Archive for October, 2008

Do I Have To Go To Church?

Oct 28th, 2008 Posted in Ecclesiology, Faith | no comment »
Country Church

Country Church

Yep, sure do. At least that’s the answer I give when a Christian asks me the question. I will sidestep the arguments around what “a church” means, if “home churches” are ‘okay’ or not, and if “mega-churches” have the Spirit at all, and focus on the idea that Christians need to meet with, lean on, and support other believers.

Another question I get is, “If I don’t go to church can I be saved”? This question is usually asked because people don’t want to associate with Christians, or just don’t like other people very much at all. Of course, we can do exactly nothing to move us even one iota closer to salvation, church or no church. We are asked to associate with other believers though, and we’re told to like it! Don’t believe me? Check out John 13:35 and let me know what you think? Read the rest of this entry »

Crawling off the Altar

Oct 25th, 2008 Posted in Faith | no comment »
Stone Altar

Stone Altar

Under the ‘old law’, sacrifices were made to the Lord for many different reasons. Some were offerings of joy or thanks, some were sin offerings, and others commemorated feasts. The animal was slaughtered and placed on the altar and didn’t much have a choice. Israel made these sacrifices regularly, but there are numerous (scores) of accounts in the Old Testament where the Bible states that the people fell away from the Lord and no longer knew Him or what he had done for Israel (Judges 2:10, 2 Kings 17:6-20). It is clear that the sacrifice was not the only effective part of the transaction then, there was also a heart/mind component; the memory of the Lord and the willingness to follow His ways.

Today, we are told to give our bodies as ‘living sacrifices’ to our God (Romans 12:1). This brings several new dimensions to an ancient ritual. First, a live sacrifice can leave the altar. Second, a live sacrifice is personally involved in the transaction, living it and feeling it. Finally, a living sacrifice lasts longer than the old, dead sacrifice.

Let’s examine these dimensions as we look at what is happening in our post, post-modern culture.

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Invictus vs. Humilis

Oct 23rd, 2008 Posted in Faith, Me, Men's Ministry | no comment »

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Ernest Henley (British Poet, 1875)

Ah yes, the poem that Timothy McVeigh uttered as the execution drugs began flowing into his veins. Americans love this poem. Men love this poem. We grunt like Tim the Toolman Taylor at the dark overtones and the protagonists unquenchable spirit. We are gripped with emotion at the last two lines, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. “Invictus”, unconquered! Deep emotion, passion, and strength; good stuff.

Small problem though, it isn’t true.

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Jesus was a Socialist

Oct 13th, 2008 Posted in Liberty, Politics | no comment »

Hammer and SickleWith a socialist potentially being elected to the most powerful post in this nation, there has been an outcry from those involved in modern independence movements (among whom I might count myself), and there have also been some ridiculous statements made by those with socialist agendas (like the title of this post). Because of the fear associated with this change and the misunderstanding – on the part of quite a few – of the nature of God, what He desires, and how that relates to us, I thought to write this post.

You see, everything that happens here, either happens because God wants it to, or God allows it to happen and then uses it for His good. Just because we can’t seem to figure out how it could be “good for us” doesn’t mean it isn’t. God is frightfully wise compared to us.

Instead of looking at the death to which we are bound here, and then trying to draw some conclusions about what God might be like and what He might want, we must shed our view of this ‘reality’, realize that we are only strangers here, and read Scripture to get a view of what God desires and what God wants; regardless our condition here. Looking at what’s around us and drawing conclusions about God is much like a deep-sea dwelling creature believing that the entire world is covered with water, because his local area is. That creature’s view is understandably narrow, and so is ours. God has a frame of reference that is eternal and complete, and He’s given us a view into it through His word. Let’s investigate what God says about how to live and how to govern…

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