Posts Tagged ‘god’

Bojidar Marinov has much to say regarding God’s Law as the standard for today, not only in the Church and family but also over our Government. His latest article for Restoring Christendom is excellent. The best I have read in regards to how to apply God’s law in the cases of Police, brutality and justice. Grace and Peace.



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pulpitLiving out a limited Gospel is practical atheism. The Enlightenment thinkers set in place rules prohibiting the Christian worldview from being expressed or having any say in culture and the public square. Relegating the gospel to the realm of “private religious experience” it has been effectively silenced. Finally after years and generations of struggle by the Christian Church to see a Gospel movement in America, the state of our society indicates a grim reality, we have given up. Not that we have given up “believing in Jesus” or our hope in heaven, an afterlife that promises a longed for escape and reprieve from the pains and miseries of this world. We have given up good sound doctrine concerning what the Gospel is and what it encompasses. We live as if the Gospel is primarily about our plight and condition. To us, the Gospel is about us, and what we do with it in secret is noble, worthy and good enough. We pick some causes that we deem as a violation of Gods Laws and fight fervently while ignoring other violations, agreeing with the Secularism that has boxed us in, “something is better than nothing”.

Today is a day to come back to right doctrine. God’s perfect standard expressed in his Law and his justice and power demonstrated through the victory of his unique Son whom he has established as King of the nations requires us to change. Indeed the Gospel is not a message of how to obtain a ticket to heaven, as though heaven was a realm way out in space completely distinct from us and the only way we will get there is through our deaths. The Gospel is the message that Jesus is King and that his Kingdom is here. Heaven has come to this broken world, and we are to pray “thy will be done” because the death and resurrection of Jesus is the means through which he has defeated all powers, both earthly and spiritual.

This Gospel is more than a philosophical idea to be discussed at a distance by scholars in lofty towers, it is more than a private joy to be kept secret, locked away in church buildings. It is the message of power that brings “the lofty down from their thrones”, Luke 1:51. It gets results instead of just wishing things would change. The Kingdom of God calls the people of God to action, and it calls us to hold this message dear as our explanatory framework. The Gospel is hope and a solution for all that pains this place. There is not one area of life and existence that does not find itself well within the reign of Christ. Our social ills even systemic racism, worldwide hunger, poverty, violence and all other evils can never be solved and eradicated through secularism. The Enlightenment has lied to us all. Human reason is itself inconsistent and flawed, we cannot reason our way out of the cave. After hundreds of years, the Age of Reason has proven to be the Dark Ages. Its time for the Spirit filled people of God to let their light shine.

When we live a limited Gospel that is about us and our plight, the result is a society that does not know the Gospel. This type of Gospel religion looks the exact same as Atheism in a practical sense. May we cease living as Atheism would have us live, as if the reign of Jesus is a figurative or imaginary one. He is King active in his rule now. He has brought the world as we knew it to an end. The New Age of God’s salvation has come. May we be people who live in this new age, living out the full Gospel, heralding the Great King who’s Kingdom will know no end.

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This is a really great talk from Pastor Tim Keller on the Jealousy of God. God’s law, his creation of man and woman and the sending of his Son all reveal a God who is passionately in love with his people. Hos doesn’t just want us to serve him out of obligation, he declares to us, “Love me with all you are as I love you.”


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Be Convinced: Abraham, Paul and Us

This is my latest blog for Grace Church of Dunedin, my amazing faith community. Grace and Shalom.

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Whenever forgiveness comes up there are usually reasons put forth as to why one should practice forgiveness. I hear it said that one should forgive so they can be free from bitterness and so they can find healing. I believe forgiveness does these things, brings personal and internal healing as well as a freedom from resentment and therefore stress and anger. As a Christian however, I believe Jesus put forth reasons to forgive beyond those of our own personal benefit. Forgiveness authenticates discipleship and defeats evil.

Jesus tells his disciples that if they are to be authentic in their discipleship then they are to follow him to suffering and death. He was going to a very real and literal Golgotha and was going to hang and die on a very real and gruesome cross, the penalty for sedition against Rome and the Emperor. Jesus says and accomplishes much by his death and in the hours leading to his final breath. One of these is his forgiveness of his killers. His prayer, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” is a statement that teaches much about forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the acknowledgment that the ones who are hammering the nails and whipping the prisoners back to the texture of raw hamburger meat are not the actual enemies. It acknowledges that the humans who are abusing and oppressing are mere vessels and themselves victims of something far worse: Evil itself. Evil is real and it has an agenda. The Bible tells of Evil as that which is contrary to God in every way. It is an invader, unwelcome in God’s created world. The entire story of the Bible can be summed up as what God has done in history and is doing to eventually destroy Evil forever, delivering the universe from its terrible and abusive reign (see Genesis 3, Romans 5-8, Matthew 5).

Jesus prays for the forgiveness of his enemies out of a deep conviction that God is against Evil, and that his own death was in some way involved in what God was doing about it. To be a disciple of this man is to forgive like him, while dying like him. Forgiveness is where the Gospel becomes real and discipleship is authenticated. Those who claim to be a follower of Jesus, yet fail in forgiveness, are members of a popular religion that boast big ideas, yet is only just man made hot air and has NOTHING to do with the teachings, example or work of Jesus. How can they follow Jesus when they refuse to go where he leads or do what he says? Those who sit in church and never actually do forgiveness will never know forgiveness themselves, will never see victory over the sin in their life or the evil in their hearts and communities. Forgiveness is how the Kingdom of God moves into this miserable and broken one. It is the way the people of God obey a great commission to make disciples and be the means through which healing and restoration comes to the Cosmos.

To Jesus, and many who have followed after him, forgiveness is the most powerful thing a person can do in the struggle against Evil. During one of the first ever press conferences, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the nation regarding the disappearance of three young male college students in Mississippi who were there participating in the Freedom Rides. Dr. King and other organizers were certain that the students were dead, murdered by those who desired to see Jim Crow law maintained in the South. Dr. King said, “Its not about who killed these men. We know what killed them”. Dr. King believed that Evil was bigger than the hands it used to do its bidding and he was focused on Evil as the true enemy to be fought at all cost. This meant not operating according to the rules of a world ruled and infected with Evil. His dedication to non-violence was a strategy: defeat Evil with peace and love. Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount reveals this strategy ¬†as well, “Do not resist evil with evil”.

Forgiveness is for the retaking of the Earth and humanity from the clutches of Evil. Forgiveness is how the people of God empowered by His Spirit, resist and defeat Evil. There are many benefits to living a life of forgiveness, but luxury and ease are not included in these. A life of forgiveness is only possible when one is dedicated to the Mission of God to see the world put back to rights. It can only be a reality for us when we believe that we are called to die. We must die to ourselves and to the principles of this word that say smart bombs and violent action are effective in making this world better. We must die to a religion that would sing praises to Yahweh, remember the Messiah at the table, join his movement through Baptism, yet refuse to live the new life is represents. When we hold grudges and refuse to forgive we are refusing to be a disciple of Jesus. “Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “Your Kingdom come…on Earth as in Heaven”.

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I love this clip. Pastor Driscoll at Mars Hill hits the nail on the head. In a culture where so many believe God to not exist or to not care about this world or about them, this truth needs to be explored and expressed more. God is a taker, he takes our sin.

Generous God

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