Monthly Archives: March 2015

The No-Option Option

This will be a little shorter in length than blogs that will follow. It comes from my heart and is a painful write, but a needful one and should be helpful in the end. Let me explain.

One of the difficulties in our day is that those who control much of the popular media have decided to take quite a different approach than the radicals that were running around in long hair and fermented body oder and LSD laced sugar cubes in the 1960’s. They wanted to show their parents something, and the “establishment” too. They were not going to be hemmed in. They demanded a new society of free everything. It wasn’t really fun to watch but it was easy to identify.

Today, they look respectable and many finish their education with a degree. They want to make money and be radicals and so it’s more confusing. Along with that mix they want to have the moral high ground. Their issues come to the forefront in legislation and not in sit-ins or protests for the most part. They write the TV shows and the movies and have taken classes in media so they are experts at presenting their case.

They are no different morally. The difference is they have made it legal. Their idea of an abomination is wedding cake discrimination or the non-hatred of sovereign national borders. They really do believe in these new ideals. They are actually willing to part with their mad money to support causes they have anchored their souls in. They still sleep around and watch porn and rock out to profanity. In fact those vices are more prevalent and growing to engulf more and more of our culture.

The last place they look for any semblance of truth is the church, especially a church that believes the Bible is true and inspired. They pay a token nod to the Bible but that sentiment is even fading and devolving into hatred. It is a part of the problem they perceive in our nation. They see no bounds on the horizon if we just elevate mankind and get out of his way and let him evolve. In this scheme the church is in the way, and will have to be dealt with. That idea has actually been around since the new age was translated to a woman in the 1800’s named Blavatsky.  It has been repeated in a more modern, quasi-spiritual book in the 1900’s but is kept somewhat quiet and will remain that way in my opinion. Better to keep that kind of talk quiet until arsenals are a reality and are ready to be acted upon.

If this sounds conspiratorial it is not. It’s old news. The scheme has been alive since before queen Esther intervened so bravely. The Egyptians were there at the birthing stool to remove a people who had grown unwieldy even though they were slaves. Pilate was ready to erase the race in Jesus’ humble entrance account, but God had other plans. This plan was not to be deterred because it answered the real moral issue that still faces us.

That issue is really rebellion against a personal God who made us, and so owns us, but who actually loves us. Because of that love the rebellion is truly a horror. It is a transgression against divine law not only because it breaks the code of Exodus 20 but before the law was given it broke the fellowship that God had instituted in the garden. It ruined everything. It infected everything and brought death and the worry of death for all people.

It is this threat of death that hangs like a hidden veil over every single human. No grandstanding of moral issues that aren’t really moral at all but abominations (sometimes) can alleviate this hidden dread that sneaks out in our daydreams and nightmares. It, the sure judgment of sin has no answer. No drug or drink can deal with it in the long run. No amount of money can. Sin can push it down and out of the consciousness of the culture but not the conscience of the individual unless a complete abandonment of good is attained and the mind breaks and pathos takes over the host. Of course the pathos will seem to die when the host dies but that is only that which we see with the physical eye. The disease will rot in the soul for eternity. I believe that our hardwiring knows this. I believe this knowledge is alive though artificially suppressed with more and more sin and activity. This activity is what we think is good and includes the new morality I discussed earlier. This righteousness in God’s eyes is, of course filthy rags. It is actually a hindrance to one coming awake to God’s truth and seeking Him.

God has given plenty of evidence to lead us out of our stupor of degrading sin on one hand and “do-goodism” on the other hand. The creation itself and the human conscience and the external witness of the proclaimed Gospel. The very structure of nations is a witness that God is behind it. This is what the Apostle was getting out when he said as much in Acts 17. Then he gave the reason  27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.

God’s purpose and plan was to appeal to the ability of man to reason from what he observed. To make sense of the facts and make the logical deduction that what we see in the reality of creation and cultural organization and the beneficence of the creation-provision is plenty to send man on a search for the God of that creation. There is not another logical option.

The problem is that with our investment in our own moral goodness this option became a non-starter. You have to abandon worldly standing to attain a godly one. It still takes faith but as the old evangelist said, “we put faith in every chair we sit in.” So what is so hard about putting faith in a God as revealed in Scripture that meticulously matches the God of observable reality.

In writing some elementary code to run an app for a website I learned that there is only one way to get the desired result in any application. It is the right way. You must follow the specified code not only to the letter but down to every semi-colon. Fail at those two dots and the code stops and gives a fatal error. Junk in and junk out is absolute truth in that field. When the user runs into a glitch caused by faulty writing then he curses and is disgusted at the “sin.” Can you see where I am going with this? Of course you can. God is no different. Perfection is hardwired into our minds because it is the standard of a kind God who likes “nice things” that work perfectly and are nice because they accomplish the desired result, namely His glory.

Jesus’ atonement for our sin was just so perfect. He was God made flesh. He became one of us and yet was still God the Infinite. That infinite life alone was perfect and so could make a sufficient sacrifice for our sins and not for ours only but for those of the whole world. What other option is there really? To reject a perfect rescue is to deserve infinite separation from the rescuer.

That is the real non-starter in all of the universe, known and unknown to our limited site. But what I see is glory ahead for every son that comes simply by faith in the perfect work of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of Glory. If you know Him already you are already jumping up and down on the inside. If you don’t – what are you waiting for? Get on board and be made new, for He is not far away from you at all. He wants you and paved the way for you to come running home.

…More when I have time.  Love and grace and peace to you all!   Rod

Opinions

Everyone has one, right? Only if my opinion matches truth is it helpful. It may not exactly be perfect in matching truth, as I am always going to “color” things to some degree. But, we must give great effort to always be giving a reason for the hope that is within us. I am a part of the “us” whether I like it or not so I am accountable to others and that means accountable to listen to others and also to communicate to others.

So, here it goes. I will tell you what I am thinking.  I am starting a blog. I am not thinking of just my opinions or yours or others. I am thinking of writing down what I believe the Bible says on things and subjects and issues. These would be issues as they are presented in the Bible, but in light of current issues to some degree. Although, it would not be culture driven per se. It would come from a pastoral perspective because that is the only one I have right now, but it would be flavored with my experiences and opinions so it would not be authoritative. (As well, it would not be because of my own flaws – say the word “sin” resolutely here.)  It is disappointing to have to say that but it is needful because if I say it is authoritative then I would be writing “Bible” and that book is finished. It would therefore seek to be Biblical in every sense of the word because that is the source for truth as I see it and as I believe it to actually be and through great pains we can approach that high and elevated plane with grit and sweat and pain and with the Almighty Spirit of God that lives in us and the help of the Body of Christ at large.

If this would be helpful and if you would like to be able to comment on the opinions set forth in the aforementioned blog then let me know at my email address. (pastured@lewistoncommunitychurch.org) (yah that is a new address but is actually there because pastorrod@lewistoncommunitychurch.org got spell checked – and then once I looked at it I like it. So, I am going over to the server we use and add the new email address and I might get used to the idea…since Jesus is my Shepherd and He pastures me regularly – thank you Lord – and He is the Chief Shepherd…) I promise I won’t use so many parentheses in the new blog…

Anyway email me your ideas for subjects. I might also entertain short and pithy articles by those whom I trust to be faithful to the Word. If that is you and you are led to then write me at the email address above. (either one) I will pray about that.

One more thing. If you don’t have time to read blogs about the Bible then stop what you are doing and read the Bible. (that was “kind of a joke” but not really) There I go with parentheses again. So much for consistency. The Bible must be the center of our thinking and if you read it you may find that your priorities may change and you may have time to read our discussion of our favorite book!

This is important – if you disagree with me and are a Christian then you must still love me and we must be kind and gentle and respectable with each other. Your comments will not be allowed if you cannot hold to those guidelines. That being said, I don’t mind someone being passionate about their disagreements with my “opinion” so let’s be the iron that sharpens and not be shy or walk on egg shells either.

If you have thoughts on issues that you would like my opinion on please send that along too. It may take some time as I would like to thoughtfully and carefully consider each article. We live in exciting times as I believe the coming of the Lord is near. For that reason I want to include issues that have to do with the signs of the times and there is so much going on that I will rely on other Christians to let me know about things that they become aware of.

Anyway – I love you all, whoever reads this line at the end. I mean that! I love you all because Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me and is coming again for me. He died to atone for sin and to save sinners and that is the basis for our life as believers. Because He poured out such love for me I can say truly that I love you. I have been forgiven much so I love much and both those things are true. To love Jesus is to love God. God is love according to 1 John. To love God means that I love by definition and not by compulsion but I am “constrained” as Paul says in 2 Corinthians to love because He first loved me. I am praying that my love will grow up and mature and bear fruit that resembles in kind that of the true vine whose love was and is and always shall be pure and true and good and palpably sweet!

love,

Rod