Archive for November, 2005

Slight Change of Plans

Not to pick on Elmo, but I will use his comment to springboard what a slight change of plans.

I’m inclined toward preterism but if you can show me where I’m wrong then I’m interested.

I do hope to show you where I believe you’re wrong. I planned on writing an essay, or just a really long, in-depth post detailing why I am a dispensationalist and reject preterism. However, time is not something I have an over-abundance of, so I’ve decided to do it a little at a time in post format. This is a blog after all, isn’t it? I’m also somewhat lacking in content other than the usual “My Utmost” posts, and this should give me a good excuse to write about something.

I will be creating a new category just for these posts. Because I am not only a dispensationalist, but also believe that we are nearing the time of the end, the category will be called “Signs of the Times” (a little cliche, I know.)

I only need to come up with an outline to get started. Maybe I’ll have to turn this into a Bible Study. Anyone interested in that idea? This mean just about anything. I could take a passage at a time and describe how it fits into eschatology. I could solicit posts from others (on the main page, not comments) to get discussion going. I could even get the forum I started really going for some open discussion/debate. Maybe I do some or all of the above. Comments on this are encouraged.

I think, in the Final analysis, we’ll discover all the misconceptions we’ve held to weren’t so important anyway, so long as Christ was preeminent.

I agree, and I hope that this attitude will keep everything civil and loving. As long as we can agree on the core theology of salvation, we are brothers and sisters in Christ and should treat each other that way. (Elmo’s a good guy, I’m not worried about him at all, but I do have some concern about some of the die-hard preterists that will inevitably find their way here who may not behave themselves so well.)

Shop Lowe’s

Lowe’s isn’t caving to the PC presure. They have decided to continue selling Christmas Trees in their stores, and that’s exactly what they call them too.

In the day of the war on Christmas, I’ll go out of my way to buy from stores that recognize exactly what all the money is being spent on in their stores this time of year. The “Holiday Tree” is just rediculous anyway. Who puts a tree up for anything but Christmas? No one calls it a “Holiday Menorah”, it’s a Hanukkah Menorah.

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:10

The way we continually talk about our own inability is an insult to the Creator. The deploring of our own incompetence is a slander against God for having overlooked us. Get into the habit of examining in the sight of God the things that sound humble before men, and you will be amazed at how staggeringly impertinent they are. ‘Oh, I shouldn’t like to say I am sanctified; I’m not a saint.’ Say that before God; and it means-‘No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are chances I have not had; so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn’t possible.’ That may sound wonderfully humble before men, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.

Again, the things that sound humble before God may sound the opposite before men. To say-‘Thank God, I know I am saved and sanctified,’ is in the sight of God the acme of humility, it means you have so completely abandoned yourself to God that you know He is true. Never bother your head as to whether what you say sounds humble before men or not, but always be humble before God, and let Him be all in all.
There is only one relationship that matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord. Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs, and God will fulfil His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purpose, and yours may be that life.

The Absoluteness of Jesus Christ

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

He shall glorify Me. – John 16:14

The pietistic movements of to-day have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them; there is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ, all that is required is a pious atmosphere, and prayer and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous, it did not cost the passion of God, it is not dyed in the blood of the Lamb, not stamped with the hall-mark of the Holy Ghost. It has not that mark on it which makes men say, as they look with awe and wonder-‘That is the work of God Almighty.’ That and nothing else is what the New Testament talks about.

The type of Christian experience in the New Testament is that of personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other type of Christian experience, so called, is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration, no being born again into the Kingdom in which Christ lives, but only the idea that He is our Pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is Saviour long before He is Pattern. To-day He is being despatched as the Figurehead of a religion, a mere Example. He is that, but He is infinitely more; He is salvation itself. He is the Gospel of God.

Jesus said-‘When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, . . . He shall glorify Me.’ When I commit myself to the revelation made in the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit Who begins to interpret to me what Jesus did, and does in me subjectively what Jesus Christ did for me objectively.

The Bounty of the Destitute

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Being justified freely by His grace. . . – Romans 3:24

The Gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the revelation which it brings is not palatable. There is a certain pride in man that will give and give, but to come and accept is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute; until we get there Our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us if we think we are sufficient of ourselves; we have to enter into His Kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are rich, possessed of anything in the way of pride or independence, God cannot do anything for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the nature of God is made effectual in us by the Holy Spirit; He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, which puts ‘the beyond’ within, and immediately the beyond has come within, it rises up to ‘the above,’ and we are lifted into the domain where Jesus lives. (John 3:5.)

Coming Soon – Refuting Preterism

Every so-often, I come across someone with minimal theological understanding that buys into the absolute crap that is Preterism. Preterism is the doctrine that all end-times prophecy was fulfilled by the year A.D. 70. It sounds plausible to people with poor theology and no understanding of history.

It is my goal to write an essay, which I will publish on my blog, refuting Preterism. The only difficulty will be finding the time to do so.

It will likely go in the “Writings” section, currently near the top of the navigation bar on the right side. I’ll post in the main section when it’s ready.

Meanwhile, before I can get started, if anyone has anything you’d like to offer in favor of Pre-Millenial Dispensationalism (Left-Behind theology as it’s opponents like to call it) please feel free to leave it in the comments or email me – blogcomments at echozoe dot com.

Distraction of Antipathy

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. – Psalm 123:3

The thing of which we have to beware is not so much damage to our belief in God as damage to our Christian temper. ‘Therefore take heed to thy spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.’ The temper of mind is tremendous in its effects, it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul and distracts the mind from God. There are certain tempers of mind in which we never dare indulge; if we do, we find they have distracted us from faith in God, and until we get back to the quiet mood before God, our faith in Him is nil, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is the thing that rules.

Beware of ‘the cares of this world,’ because they are the things that produce a wrong temper of soul. It is extraordinary what an enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention from God. Refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life.

Another thing that distracts us is the lust of vindication. St.Augustine prayed-‘O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.’ That temper of mind destroys the soul�s faith in God. ‘I must explain myself; I must get people to understand.’ Our Lord never explained anything; He left mistakes to correct themselves.

When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.

Boycott Target

This edition of “Companies I avoid” is a temporary one. I love Target, and my wife and I shop there all the time. However, we’ll be staying out of Target this weekend and joining the AFA Boycott.

Banning of the words “Merry Christmas” in retail stores is something that deeply offends me, and I go out of my way to keep from being offended by anything. It makes no sense to me. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on Christmas gifts. However, to avoid “offending” those who are not buying Christmas gifts, or any “holiday” gifts for that matter, the more politically correct “Happy Holidays” is used. Now I’m not a retailer, and don’t make management decisions for anyone, but it really boggles my mind why anyone would care what non-customers think.

As a side note, I also don’t understand how any leftist can argue that Christianity is taking over this country. I hear it all the time, but it defies logic. No one is fighting to start putting creches up in public spaces, or to get stores to start using the words “Merry Christmas”. No, people are fighting to keep that which we’ve always had. I’m sorry, but when you’re fighting hard to keep from losing ground, you’re not winning the war. But then, this is from the same people who say that a smaller increase in spending than they want is a cut.

Shallow and Profound

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. It is not your devotion to God that makes you refuse to be shallow, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow, which is a sure sign that you are a spiritual prig. Be careful of the production of contempt in yourself, it always comes along this line, and causes you to go about as a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than you are. beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness a sign that there are no deeps; the ocean has a shore. The shallow amenities of life, eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by God. These are the things in which Our Lord lived. He lived in them as the Son of God, and He said that ‘the disciple is not above his Master.’

Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface commonsense life in a commonsense way; when the deeper things come, God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns. Never show the deeps to anyone but God. We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Determinedly take no one seriously but God, and the first person you find you have to leave severely alone as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

It Is Finished

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. – John 17:4

The death of Jesus Christ is the performance in history of the very mind of God. There is no room for looking on Jesus Christ as a martyr; His death was not something that happened to Him which might have been prevented. His death was the very reason why He came.

Never build your preaching of forgiveness on the fact that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. It is untrue to Jesus Christ’s revelation of God; it makes the Cross unnecessary, and the Redemption “much ado about nothing.? If God does forgive sin, it is because of the death of Christ. God could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted to be Saviour because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour.? The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ-“It is finished.? That is the last word in the Redemption of man.

Anything that belittles or obliterates the holiness of God by a false view of the love of God, is untrue to the revelation of God given by Jesus Christ. Never allow the thought that Jesus Christ stands with us against God out of pity and compassion; that He became a curse for us out of sympathy with us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by the Divine decree. Our portion of realizing the terrific meaning of the curse is conviction of sin, the gift of shame and penitence is given us; this is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred.