Archives for April 2014

Its only Friday…

I am in a bad mood today.  I admit I have fallen into that situation by allowing some outside opinions to affect my judgment.  But why wouldn’t a person be in a bad mood today?  (4-18-14)  It is called Good Friday, but it is only good because of God’s grace.  For me, a sinful human being, it marks the low point of human history.  The day we people decided the best plan was to attempt to protect our will over that of Gods.  So we killed Jesus Christ.  We killed God in the flesh, come to us to show us what love is.  We were so wrapped up in protecting what we thought was our right to power that we not only rejected, but gave a tortuous death to the one who gave us life in the first place.

Was that His plan all along?  Yes, I know it was.  Jesus said it himself long before it happened.  Even prophets long before described how He would die.  (Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 most obviously, and slightly veiled to us but clear to Satan – Genesis 3:15)

The cross may have been part of His knowledge, wisdom and plan, but that in no way changes the fact that we did this.  We sing the words:  “It was my sin that held Him there, until it was accomplished.  His dying breath has brought me life.  I know that it is finished.”

So yes, I am in a bad mood.  And rightly so I believe.  The good news is (and means) I don’t have to stay that way.

Maybe we will close with this tonight at church….

Sunday’s comin’  (can be purchased here)

The Danger of Abusing the Bible

We live in an age of biblical illiteracy.  To be illiterate is to not be able to read.  Another phrase that might help us understand is practical illiteracy.  That means that where as a person can read, they don’t, so they are practically illiterate.  The phrase I used a moment ago, biblical illiteracy, means that the bible is largely unread.  And many who claim to read it make no effort to read and understand how the whole thing works together.

Just this last week I saw two opposing, but dramatic examples of biblical illiteracy.   One is New Your Mayor Bloomburg concluding that if there is a god, he is clear to go to heaven because of his work towards gun control.  Second was an online post claiming that because the bible says divorcées should be stoned and we no longer do that, that means that we clearly regard part of the Bible as antiquated and should also dismiss the commandment to condemn other lifestyle issues that are popular today.

Both of these conclusions demonstrate a total biblical illiteracy.  First, Mayor Bloomburg cannot go to heaven for any political action he takes because there is no such thing as earning your way to heaven by what you do.  Only the grace of God allows that.  Second, the online post was ridiculous because the bible does not command us to stone the divorced woman.  And those of us who know the bible, know that even if such a law existed, it is covered by the work of Christ on the cross and we no longer need to stone anyone.

The primary danger of biblical illiteracy is that people will manipulate what they have heard about the bible and thereby misuse it.  We have a long history of that and that is the kind of thing that gets us in trouble.  A couple examples, see how Satan talked to Eve in Genesis 3, and consider the real reasons and causes of what history calls the “Holy Crusades.”

People often conclude that the answer is not to take the Bible literally.  The answer is actually the opposite, take it literally (according to the authors intent), and take it as a whole.  Not just selecting certain parts to do either good or bad in the world around us.  Jesus has fulfilled the law and called us to trust in Him and show love and grace to one another.  You cannot implement any part of the bible without a full view of scripture and what the author was intending to communicate in the first place.

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes – Romans 10:4

Growing In Wisdom

I always try to be slow to speak about naive or ignorant believers because the more I learn, the more aware I become of how naive and ignorant I was just a short time ago.  With that in mind, how naive and ignorant will I view myself in just a few more years.

Below is a link to an article written by atheist author Matthew Paris.  It has been wide spread on other internet sites.  Initially it was shared by leading atheist Richard Dawkins, but has now been removed.  I encourage you to read it as soon as possible.

Click Here to read Matthew’s article.

We all are growing and learning.  This is what Jesus had in mind.  In Him we find truth because He is truth.

Keep growing.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever! – Psalm 111:10

Spurgeon Quotes

“Oh!” saith the Arminian, “men may be saved if they will.” We reply, “My dear sir, we all believe that; but it is just the ‘if they will’ that is the difficulty. We assert that no man will come to Christ unless he be drawn; nay, we do not assert it, but Christ himself declares it–“Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life;’ and as long as that “ye will not come’ stands on record in Holy Scripture, we shall not be brought to believe in any doctrine of the freedom of the human will.” It is strange how people, when talking about free-will, talk of things which they do not at all understand. “Now,” says one, “I believe men can be saved if they will.” My dear sir, that is not the question at all. The question is, are men ever found naturally willing to submit to the humbling terms of the gospel of Christ? We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful. supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ. You reply, that men sometimes are willing, without the help of the Holy Spirit. I answer–Did you ever meet with any person who was? Scores and hundreds, nay, thousands of Christians have I conversed with, of different opinions, young and old, but it has never been my lot to meet with one who could affirm that he came to Christ of himself, without being drawn. The universal confession of all true believers is this–“I know that unless Jesus Christ had sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God, I would to this very hour have been wandering far from him, at a distance from him, and loving that distance well.” With common consent, all believers affirm the truth, that men will not come to Christ till the Father who hath sent Christ doth draw them.”