Does Luke 10:19 Teach That Faithful Christians Won’t Get In Plane Crashes?

  • Is that authority to tread on serpents and scorpions still applicable?
  • What about the authority over demons, is that something I possess?
  • How in the world can Jesus say “nothing shall hurt you” when some of these dudes like died a martyrs death?

It’s that last question that I’m considering today because I hear it spouted out a few times by prosperity “gospel” teachers as evidence that God doesn’t want us sick. Consider this by prosperity teacher Joseph Prince:

Read more:


Why Would A Good God Not Heal?

“If you will, you can make me clean”. –Mark 1:40

That statement in the gospel of Mark really tugs at my heart. I see my own heart in the statement of this desperate leper. He knows that God can do anything, but He isn’t sure that He wants to. He’s found in Jesus the man who can touch His greatest hurt and wash Him clean…but will He? Jesus’ ability isn’t up for debate, but apparently His heart is.

It’s likely years of shame which has this leper questioning whether Jesus would want to heal him. Ed Welch says it well:

“…shame can deliberately undermine any possible success. If you catch a whiff of something good, you treat it as a threat. You run from it, drink at it, drug at it, sabotage it…People who live with shame believe they don’t deserve anything good. Sure, others get hurt by shame’s self-destructive ways, but its not as if you wanted to hurt them. You are doing your loved ones a favor (you think) if you distance yourself from them. You will ruin lives eventually, so you might as well get it over with.” (Shame Interrupted, 32)

There is more:

Learning The Language Of Lament (Part Three)

God’s Word is very clear in that we are to do all things without grumbling and complaining. We are not released from this imperative simply because we are having a bad day or because actual gut-wrenching suffering has slapped us in the face. It is never permissible to grumble and complain.

Yet we also read in the Scriptures that we are to cast all of our cares upon the Lord. We are given examples of this in the Psalms. There is an earthiness to the Psalms that at times almost seems inappropriate to pray. Or consider the words of Habakkuk as he wrestles with how God’s character fits with the present circumstances. These words are not only not met by rebuke, but at least in the case of the Psalms we are called to sing them ourselves.

Considering these things led me on a quest to compare the laments of the Bible with the sections in which God responds in anger to people accused of grumbling and complaining. What is the difference between biblical lament and grumbling and complaining?

The first thing I noticed was quite a surprise to me.


Learning The Language Of Lament (Part Two)

At the local music store you notice an interesting book entitled Praises. As you open the book you realize it’s over a hundred songs of praise to God. So, what type of songs would you expect in a book with the title Praises? What do you expect of the music? The lyrics? What does it feel like?

When I hear the word “praise” I tend to think of upbeat, celebratory, and exulting type of music. I expect lyrics about how wonderful things are in our life with Jesus, meditations on everything he has accomplished for us, with upbeat music accompanying the mostly positive lyrics.

This is why I’m a bit shocked to discover that the book of Psalms (a translation of the Hebrew word for praises) is filled with over sixty songs of lament. At least 40% of the songs are about bad situations and praying that God will deliver you from them. Some of them (like Psalm 88) do not strike on positive chord.

That is only the Psalms. The book of Job, Habakkuk, and several others are filled with examples of lament. Some of the most quoted Psalms in the New Testament are those of lament. And an entire book of the Bible is called Lamentations. The songbook, the language, that God has given us to speak is one filled with lament.

What is a biblical lament?

I define it as an expression which serves as a Godward plea for help in a distressful situation.


The Type Of Refuge God Is

Is It Really God Speaking To You?

Sloth Doesn’t Just Mean Sleep

When I think of a sluggard or a slothful person I typically picture a scraggly-bearded dude passed out on the couch in his mustard stained sleeveless with remote in hand. I’m not alone in this either. Do an image search for sluggard and you are going to find a similar image. Even good ol’ Ben Franklin had the sluggard sleeping as well when he said, “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.”

But the truth is that a sluggard doesn’t have to be a sleeper. While the Bible has sleep as the favorite past-time of the sluggard it also paints a broader picture. The sluggard is really the one who is doing something other than what ought to be done in that moment to the glory of God.

When we think of the sluggard in our day and age we often think of the young man who is nearing his thirties, without a job, without prospect of marriage, but firmly implanted on the Call of Duty leader board. But he’s not a sluggard because he is playing video games. He’s a sluggard because he is playing video games when he should be doing something else at that moment.