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What I Read Online – 03/15/2013 (a.m.)

15 Mar
    • The first thing is that I don’t think we should declare apocalyptic woe on NZ as if God will now punish us. If we do this, we will interpret any negative event in the next year or so as God pouring out his wrath on NZ. That would be dumb!
    • And indeed, many people who claim the name of Christ are doing these things as we speak! If God was going to pour his wrath on us for sexual immorality, he has plenty of reason whether the marriage bill had passed or not.

       

    • We “lost.” That is democracy.
    • Certainly, I find it deeply saddening that NZ is progressively abandoning a Christian morality. We have seen this in a number of recent social changes, e.g. abortion. Euthanasia I am sure is next, and ultimately it will be legalised.
    • I am certainly convinced the best way to raise children is in a healthy home, with a mum and dad in a loving faithful relationship, who bring their kids up with good discipline, gentleness, love and education.  I believe that is God’s ideal. However, NZ has chosen this path, and we are now on it.
    • Personally, I believe we keep declaring the gospel of salvation in Christ rather than moralism.
    • So what is the best option? In my view, we should encourage each other as the people of God continue to live the gospel full on 24/7. We reaffirm our commitment to the patterns of human life God has laid down for us, and we live them. Among our churches, we continue to live out the creation mandate for men and women to marry, and raise strong families. We continue to be committed to celibate singleness, or faithful marriage as God intended.
    • At a denominational level, we uphold the Christian ethic and not this progressive ethic the nation has opted for. We affirm that marriage is for men and women. We do not compromise and begin conducting marriages and civil unions in the name of our churches. We continue to proclaim Christ, but with a positive message of a God who loves us, yearns for relationship with us, has a vision for this world that is compelling and exciting, and who wants to spend forever with us. This positive message is the one that will change NZ, not moralising on after battles are lost.
    • One positive from this is that the differences between the Christian ways of life and those of our culture are continuing to grow. If Christians do not now compromise and sell out to this “progressive” ethic, whatever the cost in so-doing, their “light” and “saltiness” will begin to become progressively more apparent. This may lead to persecution in some cases as we are labelled homophobes and bigots. It may lead to marginalisation and ridicule. However, it will also enable people to see over time whether God’s way is the best way for humanity. You see, time will tell whether this is a good decision
    • We need to remember that the Christian movement in the Roman Empire outside of Israel grew up in a sexually licentious world. They advocated sexual purity and did not compromise on this, and neither should we
      • Have I prayed?
      • What is my motive?
      • Am I striving to edify others?
      • Have I sought counsel?
      • Would I not rather be wronged?
      • How will I treat the person with whom I disagree?
      • Am I involving a bigger audience than necessary?
      • Am I the right person to engage?
      • What is my ultimate goal?
      • Am I focused on God’s glory?
    • For at least these two reasons I think the inner logic driving Black and Tan does not work.
    • Born Gaius Octavius, Augustus was the great-nephew and eventual heir of Julius Caesar
    • Augustus died when Jesus was still a boy, perhaps around the time Jesus visited the temple and chose to remain behind without his parents (see Luke 2:41ff). Augustus of Prima Porta was carved after Augustus’ death but was meant to reaffirm all his claims to divinity and, by extension, the claims of the emperors that would follow him. As Christians took advantage of the Pax Romana to spread their gospel message, a message that declared there was but one God and one way to God, they would eventually and inevitably come into conflict with these divine Emperors. There could be only one Son of God, there could be no room for another Savior when the Emperor himself was savior. 
    • (2) This recommendation only protects ministers (or celebrants) belonging to such an organisation but not ministers or celebrants who do not belong to such an organisation, no matter what their beliefs. This is well addressed on M and M. A lay Catholic celebrant may believe the same things about gay marriage as a Catholic priest but only the latter is protected by the legislation as the former would be operating as an individual celebrant not as a celebrant belonging to an organisation.
    • (3) Consequently, once the legislation has completed all its legislative stages, it will mean that any church which changes its beliefs on marriage to include acceptance of gay marriage, will expose its ministers who disagree to the possibility of being taken to court.
    • I am thankful that God is willing to save us even when our grasp of the gospel may be partial or defective. None of us has a comprehensive or perfect grasp of it.

        

      Nevertheless, God’s mercy is not a warrant to neglect or deny precious truths, especially those that are at the heart of how we get right with God. And the teachers of the church (notably the Pope) will be held more responsible than others for teaching what is fully biblical.

        

      Thus, any church whose teaching rejects the imputation of the righteousness of Christ as an essential ground for our justification would be a church whose error is so close to the heart of the gospel as to be involved in undermining the faith of its members.

    • Pastor, you are a counselor.
    • “I am a doctor. I have been where you are. You have time for what you want to do.” After a long pause he said, “I make only one exception: the mother of preschool-aged children does not have time and emotional resources.
    • It is important to recognize, too, that there are stages of life where you really don’t have time to do much, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Children will sap you. If you have three children under the age of six, forget serious reading unless you have the money for a nanny. When our youngest finally went off to kindergarten, we celebrated that day—I took my wife out for lunch. Only then could she get back into reading again. It’s the way life is. You have to be realistic.
    • 4. Consider your testimony and character (digital footprint).
    • A ‘digital footprint’ is the mark you leave behind as you make your way through the online world: it is the electronic shape of who you are and what impact you are having. I say unequivocally that a man or woman’s involvement in social media, as to its matter and manner, should change decisively at conversion. Salvation should alter your footprint as much in the online realm as in the real world
    • 5. Assess the nature and influence of the company you keep.
    • 6. Involve wise counsellors, especially parents when you are younger.
    • I choose this analogy, because in our Reformed Baptist churches, the 1689 Confession holds a position similar to our United States Constitution.  It stands as a solid rock of doctrinal unity and stability.  While many churches claim to be Bible-believing, a congregation that sincerely holds this confession possesses a safe, well-defined, and time-tested guard against heresy.
    • First, Protestants benefit from a conservative papacy: on public square issues such as abortion, marriage and religious freedom, the RCC has a higher profile and more power – financial, legal, institutional – than any Protestant group.  We all benefit from the cultural and legal power of the RCC in these areas.  Second, your neighbours probably do not distinguish between Christian groups.  A sleazy, morally corrupt RCC is like a sleazy, morally corrupt televangelist ministry: we are all marked with the same brush in the public eye and our task of evangelism becomes that much harder.  Third, RC authors often offer more penetrating insights into secular culture than their evangelical equivalents.  Comparing George Weigel to Rob Bell in such circumstances is akin to comparing Michelangelo to Thomas Kinkade.   

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 15/03/2013 in Current Issues

 

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