Now that it's attainable, we have "millions" of women protesting that possibility. And while Christians should always be doing our best to live at peace with all (Rom. 12:18), there is still a responsibility to speak out against those "who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Isa. 5:20). Consequently, there is a certain joy that comes with the knowledge that our nation might actually stop the murdering of 3,000 innocent lives a day - an atrocity that far outweighs the Holocaust to the point that it's now beyond measure.
What probably didn't come across in my last post as much as I should have stressed, is that either of these options (Trump or Hilary) is a judgment from God (Prv. 16:4; cf. 1 Sam. 8:7-8, 9-18).
I did say it in the last post, but I probably didn't stress it enough.
And often enough (and what I believe we've experienced) He installs wicked rulers, in part, as a judgment for the sinful acts of a nation (Prv. 16:4; cf. Judg. 2:11-15). Of course, thankfully, in His mercy He relents from judgment when a nation collectively repents (Jon. 1:2, 3:10; cf. 2 Chron. 7:14; Dan. 9:1-19). That's something to which we ought to pay great attention in our lives today!
Repentance is still an option; and a viable one at that!
But what of what kind of repentance are we speaking? And how do we go about doing it?
The phrase "presuppositional apologetics" might be lost on many in the church, but its method and use has continued to increase in popularity even today. Dr. Bahnsen didn't develop the method but learned it from Dr. Cornelius Van Til. He did, however, give teeth to it, as demonstrated remarkably in his formal debate ("The Great Debate: Does God Exist?") with Gordon Stein and other debates.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
The book of Acts then goes on to show how God used these men and others to do just that - be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. That is how the work of the Great Commission began.
But I think it's important to understand that this was just the beginning of the Great Commission and the work of discipling all nations. This whole thing of 11 guys going out into the world as ambassadors for Christ was a unique phenomenon. Certainly God is still calling missionaries (yes, God calls missionaries - Acts 13:2-3) to be His ambassadors in actively going into the remote parts of the world in order to make entire cultures and nations His disciples. Yet it seems to me that from Scripture, overt active evangelizing, while important, is not the main avenue of discipling the nations. It seems rather that the normal course in which God will continue to expand His Great Commission work is first and foremost in the home.
What I'm saying is that discipleship starts in the home, continues in the church, expands into the community, and from there goes out into all nations. Here is why I say that.
I'm not going to take the time here to lay out a case as to why that is an abhorrent ruling in the eyes of God (Lev. 18:22, 20:13) and why gloating over it as Obama did will only incur further wrath on himself and his nation (Ps. 2:10-12).
What I also will not be doing is claiming myself to be sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on America because of this ruling and, in my mind, even far more gruesome sins (like the 3 million babies we kill each year in terrifying ways). No, I'm not sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on a sinful nation.
What I'm saying is that the church has already been doing that very thing for far too long; and we need to repent from that method of Christian living.
[Pray] also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly
Even in the most well-known "Renaissance-man" passage of Scripture, which in context is no "Renaissance-man" passage at all - it's just been accepted as being so for the last however long (Phil. 4:13) - even then Paul goes right on to say: "It was kind of you [Philippians] to share my trouble" (Phil. 4:14).
If our own day's heroes of the faith are not above requesting prayer for their respective ministries, if not even the Apostle Paul was above requesting prayer for his ministry, how much more then do us lesser-servants of the gospel like myself need such prayer support for our ministries?
(FYI: I'm not trying to have some back-door ("false") humility here when I say "lesser-servants." I'm just meaning those of us whose ministry is not a full-time vocation - and there are many of us out there)
And there is certainly much to be appreciated about seeing solid teamwork being displayed right before your eyes. Everyone contributing their own unique gifts and abilities to oppose and conquer the opposition (these are similar reasons why I enjoy the Marvel Universe films). In reality, it gives a great picture of the church in that everyone in Christ contributes their own spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:15-16), and by so doing are opposing the gates of hell and eventually overcoming them (Mt. 16:18; cf. Eph. 3:20-21).
But times like this, for sports fans (just as times like the one coming soon for me when Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theatres) provides a good time and venue for a sobering reality check.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers...
However, I do not believe that the judgment for teaching false doctrines is what James is himself concerned about in this passage.
Now there's nothing scientific about this next statement (that is, I haven't conducted official research), but it seems to me that many Christians are under the impression that the mission of the church is merely the conversion of souls (to evangelize). But that is cutting short drastic responsibilities given to the church.
True the church, as a body, is called to evangelize. But the task Christ gave His apostles is far more encompassing:
What I am advocating is that believers in Christ ought to understand the significance of abortion, that they have an obligation to do something about it, and that they are able to do something about it.
To be sure, what each believer does to contribute will look different, just as it would in stopping sex-trafficking and other terrible crimes against our neighbors(1), but it is still true that all who are in Christ have an obligation to love their neighbors (Gal. 5:14). And this means all Christians have an obligation to do something about abortion.
In the introduction the book posits the problem:
We live in an age in which only one prejudice is tolerated -- anti-Christian bigotry. … Today, the only group you can hold up to public mockery is Christians. … But the truth is: Had Jesus never been born, this world would be far more miserable than it is.
It is He Himself who empowers those gifts in the life of the believer (1 Cor. 12:11). It is He who works in you (Phil. 2:13; Heb. 13:20-21). Using your spiritual gift is not a burden, but a joy; and when it occurs it is truly the most comfortable aspect of your life this side or glory - you are doing the very thing you were created to do (Eph. 2:10).
But please don't take my word for it. See for yourself from the Word of God.
I think first of all (as I've stated elsewhere) it's safe to summarize that the church as a whole is God's appointed means of corporate worship in society (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Tim. 3:15) as well as God's instrument for the conversion of souls and the transformation of the world (Mt. 28:18-20; cf. Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 9:19-23; Eph. 5:6-14) through the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18, 24).
But while the church as a whole is tasked with (at least in part) the missionary work of propagating the gospel, does this mean that every Christian within the church is a missionary or is called to evangelize in regular day-to-day experience? I think we need to reflect on what the Scriptures actually teach in that area.
True the church, as a body, is called to evangelize. But the task Christ gave His apostles (generally agreed to be representing the church) is far more encompassing. Here is what is considered The Great Commission and is generally thought to be the text on commanding all believers to be evangelist-missionaries:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Mt. 28:18-20)
While "the Church" as such (meaning as a distinct entity from the state) should never have the power of the sword, that doesn't mean (nor should it) that it is altogether banned from the political sphere.
To the contrary, the Christians who make up what is known as the church (and consequently who also are many of those governed by the state) have very good reasons to be involved in their local, state, and national politics, to the degree that they're able.(1) That is to say, Christians have the responsibility and privilege (again, to the degree that they're able) to do whatever they can to influence (through humble, rational persuasion, not through coercion) the public governmental policies (politics).
Otherwise are Christians somehow not called:
And yet there are so many who think the Christian is somehow obligated to do all the above except where it involves politics. Never mind the fact that we're even explicitly commanded to bring our prayer life to bear on the government of society (1 Tim. 2:1-3). Is the rest of the New Testament really so unclear as to what it means to be the salt and light of the earth, to expose the works of darkness, to disciple the nations, to submit even our thought life to Christ - indeed to do all things to the glory of God - except when it pertains to our involvement in how our societies are to be governed and with what standard our governors should apply (and by which standard they themselves should be judged) when carrying out the appropriate duties in the domain of the civil magistrate? Nonsense!
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