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.

Gag.

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.

Sweet.

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.