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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Were I To Define A Christian

The following is from a letter by John Newton.

"Were I to define a Christian, or rather to describe him at large, I know of no text I would choose, sooner than Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

A Christian has noble aims--which distinguish him from the bulk of mankind. His leading principles, motives, and desires--are all supernatural and divine. Could he do as he desires--there is not a angel before the Eternal Throne, that would excel him in holiness, love, and obedience! He would tread in the very footsteps of his Savior, fill up every moment of time in His service, and employ every breath in His praise!

This he would do--but, alas! he cannot! Against these spiritual desires, there is a contrary desire and working of a corrupt nature, which meets him at every turn! He has a beautiful copy set before him in the Scriptures--he is enamored with it, and though he does not expect to equal it, he writes carefully after it, and longs to attain to the nearest possible imitation. But indwelling sin and Satan continually jog his hand, and spoil his strokes!

Therefore, the most spiritual and gracious people confess themselves as vile and worthless! One eminent branch of our holiness, is a sense of shame and humiliation for those evils which are only known to ourselves, and to Him who searches our hearts!

In proportion as the Lord enables you to live more simply upon the blood, righteousness, and grace of the Mediator--you will possess a more stable peace. The nearer you are brought to Him--the more lively sense you will have of your vileness and worthlessness; and your continual need of Him. Thereby your admiration of His power, love, and compassion, will increase from year to year."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where Did All The Money Go?

My 18 year old son asked me this question yesterday. We have had several lessons in economics over the last week or so. Truly this is the essence of homeschooling. My 18 year old, who graduated earlier this year, may not realize that he placed himself back in the classroom by asking that question.

I answered the question and then today I find a headline: All That Money You've Lost_Where Did It Go?

I am happy to report that as the teacher I provided a pretty decent explanation.

For those of you who may be wondering the same thing this article provides a good, easily understood, explanation.

Daniel, read this!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Narrow Way Made Broad

Matthew 7:13,14 - Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Last night Bro. Sanchez preached a fine message from these two verses contrasting the nature of these two ways. As he was preaching the Holy Spirit was arousing my attention concerning another area where I believe these verses have application.

Jesus clearly establishes the fact that there are two gates and two ways. One gate is wide the other straight. One way is broad the other narrow. The wide gate opens onto the broad way and leads to destruction. The straight gate opens onto the narrow way and leads to life. There are many who live life in the broad way. There are few who find the narrow way.

It is an unfortunate development over the last several decades that churches have taken the narrow way and sought to broaden it out. They have taken the straight gate and sought to widen it. All of this because of a discontent with the few and an inordinate desire for the many. Churches who take seriously their responsibility of being the ambassador of Christ in the world will go to great pains to ensure the clear distinction between the wide and straight gate and the broad and narrow way.

Admittedly I pastor a small church. Admittedly I would like to pastor a large church, but not at the expense of making the narrow way broad. If our church grows I want it to be because we are calling men to repentance not because we are providing a worldly venue wrapped in Christian language.

The growing chorus even in Baptist churches is come join us you don't really have to change that much. You can listen to the same music with Christian? lyrics. No one will challenge you about your entertainment choices, your dress, your language, your hair length, come on over you do not have to leave the world to accept Christ. Come as you are has effectively become stay as you are.

No need to leave the broad way we will simply restructure it and call it christian liberty.

This has become the temptation as the size of a congregation has become the primary standard of determining success. Instead of striving for a better group many are striving for a bigger group. We should remember what Jesus said about the narrow way. Few there be that find it! And the reason is because they do not want it. So, instead of calling them to repentance and warning of the certain destruction to come we give all of our attention to widening the gate and broadening the way.

If people do not find themselves on a narrow way being travelled by few how can they be certain that they are not still on the broad way that leads to destruction? I am afraid the devil has discovered that it would be effective to add a lane, call it Christian liberty, let people transition to the lane all the while still going in the same direction. No need to repent just change lanes!

There is a broad way and a narrow way. They are distinct. One is crowded the other is lonely. Everyone is on one or the other. Everyone is headed for destruction with the multitude or life with the few.

What about you?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Vacuum Of Leadership

The debate last night was as boring as it gets. The reason is that neither of these men are leaders. McCain probably use to be, Obama never has been. McCain has been in the Senate too long and developed an affinity for compromise. If I hear McCain say one more time how he is known for "reaching across the aisle" I think I am going to scream. Every time I hear him say this I have to remind myself why I am likely to vote for him. I feel quite certain I will not be happy with either man as President. I would simply be less happy with Obama.

Obama said health care was a "right". Well he is wrong! If he thinks health care is a right he is a dangerous man. When I listen to these debates I listen for elements of their answers that will give me insight into their philosophy of government and liberty. McCain does not totally have it right, Obama has it completely wrong. What else does he believe is a "right"? I would have followed that question up with, is owning a car a "right? What about being able to eat out occasionally? What about being able to take a yearly vacation? Is owning a home a "right". Considering his involvement in the sub-prime lending fiasco I think we know where he stands there. Of course his view is since it is a right and if you do not have the money to pay for it then government will pay for it. Of course he fails to tell us that government does not generate one penny of income. All government does is redistribute income. But this is a notion with which he is completely comfortable. So he "crows" about his willingness to increase the tax burden on those making over something like $225,000 a year. Well, I don't make anywhere near that but neither do I think those who do should have their tax burden increased in order to provide for the "rights" Obama seems to think everyone has. I say let them keep more of their money. Of course Biden his running mate thinks the definition of patriotism is paying more taxes. Try to tell that to the men who affixed their names to the bottom of the Declaration of Independence!

Most of the questions last night were sickening. A good number of them were basically, "In light of the present financial crisis what are you going to do for me?" I have a question for all the people who ask such questions, "What are you going to do for yourself?"

Senator McCain tries so hard to stay positive. Senator McCain a little advice, you have to beat Obama to become President. Go after him with all you've got. Don't lie about him, don't make stuff up, but press the issues. His judgment, his associations, his votes and statements taken in context should be enough to consign him to the trash heap of would be Presidents. Senator McCain please send him there. If you are the old soldier then please set aside you senatorial robes take up arms and defeat this man for the good of the country. Senator McCain in your own words put "country first."

Another idea that would shake things up considerably and be fun to watch and could possibly ensure a win in November is for you to announce that you are sending Governor Palin to the next debate. This would reveal her competence, highlight his incompetence, the American people like her, and she is a better debater than you.

I will be casting my vote against Obama!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Whatever Happened To Winning?

All of the talk about bi-partisanship is a farce of the first rank. We keep being told the American people are tired of all the rancour in politics. I don't believe it. Americans are tired of others standing in the way of having their agendas move forward. This is true of liberals and conservatives.

But......why is it that in a spirit of bi-partisanship conservatism always seems to take a hit?

I don't want to vote for someone who is going to Washington to reach across the isle. I want to vote for someone who will go to Washington to win, to beat the opposition. I am convinced they need to be defeated.

McCain wants us to believe he is a leader well then start leading and quit trying to build consensus. Let the liberals be offended at your intentions to win the political battles with or without them.

I am fed up with all the cheesy, yellow, self-serving politicians.

Excuse my rant!