Questions That Don’t Need to be Asked

My wife and I, through normal conversations, have come up with questions that never need to be asked. I know this seems simple, because it is. There are just some things that when you give them some thought, don’t need to be asked.

“Do you want to cook steaks on the grill tonight?”

“What else do we need to eat tonight besides steak and salad?”

“Would you like a glass of wine with that?”

“Would you like some chocolate?”

“Should we smoke a cigar?”

What you are actually seeing is the anatomy of a date night for Heidi and me. This usually comes after we make the drive to Dallas to visit Trader Joe’s to pick out food for the week and flowers for the table.

As you can see, the simple things of life are the best of God’s blessings.

 

 

The Apostle Paul Says We Don’t Have to Boycott Target

Just about every six months or so, there is some group calling on all Christians to boycott company X or company Y, because the company supports some ungodly cause. For some, the boycott is cathartic in that it gives them the sense that they are doing something about the evil that persists in the world. But the reality for the believer is that we can still shop at Target, Starbucks, and even attend football games put on by the NCAA without damaging our witness as believers. There is no need to have our consciences bound by these new calls for righteousness, especially since our righteousness comes from Christ alone, not our boycotts of the wicked.

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Dear Fellow Christians

Dear Fellow Christians,

You still have not convinced me from Scripture how it is my responsibility to “save the nation” by voting for Trump. I know that many of you are excited because Ted Cruz endorsed Trump today, as if, the salvation of the nation were in Cruz’ hands.

I have also seen that Franklin Graham is making the same appeal, that we vote for Trump to stave (the transitive verb definition) off Hillary.

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The Apostle Paul Doesn’t Care if You Vote

PERSONAL NOTE: Please know up front that I don’t hate America. I am a veteran and love this country. However, I do recognize that with all there is to love about America, she is no more special than any other country in relationship to the God of the Bible. Therefore, as Christians, our focus should be on our KING and His Kingdom.

In the battle of the upcoming election, I have really had to question my views on voting for Trump or not. This may be why some Trumpsters get under my skin so. I know that my writing about Trump has angered a lot of people, including some dear friends. As of yet, no one has convinced me that voting for Trump is what I should do as one committed to following Christ. I also know that no matter what I say here, other Christians are committed to voting for Trump on their convictions as well. We all have our own convictions. This is a post in which I’m trying to explain mine once more. With that, if I have tried to bind your conscience in earlier posts about the election, please forgive me. Obviously this topic is really difficult for a lot of us.

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Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

R. Scott Clark has a 9-part series on Paedobaptism that is quite helpful. Here is the portion of the first installment:

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

In short, yes. All the Protestant Reformers including Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin held to infant baptism. Though these three great Protestants disagreed on many things, they all agreed on the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They also agreed that infant baptism is a biblical practice and the best expression of the Protestant gospel.8 In fact, infant baptism has been the practice of the historic Christian church since the Apostolic period.9 Of course the historic practice of the church does not settle the question. Historic practice, however, suggests a certain presumption in favor of infant baptism. Nevertheless, tradition alone is not sufficient reason for any practice in the church. Therefore Reformed Christians practice covenant baptism because we are commanded to do so in both the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. 10

Baptism: The New Testament Sign of Abraham

Part of what I have been trying to say when it comes to baptism, in order to show that it involves the entire family, is to understand the mindset of the First Century Jew when it came to the sign of circumcision. Both baptism and circumcision are signs of the covenant of grace (often called the New Covenant) and pointing us to the gospel (even in the Old Testament).

Here I would like to show the requirements given to Abraham in Genesis 17 for circumcision. Please note, this is given before the Mosaic Covenant which included the ceremonial rituals of the temple. So the requirements predate that covenant, and therefore were not negated as the ceremonial law was in the New Testament. In other words, the requirements and instructions of the covenant still remain even though the sign has changed.

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Dear Evangelical Trumpsters

Dear Evangelical Trumpsters,

I think you might have more credibility with me if you were to come right out and apologize to Bill Clinton for all the things you said about him while he was President of the United States. Remember how we piled on about how immoral he was, and how he lied under oath, even to the point of impeachment? We were all right in doing so. He was a disgrace to the office of the president.

But in supporting Trump, you have lost your credibility. You have shown that your allegiance is really open to the highest bidder, simply because someone has an R behind their name. The moment you pull that lever for Trump, is the moment you compromise your convictions for expediency. You are basically a pragmatist, and every thing you opposed in Clinton (and others) because of biblical principles is now compromised. Anything you say from this point forward in trying to be salt and light in society and culture, is empty. It is really sad that you are willing to sell out your convictions, your truth, your doctrine so easily, when push comes to shove. What is even sadder than this, is that you are selling out to save your comfortable way of life. You are not willing to give up anything in order to stand for Christ. True believers will gladly give it all up, to follow their LORD.

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The Myth of Catholic Sainthood

This past weekend, the Roman Catholic Church decided to make Mother Teresa a saint. The RCC has had this bad habit of thinking it can declare sainthood for some time now. I know that many will marvel at the wonderful “works” that Mother Teresa performed in her life, but none of those works, no matter how many Buddhists she inspired to be a better Buddhist, will garner her one ounce of merit worthy of sainthood.

We must remember that the RCC, all the popes, nuns, mothers, and others, departed from the true faith of the gospel many hundreds of years ago. In their belief that the popes are in the line with the Apostle Peter, they somehow came up with the idea that they could declare who was and is a saint. Now, if you know anything about human nature, you can see very quickly that declaring someone a saint, can become very political in nature. This is the last thing we need in the body of Christ: a group of fallen men who think they have the right to speak for Christ, and standing in place of Christ, declaring who is and isn’t a saint. With this being the case, people will have to tow their party line in order for anyone to become a saint. Then, on top of that, they don’t bother with the average member of their religion, only the popular ones get to be saints. It’s sort of like an Amway marketing scheme for the religiously devout, only those with the triple diamond award pins get to be considered.

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Why Do Paedobaptist Believe that Baptism Replaces Circumcision

In my ongoing study on the defense of paedobaptism, I’m hoping to shore up many of the areas of concern that people have when it comes to this topic of paedobaptism, or the baptism of infants, toddlers, and children into the covenant-keeping community.

One of the big hurdles for credobaptists, who believe that only professing believers should be baptized, is the argument that we make showing that baptism replaces circumcision. We come to this position in the way the Paul speaks of baptism and circumcision. He uses the words interchangeably, showing that in essence, the two signs are similar even though circumcision is no longer a sign required for the people of God (see Acts 15). He does this in Colossians 2:11-13.

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A&M — UCLA Game as a Microcosm of the Church

I know that using a title like that, I might get accused of over-spiritualizing the football game between Texas A&M and UCLA on Saturday. For those of you who did not watch the game, the underdog Aggies took a 24-9 lead into the fourth quarter. This is well and good because I was hoping for an Aggie win to start the season, especially against a team that was ranked at Number 16 in the AP Top 25 polls. The fact that A&M was not ranked showed you how the sports writers of America view the Aggies. In the top 50, but not 25.

Nonetheless, the Aggies took a lead and for the first time in years, it was obvious that A&M had its defense back. Historically, A&M has always had great defenses and it was what made them fordable in years past.

But the lead, in a nationally televised game, had an effect on the coaching staff. Sumlin & Company decided to get very conservative in their play calling when it came to the offensive side of the ball. The theory goes that when you enter in the fourth quarter, you get conservative, and run the ball, so that nothing bad really happens. Or you just make short passes to pick up a few yards here and there. In other words, what gave A&M the lead in the way they played up until that point, was being abandoned in the hopes of holding on to the lead to get the win.

It was almost enough to cause them to lose the game. They quit with the game plan that gave them the lead. Anyone who watches sports has seen this happen time and time again. It’s quite frustrating for fans who have to watch their team slowly dwindle away and lose. In fact, just watching it happen, and seeing your team pull out the victory at the last moment, is really quite hollow because you know that in the end, your team…well, got lucky.

Now, take the same analogy and apply it to the church. What makes the church successful is when the body of Christ is being faithful to our calling, preaching God’s word, administering the sacraments, worshiping in Spirit and truth and striving for a life of holiness as the people of God. When we depart from those fundamental issues that we have been called to, is when we become weak.

I have watched the church over the last 25 years trying to make great strides in reaching and changing the culture. The effects of the efforts have been devastating to the state of the church. While the mega-church movement is alive and well, holiness is absent. While God’s love is readily preached, nothing of His holiness and judgement is mentioned. In an attempt to accommodate the culture, so that we somehow become more relevant, we have become just like the culture, tattoos and all. The church, as a whole, is no different than the culture we were seeking to change.

What happened? We lost focus with what makes the church, the church and tried to be more than what we were called to be. No where does God call us to change culture. He calls us to be holy, because He is holy. Yes, I know we are to make disciples. But those disciples are supposed to come into conformity with Christ and His word. In fact, there is scripture that says we should not be conformed to the world, Romans 12:1-2. Sadly, in trying to save the culture by becoming like the culture, we lost our identity as the people of God.

We are no different than a 1,000 coaches out there, who get satisfied with a lead, and lose focus with the calling. Coaches are called to win, not coast. And the church is called to be the people of God, not like the culture. Hopefully, we will repent and the LORD will still allow us an overtime win.