Sunday, October 31, 2010

Continuing Reformation

If reformation is to continue (i.e., if life is to continue) in our day, then we must stand on the shoulders of the generations of reformers that have gone before us and reach higher. Our generation is to be more than spectators of the past or occupational troops. There are still beaches to be stormed—the war is not over. The generations that follow us will face new challenges to their faith and new battles to be fought. The implications of the Christian Faith for the world of tomorrow may not be seen by us; our world changes at blinding speed. However, we must go where the flashpoints are. As Luther said, "If I declare with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of God's truth except that one little bit which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ no matter how boldly I may be professing Christ. For the soldier to be steady on the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that single point."

Reformation is about the future, not just the past, and we must look forward with the expectation of seeing God work in our day as He has in the previously. We must not simply be Reformed, but Reforming Christians; transforming our culture by the power of the gospel. Professor John Murray said: "We fail to accord to the Reformers our debt of gratitude when we cease to prize our heritage…. This heritage is not only one to be cherished; it is one to be propagated. The Reformation was the rediscovery of the revealed counsel of God on the most vital issues of the Christian faith. It might be summed up in the rediscovery of salvation by grace….Reformation, however, must not consist only in retrospect nor in the repristination of the legacy furnished by the Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. Reformation is a present duty."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Comprehensive Reformation

Tomorrow is Reformation Sunday and it's important for us to not only remember our heritage but to continue to promote its vision. The Protestant Reformation did not merely seek to cleanse the Church and deliver it from doctrinal errors, but it also sought the restoration of the whole of life. For the Reformers, the natural was holy as well as the spiritual. The work of the Father in creation was considered of equal significance with that of the Son in redemption. Christ, for them, was a cosmic Redeemer, the one through whom all things are restored to the Father. "For God so love the world [this created cosmos], that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16).

The Reformers were advocates of a sound and robust Christianity; no part of life was a stranger to them. They took sin seriously, believing that all men had been corrupted by the Fall and that the world was under the curse because of sin. With this divinely-revealed diagnosis, they were then prepared to declare the remedy of the Gospel. However, they did not make the mistake of condemning natural things as though they were unholy. They believed in the restoration, purification and consecration of the natural; not its denial. They set forth an ethical relation of nature and grace so that the restoration of the law of God in every sphere of life became the concern of the Christian. Calvin saw that religion and culture cannot be separated without suffering loss. Salvation was a restoration of the whole man and the restoration of all the works of God—in church, home, school, state, and society. For Luther, the Bible was indeed the source of saving truth, but for Calvin Scripture was the norm for our whole existence.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Benefits of Tragedy

"Fretting makes us important. Say you're an adult male and you're skipping down the street whistling "Last Train to Clarksville." People will call you a fool. But lean over to the person next to you on a subway and say, "How can you smile while innocents are dying in Tibet?" You'll acquire a reputation for great seriousness and also more room to sit down.

Tragedy is better than comedy for self-dramatization, as every teenager knows. Think how little attention we pay to a teen who's bustling around the house with a big smile on his face, greeting parents and siblings with cheery salutations. . . . Actually, we'd pay a lot of attention and rush him to the drug detox center, post haste. But you know what I mean. Would you rather star in Hamlet or Three's Company?

Being gloomy is easier than being cheerful. Anybody can say "I've got cancer" and get a rise out of a crowd. But how many of us can do five minutes of good stand-up comedy? And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. This is especially true if we're careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."

P. J. O'Rourke, All the Trouble in the World

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inefficient Religion

"Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient….There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."

Bill Gates, Time, 13 January, 1997, 51.

And I thought he was brilliant.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Family Camp

I'm looking forward to our annual Family Camp at the Pinewoods Conservation Camp in East Texas next week. It was at this camp, about 14 years-ago, that the idea of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church was born. David Alders, Gene Franklin, Pat Hurd, and several other men (I think there were 13 men and boys) met with me and Ben House to discuss the need to plant churches. The Texarkana church was already established and soon thereafter the Texarkana church sponsored the planting of the Nacogdoches church (1998). In 2001, Nacogdoches sponsored the planting of St. David's in Hockley. Nacogdoches sponsored Christ Covenant Church of San Antonio in 2003. In 2004, St. David's sponsored Heritage Covenant Church in Weatherford, TX. And in June of 2008, Nacogdoches sponsored All Saints Presbyterian Church of Ft. Worth, TX.

This year about 225 folk from the Texas CREC will gather for another weekend of fellowship and worship. Over the years this annual meeting has allowed us to get to know one another better and to nurture our affection. The Family Camp also provides an important connection between our churches that draws us together to pray for, love, and serve each other. Other events have spun off from this camp, including various dances, a talent show, Summer Sanctus Student Camp (at the same location), friendships and more. Family Camp is more than a "weekend away," it's an important part of building up the church and expanding our reach and ministry. Interaction between local and broader church enriches all our lives. Over the years, this annual contact has made an enormous difference in our churches, and for this I am grateful to God.

Modern Confidence

"I cannot imagine any condition which could cause this ship to flounder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to the vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that."

―Spoken in 1912 by E. I. Smith, captain of the Titanic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


"Developing cyberspace without also nurturing virtuous character is a recipe for cultural and social chaos, as we are now discovering in the immoral muck on the Internet. In a sense, we need to look back and listen carefully before we can wisely step forward and act responsibly. If we do not take virtue seriously, the information explosion will become a plague of misinformation—endless volleys of nonsense, folly, and rumor masquerading as knowledge, wisdom, and even truth."

Quentin J. Schultze, Habits of the High-Tech Heart

Monday, October 25, 2010

Barbara Boxer Commercial

David Zucker's Commercial about Barbara Boxer:

Christin’s Quote Book

  • People are judged by both the company they keep and the company they keep away from. – Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company. – George Washington
  • Friendship is the vintage wine of a procreant fellowship. It is the sweet morsel of a kindred spirit. It is the aromatic salve of a sonorous intimacy. It is the delicate desert of a fine providence. It is meat to the breast and balm to the soul. It is all that is good and just and right and true and needful. It is joy itself. – Sรถren Kierkegaard
  • The right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and forgotten to say "when". – P. G. Wodehouse
  • There's no underestimating the intelligence of the American public. – H. L. Mencken

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Pornographic Culture

Reflecting on where we have come, Maggie Gallagher wrote: "Sex was remade in the image of Hugh Hefner; Eros demoted from a god to a buffoon. Over the last thirty years, America transformed itself into a pornographic culture." Gallagher accept Angela Carter's definition, stated in somewhat more basic Anglo-Saxon, that pornography is basically propaganda for fornication and offered a definition of her own: "[A] pornographic culture is not one in which pornographic materials are published and distributed. A pornographic culture is one which accepts the ideas about sex on which pornography is based."
That is quite right, as far as it goes, but our popular culture has gone far beyond propagandizing for fornication. That seems almost innocent nowadays. What America increasingly produces and distributes is now propaganda for every perversion and obscenity imaginable. If many of us accept the assumptions on which that is based, and apparently many do, then we are well on our way to an obscene culture the upshot is that American popular culture is in a free fall, with the bottom not yet in sight. This is what the liberal view of human nature has brought us to. The idea that men are really rational, moral creatures without the need for strong external restraints has been exploded by experience. There is an eager and growing market for depravity, and profitable industries devoted to supplying it. Much of such resistance as there is comes from people living on the moral capital accumulated by prior generations. That capital may be expected to dwindle further—cultures do not unravel everywhere all at once. Unless there is vigorous counterattack, which must, I think, resort to legal as well moral sanctions, the prospects are for a chaotic and unhappy society, followed, perhaps, by an authoritarian and unhappy society.
The question is whether we are really content to accept that.
Judge Robert Bork, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, pp. 138-139

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Let Us Break Their Bonds

1   Why do the nations rage, 
         And the people plot a vain thing? 
2   The kings of the earth set themselves, 
         And the rulers take counsel together, 
         Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 
3   "Let us break Their bonds in pieces 
         And cast away Their cords from us." 
Psalm 2:1-3

Psalm two speaks of fallen man's desire to break the restraints that God puts on them. Judge Robert Bork notes that this is the ultimate goal of liberalism:

The idea of liberty has continuous change built into it, precisely because it is hostile to constraints. Men seek the removal of the constraint nearest them. But when that one falls, men are brought against the next constraint, which is now felt to be equally irksome. That is why the agenda of liberalism is in constant motion and liberals of different eras would hardly recognize one another as deserving the same label. Harry Truman would have hated the Sixties, and, because his liberalism contained more powerful constraints on individualism, he was not a liberal in the same sense that Bill Clinton is. The perpetual motion of liberalism was described by T. S. Eliot half a century ago: "That Liberalism may be a tendency towards something very different from itself, is a possibility in its nature…. It is a movement not so much defined by its end, as by its starting point; away from, rather than towards something definite." What liberalism has constantly moved away from are the constraints on personal liberty imposed by religion, morality, law, family, and community.

Liberalism moves, therefore, toward radical individualism and the corruption of standards that movement entails. "By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified…Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanised or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos."

Chaos, which only government can control, results when other sources of authority are denigrated and diminished.

Judge Robert Bork, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, pp. 61-62

Friday, October 22, 2010

National Public Radio

NPR, your slip is showing.

Personal Convenience

…Affluence brings with it boredom. Of itself, it offers little but the ability to consume, and a life centered on consumption will appear, and be, devoid of meaning. Persons so afflicted will seek sensation as a palliative, and that today's culture offers in abundance.

This brings us to the multiple roles rapidly improving technology plays in our culture. America was a nation of farmers, but the advance of technology required fewer and fewer farmers and more and more industrial workers. The continuing advance required fewer industrial workers and more white collar workers, and eventually still more sophisticated workers of a kind that made the term "white collar" seem denigrating. Hard physical work is inconsistent with hedonism; the new work is not. With the time and energy of so many individuals freed from the harder demands of work, the culture turned to consumerism and entertainment. Technology and its entrepreneurs supplied the demand with motion pictures, radio, television, and videocassettes, all increasingly featuring sex and violence. Sensations must be steadily intensified if boredom is to be kept at bay.

A culture obsessed with technology will come to value personal convenience above almost all else, and ours does. That has consequences we will explore. Among those consequences, however, is impatience with anything that interferes with personal convenience. Religion, morality, and law do that, which accounts for the tendency of modern religion to eschew proscriptions and commandments and turn to counseling and therapeutic sermons; of morality to be relativized; and of law, particularly criminal law, to become soft and uncertain. Religion tends to be strongest when life is hard, and the same may be said of morality and law. A person whose main difficulty is not crop failure but video breakdown has less need of the consolations and promises of religion.

Judge Robert Bork, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, pp. 8-9

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Do, I Will…

Novelist Miguel de Cervantes observed that "An honest man's word is as good as his bond." Likewise, Psalm 15 describes one of the characteristics of a man who may dwell with the Lord as "He who swears to his own hurt and does not change." Yet we live in a day where men take their own word lightly and easily set aside their solemn vows. Church vows (for example), are conveniently brushed aside as though words are only words (I have heard many pastors express this as a common thing). Men and women play loose with their promises, yet no one else better question their integrity. They do have an image of honesty to maintain. Nevertheless, God hears all our words―especially our vows―and He does take them seriously and He does hold us to them.

God keeps all His promises since He is a covenant-keeping God. He is scrupulous regarding the details of what He has promised. He never forgets what He said. Yet men often have convenient memories for inconvenient circumstances. They readily enter into covenants with high expectations for the benefits, but when they have had enough and it becomes apparent that the obligations of their commitment are difficult, they are ready to move on and set aside the promises they made. The promise is not nullified because I changed my mind. We must keep our word to the end; until the obligations we made are completed. Moreover, we must be scrupulous in remembering the details of what it was we promised.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Father, Who Art in Washington

When Diocletian [Roman Emperor and persecutor of the Church], published his draconian Edict of 301, destroying the few remaining liberties of the old republic, he justified it by referring to himself and his associates as "the watchful parents of the whole human race." Rulers have ever been tempted to play the role of father to their people.…The father is the symbol not only of authority but also of provision. "Our Father who art in heaven…Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6:9, 11). Looking to the state for sustenance is a cultic act; we rightly learn to expect food from parents, and when we regard the state as the source of physical provision we render to it the obeisance of idolatry. The crowds who had fed on the multiplied loaves and fishes were ready to receive Christ as their ruler, not because of who he was but because of the provision. John Howard Yoder has rightly interpreted that scene: "The distribution of bread moved the crowd to acclaim Jesus as the New Moses, the provider, the Welfare King whom they had been waiting for."

The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as C. S. Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. "Our whole lives are their business." The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction.

Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, pp. 183-184

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You Always Think You’re Right

It's not uncommon in a dispute to hear someone say (usually someone who is losing an argument): "You always think you're right." It's important to distinguish between two possible meanings of this assertion. Remember, in a dispute, we have at least two people who think they are right.

If "I think I am always right," then of necessity, everyone else is always wrong (that is, unless they agree with me). In addition to being obnoxious, this is simply wrong. While few people will admit to having this attitude (which would mean admitting that they had been wrong about something), nevertheless, there are some who do proceed through life full-speed-ahead with this arrogant view of themselves and their opinions. [2 Tim. 3:7.]

There is a similar phrase that means something quite different: "I always think I am right." Why would we contend for something if we thought we were wrong? Everyone thinks they're right at the moment. Yet, we also know that even though we thought we were right at the time, we've sometimes turned out to be wrong. When we become aware of this mistake, humility should lead us to own that error so that we might learn and grow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christin’s Quote Book

  • Real friendship is shown in times of trouble. Prosperity is full of friends. – Abraham Kuyper
  • Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of the things that gives value to survival. – C. S. Lewis
  • A bad conscience has a good memory. – H. G. Wells
  • As we have private ties, so we should have public ties. As we have private prayers, so we should have public prayers. As we have private houses, so we should have public houses. – G. K. Chesterton
  • Friendship can take different turns – it can run like a river, quietly and sustainingly through life; it can erupt like a geyser, forcefully and intermittently at times; or it can explode like a meteor, altering the atmosphere so that nothing ever looks, feels, or functions the same again. – Ansel Adams

Friday, October 15, 2010

Doing Good Without Being Good

"In a gang of pirates we may find many things that are good in themselves. Though they are in wicked rebellion against the laws of the government, they have their own laws and regulations, which they obey strictly. We find among them courage and fidelity, with many other things that will recommend them as pirates. They may do many things, too, which the laws of the government require, but they are not done because the government has so required, but in obedience to their own regulations. For instance, the government requires honesty and they may be strictly honest, one with another, in their transactions, and the division of their spoil. Yet, as respects the government, and the general principle, their whole life is one of the most wicked dishonesty. Now, it is plain that while they continue in their rebellion they can do nothing to recommend them to the government as citizens. Their first step must be to give up their rebellion, acknowledge their allegiance to the government, and sue for mercy. So all men, in their natural state, are rebels against God; and though they may do many things which the law of God requires, and which will recommend them as men, yet nothing is done with reference to God and His law. Instead, the regulations of society, respect for public opinion, self-interest, their own character in the sight of the world, or some other worldly or wicked motive, reigns supremely; and God, to whom they owe their hearts and lives, is forgotten; or, if thought of at all, his claims are wickedly rejected, His counsels spurned, and the heart, in obstinate rebellion, refuses obedience. Now it is plain that while the heart continues in this state a man is a rebel against God, and can do nothing to recommend him to His favor. The first step is to give up his rebellion, repent of his sins, turn to God, and sue for pardon and reconciliation through the Savior…

The good actions of unregenerate men are not positively sinful in themselves, but sinful from defect. They lack the principle which alone can make them righteous in the sight of God. In the case of the pirates it is easy to see that all their actions are sin against the government. While they continue pirates, their sailing, mending, or rigging the vessel, and even their eating and drinking, are all sins in the eyes of the government, as they are only so many expedients to enable them to continue their paratical career, and are parts of their life of rebellion. So it is with sinners."

―W.D. Smith

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Arminian Prayer?

"You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer... An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free will: there is no room for it. Fancy him praying:

Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can'' turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou doest not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given to me, and others did not - that is the difference between me and them.

That is a prayer for the devil, for nobody else would offer such a prayer as that. Ah! when they are preaching and talking very slowly, there may be wrong doctrine; but when they come to pray, the true thing slips out; they cannot help it. If a man talks very slowly, he may speak in a fine manner; but when he comes to talk fast, the old brogue of his country, where he was born, slips out."

C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Into the Abyss

"A universe without decrees would be as irrational and appalling as would be an express train driving on in the darkness without headlight or engineer, and with no certainty that the next moment it might not plunge into the abyss."

― A. J. Gordon

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Meat Grinder

"For I am the Lord, I do not change…" ― Malachi 3:6
A Christian view of history is linear; it has a beginning, a middle and an end, all of which are created and controlled by God. History is going somewhere because history is His-story. Thus, history has real meaning and purpose. In man's history the providence and judgment of God meet the obedience or rebellion of man. What we think of the meaning of history ultimately tells us what we think of the meaning of life and it points us to the source of salvation. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

In a Marxian or "progressive" view (as held by our current administration), history is but the machine that drives us forward in an evolutionary process to a new and improved society. Individual people are but small parts of this process―they are the fuel―and sometimes they are detrimental to the process. What is past is old; what is old must be discarded as obsolete and useless. Historical events and institutions might have served their purpose at the time but now they have become worthless and are dumped into what Marx referred to as "the trash can of history." This historical process is the engine of salvation, and thus progressives idolize the process, turning it into a god. "Fundamental change" is essential in order to move us to the next level toward perfection. Since everything is changing, including values [there is no unchanging God in this system], then everything is permissible and the ends always justify the means.
Like its biological counterpart, social evolution assumes "progress" without a definition of progress. This is a form of religious determinism that doesn't simply say, "what will be, will be," but rather says, "whatever is, is necessarily better." New is always better than old. It's assumed that this "progress" is built into the system, but it's these assumptions that must be questioned. An impersonal universe possesses no ideals and thus "progress" is indefinable and impossible. Chaos rules the day. Easy come, easy go. History becomes little more than a meaningless meat grinder and we are the meat.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Christin’s Quote Book

  • If you think nobody cares, miss a couple of payments. – Unknown
  • A Freudian slip is when you mean one thing but you say your mother. – Unknown
  • Cloning is the sincerest form of flattery. – Unknown
  • Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. – Unknown
  • Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. – Groucho Marx

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Alleine’s Alarm

"[My sins] are as mighty as they are many. The sands are many, but then they are not great; the mountains great but then they are not many. But woe is man, my sins are as many as the sands, and as mighty as the mountains. Their weight is greater than their number."

Joseph Alleine

Shakespeare Meets Hamlet

C. S. Lewis, in contemplating the events and thoughts that led to his conversion said, I realized that "if Shakespeare and Hamlet could ever meet, it must be Shakespeare's doing. Hamlet could initiate nothing."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Season Tickets

I have season tickets to the best event for my favorite team with great seats. I wouldn't miss it for the world. Actually, there are several seasons and I have seats for all of them: Advent, Easter, Pentecost and Trinity. And on top of that, I get to enjoy them with the people I love. See you at worship next Lord's Day! Go team!

Friday, October 8, 2010

God’s Eyes

We spend much of our time guarding, covering and pretending; always concerned over what others think about us. It's good to remember this simple truth: that whatever we are in God's eyes is who we really are.

"And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." -Hebrews 4:13

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Burden Lifted

"Now I saw in my dream that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall was called Salvation. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulcher. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosened from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, 'He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." Then he stood still a while to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks."

John Bunyan's Pilgrim

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Most Influential Woman

According to Life magazine, the most influential woman of the last century was Margaret Sanger, founder of the abortion mill known as "Planned Parenthood." Consider some of her views compared to the Word of God:

  • "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Ps. 127:3-5).
  • "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."—Sanger
  • "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled" (Heb. 13:4).
  • "The marriage bed is the most denigrating influence of social order."—Sanger
She even told her husband William that she needed emancipation from every taint of Christianized capitalism, including the strict bonds of the marriage bed. Margaret Sanger published her first paper called, The Woman Rebel, which had the slogan emblazoned across the masthead, "No Gods! No Masters!" In this paper she wrote: "Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian Churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism."

Nothing short of the gospel of Jesus Christ, clearly preach and fully embraced, can reverse the abomination of abortion in our land. This land is defiled and it will not be easily purged. It must begin in each of us with fresh, zealous commitment to the covenant-law of our Lord. It must be sown and cultivated in our homes and in our children. Our church, along with other faithful congregations, must reach out to a desperate and dying world. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Upside Down

God promises blessings to the one and curses to the other. God keeps all His promises—He is a covenant-keeping God. Historian and atheist Will Durant wrote: "The greatest question of our time is not communism versus individualism, not Europe versus America, not even East versus the West; it is whether men can live without God." There is an age-long war against God. It's been going on from the beginning of time. "Suppressing the truth in unrighteousness—exchanging the truth for a lie." It is all about not having God to rule over us, not having His Word set any limits on us. We will determine good and evil for ourselves. We will be our own gods! R. J. Rushdoony wrote: "And what is law, if it constantly changes at the will of men? If an act of congress can redefine good and evil, or if courts can legalize abortion, homosexuality, and euthanasia, why not rape and murder? If the state can define morality, what happens to good and evil, or to truth?"

Men want to turn the ethical world upside down. What irony and tragedy that a society confronted with plastic bags filled with the remains of aborted babies should be more concerned about the problem of recycling the plastic. We slaughter the innocent while protecting the guilty!

Every problem of man, in every age, can be traced to it source: The ethical rebellion of man against the covenant-law of God. God demands that His creatures submit to His gracious rule—His covenantal government—but they will not have God determining right from wrong for them—they will rule themselves. This problem manifests itself in individual lives as well as in the political and social institutions of man.

J. Gresham Machen observed: "It is impossible to deal successfully even with these political and social problems until we have come to be right with God. . . .the evils of the time, instead of leading us away from God, ought to lead us to Him." Greg L. Bahnsen noted: "Satan lured our original parents into thinking that they should know good and evil for themselves; they would be moral arbitrators determining good and evil. They decided that they could be self-sufficient in their moral consciousness and reasoning. They substituted autonomy for theonomy. The dreadful results are all too well known to us. Man is not morally self-sufficient; when he tries to be he sins and rebels against God, and such is the antithesis of true ethics."

This hatred—this warfare against the rule of God—craves everything God calls evil, and opposes everything He calls good. This is a self-conscious fist-in-the-face of God. This is why the human heart must be conquered by the Gospel and the grace of God.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Christin’s Quote Book

  • Hell is a place where the motorists are French, the policemen are German and the cooks are English. – Unknown
  • Don't judge a book by its movie. – Unknown
  • Television: a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done. – Ernie Kovacs
  • We have enough youth. How about a fountain of smart? – Unknown
  • If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you. – Unknown

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Prayer for Grace in Abortion

Eternal God, You have revealed Yourself as the Father of all life and grace. We praise You for the Fatherly care which You extend to all creation, and especially to us, made in Your image and likeness.

Father, extend Your hand of protection to those threatened by abortion, and save them from its destructive power. Give Your strength to all fathers and mothers, that they may never give in to the fears that may tempt them to facilitate abortions.

Bless our families and bless our land, that we may have the joy of welcoming and nurturing the life of which You are the source and the Eternal Father.

We pray You would drive all the wicked away from the innocent children and from the killing centers where their destruction is planned. Overcome evil with good in the hearts of those who reject your truth and who have believed the lies of the evil one who would say that good is evil and evil is good. Rebuke the enemy for the sake of innocent children and for Your sake, Oh Lord.

Our Father, who is the Beginning and the End, hear our prayers as we cry out to You to end the merciless shedding of innocent blood in our nation and throughout the world. Through death you have conquered death and through your life we experience eternal and everlasting life. Cause life to spring forth in the hearts of all people and bring forth a love and respect for life that will dominate our culture. May your kingdom and church apprehend and overtake the culture of death that has prevailed through deceit and selfishness; may the Seed of the woman crush the head of the serpent through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Something Far More Fundamental

If we don't clearly perceive the root cause of the wicked insanity of abortion, then we will forever be treating only the symptoms. Like sweeping water up hill, we see progress here and there, but we're ultimately overwhelmed by the flood. It's a general rebellion and disregard for the covenant-law of God that leads to a culture's demise. God will not be mocked.

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. Exodus 34:5-7

History is but a long trail littered with the decayed bodies of those individuals and nations that arrogantly raise themselves up against their Creator. W. S. Plumer tells the story of Julian the apostate, one of the Roman Emperors. "In the days of his prosperity he is said to have pointed his dagger to heaven defying the Son of God, whom he commonly called the Galilean. But when he was wounded in battle, and he saw that all was over with him, he gathered up his own clotted blood, and threw it into the air, exclaiming, 'Thou hast conquered, O thou Galilean.' "

There's always a "pay-day." As singer Bruce Springsteen put it, "You want it, you take, you pay the price." Or as the Scriptures put it: "You reap what you sow"; "Be sure, your sins will find you out"; "The wages of sin is death"; "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).
All men stand in a covenantal relationship with their Creator. God’s covenant is designed to govern man. It’s designed to bring man blessing. It’s a covenant of God’s grace and love. His law has our holiness and happiness as its goal. All men, at every point, either believe and obey the covenant-law of God the Creator, or else they believe and obey the word of the creature. Therefore, all men are either covenant-keepers or else they are covenant-breakers.  

Friday, October 1, 2010

Imbalanced Discussion

This Sunday we will be participating with other Christians in our community in the "National Life Chain" in Nacogdoches, TX, from 2:00 to 3:00 on North, St.

Letter to the editor, November 20, 2003

In a recently published opinion in your paper titled, "Balanced discussion of abortion rights," John Young writes to his son (and to the rest of us), assuring us that abortion is a "medical necessity," and arguing that the procedure is particularly suitable when conception is the result of rape or incest. He tells us that his chief concern, however, is that the state should not force "a pregnant women to gestate—to carry a pregnancy to term."

Mr. Young is right if we will but grant him one presupposition: The "product of conception" is not an innocent, living human being. If this is true, then we can dispose of it at will. We can deal with the inconvenience of pregnancy the way we might deal with the inconvenience of too many kittens or the threat of too many rattlesnakes. Tumors are simply removed when they present a threat, and so too, this "protoplasmic mass" we call a fetus can be surgically removed and dumped. If Mr. Young is correct, then abortion is little different than pulling a bad tooth—problem solved.

If, however, Mr. Young's presupposition is false, and a pregnant woman (however she became pregnant) is carrying an innocent, living human being, made in the image of God, we have an entirely different proposition. To destroy such a life is the intentional killing of an innocent human life. We can cloak it in medical terms and euphemistically turn it into a "clinical procedure," but renaming it does not change its true nature. Neither the mother nor a doctor nor anyone else can justify killing an innocent human being no matter how inconvenient this life might be.

As doctors seek to preserve life, no doubt some lives cannot be saved. Life is full of difficult and sad circumstances, but we are not free to solve these problems at the expense of others. As some men sexually violate women we should deal justly with them and also justly with their innocent victims. Kill the rapists, not the babies. Protecting innocent life from violence is a primary duty of the state. It is unfortunate that while overstepping its mandate in many directions it falls short in the lives of the most needy.

Pastor Randy BoothNacogdoches, TX