Tuesday, 30 March 2010

"Holiday Door Notice"

That was the title of the e-mail I received yesterday on my work computer from our company Head Office. It comes a few days before every statutory holiday.

But there was something not quite right about this one. It began,
"In order to allow our employees to enjoy Good Friday with their families..."

I winced. So this is what it has come to... Good Friday is merely another holiday to 'enjoy at home with one's family.' Talk about losing the true meaning!

I at least changed it to read, "In order to commemorate Good Friday and celebrate Easter Sunday..." I may not have gone far enough, but I don't own the business, and my employer once made me take the fish symbol off the back of my company truck.

But to me, Good Friday is not a day to enjoy with my family. It is a day to remember that it was for me that Jesus went to the cross. It was my sin that put him there. And I can't 'enjoy' thinking of that.

But Sunday's coming, and that'll be the time for joy!

Take Care

Sunday, 28 March 2010

C.S. Lewis on Democracy

From here...

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government… The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no [one] man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters. (parentheses mine, JK)

A wonderful quote. I think it speaks for itself. No need to add anything to it.

Take Care.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Is It All God's Will?

A comment from This thread...
...was the ABC placed in office according to the will of God?
...started me on an interesting chain of thoughts.

I'm not quite sure exactly what was the point of the question (I have asked on the same thread), but the thing that sprang immediately to my mind is that nothing in the world happens outside God's will, so even if God is not pleased by something, if it happens at all, it is because He allowed it. So, yes... in that sense, the ABC (Archbishop of Canterbury) is, if not having been placed there, is at least now in office according to God's will.

The Scripture that came to mind is this:
No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. (1 Cor 11:18-19)

It may be that some of the leadership of the ACoC, TEC, CofE and other liberal-leaning denominations have been allowed there by God to demonstrate the extent of the apostasy that has occurred within those institutions, to show who has God's approval, and as a signal to true believers to abandon them as quickly as possible, as many are now doing.

Lord willing, the trend will continue.

Take Care

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Who Is The Christian?

I was talking with a Baptist friend who had attended a funeral in the local Catholic church. Of course, a non-Catholic is not invited to take part in Communion, but we agreed that even if one were, we, in conscience, could not take it. However, I said, I know for a fact that we have many brothers and sisters in that denomination, and some of them I count as friends, even with the vast differences in various points of theology between us. Then I came across this quote from reformed thelogian J. Gresham Machen which seemed quite timely:
We would not indeed obscure the difference which divides us from Rome. The gulf is indeed profound. But profound as it is, it seems almost trifling compared to the abyss which stands between us and many ministers of our own Church. The Church of Rome may represent a perversion of the Christian religion, but naturalistic liberalism is not Christianity at all. (Christianity and Liberalism, p. 35.)

The Fellowship Baptist denomination has not been touched by the same kind of falling away that is ripping the Anglican Communion apart, but the Anglican part of me thought this quote applied perfectly.

Take care
The whole article is here...

Friday, 12 March 2010

Pre-Trib Rapture? Not Gonna Happen.

We've been working our way through 1 Thessalonians in our Wednesday night Bible study and have finally come to this controversal passage, referring, many believe, to the Rapture of the Church.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thes 4: 16-17)

Frankly, I have given up using the term, "rapture" because of the baggage I think the term carries, and refer to it as, "the catching up," which is what the Greek word, "harpazo" literally means. There are numerous views among Christians regarding end times, and for our study, the pastor drew up charts on several views regarding the return of Christ, including premillenial, postmillenial, amillenial and preterist. This was a great help, because many Christians, those who are interested in such things, tend to believe that their view is the only reasonable one and give little thought to any other. But in fact, all these views, and others, have been held by various Christians, at various times, over the past two thousand years, and each view has its proponents and its arguments.

Probably the most popular view these days is the premillenial view, but there is still disagreement regarding the actual timing of our being caught up to meet the Lord, in relation to what has come to be known as the, "Tribulation." We see pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, and pre-wrath positions. The pre-trib seems to be the most popular among many evangelicals and TV and radio preachers and, frankly, I think it is the most dangerous and demonstrably false one. I think it is a dangerous teaching and one terribly misleading to the body of Christ. It is held and promoted by such luminaries as Jack Van Impe, John Hagee, John MacArthur and David Jeremiah, among others, all of whom insist that the church will be taken out of the earth before the one known as the Antichrist comes on to the scene. Why is it so dangerous? Because if, as these men insist, the Antichrist, or man of sin, is not to be revealed until after the rapture, their followers will not be looking for him, expecting themselves to be gone before he does come on the scene and will be unprepared and deceived when he does appear.

Whole books can, and have been, written on this subject, but let me give a couple of passages that, to me, refute this position undeniably. The first is in 2 Thessalonians 2:
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him,... ...for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Thes 2: 1a, 3b)

This passage is quite clear that the rapture will not happen until after a period of apostasy (the rebellion) occurs, and the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) is revealed. In other words, Christians alive on earth during the time of the end will still be here when the Antichrist is revealed.

The second passage is from Matthew 24.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith...
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Mt 24:9-10a; 21; 29-31)

Read the whole chapter Here...
These passages, used by the pre-trib rapture proponents in their analyses of the end-times, actually refute their case, and reinforce the following sequence; persecution, falling away from the faith, tribulation (unequalled from the beginning of the world and never to be equalled again, so must be the Great Tribulation), then lastly, the gathering of the elect.

In my opinion, much of the speculation regarding end-times events is a rather harmless hobby. As seriously as I once took it, not to belittle the subject now, my main focus now is seeking to live a Godly life every day and to be in His will every minute. When Jesus comes, he will come. I am merely trying to show the faulty logic of the pre-trib proponents within their own system. If the Biblical signs claimed by many who study the subject are correct, then those who have been assured that they will not be here when the Antichrist arises, and who are alive during the generation of his coming, are open for a great deception. The false Christ(s) will come before the real one, and they will not be ready.

Take Care

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Count the Cliches

My blogging brother David must have got to his e-mail before I did on this one

For a little over a year, five Canadian and six African dioceses have engaged in diocese-to-diocese theological dialogue on matters relating to human sexuality and to mission.

I was particularly struck by the following paragraph. This should be submitted to Guiness as the world record for the most possible bafflegab crammed into the least possible space.

We affirm together that dialogue cannot be about trying to make someone change their position, but is about working together better to understand the fullness of our stories, affirmations and commitments. To do so requires that we meet, that we converse, that we commit to this holy listening and honest, respectful speech with openness and prayerful thanksgiving for the gift that is the other. This is the gift of communion we share in Christ: that we are one, in his body. We are empowered by our mutual listening and learning to carry on, to deepen our existing bonds of affection, and to serve God's mission with renewed hope.

This "dialogue" on matters of sexuality, between the liberals of the west and the orthodox majority in the rest of the world, reminds me for all the world of a fisherman who has hooked a fish and is just playing with it. He's just trying to keep it on the line until it wears out and gives up.

Take Care

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The New White Man's Burden - There is None So Blind...

... And there is nothing new.

What is the white man's burden? Here are a couple of definitions from Answers.com
1) The supposed or presumed responsibility of white people to govern and impart their culture to nonwhite people, often advanced as a justification for European colonialism.
2) A phrase used to justify European imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; it is the title of a poem by Rudyard Kipling. The phrase implies that imperialism was motivated by a high-minded desire of whites to uplift people of color

And as much as they would decry the colonialism of the past, the liberals among us, both political and religious, are at it again. Liberal Western churches are revealing their true paternalistic and racist attitudes by ignoring third world Christians (who outnumber them by far) and pushing ahead with the acceptance and the blessing of same-sex sexual activity.

Now Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party, is pushing his own agenda, insisting that we promote abortion in the third world. He does this in the name of maternal health, but it seems the evidence is all against him.

Two federal MP's have composed a letter to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix...
...Poland virtually prohibited abortion 20 years ago. Since then, maternal mortality has decreased by 75 per cent, infant mortality by almost 66 per cent, and the rate of premature births by more than 50 per cent.

According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2009, Ireland, the only other European country where abortion is illegal, has the lowest maternal mortality ratio of any country, with one death per 100,000 live births.

In a letter in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2009, Dr. Rene Leiva cites a 2006 Salvadorian Ministry of Health study. Until 1998, abortion was legal in El Salvador and the maternal mortality ratio was calculated to be 150 per 100,000 births. Abortions were no longer legally permitted after 1998, and by 2006 the maternal mortality ratio had dropped to 71.2, or by more than 50 per cent.

Guyana, with virtually no restrictions on abortions, has the highest maternal mortality ratio in South America. According to the World Economic Forum report, its maternal mortality rate is 30 times higher than in Chile, where abortion is illegal.

Read it all here...

This is nothing but old-fashioned racism, paternalism, arrogance... call it what you will. But will those who champion it realize it? No. They are just too blind to recognize in themselves. It's a clear example of the log in their own eye.

Take Care

Thanks to the ANiC newsletter