Christ: The Only Spring of Comfort

February 28, 2008

Christopher Love Christ is the only spring of comfort and the fountain of all joy and consolation. Take away Christ from the soul and it is as if you took the sun away from the firmament. If a man has all the blessings in the world and lacks Christ, he lacks that which should sweeten all the rest of his discomforts. In Exodus 15:23-25, you read of the waters of Marah. They were so bitter that none could drink of them, but then the Lord showed Moses a tree which, when he had cast into the waters, made the waters sweet. Why, Jesus Christ is this tree. He sweetens the bitterness of any outward affliction and he can make all your sorrows to flee away. There is nothing in the world that sweetens the comforts and gives us joy in the possession of the things of this world more than having an interest in Jesus Christ.

It is not, beloved, having much of the creature in your house, but having Christ in your hearts that makes you live comfortably. All the bread you eat will be bread of sorrow if you do not feed upon the body of Jesus Christ; and all your drink will be but wine of astonishment if you do not drink of the blood of Jesus Christ. Without an interest in Christ, all your comforts are but crosses, and all your mercies are but miseries, as in Job 20:22, In the fulness of his sufficiency, he shall be in straits. Though you have abundance of the things of this life, though you have more than enough, yet if you do not have an interest in Christ, you have nothing.

(Excerpt from A True Map of Man’s Miserable Estate by Nature by Christopher Love)

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Foolish Imaginations of Finite Creatures

February 27, 2008

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. (Psalms 14:1)

This is a verse not often quoted in our time and when it is used it is usually used in a way to point out the folly of atheism. Certainly it has application in such a discussion, but to apply this verse to only those who disbelief in the existence of God is to restrict its application to less than the intent of the context. Note, for example, how closely Psalm 14:1-3 parallels the description of the condition of mankind prior to the flood:

Psalm 14:1-3 Genesis 6:5

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Today, as in the days before the flood, the center of man’s emotion and will (figuratively the heart) is the epicenter of that sin which claims “There is no God” just as in the days of the Psalmist. How foolish the imaginations of a finite creature who cannot either by worry or work “add a single hour to his span of life” yet claim “There is no God“! How deep are the depths of depravity from which man, a created being, can lift his fists toward heaven and say “There is no God“! How foolish is the wisdom of the man who can clearly perceive the invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature of his Creator and then cry out “There is no God“!

What then of those who live as though “There is no God“? Do they not live as practical atheists? Every intention of their heart is evil continually (Genesis 6:5) and they “call not upon the LORD” (Psalm 14:4). As fools they run swiftly toward their own destruction as if “There is no God“! Today practical atheist scurry about on foolish errands of abomination while the storm clouds of judgement gather just as they did in the days of Noah before the rain began to fall! Foolishly they do not consider that God knows how to “reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9)!

Either because of no belief or because of unbelief the result is the same — The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”


the Creation and The Scripture Number 2

February 26, 2008

eden“The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep  sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:20-24)

“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”‘ (Mark 10:6-9)


First Things First

February 25, 2008

One of the outstanding ironies of history is the utter disregard of ranks and titles in the final judgments men pass upon each other. And if this be so of men, how much more must it be so of the judgments of God.

Marcus Aurelius Nero and Marcus Aurelius sat upon the throne of Rome clothed with absolute power and worshipped as gods, but what a difference! Nero, a monster of iniquity and utter cruelty, execrated of all men Aurelius, a vigorous administrator and benign philosopher, writing meditations which the wise and learned still delight to read and ponder and which, after two millenniums, are a guide to safe and useful living.

Washington and Napoleon were two great statesmen and military leaders. But what a difference! One a ruthless conqueror, building a glittering and evanescent empire on an ocean of blood, dying an exile on a lonely isle with a character for heartless selfishness  which sinks lower and yet lower every year in the estimation of all right thinking men. The other refusing a crown, but laying the firm foundations of a State destined to be infinitely greater than Napoleon’s empire, and dying at last honored by his former foes, with a character above reproach, revered and beloved of all men.George Washington

John and Judas were two Apostles. But what a difference! One was a devil betraying his master with a kiss for a paltry handful of silver, and getting to himself a name that is a synonym for all infamy and treachery. The other pillowed his head on the Master’s bosom, and with wide, open eyes was permitted to look deep into Heaven, behold the great white throne and Him that sat upon it, the worshipping angel-hosts, the innumerable multitudes of the redeemed, the glory of the Lamb that was slain, and the face of the everlasting Father; while his name became a synonym for reverence and adoring love.

This summing up and final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank and title a man has borne or the office he has held, but only for the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart.

The haughty patricians of Rome doubtless passed by with contemptuous indifference or scorn as the scarred, hooked-nose Jewish prisoner, Paul, with sore eyes and wearied feet, went clanking by in chains to the dungeon, but their names have perished, while his name is enshrined in millions of hearts and embalmed in colleges, in cathedrals and cities, and libraries of books are reverently written about his character, his sufferings, and his work.

John Bunyan Who remembers the Lord Bishops of England in Bunyan’s day? But what unnumbered Christian hearts have turned with tears of deepest gratitude and tenderest affection and sympathy to the humble, joyous, inspired tinker, who, from the filthy, verminous Bedford jail, sent forth his immortal story of Pilgrim fleeing from the city of Destruction, and with hopes and fears, and tears and prayers, and sighs, and songs, pressing on over hills of difficulty, through sloughs of despond, past bewitching bowers of beguiling temptations and giants of despair and castles of doubt, till at last he beholds the delectable mountains, views not far away the city of the great King, hears the music of celestial harpers harping on their harps of gold, and, passing through the swelling river, is received with glad welcome on the other shore!

These men whom history acclaims, posterity reveres, and God crowns are the MEN WHO PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST.

(Excerpt from First Things First by Samuel Logan Brengle)


Relativism 101

February 25, 2008

 Relativism

The Christian is the real radical of our generation, for he stands against the monolithic, modern concept of truth as relative. But too often, instead of being the radical, standing against the shifting sands of relativism, he subsides into merely maintaining the status quo. If it is true that evil is evil, that God hates it to the point of the cross, and that there is a moral law fixed in what God is in Himself, then Christians should be the first into the field against what is wrong. (Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who is There)

1. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Moral Relativism

2. The Myth of Moral Neutrality

3. Relativism Self-Destructs

4. When Tolerance Is Intolerant

5. Preference or Truth?

6. “Who Are You to Judge Others?” 

7. The Postmodern Predicament: Relativism Is Unlivable

8. Cultural Relativism

9. Reaching the Happy Thinking Pagan

10. Confronting the Challenge of Ethical Relativism


A Red Letter Christian Stir Up

February 24, 2008

SitrUp Logo

This Stir Up is dedicated especially to those who style themselves as “red letter Christians”. Focus on the red letters all you wish, but focus on all of them.

If you want to address social issues, preach the Gospel. If you want to transcend partisan politics, preach the Gospel. If you want to promote peace, build strong families, and eliminate poverty, preach the Gospel. All of it!

“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.

You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.

And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

(Matthew 10:7-42)


Evolution’s Female Problem

February 23, 2008

If evolution is true, why are the things described in this book by Catharine MacKinnon a problem?

MACARE

Charles Darwin after all did conclude (after observing our fellow animals) that evolutionary forces caused men to be superior to women: “no one disputes that the bull differs in disposition from the cow, the wild-boar from the sow, the stallion from the mare, and, as is well known through the keepers of menageries, the males of the larger apes from the females,” the same must be true with human females.

Darwin also stated that female traits “are characteristic of the lower races, and anti therefore of a past and lower state of civilization”.

By way of contrast, no doubt also appealing to the self-evident evolutionary superiority of men, and in particular the European white man, Darwin surmised that men attain “. . . a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can women—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive of both composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on “Hereditary Genius” that . . . the average of mental power in man must be above that of women”.