Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thought Number 275... A Chair Analogy

This analogy came to me from the late D James Kennedy by way of RC
Sproul in a recent podcast:

Consider a sturdy wooden chair on the floor in front of you.

Now. Do you believe it is a chair? Good, you do well.

Do you believe it is capable of supporting your weight? Excellent.
You are on the right track.

Now ask yourself: Is the chair supporting your weight? No? Why not?
It is because you are not sitting in the chair.

In the same way, it is one thing to acknowledge that God exists. It is
another thing to affirm that Jesus is God and is able to save you. But
these affirmations do not save you. You are only saved when you have
cast yourself upon Christ and his work, giving your life over to him
for your entire support.

You are not saved until you are in Christ.

God is God... Get used to it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thought Number 274... Obama Accidentally Adheres to Biblical Truth.

President Obama officially proclaimed June to be Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

Considering that pride is at the root of all sin, I guess I can live
with that...

(But of course, attendant to the president's agenda is the abolishment
of all "hate speech" toward the featured "community". So, get ready
for the Bible burnings and Sunday morning gag orders.)

God is God... Get used to it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thought Number 273... I know what you're thinking, so I'll go ahead and say it.

yes, God sovereignly struck down George Tiller, the abortion doctor from Kansas.  And God ordained Scott Roeder to take him out.

There. It's said.

You want proof?  If God didn't want him dead, he would still be here.  And if God hadn't ordained it meet for Scott Roeder to kill him, he wouldn't have done so.

But I'll say this too:  Just as Jesus declared of Judas Iscariot, so it is with Scott Roeder.  

"The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."

It was time to remove the abortionist from the planet, even if he did happen to be "doing church" that day.  But woe to that man who commits that murder with the hatred of his fellow man in his heart. 

Pray that both George Tiller and Scott Roeder might be saved by grace through faith in Christ, despite their works.
God is God... Get used to it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thought Number 272... Jewish Center To Open On Jewish Sabbath

A Jewish community center in Baltimore has decided to open on Saturday. While their rationale is noble, it still violates the Jewish Sabbath rules. Not to suggest that keeping Jewish law gains a man anything before God, but it just struck me as odd. Here is a group who denies that Jesus is the Messiah and is relying solely on their own lawkeeping to earn favor before God, and yet after careful consideration they willingly choose to ignore the only option for salvation that they profess.  

They are breaking their law for noble purposes and good intent, sure, but it is still lawbreaking. Compare this to the Israelites stressing about the manna supply in the desert when it came to the end of the week.  Compare this also to the corporate policy of Chick-Fil-A, a Christian-owned company that is famously never open on Sunday... and is turning a better profit than the other fast food joints that are slaving away on Sunday.

Trust God and not your own understanding. 

God is God... Get used to it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thought Number 271... Could Be, Maybe Not

turretinfan reposted a link to a story about a couple in San Diego who were allegedly persecuted under local law for holding a Bible study in their home.  The brief issue is that a county official knocked on their door on Good Friday, and told them that they must cease holding "religious assemblies" until/unless they obtain a county "major use permit."

It is disturbing, to be sure; if they are being persecuted for religion.  Even moreso if upheld in court.

Reading between the lines of the story (and thankfully, some of the lines themselves), it appears that the matter is not yet settled:

 1)  the county spokesperson appeared surprised to hear of the complaint and the couple has yet to try this in court.  The county official may simply have been out of line.  Or, the county official may simply have been doing their job in addressing a neighbor's complaint and misread the law... or read it correctly... 

2) this may not be a religious issue, but a simple matter of shear numbers of people meeting regularly in a neighborhood setting.  The Bible study is a regular event, and is attended by about 15 people.  That does not sound like a lot, but the local law may simply read that regular events attended by some number of people (possibly less than 15) have to get a permit.  I have heard of stranger laws on the books.  And this one actually makes sense.  For example, if the couple were holding a rave or a high stakes poker game every week and neighbors could neither sleep nor park due to the drunken revelry, I don't think we would have a problem with this same law.

3) though unlikely, it may be that the couple was persecuted but by an imposter.  Someone exercising their own freedom of speech (though admittedly committing fraud and other crimes in the process) may have posed as the county official, and upon investigation this will be revealed.

I am the chief of cynics, but while this case is definitely one to watch closely, I'm not prepared to scream 1st Amendment just yet.
God is God... Get used to it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thought Number 270... It turns out that Bible reading plans are not for me

I just spent the last six or seven months trying to keep up with a
Bible reading plan that was supposed to get me through the Bible in a
year. It presented about three or four chapters a day, divided between
the old and new testaments. I was doing well at first, getting behind
maybe one day but reading ahead on another. Then after a while I was
falling behind one then two then eight days. Not only that, but I
found I was not reading for pleasure or learning or communing with
God... Rather, I was going through to get the chapter checked off my
list. I was doing a duty. I was doing religion. And I was feeling
guilty for my failure to devote like I "should" to God.

No more. This morning after reluctantly staring at my Bible for a few
minutes with depressed dread, and then picking it up and turning at
first to my reading plan, I started reading where I had last left off
in the plan, midway through Ecclesiastes. Thinking I would "try" to
get another couple of chapters in the plan checked off... If God would
give me strength to endure them.

...Well, I finished the prescribed chapter, and something clicked
inside me. Like a rebel without a cause, I suddenly threw prudence to
the wind. With a devil-may-care wanton abandon of my soul and against
all legalistic caution.... Instead of going back to the plan for the
next assignment, I continued on to the next chapter in Ecclesiastes.
Then the next, and the next... And suddenly I finished the book. And
then (shock of shocks and horror of horrors) I went on to read through
and finish Song of Solomon as well!

It felt like I was home again.

God is God... Get used to it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thought Number 269... Finding Mercy, Grace, Longsuffering, Goodness, and Truth in the New Testament

a person named Paula e-mailed me with the following question:
I was searching for the New Testament mirror passage of the description of God in Exodus 24.  God described Himself in a face to face meeting with Moses in 5 words - merciful, gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and abundant in truth.  Since the Old and New Testaments are mirrors I am seraching for the matching description of God in the New Testament.  I am the Way, the Truth and the Light is not the one I am searching for. Can you tell me?
Paula, I think you are referring to Exodus 34...  Exodus 34:6 (KJV) is a partial sentence, so here are verses 6-7: 
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
You used a curious expression, that the Old and New Testaments are "mirrors".  I'm not sure what you mean by that.  In the sense that both testaments proclaim the same God and do not contradict each other, I would agree.  I also would agree in the sense that both testaments point ultimately to Christ, though in different ways.  However, I hope you would agree that the New Testament is not a "pixel by pixel" (or point by point) literal reflection/restatement of the Old Testament.  In other words, while the concepts about God's nature (for example) are surely found in both testaments, you may or may not find these concepts packaged into the same verses (or even books) much less in the same exact words.

In addition, the Old and New Testaments (and actually also, the Old Testament across the historical time periods) on one hand represent a progressive revelation of God to humanity.  So in this sense, there may be instances where the testaments actually do not match up very well at all.   One complaint I hear frequently from non-Christians and new Christians is that it seems like the Old and New Testaments talk about two different Gods.  And indeed it can appear like that at first glance-- precisely because God is revealing himself progressively over time.   Note: it is clear by your question that you yourself are convinced that both testaments proclaim the same God (and rightly so).  I'm just using the complaint of many to illustrate the truth of the progressive nature of the revelation found in Scripture.

That said, insofar as I know there is no single passage in the New Testament that contains all of those five words from Exodus 34 in describing God.

However, the New Testament does contain all five words (and/or concepts) throughout its content, as shown in the following examples from KJV (and there are many more):

Luke 6:36
Be ye therefore merciful, as
your Father also is merciful.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.
[Remember that John 1:1 identifies the Word (Christ) as both "with" God and "being" God.]

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Romans 2:4
Or despisest thou the
riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Again, these are just some examples.  These concepts abound throughout the New Testament and are repeated both literally and by example (the most obvious example being Christ's incarnation and work on behalf of the people in life and death).

Hope that helps!
God is God... Get used to it.