C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Comment Policy: No profanity or blasphemy will be posted. You do not have to agree, but if you would like your comment posted, you will have to adhere to the policy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How One May View Miracles

It has been a while since I have visited an atheist’s blog I used to stop by more frequently, but today I decided to venture over to see what was new at Atheist Revolution. Today’s post is entitled ‘How Miracles Work’.

The author references the incident in Florida of the tractor-trailer which rear-ended a school bus carrying 21 children, where Frances M. Schee, age 13, was tragically killed.

The author (atheist) states: ‘Evidently, this is how miracles work. An innocent child dies and others survive.’

The Christian (Jim Yancey) states: ‘This was a tragedy, but it's also a miracle…We're lucky one person got out of there alive.’

So, How One May View Miracles seems to be the old half-full/half-empty glass of water thought. It is comparative in our nature to believe it was indeed a miracle of God, because ‘We're lucky one person got out of there alive,’ but seemingly just as easy to discount it as a miracle of God because ‘An innocent child dies and others survive.’

The author does ask a valid question, ‘What do you think the parents of the dead 13-year-old girl thought when they read your quote in the local paper, Superintendent?’ But only the parents themselves can answer that.

Now, according to the article and Atheist Revolution, the superintendent’s quotes were, ‘This was a tragedy, but it's also a miracle’ and ‘We're lucky one person got out of there alive.’

I don’t know the parents of Frances M. Schee personally, but I fail to see how they would have a problem with what Jim Yancey said. It was indeed a tragedy for the loss of Frances M. Schee, yet clearly a miracle that the other children were rescued.

I would also question the use of the quote ‘But not to save the sweet, innocent, 13-year-old little girl who died. God must have put her near the flames for a reason just like he made the truck driver use his cell phone at the perfect moment’ assumingly credited to James Horton by the writer of The Stubborn Curmudgeon. I searched, but could not find such a quote or reference to ‘(CITRA, Fla.) TSC Newswire’ where the quote apparently is sited from. Possibly the writer of the blog is making a point, and it is not actually the words of James Horton.

To discount the rescue to dwell on the loss seems overly trying to make a point that doesn’t hold water. I’ll return to my thought: It is comparative in our nature to believe it was indeed a miracle of God, because ‘We're lucky one person got out of there alive,’ but seemingly just as easy to discount it as a miracle of God because ‘An innocent child dies and others survive.’

It is quite normal for the spiritual to see the miracle and the natural to discount it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does Scripture Hinder a Woman from Political Office?

After reading my posts entitled, Gospel Today Gets Adult Magazine Treatment, covering the topic of women pastors, a friend of mine then asked me the following:

‘I haven't seen any blog posts from you on whether or not it's good to have a woman running for Vice President. Do you have an opinion?’

I am not sure if I have made up my mind on a definite answer as of yet, but let’s consider the following…

Woman: Creation
Eve, the first woman, was created by God from the rib of the first man, Adam. The precedence of marriage was set forth here with God bringing Eve unto Adam. Thus it was written, ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Woman: The Fall
Adam and Eve decided to taste the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, of which God had commanded against. Because of their disobedience, each received punishment from God. Eve’s judgment was, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Woman: Marriage and the Home
By the account of Creation we see the man is to cleave unto his wife, and by the account of The Fall we see the man is to rule over his wife. We also see at creation, woman was created for ‘the man’ and was to be a ‘help meet’ for ‘him’. The younger women are asked to ‘marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully,’ and the ‘aged women’ are to ‘teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.’ We further find the idea of marriage, having the man love the wife and the wife submitting to the man, found in the similitude of Christ and the church.

Woman: Church
Most probably know the verses which say, ‘Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.’ We also find such scriptures as, ‘Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection’ and ‘I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ My second post to this blog was concerning women in the church, and there was some good discussion concerning the topic. It would probably be better if one were interested to visit that posting than for me to try and explain the entire discussion here.

Woman: Political Office
There are plenty more scripture we could visit, but this should suffice for the present. We must remember in such a discussion we are not deciding whether a woman is inferior or worth less than a man, for what we find are the roles of men and women here in scripture. Our roles have been set forth by God based on his choice, not on our worth, for He indeed called woman a ‘help meet’ for the man, not a lesser. From what I gather, I am not sure the scriptures directly reject the serving of a woman in a political office over men in the secular world, though I believe it does speak clearly as to whether that should be her goal or desire.

From scripture, it would appear that a woman’s first desire after serving God should be her husband, then her children and her home. It is also clear from scripture that the woman is not to rebel against her husband. Something which is so important that scripture says, ‘ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.’ We also find that a woman is not to usurp authority over a man, which could be reference to just within the church, but would this even be wise in the secular world?

So, from the above, we can conclude, that a woman is not to be over the man, but in subjection to, when it comes to the home and the church for sure. This would seem to include both material and spiritual matters of both. We don’t need to take this to the legalistic extreme, but we do need to remember our example is Christ and the church. Notice the woman is able to care for the home and the children, for the man does trust her to do what is wise, though it is the man who is required to make the final decision if both are not agreed.

Therefore, I assume we are left with the following questions:

If a woman’s desire is to God, husband, child(ren), and home, would she have time left to care for the worries of political office? I mean, the man is called upon to support the family not the wife, and President or Vice President is not the same as a part-time or 9 to 5 job. I am not here advocating that a woman cannot work outside of the home, and this post has become rather lengthy already to tackle that avenue here.

If a woman is not to rule over man in the home or in the church, is it wise for a woman to seek or man to give woman an office which will put her in authority over men? She would not be usurping authority, but men would then be in subjection to her. Again, we are not discussing whether a woman can do the job, but whether it is wise or right for one to do so, according to scripture.

Possibly it all comes down to a heart issue as do all things. Why does the woman seek the office, and why does man desire to have her lead?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gospel Today Gets Adult Magazine Treatment

Apparently making reference to Hillary’s cracks and Palin’s shattering of a glass ceiling, the Gospel Today hits stores with headlines such as ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling.’ Included in such a headline is the topic ‘Female Pastors’ and such is why the magazine has found its way from the store front to under the counter. Like those ‘adult’ magazines that are usually out-of-sight and should be out-of-mind, this issue of Gospel Today has seemingly been pulled from the shelves and either removed or must be asked for hidden behind the counter.

The problem is not with the individuals themselves (meaning the 5 women), but Scripture and the office they claim to hold in the church. The magazine could have chosen any other women who also consider themselves pastors to place on the cover, and the results of Southern Baptists would have been the same. So, it is not the individual, but the claim.

When considering the idea of whether or not a woman should run for public office, etc. that is somewhat different from that of one claiming to desire the office of pastor of a church. There are some who believe a woman should never hold an office giving them authority over a man, whereas some believe it is in church where the woman cannot hold certain offices but can hold offices outside of the church such as political, etc. Though, I will not be considering these at present, for the article is based on women holding the office of pastor in a church and whether such is biblically or unbiblically founded.

We must also realize that we are not saying that God cannot or does not use women to further the gospel or minister to people, nor are we saying women are lower and less important than men. What we must understand is that when it comes to Scripture and the local churches made of those who profess Christ, the Scripture must be our guide and any variance leads us to sin.

Scripture declares full well the qualifications for both a bishop (pastor) and a deacon. Both in respect are given clear meaning that each is to be a man, for they are to be ‘the husband of one wife’. Regardless of ones conviction to the meaning of ‘the husband of one wife’ there is a surety that no woman can ever be ‘the husband of one wife.’

It is quite spiritually immature on the part of any Christian to claim men that still hold to Scripture on this issue are being sexist or unfair to women. There are no biblical grounds whereby these qualifications maybe dismissed or overruled to allow such corruption to work its way into the local church or Church body as a whole.

Such references to Chloe and Deborah do show God using women, but fails to give any creditability that Scripture allows a woman to hold the office of a pastor or deacon. There is no reason to get into a debate over the word ‘servant’ and such in the Greek, because no matter what conclusion one may choose, we are still left with the Scripture declaring in Acts 6, 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1 such offices must be filled by men.

I would also like to ponder the thought of Chris Turner’s (a spokesman for Lifeway Resources) comment ‘It is contrary to what we believe.’ If that be the case and reason for pulling the magazine from the shelves of Lifeway book stores, then surely they have created a ‘committee’ (pun intended) to search all the literature and rid the stores of all non Southern Baptist teachings.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Appeasing the Monkey

Is this article for real?

Is the Church of England, according to Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, apologizing to Darwin, 126 years after his death, basically stating that the church was incorrect to trust the Bible over Darwin’s misconceptions of creation?

Oh my, how far man has bowed to appease the monkey.

note: 'monkey' is not a reference to Darwin himself.

Ray Boltz: ‘tired of living a lie’

I was recently shown an article by the Washington Blade Online, and was somewhat disappointed by the content. I am saddened for a few reasons:

First, there is never any joy (or shouldn’t be) in hearing the stories of Christians who falter from the faith (i.e. Scripture), for whatever reason. All of Christianity is made of men and women, along with boys and girls, who claim to profess Christ as their Lord and Savior, yet are not perfect. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and working of God, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are to strive to do that which is right according to Scripture even in the face of opposition, emotion, and/or personal preference that may be contrary to such.

Second, when a person sins in private, the repentance usually remains in private. When a person sins in public, it may require public confession and repentance. When the sin of a Christian of prominence comes to the light, it often (if not always) draws even the attention of those that find no fault with such.

Christianity is usually dealt blows from without, though it is not the fault of Christianity, but of the one whom chooses to act outside of the wisdom of Scripture. Christianity holds to a certain set of convictions (though some men have confounded and twisted the Truth), and when one chooses to step out of the narrow way, it is not Christianity which fails, but the one whom chooses to drift from it. One is forgiven when we come back to Christianity (God and His Word), not by dwelling in sin, refusing to depart such, demanding God accept us while we live rejecting all that He says and is.

Third, it simply amazes me at the ease that many Christians are seemingly able to accuse and blame God for their sins, even when their choices go contrary to the very Word of God. Adam did the same thing in the Garden of Eden. When confronted with his sin of eating of the forbidden tree, Adam contended, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ True, God had given Adam the woman. True, Eve had given Adam the fruit. Though both of these were true, Adam’s guilt lay completely within his choice to disobey God and eat that which was forbidden.

Why do we as Christians desire justification of our sin, by trying to find ways around Scripture, by blaming others, or receiving so-called ‘pardon’ by those also opposing such Scripture (whatever the sin), rather than repentance of our sin where the fellowship with God may not be hindered but increased, and our faith in walking with the Lord strengthened? Why are we worried about our acceptance by man more so than by God? Do we not know that our approval by man does not justify us before God, especially if we are found to be embracing sin over His Word?

It is true that one can live a lie; one can be a hypocrite, claiming to profess Christ as Lord and Savior, while neither loving nor serving Him with their heart, soul, mind, and strength. But, one can also live a lie by claiming God will accept them in their sin; for a Holy God will not, but has called us to repentance that we may be forgiven.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who Art Thou, Oh Son of Perdition

In 2 Thessalonians 2 we have Paul speaking of the time of the expected return of Jesus Christ. Paul mentions that such will not come ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.’ Many believe this is the Antichrist to come.

Some have found the use of ‘the son of perdition’ by Paul in his description of such a one somewhat interesting. Paul says here in 2 Thessalonians 2 that this Wicked is ‘the son of perdition’ ‘whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.’

In Revelation 17, Scripture speaks of a beast, one which ‘was, and is not, and yet is.’ This beast, the Antichrist, ‘shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.’ Notice it is declared unto John, this beast was in the past, is not in the present, yet will be in the future. So, apparently, this one which is to come has been beforetime, yet is not presently on the earth. But, we know with a surety this is not Christ Jesus, for this one cometh from ‘the bottomless pit’ ‘whose coming is after the working of Satan’ ‘to make war with the saints.’

Interestingly, the description ‘son of perdition’ is only used concerning one other person in Scripture. In John 17:12, Christ Himself declares, ‘While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.’

The one of whom Christ spoke was Judas Iscariot, the very betrayer, of whom Christ also declared was ‘a devil’ [John 6]. Interestingly, when Christ spoke to the Pharisees [John 8], He proclaimed ‘Ye are of your father the devil,’ but for Judas He claimed was a devil himself.

Revelation says this one ‘shall ascend out of the bottomless pit.’ We know from Scripture that this pit, hell, must have compartments. Debatable maybe by some the story of the rich man and Lazarus, along with Christ’s descending to the heart of the earth, but we also have mentioned the fallen angels bound by chains in 2 Peter 2 and Jude, and of Christ preaching to the spirits in prison in 1 Peter 3.

Noteworthy, when it comes to Judas Iscariot, Scripture says he went to ‘his own place.’ In fact, it says, ‘Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’ [Acts 1]

Satan used Judas once before, is it possible that he may use Judas once again?

I am not claiming I know Judas Iscariot will ascend from his own place, from the bottomless bit, by the power of Satan to take the form of the Antichrist, but I sure do find some of these things quite interesting.

I believe Clarence Larkin makes mention of some of these things in his book on Revelation.

What say ye?

Clarence Larkin's thoughts, here.
AW Pink's thoughts, here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Big Bucks - Big Guesses - Big Bang Machine

Apparently, 'At 12:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, scientists on the Franco-Swiss border will flip the switch on the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile underground ring where subatomic particles will be accelerated to astonishing speeds and then smashed into each other.' [article]

I couldn’t help but think of the following clip from Men in Black, when I read this article:

Do they hope to create a little universe within this machine, so they can play as a god? I sure hope it doesn’t 'create a black hole or strange self-replicating particle that will gobble up the Earth.' But, just maybe, 'we should expect visitors from the future to arrive soon after it goes into operation.'



Update: 9/22

Ooops, a few problems... http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,425669,00.html

'It then causes the protons to collide, revealing how the tiniest particles were first created after the "big bang," which many theorize was the massive explosion that formed the stars, planets and everything.'

Really? I think they forgot to write 'revealing how [some believe] the tiniest particles were first created...'

Purity: A Virtuous Choice

Apparently, according to this article, at the MTV Music Video Awards, Russell Brand thought it would be somewhat cute to make fun of those persons that would rather keep their virginity for their future spouse, than to lose their purity by taking part in promiscuous sin.

I believe those who make the choice to flee youthful lusts, whether they wear a purity ring or not, should be commended as showing a desire to keep themselves pure. So, I am glad to see that others, such as Jordin Sparks also at the MTV Music Video Awards, voiced, in her own words, not everyone wishes to dwell in fornication.

I find it interesting that there are some, apparently even in the ‘professional’ field, which not only wish to discredit and shutdown abstinence classes, but also wish to talk down of those that have personally chosen to make virginity pledges. Almost seemingly claiming, ‘Ah, they want last.’

How has the human mind become so perverted that they have come to believe that ‘safe sex’ is better that virginity? Any virgin can lose their purity at anytime, but those in fornication can never regain their virgin purity. Does such make them jealous, and therefore lash out at those who were able to control themselves more so that they?

The fact is, if persons would hold dear their virginity until marriage, there would be no out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The problem is not, ‘does abstinence work,’ for it does. The problem is with boys and girls, men and women not staying true to purity, but giving themselves over to the lustful thoughts of their hearts.

And let it be noted, that those who have aforetime lost their virginity, this does not mean they cannot now live a life of purity till or in marriage. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but there is forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Don’t look to the darkness of your past, but to the brightness of your future!

Purity is a virtuous choice, one that must be decided before we find ourselves in a situation, and one that must be strengthened by the power of God working in and through us. Don’t let lust take your purity, save it for your future spouse; whereby, you may give unto them a treasure you have kept just for them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

All Tangled Up In Hair

I couldn’t help but find this hilarious when I read it:

“It’s about 20 years out of date,” said Boston stylist Mario Russo of the Alaska governor’s ’do. “Which goes to show how off she might be on current events.”

This whole article from the Boston Herald regarding Alaska governor Sarah Palin makes no sense whatsoever. So, if one doesn’t submit their hair color, style, type to the stylist Mario Russo they might not be up to date on current events? Maybe they just aren’t tossed to and fro with every new fade that pops up its little head, here today gone tomorrow, in our society.

Interestingly, another says, “It gives me the impression that she just washed her hair, pays attention to the front and throws up the back in a bun,” said Belmont stylist Leon De Magistris. Yeah, but we know if she spent hours fixing her hair, one would be able to find those that claims she would be too vain and spend too much time on herself and not the country.

Good grief people, if one is going to look at what is important in candidates for President and Vice President, I say give yourself a make-over and worry about other issues when it comes to the people on the ballot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

So Long Hurricane Gustav...

...I just got power back at my house a few minutes ago (9/2, 10pm).

Central is pretty dark with most of the people without power, unless you have a generator. Also, we must have lost some cell towers because it is hit and miss trying to call someone with my cell phone; although I can text and my internet on my iPhone worked when I did get a signal. Some of the land lines are having trouble calling out and reaching them too. I heard BR got it worse, but I haven't been back to work yet. The power is still out so it may be Thursday before I go back. Also, the schools are closed till next Monday.

At first glance, in my neighborhood it didn't look too bad, but after driving around it is a lot worse that we saw with Katrina here, not sure about NO and such. Some of us from church went to help an elderly couple move their furniture to higherground, apparently the Comite is rising and it will flood their neighborhood; and in the past they have gotten up to 32 inches of water inside of their home.

A friend of mine in Alexandria said they were getting it pretty bad and they were helping tranlsate Spanish at the hospital at Tall Timbers, but I haven't been able to text or call them last night or today.

Heard there are a couple of more storms out there, so I guess we better stay prepared.

Have I changed my mine about the 'prophecy' of the last post? No.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.