Letters to my Children: Humble Yourselves

To my boys Abe and Caleb, both of whom are far greater gifts than I could ever deserve. I hope this to be the first of many letters in which I intend to deliver to you the most important matters of truth, which in God’s sovereign providence have also been given to me.

All of the deepest matters of truth are found in the person and work of Christ. Christ, the eternal Son humbled himself to a cross to be killed by his own creatures. God demonstrated awesome humility in this action of grace. The Creator crucified! Remember he said that no one takes his life from him but he lays it down if his own accord? His resurrection and exaltation to the right hand of His Father came after the humiliation of the cross.

So we should take his example to heart. Consider these true biblical statements: I am a sinner yet I am a child of God; I am weak and needy yet I am a mighty warrior; I am a slave yet I am more than a conqueror. You see, God’s revelation demands his creatures glory in humility. To rule is to serve. The greatest in His kingdom make themselves to be the least.

Grace is what you need and grace is given to the humble. Pride will lead to a fall; the prideful are enemies of God. Resist the desire to make much of yourself to others. Make much of Christ and let Him exalt you in His good timing. Speak less than others and listen. Always stay teachable. When you fail and when you return to Christ, comfort others with the same mercy and grace you’ve been shown.

May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts

– Dad

The Righteous Law of Christ Condemns Murder

A Protestant appealing to Christ’s Righteous Law for the justice due to the murderers of unborn children.

Christ is the resurrected King of the Nations. He is Lord of lords and King of kings.

Christ fulfilled and upholds the law. Not one jot or tittle will pass away.

Classical Distinctions in Biblical presentations of law: National, ceremonial, moral. The moral elements in all these categories remain; ceremonial and national laws pertaining to Israel are not binding per New Testament Revelation. The moral truths revealed to man in those categories remain binding as they reveal the character of God.

What biblical law remains authoritative and binding is Christ’s law. Old & New Testament binding law = the Law of Christ.

How the regenerate operates in relation to an unbelieving ruling authority who is breaking the Righteous Law of Christ:

  1. Christians are not obligated to obey unrighteous law.
  2. Christians must acknowledge the binding law of Christ that is being rejected by man and repent of individual sin. Abortion is Murder and we are not guiltless for allowing it to continue uncontested. Repent, turn from sin and sin no more.
  3. Call the state/nation to repent of its sin. Abortion is Murder. Repent, turn from this sin and allow it no more in the land. The State’s duty is to protect and serve and punish all who would practice or promote murder. As a resident of New York State I am deeply disgusted at the rate this gross practice continues to thrive. NYS must immediately cease and desist from expanding, legalizing, or protecting abortion activities and instead criminalize it for what it is, premeditated Murder from the moment of conception.
  4. Operate in grace toward all who have sinned against the Lord, extending to them the saving power of the gospel of Christ: He is the Mediator slain for repentant sinners and is raised for their justification.
  5. Understand the authority of the Lord to exact justice upon murderers through a righteous lesser magistrate, even despite their repentance. All sin has consequence, but praise God that for even murderers who repent, there is a crown of eternal life whose faith and trust is in Christ!
  6. Visit the prisons and preach the cross of Christ to convicted murderers.

My hope is the Lord will cause His people to repent and go to our local magistrates and plead the cause of the unborn being murdered in our land. Lord, have mercy upon us!

#notantiabortion #antimurder

All That Requires Speech Will Influence

https://www.npr.org/2018/05/01/607181437/on-fire-for-gods-work-how-scott-pruitts-faith-drives-his-politics?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20180502

Everyone has a worldview. Christian or secular atheist, both come at issues with a core set of beliefs (clearly defined or culturally assumed, they exist) that inform them in their decision making processes. If a person’s work is to shape and govern a nation’s law, he should do so from his own genuine conviction, be they religious or not. The Christian should not limit Christ’s Lordship to his personal life, never challenging the laws established by unbelieving world-views. Engage the presuppositions, debate the standards for each law, challenge the consistency of truth claims…doing so requires speech, and speech will influence.

As a Christian, I believe Jesus Christ is the uncreated Maker of heaven and earth and is currently the Lord of the nations forevermore. God has revealed himself to man in nature through His creation, sent His Son to earth to redeem a people for Himself, and has spoken to His creatures in scripture; a core message in scripture is that everyone is accountable to Him. God is perfectly holy, loving, just and unchanging. Such core beliefs drive my worldview. Where God has spoken, I’m to obey and encourage others that obedience to God is a good and holy thing, however culturally offensive that may be. Since I trust in God’s goodness, I bow the knee to his revelation regarding life, marriage, and sexual morality. If I truly believe God’s design is good not just for me but for everyone who would follow after him, I ought to plead with others to do the same…I’m actually commanded to.

When it comes to faith and politics, there are helpful distinctions in scripture that Christians ought to remember when treading these waters. For instance, those in the church are to judge members from within the church according to the standards Christ has redeemed those members into. A Christian cannot expect an unbeliever to desire to bend the knee to Christ, indeed scripture says an unbeliever cannot truly follow Christ unless he be born again. We are to expect obedience from those who claim the name of Christ, but call those who do not to the faith once for all handed down to the saints.

There is no forcing someone into Christianity in scripture, the only way in is through God’s sovereign grace. God has commanded obedience to the nations yet grants it to His church alone. The church is called to proclaim repentance and faith in Christ alone to every person in every culture; the church and all her members are subordinate to the law of Christ before the laws of men. If by God’s common grace political power can be influenced such that it aligns more with God’s created order and His revelation, then his blessing is upon that land. History and scripture is a good teacher however that such blessings are temporary; man loves darkness and God withdraws his blessings from the land that spurns him. I’m convinced by scripture that no culture this side of judgement day will fully honor God in their government, for unbelievers are naturally opposed to His reign. For the Christian, the law of Christ commands obedience to the rulers of the land until those laws violate obedience to scripture. The inevitable result historically is persecution against those who do not compromise their Christian convictions.

How is a man, who’s conscience is held captive by God’s revelation, to withhold his speech on any given subject in any given theater of vocation or practice? Even in political office? Does not the secular atheist also have passionate convictions, creeds, and presuppositions by which they argue their position and derive their agenda? I say we must allow them both have their place in government, in school, in sport, in society. Let’s not send our representatives or our children into an echo chamber. Seems to me that Christians have by and large allowed the secular worldview go unchallenged for too long; this article sparks some hope for those of us who bow the knee to Christ and trust wholly in His goodness.

My Christian Allegiance 

I pledge allegiance to Christ my king who establishes and breaks the nations. 

No ruler has ever governed apart from His decree and His means to bless His people is the same He uses to judge the wicked. 

Even the most vile ruler among fallen man is better than what men deserve from His holy hand. 

My loyalty is to the Holy law of scripture before the laws of men. I pledge to never again vote for any human not completely committed to abolishing abortion in the land where I dwell. I rejoice in men’s laws that are just and true. A nation who rejects truth and justice must repent or God will sweep it away and the land spew it out. The unborn millions of people stand against the USA before a holy God – their blood is on our hands. 

I reject political conservatism and liberalism that is without Christ – it is utter foolishness and only feeds on controversy. 

My citizenship is in God’s kingdom before any other. 

My vote or non-vote for any canidite to rule over me is my own and I entrust it to my sovereign King who will establish my ruler – good or bad, they all ultimately come from the Lord. I reject the claim that a person’s non-vote for a given candidate ensures the opposite candidate’s victory. FALSE. The hand of the Lord is more than able to keep His subject’s loyalty in conviction while managing the nations as He wills. I choose neither when given the option of the lesser of two evils. 

Trump will not make America great again and Hilary is deceived to think America is good as it is. America has for a long time rejected God’s Son and it continues to kill it’s unborn children – only repentance to Christ alone by faith alone will bring blessing upon this nation. 

God have mercy. 

Weak on Dragons

“Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon’s lair but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books. They had a lot to say about exports and imports and governments and drains, but they were weak on dragons.”
Excerpt From: C. S. Lewis. “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” 

How To Listen to Text Books Anywhere

This post is a summary of Dr. James R. White’s own post on his aomin.org website entitled The Single Most Often Asked Question (FAQmaximus) Geekfest. I’m starting in Seminary next month at SBTS and I plan on listening to a lot of my text books in my car rides; I figured I mind as well share the geekyness with you all. I find this info extremely useful and I hope some of you do as well.

For books I can get on kindle:

  • Kindle keyboard units will read books to you
  • Get a free audio recording program (like Audacity, Audio Recorder, whatever—there are dozens of them out there),
  • Plug the output of the Kindle into the input of your computer, fire up the reading portion of the Kindle, and record it
    • put on “faster” to get it done quicker
    • this requires real-time recording, so, set it up to record over night (depending on how long the book is)
  • Load the resultant file onto your iPod and away you go.

For all other materials I cannot get on Kindle

  • Use TextSpeech Pro with the voices from Cepstral
  • Dump PDFs, html, docs, rtf, etc., into the program
  • Choose to export
    • Works for articles, books, etc. Dr. White says he sometimes cuts and pastes portions out of books in his Logos library to read this way as well (sermon prep, for example).

If you’ve got a lot of traveling, cycling, running, etc. to do and want to work through any type of digitally written material while your doing it this is a geeky and productive way to go about it.

A Much Needed Contrast

Everything looks clearer when there is a proper contrast. I often think back to the point at which I first believed in Christ and the joy that came in the knowing that the God of the Bible had chosen to save me from my sins. The joy that overwhelmed me was so extravagant, so deep that its hard to describe.  It was so elevated because it came to me directly after the moment the darkness of my sin was exposed to me.  The contrast that gave way to the clarity was the bright holiness of my Savior and the filthy corruption of my rebellious heart.  He is pure, I am not – yet He led me to repent and showed me great grace and love which turned my sorrow into laughter!

Where there is darkness God still creates out of nothing. What great joy there is in the free gift of Salvation given to sinner’s through Christ Jesus. One cannot earn it. One cannot deserve it. How magnificent it is to realize the Bible is true revelation from God and can be trusted. It is good news that God grants new hearts, new ears and new eyes to sinful mankind.

The joy of the salvation that the one true God grants to men cannot be known if the call to repentance is not preached or received. The good news of the gospel of God’s grace shines most brightly against the dark reality of humankind’s depravity and inability to keep God’s perfect law.

Roaring Hills & Rain

The fact that God thought to sometimes mix in the rumble of thunder with rain storms is an awesome thing. Sitting in my study, on the 2nd floor of an old Dutch colonial type house, the thunder can sometimes feel as though it penetrates right into my chest. It’s like these old walls don’t even try to smother the sound as it enters into the room. Especially late at night when nothing else can be heard except the rain dripping outside or the occasional car passing by on the very wet road near my house. 

I was quickly brought outside of my self as I stopped and listened to the noise as it cracked the night sky and flooded over all the surrounding hills. The trees get no break, they’ve no insulation – they are completely exposed and they almost seem to amplify the effect. How far each wave of thunder reaches is incredible and I’m brought to thoughts of how small I am and how God’s powerful creation obeys and displays his rule; a rule that is beyond man’s capacity and which must be utterly terrifying to those who do not know the Sustainer of all things. 

The God of creation is terribly powerful indeed and I see that on display in such storms. Yet I also note that this natural order reveals that He also provides the rain through such awesome demonstrations of might. It is very much the case scripturally that the God of the Bible is revealed as one who brings salvation through judgement. It isn’t any wonder that the created order can be heard singing this tune also. A man may be struck with the fear of death at the horrid noise of thunder and raise his fist to the sky while at the same time another man raises praise for the life the rain of that same storm brings to his crop. 

While the storm parallel isn’t exact, the narrative fits: Christ who bore God’s wrath at the cross suffered terribly while at the same time completely gained salvation for His people. One can look at the cross and see only unnecessary violence and another can believe upon the Son, confess their sin and be brought to their knees in utter worship of the one who conquered death. The latter group rejoice to know that their Savior is also sovereign over such noisy affairs as thunder storms. The fear of the Lord trumps and subdues any fear common to humanity. Trust in Him and find rest. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.