right! I used to … Continue reading

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Posted in baggage, Jesus, judgment, love | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

How I Changed from Disapproving LGBTs to Being Totally Affirming

Not long ago a close friend of mine, a conservative evangelical, brought up the issue of gays. As we talked I asked, ‘What about gay Christians?’…‘What?!’ they responded very flustered. ‘Gay Christians!’ They could not imagine such a thing. The … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, gays, Jesus, love | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Best Blog Posts I Read in March-April 2016

Here is a list of some of the best blog posts I read in March-April that pertain to the themes of Jesus without Baggage. I hope you find a few articles here that are interesting and useful to you. If … Continue reading

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Posted in creationism, evolution, favorite blogs, fundamentalism, gays, God, legalism, love | 8 Comments

Are Our Sins Gone as though They Never Happened? In One Sense–No

Justified! It is a wonderful truth that we are justified by Jesus: Some believers celebrate it with this homonym: ‘It is just if I’d never sinned!’ It’s cute and it’s catchy. But is it true? Are our sins gone as … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, love, sin, suffering | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Original Sin or Original Self-Centeredness?

Many Christians believe humanity is so broken, and nature so violent, because of Adam’s disobedience in the garden. They say the world was originally perfect but Adam ruined everything. Furthermore, all Adam’s descendants are born with ‘original sin’ and alienated … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, Jesus, love, original sin, sin, suffering | Tagged , , , , , | 48 Comments

“If There’s No Hell then I Will Sin All I Want!”

One day I spoke with an elderly believer who was a fundamentalist all her life, and the issue of hell came up in such a way that I shared with her that I didn’t believe eternal punishment in burning hell … Continue reading

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Posted in fear, God, hell, Jesus, legalism, love, sin, the Good News, witnessing | Tagged , , , | 62 Comments

Are ‘Sins’ Primarily Sins against God or against Other People?

Some believers think all sins are primarily sins against God. Stephen Witmer makes that very statement: All sin is primarily sin against God. Where sin is understood as merely a moral concept rather than mainly a religious one, where it … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, behavior, God, Jesus, legalism, love, love your enemies, sin, sinners, The Father | Tagged | 43 Comments

Does Jesus Tell Us to Judge People in Matthew 18?

Recently, I posted an article stating that it is not our job to judge other people. It is titled The Misguided Concept of ‘Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin’, and in just a few days it became my #5 … Continue reading

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Posted in judgment, love, sin | Tagged , | 61 Comments

The Best Blog Posts I Read in January-February 2016

Here is a list of some of the best blog posts I read in January-February that pertain to the themes of Jesus without Baggage. I hope you find a few articles here that are interesting and useful to you. Have … Continue reading

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Posted in creationism, evolution, fundamentalism, gays, God, hell, inerrancy, legalism, love, Satan, sin | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Why Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

We talked last time about three atonement theories that I believe are woefully misguided and miss the point of Jesus’ death completely: The Ransom Theory, the Satisfaction Theory, and the Substitutionary Atonement Theory (Penal Substitution). All three are inadequate to … Continue reading

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Posted in atonement, eternal life, Jesus, Kingdom of God, love, resurrection, sin | Tagged , , | 79 Comments

The Misguided Concept of ‘Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin’

Legalistic believers often feel it is their duty to confront sinners with their ‘sins’. This sometimes includes telling sinners how bad they are and urging them to accept Jesus. And they don’t stop there; they also confront fellow believers with … Continue reading

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Posted in Jesus, judgment, legalism, love, Paul, sin, sinners, the Good News | Tagged , , , | 55 Comments

“Should We Give Money to Bums on the Street Who Refuse to Work?”

Of course this is a loaded question. When we meet people on the street asking for money, we can’t know whether they are bums who refuse to work. We don’t know their background, what brought them to this condition, whether … Continue reading

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Posted in behavior, Jesus, love, suffering | Tagged , | 61 Comments

What is Sin but Pain and Alienation?

[Alert: graphic photo below] We all feel the effects of sin; but the character of sin is not what many believers think it is. People DO sin, but not in the way many believers suppose. Sin has dire consequences, but … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, God, hate, Jesus, legalism, love, sin, The Father | Tagged | 31 Comments

The Best Blog Posts I Read in November-December

Here is a list of some of the best blog posts I read in November-October that pertain to the themes of Jesus without Baggage. I hope you find a few articles here that are interesting and useful to you. Have a … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, creationism, evolution, favorite blogs, gays, inerrancy, legalism, love, love your enemies, sin | 4 Comments

5 Steps to Finding a Good Church Fit for You

Let me begin by saying that I cannot tell you for sure how to find a good church for you, but I feel I should address it the best I can since I get this question often. Frequently the question … Continue reading

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Posted in baggage, faith, love | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

7 Things I am Thankful for this Season

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wish to share a few things for which I am most thankful. I am certainly thankful for more than these seven things, but they are at the top of my list. 1. I am thankful for … Continue reading

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Posted in God, legalism, love, The Father | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Best Blog Posts I Read in September

Here is a list of some of the best blog posts I read in September that pertain to the themes of Jesus without Baggage. If it is well received I plan to repeat the list each month with the best posts … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, creationism, evolution, favorite blogs, gays, hell, inerrancy, love, persecution | 7 Comments

Do Jesus’ Words and Actions Demonstrate Empathy — or Judgment?

A central proposal of this blog is that Jesus’ message and example are geared toward empathy, reconciliation, and acceptance rather than judgment and exclusion. For the past two-and-a-half years I have addressed selected harmful beliefs by comparing them to Jesus’ … Continue reading

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Posted in Jesus, judgment, legalism, love, the Good News | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 5: How Would You Respond to This Situation?

This is Day 5 of a five-day exercise on loving and caring for others based on the Good News of Jesus that the Father loves and cares for us. You can read the introduction to these exercises on the Day … Continue reading

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Posted in behavior, Jesus, love, the Good News | 11 Comments