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Entertainment Godfidence Theology

Scripture you will never see on a facebook Friday

I love to see what people are meditating on when they are putting things on their facebook status but I can’t help but notice every one is always putting such positive little blurbs.  As I have been reading the scriptures this year I keep coming across passages and I think to myself  “Now there is one you will never read on facebook”  and now to amuse myself I have started a new tradition.  “Scripture you will never see on a facebook Friday’s”

Starting with my favorite of the spectrum texts:

I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.

(Isaiah 45:6-7 ESV)

This type of scripture called a spectrum text shows God’s sovereignty over all things.  Of course today God is only sovereign over good and Satan is Soverein over the evil things that happen.  But back in the days of Isaiah they didn’t see it that way.

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Christianity Godfidence Theology

Thoughts on Reformed Doctrine

This is a walk though my personal thought process hope you enjoy.

Over the past several years I have been moving more and more toward a belief in Calvinism and the Reformed doctrine system.  If you don’t know what that is it may not matter for the sake of this conversation but feel free to look it up here.

I have been having some great conversations about this topic and other with my friend Dale. (just like old time, eh bro) when I started down a strange thought process.  Is it possible that my attraction to Calvinism is based on a logical fallacy?  Let me walk through a little background.

I was first introduced to Calvinism through the ministry of Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church Seattle.  As I studied more of the theology really meant I believe I may have been attracted, at least in part, to the importance they really placed on the power and majesty of God as opposed to the doctrines themselves.  I had come from a background in modern evangelisms where God can at times be reduced to a background figure.  There is so much “How to improve your life” being preached that the Gospel is merely something tacked on to the end of the message for the altar call.  But the reformed preachers seemed different to me.  They truly are committed to “Know nothing but Christ and him Crucified.”  The Gospel of Christ’s sacrifice courses through every sermon and is even orchestrated through our entire service at Veritas.  So, it may have been possible that I linked these two concepts in my brain.

Is it possible that I have attributed truth to their claims based on the factors other than the claims themselves?  I admit it is possible but I don’t believe it is true.

I still find myself torn when it comes to the idea if it is up to us or God when it comes to Salvation.  There are men much smarter than me who have argued this for a long time and I can see good solid points on both sides.  So I still find myself lost in the middle but I wanted to at least get some thoughts out since work is finally slowing down and I have a few moments.

Hope you enjoy the ride that is my thought process.

Categories
Family Life Fatherhood Godfidence Theology

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
We have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Later added anonymously:

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

This is the song I sing my girls to sleep with almost every night.  Amazingly, my oldest still hasn’t asked me what a wretch is but, she has asked why we will have “no less days to sing his praise”.  That she now seems to understand.  I didn’t grow up with more traditional kids songs like “Jesus Loves Me” so, I sing hymns, which I also didn’t grow up with but I like better.  I also hope it helps to tie them to the universal and timeless church.

My favorite stanza is the second.  I have recently felt as if God has revealed his Grace to me in an entirely new way and it has opened my eyes more and more to what grace truly means.

John Newton published this song in 1779 and it has been called his biography in verse.  I think that rings true to every Christian which is why the song has been around and popular for over 200 years.

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Family Life Godfidence Theology

Leading your wife.

After writing another post I decided to talk a little about being the spiritual man of my house.

Now although it is fairly unpopular today I believe in a Biblical distinction between male and female roles.  This idea is called complimentarianism as it is believed that the roles compliment one another.  The belief that there is no distinction of roles called for is called egalitarianism.  Please understand that I believe both men and woman are equally image bearers of God and are both loved equally.   Gal 3:28-29 tells us that

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

When it comes to our salvation I believe we are all equal before the Lord.  However just as the Son submits himself to the Father and we are to submit our selves to our local church leadership, I believe wives are called to submit to their own husbands. Eph 5:22.

Now believe me when I say I am not always thrilled about this idea.  Sin manifests in many ways in my life and very often it is in the form of complacency and laziness.  I wish I could reject my authority and leave everything of to my wife.  Many men do and it is a constant temptation to many I have talked to.  It would make life so much easier but I don’t believe that is my calling.

I am called to lead my home spiritually but I was never quite sure what that is supposed to look like.  While my father was a great man in many ways he never filled this role so I really didn’t see it modeled in my house.  I have seen glimpses of it in the lives of some men I have admired but never really took the time to learn as I assumed it would come naturally when the time came. (That is a mistake, don’t make it)

This year Heather and I have been reading through the Bible together and it has opened the door to many opportunities to share the gospel with one another.  Leading our community group has forced us to take the time to discuss things we are learning in church, which has also been awesome.

Men if you are not already, find a way to lead your wife.  It is part of being a husband and a man.

So, do you do it?  How?

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Family Life Godfidence Theology

Easter Lessons

As part of being A Godly father I spend a lot of time thinking about how to teach my children about the Lord.  As a family we do our best to take advantage of the Holidays and focus on the real point of it all.  (Alora said Easter is her favorite because Jesus is alive and we get east eggs)

This year we are again making the Jesus tomb suggested by John and Noel piper.  We will build a giant mound of dough in to a tomb (using a can for the tomb itself) and we will build crosses and people out of pipe cleaners.  We put Jesus in the tomb on Good Friday and Easter morning we hide him near by so the Girls can find him.

But in order to help us tell the story Heater also found “Resurrection Eggs” They are 12 little plastic Easter eggs each with a number and inside is an item that helps you tell the story of the resurrection.  So, 1 is a little donkey for Palm Sunday when Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem.

The girls are ecstatic about them and hopefully by next year Alora will be able to tell us the story.

Don’t let Holidays become just about the secular trappings, or let the spiritual significance be pushed off to the side.

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Godfidence Theology Through The Bible

Leviticus strikes again…

Warning: this article is more for me than public consumption.  I want to come back to study this point but don’t have time at the moment.

Leviticus gets a bad wrap as far I am I concerned.  Sure, it is one of the few books full of do’s and don’ts but it also shows just the depth of depravity humans will stoop to.  It is a kind of snapshot of the troubles with all humanity.  After all there were and still are in some occasions,really people looking to do the things God forbid.

But one passage I really struggled with was the passage of the death of Nadab and Abihu.  They were the sons of Aaron who offered up unauthorized or strange fire before the Lord.   As a result of not following God’s prescription for his own worship they were struck down instantly.

This passage is a major proof text for those who believe in what is called the Regulatory Principle.  If you aren’t familiar with the Regulatory Principle of Worship it is summerized in the idea that the Bible tell us explicitly how we are to worship God and implicitly excludes everything else.  So if the Bible doesn’t say it we can’t do it.  Taken to the extreme this would mean we can sing only the psalms, and can not sing the name of Jesus.

I really don’t know much past that and while I don’t believe it is a sin to sing the name of my savior I do wonder if there is still a particular way in which God desires to be worshiped?  I always seem to be writing in a hurry and I wish I had more time to study these types of things out.

Categories
Christianity Family Life Godfidence Theology

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Everyone has heard of Mardi Gras but how many of us know that it is connected to Lent and the Christian Tradition?  I best most people don’t make the connection.

You know spending most of my walk with the Lord in modern Evagelical churches I was never really taught much about older traditions in the Church.  Having gone to a Lutheran church when I was first saved I have at least heard some of the titles.

Today is Ash Wednesday, it marks the beginning of Lent.  Lent is a traditional time of preparation, via repentance, prayer, alms giving and self-denial, for the Holy Week and celebration or Easter or Resurrection Sunday.  Mardi Gras literally “Fat Tuesday” was the last chance to eat the rich fatty foods before a period of fasting.  A sort of “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” kind of day.

Most people think of Lent as the 40 days before Easter but many denominations count these times differently. (See this article for more information)  No matter the duration you observe the purpose should be the same.

No matter which way you choose to observe the season it is a wonderful experience.   The years when I have taken is seriously it has been an enriching time of growth.   Take some prayerful time to consider what God would have you to do to observe Lent and prepare for the Holiest of day in the Christian year.

There are traditionally three types of Justice to be observed in the Lenten Season: Justice to God, yourself, and others.

(God)Dedicate more time to prayer by giving up: TV, Video Games, sleep or something else that takes up your time.

(Self)What can you do?  Many people give up a certain type of food: meat, red meat, caffeine, candy and sweets.

(Others)Dedicate the money you save in doing these thing to give away to others, your local church, homeless shelter or other ministry.

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Godfidence Theology

Act Like Men LIVE

I am live blogging from the Act Like Men conference from Veritas Community Church.  Check out the live feed.

It is kicking off with awesome worship 300 men singing unto the Lord. (no prom love songs here)

Pastor Brad is welcoming the crowd, today is going to be a day of speaking to men as men.

I love Joe Byler’s Worship we hit the old hymns and sing song that are perfect for men, they sing of the power and love of God in a way that doesn’t make me feel  like I am Jesus’ Boyfriend.

No Guilt of life

no fear in death

This is the powe of Christ in me

From life’s first cry to final breath

Jesus commands my destiny.

The call from scriptures is not to get in touch with your feminine side, we don’t have one.  It is a call to true manhood that we are called to.  Our idea of man hood has been shattered by sin.

Life working against you is an opportunity to see God’s grace because you now understand how you are working against him when he tries to work in your life. — Dan Montgomery

Dan Montgomery makes a good point that without proper church discipline you will never challenge men properly to rise up.  You will build a culture of passivity or sin because as long as you aren’t doing anything obviously sinful you are OK.

You must start to think differently about how you use your time.

@nicknye made the point that you can not confuse efforts with results and that he sometimes make the mistake of confusing business to commitment.

Now hitting the Q&A for the first time.  We are hearing from some awesome men on how to practically live as men.

How can you be masculine without offending women, because when you are a Godly man you are easy to follow.

Too many men are preoccupied with find a wife and not thinking about becoming a man — Dan Montgomery

All right not on to how to act like men in your family.

Many men have selfish reasons for getting married and having children.

See @jasonrfisher for all other updates.  Or see my witter round up tomorrow.

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Godfidence Theology Through The Bible

The End of the Beginning

Closing out Genesis is always bitter sweet when I read the Bible.  I know that I have made a big step but I also know the rest of the Pentateuch isn’t nearly as interesting.

There are several interesting stories at the end of Genesis.  And I wanted to talk about Joseph and his trials.  Who was responsible for the things that happened to Joseph?  Were his brothers solely responsible?  Was God in charge the whole time and caused or allowed Joseph to be treated the way he was.  If so will his brothers be held responsible for their actions, after all they were simply doing God’s will right?

I don’t know if I am qualified to answer these questions but they are things that come to my mind as I read these passages.

Particularly Genesis 50

Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

The Bible clearly states that God intended this, now as always when quoting a quote you can make the argument that Joseph said it and the Bible records it accurately but it may not be ultimately true.

But God, being sovereign, us in ultimate control of even human sin isn’t he?  After all he didn’t just hope that Jesus would be crucified but planned it from the foundations of the world.  The greatest sin ever committed, the murder of the holy Son of God, was ordained by the sovereign God of the universe right?

So it all boils down to how much control God has over the universe.  We call him sovereign but then say he can or will not work against human free will, which makes man sovereign doesn’t it?  I hope to someday work out my thoughts on the sovereignty of God but this isn’t the day.

Any thoughts?

Categories
Family Life Godfidence Politics Theology

Authority, Government and God

I have been invited to join a top secret group (oops) of men who will be meeting for several weeks while wrestling, and growing in our grip of theology.  We are working though several theological topics and the practical implications of them.

This isn’t a debate club; our hope is to grow closer to one another while growing closer to God’s word.  We are to study some of the topics ahead of time and work though them before we arrive at our undisclosed location so I thought I would work through them a little bit here.  So, I warn you this may be a little more like stream of consciousness writing than a well thought article, if you want one of those I suggest you try the discovery that change my life, and biblical church leadership.

This week we are talking about Government, Authority and God.  A topic I get particularly fired up about because my first exposure to it was a class in Bible College where we read “Spiritual Authority” by Watchman Nee, who all but said you must obey your authority even into sin because the sin would be your leaders and not yours.  The class was very extreme but I had never heard any thing on the topic before so I was interested, although being a fairly rebellious person by nature I was very turned off at the same time.

What does God say about authority explicitly?

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  — Rom 13

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,  whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17  Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.- 1 Pet 2:13-17

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.– Titus  3:1-2

A verse many evangelical Christians would be well served to mediate on considering most thing our current President or any with a ‘D’ after his name are Satan’s right hand man.

Does that mean that God has appointed President Obama to be our President at this time?  Yes, but why?  The notes in my ESV bible express it very well:

It is true that those governing authorities that exist have been instituted by God, but sometimes God gives good authorities as a blessing, and sometimes he institutes evil rulers as a means of trial or judgment (2 Chron. 25:20; 32:24-25). On God’s rule over earthly authorities, see Ps. 75:7 and Dan. 2:21. These earthly “authorities” will ultimately be superseded by the rule of Christ (Dan. 2:44; Rev. 22:1-5).

I am not about to try to decide which our current President is, he is my president and I respect that office.  (In the interest of full disclosure; I am more Libertarian than Republican or Democrat so I think both of our major parties stink on ice and both running our country head long into a brick wall, although one may be doing it faster than the other I am not sure)

So what does the mean for a citizen of a country that is born of rebellion?  Were our Founding Fathers in sin for rebelling against the crown?  Can our president whom ever he is even be considered an authority when we are simply rebelling against the rule of Great Brittan?  Should we repent and be subjects of the crown?

At what point did the Constitution become a binding authority of God?  Was it after the 14th amendment was ratified officially recognizing “all other citizens as 3/5th of a person?  Was it while Slavery still existed in a non biblical form?

How are we to handle our disagreements with the government in a republic where the government is to be of the people, for the people and, by the people.  Paul was working in the context of a sovereigjn ruler not a republic, does that change things?

Was Martin Luther King in sin with his civil disobedience?  Was he rebelling against the God ordained authority? (I cringe to ever write that).

Should we use the government to regulate human morality?  Should we out law “Victimless” crimes because we see a biblical mandate to not do it personally?  Drinking isn’t a sin although the bible warns against drunkenness so do we make a crime to be drunk?  Not drink and drive just sitting home alone getting drunk, should that be a crime?

Should we try to change people though the law or through the Gospel or both?  Should we just legislate that everyone should be a Christian?

How does the affect the Gospel?  I know I fear making my political opinions more important than the Gospel.  I get very fired up about politcs but not as much about the gospel?  Have I made politics into an idol?

That is all I have time for and you probably haven’t read the whole things anyway.  If you did, tell me what you think but I would prefer not to simply have an opinion, but I would like to know what the Bible has to say on the matter and how we are to live that out.