What Makes Something Sacred?

1st in the series, “Religion, Rites & Rituals” First Baptist Church, Frederick, Maryland, July 17, 2016 “I’m interested in God, but not religion.” It’s a phrase we hear over and over again, but what does it even mean? Is religion simply something we created? A tool for controlling and dividing? Some...

Tamar and Being Caught in Adultery

There is a story in the Bible about a woman who is caught having illicit sexual relations outside of marriage. The charge is undeniable, the guilt unquestionable, and the penalty indisputable: death. And thus she is condemned. But in an odd and surprising twist, her accuser and the man with whom the...

Jesus Ain’t No Snake-on-a-Stick

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. In Numbers 21 God has just helped the Israelites defeat a Canaanite king. They are heading to the Promised Land, and they start complaining about the food. “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water,...

“You Won’t Die”: Was the Serpent Right?

In Genesis 3, the Man and the Woman eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, even though they had been warned that “in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Genesis 2:17). That’s a pretty specific warning. It specifies 1) what they are and aren’t supposed to do; 2) what will happen if they...

The Ethics of Eating Shellfish

Why was it a sin for the ancient Israelites to eat shellfish? Leviticus 11:9-12 says, “These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers, that do not have fins and scales...

« Older Entries