Tuesday, January 30, 2007
". . . any evangelism which by appeal to common interests and chatter about current events seeks to establish a common ground where the sinner can feel at home is as false as the altars of Baal ever were. Every effort to smooth out the road for men and to take away the guilt and the embarrassment is worse than wasted; it is evil and dangerous to the souls of men.
One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity being carried on in evangelical circles these days, is the notion that as times change the church must change with them. Christians must adapt their methods by the demands of the people. If they want ten-minute sermons, give them ten-minute sermons. If they want truth in capsule form, give it to them. If they want pictures, give them plenty of pictures. If they like stories, tell them stories. If the prefer to absorb their religious instruction through the drama, go along with them - give them what they want. 'The message is the same, only the method changes,' say the advocates of compromise. . . .
The answer is that the soul of man does not change fundamentally, no matter how external conditions may change. The aborigine in his hut, the college professor in his study, the truck driver in the bedlam of city traffic have all the same basic need: to be rid of their sins, to obtain eternal life and to be brought into communion with God. Civilized noises and activities are surface phenomena, a temporary rash on the epidermis of the human race. To attribute sound values to them and then to try to bring religion into harmony with them is to commit a moral blunder so huge as to stagger the imagination, and one for which we shall surely be paying long after this frenetic extravaganza we call civilization had ended in tragedy and everlasting grief."
Monday, January 29, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
In the above picture is a Roseate Spoonbill and a Great Egret. These were the two most promienent birds on our trip today. In the morning we also saw a Red-tailed Hawk, a Crested Caracara (Mexican Eagle), and three wild hogs.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; . . . . Philippians 2:15
I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear professors pleading that they may do this, and do that--that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, "Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your cravings show how rotten your hearts are. If you are hungering after such dogs food--go dogs, and eat the garbage!
Worldly amusements are fit food for pretenders and hypocrites. If you were God's children, you would loathe the thought of the world's evil joys. Your question would not be, "How far may we be like the world?" but your cry would be, "How can we get away from the world? How can we come out of it?"
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. - Philippians 4:8
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I have seen parents just walk off and ignore a screaming child.
I have seen children walk all over a restaurant even approaching other people's tables.
I have seen big, hulking men brought to their wits end by a belligerent, uncooperative child.
I have seen children stand on their head and crawl under the table in a restaurant.
I have seen parents put a whole shelf of merchandise in the cart just to keep the child quiet (OK maybe that is a slight exaggeration).
I have seen parents yell at their children in public.
I have seen parents simply ignore the behaviour of their children no matter how obnoxious they were being.
I have often joked that my wife and I eat out for research purposes. We are doing behavioural studies, examining the interesting phenomena of a 25 or 30 pound toddler thoroughly outwitting and making an absolute fool out of people that are 20 to 25 years older than them. I have seen a lot of things that make for good sermon illustrations!
It would really be funny were it not so sad. I just read an article today that reminded me of how many parents simply have no idea how to produce sweet, compliant, quiet, children.
The second paragraph related the heart of the story:
"Julie and Gerry Kulesza and daughter Elly were removed from the flight when the girl refused to take her seat before takeoff, airline officials said Tuesday. But her parents said they just needed a little more time to calm her down."
I cannot imagine any of our children refusing to take a seat we told them to take. If they had the whole incident would have been over in a few seconds! The parents attitude is why they were having trouble with the child. They believed that every one of the other travellers should be patient with them and give them the time they needed to coax the little rebel into her seat. If they needed to provide her with some training about doing what she was told, the airplane was not the place to do it. Since they had not done it at home they should have been removed and had their lesson in the terminal. There is always another flight. Don't expect people to wait on you to teach what you should have taught at home!
At first I applauded the airline for removing them only to discover at the end of the article that they reimbursed them the money for the three tickets and gave them three round trip tickets to anywhere the airline flies. Oh, that is just great. Now instead of the parents going home and thinking, "You know what, we have got to do something to get this child under control," they are rewarded with two free flights and everybody is happy except the unfortunate travelers that find themselves on the flight when they redeem the free tickets.
But the Dad said it was too late for that, they would never fly that airline again. Oh......too bad.....now we know where the little girl gets it.......
Monday, January 22, 2007
Click on the picture below!
We also saw some Rosetta Spoonbills behind Freeport but were unable to get any pictures, and an assortment of ducks!
Thirty-four years ago Justice Blackmun delivered the majority opinion for the Supreme Court of the United States of America that legalized abortion in all fifty States. Justice Rehnquist was one of two dissenting judges.
Since that date the equivalent populations of California and Pennsylvania have been disposed of while in the womb.
The issue of abortion ultimately centers on the view one has of the fruit of the womb. Those that favor abortion would contend that the fruit of the womb is not human and thus not deserving of protection under the law. Those that have a biblical worldview understand that the fruit of the womb can be nothing but human and thus deserving of protection under the law.
For those that understand the value of life overturning Roe v. Wade would simply be a starting point. We need to get to the level where abortion is rendered illegal throughout the country. Our willingness to support the murder of the unborn, the weakest among us is a telling sign about the condition of our culture. We talk about the protection of the weakest among us yet those that are truly the weakest, who have no voice of their own, have little protection afforded them.
Abortion is idolatry at its core. It is the worship of convenience. The unborn are sacrificed at an unholy alter dedicated to the god of me. I for one am sick and tired of hearing about the right of the mother, what about the rights of the baby.
This morning I want to refresh our memories. Sound the trumpet. Awaken our consciousness to the tragedy that is around us.
What The Bible Says
Psalms 139:13-16 - For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Jeremiah 1:4,5 - Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Galatians 1:15 - But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Jeremiah 49:1 - Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
Jeremiah 49:5 - And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
Luke 1:15 - For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
Judges 13:7 - But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
Judges 16:17 - That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.
Luke 1:41 - And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Exodus 21:22-25 - If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
The Horror Of Abortion
The Suction Method
This is the most frequent method of abortion in North America today. This is the method that abortionists prefer for it can be done the most quickly. Some clinic abortionists have testified that, with this method, they can run eight women an hour through abortion operations. A vacuum tube is attached to a powerful vacuum cleaner. The tube is then inserted into the womb—and the unborn child, the little person made by God, is then literally vacuumed out—and in the process torn limb from limb. Afterwards, a technician must sort through all the pieces to see that all the baby parts came out.
In order to use this method, the surgeon must first paralyze the cervical muscle ring (the womb opening), and then stretch it open. This is difficult to do because the body knows that it is not time for birth to take place. This cervical muscle is hard (or "green" as the doctors call it) and not ready to open. This muscle is very delicate and can be damaged in the process and result in very painful later childbirths. Once it is stretched open, a hollow plastic tube with a sharp knife-like edge on the tip is inserted into the uterus (the womb). The motor is turned on, and the powerful suction tears the baby into pieces. The doctor then cuts the deeply rooted placenta from the inner wall of the uterus. The scraps are sucked out into a bottle. The vacuum cleaner used for this purpose is 29 times more powerful than a home vacuum cleaner.
The D & C Method
The D & C (Dilatation and curettage) is a tear-it-out-with-a-knife procedure. So it is quite similar to the suction method since both tear the small infant apart. The doctor inserts a loop-shaped steel knife, up into the uterus. With this he cuts the placenta and baby into pieces and scrapes them out into a basin. Bleeding by the mother is usually profuse. There is a very real danger here of injury to the cervical ring muscle. Cuts and nicks can take place which can cause infection or difficult and painful childbirths later on.
The D & E Method.
(Dilatation and Evacuation) technique is primarily used on unborn children between the ages of 12 to 17 weeks. Here is how this method is carried out: The cervical ring must somehow be opened and widened, with the usual danger in this activity. Then the surgeon goes up into the womb with forceps and grabs the little infant and tears it out. But the body of the unborn child must first be ripped apart so that it can pass through the cervix. Sometimes the D & Es are performed on unborn children as old as 20 weeks. When they are, then the skulls of the infants must be crushed also, as well as tearing their bodies apart.
After 20 weeks, a "saline" abortion must be used. This is the salt poisoning method.
Saline abortions may be given after the 16th week and must be given after the 20th week. A large needle is inserted through the abdominal wall of the mother and into the baby's amniotic sac. A very concentrated salt solution is then injected into the amniotic fluid. The baby breathes this in through his mouth and nose. It enters his stomach. He begins struggling and convulsing. The salt burns the skin all over his body so badly that it becomes an ugly red. His nostrils, mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract are burned by the salt. All this terrible suffering lasts a full hour. If not successful in killing the infant, another injection of salt is given. If successful—the baby is expelled as a still birth. The mother goes into labor about a day later and delivers a beet-red baby that was scalded to death by salt. Any nurse who works in an aborting hospital can tell you of a significant number of these babies that were born alive. Then the doctor has a problem what to do with them. He may choose to strangle them to death, but most of the time they are thrown into a nearby pail and kindly permitted to cry themselves to death.
The D & X Method
(Partial Birth Abortion): Of all the abortion techniques this is probably the most brutal and painful to the baby. D & X abortions are third trimester procedures and are often done up to full term—when the baby would normally be born. The abortionist inserts a forceps into the womb and grabs the leg of the baby. He then pulls the legs and rest of the body of the baby out of the mother, leaving only the head inside the birth canal. The baby is alive and moving as it hangs outside the mother's body. The abortionist jams sharp surgical scissors into the base of the baby's skull. This causes an immediate pain reaction from the still alive baby. The abortionist widens the scissors to enlarge the hole. He then inserts a vacuum tube and sucks the baby's brain out, which collapses the skull. The dead baby is then fully removed from the birth canal. It is a mere technicality that distinguishes this abortion technique from murder, for often the baby is near or full term, and would live on its own if delivered properly. It is only because the head is still in the birth canal that this procedure is considered legal.
Frank J. Ayd, “You can scrape the baby out of the womb but you cannot scrape the baby out of the mind.”
The Dangers Of Illegal Abortions
People speak of abortions with a coat hanger in back alleys. It is only by assuming that the unborn are not fully human that this argument works. Sometimes people die or are injured when attempting to commit murder should we pass a law making it safe for them to do so.
It is argued that before the legalization of abortion women would travel to countries where abortion was legal. This option was only available to rich women and thus poor women were deprived. Here again this argument is only valid if one assumes that the unborn is not fully human. It would be considered ludicrous to argue that the hiring of hit men should be legalized because only the rich can afford it and the poor do not have easy economic access to such professionals.
Argument From Population, Poverty, Financial Burden
Again the assumption is made that the unborn is not fully human. If they are fully human then the reasoning could be used to advocate infanticide and the destruction of all humans that are deemed to be financially burdensome or emotionally taxing. This argument points out the confusion between “finding a solution” and “eliminating the problem.” One can remedy the problem of a headache by cutting of your head but that is certainly not a real solution. This argument is superfluous unless the pro-abortionist can show that the unborn are not fully human.
What about the woman who has four children and is expecting again by her drunkard husband
Again, it must be asked is the unborn fully human. Hardship does not justify homicide. It is not the baby’s fault.
Arguments From The Giving Birth To The Handicapped
Again, is the unborn child fully human? In all of the justification provided so far the real question has yet to be addressed. If it is then there is no justification for homicide because the baby is handicapped. If that is justification then there is justification for the destruction of the handicap that are already born.
Argument From Rape Or Incest.
This argument again presupposes that the unborn is not fully human. The homicide of an individual is never justified to relieve someone else of emotional distress. This is a classic example of where two wrongs do not make a right. As theologian and ethicist Dr. Michael Bauman has observed, “A child does not lose its right to life simply because its father or its mother was a sexual criminal or a deviant.”
Argument Of The Unwanted Child
This again fails to deal with the humanness of the unborn. There are plenty of children who are born who are not wanted. Would any suggest that we allow the mother to kill them? “The unwantedness of children in general tells us a great deal about our psychological and moral make-up as a people, but very little about the value of the child involved. For it is only a self-centered, hedonistic people who do not consider it their self-evident obligation to care for the most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human race. A lack of caring is a flaw in the one who ought to care, not in the person who ought to be cared for. Hence, whether or not abortion is morally justified depends on whether the unborn are fully human, not on their wantedness.” Francis Beckwith
Argument From A Woman’s Right To Control Her Own Body “The unborn entity within the pregnant woman's body is not part of her body. The conceptus is a genetically distinct entity with its own unique and individual gender, blood type, bone-structure, and genetic code. Although the unborn entity is attached to its mother, it is not part of her. To say that the unborn entity is part of its mother is to claim that the mother possesses four legs, two heads, two noses, and -- with the case of a male conceptus -- a penis and two testicles. Furthermore, since scientists have been able to achieve conception in a petri dish in the case of the "test-tube" baby, and this conceptus if it has white parents can be transferred to the body of a black woman and be born white, we know conclusively that the unborn is not part of the pregnant woman's body. Certainly a woman has a right to control her own body, but the unborn entity, though for a time living inside her body, is not part of her body. Hence, abortion is not justified, since no one's right to personal autonomy is so strong that it permits the arbitrary execution of others. In this respect this argument also begs the question, because it assumes that the unborn are not fully human.”
God's Answer For The Abortion Problem
Morality 78.8% of all abortions are provided for unmarried women. Over half of the abortions are provided for women between the ages of 15 and 24.
Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
God never intended for humans to breed like stray dogs. I believe in freedom of choice. The choice is made when a young lady decides to sleep with a young man who has not committed himself to her in marriage. The problem is that far too many are exercising their freedom of choice and making bad choices.
Value Of Children Psalms 127:3 - Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalms 128:3 - Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
Hope For The Devestated Ephesians 1:5-7 - Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 2 Corinthians 5:21 - For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 5:6-8 - For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
As horrific as abortion is there is forgivness in the Lord Jesus Christ. When one is willing to embrace repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ their sins can be forgiven, they can be justified and have the righteousness of the Son of God imputed to their account.
As for us, who have been enlighted and are not walking in the vanity of our minds, no longer living with our understanding darkened may we be moved to tears over the sins of our nation.
Psalms 119:53 - Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
Psalms 119:136 - Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
Friday, January 19, 2007
I think it is important to understand that Lee was not fighting to sustain slavery, but the sovereignty of the State of Virginia. He was offered, by President Lincoln, the command of the Army of the United States which he declined on principle. He did not believe it to be in keeping with duty and honor to draw his sword against his native Virginia, who was sure to vote for succession.
The commitment to one's State is a principle that few in our generation understand. In that generation most everyone understood, North and South. It was widely understood in that day that it was the States that brought the Federal government into being and not the other way around. People more clearly understood that the federal government only had the powers enumerated in the Constitution. All other powers and rights were reserved to the States and/or the individual. In fact there is an amendment to the Constitution to that end.
Lee was a formidable adversary on the field of battle. He was magnanimous and humble in defeat. He committed the remaining years of his life to educating the young men of the South, who at that time were in a desperate situation. He was one of the few Confederate leaders who encouraged his fellow Southerners to humbly submit to the demands of the North. He encouraged reconciliation and to bear patiently the humiliation, as the will of God.
Robert E. Lee was a man of principle!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
In this segment we are going to consider the world and its relationship to holiness.
1 John 5:19 - And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
There is contained here both a sobering thought and an implied contrast.
The sobering thought is that the whole world lieth in wickedness. Here we have God’s judgment on the matter. The world is wicked. This is why it is inconsistent for a Christian to be worldly. To be worldly is to be participating in that which is wicked. We are apt to err on this point. We do not tend to see the world as we ought. If it is wicked then it is a war with God and righteousness. There is a reason that Jesus told his followers to seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, it is not readily apparent in the world in which we live.
The implied contrast involves the issue of separation. We are of God; the whole world lieth in wickedness. Implied is that we are not to be of the world. We are of God not of the world. People tend to want to dismiss the idea of separation when in fact it is a Bible doctrine. Some refuse to make an issue of it thinking it is not important. Having lived for almost 44 years and Pastoring for almost 17 years I am coming to realize that it may be more foundational than what people are willing to admit, both the pulpit and the pew! Compromise nearly always enters in the realm of personal separation and standards. It is here where many learn the spirit of compromise. Having embraced the spirit of compromise, in time (maybe the next generation or two) other truths become victimized by the spirit. I have seen way too many cut their teeth on compromise at the doctrine of separation. It is here where we teach our children the spirit of compromise by failing to require from them standards of holiness and at the same time imparting a heritage of holiness.
We must not forget that we are of God and not of the world. The whole world lieth in wickedness. Because we are of God we should separate ourselves from the world. Unfortunately most people have convinced themselves if they are simply tracking a few years behind the world then they are separated when in fact what the world was a few years ago they are today and what the world is today they will be in a few years. I am not an old man but I have seen the pattern played out time and time again.
My title is The World – The Antipathy Of Holiness. Let me define the word antipathy so you will know exactly of what I am speaking. I looked the word up to make sure it was a word that would adequately express my thoughts on the matter.
Antipathy – Contrariety or opposition in feeling; an aversion felt at the presence, real or ideal, of a particular object; distaste; disgust; repugnance.
The world and holiness are in opposition to one another. The world feels an aversion at the presence of holiness and holiness feels an aversion at the presence of the world. The world finds holiness distasteful and holiness find the world distasteful. The world is disgusted with holiness and holiness is disgusted with the world. Holiness is repugnant to the world and the world is repugnant to holiness.
Let me conclude my introduction with a few pointed words from A. W. Tozer in his book This World: Playground Or Battleground? “People think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic. . . . The “worship” growing out of such a view of life is as far off center as the view itself – a sort of sanctified nightclub without the champagne and the dressed-up drunks.”
Let us be attentive as we unfold a Biblical understanding of the world and a right response to it.
It all begins with having a right view of the world. The only place to get a right view is from the Scripture. Our flesh is too determined to be pacified and our hearts too easily deceived to think we can develop a right view of the world from any other source. What matters is what the Bible reveals about the world and it is that view that we should strive to embrace.
There are three primary considerations in this area.
1. The world is corrupt.
There are at least two reasons why this is true.
The world has a corrupt administrator.
2 Corinthians 4:4 - In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Ephesians 2:2 - Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Revelation 12:9 - And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast
out with him.
The devil is the God of this world. He has been given immense latitude by the God of heaven and earth to influence events in this world. Consequently the place where we live bears the marks of the work of the wicked one. His presence is pervasive, and powerful. His handiwork is all around us in the form of that which is vile, depraved, violent, dishonest, and corrupt. The fruit of his work is seen in wars, broken families, abused children, uncommitted Christians, weak preachers, powerless churches.
He is the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. He does so by exploiting the carnal desires of men, creating an environment where profane living and unrighteous behaviour is tolerated if not out right applauded. He is the prince of the power of the air.
He has deceived the whole world which is one of several reasons why the whole world lieth in wickedness. Participation in wickedness necessitates a degree of blindness for wickedness is the destroyer of men's souls. The book of Hebrews speaks of Moses choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. The fact that men, with wild abandon, seek the temporary pleasure of sin is a sure indication that they are living in darkness having been blinded by the devil. The world that we live in is characterized by the presence of this archenemy of God. The world is where he plies his trade of deception and destruction.
The world is corrupt because of its inhabitants.
Ephesians 2:2 - Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Romans 3:10-18 - As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Romans 1:29-32 - Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Ephesians 4:17-24 - This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Consider the content of the previous verses and what they reveal about the inhabitants of this world.
They are the children of disobedience.
There is none righteous, no not one.
They are all gone out of the way.
They are all unprofitable.
There is none that doeth good.
There throat is an open sepulchre.
Their tongues are deceitful.
The poison of asps is under their lips.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood.
Their ways are filled with destruction and misery.
They have not known the way of peace.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
They are filled with fornication, wickedness, covetousness, and maliciousness, murder, debate, deceit, malignity.
They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable and unmerciful.
They walk in the vanity of their mind.
They have their understanding darkened.
They are alienated from the life of God.
They are filled with ignorance.
They are living with a blindness of heart.
They are past feeling.
They have been given over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Need I say more. This is just four passages in the New Testament. Although we may keep our selves sheltered from this kind of behaviour and attitudes (and rightfully so) this is nevertheless the world in which we live. This is a powerful and compelling argument for personal separation. In fact we fail to separate ourselves from a world characterized by these things at our own peril.
2. The world is vain.
1 John 2:16,17 - For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, these are all basic areas of temptation as a direct result of living in a corrupt world that has no appreciation for righteousness and self-denial. The Apostle John clearly identifies all three of these areas as being of the world and not God. And remember the whole world lieth in wickedness but we are of God. Thus, we should abandon the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. This is a difficult task and one with which we all struggle. If we refuse to separate ourselves from the world we make it nigh well impossible to have any success in this area. You will also notice that we are soberly instructed that the world passeth away with the lust thereof. It is a sad commentary on our lives that we so often live passionately for that which will pass away. This is a direct indictment concerning our lack of separation from the world.
1 Corinthians 7:31 - And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
This is a wonderful verse that helps us establish the proper context for the things of this world. The things of this world are to be used by the believer. Used for what? For the advancement of God's kingdom and righteousness for this is what we are to be seeking first. As we use it we must stand guard that we do not abuse it. That is we do not allow the things of this world to become an occasion to encourage the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life! Our hearts are not to be set upon the things of this world again emphasising the need for separation. Why should we not abuse it? Because the fashion of this world passeth away. It does not last, it is fleeting.
Ecclesiastes 1:14 - I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
This is the testimony of one who had the resources to try it all. Read chapter two. The world in which we live is a vain world. It is only as we are living in the light of eternity and for eternal purposes that we can find any real meaning in this world. We need to be separated to eternal purposes and from temporal ones.
2 Peter 3:7-14 - But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Let me summarize. It is all going to be burned up! What is the exhortation for believers. Seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. In other words, if we are looking for the dissolution of all things we should be motivated to be separated. If we will acknowledge the vain nature of this world and that it will all in truth be burned up one day we will have an easier time separating ourselves from the fashion of it.
3. The world is opposed to God.
John 3:20 - For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
The world hates light. Why? Because light reproves his deeds. Even worldly Christians will be offended by light. It becomes even more interesting when you consider the implications of the world hating light. In what capacity is light given to the world? The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came a light into the world. Did the world hate Jesus? Yes, of course they did. He is the only perfect man that ever lived and the world crucified him. The Scriptures also tell us that ye, that is believers, are the light of the world. If we are being that light, that city set on a hill, that candle that is not under a bushel but on the table so that it gives light to all that are in the room what can we expect will be the world's response. We are not left to conjecture here. The world hates light. The brighter our light the more the world will hate us. The darker the world becomes the more it will hate the light. Unfortunately, many believers tend to give off less light as the world grows darker. They give way to the darkness rather than be counted the offscouring of all things.
John 7:7 - The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
Jesus identified the reason for the world's hatred of him, because he testified that the works thereof were evil. He brought light into the darkness and the darkness hated it. To the degree that we follow in Jesus' steps we will find a similar response. If you don't believe me just testify of the evil works of the world. Shed light on them and you can rest assured that the world will not offer you its accolades for the service rendered, even though it is a valuable service.
1 John 3:1 - Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
The world should not know us. If we are following in the steps of the saviour the world will not know us. If we live like him who was holy, harmless, separate from sinners the world will separate itself from us. Our problem is that we too often desire a familiarity with the world. We do not want to live unknown or be seen as different. This is too bad!
Matt 5:10-12 - Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Have you ever been persecuted for righteousness sake? If so you are blessed. Have men reviled you, persecuted you, and spoken all manner of evil against you because of your stand for Christ and his righteousness? If so you should rejoice and be exceeding glad. It puts you in the lineage of the prophets before you. Yet, this is the very reason why many Christians will not commit themselves to a life of separation from the world. It seems to them an unnecessary requirement that only attracts the worlds displeasure! Could it be we would rather God be displeased that the world in which we live??
John 15:19 - If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Now please do not misunderstand. We should not set ourselves to act in such a way simply so the world will hate us. The point is, if we are enough like Christ the world will hate us. If the world loves us, then it is a sure sign that we are of the world because the world only loves its own. It does not love those who seek to live in such a way that they are separated from it. Jesus makes it clear here that we are not to be of the world because he has chosen us out of it.
2 Timothy 3:12 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Living godly will result in the world's displeasure. There is a price to pay for godly, separated living. It is a price that some are unwilling to pay. This verse should probably, for most of us, cause us to hang our heads in shame that we are not persecuted more often than what we are. And why is that true? Well, it is likely because we are more like the world than we are Jesus!
1 John 3:13 - Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Having set forth a Biblical understanding of the world it is right that we should progress from here and consider what should be our response to the world. Again the Bible does not leave us uninformed on this important matter. There are many verses and passages that would provide some insight in this area let me draw your attention to just five.
1. Galatians 1:1-5 - Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
This passage gives us three thing worthy of consideration on the issue at hand. Christ gave himself for our sins. What a grand and glorious truth! This is the kernal of the gospel. He interposed his precious blood for our sins. God's wrath, under which we were cowering, as the law threw down the gavel and declared us guilty, was satisfied by the precious blood of the Saviour. But we must not be casual readers! He gave himself for sin that he might deliver from sin, or as it is stated in our passage, deliver us from the present evil world.
Two things about this. Once again the world is identifed as being evil. The testimony, were we to search the Scriptures, would be unanimous on this point! One of the purposes of Christ's sacrifice was to deliver us from the present evil world. In Christ we are afforded the opportunity to escape the tenacles of this depraved world. Where is the consistency in desiring deliverance from the penalty of sin yet not desiring to be delivered from this present evil world? This is embracing a practice that is inconsistent with our profession!
It is clearly stated that this is the will of God. It is God's will that we be delivered from this world. If we are delivered from it we will be separated from it. Separation is a glorious thing, it is the will of God for those whom Christ gave himself. It behooves the people of God to embrace the will of God in this matter.
2. John 17:15-19 - I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
You will again notice several things from this passage. It was not the Lord's purpose to have us removed from this world. It was his desire for us to be lights in the world and be willing to endure the difficutly associated with that high and holy calling.
Then you will notice he makes a clear declaration. "They are not of the world, . . . " It is simply a given that God's people would understand the importance of not being of the world. Separation was anticipated and expected. It was not seen as a nice thing to consider if it is for me or not. It was simply stated that the followers of Christ would not be of the world. In fact Jesus says, "even as I am not of the world." If we are following Christ we will not be of the world, for Christ was not of the world and the world hated him.
He then asks the Father to sanctify them. You must understand the nature of the word sanctify. We discussed it in an earlier message in this series. To sanctify means to make holy, purify, consecrate. Christ is asking the Father to make his followers holy. he does not ask him to make them popular, or intellectually superior, or compatiable with the world. He asks the Father to make them holy. He asks the Father to separate them. He asks the Father to impart his nature to them. Here at the end, when Christ is praying to the Father, the very night of his betrayal, his desire is that the Father would make his followers holy, that he would sanctify them.
And he indicates the means by which that would happen. Sanctify them by the word of God. The word of God is the standard and it reveals holy and unholy. It reveals what is pleasing and what is an abomination. It reveals what is righteous and what is unrighteous. Holiness is brought about through a thorough, submissive, and courageous response to the word of God!
3. Romans 12:1,2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
How are we to present our bodies? It does say bodies. People want to say it is the heart that matters as though what is on the outside is of no concern and we are being very petty by even thinking about what is on the outside. Well, the Bible says our bodies are to be presented. The inside is important, no one disputes that. What is disputed is the importance of the outside. Of course the argument that the outside is a reflection of the inside seems to always fall on deaf ears.
We are to be holy. There is that word again. It is amazing to me how that some people have taken a word that by its very nature relates to that which is pristine and by their wrangling have made it a dirty word. We are to be pleasing to God. We are not to worry about what the world thinks, or how we fit in with the world, or adopting the fashion of the world, our only concern should be to please him!
And you will note that the Bible says this is our reasonable service. People complain about separation under the pretense that it is unreasonable to ask people to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, behave in a certain way, refrain from certain venues of entertainement. Being holy is not unreasonable. In light of what God has done for us in Christ nothing he asks could be unreasonable. When people tend to smart under the demands of separated living they need to remember how Jesus must have smarted under the lash of a Roman gaurd! Please, please do not speak to me about the unreasonablness of the demands of holiness!
The passage is very clear. We are instructed to not be conformed to this world. This only makes sense in light of what we have presented concerning the nature of the world. As the Apostle John stated the whole world lieth in wickedness. Certainly we should not be conformed to it if this is true and it is! We are not to see how close we can live to the world and still be respectable. Our passion should be to nonconformity when it comes to the world, its behaviour, its fashion, its attitudes, its hairstyles, its nakedness, its entertainment. Separation is the need of the hour. Men and women who are committed to not be conformed to this world. Unfortunately the reality is that if you were to go to your average shopping mall you would not be able to tell the Christians from the worldlings. Why is this? Because the worldlings look like Christians? No, because the Christians have conformed to the world! Shame, shame. In fact you can go to a lot of Baptist churches and feel like you are at the local mall, or ball game by the way people are dressed! Shame, shame!!
The fact is we need to be transformed not conformed. This transformation takes place by a renewing of the mind. Our minds need to be altered. We look like the world because we think like the world. We behave like the world because we think like the world. We dress like the world because we think like the world. We talk like the world because we think like the world. We are entertained like the world because we think like the world. We need to have our minds renewed so that we can undergo a transformation that will result in us not being conformed to this world. Amen!!
4. Titus 2:11-15 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
This is an interesting passage because it teaches us some things about grace that many have convienintly overlooked. The grace of God teaches us some things and they are things that have a direct bearing on personal separation. The grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. The grace of God teaches us that we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. Yes, this present evil world we have a responsibility to pursue righteousness and godliness. If we do so we will be separated!
Again we are reminded as in Galatians 1 that he gave himself for us. What a grand truth. But he gave himself for us with purpose. His purpose was to redeem us. To buy us back. The Bible tells us we have been bought with a price. We do not belong to ourselves. Our body and spirit are God's by nature of redemption. His purpose in redeeming us was to purify us. As we were purified we would become a peculiar people. Peculiar in our zeal for good works. Listen friend, say what you will. God's people are to be different! It is in keeping with God's purposes.
In fact Titus the preacher was exhorted to take these truths and speak, rebuke, and exhort with all authority! So here I am doing just that! In fact he was encouraged to let no man despise thee. The Holy Spirit knew that if he faithfully proclaimed these truths there would be those that despised him. Their reaction was to in no way cause him to alter the truth. Pity the preacher who alters the truth to accomadate an apostate generation!
5. James 4:4 - Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Adultery is, at its root, unfaithfulness to a covenant. God often used the idea of adultery to signify the unfaithfulness of his people in the Old Testament. The Prophets are full of this kind of imagery. Here we find the same thing in the New Testament. It is possible for believers to be so cozy with the world that they are actually at enmity with God. They oppose God by espousing and behaving in ways that are at odds with God. Why would we ever want to be friends at any level with the world? This is unfaithfulness to the covenant. We are guilty of spiritual adultery when we dress like the world, act like the world, behave like the world, entertain ourselves like the world, etc. . . . . . . . . .
The only way to ensure that we do not even inadvertenly become a friend of the world is to separate ourselves from it. The world is a deadly place spiritually. It will sap you of all your spiritual vigor, discernment, and passion! You will have aligned yourself with the enemy and be unproductive in the work of the great King!
Do you remember the A. W. Tozer quote at the beginning? Let me give it to you again with the rest.
“People think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic. . . . The “worship” growing out of such a view of life is as far off center as the view itself – a sort of sanctified nightclub without the champagne and the dressed-up drunks.”
The whole thing has grown to be so serious that it is now the bound duty of all Christians to reexamine their spiritual philosophy in the light of the Bible. Having discovered the scriptural way, they must follow it, even if to do so, they must separate themselves from much that they had accepted as real, but which now in the light of truth is seen to be false.
A right view of God and the world to come requires that we have a right view of the world in which we live and of our relationship to it. So much depends upon this that we cannot afford to be careless about it.”
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Then it was to work with a hand held grinder with a wire brush. We had started with a file and soon abandoned that for a hand grinder that we bought at a pawn shop. The trailer was solid but with a lot of loose rust that needed to be "knocked off".
And more grinder with a wire brush......
And more grinder with a wire brush......
And more grinder with a wire brush........... It was a lot of work. Daniel did the vast majority of this.
Then it was on with a coat of rust inhibiter/sealer that we bought from the Shrimp Boat Store. It was recommended by the local business that sells paint for automobiles.
Then a coat of primer...........
Paint........new lights..........fenders.........new handle for the crank............
Floor reinstalled..........wheels mounted.......tags bought........road worthy!
It still needs a few little things. Some more flooring and some skirts on the inside of the fenders but we have been using it.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Actually she never did post very much here. I don't think she was very comfortable with my focus being a suitable environment for the kinds of things she was wanting to post.
In her own space she will probably post a bit more and for this I am glad. She has much to offer with her wit and wisdom, her insight and humor. Just go over and visit some of her rabbit trails and you will see what I mean.
I know I have enjoyed hopping down bunny trails with her for almost 25 years now and I am happy to share her with you. Her link is posted in my side bar under blogs, go visit, you will I am sure be delighted over and over again.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
I was troubled by this and posted accordingly. Some of you commented and were also trouble by it. I received another comment on that post just today. I am always surprised when I get notice of a comment on a post from several months back. Not that I mind, I just don't generally anticipate it. I know that there are people who come here for the first time and look around. Ocassionally they comment and I am glad they do.
The nature of the issue at hand has caused me to believe it was worth moving their comment and my response to the head of the list. This is not an unimportant issue. The view expressed by the one who left the comment is an increasingly prevailing opinion and one that I believe spells disaster for the lost!
I was hesitant to do this because most of you may have never went back and seen that exchange and that may be the way the commenter intended it to be. But......they commented anonymously and thus I figured no harm could be done since there was no name attached. They maintain their privacy and I have an opportunity to briefly address an important matter!
So......here is the comment and my response.
I would counter the original post. This is Christians trying to use pop culture to reach those who may otherwise be unreachable. Much of religion is semantics. Many committed Christians from different backgrounds are uncomfortable in other Christian churches due to unfamiliar word use, even though the visitor and church are both following Christ.
To a non-Christian, they have to start somewhere before they can be comfortable enough to listen to the harder stuff. "Homeboy" may come from a gang background, but it does mean "friend" in the most intimate sense. Isn't Jesus to be our intimate friend? If this image calls even one gang member to re-think the role of Jesus, isn't it worth you being a little uncomfortable with an unfamiliar word?
Some of us operate from the theory that you start with Jesus being accessible, then you work toward a full understanding of his Majesty and Power. I came to faith out of a childish understanding that "Jesus loves me, this I know" This shirt simply says, in unfamiliar language to us, "Jesus loves me". Sometimes you have to be a little bit wordly to reach those who walk in the world; then love them into the Lord, rather than judging them.
January 13, 2007 12:00 PM
Pastor McEntire said...
Thanks for commenting! I am glad you felt the liberty to do so. Of course, as I am sure you would anticipate I must respectfully disagree with your arguments and conclusions.
There is a language of the Bible and believers should acquaint themselves with the terminology and meaning. It was God that chose the terms and he did so with purpose.
As for the unbeliever where they need to start is with the law. The Bible says the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The law is especially designed to reveal to people their need of a Saviour. There is nothing in the culture that is designed to do that.
Men must first see Christ as their judge, judging them by his holy law. Then once they have repented and believed on him they can know fellowship with him. To tell a gang member that Christ is his friend is untrue and gives a false sense of security. Christ is his judge and unless he repents of his sin he will suffer the consequences. If he will humble himself and repent then he can know Christ as his friend. According to the bible it is not possible under any other circumstances.
It is the unrepentant sinner who should be uncomfortable. Who in their right mind would not be uncomfortable realizing they have lied, stolen, committed adultery (at least in their heart), dishonored their parents, taken God's name in vain. Then to think they will have to stand before God and give account for their sins. This is a very uncomfortable thought but it is the truth.
Does Jesus love the sinner? Of course he does! He died for sinners. But telling the sinner that Jesus loves them before they even realize that they have offended him in trangressing his law is offering them a cure for a sickness they don't realize they have. They must first be convinced they are sick! They must first be shown that they are undone sinners before a high and holy God. Then and only then will the statement that Jesus loves them have any real meaning.
It would be like if someone told me that President Bush loved me. I would think, "OK, that's nice. "But if they told me that I had committed a serious offence against the law and that when judged I would be found guilty and would have to pay a fine of $1,000,000 and spend 60 years in prison. You know what, I would be fearful and I would be uncomfortable. When they proceeded to tell me that President Bush loves me and he has intervened on your behalf and he has paid your debt and sent his son to prison in your stead to suffer your consequences then his love would mean something. Then I would accept that love.
Sometimes you have to be a little bit wordly to reach those who walk in the world; then love them into the Lord, rather than judging them.
These two statements are patently untrue and can be afforded no biblical support. The Bible never tells us to be worldly to reach those who walk in the world. We are called to be light and salt. We are called to "come out from among them".
We love people by telling them the truth. By explaining their perilous state, not by adopting the gospel to the culture. I do not judge them. God does and they are judged already. The Bible says that those who believe not are condemned already. What I am seeking to do is to warn them of this uncomfortable fact.
You want to take the gospel and make it comfortable to a degenerate society. The Bible's message is that we are to call them to repentance.
I hope you will reconsider your position on this very important matter. Souls are in the balance this very night and need someone to warn them of the wrath to come, not declare to them that Jesus is their homeboy!
January 13, 2007 8:09 PM
Friday, January 12, 2007
"Let me give you a little abridgment of the sufferings of some of the early Christians, "of whom the world was not worthy.
1. In the reign of Hadrian the emperor, there were ten thousand Christians crowned with a crowns of thorns, thrust into the sides with sharp lances, and then crucified.
2. Others were so whipped, that their entrails were seen, and afterwards they were thrown upon sharp shells, and then upon sharp nails and thorns. And after all this cruelty, they were thrown to wild beasts to be devoured.
3. Multitudes were banished.
4. Others were pulled apart with wild horses.
5. Some were beaten and racked with bars of iron.
6. Others were cast into loathsome dungeons.
7. Some were burnt in the fire.
8. Others were knocked down and had their brains beaten out with staves and clubs.
9. Some were pricked in their faces and eyes with sharp reeds.
10. Others were stoned to death with stones, as Stephen was.
11. Some were dashed in pieces against millstones.
12. Others had their teeth dashed out of their jaws, and their joints broken.
13. Some were cast down from very high places.
14. Others were beheaded.
15. Some were tormented with razors.
16. Others were slain with the sword.
17. Some were run through with pikes.
18. Others were driven into the wilderness, where they wandered up and down, suffering hunger and cold, and where they were exposed to the fury both of wild beasts, and also to the rage of the barbarous Arabians.
19. Some fled into caves, which their persecutors crammed up with stones, and there they died.
20. Others were trodden to death by the people.
21. Some were hanged on gibbets with a slow fire under them.
22. Others were cast into the sea and drowned.
23. Some were slain by being thrown in mines.
24. Others were hanged by the feet, and choked with the smoke of a small fire, their legs being first broken.
25. Some were covered with oil, and then roasted with a soft fire.
26. Others were hung by one hand, that they might feel the weight of their whole bodies scorching and broiling over burning coals.
27. Some were shot through with arrows, and afterwards thrown into stinking prisons.
28. Others were stripped stark naked, and thrown out in cold, frosty nights; and burnt the next day.
29. In Syria, a company of Christian virgins were stripped stark naked to be scorned by the multitude, then shaved, and then torn in pieces and devoured by beasts.
30. Lastly, many women had the joints of their bodies pulled from another, and their flesh and sides clawed with talons of wild beasts to the bones, and their breasts seared with torches until they died.
And thus you have an account of thirty different ways by which the precious sons and daughters of God have formerly been afflicted, tormented, and destroyed! What heart of stone can read over this list with dry eyes? And now tell me, sirs, whether your sufferings are worth a naming in that day, wherein the sufferings of the precious servants of God in the primitive times are spoken of? Oh, no! Well then, take heed of making molehills mountains, and of crying out, "Is there any sorrow compared to my sorrow; or any sufferings compared to my sufferings?"