Pot Calling The Kettle A White Devil

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said in a speech the other day that, “If Jesus and Muhammad were on this stage, they would embrace each other with love,” Farrakhan told the crowd. “How come we … can’t embrace each other?”

“If we would live the life that Jesus lived … we would not be in the shape we’re in today,” he said. “We praise Jesus and live a crazy life. … We praise Muhammad and live a crazy life.”

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Hot Air

The Reverend Jerry Falwell says global warming “is Satan’s attempt to redirect the church’s primary focus” from evangelism to environmentalism.

Falwell said the Bible teaches that God will maintain the Earth until Jesus returns, so Christians “should be responsible environmentalists, but not first-class nuts.”

Hmm, so much to say and so much restraint granted me by the Holy Spirit.

The Silence Of Preaching

Two news stories today struck me as interesting. Al Gore is being exposed as wasting tons of electricity, more than average people, even though he goes all over the place telling us to stop raping Mother Earth.

Prince Charles is calling for a ban on McDonald’s as being horrible food, meanwhile, his own brand of Duchy Original pastries is much worse than a Big Mac!

The proliferation of information and the free access we all have to get it out there is keeping people more honest, or at least demonstrating more hypocrisy. This is something Christians should take to heart.

The reason we have been accused of hypocrisy so much is because we are hypocrites. It’s actually nice to see it being admitted that Christians do not have the corner on the market. However, this is no excuse.

The reason why much of our preaching has little effect is because our lives don’t back it up. You can talk to you’re blue in the face about your pet doctrines but if they aren’t being lived in your life people will find out and the power is gone.

One of the reasons the Apostles had some success in preaching and converting is because you could not find fault with their lives. They were unbelievably consistent with their message. Christ is the ultimate example, He demands nothing He didn’t do.

Granted, we’ll all fail and Christianity sets us up to be hypocrites, and that should be part of our theology as well, along with the resultant humility that should arise because of that fact. But we point to Christ, and that being the case, our lives should do so as well.

Psalms Of Vengeance

David always gets ripped on for having written psalms calling for the destruction of bad guys, like Psalm 58:10 “The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.”

Isn’t that wrong? How come no one has made a worship chorus out of that one?

The typical answer I have always heard is that it was OK to think this way under the Law because God punished sinners then, but we’re under Grace now so you can’t think that.

I agree, in part. But Revelation 19 contains believers being quite happy about the destruction of the wicked. Don’t Paul’s words in Romans about “vengeance is mine I will repay sayeth the Lord” the same thing as what David is doing?

David wasn’t telling God that he was going to go out and shed their blood, he was asking God to do so, isn’t that consistent with what Paul says?

Now, I can’t quite bring myself to ask God to kill people or blot them from the Book of Life, but maybe that’s a problem with me!

Hear me carefully here, I’m not willing to encourage people to pray for the misery of others, however, I’m also willing to admit that perhaps we don’t view sin as being all that bad anymore. Sure, Hitler should have been killed, but not regular sinner types.

David’s Psalms were still inspired by God and even though we’re under Grace, God has not changed His opinion of sin and sinners. Just a thought: maybe these Psalms are so offensive to us because we’ve lost the seriousness of sin and when we do view sin as serious, we’d rather take vengeance on our own rather than ask God to do so.

Esther And Women

My wife has been at a ladies’ Bible study about the book of Esther, a book which I just read again the other day. I asked my wife why women always study Esther.

“Because it’s a woman who is empowered to have some control and help.” She said.

“Yeah, but all she did was get beautiful and sleep with a king, how is that empowering to women? Isn’t the whole message rather demeaning, especially to ugly women?” I asked with true curiosity.

“Well, she didn’t just sleep with him, she made him dinner too.”

“Ah, say no more.” The book of Esther is a tad weird in my mind and there are many elements of the account that make me wonder why women want to study it so much, since seemingly every women’s Bible study ever has studied the book.

In my mind, the true point of Esther is this: Esther is from a despised group of people yet is unbelievably beautiful in the eyes of the king, the very same king who OK’s the destruction of Esther’s people.

Esther is a picture of Christ. Christ is rejected, and yet beautiful in God’s eyes. God has marked all sinners for destruction, yet Christ intercedes and begs for their pardon and God assents.

Esther is not about women’s empowerment nor is it about being a beautiful cook, it is about the empowerment of anyone to intercede on behalf of others, just as Christ did for us. But being a beautiful cook is good too.

Judging Your Standard

I am not a mathematically inclined person, but while formulating this idea, a graph came to my mind, which looked remarkably like the one I drew here. Here is the point.

The lower our standard of conduct, the more judgmental of others we become. It would seem as if the inverse would be true, but alas, tis not. Allow me to expound.

Speaking of being judgmental, there are two groups of people who have struck me as being egregiously judgmental.

1) Legalists–anyone with a checklist of taste not, touch not, handle not become very judgmental. The reason for this is that they have adapted a standard of conduct they believe they have met. Their standard is on par with their current behavior. Thus, if you are not like them you are heretical and evil. Their standard has declined to themselves and they are hyper-judgmental.

2) Libertyists–I know this isn’t a word but it fits. The particular crowd of evangelicals who claim that since we’re under grace God could care less what you do (God forbid) also become very judgmental. Since they allow themselves to do everything and you don’t, you are a close minded weirdo who has also veered into heresy. Their standard has declined to “whatever” and thus they become very judgmental of others who make a “what” every once in awhile.

Bottom line is this: the Bible’s standard is perfection (2 Corinthians 13:11; Matthew 5:48). Since our standard is so high, Christ, we know better than to judge others, we’re having a hard enough time ourselves! The easier our standard is the less we look at what we are doing and the more we examine what everyone and their mother is doing.

Just a theory, feel free to ignore it.