Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Parable of the Lawless Judge

"Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?'" John 18:39.

     There was a murderer who stood trial before the chief of judges.  During the case, it was proven that the murderer had continually lied.  He had lied before the murder, to lure his victim.  He had lied during the investigation and he changed his story, back and forth during the trial.  After all the testimony the chief judge deliberated and came back with his verdict.
     He quickly announced that the defense was incompetent and that the murderers alibi and story were not believable.  The family of the victim jumped for joy as their hearts yearned righteously for the justice soon to be delivered upon the evil doer.  As their feet hit the ground their faces fell even lower as they heard the chief judge announce, "Your alibi does not work, here is one that does though.  The chief judge explained the new alibi and told the murderer, "Be on your way."
     This is reminiscent of what happened to Jesus before Pilate.  The chief priests had no case against the Son of God.  What is more, Jesus' testimony was flawless.  Pilate admitted that he found no fault whatsoever in Jesus Christ.  The story ends the same.  Both corrupt judges freed a murderer and spit upon truth and the rule of law.
     Praise be to God, that what happened to Jesus was for our salvation.  His death brings our life as we surrender to Him, confessing we are sinners incapable of pleasing a Holy God apart from the atoning death of His perfect Son.  Truth was crucified by a corrupt judge, who feared the mob and despised God.  As Christians, in this dark day where the rule of law is a thing of the past, we must remember that truth is a man, the God man, Jesus Christ.  In Him we have no condemnation no matter what court or corrupt judge on this earth passes down.  The world is blinded today and truth, little t, is dead.  All praise to God that Truth, with a big T, rose from the grave on the 3rd day and he will one day judge those who passed down lawless decrees.
    God bless you and live, learn and love the gospel!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book Review of Francis Schaeffer, "The God Who Is There"

     "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM..."

     Francis A. Schaeffer lived in a tumultuous day and time.  He has been dead now for almost 30 years yet his prophetic witness lives on.  A prophet is one who boldly proclaims the word of God, regardless of circumstance and Schaeffer certainly fit that bill.  Imagine the joy I had when I discovered that I could order The Francis Schaeffer Trilogy, free of charge.  Well, I read the first book of the trilogy, "The God Who Is There" and this is a book I should have read many years ago.
     Schaeffer explains the modern mans dilemma and how Christianity is the only unified system of belief and life that can make any sense out of any of our problems.  Schaeffer states that the elites of modern society (cultural leaders in the arts, music, theology etc.) have come to a presupposition, basic understanding, that is unlivable and destructive.  This unlivable system of thought(presupposition) was arrived at by synthesizing various contradictory beliefs and building an untenable philosophy.  One prominent example Schaeffer sites is that of the composer John Cage.  Cage believed that blind chance was the motivating factor in all of life so he composed his music with a flip of a coin and what emerged was a cacophonous din.  Sometimes he tossed the coin thousands of times for a piece of music, Schaeffer reported.  Yet the contradiction in Cages presupposition occurs when it came to his favorite hobby: mushrooms.  Mushrooms can be deadly poisonous if someone does not know which one to pick.  Cage did not leave this to chance.  In fact, this is what he said, "I became aware that if I approached mushrooms in the spirit of my chance operations, I would die shortly.  So I decided that I would not approach them in this way!"
     Schaeffer proposes that when we are in a discussion with people, we must force them to own up to their presuppositions and their fatal implications.  We must make them eat their own mushrooms so to speak and then we can share the truth of the gospel with them.  Only Jesus Christ, the God who is there in time and space for all eternity can make any sense of our world.  Schaeffer stresses that Christianity is the only faith that really exists in history and in time and makes sense of the tragedies and suffering in this world.
     I'll end this brief review of Schaeffer's excellent book in his own words.  "The Christian system is consistent as no other system that has ever been.  It is beautiful beyond words, because it has that quality that no other system completely has-you begin at the beginning , and you can go to the end.  It is as simple as that.  And every part and portion of the system can be related back to the beginning."
     God bless you and live, learn and love the gospel of our blessed Savior.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cool Is Stupid and So Am I

"Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him," 1John 2:15.

     Has your pastor, er, the guy who says stuff from the pulpit, er podium on Sunday, opened up a can of 'whoop bass' on you, had a porn star as the guest of honor or spoke a series of messages based on the latest craze at the box office?  Hopefully not, but it is the latest craze in our celebrified version of consumer driven American Christianity.  It is all done in the name of reaching the lost.  But does it lose or, more likely, confuse the found?  It is all about reaching the lost by being cool.
     Well, I'll restate the title: cool is stupid.  Don't do it.  "For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" both the Psalmist and Solomon teach us.  Do pastors fear that preaching the fear of the Lord will not be cool and people will not attend?  Yes, that is more than likely the issue and what is more, they are probably right to a large degree.  Yet, the Apostle John makes it clear, if people love this world, God is not in them and has nothing to do with them.  The problem is, we have bought into the purposeful lie that church is for the unbeliever.  Now make no mistake, when the unbeliever goes to church and the word of God is preached, He will save those whom He will.  His word does not return void and the dead will rise from their grave as they sit in the pew.  Church is not the place where we invite unbelievers to be entertained or enticed by our hipness.  The Bible is emphatic that church is the place where we corporately glorify the Lord and the pastor is supposed to preach the word, in and out of season, and edify the saints of God.  This is the main focus of corporate worship, church, the preaching of the word.  This preaching is to glorify God and teach us about Him and all His perfections and how we are to surrender to Him in everything we do and think.  The Bible from beginning to end tells us how men instinctively hate God and the Church is the place, school, where we learn how to love God with all of our hearts.  Paul taught that our teaching is foolishness to the world, especially as we focus on the most offensive doctrine ever taught: that Christ died for us, wicked sinners who deserve Hell.  I don't know how we ever can make that cool.  I do know we have to quit trying to impress men and we need to continually humble ourselves under God's mighty hand.  As we do this, we will grow to love our fellow man more, even as they think we are less and less cool.
     We need to quit drinking in every fad brothers and sisters.  We drink in this poison and as we become cool to the world, God turns His back on us.  We must examine ourselves in this light.  If we desire to please man above God, is He in us?  We need to heed the John's word and repent of our worldliness.  God bless you and learn, love and live the glorious gospel of our risen Savior!