A smoothie that stops cravings - 03/25/2008 12:37:19
Having this Feeling Light smoothie or blender drink for breakfast is the most important balance-restoring step for many weight loss patients.
"The drink is a total infusion of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, and fiber. And it's a great way to cut down on food cravings, because, with the super-nutrition in the smoothie, you're actually giving your body the nutrients it needs."
Just put the following ingredients in a blender, mix , and drink: 1 cup rice milk; 1 cup soy milk; 1 cup apple juice, orange juice, or other fruit juice; 1 banana; 4 fresh strawberries; 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses; 1 tablespoon aloe juice; 1 tablespoon black cherry juice concentrate; 1 tablespoon powdered "green" formulation; 1 to 2 tablespoon powdered brewer's or nutritional yeast; 1 teaspoon raw organic bee pollen (loose, not in tablets or capsules); and 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil.
Be creative; experiment with proportions to suit your taste, or freeze the bananas or strawberries for a thicker, colder drink.
My Attitudes - 03/25/2008 12:17:15
"life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it" - Charles Swindoll
Civic Duty - 03/20/2008 21:35:38
While fighting the government isn't the highest insight into Christian civic
involvement, historically it has been a pervading duty.
Polls - 03/20/2008 21:26:32
It occurred to me today that polls are completely worthless. It's not just because
of misleading questions, and biased statistical analysis methods. You see as I was
responding to a 13 minute Ipsos-Reid telephone poll this evening I realized
that only a very unrepresentative sampling of Canadians would ever participate
in such a poll: those who are so lonely, bored, weak-willed, or stupid that they
agree to give 13 minutes of their time to the poll for nothing in return. Normal,
busy, intelligent people just hang up so their views are not represented!
Embraced with a Sword - 11/24/2007 12:45:09
The problem with socialism in civil government is not that people want to help the poor; the problem is that civil government takes the coercive power of the sword, the power of life and death, applying that threat of violence to steal from some people to benefit a highly politicized category of people called the poor.
Emancipation for Thanksgiving - 11/22/2007 12:55:29
Then what does Thanksgiving mean to me? Rejoicing for our
present inheritance in the name of the future. And what is the
future I dream about? When the last public school psychologist
is strangled in the red tape of the last public school
administrator. -Gary North
The Doctor's Story - 11/04/2007 22:16:01
"Twenty women, with remedies new,
Bother my wife the whole day through.
"Sweet as honey, or bitter as gall -
Poor old woman, she takes 'em all.
"Sour or sweet, whatever they choose;
Poor old woman, she daren't refuse.
"So she pleases whoe'er may call,
An' Death is suited the best of all.
"Physic and blister, powder an' pill-
Bound to conquer, and sure to kill!"
Mrs. Rogers lay in her bed,
Bandaged and blistered from foot to head.
Blistered and bandaged from head to toe,
Mrs. Rogers was very low.
Relationships Exemplified - 05/10/2007 23:46:13
Human relationships start at birth and continue to death, whether or not
anyone consciously thinks aobut it. Adults have been teaching children
lessons of how to treat other people, in devastatingly horrible ways or in
biblically right ways, whether or not they have ever thought of themselves as
teachers. Teaching takes place by example, every minute of every day for
every new human being, by whoever is with that baby human being -- hour after
hour, day after day, month after month. -- What is a Family by Edith Schaeffer
Enslavement to Possessions - 04/17/2007 01:17:31
It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, which
prevents man from living freely and nobly. -Bertrand Russell
New Blog Started - 04/14/2007 15:06:23
Monster-Kidd Courtship Web Log»
Hegel and Christianity - 03/27/2007 21:18:49
G.W.F.Hegel's philosophy was sometimes Christian sounding, but his thrust was
decidedly anti-Christian. Hegel held that the state was the central social
institution, whereas in scripture the family is the central cultural institution
from which the church and state arise to address aspects of the curse. For
Hegel the Bible was a set of symbols subject to philosophical interpretation, not
a record of historical acts of the personal God. Reference:
The Age of Ideology, Aiken
Avoiding Retroactive Jealousies - 02/23/2007 7:58:23 AM
If you're just friends then it's quite possible that you'll marry someone
else, right? Will your relationship with this "friend" continue just the same
after you're married? Will you say to your wife, honey I'm going out for a
long chats and walk with so and so because we're just friends. I hope your
wife is jealous in that case. She has every covenantal right to be jealous, to
say "No, that kind of intimacy belongs to me." If it belongs to her after
marriage, it belongs to her now. If she has a right to be jealous about that
relationship later, then she has a right to be jealous about it now. You don't
want retroactive jealousies to come into play later on after your marriage.
Honour the vows of others. Honour the vows that are going to be made. This is
not legalism, this is charity coupled with wisdom. - Doug Wilson
Servant Man - 02/16/2007 10:52:02 AM
Any masculinity which washes off in dishwater is superficial to begin
with. -Doug Wilson
Inescapably Alive, or Dead - 02/15/2007 9:59:55 AM
Until the day that God has pre-ordained
before history began that we are to die, we are immortal.
On that special day, we are inescapably dead. - unknown
Functional Biblical Literacy - 02/14/2007 1:33:14 AM
The wisdom of what a person says is in direct proportion to his progress in
learning the Holy Scriptures.
And I am not speaking of intensive reading or memorization but real
understanding and careful investigation of their meaning.
Some people read them but neglect them. By their reading they profit in
knowledge; by their neglect they forfeit understanding.
Those who remember the words less closely but penetrate to the heart of the
Scripture with the eyes of their own hearts are much to be preferred, but
better than either is the person who not only quotes Scripture when he chooses but
also understands it as he should. - St. Augustine
Medical Dilemma - 02/14/2007 1:31:41 AM
We often have to take bitter medicine, and we must always avoid sweet things
that are dangerous; but what better than sweet things that give health, or
medicines that are sweet? The more we are attracted by sweetness, the easier
it is for medicine to do its healing work. - St. Augustine, applied
metaphorically to literature
My peace I give to you - 02/12/2007 9:50:12 PM
Disputes among like-minded Christians are of the worst sort. Characterized by ignorant pride and confident appeal to divine authority, those who are theologically brothers and sisters in the family of the Prince of Peace become deadly assassins.
Christ-centred Living - 01/08/2007 8:10:50 AM
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last."
- C.T. Studd
"Apart from faith in Christ there's no explanation for such a life."
- epitaph of William Borden, missionary to Muslims
I want a girl ... - 11/23/2006 9:59:19 PM
A good old fashioned girl, virtuous and godly too,
One who loves the Lord even more than you,
Oh I want a girl
Just like the girl that married dear old Dad. lyrics»
What's Wrong is Funny - 10/31/2006 6:15:12 AM
It is critical that we be able to find humor in the doings of the modern world. It is a profound testament to our confidence in providence that we be able to acknowledge the sheer absurdity in the things of fallen creation. This is not a spirit of meanness; rather it is a sober-minded recognition that if a thing is not right, it is silly as well as wicked...this is our apologia, not our apology. - G.K. Chesterton
Bahnsen on handguns - 10/24/2006 10:31:23 AM
Because scripture countenances and approves the possessing and using of weapons for self-defense, a state that interferes in that right stands contrary to God himself as He's revealed Himself in His word; and thus the state regulation of firearms is immoral from a Christian perspective, not simply unscientific, and will not accomplish its announced purpose; instead such regulation of firearms works against the safety and the political freedom of the people, threatening them with ineffective defense against criminals, because criminals will continue to have arms and they will not, as well as now threatening them with an intrusive political order which threatens their freedoms. - Greg L. Bahnsen, debate complete closing statement »
Vendetta - 10/24/2006 7:30:56 AM
Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gun powder treason and plot
I know of no reason why the gun powder treason should ever be forgot. -V
for Vendetta sound track
Procrastination Management - 10/11/2006 9:06:01 AM
- Don't take on too many projects -- know your limits and fulfill the responsibilities you commit to.
- Delegate and offload tasks that can be done effectively by someone else. This involves some time for training and monitoring your replacement. But it is necessary to allow you to meet your own responsibilities, while simultaneously developing the skills and gifts of others.
- Always stay on top of your tasks; don't let things slide more than a day or a week at most; if you can't get a task done within its time frame, either off-load or adjust your commitments so your undone tasks don't pile up.
- Prioritize tasks and do the hardest and most important ones first; we normally leave the worst ones to the end, and that means new fun jobs keep coming in and the worst ones are never actioned.
- Learn to take satisfaction in completing meaningful tasks invisibly for God's glory; then you won't be discouraged from a project that's taking a lot of resources but failing to yield much encouragement and praise from other people.
Adenominational Service - 9/29/2006 7:55:30 AM
Are you one "who really wants the work of God to be done, and who is not particularly concerned by whom or how it is done, so long as it is done to His glory." - The Household Church, by H. L. Ellison
Bye Bye to Bitterness - 9/27/2006 9:56:19 AM
We have but two choices. We can allow bitterness to destroy us, or we can allow God to develop us into the persons He wants us to be. We must Choose to view our circumstances and hurts as tools to be used by God to further develop our spiritual lives. - The Gift of Forgiveness, by Charles Stanley
Sick of Preaching - 9/27/2006 8:46:10 AM
In part, the carnality and confusion of the western church may be attributed to preaching. Yes, preaching. Especially sound, doctrinal preaching. For by expounding a few verses for an hour, pastors isolate their people from the Word of God. If every Lord's day we spent that hour together reading an entire letter or book of the Bible, discussing and praying over that, wouldn't people be better fed? The Scriptures would be more personally applied and the whole counsel of God might be corporately consumed in the space of a year, rather than taking months or years to preach through a single book of the Bible. The whole counsel of God must be corporately consumed, allowing for admonition, rebuke, correction and training in righteousness which isn't fully realized by private meditation.
A 20/20 Vision - 9/27/2006 8:17:59 AM
Reformed Christianity needs a vision that encompasses not only doctrinal statements, but also our piety, evangelistic outreach, and missions of mercy. - Tim Keller
Proverbs of Ryan - 8/29/2006 10:31:18 AM
Better a neighbour near by than a brother far away. But better than both is a brother who is a near neighbour.
The faults you find most offensive in others are those you first recognized in yourself.
Real Strength - 8/17/2006 11:04:45 PM
Real strength is to know your weaknesses and to accept help.
Abiding with Losses - 8/17/2006 11:03:17 PM
Jesus’ word “remain” or “abide” (in Him, in His love), repeated ten times in John 15, means being at home in Him, living constantly in His presence and in harmony with His will. It does not at all mean unmitigated suffering (the vine isn’t cut back every day!). For those of us who are not at the moment in pain, may we not let slip any cross Jesus may present to us, any little way of letting go of ourselves, any smallest task to do with gladness and humility, any disappointment accepted with grace and silence. These are His appointments. If we miss them here, we’ll not find them again in this world or in any other. -- Keep a Quiet Heart, Elizabeth Elliot, Pg 68
Without Hope in Another World - 8/3/2006 12:20:48 PM
About 170 people attended a hopeless funeral last night for Dr. Jiang Guo Bing. (See 7/28/2006 blog entry.) I mean that Charles and his family were "without hope and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12) Speeches were made by old classmates, friends, politicians, and university professors, all offering hopeless condolences and acknowledging the great loss his death was to his family, his country, and the World.
It's irresponsible to speculate too much about a man's motive for ending his life. We'll never know exactly what went on in his mind. Yet, I want to make a few general observations about the worldview of Chinese professionals. The best of China's intellectuals are highly competitive and driven to succeed in academic and career pursuits. Meaning and purpose in life is derived via ever increasing achievement, status and recognition. Very few people reach the top, but for those who do, it's a great disappointment. They still face cosmic loneliness and uncertainty in the quiet moments of reflection.
Dr. Jiang had meditated and written to a deep level on the questions of philosophy and the human condition. Like many great intellectuals before him, I guess he discovered ultimate despair: in a universe of impersonal chaos the screaming pain of life is answered only by the whisper of death.
Chinese professionals are ripe to hear the good news offered in the Bible. Many seek satisfying answers the deep problems of purpose, evil, guilt, fear and life after death. Our Creator in the person of Jesus came to walk among us, to make peace with God, and to free us from bondage of fear and the burden of our guilt. King Jesus has conquered death, and his kingdom of peace is encompassing the renewed earth and heavens. Jesus will bring final justice for the injustices of this world. Abandon all hope in man, his strength and his pride; find everlasting hope in Jesus.
Court Marshaled - 8/2/2006 10:28:12 AM
There was a big shake down at the great white throne today. I didn't tell you to make theories about me; I told you to make disciples. I didn't ask you to make theological speeches before men; I told you to humble yourselves in private prayer. I didn't tell you to build palaces for your meetings. I told you to feed the widow and orphan. I don't want sophisticated nit-pickers; I want worshipers in spirit and truth. I'm tired of all your stuff and talk. I want your hearts. Stop talking about love, and help your neighbour. Stop pointing out your brother's faults. Repent of your own. I don't want to see your mask of piety. I want to be your priority. You love debating my secrets. Just trust me and do what I told you to do. You say you love me? Well, for a start stop hating your brothers. We fell silent. How could we have lived so blindly?
Reckless Faith - 7/31/2006 10:20:12 PM
Subtitled, When the church loses its will to discern: "Reckless faith has two extremes. At one end of the spectrum it looks within--relying on feelings, inner voices, fantasy, or subjective sensations. At the other extreme it fixes its hope on some external human authority--the teachings of a supreme leader, religious tradition, magisterial dogma, or some other arbitrary canon."
by John MacArthur
What Kind of Heart - 7/30/2006 0:32:12 AM
I'm not sure how this happened, but I find myself reading both Wild at Heart
and Keep a Quiet Heart at the same time. In his search for authentic
masculinity John Eldridge seems to promote certain silly testosterone-driven
excesses, like buying a 4x4, a dirt bike and a shotgun. On the other hand,
Elisabeth Elliot is advocating a steady resting in and faithfulness toward God
through all life's trials. Well, taking the best from both, I pray for quiet
courage to finish the race well.
Forgiveness - 7/29/2006 1:34:13 AM
Response from a Seminar: Wish I could say thank you, but I can't. Oh
gosh--thank you for that? You talked about forgiveness, and my mother and my
sister, my neighbour are all sitting there looking at me. All through your
talk, they're looking at me. They knew why I needed that talk! My husband is
a gambler and am I bitter! Bitter, resentful, anxious--all the things you
talked about! I'm telling you, God had a funnel from your mouth to my ear. I
couldn't believe it. Who told you, I'm saying to myself, who told you about
me and my husband? I was taking notes, and I put a box around that word
forgiveness. That's for my sister, I said, that's not for me. She's the one
that needs that! But it's really for me. God's telling me it's for me. And
to think my neighbor gave me the ticket for this seminar for a birthday
present. What kind of friend is that? A birthday present! But Thanks,
-- Keep a Quiet Heart, Elizabeth Elliot, Pg 235
Suicidal Tendencies - 7/28/2006 11:14:27 AM
A Chinese acquaintance of mine committed suicide by jumping off the bridge
over the 401 highway early on July 21st. Without warning or even a note of
explanation he abandoned a beautiful wife and two-year-old daughter, and a
bright 14-year-old son. Charles was a nuclear physicist and had two PhD's.
He won first place in province-wide university entrance exams, and went on to
graduate from the best university in China. His decision to escape seems to
be based frustration and humiliation over difficulty in finding professional
work in Canada. It is always difficult for a man to be without work. But he
seemed to be coping fine completing studies and doing research on his own
time. Well, Charles' death is hard to understand and tragic for his family.
But what can we learn from it? Having had the family over for a BBQ July 3rd,
I wonder if we could have been more sensitive to the struggle of the soul
masked by this unbeliever's talk of philosophy and the "good society." I
wonder if we ought to have more direct and offensive sharing the good news
that the LORD Jesus died to free us from our guilt, freely. Last time
we chatted at length a couple of months back, the closest I got was directing
the conversation to the question of justifying ethics apart from a
transcendent God. Yet, we rest in the sovereignty of God; Charles was taken
in unbelief. On the topic of suicide, I read Jay Adams last night. For
people whose fear, anger, guilt or pride has driven them to suicidal thoughts,
the advice is often: "I think you're right; the way you're living your life it
is not worth continuing. You need to personally repent before the LORD Jesus
and begin living hopefully in His Grace under His Word."
Not even on the scoreboard - 7/28/2006 11:14:27 AM
I got a speedometer for my bike the other day. On my 38.976km journey downtown and back Wednesday night I averaged 26.6km/h reaching a maximum speed of 56.7km/h. I thought this is great, I wonder how I compare with the best. Well turns out not too good. The average speed in the 2005 Tour de France was 41.7km/h. And the top speed achieved by a human powered bike is 269km/h (following a lead vehicle) and ~128km/h under independent human power. Keep training buddy. :)
Courting Economics - 7/24/2006 8:32:29 PM
[talking about asking the right questions...] I suppose deciding to marry is the best example. There is the Big Picture:
costs, benefits, future possibilities. There is also the specific issue:
this person, yes or no? My history professor, Keith Berwick, once said in
class: "You marry the person who is most available when you are most
vulnerable." This may not be inspirational, but it gets to the point. You
had better ask the right questions at your point of maximum vulnerability. - Gary North
I'm a gun nut - 7/17/2006 10:11:33 PM
This is the era of coming out of the closet, so here goes. I'm a gun fanatic.
I like the feel of guns, I like the controlled power they represent, and I
like the culture of men and women who use guns to maintain their liberty. But
Toronto hates guns, blaming these benign tools for criminal activity that's
actually caused by bad people. However, everything the lie-beral media tells
us about smuggling handguns in from the States is true. In fact yesterday I
brought in a shipment of handguns on my way home from a friend's wedding in
Illinois. When the border guard lady asked if we had purchased anything I
said, "No." "Really?" she replied incredulously. "Well," I said, "just a
pistol that we bought for a wedding." "Really?" she asked. "Yes," I said,
"we had a little shoot-out at the reception." That was it; in we came with an assorted arsenal which is already being distributed throughout southern Ontario and on the streets of Toronto. Check out some photos of these recent imports here. »
Discipline your son while there is hope - 7/3/2006 8:14:47 AM
In the course of education, i.e., reversing the effects of the fall upon our little ones, the formative first few years are critical. The child's disposition, attitudes, self-restraint and moral character are moulded largely by parental guidance during the first few years. The results of early training and discipline (or lack thereof) translate directly into the child's youth and adulthood. It's true that some children seem to have a greater natural disposition to be stubborn, selfish or hostile, but that's just the point. It's a parent's responsibility to discern the spiritual condition of the child, and to consistently apply appropriate discipline as one of God's means to reverse the effects of the fall. As Proverbs says, "train up a child in his own way, and when he is old he will not depart from it." If your training reinforces your toddler's sinful desires and inclinations, then you are training him to live under the power of the curse during childhood and when he grows up.
Property Versus People? - 6/13/2006 11:51:31 AM
At a time of increasing social and political marginalization of Christianity, both prudence and providence may be leading the church back to meeting in homes instead of cathedrals. As our own congregation in Toronto considers purchasing the building we now rent, I struggle to justify such significant investment of money and energy into a mere building. When there are evangelists to send out and needy people to minister to, is buying property the kingdom priority of the authentic New Testament church?
The Way of Paganism - 6/13/2006 11:35:34 AM
Our word devil renders the word diabolis, which means slanderer, blasphemous accuser. Satan delights in juggling turmoil, stirring up trouble, circulating false reports, encouraging people to cut others absolutely no slack; this is his way. He loves treachery; he loves backbiting, suspicion, recriminations, pettiness, tail bearing, cattiness, double-dealing and all manner of malice. But please note that his ultimate contribution in all this, is that he enables people to do all such things with an air of unquestioned moral superiority... they do it confident in their righteousness. This is the way of paganism. Doug Wilson, Sermon, Easter 2006
Economic Folly and Slavery - 6/7/2006 6:35:11 PM
Canadians are plagued with compulsive spending, massive debt, and bankruptcy. These are the fruits of lazy indolence and greedy materialism. The Bible commands us to be liberated economically. Its wisdom can be summarized this way: live in a way that excludes coveting and stealing. read more at "Liberty Tips" »
The Hate Crimes Unit - 6/7/2006 8:37:34 AM
That's the church clique responsible for slander, gossip, backbiting, and otherwise fomenting disputes among the brethren. We've all had our run-ins with the hate crimes unit, but rather than whining, let's make a strategy to see it disbanded. The best counter-terrorism studies apply mature Christian character and Biblical wisdom in speech and interpersonal disputes. Indeed, the Scriptures have much to say about neutralizing these bad dudes. continue reading »
Conveying Reality - 6/7/2006 8:35:34 AM
One of the key themes of this book is that unless there is something about church, or Christians, or Christian faith that intrigues, provokes or entices, then all the evangelism in the world will fall on deaf ears. If churches cannot convey a sense of "reality" then all our "truth" will count for nothing.... Churches need to become provocative, arresting places which make the searcher, casual visitor, want to come back for more.
-- The Provocative Church, by Graham Tomlin
Weeds and Veggies - 6/6/2006 10:15:44 AM
Seeds don't germinate in my garden, except for weed seeds. So to weed the garden, or not to weed the garden that is the question. Naturally I turned to the Scriptures for help. Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. Matthew 13:29,30
A Delicate Civilization - 6/6/2006 10:00:14 AM
What differentiates vandals, looters, and rapists from you and me? Not much. We live under a delicate social truce. We all conform out of habit, desire to fit in, and fear of punishment. But we're sheep. A herd mentality quickly dominates a civilization. Uncorking the silent ferment transforms housewives into bandits and school mates into mobs. Deadly chaos denudes us of that thin veil of peaceful propriety.
Control and Loneliness - 6/6/2006 9:45:02 AM
When Eve was deceived, the artistry of being a woman took a fateful dive into the barren places of control and loneliness. Now every daughter of Eve wants to control her surroundings, her relationships, her God. No longer is she vulnerable; now she will be grasping. No longer does she want simply to share in the adventure; now, she wants to control it. And as for her beauty, she either hides it in fear and anger, or she uses it to secure here place in the world. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
Wannabe a Hero - 6/05/2006 6:15:59 PM
...or a Survivor? Many of us seem driven to be first, to achieve more, to win praise, to be a humanity-saving hero. Very often, however, smart, enthusiastic, go-getter hero types are the lowest achievers over time. And worse, too many wannabe heroes are deeply troubled emotionally, spiritually and morally. We need to drop the hero mentality and content ourselves with slow, boring, consistent faithfulness day to day. Godliness with contentment is great gain. Be a survivor!
Love in Action and Truth - 6/05/2006 10:00:39 AM
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
Global communications and transport drive us to the conclusion that we are able and obligated to meet the needs of brothers in Zambia, Sudan, Africa and Saudi Arabia. Or can we excuse ourselves from the plain sense of the text?
Pushing for Authenticity - 6/05/2006 9:58:39 AM
You know the kind of inauthenticity I have in mind. We may go through meeting after meeting, and all of it is reassuringly familiar, but we do not come out saying, in effect "Surely we have met with the living God." We start attending meetings because it is a habit, or because it is the right thing to do, or because we know that the means of grace are important, but not out of a heart-hunger to be with God's people and to be fed from God's word. Sermons are filled with mere clichés. There is little intensity in confession, little joy in absolution, little delight in the gospel, little urgency in evangelism, little sense of privilege and gratitude in witness, little passion for the truth, little compassion for others, little humility in our evaluations, little love in our dealings with others. To expose such inauthenticity is a good thing; to hunger for authenticity in all our existence, not least our walk with God and with other Christians, is also a good thing. -- Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, by Don Carson (from the chapter on its strengths)
Authoritarian Hypocrites - 6/2/2006 12:25:59 AM
In Crisis of Allegiance, James Beverley documents the heavy-handed, unloving attitudes and actions of the Watchtower leadership in response to conscientious concerns raised by members in Lethbridge Alberta about 1980. Rather than gloating over the failures of Witness leaders, however, let's look in the mirror. We're subject to the same blind and hypocritical tendencies of the human condition which breed conflicts rooted selfish pride, ignorance, and a power-hungry urge to suppress all dissent. We have finely tuned our exercise of the "spiritual gift" of discernment, but neglected to show biblical love for the people we have every obligation to care for and serve.
False motives underlying "faith" - 5/26/2006 1:17:52 AM
Jesus said his real followers would be identified by their changed lives. We should probably question the salvation of those Pharisees who make it their mission to raise doubts about the salvation of struggling believers. However, there's a legitimate need to analyze the motives for false professions to better discern the spiritual needs of people in the church. I'll be commenting primarily on the dynamics observed in the Asian community in which we work.
People may make a false profession of Christian faith...
- to get out of hell for free - saying a prayer is cheap insurance.
- to satisfy a deep hunger in the soul - the spirituality of prayer, singing and the profound words of the Bible make me feel something.
- to have a happy life - God will help my health, my career and my family.
- to make bribe repayment - "I'll become a Christian if God gives me a job."
- to please a spouse, friend, or family member - there's often strong, unrelenting pressure from misguided "Christian" relatives.
- to meet the expectations of a respected teacher or mentor
- to follow the crowd - other people are doing it, I will join the church too.
- to become part of the "club" and obtain social/business connections.
- to get to marry a good person in the church - it's not difficult to learn the lingo and play the part.
- to become a "good" person.
- to be initiated into western society. In China you join the communist party. In North America you join the church.
- to obtain a coherent philosophy to answer life's difficult questions.
- to fill the void left by the failed and rejected beliefs of communism.
In summary, people often join the church either to advance personally, or out of a sense of fear or obligation. While these motives may be present to a lesser extent in true believers, the driving force must be a genuine sense of our criminal status before God's justice, faith and love toward the Lord Jesus who removes our guilt, and repentance toward God with a heart purpose to live in new obedience.
Lands Without Justice - 5/24/2006 11:35:52 PM
Peace vied with war in cruelty, and surpassed it; for while war overthrew armed hosts, peace slew the defenceless. War gave liberty to him who was attacked, to strike if he could; peace granted to the survivors, not life, but an unresisting death." -- The City of God, Augustine
Should You Take Language Seriously? - 5/24/2006 7:01:59 PM
Postmodernism says language is meaningless because there are endless interpretive possibilities. In a theistic universe, however, this assumption is only partly true for there is an ultimate reference point. Nevertheless, it is partially true. In our finitude and dullness we often make statements with real ambiguity. Sometimes our words achieve wit and profundity which was never intended. This may be traced back to supernatural superintendence. Scripture affirms that the "reply of the tongue is from the Lord"...so "how can a man know his own way?" (Pr. 16:1; 20:24) We are forced to acknowledge that there are complex dynamics that render language less precise than we hoped. The questions of intentionality and interpretative responsibility are thorny indeed.
Where are all the sick people? - 5/24/2006 1:15:51 PM
The church is full of sinners, which makes it an unpleasant place oftentimes.
Not unlike a hospital. The patients moan, bleed, vomit, die, but most
importantly they're given life-saving care. That's the unique thing about the
authentic church: the human condition is openly acknowledged and the cure is
administered. Alternatives only mask the symptoms, leaving patients to rot
from the inside out.
The Bachelor Cookbook - 5/22/2006 11:15:59 PM
The most practical way we can help women is by sharing our liberating
recipes and cooking tips... continue reading »
Revolution in Sermon Audio Distribution - 12/15/2005 1:15:19 AM
With today's Internet technology, limiting the spread of sound Biblical teaching by relying on archaic distribution methods and imposing economic barriers, is self-defeating at best, and sadly short-sighted at worst.... continue reading »
Intellectual Property? - 6/4/2005 12:15:59 AM
...all truth/knowledge/science belongs to God. ... We cannot rightly demand economic reward or claim a monopoly on the knowledge we possess whether it be biological, theological, philosophical, historical, or mechanical. continue reading »
Why Write Circa 2000 A.D.? - 3/24/2004 1:15:29 PM
...The ideas you want to publish are usually old insights which are expressed better in some existing volume. Don't you have an obligation to your audience to share that superior formulation rather than heralding inferior expressions of the same ideas? continue reading »
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. Isaiah 33:22