Dan's Meditations

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Homosexuality Debate

The world is going nuts.

On the one side, we have millions and millions of Americans who have totally embraced homosexuality. On the other side, we have the Westboro Baptist Church declaring loudly (at the funerals of dead soldiers) that "God hates fags!"

Both sides are wrong. Both sides are in sin.

Firstly, to the ultra-tolerant gay-loving side: You are really not tolerant and loving. You are also not logical. Your "tolerance" is actually very dogmatic. If people don't agree with you, you are quick to hatefully label them a "bigot" and a "hater." In other words, you are completely tolerant and accepting of everyone that you already agree with.

Furthermore, you clearly don't have a moral compass. There is an absolute moral law. To break that moral law is to sin. Stealing, lying, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, homosexuality - these are all against God's law. The unrepentant sinner will be damned to hell if he doesn't repent and come to faith in Jesus Christ - who died on the cross to forgive us for our sins. God hates sin. God loves sinners. But if anyone refuses to be transformed by God's saving grace, then God will pour out His wrath on such people. The world is uniting against God's authority, but God is omnipotent. One day, you will stand before God. Repent and flee the coming wrath.

To the Westboro Baptist Church, what you are doing is wrong. The greatest commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but you do. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. You who preach against homosexuality; are you without sin? You who preach that "God hates fags" have you not read the Scriptures? God is Savior! God is in the business of showing people mercy, love, and grace. Yes, Christians need to become more bold and more aggressive in preaching the uncompromised gospel and in calling people to repentance, but we are told to do so in gentleness and with compassion. In fact, to fail to show people God's compassion is to fail to preach the real gospel. I am concerned that you have already had your hearts hardened so much, that you will not receive this word. You talk about how God has given people over to depravity. While this is true, the irony is that you don't recognize that you yourselves appear to have been given over to depravity - the depravity of hate, of arrogance, and of pride. Repent and flee the coming wrath.

Man is created in the image of God.
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
As sinners, we are by nature, objects of God's just wrath.
But God sent His son to die on the cross for sinners to provide atonement that sinners could never provide for themselves.
Those who have faith in Christ, confess their sins, repent, and experience the lifetransforming saving grace of God.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Becoming CrossFit
An Unconventional (and perhaps more Biblical) View of Discipleship

What if Christian discipleship looked more like this mixed with intensive Bible reading, meditation, memorization, and various drills? Perhaps, the church has a thing or two to learn from the military.


I'm inspired.

Ephesians 6:10-18 - "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, and against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can estinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

Let's be disciplined soldiers of the cross today. Isn't that what discipleship is all about?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Resisting the IRS?

As April 15th (or more appropriately this year April 17th) is right around the corner, I recently read an thought-provoking article about those against the war who are refusing to pay some or all of their income taxes.


Of course, the war is justified (although the manner in which we are fighting the war is not), but this leads me to the question: Is it ever morally justified to refuse to pay taxes to the state, when those tax revenues are being used for that which is unjust? And of course the follow up question (and perhaps the more important question) is this: Is resisting the IRS practically feasible? It seems to me that to resist the IRS is - in principle - an act of war. Although I suppose this is debatable, for there does seem to be a big difference between refusing to pay taxes and killing people. But, we might as well ask the question: Is it morally justified and/or practically feasible to declare war against the United States government? At this point, I don't think it is. For one, it is not at all practically feasible. But even if we (who are we anyway?), took over the US government, we're not ready to govern a nation.

Thus, my focus will remain on governing myself, preaching the gospel, and serving other people.

I don't have time to blog about this now, but there does seem to be some strong arguments on both sides, and I would like to hash this out.

Of course, for the time being at least, I am paying my taxes. I just pray that God would work things out so that that money would be used for just purposes.

This leads to another rant (for another time). Biblically minded authentic Christians (who are properly interpreting the Word of God) really ought to assert themselves more. We are to be good stewards of that which has been entrusted to us. We are to take care of the world. We need to repent of fear of man, selfishness, apathy, and living so completely myopically.

Dear Mr. Giuliani,

For what reason do you desire to become the President of the United States? Do you truly believe that of all the hardworking, God-fearing, honest men of integrity in our country, that you are the best man for the job? Do you really believe that the best interests of America would be served well with you as President?

I’ll be honest, sir. You are morally confused and spiritually blind in a land filled with those who are morally confused and spiritually blind. I don’t say this to be mean; I say this because it is true, and it is important for you and for our nation that you come to understand and acknowledge this reality.

You seek to keep politics and religion completely separate. But you can not and should not completely separate politics and religion. Politics, by its very nature, is a moral science. The reality of the moral law exists because God – the great I AM – exists. If God is not real (or if God is irrelevant), then the moral law is not real (or the moral law is irrelevant). Therefore, while completely separating politics and religion might be the politically correct and politically expedient thing to do in this society of the morally confused and spiritually blind, it is the morally wrong thing to do. By doing this, you are not serving the best interests of America. Instead, you are leading America down a path of moral decline, horrific destruction, and ultimately spiritual and physical death. A culture that stands for death will not stand. For God has spoken. He has commanded us: “Be holy, for I am holy.” He has set before us blessings and cursings. If you do not lead in righteousness for the glory of God and in His Name, then you are in sin.

Question: Why are we to be holy, sir? Answer: We are to be holy because God is holy. This implies that we are to obey and imitate God.

Practically, this means that we are to be opposed to all murder, because man has been created in God’s image. That is why the unjust killing of human beings is murder, but the killing of animals is not murder.

An unborn human being is a human person – created in the image of God. That unborn child has been given the fundamental right to life by God. Abortion is America’s Holocaust, and if you don’t stand against abortion, then you are standing against God. There is no neutral ground. The antithesis is real. You will either be a servant of God, or God counts you as His enemy.

We call on you, sir, with all due respect, to repent of your wickedness. Come to Jesus Christ in authentic humility, faith, and repentance. Confess your wickedness to God, and He will forgive you. Jesus died on the cross to save sinners, that all who put their faith and trust in Him would be saved. Be a servant of God – not a politician. Live for the glory of God; not your own glory. Stand up for truth, righteousness, and justice - even if doing so leads to political suicide. Fear God alone; fear no man.

Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Cross and the Heart of the Father

My wife and I went to church last night for a Good Friday service. In a way to illustrate the pain that the Father experienced on that Friday, our pastor showed a video clip. In the Czech Republic, there was a man who operated a draw bridge. When boats would pass through, he would need to bring the drawbridge up. When trains came through, he would bring the drawbridge down.

Well, this one day, a boat was getting ready to pass through, and so he brought the bridge up. His son was fishing nearby. But as the boat was passing through, the son noticed a train - that wasn't supposed to come for another hour - was coming. The son tried to get the father's attention, but couldn't. So, the son went to manually bring down the drawbridge (by pulling a lever). By this time, the boat had come through and the father had noticed the train. And he also noticed that his son was missing. As the son was attempting to pull the lever, he fell - right into the gears of the drawbridge. If the drawbridge closes, he will be crushed.

And now the father sees that his son is stuck in the middle of the drawbridge, and the train is seconds away from a disastorous crash. He has a split second to make a decision. Hundreds of people are about to die if he doesn't kill his son.

And so, with anguish of heart, he closes the drawbridge - crushing his son in the gears - in order to save the hundreds of people on the train - who had absolutely no idea of what was happening.

The analogy breaks down because our Heavenly Father is never out of control. There was no accident. But it does serve well as an illustration of the love of the Father. Without Christ, we are by nature objects of wrath. In His holiness and justice, God was compelled to judge us and pour out wrath on us. But instead, He sent His Son to absorb the wrath for us - the just for the unjust - in order to redeem us. And just as that drawbridge operator experienced anguish of heart to kill his son in order to save the people on the train, so the Father of compassion experienced anguish of heart as His Son was killed.

Thank God for the cross of Christ.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Public Nudity

So... in an effort to try to show the ridiculousness of the ideas that God should be treated as if He is not real and/or irrelevant when it comes to public schools and other "matters of state," I figured that I would play the devil's advocate and suggest that public nudity - even public sex - should not be discouraged - and certainly not made illegal.

I mean, who are you to tell me that I have to wear clothes!? How tyrannical! You are depriving me of my freedoms and my "right to choose" to walk around public naked!

What was that? Oh... You mean to say that insisting that I be clothed in public is not to deprive me of my civil liberties? But who are you to make that judgment?

Besides, if you feel compelled for whatever reason to wear clothes in public, by all means wear clothes. But I have my rights! I have the right to walk around naked if I want to! It's called freedom. The right to choose? Hello?

No? I don't have that right? Well, that's your opinion. You have your opinions, and I have mine. Why don't you try being a little more open-minded?

The only reason why public nudity and public sex is intolerable and unlawful in this country is because of the influence of all those bigoted Christians on the neofascist "Christian" right. Hello? Separation of church and state! If your religion teaches you some weird doctrine about being modest in public, then by all means, feel free to practice your weird religion. But who are you to tell me that I need to practice your religion?! I have my rights! I have the right to walk around naked. I have the right to have sex in public.

What? You still don't agree with me? That's because you want a theocracy. You are trying to make your religion the law of the land. If you don't like freedom, then why don't you go move to Iran! But this is America. The land of the free! Women don't have cover themselves up. Not at all! Let it all hang out!

It's cool to practice your religion, just keep your religious convictions separate from matters of state, okay?

Legalize public nudity or I'm coming after you with the ACLU.

The human body is nothing to be ashamed of.