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[304] Ingratitude

I remember reading long ago that all sin is a form of ingratitude.

Ingratitude was a part of the original sin.  Adam and Eve wanted more.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful Christian holiday. It reminds us that we have enough. The grace (and goodness) of God is sufficient for us.

Happy Thanksgiving. DC

[303] The Word

I enjoy reading bios in Wikipedia. I find it curious—and disturbing–how often I read of famous people who profess to be Christians but show no publicly recognizable evidence of a life of discipleship.

Why is that?

I suspect it is because they have little more than a superficial familiarity with scripture.  They don’t drill down much further than John 3:16. Hence, they live what they believe to be a Christian life.  At the expense of being judgmental—in my glass house—I wish they would not identify themselves publicly as Christians.

The only way to live a life of discipleship is to be familiar with the Word. Biblical illiteracy is viewed by many as a major issue among self-confessed believers. Indeed, if it looks like duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Conversely, if one does look like a Christian, walk like a Christian, and talk like a Christian, it is reasonable to question the person’s claim to being a Christian. DC

[302] The Challenge

It is no secret that Trump was candidate of choice for the bulk of US evangelicals. Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of a 14,000-member Southern Baptist Church in Dallas was an unabashed Trump advocate.

The Fox News website published a recent article by Jeffress in which the pastor issued an insightful challenge to disappointed evangelical voters, in fact a lesson for all believers for all time. He reminded his readers that believers are called to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

It’s easy to pray for one’s favorite candidate, wrote Jeffress. “But the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported. Paul didn’t give us any wiggle room — his command applies all the same, whether the emperor was the faith-friendly Constantine or the evil emperor Nero.”

Jeffress urged Christians not be hypocrites. “We serve a God who remains on His throne, sovereignly reigning over every square inch of this vast universe. We serve a God who loves us and will never leave or forsake us. And now we have the chance to show the consistency and constancy of our Christian witness to this world.” DC

[301] Image of God

What does it mean to be in the image of God?  No one has a definitive answer to that question, but contrasting humans with animals may help.

The key to the contrast is that humans have higher cortical functions enabling them to relate symbolically. The simpler brain structures in animals reduce their interactions to instinct and physicality. Animals cannot comprehend and reason.  They do not have meaningful relationships.  They cannot reflect on the past, nor plan for the future.  They have no will, nor a capacity for making significant choices. As such, they cannot be held responsible for their actions.

The gospel is about a relationship that goes well beyond instinct or physicality.  It is a message expressed in words (symbols) about a redemptive relationship of a perfect God with responsible human beings. It is one to which only living beings in the image of God can respond.  DC

[300] Fools

The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good (Psalm 53:1).

Though they may not say it, Secular Progressives (SP) advance their agenda as if there is no God.  SPs are committed to humanism, the notion that humans are the most intelligent species in the universe and hence, competent to make their own rules.  The scriptures call that thinking corrupt, vile, and no good.  Perhaps more important, it calls those who engage in it fools. DC

[299] Progressivism

Secular Progressivism (SP) is an ideology—a worldview.  Most believers have a sense of what secular means; that is about things not spiritual, not religious.  For the Christian nothing is secular.  God is in all things.  But that is not the point of this missive.  Arguably more important is Progressivism.  Progressivism implies that things keep getting better through godless endeavors.  The point here is that the secularity never stops.  Once one Commandment is rejected or manipulated, then another one is confronted.  First, we permit abortion in the first trimester.  Then we progress to infanticide—killing a living child coming out of the womb.

Never ever be so naïve as to think genuine compromise is ever possible with SPs.  By definition it is not.  It is–by definition–an ideology forever on the march.  In reality, this march toward a human-constructed seeming utopia is actually a march toward the abolition of society itself.  DC

[298] Feinstein Worldview

According to octogenarian, Diane Feinstein, who claims to follow Judaism but graduated from a Catholic high school in San Francisco, “…dogma and law are two different things…whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different…dogma lives loudly within you [Amy Coney Barret], and that’s of concern.”

You have just read a perfect example of compartmentalization—the belief that one can exist without an overall worldview, with one’s thoughts neatly segmented into totally separate intellectual compartments and little or no interaction among them.

That is total nonsense.  One’s worldview functions as a set of lenses through which one observes all of life.  You have one. I have one, and Diane Feinstein has one.

So does Amy Coney Barrett. She has a Christian worldview, and that is anathema to secularists who hold the delusional belief that they look at the world with total objectivity, rather than through distorted lenses that see a godless universe. DC

[297] Keys to Xian Ed III

This is the third post on a Mission Statement of a Christian school, sent my way by my colleague, Steve Launer.  These could well be adopted by Christian colleges.

To reiterate, here are the first two elements.

We teach the truth of the scriptures and that each student is uniquely created and loved by God.

We reinforce and sharpen each student’s gift (Romans 12).  We value the passions God has placed in them (Ps, 37:4), and empower our students to express those passions in a healthy manner (Gal. 5).

Here is the third.

Our goal is that our graduates have unshakable confidence in the call God has placed on their lives (Matt. 28) to serve the needs of the world. 

Comment: This about putting discipleship in action, a cornerstone of Christian education.

This is a very impressive triad.  We begin with the Truth, as a foundation.  From there we focus on finding a student’s gift(s), and finish that with making a difference by using it.

[296] Keys to Xian Ed II

Previously, I used this space to discuss a document sent my way by my colleague, Steve Launer.  It is what one might call the Mission Statement of a Christian primary and secondary school that is a tenant in his church’s physical plant.  We discussed the three points recently, realizing they could well be used by Christian colleges. To refresh your memory, here is the first one:

We teach the truth of the scriptures and that each student is uniquely created and loved by God.

Here is the second (with some editing).

We reinforce and sharpen each student’s gift (Romans 12).  We value the passions God has placed in them (Ps, 37:4), and empower our students to express those passions in a healthy manner (Gal. 5).

Comment: This is all making disciples.  Foundational to Christian is indeed the gospel, but also how to put that gospel in action, something mentioned in the third one that will follow.  DC

 

[295] Key to Xian Ed I

My colleague, Steve Launer, told me about a Christian primary and secondary school that is a tenant in his church’s physical plant.  He was struck by the school’s general mission—spelled out in three paragraphs—and showed it to me.  So was I.  So much so, that with a bit of editing, I propose Christian colleges consider these three items.

Here is the first (with some editing).

We teach the truth of the scriptures and that each student is uniquely created and loved by God.

Comment: What jumps out to me are two things.  One is the focus on the student as uniquely valued by God.  Perhaps more important, however, is truth.  That word appears 224 times in the KJV of the bible.  Regrettably so many Christian groups teach or preach only parts of the truth.  There is plenty on discipleship, but the consequences of the one’s relationship with Christ is often skipped over.  Hence, universalism is rife in Christian circles, along with postmodernism, and an almost complete avoidance of reference to the afterlife.  God’s truth is the only truth.  It is consequential. We are called to communicate it. DC

 

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