"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Friday, December 29, 2006

Some thoughts on the dreaded "s" word; SIN

["Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive." - C.S. Lewis

I can relate to this quote very well. On this topic of sin, as far as the secular culture is concerned, it is pretty apparent why it is not a popular word or concept to think about. Our autonomous nature rejects the idea that there is a supernatural power outside of ourselves that effects our actions and behavior. The unbeliever wants to believe that they are in control and that as long as they try hard enough, they are able to morally perfect lives. Under this ideal, when they do sin, they do not take ownership of it completely, they internally find an excuse for their misbehavior.

As far as the "S" word in regards to the Church, I have found that is seems that the prevailing or predominant attitude that exists in the God's covenant community in our culture today is that of self-esteem, self-reliance and being positive and energetic. "It won't do anyone any good, to point out or focus on our mistakes." "Instead we need to act like we're perfect, happy people." "We are capable of leading positive, happy lives as long as we put our mind to it."

The problem with this is that we are effected by sin. Our thoughts and our actions are constantly effected by sin. Even though, we are able to fight our sinful nature and we are able to do good and behave ourselves for the most part in the presence of our family and friends in the Church, we are still prone to and inevitably will sin and make mistakes and say or do things that will offend and or harm the people around us.

This of course is reality and it is often a hard fact. It is hard to deal with our own and others sin. It is hard to forgive people and continue loving them even though they might be "imperfect," and it is hard for them to do the same when you sin against them.

So as far as the Church is concerned, it seems that it has been easier to try to ignore or hide our sin instead of confront it and deal with it. I have found that another reality that seems to exist in the Church today is the lack of exhortation coming from each other and the pulpit. Again this has to do with an over all attitude of self-esteem/positiveness. People don't want to be told how they are sinful and what they need to do to walk straighter paths for God. They don't want to be made to feel that they are morally bankrupt and that they need Christ. So instead, they have decided to ignore this essential part of the Gospel.

While I do agree that too much of a focus on sin and exhortation every week can be unedifying; not to focus on it at all is equally unedifying. Exhortation is necessary because as I've pointed out, the body consists of believers and non-believers. There are those who are not being sanctified in the spirit that need to be reminded to check themselves. Exhortation is just as necessary in the Church today as it was in the New Testament church. Learning about sin and being exhorted to turn from it leads to repentance which is what we do when we admit to our own inability to have a right relationship with God and our need to rely on Jesus as our mediator. Without guilt, self examination and asking God for forgiveness then we truly aren't understanding the gospel.

So therefore "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9

"8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:8-9

and "16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." James 5:16

In His grace,


"Dave" was a commenter on Tim Challies' blog. Excellent comment!

Monday, December 25, 2006

He came to Earth for us

God humbled Himself to come to Earth in the form of a man that we, the weak-piteous-sinful, might be reconciled with him The Perfect-Righteous-Holy.

It doesn't make sense to me Lord, but thank you for doing this.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Brodhead calls for Nifong to step down

It's about time.

Online Update: 12/22
Staff Reports

In response to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's decision Friday to drop charges of rape in the Duke lacrosse case, President Richard Brodhead questioned Nifong's conduct and called for the district attorney to relieve himself of his duties in the case.

Brodhead said Nifong's decisive public statements about the rape allegations and subsequent decision to drop the charge call into question of the validity of the remaining charges that have been brought against three members of the 2005-2006 men's lacrosse team-kidnapping and sexual offense.

"The district attorney should now put this case in the hands of an independent party, who can restore confidence in the fairness of the process," Brodhead said in a statement. "Further, Mr. Nifong has an obligation to explain to all of us his conduct in this matter."

Brodhead added that he was relieved for the players and their families.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Bible; forever a best seller?

"The familiar observation that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact: the Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year. Calculating how many Bibles are sold in the United States is a virtually impossible task, but a conservative estimate is that in 2005 Americans purchased some twenty-five million Bibles—twice as many as the most recent Harry Potter book. The amount spent annually on Bibles has been put at more than half a billion dollars." MORE

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My mother died

My mother died today; 8 months after my father passed away. She was 84, they were married 63 years.
She was having trouble catching her breath this morning, a chronic problem. My sister had an ambulance pick her up and take her to the hospital. The doctors were instructed to do nothing extraordinary. Since my Dad died, Mom had been waiting to go and be with him in Heaven.
They were devout followers of Jesus Christ. Almost 1 year ago my Mom had an incident where she almost died and described it as "being at the gate." We brought her back that time but this time; with her missing Dad so much, we let her go. She was at the hospital a little less than 4 hours when she died. The last two hours she spent asking God to take her.
She was a great and Godly lady. I'll miss Mom. We shared each other's sense of humor.
Go in peace Mom! Your son

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Crisis in Faith

THE WITTENBURG HALL has an article on the Crisis in Faith. Here

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Motherhood before Matrimony

This is NOT good news.

“New data released by the Centers for Disease Control show that nearly four in 10 U.S. babies were born outside of marriage in 2005—a new high.”

Friday, December 01, 2006

Legalism & You

(Great Stuff here; Martha Pearce excerpted on sharperiron.com)

What Legalism Does

There are many problems with legalism. Consider the following list:

1. Legalism takes our attention off Jesus Christ by focusing on our own efforts rather than what He has done for us.
2. Legalism takes away the believer’s freedom by substituting conformity for control by the Spirit.
3. Legalism attempts to put God in the position of being a debtor. It thinks God owes us something when we do good.
4. Legalism results in regression in the Christian life.
5. Legalism is performance-oriented. It focuses more on what one does than on who one is.
6. Legalism brings about harshness and conflict in one’s relationships. The reason for this is because legalism creates an elitist attitude in which conformity is demanded and failure is not tolerated.
7. Legalism will rob a Christian of joy, for he will never know the “rest” that faith brings. A legalist is so intent on doing that he does not know how to enjoy God’s acceptance.
8. Legalists are very zealous. This is why legalism brings results, but the results are counterfeits.
9. Legalism is selective in the matters it chooses and promotes. It will take parts of God’s Law but ignore the rest. It is never consistent. An interesting aspect is not what legalism forbids but what it overlooks.
10. Legalism will affect everything if unchecked. Given time it will control everything—individual churches, schools, and denominations.
11. Legalism attacks grace. Legalists will accuse those who preach grace of being antinomian (lawless). But this cannot be true because what grace really does is strip away any pretense of spiritual achievement. Grace promotes obedience to God because of His blessings to us. Grace is a license to serve, not a license to sin.
12. Legalism is inflexible and condemnatory. It refuses to see many, if any, gray areas in the Christian life. Legalists have rules for almost every area of life and have a negative judgmental attitude toward those who do not comply with their standards. This can result in a very tense environment.
13. Legalism promotes pride and self-righteousness. Of course the legalist denies this, but it is true nevertheless.
14. Legalism opts for a lower standard than God’s. The kind of legalism that emphasizes many man-made rules becomes satisfied with what is really an inferior standard. Consider the following vivid contrast between man-made rules and God’s high and holy law. Man-made rules: don’t wear jewelry or makeup or denim clothing, burn your secular music because it has demons in it, don’t practice any birth control, insist that men’s hair must be above their ears. God’s Law: love God and love others.