Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why "Judge Not" is a Poor Argument in Support of "Lifestyle Choices"

On this issue of Jesus teaching His people "Do not judge," most people using this phrase to support and proclaim their lifestyle choices are unfamiliar with the biblical passage in Matthew 7.

I will discuss it briefly here.

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

"Do not judge" does not mean "never discern anything at all about anyone or tell them what they are doing is wrong."

"Do not judge" is to be seen in its context as saying that we cannot judge others in a hypocritical fashion since Jesus goes on immediately to tell us how it is we are to judge:

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

Notice that Jesus does not tell us to abandon our efforts to remove the speck from our brother's eye, but to do it only after we have repented of our own sin in the matter at hand.

Jesus does not want us to continue to preach the gospel to those who have rejected Him in a scornful manner. For this we also must make a judgment:

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

This is also a very important situation requiring us to make a judgment:

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them."

All of these things are in the very same chapter, just a few short verses apart from each other, and are in perfect harmony with what Jesus tells us in John 7:

24 "Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:24, emphasis mine)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

R.I.P. Late 1990s Era Hitachi 32-Inch Television

Last week the old gal gave one last throaty POP! as she bid farewell to us forever. We had seen this coming for several years, actually, but as long as she kept mostly working we were content.

"You're going to trade me in for one of those new-fangled 1080p jobs, aren't you?" she would plaintively wail from time to time.

"No, no, no," we said. We tried to reassure her that a replacement was not in the budget. Besides, the DVDs looked great and we had FIOS; her picture never looked better, although the PIP was useless with the Verizon system.

Then one day the remote ceased to function at all. But that was okay because we had picked up a Universal remote that worked great with her, and we continued that way for several years.

And so it was that she struggled to keep going, determined to hold onto her staked claim in our family life, stubbornly refusing to shuffle off her mortal coils. She wouldn't turn on again for about ten minutes after being shut down, so we began leaving her on in an input mode, or unplugging her overnight.

Every time she would always return to us, at least by the next morning.

Finally one day the strain proved to be too much for her. In the end, she had weakened. And after many attempts at encouraging her to turn on, she finally gave up the ghosts. My wife came to me with the news; it was a sad day, indeed, in the Roof household.

Later that night, alone in the backyard, I buried her next to my shop.

Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of "Taps" being played.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Poets of the Fall - "Roses"

I walked the distance, I paid my dues
And I tried to have a go at what I thought I knew was real
Held no appeal

I've been to places, I've seen the tidings
I bought a book of rules for every coin that I could steal

And so I came to gaze upon the stars, when they were yet unborn
And consequently, tear at my old scars, and the mask I had outworn

So when I'm crying alone
Yeah, when I'm cold as a dying stone
Grow me a garden of roses
Paint me the colors of sky and rain
Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I'll try again

I've heard the rumors, started fires,
I sowed a sordid lot of plays for keeps for what I need
Behold the demons that I freed

I've tried my best at wearing the hard hat
But healing doesn't seem to happen when you hide away the seed

And so I came across the medicine man, and he showed me what I'd forlorn
For if I'm stayed it happens by my own hand, and my own voice full of scorn

So when I'm crying alone
Yeah, when I'm cold as a dying stone
Grow me a garden of roses
Paint me the colors of sky and rain
Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I'll try again

Without you I'm nothing at all
And life has the face of a morbid game
With you nothing seems impossible
It all seems to fit the frame

So when I'm crying alone
Yeah, when I'm cold as a dying stone
Grow me a garden of roses
Paint me the colors of sky and rain
Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I'll try again

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Catchy Tune for Christmas Time by Coldplay

A whole lot better than most Christmas songs by rock bands, in my opinion, and another fun video from Coldplay.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Few Thoughts on Election and Predestination

Doylestown Presbyterian Church Cemetery

Today I had a brief discussion with a fellow Facebooker on the question of election and predestination. The following is a statement made by him and my response, neither of which represents anywhere near a full discussion on this tremendous topic, of course.

My interlocutor characterized Calvinistic and Reformed teaching this way:

"Go Ye Forth and Tell All Nations That Nearly All Men are Damned and that It Is Useless for Them To COME UNTO ME Unless They KNOW FOR SURE That I Have Elected Them Unto Salvation and Final Perseverance" (emphasis in original).

This is the statement that I called a caricature of what I (Reformed people) believe, and therefore rubbish. I stand by my statement, though I probably should have been more specific, so here it is.

1) Statement: "Go Ye Forth and Tell All Nations That Nearly All Men are Damned …"
Answer: The Bible does not teach, nor do Reformed teach, that "nearly all men are damned." They teach that ALL men are condemned to eternal hell on the basis of original sin that resulted from the fall of Adam and Eve. Although God has His elect, no one is actually "saved" until he is regenerated and drawn to Christ. We are, all of us, under the same condemnation until that point ("There is none righteous, no not one" Romans 3:10). Although God has chosen and secured His elect, He has arranged it so that regeneration must take place at a specific point in time, and that to be received through faith.

2) Statement: "… It Is Useless for Them To COME UNTO ME…"
Answer: Neither the Bible nor Reformed teach that coming to Christ is "useless" in any way or at any time, but rather that only those who are being drawn by the Spirit and are being renewed in the Spirit will come to Christ for salvation ("No one seeks for God" Romans 3:11).

3) Statement: "…That I Have Elected Them Unto Salvation."
Answer: Neither the Bible nor Reformed teach that a person coming to Christ must have some kind of foreknowledge of his final spiritual state before the judgement seat of Christ after coming to Christ for salvation. What the pilgrim is assured of is that his heart of stone is replaced with a heart of flesh. Typically the new convert, having been renewed in his Spirit (regenerated) and drawn to Christ by Him, and having entrusted his life and eternal condition to the Saviour through faith in Him and in God's Word, has assurance of his salvation based upon the trustworthiness of the character of God, Who has revealed Himself in the Scriptures.

4) Statement: "… and Final Perseverance."
Answer: Christ's command to go forth and make disciples of all nations carries with it no caveats of any kind as it relates to the Christian's judgement about an individual's state of grace. The Calvinist (not the "Hyper-Calvinist") does not pre-screen people, second-guess Christ, nor make judgements about the worthiness of individuals to hear the gospel or of their final state of grace. If a person is of the elect of God, then he will persevere, that is, all the saints of Christ will be preserved by His saving power throughout eternity. They cannot "fall away" utterly since the Father has His own in the palm of His hand, and no one is able to snatch them out of it (John 10:29).

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Spy with My Little Eye...A Pretty Pony!

October 8, 2012
This car belongs to a customer of mine. Oh my, but it's beautiful! And it's my favourite colour too!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hatboro-Horsham Marching Unit 09.29.2012

My son's marching band unit performed in competition last night in Boyertown, PA. They placed First in Division, First overall with a score of 81, Best Overall Music and Best Color Guard. Matthew is in the percussion section. Thanks to Mark Marshall for posting the video on YouTube.