If anyone thinks the ‘Gay-Marriage’ debate is ‘merely’ about the sin of homosexuality then they haven’t been thinking. Few issues cross over into so many critical areas for the Christian Church today. Not necessarily in order of importance, but here’s a few to think about:
The Person & Work of Christ
The Authority of The Bible (Scriptures)
The Doctrine of Sin
The Judgement of God
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of Speech
The Doctrine of Marriage
The Creative Order
The Creation / Doctrine of Man
The Creation / Doctrine of Women
The Doctrine of The Trinity
The Doctrine of The Church
The Doctrine of Salvation
Objective Truth claims
Preaching the Gospel
James White lays this out with a very sad and depressing yet realistic appraisal of where we are at in The West. Christians need to have their faith firmly rooted and grounded in their Lord and The Scriptures and not in their favourite celebrity Pastor or Author.
View or download Audio of The Dividing Line. Relevant to this subject is in the first 15 minutes or so.
It’s important to keep the ‘protest’ going otherwise one day we’ll wake up and be forced to bow down to the ‘Gay’ ideology. Let’s pray it doesn’t come to that.
This was also featured on ‘Sunday’ a BBC Radio 4 religious affairs broadcast from 07.10 to 08.50.
Here’s the thing. The Bats are protected by law and have taken up residence in many Anglican Churches (maybe other churches too) and are making a mess even during Holy Communion. Children’s work is curtailed because Bat faeces are (obviously) unhygienic. Bats are protected by a European Directive and take precedence over the children and over the Worship of God.
Our little furry flying relatives clearly have as much right to the planet as we do. Bats are much more important than people. This is where we have come to! Utterly ridiculous. To my mind there is no decision to make. Solution: gas all the Bats and prevent further infestation.
But I have an alternative, a compromise is you like. Though I prefer the gassing option – quick, clean & cheap. My alternative / compromise would be to close the churches where there is no Gospel preached and hand the building over to the Bats as they will make much better use of the building. It’s a win win situation. The Bats get a home and the people are not subjected to a false Gospel.
What a confused world we live in. For some anyway. The majority of the Western world are not confused about genders but are dragged (mostly apathetically) into a world of relativism. Read the article. See the related article by Brendan O’Neil below.
There’s no getting away from the fact that a great man has just died. There’s no question that what he accomplished politically has been remarkable. In terms of world history Mandela will go down as one of the great Statesmen. Quite Gandhi like in his – latter – non-violent stance against apartheid. World leaders sought an audience with him as if something of his popularity would ‘rub-off’ on them. As if merely associating with Mandela would somehow make them popular as well. Such was the charisma of Nelson Mandela.
And yet, given his political achievements, in the final analysis it’s the only question worth asking – Where will Nelson Mandela spend Eternity? The short answer of course is that I do not know. But cutting to the chase; if Mandela had no faith in The Lord Jesus Christ then he will be lost and will spend all eternity in hell. It’s not going to play well in the Liberal heartlands but the frightening lesson – and the lesson of the Bible – is that no matter what we do it will not make us right with a Holy God. Even Archbishop Cranmer on his blog writes as if Mandela were a Christian without a shred of evidence. In the blog post by his grace Mandela talked about God being the Father of all – not true. Talked about worshiping as well, but politicians are skilled at using words that impress but (I’m talking Christianity here) actually means nothing. They are vacuous empty words. There is only ONE way to God. There is only ONE Saviour. You will never hear a politician say these things but they will use the language of religion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. I don’t want to take anything away from what Mandela achieved politically but it had nothing to do with the Christian faith or with Jesus.
I’ve done a quick scan of the online press and there’s not a lot of negative comment about him. There are a few pretty raw comments about him though. His approval of violence prior to his incarceration at Robben Island is mentioned but from then on it’s all positive. On Radio 4 this morning a Bishop (didn’t catch the name) said Nelson Mandela was the ’embodiment of love’. I understand hyperbole but that is just not true. Only one person could be described that way and it’s Jesus Christ not Mandala. A Churchman should have known better but given these degenerative days where ‘truth has fallen in the streets’ it’s common to hear such ridiculous statements. If it were possible Mandela would be deified and this tells us more about our current political leaders than Nelson Mandela!
Simply put, the Gospel isn’t about rewarding people for their accomplishments, whatever those accomplishments are, or for being nice! The Gospel is Good News for sinners. Nelson Mandela in the eyes of the world (by and large) is a Saint. The world does not have the foggiest idea of what a Saint is. The Bible use of the word is simply a believer in Jesus, a sinner that has placed their trust in what Jesus accomplished on the Cross not what they have accomplished.
The problem the political world has created as it drools over the Mandela legacy is the problem of how righteousness is defined. But it has ever been so. The world defines holiness, righteousness, goodness, forgiveness & love on its own terms, not at all by the law God and the person of Jesus Christ. Associating with Nelson Mandela will not make a person good. Talking warmly about Nelson Mandela will not make a person good. Only faith in Jesus will make a person right or acceptable in the sight of God. But it’s not what the world wants to hear – even at Christmas!
The really scary thing is how good a person can be – or seem to be – and yet not be a Christian. The Church ought to be saying this over & over again. The death of Nelson Mandela as sad as it is for his family and followers is a warning to those that seek a righteousness of their own and not the righteousness that God provides in Christ. It is futile to put any eternal hope in man, any man. Our hope must be in Christ alone.
And you, dear reader. Nelson Mandela will not rescue you from the wrath to come, he cannot save you, he cannot forgive your sins. Only Jesus Christ can rescue you from the wrath to come, only Jesus Christ can save you, only Jesus Christ can forgive your sins. Only Jesus paid the price on the Cross to rescue sinners. Call upon Jesus for Salvation.
Been meaning to post this even if it is a little bit of an ‘old news’ story now but just the other week we had – even over here on the news – Obama calling from Air Force One to support a Lesbian marriage – ‘we’re proud of you guys’ I think Obama says over the phone.
But God calls from heaven through His Word:
‘For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men’ Rom 1:26 & 26.
There really is no way of getting round it – the Bible is very plain. God says one thing and they say another! Anyone that can say ‘God bless America’ while at the same time promoting the exact opposite of the clear will of God as reveled in the Bible is engaging in hypocrisy of the highest order.
Thinking about our own Prim Minister and Barak Obama the first two verses of Psalm 2 come to mind:
Why do the nations rage[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
The reason why the Same-Sex Marriage debate and all its associated issues draw so much comment is well illustrated by the above verses from Psalm 2. It’s just blatant rebellion behind a veneer or facade of religiosity. I’d have more respect for these men if they were just honest Atheists.
But God holds them in derision, He laughs at these leaders and their petty power plays. Yes, the law under these men may well have some Christians brought before the law courts but Jesus says: I will tell you who to fear, fear Him who is able to cast both body and soul into hell (Matthew 10.28). By the way, James White mentions the arrest of Tony Miano, commenting that ‘The Gospel is now illegal in the UK’. This is effectively what these two men are doing (Obama & Cameron) while hiding behind a cloak of religion.
Cameron & Obama clearly have no fear of God. Let’s pray that God may yet be gracious to them and they will come to their senses and bow without hypocrisy before King Jesus.
Justin Brierly, host of ‘Unbelievable‘ had on his program yesterday K Scott Oliphint Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.
Normally Justin tries to have an Atheist or Skeptic on debating with a Christian. But yesterday as he does occasionally had two Christians discussing different apologetic methodologies. Representing Evidentialism was Kurt Jaros of Real Clear Apologetics. Let’s hope his apologetic will soon be a lot clearer.
Many thanks to Justin for getting Scott Oliphint on and righting a wrong as it were in terms of Apologetic representation.
I didn’t know Scott had a new book coming out on PA (Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith) so maybe Justin could have him back on with an atheist to discuss it. My only slight criticism of an otherwise excellent program was that Scott wasn’t always given the time to finish his points – the draw back of a radio schedule I guess – but I thought Scott was still able to put across the Covenantal (Presuppositional) approach and begin to show how it’s very misunderstood.
Presuppositional or Covenantal Aplogetics is the only method that is able to present the Christian faith as anything other than a probability. Sadly, it seems to me that so many Christians hand the Christian faith over as nothing more than a probability.
The program is well worth a listen and could be a good place to start if PA is new to you as the questions put to Scott are ones that many opposed to, or misunderstand this method are probably asking.
Follow link for Unbelievable and download the broadcast.Or download via iTunes player
The following was partly quoted and referenced from John Calvin – full reference below quote. Note: There is no talk of probabilities here. And neither should we.
From John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion
5. Let it therefore be held as fixed, that those who are inwardly taught by the Holy Spirit acquiesce implicitly in Scripture; that Scripture, carrying its own evidence along with it, deigns not to submit to proofs and arguments, but owes the full conviction with which we ought to receive it to the testimony of the Spirit.73 Enlightened by him, we no longer believe, either on our own Judgment or that of others, that the Scriptures are from God; but, in a way superior to human Judgment, feel perfectly assured—as much so as if we beheld the divine image visibly impressed on it—that it came to us, by the instrumentality of men, from the very mouth of God. We ask not for proofs or probabilities on which to rest our Judgment, but we subject our intellect and Judgment to it as too transcendent for us to estimate. This, however, we do, not in the manner in which some are wont to fasten on an unknown object, which, as soon as known, displeases, but because we have a thorough conviction that, in holding it, we hold unassailable truth; not like miserable men, whose minds are enslaved by superstition, but because we feel a divine energy living and breathing in it—an energy by which we are drawn and animated to obey it, willingly indeed, and knowingly, but more vividly and effectually than could be done by human will or knowledge. Hence, God most justly exclaims by the mouth of Isaiah, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he,” (Isa. 43:10).
Such, then, is a conviction which asks not for reasons; such, a knowledge which accords with the highest reason, namely knowledge in which the mind rests more firmly and securely than in any reasons; such in fine, the conviction which revelation from heaven alone can produce. I say nothing more than every believer experiences in himself, though my words fall far short of the reality. I do not dwell on this subject at present, because we will return to it again: only let us now understand that the only true faith is that which the Spirit of God seals on our hearts. Nay, the modest and teachable reader will find a sufficient reason in the promise contained in Isaiah, that all the children of the renovated Church “shall be taught of the Lord,” (Isaiah 54:13). This singular privilege God bestows on his elect only, whom he separates from the rest of mankind. For what is the beginning of true doctrine but prompt alacrity to hear the Word of God? And God, by the mouth of Moses, thus demands to be heard: “It is not in heavens that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart,” (Deut. 30:12, 14). God having been pleased to reserve the treasure of intelligence for his children, no wonder that so much ignorance and stupidity is seen in the generality of mankind. In the generality, I include even those specially chosen, until they are ingrafted into the body of the Church. Isaiah, moreover, while reminding us that the prophetical doctrine would prove incredible not only to strangers, but also to the Jews, who were desirous to be thought of the household of God, subjoins the reason, when he asks, “To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1). If at any time, then we are troubled at the small number of those who believe, let us, on the other hand, call to mind, that none comprehend the mysteries of God save those to whom it is given.
Referenced in a Kindle sample of Greg Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended. Part One: Presuppositional Apologetics Positively Stated, Chapter 1, God in the Dock, Section: By What Standard.
There’s quite a spread in this weeks (26th Jan – 1st Feb) Radio Times (Weekly TV & Radio Schedule magazine) on Professor Brian Cox AKA to celebrate his new BBC series ‘Wonders of Life’. A few paragraphs below from the article show how anyone can be blind to their own presuppositions. Brian Cox demonstrates non-neutral presuppositions, and he does it so well it was worth a Blog post all on it’s own.
‘Creationists will almost certainly say his new series is rubbish, but Cox sees little point in even trying to engage with them. “If you don’t accept evidence then there’s no real point in having a discussion. Because what am I going to say? I’m just going to say, ‘Well, first of all, you have to learn to accept evidence.’ I don’t see any issue with religious scientists; I don’t share their view myself, but it’s not logically inconsistent.” The notion that the world was created 6,000 years ago, on the other hand – “that’s just absolute drivel at every level”.
Which are more bonkers, does he think – creationists or astrologists? “In a way, astrology is less annoying, because I see it as part of the entertainment business and therefore it’s not particularly problematic. But the sensible answer is they’re both equally so. It’s the ability to dismiss evidence that I get irritated about, against my better judgment, because I’d rather not. I mean, obviously there are people who think crazy things. But it does annoy me.”
Any letters of complaint from viewers who don’t believe in evolution will “go straight in the bin”. If the rest of us love Wonders of Life, though, he will take almost no personal credit, instead putting his popularity down to the role of public service broadcasting. It’s a positively Reithian argument, of which I’m pretty sure Attenborough himself would approve.’
Once again an Atheist just assumes his own bias is the correct one. Creationists (belief in a Creator) I know that are scientists examine the evidence but come to a different interpretation of that evidence. He just throws out the phrase but it has so much poured into it – as he tries to take the evidential high ground. But the high ground is already occupied by the Creator.
There’s so much wrong with the above paragraphs that it almost impossible to engage with them in the limited time I have available. I mean, unless he can accept his own presuppositions on how he uses and interprets evidence there’s ‘little point in even trying to engage with’ him.
For the record I struggle with the age of the earth and do find it difficult to reconcile what is observable with a young earth. I find there are problems with both young and old earth (Creationists) creation accounts. But what I would expect to find is unanimity on the special creation of Adam & Eve and that God did in fact create the ‘Heavens and the Earth’ even though there are differences over the mechanism He used. I would also expect to find agreement with several other Christian doctrines such as The Trinity, The Fall, Jesus, The Resurrection of Jesus, Penal Substitutionary Atonement, the reality of Heaven and of Hell, of Final Judgement, of Original Sin and the doctrine of Total Depravity, Justification by Faith Alone and many others. Given this list what does Brian mean by ‘religious’. I’m sure he will not mean any of these. What I suspect he will mean is some fairly insipid wet version, if at all of Christianity that he can easily dismiss and control – which is not Christian at all!
One problem with the article is that we just don’t know how many revisions it has gone through and how much is left of what the good doctor actually said. I do grant this.
And why doesn’t Brian ever say where it all came from. He talks about the wonders of the stars, how we are all made of star-dust but never once have I heard him say where it all came from. How did it all start Brian. I suppose it must have come from nothing and we all know that’s impossible. Given his own materialistic worldview how exactly does he explain the origin of life. If there was a spark where did the spark come from? Where did the primordial soup come from and who is the cook? Atheists can’t answer these questions but instead try to dismiss the God of the bible with a dismissive ‘show me your evidence’.
The Bible has a thing to say about evidence. And it’s found in the New Testament, Chapter 1 of Romans:
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
In other words God has made it EVIDENT. But people choose in their rebellion against God to suppress that evidence. So we bring evidence on the basis of what God has said. And the only comeback from an atheist when boiled right down is ‘I disagree’ I prefer my own opinion. And that’s it. It’s not science in the end no matter how it’s presented. it’s a conflict of worldviews, a conflict of authority.