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Showing posts from February, 2009

Fire and Ice

We're all familiar with Revelation 3:15-16, in which God states "I wish you were either hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth!" And of course, we've all been force-fed the common interpretation of this passage: that God wants us to be "totally for Him," or "totally against Him." In fact, He'd rather us be "totally against Him" than lukewarm. There is just one problem with this idea: Which of us can claim we are "totally for God?"
The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one. (Psalm 14:2-3, 53:2-3) I think we have our answer! None of us are "totally for God". In fact, the doctrine of depravity would support this idea one step further and illustrate that everyone of us is "totally…

Total Transparency

Faithful are the wounds of a friend Proverbs 27:6

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness1 John 2:9

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:14,15

If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.1 John 4:20

Many of us have gone through the most painful situations where we have been wronged by fellow believers. What the other party did was unthinkable and unbecoming of a Christian. You feel hurt, wronged, angry (that they could do such a thing) and even sorry for yourself. You begin to ask yourself questions, questions you feel justified to ask, such as “why me?” You consider yourself to be a good friend and brother/sister to the body, so it ca…

Another Modest Proposal

As a high school student you may have read Jonathan Swift's classic work of satire, A Modest Proposal, in which he suggested that the solution to ending poverty in Ireland was cannibalism. In his article, Swift proposes several benefits to society that would result if the poor would simply sell their children as meat to rich landowners. By placing children on the meat market, Ireland would combat social problems that contributed to poverty, such as overpopulation and unemployment. The sale of children would relieve the poor of the financial burden that comes with raising children while simultaneously providing them with a source of extra income. Naturally, the entire essay is intended to prove a point. Swift used the piece as a means of expressing his contempt for the British government which he deemed responsible for Ireland's predicament. The title itself is ironic in that his proposal is far from what one would call "modest." Yet, the entire essay reminds me of a …

Is Headcovering Distracting?

This month marks one year that I have been covering my head in observance of 1 Corinthians 11. (For a detailed look at my reasoning through this process, please click on the headcovering link in the sidebar.) After a year of study, I have been asked several questions surrounding the opposing viewpoint, namely, that headcoverings are not for today. One of these views which I have not yet addressed is the idea that headcoverings are a distraction in today's culture. The reasoning is that since there are not many women who cover in the church today, a woman who does choose to observe this practice will be considered such an oddity that she will be a distraction to others during the worship service. Some have gone as far as to suggest that the woman might be doing it to purposely draw attention to herself, because she has issues with pride.

I've been approached with this scenario twice in the past month: once online, and once in person. And at the risk of sounding callous, my short…

Respectable Sins

One way we can best support the doctrine of depravity is to look at the sin that continues to remain within us as believers, even long after we are saved. One of the best resources on the subject is the book, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, by Jerry Bridges. The preface of this book makes a statement that I could not agree with more – a statement that serves as one of the pillars of this website:
This book, as the title announces, is about sin – not the obvious sins of our culture but the subtle sins of believers . . . The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more “refined” or subtle sins. (Bridges, 2007, p. 9). To Mr. Bridges I say a hearty hallelujah and amen! Bridges asserts that every believer is a saint – regardless of their level of maturity (just lo…

White Collar Criminals

For many years, I did not understand that I was depraved. I knew I was a sinner, but I didn't think I was that bad. After all, there were many people out there who had sinned far worse than me. I understood that Christ had died for my sins, but they were only "white collar crimes." I wasn't depraved. At least I didn't think so.

Depravity, as far as I was concerned, was something one measured on a sliding scale: Serial killers on one end, Mother Teresa on the other. Perverse, evil, morally corrupt, wicked - these were all words to describe depraved behavior. But depravity is something much more compelling than this. Depravity is not something we measure by our behavior, because depravity is a condition that affects the human heart. Depravity is the complete and total inability to stop sinning in one's own power.

There is sin in your life. You may be aware of it, you may not. But it's there. Think about it. Right now, there is some sin in your life that you …

Ace in the Hole

In an effort to spend some time acknowledging the reformed side of Reformed SHEology, our chosen Film of the Month is Ace in the Hole, starring Kirk Douglas. This is a tale of human depravity like no other!

Kirk Douglas stars as Chuck Tatum, an overly ambitious journalist who will do anything to get the big story - including manufacturing details that would turn an ordinary story into a news sensation. Chuck's "ace in the hole" brings out the worst in everyone . . . with tragic consequences.

STATS
Year: 1951 (Not Rated)
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Kirk Douglas and Jan Sterling
Setting: Albequerque, New Mexico, 1951.

Content warning: None, other than the fact that this film is considered to be an example of "Film Noir." (That basically means it is a dark story that will probably not leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling in the end.) If you are anything like me, you will be sick to your stomach about halfway through this story and feel incredibly saddened when it is…