There are many viewpoints within churches that have divided congregations over the centuries, and continue to do so. Churches have separated over issues such as predestination, the current role of the Holy Spirit, the proper way to repent, and how we should take communion or get baptized. However, today Christians are wrestling with issues such as gay marriage, and questioning their perception of truth and morality in the process. The postmodern mindset of our day is growing, meaning many now believe that truth is relative. This philosophy, that everyone can define his or her own version of truth, has infiltrated even . . .

We are finally past the election, but my sigh of relief has morphed into the forlorn realization that each party remains married to their offenses. I have always hated politics, so I intentionally avoided conversations and Facebook posts on the topic. But even now, after the people have voted, the heated discussions continue. Many are feeling despondent, fearful about the future of our nation, and apprehensive about how this new leadership will affect them personally.

This messy, and often volatile, exchange between people on both “sides” of the argument has left me pondering where the church fits in. For what issues should we take a stand . . . 

Sadly, if you ask nonbelievers what they think of Christians, many would characterize them as judgmental. Though this is not an accurate assessment of all Christians, I still wonder why there is such incongruence between the lifestyle Christians claim to live and the way the world views us? Is it possible that we are so conditioned to judging others that it flies under the radar of our discernment? Recent events in my life have challenged me to examine this more carefully, and while searching God’s heart on this issue, several questions surfaced . . .

My whole life, everyone taught me that prayer was always the right response. Even Scripture says we are to “pray without ceasing,” and though this directive felt a bit daunting, I fully believed God designed us to be people of prayer. I believed we were to pray with faith and boldness, and to persist in our petitions until we got a breakthrough. Isn’t that what the parable about the unjust judge teaches, that we are to “always pray and never give up?” (Luke 18:1-8) However, there are two distinct times in my life when I am certain God told me not to pray. They both surprised me, and they both redefined my understanding of Him.

The first time was at my work. As a physician assistant, I often have opportunities to pray with my patients. It is a privilege and a joy every time I connect someone with the love of God through prayer. I believe my heart was right in doing this, and it often brought peace and encouragement to the patients.  However, one day . . .

Have you ever wondered how an all-powerful God could let people die of starvation or lack of clean water? If God actually exists, and He is a good God, why would He allow such suffering and injustice? We read in the Bible about times when God provided miraculously, but why would He not do this every time? So He loves us enough to send His only son to die for us, but He does not love us enough to step in and fix our problems on earth? Is He faithful to provide our daily needs or . . .

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