Posted in Christian Living

Discerning Truth from Error

It is the role of the Christian to not only stand for truth but decipher it from the swamp of information that plaques us on a daily basis. I was asked by a dear friend, “With all the misinformation out there on both sides–the radicals on the left and right–how are we to know what is true?” A pertinent question. One that demands an answer. In getting to the truth we must weigh the source and the intended result from the information that they share. We must measure in our minds what the underlying presuppositions might be. We are to hold their known character in the light and view what has been told by the light of God’s Word. Our Lord is not the author of confusion. He does not speak out both sides of His mouth. He does not apply inconsistent or arbitrary standards to the position He holds. In short, our Lord is not a liar. Jesus does not seek to murder or coerce or manipulate us. He says, “Come to Me and I will give you rest.” He says, “Come to Me so that your sins may be blotted out.” He says, “Come to me and I will give you water and bread that you might live forever.” But not so for Satan who desires to see you bound and gagged in this life and in the next, so that you will experience the wrath reserved for him and the angels (messengers of darkness) in an eternal hell.

The children of God are equipped to identify a lie, even if the whole world is caught under its sway. And we must be willing to stand in the torrent of the cultural winds that seek to blows us down, to bend them to their will. This we can do if our lives be built upon the Rock, for our Rock is not like their rock. Ours is a stronghold, a mighty refuge. Theirs, regardless of its apparent splendor and might, is shifting sand.

It is the role of the believer to know the truth.

Posted in Uncategorized

Seven Ways to Prepare Your Family for What’s Coming | Doug Wilson |

In this episode of Blog & Mablog, Pastor Doug Wilson gives seven ways to prepare for what’s coming.

Enjoying this video? Check out Doug’s “Rules for Reformers” today!
https://canonpress.com/products/rules-for-reformers/or Doug Wilson gives seven ways to prepare for what’s coming.

— Read on tv.gab.com/channel/canonpress/view/seven-ways-to-prepare-your-family-61412ad9a63bd99c094d8b78

We’ll stated and on point!!

Posted in history

Day of Remembrance: Being Mindful of Past Memories in Order to have Hope for the Present-Future.

There is no remembrance of the earlier things, and the later things as well, which will occur, There will be no remembrance of them among those who will come later still” (Eccl 1.11; NASB).

Fading memories rekindled…

How much do you remember of your past? What are the events of your past that stick in your mind? Are they good memories or bad? If you’re like most people then it is probably a little of both. You remember good times, but there are also times that were bad (might even have been horrible) that stick out like a sore thumb. Those memories of the past that have crept into your thoughts in the present that you’d very much like to forget. The sort of thing that gets you to shake your head, close your eyes, and say “No, no…not that!”

When you think about it our memories are quite amazing things. Different types of stimuli bring them to the forefront of our minds; sometimes at the most inconvenient moment possible. Smells, lights, sounds, the sensation of touch all of which are used to remind us of our past as our memories come simmering to the surface. For example, the smell of freshly cut grass on a hot humid summer morning brings to mind two-a-day practices for the upcoming football season from my youth. The song by the Four Seasons entitled December, 1963 playing on the radio brings back memories of me riding in the back of a pickup truck traveling through Clearfield, PA in the winter of 1994, with snow steadily falling on the well lit streets. I can still feel my hair blowing in the chilly wind at about 35 mph.

Dark days of history…

And then there was September 11th, 2001. The day that the Twin Towers fell. The day when the United States of America was attacked by terrorists under the leadership of a man later found out to be Osama Bin Laden. Commercial airliners were overtaken by Islamic terrorists in the air and were then diverted to crash into what many recognized as a marvel of America ingenuity.

I was in Ontario, Canada on that historic day. The air was cool and crisp. A bunch of family and friends (all outdoorsy dudes) had decided to go on a two week fishing trip in one of the most serene places in North America. We were having a blast slaying fish, until a couple Canadians from the RV park where we were staying hollered at us USA boys. The scene was gut wrenching. Bile could be felt in the back of my throat. Along with a slow boiling anger in the center of my chest.

I had grown up in an era where you were raised daily to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the republic for which its stands. “Under God” was a phrase that had real meaning, at least in a traditional sense. Like many young men from that time (I was 22 years old then) I seriously thought about signing up for military service. It was the revelation that I was to be a dad in 8 months that put that notion to rest.

Two days before the twenty year anniversary of that day, September 9th, 2021, another terrorist event occurred. This time it was terrorism of a domestic source. This time it was not buildings that were attacked, and lives immediately lost. Oh no, not that. This time it was the ability to build lives, to provide for loved ones, which has been attacked.

A few weeks back I was reading on the Department of Homeland Security’s web-page of domestic terrorism. They cited possible resistance to certain medical restrictions (you know of what I speak) by extremists of an evangelical nature, as the source of trouble. I now know why. The federal government knew what was coming down the pike. I assumed it was coming since I’ve been paying attention to other sectors of our world. Nations that are being crippled by bureaucratic terrorists under the guise of medical health and public safety, were the signal fires to us here in the United States, but just like on September 11th, 2001 we ignored the warnings around us.

Why? How? Because we were then and are now consumed with our own lives. Selfishly driven, selfishly motivated, giving little care for anything other than our own creaturely comforts.

Historic day that shone…

But rather than beat on that drum, I wanted to speak on another September 11th from history. One that shows the concerns and convictions of the many who fought for the freedoms that we are currently allowing to be stripped from piece-by-piece. So different were the thoughts of those that have gone before us. So different were their priorities than the many that now share this soil.

Benjamin F. Morris writes,

“The breaking out of the Revolution cut off the supply of ‘books printed in London.’ The scarcity of Bibles also came soon to be felt. DR. PATRICK ALLISON, one of the chaplains to Congress, and other gentlemen, brought the subject before that body in memorial, in which they urged the printing of an edition of the Scriptures.

“On the 11th of September, 1777, the committee to whom the memorial was referred reported as follows—

“Thursday, September 11, 1777—The committee to whom the memorial of Dr. Allison and others was referred, report, That they have conferred fully with the printers, &c., in this city, and are of opinion that the proper types for printing the Bible are not to be had in this country, and that the paper cannot be procured, but with such difficulties, and subject to such casualties, as render any dependence on it altogether improper; that to import types for the purpose of setting up an entire edition of the Bible, and to strike off 30,000 copies, with paper, binding, &c., will cost £10,272, 10, which must be advanced by Congress, to be reimbursed by the sale of the books; that, in the opinion of the committee, considerable difficulties will attend the procuring the types and paper; that, afterwards, the risk of importing them will considerably enhance the cost, and that the calculations are subject to such uncertainty in the present state of affairs, that Congress cannot much rely on them; that the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great, that your committee refer the above to the consideration of Congress, and if Congress shall not think it expedient to order the importation of types and paper, the committee recommend that Congress will order the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different ports of the States of the Union.

Whereupon it was moved, That the Committee of Commerce be directed to import 20,000 copies of the Bible.

On this motion New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, voted in the affirmative; New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, voted in the negative.

So it was resolved in the affirmative.”1

Meaning what? That during a time of war, when people were fighting to protect their homes and livelihood from tyranny, from despots that were trying to force submission on the citizens in this land from across the pond, their leaders primary concern was the spiritual well-being of the people here. It was understood that God’s Word provided not only the foundation of all of life, but gave beautiful meaning to concepts such as freedom for which they were fighting for. It is the Christian faith birthed from the precious Word of Christ—what we call our Holy Bibles—that sparked the ideals that formed this nation. The fact that we are now under threat from terrorists from within and without as seen in our past (twenty years ago: Sept. 11th, 2001; and just yesterday: Sept. 9th, 2021) ought to serve as a warning to remember our roots.

We were victorious at our nation’s founding not because we were the greatest in number or strength or military prowess, but because we had entrusted ourselves unto the Lord of Hosts. Tyrants who supposed that they were god-in-the-flesh failed because of this basic principle:

Unless the Lord builds a house, they who build it labor in vain; unless the Lord guards a city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psa 127.1).

The Shining is not over…

In time, history will show that the present day that we face birthed tyrants destined to fail (Rom 19.17). For it was for this purpose that they entered this world…that the glory of Almighty God might shine through all the earth (Exod 19.15-16; 15.11-16). Do not grow weary in hope, for it is in the Lord Jesus Christ that all shall bow and through Him peace shall come; in history, not outside of it (Phil 2.9-11):

For [Christ] must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is clear that this excludes the Father who put all things in subjection to Him [the Son]. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all” (1Cor 15.25-28; cf. vv. 20-24).

If we remember what happened in the past because of God’s sovereign providence, then we have no need whatsoever to ever fear what tomorrow may hold. For all tomorrows are in our Father’s hand. Oh, that we would remember these truths and believe them!

ENDNOTE:

1Benjamin F. Morris, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Reprint 1864 (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press, 2021), 252-253. Emphasis Added, All Caps in original.

Posted in Christian Perspective

Proper Perspective for One’s Faith in Light of Truth: A Plethora of Scriptural Considerations to Challenge the Believer’s Heart and Response before the Lord

One who gives an answer before he hears, it is foolishness and shame to him…The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him” (Prov 18.13,17; NASB).
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in secret You will make wisdom known to me” (Psa 51.6).
For my mouth will proclaim truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips” (Prov 8.7).
“…Just as truth is in Jesus…put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph 4.21, 24-26).

__________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

Where are we to project our responses to the situations that we face in this life? To whom do we bear the responsibility of our actions? Years ago, I remember a disagreement between professing Christians over David’s prayer in Psalm 51. It was the following line of the song that caused the disturbance:

Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when you speak and blameless when You judge” (Psa 51.4).

The rub, you see, was that some wanted to lay the stress of David’s sin in equal parts against Uriah the Hittite and Bathsheba his wife whom David had an adulterous affair with, and against the Lord. But the emphasis in the text is that David’s sin was against God alone. It was God that was the offended party. And while, one might argue that David had also sinned (i.e., wronged) Uriah and Bathsheba in his sinful activities, the reality is that when we sin it is God alone who has been wronged in our pursuits.

The problem is in our approach to God, His Word, and the creation as a whole. Either our approach will be man-centered or God-centered. I think that this is the reason why we have such a difficult time determining the proper course of action in various scenarios. Not to mention we struggle with making the necessary category distinctions in order to properly weigh what our activities in this life should look like.

When David spoke in the way that he did in Psalm 51:4 he was right to do so. Sin properly defined is a violation of God’s Law-Word. It is a refusal to abide by the dictates of what God has determined to be good. This may be done purposefully or accidentally (i.e., in ignorance), but in either case we are still culpable before God. We are still presented to Him as guilty in His court. Now it is true that my sin may hurt others around me. Perhaps “may” is not the right word, how about “will,” for my sin will definitely hurt others around me. Our actions in this life have a rippling effect. Consequences come from the decisions that we make. And, in David’s case the lust of his heart, which at that moment in time was Bathsheba, rippled generations beyond that fateful day on the roof of his palace.

David, having been laid bear before the Lord through the word of His prophet Nathan recognized his plight. His eyes had been opened that which were formerly blinded by his sin. In response to this awakening he cried and confessed his sin before the Lord above. David knew that it was the Lord alone that he had personally violated with his sin. Though others were harmed by his behavior, it was the Lord God who bore the brunt of David’s sin. Being a God-centered man, having been enlightened by the Word of God, he recognized this and immediately confessed as soon as the sword of the Spirit had pierced his hardened heart.

God-centered versus Man-centered approach…

All of life is ethical, therefore, all of life is religious. Some might prefer the term “spiritual,” which is fine as long as we understand that to be truly spiritual means to be “Spirit led,” or “led by the Spirit.” In fact you cannot be truly God-centered without being guided by the Holy Spirit. If the spirit leading you is any other spirit than the third person of the Triune God, then your approach will most certainly be a Man-centered approach.

Of course this raises an important question: “What does it mean to be guided or led by the Holy Spirit?” In John’s gospel, Jesus tells His disciples that when He finally departs this earth to return to the Father, sharing in the glory that He had in the beginning (John 17.4), He will not leave them alone but will send to them the Spirit of truth (cf. John 14.7; 15.26; 16.13). And the Lord explains that it will be the role of the Holy Spirit to “…guide [them] into all truth; For He will not speak on his own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16.13). Later on, when the years of John’s apostleship are coming to an end, he reminds members of the body of Christ the following:

We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.” (1John 4.6; NET).

A similar refrain is offered by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth:

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” (1Cor 2.12-13).

In short, it is the God-centered man who has been enlightened by the Spirit of truth. Meaning that such an individual will not only have their thoughts imbued with Spiritual things, but Spiritual activity as the Holy Spirit brings about a reformation of the mind and will of the redeemed person (Rom 12.1-2; cf. Eph 4.17-24). Moreover, this is the reason why Christians are commanded by the Holy Spirit to

“…examine everything; hold[ing] firmly to that which is good, [in order to] abstain from every form of evil” (1Thess 5.21-22; brackets added for clarification).

The Perfect Image…

Why must we do that? Why are we commanded to examine everything? Why are we told to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God…?” (1John 4.1b). The short answer is because God’s people are called to imitate Christ (cf. 1Cor 11.1; 1Thess 1.6), who is the perfect image of God in human flesh (Heb 1.3; Col 1.15, 19). And, Christ tested all things. He never made a decision that He did not first weigh in His mind, “Does this honor God or man?” As His own testimony affirms,

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way” (John 5.19; emphasis added).

Now I have given considerable thought to this truth for quite a while. Jesus did nothing outside the purview of God’s will. Just as He told the serpent that, “man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4.4), so too did He live. Furthermore, this is the requirement that He lays at the feet of all those who desire to follow Him, to be His disciples:

If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8.31-32).

For it is the true disciple of Christ that is sanctified by the Word of Truth (John 17.17). But how are we to know what is true if we do not take the time to carefully examine all things in light of God’s Law-Word? How can we say whether or not we have sinned (either in ignorance or purposefully) if we have not taken the time to weigh all things in accordance with God’s objective standard of truth (cf. John 8.46; 2Cor 5.21)?

Unjust Weights and Measures…

There is a passage repeated in the Old Testament that bears repeating. I believe that it provides a necessary justification for what Paul later calls on Christians to do in Thessalonica, as he is prompted by the Holy Spirit. What I am referring to is the various passages on unjust weights and measures:

  • You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measure of weight, or volume. You shall have accurate balances, accurate weights, an accurate ephah, and an accurate hin; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. So you shall keep all My statutes and all My ordinances, and do them; I am the Lord” (Lev 19.33-37).
  • You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a correct and honest weight; you shall have a correct and honest measure, so that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut 25.13-16).
  • A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight” (Prov 11.1).
  • A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; all the weights of the bag are His concern” (Prov 16.11).
  • Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the Lord…differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, and a false scale is not good” (Prov 20.10, 23).
  • For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (Matt 7.2).

As with many truths in Scripture there are often layers to them. Or to use my favorite illustration of the diamond with its many cuts, the truth will reflect the light a little differently depending upon the manner in which we look at it. One truth; many points of contact, or application.

The same may be said of these passages regarding unjust weights and measures. The concern is about truth versus falsehood. In the law court this would be seen in relation to issues of justice or injustice. God abhors favoritism. He hates using opposing standards of measurement when weighing right or wrong; meaning He hates arbitrariness or inconsistency. We are told to examine all things, and when we identify that which is good we are to cling to it. Being people of the Lord of Truth, guided by the Spirit of truth, we are to be reformed in our minds by the Law-Word of the God of Truth.

People of the Book, People of the Truth…

All aspects of this life are ethical, religious, and are therefore spiritual. God’s people are to be defined by one standard alone. This is why historically, Christians have been known as people of the book. In Ephesians 4, after Paul explains what the sinners thoughts are guided by, he asserts that Christians are to driven by another standard:

But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another” (Eph 4.20-25; emphasis added).

How can a person weigh in the balance anything if they refuse to see the issue in its entirety? If you only see one side of the scale, and allow the other side to be hidden, will you have truly examined it in light of God’s Word? If you use God’s Word as the standard for this area of your life to make a judgment call, but then refuse to do the same in another area of your life have you not proved yourself guilty before the Lord? What right does the creature possess to use one standard here, but another standard there when weighing the issues of life? Who is truly “centered” in that choice of action, God or man?

Do you not know that God’s people are called to be bulwarks for the truth? Unmovable towers that do not bend or buckle, regardless of the pressure applied to them? Christ says that He is King, and Scripture testifies that He is King of kings and Lord of lords—He is above all—and, at the same time He says that His people are for the truth. How then can His people abide by a lie? How can they willingly live in it without being tormented day and night? Do you not see that to allow the lie to stand without your opposition to it, you are making yourself an enemy of Christ? That in that instance you are not being faithful to Him, but are sinning against Him?

David lived for nearly a year blinded by the lies of his own heart. How long are we going to live with the lie that is being perpetrated daily through our politicians and media? How long will we allow false weights and measures—arbitrariness and inconsistencies—to rule the day? Who are we to be responding to first and foremost in these things that we currently face? Is it not God alone who is to be our top priority? If we love Him above all, will we not in turn honor Him above all? Will this not also put us at odds with the current cultural winds that are blowing? Yes, but isn’t that the point?

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts” (Prov 17.3).

God is turning up the heat in our culture, not just as a judgment against sinners, but as a manner of testing (and proving) the hearts of His people. If Christ were hated, so too will you also be. But know this,

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1.2-4).
Posted in history

Cancel Culture’s Long History and Its Workarounds – The American Vision

Cancel culture has a long history. The false prophets of Israel wanted the true prophets silenced. Jezebel murdered hundreds of them. Obadiah hid those who had escaped her wrath. There were many attempts to silence Jesus. It was fear of the people that kept the antagonists away. The religious leaders used political accusations as false testimony to bring the Roman government into canceling Jesus permanently.
Paul and his religious cohorts murdered Stephen after he recounted Israel’s redemptive history and called them to account (Acts 7:54–8:1–3).
— Read on americanvision.org/posts/cancel-culture-s-long-history-and-its-workarounds/

Nothing new under the sun (cf. Ecclesiastes 1)

Article written by Gary DeMar