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I might have given away my feelings about Conserative Talk Radio (hereafter CTR) in the title… maybe.

I am not a liberal.  I am not a moderate.  And in the American culture of today, I find it hard to label myself a conservative.

Maybe I will just have to stick with the term “Christian Extremist”.

But anyway, back to the point.

I do not like CTR because it is one of the clearest pictures of moralistic humanism you could ever get.  When men stand up and strongly decry how immoral our nation is becoming, or how wrong Obama’s desicion on this or that was without grounding that morality strongly in the Word of God they end up without fail appealing to the false standards of pragmatic moralistic humanism.

For instance, many of these men will ramble for hours about the current economic system, how horrible socialism will be, how good capitalism is, how nasty the debt crisis is, and almost without fail the grounding of those comments is in how bad things will be for us or our children.   For hours they speak on the evils of Obama and the greatness of Romney, and while brief mention may be made of “conservative christian values” in the end it all boils down to pragmatism.  Obama will hurt this country.  Romney will help it.

A step back may be in order.

America is:

Killing more than one out of four of its children in the womb.

The number 1 exporter of Porn.

Broadcasting its rank secularism to all the other countries in the world thru Hollywood.

Parading its sexual deviancy in the streets and teaching its kids that this is wholesome and good.

Not to say that we have not been blessed and that there are not many great things about our country.  We are very blessed.  God has been good to us.  But this does not excuse the fact that in America is in dire straits morally.

In the midst of all this, the talk show hosts play their little game of blaming the democrats for everything and crowning the republicans as kings of all things good.  They blame Obama, they blame the democrats, they blame this dude or that dame, but all the while the truth is crystal clear.

America is a nation where God has been knocked off the throne  by a people who are starving for sensual pleasure and luxury.  We will not accept responsibility for our own sin.  Our government is a reflection of our people, just as our talk show hosts are a reflection of the humanistic misdirection of conservative America.

A call to repentance that is grounded in God’s word is in order.  This fight cannot be led by polytheists striving for their own planets, but must be led by men of God that know the Word and lay the blame where it is due.  Men who will preach the law of God clearly and without apology till we are doomed, then exalt the good news til God saves!

All too often I get caught up in my day and allow my emotions and “heart” to take me where they will.  Instead of walking in the spirit, taking care to discipline my thoughts and feelings I let them seize control and pilot me wherever they will, inevitably in a sinful and selfish direction.

There is a lot said in scripture about the human heart and none of it is very positive.  It seems when we read thru the bible we see a grand story of God’s amazing works outside of men in the world, but also inside of men and using them.  Whenever a man or woman submits to God and crushes self God uses them in good ways.  Whenever we do it our own way and contribute something original to the picture (sin) we always mar ourselves and the world around us.

Popular culture preaches to us from every corner that we should follow our hearts.  It is amazing how many childrens movies celebrate the young person who rebels against his society and “follows his heart”.  We are so surrounded with false thinking about our hearts that the natural tendency is to loosen our grip on our shields and get swept away in the flow.

If I, as a follower of the Lord, am to walk in holiness there are a couple things I need to see very clearly about my own heart.

Though regenerated my heart is still deeply deceptive and self-oriented.

As Jerry Bridges said, “Even our best works are shot through with sin–with varying degrees of impure motives and lots of imperfect performance.”

If we want to grow as believers, if we want to glorify God in our thoughts we must learn to evaluate our own hearts honestly.  It is not enough just to try to do what feels “good” or “unselfish”.   Our minds are chock full of wrong thinking from many years of hearing lies from the culture surrounding us, not to mention our own conniving hearts trying to look out for number 1.  We must find what is right from a source outside of ourselves and, sadly, Dr. Phil doesn’t cut the mustard.  God’s Word is the only standard we can look to.  Soak in it.  Dig in daily.  There is no other path to reorganizing your mind according to God’s thought patterns.
May the God who saved you give you the strength to heed His commands!

 

Back on! (hopefully)

After a long absence from the blogosphere I am hoping to get back in the game.  For 2 reasons:

1st To tell stories from my life, speak on truth, and share scripture, all with the motivation that those reading will be spurred on towards Christ.

2nd  So that I can by writing semi-regularly build up my ability to do so in a good way, also in so doing it will systematize my disorderly thoughts in an orderly fashion.

Its been too long.   I got engaged, got married, honeymooned and am now back home with my gorgeous wife learning to be a husband.  I have changed, greatly.  God has brought my and mi amor thru some crazy, horrible things that I pray have been and will be used to sanctify us and prepare us for our lives together.  To clarify, I’m not saying my engagement, honeymoon and marriage so far are those horrible things.  🙂  My woman is amazing and it has been great on that front.  Other things, those type of things that are so so hard while in the thick of it, but that bless so much later on, are what I was referring to as crazy and horrible.

As I said, married life has been great.  My wife has to be the greatest thing since canned corn.  🙂  Her continual sacrifice for me is a constant reminder to me of how precious a possession she is, and how great a need there is for me to press into Christ in order to be who she needs.

Work has been steady.  My own business is slowly but steadily growing.   Also I took on a side job as a millwright.  I know you guys dont know what that is…. so…. google it.  🙂

My hope and prayer is to live a life out with my wife where our eyes are on the crucified Son of God and our feet walk His ways.  May we ever glorify Him in all we do!

“Your worst days are never so bad that you’re beyond the reach of God’s grace.  And your best days are never so good that you’re beyond the need of God’s grace.”

Jerry Bridges “The Discipline of Grace”

Overly critical???

This is not a post about an attitude of general criticalness, though it does relate.

This is about our attitude of criticism towards other believers for the “spiritual” things they do.

There are two extremes we can slip into.  On the one hand there are many who are so uncritical that anything they hear or see, they accept as Gospel Truth and as a result are blown about “with every wind of doctrine”.  Then there are those whose minds are like brick walls.  They attack everything and claim to have a monopoly on truth.

Going into personal experience here for a sec, I believe I can see God working on me in this area in the past few years.  I remember how hard I was on other believers in my thoughts in the past.  I remember constantly critiquing them, their prayers, their preaching, their lives.  I thought I could do everything so much better.  A good dose of reality, the reality of my own failure drug me out of a lot of that, though it is and probably always will be a struggle.

And then we can take the young woman whom I am courting as an example for a bit (I pray she will forgive me for this).  A little back, as she recounted it to me, she used to tend much more towards the side of accepting whatever came down the pike without analyzing it carefully.  Since then, she has matured greatly and attempts to think more about what she sees and hears in the light of scripture.

Two types of people can be imagined here.  Mr. Blown-About and Mr. Critical.

Mr. Blown-About will face the challenge of a great lack of growth because he has no focus to grow towards.  As every new thing comes down the pike he latches on and that is everything…. until something newer comes.  This is repeated ad nauseum and Mr. Blown-About is exactly at the same spiritual depth as he was ten years ago.  Shallow.

Mr. Critical will face the same challenge of a lack of growth, but in a different sense then his counterpart.  His critical spirit will not allow him to see when he can learn and grow from something different.  Mr. Critical will stay in stasis because, after all, the old way is the best way and boy, does he know the old way!

Both of these men will not grow.  How can we get around their shortcomings and grow?

I am convinced there is no answer other than that of a firm commitment to God’s Word.  When we dive in the word we find two answers.  First, that in the word there is a sure guide, a solid guide and that all must bow to its teaching.  Thus we will interpret all we hear through the grid of scripture vigilantly.  But second, we will see ourselves as the scriptures see us, as fallible beings that can learn from each other how to better understand that word.  Thus we will seek to find ways to understand scripture better as we listen to and view our fellow brothers and sisters.

There is no sure fountainhead of truth other than scripture and all in our lives must bow to this.  But our understanding of that Word can be faulty and a sense of humility should be present.

So, we must be critical, but humbly critical, not thinking that our ways are the best, but always trying to seek Christ’s ways in His word.  There is not surefire method to this.  Just honest seeking of the truth.

 

Just a few short remarks to clarify.  What Francis Schaeffer says below is not a comprehensive analysis of what the scripture says to this topic.  Much more could be said.  However it is very clear and to the point and in my opinion quite thought-provoking.
I may write further on this topic but that will have to come later.  Till I see you next, keep glorifying the Lord of glory!

Begin Francis Schaeffer quote:

If every little baby that was ever born anywhere in the world had a tape recorder hung about its neck, and if this tape recorder only recorded the moral judgments with which this child as he grew bound other men, the moral precepts might be much lower than the biblical law, but they would still be moral judgments.

Eventually each person comes to that great moment when he stands before God as judge. Suppose, then, that God simply touched the tape recorder button and each man heard played out in his own words all those statements by which he had bound other men in moral judgment. He could hear it going on for years—thousands and thousands of moral judgments made against other men, not aesthetic judgments, but moral judgments.

Then God would simply say to the man, though he had never head the Bible, now where do you stand in the light of your own moral judgments? The Bible points out . . . that every voice would be stilled. All men would have to acknowledge that they have deliberately done those things which they knew to be wrong. Nobody could deny it.

We sin two kinds of sin. We sin one kind as though we trip off the curb, and it overtakes us by surprise. We sin a second kind of sin when we deliberately set ourselves up to fall. And no one can say he does not sin in the latter sense. Paul’s comment is not just theoretical and abstract, but addressed to the individual—”O man”—any man without the Bible, as well as the man with the Bible.

. . . God is completely just. A man is judged and found wanting on the same basis on which he has tried to bind others.

—Francis Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, 2d ed. (Crossway, 1985), pp. 49-50.

Consider the principles set forth in Romans 2:

1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? . . .

14 . . . When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

God Is Sovereign Over . . .

Seemingly random things:

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:33)

The heart of the most powerful person in the land:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

Our daily lives and plans:

A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . . Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Salvation:

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:15-16)

As many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

Life and death:

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. (1 Samuel 12:6)

Disabilities:

Then the LORD said to [Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11)

The death of God’s Son:

Jesus, [who was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23)

For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28)

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief. . . . (Isaiah 53:10)

Evil things:

Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it? (Amos 3:6)

I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. . . . “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 1:21-22; 2:10)

[God] sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. . . . As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Psalm 105:17; Genesis 50:21)

All things:

[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will. (Ephesians 1:11)

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3)

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35)

This was borrowed from Tim Challies, who borrowed it from our King.

Christian Audio is giving away the book “Knowing God” by J. I. Packer for the month of January.  This is a great book, a definite classic.  I would highly recommend it, and you cant find a better price than free.