As anyone who has ever experienced a serious diet knows, the worst part of the diet is the cravings, and the the worst part of that is having that which you crave, right before your eyes.
My sons and I have a weekly ritual on Saturdays in which we go to the pharmacy and a donut shop. I knew going into my current diet, that I would be faced with our little ritual, so this is about not eating donuts. Fortunately, there isn’t much to say, other than the sacrifice has been worth it. I have lost 17 lbs.!
I need that truth before me, because the worst part of this diet hasn’t been the hunger. On the Hungry-O-Meter, I’m usually around a 3 or a 4. However, on the Crave-O-Meter I’m usually around a 9 or 10. Donuts are high on the list of cravings. At my worst, I think I was craving bacon and chocolate, with a buttered tortilla wrapped around it, covered with gravy and a beer. I’m sure they serve that somewhere. But if they don’t, try one for me and let me know.
As for the donuts, my boys tell me they were excellent.
Professor Stephen Hawking is telling us his world view in this meme: “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win. Because it works.” Hawking is a theoretical physicist and known to be an atheist. He has declared that God does not exist, nor does the afterlife, and that those who believe in a heaven are “afraid of the dark.” (We are. But that is another post).
What I would like to do is to think through his quote above. Since this meme floats around Twitter and Facebook, it deserves a tad bit of attention. The first thing that we must recognize is that Professor Hawking is right on the basis of religion, all religions are based upon authority of some nature. Now, we as Christians know, that there is only one religion that is based on the Triune God’s authority, and that is Christianity. The rest of the religions of the world, are based upon authority, but not the authority of the Triune God.
The NBA announced on Thursday that they are pulling their All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC, for 2017 because of that state’s law that keeps pedophiles and perverts out of the women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Read the story here.
The NBA is perfectly free to make such a move. But it reveals two things about who they really are. The first is the more obvious: it shows that when it comes to morality, the NBA has cast its lot with evil doers. I have written on how commerce, and entertainment, are rooted in the worldly systems, and lack any real anchor to truth or morality. Through the league’s action, we are seeing this reality.
Heidi and I are in the market for a house. Living in an apartment is a no-win situation financially speaking, so we have been looking for a small home to buy in the greater, greater Dallas/Ft. Worth area. That means far enough away from DFW that we can actually find something we can afford.
Quite honestly, the housing market is completely out of control. One home we looked at in Ennis, TX, was nothing more than a spruced up shotgun shack with less square footage than a SMART car, and the people were asking $90,000 for the place. I was… livid. That particular house, was worth no more than $30,000.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a short skirmish with an atheist on Twitter concerning my post: Ten Reasons Christianity is Far Superior to Other Religions. You can’t really debate on Twitter since you are limited to 140 characters. This leads to short attacks, without any reasoning, proof, or clarification.
Here is a bit of how it got started:
The first observation is that Critical Thinker, isn’t. He states that Christianity has no proof, and comes from the imagination of the writers of the New Testament. This leads to Atheistic Assumption Number 1. Atheists always assume that they have the intellectual upper hand when it comes to Christianity because THEY don’t believe the claims made by Christians. Christianity has multitudes of great intellectual thinkers, men like John Calvin, Augustine, Luther, Jonathan Edwards, and Cornelius Van Til, just to name a few. The religion’s simplicity does not mean that it is only for the simple-minded.
Heidi has me on a special diet that she used a number of years ago to help her lose more than 60 lbs. We cut out carbs, which means, we cut out bread, beer, chocolate, fruit with too much sugar, beer, chocolate, bread, tortillas, chips, cereal, beer, chocolate … well, you get the idea. It is also a low fat diet as well. This means, brace yourselves, no bacon! I know! The humanity! It is not the Atkins diet, but a bit more complicated than that.
I have to admit that the subjects of complementarianism and patriarchy are quite daunting. I am no expert on either one, and so far, feel like there isn’t an expert on either one. But while listening to Mortification of Spin on my drive into east Texas for an interview, I did realize that the focus needs to be on headship, not complementarianism or patriarchy. This is how Paul, in Ephesians 5, frames the relationship that husbands have towards their wives, and the safest course of action we can take is to look to Scripture to see what it says.
Therefore, for now, I will call the position I am taking biblical headship. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the LORD. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:22-23).
When we look at what the Bible says about our relationships in marriage, we are safe in saying what it says. It clearly says that I am the head of my wonderful wife, Heidi, and that she is to submit to me as to the LORD. This is not an act of dominion, but an act of grace and kindness. When it goes from grace and kindness to dominion (something that is out of accord with the creation mandate), then we are sinning against our wives and the LORD, for the LORD never acts in a manner of dominion over those who are His children. He will return in dominion over those who are not His children, and all those who refused the offer of the gospel, will be dominated by Christ when they are made into His footstool. That is not, however, something that Christ does with those who are His.
Concerning Genesis 3:16b
“Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
It is customary to understand the woman’s longing for her husband to be one of sexual desire, or at least, one of great affection. But that is probably incorrect. The proper signification comes from comparing this verse with Genesis 4:7, which uses both verbs, to ‘long’ (desire) and to ‘rule’, from 3:16. Also, the proximity of the two verses is weighty. In 4:7, God tells Cain that ‘Sin is crouching at your door; it longs to have you, but you must rule over it.’ The issue for Cain is what will dominate him and have control and mastery over him. The same applies to 3:16: the woman will have an excessive desire and determination to dominate her husband. The man, however, will dominate her. Thus this verse describes the ongoing condition of marriage relationships which will exist after the Fall.
The nature of the new order is quite appropriate. It was Eve who led the family in the garden episode, who ate the fruit first and led the man to do the same. Adam, for his part, let woman lead, and he refused to take his mandated leadership role. God now proclaims that such struggles and tensions will always appear in the marriage relationships.
From John D. Currid’s An EP Study Commentary:Genesis Vol. 1, p. 133.
First off, for those of you who don’t know me, the one thing that bothers me most in Christian circles is when a man preaches or teaches in such a way that sounds lofty and erudite, but is nothing more than a liberal screed (think N.T. Wright). I believe the loftier, the more dangerous a man’s speech. Jesus, Paul, Peter, and Stephen would not have fit in the erudite circles of the church today.
Secondly, I’ve been told that I’m very blunt when I preach and teach. To me, there is no greater compliment. Show me from scripture one sermon that was not in someone’s face, drawing a line in the sand, or calling out sinners to repentance, as opposed to what is set forth today in many circles, lofty words that tickle our intellectual fancies.
Recently I applied to work as the executive director for an organization that does work with the church overseas. I was really hopeful in getting the position because it would have allowed me to teach and instruct those in the ministry, even though this was a non-ordained position.
…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
I know much has been said about same-sex marriages since it was approved by the Supreme Court last year, but Christians need the reminder that this heinous act of same-sex marriage is condemned by God. We cannot approve of those who do such things or we fall under the same condemnation as those who actually do those things.
This came across Facebook at just the right time. I was in the midst of a debate with my brother about the fact that I’m not voting for either candidate in the upcoming election. We need this reminder that choosing the lessor of two evils, is… still choosing evil. That will never change.
UPDATE: From Jason A. Van Bemmel’s article: The Curse of Constantine and the Lie of the Lessor of Two Evils:
Here’s the bottom-line lesson of the curse of Constantine: When the church focuses on earthly political power, both the church and the world lose. Instead of on preaching the Gospel, showing the love of Jesus and speaking as a prophetic voice of truth to the culture, the church fights among itself, jockeys for political power, compromises, manipulates, back-stabs and presents an ugly, awful witness to the world. The church loses her spiritual power, and the world loses a vital Gospel witness it so desperately needs.
I remember sharing the story of Chuck Colson’s conversion with a non-Christian friend in college. He listened politely and said, “So, he went from being a Republican political operative to being a Christian? Not much of a change, huh?” That’s the opinion of much of the world when it comes to Christianity. Sadly, we have too much in the media and on social media to reinforce that stereotype.
The Lie of the Lesser of Two Evils
As the church has sought to gain and keep political power, it has often compromised by giving into the lie that we must always choose the lesser of two evils. The church has been forced into situations of moral compromise by a worldly political power Jesus never called it to have. From the very beginning, the church had to decide how much it would compromise in order to gain and keep the favor of the emperor. They had to decide how far they would bend God’s word to win political favor.
Some refused to compromise, preferring to preach and teach the word of God without compromise. Sadly, they often paid with their lives, since the church powers now had the power of the sword. John Chrysostom was walked to death in the year 407 at the age of 58 because he refused to compromise. Jan Hus was burned at the stake. John Knox was driven from Scotland and lived years in exile.
Read the rest of the article here.
Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.
Given this foundational truth, as outlined by the Westminster Shorter Catechism, we can safely assume that the LORD has decreed both Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States. As Christians, we only have a few choices on how we will vote in the upcoming election. As I have pointed out before, I don’t plan on voting at all. My conscience is clear; I’m sitting the election out and trusting the LORD to take care of me, my family, and my brothers and sisters in Christ as the country continues in rebellion against the LORD and His followers.
Several years ago, I read a book about George Washington that was written to show that he was truly a Christian. I came away from that book believing for certain, that George Washington was at least a Deist. In other words, I didn’t agree with the author of the book. The quotes of Washington did not sound like they came from the heart of a born-again Christian. I was telling Heidi that the other day, and then came across this article by Robert Tracy McKenzie, the professor and chair of the Department of History at Wheaton College, entitled Were the Founding Fathers Christian?
I’m sure the first thing someone thinks about when they see this picture is, “what was in the glass? Why is it empty?” And those were questions worthy of asking. The glass had been full, but I drank it all and decided because of the nature of the drink, I didn’t want any more of the liquid that occupied the glass just a few short moments before I took the photo.
I was sitting in a comfortable patio couch, under a ceiling fan that made the heat just this side of bearable. The candles, which I have mistakenly called carbonella candles, or chandelier candles, were lit to keep the mosquitoes at bay. These candles work well for me. For Heidi, nothing works. The mosquitoes forge onward into the distasteful carbonella fumes, knowing that her ankles are well worth the discomfort they face in getting there. But we light them nonetheless, for they do provide a certain ambience to the setting, and protection for those who are less attractive to the flying reminders of the curse of the original Garden.
For the record, I did not attend the Presbyterian Church in America’s 44th General Assembly, so I really am just trying to discern the tea leaves from what others have written. There are several articles by those who did attend that are particularly troubling. It is from these articles that I get the sense that GA is more concerned with social issues, than with being true to the calling we have in Scripture.
Many of my regular readers know that my contention for the church is that we need to be about the business of being the church, not getting off base by trying to save America, address every social concern, and please the general culture at large. If we focus upon that which we are given, building His kingdom through the preaching of the word, and worshipping Him as He has called us to do, all the rest will fall into place. It is when we think the job of the church is to change the culture, that we fall into the trap that leads to the culture changing us.