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Month: September 2010

War & Remembrance

“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Hebrews 11:32-40 [Emphasis mine]
An elderly woman, who lived a solitary life in southeastern England died quietly in her home on September 2, 2010. Except for a few singular items that she left behind, her passing would have been utterly unremarkable to anyone not related to her or counted among her small circle of friends and neighbors. Among her meager possessions were high honors from the British & French governments. As one newspaper notes: “Indeed, after dying alone…89-year-old Eileen Nearne was to be laid to rest with few – if any – mourners expected at her funeral. Yet neighbours and council officials were stunned when they found out that Eileen Nearne had been a British spy who had plotted behind enemy lines during much of the Second World War.”
Although she had been scheduled for the equivalent of a pauper’s burial, veterans associations intervened when the extent of her bravery and service during the Second World War were revealed to the astonished public. One obituary comments on the funeral thus: “Her coffin arrived draped in the British and French flags, as befits a hero who was awarded both the British MBE and the French Croix de Guerre. Buglers from Britain and France played the Last Post as the coffin left the church.” This heroine lived the bulk of her life unrecognized for patriotism, her devotion to victory, and willingness to suffer so that others might live in free societies. Likewise, many of God’s choice saints have labored, lived, and died in anonymity. The courageous exploits and faith of others are unknown or forgotten even among professional historians. Nevertheless, Hebrews 11 makes it clear that the Lord remembers each, and has reserved them for the better things that the saints collectively enjoy in Christ (Heb. 11:40.)
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War & Remembrance

“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Hebrews 11:32-40 [Emphasis mine]
An elderly woman, who lived a solitary life in southeastern England died quietly in her home on September 2, 2010. Except for a few singular items that she left behind, her passing would have been utterly unremarkable to anyone not related to her or counted among her small circle of friends and neighbors. Among her meager possessions were high honors from the British & French governments. As one newspaper notes: “Indeed, after dying alone…89-year-old Eileen Nearne was to be laid to rest with few – if any – mourners expected at her funeral. Yet neighbours and council officials were stunned when they found out that Eileen Nearne had been a British spy who had plotted behind enemy lines during much of the Second World War.”
Although she had been scheduled for the equivalent of a pauper’s burial, veterans associations intervened when the extent of her bravery and service during the Second World War were revealed to the astonished public. One obituary comments on the funeral thus: “Her coffin arrived draped in the British and French flags, as befits a hero who was awarded both the British MBE and the French Croix de Guerre. Buglers from Britain and France played the Last Post as the coffin left the church.” This heroine lived the bulk of her life unrecognized for patriotism, her devotion to victory, and willingness to suffer so that others might live in free societies. Likewise, many of God’s choice saints have labored, lived, and died in anonymity. The courageous exploits and faith of others are unknown or forgotten even among professional historians. Nevertheless, Hebrews 11 makes it clear that the Lord remembers each, and has reserved them for the better things that the saints collectively enjoy in Christ (Heb. 11:40.)
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Secular Idolatry

Try as they might, modern naturalists are unable to escape the concept of God. A quote from Stony Brook University’s late evolutionary theorist Dr. George C. Williams demonstrates this tendency:
Though a major expositor of evolutionary theory, Dr. Williams was always aware that his explanations were a work in progress and that they might in principle be superseded by better ones. Evolutionary theory, as stated by its great 20th-century masters Ronald Fisher, J. B. S. Haldane and Sewall Wright, ‘may not, in any absolute sense, represent the truth,’ Dr. Williams wrote at the conclusion of his book on adaptation, ‘but I am convinced that it is the light and the way.’
In suppressing the truth of God, who is the true Creator, he ascribed divine attributes to unthinking, impersonal natural forces. The Lord Jesus Christ – “the way, the truth, and the life” – is supplanted by created things (Jn. 14:6); elsewhere He is called “the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12.) In essence, this is secular idolatry: assigning divine qualities to natural phenomena. For men to do this is nothing new, for Romans 1:25 details mankind’s past departure from the knowledge of their Maker: “[they]…exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
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Let Freedom Ring: Thoughts On Galatians – Part 4

“As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:9-10.

When is a gospel not a gospel? According to Galatians the answer is: “When someone tampers with the original gospel given to the apostles by Christ.” Paul declares that the new message being proclaimed by the Judaizers in their midst was a gospel of a fundamentally different type (vv. 6-7.) Its proponents apparently referred to it as a “gospel,” yet it was not actually “good news” for it could not deal with man’s sin problem or satisfy the holy God. Instead it was a message tailored to human preferences, calculated to win over spiritually undiscerning and fleshly religionists. It had a veneer of morality and Biblicism, but it was a counterfeit gospel. Pleasing God or pleasing men is the fulcrum on which a true message stands or falls. The genuine gospel enables the Judge of all the earth to righteously forgive, justify, and reconcile sinful people to Himself. False variations on the glad tidings merely enhance the religious reputations and self-righteous pride of deluded, fallen men.
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