Thursday, April 30, 2009

If a Country Sins Against Me . . .


Nowadays, when you bring up the possibility of God judging America -- or any nation for that matter -- you typically get outrage, even among some Christians. "Don't you know, we're in grace. God doesn't do that anymore."

Hmmm. I was just reading a rather interesting passage from Ezekiel. Let's take a peek at it together, shall we?

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares the Lord God.

Note that God says, "if a country." He didn't just say "Israel." That tells me something. Every single nation on this earth is accountable to God. If a nation rejects Him and falls into gross sin, then that nation is subject to getting whacked. And I do mean whacked.

As we plunge headlong into normalizing gross sins of various stripes, and legislating the acceptability of those gross sins, we'd better pause and think a bit.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Spectre of Specter


A Lesson Worth Noting

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online publication, "Opinion Journal," is always a fun read. Yesterday, he noted this rather ironic comparison between former Republican Senator Bob Dole and Senator Arlen Specter, now a Democrat as of yesterday:

In 1988, when Dole was making his second unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination, the New York Times recounted this famous anecdote about how Dole, a disabled World War II veteran, was persuaded to seek a career in politics:

Mr. Dole drew laughs the next night when he recalled that the Democratic leader in his hometown, Russell, Kan., had once urged him to run for county attorney. "He said to me, 'You got shot, and I think we can get you elected,' " Mr. Dole recalled. The local Republican leader also made a pitch for the young war veteran, saying Republicans outnumbered Democrats 2 to 1 in Russell.
"So I made a great philosophical decision," said Mr. Dole. "I became a Republican."
We were reminded of this by a statement Specter issued today:

I have been a Republican since 1966. . . . Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. . . .
I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.


That's a great story, and very illustrative of something conservatives ought to plant deep in their skulls for the future. These "establishment" types really have no principles other than their own careers. They'll lie down with any dog that will hunt with them. Dole wasn't a reliable conservative vote and Specter is worse. Dole was the perfect picture of the "moderate" Republican for which we hear such longing by the party hacks and insiders. Dole lost.

More recently, John McCain -- another unreliable "moderate" Republican, was elevated as the standard bearer. We didn't learn from the Dole disaster. McCain lost. And if we make the same mistake in four years -- provided that there's another election -- we'll lose again.

Another lesson that needs learning. In the long run, Specter's leaving the party is a good thing. This keening about "the big tent" really irritates me. People like Specter, John and Lincoln Chaffee, Jim Jeffords, Lowell Weicker, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are chief reasons why genuine conservative reform has never taken place in this country. In the past, whenever we're been on the cusp of really doing something that counts, you could always count on the fact that you couldn't count on these RINOs. They'll side with the Democrats every time in such a vote. And the country suffers for it as we keep lurching farther and farther to the left.

Oh, we might make a fitful pitch to starboard from time to time, but never in seriousness, and never in enough numbers to make a real difference in Congress. Until we manage to get real conservatives who are principled and vote their convictions in those kind of numbers, real conservative reform will never get off the ground.

We ought to learn.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter Joins the Dems . . . Good Riddance!


So, it's official. Senator Arlen Specter is leaving the GOP. I'm tempted to throw a party complete with fireworks.

This should have happened long ago. Arlen Specter has never been a reliable vote for the GOP when it really counted. What's really maddening is how many times Republican leaders have come out in force for him when previously challenged by genuine Republicans. They've thwarted any and all conservative challengers to Specter because they "wanted to keep the seat in Republican hands." This is the thanks they get, and they deserve every bit of it.

On one hand, it does put the Democrats closer to a 60-vote, filibuster-killing majority, which they've had de facto for quite a while, and will have when Al Franken finally finishes stealing the Minnesota seat. But they're already able to railroad through anything they want thanks to RINO Republicans like Specter.

My hope now is that the GOP will finally wake up and smell the coffee. Let's run the remainder of office holders like Arlen Specter out and replace them with genuine conservatives.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The National Meltdown


In this month's Voice Magazine, Pastor Jonathan Stephens has an article discussing "Christians and the National Meltdown." I haven't gone through the whole article yet, but Pastor Stephens opens with this rather gripping paragraph:

The epicenter for the global economic earthquake is in the United States, with effects felt in every country. And yet no one in our society and I mean no one I have seen on television or heard on the radio -- is considering the idea of turning to God and repenting. With millions in America claiming to be born again Christians, sadly it seems that most Americans function as practical atheists while the specter of fear and panic pervades our nation.

There are several facets to this article, which I am eager to ponder over the next few days. Pastor Stephens rhetorically asks whether we as believers ought to be beacons of light in a dark hour. The answer is yes, but what do our fellow Americans see when they look at the church? He overviews some troubling characteristics of the American church as it is today, and then answers the question of how we should respond to the challenge. He also sounds a warning for those who are spiritually unprepared for the things that lie ahead for this nation.

As with most Voice articles, I think this will certainly be worth the read.

Note: Jonathan Stephens is pastor of East Side Bible Church of Chicago, and a long time member of IFCA International.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Never Waste a Good Crisis?


I've been around long enough to remember some of the past flu scares around the world, and here in North America. Now "swine flu" is back again.

Make no mistake. I sympathize with those who have lost loved ones due to this illness. By last count, there have been more than 60 deaths, with most in Mexico. Influenza of any stripe tends to get laughed off like a common cold, and it's NOT a common cold. It can result in complications, and death can result from those complications.

Having said that, I can't help but cast a jaundiced eye towards our beknighted government, wondering what new things they'll try to impose on our population through this new "crisis." After all, Rahm "Dead Fish" Imanuel and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both referenced the need to "not waste a good crisis."

I think we need to keep eagle eyes wide open, even as we take our Tamiflu.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers . . .


in that quiet earth . . .

I don't know why "rest in peace" grabbed my attention today. Maybe it's because I was watching Fox and Friends this morning and they were referencing General Motors killing off the legendary "Pontiac" brand. The crawl under the screen had "R.I.P Pontiac."

Be that as it may, I had another thing in mind. Walk the street around Halloween and people will invariably have faux tombstones in their yards with "R.I.P." on them. Did you ever stop to think that those in their graves who die without Christ aren't exactly "resting in peace?"

Something to ponder before you assume room temperature.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Best Joke of the Day

Lipstick in School

According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington was
recently faced with a unique problem. A number of
12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the
bathroom.

That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their
lips on the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the
maintenance man would remove them, and the next day the girls would put them back...

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.
She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the
maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a
major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night
(you can just imagine all the yawns from the little princesses).

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked
the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took
out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet,
and cleaned the mirror with it.

Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers. . . and then there are educators.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miss USA Pageant Fallout


Subtitle -- Perez Hilton: Poster Boy for Hate

I have to state up front that I have never really been a fan of so-called "beauty pageants" for a variety of reasons. If I state here why, I am afraid that outrage would probably distract from the point I want to make about the recent Miss USA controversy. So I'll "lay that by" for now.

I didn't watch the pageant, but I do watch the news, and therefore I have heard of the uproar over Miss California's kindly-expressed view against homosexual marriage. What particularly outrages me is the vicious behavior of Perez Hilton, who was supposed to be an impartial judge. I guess his need to advocate sodomy outweighed his duty as a pageant judge. He savaged Miss California on his video blog, calling her a "b---h." He later huffed and puffed that Miss America needs to leave her religion and politics out of it, since Miss USA is "supposed to represent all Americans."

I had to rewrite this section before posting it, because I let fly with a little anger of my own. And as temporarily pleasurable as it would have been to post it, that would have defeated the point I am trying to make. Anyway, let's chat about what you said for a moment, Perez. So the contestant needs to leave her religion and politics home. Hmmm. Did you leave yours home when you showed up at the judge's table?

So Miss USA is supposed to represent all Americans. What about Americans like me who just might disagree with you? I'm an American, am I not? I have a viewpoint and the right to express it under our Constitution. Perhaps you have read that document, assuming you can read and have normal reading comprehension skills?

I am also guaranteed freedom of religion under that Constitution. The faith to which I adhere views homosexuality as a moral evil, not a protected political right. That was also the view of the majority -- if not all - of our country's Founding Fathers. The freedoms they envisioned and enshrined did not include the right to sodomy, bestiality, pedophilia, or any other aberrant sexual practice, no matter what an activist court says.

Allow me to further your education on another rather simple matter (this also goes out to the homosexual activist on The O'Reilly Factor last night). You loudly proclaim that anyone who disagrees with you on the issue of homosexual rights -- no matter on what grounds -- is a bigot and a homophobe. Bullroar. Pure, unadulterated bullroar.

A phobia is an irrational fear. We are not opposed to homosexuality because we are irrationally afraid of it. We are opposed to it because we believe it is morally wrong. If said opposition was motivated by hatred, then that would indeed be wrong. I am reluctant to use the word "bigotry," because I think that cheapens proper outrage over racial prejudice. However, true Christians are not motivated by hate. In fact, seeing someone's soul in eternal jeopardy due to sin provokes great sadness. We get that from the God we worship, who "takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked." His heart is that the sinner should "turn from his wicked way and live."

Now, there is such a thing as righteous anger. But you can't understand that, can you? You can't discern the difference between a righteous anger over a destructive, selfish behavior ultimately harmful to yourself and society, and hatred for an individual as a person. Your lack of discernment and understanding is sad, but not surprising.

Thankfully, you showed your posterior for the country to see. If anyone was an example of vicious, spewing hatred, you're it. It was written all over your enraged visage on the screen. This might shock you, but you're acting just like the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said people like you would act. "They hated Me before they hated you." Why do you hate Jesus? Why do you hate Christians? Here's Jesus in His own words . . .

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE' (John 15:18-25).

God's mercy is there even for you, Perez. If I were you, I'd repent and take advantage of it now. Who knows how many days He has alloted you, and after your calendar runs out, it's too late.

As an addendum to this, an article this morning on WorldNetDaily reports that Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana took the side of Perez Hilton on this, which is interesting because she claims to be Christian. The comment -- if she indeed made it -- made reference to "not judging" and not "being loving," which is the typical response today of liberal or uninformed Christians who seem clueless about what Scripture actually says and means on this subject. I think these Hollywood Christians had best study up on God's Word again. All of it, not just the touchy feely parts they like.

Monday, April 20, 2009

All You Need Is Love


When I was a youngun in the 1960s, Peter Max and his psychedelic art was all the rage. Why am I thinking of Peter Max? Glad you asked. It's because some of the Emergent Church folks always conjure up images of Haight-Ashbury in my mind whenever I hear them heckling those of us who hold to a more traditional view of doctrine and praxis.

Today, there is a debate going on over what constitutes "torture," and whether engaging in "enhanced interrogation techniques" in rare cases is always wrong. I think it's an important discussion and one that should not be given short shrift.

I haven't been much of a fan of torture, especially when it's been used in church history to punish those who have doctrinal differences with the established power of the day -- be it political or religious. However, I struggle with the issue of its permissibility a bit more when it involves terrorists who will stop at nothing to kill mass numbers of people. What sparked this struggle of late might surprise you.

On other blogs where the Emergent Church and other church controversies get discussed, the back and forth is usually along the lines of what "loving your neighbor" means. To some of the EC folks, criticizing their doctrine and methodology constitutes being "unloving." I have noticed that some in this movement appear to adopt a lot of 1960s flower-power ideas, i.e. complete pacifism. This view applies to criminal justice, the death penalty, conduct of war, and a host of other areas. Those who oppose any use of coercion do so on the grounds of biblical commands to "love your neighbor" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Now, here is where I begin to wrestle with things.

It is one thing for me as an individual believer in my personal relationships to "love my neighbor." It is one thing for the church to show God's love as it reaches out to others with the Gospel. However, when we are talking about the government and the nation-state, the very fact that the state bears the sword for a reason implies that force is needed sometimes to restrain and defeat evil.

The way some of my evangelical lefty friends speak, it seems that any use of force whatsoever would be a violation of the biblical order. Just what are you to do with captured terrorists? Let them loose? Play chess with them and give them hot Lipton tea until they're convinced that you're nice enough to let them confide in you?

Okay, that was a bit sarcastic. I find the Pollyanna attitude of the Jimmy Carter types and broadbrush treatment of Scripture difficult to deal with. Having said that, I don't want to knee-jerk in the other direction and dismiss any command about how we are to treat other human beings. But it is difficult for me because of the separation in roles of the individual versus the responsibility of government. It is one thing for me as an individual to take on the role of Torquemada, but another thing for the state when dealing with people who are out to kill us.

And yes, it's a slippery slope. Once you sanction the idea of torture or limited coercion, you open the door for its use by people, governments or leaders who might not have your scruples.

May the Lord grant us His wisdom as we speak out on this issues, and may we ever have the mind of Christ. The same Lord who tells us to love our neighbor is the same Lord who sanctioned stoning people to death for violating His law in the Old Testament. Let's be careful how we handle His Word.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Ozarks Are Calling . . .



Gorgeous shot, isn't it? And yes, the Buffalo River really looks like that. In fact, most Ozark streams look like this at the right time of year.

I really, really need a vacation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Christianity Astray


As the church lady would say, "isn't this special?

The linked article in Christianity Astray discusses how most "Christians" in the United States don't believe in a real Satan, or worse yet, the Holy Spirit -- a clear denial of the Third PERSON of the Trinity.

Of course, the question echoes in the air -- just how are we defining the term "Christian?" Apparently the definition is pretty loose. I suppose one could argue about the devil (although I think denial of Satan's existence is pretty stupid), but when we begin pooh-poohing the Holy Spirit, that is really a serious matter. The Holy Spirit is clearly seen as a Person in Scripture. He is described as our Comforter, the One who seals us in our redemption, the One who convicts of sin, and the One who is grieved at sin. You can't "grieve" a non-entity.

The long and short of all this is simple. There are essential doctrines and non-essential doctrines. Essential doctrines are the core of the faith, the ones that determine whether you are a true Christian or not based on what you believe about these essentials. And the key essentials involve soteriology (how we are saved), Christology (the Person and work of Christ), and the Godhead (Trinity). Deny any of the essential doctrines in these areas, and that means you are not a true Christian by biblical standards and practices.

This is yet another crying example of how the preaching and teaching of sound biblical doctrine has fallen by the wayside in favor of useless "self-help" and pop fads -- rotten pottage instead of the lush richness of God's truth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quote of the Day: John C. Goodman

Mr. Goodman is the president of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He wrote in the latest Hillsdale College Imprimis:

The first of the Baby Boomers started signing up for early retirement under Social Security last year. Two years from now they will start signing up for Medicare. All told, 78 million people are going to stop working, stop paying taxes, stop paying into retirement programs, and start drawing benefits. The problem is, neither Social Security nor Medicare is ready for them. The federal government has made explicit and implicit promises to millions of people, but has put no money aside in order to keep those promises. Some of you may wonder where Bernie Madoff got the idea for his Ponzi scheme. Clearly, he was studying federal entitlement policy.

Like Margaret Thatcher said, "the problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people's money!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Question of the Day: Somalia


So, for all of you who are observers of the geopolitical scene, especially here in the United States . . . a question:

How long will it take for someone in the media, blogdom or politics to charge those who want to crack down on Somalian piracy with racism?

My own prediction is to give it about a week, but maybe that's too optimistic.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Persecution Part IV


It's been a while since I've put up anything in my ongoing series on Christian persecution, so I thought I'd better get with the program for another installment. Interestingly enough, this one was sparked by something I found while preparing a lesson for the Romans series I am teaching at my church.

One of the commentary series I have in my library was written by Presbyterian pastor Albert Barnes, who died in 1870. I came upon this wonderful passage, and I thought you might profit by it as I did. We'll discuss this all more in the days to come. Pastor Barnes begins with discussion of 2 Timothy 3:12, a key verse when looking at this all too neglected subject. It's a longer read, but worth the time it takes . . .

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Paul takes occasion from the reference to his own persecutions, to say that his case was not peculiar. It was the common lot of all who endeavoured to serve their Redeemer faithfully; and Timothy himself, therefore, must not hope to escape from it. The apostle had a particular reference, doubtless, to his own times; but he has put his remark into the most general form, as applicable to all periods.

It is undoubtedly true at all times, and will ever be, that they who are devoted Christians--who live as the Saviour did --and who carry out his principles always, will experience some form of persecution. The essence of persecution consists in subjecting a person to injury or disadvantage on account of his opinions. It is something more than meeting his opinions by argument, which is always right and proper; it is inflicting some injury on him: depriving him of some privilege, or right; subjecting him to some disadvantage, or placing him in less favourable circumstances, on account of his sentiments.

This may be either an injury done to his feelings, his family, his reputation, his property, his liberty, his influence; it may be by depriving him of an office which he held, or preventing him from obtaining one to which he is eligible; it may be by subjecting him to fine or imprisonment, to banishment, torture, or death. If, in any manner, or in any way, he is subjected to disadvantage on account of his religious opinions, and deprived of any immunities and rights to which he would be otherwise entitled, this is persecution.

Now, it is doubtless as true as it ever was, that a man who will live as the Saviour did, will, like him, be subjected to some such injury or disadvantage. On account of his opinions, he may be held up to ridicule, or treated with neglect, or excluded from society to which his attainments and manners would otherwise introduce him, or shunned by those who might otherwise value his friendship. These things may be expected in the best times, and under the most favourable circumstances; and it is known that a large part of the history of the world, in its relation to the church, is nothing more than a history of persecution. It follows, from this,

(1.) that they who make a profession of religion, should come prepared to be persecuted. It should be considered as one of the proper qualifications for membership in the church, to be willing to bear persecution, and to resolve not to shrink from any duty in order to avoid it.

(2.) They who are persecuted for their opinions, should consider that this may be one evidence that they have the Spirit of Christ, and are his true friends. They should remember that, in this respect, they are treated as the Master was, and are in the goodly company of the prophets, apostles, and martyrs; for they were all persecuted. Yet,

(3.) if we are persecuted, we should carefully inquire, before we avail ourselves of this consolation, whether we are persecuted because we "live godly in Christ Jesus," or for some other reason. A man may embrace some absurd opinion, and call it religion; he may adopt some mode of dress irresistibly ludicrous, from the mere love of singularity, and may call it conscience; or he may be boorish in his manners, and uncivil in his deportment, outraging all the laws of social life, and may call this "deadness to the world;" and for these, and similar things, he may be contemned, ridiculed, and despised. But let him not infer, therefore, that he is to be enrolled among the martyrs, and that he is certainly a real Christian. That persecution which will properly furnish any evidence that we are the friends of Christ, must be only that which is "for righteousness' sake," Mt 5:10, and must be brought upon us in an honest effort to obey the commands of God.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Gift for Easter


No doubt much will be said about this in days to come, but the news just broke that U.S. Navy Seals have rescued Captain Richard Phillips off the coast of Somalia. Three of the "pirates" were killed by sharpshooters, while the fourth is in custody.

What a gift for Resurrection Day, as many have been praying for Captain Phillips and his family during this crisis. It was already a joyous service at church, praising and thanking God for the gift of His Son, and the fact that He rose again for the justification of His people. It was icing on the cake to come home, turn on the news, and find this out.

I am also thankful that we acted unilaterally to deal with this, rather than waiting on the feckless, anti-U.S. United Nations. GO NAVY!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Resurrection Day Thoughts from Chuck Girard


I am dating myself here, but the following is one of my favorite Easter-themed songs. It was written by Chuck Girard, who is best known as a founding member of the pioneering Christian band "Love Song." I post it here for your prayerful, thankful contemplation.

The Warrior
by Chuck Girard


There's a long, low cry from the heavens
As the wind blows the skin right off the trees
And the thunder splits the sky, as the silent warrior dies
And the Spirit rips the veil, as the wind slows to a breeze

There's a long, low cry from the heavens
As the wind blows the skin right off the trees
And the heavens filled with rage, as they closed the final page
It was written, now it is finished and it will last throughout the ages

The red drops dripping slowly down as they sink into the earth below
Mixing with the wetness from the rain above,
It was sunny just a moment ago
The precious drops of his lifeblood flow,
Down the brow of his battered face
You'd think you were looking at a nasty dream
From the bottom of the depths of space
Was a moment in time when the world stood still,
As the plan took its final course
All the darkness from the past and the woe to come
Were defeated in the final divorce
As the scripture read, his side was pierced
Still there came no cry of pain
For his spirit was in flight to it's rightful home
As the last of his lifeblood drained

There's a long, low cry from the heavens
As the wind blows the skin right off the trees
And the early light of day, shines it's early morning rays
On two silent figures there, as they roll the stone away

Friday, April 10, 2009

Resurrection Day Thoughts


I happened to be up later than usual watching television last night. The program I had been watching briefly showed a clip from Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ." I have never seen this film, because I judged that it would probably be too difficult for me to take, and I am not one that chokes up at much. Must be genetic reserve from my British/Welsh heritage. However, there are things that do choke me up -- things that most people pass over (no pun intended). I always tear up at the scene in The Ten Commandments when God is writing the Commandments on the mountain wall with a finger of fire. Moses (Charlton Heston) can barely look on as the booming voice of God is calling out the Commandments from the pillar of fire. Why does that tear me up? Because I think of the holiness of God, and how far I fall short of it.

All that set up to make this comment. After the brief clip of the "Passion" (the flogging scene), I went to bed. It was about 1:30 in the morning. I didn't get to sleep immediately. Instead, I lay there thinking about what the Lord Jesus did on the cross, and the incredible sacrifice He made for me. It is incomprehensible that the Creator Himself would humble himself to let His own creation beat Him, spit on Him, mock Him, and finally nail him to a cross of wood. But He did. And again, I felt keenly how far short I fall of His love and yes, holiness.

I then thought of so many today who call themselves "evangelicals" who want to diminish what the Lord did on that cross, especially those who deny the penal substitutionary atonement. Add to that the increasing rush to the cliff on so many key areas of biblical teaching, including sexual sin and personal holiness (including profane, vulgar and even blasphemous speech). The sinless Son of God died a brutal death to pay the price for the sins of those who are His, yet those who claim to be His deny what the Lord Himself calls sin. They can blow off biblical truth without batting an eye, making light of the very things that put Jesus on the cross to begin with.

I also think of those who are in false religious systems that call themselves Christian. The news this morning had a clip of a line of people walking down a road flogging themselves. And these were not Muslims. They were identified as Christians. And they believe that flogging themselves will help atone for their sins. Yet another outrageous slap at Christ, even though they are blind to the insult. They are saying in essence that what Jesus did on the cross wasn't good enough. Make no mistake. If you think that ANYTHING you do helps earn your salvation, you remain unregenerate and lost in your sins. Nothing you or I do can earn one drop of Christ's precious blood. He will not accept human works of righteousness. You trust in His sacrifice on the cross, or not at all.

But none of this should surprise us, should it? Jesus Himself said these very things would happen in exponential fashion at the end of the age. Yet the story doesn't end there. Yes, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He rose again from the dead for our justification. And He is returning soon to rule and reign, and will crush all of His enemies under His feet. And that includes lying, blasphemous enemies of His who wear clerical collars.

Yes, my brothers and sisters, let not your hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid. Atonement, resurrection and final victory in Jesus. That is what Good Friday and Resurrection Day are all about. The Lord Jesus Christ has won the victory. He did it all and gets all the glory. And He is willing to shower His mercy, grace and forgiveness on all who will repent and believe.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Potty Mouth Preachers



With all the discussion going on these days about Christians having potty mouths (especially pastors from the pulpit), I thought it would be good to repost something I put up in 2005 when The Seventh Sola launched.

This linked article was written by my friend and fellow apologist Eric Pement. Eric was a missionary with JPUSA for many years, and --like me -- is on the board of the Institute for Christian Apologetics. In his article, Eric makes a very strong case for believers cleaning up their language.

It's sad that this even needs to be a matter for discussion, but such is the state of things today. I never thought I'd see the day when people would have to put a bar of lye soap in their suit pockets before heading out to worship Sunday mornings.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Politics, Pastors and Poofery


It's like turning on a light in a cockroach-infested kitchen or lighting a fire in a house where bats are in the attic. Everything's coming out of the woodwork in droves.

First, former British prime minister and newly-minted Catholic Tony Blair says the pope needs to change his mind. On what, you might ask? What else? Homosexuality. The pope has it wrong, you see. He ought to embrace it, not oppose it. And we all -- evangelicals and traditional Catholics combined -- need to change how we view the Bible. It's all allegorical, metaphorical, or some other oricle, but not to be interpreted literally.

Oh, really? I am not Catholic, but I have some advice for the pope. Obviously, ignore Mr. Blair's advice. But the second is to order him to repent on pain of excommunication.

As for me -- an evangelical -- Tony Blair doesn't dictate church doctrine. God does, through Scripture. And Scripture isn't interpreted through tea leaves, symbolism, visions seen under the influence of peyote buttons, fantasy, or anything else Tony wants to pick off of a bush. The Bible is clear on this issue. The fact is that Tony Blair and people like him really don't care what Scripture has to say. Despite the publicity over these politicians and their "conversions," the fact of the matter is that they are not Christians. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. Tony Blair needs to repent. Now.

Now, we turn our attention to Saddleback Church (and ostensibly Baptist) pastor Rick Warren, who has generated some heat by his rather squishy statements on homosexuality on Larry King Live. WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah addressed Warren's statements in a column today, and I concur completely with Farah. Warren ought to be ashamed of himself.

P.S. Okay, so the third term in my title is pejorative. Whatever. I wanted alliteration and I got it. Come to think of it, "pejorative" fits in there too. To put it baldly, I am getting very tired of this issue being debated among people who call themselves Christians. I don't expect non-Christians to act like Christians. But if you wear the label, you'd best act like one and believe like one. And that means taking God at His Word when He says something. You have no right to ignore His commands, no matter how politically and socially unpopular it might be. When He says this type of behavior is an abomination, He means it. And in the end, He will brook no argument on the matter.

A "Broader Gospel?"

A lot is being said these days in evangelical circles about a "broader Gospel." Check out this post by Greg Gilbert over at 9Marks. Worth reading in my humble opinion. We dare not lose the heart of the Gospel, and that's exactly what is at risk in this "broader Gospel" view.

By the way, I apologize again for my dearth of personal posts these days. My office workload has been very hectic of late, but I am hopeful it will slow down before too long. There have been some posts I've wanted to get written and up to the point I'm developing quite a backlog.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Judge Napolitano Nails It


Judge Andrew Napolitano is one of my favorite people who show up on Fox News, especially because he remembers that the United States has a Constitution that is supposed to be the supreme law of the land.

Check out this commentary by the judge, who takes up the government's current love affair with egalitarianism and class warfare. I think he's spot on.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Newt Goes Home to Rome



I was stunned to learn via Fox News Sunday that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has left evangelicalism to become a Roman Catholic. Apparently Newt hasn't discussed this publicly much yet, but Chris Wallace asked the question and Newt replied in the affirmative. He then proceeded to give an explanation of why, which didn't improve my mood any.

It's sad. If someone of Newt Gingrich's obvious intelligence and knowledge of history can dump biblical doctrine for a bunch of warm fuzzies and rituals, it doesn't bode well. I don't mean to suggest that only stupid people fall for false religions and cults. Actually, it's quite the opposite. But Newt knows better. And he is grooming himself to be the next GOP standard bearer.

It's funny, because Newt was warning about the possibility of there being a third party formed by disgruntled conservative Republicans if the GOP doesn't get its act together. I can tell you in advance that you can count me in to the third party, because I am not going to be led by Rome.

NOTE: Here is a transcript of the Newt/Wallace interview.

Postscript: I guess this has been known in some elements of the blogosphere for some time, and by Christianity Today. However, it was news to me. Been preoccupied with other things, I guess.

Emergent Discussion at TeamPyro

In lieu of a post from me today, check out this post from Phil Johnson over at TeamPyro. It's been a while since Phil has discussed the Emergent Church, and he has linked to a video debate on the subject that is worth watching. The meta for that post is already growing, and I am sure this one will blow through 100 plus comments easily.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

AAGHHH! Government! Liars!


I am just about at the point to where I want to abandon all political commentary and just stick with theology. But each day, something comes up that just makes me want to scream and blow things up (figuratively speaking, of course). And I wonder if anyone else notices.

In testimony before Congress, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were asked if they agreed with the notion of doing away with the dollar and jumping into a one-world currency. Bernanke and Geithner both told Congress that they were against the idea.

BUT . . . in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations (I'm shocked. . .shocked), Tim Geithner said he "would be open to that."

Isn't anyone going to hold these creeps responsible? By that statement alone, Tim Geithner ought to be forced to resign. I'm tempted to recommend him for the electric chair, but my water is hot at the moment.

I really have to wonder if the Spirit of 1776 is totally dead.

Friday, April 03, 2009

"Comrade" Obama


Once in a while, Freudian slips can pop up in the most interesting places. In the aftermath of the G-20 meeting in London, Russian president Dmitri Medvedev referred to Barack Obama as "comrade."

I love it when I can say "I'm not making this up!"

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Nuclear Balance?

Check out these numbers below, which represent the current tallies of nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States.


US
Strategic Deployed: 2200
Non-strategic: 500
Reserve: 2500
Stored awaiting dismantlement: 4200
TOTAL: 9400

Russia
Strategic Deployed: ~2800
Non-strategic: ~2050
Reserve/Stored: ~8150
TOTAL: ~13000


Whatever happened to the idea of "parity?" Yes, I know -- one nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. That's not the point. To me, parity means parity. Thirteen thousand is quite a bit larger than ninety-four hundred. And why are we the only ones who have nukes "stored awaiting dismantlement?"

Whoda Thunk It?


So the late guitarist Jimi Hendrix was a conservative? That is what a columnist in The American Thinker wrote this week. This will give much of the Hollywood left and liberal rockers great pause.

ROFL!

Note: The broken link to The American Thinker is now fixed. Sorry about that!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Blah!

The moment I get rid of one malady, I get another. This time, a barnburner of a headache. No post today, and that's no April Fool.