One of the marks that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions is that, for followers of Christ, their sin is dealt with completely by Christ on the cross. This sets Christianity apart from other religions, because other religions require their followers to perform works in order to balance out, or surpass, their own sinfulness with good works. The followers of other religions, including Roman Catholicism, are doing their best to “be good” in adhering to their religious precepts, but in the end, all they can truly do is “hope for the best” when it comes to judgment day.
This is not so for the true Christian, because the judgment day for the Christian has already taken place…on the cross. For the Christian, by the time he/she comes to the point of trusting in Christ for salvation, their sin has already been dealt with on the cross, even sins not yet committed.
Several weeks ago, Heidi and I went to play golf over at the Old Brickyard in Ferris, Tx. I was having a splendid game for me, scoring a 6, 6, 6 and 4 on the first three holes, putting me 7 over par, but 1 under Timothy Par. Timothy par is simply adding 2 strokes to each hole, with the hopes of keeping me from being discouraged and the hopes of breaking 100… someday. While the score for some may not look good, I was having an excellent game. My swing was spot on, for me and I was happy with the outcome.
Last week, I had an appointment in Dallas, Tx. Coming out of Dallas, I had the wonderful opportunity to observe parts of downtown from my very own, personal viewing center, located conveniently on I-35, just before what is known as the “mix master.” I couldn’t help taking this picture from the front seat of my viewing center.
As you can see, I was very safe from my viewing center, given that there was a concrete wall just a few feet away protecting me from the multitude of other viewing centers going in the opposite direction.
TruNews, and I have no idea who they are, is reporting that Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family fame, reported that Donald Trump has trusted in Christ and that we should all be praying for him.
Well, no, he hasn’t exactly trusted in Christ for salvation. Dr. Dobson said: “He did accept a relationship with Christ, I know the person who led him to Christ, and that’s fairly recent.”
Under the direction of scripture, which calls for 2 or 3 credible witnesses, let’s just put the breaks on for a moment. First off, accepting a relationship with Jesus Christ does NOT lead to salvation. Trusting in Christ for salvation, leads to salvation. Please, hear me out on this. This is important. Jesus did not die on the cross so that we could have a relationship with Him or the Father. He died on the cross because we are sinners in need of forgiveness, and who need to have God’s wrath towards us satisfied. So, for us to be saved, we must first understand that we are sinners, and know that we are justly deserving of God’s eternal damnation.
After quoting Zack Ford of Think Progress, who tells conservative Christians that unless we accept LGBTQers for who they are, then don’t bother with pour prayers, Dreher writes:
And so on. Otherwise, “sympathy without affirmation rings hollow; it is unworthy of our gratitude.” Ford, good progressive that he is, says “do not encourage us to demonize Islam or pass the blame onto terrorism.” Of course not, even though the mass murderer was an Islamic terrorist. We must remember who the real enemy is here: Russell Moore and people like him. People like me.
See: Orlando: The Reichstag Fire
We have seen a lot of fodder flying forth in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, but there are no greater words than the words of Christ when a disaster took place in His day. He did not call for prayer vigils. He did not call for new legislation to outlaw towers. He did not point the finger at one group of people and blame them. He told us that the most important thing we can do in the face of such a disaster is to repent, lest the same happen to us.
It’s really hard to see a fellow brother in the LORD, Sammy Rhodes, genuflecting all over himself about the tragedy in Orlando. Rhodes is a fellow PCA pastor for RUF at the University of South Carolina. He goes to great pains to “confess his sin” of not doing enough for the LGBTQ crowd, as if, somehow he and all of Christendom, are really guilty for what happened in Orlando. It seems Mr. Rhodes is only a few steps away from abandoning all principles of the gospel in order to openly embrace gays, their lifestyle, and all that they want.
The sad reality in his words, besides giving himself over to emotionalism, is that it sounds like he is abandoning the one actual tool he has at his disposal for reaching the LGBTQ crowd: preaching the gospel. All other attempts are nothing but window dressings in the Twin Towers.
As you can see, the tweets are quite positively against Christianity in the wake of the Orlando night club massacre. It is truly amazing how a Muslim can pull the trigger, but Christianity takes the blame. But alas, Jesus said the world would hate His followers because the world first hated Him, and still does (John 15:17-19). The hatred the Left is pouring out on Christians is the same hatred that Muslims have for Christians. What the two groups do not realize is that spiritually, both groups are in the same camp. They share the same father.
Yet, what are we to make of such rants against preaching and praying for those in Orlando? Are we to listen to such charges? Satan would love to keep us silent on the entire ordeal, as would those who belong to him by nature of their rebellious hearts against the living and true God of the Bible. But what can we preach?
One of the many troubling passages of the Old Testament is found in 2 Samuel 6. There we find that King David and his troops travel to Baale Judah in order to return the ark to the City of David. So far, so good. But as they journeyed, they decided to place the ark on a brand new cart! This allowed the rest of the people to play all kinds of instruments, and dance before the cart as it went.
It seemed like a splendid idea. They would parade before the ark of God, making all kinds of noise and dances, really showing their emotions and sincerity before YHWH, demonstrating how pious and religious they were.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).
One of the key aspects of the Christian life is that it is full of tribulations and sufferings. So many in the world of Big Evangelical have adopted the best-life-now philosophy, that you will not hear about suffering in the Christian life from the plastic pulpits or invisible pulpits in most mega churches. This is because suffering and tribulation do not sell well. And let’s be honest, who wants to hear “trust in Jesus for salvation and plan on suffering for the rest of your life?”
Jay Sekulow posted this meme on the American Center for Law and Justice page. It’s a good organization that fights for the rights given to us in the Constitution. I’m grateful for what Sekulow does. It is not an easy battle.
However, I do take exception to the meme above. Ronald Reagan said “I believe that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land.” Reagan certainly was entitled to his opinion, but he was no theologian. He had no insight as to what God was doing through this nation or whether or not this nation was the special pet project of God. It is not. It is just another nation among many.
I’ve written on this before and even battled with those on Facebook about it. But there are many good reasons why Christians should not get tattoos. Douglas Wilson gives 7 good reasons. Here are a few of his reasons and I will give you my 8th reason at the end of the piece. Wilson writes:
1. Let us begin at the beginning. What does the Bible say?
“You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:28, ESV).
The point here is not to say, “here’s the verse, that settles it.” Rather it is to say, “Here’s the verse. You are 21-years-old and are thinking about getting a barbed wire tattoo around your bicep. How settled and mature is your understanding of the relationship of Old Testament law to the question of Christian ethics? What is the likelihood that you might ever come to change your views on that question? And if you are already inked, does that create any pressure to not be open-minded about this pressing theological question?
This is the strongest argument against the practice. Not that we, as Christians under the New Covenant, are to keep all the Old Testament laws. But Christ died on the cross for those who broke this law. God, in His infinite wisdom, declared that the practice, which has its roots in pagan idolatry, was not to be a part of the believer’s life. Yet, for some reason, we think that today (the only generation of Christians ever to fall for such foolishness) that adopting pagan practices is found in Christian liberty. We are to be set apart to God for His glory, yet somehow, we think making ourselves look like pagans is honoring to God. Exactly how are we honoring God by making ourselves look like practitioners of idolatry?
I remember the end of my fifth grade year in school. Just like most kids, I couldn’t wait until the end of school and the beginning of summer. The thought of endless days playing by the creek, or one-out baseball in the cul-de-sac filled my dreams. But something was different about the end of school that year. I knew I was going to miss my classmates and my teacher, Mrs. Williford. I couldn’t help but think that something important was passing away. Something important was being left behind as I left the school, for the last time, and headed into the summer. Part of it was that I was leaving Rummel Creek Elementary School for the final time. I started attending the school in the second grade, and between that first day there, and my last day in fifth grade, that school was part of my home. Leaving it was not easy. I didn’t break down and cry, just felt a strong sense of sadness as I left the school one last time. A period of my life was coming to an end. I was moving from elementary school to junior high.
In a stunning turn of events, Joel Osteen has come out and admitted that there is something that is actually sinful. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he bent over backwards to say that homosexuals are approved of God. That is no real surprise, but then he went on to say the following:
“The Bible said a sin is pride, a sin is selfish ambition. We tend to pick out these certain things,” he said.
I am actually dumbfounded at this amazing turn of events. I wonder if he will ever get around to tell us the solution to our sin problem. But wait, it gets even better than that, Osteen actually took a stand on Scripture and admitted to even reading Scripture at all:
“I believe the scripture says that being gay is a sin. But, you know, every time I say that, Chris … people say, well, you are a gay hater and you’re a gay basher,” Osteen told Wallace during the interview. “I’m not. I don’t – I don’t dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the scripture says, and that’s the way I read the scripture.”
This truly is shocking news. Given his views on life, God and life, I never really thought he read Scripture at all. But it gets better. He went on to say that the pope is a swell guy, but said he and the pope differ on theology. This is amazing. I didn’t think Osteen actually knew the word theology. Look what he said:
“I think the pope is fantastic, his tone, his humility,” he said.
“We may not agree 100 percent on doctrine and theology, but the Catholic Church, our church, it’s open for everybody. I like his tone, not pushing people away.”
This is clearly a sign of the coming apocalypse.