Monday, November 13, 2017

Porn, Sin, and The Church


How is pornography and sexual sin affecting the church? Deep seated sin is always a hinderance. The next generation has grown a new set of values we must face. The upside is that there is a solution if we are willing to face it. - An Out of The Shadows Conference Tie-In. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, November 6, 2017

Evil and Anguish


In the light of this week's shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX and other violence and evil in the last few weeks, we cannot ignore the gathering darkness. How can we have any reaction but a cry from a heart wrenched in anguish? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Reformation(s)


500 years ago Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of Brandenburg Cathedral. In the years since that momentous day, no one can doubt the impact it has had in the world. Do those thesis have anything to tell us today? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, October 23, 2017

Submit or Resist?


To Resist or Submit? That is the question that has plagued Christians throughout the centuries. In our current political climate, we seem to be divided along political lines as to whether or not we should submit to the current government. Some are even trying to use Scripture to justify their position or even support for the more extreme and violent elements. What is our relationship to the government supposed to be? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, October 16, 2017

There's Fear and Then There's Fear


Perfect love casts out fear. If that's the case, is there a place for the Fear of The Lord? Maybe there's fear and then there's fear. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, October 9, 2017

Erosion!


"We overestimate how effectively scientific arguments secularize people. It’s not science that’s secularizing Americans — it’s sex." - Prof Mark Regnarus. Is he right? Is it sex that is at the root of the erosion of the Church? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, October 2, 2017

Barriers


How much do we get in the way when trying to lead someone to Jesus? So many people want nothing to do with Christ because they see expectations that have little or nothing to do with His Word. Copyright 2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fractious Times

I recently announced on my personal page that I would no longer watch my beloved NFL. That simple announcement with a short accompanying reason got more response than posts that actually matter. I have friends on both sides of the issue. The truth for me is deeper than some form of entertainment. I am choosing not to support anything that contributes to the fragmentation and tribalism that divides us.

In the long run, my decision isn't about who's right and who's wrong. It's about not wanting to see everything I enjoy or watch mired in politics and division. There was a time when playing the National Anthem wasn't considered political but part of the unifying factor that no matter your race, political views, gender, or any other distinction, we were still bound by the commonality of being Americans. It was nothing more than that. When even something so time honored has been turned into something divisive, I can't participate. That's true whether it's a sport, movie, or television program. Propagandize in the guise of entertainment and I don't watch. If I want to watch political programming, then I'll turn it on although that almost never happens. My life isn't made richer by watching people argue and I'm certainly not drawn closer to Jesus by it.

As I've discussed on a number of episodes of the Jesus' Outsider Podcast, we are growing more and more fractured and divided not only as a nation but as a church. We are separating ourselves into ever more narrowly defined tribes. Political affiliations, denominations, minor issues of doctrine, and even sport team fandoms are just a few of the growing camps of us versus them. We are wrathful and wrangling over words and concepts that mean little to our purpose in Christ. In fact, these divisions, protests, counter protests and all the rest of the nonsense happening are huge hindrances to the fulfillment of The Great Commission. That was the point of the episode, Stay Focused.

Consider this quote from C.S. Lewis and his groundbreaking book, The Screwtape Letters:

My Dear Wormwood,
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration, and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure teh patient continues to believe that the problem is "out there" in the "broken system" rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself.
Keep up the good work,
Uncle Screwtape
What better way to keep the Church from being effective than to keep us angry and divided? Jesus himself prayed that we would be one just and He and the Father are one (John 17). The greatest times of church growth and power was when we were united and our good works were visible to all men. Even a cursory reading of Acts reveal how when the church was united and devoted their lives to living the Gospel, their number was added to daily. Can any of us say that anymore?

To put is simply, the enemy is doing a great job of keeping the Body of Christ divided and focused on the wrong things. I know that all of us have a specific part to play in His church and in advancing the Kingdom of God. If we are spending all of our time on these useless distractions, can we actually achieve them? Paul warns Timothy to avoid foolish and arrogant arguments. (2 Tim 2:23-26) as well as in Romans and Titus. There's a reason for these and all the other warnings throughout Scripture.

We're not here to change the world through political action, protests, or arguments. That's not why Jesus came. He came to seek and save that which is lost. How far can we deviate from that purpose because an entertainer expresses an opinion or because we support an earthly political party or agenda? Nothing is worth more than living Jesus in front of a lost and dying world. Consider that when you post on Facebook or take a stand.

If you want to make a real difference, be Jesus to someone. Examine your own heart for hatred and sin. Or, if you're willing to take a greater risk, do what David did and ask the Lord to examine your heart and see if there be any wicked way in me. (Psalm 139:23-24) Pursuing the Lord diligently and letting your good works speak for themselves to bring glory not to you but to God is what we're here for and nothing else. Listen to the episode Purpose in Victory for more details. You're here for a reason. Don't let this world's nonsense, anger, and sin distract you and draw you in. You can choose the higher road and just not participate.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Stay Focused


During my tenure with a small, innercity ministry and church in Peoria, the senior pastor liked to use the statement, "Keep the main thing the main thing!" In this day and age, that sage counsel seems to be harder and harder to keep. It's no longer even a given that American Christians know what the main thing is anymore. Rediscover it in a charged climate and find some real peace. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Purpose in Victory


Once you've achieved #VictoryinJesus, there has to be something more. Such a huge gift could not possibly just to make you happy. There's more to the Victorious Christian Life than just thrills and chills and it might just be the most important thing you hear all week. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, September 11, 2017

Maintaining The Victory


Okay, so you've discovered the real victorious Christian life. Now what? Walking it out isn't all that easy. There are pitfalls along the way that we all must be aware of. Victory, once won, must be kept and maintained. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Victorious Life


We all want to live a #VictoriousChristianLife! The Scriptures teach us what that means and how we can do it. This life is so unique that it may be hard to recognize by any standard we know. However, the world is looking for it, for the difference.  ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, August 28, 2017

Breaking Offense


Offense seems to come from everywhere. A quick read of social media proves that half of everyone on it seems to be angry about something pretty much all the time. Christians don't seem to be much different. Perhaps it shouldn't be so. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Facing Evil


We are living in the most volatile times I can remember. Evil, bigotry, violence, and hatred seem to be running amok. In these dark days, where does the church and the individual follower of Christ fit? What can we do to face this evil? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Saturday, August 19, 2017

On Bigotry and Racism

Let me begin by stating one thing without reservation: I hate bigotry and racism with a deep passion. I don't care who the object of the hatred is whether black, white, latino, jew, Italians, Irish, or any other race or ethnicity. To hate an entire group because of their country of origin, skin color, or ethnicity is irrational and evil. I believe in Dr. King's dream that we would be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. I wish that his work had not been undone.

I have the fruit on the tree, if you will. For several years, I served in a number of ministries working towards racial and denominational reconciliation, most of whom lead by black pastors. My lovely bride and I spent fifteen years in inner city ministry. During that time, I served as teaching and administrative pastor in a mixed race congregation and community outreach center. We lived in a mixed race neighborhood for thirteen years that became a predominantly black neighborhood. I'm not saying all this to brag but more as a pedigree so that my credibility might be established.

It's so easy to stand against the obvious hate. The KKK and other white supremacist groups are overt and blatant in their hatred of other races especially blacks and jews. Since many people I care about fall into both of these groups, the idea that anyone would want to hurt them for no reason other than the color of their skin fills me with a rage that only time and prayer can calm. Opposing their filthy ideology is the only rational thing to do but not with violence. As the Scriptures say:
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore 

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; 
If he is thirsty, give him a drink; 
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:14-21
I have seen this type of overt racism on display all my life but not always from whites who hate blacks. I've heard it from blacks who hate whites and jews, blacks and whites who both hate Mexicans, Mexicans who hate everybody. Hatred and bigotry are universal. Anyone can be filled with this vile poison. The reason we left the neighborhood was because my two sons were jumped because they were white. They were kids who dared to walk down the street. Speed was their only salvation. Most of the people living there at the time and, I assume, to this day are decent people who harbor no ill will towards anyone. In all cases, it is the vocal and often violent minority that are the problem.
These are the easy ones to spot. Most of the racism I see today is not quite so obvious. The blatant ones are the people denying jobs or homes to people based on race. The far more devious beliefs are often masked behind seemingly good intentions. They're so deep and hidden that the people who hold them don't believe that they're are racist. Most believe that they're fighting racism.
I'm talking about the soft bigotry of low expectations. This takes the form of beliefs such as the idea that minorities aren't able to get IDs on their own so shouldn't be expected to have them to vote. Perhaps it's seen in demanding lower requirements for admission into colleges or job advancement. Although these seem like the right thing to do, in reality they are, along with anything else in this line of thought, the message is clear that those who believe them are a different form of white supremacist. They feel guilty about their beliefs but act and speak in ways that confirm that they believe that racial and ethnic minorities are inferior and can only succeed with the help of their superiors.
This type of bigotry is the root of the need to keep minorities feeling like victims. Anger and the assumption of racism are the result. Proponents of this racism teach minorities to assume racial motivations behind everything. This, in and of itself, is a form of bigotry and racism.
I dream of the day when we can actually come back together as one American people. Our currency reads the Latin motto, "E Pluribus Unim." This means from many, one. There will always be disagreements and there will always be hatred and bigotry. It's up to us, the Body of Christ, to be instruments of peace and reconciliation. We must reject all forms of racism and see everyone as individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. The love of God must flow through us to break through and bring unity wherever we can. Hearts and minds are changed one at a time.
Reject hate. Reject violence. Embrace love and mercy.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Violence, Bigotry, and The Church


I cannot be silent in the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two groups filled with hate clashed leaving at least one dead and multiple injuries. Evil is evil no matter which side of the aisle it's from. In its midst, does the church fit? How did we get here? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Worthy!


Are you worthy? How do you know? For a show you can really sink your teeth into, tune in for some Scriptural answers that a Real Man and everyone else serious about their faith need to hear! ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, July 31, 2017

Real Man Stuff


Years ago, a young man I worked with called be rugged just for doing regular guy stuff like shooting and eating beef jerky. I don't feel overly rugged but there it is. In church however, I feel like a rough and tumble outsider. I suspect most men feel the same from time to time. What might change that? Real Men want to know. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Art of Spiritual Warfare


We are in a war and I don't mean the culture war. Just as in the world, it is an art. We must follow good principles of warfare from Scripture and lessons gained from history. If we are to win, we need to know how to really fight and the conditions of victory. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Gift of Giving


Remember those good works that the Lord prepared for us ahead of time? Perhaps giving is one of them. It's time for a frank and, hopefully, guilt-free yet convicting discussion on a difficult topic. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Working at The End


Look around! Can there be any doubt we are in the last days? If this is the world we live in, what do we do now? Do we continue only seeing this as a culture war or move forward with something more? We have a job to do and it won't be rearranging deck chairs on the metaphorical Titanic. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Missions


Foreign mission, to go or not to go? Perhaps the better question: are we , as a nation, in a position to provide the foundation needed to support missionaries? If not, can we get there? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, June 5, 2017

Balance


Can we go too far with the Grace of God or with His severity? Are these two attributes of God in conflict with each other? Perhaps the answer depends on how we strike the balance. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dead and Alive


Can we continue in what we are dead to and still call ourselves a Christian? More importantly, are we really a Christian at all? When we die to one thing, we are alive to something else, something greater. If we do not act consistently with what we say we believe, are there consequences? There are some hard teachings from the Word that we cannot ignore even if some claim they do not apply. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Faith and Works


Is there a conflict between faith and works? If we are saved by grace (and that through faith), do we need to worry about works? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Ancient


The church of Jesus Christ is constantly under assault from forces both without and within to alter and shift teachings. The church must change with the times to be relevant, at least that is what we are told. What can be changed and what cannot is the topic of today's episode. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, April 24, 2017

Never Leave a Man Behind


(From The Archive March 2nd, 2015) Never Leave a Man Behind! We hear it all time in movies and on television. Many Congressional Medal of Honor recipients went back for wounded comrades. The church is at war and the battlefield is littered with the wounded. How do we live out the truth of that statement when the fight is spiritual instead of physical?


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Monday, April 10, 2017

25 Years


Every once and a while, times of introspection are necessary. 25 Years seems to be such a time. Tune in for some of my testimony and hope for you and for those you love. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, April 3, 2017

Flee


Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were criticized this week for setting a boundary in their marriage to help them keep their marriage vows. Known for his Christian faith, he and his wife do as many of us do. He's demonstrating that there are times when a man of God must be known for what he flees from as much as what he runs to. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Classic


In the midst of the noise of all the trendy church growth strategies and teachers, something must be solid. According to the statistics, fewer and fewer people have a Biblical worldview. If we are to redeem this trend and turn the hearts of people to Jesus, maybe we need to try something classic. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Trendy


The latest and greatest thing, the coolest worship music, the new trendy book or leadership/church growth approach. We think that if we just grab onto it we can stop the bleeding from the local church and grow again. Are these attempts wrong or born from a sincere desire to do the work of God? Are we missing something? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, March 13, 2017

Getting It Right


Sound doctrine is essential. In a time when there is so much contradictory teaching out there, we need to be wise. Getting it right means having a good method for seeking the truth. There are three basic steps for analyzing a teaching that provide good guidelines for you to use. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Entertainment Offense


To support or not to support? To boycott or not to boycott? These are the questions that face Christians all too often. The entertainment media and culture seems to want to offend us or to lull us into a false teaching. What bait are they throwing out to us now and how should we respond? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, February 27, 2017

Polygamy & The Word


Once again, polygamy rears its head this time with two husbands for one wife. There have already been lawsuits filed to legalize the arrangement and multiple television series selling people on the idea. There were indeed polygamous couples in the Word but was that the original plan or a perversion? Can one be a Christ-follower and support this arrangement? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Complete


The whole story, the full truth, the whole enchilada. Isn't that what you want? Instead of a partial, incomplete, or distorted version of the Gospel, get as much of the truth as will fit in 25 minutes. The truth will set you free! ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, February 13, 2017

Incomplete!


Have you ever wondered if something's missing, like you're not hearing the whole story? No, this isn't about the government and the media but rather about incomplete Gospel messages. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, February 6, 2017

Darker


Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, hits theaters this week. It presents a lifestyle in the best possible light to millions of women. Is it romance or something darker? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, January 30, 2017

Compassion at Gunpoint


(From The Archives June 29th, 2012) Is it really compassionate to be forced to give? Is it compassionate to force someone else to give against their will? These questions plague our culture today and dominate much of the political discussion in this country. Sure, the words might be a little different but the meaning of them is not. There is a better way and the Word lays it our for us.


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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Law and The Christ Follower


There's so much conflicting teaching on the Law of God. Some say that it's no longer necessary while others put their entire focus on it. There must be a place of truth. What is the real relationship of the Christ follower and the Law? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Full Counsel


It's time to cut through the clutter and noise. There's so much more than pep talk in the Word that we don't seem to hear anymore, not as often at any rate. Context and the full counsel of God are more important now than they have been in years. What could we be missing? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries


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Monday, January 9, 2017

Proof of Love


There is a proof of God's love that we don't often discuss because it's not always fun or sunny. In fact, there are entire movements and teaching that deny this important spiritual truth. Without it, we can't grow in Christ as He intends.


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Monday, January 2, 2017

Freedom!


Freedom! It's more than just a political idea, more than just a buzzword. It's the theme for everything we do at Jesus' Outsider Ministries. There is a liberty beyond anything the world can offer. There is peace, healing, and broken chains in Christ. Get the truth straight from His Word.


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