Saturday, November 29, 2008

Racism #2

In this second post I must again confess that I think most white Americans may never truly grasp the plight of African-Americans in our nation's history. The idea that men went to Africa and kidnapped black men and committed them into slavery is simply unfathomable to me. How that could possibly be legal in any nation that considers itself Christian has to be one of the greatest hypocrisies in all of the so-called Christian West.

Although the Bible has permitted certain kinds of slavery in order not to overthrow complex economic institutions, I believe the Bible provides the foundation for the justification of ridding the world of evil practices. So again, it amazes me that slavery could arise within a Christian community. With passages such as Ephesians 2 that describe Christ breaking down the barriers between Jews and Gentiles or Acts 17 "and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation...", it would require the Christian to act against the Word of God to defend such evil practices.

Although I am certain much more could be said against slavery from the Bible, I wanted to approach this with the stated perspective that I believe the Bible condemns such practices. With that as my starting point I would like to comment on the video.

The video shows a white man arguing against Affirmative Action. Now the video doesn't show the entire context of the "conversation". I am not certain why these things are considered "conversation" anyway. Bringing people before a national TV audience that looks for emotional heated fights for ratings is silliness. By the look of Chappelle in the video, this conversation was leading nowhere.

Now I must disagree with Chappelle. I am against Affirmative Action. Yet I say this knowing that I never experienced the evils of the South's Jim Crowe Laws. I have never been turned down for a job simply because of my skin color.

A few reasons against Affirmative Action. First, how are we going to rid this country of racism if we simply reverse it. Second, there are other groups who are now running circles around all of us, despite racist tendencies in all of us. Third, I think the Racism Industry is never going to end using tactics like this. Fourth, I think Affirmative Action could cause problems similar to Welfare. It takes away the incentive to work hard and become the best one may be.

Having stated just these few reasons against Affirmative Action, I have to say that the complaints of white people of reverse discrimination rings hollow. Now I don't live in the south, but it seems to be that racism still exists. For white people, especially in the South, to complain is like a bully who is now getting a taste of his own medicine. So I just don't buy the reverse discrimination is as bad as they complain.

Nevertheless, I wonder if Affirmative Action is the best solution. I see that the purpose of it was to give opportunity to the oppressed that would otherwise never happen. But was/is there really no other way? Have Black/African American communities reaped the benefits of this program? Perhaps it was a needed response in the beginning, a response that needs to be looked at again.

For example, the same people who are for Affirmative Action are against breaking up the Public School monopoly. Inner city public schools are nothing more than prisons. The inner city welfare culture has destroyed the black family. All of these programs have simply moved the black family from one plantation to another. I would argue this latter plantation may be worse than the former. At least in the former, there were black leaders that understood what freedom and liberty need, a solid family foundation and a Creator that defines morality. Is that the case today?

My opinion is that Conservatism has the answer. The promotion of personal liberty and responsibility and less government. Real opportunity as opposed government sponsored welfare produces the best that people have to offer. When men do not look to government as the solution but instead look to their God, family and community, I think we will see a real difference.

Now on the flip side, I am not thinking government has no role. Government should promote good citizenship among its citizens. When injustices occur, government ought to judge righteously. The purpose of government is to maintain justice (in the historic sense of the term).

However, America is a melting pot. People in time will come together. Policies that force multiculturalism and constantly divide us will not help but harm. I am afraid that Affirmative Action has now run its course. Whatever help it would have done should have happened by now. Now is a time for change. Now is a time for new policies that will really help the black family. School choice and vouchers is one example. Just as the white man's complaints sound hollow, so do the complaints the Left when it says "no" to school vouchers and freedom while decrying constant racism.

I know I have said a lot. Much of what I think is outside of the mainline experience. I have not experienced the Jim Crowe south as a black man. I have never been called a nigger in its meanest derogatory sense. However, as the video shows, racism doesn't seem to be ending. I doubt it ever will. There must be better policies than what is be offered now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Racism #1

A friend of mine has one of those cell phones that shows videos. He had shown me this one.

One of the things in my life that needs desperate sanctification is my humor. For instance I find Dave Chappelle extremely funny. There is just one problem. At times Chappelle may become very vulgar, and you never know when he will do so. Although, I don't see the world from his perspective, I think listening to the humor of men like him helps those of us who live in a different world to grasp how they see us.

In this video we see "angry white men" decrying Affirmative Action as an evil being forced upon them. I don't think I have ever written about racism or our Nation's Public policies regarding the topic. I grew up in an area of the country where you could literally count the number of black/African Americans with a hand that is missing fingers.

The irony of growing up in a white suburb south of Boston is that one of my first friends in kindergarten was a black girl. I really don't remember much else from that school year. I don't really remember anyone else. Her name was Grace Adams. We would sit and listen to records and music together. After kindergarten, we pretty much went our separate ways. I hung out with the boys as boys tend to do. In fact, I rarely spoke with her for the rest of our school years. Not that I avoided her. I just didn't hang out in the same circles.

One day in high school she approached me and basically accused me of not being willing to talk with her. She seemed to say that I would not because she was black. I must confess that that deeply saddened me. Here was a girl, who thought I had become some kind of racist. Why did she think so? What was it that I did that gave this impression? Could I have lived my life differently? Did I choose to not talk with her when I could have? She wasn't in any of my classes. She didn't hang out with my friends. She lived in a different part of town. Yet there she was accusing me of racism. Why?

I say all of this because I would like to make some comments on the above video knowing full well I am walking into territory that I am unfamiliar with. I know that I have never faced the world in a way that a black American does. So with fear and trepidation I hope to post on the video with thoughts that attempt to express a consistent biblical view knowing that many may disagree.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving & Plimouth Plantation

During this Thanksgiving season, I truly have many things to be thankful for. This past summer, I went on one of the best vacations ever. We traveled across this great land. While staying in Plymouth, we visited Plimouth Plantation.

In this artist's depiction of the First Thanksgiving we see William Brewster offering thanks to God for His care and provision. This summer, my family and I were able to meet this "Ruling Elder", as he referred to himself.

Apparently, he ages very well. Then again, it was the year 1627. I had the opportunity to ask him many questions. What a great conversation. I only wish I had written down more questions and had more time to spend there. Taking kids to a living museum may not be all that exciting for the kids, but I sure loved it.

Here is a video taken from the upper floor of the Meeting House. There were also canons. So I guess we have an example of the "church militant". ;-)

Anyway, it certainly gives some context to history. They also had a Native American portion of the museum. Although the Native Americans don't "play the roles" as the Pilgrims do, it was very informative. To see how both sides viewed each other makes for interesting discussion.

The woman below in the right side of the video had some interesting comments about the "Indians" (not in this video). She likened them to children who had all of this land and not working it as its potential could yield. It was interesting what these Anglicans had to say about the "Separatists". They spoke of them as being lazy. When I brought this up to William Brewster, he was able to tell the names of the Anglicans that complained about this. Apparently, they had people problems too.

Don't these guys look like they are having fun?

Of course you have to have the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. Unfortunately, the rock was having construction done. But the tide was out so we managed to go down along the shore. But then the battery on the camera ran out. /so you will just have to take my word for it. The Rock was still there.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Confidence In Atheism Waning?

Not only has the public's trust of the Stock Market gone down but apparently Atheism's trust in science is also waning. This weekend I spent a few minutes in a Christian apologetics chat channel talking with an atheist. Within about 30 seconds the atheist said, "Whatever".

I must confess that that is a bit unusual. Most of the time atheists that would take the time to come into a Christan apologetics channel put up a pretty good fight. I usually have to really think about their arguments. This guy just seemed to not have the energy of love for atheism in him.

Dinesh D'Souza has written an article for offering a interesting viewpoint. He writes about the fact that science, especially in astronomy and molecular biology, has been showing the universe to be fine tuned for life. The coincidences are just too much to handle.
The appeal of multiple universes—perhaps even an infinity of universes—is that when there are billions and billions of possibilities, then even very unlikely outcomes are going to be realized somewhere. Consequently if there was an infinite number of universes, something like our universe is certain to appear at some point. What at first glance seems like incredible coincidence can be explained as the result of a mathematical inevitability.

The only difficulty, as Folger makes clear, is that there is no empirical evidence for the existence of any universes other than our own. Moreover, there may never be such evidence. That’s because if there are other universes, they will operate according to different laws of physics than the ones in our universe, and consequently they are permanently and inescapably inaccessible to us. The article in Discover concludes on a somber note. While some physicists are hoping the multiverse will produce empirical predictions that can be tested, “for many physicists, however, the multiverse remains a desperate measure ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation.”

You got to love it when atheists are now defending a position that places them outside of the scientific realm. Keep in mind that this is exactly what they have been accusing Christians of for as long as I can remember.

Albert Mohler, President of SBTS, has also noticed this quite some time ago (read article here). The "New Atheism" is on the move. In my opinion, atheism is like that proverbial animal that is dying and backed into a corner. The leaders are attempting to fight back with one last stand. However, I am sensing the lay-followers have lost their zeal.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pope Agrees With Luther...Double Talk

In this second post I want interact with the Pope's understanding of the Law verses the context of Scripture's use of it in Galatians. The article explains,
But in order to understand this Pauline teaching, Benedict XVI affirmed, "we must clarify what is the 'law' from which we have been freed and what are those 'works of the law' that do not justify."
So here we see that some aspects of the Law justify and some that do not justify. But what are they?
Instead, the Pope said, the law to which Paul refers is the "collection of behaviors extending from an ethical foundation to the ritual and cultural observances that substantially determined the identity of the just man -- particularly circumcision, the observance regarding pure food and general ritual purity, the rules regarding observance of the Sabbath, etc."

These observances served to protect Jewish identity and faith in God; they were "a defense shield that would protect the precious inheritance of the faith," he remarked.
By making this distinction between ethnic (Jewish Identity) laws and moral laws, Rome is able to say that justification occurs with a faith that works [moral laws] in love, not a faith alone that simply looks outside of one-self, looks to another and rests solely in the work of Christ alone.

In Galatians we read,
Gal 2:15 "We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;
Gal 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
With the Rome's definition of law smuggled in, many Protestant will readily accept Rome as simply another denomination. The irony is that there is a movement among Protestants called the New Perspective On Paul (NPP). This movement interprets Paul's letter to the Galatians and sees that Paul was arguing against the Judaizers that were wanting to have Gentile Christians keep the ethnic laws that were used as boundaries for the Jews. In other words, Paul, according to this view, simply wanted to break down the cultural ethnic barriers of the law that separated Jews and Gentiles, not the moral law. But is this all Paul meant by the term "law"?

Jeffery Smith's article in the Reformed Baptist Theological Review (vol IV, No.1) demonstrates that the NPP is in serious error. His arguments I think apply equally strong here against the Roman Pontiff. He writes examination of Paul's use of the phrase "the works of the law" demonstrates that he saw in this insistence a much deeper problem that goes far beyond the mere issue of boundary markers or the social function of the law. Paul argues that to insist that justification is dependent on obedience to any aspect of the law means that we must be obedient to all that the law as a whole demands in order to be justified.
Now how do we know that Paul is referring to the entire law? Smith goes on to explain verses 3:10-14 and cites Venema's comments,
Those who would be justified by the works of the law are reminded that the law pronounces a curse upon everyone who fails to keep "all things" that are written in it.
The reference makes plain that the entire Old Testament Law must be kept or the curses of Deuteronomy would be fulfilled in the law-breaker. To make this passage refer to only "boundary markers" is to miss the point of the text itself. Paul not only includes circumcision, but also the Ten Commandments.

Think about it. Are we going to say that we may by faith keep the commandment "Thou shall not commit adultery" as justifying while circumcision is not? Who in the world keeps that commandment? I'll bet you broke that commandment within the last fifteen minutes. Are we really going to say that Christ has only freed us from the "boundary markers"? Why was it necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for circumcision? The problems with NPP and Rome's understanding of these passages in order to get round the plain teaching of Scripture only worsens the problem. God truly becomes the "cosmic child abuser" if Jesus' death on the cross is merely for racism.

To put it another way Smith writes,
...If this is the meaning of Christ being made a curse for us, then the Jews themselves had no need of a cross. The cross was only for the Gentiles, to show them that God is for them [is this not what Benedict basically says?]. The only need, then, that Jews had of the cross was with reference to their unwillingness to receive Gentiles. Thus the cross was only for those Jews who were racist and only for those Gentiles who were unhappy with the idea of having to become Jews.
Smith's comments on Romans 7 are helpful.
Some argue that it's only a legalistic obedience to the law that Paul excludes from being the ground of justification. It is only obedience out of the sinful motive of seeking to bribe God. However, they argue that evangelical obedience, or believing obedience, is not excluded from being the ground of our justification or from in some sense being the condition of our justification. But it is not merely a legalistic obedience that Paul excludes. That, of course, is excluded. Paul excludes obedience to the demands of the law period, whatever the motive.
Man is always attempting to insert himself somewhere in salvation. We just can't let go of the idea that we must do something. The common objection raised by all religions including Roman Catholicism is the same objection that was raised against Paul's teaching of Justification by faith alone.
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Or as one RC asked me, "So you believe that we are fully and completely justified by faith alone apart from any works of any kind? So you may get saved and then kill people without any possibility of losing your salvation?"

Paul's answer in the rest of chapter 6 is something I will let the reader decide. For now I will agree with Lloyd-Jones. You are not preaching the Gospel unless you are accused of preaching the free-grace of God. This Rome denies and will not do. Therefore Rome is an apostate church. She has redefined faith and the law and ultimately the Gospel, which is really no Gospel at all.

Anne Milgram Terrorizes Private Business

According to Michelle Malkin, "the New Jersey attorney general intervened on behalf of the gay plaintiff and wrangled an agreement out of eHarmony to change its entire business model." They now have to provide a service to homosexuals that the company was never designed to do.
This case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a rib-eye, or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services.
Malkin informs us of other law-suits.
For three years, the company battled McKinley's legal shakedown artists -- and staved off other opportunists as well. The dating site had been previously sued by a lesbian looking to force the company to match her up with another woman, and by a married man who ridiculously sought to force the company to find him prospects for an adulterous relationship.
As I argued with Nolan T, once you allow homosexuals super rights, how do you argue against these kinds of suits.

Basically the Attorney General's office in NJ headed by Anne Milgram will now terrorize private citizens and businesses if they don't abide by their political correctness. Their personal views of the world will now be forced on anyone they choose. So once again, the Nolan T style ignorance runs a muck. Not only do Americans have foreign enemies that hate our Constitution, we have domestic enemies as well.

Michelle Malkin offers a potential strategy. Start suing the private companies of homosexuals. There is just one problem with that idea. Most Conservatives have lives.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pope Agrees With Luther...Not

Yesterday, the Pope announced that "Martin Luther's doctrine on justification is correct..." You may read an article by Zenit here (thanks to Algo for pointing this to me). I guess we can all close our Protestant churches and go back to the true church Jesus founded. We Protestants have been wrong for the last 500 years. If only the Pontiff of Luther's day would have said this. We could have avoided all of this misunderstanding.

At the close of the article the Pope is quoted.
Faith is to look at Christ, to entrust oneself to Christ, to be united to Christ, to be conformed to Christ, to his life. And the form, the life of Christ, is love; hence, to believe is to be conformed to Christ and to enter into his love."

"Paul knows," he added, "that in the double love of God and neighbor the whole law is fulfilled. Thus the whole law is observed in communion with Christ, in faith that creates charity. We are just when we enter into communion with Christ, who is love."
What modern Protestant would disagree with this? As a Protestant who has spoken over the years with many different sects that claim to be Christian but are not, I have learned one thing. There is a "language barrier" that must be scaled.

First, let's look at what the Pope is actually saying. Then we will look at what the Reformers taught in their confessions. Tomorrow's post we shall look at the meaning of "law" as defined by Scripture.

If you read the article carefully, you will notice there are significant qualifications that Benedict the XVI stipulates.
Martin Luther's doctrine on justification is correct, if faith "is not opposed to charity." - [emphasis mine]
What does the Pope mean by this. He clarifies with the same old Roman Catholic trick. He redefines "law".

What is law

But in order to understand this Pauline teaching, Benedict XVI affirmed, "we must clarify what is the 'law' from which we have been freed and what are those 'works of the law' that do not justify."

The article then explains the meaning of this,
Instead, the Pope said, the law to which Paul refers is the "collection of behaviors extending from an ethical foundation to the ritual and cultural observances that substantially determined the identity of the just man -- particularly circumcision, the observance regarding pure food and general ritual purity, the rules regarding observance of the Sabbath, etc."
So what the Pope gives with one hand, he takes away with the other. It is true that Jesus' work on the cross takes down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles, such as circumcision, pure foods, and ect..
"The wall -- so says the Letter to the Ephesians -- between Israel and the pagans was no longer necessary".
This is often the argument used by Roman Catholics to explain Paul's use of the Law in Galatians. According to Rome, Paul was not saying that men are justified by faith alone without works of love. They were just not justified by keeping ethnic barriers of circumcision (perhaps also eating certain clean foods and keeping certain rituals) that the Judaizers were forcing upon churches. So Rome teaches that we must keep the law of love by faith in order to be Justified. But is this the only meaning of "Law" Paul is speaking of or is this really what Luther meant by faith?

The Lutheran and Protestant Confessions as a whole reject what the Pope defines as faith that Justifies a sinner. Luther's Lectures On Romans has an interesting paragraph that deals with the external nature of Justification.

The saints are intrinsically always sinners, therefore they are always extrinsically justified; but the hypocrites are intrinsically always righteous, therefore they are extrinsically always sinners....Hence, we are extrinsically righteous in so far as we are righteous not in and from ourselves and not in virtue of our works but only by God's regarding us so. For inasmuch as the saints are always aware of their sin and implore God for the merciful gift of His righteousness, they are for this very reason also always reckoned righteous by God. Therefore they are before themselves and in truth unrighteous, but before God they are righteous because He reckons them so on account of this confession of their sin; they are sinners in fact, but by virtue of the reckoning of the merciful God they are righteous....
One must wonder if the Pope would agree with Luther. Obviously not.

The Augusburg Confession states,

1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.

As the LBCF states defines the historic understanding of Faith Alone,
Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ, and his Righteousness, is the (f) alone instrument of Justification: yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving Graces, and is no dead faith, (g) but worketh by love.
And again,
But the principal acts of Saving Faith, have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon (i) him alone, for Justification, Sanctification, and Eternal Life, by vertue of the Covenant of Grace.
These quotes demonstrate that for historic Protestantism including Luther that faith without any works whatsoever saves a man. The reason is simple. It looks to Christ. It looks to another's work and righteousness alone. Yet obviously saving faith is never without works, but those works have no justifying power in any way, shape or form. This is what Benedict denies in his qualifications of faith. The Reformers did not misunderstand Rome. They knew full well the stakes involved. Once works entered into the definition of faith that justifies, then resting in Christ's work alone is not possible.

So why does the Pope say Luther was right, when he knows full well what Luther taught and knows full well that he disagrees with Luther? Deception. As Algo said to me last night, "This is double talk." Double talk is what you get with Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. It is also what you are getting with Rome.

You may say, "This seems trivial." How a man is made right with God is anything but trivial. Of course if you see man as merely "sick" then, God's grace may be necessary, but it will not be sufficient until man cooperates with God. For the Reformers, God's grace is not merely necessary, but sufficient. This, tied together with man's total depravity, brings about faith alone in Christ Alone.

When a man sees he has nothing to offer God, even by faith in love, he will see salvation is By Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. To God alone be the Glory.

Court Flushes Constitution Down Black Hole

BPNews has reported that the California Supreme Court will see if the Constitution is Constitutional.
SAN FRANCISCO (BP)--The California Supreme Court agreed Nov. 19 to consider the constitutionality of Proposition 8, but -- in a win for supporters -- allowed the amendment, which prohibits "gay marriage," to remain in effect during the interim.
If you remember this was exactly my point to Nolan T back in May. Due to his ignorance of how our form of Government works, he was more concerned about whether I was homophobic than whether the basis for law was sound and solid. The fact is this case shows we have abandoned any sense of American government. If we overthrow the Constitution and allow men in black robes declare what is right and wrong, then we have truly fallen down the black hole. No one seems to know where this will end up at. Outer darkness is a dark place indeed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Scalia and Foreign Law

Just got this from Citizen Link. I just love Justice Scalia. We need more men like him to stop Liberals from overthrowing the Constitution.

Scalia Warns Judges Against Relying on Foreign Law

He says the Founders of this country did not want us to emulate Europe.

The U.S. Constitution is not a "living document" and should not be filtered through foreign law.

That's the message U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had for a group of judges and lawyers in Houston this week.

"I fear the courts' use of foreign law in interpreting the Constitution will continue at an accelerated pace," the 72-year-old jurist told the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Scalia called on judges to adhere to the constitutional authors' intent. He said the Founders of this country did not want us to emulate Europe.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Scalia is right to criticize his colleagues for relying on foreign law to justify their decisions.

"If judges are just going to make stuff up, they should have the courage to admit it," he said. "If we're not vigilant as citizens to protect our law-making authority under the Constitution, the judiciary will increasingly take that authority from us and use it to create a society in their own image.

"We must cry 'foul' whenever the court dabbles in its fondness for the use of foreign law to justify its own excesses."

Wendy Long, legal counsel at the Judicial Confirmation Network, agreed.

"The whole idea of America was that we were going to be a nation built on the consent of the governed," she told Family News in Focus. "That means we’re only governed by laws that a majority of us have assented to — that includes the Constitution."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BPNews John 3:16 Conference Part 6 Election

Richard Land spoke about election. The BPNews article states,
Reacting to Reformed commentaries that say "all" can't really mean "all men" because if God willed something it would have to happen, Land said, "I believe in a God who is so sovereign and so omniscient that He can break out of Calvin's box ... and He can choose to limit Himself and He can convict us and He can seek to bring us to conviction ... but He will not force us."
I constantly hear this God limiting Himself argument. This is the same mentality from the pagan movie Bruce Almighty. God creates a creature, man, in such a way in that the creature has more freedom than God does. This is simply a philosophy of man and love that is read into the Bible.

Please notice the phrase "but He will not force us." I thank God that God forced me to rise from the dead. I thank God that He recreated or regenerated my will in Christ to seek and follow Christ. I thank God that while I was a wicked rebellious God-hating sinner, He chose to convert me through the preaching of that wonderful proclamation of the Gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation.

Of course when I say these things, the other side hears "robot" or a chatty Cathy doll. They see the "free agency of man" being violated. Yet this is their Tradition speaking, not Scripture.

Monday, November 17, 2008

BPNews John 3:16 Conference Part 5 Perseverance

Ken Keathley spoke on the subject of Perseverance and assurance. The article states,
While the Reformers taught that assurance is the essence of faith, the doctrines of the hidden will of God, limited atonement and temporary faith undermine this assurance, he said. Some argue that final justification is obtained by perseverance.

"Doesn't this come close to a works-based salvation?" he asked.

Keathley said the only basis for assurance is the objective work of Christ, and that saving faith perseveres or remains until the day when it gives way to sight.

"Any model that begins with Christ but ends with man is doomed to failure," he stated.
I am not really certain why assurance and perseverance are considered as the same thing. They are not. The irony in the above statement is that Calvinists were accused of having faith in faith earlier in the article. Yet that is exactly what we get with "Once Saved Always Saved". We have perhaps millions of Christians who are told never to question their faith. They are simply to believe that they believe, therefore they are saved. How Calvinists become the target of this argument is beyond my comprehension.

It is true that Luther and Calvin seemed to say that "assurance is the essence of faith", yet not all would agree. Sam Waldron discusses the idea that assurance and faith (listen here) are not the same thing even though they are inextricably linked together. Albert Mohler has an article on assurance that I believe is helpful in understanding the Christian's responsibility in his growth in Christ.

Dealing with assurance or perseverance or whatever he is trying to address is a little more complicated that just saying Calvinists start with God and end up with man. This is simply not helpful to the discussion at all. The article says,
"Some argue that final justification is obtained by perseverance."
Who are these "some"? The article does not mention. There is a movement within the Reformed community to abandon Justification as historically taught. Sam Waldron's dissertation is a helpful read.

Since there seems to be all of this confusion on Perseverance being equated with assurance and final justification, allow me to cite the London Baptist Confession on what the doctrine actually is verses what we are told it is by those that have constantly misrepresented the Reformed Faith.

Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints

1._____ Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.
( John 10:28, 29; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 2:19; Psalms 89:31, 32; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Malachi 3:6 )

2._____ This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit, and the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
( Romans 8:30 Romans 9:11, 16; Romans 5:9, 10; John 14:19; Hebrews 6:17, 18; 1 John 3:9; Jeremiah 32:40 )

3._____ And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God's displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces and comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves, yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.
( Matthew 26:70, 72, 74; Isaiah 64:5, 9; Ephesians 4:30; Psalms 51:10, 12; Psalms 32:3, 4; 2 Samuel 12:14; Luke 22:32, 61, 62 )

Anyone see assurance in this section? That's because assurance is dealt with in another section. Again, they are not the same thing. Here is the section on Assurance, which is oddly enough (surprise surprise) the next chapter.

Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

1._____ Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.
( Job 8:13, 14; Matthew 7:22, 23; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 3:14, 18, 19, 21, 24; 1 John 5:13; Romans 5:2, 5 )

2._____ This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel; and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God; and, as a fruit thereof, keeping the heart both humble and holy.
( Hebrews 6:11, 19; Hebrews 6:17, 18; 2 Peter 1:4, 5, 10, 11; Romans 8:15, 16; 1 John 3:1-3 )

3._____ This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it; yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of means, attain thereunto: and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; -so far is it from inclining men to looseness.
( Isaiah 50:10; Psalms 88; Psalms 77:1-12; 1 John 4:13; Hebrews 6:11, 12; Romans 5:1, 2, 5; Romans 14:17; Psalms 119:32; Romans 6:1,2; Titus 2:11, 12, 14 )

4._____ True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light, yet are they never destitute of the seed of God and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived, and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.
( Canticles 5:2, 3, 6; Psalms 51:8, 12, 14; Psalms 116:11; Psalms 77:7, 8; Psalms 31:22; Psalms 30:7; 1 John 3:9; Luke 22:32; Psalms 42:5, 11; Lamentations 3:26-31 )

Just in case you missed the first sentence in paragraph 3 it says exactly the opposite of that which is claimed by Keathley. Read again.
"This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it..."
It says assurance does not belong to the essence of faith. So much for refuting Calvinists. This reminds me when Dr. Wilkins debated Dr. White on this subject. After the debate Dr. Wilkins tried to question Dr. White about the London Baptist Confession. Dr. White asked point blank if Wilkins had ever read it. After being asked a couple of times, Wilkins finally had to admit that he had not read the Confession, to which Dr. White responded by saying, "You don't know what you are talking about." I have a sense that Keathley is in the same boat.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

BPNews John 3:16 Conference Part 4 Irresistable Grace

When I heard Steve Lemke speaking on Irresistable Grace I knew exactly what would be coming. The article states,
"Salvation is tied in some measure to our response," he said, citing several biblical examples of what he said were people resisting God. For example, in Acts 7:51 the Jewish men who stoned Stephen were said to be "always resisting the Holy Spirit."
Lemke knows better or at least should know better. To think this is an argument is foolish. Of course men resist the Holy Spirit. We all do prior to our conversion. Are we really going to argue that the Almighty Spirit of God is not able to give the new birth in the preaching of the Gospel? Keep in mind, we are speaking of the Third Person of the Trinity who not only wrote Scripture but also created the world from nothing and raised Christ from the dead.

Lemke is quoted.
"It doesn't seem to me that [the effectual call] helps in this particular situation, because the Jews after all were God's chosen people, they were under the covenant. If you have a covenant theology, then these people would seem to be among the elect ... it is precisely these divinely elected people who are resisting God."
Ahhhhh, what?! This guy knows nothing about Covenant Theology. First, he ought to read real Covenant theologians such as Nehemiah's Coxe's and John Owen's Covenant Theology, From Adam To Christ.

Also, Calvinist believe Paul's teaching in romans 8-11 that speaks directly to this topic. Apparently Lemke doesn't understand the doctrine.
In Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34, where Jesus longed to gather His people as a hen gathers her chicks, Lemke said the Greek verb "to will" has an even sharper contrast, so Jesus is saying, "I willed but you were not willing."
Is anyone actually willing to quote Matthew 23:37 accurately? Last I checked, these men claim that Scripture is the ultimate authority. Yet they mishandle the Word of God constantly. When it is pointed out to them that their Traditions and philosophies of man are being read into the text, they simply seem unable to grasp what seems so basic in other areas of Biblical studies. Would they allow a Jehovah's Witness get away with discussing the Trinity by isolating Biblical texts in this fashion? I doubt it.
Lemke also addressed the question as to whether a man is saved because he believes in Christ, or whether he believes in Christ because he's saved. He said that irresistible grace reverses the biblical order of salvation, so that regeneration precedes conversion.
This has been answered so many times I can only conclude that men like Lemke are simply not interested in being truthful about this point. John 1:12 was cited to prove this point.
John 1:12, "But as many has received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even them that believe on His name."
What does verse 13 say? Maybe going to the text would be helpful.
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Debates would be most helpful. The problem with Jerry Vines and others is that they are afraid to open the Scriptures and allow a full discussion to take place. Vines could have done this. He obviously was not interested. This was an anti-Calvinism conference and nothing more.

BPNews John 3:16 Conference Part 3 Atonement

Under the section of Limited Atonement, John Beehler quotes David Allen's presentation.
Allen named a long list of Calvinists, including John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards, who did not hold to limited atonement. Martin Luther and the early English reformers held to universal atonement, which means Christ bore the punishment due for the sins of all humanity.
It is my understanding that Calvin didn't address the subject. So I am not certain how one gets Calvin to support either side. It seems to me that many confuse the universal language of the Reformers in the universal proclamation and free offer to all as being the same as substitutionary Atonement. This is typical of the non-Calvinists to equivocate terms. My friend James Swan over at Beggars All Blog has explained some of the problems with this kind of argumentation in a very thorough manner. Read here.

The other claim that says Luther held to universal atonement could be misleading. Timmy Brister at Strange Baptist Fire has also found an interesting quote from Luther.
“God will have all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4), and he gave his Son for us men, and he created man for the sake of eternal life. And likewise: Everything is there for man’s sake and he is there for God’s sake in order that he may enjoy him, etc. But this objection [to God's sovereignty in salvation] and others like it can just as easily be refuted as the first one: because all these sayings must be understood only with respect to the elect [emphasis in original], as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10, “All for the elect.” Christ did not die for absolutely all, for he says: “This is my blood which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20) and “for many” (Mark 14:24)- he did not say: for all- “to the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). [Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans, translated and edited by Wilhelm Pauck (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1961), 252.]
So again, I think the problem arises when we see universal language and impose the language of a debate that has come about after their time. We then read our modern debate back into their words. We should allow the Reformers to say what they meant in their own context.

Allen is also quoted as saying,
"The debate is very much about the sufficiency of the atonement," Allen said. "In the high Calvinist position on limited atonement, Christ is only sufficient to save those for whom He suffered ... the non-elect according to that position are not savable, and the reason they are not savable is because Jesus didn't die for them ... they are left without a remedy for their sins."
Again keep your eye on the ball. The last sentence has an assumption that Calvinists do not share. The assumption is that there is this entire group of people that we want to share the Gospel with but can't be saved because they are not of the elect. I don't know of any Calvinists as defined historically that thinks this way. The free offer of the Gospel is to be made to all without distinction.

But there is another more heinous assumption in the last statement. It assumes that there is this entire group of people that want to be saved but cannot be saved because Jesus did not die for them. This is just ridiculous. Again, straw-men are easy to burn.

Allen said,
If "world" means the "elect" in John 3:16, "whosoever believes shall not perish leaves open the possibility that some of the elect might perish," Allen said. "That's a problem."
To this moment I am sitting here wondering how anybody can say this silliness. Is it referring to the word "might" as meaning maybe? If so, this is simply wrong. This is not exegesis. I expect more from a pastor. I would simply refer the reader to Owen's Death of Death that deals with John 3:16.

Allen said,
"Limited atonement is built on a faulty exegetical foundation," Allen said, citing verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:15 and Romans 5:18. "... There is no statement in Scripture that says Jesus died only for the elect."
Again, to cite Romans 5:18 as proof for universal atonement is to ignore the text. Exegesis would show the contrast between Adam's sin being imputed to all men and Christ's righteousness to all men. According to Allen's logic, if one is true, then so is the other. Therefore, all men will be saved since all men have the imputation of Christ's righteousness.

The "all" of the text is defined by their head. The head of the fallen human race is Adam. Christ is the head of the church. Therefore, just as there is a difference between Adam and Christ, there is a difference between the "all".

Allen again,
In his concluding remarks, Allen expressed concern about the effect of five-point Calvinism on preaching and evangelism. "Anything that makes the preacher hesitant to make the bold proclamation [of the Gospel] to all people is wrong," he said.
This has not been my observation at all. In fact, I find Calvinists more willing to witness to those who appear to be reprobate because we do not believe the power is in us or our presentation style, but in God who uses the proclamation to change hearts. In other words, it is the Gospel with the power of the Spirit that raises the dead.

"Calvinism is not the Gospel," he said. "Should the Southern Baptist Convention move toward five-point Calvinism, such a move would be away from, and not toward, the Gospel."
When Allen learns what Calvinism is verses what he thinks it is, maybe he'll make a better judgment. Actually, when Allen learns to exegete the text without being blinded by his own Traditions being read into the text, maybe we'll get somewhere.

BPNews John 3:16 Conference Part 2 Original Sin

In the Article by BPNews under the Total Depravity section Dr. Paige Patterson says,
"Does that mean we are born guilty before God?" Patterson asked. "I do not think that can be demonstrated from Scripture. We are born with a 'sin sickness,' a disease that makes it certain that we will sin and rebel against God." The Bible says people are condemned for their own sins, he said.
I must confess that my eyeballs about fell out of their sockets. Is Patterson denying Original Sin? If not, the language comes very close in doing so. To say man is born with a sickness is to depart Reformational theology and start running down the road to Rome at high speed. If these guys are not paying attention to the Roman Catholic from Protestantism converts, they better. Foundationally speaking, his view of man fits right at home with Rome. This seems semi-Pelagian at best.

Patterson goes on to say,
"Look at what dead men do," Patterson continued, citing Ephesians 2:1: "... [Y]ou were dead in your trespasses and sin.' If you are dead, then you can't do anything to respond to God." Patterson pointed to verses 2-3, which says, "You walked according to the course of this world ... you once conducted yourself in the lusts of the flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind...."

"This is analogy, you are dead in trespasses and sin, and pressed too far, you will make it say more than it says," he stated.
I guess we are borrowing theology from the movie Princess Bride. We are "mostly dead"? How does one push the analogy too far? Obviously Paul is using this term in a manner with spiritual death. Patterson has made this argument for the last several years. Calvinists have been offering sound answers. Without having listened to the sermon I do not know if he has answered the objections, but knowing the consistency of their nonresponse, I would venture a guess he didn't.

As for the text, I am not certain what more Paul could say to describe man's complete inability. Paul specifically tells us that we were walking according to our flesh. We were walking according to our sinfully enslaved will, not God's. The text tells us that God elected and God raised us to spiritual life. The analogy is clear. We are not sick and made better. Instead, we were raised from the dead!!!!

I thank Jesus Christ that by His death and resurrection, He has called me out of my grave by His power and His power alone. That when I was dead, He raised me to spiritual life.

BPNews John 3:16 Conference Part 1

Non-Calvinists/Arminians/Biblicists never seem to get tired of repeating their same old worn out false understandings of Calvinism. Baptist Press News (BPNews) has an article on the John 3:16 Conference sponsored by Jerry Vines. The Conference was supposedly done as an informational tool for non-Calvinists. I think it might be educational to see what these non-Calvinists have to say and interact with the statements made.

If you read the article and you're a Calvinists, don't pull your hair out in frustration. These guys will simply never get it unless they go to God's Word first. Since they won't, Calvinists must call for real dialogue. Allow me to offer a few examples.

The article explains,
He emphasized the importance of starting with an exegesis of scripture, working forward to find a biblical theology and then attempting to develop a systematic theology.
Please notice the paragraph right before this quote. Vines said,
Vines said that the Greek word for "whosoever," which occurs more than a thousand times in the New Testament, carries the idea of "anyone, anywhere, anytime. Whosoever believes in Him is John's normal way of describing saving faith."
I have to chuckle here. There is no Greek word for "whosoever" in John 3:16! (This was the verse being referenced.) Why men like Vines refuse to deal with the arguments of Calvinists, or at least deal with the text I may not ever understand. Nevertheless, please notice two things about this idea of "whosoever".

a) Notice the assumption being made here. Whosoever is being equivocated with ability. Everyone has the ability to choose Christ of their own freewill. How is this definition "exegeted" from the text? It is not. Therefore, we have a terrific example of a human tradition being substituted as God's Word itself.

b) Could "whosoever" mean something else? Does the text give us a different view? The text actually gives us the information needed. "Whosoever" could have the connotation that anyone that is believing will be saved. This does not refer to "ability" but is rather descriptive of the intention of God's saving power. God will save all who are believing, whether they be Jew or Gentile or anything else.

Vines goes on to assert,
"In Scripture God commands men to believe," Vines said, asserting that God would not command people to do what they cannot do.
This is asserted all the time. I have yet to hear a Biblical argument for this. So again, both statements are given with the foundational position of "exegesis". Yet none is offered? Where in the Bible does the Bible teach that God can not command men to do things that he currently does not have the ability to do?

I agree that man had the ability to keep God's laws in the garden prior to the fall. Yet man is now enslaved to sin. Are God's Laws not binding upon him simply because man has fallen into sin and death? Are God's Laws not binding upon him because his nature has been enslaved to sin? What evidence is there for this? If we are going to follow Vines' logic, would he not also deny Original Sin? How is God able to hold me accountable for a sin Adam committed?

I am not certain Vines and his contemporaries are even able to grasp Calvinism, much less Biblical exegesis.

More From Poythress

I am always amazed at how relevant the Old Covenant ceremonial laws are for the Christian. So many today ignore the Old Testament since it is basically Law while the New is all Gospel. Such is actually not the case. Both Law and gospel run through the entire fabric of Scripture together.

Although I have written in the past about calling the laws of God "principles", the point that Poythress makes here is important and needs to be understood. Here are a few more quotes from Poythress on the moral law in contrast to the ceremonial law of the Old Covenant.
The Ten Commandments are not moralism or a legalistic way of salvation, but a call to life motivated by gratitude for God's compassion and deliverance...Egypt is a "type" or foreshadowing of the domain of sin. Redemption from Egypt is a kind of foreshadowing of redemption through Jesus Christ. Consequently, we who are redeemed are to be motivated to obey God's commandments just as Israel was.
He then comments on the relevance of the ceremonial aspects of the law.
Such laws are generally classified as ceremonial because Christians are not bound to observe them literally...Nevertheless, these laws still express permanent principles. "Touch no unclean thing" is quoted by Paul as a backing for his injunction not to be yoked together with unbelievers...because it embodies the general principle of separation from moral disorder.
His conclusion,
Thus it seems wisest to me not to draw a sharp distinction between ceremonial and moral law, but to study all of the law most carefully in the endeavor to appreciate its depth, the richness of its connections, and the unity of its purpose in foreshadowing Christ.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Therapy for Post-Election Blues

Mark Chanski posted this at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship Blog. I didn't ask for persmission. So sue me.

Therapy for Post-Election Blues

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Friday, November 14, 2008 at

So, you’re discouraged and downcast about the outcome of the presidential election? You’d hoped for better. You’re concerned that we’ve taken a huge step backwards on such crucially important morality issues like abortion, homosexuality, and stem cell research. You fear our nation is culturally slipping into a season of ethical darkness. You’re tempted to think that evil has somehow snuck up into the heavenly throne-room, seized, gagged, and bound God in a celestial corner, while unchecked wickedness will now trash history for a four-year term. You may feel the onset of spiritual depression.

Don’t go there. The children of God have every reason to rejoice in their Father’s undisturbed and sovereign reigning over the events of the November election. The Bible is clear. The decision was ultimately the LORD’s. “For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another” (Psalm 75:6-7). We ought to hold to the deep conviction that Barack Obama is God’s man for the Whitehouse.

The carpenter holds his power drill. He’s finished with the drill bit for boring holes. He removes and puts down the boring bit, passes by the screw-driver bit, then selects and inserts the sanding bit. He has purposeful and important work to do. Likewise, the Lord has put down Bush/Cheney, passed by McCain/Palin, and exalted Obama/Biden. He has work to do.

Maybe the church in America needs a serious sanding down of unspiritual rough edges that have arisen over many years of pampering prosperity. Maybe God’s people need to be placed in the fire in order to get rid of a careless lukewarmness. Maybe the worsening of evil in American society will enable the gospel to grip with an even better traction.

Commenting on Romans 8:28, and the fact that God always “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God”, Octavius Winslow (Evening Thoughts) writes: “In God there is no evil, though at times it would appear He places Himself in an attitude of hostility toward believers, to stand in their path as with a drawn sword in His hand. . . Yet the darkest seasons of the church’s history have ever been those from which her brightest luster and shine has arisen, and those most threatening events have somehow conspired to the highest good and best welfare of the church.”

This is no time for God’s people to be depressed. The Carpenter from Nazareth is now at the Right Hand on High, and is busily building his church. “The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad. . . Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones; And give thanks to His holy name” (Psalm 97:1, 12).

Let’s go out into our Father’s garden every morning, with our hoes swung over our shoulders, joyously whistling the old sweet song, “This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

Mark Chanski

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reformation Weekend Conferences Now Available

The MP3s are finally available online. For Reformation Weekend we went to FBC in St. Francis. This year's speaker was Dr. David Sills of Southern Baptist Seminary. The theme was Calvinism and Evangelism.

Dr. Sills was clearly passionate about evangelism. His five sermons on the subject are worth your time. What was interesting was that he started with The Calling of Abraham.

Last year Dr. Tom Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology, also from SBTS, spoke on the Glory of God in the Face of Christ.

In 2006, Dr. Roy Hargrave spoke on Calvinism. He literally hit the ground running.

In 2005 Dr. Phil Newton spoke on the Church. This was some serious study on a subject many just assume is not necessary.

I have greatly appreciated the fact that four godly and well known men would take the time to come out to North-Western Kansas and speak to a small gathering. Go to the site and download them to your MP3 player/I-Pod. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses is a little on the difficult side. Nevertheless, it is a good read and well worth your time. In the seventh chapter, The Law and Its Order, Prefiguring Christ, the author has a great section discussing the clean and unclean portions of the ceremonial aspects of the Law.

Have you ever wondered why eating certain kinds of foods were wrong for Israelites and not for Gentiles? Here are a couple of paragraphs I thought might be worth citing here. Keep in mind that there is much food for thought that is foundational to these paragraphs.

The laws concerning clean and unclean also embody the themes of life and death, often on an indirect, symbolic plane. Contact with the dead body of a human being is of course direct contact with human death, the primary curse of the fall. It creates maximum defilement, requiring seven days for cleansing (Numbers 19:11-19). An animal that has died by itself is a more distant mirror of the curse of death; accordingly, it requires only part of one day to become clean again (Leviticus 11:24-40). Creatures that crawl on the ground are indirectly associated with the curse on the ground and the curse on the serpent. Hence, they are unclean and unsuitable for food (Lev 11:41-45).

All the things described in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are unclean for Israel. But Deuteronomy 14:21 explicitly allows Israelites to sell carcasses to aliens and foreigners. What is prohibited to Israel is not prohibited to others. Rather, the prohibition rests on the fact that "you [Israelites] are a holy people to the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 14:21). The world has been contaminated with curse and uncleaness originating in the fall. The Gentile nations participate in this uncleaness through their contact with unclean animals. But such uncleaness is not in itself sin. It is merely symbolic of sin. And separation from uncleaness accompanies symbolic holiness. Israel alone is required to observe a special ceremonial cleaness, because they are the holy people. Their special access to God makes it necessary for them to maintain special distance from the fall and its curse. At the same time, all these special observances serve to reinforce their consciousness of being a unique nation. They are thereby reminded not to participate in the idolatry and moral corruption of the surrounding nations.
At the end of the chapter Poythress writes,

Thus Jesus Christ perfectly kept the law, perfectly embodied it, and perfectly exemplified it. The mystery and wonder of His work is even greater than what we can express. Christ's work does not come as an afterthought appended to an already self-existing, self-sufficient law. The law of the Old Testament is not a mere datum or a mere code book, but the personal word of the great King of the universe. And who is this King? From eternity to eternity the Word was with God and was God (John 1:1). The King is the trinitarian God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Son was always at work from the beginning. The law of Moses is a reflection and foreshadowing of the absolute perfection and righteousness of Christ, rather than Christ being a reflection of the law. This conclusion confirms what we have already seen through the tabernacle. Both tabernacle and law express in complementary ways the communion with God that achieves full expression only through the coming of Christ and His uniting Himself to us by faith.
I am only a fourth of the way through this book, but it offers insights into the Old Testament showing that all of God's Word demonstrates the Glory of Christ and the wonders of His perfect work.

Wacko Libs Pose As Terrorists

Could you imagine if anyone on the Right to have done anything even remotely compared to this not making the news? Yet I have to hear about this through Blogs. My personal opinion is that the men of this congregation should have been doing some tackling (some bloody noses were certainly in order, really, what is the difference between this and mailing flour posed as anthrax? One is a terrorist action, and this isn't?), but then again it is Michigan. Perhaps there aren't any men left?

Now I must confess that from the article they may have not been dressed like the picture when they attacked this church. The article states,
This is what Michigan liberals label a "radical right wing establishment," and over 30 of them showed up in force yesterday. Wearing secret-service style ear pieces and microphones they received the "go" from their ringleader and off they went.
Yet this picture seems to have been taken from a journalist that had been tipped ahead of time. I guess this journalist, Nathan Harris, would have followed the Terrorists of Flight 93 to his death.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If Stalinists Persist, Let's Line Up For Battle

People who think like this guy are scary. Stalinists they be. If Conservative ideas may be compared to pornography then we know this guy's true motivations. Don't defeat your opponents ideas, eliminate them from the field.

I say to Schumer to bring it on. All Conservatives need to file complaints against every TV program and get air time to explain Conservatism. Any station that has any show that has anything remotely to do with expressing liberal views about anything (and what show doesn't?) must receive constant phone calls. If they can do this to Conservatives, turn-about is fair play. If the Stalinists want this, then let's dance.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Conservative Politics Just Bugs Me

Although this is more political than I normally like to discuss here, I am wondering what in the world is Matt Lewis talking about. First, if you are a Conservative I suggest reading his post at Town His entire post is so pragmatic I am left standing on the sidelines befuddled. I feel as though I am on a high school football team waiting for the coach to call in a play only to have a delay of game penalty charged, and somehow it is my fault.

First Matt makes the point that the Republicans are divided. One side has "ceded the war, and, in essence, are hoping to negotiate the best deal possible." Agreed! While the other side chooses "to bury their heads in the sand." He's lost me.

The McCains have joined the pragmatism of the Country Club Republicans. If you watched Republican Sam Brownback run for President he sounded like Newt Gingrich accepting Global Warming as he cozied up to Hillary on health care. So many Republicans like McCain have ceded the war.

Yet what is it about those on the other side? Is he saying there are no ideas or strategies? For instance he writes,
- The GOP must become the Party of science and math. This might include new energy ideas, a major investment in educating our children to compete with China in science and math, space exploration, etc.
I say great. Many of us would love this. But what does he mean? Uh oh, the play clock has run out. I guess we'll have to back up four years to find out. The fact is, the Democrats control education. Is he saying Conservatives all need to pull out of the Public School system, and Conservative leaders will now start calling on Big Corporations to fund real education? Somehow I doubt that. So again, I am left on the sideline wondering how in the world will internet access save the day without a real Conservative plan that is founded on Conservative Ideology.

But then Matt says the rest of us need to modernize. We need to use technology. I am not exactly sure what he means. I would not even know about Matt Lewis if it were not for the internet. Should I be making Conservative video games to win libs over to our side?

Michael Medved also criticizes Conservatives in another post at saying,
"Frankly, I can't find any example to prove that "running on principle" and ignoring independents and moderates actually brought political success this year. "
He claims in the post that McCain lost because he didn't win the moderates. I am puzzled even more now. McCain was the only guy that supposedly could win the moderates. So what gives? He doesn't say it, but he is saying McCain was not liberal enough? Is he saying that McCain wasn't reaching out to both sides? Is he blaming Palin like the rest of the Conservative snots? He says no but then he writes,
As I made abundantly clear at the end of my previous piece, what needs to change isn't substance, it's style. You can't reach the American majority (which is a center-right majority, not a right-right majority) with anger, nastiness, smugness, or fratricidal warfare.
Where was the nastiness? It was on the Left, not the Right. McCain spent more time demoralizing members of his own party than his political enemies (if they are his enemies). Also, McCain is principled and idealistic? I must have been zapped to Mars. McCain is anything but a Conservative idealist.

Why is it these guys just can't see the obvious? If you try to make friends with your enemies, they always let you on to their turf only to slaughter you. McCain hasn't learned a thing and neither has this guy (assuming I have understood him correctly).
But it's no less hateful and stupid to turn on McCain -- who freely admitted his own mistakes (and yes, there were plenty of 'em) but still ran a strong and energetic race in the midst of overwhelmingly unfavorable circumstances.
McCain ran a race? I must have missed it.

I am truly thankful that I am a citizen of another Kingdom whose King is perfectly righteous. The two shall never meet.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I Felt Guilty, So I Voted For Papa Smurf

Albert Mohler wrote about Obama's election to the office President earlier this week. One paragraph has me wondering if racism will never end. He writes,
Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who -- for the first time -- now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy. Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.
This statement seems to be saying that for the "first time" we Americans can get past our racism. I think Mohler greatly under estimates the race industry. The fact that we have to constantly look at Obama not as a man, who is judged by his deeds as opposed to his race, shows we are still stuck where we were many years ago. As my brother-in-law said, "Why does Mohler care what color he is. I don't care if he's Smurf blue. What does the man believe and is it good for America?"

I am also curious about the many successful black men, who through hard work have achieved the American dream. Do they see Obama as advancing African-Americans? Do they see Affirmative Action hurting or helping? What are we to think of men such as Shelby Steele or Walter Williams (Williams has substituted for Rush Limbaugh on his radio program many times). What conservative would not want them as President? Should we look at them as a couple of lucky black guys or as men who have worked hard overcoming the racial inequities and helping other black men to see real achievement as a means of overcoming racism?

Steele wrote earlier this week in the LA Times,
"Thus, a failure to support Obama politically implied a failure of decency."
In other words, to not vote for Obama is to be racist. Therefore, racism is still very much a part of our culture whether we like it or not, and it is coming from those who promise to bring its end. Further in the editorial he writes,
This worked politically for Obama because it tapped into a deep longing in American life -- the longing on the part of whites to escape the stigma of racism. In running for the presidency -- and presenting himself to a majority white nation -- Obama knew intuitively that he was dealing with a stigmatized people. He knew whites were stigmatized as being prejudiced, and that they hated this situation and literally longed for ways to disprove the stigma.
This pretty much states exactly my point. Race was the ticket to Obama's victory. Therefore race must be used to keep the victory. We didn't vote for Obama because of his public policy for as Steele says his policy is "quite unremarkable".

If I remember correctly, there was a charismatic black/African-American man running for President in 1992. His name was Allen Keys. He spoke at the church I was attending. His understanding of the Pro-life issues was outstanding. His view of taxes agreed with conservative ideas. He was a man who truly stood for liberty and true justice. I simply did not care if Keys was Smurf blue. He was a man with sound ideas, and I would have voted for him to be President. He certainly was not the product of Affirmative Action as Obama is. Keys can read and understand the U.S. Constitution. Obama clearly doesn't care what the Constitution says.

Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. The fact we have an entire post by Mohler dedicated to Obama whose only argument for celebrating Obama as President is that he is black skinned is not overcoming racial inequities. They will only further the race industry's Left-wing agenda. I hope I am wrong. I hope we Americans may truly get past the evils of racism. Yet with men still seeing colors, I only see that someday we will guilt ourselves in voting for Papa Smurf simply because he is blue.