Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
Being a Christian I’ve always been a Creationist in a general sense. Without very robust discipleship when I was young I was exposed to everything from Young Earth Creationism to forms of Old Earth Creationism and everything that exists in between within contemporary Christian culture. I grew up in an age where evolution was mildly present in the education system and so felt a tension between the Bible and prevailing beliefs. By default I affirmed some basics of Creation but also was willing to settle upon aspects of an older earth viewpoint. However, I had other more pressing questions in my discipleship and so this question was left for another day.
Fast forward to 2017–2018 and this still described my position, though I was continually bumping up against the subject and knew—not in any way avoiding it—that it was a subject I really needed to get a more decided view of. Then I became what I like to call a Classic, or Younger Earth, Creationist (Classic because some forms of Young Earth Creationism can still bear some peculiarities). As I’m not a scientist, though certainly scientific, most of the arguments that unhinged my view were biblical-philosophical, etc, rather than science based.
Here are the key points that led to me becoming a Creationist:
*Since then other blocks have been laid that have reinforced my view (such as the distinction between observational science and speculative science- science is not history or religion, there are questions it cannot answer).
As we see the negative fallout of evolutionary thought in our world (e.g. hopelessness and immorality) I hope many Christians who aren’t Creationists in the strict sense will see the value of reconsidering these matters and that this testimony has given you cause for consideration (or encouragement if I’ve been preaching to the choir).
On a recent visit of our area nursing home a thoughtful resident said to me after the chapel service, “I can tell that your church isn’t a slack church. There are too many slack churches these days!” I perceived this lady had attended a mainline church in her day and witnessed it, and others like it, steadily decline due to slackness. (The tragedy is they had not always been slack). By slackness she meant faithful, true, devoted, committed to the Faith.
Many dying (and dead) churches are:
Healthy churches are:
A devotional on Ps 23:5-6.
Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations...
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We can over and under shoot in sports, hunting and when driving. All of these can be detrimental. What is more detrimental is when we over or undershoot in the presentation of the Gospel. What I mean is when we diminish the Gospel by limiting it or when we embellish it and so enlarge it; when we bring the question of the extent of the atonement into its proclamation. The Gospel is neither "Christ died for you," nor "Christ may have died for you." The Gospel is the Gospel, it does not depend upon the extent of the atonement.
When this over/under happens, I confess, my neck twitches because of the biblical and theological imprecision involved, not to mention the unnecessary insensitivity it shows to Christians of differing beliefs (General and Particular)- can't we simply agree in the Gospel?
Before we get the Gospel out, we must first get it right. Gospel agreement is foundational to salvation and Christian fellowship.
I have met and heard (both historically and present day) of those who only preach the Gospel to God’s elect, or refrain from offering the Gospel or calling sinner’s to repent for fear of preaching to the unelect. (Yet we show we are among the elect by believing the Gospel!).
This paralyzes hearers from believing the Gospel because they are left wondering… It also reduces faith to a mere passive acceptance or realization that you are among the elect.
Though the Bible speaks about election, NO WHERE does it tie it to the Gospel's proclamation.
I have met and heard (both historically and present day) of those who preach the Gospel and insist, even base it solely or rest it heavily upon, the claim that Christ died for everyone (in a specific sense) or that Christ died for you (in a specific sense), and that all you need to do to be saved is to realize this. (Certainly there is universal value in Christ’s death and the Gospel is to be published to everyone).
This often immunizes hearers from truly believing the Gospel because they think they’re ok because of Christ’s death or have an interest in Christ or passively "accept" Him vs actively trusting in the Gospel or think that belief is the same as mental assent (e.g. if you believe Christ died for you, you will be saved).
Though the Bible speaks about the extent of the atonement, NO WHERE does it specifically tie it to the Gospel's proclamation.
What then is the Gospel?
Gospel (original god spell, or good news in old English) comes from the Greek word euaggelion. In the ancient world this was the announcement of a king’s victory. It was good news! Jesus is that King who through his life, death and resurrection won a spiritual victory over sin and death and hell. Trusting in His Gospel brings to the believer all of the benefits the King won.
Its proclamation doesn't depend on the extent of the atonement and may be described as:
What is the difference between these two sins?
A variety of Greek words are rendered in English translations as gossip or slander. Two examples can both be conveniently found in one location: 2 Cor 12:20:
“For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarrelling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.”
Slander: to speak down to in a hostile way, to speak evil, defaming talk (here); or abusive language, slow in calling good good, litt. blasphemy (here). To make a false or damaging statement about someone. If from the pulpit I spoke militantly and poorly of someone then that is slander.
Gossip: secret whisperings (like a snake charmer) (here); or sometimes foolish talk (literally bubbling talk (here). Sharing casual or unconstrained reports about someone, without their consent, which may or may not be confirmed as true. If in my visitation I shared titbits about someone that was private knowledge that would be gossip.
Both may be true or false, however, slander tends to be more open/public whereas gossip tends to be private/covert. Hence why they are easily confused.
Each sin flows from our heart, or our nature (Mt 15:19); and speech sin is no small matter for through it our world is set ablaze (Ja 3:6).
If we persist in our sinfulness then speech sin is included in the list of sins that will prevent us from entering heaven (1 Cor 6:10, revilers, litt. verbal abusers). This is not because of the sin itself but because persistent sin shows that the Holy Spirit does not indwell us and that means we’ve never repented of our sin and received forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
Oh may we repent of slander and gossip and so receive forgiveness to walk in freedom and the Spirit to help us to do so.
A sermon from a recent pulpit swap with Strathaven Baptist Church. Eccl 3:11b
Woke means ‘awake.’ It is taken from the Civil Rights Movement where is spoke of being awake to racial injustices.
What should we be awake to: perceived injustices, the oppressed and the oppressor(s).
Traditionally this language was used by Marx in Communism to speak of class. With its epic failure in the 20th C, where did all of those Western communists go? They rebranded and found refuge in the humanities departments of our universities. As they reflected upon their loss they had to rebrand communism to make it more palatable. As such they expanded the list of oppression from class to a whole host of perceived social injustices. Hence they are known as Social Marxists.
Central to their belief is that all people operate on the basis of power. We all are trying to oppress each other. As such we must liberate people from the oppressors. When this has been accomplished there will be utopia. Their idea of oppression is called intersectionality (think intersection). The more roads of oppression are at your intersection the more power/privilege you have in society as the victim to rise up and liberate yourself/group (like the voice of the worker in communism). For example, if you are a woman you are obviously oppressed. But if you are a woman of an ethnic minority, who is poor, who is disabled, who is lesbian, etc, then your intersectionality has grown exponentially and you have power as the victim to speak against oppression. You have the right to be liberated and live in accordance with your identity.
If you remember or have studied the ills of communism the parallels are eerily uncanny:
Ironically in both instances the oppressed end up becoming the oppressors.
Lies and control really do place Wokeism in the category of the Satanic; who is the father of lies and oppressor of the world.
This spiritual battle is also why Marxism is hostile to religion generally and Christianity specifically. Christianity stands for truth and freedom, humility vs. pride, for the individual and responsibility, for accountability to a higher power, Jesus Christ. All of this stands against the ethos of Marxism. There is a reason communism failed in the West, Christianity. There is a reason the Woke have targets Christianity and Christian morals through the decades, it is the obstacle to securing power.
What does Wokeism produce?
Wokeism produces people who are angry (because they are taught they are the victim; people who are irresponsible/entitled (because their situation is someone else’s fault); and people who are anxious and depressed (because in a world of power no one can be trusted). This sounds just like our culture.
Little Common ground between Christianity and Wokeism
While Christianity has and does stand against real injustices there is much that separates it from the Woke. Specifically a different view on human nature (good/bad) and liberation (from perceived oppression or from sin). Really the difference comes down to pride and humility.
A Christian Response
It is easy to use descend to Woke tactics, but we must resist. Jesus teaches us a better way. We must courageously stand for truth in grace. We must have compassion upon the lost and focus on love, joy and hope.
The Woke and the Gospel
The truth is, like Communists, the Woke need Jesus. They need the Gospel.
Jesus enabled our liberation from the power of sin, by becoming a real victim. Through His death and Resurrection the victim became the victor for all who believe.
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