For it is by grace you have been saved...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Defending God’s Truth

I’ve had several conversations lately, here on the blog and elsewhere, that boil down to the nature of truth, the nature of Scripture, and how we can assert its truths in this day of relativism, post-modernism, etc.

I’ve written a couple of times about the subject, and felt that I wanted to address it again. Then, lo and behold when I checked out the Pyromaniacs site this morning, their “Weekly Dose of Spurgeon” has the Prince of Preachers addressing this very issue; and as usual, in a more bold, succinct and profound way.

It’s just a small snippet from a sermon titled “The Church Of God And The Truth Of God,” preached at New Park Street Chapel in 1856. The text was from 1 Timothy 3:15 – “The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” In the midst of the drifting of his own day, Spurgeon said the purpose of the message was “to urge upon you, at this time, the great duty of standing fast at your post for the truth of God, and the equally great duty of endeavoring, wherever you are, to maintain them right.”

It seems that we might need that same urging today, and so I will simply repeat here the small sampling of that sermon posted on the Pyro site (or if you’d rather, you can go here and read it at their site; or better yet, go here, scroll down to number 3093, and read the whole sermon). Soli Deo Gloria!

Remember how your fathers, in times gone by, defended God's truth, and blush, ye cowards, who are afraid to maintain it!

Remember that our Bible is a blood-stained book; the blood of martyrs is on the Bible, the blood of translators and confessors. The pool of holy baptism, in which many of you have been baptized, is a blood-stained pool: full many have had to die for the vindication of that baptism which is "the answer of a good conscience toward God."

The doctrines which we preach to you are doctrines that have been baptized in blood,—swords have been drawn to slay the confessors of them; and there is not a truth which has not been sealed by them at the stake, or the block, or far away on the lofty mountains, where they have been slain by hundreds. It is but a little duty we have to discharge compared with theirs. They were called to maintain the truth when they had to die for it; you only have to maintain the truth when taunt and jeer, ignominious names and contemptuous epithets are all you have to endure for it.

What! do you expect easy lives? While some have led through seas of blood, and have fought to win the prize, are you wearied with a slight skirmish on dry land? What would you do if God should suffer persecuting days to overtake you? O craven spirits, ye would flee away, and disown your profession!

Be ye the pillar and ground of the truth. Let the blood of martyrs, let the voices of confessors, speak to you. Remember how they held fast the truth, how they preserved it, and handed it down to us from generation to generation; and by their noble example, I beseech you, be steadfast and faithful, tread valiantly and firmly in their steps, acquit yourselves like men,—like men of God, I implore you!

Shall we not have some champions, in these times, who will deal sternly with heresies for the love of the truth,—men who will stand like rocks in the center of the sea, so that, when all others shake, they stand invulnerable and invincible? Thou who art tossed about by every wind of doctrine, farewell; I own thee not till God shall give thee grace to stand firm for his truth, and not to be ashamed of him nor of his words in this evil generation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Emergent Endgame

I have in the past mentioned my frustration with the “Emergent” movement and the general lack of discernment within the church (see here and here). I haven’t taken a lot of time to really delve into the “Emergent Conversation” because, quite frankly, I assumed that the whole thing would just eventually die. (Which in many ways, it has. Read this article over at the Pyromaniacs site which shows part of the “official demise” but also warns of the continuing threat)

But just in case there are those who think that any opposition to this “kinder, gentler” kind of Christianity is off base, consider these two items which show without a doubt where this open-minded “conversation” stuff leads.

The first is a review of Emergent “godfather” Brian McLaren’s latest offering. Tim Challies offers a pretty vivid image as to where McLaren’s ideas have taken him (warning, it may be a bit on the offensive side to some). Yet it’s an accurate image and shows the biblical bankruptcy of the movement in general.

The second is this video piece which I borrowed from The Museum of Idolatry. The hardest part in watching is to realize that these two guys actually believe what they are saying, which in essence is that Conversion is not necessary, we just have to learn to dialogue with other “faith narratives” and find common ground, blah, blah, blah.

I believe Jesus was quite clear. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) And Acts 4:12 says just as clearly: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Hopefully people will finally see the emergent endgame and run from it all just as fast as they can, and back into the arms of solid biblical teaching.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Bowl Ads – the Hype and Hypocrisy

As everyone knows, several feminist organizations were going absolutely crazy prior to the Super Bowl, ranting and raving about the “offensive” ad that was to be produced by Focus on the Family featuring Tim Tebow (see previous post). Anyone who watched the game/commercials knows that the hype was blown way out of proportion. In fact, the ad was so mild that many on the pro-life side have mentioned their disappointment with the ad and it’s lack of any direct message. Overall, the NOW folks and their friends came off looking pretty foolish for their vehement rejection of something they hadn’t seen which ended up being fairly benign.

Now, here’s my problem. While these folks were out there ready to form lynch mobs over this pro-family ad, many of the rest of the ads were truly offensive, but no one is complaining about them. From people walking around in their underwear, to a woman photographing herself bathing, to the typical sexual innuendo in several others, there wasn’t much “family friendly” fare here.

(Side Note: There were several fun commercials, including the Slug a Bug piece, the fun poked at Brett Favre and his “retirement,” as well as the off-beat but fun “Punxsutawney Polamalu” ad.)

The point being, the hypocrisy of the leftist vanguard out there crying foul over an ad that they thought would oppose their pro-death stand, while completely ignoring the “objectifying” of women in several other ads, as well as ads that were just in poor taste. (One of the “poorest” in taste is the guy faking his death so he can watch the game with a casket full of snacks; and this was produced by a “church.”)

In my opinion, one of the worst is the Etrade spot with the now familiar babies dubbed over with adult voices having adult conversations. I’m personally offended by these infants being used in commercials which show them in conversations which have very “adult” overtones and innuendo. But where is the outcry over that exploitation? Where are the child advocacy groups in opposing the use of these children in a commercial that is questionable at best? I know they never actually say anything truly offensive, but it’s the implications of the “other woman” being at his home last night, and being a “milkaholic” which is clearly meant to have overtones of drinking and partying…and these are infants!

All this goes to show clearly what I pointed out in the previous post; namely that the pro-choice folks aren’t that at all, but merely pro-death. That they don’t really care about the welfare of women and children, but are concerned only with their political agenda. Hopefully all of America can see that now.

And lest I be accused of being only one sided here, let me also say: shame on all those Christian folks who laughed at some of these ads along with the rest of America. Call me prudish if you wish, but almost as bad as the hypocrisy of the left, is the hypocrisy of those who ridiculed the left for their opposition to the Tebow ad while sitting back and enjoying and laughing at the other ads that were genuinely offensive, or at the least in poor taste. Let’s remember the encouragement of Scripture: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place.” (Ephesians 5:4, ESV) In many ways it’s our “look the other way” attitude with some of this stuff that has led us down the road we are on as a nation to begin with.

OK, I’m putting my soap box away now. Thank you all for coming and have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pro-Life and Pro-Tebow

My sons, 15 and 5, are both big fans of former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow. So much so that a recent discussion about a possible vacation prompted this suggestion from the five-year-old: “Let’s go to Florida and visit Tim Tebow.”

OK, so that’s a little much. But I enjoy the fact that there is an athlete out there my kids can look up to, and off the field they don’t have to read about arrests and assaults, and drugs and thugs.

Then comes the Super Bowl ad. If you haven’t heard about this, you’re not paying attention. Focus on the Family has paid for an ad to run during this week’s Super Bowl which will feature the Tebow family. The theme is simply a celebration of life and family, coming from a family which chose (notice the word) not to have an abortion. Tim’s mom was encouraged to kill him while still in the womb due to an illness she contracted while serving as a missionary. She chose (there’s the word again) not to do so, and she gave birth to Tim.

So what’s the point? Radical feminist groups are going crazy. They are screaming and yelling about CBS actually agreeing to air this horrible ad (which no one has even seen yet, by the way). It’s OK for all of the other trash CBS offers to be put on the air waves, but to tell the story of a woman who chose (do you see where this is going?) to not abort her child, well, that’s too much.

I’ve been thinking of writing something here about this for some time, but today I read this article from the Washington Post which says it all so well. This is written by a self-professed “pro-choice” individual; and yet even she sees the ridiculous nature of the outcry from the radical abortion fans. (It’s a great article, you really should go HERE and read it).

Personally, I’m glad things have happened this way. The cries of feminists against this woman who CHOSE not to have an abortion prove what I’ve said all along. There is nothing pro-choice about the Pro-Choice crowd. They are pro-death; anti-life; anti-God; anti-faith; etc. The only “choice” they want to protect is the wholesale slaughter of innocent children. If they were truly pro-CHOICE they would be jumping up and down defending this woman’s right to make the choice she made.

This whole episode has just proven their true colors to millions of intelligent Americans who can see through their tirades to their lack of logic on the issue. They have proven they are so pro-death that they don’t want anyone to see the positive outcome that can come from a truly wise choice. Let’s pray more Americans wake up and realize this, and maybe we can stem the tide of infanticide in this nation.

And God bless Tim Tebow and his family for their courage to stand for God and His Word in all areas of their life. No man is perfect, and I'm sure Tim has his flaws. But you have to admire the conviction of a young man for taking a stand that could directly impact his future in the NFL. Many are already saying that he isn't pro caliber, and the flak he will take for this ad may cause teams to be even more gun shy. He is literally putting his money where his mouth is. That's why our family is Pro-Tebow. I pray God will continue to use His servant greatly for His Glory.