Mar. 8th, 2009 12:09 am
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Let it be known most assuredly that before God there is but one standard for right and wrong. And this standard is absolute, unchangeable, immovable. We shall all be judged according to this standard. Whatever we may say or feel or believe or surmise today, we will suffer loss on that day if what we do is not truly according to the will of God.

Watchman Nee in Spiritual Knowledge
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I had a whole long page written regarding the subject of hell, and how it is foolish not ever speak of it, for fear of "scaring" people into choosing God, but I have decided to simplify and try this again.

First, as Christians we should follow Jesus' example. As it was he who spoke of hell more than anyone else in the whole Bible, giving often the most lurid examples, I see no sound reason not to do likewise.

Second, while we must not speak only of punishment, it is the epitome of foolishness not to warn a person of the dire consequences to their actions. Just as we must warn a driver about to drive to their death over a broken bridge, so must we warn those who do not believe and face a much, much worse fate. As Jesus said, And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

We who believe can not live in fear of speaking the truth, else the blood of those we do not warn lay upon our own heads. As hard as it is to say, even to hear, we must, in certain aspects, be intolerant in our speech, hard and unbending. If we are to follow God, we must obey what he told us, regardless of whether we find it appealing or not, for no other reason than we must follow what is true. I might very well like to think that two plus two is three or five because everyone else seems to think so, but it will always be four, and we are fools who know it and do nothing to correct others of their error, even to the point of anger against ourselves. We must follow what we know to be true, else we be cowards and liars.
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From his book, The Weight of Glory:

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy, and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
That Religion should be relegated to solitude in such an age is, then, paradoxical. But it is also dangerous for two reasons. In the first place, when the modern world says to us aloud, "You may be religious when you are alone," it adds under its breath, "and I will see to it that you are never alone." To make Christianity a private affair while banishing all privacy is to relegate it to the rainbow's end or the Greek calends.

Good stuff.
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But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

2 Timothy 3
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"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 14:6

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber."
John 10:1

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
John 10:9

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10
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If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

C.S. Lewis
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Reader, If it be not strong upon thy heart to practise what thou readest, to what end dost thou read? To increase thy own condemnation? If thy light and knowledge be not turned into practice, the more knowing man thou art, the more miserable man thou wilt be in the day of recompense; thy light and knowledge will more torment thee than all the devils in hell. Thy knowledge will be that rod that will eternally lash thee, and that scorpion that will for ever bite thee, and that worm that will everlastingly gnaw thee; therefore read, and labour to know, that thou mayest do, or else thou art undone for ever. When Demosthenes was asked, what was the first part of an orator, what the second, what the third? he answered, Action; the same may I say. If any should ask me, what is the first, the second, the third part of a Christian? I must answer, Action; as that man that reads that he may know, and that labours to know that he may do, will have two heavens — a heaven of joy, peace and comfort on earth, and a heaven of glory and happiness after death.

Good Quote

Jun. 29th, 2007 11:22 am
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What was happening in Galatia has happened in every age. People are wanting to change the gospel to accommodate it to their sinful lifestyles or theological proclivities. The gospel is not subject to opinions. This deals with our eternity.
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Jeremiah 17: 9-10:

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
"I the LORD search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds."

Not trusting one's own heart is hard lesson to learn, and one I'm not especially looking forward to...
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
Love can forbear, and Love can forgive...but Love can never be reconciled to an unlovely object.... He can never therefore be reconciled to your sin, because sin itself is incapable of being altered; but He may be reconciled to your person, because that may be restored.
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It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. "Look out!" we cry, "it's alive". And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back-I would have done so myself if I could- and proceed no further with Christianity. An "impersonal God"- well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads- better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap- best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband- that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion ("man's search for God!") suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?
--from Miracles, C.S. Lewis
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I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish things that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of thing Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would rather be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God...But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
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I do so love this man's music. Keith Green will ever be one of the most touching christian psalmists of my life.
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If you knew something was true, something that made you live your life completely against the current, would you be willing to die for it? What if by simply paying lip-service to a lie you could avoid death, what then? What if, by simply uttering a single phrase you knew was a lie, you could continue living, would you? More importantly, if you chose to accept death, could you do so cheerfully?

I find myself pondering such questions after reading accounts of christian martyrs. So many christians have died for their faith. In the roman days alone, where worshipping the emperor as a god, if only in speech, so many brothers and sisters died brutal, agonizing deaths rather than even for a moment denounce Jesus. Moreso, many died with a supernatural calm and joy, often causing numerous observers to believe, even to the point of their own deaths. Some would die singing. Some would pray for their forgiveness even as they were being literally torn apart. One man in the audience of a particular christian's execution was so blown away by the christian's faith and words that he jumped down into the arena that he might be likewise die, as a new believer.

There are so many tales, both past and present, of christian believers whose faith simply blow me away. Incidentally, the word martyr in the greek meant simply "witness", or one who knows and proclaims truth. It only gained the definition it has now due to so many christian witnesses dying for their witnessing of the truth at all odds.
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I was reading this article earlier today on how a christian should be blogging, and I have to say, some of the comments and scripture quoted on the matter really hit home for me.

This part in particular struck home and quite made me think )
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I've been mulling over a question in my head for the past few days and figured I should put it down before it slips away. The question is whether it matters whether a true and good message comes from an evil, bad, or really hypocritical person/source, and more importantly, whether it should matter.

The first part is an easier answer to swallow for most, and the answer is that yes, the source of a message does matter to most everyone. It doesn't matter how important, useful, or critical a message may be, most people tend to mostly to completely reject it if we dislike or distrust the source it comes from, even if the source is only repeating the message. It is often nearly instinctual with us anymore. We don't like the messenger, we ignore the message.

The second part is slightly more difficult, though more because we don't want to follow it. Also, it can sometimes depend on the situation. Anyway, the thing is, as long as the message is truly a good one, and we can verify that it is true, then the source should not matter much. Granted, if a person/source is malevolent, the message can be twisted or be completely misrepresented, so the verification of the message is pivotal. Yet, this too points to the message being important, both for verifying and for listening to if true.

I never really thought much on the subject, but I've been reading through the book of matthew the last few nights, and some of the things Jesus said stuck in my mind. The most memorable was in talking of the pharisees and rabbis. He said very clearly that the people should obey what they said and not follow their examples. The religious leaders were, to some extent anyway, instructing the people in the word of God in what was right, but were themselves hypocrites and white-washed tombs. So basically, Jesus said that when the message or teaching is right, but the teacher is wrong, it is no excuse for us to ignore the message. Food for thought I think.

* 2/17/08
I would now add that the source does indeed matter, for Jesus himself demanded demons into silence and would cast them out of people when they would try to speak the truth, that he was the Christ. But again, I suppose much depends on the situation and the subject matter.
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I finally went and took the plunge this evening. More or less literally. I finally got myself baptized. Granted, my church only does it once a year, and I do know a lot more now than even last year, but it's been something I've needed to do for a long time now. I've only been a christian my whole life, after all... Anyway, I'm glad I have done it. It's not needed for salvation, but a body needs to be buried before it gets too ripe...


May. 24th, 2006 12:08 pm
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So apparently Iran has decided that it may take a page from the old Nazi handbook and start marking Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities. This report mentions that christians might have to wear red badges and jews yellow badges. It may not seem anything other than odd at first, but it's way of dehumanizing and grouping outsiders, which is always a dangerous thing. Iran already has enough hate towards Jews and Christians as it is. They don't need people with targets on them walking around.
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When a conflict becomes evident between an apparent interpretation of the Bible and an apparent finding of science, it is not necessary to force a final determination to be made immediately without further investigation. It is possible that a misinterpretation of either or both of the statements of Scripture or the evidence from science have occurred. Since, of the two, Scripture speaks with greater clarity, until a satisfactory resolution can be made about the conflict, I will proceed with confidence in my interpretation of Scripture. Resolution may not occur in my lifetime.


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