Legalism and Antinomianism

From Michael Horton and the White Horse Inn, dealing with antinomianism:

The danger of legalism becomes apparent not only when we confuse law and gospel in justification, but when we imagine that even our new obedience can be powered by the law rather than the gospel. The law does what only the law can do: reveal God’s moral will. In doing so, it strips us of our righteousness and makes us aware of our helplessness apart from Christ and it also directs us in grateful obedience. No one who says this can be considered an antinomian. However, it’s not a matter of finding the right “balance” between law and gospel, but of recognizing that each does different work. We need imperatives—and Paul gives them. But he only does this later in the argument, after he has grounded sanctification in the gospel.

The ultimate antidote to antinomianism is not more imperatives, but the realization that the gospel swallows the tyranny as well as the guilt of sin. It is enough to save Christians even in their failure and not only brings them peace with God in justification, but the only liberation from the cruel oppression of sin. To be united to Christ through faith is to receive everything that we need not only to challenge legalism but antinomianism as well.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — A Review

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to take my two boys, Andy and Joey, to see the movie Pirates of the Caribbeans: Dead Men Tell No Tales. There are so few movies that I want to see, I was hopeful that this one would be agreeable to all three of us. Well, let’s just say that I was duly disappointed. I felt like it was just one rehashed scene after another. However, the ending was quite satisfactory and gave the impression that Disney would be letting the series lie dormant for the near future. That might be a good idea and give the writers a chance to… rediscover their creative juices, so to speak.

But given that I was rather bored with the movie, I thought I would have Andy and Joey write a review for those of you who have not yet seen the movie. I had both of them write what they liked and didn’t like about the movie. Remember that they are 12 and 10 respectively, so their discernment when it comes to movies is lacking, along with much of their spelling. We’ll have to work on both of those as they grow and mature. Realize that Andy is dyslexic, so his spelling is atrocious. But I love what he writes because it makes more of a statement about the movie that he realizes. Spoiler alert, he revels something about the ending. Here are Andy’s thoughts:

I’m Andrew H. and I saw the pirits of the cairedeian. The first thing that I liked was the add (advertisement about) spiderman! It looked so cool and I encerig (encourage) you all to watch it. What I didn’t like was the fack (that) some guys came back from the dead to kill someone that kreeps me out! It also had Captain Barbosse die wiche relly disterb me! I geus the ending was good but that’s about it!

Just that fact that he loves the preview of Spider-Man tells you something about the movie we paid to see. Here are Joey’s thoughts:

Today I watched a cool movie about piraites called “piraites of the caribian” (4th movie) I liked many part in it one of the parts was at the begining where Jack Sparro (A.K.A Johnny Depp) and his crew took horses and hooked them all together connected to a safe (1T) in  a building, but the safe would not come out of the building so they ended up pulling a bank accross town. I didn’t really have any dislikes in the move and thats what made it a good movie.

The parenthetical thoughts are Joey’s not mine. In Andy’s, they were mine. I’m not sure what Joey meant by (1T).

All this to say, Joey gave it a thumbs up, and Andy gave it a thumbs sideways. I think anyone who has yet to see it should save their money and wait for it to come out on Netflix. You don’t have Netflix? Well then, you are blessed indeed, because you are now under no obligation whatsoever to watch the latest edition of Pirates of the Caribbean (actually the 5th… and hopefully, last installment).

One last addition: Joey gave me an illustration for his review.

“Suck it, Jesus! This is my God now!”

By now you have heard of the recent employment downfall of Kathy Griffin. She decided to pose for a photographer with a fake, bloody head of Donald Trump, thinking that it was funny and would make some political points somewhere. I’m not about to jump on the bandwagon for her indiscretion and lack of discernment. It was tasteless, but cartoonists and political punsters have been making tasteless comments about presidents for 150 years.

What has also surfaced, as you can see from the meme above, is her statements when she won an Emmy. I think the Emmys are kind of like the Oscars, only for television and not movies. I don’t remember her winning her Emmy, since I don’t bother to watch or keep up with either the Oscars or the Emmys. I use to read about the Oscars and then watch whatever got nominated for best picture, but after watching No Country for Old Men, and being horrified, and reading about Brokeback Mountain, I decided that the Oscars were no longer a good judge of movies. But I digress.

When Griffin won her Emmy, she made a point of not thanking Jesus like many before her had done. In fact, she says she won the Emmy without His help at all. That is when she made the statement in the title of this post.

This has led some Christians to start a boycott of anything having to do with Griffin. It has also caused some to be angered and infuriated. I know the temptation. As a Christian, it’s our turn to be the victim!

Well, no, it’s not. Since our LORD and Savior suffered the greatest injustice of all time, being tried, found innocent, and crucified without saying a word of complaint, we should never complain when the world treats us in like manner. He has obviously decreed our sufferings and we should expect no less than what Jesus suffered. If we don’t suffer the same, then we should count our blessings.

So how should we respond to Griffin? My response is pity and prayer. Yes, what she said in the title of this post is sad, but at least it is honest. She is telling us who she really is and is only living out the life of one in rebellion against the Triune God who is. This should cause us to be sad for her. She is lost and without hope. She is among those who clearly fall into the category of being children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-5). His condemnation rests upon her (John 3:18). She has no hope of eternal glory outside of Christ and is blinded by the god of this age, represented by her Emmy, and she is perishing (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

In other words, she is acting out who she is and her view of God. As Christians, we too were children of wrath. I know before I tasted God’s grace in my own life that I had nothing but hatred for Christians and their God. I thought them fools and idiots. And then by God’s grace, I became one of them.

This is what Griffin needs. She doesn’t need our condemnation, Christ’s condemnation is enough. She needs our payers, our sympathy and the gospel. Are we going to show her the love of Christ by declaring some meaningless boycott (after all, what movies or shows has she really been a part of?). Boycotts, while they do make a great show of things, are really a waste of time for Christians. I say this because our weapons of warfare do not include boycotts.

Our weapons of warfare do include prayer. This is the other thing that we should do for Griffin, pray for her. If she angers us, pray for her and be thankful that God has opened our eyes to the truth of the gospel, which we don’t deserve any more than Griffin does, and ask that HE will show her the same grace that He has shown us. We may have the opportunity to do more than just pray and pity her, but let prayer and pity be at least our starting point in responding to the world’s hatred.

J.C. Ryle on Three Rules for Marriage

J.C. Ryle offers some excellent thoughts on good marriages in his commentary on Mark. He gives three rules that will help in marriage:

The first is to marry only in the LORD, and after prayer for God’s approval and blessing. The second is not to expect too much from their partners, and to remember that marriage is, after all, the union of two sinners, and not of two angels. The third rule is to strive first and foremost for one another’s sanctification. The more holy married people are, the happier they are. “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it” (Eph. V. 25, 26).

The Simple Thread

Life really is held by a thread. Not something we control, but something that is completely under the control of the Holy Spirit and God’s sovereign hand, but atlas, I repeat myself.

If we have good things, those good things are from the LORD. If calamity finds us, that is from His loving hand. If we find our way through that calamity, it is because He has directed our path. If we have avoided calamity, it is because He had decreed good things for us. We can claim nothing but His glory in all things. Both in riches and poverty, good things and bad, peace or chaos, it is all from His hand for His glory and our good.

Our job in the midst of it all, is to simply remain faithful and trust Him for the outcome, especially when that outcome is full of toil and trouble. We are to trust in Him, Jesus Christ our LORD, for all things. It is by faith. We walk by faith. We trust by faith. Knowing that He will work all these things together for good, to those who love Him.

And those who love Him? They are His children by faith. They are those who know they have nothing in themselves but sin to bring to God. They are those who are trusting in Him for reconciliation with the Father and deliverance from the power of sin and death. Those who trust in Him, ultimately, trust in little else.

It’s a simple thread. Trust in Him for all things.

Bad Golf, Good Dishes

Actually, it was an injured arm that lead to the pursuit of more dishes for my lovely bride. I wanted to golf at a course in Canton, TX, home of the First Monday’s Trade Days (the largest flea market this side of the Mississippi). It’s also home to the Canton Dish Barn. For those who are into Fiesta Dinnerware, the Canton Dish Barn is the place to shop.

My wife and I appreciate Fiesta Ware. We like the color. We like the solid feel of the plates. We like the way the plates keep our food off the table, as plates are designed to do. Yes, the simplicity of the plates and the bright colors remind me of… kindergarten, when things were simpler. No confusing patterns. Just simply, color, roundness of plates, and thickness, giving a senses of durability.

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5 Things I’m Not Commenting On!

Well, maybe a little.

  • Bill O’Reilly: Won’t miss him, didn’t watch him.
  • Aaron Hernandez: Not a stellar character, no surprise there.
  • North Korea: Can’t we just invade, and set up a puppet government?
  • Supreme Court: Justices come and go.
  • Hank Hanegraff becoming Greek Orthodox: he wasn’t all that orthodox to begin with, so adding “Greek” to his description doesn’t help matters at all.

Thoughts?

Tell-tale Signs of Obsession

OK, I think I’m becoming a bit obsessed. No, it’s nothing real serious. I’m not obsessed with, say, sports, or alcohol, or some tawdry exploit of mankind. I’m obsessed with working in my yard. When we moved here, there was nothing but dirt. As you can see from the picture above, it’s all green. But what you don’t see, is that it’s not grass. That green is nothing but weeds. I do have grass in my backyard, just not in the picture.

On a whim last fall, I bought a bag of fescue, which is any of a genus (Festuca) of tufted perennial grasses with panicled spikelets. Don’t worry. I didn’t rattle that off the top of my head, I got it from the fine gentlemen at Merrian Webster, who now what to charge me $1.99 for such tantalizing information. But I’m now into grass… not words so much. I know, what about the blog? What about my great discourses on the roles of women in the church? What about the need for more Christians honoring the LORD’s day? I know the score. My wonderful readers will glance at it, think Timothy is on his high pachyderm, and won’t give it another thought. However, if I write something simple, like a post about, say, honoring those women who do stay at home to glorify God, and you will be on my like sprinkles on a donut.

Continue reading “Tell-tale Signs of Obsession”