Tag Archives: Vital Christianity

From the Archives: Remembering to “Say It!”

By Robert H. Reardon

A few days ago, without any notice in the media, the autumnal equinox silently came and went. Now the days are shorter and the nights longer. Soon the wonderful holidays will be upon us with all the homecoming, joy, laughter, and the deeper sense of gratitude for God’s unspeakable gifts. Continue reading

From the Archives: The City is God’s Gift

By Samuel G. Hines

I believe that the urban pastor must be a lover of the city. If he is attracted to skyscrapers as some people are by mountains, if he can enjoy the often strange and irreverent city sounds as some people enjoy hearing birds chirp, more power to him! But whether he can “fall in love” with these things or not, he has to love them. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Church of the Living God

By Wayne M. Warner

Calvary knew neither candle nor cathedral. Roman overseas veterans crucified Jesus on crossbars between two filching thieves. This took place near the city dump of a community so cosmopolitan that Jesus’ title was lettered in three languages. Calvary provided a hangout for beatniks and social dropouts who ran the gamut of smut and filth. Thieves cursed. Soldiers gambled. Ladies avoided the place, but God was there. It was the place where Jesus died. Continue reading

From the Archives: Beyond Change

By Kathleen Buehler

I learned (or revisited) a bit of information recently that caught me by surprise. I was helping my daughter study for a science test, when I discovered this: Some members of the animal kingdom –adult sponges, to be exact—stay attached to one spot throughout their lives.

Think of it: stuck in one spot for life. It sounds boring and confining. The ability to move, to change, gives so many more possibilities for excitement and freedom. On the other hand, there’s something comforting, safe, and sure about sameness, while change can bring anxiety, discomfort, and even pain. Continue reading

From the Archives: Synonyms of the Spirit

By Milburn Miller

In John 14:16 of the Amplified New Testament are several synonyms that help us understand the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) and He may remain with you forever.”

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. He can and will console in times of sorrow, distress, and failure. He brings a sense of peace in the midst of frustrating circumstances. What a comfort to know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us and is available for our every need! Continue reading

From the Archives: Now I Am Truly Free

By Phyllis Kardatzke Miller

When a person is confronted with the claims of Jesus on his life, he makes a choice—he either accepts or rejects. There is no gray area in between of “tabling for future reference.” After seeing there is one way (and a very narrow way it is!), the person who understands that God is calling him to repentance and consciously takes the truth “under advisement” is choosing not to believe, and seeking his own approach to God. Continue reading

From the Archives: God’s Moment

By Benjamin F. Reid

The pastor must not be a person who simply presides as a benevolent, kindly referee over a multitude of squabbling children.

The pastor must lead! He or she must develop firmness with love but must sense where the Spirit is leading and then call upon the saints to follow. The pastor must be both prophet to proclaim the will of God and overseer to coordinate all aspects of the church’s life and to channel its varied energies toward the accomplishment of God’s purposes. Continue reading

D. S. Warner Life Story as Told by AU’s First President

A new biography of Church of God pioneer D. S. Warner brings together a series of articles that appeared in the longtime Church of God magazine, Vital Christianity, leading up to the church’s centennial in 1980. Drawn from an unpublished book manuscript by John A. Morrison, former president of Anderson College (now University), A Life Sketch of D.S. Warner tells the evangelist’s story as a colorful narrative. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Annual Christmas Rush

By Gary L. Kendall

Christmastime always brings a mixture of emotions for me. I love to celebrate the Lord’s birth and it is a thrill to see so many catch God’s spirit of giving. People seem to smile more, laugh more easily, and enjoy life more in general during this season. But life always takes on a hectic side, too, with packed parking lots, people standing impatiently in checkout lines, and advertisers rudely taking advantage of our generosity. Unfortunately, this frantic flurry often overshadows that little town of Bethlehem lying so still and peaceful, nestled back in the hills. Continue reading

From the Archives: Unity and Holiness

By Arlo Newell

The church which Jesus founded was built on a basis of unity. We have one Master (Matt 23:8); we are members one of another (Eph 4:25); it is to this one body that we are called (Col 3:15), and this unity is reflected in the life of the local congregation. It is the unity of a body functioning harmoniously, a building being properly joined together in symmetry and cohesiveness, or a marriage in which two have become one flesh (Rom 12:4–5; Eph 2:21–22; 5:31). In each instance the unity is an evidence of a relationship that has both internal and external theological implications. Continue reading

From the Archives: God is an Equal Opportunity Employer

By Lillie S. McCutcheon

God, our great Creator, designed creation with a purpose. The Scriptures proclaim, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11). Human beings are the crown of creation, made in God’s likeness; and God made them male and female. Continue reading

From the Archives: Leaves, Neighbors, and Creative Confrontation

By C. Milton Grannum

One morning I preached a message on creative confrontation. I emphasized that life has conflicts, that simply avoiding conflicts is not always an appropriate Christian response, and that peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather a deep settled confidence that one has chosen the most appropriate options and attitudes in the conflicts of life. Continue reading

From the Archives: A Perspective on the Cross

By Paul A. Tanner

It takes two dimensions to make a cross, even as it takes two basic relationships to practice the Christian faith adequately. The one direction is Godward, the other humanward. A half cross is no cross at all. There is room for the monastery with its steeple, as well as the marketplace full of persons. Each relationship is essential to the other, and neither is independent of the other. Continue reading

From the Archives: Living the Resurrection

By Curtiss Paul DeYoung

Our time is traumatized by tragedy; people are looking for a word of triumph. Our day is darkened by despair; people are searching for a word of deliverance. Ours is an hour haunted by helplessness; people are seeking for a word of hope. We, as Christians, have that word: resurrection! Continue reading

From the Archives: Christmas—A Divine Mission Statement

By Arlo Newell

Christians too often view the Christmas celebration as excessive commercialism. Deluged by advertising and pressured by promotion, we find it extremely difficult to discover the true meaning of the season.

It was while crying over this commercialization of the Christmas season that I was convicted to look for the good and the positive rather than to criticize. I began by giving thanks for the beauty of the season. I began by giving thanks for the beauty of the season. Lights become more meaningful in the dark, depressive days of December. The contrast makes them more distinct and the cold, crisp winter air allows the sound of silver bells to be heard more clearly. And who can fail to experience the joy of children as they anticipate this most magical of all holidays; laughter fills the air as they live in a world of expectancy. Even in the ringing of the Salvation Army bell and the iron kettle help to accentuate the carols sung by choral groups along the street. Continue reading