Friday, October 26, 2012

Blazing Clear Like Oedipus Rex

It is our human condition.  Pagans know it.  We all know it.  We all try to run and hide from it. We run and run, sometimes exhausting ourselves.  Rushing to and fro until we can rush no longer.  But there is nowhere to find shelter.  We are in a flight situation.  Fleeing without destination.  Fleeing for life and limb.  What are we trying to hide from?

 It is guilt and shame.  We all have it because we are all guilty.  We all have pasts we would like to erase.   Even the goody two-shoes have guilt and shame.  Oedipus, the pagan king, had guilt and shame.  He tried to outrun it by gouging out his eyes.  That did not absolve Oedipus from any of his actions, though. Oedipus knows that he is the man.  There is a deeper, underlying question that pagans cannot answer.

Who are we trying to hide from?  We are trying to hide from the true God.  Sophocles, the author of Oedipus, just like all of humanity, had God's law written on his heart and knew right from wrong as is evidenced by the play.  Here are some excerpts:

"My birth all sprung revealed from those it never should; myself entwined with those I never could; and I the killer of those I never would."

Oedipus rips the golden brooches she was wearing, holds them up, and rams them home right through his eyes.

"O yes, I pierced my eyes -- my useless eyes --why not?  When all that's sweet and parted from my vision."

Sophocles lived before Jesus' incarnation, and it was the Jews that had prophets proclaiming the revealed God of promise.  Today, unlike Sophocles' day, we have more preachers who can deliver to us the justifying God.  You do not have to be like Oedipus, beating yourself up, exhausting yourself, damaging yourself because you know that you, too, are the guilty one.  You can find your rest from your guilt and shame that continues to haunt you.

The promise of God has come.  Jesus, the one true God, has forgiven you your sins.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kickback for Defending Marriage

Mark 6 tells us the gift received by St. John the Baptizer when he defended the biblical idea of marriage.     The adulterous Queen Herodias required of him his head, and her daughter wanted it delivered on a plate.  I imagine so as not to get her hands bloody.  Mark 6:18 tells us that our beloved brother, St John the Baptist, was imprisoned for pointing out sin.

It is no wonder the world becomes angry, much like Queen Herodias, when they hear of biblical marriage.  We sinners always want things our way.  We are like three year olds throwing a tantrum.  But with political power and money we become more like bullies, threatening, if Christians do not agree that men can marry men, and women can marry women.  The culture can call that a marriage, but it does not make it so.  It is only God who can define what is a marriage.

Even facing all the spittle that comes our way when we defend marriage, Jesus died for the spitters too.  They, too, can become free with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Praise Him.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Category errors

While talking with some brothers and sisters, they were believing that laying on of hands is where one receives the Holy Spirit.  They were also calling laying on of hands a baptism.  Laying on of hands is nowhere referred to as a baptism in scripture.  Thereby, making the error of multiple baptisms.  Speaking of "water baptism" and distinguishing it from "baptism with the Holy Spirit".  "We receive the holy spirit in the laying on of hands." These statements made it clear that they believed the error of multiple baptisms.   Laying on of hands is not where the Holy Spirit is promised to us.

In the great commission, Jesus tells us to go and baptize, thereby making disciples.  He does not tell us to go  and lay hands on others to make disciples.  Also in Jesus' own baptism we see the Triune God, with the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus.  Our own baptism brings the Holy Spirit to us, as well as remission of sins.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!  Amen.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Who Is Predestined? Part 1

As humans we become so self-focused that we automatically think predestination is about us.  Jesus is the one that is foreknown because he is God, the second person of the trinity.   Jesus is the one who was predestined for us and for our salvation.  Believers are placed in Jesus, the predestined One.  Jesus was chosen before time to be our salvation.

Many Christians talk about themselves and God choosing them as if they existed prior to being born.  That is what mormons believe, that they were "spirit babies" floating around, waiting to be born.  That is not Christian belief.

Who is the one that is predestined?  Let's look at two passages.  

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.    ~ Eph 1:4, ESV

but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you   ~1 Peter 1:19-20, ESV

It is clear it is Jesus who is the predestined One.  When we are in Him, we, too, are predestined.  Father places us in His Son, by using various means.  Those means are preaching of the Gospel, or baptism when the name of the Triune God is placed on us.