Archive for the ‘Christlike living’ Category

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 1:  An Answer to Prayer]

Greetings Soldier,

I am delighted to inform you that your prayer for wisdom has been heard and gladly granted by God the Father! As representative of His heavenly host and a ministering spirit on your behalf, He has sent me as His ambassador and Angelic Agent (or ‘Angent’, if you prefer) to communicate unto you the truth you need to overcome the daily opposition and deception you are encountering (and which you earnestly desire to both expose and refute). Nothing pleases the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ more than a genuine desire from the Redeemed to grow in wisdom and knowledge so that they might engage in ‘Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’ as prescribed in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Indeed, this is but one aspect of ‘Seeking first the Kingdom of God’ as commanded by our Lord Jesus and is always commended and cheerfully aided by the Father—after all, remember His great delight in a certain King Solomon who, in deference to the will of God, declined to ask for worldly riches and honor but, instead, prayed earnestly for Godly wisdom in His endeavors as ruler over Israel. Needless to say, his place in history as the wisest natural born man ever to live requires no further commentary as to God’s abundant provision in response to his prayers. I find great joy in letting you know that the same God who was rich towards Solomon will not disappoint any who call upon Him with the same petition and in the same earnestness of spirit! Indeed, Almighty God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly, as promised in the 84th Psalm of His Book—the Bible.

Therefore, in response to your unbelieving uncle’s attack on faith in general—and the Christian faith specifically—it is important for you to first understand the distinction between that of ‘justified faith’ and ‘blind faith’. The difference is, the first is rational and good, while the second is not. As a rational, logical Being Himself, God does not (and will not) ask anyone to come to Him through blind, irrational faith–something which carries connotations of, and actually is, but a form of ‘darkness’ (since it alludes to ignorance and superstition) as opposed to the ‘light’ of knowledge and truth. Of course, God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Perhaps the following simple illustration will help convey the difference. Please consider these two scenarios:

Scenario 1:  A young boy wakes up on a cold winter morning in a small South Dakota town.  Excitedly, he pulls back the curtains of his bedroom window to reveal a winter wonderland outside, with the first snowfall of the year having blanketed everything in sight.  He throws on his boots, trousers, coat, and scarf and then grabs his bobsled as he makes his way to the freshly frozen lake out behind his house.  He approaches the lake at a full sprint and, without a second thought, throws his sled down onto the ice and jumps, outstretched, on top of it with a squeal of delight.

Scenario 2:  The same young boy awakes on the same snowy morning.  He dons his winter wear, and grabs his sled.  As he approaches the freshly frozen lake behind his house, he notices the tire tracks from his dad’s 2.5 ton pickup truck stretching from the driveway of their home all the way out across the frozen lake to the other side, where his father is gathering a load of fresh firewood for their home.  With confidence, he gleefully runs out onto the ice and begins his fun-filled day of bobsledding.

Now, in both scenarios, the boy had faith in the ice on the lake and its ability to hold him and his sled.  The difference is, the faith exercised in the first scenario was an unjustified or blind faith, as there was no rational reason for the boy to trust that the ice could hold him.  Sure, he believed that it would, but there was no real justification for his belief. However, in the second scenario, the boy was exercising justifiable faith.  That is, he had a very good reason for believing that the ice would hold him and for subsequently acting upon that belief by stepping out onto it.  The tracks, indicating that his father’s much larger and heavier vehicle had successfully been supported by the ice, gave him a logical justification for his assumption that it would also hold him.  That is the same type of faith that God calls men to exercise with regards to trusting Him and His Word.  Consider Romans 1:18-20:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

According to these verses, God has clearly revealed Himself to all mankind such that all are without excuse for denying Him. That is, the ‘tracks’ He has left via both His natural and special revelation, not only justify faith in Him, they demand it.  As such, Christianity is not a blind leap into the dark unknown, but rather, it is a confident step onto a sure foundation of Truth that has been established and revealed by God in such a way that mankind can know with certainty who He is and that His Word is true.  This is why the Apostle Paul could confidently declare in 2 Timothy 2:12

……nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The foundation of God is indeed a sure one. It is not shameful to trust in Him—it is shameful not to. May God help people everywhere to trust Him more, building themselves up on their most holy faith (and may He do so through you as you put to use the wisdom He has granted). Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

Advertisements

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 11]:

Greetings Soldier,

Your recent enquiries reveal a deep thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to put what you have learned thus far into action. Needless to say, the Heavenly Hierarchy is pleased with this! Regarding your question about whether unbelievers (whom we know to be living in willful denial of God’s revealed truth) are necessarily lying when they profess to believe the things they say they do: the answer is ‘no’—they are not necessarily lying but are often ‘self-deceived’. Remember, satan does have the ability to blind the minds of those who deny God in order to keep the Gospel from reaching their hearts. One of the ways he accomplishes this task is by means of cultivating and promoting an attitude of ‘willful ignorance‘ (merely one form of self-deception) on the part of the unbeliever with regards to things concerning God, Christ, and the Bible.  It has been rightly stated that one will not receive into their heart as true that which their mind rejects as false. Therefore, it is the concerned Christian’s urgent duty to engage in pulling down such ‘intellectual strongholds’ through the bold presentation and declaration of the truth in order that the unbeliever might be freed from the captivity of satanic deception and granted repentance unto salvation by God the Father, through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Understood in this light, Christ’s declaration in John 8:32–‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’–is received with a new and fresh appreciation in the mind and heart of the Christian.

In response to your second question: ‘yes’ I do advocate trying out these arguments online. There you will find no shortage of anti-Christian blogs, posts, and websites where you may engage the unbeliever, expose the error of their worldview, and enlighten them with Biblical truth. Be forewarned, though, that unbelievers do not take kindly to having the basis of their worldview challenged and exposed in this way and you will almost certainly encounter hostility like you never have before. In truth, this is really a positive, since it is a sign that the arguments have struck a nerve and are provoking some discomfort in the unbeliever’s state of mind. Besides, any reaction is always preferred over apathy (since apathy is but one sure sign of intellectual and spiritual ‘deadness’). So long as there is passion and/or zeal present (even misguided passion and/or zeal), then there is hope of a genuine conversion; after all, who can forget the grand transformation that took place when a certain misguided zealot named Saul was converted into that radical new creature in Christ—the Apostle Paul! If you are interested in beginning a conversation on the Dialogue.org site you mentioned, then I suggest you simply state your position plainly as to how Christianity provides the foundation for preconditions of intelligibility and then challenge the unbelievers there with a few direct questions about how those things are reconciled within their worldview. The purpose of this is twofold: it will provide the unbeliever with an opportunity to tell you about their worldview so that an internal critique of it can be performed, while providing you with the opportunity to plainly demonstrate to them how and why Christianity alone provides a rational, internally consistent, foundation for the preconditions of intelligibility required to hold a discussion in the first place (knowledge truth, logic, etc.). For example, you could begin with something like this:

*’Isn’t Dialogue.org great?! We have a place where anyone can come and argue any point about virtually any topic! However, an astute debater will find that the very concept of ‘debate’ assumes the existence of logic, truth, and knowledge. Since laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariants and truth and knowledge are certain by definition, each of these concepts can be (and are) made sense of in the Christian worldview (since they reflect the absolute, immaterial nature of a Sovereign God who has revealed Himself to mankind such that we can be certain of who He is).One should ultimately ask, though, how any non-Christian can rationally account for any of these concepts apart from the God of the Bible. Well?’

This should elicit enough response from the other side to keep you busy for a while and provide you with plenty of hands on practice in evaluating non-Christian worldviews for the presence of arbitrariness, inconsistency, and the preconditions of intelligibility. Have fun,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

*To see this approach utilized at a real online debate site, check out: http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 13:  A Word of Encouragement]

Greetings Soldier,

Don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed right now, as these concepts can take some time to wrap your brain around. Remember, though, always doggedly stick to your guns and keep challenging and exposing the internal inconsistencies of the unbelievers’ worldview, as they would like nothing more than for you to stop this line of argumentation and engage them on ‘neutral’ ground. However, ‘neutral’ ground does not exist with regards to this issue, as one either submits to God as their Ultimate Authority and the foundation of their thinking and reasoning, or they do not. I remind you of the very words of Jesus in Matthew [12:30] and Luke [11:23] when He stated that someone is either for Him or they are against Him, but certainly never ‘in between’. After all, when one even argues that there is neutral ground to be held here, they are necessarily disagreeing with the words of Jesus in the Bible and are, therefore, adopting a non-neutral position in relation to Biblical Authority and the truth of Christianity. Do not fall for this tactic! The unbeliever is NOT neutral in their presuppositions about God and the Bible and you SHOULD NOT be either. In the paraphrased words of Peter [1 Peter 3:15], ‘sanctify Christ in your heart and be prepared to give an answer to everyone that asks you of the reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear’. The foundation provided by God and His Word is indeed a sure one, and nothing overcomes and exposes that which is false like absolute Truth from THE absolute Authority. Stand upon that firm foundation, and you will always prevail. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 16]:

Greetings Soldier,

Yes, I can definitely see that your unbelieving opponents are not very happy with your challenges to their professed worldview (in fact, ‘unhappy’ would be quite the understatement to describe the nature of their most recent remarks). Remember, the unbeliever has much to lose in these types of discussions, once it is exposed what their worldview truly amounts to, since they often enjoy being viewed as ‘intellectuals’ on internet forums and loathe the idea that their position is really just one of blind, irrational faith. Therefore, you should expect open hostility such as the name calling being engaged in as of late, since it is no doubt very uncomfortable (think glass palace during an earthquake) to have one’s most fundamental beliefs challenged and then demonstrated to be undeniably false.

As a positive, this is one crystal clear way of demonstrating that the unbeliever is indeed engaging in suppression of the truth (just as the Bible states in Romans 1:18)—that is, they are not continuing to hold to their current professed position BECAUSE of rational reasons, but IN SPITE OF them–simply because they happen to dislike the alternative (i.e. bowing the knee to God). The purely emotional nature of the objections at this point are really exactly what one would expect from someone with simply a personal ‘ax to grind’ and nothing more. Sure, the unbeliever may not like the God of the Bible, but that is definitely not a rational basis for their rejection of Christianity and/or the truth of the Bible. At this point, you’ve done your job and it’s probably just best to politely thank them for sharing their opinions with you and invite them to return to the discussion when they have something rational to contribute. Oh, and do not cease to pray for these individuals–that they might come to their senses, cease their suppression of the Truth, and repent. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

uncommon faith

Antinomianism is alive and well in the professing church today.   It won’t take you long, or many Facebook conversations, to find out the reality of this statement. Many people desire to “be blessed”, many people desire a savior, and I’ve not met that many people that say they are unconcerned about an eternity in hell. But…they don’t mind going out and living like the devil.

So what is this word “Antinomianism”? And why is it such a big deal.

“Antinomianism teaches that “the believer was completely free from all obligation to the Law and any concession to legal duty was an infringement of free grace.” Roman Catholicism attacked Protestantism for allegedly granting a license to sin through its doctrine of justification by faith alone.   The council of Trent, in its decree on justification (1547) implicitly accused the Reformers of abolishing the law for the Christian.

In their view of the…

View original post 773 more words

MENTENTIONAL

Opinions are easy to come by.  Most people will have one on just about anything you ask.  The weather last weekend? Last night’s game?  The food at the new restaurant? Just ask and they’ll have their perspective ready for sharing.

Like our thoughts about our favorite football team, most of us also have an opinion on what it means to be a real man.  Strong? Courageous?  A great leader? Characteristics like these come to mind for some but something totally different for others. That’s the thing about opinions – there are plenty of them but most aren’t really based on hard facts.

The truth is, at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what you or I think it means to be a man.  What matters is what God’s word defines a man to be.  Here’s a list of 20 biblical characteristics of a godly man that I’ve came across while studying. If…

View original post 313 more words