A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I like Fisher DeBerry, football coach of the Air Force Academy. He is a fine Christian man of integrity and one of the finest football coaches in America. He contributes a lot to the city of Colorado Springs, and I am very proud and happy that he is at the Air Force Academy. He cannot recruit the biggest and meanest football prospects, because of size and achievement requirements for the United States Air Force, but he fields a competitive team year after year.

But he blew it this week. The same week that news stories broke about religious discrimination at the Air Force Academy, Fisher put up a banner in the football locker room, something about “being on the team with Jesus.”

Now, of course, I think the whole discrimination thing is a crock—at least I suspect it is. I know that Christians can get aggressive some times as far as preaching their faith is concerned, but missionary activity is integral to Christian faith since Jesus told His disciples to go and preach to “every creature.” True Christianity is a very serious matter involving very serious issues, like going to heaven and staying out of hell.

Some Christians are very obnoxious. They are even obnoxious to other Christians, especially to other Christians who do not share their particular views concerning the Bible, church, sacraments, or whatever. But usually very emphatic actions will drive them away. Religious liberty and free speech go hand in hand and cannot exist without each other. [See Theological Figs for Nov. 20. Use the link on that page to return here.] Most Christians I know are perfectly willing to leave someone alone if they state it very clearly that they want to be left alone. But that is another story.

But what about Fisher DeBerry’s banner? It didn’t stay up very long, and he was told to take it down, as he should have. For several reasons.

1. Obviously, some members of the football team and staff may not share Fisher’s views. Are they not on the team?

2. Faith in Christ is not a slogan, certainly not a slogan to motivate a football team. There might be many reasons for trusting in Christ; one of them is not so you can win football games. Being a Christian should help you to do your best, be fair, regard your fellow man, take victory or defeat with graciousness and manhood.

3. There are too many people who seek Christ for earthly goals. They become Christians, hoping it will make them a success in business, popular in school, have joy, joy, joy, down in their hearts, and so forth. The best reason for being a Christian is to stay out of hell, and the best reason for speaking of your faith is to keep the other person out of hell. The faith should not be trivialized.

4. America’s enemies do not trivialize their faith. Islamists are deadly serious. It will take a serious faith to overcome them: 2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

5. Fisher DeBerry’s witness for Christ and the rock-solid reputation that he has earned does not depend upon a banner, thank God. Christianity will not be spread by sloganeering, bumper stickers, and silly motivational schemes. Fisher is a serious Christian, thank God. His team is having a rough year in 2004, but it is also a serious Christian virtue to bear hardships and endure whatever God sends out way.

6. We should not compel a man to baptized and take communion; neither should we make them march under our banner. The invitation of the Gospel is the only banner that the Holy Spirit will honor in the spreading of the faith of Jesus Christ. That has proved very effective in time past, and it will continue to be effective.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Visit Political Figs [click on link on the right] for a new Political Blog.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The greatest of all values is to have values. If your own personal value system is dominated by the desire to be popular [win elections], then you will derive your "positions" from focus groups and polls.

If this is what drives the preacher, the columnist, or the politician then he is only pretending to have values and seeks to conceal his true value: the desire for power and popularity. Machiavelli once wrote, "It is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them."

Machiavelli argued that because men are evil and seek their own pleasure, the successful ruler must deceive them in order to be successful. Click Although this idea is much deplored by public men, yet they often practice it. Even preachers do it, I am sad to say, forgetting the maxim of Paul, "If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

There are two contradictory principles operating in the nature of man. On the one hand he loves to be told what he wants to hear, and will punish the bearer of bad tidings. He will go in mobs to hear false prophets speak smooth and enticing words, putting his very soul in jeopardy. He will do the same thing to the false prophets of political or economic theory. Political correctness is no new thing. Jer 23:17 "They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you."

This first principle is the effect of sin in the heart of every man.

The other principle contradicts the first, even though men are not often aware of it as it pertains to themselves. They recognize it in others, but deny it in themselves. This second principle is this: Men, because they are in the image of God, have a longing for integrity and honesty and want to be known as honest men. Thus the proverb, "hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to goodness." Men do not mind being rascals, but they resent people thinking they are rascals.

So man is conflicted. He has the dilemma of seeking his own way while at the same time pretending to be seeking integrity. He seeks ministers and politicians who will tell him what he wants to hear, and he is outraged if he finds he has been lied to.

We forget the example of Christ who refused the kingdoms of the world when offered them by the devil for the price was more that Jesus would pay, the worship of the devil. He would not deny the truth: He is true Son of Man and must worship God alone.

This, of course, led to the Cross. This is the reason that the preaching of the Cross is so offensive to men. They may glory in silver and gold crosses and even crosses made of old rugged wood, but the message of the cross is highly offensive. "Christ died for our sins," implies that I am a sinner, and that is a message I do not wish to hear. I will go down the road to another preacher who will tell me that I am a jolly good fellow, with great potential. I do not mind making great sacrifices, and even give my body to be burned, as long as I can affirm myself while doing it.

That's why there is a difference between professing to be a Christian and being one. I may pick a few things out of the Christian message that is flattering to me, profess these things with great gusto and gain the reputation of being a great one in the church, even become a martyr for "truth." Such are found everywhere. The other is less attractive, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me," is the way Jesus put it. It means accepting the message of the Cross, not just wearing one around your neck. It means confessing the pollution of your nature and your natural hatred of the truth, in order to see the truth. As Luther said, "Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Cross, cross," and there is no cross!" Click

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." [1 John 1:5,6] Jesus put it in these words: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." [John 3:19-21]

So man, because of these contradictory principles, is at war with himself. To confess the truth in reality is to die to himself, but in order to affirm himself he must deny the truth. This is the reason that Jesus said, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. [John 12:25] I cannot affirm myself and the truth at the same time for I am a sinner by nature alienated from God.

But this is too tough for public consumption. Men affirm themselves and continue to lie. They affirm themselves and continue to listen to liars. This is the reason that Jesus died on the Cross, to save wretched sinners like you and me. It is through death that men live. Galatians 2:20: "Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

This is the truth, but you and I must die to see it.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Democrats fail moral test of helping gays - 11/15/04: "We also find ourselves here because the Democratic Party does indeed have a gay problem -- just not the one that the Republican Party and some prominent Democrats seem to think it has. The party hasn't done too much for gay Americans; it's done far too little. "
Isn't it delicious? The libs controlling the Democratic party have a death wish. If they become more strident in equating sodomite rights with black rights they will alienate the vast majority of black citizens who are decent, bible reading, godly people. These people will find people like Walter Williams, Condi Rice, and Clarence Thomas more and more attractive, and Jesse Jackson less so. It would be the end of the Democratic party as we know it. R.I.P.

The civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's succeeded because it resonated with Christian people throughout America who believed that all men were created in the image of God. The sodomite agenda will never so resonate with Bible believers. Faithful Christian ministers will give their lives before they will agree that sodomy and lesbianism are anything else but sin against nature. The Bible teaches that the mercy of Christ is sufficient to cover all sins, but "he, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." --Pr 29:1

There will always be false prophets among the people of God, but the core of Christianity is not to be found there. For the sodomite agenda to be realized [full acceptance] as normal, the Christian faith will have to be eradicated, and that involves removing Jesus Christ from His throne. Are they ready for that conflict? Will they be willing to persecute Christians, deprive them of office, homes, wealth, position, their churches, etc., in the name of tolerance. The history of humanism has not been promising with respect to persecution of Christians, but the outcome is always the same: the destruction of those that rise up against Christ and His people.


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