The Bible is a book of strong contrasts. Light and dark. Obedience and disobedience. Faith and works. Joy and sorrow. Right and wrong. Sheep and goats. Victory and defeat. Truth and error. Love and hate. Trust and worry. God and Satan. Heaven and hell.
These opposite distinctions help us determine our standards for everyday living. They give us mental and moral boundaries. They enable us to interpret the events of life with objectivity, rather than get lost in the gulf of uncertainty.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus promised, “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). But His statement didn’t imply that our adversary wouldn’t try his best to bring us down! Satan’s inroads often have taken a serious toll—one that can be traced all the way back to the first century.
Even though we are tempted to idealize the Early Church, contention and dissension were not that uncommon. In fact, down through the centuries, conflicts have continued to surface.
Open and unguarded displays of affection are becoming extinct in Christian circles. There are some wonderful exceptions, but they are few. In our touch-me-not, keep-your-distance culture, we easily become isolated entities, fenced on all sides by various boundaries of formality and cool professionalism.
Unfortunately, churches are not immune. And when we imitate our society, the consequences are dreadful: we begin to model an independent lifestyle of serious and efficient employees in a corporation instead of an affectionate and caring body of loving believers.
Our 2014 wall calendar features photos from across Canada.