Saturday, January 17, 2015

****Dr. Martin Luther King - Lying Liberal Lunatic Or Compassionate Christian Conservative? REDUX

A reporter once said, “When you make something a greeting card holiday, people forget the struggle and what you were striving for.” We have this holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so I decided to do a little research to gain a better understanding of the man and his mission.

I will agree with most of his admirers that he was a man of passion, dreams, and faith. But I have concluded that he was either a liar and a phony OR he was not the true militant champion that the lunatic left imagines. If he were still alive today, I doubt that he would find comfort or cronyism among the ungodly left in the Democrat party.  And it is almost certain that he would NOT be chumming with the likes of the phony reverend, Al Sharpton, and I seriously doubt that he would have been intimidating voters with the Black Panthers, standing on the hood of a car yelling "burn it down," or marching in a mob calling for dead cops "now." 

Why do I think that? It is because of his own words. Here are some of his challenges and instructions for the black youths of his day and they are timeless, noteworthy principles that are consistent with Christian philosophy and conservative ideology and they deserve universal attention:

  • Character is more important than skin color. Common humanity, rather than race, should be the basis for relationships.
  • Reason without morality is dangerous. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education.
  • Do your life's work as if God called you to it. And, no matter how small the job, do it with a sense of responsibility. If it falls your lot to sweep streets, sweep them like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music.
  • Love is creative and redemptive and is absolutely necessary for the survival of our civilization. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. Redemptive goodwill for one's enemies is the solution to race problems.
  • Bigots are everywhere. Some individuals must have the courage and moral strength to remain in their communities, no matter how bad they are, and seek to lift them to new levels of creative living.
  • Maintain your moral standards. A person who will stop dating you because you refuse to engage in a sexual act is a person who is not genuinely interested in you, and would make an undesirable mate.
  • It is wrong to be unjust, dishonest or hateful. We have moved from the theory of “survival of the fittest” to a theory of “survival of the slickest.” Everybody is busy obeying the 11th commandment -- "Do not get caught."
  • Humanism is another attempt to make God irrelevant. Without God, efforts turn to ashes and sunrises into darkest night. Christianity affirms a real, loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children. Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God.
  • Our capacity to deal with shattered dreams is ultimately determined by our faith in God. Genuine faith sees that, beyond time is God and beyond life is eternity. However dismal the present circumstances, we are not alone, for God dwells with us. Through Jesus Christ, God has taken the sting from death by freeing us from its dominion. Our earthly life is a prelude to a glorious new awakening, and death is an open door that leads us into life eternal.
Can anyone really imagine those kinds of words or challenges emanating today from the mouths of any of the racist, self-appointed spokes holes for the American black culture such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Rev. Wright, or ever Barack Obama? I think Dr. King would probably be much more comfortable in the company of great Americans like Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Walter Williams, Tim Scott, Ben Carson, Rep. J. C. Watts Jr., and Major Allen West.

After realizing great victories in his work for civil rights, Dr. King anticipated that there were still difficult days ahead. “I would like to live a long life but I'm not concerned with that. I am not worried about anything. I fear no man. I just want to do God's will.”

Columnist Clarence Page once noted that, although King was a man of peace, almost anywhere in America where his name is now memorialized, some kind of violence or racial hatred is associated with it. He lamented, “How sadly we have protected Dr. King’s legacy. Our keeping of his name has fallen far short of his dream.”

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Every Jot and Tittle

I was reading in Jeremiah 20, this morning, when I noticed this strange language construction:

“The anger of the LORD shall not return until He have executed, and till He have performed the thoughts of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.”  Jer. 23:20

Notice the auxiliary verb, HAVE used two times in this verse. 

The rule for using has vs. have depends on the personal pronoun that precedes it.  For pronouns in the first person (I and we) and some in the second person  (you, and they), use have.  If the pronoun is in the third person singular (he, she, or it), use has.

So why is that a big deal?  Well, I dunno; I just think that words mean things and I expect that God's Words were given with precision.  I’m not an expert on grammar and I know absolutely NOTHING about the Hebrew language or how this might read in the original text.  But it seems to me that the translators must have been smarter and more careful than me (or is it I?) and they probably took great pains to translate it accurately. 

[Incidentally, my spelling and grammar checker, Grammarly, will NOT let me get away with this.  It keeps insisting that God and I are wrong.]
It has been noted that there are many, many references, in every book of the Bible, to the tri-unity of God.  Could this be one of them that most of us might just overlook?  Think about it.  The reference is to God.  The pronoun is singular (He).  God is one god.  However, the auxiliary verb used (have) indicates a plural subject (a tri-unity), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Since God is One God in three persons, it seems that the language is and must be accurate; He (The One and only God) shall not return until He (the Father, Son, and Spirit) HAVE executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.”  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

****Missing Body Parts

I left my crew on the job one morning to go out of town on errands. When I returned, two of my employees were working but I noticed that my young apprentice, Eric, was missing. That’s when I learned that he had cut off his finger in my cement mixer and he was in the emergency room.

I rushed to find him still waiting for treatment after nearly three hours. Finally, the doctor unwrapped the stub and then asked me if I had the severed finger. I told him it was probably embedded in the cement somewhere and the chances of recovery was unlikely. He urged me to go back to the job site to try to locate it.

Back at the job, the men told me that Eric had been cleaning the mixer when the accident occurred. I looked inside and saw that most of the cement had been washed down and was still in the bowl. By then it had started to harden and was pretty stiff. I cranked it up to break the set and loosen the material so I could sift through it. Then I found a piece of metal screen, laid it over an empty bucket and began to pour out the material through the sieve.

Suddenly the stucco stained finger plopped onto the screen. It was a weird injury; the bone was not severed.  The finger was circumcised at the first joint so Eric's injured finger had an exposed bone sticking out the end.  I picked up the hollow finger tip, hosed it off and placed it in a used Carl’s Jr. soft-drink cup with some ice and headed back to the emergency room. About an hour later, the doctor announced to Rick’s mother and me that he had successfully reattached the finger.  It would be alright but he doubted that the finger would have a nail. Today Eric’s finger, although slightly disfigured, is in tact (with a finger nail), and fully functional.

We all just assumed that, once severed, the finger was unsalvageable and that Eric would have to adjust to his new handicap and get along without it. It never occurred to us to locate the finger until the physician told us to find it and bring it back.

The apostle Paul refers to the Church as the “body of Christ” where every member is a unique and special part of the whole. "Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” ( 1 Cor.12: 27 NLT).Sometimes, one of our “parts gets wounded or cut off and we act as though it is irrecoverable and that we will just have to get along without it. But every member is important to the Great Physician and has a vital function in the body. When one of our members is wounded or disconnected, we should go out to recover him, heal him, and restore him to his right place and purpose in the BODY.

Are You Chasing Goats Or Tending Sheep?

(This article was first posted on my blogsite on 10/31/07. With a few changes, I am reposting it here because of its relevance.)

According to Rick Warren, "Relationships are the glue that holds a church together. Friendships are the key to retaining members."

That's a cute bumper sticker sentiment but is it true? I guess the answer to that question really depends on whether your church's purpose is to raise goats or sheep.

Over a century ago in Europe, Charles Spurgeon wrote an article titled, "Are We Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats?" It is well worth reading. It is an amazingly parallel description of the church growth movement in contemporary American churches.

Is your pastor a shepherd or a goatherd? I found this definition of a GOATHERD in Wikipedia. It provides some very interesting and insightful correlations to the contemporary ideological deviations from fundamental orthodox worship in the Christian church.

A goatherd or a goatherder is a person who herds goats for a living. Similar to a shepherd who tends sheep for a living, the drover here herds goats. Goatherds are popular in countries where goat populations are natively high; for instance, in Africa and South Asia. Herding a goat is much more difficult than herding sheep as, unlike sheep, goats do not have a herd mentality and each goat will tend to stray farther in search of better foliage and grass. It is for this reason that, in these areas, goats are costlier than sheep.

From that definition, I offer the following observations and my comments:

  • Shepherds “tend” sheep; goatherds “herd” goats. The biblical pastoral work of a shepherd is to lead, guide, guard, feed, and protect the sheep. The more arduous task of goatherds is to relentlessly chase after the goats, round them up, herd them, drive them, and contain them.

  • Herding goats is much more difficult than herding sheep…goats do not have a herd mentality. Regarding sheep, Jesus said, ”My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.” I think the fact that a flock of sheep tends to stay together is noteworthy (If all the sheep follow The Shepherd, then all the sheep will naturally be together). Shepherds are charged with tending the flock (a flock is a singular entity, a cohesive group, a herd). So shepherding is relatively easy in comparison to herding animals that have no herd mentality.

  • Goats tend to wander and stray farther in search of better (or different) foliage and grass. They are continually seeking more; more fun, more stimulation, more programs, more variety, more adventure, new relationships, new truth, new revelation, strange fire, more, MORE and MORE garbage to sate their insatiable appetites for anything and everything that is new or different.

  • Goats are costlier than sheep. Churches that get caught up in the activity of amusing goats will require more money to fund more programs and hire more staff to keep them amused and satisfied with new gimmicks. Someone said, “What you win them with is what you win them to.”
Here are a couple other interesting notes from a different source about the grazing habits of goats:
  • Goats do not feed very long in one place but tend to pick a bite here and a bite there moving from place to place. You can probably see where I’m headed with this. Sheep tend to stay near the shepherd who has already prepared a grazing place that is safe for them.  Because pastors (shepherds) lead the flock, sheep will feed on the Word; goats will run from morsel to morsel, from proof text to proof text, and often from church to church.

  • Goats are used much more effectively than sheep for weed control. The reason is that they move into an area and strip it of everything they see and then move on. Also, they will, indiscriminately, eat almost anything including trash. Enough Said.
Having noted these distinctions between shepherds and goatherds, It seems to me that some churches should more correctly refer to their pastors as “Goatherders” unless or until they cease amusing goats and start tending to their sheep. When that happens, they might discover what Rick Warren has missed; that the Word of God and the Spirit of God are the glue that holds The Church together.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Charles Spurgeon On Sarcastic Humor

"I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than I would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have it neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the message.

I do believe in my heart, that there may be as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry; and that, sometimes, to laugh is the better thing of the two, for I may weep, and be murmuring, and repining, and thinking all sorts of bitter thoughts against God; while, at another time, I may laugh the laugh of sarcasm against sin, and so evince a holy earnestness in the defense of the truth.

I do not know why ridicule is to be given up to Satan as a weapon to be used against us, and not to be employed by us as a weapon against him. I will venture to affirm that the Reformation owed almost as much to the sense of the ridiculous in human nature as to anything else, and that those humorous squibs and caricatures, that were issued by the friends of Luther, did more to open the eyes of Germany to the abominations of the priesthood than the more solid and ponderous arguments against Romanism.

I know no reason why we should not, on suitable occasions, try the same style of reasoning."It is a dangerous weapon," it will be said, "and many men will cut their fingers with it." Well, that is their own lookout; but I do not know why we should be so particular about their cutting their fingers if they can, at the same time, cut the throat of sin, and do serious damage to the great adversary of souls."

Charles Spurgeon

D.A.I.S.Y. The 5 Points of Arminianism For Dummies

Here they are;

Five Points of Arminianism for Dummies

in an easy to remember DAISY (the, "He loves me, He loves me not.") Acronym.

My thanks to Eddie Eddings at CALVINISTIC CARTOONS for the great-looking artwork.