June 9, 2015 1 Comment
May 9, 2015 Leave a comment
Recently the Baltimore Orioles hosted a baseball game at their home ballpark, Camden Yards, in front of no fans. Because of riots in the city, the stadium was closed and the game was played in eerie silence. Dr. David Black, a professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, had the very best take on the situation I’ve read. He posted it at his blog, daveblackonline.com. If you haven’t already, you should go visit his blog. In the meantime, take a look at what he had to say about the game with no fans…
My mind went to all of the saints who “play ball” without ever getting any attention or recognition. Many of them housewives. Friend, let me encourage you. Your time, talents, and contributions are known to God. What you do is vastly important to Him. Millions of people exist only for the praise of others. If you and I do not allow God to develop our identity, we will try to find it in people and popularity. Finding your purpose in human praise is like building your life on sand. I know of one young leader who is committed to his little flock not far from our farm. There he ministers, week in and week out, for no pay. He plays piano and leads the singing and teaches the word in what one might call “total obscurity.” The people want to make him their “pastor” and pay him but he refuses. He will never write a best-selling book or be invited to speak in chapel. But I look up to him. I’m just trying to make the point that even godly Christian leaders can turn the church into marketers and people into commodities. Grow where you are planted. Serve in obscurity if that is what the Lord has asked you to do. Be an Andrew. The most famous thing Andrew ever did was to introduce his brother Simon Peter to the Lord. What if the greatest thing you ever did was to cause someone else to be closer to Jesus? No friends on Facebook. No followers on Twitter. But what could be more epic than pointing others to Christ?
April 9, 2015 Leave a comment
Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College in Louisville, KY, has written a wonderful piece about the real conflict in Indiana regarding religious freedom legislation. Here is a fantastic takeaway quote…
“America is a flash in the historical pan. Christianity is not. We will outlast you. Mark it down. And in the final analysis, the “wrong side of history” will be to Jesus’ left, and you don’t want to find yourself there (Mark 25:33).
August 5, 2014 Leave a comment
The bumper sticker wars are an entertaining diversion in the life of a commuter. People make all kinds of social, political and theological statements on the bumpers of their cars — to which others will directly respond with cleverly worded bumper stickers of their own. Take for example the commonly seen bumper sticker, “God Bless America.”
This is a bumper sticker that is perceived to convey the attitude of politically conservative, evangelical Christian drivers. It’s been around for years. More recently, one can see what appears to be the direct response of the politically liberal and theologically pluralistic crowd… “God Bless All Nations.”
I get a chuckle out of both of these because it seems to me both of these groups are defending points of view that miss the biblical mark — and both are doing it on behalf of God.
Take the “God Bless America” crowd. What do they want? They want God to “bless” America. Okay, what does that look like? What does “bless” even mean? If you look into it you will discover this often means God grants to America a prominent position in the world, complete with military strength, economic prosperity, and political freedom. But I ask you: What does this reveal about the affections of the one asking for God’s blessing on America? Is their primary affection for God or for country?
Then there is the “God Bless All Nations” bunch. They claim to have taken the more enlightened and morally superior high ground. I will grant that they appear to have a better handle on the idea that God is at work around the world and that America is not, in fact, God’s new chosen people. But, if you look closely at the sticker they display, you will see emblems and icons from a whole host of world religions. It is a symbolic affirmation of the old concept that all religions lead to God, they just take a different path. This betrays a fundamental and fatal misunderstanding of the God of the Universe.
These bumper stickers remind me of Genesis chapter 22. In this chapter God has commanded Abraham to kill his son Isaac. Just as Abraham is about to do it, God commands him to stop. Then Abraham sees a ram caught in a thicket and sacrifices it to the Lord. Then God tells Abraham…
“…I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…”
The apostle Paul insists (in Galatians 3:16) that this offspring is to be understood as a particular descendant — namely Jesus Christ — and through HIM all nations are to be blessed. Please notice, this blessing is not a promise of wealth, or military power, or political freedom — it is a promise that Jesus will save His people from their sins. It is a promise of heaven.
And, yes, all nations are already blessed, because God has promised to save people from every nation and tribe and tongue. But the Bible is clear, He will only do this through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, period.
Read Revelation chapter 5. It is a beautiful picture of Christ’s redeemed at the end of the age…
“And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Notice these people are singing to the Lamb who was slain — Jesus Christ — the same one through whom God promised to bless all nations in Genesis chapter 22.
Dear Christians, the Bible is clear, HE is the one that has provided salvation (not a plurality of world religions) and HE is the one who gets the glory (not America). We need to insert ourselves right into the middle of the bumper sticker wars and declare to both sides that God HAS blessed all nations only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and only for the glory of God.
May 24, 2013 1 Comment
Biblical Discernment Desperately Needed
Our world is full of people who apply the name “Christian” to themselves who have no concept of the Gospel. It is imperative, therefore, for actual believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to A) know the Gospel, B) be aware when false teachers stand up and proclaim a false gospel, and C) call them on it. Consider just the two examples of this from this past week…
- The Pope rejects the idea of repentance and faith in Christ as necessary for salvation.
- An Anglican Bishop preaches that diversity, NOT Jesus, is what saves.
Against ALL Enemies, Foreign AND Domestic
When officers in the United States Army enter the service, they take an oath…
“I, (state your name), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of (state your rank) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”
Their oath is to defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies — foreign AND domestic. You may be thinking that domestic enemies of the Constitution are rare, and really no threat at all. I disagree. The Constitution is under assault daily…
- The IRS targeted political enemies of the president, attacking their right to free speech — that’s the very FIRST amendment to the Constitution.
- The IRS went so far as to demand pro-life groups reveal to them the “content of their prayers.” That is an attack on another aspect of the very FIRST amendment to the Constitution.
- Ironically, the IRS doesn’t like to be harassed (I find that funny).
- There is an Amish man on trial for selling raw milk to willing customers. Not only is the “crime” ludicrous, the government is railroading him in what appears to be a sham of a trial in direct violation of the sixth amendment.
- After the bombing of the Boston Marathon, the citizens of that area were subjected to marshal law and forced from their homes while their homes were searched without warrants in direct violation of the fourth amendment.
- The federal government of the United States appears to be bent on banning guns from private ownership in direct violation of the second amendment.
- And, when direct attempts to ban guns failed in the legislature, many government officials decided to attempt to make it illegal for anyone who has a mental illness to possess a gun. But, they get to decide who is and is not “mentally ill.” Their evaluation? Pretty much everyone is.
Memorial Day is upon us. We will all likely hear that it is fitting for us to honor those who “fought for our freedoms.” It is true that many have fought for America’s freedom in the past. But, if the military wants to continue to enjoy the distinction of being the ones who “fight for freedom” perhaps they need to know that the greatest threat to our freedom is not from some other country — it’s from Washington, D.C.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Judge Andrew Napolitano thinks…