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.

The Love of God

The love of God is so pure, so rich, and so high. It is unmatched. The love for the untouchable, the slave, the sick and hurting is His love. He also loves truth, so much it shows passionately in sharp rebuke to those who are slack with it. Slack not with truth my soul; love and care for the lost and hurting; fervently fend off the wolves in the loving shepherding of His sheep. Grant me love, grace and truth of which You are so very full of. 

Running to Truth

What is the purpose in a man’s pursuit of truth? Ought he do so with passion or with no contention at all? The concession is given by nature that his own comprehension of truth does not limit the fullness which truth itself holds. Truth is. The man may grasp both pure and corrupted components but love of truth will determine his seeking it out. If there is no love for it then the little he grasps he takes for granted caring not if it is worthy of praise and his delight. It is only good for its usefulness to the man. But where there is love for truth there is a Person to be found who is holding all of it. In that searching there is delight and many a rebuke; the lies or deceptions once believed will be gladly shed when the light of truth shines upon the darkened areas of the mind.  Tension is no stranger to this journey as the man must seek out truth among many others who by and large disdain those who love truth seeking. There are also many enemies of truth even though it serves them in countless ways to enable their very warring against it…which also serves to their ultimate detriment. May this man never tire of the race he is running. Many have stopped running and need encouragement to begin again. The purpose is to run into the person of Christ Jesus who is truth. His hand is in every realm of knowledge man utilizes and His praise is due from every creature as a result. Run to the truth oh man and sing a new song unto the Lord of creation when you find Him in every arena of your searchings. Amen.

An Appointment from Before Time

“[1] Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, [2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 

The first verse here presses to the mind the awesome reality that God has spoken! It does so however with a very important qualification, that God speaks through His own appointed mediators. The varying accounts recorded in Old Testiment times were interpreted through the lense of such prophets. So history for God’s chosen people has always had theology as its primary emphasis. For sure, to the 1st century Jew, the events of the Old Testement were ancient history but they had the written word of these accounts passed down to them and they considered the texts revelation from God; Jesus himself held men accountable to those very texts as those who have heard from God through them. 

Verse 2 then draws finality and closure to what is to be revealed from God when it tells us that a greater mediator has been given, The Son. Jesus is understood by the author here to have spoken to God’s chosen people again, in great display, after a long period of silence, in what is framed in the context of “these last days.” God’s revelation gets closure when Christ is done teaching us about His Father who sent Him. 

God appointed Christ “heir of all things.” Instantly, the scripture commands that the relationship between the persons of the trinity come to the mind. The Godhead has determined that all things are for Christ, the Son has been appointed such a global and universal inheritance of glory that is hard to fathom. This assertion that all things have their purpose in this appointment is addressed in the very same sentence that states the Son also created the world. If anyone would credit this inheritance appointment due to the actions of Christ in time as we creatures know it, they miss that the appointment to inherit all things written of comes before His incarnation, it was planned from before the foundation of the world. The context here is that the Son was with the Father when the Father made the world through the Son. For certain, the actions Christ performed on earth revealed the glory due His name but that glory He kept vailed in the form of a suffering servant who would go to a cross and suffer wrath on behalf of His elect. The greatest truly became the least and will forever be praised as the greatest by those He saved in the process. 

Christ is the ultimate purpose for creation and verse 2 here teaches that before time began for the creatures in God’s creation, this purpose was settled among the three persons of the trinity – creation is to be the theater where the Father unfolds the reality of this inheritance appointment to the Son. 

A Savior for Sinners

You may have heard someone say, “God helps those who help themselves,” and then thought to yourself how many times you’ve been a helpless failure. Is there any hope for those of us who seem to have a persistent proneness to failure and of weakness? 
Good news, God saves the helpless, the lost, the rebel, the sinner to the uttermost! Christ came to save sinners not the self righteous. Jesus hung out with sinners teaching them His ways while rebuking and condemning the self-righteous Pharisees. 
Beware of the form of legalistic teaching that clothes itself in light while telling you that you must help yourself before God will help you. Who can truly do this who is not blindly self righteous? Only God is truly good and not a single man to ever walk this earth other than Christ is without a sin deserving of death (this is why we all are headed to our graves by the way…”the wages of sin is death.”)
No, it starts with an honest confession of sin and a request for mercy; this is God in His grace lifting the sinner’s soul to see the cross and what the only Son of the Father accomplished at it: complete salvation for all who believe. He came to heal the sick, not the healthy. 
Recognizing ones own sickness is to truly see ones own sin for what it is: cosmic treason against ones own Maker. Yet He is kind to sinners leading them to humble repentance. He grants them new hearts, hearts that actually long for Him and desire to please Him. He faithfully teaches them His ways. He promises them He will never leave or forsake them and that He will finish the work He began in them. He promises resurrection of the body in a world to come that is without sin! Oh the peace in Christ; in Him alone there is rest for the weary and a living hope for all eternity.

An Old Testament Survey Post

Sharing my most recent post from my online class where I get to learn more about my God’s awesome Word, enjoy: 

In response to the question of how to categorize the literary genre of the Genesis account, in light of some similarities with Mesopotamian accounts, our text offers a blazing insight. In essence, it rightly asserts that the biblical text is apologetic; could it be anything other?! The arguments weighed by the skeptics, always directly aimed at the foundations of God’s Word, like to point out that the Genesis accounts sometimes find similarities with other Ancient Near East literature. I like how our text reminds the reader that these similarities are far and few between, only detectable by trained eyes (which most skeptics oftentimes probably do not have); and that these similarities are literary only and by no means are they theological. The ANE accounts have no correlation with the monotheistic, extremely unique claims of the Biblical Creator and His said purpose for mankind.

I think it is very helpful to think of the author of Genesis as one who would engage the ANE in a language they would understand, for the purpose of evangelizing and sharing the truth with his common ancestors and people of his time. Such is the path for all inspired biblical literature; it’s purpose is to spread and instruct, to teach and rebuke, to remind and remember, to reform and remake sinners into saints…it always has been and always will be good news from start to finish. I’ll quote from the portion of the text that inspired this post: “One may suppose that the author, inspired by God’s revelation, employed current literary traditions to teach the true theological import of humanity’s primeval history” (Lasor, 22).