Posted by: Art | September 9, 2014

Pluck it out and cast it from thee…

Genesis 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.

Tim Challies weighs-in on a particular incident that highlights the spirit of porn, and the utter impossibility of setting gradations within the spectrum of what is, at its core, evil:

The very fact that these women took these photographs in the first place is proof that they are victims of the world, the flesh, and the devil. I assume they were all willing participants in these photo shoots, but they were victims even in their willingness—victims of those forces that makes them believe they are nothing more than their beauty, their sexiness, or their sexual desirability. They are victims of the lust that drove them to inappropriate sexual relationships outside of marriage. When we understand sin, we understand that a person can be a willing participant and victim at the same time and in the same act.

His comment is just as applicable, IMHO, to a constellation of other eye-pleasing but dead and rotting things in which our culture routinely invests its time, money and attention, presuming upon God’s grace, pridefully imagining that human beings are capable of handling just a little evil by our own power.

Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

John 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

———

RELATED: Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives: The horror I witnessed inside the women’s ‘liberation’ movement, by Mallory Millett, sister of uber-feminist leader Kate Millett.

Thus, the females, who are fundamentally the arbiters of society go on to harden their young men with such pillow-talk in the same way they’ve been hardened because, “Wow, man, I’ve gotta get laid and she won’t do it if I don’t agree to let her kill the kid if she gets knocked-up!” Oppressed? Woman has always had power. Consider the eternal paradigm: only after Eve convinced Adam to eat the fruit did mankind fall. I.e., man does anything to make woman happy, even if it’s in defiance of God. There’s power for ya! Without a decent womankind, mankind is lost. As Mae West said, “When women go wrong men go right after them!”

I’ve known women who fell for this creed in their youth who now, in their fifties and sixties, cry themselves to sleep decades of countless nights grieving for the children they’ll never have and the ones they coldly murdered because they were protecting the empty loveless futures they now live with no way of going back. “Where are my children? Where are my grandchildren?” they cry to me.

Posted by: Art | August 13, 2014

Why We Hate God

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.'”

——-

Note this remarkable insight within a remarkable, classic book (‘Standing on the Rock: Upholding Biblical Authority in a Secular Age,’ by the late James Montgomery Boice). Quoting from page 117 of the paperback edition:

“Crucifixion is the response of the unsaved human heart to God’s sovereignty: I want to do things the way I want to do them, and I will not acknowledge God’s right to interfere. Yet, sovereignty is one of the first things we are taught in Scripture concerning God’s character. He is the sovereign God, and he is sovereign whether we acknowledge it or not.

We must also be taught about God’s holiness and omniscience because we do not like those either. If God is holy, it means we are not holy. If God is the standard for measuring our morality, our morality looks very dirty. Since nobody wants to look morally dirty, we hate God for his holiness. We hate God for his omniscience, too. Omniscience means God knows everything, but we do not want to be known. We want people to know us a little, but we resist letting ourselves be known in a deep way”

——-

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'”

 

Posted by: Art | April 20, 2014

The True Church

Saved by a Community for Community, by David Lookabill

We live in a world that’s becoming more and more connected. From Facebook to Twitter to texting, we are “closer” to each other than ever before. Smartphones and social networking provide instantaneous access… But the dangerous irony is that this connectedness has also made us more isolated than ever before…

(After years of immersing myself in this world, and making many good friends here, I would add blogs and comment threads to his list of useful-but-dangerous substitutes for the true, the local body of Christ.)

This troubling reality has infiltrated the church, too. But like fish who have been swimming in the waters of individualism for too long, we barely even notice it. It’s so easy to treat the church like a club where we show up once a week, get what we want, and then leave for lunch without reaching out to anyone.

We need other believers to draw us back into the fold when we’ve gone astray. Other believers need us to encourage and spur them on (Heb. 10:24). If we examine all the orders we’re given in the New Testament, “one another” commands dominate the pages (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 5:11). Living in the community of the local church, then, is necessary—not optional—for your growth in grace. We simply cannot obey “one another” commands if we’re not around, well, one another.

The outside world needs to see this, too—a community of people living out Jesus’ commands despite their vastly different personalities, music preferences, backgrounds, skin colors, economic statuses, and even football allegiances.

For all we hear about the need for unity in diversity in our culture, the world divides over all sorts of issues…

Yet in the Trinity we see immaculate unity in diversity. God exists as one being in three persons, each with a distinct role in redemption. And his church, too, ought to reflect this glorious unity in diversity: red, yellow, black, and white; rich, poor, and middle class; old and young, cool and uncool—all united under the blood-bought banner of our common King.

The world around us longs for community, and the false sense of connectedness created by Twitter and Facebook [AND BLOGS and e-mails and comment threads] won’t fill the void. We need robust, life-on-life, in-the-trenches community. God didn’t merely “text us,” after all. He came. He walked with us, wept with us, rejoiced with us, and loved us in spite of ourselves. If we’re embodying this self-giving posture in our churches, then, it’ll draw the lonely world to us like a magnet. If this isn’t the reality you experience at church, though, you’re not alone.

The local church is messy. We’ve all experienced hurt and disappointment in it. And the head of the church understands, for he knows better than anyone the costliness of living in community. He entered this messy and broken world, and it killed him.

For us to embrace real community will entail crucifixion, too. It’ll mean dying to our desires, our preferences, our expectations. But on the other side of crucifixion, there’s resurrection. We die to self now in order to enjoy true life forever (Matt. 16:25).

So let’s radically love the brother in Sunday school who drives us crazy. Let’s invite into our homes the awkward sister no one else approaches. Let’s walk into the sanctuary seeking to engage the visitor in conversation. Let’s go beyond sports and weather and politics to discuss how the gospel intersects with our lives, our marriages, our families. The more this interaction happens in our churches, the more we will be drawn into the lavish love of the triune God.

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