Monday, July 30, 2007


It can be quite interesting to watch the exchanges that take place on blogs. Perhaps the most interesting to me of all is when someone is told to "put up or shut up". Okay, so that exact phrase is not used very often in Christian blog discourse. But, we do often see someone asked to substantiate their claims or give credence to their statement. We are not surprised at all when someone is asked to "show their cards" so to speak, however, we do tend to act surprised when the challenged will not "ante up". I even find myself chuckling at the myriad of responses that are given when further detail is requested. Sometimes, people even come across as being downright offended when asked for substantiation or clarification.

IF, as a Christian, you are going to use blogdom to further or bring forward a cause, rather than acting offended, lethargic, or self justified when someone asks you to "pony up", please realize that those seeking credibility in your statements are but practicing what Scripture deems to be wisdom. In other words, if you really expect to be taken seriously, be prepared to give a defense for the assertions you have made. WHY?

Proverbs 18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.

When you go to court as the plaintiff, you are compelled to reveal your case and your evidence. Why should anything less be expected in the court of public arena, or rather what we know it as, blogdom?

And blog reader, you have no less responsibility to seek out the truth than the writer has to present the truth. Before dog piling onto an issue, it would be wise to take heed unto Scripture as well. WHY?

Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

May God grant us all knowledge and wisdom to use blogdom as an effective means of pursuing truth as well as reaching the lost, discipling the growing and studying the written Word.

Friday, July 20, 2007


There is a civil discussion taking place here at Peter's place. If you cannot be civil, do not go. But out of that discussion, I personally have stumbled onto something I would like to probe a little further. As pastors, we frequently use the "sick" as illustrations. By sick, our reference is to the blind, the lame, the maimed, the deaf, the leper, the bleeding, the fevered, the demoniacally possessed and the dead though I am sure that list is not exhaustive but you do get the point do you not? In our preaching rhetoric, we use such people as illustrations of what man is in his "lost" condition. Depending on one's total theology, that may not be such a useful or consistent idea. A single case to discuss, of many I would assume, is this: the blind man of John 9.

The discussion at Peter's place is all about the intricacies of ability and inability to come to Jesus on one's own. Please understand from the beginning, while I DO NOT believe in salvation apart from faith in Christ, I believe that when Jesus draws men, it is their responsibility to come to him though some will obviously refuse to do such.

Concerning ability to come to Jesus and the blind man now. In verses 39-41, Jesus uses blindness "in general" as a discussion about salvation. I do not believe he was referring to the pharisees "ability" but rather their "willingness" when he used that illustration. Here is why.

Chapter nine verses two and three begin the scenario and I believe they provide the ONLY true context under which too understand Jesus' admonition to the pharisees later in the chapter. Notice, it WAS NOT due to sin that the man was born blind. It was neither parental sin NOR personal sin. What was the reason the man was born blind? So "that the works of God should be made manifest in him." IF sin makes a man totally UNABLE to RESPOND to Jesus, there are two problems with using this passage to illustrate this. First, the man was not blind due to sin, Jesus said so. Secondly, while the man was still blind, he was told to go and wash and he did. Even blind, he had the ability to respond to Jesus' commands. But this is blindness. What about other healings that are used as references of the "sick"/sinner. What about the lame? Some were brought to Jesus by friends. Does this illustrate that one's "inability" to come to Jesus is overcome by the ability of others? While I do not think so, it does make a tempting use for evangelism does it not? Lepers approached Jesus. The bleeding woman reached out and touched Jesus on her own. Back to my point, if we are going to use the healing miracles of Jesus, then at the least, we are able to say that there are varying degrees of ability of "sick" people to come to Jesus and for those who cannot come on their own, we have a responsibility to see that they do get to Jesus or that we get Jesus to them.

Back to the chapter nine of John for a moment now. In verses 39-41 were Jesus addresses the Pharisees, was he addressing their willingness or their ability? I believe it is the former. It was their pride that said they could see when they knew they could not. Jesus said, "but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." In fact, in light of all of this, had they been blind, Jesus says, "ye should have no sin".

Now back to my main point that I am open for discussion and batting ideas around on. If we are going to use Jesus' physical healings to illustrate inability, we are going to fail miserably. The miracles of Jesus address people, sick none-the-less, but people who have varying degrees of ability to approach him. I believe that at the least, it should cause us to stop and consider that our theology may be inconsistent with our rhetoric.

Please do not tell me I need to read this book or that book or any other book but the Bible. Guys and gals, while I do not need to reinvent the wheel every time I get in my truck, there are times when a complete understanding of how the wheel operates is necessary for me in order to keep my truck operating correctly. We have minds. God intends for us to use them and learn from Him and to grow in wisdom and knowledge and grace. Knowledge puffs up and I think that is because we ourselves do not go through the learning processes of these other great men of faith when we simply read their writings and regurgitate them elsewhere. A baby penguin lives on regurgitation, but there comes a point where he has to learn to eat for himself. That is what I am challenging you to do as you stop and read here today. Quotes from the great men of faith are great, as long as we do not accept them just because they are from the great men. Need I remind you that while we title them great, they are still, just men.

Finally, I do not believe that any of the sick had the ability to heal themselves. Only Jesus could and did heal them. But I do not believe that the miracles were meant to address the ability of the people to come to Jesus. Consequently, I do not believe that any man has the ability to save himself, but I do believe that Jesus was lifted up and that He does draw all men to himself and that the only reason someone then would not be healed of the bite of sin is because they are unwilling to look to Jesus. Not because they cannot, but because they will not.

Grace to you

Monday, July 16, 2007


I wonder how many discussions we involve ourselves in during which we seek to PROVE ourselves right instead of seeking to discover what IS right? Do we get involved in those discussions just to hear ourselves speak? Do we get involved just to prove our superior debating skills? Do we get involved to merely assert that the others asking the questions are idiots BECAUSE they are asking such questions? While this post is certainly applicable to blogdom, it is even more appropriate for me, the host.

Does being right mean I have to prove I am right? Can I be right without proof? Even if I could produce proof but instead remain silent, can I still be right? The answers in order are: NO, YES, YES. That being the case, why then do I have to PROVE I am right? Why do I feel this NEED to show that I know what I am talking about? Why do I yield to the desire to PROVE that things are the way they are?

A one word answer would be, PRIDE. We want to be looked at. We want to be noticed. We want to be back-slapped. We want to be praised. We want accolades. We want to be smarter than the other. We want to be more powerful than the other. We want to be seen as superior. Why can I not rest in the assurance of knowing I am right without having to prove to others AND myself that I am right? Is this EVEN POSSIBLE?

Luke 23:8-10 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

You do not have to prove yourself right, in order to be right!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Well, at least he is not afraid to say what he believes. The Pope has once again declared what many of us have already known. That is the belief that salvation only comes through the Catholic Church. You can go here for the story. Of course, once you enter into the Catholic Church, you soon realize that there are quite a few things that have been added to the list of the requirements for salvation.

Just what is then the "true path" to salvation? It is the narrow way.(Matthew 7:14) Jesus said, "I am the way...".(John 14:6) Repent was the message of John the baptist.(Matthew 3:2) Repent and be converted was the message of Peter.(Acts 3:19) Repent and believe was the message Jesus preached.(Mark 1:15) Repent in none of these passages meant to go to a "priest" and say your peace. Repentance meant, and still means, to confess your sins before Jesus, the True High Priest. Repentance also means a turning away from that sin to walk in a new direction. Believing in none of these passages meant to believe that the Pope is a Vicar of Christ. Believing was the settling of one's faith in THE Christ. Paul wrote to the Romans that they were to confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in their hearts that God had raised him(Jesus) from the dead. IF they did that, Paul stated they would be saved. Nothing MORE, nothing LESS.

No faith in the Pope. No faith in Mary. One does not have to understand the Doctrine of Grace according to John Calvin or any other reformer. In fact, one does not even have to understand the Doctrine of Salvation in order to be saved. Simply being obedient to what the Lord said should be enough. It IS enough. And it needs no flavoring such as men have sought to do since the time of the cross.

Yes, there is only ONE true path to salvation, and it is NOT the Roman Catholic Church/Pope. The ONE TRUE path to salvation is NONE OTHER than the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 states that there is NONE OTHER name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. That name is Christ ALONE. Paul wrote to the Galatians this final thought. "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

Monday, July 9, 2007


Ephesians 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We cannot make time, extend time or delay time. We cannot even change the color of our hair.(Matthew 5:36) We cannot guarantee time. (James 4:13-16) But these ideas about time are not what Paul was talking about. Instead, he is talking about making the MOST of the time you have been entrusted with. And how do you make the MOST of time? He just told us that we are to walk circumspectly or in other words, diligently or perfectly. The fool wastes or squanders his time, like the proverbial ant and the grasshopper. The grasshopper spent his time making merry rather than planting and sowing like the ant. The ant had provision and the grasshopper had none. Who was wise?

This is an effort we must put our minds to do. If we do not purpose to do that which is upright and God honoring, we will end up doing that which is unprofitable either physically or spiritually and sometimes even both. So by buying up or by investing in the time, we make the most of it. Doing that which is profitable. And profitable is not bound simply by monetary gain. Profitable is that which is glorifying to the Lord or edifying to the Body and even that which is conducive to spiritual growth in the individual. Spending time blogging in and of itself is not necessarily unproductive. Some use it for personal spiritual growth by posting their struggles, questions and even answers they have found. Others gain insight and benefit from what they read on various blogs. Yet, blogging can become unprofitable when one does not spend ample time sowing and watering amongst the local body of believers as well. Blogging is not to be a substitute for personal investment in a local church. May God use blogging in a powerful way and may we take that power and live it out amongst those who live with us, work with us and fellowship with us.

Well, I have run out of "time". Not really. I have simply said what I wanted to say. On to other tasks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

TIME Continued...

It has been said that "you can't step into the same river twice". The argument goes that once you step into the river, that which you stepped into is already moving downstream and so when you put your foot into the river anew, you are putting it into water that was not there previously(up-stream) because that which you initially stepped in is now down-stream.

Time, when compared to this analogy is like a river. Constantly flowing and changing. Each moment in and of itself is something unique. This has led some to posit then that the only constant is change. From a humanistic position that would seem to be true. Is this really what the Scriptures teach? That everything is in a constant flux and that nothing is what it was because of the constant state of change or rather, flow of time?

Lamentations 3:23 does teach us that His mercies are "new" every morning. The idea behind new, though, is not "uniquely" new in that it has not existed before but rather the idea of "refreshed". Continuing with this "stream" of thought, consider Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever". No change discernible in that River of Life. As with many of the thoughts of men, when compared to the wisdom of God, the time analogy falls short. Jesus is who he has always been. The Son of God. Jesus will always be the Son of God.

Time constrains us. Time eludes us. Time pursues us. But let us not give time so much power that it in itself becomes "deity". Time is held in the hands of Deity, God. In fact, time as we know it, was created by God. Sunrise, sunset; day to day; month to month, year to year; given to us by God.

While I continue to pursue my own understanding of time and what it means from our human perspective, one thing is certain. Time is not meant to be worshiped or served, but instead, it is the opportunity at any given moment to live a life of holy sacrifice to the One who loved me so much that He laid down His life for me.