Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Living as a Moderate Calvinist

Finding myself in the orthodoxy of moderate Calvinism, I seem to run into predominantly hyper Calvinists online. What I have noticed is that they are so driven by theology and logic, that there is no room for mystery in God. God gives us what we need to know for our salvation. He does not tell us everything about Himself.

Today, it was hinted by two such Hyper Calvinists that I am an Arminian because I believe God has two wills; a secret will and a revealed will. His revealed will is what is revealed through His Word; the secret will is not shown to us. If that is Arminian theology I stand in good company: Jonathan Edwards; John MacArthur; Robert Gonzalez; Iain Murray; Thomas Watson; Andrew Gray; George Whitfield; Charles Spurgeon; and many others.

These hyper Calvinists look up to former saints like Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers. I wonder if they have read what Mr. Spurgeon spoke from the pulpit on God's two wills? Here is part of Mr. Spurgeon's sermon called "Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility" based on Romans 10:20-21:

'I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, all day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.'

"Lost sinners who sit under the sound of the gospel are not lost for the want of the most affectionate invitation. God says he stretches out his hands... What did He wish them to come for? Why, to be saved! 'No,' says one, 'it was for temporal mercies.' Not so, my friend; the verse before is concerning spiritual mercies, and so is this one, for they refer to the same thing. Now, was God sincere in his offer? God forgive the man who dares to say He was not. God is undoubtedly sincere in every act He did. He sent his prophets, He entreated the people of Israel to lay hold on spiritual things, but they would not, and though he stretched out his hands all the day long, yet they were a 'disobedient and gainsaying people' and would not have His love."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

He Reigns

When one looks at the news on television, in the newspaper, on various and sundry blogs, there seems to be a lot of reasons for worry. The stock market, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sharia Law gaining more ground, U.S. Presidential elections, and persecution of fellow Christians; all look scary to us. We may lose lots of money, we may be embroiled in more wars, we may find ourselves being dominated by Islam. Are these things worthy of our worry?

As believers we can rest in the peace we have with God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. God is sovereign and He rules providentially. Rest and trust in Him.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5

The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. ~ Psalm 103

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. ~ Proverbs 21

Friday, October 3, 2008

The DoubleSpeak of Islam

Yesterday I was talking to two Muslims, along with another Christian. Muslims, in their conversations and deeds, most often demand to have the upper hand. If you politely disagree with them, they will do their best to silence you. From the get-go they try to dhimitize all those around them. These Muslims were American, and this is a sample of the discussions that we will encounter in the future in America.

Here is a sampling of the encounter:
Jawami told me, when I asked about a verse from the Quran that says Allah is a deceiver. (But they (the Jews) were deceptive, and Allah was deceptive, for Allah is the best of deceivers (Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru al-makireena)! S. 3:54; cf. 8:30), "That's an English translation of the Quran. You cannot use an English translation. You must use the tafsirs."

I replied, "The Arabic is there as well."

Jawami, "Did you not hear what I just said? It's English translation and it is corrupted."

So I enquired further, "Who translates the Quran into English? Are they not scholars?"

"No, anybody can translate the Quran into English. To understand the Quran, you must use the Tafsirs. I think you already knew the answer when you asked."

So I looked up a Tafsir and it concured with the English translation I presented. I pointed that out to Jawami, and he continued to accuse me of not listening. We had to continue to ignore their snide comments in order to continue the conversation.

"Christians always disassociate themselves from the whackos in their own faith. They say 'they aren't real Christians'", asserted Jawami.

I asked, "Does that mean you will not deny your brethen who use children, and mentally handicapped people to blow up non-Muslims?"

*crickets chirped*

"Let me ask again differently, does that mean you will not deny that Muslims that kill others in the name of Allah belong to Islam?"

I was ignored again. Then up piped Patience to change the subject.

Patience began to cite English verses to us about how Allah is merciful.

I kept asking if she was reading the Quran in English, or the Tafsirs? Again no answer.

She continued to cite more verses.

"Is that an English translation of the Quran? I was just told those are corrupted. I'm confused."

Patience began to tell us that Sharia Law was already in the USA. It's embedded in our laws because our laws are based on Islamic laws.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why I Want a Quran for Christmas

The media and other people say, "Islam is a religion of peace." Is that the truth? The Quran has many verses regarding non-Muslims. Those verses are violent and refer to the taking of life and dismemberment of bodies. Here's a peek to awaken you from your slumber.

The Quran says, "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

Who are the idolaters in that verse? Any non-Muslim. Dear reader, that means you and I. Islam is not a religion of peace and tolerance. Muslims are told to lay in wait, take us captive, and besiege us.

Muhammad says, "When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."

Jesus says, "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you".

With the arrival of Sharia Law in the United Kingdom, it is time America wakes up to the truth of Islam. If you also want to add a copy of the Quran to your Christmas list, I recommend a copy by Hilali and Shakir Ken.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Persecution and Courage

My online life has allowed me to meet people from all over the world. It is a joy to meet fellow believers who live in many countries. It is also an eye opener to hear the lives they live. Those of us in America have it very, very easy; yet we will not open our mouths to strangers to tell them the gospel. We are fat, dumb, and numb.

I have met one young person who did not meet another Christian for two years in his life. Can you imagine that? The only thing you have for two years as support is your bible. How many Americans would "remain" Christian under those circumstances? I suggest not very many.

Another person goes many sleepless nights trying to keep an online chatroom open to evangelize to others. Snippets of sleep are caught here and there. The evangelist needs another person who will help him with his chatroom responsibilities. The problem with finding help is that we Americans don't know enough about the religion that traps its people in idolatry and hatred. So we cannot help these evangelism efforts.

Organizing a march in New York City in October 2008 is another Christian's passion. He is standing up for his brothers and sisters who remain behind in Egypt. October 6 is a significant date for Egyptians, President Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated on that date in 1981. Today, Egypt continues to lie to the world community about its activities on treating non-Muslims.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Men and women quickly think of the physical when "beauty" is mentioned. Each of us have different expectations of what is beautiful. Periods of time have their own definition of beauty. Renaissance paintings are very different from modern paintings. Musical beauty also changes with time. You can see this change when you compare The Beatles to J.S.Bach.

In a conversation with people, there is usually not a person who will offer the wrath of God as beautiful. When one reads the bible, God's wrath is everywhere. Adam and Eve being exiled from the Garden, Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses and Pharoah.

“Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” ~ 2 Kings 22

The coming day of judgment will be God's wrath fully poured out on the unGodly. God's wrath is inescapable. Where will you be, dear reader, in the coming day of judgment? Have you obeyed the words of this book?

God's holiness requires that He cannot abide with sin. Sin is an eternal offense against an eternal, holy, pure love, perfect, righteous God. God has not spared the angels who fell. All of humanity has failed to keep God's holy laws. All have sinned against an eternal God, so all of us are an offense. That means you, me, Sister Teresa, the Dali Lama, every single person who has ever lived (with one exception), lives now, and will live in the future. Does that cause you to pause? If so, read on.

But God, who is rich in mercy and love, has made a way of salvation. God did not spare His own Son! We are so loved by God, that He provided our escape. Jesus came to earth and lived a sinless, perfect life, and died a horrible death, so that we can be free from sin. On Jesus Christ, God placed the sins of those who believe and trust in Him. Jesus endured the punishment others deserve, so that we can have freedom from God's wrath. Only those who are in Christ, will escape the wrath. Jesus rose victoriously on the third day. He was healed, and only in Him is our healing.

Would you like that freedom? Would you, dear reader, like to escape the wrath to come? You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was buried for three days, and that he rose again on the third day. Pray to God for repentance and belief.

God's holiness is beautiful to those who are ransomed from His wrath.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Freud's Culture

"Man is a self-gratifying animal," says the wisdom of the Freudian school. There is an inner-anxiety that drives conflict. This conflict can clash with society, and result in tremendous guilt. Freudian treatment recommends that a person gratify desires in a socially acceptable way.

People are quick to dismiss Freud and his ideas as outdated. "No one really practices Freudian presuppositions in their practice." In reality, his ideas are all around us today. It has infiltrated every area of our culture, and most of us don't recognize it. Freud's ideas have been absorbed into our way of thinking, including within the Christian community.

What if there is no such thing as a socially acceptable way to gratify one's desires? According to Freudian thought, in order to relieve guilt, society is made to adopt aberrant, and sinful self-gratifying desires. Do you see this in action in the world we live in? It is all around us. It is blatantly visible with the loud cry that society must redefine marriage. If we won't allow this new definition willingly, the legal system is employed to force us to accept its redefinition, thus relieving the guilt of a small group.

One thing that is common in modern schools of psychology is their wrong presuppositions about man, our problem, our responsibility, guilt, treatment of problems, and the role of the counselor. Each of these aspects of diagnosing and treating problems is skewed. They are rooted in evolutionary ideas and thought.

But God knows us much better than all the schools of psychology. He is the one who made us, who searches our hearts and exposes our sin, who changes us to be more like His son, and He does it all with great skill, like a surgeon's knife.

Christians, why do you seek help from people who believe you are nothing more than an animal, who believe there is no God, who believe the answer is within ourselves, or by changing the world around us we will experience no guilt? We should seek help from God himself, and from fellow Christians. God and Christians operate with a higher goal for you: love.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Evangelizing Locally

When I reflect upon my past, I recall so many missionary organizations visiting our church with a plea to go out into the field to harvest. It was always to other countries; foreign, exotic lands with foreign cultures and peoples. People that answered this call seemed more spiritual than those of us who remained at home.

The missionary field is now at home. It is unbelievable to me, in some 40 years, how ignorant Americans have become of Christianity. There are multiple reasons for this, which I won't go into now.

These days my heart yearns to work alongside local evangelists. Ones brave enough to stand up and gather a crowd, hand out tracts, or just talk to passers-by. Until then, I will be mindful of the opportunities God places before me. All believers are given the ministry of reconciliation .

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hebrews 13

Installation of a new elder took place last Sunday. It was an encouragement to watch and partake it. We have not been at this church to see this ordination yet. God has truly placed us in a Godly church, and I am thankful.

Hebrews 13:7-17 Leaders Who Keep Watch

The book of Hebrews was written to persecuted Jewish Christians. It esteems Jesus above all else; focuses us heavenward, toward Jesus, that our affections can be unfettered by other things.

Christians are to follow their leaders. Leaders are to be who has the truth of Jesus, can preach Jesus, and the followers can see Christian living in action through the lives of their leaders.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

The goal of leadership is to watch over the congregants' souls. Leaders are for the benefit of the congregants.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Hebrews 10:39 is the goal of leaders of churches. Salvation is a lifelong battle against temptation, sin, and unbelief. Leaders teach how to fight, as well as work with you to do that. Leaders are not commanded to only seek "decisions for Christ". Salvation is a DAILY work of God.

Hebrews 2 we are commanded to pay close attention to what we have heard so that we don't drift away.

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

"Consider", in the verse above, means to take a microscopic look at Jesus. Why? Because He is the author and perfector of YOUR faith. Leaders must exemplify this.

A leader who is cold in his joy for the Lord doesn't care about his ministry in Christ's church. Leaders able to love congregants depends upon their joy in the Lord. The truth of the gospel ignites joy! Lording your leadership over others is not being a servant.

Further reading: Philippians, Psalm 42

Pray for your leaders, dear reader, that they may serve in joy; that we would not hinder that joy by constant bickering, and nit-picking; learn to be obedient (persuaded by; rely on; trust) by the example God has placed in front of you.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Doing Good and Isolation

To do the thing God requires of us often results in feeling isolated. It often means we must break old habits and haunts. We are in unfamiliar territory. We feel we are flopping like a fish on a wooden dock at the end of the fishing line.

But is being alone the truth? No. God will see us through every situation He places us in.

The One who exchanged our sinfulness for His righteousness is always with us. We are never alone. God will call others to do the same that He asks of us. We aren't alone in doing good. Don't allow yourself to listen to that lie.

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16

teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ~ Matthew 28

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, ~ John 15