Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fret Not

After every national election, no mater who wins, some segment of the American populace is disturbed and fearful because of the out come. Many Christians are concerned about our current president and his administration, some are fearful because of the people who now control the Congress as well.

I used to be one of those people who got all worked up about our political leadership. Thankfully that does not happen very much any more. My Christian convictions have not changed. I remain, on theological and social issues, a very conservative Christian and social issue, like abortion, continue to be very important to me.

Still, I have peace about our current President and Congress. I know they plan to push social and economic policies that are diametrically opposite of what I believe to be right or even biblical. When I disagree with those in power, I will express my views and work for what I believe to be correct. If good is done I will rejoice. If evil prevails, then I will trust in the LORD and wait on Him.

I think Christians need to look to the Scriptures and see what the LORD advises when our rulers (Democrat and Republican) wish to promote evil policies.

Fret not yourself because of the wicked, be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday
. (Ps. 37 1-6)

Our God has things well in hand. There is no reason for us to fear or to fret over what those in power are doing. As Christians we have to speak the truth, but we have to speak the truth with the proper tone. Jumping up and down or getting all worked up over political policy is not the “Christian” response to evil politics.

Issues like abortion are very important. We can not be silent about such issues, but we should not be shrill about them either.

Many years ago, I used to say that, “America’s move away from the Scriptures on issues like abortion and homosexuality will bring us under God’s judgement.” Today, I believe that is an incorrect statement.

These things will not bring us to judgement, they are God’s judgment. The ability to kill your own child is a glaring sign of Spiritual blindness and Spiritual abandonment. For any people to allow and accept the kill millions of unborn children, it is clear that the moral restraint of God’s Spirit on that people have been removed. This has certainly happened to our country and that is one of the more serious forms of judgement from God.

Long ago, God began to let go the reins of sinful restraint that kept our social ills in check. This is no longer the case and we as a nation are racing to see what new form of perversion we can make acceptable to the American people. There was a time when sex outside of marriage was seen as wrong, today it is viewed as normal. Homosexuality is now seen as acceptable lifestyle by a large and growing segment of the American people. These are examples of issues where God has decided to judge our people by loosening the moral restraints that protected our culture from moral collapse.

Seventy years ago this year, Americans were shocked at the movies to hear Rhett Butler use the word “damn” in the last words of Gone With the Wind, today that is very tame stuff even for children’s movies.

Nudity, explicit sex, vulgarity and cursing are all common movies. Music has become an extremely vulgar art form. Popular culture is sinking to the lowest common denominator at every point. This IS JUDGEMENT.

This judgement will lead to further and greater judgement, which will bring our country to repentance or destruction.

God has it all in hand. Fear no man. Fear no administration or Congress, instead, fear God and be a peace.

Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off; but those who wait for the LORD shall possess the land.
Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look well at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall possess the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity
(Ps. 37 7-11)

Coram Deo,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recent Books

I've recently finished reading Clement of Alexandria 's Second book of his three books of the Instructor. I also just finished C.S. Lewis' The Problem With Pain. Though I was wonderfully impressed with the first book that I read by St. Clement's, Exhortation to the Heathen, I've not found the first two books of the Instructor to be all that great. There is much good advice in them and a good bit of legalism as well.

Lewis' The Problem With Pain was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be about his personal dealings with pain, but this is not what it is about at all. It's a book about how and why pain exists in this world that is created by God, who is perfectly good. Much of it is very good, some of it is purely speculative, but at these points Lewis usually tells you when he is speculating. Still his speculations are often insightful and always interesting.

With that said I have to disagree with Lewis on several instances. He is clearly opposed to Calvinism, but what he writes in this book on the Calvinist teaching of "total depravity" shows that he has not taken the time to understand what Calvinists truly believe when they use that phrase.

As a firmly planted creationist, I also find Lewis' ready acceptance of biological evolution to be a weakness in his thought. There were other things that I believe to be deficient in the book, but it is still a book that will cause you to think about serious issues and Lewis has insights that are, at times, amazing. It is, like everything else that I've read by C.S. Lewis, worth reading, especially if you are interested in thinking and being challenged.

Coam Deo,


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marriage--God's Grace

Twenty-six years ago today my wife and I went on our first date. That was 19 March 1983, I was still 22 years old and and she had just turned 19. Five and a half months later we were married at Faithway Baptist Church.

We have had our ups and downs, but twenty-six years and four children later we are still going strong. Sometimes I'm amazed to realise that she not only loves me, Lisa actually likes me. She is a great wife to me and a wonderful mother to our four kids (two of which are grown and married).

It has not always been easy. Some times were very hard and the easything for either of us to do would have been to quit, but God has sustained us and blessed us. I love my wife. She is my very best friend on earth.

Coram Deo,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Mere Christian: C.S. Lewis

I read my first book by C.S. Lewis in 1980 while serving aboard the USS Francis Hammond in the Gulf of Oman, during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. During that time I read The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters.

I enjoyed both those books then, and I have enjoyed re-reading them from time to time over the years.  I also read The Chronicles of Narnia, many years ago to my now grown children. The seven Narnia books are wonderful books that I strongly recommend to children and adults alike.

C.S. Lewis' introduction to St. Athanasius' On The Incarnation is absolutely brilliant and it remains one of the most important, thoughtful pieces I've ever read. In his intro to this ancient theological classic, Lewis explains why it is so important for us modern/postmodern people to read old books. I had always like to read about old stuff, but Lewis' article made me hunger to buy read great older books.

Last week, I finished Mere Christianity by Lewis. Wow. I've wanted to read this book for a long time, but it has taken me a long time to actually get to it. It is wonderful. It is not a book about fine theological points. I disagree with Lewis on many fine points of theology, but it is a GREAT book about Mere Christianity.

I am a Calvinist and therefore I differ with Lewis on issues such as predestination and how we are to understand free will, but even with those areas of disagreement, I have to say, "Get this book and read it. It is worth it's weight in gold."

Coram Deo,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Water Boarding Again

Once again water boarding is back in the news. Water boarding was once a normal part of some special military training. In 1979, while serving in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter aircrewman, I experienced water boarding first hand.

Water boarding was a common part of S.E.R.E. School (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape). This school trained special forces and aircrews how to survive if you found yourself behind enemy lines or a prisoner of war.

I wrote about my experience in 2006 (see it HERE). I said then that I did not believe that water boarding should be considered torture. I still do not think it should be listed as torture.

It is not a fun. It is very frightening while experiencing it. A large portion of my group at S.E.R.E. school, myself included, were water boarded and I had many friends who attended the school before and after me who also recieved the same treatment with no damage.

It scares you. You may THINK you are drowning, but if done correctly, you are safe. This treatment is nothing compared to what the enemies of this country do to our servicemen and women.

Muslim terrorists, like the Communist before them, think nothing of slaughtering and torturing innocent human beings. They treat our people as though they are worste than fermine and we are concerned that some of them were water boarded.

Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of American military personel, have experienced full blown water boarding. S.E.R.E. school can be intense, but actual torture is not part of the the training. Water boarding is rough, but it is not torture.

Coram Deo,