Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peace on Earth


When the angels advertised Christ's birth to a bunch of shepherds watching over their sheep by night, there was no indication of war.  They were not confronted by scrambled F18s, nor were they met with the threat of an RPG attack, as would likely be the case today.  So what was with the "Peace on earth" stuff?

We generally equate war with guns, missiles, and bombs, yet God equates war with the heart.  In this sense, all men are enemies of God and all men are warlords.  At the same time we are all experts in camouflage, but not with the God who sees all.  God requires us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love our neighbor on par with our self.  Do you perfectly and continuously fill this bill?  Have you ever hated anyone in your heart?  The fact is, every man, woman, and child is an affront to a perfectly righteous and loving God.  The only perfection we can claim is perfection as candidates for the wrath of Almighty God.  We desperately need to be at peace with God!

The good news is that God has made peace with us through the death of His son.  The question is, have you made peace with God?  The angels were not just speaking to the shepherds, but to you and me as well when they said:  "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Confessional Enforcer


There is a marked distinction between a government enforcing the Law of God and a government enforcing a man-made confession such as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Confession Enforcement characterizes so much of the past and the Lord rightly brought these instances to an end.  Confession Enforcement has plagued the history of Catholics and Protestants alike.  Confession Enforcement was the hallmark of the Pharisees as well, and Christ consistently confronted them on this matter for exceeding what is written, as the apostle called it.

Exceeding what is written is characteristic of many confessions, although adherents of each confession will deny this is the case.  The Confessional Enforcer leans on his own understanding, and this is where the danger lies.  The Confessional Enforcer makes his understanding an idol, and likewise persecutes the heretics that disagree.  Jefferson and Madison (I think wisely) saw through this and established religious freedom, first in Virginia.  Jefferson and Madison were not so much concerned about promoting religious freedom as they were about keeping Confessional Enforcers out of power.   If you read Jefferson's position on the matter, he stressed the dependence of their system on Truth-preaching: The Truth, if preached - will always prevail.  As a result, Jefferson and Madison established a competitive preaching environment designed to shake out error.  The Confessional Enforcer on the other hand, always tries to take out the competition.

The Lord requires allegiance of all the nations.  The
people are the nations, and once a people are converted – conversion being characterized by delighting in the Law of God – the government itself will reflect this conversion.  Therefore, governments must be converted from the bottom up and not the other way around.  Praise God the internet is once again providing an environment for competitive preaching of the Truth.  In light of this, I highly recommend the engaging message from BojidarMarinov.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

U.S. Steal: The moral root of our financial trouble

You shall not steal.
Exodus 20:15





Gold is a money created by God and as such has intrinsic and lasting value.  In Genesis 13:2 we read, "Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold." In Revelation 21:21 we read "...And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass."  Gold also imposes fiscal discipline on nations hindering the manipulation of currencies and international trade.  Gold helps keep men and nations honest.  Consequently, there is no doubt a global financial catastrophe is upon us and reasons why are all over the map.  Hugo Salinas Price, founder of Mexico's Elektra retail chain, has done an excellent job getting to the moral root of the matter which has much to do with government theft on a global scale.  U.S. repentance would be as good as gold:



The gold standard: generator and protector of jobs
Hugo Salinas Price


The abandonment of the gold standard in 1971 is closely tied to the massive unemployment the industrialized world has suffered in recent years; Mexico, even with a lower level of industrialization than the developed countries, has also lost jobs due to the closing of industries; in recent years, the creation of new jobs in productive activities has been anemic at best.

The world’s financial press, in which leading economists and analysts publish their work, never examines the relationship between the abandonment of the gold standard and unemployment, de-industrialization, and the huge chronic export deficits of the Western world powers. Might it be due to ignorance? We are reluctant to think so, given that the articles appearing in the world’s leading financial publications are written by quite intelligent analysts. Rather, in our opinion, it is an act of self-censorship to avoid incurring the displeasure of the important financial and geopolitical interests that are behind the financial press.

In this article we discuss the relationship between loss of the gold standard and the present financial chaos, which is accompanied by severe “structural imbalances” between the historically dominant industrial powers and their new rivals in Asia.  Read the full article

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Christ Preached the Law

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Matthew 5:17


We live in a confusing time and nowhere is the confusion more evident than in the Church.  Good is called evil and evil good, by those that are supposed to be the guardians of Truth.  This is especially true when it comes to how God’s Law is viewed.  The Law of God is the fundamental basis of the gospel or good news, and apart from it, the gospel has no meaning, yet in the church today, the Law is viewed as somehow contrary to the gospel.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Even so, the modern church has fabricated a Lawless gospel in which the Law is not honored at all, but despised.  In the modern church’s view, the Law has been supplanted by Christ and put out of gear.  The popular mantra of the day is “we preach grace, not law”, this despite the fact that Christ preached the Law.


Men naturally despise the Law of God and they are repulsed by its morality; it is the morality of their Creator they are despising.  This ought to tell us something when we see church leaders repulsed by the same Law and evidencing it in their presentation of the gospel.  Referring to the work of God’s Spirit in the coming gospel age, the prophet Jeremiah tells us, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  The prophet was speaking of a moral transformation brought about by the Spirit of God, the same Spirit that originally wrote the same Law on tablets of stone.  We can only hope for this prophecy’s fulfillment in our day.  We will see the evidence of this blessing when a people delight in the law of God.


Christ is the complement (something that completes or perfects something else) of the Law.  In musical terms, the Law is the lyrics, Christ is the actual song.  The essential message of the gospel is that Christ perfectly keeps the Law on behalf of the man or woman that looks to Him in faith for this purpose, allowing them to have a full relationship with the Maker of the “holy and righteous and good” Law, instead of being snuffed out for falling short.  In the end, the Law never changes, good never becomes evil, and the moral expectations of God for man still remain in force; they are not relaxed in any way.  The Law of God is inseparable from Christ’s life because Christ is the Law fleshed out; Christ preached the Law, even if He had never spoken a word.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Watching a Lawless Society Breakdown in Real-time




“So keep and do them, 
for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples
who will hear all these great statutes and say,

 'Surely this great nation is a wise and  understanding people.'”
 Deut. 4:6




Social breakdowns are becoming regular guests on the network news, the Occupy Wall Street protest being one of the latest.  Recently, CNN spotlighted the issue and in one particular segment an Occupy Wall Street participant was questioned.  Assuming the role of a spokesman and in response to the reporter’s question, the supposed professor described what it was they were protesting against: “Corporate greed!” he exclaimed.  Wealth inequality seemed to be a great part of what he disliked.  Eventually, the CNN reporter got around to asking the professor what he would recommend.  The professor’s response was void of any specifics; what you’d expect from someone in the dark.  Occupy Wall Street is not a healthy show of democracy as some would suggest, it's evidence of a society breaking down.  It's an end game strategy and is what you should expect from a nation that has spurned the wisdom of God’s Law.

In Leviticus 25, after the initial partitioning of the land by tribe, the Divine Legislator instituted the Year of Jubilee, a national reset that was to occur every 50th year.  The Year of Jubilee was a law made known to all of Israel up front and out in the open, not a crisis response.  Its purpose was to periodically re-establish the wide distribution of productive land and thereby promote widespread liberty among the people of God; political liberty via economic liberty, not government taxation and re-distribution of wealth as many would advocate today.  Similarly, in the early stages of American colonization, our leaders were virtually forced out of necessity to offer a widespread distribution of land.  This is how we historically developed a widespread distribution of liberty, but to our detriment, a periodic national reset was never devised.

Societies are like live-action Monopoly games–the progression is toward all property ending up in the hands of the few.  Everyone else is forced to pay rent.  Globally, there are no national spectators, not even the Divinely-legislated nation of Israel found exemption from play; Monopoly is due to the greedy nature of man.  However, the Lord illustrated a way to wisely moderate the game by addressing the issue in His Law.  We would do well to listen.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good Smelling Feet

Feels like we're just waiting, waiting 
While our hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we've been fighting against the tide

I wanna see the earth start shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside
Switchfoot, “Where I belong”

I was raised on a diet of AC/DC (v1.0), Blackfoot, The Smiths, and Gene Loves Jezebel.  I still have an affinity for this style of music (Can I make an argument that I was born this way?). Such was life on the Dark Side.  When the Spirit of God began to change my heart in the mid-80s, my affinity for certain music also began to change.  I can recall distinctly the time when in my small apartment directly adjacent to the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill, I began to become aware of the lyrics that were streaming through my head and off my tongue.  I found myself karoaking one of The Smiths' songs: I was singing about getting into some guys underwear!  At that point my collection of music found a new home in the trash can.  Needless to say, my alternatives at the time were very limited.  What was I to listen to, The Florida Boys?  Thank God for coming to the rescue.  This generation has a plethora of Christian musicians offering a variety of musical fuel for the iPods of a righteous generation, everything from what some would term “worship” to what I would call righteous war chants; in short, music that honors the Lord of music.  Switchfoot's latest release Vice Verses falls in that camp.  I would highly recommend it for the whole family.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

To Hell With Heaven

The modern gospel is commonly presented as an offer to go to heaven, Christ being the ticket to the heavenly land.  Who would not want to go?  I mean, given the usual alternative of an everlasting hell, would anybody turn the offer down?  Even the devil would choose heaven over hell.  After all, no one likes to suffer, not even the devil.  Nevertheless, Christ did not send out His apostles as travel agents for heaven.  He did send them out with a message of reconciliation as the apostle Paul states, "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Cor. 5:18,19) Christ Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)  The destination we need to get to is relational, not geographical.  We need to get to the Father, not to heaven.  Man's problem is he is an avowed enemy of his Creator.  Man is an active enemy combatant, at variance with God's Law.  Man is in need of reconciliation, not heaven.  Sadly, the modern church has turned heaven into a lethal distraction, and as a result, many will end up in hell.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Supernatural

Antinomianism is a strange word.  Though not an actual word you will find in the Bible, antinomianism itself can be found throughout.  According to Wikipedia, antinomianism is a term coined by the famed reformer Martin Luther from a Greek phrase which means "against law".  Luther's reference was to the Law of God, not law in general.  Men are by nature antinomian, despising God's moral Law, because at heart they despise God, the One whom the Law reflects.  We are by nature enemies of God and by nature children of God's wrath.  Naturally, we are the walking dead.  Thankfully, our Creator provided a way for us to escape this natural dilemma through faith in His Son.


When Christ Jesus the perfect Law-keeper came and died, it was so that we who were naturally lawbreakers might be infused with His Spirit and live.  As a result of a Spiritual infusion of new life, men who formerly and naturally despised the Law of God, would now delight in the Lawmaker and His Law, they would become supernatural.  Repentance is this change in disposition on display.  "...God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."


In short, Christ died so that we might become supernatural.  Supernatural men have the heart of the psalmist in 119, they delight in the Law of the Lord.  On the contrary, the Church today is largely antinomian–it is natural–and our putrefying society is a byproduct of its lawlessness.  Instead of making Law-abiding citizens of God's Kingdom, the modern church's gospel is an antinomian mantra whereby men are deceived into delighting in the fact that they are supposedly forgiven, all the while still despising the moral Law of God.  The modern church is largely a natural church, its converts still largely natural men.  May the Lord pour out His Spirit and make us supernatural!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Elder Obsession

Normally, the term "Elder" would be associated with the aged - a man of experience and proven character.  The qualified "Elder" would exude understanding and light.  He would understand the times and know how to raise a family in a righteous and practical sense - his righteously raised and now righteously living adult family would provide the living proof.  He would therefore be a pattern to follow after or imitate.  In fact, his very example would command respect from struggling family leaders following on the road behind.  BUT WE ARE NOT IN NORMAL TIMES!  Normally, older women would be expected to train the younger women by their example, but like the men, there is a vacuum in the place of righteous, experienced older women whose lives the younger women can pattern after.  WE ARE NOT IN NORMAL TIMES!  We are far down the road of multi-generational faithlessness, generations of parents that have sacrificed the raising of their children in pursuit of material - not Kingdom minded - ends.   Consequently, we come on the scene in the midst of a dark age. Elders are not essential or foundational, Christ and His Word are. This is not to imply that elders are unimportant, but "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven." Eccles. 3:1 Now is not the time for individual Christians and organizations to be obsessing over elders and authority. Instead, we need to desperately petition the Lord for light.