Sunday, October 30, 2005


What Do You Need to Believe?

Jumping way ahead to chapter seventeen in Christianity Is Jewish, I found myself hungry for some clarity from God’s refreshing Word. Edith Schaeffer’s words come through with shining brilliance, radical, yet perfectly clear. What are the base things we are to accept as assurance that we are on the right side of man’s division? You know, line in the sand, which side of the fence division. Her entire book is centered on the fact that humanity is split, with no gray area, between believers of God’s Truth and believers of Satan’s lies. Four simple things, so that even a child can understand, are given.

  • There is the need to believe God is there. The God of the whole Bible really exists and He is personal— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • There is the need to understand the reality of guilt before a Holy God, having broken not only His commands but even our own standards. There is a need for atonement for our sins.
  • There is a need to have some measure of understanding that God is totally fair in showing throughout the centuries the way to atone, with constantly increased detail being given, but never a change in the way. This means coming to believe that what has been given in God’s Word is historical truth, not just a vague religious truth. That what history had pointed to for centuries before had finally come to Mary, the Word become flesh suffered and died because He Himself was the only One who could be the atonement, the substitute, The Lamb.
  • Finally, there is the need to bow before the living God, accepting what the Messiah has done as a free gift. There is nothing we can bring to God that would atone for our sins. “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation by tradition from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” ~1Peter 1:17-20 (I just had to put King James version with that “vain conversation” inherited from our fathers…too good)
    Peter continues with this solemn warning: “For all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
  • Schaeffer concludes, “Anyone who believes His Word, and accepts the provision which He made for atonement, is immediately born again—is now a spiritual seed of Abraham, and has his feet firmly fixed on the side of believers in Truth, springing from Abel.” (pp 193-195)

    I am aware of the questions that arise. Jesus, the Word, and the Bible, the Word are the same thing? Reading in my Bible Commentary (William MacDonald), the “word” in 1Peter is the Bible, through which the gospel is preached. Mrs. Schaeffer does blend them in point three, however. Christ is the expression of God’s living Word, according to MacDonald on John’s gospel. Or is the Word of God the means to salvation? So, says the commentary! I do believe it means that the gospel would not be ours today without the passing on from generation to generation, in words as well as deeds. “No one is ever saved apart from the instrumentality in some way of the incorruptible word of God.” (p 2256) Also, because God used the Word to prepare men’s hearts for the gospel, as history and prophecy, Jesus could be revealed and seen for Who He really IS and What He has done.

    I anticipate comments from those who have a hard time placing the Bible in such high esteem! As an offensive move, God gave us language for communication. He then offered to us His revelation of Himself and His plan, using that language! Now, is that so hard? Bring it on!

    Saturday, October 29, 2005


    It Is Scriptural

    Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

    This is a picture of the spiritual warfare raging in a place we cannot see. Could be a dimensional thing, escaping our perception of space and time altogether or maybe this hidden history is simply far away from our empirical grasp. Because earth bound people have been allowed to catch a glimpse, I like the guess it’s very near to our reality. Whatever. Dutch Sheets, Intercessory Prayer, offers the Greek meaning of luo that brought this verse to life for me. “(1) Loose; legally to dissolve a legally binding contract; (2) Physical-to dissolve, break, untie something that is bound.”

    Sheets further explains, Jesus held the keys because He broke the hold of Satan and his armies on the Cross. Jesus shared this ultimate Truth with His closest followers before He departed. All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” (Matt. 28:18-19) We the Church break the hold on believers and unbelievers who are bound by sin and deceit, enforcing Jesus’ finished work!

    In case I am confusing you with my awkwardness, Jesus’ victory over the power of Satan was completed when He died and raised Himself back to life on the third day. He broke any legal binding Satan had on the earth and acquired the keys, that is all authority. Jesus, the living Christ, then turned around and GAVE that authority to His disciples. As Disciples of Christ, we are to carry on the victory in space and time by receiving that authority over Satan’s power and influence. The mystery is in the understanding of time…Jesus completely won the battle…yet the battle continues as we enforce the New Contract…the New Covenant. Now we bind and loose here on earth, redeeming creation and its people, little by little or in bursts. (The Great Awakening, Paul’s amazing work, etc.) By the power of the Holy Spirit, we break the bonds of sin. “I have given you authority to…overcome all the power of the enemy.” ~Luke 10:19

    After the resurrection, Jesus’ work complete, He says, “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” ~John 20:21 Jesus even did a trial run before He turned things over to us! In Luke 10:3, Jesus announced, “I am sending you (72 disciples) out like lambs among wolves.” Do you want amazing? Verse 18, upon hearing their report, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.” ~Jesus

    A most fascinating discovery has to do with Psalm 110:1. “Sit at My Right Hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament!! (Jesus in Luke 20:43; Peter in Acts 2:35; Hebrews 1:13) Don’t you love this stuff? It gets better…1 Corinthians 15:25: “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” V. 27: “For He has everything under His feet.” (quoting Psalm 8:6)

    There it is again, the time thing. Notice the verb phrases, until He has put all, to be followed with, for He has everything. Dutch Sheets sees this as a Victory complete and simultaneously to be completed. Jesus on earth did a work of completion and upon sending the Spirit, is working it to completion. There is no discrepancy in the quantity…all, everything! It is mysteriously a question of when.

    To close, here’s my favorite, no doubt because it is my first revelation of the Scriptural support for God’s ongoing mandate, which I read in How Now Shall We Live. “For by Him all things were created, thing in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or powers or rulers or authorities. He (Christ) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the Supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him, to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” ~Colossians 1:16-20

    Here lies our hope of regeneration and freedom for all!

    Friday, October 28, 2005


    As An Aside

    “[Church work] is in no way whatever superior to the works of a farmer laboring in the field, or of a woman looking after her home.” ~Martin Luther

    As an aside from the cultural mandate assertion, there is a part of me that resists this notion. We might display a beautiful home, perfect meals, fabulous gardens, excellent business ethic, superb music or art. We might even change the course of history in big ways. You might anticipate…”and have not love”…but no, even in wondrous love and service to God and man. What happens when no one asks you source of strength…or what you believe? If our profession of faith never leaves the heart and hands---through spoken words---to provide understanding of salvation, is this a witness at all? This is particularly poignant in this time of the silenced Christian. I have heard enough of real people experiences to know there is frustration…in nursing, and education, where one to one intimacy could make eternal differences, if freedom still rang. I still recall asking my baby Christian friend (we had both just been born spiritually, and I was on fire!) how she would tell the gospel if she majored in music? She said the music would speak, even if it had no words. I was a skeptic then and in all my world-view indoctrination, I can’t completely shake it. Dr. D. James Kennedy included the dilemma in a particularly convicting sermon. He condemned the silent Christian and asked, “when is the last time someone asked you, ‘What makes you different?’” I have been told I am different (to which I NEVER press for the perilous details: “You just seem a little off balance to me.” : -? ) but the inquiry of why never comes! Kennedy made no bones; words are our God-given tools for expanding God’s Kingdom. Since then, I blog, silent no more. The irony? Christian world-view of God’s sovereignty in all spheres, Total Truth, is how it all began here! It’s practically heresy to crawl into my cubbyhole and chat about getting out there, living the faith! Or so I thought before I finished Being the Body. Authors Colson and Vaughn offer answers and affirmation.

    Spreading the gospel isn’t an either/or, as I suspected! St. Francis was a living example of this. He didn’t just go off to a garden and write clever ditties like, “Preach the gospel all the time; if necessary, use words.” He actually did preach boldly. “Our first calling is to be a witness (in our being, doing, occupation). That is our very nature…as people saved and made holy by God. But included within that calling is the duty to proclaim a witness of who God is and what He has done.” (p. 360) The book goes on about gifts and calling: Not all of us have a boldness for sharing our faith and obviously, we aren’t all called to be evangelists in the full sense! But there is no question God wants to use every Christian of the Church Body for the furthering of His Kingdom.

    “I will give you [My Church] the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatsoever (evil) you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose (from evil) on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” ~Jesus (Matthew 16:19)

    Thursday, October 27, 2005


    What Is Cultural Marxism?

    Quinn, morning radio tradition in Pittsburgh, found this ever so cool explanation of the U.S. condition, among other Western Civ nations, beginning in 1919. William S. Lind, author, minces no words. It sure fits my reality, and you? Have we not been invaded? Marcuse to Roger Baldwin (ACLU communist founder), Frankfurt School to just about any college or university today, women's suffrage to Margaret Sanger.

    This morning's reading offers a perfect reflection.

    "Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stall, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer's; He makes me tread on my high places.

    To the choirmaster; with stringed instruments."
    ~Habakkuk 3:16-19

    In God's amazing Way, I was listening to my new orchestral CD!

    Sunday, October 23, 2005


    Worldview Sunday

    I have had solid thinkers of conservatism tell me that either there is no one “Christian worldview”, that there is room under the term for various views, or that worldview as a Christian concept is a dirty word! Neither of these comments ever got completely discussed or resolved in my mind. Is this a question of moving around to make room on the train as opposed to bumping people off to make them wait for the next one scheduled? Will the next train be the New Age or Muslim train? What it seems to me, by removing worldview from religion or expanding it, taking away the philosophy element or broadening it, the people at the station will experience Christianity as a closed door or an open flat car with no protection from natural onslaught. Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s whole premise was that Christianity is reasonable. He put the faith out there for thinkers. He built a spanking new train! I don’t know statistics, but I don’t doubt the number of engines is growing. Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Ministries and author, Charles Colson are two who are engineering their own trains now. People can experience the reality and genuineness of Christian truth when they reasonably, with open minds, capture the accuracy as it fits with our existence. When you get right down to it, the Bible offers honesty in a world full of liars and fools.

    The problem with the first argument is that there can get to be too much openness, too much philosophizing of an absolute Truth. Schaeffer merely said, here’s the truth and here’s what that means for us, as we live and die. So, denying all philosophical discussion, the second proposal drops worldview from Christian vocabulary! This would please my son who is tired of thinking because he knows what is true, having studied a Schaeffer- based curriculum for three years. What can I say? Colleges, particularly humanities departments, promote thinking! Anyway, you know the old accusation, Christians don’t think. James Fletcher Baxter talks about man, the Choicemaker. Everyday, we choose Truth or Lies. Christians know what is True from daily Bible reading and prayer. The closer to God, the better since God can’t lie. We choose, therefore we are.

    The basic assumption in the banishing of ‘worldview’ was that Christian Truth is like a math problem. There is no discussion in arithmetic. Thus, the Bible is not a philosophy book. It is sheer math! …So to speak. But, is anyone here old enough to remember the apples, or pencils demonstration? My earliest teacher showed us how 1+1 did equal 2…how it fit our reality. Christian worldview is not simply another philosophy amongst many and I see the argument clearly, “Drop ‘worldview’ and get Christianity out of the philosophical realm.” Truly, it sits above ALL. We know this. God IS knows this...but the lost do not. Worldview is an open door to thought because it demonstrates a reality. See, when I put this one apple with this one apple, there are two apples. And see? Man is a created being, and he was meant to be perfect, in God’s image. But man chose a lie over God’s truth and was cursed, along with the earth, to a fallen state of sin. Does this fit your reality so far or are you still perfect? Or perhaps you believe we will attain perfection someday, still…cause we’re just getting better and better! The solution? Christ…one Word…one Way. Not a fit for your reality? Check out the clouds of witnesses in history, missionaries and their stories, the reformers, converts of all kind. Check out a living church…active in the Spirit, bearing fruit. Read the living Word! Try stepping on the train with the open door…but make sure your door is open at least a crack! That is the choice. Will we be open or closed? Haven’t you ever wondered why broken hearts, shattered hearts can often receive Him? There’s no door!

    In conclusion, Christian worldview and all the reasoning that goes with it is like a valve. Truth goes out, lies can’t come in! This is about leadership, mind you. The train has lots of room for all. The engineer is the one driving, keeping the valves greased! As Church leaders and hierarchy, they must stay on track for certainly a reckless leader makes the train ride look unappealing and downright dangerous. Absolutists like myself will not get on. The valves, having become two-way, will not protect from pollutants. Soon, all have suffocated in the mire of fruitless debate. The Church is a train wreck.
    But removing worldview thought from our faith locks the doors, freezes the valves. Truth cannot escape. People don't get in because it's a closed system, an elite club with its own jargon. I like to point to Western Civilization, bursting from Christian roots, as the perfect example of what a redeemed world looks like, sort of. It’s an inkling of Christian influence for the world to see. There’s a sparkle from Heaven in this life but people were meant for greater things! Of course it’s true; we have striving in our blood! Don’t you know deep down?

    I love 5twenty8’s header design. What a picture! It inspired “sparkle from Heaven”!
    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of Glory divine.

    "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (regenerated) to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do!" ~Ephesians 2:10

    Friday, October 21, 2005


    A Great Debate

    Who is more responsible for sin? Satan or man? On the test question, which sprouted a discussion between son and mom, ‘both’ was not a choice. What is man’s role or purpose in this life? ‘Produce, maintain, or stewardship’? My son, the independent thinker, didn’t answer the way the profs wanted. He believed the theology being taught gave humans way too much credit and capability! Has man produced anything good? Can man maintain anything? Is our purpose only to care for the things God has given us? Is this a ‘back to nature’ philosophy? I wasn’t sure what was being proposed but there are some valid points. Man has done much harm in the name of progress, often creating a hazard for the sake of efficiency. What can man maintain? It is God who holds ALL things together (Colossians 1:17) and at the snap of His finger, evil will be set loose upon the earth! (2 Thessalonians 2:6,7) Man is small. “He (God) sits enthroned above the arch of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers” ~Isaiah 40:22; “If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in His eyes, how much less man…” ~Job 25:6) What is man? (Psalm 8:3,4) God’s plans alone stand. (Psalm 33:8-11) Man is incompetent. (2Corinthians 3:5) Jesus made it clear as a cloudless day, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” ~John 15:5

    If we are thus small and insignificant, without God, and if we consider the evidence of men’s failings in our current surroundings, who could argue? My little flower garden can’t even flourish without God’s gift of rain! Those of you in drought can attest! As I searched for the above verses, I grew frustrated! With all my tools at my fingertips, the location of the verse in my head eluded me. I can’t even find the words that say, ‘we can do nothing apart from God’, apart from God! (Who says God doesn’t play jokes?)

    And reverting back to the first question, if Satan had not entered the world, might humanity have retained innocence? Sure, bad choice was our downfall but remove temptation from the picture! Is it not likely God and His creatures would have got along nicely? Would it have entered our brains to betray Him without the Betrayer of All? My answer would have to include Satan AND men as the culprits for sin entering the Garden! The epitome of Evil and Temptation, along with Adam and Eve’s lackluster turning from God, makes choosing a MORE responsible party almost nonsensical. My son, for the test, chose Satan. After all, he started it! The correct answer was supposedly man. Both are a disturbingly limited view.

    The ultimate question is, how responsible are we as created beings. We had better understand this fully if we are gonna approach cultural mandate theology. Not only had we better comprehend Satan’s role in our personal history and ability to obey God, (the old ‘know thine enemy’!) there is the daily surrender to God’s influence and power, without which we are rendered useless! That’s why production and maintenance (even stewardship) don’t appear to be anything men are capable of handling consistently. Some parts of history are prettier than others. One can argue they correlate with Christian influence but the exceptions will be used to argue against this obvious truth. Two reasons: human nature and a subconscious affinity for God surfaces in creative and orderly ways on occasion among the heathen; Christians can become less aware of their purpose and more self-reliant. So, you see, the whole “we’re better than you because God works in us” becomes quite muddled. I am certain this is why Jesus followed up His cultural mandate with, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.” ~Luke 10:20

    It is easy to get worked up and excited that God has given us such an awesome task AND the authority to do it! Produce…maintain…care for and use the earth for His Glory and Kingdom! How rich! Blessed are the poor in spirit…the FROGs…Fully Reliant on Our God. We are far from being nothing because He has made us for something.

    “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, “My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.” ~God in Isaiah 46:10

    Monday, October 17, 2005


    My Hardest Verse In The Bible

    Okay, so July is old news but William Meisheid at Beyond the Rim challenged us to write about our most difficult verse of the Bible and I just reread mine! There are two for context:

    "For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the
    knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them
    and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it
    would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness
    than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to
    them." ~
    2Peter 2:20-21

    This dreaded statement along side the Promises that our salvation is assured by the Holy Spirit is baffling. Our son was a help in this department. In our church, the confirmation class would write their statement of faith and read it for the session of elders. My son's confession was wholly orthodox so that is amazed me. Oh, I forgot. The elders then get to question the confirmand. Their question, because he had included apostasy in his statement, was, "Can a person who is saved lose their salvation?" as promised to apostates. His answer was given, not based on a particular verse, but from thoughtful remembrance of training in the Westminster Confession, verse by verse (or maybe the card game, Redemption!).

    No, a truly redeemed person cannot have that redemption removed. The question, which only God can answer,"Was that person actually in the knowledge of our Lord, escaped from the defilements of the world?"
    I remember researching it, that very night my son came home from his interrogation! I found the verse on apostasy and got my commentary. The explanation was just that. The apostate could not possibly have been a Christian in God's judgment. He had never surrendered his heart to Christ in the first place.

    The dilema is that I was saved in high school, I drifted in college into my married life, I returned to my faith wholeheartedly. When was I saved? What if I had died during my backsliding? Did I return to my faith because my salvation was assured? Or was I just a seed in the tares at first, to be choked out. Truly, my faith was not alive...even though I remembered and believed I was still a Christian, I was not even trying to follow Him. Apostasy is an outward defiance of God's being. I did everything but that! The journey gets real bumpy for some but what of those stuck in the ditch, caught in a pothole? What about all those seeds Jesus talked about? Which ones are promised God's precious grace?

    One thing is certain from this experience. It isn't easy to come back...I prayed that God would help me talk to Him again...prayer was lost to me...yet in HIs amazing power, I got involved with Moms In Touch and eventually started a prayer chain and led a prayer group! I prayed that I would become holy and full of His knowledge. At that time, I had no clue what was out there in the Christian underground of literature and music. Let me reiterate...only by God's awesome power and grace did I grow...I still cannot fathom all the knowledge and Truth that has come by here. I can't begin to elucidate. Was it homeschooling? Sure, but I met my closest non-Christian friends through a secularized homeschool co-op too! Church? Sure, but I was involved in a watered down version! Husband? Yes, but we were growing together...he was an infant/toddler in faith and couldn't lead yet. No, the source of my strength was a great awakening, God led miracles! To Him be the glory!

    Sunday, October 16, 2005


    Michael Behe Goes For It in PA

    Buried behind the obituaries in our big, fat Sunday paper, my husband found this article about an upcoming federal court case right here in Pennsylvania. Michael Behe, of Darwin's Black Box fame, is being called to defend his work in Intelligent Design as legitimate. In a funky lawsuit out of Dover Area School District, eight families are trying to disallow students from voluntarily reading an Intelligent Design textbook! The thought police are freakin me out here! Included in the school district's mind control plan, sarcastically speaking, is a brief statement presented to the students before continuing in the usual evolution content. They are told about ID and the conspiritorial notion that Darwin might have been wrong! gasp

    Saturday, October 15, 2005


    Not Just Any Mandate

    Mandate--an authoritative order or command, especially a written one.
    Mandatory--obligatory; having received a mandate over some territory.*

    "Fill the earth and subdue it" ~God

    Man was given a purpose at his beginning: to rule over God's creation.

    When I mentioned the dirty word, "relevance", knowing the communication problems it could entail, I was referring to the cultural mandate. The Colson/Vaughn book (Being the Body) helped me with my choice in word use. The foul meaning which could fit into a "relevance" definition is accommodate. The church's accommodation of the world is the actual fiery arrow that has pierced the Body's heart of Truth. Being relevant could mean bending to the whims of a culture in order to relate better and draw in the hordes of relativists. It can also mean, and should intend, to hold fast to the anchor of truth and relate the Word as a roadmap, the Holy Spirit as the Captain and Compass for weary travelers...seeker and finder alike. How sufficient is that? Being a source of relevance in every sense, the Church issues purpose, exposes God's grace, provides the Way, in Truth, for a fulfilled Life of service for the Creator's Glory! That is, when the Church is on top of it. Who needs gimmicks and compromise? There's nothing but irrelevance in satiating the world with their own lies.

    God wasted no time assigning meaning to the life He breathed into man and woman. Fill, subdue, rule...coming from God, translates "mandation". Obligatory verbs, not for your consideration at a more convenient time, but legally and morally binding commands requiring our awesome and willing hearts.

    According to Being the Body, the Reformers "were moved by a holy passion. Filled with the fear of God--the deepest reverence of the Lord Almighty--their cry became Coram Deo, in the presence of God. What seized them was the biblically informed view of life and realization that Scripture made Truth plainly known to men and women. (p 294). One of Luther's more profound statements was that church work was "in no way whatever superior to the works of a farmer laboring in the field, or of a woman looking after her home." (p 297) Life and living is service to our Lord for His glory and Kingdom! Some have said that this is the human condition rather than strictly a Christian phenomenon. I suppose, even with self-centered intentions, people are naturally creative and often tend toward order, beauty, and life. There is also much evidence to the contrary.

    There are some questions that arise in this writer but more on that later.

    ""God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature. ~Genesis 1:28

    *Webster's NewWorld Dictionary: Second College Edition; 1986

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005


    Christians, Competitive?

    Nah, we don't compete! Well, maybe a little...I am thrilled that my friend Wayne at Questions and Answers has found himself #16 on the Adrian Warnock Top 25 List of Christian blogs! How exciting is that?! Check it gives us peons hope!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005


    Gag Order

    Before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, the “Fathers of the Republic did not divorce politics and religion, but they denounced the separation as ungodly.” (Quoted in Gag Order; John Wingate Thornton; The Pulpit of the American Revolution, 1860, reprint N.Y.: Da Capo, 1970, p. I)
    For a century after the war, the message of the Bible, from the churches, influenced politics among other and all events of nineteenth century America (Idea from David N Hall; Election Day Sermons, Oak Ridge: Kuyper Institute, 1996, pp 20-21)

    Such providence that I read these quotes while waiting for a chance to chat with Nancy Pearcey at Geneva College. The message of Ms. Pearcey’s book, Total Truth, was common experience in early America! We have surely moved in a backward direction, obvious to some but not most citizens. The idea here being, Biblical ideas were not isolated, pretty little stories that maybe endured remembrance till the congregation arrived home for lunch! At best, the message is taken to heart and applied in a personal or family sphere.

    Gary Cass, author of Gag Order, quotes yet another voice, this of contemporary Baptist minister, Mark Coppenger. Addressing the IRS code, which prevents pastors under 501(c)(3) tax exemption law from freely speaking on certain political matters. Pastor Coppenger says, “the IRS is reinforcing the woeful impression that Church is only a devotional center and not also a base for cultural reformation.” Explaining it most clearly, Cass writes, “This is a governmental attempt to reduce the claims of Christ to the private sphere of the individual soul…this does violence to the absolute and universal Lordship of Christ over the whole world.” (P 38)

    From what I’m getting, the church has taken a double blow in recent decades. From the churches, teaching and preaching was confined to personal or family application to some extent. From the government came strangely motivated, quietly passed tax rules blocking political activity from churches. I have no idea if the latter aggravated the former. There is likely a correlation to the decrease in political sermons. After all, pastors have been running scared of losing non-profit status as far back as I can remember…especially conservative ones under the double standard!

    But don’t underestimate Satan’s power. I think he’s THAT good (bad). It is quite an orchestration if you think about it. If you have read Total Truth, you’ll remember the in-depth description of philosophies going back to Plato! Man’s thinking has been influenced for centuries by the separate spheres of material-ism and spiritual-ism…double minded Christians. Isn’t that why the sermons don’t stick, usually? We move from one sphere to the other on the road home! Then we feel guilty for focusing on lunch preparation and not soul preparation! But there is nothing unspiritual about eating lunch! It’s all in the attitude but guilt does not belong. And if the pastor feels led to go into a political issue Sunday morning, can we stop the nagging pre-conceived notion that it doesn’t belong?

    Chuck Colson and Ellen Vaughn hit a nerve in my current read, Being the Body:

    “The job of church, living as it does in alien country, must always be to be a beacon of the truth, not only in evangelism but in bringing Christian revelation to bear on every aspect of life. When we don’t do so, we have little influence on the shape and direction of our culture.”(P186)

    This evidence of the Christian downfall has been a long time coming…for the questions of what went wrong, why are we in such bad shape, and where is the Church’s voice…have been tormenting Western Civilization with relentless upheaval.

    Now that there are answers as to why Christians are missing on many fronts, it is only a matter of training and dispatching the troops, God willing.

    Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war,
    With the Cross of Jesus going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle, see His banners go!

    This looks like a nice lead in to my next topic, the cultural mandate.

    Friday, October 07, 2005


    Evangelism Continued

    The second basis for worldview evangelism is the idea of relevance which I would love to see churches latch onto. Salvation language, no matter how you try, is foreign to unchurched or non-Christian ears. As I mentioned, sin is so lost as anything remotely recognizable today, thanks to severe relativistic brainwashing, people have no idea why or what they need to be saved from. Language of living is what people can hear: Family issues, education, political ideas, art, music, science, law, the media, movies, leisure, Christmas! The murmuring has increased drastically in recent years, to almost a shout. Many Christian men and women are addressing life matters; they have gone beyond spiritual dialogue and are reaching right into people's personal space (Focus on the Family), and their schools (Bill Bennett), courtrooms (ADF, ACLJ), TV's (Faith Under Fire), science (ID, Pearcey, Johnson, Behe).

    If I had not gotten involved in the battle for our children, and heard James Dobson saying, if we have no Bible as the foundation for morality, then we have NO BASIS for morality so we will have to make it up as we go! There it was! I had never heard anything so powerful from any pulpit in my thirty years of church going! In other words, I came back to Christ and my faith because worldview evangels were driving it into my heart...and my home. My children meant more to me than whether "God loves me", the disconnected-from-life chatter from church! Someone is going to comment on how God's love is totally important. Of course it is, but what does that Love mean for me and my family, in this life? I began to connect more and more with brothers and sisters of the universal church who seemed to really get it...relevance of the spiritual message in all realms of living. Will we vacation at the ocean or the Grand Canyon where we can revel in God's grandeur or do we do Disney World where materialism and gay parades are the soup du jour? Will we send our kids to a secular school for politically correct indoctrination? Spend thousands of dollars to further the world's cause? Or shall we put our money into a school which closer resembles God's cultural mandate? "Drain the swamp"...yes, by all means.

    This is why South Carolina's Exodus makes sense to a worldview evangelical like me. Pulling out of a culture we no longer want to support yet still engaging the world in relevant dialogue. Christ came to redeem His Church and expand His Kingdom...the Body of Christ is to resurrect, and complete the work which He finished! We will not get very far with our heads in the clouds and feet in the pews. You don't get it? For starters, this year, say Merry Christmas when the world wishes you Happy Holiday!

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005


    Direction, Please

    I have so many thoughts to write about and I’m sorry I have not responded to your comments. They are very interesting, indeed! I feel I am without direction, thus no writing. I am reading Being the Body by Charles Colson and Ellen Vaughn, which is only reasserting what I know. Still, it is good to be affirmed. One thing the book has not stressed enough (but I’m not finished) is that the unity called for can only be based on the Word. We know that faith in Christ and the Resurrection is not enough. Many churches particular claim this Truth but do not stand on the whole Truth. As long as parts are being deleted and distorted, the Church universal will be fragmented. Colson and Vaughn stress the unimportance of ritual and sacrament type differences. These are things we can work around. God’s inerrant Word is stated as a foundational building block. I just don’t think enough can be said about this. At least an entire chapter! But, as I said, there is more to read…so I’ll fill you in later.

    Before my break, I started writing this thing on evangelism. Since then, my son and I have had a running debate on humanity’s role in God’s world, which led me to look over my collection of Bible verses on the Cultural Mandate. I have much to say in regard to the comments left here for me to ponder and decided to just keep posting my rebuttals rather than comment. The last book I read, Gag Order, had some things I’d love to share. Moses is not forgotten as a continuation of Christianity is Jewish and I will probably have some things to write when I finish a seminar with Hillsdale College this coming Saturday on our founding documents! So, as you can see, I am overwhelmed! I have been praying for God’s guidance; in the meantime, here is Evangelism:

    I have spent my entire life in and out of churches, wondering how to approach people with the gospel. I was born a shy person and even after being saved, although I spoke out more than ever, my approach was pretty much never a direct salvation message. More like, “Won’t you come to Youth Group tonight?” or “I’ve changed; I don’t do that anymore.” I don’t recall much success either. The answer was often no, or worse, mockery from my “Christian” friends because it seemed I was suddenly “holier than thou!” when I suggested we shouldn’t gossip or whatever. It must have hurt…I can still remember these things. But more than that, I very often sink into despair at how, after sermons galore, I can’t talk about my faith in a direct way.

    One thing I know about me is that I am a deeply sensitive person. I can get inside the other person to some extent. This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. It can go either way. But I do know exactly why I don’t come on boldly with the Good News! I know a young woman who is still lost because a Christian came on too strong. She has shut out the Christian voice completely. The critics would have a word with me…that shyness is a self-centered fault and that I truly don’t care or I would try to save the lost from eternal hell! There is surely some truth in that but there is also the fact that impersonal, robotic messages of salvation are equally cold and ineffective! It is rare indeed that a person can share the gospel with obvious compassion and humility…particularly with strangers. My restraint is based on the sense that most people will very likely cringe because they just aren’t ready!

    Worldview thinking has opened doors for this shy evangelist on two levels. The first was the revelation from Dr. Schaeffer’s idea that a person’s false worldview will have gaps that cannot and will not fit with our reality. He proposes our taking their roof off to expose the inconsistency. With compassion, their need must be shown to them and because sin has become passé, this is done by pushing them deeper into their own premises. For example, the nihilist who says we can know nothing must be shown that he is a walking contradiction. To know he can know nothing…is to know something. How can a nihilist even know he is a nihilist? Pointing this out is “taking the roof off” his bubble of knowledge, thus bursting it and leaving him with even less knowledge than he thought he had! This, says Schaeffer with utmost sensitivity, leaves the person completely vulnerable and perhaps even desperate. Now is the time to offer the Truth…now is NOT the time for shyness, leaving the person empty, with nothing to hold on to. Now he could be ready and open. Dr. Schaeffer warns this is not a formula to be abused as such. Nevertheless, with the Holy Spirit’s leadings, the situation is more natural and logical than slamming into the brick walls most people have surrounding them…the hard case shell of their own unique worldview!

    Because of the length, the second basis for worldview evangelism later...

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