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Showing posts from September, 2013

Why as a Christian I stopped caring (so much) about politics

There was a time not long ago when I cared a great deal about politics and government, but as I read the Scriptures and became more shaped by them, my understanding began to change. What I saw in Scripture was that Christians can influence governments peacefully, and in special cases, sometimes God places Christians in positions to influence their governments directly (Daniel, Joseph, and Esther come to mind). But I also saw that we are called not to strive or labor against earthly governments. Rather we are to labor solely for the kingdom of heaven, a spiritual kingdom of hearts. (Luke 17:20-21; Romans 14:17)

I began to ask myself, why would I strive to improve a world that is passing away? (1 John 2:17) Why would I strive to improve a world that hates me? (John 15:19) Why would I strive to improve a world in which I am not its citizen? (Philippians 3:20) Why would I set my mind on an earthly goal, when God commands me to set my mind on things above? (Colossians 3:1-2) Why would I fig…

Why Christians Should Pray For The Military

Recently I contacted a longtime friend and brother in the Lord who is currently a chaplain in the U.S. military. At the end of our conversation, I inquired about specific things I could be praying about. The first thing he said was, "Pray for the military leadership, that God would move their hearts like rivers of water to ensure that, as Chaplains, we may continue to minister the Gospel." My brother fears that the end of evangelical military chaplains draws near.

In fact, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote several days ago about about the increasing pressures that military chaplains face as homosexuality becomes normalized within society. Tom Carpenter, a PCUSA elder and co-chair of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, believes that Southern Baptist chaplains have no choice but to resign from their stations if they are not able to follow in accordance with the homosexual-friendly policies of the U.S. military. His reason? Because mil…

The Holy Spirit, Part 2: No Spirit No Church

The Holy Spirit, not an inspirational speaker, preacher, or writer, is the One Who stirs up the hardened conscience (1 Corinthians 2:13). The Spirit is the one Who softens the heart to recognize the need for repentance and bear good fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). The Spirit illuminates the mind to desire the truth of God's Word in faith concerning the hope and salvation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:6). It is not by the words, methods, cleverness, or intelligence of men. God has ordained one method only to change the heart of stone--the hearing of the Word of God by faith. (Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:2). In fact, the Church itself could not exist without the Holy Spirit, as John Owen writes,
In this promise he founded the Church itself, and by it he [built] it up. And this is the hinge on which the whole weight of it turns to this day. Take this away; suppose it to cease, as to actual accomplishment, and there is an end of the Church of Christ in this world. No dispensation of the Spirit…

Machen on differences between Christianity and Judaizers

As a matter of fact, however, Paul did nothing of the kind; and only because he (and others) did nothing of the kind does the Christian Church exist today. Paul saw very clearly that the differences between the Judaizers and himself was the differences between two entirely distinct types of religion; it was the differences between a religion of merit and a religion of grace. If Christ provides only a part of our salvation, leaving us to provide the rest, then we are still hopeless under the load of sin. For no matter how small the gap which must be bridged before salvation can be attained, the awakened conscience sees clearly that our wretched attempt at goodness is insufficient even to bridge that gap. The guilty soul enters again into the hopeless reckoning with God, to determine whether we have really done our part. And thus we groan again under the old bondage of the law. Such an attempt to piece out the work of Christ by our own merit, Paul saw clearly, is the very essence of unb…

Minorities Move The World In Christ

Here is your encouragement, if you stand alone. You have no reason to be cast down and faint-hearted. You are not weak, though few, if God is with you. There is nothing too great to be done by a little company, if only that have Christ on their side. Away with the idea that numbers alone have power! Cast away the old vulgar error that majorities alone have strength. Get firm hold of the great truth that minorities always move the world. Think of the little flock that our Lord left behind him, and the one hundred and twenty names in that upper chamber in Jerusalem, who went forth to assault the heathen world! Think of George Whitefield assailing boldly the ungodliness which deluged all around him, and winning victory after victory! Think of all this. Cast fear away. Lay out your talents heartily and confidently for God.
-- J.C. Ryle, A Sketch of the Life and Labors of George Whitefield[1] .