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February 6th, 2016

Each Saturday the Hickory Daily Record offers local pastors the opportunity to write a brief devotional article. When I signed up for February some months ago, I had no idea my turn would arrive on the heels of a week-long local religious firestorm. The North Carolina Pastors Network, including a number of Unifour pastors, published a full-page ad last Sunday titled “Understanding Islam.” The ad prompted responses throughout the week on the Record’s editorial pages.

If I wished to engage directly in the conversation about the ad, I would write my own letter to the editor. This is not that. Read more »

January 31st, 2016

Trusting in Jesus is so sweet.

John 14:1-7

Pastors Paul Cummings and Bob Thompson

The scandal of exclusivity

In our study of Jesus’ “I am” sayings, we come to John 14:6 where Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Some refer to this as “the scandal of exclusivity.” I hear on a fairly regular basis some level of push back to Jesus as the only way of salvation. Sometimes it comes from enemies of the faith, sometimes from cynics inside the church, sometimes from honest strugglers.

The specific content varies, but the questions that come my way are similar. If Jesus is the only way to God, what about the Jews? What about people who lived before Jesus? What about people who have never heard of Christ? Read more »

January 25th, 2016

From time to time (today being an example), I find myself explaining again what Faithful & Welcoming Churches is all about.  Someone asks my opinion about something that’s come out of Cleveland, or about UCC finances, or about the future of the UCC, and my response sounds somewhere between uninformed and unconcerned.  Neither of those is the case, but as a full-time local church pastor I don’t have a great deal of time to devote to surfing the Internet and responding to what’s happening in the wider church.

More importantly, though, the purpose of FWC is really not as a change agent or even watchdog. Read more »

January 23rd, 2016

Snow Day Worship

All our regular services and events at Corinth are cancelled tomorrow, January 24. Click the link below for some ideas to help you have a home worship service:

Snow Day Worship 01-24-16

January 11th, 2016

Jesus asks us, “Do you want what I can do for you, or do you want me?”

John 6:35-40

A great Satan

During the middle part of this week, I thought Jeffrey White had complicated my sermon…maybe ruined it. As we continue our studies in the “I am” sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John, we find Jesus saying, “I am the bread of life.”

About a year or so ago Jeffrey recommended a book to me titled Wheat Belly. The author, Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, argues that wheat caused the modern epidemic of obesity. Jeffrey’s three-word summary of the book is “Bread is Satan.” I already had planned to fill the sanctuary with the smell of fresh bread to create a craving parallel to the need we have for Jesus. If “bread is Satan” how I am going to preach a sermon on Jesus being the bread of life? Read more »