Posts from the ‘moralism’ Category

A Letter to My Brothers – Concerns about America

The EU has already given over a lot of land to Islam without a single shot being fired.
They occupy, use gangs to harass, put up signs declaring Sharia law, and then throw stones at first responders, so that even law enforcement agencies won’t go there.
Sweden just started allowing public prayers to go out morning,noon, and night.
Can’t happen here?
All they need is persistent patience and time.
And more presidents like O.
Did you know the head of our CIA is Muslim?
I’ve studied Islam. The Koran does not separate the powers of church and state. The Koran insists they be combined and that the supreme law be Sharia law, the law of Islam.

The idea of Islam being a peaceful religion should have been clearly disproven to everyone by know.

What can we do?

Laws may help, for sure, but what about the example I talked about above? Islam took over an entire district of the third largest city in Belgium. Could Dearborn be taken over the same way?

Here’s my answer. Know what you believe.

Muslims know what they believe and that they believe is that people must submit to Allah, it is forced religion enforced by Sharia law. In fact the word “Islam” means “Submit”.

Here’s what I believe.

Christianity today in America is confused and no longer provides a consensus of integrity whereby it can effectively influence a free society to be responsible with the very freedoms it once crafted and that we have long enjoyed.

The truth is that for decades now, Christianity has been a poor reflection of the love of God while also attempting to influence society to embrace it’s moral standard.

Someone said, “Rules without relationship breeds resentment.”

True Christianity isn’t a set of rules though Christianity has rules, the heart of being a Christian is being able to say, Jesus Christ died for me and I trust His sacrifice for my sin, He is my savior.

Then if its genuine, Christ puts His Spirit in us and begins to influence our hearts  only God can do from the inside out.

And He promises never to leave us or forsake us.

No other religion on earth has a relationship like this, where a God became man, lived humbly and sinless with us and then died for us to take away sin, then offers it as a gift of love by faith.

Islam offers no assurance of salvation besides dying for Allah.

Christianity does offer assurance of salvation, but God as Christ died for us.

Someone said that radical Islam is not the greatest threat in the world. Mediocre Christianity is the greatest threat in the world.

Last word.
If you don’t like what you see in Christians, look at Christ in the Bible. You’ll find nothing wrong with Him.
My motto is,Don’t follow Christians, follow Christ.

Your loving brother,

What Tone in Christian Discussion is Biblical ?

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

Christians are to be gentle ,kind, lovingly compassionate, meek and humble, like Christ. That much is obvious, though not always common.

But what about some of the examples of situations where Christ was angry, or when the Apostle Paul burned with indignation?

I think it depends on the situation. Christians are suffering from a stifling and un-Biblical monotonic response to the issues we face today.

 

We believe one tone should apply to everything, yet Indignation is also Biblical.

Keep in mind that silence was only used by Christ during the trial for crucifixion, when He willfully gave up His life for you and I. He said nothing in His own defense.

There are many shades of Christian communication, and all are Christ like. For instance,… are you trying to encourage? For the most part ,be gentle.

Are you exhorting and spurring others on? Be hopeful and thankful.

Or are you defending the most precious life-giving Gospel,the Blood of Jesus, and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Now that’s a different story. Take the Apostle Paul for instance.

II Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? (NKJV)

Christians today need to find their voices! Rightly dividing the word of God means 2 Corinthians 11:29 is in the mix.

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone to use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regard to what tone is right and when we should use them.

Too many issues demand our voices!

A great example is this video that went viral  and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in  modern Christendom.

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the proverbial Snot Out of Legalism!

But he has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

In fact, Bethke is well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Jefferson Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus will always win!

Speak up! Be bold!

That is our part to this world. Give them Jesus!

The Road Map For Renewal For America – Gospel Shaped Ministry – By Tim Keller

“Gospel ministry is endlessly creative,it’s ever new,it means that you can preach the Gospel and you never have to be afraid of boring people.”

“The Gospel is what every theological category should be expounding when we do our theology.”

 “Every sermon ought to be about Jesus. It doesn’t matter what passage, or if it’s the Old Testament or the New Testament,it should be Jesus”

“Father, we want to be Gospel shaped people now.”

Tim Keller

This video is 54 minutes long.

If you can watch this video but only  have time for a few minutes of it, I suggest you watch the last 11 minutes, and come back for the rest later.

If you can watch the entire video you may conclude it is one of the best, and perhaps the best sermon I have posted by Tim Keller.

If you cannot watch the entire video, I will be posting more quotes from this video as I find the time. Please come back for more.

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967 – She Was An Atheist

Ayn Rand,Author of Atlas Shrugged, First Appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Part 1 -This is the same interview from a different source in case the first one has been removed again-

Part 2 – This is the same interview from a different source in case the first one has been removed again-

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal~
Faith owns the comprehension of things eternal.
Reason owns the comprehension of things temporal.
The eternal transcends the temporal.

Carson did an incredible job interviewing Rand. Although the video is 26 minutes long, the basis for her beliefs and philosophy are revealed in the first few minutes.

He starts right off by asking her,“What are the basic principles of your definition of objectivity and of your philosophy you believe in ?”

Her answer said it all, “The basic principle of objectivism is that man must be guided exclusively by reason.”

This glaring hole in her philosophy exposes her atheism,which she openly professed to believe.

We all have the right and freedom to choose our own path and destiny, but to deny the laws that govern the means of arriving at our desired destination belong to our creator, whom she openly denies to exist.

“The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

The laws of reason and nature do not dictate the actions or ability of the Creator.

Rather, God dictates the laws that apply to us, and He lives beyond those limitations.

To believe in God’s unlimited abilities is to have faith, which transcends reason.

The seeds of postmodernism can be found in her belief that we should arrive at the same moral truth purely by reason.

Time has proven Rand is wrong.

She believed that altruism and self interest were in opposition to each other and that society must choose one or the other.

Yet she even conceded to Carson that philosophy had many definitions for morality and what is ethical.

Rand believed in capitalism. What she failed to see was that capitalism only works so long as democracy is sustained.

Democracy is dependent on freedom, and freedom requires personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility requires a moral standard. Jesus is that standard, and His sacrifice is our model.

A moral standard is sameness.

This is where Ayn Rand has been proven wrong.

The predominate philosophy today is postmodernism, the belief that,”what you believe is okay for you and what I believe is okay for me.”

Postmodernism does not fulfill Rand’s vision of a single standard for morals and ethics.

Having come from an extreme socialist country, Russia, she clearly disavowed forced altruism,which is what socialism is.

But Rand however did not disavow Communism’s atheism. For had she embraced Christianity, she would have seen in Christ, the inspiration for self sacrifice that most of our founding fathers saw and followed.

Jesus Christ is the supreme symbol of moral standard many signers of our Declaration of Independence followed when they willfully gave their lives and possessions for a higher ideal.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy is anti-socialistic, which would appeal to fiscal conservatives who do not have a well developed religious philosophy.

The problem is that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is also fatally anti-democratic.

Selfishness leads to greed, which is not only morally wrong, it is killing our politics, banking system, government and people.
And when self becomes the god of a nation, democracy fails.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (NIV Bible)

Proverbs 19:17 “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.”

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal~

The Righteousness that Comes from God and is by Faith

 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” ( Philippians 3:4-9)

Legalism, License, and The Love of God

Rembrant's "The Three Crosses"Rembrandt’s “The Three Crosses” Courtesy of British Museum

Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, Legalism and license oppose the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The two thieves rob power from the message of Christ’s complete and finished work on the cross.

I’m in awe with the thought that God himself came down to save us and gave Himself on the cross for you and I.

God Himself is the Gospel. Such an incredible thought!

And even more, I think this truth holds a key to something that is holding the church back from revival.

Here’s what I mean…

Legalism and license oppose the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Self righteousness, moralism, legalism, at various levels and degrees in the hearts of Christians robs the church of power and keeps those who would enter from doing so.

I know license is present in the world, but legalism is the Christian man’s primary problem.

Christianity ascribes all truth to the Bible and the keys to renewal are contained therein.

License is pleasure based and legalism is power based.

Both are self-centered.

Both devastate our world by misrepresenting the truth of the Good News of the Gospel.

We need to distinguish between license and legalism in order to recognize them.

License is based on the idea that God is only love, that Jesus died for us, and now we can take grace for granted and sin willfully by doing whatever we want.

License is also known as relativism because absolute truth is usually denied  in this belief.

Legalism takes undo pride in works of righteousness and in pride looks down on others, thinking that works merit favor with God.

 “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

   “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”(Luke 18:11-14)

Legalism is also known as moralism.

The best example from the Bible was written by the Apostle Paul .

He wrote the letter to the Galatians addressing Christians to defend them and the Gospel from legalism, the idea that we attach our own works to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Legalistic religious leaders were the primary enemies of Christ and orchestrated the crucifixion as prophesied in the old testament of the Bible.

Legalistic religious leaders also tormented Paul his entire ministry.

I believe legalism is still the primary threat to the purity of the Gospel today.

Pastor Tim Keller seems to believe this as well.

Keller thinks that a moralistic view of the Gospel is the norm today.

What do you think?

Do you agree that a moralistic view of Christianity is the norm today?

Far too often we Christians try to honor God by emphasizing His Holiness or His Sovereignty or His Justice, as if to cull favor with God by associating with these attributes of God, while ignoring His love, His mercy and Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us on the cross.

The writers of the new testament centered their claims on Christ,relating their claims back to Christ 27% or more of the total words they wrote on average.

Almost one-third of everything in the New Testament is specifically about Jesus or centers on His personage. The point is it is all about Jesus. If you have the Son you have the Father, if you don’t have the Son then you don’t have the Father.

Do we even come close to giving Christ preeminence today?

I fear not.

God’s great love is the only one of God’s attributes that makes us worthy subjects to honor all His other attributes. His love is His Grace by which we are saved.

Only His great love which He personally expressed on our behalf on the Cross of Christ can save us.

We Christians make the mistake of thinking the primary reason God sent Jesus to die for our sins was because He is Holy and Righteous and His justice had to satisfied.

God is all those things but that is not why Jesus came to save us.

God’s word tells us why.

It says God so loved! (John 3:16)

GOD SO LOVED!

God so loved that He became man.

God so loved that He paid for our sins, the just for the unjust.

His motive was to save you because He loved you.

I have found that most people and perhaps most Christians too, do not have a heart that is awakened to the love of God and its full meaning to them.

Fellow Christians often take issue with those of us who emphasize God’s love as, “The Greatest of These.”

Time and time again I have heard angry responses such as, “God is not just love, He is Righteous and Holy too!”

That was when I finally understood why one of the greatest sermons ever was titled.”Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God.”

(This sermon was preached by Jonathan Edwards.)

In that sermon, the hand of God is the only thing keeping us from falling into eternal fire.

I personally know God is love, because it is written and portrayed throughout the Holy Bible.

If all God wanted was to satisfy His Holiness, Righteousness and His Justice; then God would just send everyone to Hell.

The verdict was already given and only death prevents that sentence from being carried out on all who have not received Christ as Savior.

The only thing that can prevent what had already been determined to happen was provided to us because God so loved.

Legalism, license and the Love of God.

We need to know the difference because only one of them can save us and the others are apostasy,( they deny the fullness of faith in Christ alone to save).

Only the true Gospel that starts and ends with, “God so loved”, will save.

Any other gospel is not the one true, pure work, because they deny Christ’s finished work by adding to it or by watering it down.

Both views of the Gospel, moralistic legalism and relativistic license, rob the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and make it null and void to save and change us.

 “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:10)

We have nothing else like God’s gift of love and must create a new category in our hearts and minds where Christ’s gospel resides uniquely.

If you need to settle that in your own heart, just tell God you believe Christ died for your sin.

Ask Him to save you, and He will. Because He loves you so.

“For 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.” (John 3:16)

Related articles –

Barna Research – Majority of People who call themselves Christian are more like Pharisees than Christ like.

http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/619-are-christians-more-like-jesus-or-more-like-the-pharisees

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