Gemstones for Jesus

I might get some heat for this but we need to really think about gemstone craziness out of Patricia King and others. Does it…

McMinnville, Tennessee Church of God

My hometown church McMinnville, Tennessee Church of God (Locust Street Church of God) is celebrating their 100 year anniversary, 1915-2015 and the COGOP broke…

2017 Pastor Burnout Statistics

According to the New York Times (August 1, 2010) “Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than…

James 4:6-9 – Why are the recipients to be wretched, mourn and weep?

In James chapter 4, the author is rebuking the letter’s recipients for their current behaviour. As the text progresses, he gradually strengthens his language about this until he’s telling them to mourn and weep, to change their laughter and joy for mourning and gloom.

James 4:6-9

…but he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

All of this seems more extreme than attitudes to repentance I’m aware of elsewhere in the New Testament – is the author’s instruction intended to be taken literally by its audience, or are these phrases meant to be interpreted figuratively?