Child-Like Faith Ends Arguments

The other day I did a post about how written rules end arguments. Thinking about it more though, no they don’t!

Ever hear anyone argue over what the Bible means? Ever hear anyone argue over what the Constitution means? Ever hear of lawyers?

I think the real point of my observations about ending my kid’s argument, is that child-like faith ends arguments. Once they heard the ruling, they accepted it and resumed their fun. It was a cool moment.

They did not stop arguing because of the written rule, but because they acceptanced it as authoritative.

The reason there is so much arguing about what the Bible means is because we are arrogant, proud adults who think submission is an archaic slavery mindset that robs us of our awesomeness.

What truly ends arguments is people coming to the Word in humble dependence. Once the words are seen, everyone accepts the pronouncement, shuts up and resumes the fun.

Which sounds like heaven to me.

Jesus and Suffering

Brian, over at the Blog Prophet, asks why it is that Jesus gets a free pass when we talk about all the bad guys being wiped out in the OT. Jesus comes under no judgment for any of that OT business. Was He not in the godhead then? Was He a conscientious objector?

Marcionism was an early church heresy that said that the OT god is not the NT god, to deal with the discrepancies between the testaments. That is heresy. Jesus was in the beginning with God and was God.

Here is the main shift in who suffers between the OT and the NT. In the OT the guys that got killed were the sinners; in the NT the guys who get killed are the good guys.

When Israel sinned they got wiped out. The ground opened up, snakes went through, people were stoned, etc. Evil nations were wiped out by Israel because they were evil and Israel was God’s chosen people.

When God makes people suffer in the OT He does it for sin.

In the NT suffering is more often than not a sign that you are righteous. All that live godly will suffer persecution. So the disciples (except John who wasted away in prison) were killed, Stephen, Paul, John the Baptist, all of em were killed. And, of course, Jesus Himself suffers and dies (this fact gets Him “off the hook” for allowing others to suffer).

Apparently God realized that killing bad guys was not an effective strategy, because, like, when do you stop? So He switched things up, now He takes out the good guys. Precious to the Lord is the death of His saints.

Not sure if we are aware of this or not, but people keep right on dying. It’s kind of what happens. Sometimes it’s a direct result of our choices, sometimes it seems rather arbitrary.

Either way, God is the one in charge of the living and the dead. He always has been and always will be. I may not understand all that He does but I trust it is righteous, just and good.

Written Rules End Arguments

My children were having an argument that resulted in tears and accusations of one being “a big fat cheater.” The argument was over how do you tag someone out in baseball–do you have to use the hand the ball is in?

After much commotion The Supreme Arbiter and Know It All was consulted. I told them that official baseball rules say that a runner must be tagged with the hand or glove that the baseball is in.

Argument was over. No more name calling. No more tears. Instead there was unity and a happy resumption of the game.

Ahh, the blessed unity of a written code of laws. No more arguing once the rules are written, read and understood.

As I returned to the quiet and solitude of my basement study, I said a quick prayer of thanks to God for writing down His rules.

Now if only we’d read them. You really should, you big fat liar, you.

“Encouragement” to Young Pastors

I have often heard people tell pastors, “If you preach the Word, people will come.” To which I say, “No they won’t.”

I have often heard people tell pastors, “People want to hear the Word, they’re just waiting for a guy to come along and teach it.” To which I say, “No they aren’t.”

There’s this whole side of the Bible we ignore. A whole side that says the gate is strait, few enter. Men love darkness and hate the light and God’s Word is light. If you follow Christ (the Word made flesh) the world will hate you because it hated Him. All the prophets were ignored and killed. The Word became flesh and was rejected and killed.

Who are we trying to kid? It’s as if John the Baptist’s head was not cut off, or that Peter was not crucified upside down, or that Paul was not imprisoned and executed. Why do we pretend that if we simply preach the Word people will come out of the woodwork to hear it? It’s not true. It never has been.

There may have been brief moments when the Spirit moved on a group of people, but they were brief, short-lived and died off quickly. Do we not know our history?

This does not mean we should not preach the Word, we should. But it builds false hopes in many young men to tell them that if they simply teach the Word they will succeed in the Church.

Why do you think there are so many church growth schemes? Because people do not want to hear the Word. Don’t fool yourself and others.

Young pastor: people do not want to hear the Word but you are to preach it anyway. They will leave your church after calling you names and ripping your character falsely. They will verbally trash you to anyone who listens, and there are many who will listen to those words. They will misapply your words and completely miss your true intent. They will butcher everything you say and miss the point entirely.

But preach the Word, because the Word Himself will judge you in the last day. Preach as one who will give an account. Preach as if you will meet Him, because you will, and by His Word you will be judged.

Find Yourself. Then Get Lost

Speaking of mindless, humanistic drivel. I get tired of people going off places to “find themselves” and going on “voyages of discovery.” If your voyage of discovery explores new lands, that’s fine. But if all you find is you, I’m disappointed. And seriously, how long does it take you to find you? How far away from yourself could you have gotten?

We spend so much time discovering ourselves we miss out on reality. Modern schooling is less about memorization, study and taking tests with books closed, and more about talking about our feelings and pontificating on the better me I will one day be when everyone realizes how much more me I could be if they would let me.


The generation that is consumed with finding itself is going to be one dumb generation. Guess what?

However, perhaps I’m one of those who is off on my own personal exploration of my inner awesomeness and I am at fault here. Maybe I’m just a bitter curmudgeon dumping water on parades.

Well, I am a bitter curmudgeon, this is true, but that does not change the reality of God’s Word. Here’s a beauty for all you self-loving, narcissistic,  searchers of yourself out playing with your inner idiot:

“A fool hath no delight in understanding,
but that his heart may discover itself.”

My Little Secret is Better Than Your Little Secret

I got this dvd from the library about “a secret” that all succesful people know and now I, a typical loser, can now learn it! Well, boy howdy, can’t miss that.

The “secret” is the “law of attraction.” We are supposed to think happy thoughts, funnel out bad thoughts, and great happiness will come from the universe who hears our happy mindwaves and sends us happiness.


If only the Jews had known this secret, they could have stopped that whole Holocaust thing without that big, messy war. Unfortunately, they were busy running the world by manipulating the banks.

But I digress.

This dvd is typical humanistic drivel that makes no sense. I’m sure it makes lots of sense to people who have used it and gotten fabulously rich and what not, but it makes no sense.

“In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths.”

Our thought is to be about God, not about our happiness. Much of reality is not happy. If we avoid all that makes us unhappy we may stay in a state of bliss, but we will also miss out on reality.

We are to direct our thoughts toward God and leave reality and results to Him. We press on doing what the Lord has for us and wait until we die. Then we go home to be with the Lord, which is far better.

teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Fear God; Love God

The fear of God and the love of God seem to be polar opposites. How can you fear and love at the same time? It’s quite simple really.

God is awesome, big, holy, perfect and in control. That deserves our fear, but it also pulls in our love. Love is essentially an emotion that pulls a person toward another. In this case it pulls us to what is awesome and to be feared.

When my wife loves me, it’s just like the above scenario. I am awesome and my awesomeness causes my wife to love me. You can see the similarities, I need not over-explain.

Love and fear are not only inspired by the same characteristics, but they also lead to the same response. A phrase from Psalm 97:10 and another from Proverbs 8:13 show us that love and fear result in the same action:

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil”

“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil”

Lots of people claim to love God and fear God, very few resemble what Scripture says will always result from the fear and love of God.

Don’t define the fear and love of God your way; go with God’s way. It’s what you’ll do if you fear and love God.

This Is The Day

“This is the day the Lord has made.”

Mostly I hear this verse as sort of a rah-rah, go win one for the Gipper, Christianese mantra. I guess that’s ok, but I don’t think it’s consistent with the context.

“This is the day.” What day does the “this” refer to? The previous verse also begins with “this.” “This is the Lord’s doing.” Both “this’s” refer to an event, a doing, and a day of the doing. What is the Lord’s doing?

The previous verse says the doing is the Lord causing the rejected stone to become the corner-stone. A humbled man was exalted. We know this refers to Jesus Christ ultimately, but we also see from the immediate context, the previous verse, it refers to the salvation of David.

It is a nice thing to view every day as a day the Lord made and to rejoice in it. But it is even greater to rejoice in the day of our salvation. Even greater to rejoice in the day of the exaltation of Christ!

Who Can Know Our Wickedness?

The heart is desperately wicked, who can know it?

The answer is in the next verse: God can know it.

This is kind of a problem for us. We live with ourselves so we are accustomed to our sins, so much so that we call most of our sins our “personality.”

People have a phenomenal ability to justify their sins and think they are good. But the wickedness of our heart defies knowing. It’s worse than you can imagine. Here’s one glimpse into it.

“Because they [the wicked] regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.”

Everything that happens in your life is a work of God, an operation of his hands. When we do not acknowledge this, say thank you, or even cast a glance His direction, we sin.

We are oblivious to God’s working. Instead we assume that we control all things. We sound too charismatic or superstitious or too something or other to see God at work in all things.

So we ignore Him, chalk up our victories to our own effort and our losses to our spouse’s efforts and carry on.


This is a single facet of the incurable, desperate wickedness of our hearts.

Stopping Mouths

One of the main lessons, if not THE main lesson, of the book of Job is: SHUT UP.

Job’s friends were basically right, much of what they said was consistent with other scripture. As I’ve pointed out before, one of Job’s friends is even quoted in the New Testament.

Job defends himself; his friends try to find fault with him to justify what happened to Job. Job simply desires to talk to God. He asks that there be a mediator to set things right with him and God.

Job knows what he’s done and knows his stand before God. His friends are wrong about him. What they said was true, it just didn’t apply to Job!

Job desired, longed for a judge, one who could hear both sides and appoint a right verdict. The verdict would then be declared among the people witnessing the trial, so then every mouth would be stopped.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled. I long for the day when every mouth is stopped and every man stands before God and receives his verdict.

Until then fear God and do not fear what man can do unto you. Know the one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ, our redeemer liveth and we will see Him. Get ready. Live like every mouth is already stopped.

Wallet-Filling Gospel

Over at I’ve been doing some posts about a biblical perspective on money. Here are some of the posts from this past week:

*Elizabeth Clephane–her life and her hymn
*Why Christ Gave Himself–it’s more blessed to give than to receive
*The Gospel Is Giving–it’s kind of the point
*Covetousness Kills Love–the more we covet the less we love
*Loving Dirt–when you love the things of the earth, you’re really just loving dirt.

The Gospel-Filled Wallet is my new book put out by Transforming Publishing. You can get your own copy here.

Sinners Should Die Part 2

Many think that grace wasn’t invented until the New Testament. This is ridiculous.

God did judge sin in rather spectacular ways in the Old Testament. But, quite frankly, He didn’t do it that often.

In fact, when He did do it, people were shocked. When the ground opens up and swallows a disobedient family of Israel, the people freak out and blame Moses. They can’t believe it just happened.

When Uzzah touches the Ark and dies, David is beside himself, “How could God do this?”

Every time God judges sin with immediate death, people are stunned.

Why are they always stunned, even in the OT?

You would think they would be used to God killing people since we think it happened left and right every day.

They were stunned because they were used to God’s grace and mercy.

Sinners Should Die

My son has a cd with “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” on it. He loves the song and now loves Joshua. He asked if we could read Joshua. Sure.

This is interesting. Seven year old boys have lots of questions when reading Joshua, especially the part about Rahab, “What’s a prostitute?”

Go ask your mother.

Anyway, there’s lots of killing going on back then. Israel is wiping out bad guys. Achan steals some stuff and he and his family get stoned to death and about 40 Israelites die for Achan’s disobedience.

Is that fair? Will people die if I sin? Will I get stoned?

Some would recommend I skip these passages until he’s older. I’m pretty sure that no matter how old he is he’ll have the same questions, unless he’s brainwashed by feel-goodism Christianity.

Sin is bad. We forget this point. We are used to God’s mercy. He overlooks stuff. He lets it go. We get away with sin over and over and over again. It must not be a problem

The Psalmist addresses this issue, it’s not something new to us. We think that since God remains silent, He must be just like us. He’s cool with it.

But He’s not. Every time we sin we deserve to die. We should die. The ground should open up and swallow us. We should be struck dead. We should be punished by evil nations.

But we’re not. Why? Did God change? Are we really actually pretty good?

Nope, God is letting you store up wrath for the day of wrath.

The wages of sin is death. You should be struck dead next time you sin. You should be. Let that sink in. You should die. Sin might be a big deal to God, even if you think you’re getting away with it.

Neptune and Saving Faith

The other day I was in what would probably be called an evangelistic conversation. I was asked a question that, quite honestly, I had never heard before and had no answer for.

I know I”m supposed to be ready always to answer a question about the hope that is in me, but wow, I didn’t know the answer to this one.

“OK, so the Bible says it took God seven days to make the earth. Neptune is like 20 times larger than earth, so how long did it take God to create Neptune?”

I just laughed. Honestly, if you’re gonna ask a question like that, I’m just not gonna give you an answer.

It’s funny in these spots, what people come up with to not believe what the Bible says. It is by faith we understand that God framed the worlds. It’s by faith. Not by scientific reasoning and deduction and fossil records. By faith.

The main reason a guy would delve into the size of Neptune to refute Scripture is because he doesn’t want to believe what the Bible says. Primarily, he doesn’t want to believe what the Bible says about HIM.

He also does not want to deal with the implications for HIM if he believes the Bible. J. C. Ryle says it best,

“It is neither the lack of evidence, nor the difficulties of Christian doctrine, that make men unbelievers. It is lack of will to believe. They love sin. They are wedded to the world.”

John Wesley on Meditation

I was studying up on 1 Timothy 4:15 for Bible study and came across a great commentary quote from John Wesley.

First off, the verse says, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” It is directed at Timothy, a young pastor. Paul is letting him know what the life of a pastor should be like and what it’s for.

Secondly, here is Wesley’s quote about “meditate on these things, give yourself wholly to them.”

“True meditation is no other than faith, hope, love, joy, melted down together, as it were, by the fire of God’s Holy Spirit; and offered up to God in secret.

He that is wholly in these, will be little in worldly company, in other studies, in collecting books, medals, or butterflies: wherein many pastors drone away so considerable a part of their lives.”

Oh, is that great or what?!

By Grace I Stand

Grace is not a thing that allows me to enjoy my sin; grace is what allows me to enjoy God.

Grace is the only basis for man to come to God. Grace is out of man’s hands and is entirely in God’s. We do not show God grace, we cannot show God grace. We need God to show us grace.

God is gracious, always has been, always will be. Grace is the only foundation by which a man can boldly stand in the throne room of God.

Humans make everything about humans. We have taken grace and made it about us. Grace is the giant excuse for me to keep sinning. Grace is what keeps me thinking happy thoughts about me.

We have taken grace, an unbelievable outpouring of God’s very nature, and pruned it down to–why I can feel good about being me.

Grace is not so you can enjoy being you; it’s so you can enjoy being with God.

Thou Shouldest Listen

My son is almost seven. He is still picking up on rules of  hygiene. The other day he was sitting by his mother when she noticed his socks. They were supposed to be white but instead they were black and crusty.

She said, “Oh gross, Jacob. You should change your socks.”

Later that night, as I was putting him to bed, I noticed he still had his dirty, crusty socks on. “I thought your mother told you to change those.”

“No she didn’t,” he said. “She said I should change them, she didn’t say I had to.”

Although this is funny, I have heard this argument used with God’s commands. “He said we should love others, He didn’t say we had to.”

When God said “Thou shalt not commit adultery” or “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” He uses the word “shalt,” which is our word “should.”

He did not say it as an option, He said it as a command. If my wife’s frustration with her son is any indication, I can only imagine how annoyed God is at similar reasoning by His children.

God is Love and Bears Who Eat Children

“God is love” is one of those phrases people flop out all the time. I certainly do not disagree, but we need some explanation as to what exactly that means.

The Bible contains many things about God that might contradict the surface understanding of what “God is love” means. For instance, one of the more disturbing stories in the OT involves Elisha.

He’s walking home after Elijah was taken to heaven and some kids come out and make fun of his bald head. Elisha curses them in the name of the Lord and two bears came out and eat all 42 kids.

Now, God answered Elisha’s curse on the kids promptly and without hesitation. It was an immediate act to have 42 kids mauled by bears. Is God still love?

Some would answer this question by saying that God “got converted” when Christ died on the cross and became much nicer than the OT version of Himself.

That is blasphemy. It also makes the book of Revelation a tad difficult to explain.

The answer is along these lines: God is love. God judges people. Judgment doesn’t always look like love, but that’s because we have a wrong definition of love.

If God is love and God OK’d the deaths of 42 children by bear attack, we must work that into our understanding of love. We should change our definition of love; not change our definition of God.

Solomon’s Women Part 2

Putting the humor aside, Solomon and his 1,000 women was a serious problem.

First off, it was a violation of God’s Law. Deuteronomy said it was wrong for a king to amass wives because it would pull his heart in wrong directions.

Secondly, that’s exactly what it did! His foreign wives made him weak against the people God said should be driven out. They also led him to worship their stupid false gods.

Once again, we see that God was right.

It’s funny how often people struggle with sin and yet remain busy trying to justify it. They know what God says, but still, it’s so fun and stuff.

Then they get blown to bits with the results and they act stunned.

God does know what He’s talking about. He does. Really. He’s the all-knowing God, which means He knows all.

I don’t know why we struggle with that point so much. God is not mocked, you reap what you sow. Fight the fight of faith and faith comes by hearing God’s Word. Fight to hear it; it’s for your own good.

Solomon’s Women

Let me just say right off the bat that a guy can’t have a terribly insightful spiritual thought every day, at least not one he’s willing to share with everyone.

Upon saying that, the thought in my head today is about Solomon. I just read about him in 1 Kings, the bit about the 700 wives and 300 concubines.

I don’t think any man has read that and not thought, “Solomon is the wisest man who ever lived? Seriously?” Probably one of the biggest challenges to my faith in God’s Word comes from this fact.

Furthermore, Solomon lived quite a while, he was king for 40 years. I’m just wondering what all these wives and concubines did all day, especially as they got up into their 70’s and 80’s. A thousand 80 year old women, sitting around.

Is this where the game of Bridge was invented? There was probably some Jewish guy who set up a shop next to the palace selling walkers and dentures.

Anyway, sorry. That’s all I got today.

%d bloggers like this: