Advice to Justin Bieber Regarding Hillsong Pastor Scandal

The Biebs is reportedly pissed, and he has every right to be.

His pastor, Carl Lentz, has apparently confessed to bumping uglies with one not his wife.

Hillsong Church responded appropriately to Lentz’s infidelity by sacking him, but I’m sure Justin Bieber is left wondering how a man he apparently held in such high regard spiritually could fail so miserably morally.

Christians will likely be quick to advise Bieber that we are all sinners saved by grace, impliedly suggesting he should not have expected Lentz not to fornicate, that no one can really live in victory over sin, not even gross sin. I think that is about the worst advice someone could give to him.

Justin Bieber has every right to expect that the pastor of his prominent evangelical church is far enough down the road of sanctification that he will not commit adultery. Even in my profession, lawyers are generally disbarred when they commit felonies, and for good reason: how can clients trust their lawyers to put their client’s interests ahead of their own when the clients can’t trust the lawyers not to commit felonies?

Suggesting Bieber lower his expectations to assuage his anger is like suggesting one should not expect one’s surgeon to operate on the correct organ in case he operates on the wrong one. Expectations affirm the standard. And even though expectations will also give rise to hypocrisy, it is better than the alternative. As Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, “Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.”

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How To Publicly Thank Jesus

Last night I attended our local “Judge of the Year” awards banquet.

The judge that won is a Christian. I’ve known him for many years and knew he was a Christian.After last night, all 220 attorneys and judges in attendance know he is a Christian.

Toward the end of his acceptance speech the judge publicly thanked Jesus for what He had done in his life. He did a pretty good job. Most people don’t.

You know what I’m talking about. The mic is shoved in their face after a big win or exceptional athletic performance and they say, “I just want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” By the time they get to “Lord,” my eyes are glazing over.

Why? Because it’s become a cliche. It doesn’t mean anything any more. Usually I get the feeling the speaker is rubbing the bottle hoping the genie will emerge. Continue reading “How To Publicly Thank Jesus”

Ephesians 1 (Part III)

View from Arcadiane to The Great Theatre, Ephesus

As I explained in Part I of this series, when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he probably believed it was the last time he would ever communicate with them.

He had much to tell them, but there were two things that were foundational. In Part II I mentioned that the first thing Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to understand was their identity in Christ.

Paul told them they were chosen, adopted sons of God, redeemed and forgiven. It was essential the Ephesian Christians understood their identity because without that understanding they could not understand their destiny.

Their destiny, Paul said, was an inheritance in an administration whose purpose was the “summing up of all things in Christ….” (v. 9-12). Continue reading “Ephesians 1 (Part III)”

The Power Of Words

I’m a golfer, and I’m a member of a country club where one of the founders is a former professional golfer who won the Masters and the PGA tournaments. Modern tour professionals come to him for help with their games.

On Saturday I was out on the practice range hitting balls. I was hitting them pretty well, and after one shot I looked behind me and saw him walking by. He said, “Your swing is looking good.”

Needless to say, that made my day.

I thought about it later. What he said to me cost him nothing but a few breaths, and yet it encouraged me tremendously. Continue reading “The Power Of Words”

Speaking Truth To A Secular World

Today I attended a luncheon for employment law attorneys.

I had arranged for the speaker. He is one of the best employment attorneys I know, an excellent speaker and a friend. He also happens to be a Christian.

I knew his general topic (“How To Lose An Employment Case”), but I didn’t know what he was going to say. The setting and group to whom he spoke were secular.

Somewhat to my surprise, in the context of discussing his topic, he spoke about the importance of church, obedience to God and integrity, but he did it in a way that was persuasive and was not self-righteous or religious.
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