Monday, July 17, 2006


Hardhitting Decision

You know, I just love it when Christian leaders hit the a head-on, hardhitting message. I must confess, I have seldom read the Decision magazine that has arrived monthly to my home for umpteen years! It’s not that they are not good. More like, they’re not great. That’s why I love Zion’s Fire, from Zion’s Hope, Christian teaching from the Messianic Jewish perspective. It is hard to explain...Decision puts the Gospel out there, simply and directly! That’s a good thing! Most days, a lifelong church goer needs meat. At my age, prime cut steak is very satisfying! I’m starving for holiness, so I scarf down some Jerry Bridges. I’m desperate for deeper relationship in my prayer life for which Dutch Sheets is tastily rich. I’m battered-up from life’s harsh realities; John Eldredge and now, Stasi, meet me where I am, show me that God’s treasures are us (and me) and that His purpose is different for men versus women! At this time in my life, I am looking death square in the eye with my closest ally and friend, Mom, at 92 and fighting cancer. I thank God for the meaning and hope found rarely in theological writings, Randy Alcorn’s Heaven. But just to keep me earthbound while I’m looking up, Dr. D. James Kennedy reviews the Christian world view in much of his teachings.

I did have a point. The July-August Decision drove it home. Right away, "The Authority of the Bible: Why We Can Trust It, Why We Must Obey It", copyright 1951, on the cover with young Billy Graham, grabbed me. When is the last time you mainliners heard the likes of that? Ah, but it gets better! Spurred on by the heresy within the Church, Al Mohler impresses upon Christians the need for "Articulating the Truths of Scripture" in a Q&A special feature. The first article I read, "Fighting for Holiness" by J.C. Ryle, had these striking words highlighted, "True Christians are called to be soldiers and must behave as such from the day of conversion to the day of death. We are not meant to live lives of religious ease, indolence and security." Not your typical "me-centered" therapeutic sermon from the later twentieth century pulpit! J.C. Ryle lived from 1826 to 1900. Norman L. Geisler considers Dan Brown’s novel and "Why We Can Trust the Bible"; Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., professor of Old Testament debunks the contemporary Christian tendency to zero in on New Testament as the "real Bible". I haven’t read that last one yet; I kinda fell in love with Old Testament when I read Christianity Is Jewish the first I get it. I have actually been known to say, "Ignoring Old Testament or printing the New Testament alone, to hand out to beginner Christians is a sin." It minimizes the Gospel. How can the message be clear if you start in the middle of the story?

Billy Graham’s second essay is taken from The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World, 2006. "Reading the Bible" offers encouragement with some how-to’s. No one with spiritual vision can deny the wisdom of Reverend Graham. He wrote, "The Bible is not an option, it is a necessity. You cannot grow spiritually strong without it." Amen. The decision is one we must make, daily.

I'm not sure what your point is, but I wish to point out that christians are not soldiers. The disciples were not soldiers. They went about the world more like salesmen. Paul, if anything, was a prisoner of Christ, or having spent time upon the sea, perhaps a sailor ( forgive the facetiousness) but hardly a soldier.

We are to be obedient to God's will. We should listen to him as he speaks to us rather than be bombastic, or Bible Thump. I agree that the word is central to the Christian life. We cannot be spiritual without it. (Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God). The word is life in our hearts and from it comes all the fruits of the spirit including health to the body.

This is not Jewishness. This is Christianity. Judaism promotes proverbial wisdom and discretion. Christianity promotes love and forgiveness. An angry God, has been updated to "... and on earth peace. Goodwill towards all mankind."

In brotherly love
..i (gently) disagree with mossyback above...God (whether angry or not) cannot be 'updated'...He is the same, yesterday, today and forever...He hates sin as much today as He did five thousand years ago despite the fact that He has provided us with a scapegoat in Jesus...the new testament is full of fighting words...we're told to put on the whole armour of God (which includes a sword), Jesus says that if the world loves you, you're not truly His disciple, He said that He came not to bring peace but a sword and Paul instructs us to fight the good fight...we are told that if the salt has lost its savour, wherewithal shall we be savoured? in other words, we're meant to stand out and make a difference...Jesus called the pharisees broods of vipers and whitewashed tombs...when did you or i last call someone a viper or a whitewashed tomb? we're so worried about being's time for the white flame of the prophetic word to go forth and convict of sin...we're not called to be 'nice' as so many christians think...we're called to 'tear down strongholds'...the early christians were not hated for being nice but for speaking the truth...elijah almost got himself killed by Jezebel for speaking the's time for a radical paradigm shift in our thinking..let's not conform ourselves to the politically correct nonsense that is poisoning the world around us
I (gently) could not have said it better, dee. On the other thing, when I say Christianity is Jewish, I am not saying the two religions are the same. I am saying Messianic Christians realize the "grafting" of the Church into her Hebrew roots, the Old Testament faith of the Jews. Christianity cannot stand alone, even though many Christians are trying, by saying things like "God has been updated" and putting all their faith in New Testament teaching.

Thanks for the comments!
Hi again,

I just want to clarify one thing that I said. You say that "God has been updated" but I said that "an angry God ...". We have a new covenant; God has revealed a new aspect of himself; there has been a change in heaven. Christ now holds all the power over all Heaven and Earth. Fight for Christian ideals, by all means, but be sure you understand how far the fight should reach.

Yours in brotherly love,
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