Welcome to the CCLXV edition of the Christian Carnival, this week’s collection of the best Christian writing on the planet. Prolific writing this week, too! There are a huuuge number of submissions. Grab a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy.
Frank McEleny presents What fire, has the younger generation acquired? « Scottish Warriors For Christ posted at Scottish Warriors For Christ, saying, “Is there a whole generation, or generations, that know nothing of the genunine “presence of God?”"
Bible SEO presents The Seven Conditions of Christian Discipleship posted at Bible Study Exposition Online, saying, “Bible Study on the Seven conditions of true Christian Discipleship: – What does it mean to be a Disciple? How can one become disciple of Jesus Christ? What is the discipleship NOT? This bible study presents the seven conditions of true Christian discipleship demonstrated by Jesus Christ himself.”
FMF presents Free Money Finance: Should Christians Have Life Insurance? posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “A controversial topic for Christians. I like this article best, if for no other reason he liked the name “Chasing the Wind.” – Michael
Eric Canaday presents The Truth About Tithing – Christianity Unplugged posted at Eric Canaday’s Posts – Christianity Unplugged, saying, “There is a lot of fear and condemnation in Christian circles around the subject of tithing. This post was written to unveil the biblical truth about tithing.”
ChristianPF presents The top 20 Christian Financial websites posted at Money in the Bible | Christian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “These are 20 of my favorite financial resources for Christians on the web.”
JLS presents The Devil Is In Everything? posted at Pastoral Musings, saying, “Is the devil truly in everything? Discernment ministries have a place, but there is a need for balance. Many seem to have gone over board and see the devil in almost everything.”
Diane R presents Synthesis and More Synthesis posted at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet, saying, “Synthesis is the big postmodern philosophical thing to do today. But what is it doing to Christianity?”
James John Hollandsworth, M.D. presents How Is Your Faith Tested? posted at Light Along the Journey, saying, “Do you think of “the testing of your faith” as a monumentous event, or as a daily choice?”
Ken Brown presents Replacement Theology and the Return of the King posted at C. Orthodoxy, saying, “Tolkien’s epic provides a brilliant analogy for the relationship between Jesus and his Jewish forebears.”
Wickle presents I love my wife « A True Believer’s Blog posted at A True Believer’s Weblog, saying, “Wickle has heard some comments lately about marriage and wives, and decided to spell out his feelings about his wife.”
Weekend Fisher presents The practical realities of love posted at Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength, saying, “Weekend Fisher picks up the conversation from C.S. Lewis’ comments The Four Loves and looks for how God’s love reflects itself in the different kinds of human relationships. Each ‘practical reality’ of love is based on the love of God for us. ”
michelle presents Matthew 5:4 posted at Thoughts and Confessions of a Girl Who Loves Jesus….
Jeremy presents http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2009/02/psalm-headings.html posted at http://parablemania.ektopos.com, saying, “It’s a look at a popular view among scholars about the order in which psalm headings came to be added to psalms that seems at odds with a common view about the textual composition of I Samuel.”
That concludes this edition of the Christian Carnival. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Christian Carnival II using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
When I was a child, I celebrated Halloween. I didn’t care for the gory and gruesome stuff. I didn’t even care for the scary stuff. I thought the costumes were fun, and I loved the candy.
As an adult, I see more evil in the world thatn I’d like to admit. Today in the news, a woman beats her own 4 year old daughter, calls her a slut, and throws her into traffic. I’m horrified, daily.
Way too many movies glorifying death, destruction, dismembered limbs for my taste. Saw V? Eeps, the poster enough gives me the heebie-jeebies. Scary is good – I liked the old Hitchcock movies, and M. Night Shyamalan‘s movies have great apprehension in them without the gore and killings. And I like movies where things explode as much as the next guy.
But I’ve had enough of the dismembered bodies, the celebration of evil over good. And the last several years, I’ve seen Halloween become such a celebration. I’m not going to participate anymore.
So the lights at my home will be off tonight. Come back at Christmas when we can share joy and love instead.
Have a *happy* Halloween for a change.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Weâ€™re going return to the New Testament for the next 3 months and work through 1st and 2nd Peter, written by the apostle Peter approximately 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. In the 30 years since Peter denied Jesus three times, Peter has grown a lot. Within two years of writing 1st and 2nd Peter, Peter was martyred, proclaiming the glory of Christ till the very end.
Iâ€™d love to spend a lot more time discussing who Peter was, how he grew from a fisherman, and in Acts he was described as â€œunlearned and ignorant,â€ to the man who wrote these letters. Peter is a perfect illustration of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised thingsâ€”and the things that are notâ€”to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from Godâ€”that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Peter was in Rome when Rome burned; Nero, who â€œfiddled while Rome burned,â€ blamed the fire on Christians and martyred both Peter and Paul during this time. So you can see how much history is wrapped up in Peterâ€™s life, but we need to delve right into 1 Peter and see what this apostle has to say to us. So letâ€™s get started and see what the Holy Spirit has to say through this man of Christ and perhaps have hope that we, too, may become this unlearned and ignorant. So take out your bibles and turn to 1st Peter and letâ€™s dig in. 1 Peter 1:1-2 :
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
â€œStrangers in the worldâ€ is also sometimes translated as â€œtemporary residentsâ€ or â€œaliens residing in a foreign land.â€ Believers in Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit inside, soon find that their moral values are different from the world. We become new creations that donâ€™t seem to fit with the old world anymore. We turn from partying to service, we turn from selfish behavior to loving our neighbor. We become strangers in the world. Peter defines a whole bunch of characteristics of Christians in a single sentence â€“
- Godâ€™s elect, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God. God knows all, including knowing who will choose Him. It doesnâ€™t say God makes us choose Him, we have the gift of free will He gave us. But God knows all.
- Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. When we accept Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who turbocharges our conscience and begins the lifelong process of sanctification.
- Obedience to Jesus Christ. To love our Lord, we seek to find His will in our lives.
- Sprinkling of His blood. This is a also a gift given to us, and nothing we did to earn it. Christ died for us.
- Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Two more gifts given to Christians; as we allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, Godâ€™s grace and the peace from Christ lives in us. In abundance, too.
Wow. No wonder weâ€™re going to go through the books of Peter slowly. Thatâ€™s five descriptions of Christians and weâ€™re not out of the first paragraph yet, and each description we could devote a complete study. Not today, though, weâ€™re going to study 1 Peter 1:3-9 instead. Iâ€™d like to read this together as a class, and to make sure weâ€™re all reading the same version, Iâ€™ve provided a handout with these verses:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade â€” kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith â€” of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire â€” may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Peter tells us so much here, about how to have inexpressible and glorious joy, how our faith is protected by Godâ€™s power, how we suffer so that our faith may be proved genuine. Have you ever heard the phrase, â€œOnce saved, always saved?â€ I confess that before I started studying this week, I had some doubts about that. No more, no more doubts. And absolutely knowing that thereâ€™s not a thing I can do to mess that up brings me this peace and inexpressible and glorious joy. The salvation of my soul is secure, kept in heaven for me and shielded by Godâ€™s power. Thereâ€™s a lot of comfort in that. Peter tells us that through Jesus we have come into an inheritance that can never, spoil or fade, that this inheritance is kept in heaven and protected by the all powerful God.
Are you pretty sure youâ€™re going to heaven? Unless something goes horribly wrong, thereâ€™s a good chance youâ€™re going to heaven? Or do you absolutely know, without a doubt, 100% guarantee, that youâ€™re going to heaven? God wants you to know and be absolutely confident, because there is joy and peace in this knowledge. Letâ€™s see if thereâ€™s any other scripture that talks about this confidence.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may *know* that you have eternal life.
It doesnâ€™t say â€œthinkâ€ we have eternal life. So that we may *know* we have eternal life. Itâ€™s not arrogance to say that I know I will go to heaven. Itâ€™s confidence, not in my ability, but in Christâ€™s sacrifice. Once a person places their trust in Jesus, God immediately and irrevocably grants that person eternal life and salvation and a guaranteed place in Heaven that can never be lost, regardless of what they do or what they donâ€™t do. Itâ€™s not based on you, never was. Itâ€™s entirely based on what Jesus did.
John 5:24, Jesus says,
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
Jesus uses certain Greek tenses of verbs here to make His point. When He says, â€œhasâ€ eternal life, Jesus uses the present tense. Then He switches to future tense, â€œwill not be condemnedâ€. Jesus says believers have it! And if that wasnâ€™t clear enough, Jesus says the believer â€œhas crossed over from death to life.â€ Jesus switches present tense to perfect tense, and is saying that the believer has already crossed, always will be crossed over from death to life. We are new creations already, we donâ€™t become new creations after we die. We *have already* crossed over, we *have* eternal life, and *will not be* condemned. Past, present and future.
John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son *has* eternal life.” John 6:47, â€œI tell you the truth, he who believes *has* everlasting life.â€ Itâ€™s an irrevocable contract Jesus makes with us when we confess Him as our Lord, written here in the Good Book for us to read the fine print anytime we wish. What does Jesus promise to do for us as our Lord? Well, hereâ€™s the fine print of the contract.
- Hebrews 10:17, God says, â€œTheir sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.â€ You and I canâ€™t forget, as hard as we try, but God will remember no more. Poof, itâ€™s as if they never happened. With the blood covering from Jesus, we become pure in Godâ€™s sight.
- Philippians 4, our names are inscribed in the Book of Life. Again, not *will be* inscribed. They *are* inscribed.
- Romans 8:1, â€œTherefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.â€ Now. No condemnation. Freedom.
- Micah 7:19, â€œYou will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.â€ Deeper than the Titanic, our sins are buried in the sea.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19, â€œDo you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?â€ The Holy Spirit lives in us, takes up residence, and gives our conscience a kick-start.
- Galatians 4:6, â€œSo you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.â€ We become adopted by God, we are His children, His heirs. We are no longer slave to sin and the death that comes with it.
- Romans 8:31-33, God has chosen us, we are Godâ€™s elect, and if God is for us, who can be against us?
- Ephesians 1:13-14, â€œHaving believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.â€ Marked, sealed, identified, stamped. Seems like every translation I read used a different word here. Signed, sealed, delivered, Iâ€™m yours. We are indelibly branded, permanently stamped, and guaranteed our inheritance.
- John 10:27-28, Jesus says, â€œMy sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.â€ Jesus becomes our shepherd, we becomes His sheep, He gives us eternal life, we will never perish, and no one can change that.
- Any loopholes left in this contract? Romans 8:38, â€œFor I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.â€ Looks like an absolutely iron clad contract to me, how about you?
This salvation we already have. This eternal life we already have. Heaven is a destination where we go when our mortal chores are through, but our place there is already guaranteed. Peter says praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that our inheritance awaits us and to rejoice. Rejoice! Again I say, rejoice! I rejoice because I know if I could do something to lose my salvation, Iâ€™d have done it already. Iâ€™ve messed up so many times and if I was given a second chance, Iâ€™d just lose it again. Sometimes I can go for 6 or 8 hours in a row without sinning, but then I wake up and have to get out of bed. This is great news, knowing weâ€™re eternally saved. In order for us to lose our salvation,
- somebody would have to find some sort of loophole in the contract that isn’t up or down, present or future, angel or demon, and convince Christ not to love us anymore,
- change us from Christ’s sheep into a toad,
- remove the brand He sealed onto us,
- snatch us right out of the hand of Jesus even though He chose us,
- cancel God’s adoption papers and write us out of the will,
- evict the Holy Spirit out of His home in our heart and tell him to find someplace else to live,
- dive to the very bottom of the ocean and dredge our sins back up,
- remind God of all the things He’s promised to remember no more,
- and make God into a liar for putting all these promises down in writing.
Ya know, I just donâ€™t see any of that happening.
So what about all those difficult questions about â€œOnce saved, always saved?â€ What if I claim to be a Christian, but donâ€™t seem to be living a Christian lifestyle? I party and drink and do drugs and sleep around and so forth â€“ Am I still going to heaven? And what if I say Iâ€™m a Christian and I know Iâ€™m going to heaven, does that mean I can do anything I want? Lie cheat and steal, take candy from babies or be a serial killer? Am I still going to heaven? How about if I say Iâ€™m Christian, but then I curse God to His face, turn my back on Jesus and says I want nothing do with those uptight religious freaks anymore? Am I still going to heaven? And what about when I hurt or when Iâ€™m depressed and I just donâ€™t feel like getting up and going to church anymore? Am I still going to heaven?
Great questions. I hope somebody here can answer them, I ran out of time studying.
No seriously, they are great questions, and the answers are in this same Good Book.
Number 1. What if somebody claims to be a Christian, but doesnâ€™t seem to be living a Christian lifestyle? Partying and drinking and so forth? I think itâ€™s important to remember that eternal salvation is granted when you confess with all your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. God does the rest. If we think our actions before God are better than somebody elseâ€™s actions, we have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Jesus did for us. Romans 3:20 says, â€œTherefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law.â€ No one, no matter how good we try to be, is good enough for God. Any righteousness we have comes not from ourselves but from accepting the blood covering of Jesusâ€™ sacrifice for our sins. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith â€” and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God â€” not by works, so that no one can boast.” It has nothing to do with what we do. We donâ€™t gain eternal life because of our good performance, and we donâ€™t lose eternal life because of our bad performance. Itâ€™s Jesus plus nothing; itâ€™s a gift. The church of Galatia thought the same thing, and Paul gave them a dressing down. In Galatians 3 Paul writes, â€œYou foolish Galatians! [...] After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?â€ 2 Timothy 2:13 Paul says, â€œif we are faithless, He will remain faithful.â€ Getting into heaven has nothing to do with our human performance and everything to do with Godâ€™s grace. We donâ€™t sing Amazing Human Performance in worship for a reason, we sing Amazing Grace. So if somebody has truly accepted Jesus Christ but doesnâ€™t seem to be living a Christian life, they still have an invitation to Godâ€™s Grand Afterlife Party.
Number 2. If our salvation is secure, does that mean we can do whatever we want? If Iâ€™m going to heaven no matter what I do, why does it matter what I do? Why not lie, cheat and steal? Why not cheat on my spouse? Why not party like itâ€™s 1999? Iâ€™m going to heaven! Well, thereâ€™s a serious problem with this. You may have that invitation to Godâ€™s Grand Afterlife Party and you are guaranteed entry, but what you do in this life has everything to do with what kind of reception youâ€™ll get when you get there. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames
The foundation is Christ, and with our mortal lives we build on that foundation. We can build on it with long lasting stuff â€“ obedience, servant hood, prayer, humility, or we ca build on it with disobedience, arrogance, and selfishness. The choice is up to us. But there will come a day of Judgement where we stand before Christ, and all our earthly deeds will be exposed for what they are. Everything bad or worthless will be burned away, and if thereâ€™s anything left, thereâ€™s a reward. What kind of reward? I donâ€™t know â€“ Iâ€™m guessing something made of chocolate. All I know if thereâ€™s a line forming to collect a reward from the almighty God, I want to be in that line. What if your building is all gone? Well, you donâ€™t get any chocolate, but you yourself will be saved. Youâ€™re not in heaven because of the building, youâ€™re in heaven because of the foundation.
Another problem with living a sinful, selfish life, the Holy Spirit is inside doing a number on our conscience. We will feel guilty. Things we could get away with before accepting Christ, we feel bad when we do them now. David writes in Psalm 32 that when he kept silent about his sins, not confessing, not repenting, his bones wasted away and he groaned all day long. When we accept Christ as our savior, we become more focused on pleasing God.
Number 3. What if somebody turns their back on Jesus, renounces God, becomes an atheist. Are they still going to heaven? Let me tell you a story about Robert Robinson, a young teen who lived in London from 1735 to 1790. He was a delinquent teen, but at 17 took his gang to an open air revival service where George Whitfield was preaching to â€œlaugh at the poor deluded Methodists.â€ Two and a half years later, Robert Robinson gave his life to Christ. He felt the call to preach, was appointed by John Wesley to pastor the Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk England, writing powerful sermons and hymns, and at the age of 23 wrote this powerful hymn:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! Iâ€™m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Beautiful hymn, and 250 years later we still praise our Lord with these words. But these words were a spiritual, prophetic autobiography. Robert Robinson did not stay in the fold of Christianity, eventually dismissed by the church and he returned to his sinful ways, eventually turning his back on Christianity and became Unitarian who do not believe Jesus was the only Son of the Father. In his later years, while taking a stagecoach ride, and in a non-Christian condition, a female passenger offered to share a poem with him, that it might help him as it had helped her, and she began to read â€œCome Thou Fountâ€ to him, and when she got to the third stanza,
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Hereâ€™s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
Robert Robinson broke down and cried and said, â€œMadam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.â€ Robert Robinson never did return to Christianity, and died denying the deity of Christ.
So what happened? We canâ€™t know for sure, can we, because we canâ€™t ever know Robert Robinsonâ€™s heart. But we do know this â€“ if he ever truly trusted Christ, then yes, Robert Robinson is in heaven. Even if we are faithless, God is faithful. In Matthew 21:18-19, Jesus tells us what happens to people like this.
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
In order to produce fruit, you have to be connected to the sap of the Holy Spirit. If youâ€™re not connected, the best you can produce is leaves, and Jesus says if youâ€™re not connected to the sap of the Holy Spirit, the sap of the church of a body of believers, you wither. You become bitter and angry. Iâ€™ve never met a person who has accepted Christ and then turned his back on him that was a joy to be around. Theyâ€™re hurtful, mean, selfish people. But when youâ€™re connected to the sap, you produce fruit. So when you meet a person like this, either they never truly gave their heart to Jesus, or they did give their heart, but through circumstance, weakness, persecution, suffering, whatever, they turned their back on Jesus. Itâ€™s not for us to determine, but the Lord knows their heart, and if they truly gave their heart, theyâ€™re in heaven. But not in the chocolate line, theyâ€™re in the … carob line.
Number 4. What if I just donâ€™t feel saved? What if I donâ€™t feel connected to the Holy Spirit, or connected to the church. Am I still going to heaven? One of Satanâ€™s tricks in our materialistic secular humanistic society is the â€œdo what feels goodâ€ philosophy. Feel bad about debt? Go shopping until you feel good. Feel bad about weight? Eat until you feel better. Donâ€™t like your spouse? Get a divorce. And you look at our society and see what happens to us when we let our feelings determine our direction. When our feelings are at the wheel, we donâ€™t have any idea what direction weâ€™re headed.
I know exactly first hand what happens when you let feelings rule. I left my wife because of feelings and my feelings drove me right off a cliff. But you know what? Christ caught me. Now instead of trying to get happy and going in whatever direction I wanted to, I let Christ take the wheel and let Him determine the direction, and I ended up far happier than when I was trying to be happy. Matthew 6:33, â€œBut seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.â€ Feelings arenâ€™t supposed to be driving your around; feelings are supposed to be in the passenger seat.
So do your feelings determine whether youâ€™re going to heaven? Does John 3:16 read, â€œFor God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,â€ as long as he feels like it? John 5:24 says, â€œI tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.â€ How do your feelings change that? John 10:28, â€œI give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.â€ Unless, of course, theyâ€™re unhappy? Romans 8:1, â€œTherefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.â€
Where do feelings come into play? Your feelings are something you do, and nothing you do will gain your salvation. I think we try to make this complicated, but itâ€™s almost too simple to believe. God gives us the gift of salvation, and we say â€œthanks.â€ Thatâ€™s it, and nothing we do or feel or say will change that. No performance evaluation, no report card. Just grace. Your destiny is already safe, already secure, you are already an eternal being. When youâ€™re not afraid to die, then youâ€™re not afraid to live.
So you donâ€™t have to get up every week and walk down the aisle every single week and give your life to Christ, Meredith. You already belong to him and nothing, not death nor life, not angels nor demons, not the present nor the future, nor any powers, not height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to change that one teeny bit. Your destiny is safe. And thatâ€™s why Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:8-9, â€œThough you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.â€
Once Saved, Always Saved? It really is that simple. Donâ€™t complicate it with man-made judgments and opinions. Salvation is a gift through Jesus that is eternally secure. To receive it, all we have to do is ask. And all we have to do to keep it isâ€¦ nothing.
* due credit goes to Lon Solomon of the McLean Bible Church and his sermon series on Bible bootcamp for the ideas and scripture references behind the “fine print of the contract” above.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 26 so far )
Has it really been a week since I posted?
I think the cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel is a mistake. I think Pat Buchanan’s new book that western civilization is inflammatory but has a lot of truth. I think scientist that predicted a very active hurricane season ought to be brought to prime-time television, admit they really had no idea and they were trying to either increase newspaper sales or make a name for themselves, and then fired. I think there are a lot of holes in John Karr’s story but he’s been given way too much media for his confession of killing Jon Benet Ramsey. I think Time Magazine putting Hillary Clinton’s picture on the front and declaring “She’s Ready to Run” isn’t news and shows their left-wing bias. I think the Democrats are making a serious strategic error by alienating their base in New Hampshire. I think I’m glad I didn’t see “Snakes on a Plane” after the reviews this morning.
Other than that, not a whole lot of opinions on this side of the monitor. How about you? Give me a 1-sentence opinion on any topic you wish and tell me your opinion. Supporting facts aren’t necessary, it’s just your opinion.
What is your opinion?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )
One year ago, Chasing the Wind was one year old. One year later, Chasing the Wind is one year older. Do the math.
Last year, 764 posts and 54,000 visitors since April 27, 2004 making 2,825 comments.
This year, 1,237 posts and 5,077 comments, 162,279 visitors. Wheee doggy! I’ve enjoyed each and every one of you, even the Dale earnhardt fans and those looking for pictures of ugly kittens.
I take time this morning to thank God for the many blessings, including this way of expressing my opinions and feelings. And I thank God for you since you sometimes listen to me.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 11 so far )
Here’s an early Christmas present; thanks to CADRE Comments for the tip.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Mercer County’s right to display in a court house the Ten Commandments along with the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, and the National Motto (“In God We Trust”). American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky v. Mercer County, No. 03-5412 (6th Cir. December 20, 2005). The best part, though, was the smackdown the Court gave to the ACLU:
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The ACLU makes repeated references to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. Our nation’s history is replete with acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion. After all, we are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being….
We will not presume endorsement from the mere display of the Ten Commandments. If the reasonable observer perceived all government references to the Deity as endorsements, then many of our Nation’s cherished traditions would be unconstitutional, including the Declaration of Independence and the national motto. Fortunately, the reasonable person is not a hyper-sensitive plaintiff. Instead, he appreciates the role religion has played in our governmental institutions, and finds it historically appropriate and traditionally acceptable for a state to include religious influences, even in the form of sacred texts, in honoring American legal traditions.
I’m about to enter a period of extended hours at work, so I’m going to flood y’all with opinions today.
If there was ever a time in history to impeach a President of the United States, it would be now. In my opinion, it is two years too late. We should have done this before the election to spare the country the misjudgment, the incompetence and the malfeasance of this administration.
A couple of questions for the politically inept Barbra:
- Did you know your first name is misspelled?
- Wait, here’s a better question: to impeach somebody, there must have been a law broken. Bush hasn’t been indicted for anything, nor is there any hint an indictment is on the way. What law do you think Bush broke?
- Clinton committed perjury. Now there’s something impeachable. Did you support the impeachment of Bill Clinton?
- Why don’t you allow comments on your website?
I understand you’re disgruntled, Ms. Streisand. But “Disgruntling Barbra Streisand” isn’t an impeachable offense.
Thank god the media and the American public are finally waking up and asking the tougher questions now.
It’s the Almighty God with a capital “G”, Ms. barbra with a small “b”. And these “tougher questions” have been asked ever since we toppled Saddam Hussein and answered several times. Thank God that you’re not in charge of our judicial system where officials can be impeached for disagreeing with you.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Bush has nominated Samuel Alito for Supreme Court of the United States. I like him for the following reasons:
- He’s Italian and Florence is a beautiful city.
- He has decades of conservative judicial opinions under his belt.
- Harry Reid doesn’t like him.
No matter who Bush nominates, there is going to be a fight. I’m just glad Bush decided to fight the other team this time.
Polipundit’s rundown of the expected meltdown is good, too.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
If you’re a proponent of abortion, one of the beliefs you must have is that no baby actually exists; at best, it’s a lump of tissue. I’ve heard many opinions on exactly when life begins, from conception to the first cell division to the first heartbeat to out-of-womb viability all the way to birth.
I’ll continue to maintain that I don’t know the answer, and I contend nobody else does, either. My position is that we have a fundamental responsibility to protect life, and if we don’t know for sure when it begins, then take the most conservative approach. If you can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s not life, then you can’t kill it.
Over the last years, I’ve seen some horrendous example of intellectually vapid opinions on the subject of abortion. Remember General Wesley Clark running for President in 2004? He opined that a woman had the right to abort her baby all the way up to the day it was born. “Life begins with the mother’s decision,” he said. One would hope that if contractions had begun and the mother’s water had broken that he’d consider that birth was inevitable, but Clark’s position was it’s still ok to abort it at that point.
Or how about John Kerry’s position, that he believed life began at conception, but it was ok to abort it anyway. Translated, “I know it’s life, but let’s kill it anyway.” Intellectually vapid because it doesn’t hold up under ethical scrutiny. If you’re going to support abortion, you must hold the belief that there’s no real life there.
Then last year, an abortion clinic got hopping mad when some nuns started burying the aborted babies from a nearby abortion clinic. If they do not believe it’s life, why are they mad? And if they *do* believe it’s life, why are they performing abortions?
Today, thanks to a tip at Lonestar Times, is this weblog from two abortion providers. This week they posted about their respect for life when it came to abortions. Would you believe they helped a woman baptize her baby after they aborted it?
many years ago i remember a patient telling me that she chose our clinic because she could tell that we respected her and knew that we would therefore respect the life within her. it was very important to her that she have trust in the clinic she chose because she felt that, given her life circumstances, returning her baby to god was the kindest, most maternal thing she could do for it. i assured her that her feeling was correct, that we in fact do all we can to honor the life that women are unable to continue and we encourage them to find their own way to make peace with the pregnancy (whether it be a baby or a “pre-baby” to them), figure out how to forgive themselves and also to continue working through any religious or spiritual issues if they have them. we show all patients the section of the clinic where the brochures and handouts are kept and encourage them to take all they want home with them. in addition to the independently produced brochures, there are the publications of RELIGIOUS COALITION FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE and CATHOLICS FOR FREE CHOICE. a while back, we interviewed many priests, ministers and rabbis to determine how we might refer women for pastoral counseling or, if the women preferred, to share some of the messages of hope that we have collected from various clergy. we are glad to be able to pass on those messages of hope and love that come from god via his clergy from various religions.
our clinic is the kind of place where women can ask, as one did today, if we would bless and baptise her baby. i was able to do that for her. honoring her pregnancy as she herself chooses is part of what we hope to do for each woman. using water (she had planned to bring holy water with her but had at the last minute forgotten it) and saying the words i know from my catholic upbringing, i did as she asked. she had a name in mind for the baby, one that could work for either gender and i gave it that name.
we want to be a clinic that respects life, that honors women’s choices. the two are compatible. believe me!
If they have “respect for life,” to the point that they’re willing to baptize an aborted fetus, why the heck are they aborting it in the first place? It’s intellectually vapid, it’s horrendously unethical, and regardless of the title it’s an utter disrespect for life. If it’s life worth baptizing, then aborting it is no different than murder.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
There was a time when Europe would justly refer to itself as “Christendom.” Europeans built the Continent’s loveliest edifices to accommodate their acts of worship. They quarreled bitterly over the distinction between transubstantiation and consubstantiation. As pilgrims, missionaries and conquistadors, they sailed to the four corners of the Earth, intent on converting the heathen to the true faith.
Now it is Europeans who are the heathens. According to the Gallup Millennium Survey of religious attitudes, barely 20% of West Europeans attend church services at least once a week, compared with 47% of North Americans and 82% of West Africans. Fewer than half of West Europeans say God is a “very important” part of their lives, as against 83% of Americans and virtually all West Africans. And fully 15% of West Europeans deny that there is any kind of “spirit, God or life force” â€” seven times the American figure and 15 times the West African.
The exceptionally low level of British religiosity was perhaps the most striking revelation of a recent ICM poll. One in five Britons claim to “attend an organized religious service regularly,” less than half the American figure. Little more than a quarter say that they pray regularly, compared with two thirds of Americans and 95% of Nigerians. And barely one in 10 Britons would be willing to die for our God or our beliefs, compared with 71% of Americans.
The de-christianization of Britain is in fact a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to 1960, most marriages in England and Wales were solemnized in a church; then the slide began, down to around 40% in the late 1990s. Especially striking is the decline in confirmations as a percentage of children baptized. Fewer than a fifth of those baptized are now confirmed, about half the figure for the period from 1900 to 1960. For the Church of Scotland, the decline has been even more precipitous.
* via JesusPolitics.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
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