Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Christian Thought: Commentary on the State of the American Church

Commentary on the State of the American Church
JLF81 gives a quick but telling little summary of the so-called movers and shakers of Christianity in America.
I wonder if George Whitefield would make the All-Time list?

Old Walter Writes - Some Thoughts on Divorce

From a letter by Walter to Grace Fellowship Church....

“...Agree to never talk about some things. Really, only one thing comes to my mind... and that is the D-word. Mrs. Walter and I have never discussed, even in jest, the idea of divorce. We never joke about it, threaten it, think about it or talk about it. We decided early on that death would be the only thing to separate us.

Now that does something to you! If you walk into a marriage with some ridiculous “escape clause,” you are inviting division! Old Charlie McIntyre used to talk so much about how everything was going to go wrong it almost always did... for him! If he’d of just kept at has task and worried about pleasing the Lord more than what troubles might beset him, he’d have lived a happier and no doubt longer life.

I read once of a sea captain who cut loose his own lifeboats so as to keep his men on board ship while they passed some tropical islands. Those sailors were tempted to sneak off to what looked like greener pastures when there was a way to get there. Once them lifeboats were gone, they were focused on the task and kept to their duties. A couple needs to take out the slightest thought of slinking off on a lifeboat to some supposed Tahiti. Some folks treat divorce like a lifeboat to happier shores. Cut it loose and get on with loving yours. Life will always be better if you stick together and grow in the Lord...”

You can read the whole letter here.

My Two Cents on "the Spear Controversy"

I posted this comment on both challies.com and Between Two Worlds... and still I post again! I think it is worth considering though.


This may sound repetitive, but I still go back to the idea that this is an item of conscience. I am not convinced that either “side” can make an air-tight case for their arguments. I have read both strings (challies.com and Between Two Worlds), and it seems to me that there are really only a few concrete facts to consider.
1. The movie is about Christians.
2. A homosexual advocate plays one of those Christians.
3. The film is produced by a quasi-evangelical company (although I am not so clear on that).
In issues like this one, it our duty to think in the realm of revealed truth (“true Truth”) and ask of the Biblical text which Scriptures inform our decision as to whether or not to watch the film. Reading through the comments, some Scriptures are mentioned, but there is very little in the way of direct application (i.e. Paul did not write to the Ephesians a screening guide for films). That being said, our opinions on whether we should watch or not are perhaps better made in the closet than the blogosphere.
“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:4-5).
If a man is convinced that he can watch the film to the glory of God, I am not convinced we have a right to condemn him. If our watching of the film is going to cause undue consternation in our friends’ lives, then perhaps we should skip it – and maybe even do something like pray together instead! 
It seems to me that the worst thing that could happen is that our endorsement or rejection would harm the unity we share in Christ.

Tim wrote a gracious reply here and clarified some things too.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Weighing the Word: What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Series Explanation

Romans 9:30-33
Every person must answer this question correctly, otherwise they risk an eternity of punishment in hell.
Paul summarizes almost all of Romans 1-9 in 9:30-10:5. He answers this most pressing question – what must a person do to be right with God? The answer is singular, but has 5 layers to it as Paul describes it.
1. You must attain a perfect righteousness.
Our problem is that we are not righteous (“no not one!”) and we must be so if we are to stand uprightly before God. The Bible is clear that this is the problem – it is also clear as to what is the solution – the righteousness of God! What a great God! He makes His own righteousness available to all people by sending His Son to live a perfect life and die a perfect death. Perfect righteousness is available!!
2. You must abandon all attempts at making yourself righteous by your good works.
The perfect righteousness of God does not come to us by works, but by faith. Faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is not a work, rather it is the empty hands of a broken sinner crying out to God to save him. And save He does! The problem with most people is that they are trusting in their good deeds to make themselves right with God – but these deeds are like painting with water – they only worsen the problem even though they might offer some temporary covering.

3. You must believe on Jesus Christ.
He is the only Saviour the world will ever know. If there is the slightest hint of trusting in “Jesus and....” then we have missed the mark. The only way to be saved is to put your trust for alien righteousness in the person of Jesus Christ.

When you stand before God in the Judgment Day, what will you plead? Christ or works? There is only one right answer.

[Edit: 1/17 - Forgot to include the audio link here.]