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Category Archives: spirituality

A Blessed Resurrection Sunday to Everyone!

Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, Hallelujah! The Kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Hallelujah! King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Hallelujah!

(Revelation 19:6; 11:15; 19:16)

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Posted by on April 1, 2018 in good news, religion, spirituality, Theology

 

Evangelism and personality

We all have different gifts and callings, and we shouldn’t be in the business of forcing everyone into the same mold or declaring that some gifts put their bearers in a higher tier of godliness.

And here, I need to give special attention to my fellow introverts. The people who go through the conference circuit, have a billion personal evangelism stories, or visit 1700 churches to give talks about missionary work are usually raging extroverts. They genuinely fail to understand that introverts aren’t constantly talking with our neighbors and coworkers, that we don’t have a huge social circle, and that we don’t strike up conversations with strangers. They ask the congregation when they last invited their neighbors to church, and we’re all sitting there trying to remember the last time we even spoke with our neighbors and what their names are. The natural consequence of this is that the shape of personal evangelism is very very different for us. Super-spiritual extroverts tend to dismiss that difference as shyness, cowardice, laziness, ungodliness, and so forth, but they do so in great ignorance.

Remember the Widow’s Mite. Though she offered only a small coin, Jesus said that out of her poverty she gave more than anyone else. The same holds true when it comes to the introverted, the autistic, and all those who live in some manner of social poverty. Popular speakers who are socially wealthy may not know what personal evangelism costs you, but God does.

Matthew Cochran

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in religion, spirituality, Theology

 

Where Rosaria Butterfield goes wrong; why Carl Trueman is wrong

I was re-reading this old post of mine, and thinking about Carl Trueman’s quote from Rosaria Butterfield’s autobiography:

What good Christians don’t realize is that sexual sin is not recreational sin gone overboard.  Sexual sin is predatory. It won’t be ‘healed’ by redeeming the context or the genders. Sexual sin must simply be killed. What is left of your sexuality after this annihilation is up to God. But healing, to the sexual sinner, is death: nothing more and nothing less.

which Trueman used to back up his contention that the problem of porn is deeper than sexual sin, which strikes me as absurd. (See my previous post.)

Anyway, I wondered how Butterfield could arrive at this notion that sexual sin warps one’s sexuality so much that it may need to be annihilated and then reconstructed by God, if He pleases.

Well, as I mentioned in one of the comments (read through them to find the link to the wiki about her), Butterfield was a practising lesbian. By God’s grace, she was removed from that lifestyle, and is now a married mother, the wife of a Reformed pastor.

Which is wonderful; I praise God for that. She has been most greatly blessed.

But I believe that Butterfield errs in thinking that because it was necessary in her case for God to annihilate her homosexuality, in order to then grant her heterosexuality (as certainly seems to be the case), that all who struggle with sexual sin can expect, if they repent and turn away from their sexual sin, to experience something God doing similar with their own sexuality.

Because, after all, for those of us who aren’t homosexual in orientation, our sexuality, however sin-stained, is at least pointing in the right direction, if you will, in terms of opposite-sex attraction. Obviously that was not the case for her, so a more radical transformation, a complete deconstruction and then radical reconstruction, was necessary for her to have a normal, healthy, God-honouring sexuality.

Therefore she is wrong to assume the general from the specific and personal anecdotal; to take her personal experience, and see what God had to do with her, as normative for all Christians. I’m not by any means trying to minimize the radical lifestyle changes that those of us who have gone astray in such matters may need to undergo; the radical change of spirit, of mindset, of lifestyle, in order to be in compliance with God’s revealed will for us, to live our lives in God-honouring ways in the sexual sphere as in all others.

But at least those of us who are straight don’t need to be turned in our orientation.

We are blessed to have it a bit easier than she did.

Her advice, therefore, on that point, is misguided and not especially helpful to straight Christians.

She’s wrong. That’s all.

And Trueman remains wrong in citing her perspective to back up his own misguided views about male sexuality.

The Law of God, or the Ten Commandments, have two separate commandments that deal with sexual sin; one is primarily about the actions (though also including thoughts) – ‘Do not commit adultery’, while the other is about the desire behind the actions (and thoughts) – “Do not covet”.

And Paul encourages, for those not inclined to lifelong celibacy, marriage, to avoid fornication; see 1 Corinthians 7.

Ideally, if both spouses are striving to satisfy each other’s desires and needs, neither of them will covet anyone else’s spouse (or someone not married), and therefore won’t fall into the breaking of the other commandment, either, in that regard. (Of course, we may still have to deal with stray thoughts / memories, etc., and can’t expect that we can or will obey perfectly, but Paul surely would tell us it’s still better for us to go through that than falling into fornication itself; hence why he recommends it.)

Surely the same applies to pornography; pornography is surely akin to a virtual form of fornication, since lust is equally involved, and lust can be in the heart and mind even if not committed in the body; Christ warned us, after all, that if we so much as think about adultery that we have committed it in our hearts, in God’s eye.

And so, if Paul advises marriage with regular sexual intercourse to avoid fornication, as we read in 1 Corinthians 7, surely marriage with regular sexual intercourse helps one avoid the sexual sin of pornography. So Trueman was wrong to criticize the other pastor for positing marriage as a solution to the man’s pornography problem, as outlined in the previous post. Marriage is the best solution to avoiding sexual sin, which is why God’s Holy Word recommends it, to that very end. QED.

 
 

Poland to phase out Sunday shopping by 2020

Seems like the government listened to the bishops:

Polish MPs have approved a bill that will phase out Sunday shopping by 2020.

Initially proposed by trade unions, the idea received the support of the ruling conservative Law and Justice Party, who want to allow workers to spend more time with their families.

The Sejm, the lower house of Poland’s parliament, passed the bill by 254 to 156 to restrict Sunday shopping to the first and last Sunday of the month until the end of 2018, only on the last Sunday in the month in 2019, and to ban it totally starting in 2020. It will still be permitted, however, on the Sundays before major holidays such as Christmas. Some bakeries and online shops will also be exempt.

Praise God!

And may He bless Poland!

 

Everyone who claims that only one side deserved condemnation at Charlottesville…

… is on the side of SJWs who hate Christianity and white people, like the tweeter highlighted in this conservative tweeter’s post:

If you are Christian, you ought to oppose unrighteous violence, period, and recognize when there’s blame to go around on more than one side. (Self-defence may be righteous violence, as may be a just war, etc.)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2017 in religion, spirituality, Theology

 

How relationship raises the questions of religion

Great observation by Herman Bavinck, indeed. And thus, we see the absurdity of those evanjellyfish who eschew emphasizing that Christianity is a religion, calling it just a faith. After all, faith is just belief, but religion is living out faith in communion with other fellow believers, and the outworking of that faith in the world. Any ostensible Christian who de-emphasizes religion’s importance is missing out on the big picture.

memoirandremains

J.H. Bavinck:

As long as he is occupied with himself only and looks no further, he can fancy himself to be self-sufficient. But as soon as he becomes aware of his relationships, he becomes stupefied, and asks: What am I in this great cosmos? What am I over and against the norm, that strange phenomenon in my life that has authority over me? What am I in my life that speeds on and on–a doer or a victim? What am I in the face of that remarkable feeling that overwhelms me sometimes, that feeling that everything must change and that things are not right as they are? What am I over against that very mysterious background of existence, the divine powers? It is in this area of existential relations that man is confronted with the crucial matters of life–and one of these is religion. Religion convinces man that there are…

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Posted by on June 28, 2017 in religion, spirituality, Theology

 

Remember when Global Christianity was Shaming the Church in the West?

Remember when Global Christianity was Shaming the Church in the West?

Interesting; we’ve long been told how Christianity in the Third World is putting Western Christianity to shame. And maybe overall, it is. But the huge grown of the heretical ‘prosperity gospel’ in places like Nigeria and Brazil show that not all is well with the Church there, either… Something to be kept in mind, if/when we’re tempted towards jealousy…

Old Life

Fifteen years ago, bookies were betting on the Global South:

Today the Christian total stands at 360 million out of 784 million, or 46 percent. And that percentage is likely to continue rising, because Christian African countries have some of the world’s most dramatic rates of population growth. Meanwhile, the advanced industrial countries are experiencing a dramatic birth dearth. Within the next twenty-five years the population of the world’s Christians is expected to grow to 2.6 billion (making Christianity by far the world’s largest faith). By 2025, 50 percent of the Christian population will be in Africa and Latin America, and another 17 percent will be in Asia. Those proportions will grow steadily. By about 2050 the United States will still have the largest single contingent of Christians, but all the other leading nations will be Southern: Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and the…

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