Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

School of Practical Christianity Update

I have had a few positive responses for the 6 week School of Practical Christianity. If you do not mind coming to a small class, we will go for it.

The first class will be 2:00-4:00 P.M. Saturday January 11, 2014 in my home at 114 S. Howard St. Moscow, ID.

The first hour will be on where we are in Jesus Christ.
The second hour will be on Walking in the Light

Please email me if you plan on attending the 6 week course: jimwilson27@frontier.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peer Pressure 2

There is another type of peer pressure. It is much heavier than the type I mentioned in the last post. It is tradition.

Religious tradition has hundreds of years of pressure. It could be religious, or family, or national. The whole culture may be into this tradition. The Jewish culture in the present day is more tradition than it is theological. Jews could be atheists but very into the tradition.

It was the same in the time of Jesus. The traditions were hundreds of years old. It is the nature of tradition to gradually grow away from the truth that started the tradition. The tradition is the new truth. Jesus both bucked the tradition but taught against it,

“He replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.’ And he continued, ‘You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, “Honor your father and mother,” and, “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.” But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God) — then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.’” (Mark 7:6-13)


Jewish tradition, Catholic tradition, and Protestant tradition, are all enemies of the truth. They have parted with the truth. They have changed the truth.

Many years ago I was on a panel of four to respond to a lecture of a Lutheran theologian. The other three members of the panel were two liberal protestant ministers and a militant atheist. The theologian said, in his lecture, that there were only two factual things that he knew were true:

1. Jesus was baptized by a man named John
2. Jesus had fellowship with the down-and-outers

He did not believe in Jesus’ deity, His death and resurrection. He was a Lutheran clergyman so he served communion because of tradition.

The two pastors agreed with him. They too were traditionalists. The atheist agreed with him. He was the only honest man of the three – he had no tradition.

Family tradition is not as deep, but it holds a lot of authority. Any dissenter from the tradition is held in some sort of disrepute. This is heavy on the dissenter. But family tradition also has walked away from truth.

A follower of Jesus should not be a slave to any of these traditions. When a national tradition gets away from the truth and still demands abject loyalty from its citizens (Which has happened in many nations) the Christian may have to go to jail.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Peer Presure

There are several types of peer pressure – some of it neutral; most of it bad.

Neutral – Clothing. Styles change from country to country and from generation to generation. People dress like other people dress. This is not bad unless it is disobedient to parents or sexy. We know this from teaching in I Corinthians 9:19-23,

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

This identification of becoming like the people you are trying to reach without compromise. Hudson Taylor exemplified this when he dressed like the Chinese and wore a pigtail like the Chinese.

Bad – The teaching on bad peer pressure is in I Corinthians 15:33-34,

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.”

For several years I taught an elective at Logos School in Moscow, Idaho. It was called Practical Christianity. The class averaged about 20 kids a semester. Sometime in each semester I would ask the class the following questions.

1. “Do you know who the godliest kid is in the high school?” They all nodded; they knew.
2. “Do you know who the next to the godliest kids are?” Again nods.
3. “Do you know who the above average kids are? Yes, they knew.
4. “Do you know who the average kids are?” Yes, they knew.
5. “Do you know who the below average kids are?” Again, they knew.
6. “Do you know who the ‘cool’ kids are?” “Of course.”

With all of this knowledge of comparative morality what was the answer to the next question? “Who does everyone want to imitate?” For those then semesters I got the same answer, “The cool kids.”

These were Christian kids in a Christian school who wanted to imitate downwards. They did not want to imitate the godly kids and they knew who they were.

Most peer pressure is to disobey God and His representative authorities.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Throw It Off

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

We can focus on the “sin that so easily entangles” and get more mired down or we can focus on the command, “throw off everything.” This is something we do at the start of this distance race. We are not to discard them during the race.

Although “sin easily entangles”, it is also easy to throw it off. Do it.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Friday, December 06, 2013

Persona

There is some difference between a person's persona and his personality. His persona is what he wishes other people will think he is. His personality is what he really is. We all have a persona. It may be mild or wild but it is not real. It may be innocent imagination or it could be hypocrisy. The question is: “Are we more concerned about what people think of us or what God knows about us?” Do we get upset when people at church find out how we act at home. Are we more upset about how we act or that people know how we act? If there is a difference, fix it.