Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

How Infirm a Foundation

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I fear the long-term consequences, whatever they might turn out to be, of basing a whole civilization on a foundation of lies.

I’m not talking about the little, everyday lies that are part of human life in a fallen world. No. I mean great, thumping lies–not silly opinions, not mere mistakes, but actual bodacious whoppers: like, for instance, that whole business of “I identify as something that I’m most certainly not,” for which various government agencies are poised to punish you if you don’t believe in them. Untruths upon which public policy is based, like Man-Made Climate Change. Things that simply aren’t true. But power is brought to bear against anyone who tries to deny those things.

It hit home for me yesterday, when I went from writing about the big, hulking, smirking man who “won” a women’s weight-lifting title, with all the nooze media slavishly calling him “her,” to reading in my Bible, John 8:40-47, in which Jesus, unable to persuade some Pharisees that He was telling them the truth when He said He was sent to them from God, concluded that they were wedded to a lie.

“If God were your father,” Jesus said, “ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

“Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

Ye are not of God.

Our universities teach that there is no such thing as truth–only “your truth” or “my truth.” There are no facts: only whatever helps the Left politically, or doesn’t help.

And so, leftids, you’ve convinced me–convinced me that your whole secular humanist, globalist, heaven-here-on-earth enterprise is owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by Satan, the father of lies.

Is it harmless for a man to say he’s a woman, and for all sorts of important and influential people–nooze media, government, the Olympic committee, multitudes of college professors and teacher unions–to support him in this claim, and demand that everybody else support him, too, or else?

No, it’s not harmless: because it amounts to foolish, sinful mortals setting themselves up as having the authority to re-define, and overthrow, God’s created natural order, as if they themselves were God.

And we know where that comes from, and we know where it’s going. Selah.

Jesus and the Woman at the Well

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It’s early in the afternoon, and Jesus and His disciples are passing through Samaria on their way to Galilee. Jesus is alone now, sitting on a well: the others have gone on ahead to buy provisions. Jesus is, the Bible says, “wearied with his journey.” And thirsty, too.

This is John 4, for me one of the most visual chapters in the Bible and fascinating for other reasons, too.

As Jesus rests, along comes a Samaritan woman from the nearby town, and He asks her to give Him a drink. It shocks her: He is a Jew, and Jews and Samaritans have nothing to do with one another. They’ve been feuding for centuries, and each considers the other unclean and heretical. Please don’t ask me to explain exactly who the Samaritans were. Suffice it to say that the Jews of Jesus’ time considered the Samaritans the lowest form of human life.

But one thing anyone can see:

Jesus and this woman have never met or heard of one another, but He, because He is the Christ, knows the intimate details of her life. She runs back to town and cries, “Come, see a man, which told me all the things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” For she was shacked up with some guy in town, and Jesus knew it. And all the Samaritans in this Samaritan town, after Jesus had stayed with them for two days–a shocking thing for any Jew to do–believed in Him: “not because of thy saying,” they told the woman, “for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Some of you have already pointed out a few of the lessons we can draw from this incident. To me, what stands out about it is the contrast between Jesus’ reception by these Samaritans and His rejection by so many of those who should have been His own people. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11).

In chapter after chapter, following John 4, Jesus reveals Himself and His mission to His fellow Jews–Pharisees, lawyers, and crowds of ordinary people–and they won’t believe Him. True, ordinary people who see Him perform miracles, they believe Him–although the crowd whom He fed miraculously with a few loaves and fishes, in John 6, they’re impressed by the miracle but completely fail to grasp its significance. One gets the feeling they think Jesus is all about them getting free stuff. That is an error that still persists in certain churches.

No matter what Jesus says or does, even when He performs miracles right before their eyes, His own people don’t believe Him. But the despised and hated Samaritans, starting with this woman who’s somehow gone through five (!) husbands and is now living in sin with a man who’s not her husband–these people hear Christ and believe Him!

In the Gospel of John, Christ tells us plainly who and what He is, and backs it up with the works He does, with Scripture, with the testimony of John the Baptist, and by the word of God. The Roman centurion with the sick servant, healed by Jesus: he believes Him. The Roman who hears His last words on the cross: he believes Him. The Syro-Phoenician woman whose daughter is sick: she believes Him.

God’s grace is astounding to behold.

And now I back out of the theology shop, before they make me pay for anything I might have broken.

A Parable to Remember

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Here’s a parable that ought to be remembered–especially those verses which are usually ignored.

A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return… But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. [When the nobleman returns as king, he rewards his servants who put his money to good use while he was gone, and punishes the one servant who didn’t. And then he sees to another matter.] But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

(Luke 19:12, 14, 27)

These verses came vividly to my mind yesterday, when I saw the news story about the feminists pantomiming the “abortion” of the baby Jesus: they will not have this man to reign over them. Nor are they the only ones.

God so loved the world, the world that He created, that He sent His only begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to save it. The worldly authorities of this fallen world crucified the Son–because, as they themselves confessed, they had no king but Caesar. They rejected forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life. Like, who needs all that, when Caesar can reward you here and now? Only here and now doesn’t remain here and now for very long.

Those who will not be ruled by Jesus Christ will receive the harshest punishment that God can give: He will let them have their wish. They will not be admitted into Christ’s Kingdom, and will have the rest of eternity to wish it were otherwise. But God will have already granted their wish: no taking it back.

For them the good news is that they can humble themselves before God and ask forgiveness for their sins–and claim it, too, by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood has already purchased our forgiveness. They can be admitted into the kingdom of salvation today, for the asking.

That’s the good news, even for them–if they can only believe it.

What We’re Up Against

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Some of the ruins of Babylon, dug out of the desert

We don’t have television in our home, so I miss some of what is going on with our culture. But I went to the eye doctor today, so I saw more TV than is good for me.

Bad enough there was an alleged newscast in which the alleged newsman prattled, “So Trump likes torture! Hey, that’s bad news for Melania!” No media bias here. And bad enough it was followed by a Democrat commercial urging the public to “stand with Governor Cuomo and Senator Schumer to preserve your right to healthcare!” By preserving Obamacare, is what they meant. Those things were annoying, but not unexpected.

What really threw me was a Hallmark commercial which proclaimed, loud and clear, that the famous card company has gone over to the dark side.

Valentine’s Day. Scenes of long-term, loving marriages, one after another. And old people with their grandchildren. Very sweet. And just thrown in, alongside unions sanctified by God, a couple of homosexual “marriage” proposals and anniversaries. Not sanctified by God, but condemned in Scripture as mortal sin.

When I looked on youtube afterward, I was horrified to discover that Hallmark has produced many TV ads along these lines. No, I will not post any of them.

We all have sins to fight against, and sometimes sin wins. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need a Savior and God would not have had to send His Son to earth.  Fornication in all its varied forms has always been with us.

But what’s different in our time is the all-out efforts by important, wealthy, powerful and influential people to rebrand sin as virtue and convince the rest of us to “celebrate” it. This is more than ordinary sin. This is worse. They do it to make more money. They do it to get more power. And it is by their work that Satan seeks to establish his kingdom on the earth. His parody of Christ’s Kingdom.

Our culture is being corrupted and debauched. We have a thousand Jeroboams out there, going all-out to make the people sin. To estrange them from their God who loves them. To lead them into condemnation. This, I do believe, is the Babylon discussed in Revelation: which God has marked for destruction. I am afraid that this is our Babylon.

I doubt we have the strength to stop it. That is something God will do. It’ll be hard enough for us just not to give in to it: to hold out, to be faithful, to endure until the end. Not to accept it. No matter how many politicians, teachers and professors, big corporations, and bent churchmen try to make us accept it.

Because even if everyone else in the world declares it’s right… it will still be wrong.

Rebels Without a Clue

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“No borders, no countries”–we’ve been seeing a lot of this lately. And it’s total rubbish.

Why don’t they want borders? Why don’t they want countries? They think it will make them free, and from then on, life will be just beautiful.

It’s amazing what you can believe in, when you have no grasp of human nature.

Just for a moment, try to imagine a world in which there really are no national borders because there are no countries anymore. Such a world, maybe, would have no governments. Oops. No more food stamps. No more federal grants to education. No more a lot of things.

But maybe, instead of having no government, the borderless world would have one great big gigantic government that governs everything and everybody! Wouldn’t that be nice? A satanic parody of Christ’s Kingdom on the earth. It wouldn’t last a minute without dictatorial powers, ruthlessly employed.

And so, instead of freedom, you would have the Soviet Union on steroids. Some of those “no borders” ninnies will be disappointed. Just think–a government big and powerful enough to rule the whole world!

I mean, really–have these people thought this thing through? (Hint: no.)

G.K. Chesterton was right on the money when he said that once you stop believing in God, you don’t believe in nothing: you’ll believe in anything.

‘Idolizing the Bible’?

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But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)

I was advised by one of my liberal friends this weekend that “Idolizing the Bible only leads to fundamentalism.” He has a horror of fundamentalism: it gets in the way of his love affairs with Darwinism and Big Government. Happily, he reminds me, “we have the Church” (he means his church) to give us teachings that supplement or even replace the Bible.

As you can see by the Bible quote above–oops, there I go again!–Jesus has already addressed this issue.

Imagine what harm it would do to the church, and to the whole Christian community, if we were to cut ourselves loose from the Bible and just rely on the teachings and opinions of sinful, mortal men. Oh, wait, we don’t have to imagine it! In fact, we’ve got a picture of it.

This is how we get a church featuring goddess worship, feminist theology, same-sex parodies of marriage, and general assembly delegates poncing around in animal costumes… among other things.

I once interviewed a high official of the Methodist Church, who came right out and said, “The first thing I learned in seminary was that the Bible is not the word of God!” He was proud of having cut himself loose from the Bible. More fool him.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:1-4)

There will come a time when the Lord stops laughing.

And that will not be a fun time for this world.

The Persistence of Leftism

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“The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali painted a famous picture of a couple of melting clocks: The Persistence of Memory. I’m not here to tell you what that’s about (as if I knew). No–this post is about the persistence of leftism.

We live now amidst a God-given opportunity to liberate our country from a secular utopian ideology that looks to an all-powerful government as the answer to all the world’s problems. We can defeat it; we can drive it into the political wilderness; but it will never really go away.

As Christians we know that what we really need is the regeneration of our own hearts from within, accomplished by the sovereign grace of God. No matter what policies any government pursues, the fact remains that we are all born sinners.

For leftists, salvation is accomplished from the outside in, by external measures, usually coercive, even violent, imposed from the top down by persons who have power. Hence the speech codes, re-education camps, forced labor camps, collectives, and the piles of dead bodies. For them the problem is never sin, never the darkness in the soul, but always some kind of shortcoming or inaccuracy in this or that public institution–which can always be remedied by whatever action by the government is deemed necessary.

This mind-set arises from the Original Sin itself: the delusion that we mortals can be gods in our own right, determining good and evil for ourselves. This was the lie told by the serpent, the lie that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden. It is a lie that dwells in our flesh, and only the love of God in Jesus Christ can save us from it.

We have to remember this–especially whenever we are tempted to think like leftists and convince ourselves, “Get the politics right, and the human heart will follow. Just draw up and enforce the right public policy, and bob’s your uncle!”

We’ll never have anything to show for that but a bunch of woozy clocks that don’t run anymore.

A Wonderful Book for Little Ones

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R.C. Sproul, one of the great Protestant theologians of our time, has done something that very much needed doing, and he has done it very well: written a story that will help very young children to understand, and trust, the Bible.

The Knight’s Map (Reformation Trust Publishing, 2015: available from amazon.com), complete with beautiful artwork by Richard Lawnes, is a short story written to be read aloud to little children, with some questions and answers in the back to help parents explain certain aspects of the story. It tells of a knight, Sir Charles, who receives a letter from the Great King–God–inviting him to come and meet the King. Accompanying the letter is a map–the Bible–which will show Sir Charles how to get there. But Sir Charles can’t understand and use the map until he learns that it is actually the truth: then it leads him unerringly to his goal.

The story is based on Our Lord’s parable of the Pearl of Great Price–and this pearl is Jesus Christ.

I am grateful to my mother and father, and other family members, too, for providing me, throughout my childhood, with books that I could read about the Bible. I read them many times and remember them to this day; and thanks to this foundation, the sophomoric foolishness I learned from college and the culture was only able to throw me off the right track for thirty years or so. As I grew older, the books they gave me were more sophisticated. These, along with the Bible itself, gave me a foundation of faith for which I will always give thanks.

The earliest book were picture books, and I recall them vividly–especially the picture of Joseph’s brothers plotting against him. The picture brought to life the wickedness of their action.

The Knight’s Map is rich with full-page color illustrations. Children who have learned to read will enjoy reading this book on their own, after their parents have read it to them. I am in awe of how simply R.C. Sproul is able to present the basic tenets of the Christian faith: it’s very hard to make it look so easy!

Kids are smarter than we give them credit for, at least until public school, college, and a debauched popular culture turn their brains to mush. I’m always surprised (and delighted!) when people tell me how much their very young children have enjoyed my Bell Mountain books–which I wrote for tweens and teens. But then adults enjoy them, too.

What could be more important than giving our children a firm foundation in Jesus Christ, and in God’s Word?

Thank you, R.C. Sproul!

‘When He Was on the Cross, I Was on His Mind’

Requested by Erlene: John Starnes singing When He Was on the Cross, I Was on His Mind.

As a challenge to the spirit, try to imagine hearing the Gospel now for the very first time, never having heard a word of it before. What in our own lives can prepare us for the savagery of the Crucifixion? How are we to measure that against the pure goodness of Jesus Christ? There are some parts of this fallen world where people can imagine such things easily. We in America are blessed in that we can’t.

No–our greatest peril is to fall into the trap of taking Jesus Christ for granted. I don’t know about you, but I have to shock myself out of that from time to time.

By Request, ‘Majesty’

This is another one that may make you want to turn up the volume–Majesty. I never heard it before, so thank you, Erlene, for suggesting it.

We do well to remember that the Baby in the manager is, at the same time, the King of Glory–King of Kings and Lord of Lords: and we His people have a right to revel in His majesty.

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