What I Read Online – 05/15/2013 (a.m.)

15 May
    • He is not the only one with blood on his hands.
    • The arrest of Dr. Gosnell in 2011 brought a wave of news coverage. That was not the case with his trial — at least not until public outrage demanded that the press pay more attention. The mainstream media largely ignored the trial, and national attention came only after a concerted effort in social media and on the Internet made inattention to the story nearly impossible.
    • Later, while arguing that one reason for minimal news coverage of the trial was “the extremely disturbing nature of the crime,” they also acknowledged that “it’s no secret that most journalists are socially liberal.”
    • Here is a clue: When you have to argue at every turn that the issue is not abortion, the issue is abortion.
    • It means that Dr. Gosnell would not be on trial for murder if he had killed those three babies while inside their mother’s body. His murder convictions have everything to do with the fact that the abortions were “botched” and the baies were accidentally born alive. Had the abortions been “successful” — even up to the last hours of pregnancy — Dr. Gosnell might have been charged with performing a late-term abortion, but not of murder.
    • Even more chillingly, a Planned Parenthood representative recently told a committee of the Florida legislature that even a baby born alive after a failed abortion should have its life or death decided only by its mother and her doctor.
    • What the Gosnell trial revealed is not the exceptional gruesomeness of a single clinic in Philadelphia. It reveals the truth that all Americans are, by our laws, complicit in Dr. Gosnell’s evil. The real scandal is not just the babies murdered outside the womb, but the millions aborted legally — torn apart by blades, suctioned out as waste, poisoned unto death by drugs.
    • 1)  A growing affection and need for Jesus and the gospel.


      2)  A heightened understanding of the truths of Scripture.


      3)  An increased kindness and selflessness towards siblings.


      4)  A greater awareness and distaste for sin.


      5)  A noticeable desire to obey parents.


    • In my experience as both a parent and a pastor, I have found that age is not the most important gauge to determine true conversion, but to genuinely look for these evidences in an age appropriate manner.
    • Nevertheless, they must be present in some way and I would strongly discourage any pastor or parent to affirm a child’s conversion without some kind of tangible evidence apart from their verbal profession.  On the flip side, I would also caution you from falling into the trap I have in the past in regard to demanding more from a child than can be observed.
    • Bryant, who was watching on an infrared camera, says he watched the man’s blood rapidly cool to become the same color as the ground. Then, he watched the man he just fired a missile at become the color as the ground he died on.

      Though the men he fired on were armed, they weren’t using their weapons at the time, Bryant says.

      “These guys had no hostile intent,” he says. “In Montana, everyone has a gun. These guys could have been local people that had to protect themselves. I think we jumped the gun.”

    • “I stopped myself, and I said that’s not me,” he says. “I was taught to respect life, even if in the realities of war we have to take it, it should be done with respect. And I wanted this guy to die.”

      Bryant says he tried to talk to a couple of people about it, but people in the drone community don’t talk about the things they’ve done. So, he remained silent, and then he quit.

    • In short, basing your impression of me on my social media profile would result in an embarrassingly inaccurate rendering of reality.


    • If Real Me is radically different than Online Me, which me is real, and which is the impostor? If I’m failing to demonstrate the same fruit of the Spirit in “real life” as I do online, it’s probably plastic fruit—and I need to be aware of the discrepancy.


    • But brothers and sisters, we must recognize this self-obsession and pride for what it is.


    • I need friends who will get in my grill, iron sharpening iron, and help me to conquer sin head-on. I may turn a blind eye to my own social media slickness, but true friends won’t. I need to be confronted by my sinfulness in real life, where there’s no filter and no delete button
    • Don’t settle for keeping your life primarily or exclusively online. Social media is a poor substitute for physical presence
    • First, I wish someone had explained that my time would be a season of preparation in the fullest sense
    • I’m just making an observation. Much like other fields of training, in ministry it’s wise to build a solid foundation of learning before undertaking your first “real world” assignment
    • I also wish I’d understood before seminary that it’s an investment in my future
    • I believe seminary should be difficult. Most worthwhile pursuits are. Those in seminary are challenged with the prospect of ministering to others who, like themselves, are broken and need help. Rigorous training, therefore, is necessary
    • 1. It does not consistently present God as great and good.


    • It gratuitously displays graphic violence
    • It repeatedly changes important details
    • Many of us are less busy than we think, but life feels con­stantly overwhelming because our days and weeks and years have no rhythm
    • Which is why it’s so concerning that our lives are getting more and more rhythm-less. We don’t have healthy routines. We can’t keep our feasting and fasting apart. Evening and morning have lost their feel. Everything is blurred together. The faucet is a constant drip. Life becomes a malaise, until we can’t take any more and spiral into illness, burnout, or depres­sion. We can’t run incessantly and expect to run very well.
    • The week-to-week carrying out of the preaching ministry is the responsibility of the pastor. He is the one who must dedicate himself to studying and understanding and explaining the Word of God. Lawson is right that “as the pulpit goes, so goes the church.” A pastor must understand what preaching is and why it matters and how to do it to the best of his ability. Lawson has penned a book that will challenge the pastor anew to dedicate himself to this most urgent of callings.
    • Yet the pastor is not the only person in a church who should understand the importance of preaching God’s Word. Every Christian bears the responsibility to place himself in a church where God’s Word is preached faithfully, for where the pulpit goes, so goes the Christian.
    • We would like to offer one complementary though important caveat. Mr. Ortlund’s post is titled, “Searching for Gospel-Centered Theology Before the Reformation.” It would be more helpful to become familiar, not with a theology, but with key people, including their own biographies and significant encounters. In other words, we shouldn’t read history only looking for ideas but rather as the true unfolding of who we are and how we got here
    • Secondly, if you read history looking merely for ideas, then you will also miss the way in which history should shape us today
    • The problem with much Christian worship in the contemporary world, Catholic and Protestant alike, is not that it is too entertaining but that it is not entertaining enough. Worship characterized by upbeat rock music, stand-up comedy, beautiful people taking center stage, and a certain amount of Hallmark Channel sentimentality neglects one classic form of entertainment, the one that tells us, to quote the Book of Common Prayer, that “in the midst of life we are in death.”
    • It neglects tragedy
    • Christian worship should immerse people in the reality of the tragedy of the human fall and of all subsequent human life. It should provide us with a language that allows us to praise the God of resurrection while lamenting the suffering and agony that is our lot in a world alienated from its creator, and it should thereby sharpen our longing for the only answer to the one great challenge we must all face sooner or later. Only those who accept that they are going to die can begin to look with any hope to the resurrection.
    • Of all places, the Church should surely be the most realistic. The Church knows how far humanity has fallen, understands the cost of that fall in both the incarnate death of Christ and the inevitable death of every single believer. In the psalms of lament, the Church has a poetic language for giving expression to the deepest longings of a humanity looking to find rest not in this world but the next. In the great liturgies of the Church, death casts a long, creative, cathartic shadow. Our worship should reflect the realities of a life that must face death before experiencing resurrection
    • It is therefore an irony of the most perverse kind that churches have become places where Pascalian distraction and a notion of entertainment that eschews the tragic seem to dominate just as comprehensively as they do in the wider world
    • Thus, when Christians have the courage to confront a sin like homosexuality in our culture (and yes, it does take courage), I am not sure the main focus needs to be on how poorly they confront other sins
    • These sorts of things are missed because they are not as public.  The reason that Christians are speaking out against homosexuality publicly is because they are being forced to do so by the aggressive homosexual agenda in this country.  Christians are simply responding to the issue incessantly raised by the media and by popular culture. If the media kept pounding away on the issue of adultery, I am confident Christians would respond to that issue as well.
    • Yes, every sin is a mark of the fall.  And any sin is worthy of God’s eternal condemnation.  But, and this is key, that does not mean every sin is equally heinous
    • Some sins, by virtue of being more foundational violations of God’s ethical standards, are more severe than others. Saying this does not excuse any sin nor justify hateful reactions to those who commit greater sins. It simply underscores the absurdity of claiming that all sin is equal in all respects before God. Cutting in line is not the moral equivalent of Hitler’s killing of 6 million Jews, and anyone who argues that it is has lost his or her moral compass. Having sex with one’s mother is worse than gluttony or slight gossip. Is this not obvious?


      Homosexual practice is a direct violation of what Jesus understood to be the foundation for all intra-human sexual ethics—“male and female he [God] created them” (Genesis 1:27).

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

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Posted by on 15/05/2013 in Current Issues


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