Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The World is a Jungle

In short, Kant argues fro the Christian God on the basis that he must exist for eh5tics to be meaningful. Kant says that even if we cannot know that god exists, for practical purposes we must live “as if he exists for ethics and society to be possible. He anticipates Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim, “If there is no God, all things are permissible.” Without an absolute ethical norm, morality is reduced to mere preference and the world is a jungle where might makes right.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 131.

Outdo One Another

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10

True Parental Wisdom

Wisdom is not made out of wood and neither are our children. When Christian parents seek to bring together wisdom and children, they must resist all wooden techniques. They must be wise themselves, and wisdom is supple. The only useful wood in the whole scenario is that of the spanking paddle, provided it is not applied by parents with wooden heads.
Douglas Wilson, Excused Absence, pg. 124.

The Green Thing!

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment." He was right—our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Receive What is Due

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Corinthians 5:10

Trust Forever

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:4

Caring for Others

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.
Romans 15:1-3

Abuse in the Name of Orthodoxy

This paragraph is quoted from Randy Booth’s article “Covenantal Antithesis”

A wooden hermeneutic, which artificially restricts the way in which a word or concept may be employed, often results in a failure to appreciate the richness of that word or concept as it is used in the Bible. Ironically, the stiff approach is often employed as if it were a tool of orthodoxy when, in fact, it becomes a means by which the Word of God is abused.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ain't Nothin Hid

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:3

Speaking Nonesense

People are quite capable of speaking nonsense, but they cannot speak nonsense intelligibly.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 130.

The Snare of the Devil

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:24-26

Goat Lobby

When Paul cites a similarly kind provision for animals, i.e., that an ox treading out the grain must not be muzzled, he makes a passing comment we would do well to note: “Is it oxen God is concerned about?” (1 Cor. 9:9, emphasis mine). A man could woodenly obey the law and have his oxen unmuzzled—“That’s what the law says,” he mutters—and that same man could refuse to support ministers of the Gospel financially. If he were to do so, he would be disobedient to the law that speaks of oxen only. Paul applies this Old Testament law to a New Testament situation. His method is to argue his point from the usual order of things (1 Cor. 9:7) and to argue it from the law (v. 8). So was this law concerning baby goats a random piece of Mosaic legislation in response to diligent activity by the goat lobby? Those who think so understand neither the Scriptures nor the kindness of God.
Douglas Wilson, The Case For Classical Christian Education, pg. 146.

For the Love of God

The first memory verse most of us learned when we became Christians was John 3:16—“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but should have everlasting life.”

But what does it all mean? What does it mean that God loved the world? What does it mean that he gave his only Son? What does it mean that if we believe in him we shall not perish? What does it mean that if we believe in him we will have everlasting, or eternal life?

There is another question I would like to answer in the process of answering the other questions, it is—Could God have secured our salvation in some other way? In other words, did God have to kill his own son to save us from death? Couldn’t God have just said something like, you’re free and we’re all friends again?

We need to know that everything God does is motivated by love. John said, “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8). This means that whatever God does and for whatever reasons, everything he does is an act of love. But love does not just sit there contemplating the empty cosmos, basking in what might be. Love creates, it gives to the beloved. If it is not a giving, changing, active, and living entity, it is not love. Love changes things. Love is efficacious. Because God is love, he can do nothing that is not loving. And this includes our salvation. Paul said, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). And again, “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:4-5). His love is determinative. It has an end, a goal. God’s love is the cause and source of our salvation.

In fact, God’s love for his creation demanded that he save us, love required God to act on our behalf, love necessitated saving mankind. God was constrained by who he is, to save us from our terrible plight.

What this means, practically, is that God loves you. He knows all about you and your weaknesses. He knows all about your strengths, he knows every thought, every intention of your heart. He knows the words you are about to say. He knows what you will be doing later tonight. He even knows what you will be doing tomorrow. He knows about your skin problems, he knows about your emotional hang ups, he knows how many hairs there are on your head. And he knows it all because he cares for you. He loves you.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Pray For Your Pastor


Thank you very much for your help.

Should this pastor be told that he does not behave properly? Who should do it? There are only two pastors/elders in the church and the other pastor thinks everything is all right.


Turn Away From Evil

By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
Proverbs 16:6

Descriptions are not Explanations

Describing an event, a process, or a motion does not necessarily explain it. Even if our descriptions come in the form of mathematical equations that yield a certain predictability, does that mean we have achieved knowledge of reality? Like Ptolemy’s geocentric system, our theories can “save the phenomena: without achieving accurate knowledge of reality.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 105.

You Don't Understand a Thing

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Love Toward Another


Another question is : Can a pastor show his feelings publicly - e.g.tender embracing, hugging each other? He has known his girlfriend only for about three months.


Follow Me

But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matt. 16:23-25

Handling the Word of God

Hermeneutics, the art and science of interpretation, sounds to many like a horribly dusty affair. And of course, some have handled the subject along these lines. This is not how it should be; when the question of how a text is to be interpreted arises, we should feel a leaden weight in the gut, and adrenaline in the veins, as men feel before a battle. Of course we need to pay sound attention to our texts—but not as the scribes.

How we handle the Word of God has eternal consequences. If we trifle with the text, we are risking our own eternal salvation. Peter spoke of hermeneutics as a life and death issue; he noted that ignorant and unstable people twist the Scriptures, and that they do so to their own destruction. The word he used to describe the twisting is a word out of ancient torture chambers. The plain meaning of the text is put to the rack, and bizarre confessions are coerced from it. And unfortunately, to this day, when many self-appointed interpreters turn to their text, torture and mayhem are in the air.
Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk, pg. 199.

Pastors and Women

Dear Mike,

This time I would like to ask you if you think it is all right when a pastor goes on a two-week trip around the country only with his girlfriend.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Tyranny of the Majority

The law of nature should protect individuals from the tyranny of the majority. Here are the seeds of the distinction between a republic (where rule is by law) and a pure democracy (where rule is merely by the will of the people).
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 102.

Know the Name of God

Those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD,
Psalm 9:10

God Is a Consuming Fire

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:28-29

Addressing Difficult Cases

Second, in our discussion in the earlier section of another pastoral qualification (that an elder should be a one-woman-man), we noted that we are evaluating character, not counting rocks. The world is a messy place, and this is frequently hard on perfectionists. Thus, all questions flowing from weird circumstances not addressed in the text should be acknowledged to be anomalous and dealt with on a case-by-case basis. What about a pastor who adopts his fifteen-year-old nephew whose parents just died, and that nephew never comes to faith? What about a child fathered out of wedlock ten years before the father was converted and married? The man’s six legitimate children are all faithful Christians. My point is not that we should apply Paul’s requirements in a wooden manner, with our eyes tight shut, but rather that if we are careful to obey him in those areas which are clearly addressed in the text, we will have the wisdom necessary when we come to the difficult cases.
Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk , pg. 192.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Chance...No Power

Aquinas…Chance is a perfectly meaningful term to describe mathematical possibilities, but the word becomes a sneaky bogeyman when used to describe something that has the power to influence anything. Chance has no being, and that which has no being has no power to do anything.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 75.

Qualities vs Check List

The second attitude is often a reaction to this modernist refusal to take God's Word seriously. In this reaction, the list of attributes ceases to be descriptive of a certain kind of man and hardens into a checklist. And as with all “checklist” approaches to godliness, a clear arbitrariness begins to creep in—no less humanistic even though it is thought to be “strict” or “conservative.” Countless churches have fallen away from faithfulness to Christ into an unbiblical woodenness, because they were faithless first in how they selected their leaders.
Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk , pg. 188.

Called to Eternal Glory

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10

Holiness to Completion

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 7:1

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Who Would'a Thunk It?

We live in perhaps the most anti-intellectual period of Christian history. We affirm technology and education, but we demean the role of the mind or intellect, particularly in the religious realm.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 66.

What is a Christian?

Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the LORD
Psalm 4:5  

Until He Comes

Communion Meditation
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. Everything that has been created was created by him and for him, for his glory. In the beginning was the Word. The word was with God and was God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate…Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve…and to more than 500 others.

Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe…In him, we live and move and have our being. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together…And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 

Such Men Do Exist

But with all this said, the basic qualifications which the Bible sets forth are character qualifications, both in the man’s life and in his household. We should not consider a man for the office of minister unless he fully meets the description that Scriptures give us. Every ministerial candidate will be a sinner, and no one will achieve absolute perfection before God. But Paul and Peter describe a certain kind of man for a reason. Such men do exist, and the church should be governed by them.
Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk , pg. 186.

Called, That...

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9

Abides in God

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:16-18

Parish Bible Studies

At our last HOH meeting the elders disclosed that we will be providing Parish Bible Studies in the fall. These Parish Bible Studies will begin September 21 and will continue until November 16.

These studies will be Wednesday evenings at 7:00- 8:00 PM. The questions that will be discussed will be provided via the church email system on Monday before the studies. It will take less than an hour to prepare for the Parish Bible Study.

This short announcement is not all there is as more information is coming. However, if you can’t wait, feel free to ask any of the elders if you have more questions.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

We Proclaim The Lord's Death

In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. Everything that has been created was created by him and for him, for his glory. In the beginning was the Word. The word was with God and was God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

No Grumbling?

What would it look like if there were no grumbling? Or What would the world look like if no one complained? Some of us are pretty introspective, and we might be wondering what our lives would look like if we didn’t grumble. Immediately thoughts of peace, light, security, rest, comfort, ease, and patience flash through our minds. Life would be very different if we didn’t complain or whine or grumble.

But then, just as quickly those peaceful thoughts are pushed aside by reality. “What about the unfairness of life?” “I deserve a lot more than I’m getting.” “Who does that guy think he is talking to me like that?” “Doesn’t she know who I am?” “Who does she think he is?” I have a lot to complain about. Real life isn’t fair. Things happen; things that aren’t good. Grumbling is how we fix things while being too timid to actually do anything constructive.

Make Our Joy Complete

Confession of Sin

We all know that being a Christian is about not going to Hell when you die. But if that’s all you know, you’re in serious trouble. Being a Christian is not simply about not going to Hell when you die. It is really about living with God for eternity. Living with God means living in a close relationship with him. It means caring that he is God, caring that he wants a relationship with us, caring that he wants us to have relationships with one another, and caring that we know our place in the system.