When grace leaves​

© April 25, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Short Bible history from 1 Kings 14:25-26 NKJV

Rehoboam was Solomon’s son. He inherited the kingdom from Solomon his father. But because his father disregarded the grace of God (sacrifices to the true Yahweh), the kingdom was torn in two. This was an indictment against Solomon for disregarding the grace of God. Rehoboam also built high places on every hill and under every green tree for other gods and worshipped them. Like father, like son, Rehoboam disregarded the grace of God.

The grace of God? Yes, the grace of God. Please note that Old Testament folks received God’s grace through the sacrifice of bulls, goats, lambs and pigeons – what theologians call types or shadows. We in the New Testament receive God’s grace through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for us – what theologians call the substance. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament were a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do in the New Testament.

So, this is what happened! An Egyptian king, Shishak, attacked Jerusalem and took away everything. Specifically, he took away the gold shields. In their place, Rehoboam made bronze shields as substitutes. Rehoboam used bronze as a decoy. He used bronze because it had the same look as gold, albeit brighter. Gold in its raw form is dark yellow or strong yellow. Most agree that its colour is darker rather than lighter. It’s not appealing to the eye. On the other hand, bronze or brass is bright and mostly used for decoration. 

Why is this important? Here’s why. Gold and bronze both have spiritual significance. In the Bible, gold represented God’s glory. It represented the excellencies and splendours of God and His grace. Bronze represented God’s judgment or his disapproval. 

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On dating non-Christians and non-gospel affirming Christians 

© April 20, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

This question keeps being posed, is it okay to date and eventually get married to a non-Christian? And the default response has always been, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)

And then one makes the case that they have seen couples where one wasn’t a Christian before they got married and now have a good marriage. Therefore, in their opinion, it is okay to date and marry a non-Christian. The answer to this line of reasoning is usually; “That is the exception and not the rule.” The blowback is always, “I want to be the exception.” Continue reading “On dating non-Christians and non-gospel affirming Christians “

On dating and being a virgin

© April 17, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Over the years, counsel given to Christian singles and those seeking to marry and even remarry has bemused me. Some of the counsel given through pre-marital counselling sessions, books on dating and courtship, or even from one Christian to another to Christian singles and those who have experienced the sad loss of a marriage through divorce or death has been strange, if not outright unbiblical.

I listened to a preacher on Christian television read out a list of things you should ask your potential mate before saying, “I do.” The list was long and detailed. His message went viral. People lapped it up. Yet, if you listened closely to what he said, only a chosen few could meet his criteria.  Continue reading “On dating and being a virgin”

Living Hope By Phil Wickham and Brian Johnson. Live Performance by Bethel Music Worship

Song Title – Living Hope written by 

Cross Point Church have done a cover version of the song

This is a live performance by Bethel Music Worship. I love this version because of the live audience. There’s just something incredible that happens when we sing together in unison, live.
Again, I choose songs whose lyrics are rich with the gospel — the good news of what Jesus has done for us. My favorite song post Easter season. I think it’s a song for all seasons, really. 

 

I hope you enjoy the song

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Our human heroes and their frailties​

© April 10, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

We all have heroes. All of us. Some of our heroes are our parents, community leaders, siblings, kids, teachers, spiritual leaders, political leaders, authors, guru’s, captains of industries and even peers. We have this one person or persons that exhibit and express what we could become. They inspire us to reach for more and live up to our full potential. They exist to give us meaning to our existence.

The self-made man or woman doth protest rather too loudly at this idea. In their objection, they give away the identity of their hero – his or her self is the hero. They are their own heroes.

I have heroes of my own. My late Pastor Harun Lihanda is one of them. My mother is a hero of mine. My siblings are heroes of mine. My wife Jenny has become a hero to me. When I came to South Africa for the first time, a couple hosted me for some months. They are my heroes. My first job in South Africa was at a church. The pastor and his family that employed me are my heroes. Certain peers of mine are my heroes. I have heroes I have met and others I admire from afar.

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On feelings of guilt and condemnation

© April 9, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Everybody feels guilty, they say. If this is true, which it is, suffice to say, religious people deal with guilt on whole other level. A sense of guilt and I might add condemnation is a huge contributor to the lack of joy, freedom and productivity in religious people. The feeling of guilt and condemnation is high on the list of why religious people are angry, harsh, proud, and unproductive – amongst a host of other anomalies. 

Behavioural studies show that yes; some people are more prone to feelings of guilt and condemnation than others. Few people shrug off guilt and move on. Very few people have no feelings of guilt. However, most of us are bombarded daily with feelings of guilt and condemnation because of the opportunities we missed, places we didn’t go, studies we didn’t pursue, people we didn’t impress, parents we disregarded, the time we wasted, relationships we abused, and a God we did not obey. We are always living under a cosh, as the British say.

I am one of those constantly battling with feelings of guilt and condemnation. I never really feel good enough. I am constantly feeling left behind or slow off the blocks of life. I think a lot about what life could be or has been for me. I over think and over process my actions and whether they are good enough. And if I have fallen short in any of these, I punish myself and consequently, Jenny bears the brunt of it all. Jenny always says this to me, “You are a hard man, Lovie”. She knows me as harsh and critical.

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We are loud and boisterous – it’s all grace

© April 4, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

A study of the two most populous faith’s on earth — Islam and Christianity reveal something peculiar almost distinct. The Christian faith is one that has a people who sing, shout, dance and praise their God when they congregate. This is not so within the Islamic faith. This is not in any way a put down on Islam. It is just a contrast worth-noting.

Jenny and I live near a mosque. We usually hear the Islamic call to prayer early in the morning and in the afternoon. The call to prayer is called adhan. When Muslims gather to pray, singing, shouting, rejoicing and dancing are conspicuously missing. Interestingly, there is no mention of dancing and shouts of joy in the Quran.

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