Thursday, May 29, 2008
In today's post, Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon beseeches us to work against those who seek to restore false religion among us. He also reminds us that the pen is more powerful than the sword.
Are we using our pens for the cause of truth?
Are we speaking out against those working to restore false religion among us?
(HT: Truth for Life)
"If the man who rebuilt
was cursed, how much more does the man who works to restore false religion among us deserve the same. In our fathers' days the gigantic walls of false religion fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would like to rebuild those false systems upon their old foundations. Lord, we pray, be pleased to thwart these unrighteous endeavors, and pull down every stone that they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error that tends to foster the spirit of falsehood, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world. Jericho
This we may accomplish only in secret by fervent prayer and in public by faithful witness. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined toward the errors of false religion; we must instruct the young in gospel truth and tell them of the dark doings of falsehood in earlier times. We must assist in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for false teachers, like owls, hate daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the Gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of the heretics. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the antidote to falsehood? Are we sending out good, sound gospel writings?
Luther once said, "The devil hates goose quills," and, no doubt, he has good reason; the writer's pen blessed by the Holy Spirit has damaged his evil kingdom greatly. If the thousands who read this short word tonight will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed
, the Lord's glory shall spread quickly among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What will you do?" Jericho
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
2. No one can believe such things as “my ideas [about ultimate issues of faith] are just as good as your ideas,” “no one can tell me what to believe,” “all religious are just different paths to the same god,” and the like, and believe at the same time in the Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) No one can believe in moral relativism and believe that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Many other scriptures could be piled upon these.
3. The organized Christian church should speak out with one voice against this evil, and even call it what it is, a heresy. From time to time through history, the Church has been called upon to draw the lines that distinguish the true Gospel from various false teachings that assail it. This is one such false teaching, yet it has been adopted, albeit perhaps unconsciously, by many who claim to name the name of Christ in our society.
The Church needs to speak clearly and with one voice, and proclaim to all such people: If this is what you truly believe, then whatever else you may be, you are not a Christian.
[The above are some thoughts on Moral Relativism, arising out of reading the chapter in John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion on the doctrine of the Church, and the necessity for the people of God to hear the preaching of the Word as a congregation in order to avoid “lone ranger” Christians who by failing to attend such preaching fall into all kinds of error.]
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
No, my friends. The real war is not a “war on terror.” The real war is a war against constitutional government, personal liberty, and national sovereignty. It is a war against the fundamental principles of
’s Founding Fathers, that America should be a friend and trader with all, but engaged in entangling alliances with none. It is a war against the Bill of Rights. It is a war against the Spirit of ‘76, the spirit that says America is a free and independent country, subservient to no international entity or interest. It is a war against the principle that would put America first. It is a war against the very heart and soul of everything this country has stood for ever since our patriot forebears stood on Lexington Green and America . And this war is not being waged from Concord Bridge or Baghdad . It is being waged from Tehran Washington, D.C.
Friday, May 23, 2008
“True faith is a cordial belief of the divine record concerning the admirable suitableness of Christ Jesus as a Savior to all the cases and wants of sinners . . .
Christ is altogether lovely, or exceedingly desirable, for He is exquisitely suitable. If we are by nature dead in sin, He is life; if we are lost sinners, He is the Savior; if we are sick, and sick unto death, He is the Physician; if we are the captives of sin and Satan, He is the almighty Redeemer; if we are under the power and tyranny of strong corruptions, or deceitful and imperious lusts that we are utterly unable of ourselves to conquer, He is the almighty King. Are we naked? Christ has a robe of righteousness to clothe us. Are we poor? He has gold tried in the fire to enrich us. Are we spiritually blind? He has eye-salve for us. Are we hungry and thirsty? He is the bread of life and the water of life. Are we prisoners? He says to the prisoners, “Go forth.” Are we ready to stray from the right path? He is a Leader and Commander. If we have been overcome and oppressed by our spiritual enemies, Christ is the Captain of our salvation who will teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight, and so lead us forth to victory. If we are by nature unholy, He is made unto us sanctification; and if we are disquieted and disconsolate, He is the Consolation of Israel. The Lord Jesus Christ and His great salvation, then, are every way adapted to the various cases and wants of our souls. As a compassionate Savior, He is suitable even in an infinite degree. None in heaven or upon earth, besides Him, can supply every want of our souls and save them with a complete and everlasting salvation. Now genuine faith is a spiritual discernment and an affecting belief of His infinite suitableness as a Savior to sinners, and to us in particular.”
–John Colquhoun, A View of Saving Faith, 1824
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
"Clear-cut definition of terms in religious matters, bold facing of the logical implications of religious views, is by many persons regarded as an impious proceeding. May it not discourage contribution to mission boards? May it not hinder the progress of consolidation, and produce a poor showing in columns of Church statistics? But with such persons we cannot possibly bring ourselves to agree. Light may seem at times to be an impertinent intruder, but it is always beneficial in the end. The type of religion which rejoices in the pious sound of traditional phrases, regardless of their meanings, or shrinks from "controversial" matters, will never stand amid the shocks of life. In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight."J. Gresham Machen, "Christianity and Liberalism"
"It may well be doubted, however, whether the assertion, "I believe that Jesus is God," or the like, on the lips of liberal preachers, is strictly truthful. The liberal preacher attaches indeed a real meaning to the words, and that meaning is very dear to his heart. He really does believe that "Jesus is God." But the trouble is that he attaches to the words a different meaning from that which is attached to them by the simple-minded person to whom he is speaking. He offends, therefore, against the fundamental principle of truthfulness in language...if the audience is composed of old-fashioned Christians, who have never attached anything but the old meaning to the word God (the meaning which appears in the first verse of Genesis), then the language is untruthful. And in the latter case, not all the pious motives in the world will make the utterance right. Christian ethics do not abrogate common honesty; no possible desire of edifying the Church and of avoiding offence can excuse a lie."This could have been written by Dr. Machen after a visit to my church.
He wrote these words in 1922.
Monday, May 19, 2008
They believe in Christ, but it is a Christ without his crown, his atonement, his judgment-seat, or even his Godhead. They mock us with orthodox phrases, from which the essential truth is gone. They pretend that they believe in the atonement, and when we listen to their atonement we find that it does not effectually atone for anyone. It is a mere fiction, and not a fact. It saves nobody, but is a mere sham.
They have eviscerated the gospel, and then they hold up the empty carcass, and claim that they are Christians still. Christians who have murdered Christianity! Believers who doubt whether there is anything to be believed! Yet we are entreated in our charity to hug such traitors to our bosom. We shall do nothing of the kind. We would sooner believe in infidels outright than in those who pretend to be Christians and are infidels at heart.
C.H. Spurgeon, "Recruits for King Jesus," a sermon preached at the Met Tab on Sunday evening, 17 February 1884.
Friday, May 16, 2008
It's amazing how Californians will bend over (oops -- poor choice of words) for almost anything. They'll go for just about anything as long as the person saying it is wearing a black robe. You'd think they were worshipping the Law God or something.
Forget worrying about all those Christians setting up a theocracy -- California as usual is way ahead of the curve.
They' ve already set up a judiciocracy out there
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"Men fancy that their minds are their own, and that they may do what they will with them, thinking and believing as their conceit suggests. But who gave them a release from the authority of God as to this part of their nature? True, they are not bound by the opinions of their fellow-men; but does this give them a dispensation from the supremacy of God? There are revealed truths: have we license to receive or reject them at our pleasure? If we set up our own conceptions as equal or superior to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, are we justified in so doing? One would fancy from the talk of the wiseacres of the [current] period that God did not know his own mind when he wrote the Scriptures, or that, like the old almanac, divine revelation is out of date, and superseded by 'modern thought.'
Doctrinal laxity has led to moral license: professors now wander in ways which their sober forefathers would have shuddered at. They will soon be given over to return to the old idolatries of Rome, since they are growing weary of the grand truths of Protestantism. Falsehoods of belief are fitly followed by superstitions in ritual: those who slay the doctrines are not ashamed to mangle the ordinances. We wonder what next, and next!
O Lord, I am willing to be thought a simpleton for believing as reformers, confessors, and martyrs believed, and as thy word teaches. Do not allow me to be blind to thy truth, lest I stumble in my daily life, and become scandalous as well as heretical."
C.H. Spurgeon, "Flowers from a Puritan's Garden," (Sprinkle Publications, 1997) pp. 276-77.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
- John Piper
HT: Absolute Dominion
Monday, May 12, 2008
Here are a few of the lowlights:
"My frustration with Piper [Armstrong writes] is that he represents the “low” ecclesiology of evangelicalism and then argues that we should go back in our reading to old writers." [As opposed to my exalted “high ecclesiology of evangelicalism," whatever that means]
"But he goes back only to the Puritans [egad!], never even suggesting that the Fathers, both East and West, were vastly more important for the health of the Church today." [What “Fathers? Moe, Larry and Curley? What???]
"He [Piper] also argued that knowing God, the Scriptures and the truth were central to everything." [This was so shocking, so appalling to me personally that I was compelled to type it entirely in bold face!]
"While I completely agree with his arguments here they were almost entirely rooted in a foundationalist epistemology and a heavily propositional approach." [As opposed to the sacred and revered “chastened epistemology:"]
"It seemed to me that John was arguing for a Bible that was quite clear to all who read it and that by reading it well we can all know the truth." [Oh, the horror! The horror!!]
"I would argue that Noll was much closer to the Christian position when he said we know Jesus Christ as truth through the revelation of the Holy Scriptures. Piper, however, is surely to be commended for his passion for mission and the gospel." [Golly, thanks, Father, er, I mean Pastor, er, I mean, Dr. John!]
Sunday, May 11, 2008
And better yet:
"Nine percent of born again people (who say they have made a personal commitment to Jesus which is still important in their lives) have a biblical world view (absolutes exist, God is the all-knowing, all-powerful, Creator who still rules the universe; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; Satan is a real, living entity; salvation is a free gift, not something we can earn; every Christian has a personal responsibility to evangelize; and the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches). However, this group of people stand out with significantly different behavior from the worldly “born-againers” and “evangelicals.” Here is Sider’s [Ron Sider, "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience" in Books and Culture] comment:
"Barna’s findings on the different behavior of Christians with a biblical worldview underline the importance of theology. Biblical orthodoxy does matter. One important way to end the scandal of contemporary Christian behavior is to work and pray fervently for the growth of orthodox theological belief in our churches” (Jan/Feb, p. 42)."
(HT: Between Two Worlds)
Friday, May 9, 2008
"I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to, but I always get back again by this-I know I trust Christ. I have no reliance but in him, and if he falls I shall fall with him, but if he does not, I shall not. Because he lives, I shall live also, and I spring to my legs again and fight with my depressions of spirit and my down castings, and get the victory through it; and so may you do, and so you must, for there is no other way of escaping from it. In your most depressed seasons you are to get joy and peace through believing."
"Our anchor and foundation is God's unchanging Word...Postmodern leaders resist such truth. It doesn't fit the collective thinking of the new managed society. It clashes with the pluralistic vision of unity in diversity: all gods are equally valid. All lead to the same end.
Unlike noble visions and humanist idealism, God's actual Word can't be manipulated by today's clever facilitators. His unchanging truth is poison to the consensus process...As the apostle Paul wrote two millennia ago,
"...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:2-5."
This Scripture gives us three crucial facts about pagans in the last days:
1. They will follow many teachers;
2. They will not listen to God's truth;
3. They will turn instead to fables -- such as the myth that "all religions pray to the same god."
So, who are these false teachers? Who are these "postmodern leaders?"
It is time to name names. They include:
...and many others.
Each of these has stated or implied the myth that "all roads lead to the same god." Their public statements are thoroughly documented. Many of them are quoted or linked on this blog.
So what do we do about it?
Berit Kjos gives the only true answer:
"So how can we use truth to ward off contemporary myths, lies and distortions? We read, study, memorize and follow God's Word. It builds an unshakable foundation for our thoughts and values."
In other words, we put into practice the teaching of God's word in Romans 12:2: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind."
We also follow the teaching of Scripture, "Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you..." II Cor. 6:17
Thursday, May 8, 2008
1. Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
2. Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.
3. Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.
"Hide me under the shadow of thy wings." Ps. 17:8
(HT: The Desert Pastor)
Listen to it here (Cyberhymnal)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
That means you, dear reader. Put down that mouse, or rather, pick up that mouse and direct your pointer here -- a brief excerpt to get you started appears below:
"We often use the term post-Christian to describe our present world, but perhaps fail to see its implications; namely, a serious repeat of the pre-Christian world that the early Christians faced-no general government support, but rather government intimidation, oppression and even persecution; no social encouragement, but rather deep suspicion and antagonism; no knowledge of the Bible and the Bible's worldview, but rather a deep commitment and acceptance of the pagan worldview; no "Big Man on Campus" Christianity, but rather the intimidation and ostracizing of Christian students by Big Brother Administration. From this perspective, the future looks ominous."
The children of the Sixties, and their biblical contemporaries, have sowed the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind. The "new spirituality" is here, and it is not a pretty sight. Nevertheless, we must be as wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. ( Matthew 10:16 ESV)
(From "The New Spirituality: Dismantling and Reconstructing Reality," by Peter R. Jones, Modern Reformation, vol. 17, issue 3 (May/June 2008)
--C.H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students
(HT: Steve Camp)
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Whatever a man loves most and best—that is his god.
The covetous man looks upon the riches of the world
as his heaven—his happiness—his great all.
His heart is most upon the world,
his thoughts are most upon the world,
his affections are most upon the world,
his discourse is most about the world.
He who has his mind taken up with the world, and
chiefly delighted with the world's music—he has also
his tongue tuned to the same key, and takes his joy
and comfort in speaking of nothing else but the world
and worldly things. If the world is in the heart—it will
break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks
of nothing but worldly things. "They are of the world,
therefore they speak of the world," John 4:5. The love
of this world oils the tongue for worldly discourses,
and makes men . . .
Ah! the time, the thoughts, the strength, the efforts,
which are spent upon the world, and the things of the
world; while sinners' souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity
is hastening upon them!
I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best
when he was most in talking of money and the world.
Being near his death, he was much pressed to make
his will. Finally he dictates:
First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil
—for being so greedy for the muck of this world!
Secondly, I bequeath my wife's soul to the devil
—for persuading me to this worldly course of life.
Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor's soul to the devil
—because he did not show me the danger I lived in,
nor reprove me for it.
"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and
a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that
plunge men into ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:9
HT: Fighting for the Faith