Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Forgiveness: One Gift You Forgot to Give

Christmas, the wonderful season of gift-giving, continues. And there may be one gift you have neglected to give –a gift another would love to open – a gift that was given to you because of Christmas. Just as Paul warned the Corinthians to observe the festival of Passover – which they did coming to the Lord’s Supper – by getting rid of the yeast of malice and wickedness, so you should take care to observe Christmas in the same fashion.

In this season of gift-giving, the central gift that all of us must receive is the gift of forgiveness – which gift God gave us in His Son. But it is also the central gift which we must give – fully – and completely – and quickly – just as God has given to us. His name is Jesus – the angel told Joseph, for He shall save His people from their sins. Never forget the point of the coming of Jesus.

And never forget what Jesus requires as well. In the strongest possible terms He demands that we give the same gift we received to one another – in an open-handed, joy-filled way – He teaches us to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” You cannot honor Jesus in Christmas without honoring these words. Are there any whom you have not forgiven? Are you carrying any resentments? Are you harboring the yeast of malice in your heart? Do you reserve the right to grumble and criticize others? If you will not forgive, your giving of any other Christmas gift in the name of Christmas is hypocrisy. But such hypocrisy cannot be resolved by asking for the gifts back, throwing away the presents, and keeping the bitterness. Lay it all down – get rid of it – drop what you are harboring in your heart. Jesus Christ was born – for heaven’s sake – do you not know He will take care of any injustice done to you – consider the injustice you have brought upon Him? Forgive – open and give this Christmas present – you must have missed it – it’s right there – under the tree…

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thomas Jefferson and Terrorism

From an article by Attorney Jonathan Emord

In March 1785 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli’s Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. They asked the Ambassador why his nation waged war on American shipping. In a response that could have been given by Osama bin Laden, the Ambassador stated: “It was written in the Qu’ran that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet [Mohammed] were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave, and that every Muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise . . .”

Terrorism in the 18th century.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rival Deck Stewards

While I am grateful for the brakes being put on the liberal-elite agenda in these 2010 mid-term elections, I remain quite concerned, even pessimistic, about idolatrous America.

George Forell is noted as describing our political movements that cross the spectrum from left to right as "rival deck stewards competing with each other about the arrangement of the deck chairs just before the Titanic hits the iceberg."

Of course, what we need is a prophet in our midst who will shout out the obvious - we are on a course with that iceberg. Our only course is to cry out to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, to repent, as a nation, of our sins, and to turn as a nation in faith to Jesus who is the King of kings and Lord of lords and who warned "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reforming Washington

H.L. Mencken once trenchantly observed that trying to reform Washington by electing new guys was like trying to reform prostitution by staffing all the brothels with virgins. - Douglas Wilson

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bizarre Forms of Sacred Hermeneutics

From Peter Leithart's "Deep Exegesis" -
"I begin from the assumption that the apostles are not employing some bizarre form of sacred hermeneutics when they find Christology and ecclesiology around every corner of the Old Testament. They are giving us pointers to the nature of reading itself: clues to the meaning, the functions of language, and the proper modes of interpretation." - viii

Yes. We are to learn more from Paul when he tells us that the rock that followed Israel in the wilderness was Christ. We are to learn from Paul how to read the Old Testament.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Salvation and Sovereignty - part 2

So what did Rushdoony mean, and why did I post this?

The main idea I was struck with was this: Without an exhaustively sovereign God, any so-called freedom for man is ruined. It is only because God is sovereign that, in His sovereignty, man is granted freedom. This is the nature of God and the gift and outworking of His character to man, made in His image.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Salvation and Sovereignty

From Rushdoony in an essay with the same title -
"Only because God is sovereign is man's life and salvation even possible. The Greco-Roman world in the day of the early church affirmed the absolute freedom of man from a divine predestination, and also the ultimacy of chance. However, just as Sartre introduced "the force of circumstances," so the thinker of that day introducted and developed the force of circumstances, of the stars, fate, and other aspects of man's environment, so that man's freedom was destroyed, and man became the determined product of a meaningless environment and passive before the world, his maker. The Christians, on the other hand, affirmed predestination and freed man from his environment, so that, instead of being a product of his environment, man became lord over it and a free man under God...

In the joyful ascription of St. Jude, the believer has the certainty of total meaning, total salvation, and the fulness of victory and joy:
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)...

It must be acknowledged, however, that men like Skinner, Marx, Stalin, and others have been very much in the right in seeing the link between sovereignty and salvation. As a prelude to their plans of salvation, they insist on total sovereignty by an elite group whose plans constitute a new decree of predestination by the new gods. Sovereignty and salvation cannot be separated. The pertinent question must therefore always be raised with respect to all would-be saviors: to whom does their plan of salvation give sovereignty, and what is the nature of their plan or decree of predestination?
The sad fact is that not only is this question not asked, but the false ministers and priests of Christ are busy denying God's sovereignty and His decree of predestination. Practically, this means that they are denying salvation by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
But sovereignty denied does not disappear. It is simply transferred to another source. To deny the God of Scriputre is implicitly to affirm other gods." - Salvation and Godly Rule, pp 31, 32, 33

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wicked Secular Education

I am regularly reminded of how close I came to nihilism in my government school and amoral eduation system, that great gift of free education to our parents and still going strong today for so many poor souls.

In The Genealogy of Morals, Nietzche held that the idea of good and evil was an unnatural addition (essentially Hebraic and Christian) to man's world , and a disturber of man's life and peace...abolish good and evil, and man will be free (Rushdoony).

This kind of thinking is what all of my educators were dripping with in the 60s and 70s. Refusing to show where this kind of thinking led, we were taught that we could study all subjects void of any god, especially the LORD of the Holy Scriptures. Slowly, I began to quietly ask myself, "but then, how do we know what is good and what is evil?" And quietly I began to conclued that there were no absolutes, and that therefore real life must be pursued in a vacuum of any judgment - except the judgment of meaninglessness and ultimate absurdity.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the contrary is true: absent the fear of the Lord, there is no hope of wisdom, for there will be nothing to make sense of anything.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Do Not Grow Too Comfortable With God

What is it that causes covenant members to wander off from the faith? What will tempt you to determine it isn’t that important in your life to call upon the living God every day, to renew your covenant with the Father through Jesus Christ each Lord’s Day, to humbly confess your sins and to plead His promises for your life and for your family at all times?

The seductions of the world, the flesh, and the devil come in all shapes and sizes. The one thing that they all have in common is this: they always promise more than they can deliver. You want sex outside the covenant vows of marriage – it will ruin you. You want to find your satisfaction in riches – you will be pierced with many sorrows. You want to run with the cool crowd and so you will join them in words of filth and blasphemy – they will cast you off as soon as they are done with you.

But the seductions and the Tempter are far more subtle than even those. He will whisper, “obeying right now in this little way or in that little way doesn’t really matter – go ahead – you can always confess later.” He will tantalize you with trivial but tasty pleasures late into Saturday evening so that you are too exhausted to go to church on Sunday or too tired to pay attention or care if you do go. He will razzle and dazzle you with the smoke and mirrors of technology so that the simple singing of psalms seems boring and irrelevant. He will keep you satisfied with bumper-sticker one-liners for your theology so that deep, thoughtful and challenging theological studies will appear to be useless and unimportant.

Like the proverbial frog in the kettle, you may have grown accustomed to being quite distant from your heavenly Father – maybe this week – maybe for quite some time. If you are in this way, know this – I have prayed for you, if not by name, by category, and have asked the Lord of Hosts to shake your world that your conscience may not be hardened by such seductions. As the Psalmist warned and wrote – “Today, If you will hear His voice, “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.”

Never grow too comfortable with being in the presence of our God – for He is a consuming fire.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heaven and Earth Together

"Since where God dwells, there heaven is, we conclude that in the life to come heaven and earth will no longer be separated, as they are now, but will be merged. Believers will therefore continue to be in heaven as they continue to live on teh new earth." - Anthany Hoekema, quoted in Heaven, by Randy Alcorn.

The point to notice is what Alcorn is making throughout his book. Heaven, separated from earth, is not our final "resting" place, but more of a rest stop before the final resurrection, a resurrection that will include the resurrection of creation.

While I find Alcorn's eschatology confusing and scattered, he has excellent insights on the doctrine of heaven. A very worthwhile book.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Blood on Our Hands

There is so much blood on the hands of our nation because there is so much blood on the hands of the church; we cannot simply blame “them” for federal funding for abortions. Rampant homosexuality throughout our country is the fruit of rampant homosexual (and heterosexual) sin accepted and approved in the church. Our country is filled with broken families because our churches encourage families to break up, refusing to teach men to be husbands and fathers with a backbone who love their wives like Christ and serve sacrificially, and refusing to teach women to respect, submit to, and honor their husbands while embracing their roles as helpmeet. Our country refuses, from the President to the congress to the Supreme Court, to listen to the voice of God and refuses to bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ because the church tells the state that she has no prophetic voice to speak to them.

Our present administration and congress may soon implode in its left-wing demented policies and declining popularity (or not). But the worst thing for the church to do is what she is currently doing – hoping for more of the same except from right-wing, demented policy-makers. But until we bow the knee in this and every regard, Washington will never bow the knee. Judgment begins in the household of God and that means that every individual application the Lord brings to mind is part of the answer.

The antithesis is not between the conservatives and the liberals. It is between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The real antithesis is between those who will live as Jesus commanded and those who will not, both as individuals and as societies, be it family, church, or civil. All of these must repent, but the church must lead the way.