September 26, 2006

Discrimination a virtue?

In Psalm 15 King David listed the things that should characterize the people of God. Most of these things are quite obvious to us even in our post-modern, all-beliefs-are-equal day.

Things from Ps. 15 that even our culture sees as virtuous:

  • Walking blameless
  • doing what is right
  • speaking the truth in our hearts
  • not slandering others
  • doing no evil to our neighbors
  • not taking up a reproach against a friend
  • swearing to our own hurt and not changing
  • not taking bribes against the innocent

Things from Ps. 15 that our culture is not sure about:

  • not lending money at interest

Things our culture is strongly opposed to:

  • honoring those who fear the Lord

And the one that really caught my attention (that our culture is strongly opposed to):

  • despising vile people

Our culture in its commitment to multiculturalism drills into our young people that everyone is to be treated equally. All beliefs are equally valid. All faiths are equally to be respected. All lifestyles are equal and none of them should be placed under limitations.

God does not see things this way. But the one thing that really stood out for me in reading Psalm 15 this afternoon is bolded below. Read it for yourself, and realize that God calls us to desipise evil and the people who commit evil.

Psalm 15

1O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;
3who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

September 21, 2006

Phil Johnson on the World's Most Annoying Commercial

It had to hit the blogosphere sometime. Although they were having a slow day on the blog, Phil Johnson's crew at Pyromaniacs finally provided some well-needed critiques of my wife's most hated commercial. For my part, I'd be willing to dump television all together if commercials began to mirror this technique. I have no animosity against the makers of Head On, but I truly hope this product fails. If for no other reason, only because their commercial annoys me at a deeper level than I ever thought possible.

And ya gotta love their graphics:

September 20, 2006

Should all religions be treated with respect?

Reformed Baptist apologist James White responded today to the Pope's insistence that he respects the religion of Islam. James points out that to treat all religions as equal is to actively reject the claims of Christianity. This is unacceptable.

I would not join the Pope in saying "I respect Islam." That is a far cry from saying I do not respect certain Muslims, and, equally far from saying I cannot or will not treat a Muslim with respect. Sadly, people muddle these categories. Modern shallow thinkers assume that if you wish to show respect for a Muslim you must respect Islam. That is untrue. A Muslim is made in the image of God, and though he follows a false religion, he is still due respect due to the fact that he bears the image of God.

Read the entire post at

Global warming - or Bible prophecy?

Colorado State University
hurricane forecaster William Gray

Scientists and other doomsayers have been telling us that our use of fossil fuel is causing the earth to get warmer. They call us to give up our American way of life and get back to nature by walking, riding bicycles, and just staying home when we don't have to go out and drive. Many conservative talking heads and some religious leaders have disputed the global warming concept. So is there global warming or not?

Professor Bill Gray of Colorado State University says that global warming exists but that it is not caused by us. This is an interesting middle ground between the two opposing sides.

As Christians, we know that this was all predicted nearly 2,000 years ago by the Apostle John.

Revelation 16:8–9
8The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

I don't know if global warming is the preparation for this great heat that will be part of the Great Tribulation, but it certainly may be. And I think Professor Gray has it right. We are not as important as we like to think. God is still in control of the temperature. And man should tremble in fear of Almighty God instead of congratulating himself on how much damage he has done to the planet.

September 19, 2006

To be or not to be (an Evangelist)

What is an evangelist?

I grew up in a pastor's home. I don't know if my concept of the role of "Evangelist" was developed by my father's teaching or if I picked it up through osmosis along the way, but I have always thought that a titled role of "Evangelist" was an inappropriate thing. I always thought We are all supposed to be evangelists" and If a man feels called to be an Evangelist, he probably is truly being called to be a pastor. But I'm not so sure that my conception was correct.

What does the Bible say?

Our concepts must always derive from scripture—not from philosophy, sophistry, or emotion. And this morning, through the reading of God's Word, He showed me that my concept of the role of Evangelist was incorrect.

2 Corinthians 8:18
With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel.

Apparently the role of Evangelist was just fine with the apostle Paul. This man he speaks of is traveling as an Evangelist because he is known for his preaching of the gospel.

But I also notice that Paul does not mention him by name. I think this is important. In today's Western Evangelicalism, we have many "heroes." But an evangelist should not seek to make a name for himself in his proclamation of the gospel. The whole point of proclaiming the gospel is to make Christ known—not ourselves.

What's the point?

Egotistical natureBad

September 18, 2006

Parents kidnap their own daughter to force an abortion

The amazing thing that I see in this story is that the writer is very concerned that the parents "kidnapped" their adult daughter against her will but seemingly unconcerned that those parents were trying to force her to murder their grandchild. A "woman's right to choose" trumps all other rights—including the unborn baby's Constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

September 15, 2006

Face of Jesus appears in beer foam?

Image of Jesus appears in beer foam

Can you see the face of Jesus
in the beer glass?

This story is a little silly, but there are people who really believe that images of Christ or Mary on a wall, a piece of toast, or in a shadow are messages from God. So the advertising campaign that produced the image to the left is probably not a real good idea. In fact, the news article mentions the fact that there is a "worldwide trend for finding holy images in everyday objects from the face of Jesus in a frying pan, to Christ on a fish finger, the Virgin Mary on a toasted cheese sandwich and even Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun."

The article mentions some objections to the add campaign, although they are not the exact objections most Christians would probably have. But the story does bring up a topic we should consider when preparing our evangelistic efforts.

Finding images of Christ or the saints in everyday objects in my opinion is no more than an advanced form of Where's Waldo? but we should probably all be prepared to present the gospel to those who think they've been given a message in the froth on their beer glass. These people desperately need to know the truth of Jesus Christ and what he has done for sinners. Strange shapes in beer foam aren't going to save their souls.

The Forum - What a great group

Last night I visited the The Forum, OFRBC College Ministry's bible study. The guys are doing a study of A.W. Pink's book The Attributes of God and the little bit of discussion I heard after I walked in was fantastic. This is group of young men who are very committed to Jesus Christ and to their relationship with him and with each other. I'm proud to know these guys and I'm proud that they are part of our church.

Check out their first blog post of the year at The CrashForum. Make a comment. Join in the fun.

September 13, 2006

Is Christianity as dangerous as radical Islam?

Looniness abound on the airwaves of the US media. Rosie O'Donnell displayed some of it on the September 12th episode of her talkshow The View. You have to see it to believe it.

Our post-Christian culture is becoming more and more antagonistic to our faith and way of life. Outright persecution is on the rapidly approaching horizon.

Watch a segment of The View showing Rosie's comments.

September 11, 2006

Have you forgotten?

World Trade Center Towers under attack

The people of the United States are remembering the events of 9/11 today. I remember the horror of September 11, 2001, very well. I remember the fear we felt, even in the Christian community. Many people began to ask questions about God and his work in the world.

In the course of my regular daily devotions, today's scripture reading included the following:

The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.
—John 16:2-3

Jesus was not speaking of Islamic terrorists in this passage, but it seems oddly fitting in today's world. And I believe this passage gives us the appropriate response that we should take against these terrorists who seek to take our lives. As Christians, our response must be to bring the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who minds are clouded with hatred of Christianity and the West. Jesus said that these people will put Christians to death "because they have not known the Father, nor me." So introducing them to the Father and to Jesus seems to be the best defense against their hatred of us and their desire to kill us.

At the end of the same chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus concluded with these words:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
—John 16:33

We don't need to fear the Islamic terrorists. We know that there will be tribulations in this world, but Jesus has overcome the world ... and he has offered salvation to all.