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Month: June 2006

The Integrity of the “Rove Indictment Pusher’s”

In an effort to try and thwart the cabinet of President Bush, there are those who have desired to see Karl Rove go down in flames, and thus Bush’s cabinet. And yet today it was announced that Karl Rove will not be indicted of any crime. However, those people pushing for Karl Rove to be indicted have been very slow to respond and say anything concerning this. Instead of coming out and saying, “Well, we were wrong,” they just keep silent and move on to the next non-thing to attack and act as if they never said anything. When the data came out showing that there was no basis for a charge, it proves that every word they uttered concerning Karl Rove was complete vanity. To me though, this just illustrates the integrity and honesty of these individuals and proves that they cannot be trusted. The whole thing was an agenda based on non-information to try and dissolve the cabinet of Pres. Bush and it failed miserably. When someone is desperate to see someone else go down, they will do whatever they can to try and take them out. But it didn’t work. Karl Rove had nothing to do with the CIA leak case. There is no evidence. And those opponents of Bush have nothing to say about it. You won’t see it in any of the headlines on the most prominent liberal media sites (liberal media = NBC/MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, New York Times, LA Times, Wash Post) because it’s a failure by liberals to try and hurt Bush. Man what a waste of time, money and energy they could have been using to fix Gore’s theoretical environment problems! And this seems to be the nature of the liberal mind-set (though not true for all liberals): living a false reality, spending time conceiving of things that don’t exist, based on evidence that is not there. And in the end, it never works out. They may have the spotlight shined on them for a time, but once the facts come out, their party is over. And this is just one case amongst many.

Rove Won’t Be Charged in CIA Leak Case

Update (12:45 p.m.)

And to illustrate my point that many liberals live in a false reality (including top-ranking liberal officials in the government), this morning on the Today Show, DNC Chairman Dean said, “That does not excuse [Rove’s] real sin which is leaking the name of an intelligence operative during the time of war.” Give me a break. They just won’t let up will they? It’s over! It’s done! He’s cleared of all possible charges! What do they not get about this? The facts are in, Dean. He’s innocent. They just will not submit to facts, and thus reality. Why does anyone pay any attention to these people?

DrudgeReport.com News Flash 1
DrudgeReport.com News Flash 2

Hmm, Interesting Logic – Coffee and Abstinence

Drinking coffee cuts alcohol’s harmful effects – MSNBC.com

Apparently drinking coffee prevents cirrhosis of the liver. I found a quote interesting in this article though that a doctor said concerning those who drink heavily and are in danger of cirrhosis. “The way to avoid getting ill is not to drink a lot of coffee, but to cut down on the drinking” of alcohol, he said. That’s very good logic, is it not? Makes sense. Why is it when the topic of sex is brought up though, this same logic doesn’t apply any longer? Logic is simply thrown out of the window!

Aside from the Biblical moral argument for sex staying only within the confines of marriage, the best way to keep from getting some sexually-transmitted disease(s), becoming pregnant (possibly ruining your prospects for a future), or for that matter, inevitably bringing levels of emotions into a relationship you are not ready to be committed to, is to just not have sex until you are married, right? Well, for some reason, the corrupt, sinful human mind begs to differ. It says, “Well, you just can’t apply the same logic here, because, well, it’s just a totally different thing.” But is it really? Drinking is not necessarily a bad thing, when handled correctly, when it’s not in excess, when you have one or two glasses with dinner. But when it’s taken to an extreme, into alcoholism, it causes cirrhosis of the liver. Too much of anything is bad for a person. Too much food results in obesity, too much water thins out your blood, too much medicine will … you get the idea, fill in the blank.

God Himself created, designed sex and it is indeed a great thing. I’m in no way saying that sex is bad and should be limited. Non-Christians seem to think that’s what Christian’s think. This is just not true. Sex an incredibly wonderful gift from God to man! But God designed it in such a way so that it is only a great thing in the confines of where it was meant to take place: within marriage alone. Just as food and water and alcohol have limitations on them that if carried over past their respective boundaries result in undesired effects, so also, sex, when taken outside of the context of marriage and it’s boundary, will inevitably result in self-destruction of the soul. God doesn’t give us rules, laws, and regulations to make us miserable. He gives us these things for our own good. I mean He’s God! Don’t you think He knows what’s best for His creation?

Only man can take a blessing from God, turn it into an idol (setting it up as God) and distort it to bring about self-destruction and condemnation upon himself. However, it’s inevitable that with the human condition as deteriorated as it is because of sin, man will never see it as God sees it, unless He changes hearts and gives them divine understanding. The world simply says, “Do what feels good to you, that’s all that matters. Sex doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s your own business.” Man shakes his fist at abstinence, because that is constraining his ability to do whatever he wants. Man wants the freedom God has and will fight to the death to make this freedom his own. This is why abstinence is just not an answer to the world, because man wants to be God. He wants to do “what feels right” in his own eyes. But just because man thinks it’s okay in his mind, doesn’t mean that the consequences won’t be devastating to his soul.

If I have an equation (just for arguments sake, 2 + x = 4) that determines the correct course of a rocket blasting off into space, and I know it equals 4, but have one unknown variable I need to figure out; but I want x to be whatever I want it to be because I don’t want to be limited to the equation; someone tells me (because apparently I’m too dumb to know) I need to make x = 2 for the equation to work; and let’s say I make x = 3; what does that actually do to the end result? It would actually force the answer to be 5 instead of 4, and will cause the rocket to go off course. God is absolute reality, He is absolute truth. He defines what’s right and wrong. He’s revealed these things to us in scripture. Yet man turns from these divine definitions and pursues what he wants. And the end result is devastating, and ultimately it leads man straight to hell.

And so it would seem logical for man to just do what God says, submit to His sovereign rule and authority; but man is illogical and sins, turns away from God. Man takes the things God says to do and doesn’t do them, but then takes the things God says not to do and does them instead! And this is every single person on the earth. But Christ came in order to bring us back into the reality of the defined reality God has created. He came and took the punishment that was ours for our wrong-doing and offered Himself up on the cross, that if you believe in Him you will be saved from the depths of God’s just wrath for your illogical wrong-doing.

Go Mavs!

Okay, not a huge sports fan in general, and usually basketball is at the bottom of my list of the sports I do get involved in. But this is really quite amazing. The Mavs have never done well my whole life and now they’re tearing it up in the finals. That’s pretty sweet. Man I hope they can keep this up …

And this guy is a mad-man when he plays!

The Testimony of Every Believer

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:3-7

No believer wants to take credit for their salvation. Every true believer will admit that they cannot take credit for God delivering them from His wrath, otherwise this would be prideful. And so the verses above expound upon that idea, unpacking the testimony of each one of us. But what are the theological ramifications for you not taking credit for your salvation?

Prior to our conversion as believers, each one of us went his own way in sin, running from God, rebellious, disobedient to His commandments, enemies of God, hated by others and hating one another. To qualify it again, there was nothing in us that wanted God or desired anything godly. It was all utter foolishness to us. But! When Christ appeared, He Saved us; when dying on the cross for His people (securing everything pertaining to their salvation), he did not choose to save us according to any foreseen works or faith that we would perform where everything becomes fragile and contingent on what we do, but He saved us according to His own mercy alone. I say again, God chose to save us based solely upon His mercy alone! What does this look like?

At the moment we believed, we were saved by grace (justified before the Father), through faith, that the Holy Spirit Himself supplied us with. Faith was God’s gift to His people that He chose to save. It is not earned, but faith itself depends on the granting of God’s mercy upon rotten, fallen sinners who do not deserve it. That is why we cannot take credit for our salvation. He saved us by the regeneration and renewal of our souls, hearts, and minds by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit was poured out on us richly through the work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. The faith of every believer is the result of God’s grace alone, and thus no believer can take credit for their salvation. We are not saved by Grace + Faith, but rather saved by Grace through Faith, a work of God itself. Faith is God’s means to bring those of us He has chosen to Himself. God does not believe for any of us, but supplies us with what is necessary to believe in Him, a regenerated heart, mind and soul that desire Christ and are “zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)

We cannot even boast in the fact that we’re chosen though, because there was nothing in us that made God look at us and save us. If any believer boasts in the fact that they were chosen of God, they have not understood grace. It is a gift of God’s grace alone that any of us have believed in Him. God’s election to save us secures God’s glory at every level of salvation (excludes boasting on our part at every level), including the time when we exert our regenerated will and believe in Christ. What God commands of us (faith in Christ unto salvation), He gives us by His Holy Spirit in the regeneration of our souls to be able to see clearly the irresistable beauty of Christ, and thus we cannot help but believe.

We can in no way take credit for our salvation at any level, even at the point at which we believed. And the ramifications of that scripturally is that we were chosen of God to inherit salvation, not because of any foreseen works or faith (not because of any human willing or exertion, Romans 9:16), but because of His choice made before the foundation of the world, to which we humbly fall at the feet of the Savior with tears, in gratitude for what an amazing act He has performed in our lives to save us! From this, grace takes on a whole new meaning and unfolds in layer upon infinite layer of divine, undeserved, eternal love, that go on forever into the depths of God’s counsel! This indeed is my testimony. Saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I wanted nothing to do with Christ, was running away from Him, and He chose to come and turn my heart to believe in Him, not based on my doing, and not based on Him seeing me believe or perform any good works in the future, but based on His mercy alone that I did not deserve or earn. What an awesome, all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, all-wise Savior!

To quote Spurgeon concerning grace:

“When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul—when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, ‘I ascribe my change wholly to God.'”

Total Depravity

Understanding man’s true state in sin is the first essential piece of information needed to understand the rest of the Gospel. You cannot appreciate the depths of the grace and mercy of God in Christ until you compare yourself to God’s greatness. Once you realize you have nothing, are nothing, can do nothing right before God because of your wicked heart, at that point after having your eyes opened and ears unplugged by the Holy Spirit, can you see and hear the greatness and sufficiency of Christ. John Calvin said, “Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God’s majesty,” and also, “True knowledge of ourselves destroys self confidence.” We are not to be confident in ourselves, but confident in God and who He is. One failure in this doctrine will result in a series of cataclysmic doctrinal dominoes that inevitably lead to a squelching of the Gospel itself, which ultimately leads to a squelching and suppression of God’s glory and truth. If we believe we are less than at odds with God in our natural selves, or that sin has not affected every aspect of our lives, including our willing and choosing, we will not understand or appreciate God’s grace, mercy, holiness, perfection, the cross, the atonement, election, and so many other points as we should. We must first realize that before God, we are nothing, we are sinners, worthy of eternal hell-fire. We deserve nothing less than this. What a merciful God to provide salvation for anyone at all!

What The Term “Total Depravity” Is Not Saying:

1) That we are all as bad as we could be, or that we are utterly depraved.

2) This phrase is not a way of trying to intensify the argument that we’re all “SINNERS” by attempting to argue using an emotional appeal. Total Depravity is an extensive argument, meaning sin has affected every area and facet of our lives, spiritually, physically, emotionally, psychologically, in ever way.

I would like to make it known also that we are not morally comparing ourselves to other people in the world. We are not comparing ourselves to society, pedophiles, Hitler, philanthropists, or anyone else; other people are not the metric. The metric we compare ourselves against is the infinite holines and majesty of God alone. As Isaiah said when comparing himself before God’s majesty in Isaiah 6:5, “‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!'”

What it is saying:

1) That in our natural selves, being born into sin, we are corrupted in our understanding, thinking, willing, affections, desires, emotions, speech, acting, in every possible way, we are sinners. Nothing in our nature has escaped the grasp of sin. As I like to say, we are “thoroughly depraved”. There is no area of our lives that is outside of the bondage of sin. (It must be noted that it is from this point where we say “faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature,” (John Hendryx) because we’re totally depraved.)

2) I believe scripture will be the most helpful and convincing though (it is God’s inerrant word, our final infallible authority) in what it says concerning the depravity of humanity, because this is how God Himself describes us (which doesn’t He define reality, not man?); pay very close attention to the language the scriptures use to describe all of us; none of us are outside of these descriptions, it all applies to every one of us:


Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.”

1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

What the LORD says concerning our sin and condition:

Psalm 5:9 “For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.”

Psalm 143:2 “…no one living is righteous before you.”

Proverbs 20:9 “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’?”

Isaiah 53:6a “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…”

Of believer’s in their previous natural condition (like all of men), Ephesians 2:1 says “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” Spiritually dead!

Psalm 39:5b “Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”

Psalm 94:11 “the LORD–knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.”

Jeremiah 2:29 “Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD.”

Micah 7:2-4 “The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand.”

Job 15:14-16 “What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous? Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight; how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks injustice like water!”

Proverbs 4:16-17 “For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.”

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Jeremiah 16:12 “…every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.”

Romans 8:7-8 “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

And finally, the most convincing climax of the depravity of man in the Old Testament scriptures, done by Paul in Romans 3:10-18:

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

This is God’s holy word, inerrant, speaking of the things concerning the depth of man’s depravity. come to an end of trying to morally please God with your dead works. You will never avail by them. By the power of God, I pray you will be raised to new life and believe in Jesus Christ, the atonement for our sins.

Since Everyone is on the Topic of the Mark of the Beast Today

… I figured I would post something pertaining to it (I know, I’m a cheese ball for even posting anything about it). So much mystery surrounds the mark of the beast. It’s just so blatant, but what does it mean? How will it appear? How will it manifest itself? I think this guy does a good job of explaining it without being nuts like so many fanatical eschatalogically dispensational types (e.g. Rev. Irvin Baxter, Jr., not all dispensationalists in general). I would like to make it known that I hold to the idea that the church will go through the tribulation; and that is the position of the paper below. I personally believe that scripture is rather clear concerning this, that the church will endure persecution, up to the very end, when Christ returns one more time to setup His kingdom, destroying His enemies and saving those who are eagerly waiting for Him. Why does the church think it will escape trials? That has been my position since I came to Christ, and in studying the scriptures over the years, I still hold to that position. That’s not to say I am any final authority on the matter at all (I’m no scholar, and there are people way smarter than me who would disagree with my position); I have a long way to go in my understand of these things; and also scripture is our final infallible authority anyway. This paper below supports my position on the tribulation. I’m really not convinced just yet on the whole amillenial position of most reformed people, mainly because Revelation seems to be clear that there will be a thousand year reign of Christ. So I have some undefined doctrines concerning end time matters. But, I’m fully convinced there will be one more return of Christ (not one secret return of Christ to rapture His people, then later come back again to setup His kingdom). I believe in one final return, where at the sound of the trumpet the dead in Christ shall rise first, and those of us who remain will be caught up with Him in the air; I believe this is what is called the Day of the Lord, the day in which He returns to destroy His enemies, redeem His people, and setup His kingdom. I’m convicted that all believers need to be ready for tribulation unto death. This is what Bonhoeffer believed, and lived out in Nazi Germany; faithful unto death.

The Mark of the Beast – Rev. Herman Hoeksema

Here’s an excerpt:

“The Mark: 666

The second means whereby the worshippers of the Lamb may be distinguished from the followers of the beast, the godly from the ungodly, is the mark of the beast. It is quite distinct from the first, not only in its character but also in its effect. The first means of distinction is the speech of the image of the beast, the second is a mark which everyone must receive and exhibit on his forehead or right hand; the former leads to the exposure and death of those that refuse to worship the beast, the latter to their expulsion from society: they cannot buy or sell. The latter, the mark of the beast, is, evidently, designed to supplement the former. the speech of the image. For the false prophet is, evidently, determined that absolutely every one without exception shall worship the anti-christian beast, and that in all the dominion of Antichrist no follower of the Lamb shall be left. To accomplish this purpose the speech of the image is not sufficient. It is conceivable that some, that many, may elude its detection. It will accomplish chiefly that the leaders of the Church, those that are called to preach the Gospel, to teach and to admonish the people of God, those who by virtue of their very position as leaders are called to confess the name of Christ and to denounce the name of Antichrist, are exposed and persecuted to the death. But this does not satisfy the false prophet. All must be exposed. And so he devises the mark of the beast, and “causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.” From this cunning device no man can escape. For the false prophet so arranges matters “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” The mark of the beast is very effective. It will, indeed, divide men into two clearly distinct groups and opposing camps: the followers of the Lamb and the worshippers of the beast. In those days one will be able to discern clearly between him that serveth the Lord and him that serveth him not.”

The Number of the Beast: 666

Some more food for thought concerning the pre-trib rapture: Is the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Biblical? – Brian Schwertley

A Brief Survey of the History of Heresy

There have been five major heresies that have arisen within the history of the church. This explanation of each major heresy is very important knowledge for every believer, mainly because you will see hints of these within our modern culture, and unfortunately, within the church at large. The five heresies are:


Check out this PDF paper on the History of Heresy (Highly Recommended):

THE HISTORY OF HERESY – Five Errors that Refuse to Die – Phil Johnson (PDF)

Internet Monitoring Thwarts Terror Plot

What a great thing it is to find out that a major terror plot in Canada was thwarted. But guess what started the investigation: internet monitoring. This is a case-in-point example of why technological monitoring is so important. Everybody would have been screaming bloody murder as to why the authorities did not see this coming if it had been pulled off. And here is how they thwarted it. This must serve as a prime example of why technology monitoring is so important. However at the same time, I do believe there needs to be someone monitoring the monitors, setting it up in a similar fashion to our system of government. It’s called checks and balances, something this nation was founded upon. So we must monitor, but at the same time, it must be checked on so that it doesn’t spin out of control.

News links:

How Internet monitoring sparked a CSIS investigation into a suspected homegrown terror cell – The Toronto Star
17 Terror Suspects Arrested in Toronto – AP
Canada charges 17 in plot to blow up buildings – MSNBC.com

Christianity and Every Other Religion

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations– “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)–according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
> Colossians 2:20-23

In Christianity, God made man in His image, man sinned (telling God His glory was worthless), man was then cursed by not only temporal death, but eternal death, the deserved, earned wrath of God for sin; man was then so far in debt to God’s glory that he could never possibly recover by any efforts of his own; and man’s wickedness was so bad in fact that God had to send a perfect representative for him; He had to come to reconcile man back to Himself, putting him back in right relationship with Himself; and that ultimate man was Christ who died upon the cross and rose from the grave by the power of God who intercedes for His people, shedding His blood for wicked sinners who turned away from Him, enemies of God even.

However, in every other religion (and I feel I can say this with quite a bit of certainty), man attempts to make God in his own image, or attempts to suppress God from the picture altogether. All those in opposition to God’s favor, those apart from Christ that is, fabricate an image of God to suit what they want God to be. This is called idolatry. It is called exchanging the truth about God for a lie and worshipping the creature rather than the Creator. Even those with a belief in no God is itself a belief, a belief that logically should lead to despair and ultimately suicide (because what’s the point in existing if there’s nothing beyond us?). Regardless, every other religion, including atheism, evolution, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Judaism (after Christ), Shintoism, “Aztecism,” and any other religion is a suppression of the truth of God. And as the scripture above says about all of man’s attempts to morally reform himself from the corruption that is in his flesh and soul due to sin, “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” All of these religions suppose they can stop the corruption that is within them by doing good deeds and living a “right” life, but they profit nothing for the person in restraining sin in any manner.

The core problem with all of us is an inward problem with our hearts. Out of our hearts comes vile and wickedness beyond what we suppose. If all of us were down-right honest, we are all awful people. We lie, we deceive, we attempt to make ourselves appear as something we’re not, we’re unkind, harsh, prideful, greedy, we look down on others poor estate, we envy the riches of others, and we have tongues that whip others hearts with the vile and bitter poison of words, like a bull whip on a person’s bare back, even whipping our best-friends and spouses with these words. We cannot even conceive of the ways in which we sin we’re so blind to it all. We are WICKED, thoroughly depraved. All of our faculties have been disabled by sin, and this sin has corrupted our ability to do anything right. Even when we attempt to do something right, we have so many other motives and competing affections that we don’t even do those right things with purity, cancelling out any goodness within the good work. How awful is our state in sin! We simply cannot reform ourselves by trying to fix the problem outwardly. Even you, believer, you cannot reform your habitually sinful ways in this manner. It’s akin to wrapping a rotten carcas in fresh, clean, white linens to cover up the stink. Jesus called the Pharisees, men supposing to be doing everything according to the law of God, “white-washed tombs”. And that is exactly what a moralist is. Trying to conform to some set of rules by our own strenth is useless, mainly because we have no strength, we’re dead spiritually. What can a dead man do? Can a dead man think, walk, talk, act, do anything at all? And yet spiritually this is our current state in sin, apart from being regenerated by a work of God. We cannot think spiritually, walk spiritually, talk spiritually, do anything at all in a right manner. We are in a desperate condition, a condition without hope in ourselves. Humanism says that man can make himself better and that he will. Christianity says you’re dead in sin, believe in the Lord Christ and you will be delivered from this sin and raised to new life with a new body on the Day of the Lord, reconciled to God Himself, that He is our great delight forever; this indeed is heaven.

Every single religion in the world puts the burden on you, the sinner. I mean your sinfulness is your own fault, so you need to fix it, right? Well you can’t fix it yourself; even believer’s can’t after being saved. It is only by the Spirit’s power in them they are able to do anything to the glory of God. Sure, they are regenerated to new life and there is an inkling of a dim light shining out of the their hearts by the Holy Spirit living in them (compared to the light that will shine once they are glorified that is). But even after the regeneration of their souls, they still need something outside of themselves working within their hearts to change them, addressing the source of the problem, in order that they conform to the Lord’s revealed decrees, out of desire instead of duty.

And what a tragedy it is that so many within the visible church profess Christianity to be no different than all of the other religions of the world. And yet it is totally different. Christianity is the anti-thesis of self-made/man-made religion. Christianity, through the scriptures, reveals the true God to all men. All men are without excuse, and are commanded to believe in Christ. Religion says, “Sinner, you make yourself perfect, the burden is on you.” Christianity says, “You cannot make yourself perfect by any means of your own. You are totally unable. Sin has disabled you, sinner. Instead, I, the LORD, have provided my perfect Son, who lived up to my standard of perfection to take your place. He did what you could not do. And in order to pay your debt to Me for all of your sinning and wickedness toward me, He offered Himself up to the cross where He shed His blood to turn away my wrath that you earned. And upon dying, I raised Him from the dead by my power that if you believe in Him, sinner, you will be saved, justified in my presence, all of His righteousness will be credited to your account; and after you physically die, I will raise you to new life with a perfect body.”

All other religions, with all of their regulations and “severity to the body” can in no way stop anyone from sinning and doing that which is evil. Try as you will, you will fail. The harder you try to conform to a standard, the greater you will see your imperfections. The core of the problem is not outward, but it is inward, within the heart. All of us need a heart transplant. But we cannot do this ourselves. It is a work of God alone as the great Surgeon. This is the reason Christ came in order to give life, real life, eternal life, to those who believe in Him for salvation. Apart from Christ, man has absolutely no hope. In Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). This is the true religion, salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We have no other hope. All that came before him and all who come after him proclaiming to be the way are frauds and will be exposed for what they are. All other religions are a figment of nothingness and amount to idolatry, including moralistic Christianity.

And on a side note, how appropriate is the scripture I referenced at the top in this modern day of evangelicalism, where pastor after pastor preaches a moralistic, yet positive message? You see, it’s the positive aspect of those sermons that is so appealing to unbelievers. I mean what a better way to get people in the church than to not tell them to “repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” for salvation. And yet these pastors are simply laying a heavier burden on people than before they heard it. Moralism is fatal to the soul. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees more than anyone He came in contact with. Why? Because they were moralists. Moralism is assuming you have the ability to do something you are unable to do, assume you’re doing it all right, and yet still be totally blind to the fact that you’re just as much, if not more of a sinner than you were before you started morally “reforming” yourself. Paul’s charge to the Colossians was that after having been reconciled to God by the blood of Christ, why did they still subject themselves to human (man-made) precepts and teachings? I cannot stress how much this still applies today! The church must be on its guard against destructive “positive” messages that actually preach no gospel at all. “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) These messages are rampant and spreading like a wild-fire. Satan is hard at work to put out the light of Christ in the West. And he’s getting a lot done. And what a better place to hit and change people’s mind about what Christianity actually says than in the church itself! O how I pray the church as a whole would return to the fundamental teachings of scripture and preach the gospel in every message, make the application the gospel itself, and cast off moralism and all human monergism like the dung that it is.

A Bothering Statement in an Article on the PDL Site

In an article entitled Finding God at Work by Henry Cloud, Ph.D, on PurposeDrivenLife.com he states, “What stands out to me is the amazing delegation in it all. God really did give us the task of ‘subduing and ruling’ the earth (Gen. 1:28) and just like in the Parable of the Talents, he gives us the resources to do it and then gets out of the way to a large degree.” (Emphasis mine)

Ah, on the contrary, He gives us the resources and is intimately involved in all of it. That last italicized statement is a deistic statement, and deism is opposed to the scriptures that clearly show God is the sovereign King who rules over all things, that all of creation is held together by the power of His word. In an excerpt out of a book entitled The Reformation and its Aftermath (PDF) by Pastor Stanford E. Murrell, on page 127, he states,

“Deism argued that, like a well organized time clock, the universe is a mechanism that functions on its own. God had ‘wound it up’ and left it to run by itself. Therefore, logically, miracles are to be denied and theological concepts, like the atoning work of Christ and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, are to be rejected. The Bible is not unique and the supernatural is silly superstition. All that is needed is for the lumen naturae, the light of nature, to function. The light of nature is reason. Man must rely solely upon his own reason!” (Emphasis mine)

Though Cloud more than likely doesn’t believe the logical outcome of Deism, people reading his article may not have any understanding of who God really is from the scriptures (our final infallible authority), and in reading a statement such as the one he made, the logical image portrayed within these people’s minds of who God is and how He works is that He is less than powerful, less than able to save, and that by their own sheer will and strength and power, they must attain to God themselves. It’s called human monergism, that man must morally improve himself and “rise to the occasion” in order to obtain salvation, or rather, to save himself. There is no in between. This is the anti-thesis to Christianity. True, Biblical, Historic Christianity says we are unable to do anything ourselves and that Christ came to do what we could never do and then offered Himself as a ransom for the souls of those who believe in Him. Oh the rush and infiltration of liberal theology into the church! What a tragedy.

Theism and liberalism simply do not work together. They cannot. They are like oil and vinegar, repelling each other. You will either eventually have one or you will have the other. Many within the church have attempted to intertwine the two world-views into one, but what eventually winds up happening is that it will slide toward one or the other (most of the time, it slides toward liberal theology). They will either become more liberal (which in this case the god of this world has blinded their minds), or they become more theistic and scriptural (which in that case, the Holy Spirit has opened their hearts to see the truths plainly taught in scripture). I like to call these concepts theoretical theism/practical atheism. In other words, although confessing to believe in God, their lives play out something that is more closely akin to the practical side of atheism, living as if there were no God at all. Full out liberalism stems from a world-view where there is no God, an atheistic world-view, where man rules himself and this simply cannot work with the theistic world-view underpinnings of Christianity (one of the big problems I have with the emerging church adopting post-modern thought into the church).

Cloud, an obviously learned man with a Ph.D, though he isn’t a full out liberal teacher, and probably doesn’t exhibit much of the practical atheism I’m speaking of above, seems to have adopted some of these deistic, liberal notions (based on his statement), and he seems to ignore all of the other scriptures that make reference to God’s sovereign rule over all things, including evil itself. This is what the entire book of Job is about! That’s one of the main points of the story in the end! In addition to God’s sovereign rule over evil, if God is sovereign in the large things, how much must he be involved in the smaller things that make up those larger things? Are not large things made up of smaller things? Therefore, He is in control of every atom, every molecule, every particle, of absolutely every thing, including all of the large things that happen in the universe. Nothing in all of creation happens apart from His good pleasure and will. This is our hope in Christ. Kingdoms rise and fall, they are given authority and it is taken away according to His good pleasure and counsel that He takes with no one but Himself. And from this we take great comfort, because every act of men in all of history is designed for His glory and the good of those who love Him. For the wicked, their ultimate end is eternal destruction under the fury and wrath of an almighty and holy God. For the righteous, those called by God through faith in Christ to inherit salvation, it is for their ultimate good.

If we believe He is all-powerful, all-knowing, then it must follow (as it does from Scripture) that he is indeed intimately involved in all that occurs within the world, even evil acts, that all things may bring about the most glory for Himself. He is sovereign over every breath we take. He is indeed intimately involved in everything we do personally. God cannot be blamed for evil though. This is where the wit and reason of man fail. If God is not sovereign over all things, even evil itself, then we should have reason to fear, and I certainly would. You think there is chaos now? How much moreso if God lifted His hand of restraint on the wicked acts of men? If God did not have the ultimate sovereign rule over 9/11, I would indeed fear, as I should. Nothing happens apart from His will, even the most heinous of things. And yet He is indeed without sin, without unrighteousness. I have not the slightest idea how it all works, but I know what Scripture says. God is love, God is righteous, He is just, He is kind, He is patient, He is wrathful against sinners, and He is sovereign over all of His creation. And this is why I take comfort in His sovereignty, because all things work for the good of those who love Him, for those who are called according to His purpose, and ultimately, the most important reason, all things work for His glory, displaying the panorama of all His attributes.

But the ultimate picture of God’s sovereignty is seen in the most wicked act to ever occur in all of history, the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ. I’ll just take one instance though leading up to this, specifically when Jesus rebukes Peter for cutting off the guards ear in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:53. “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” Here we see God’s total and complete sovereign rule over the delivering up of Christ to the cross. Yahweh, the great King pictured in Ezekial 1 and Isaiah 6, where at His throne are seen smoke and thick darkness, set aside His heavenly dwelling and sovereignly allowed sinful men to kill Him. And yet He was still in total control of the whole situation. But the ultimate reason Christ was killed, the ultimate cause was because of the sovereign, definite plan of the Father. The Father Himself had His own Son delivered up to the cross. Acts 2:23 states, “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”

This event, God’s “Big Day” of displaying His glory and justice, was totally in His control and sovereign plan. At any moment Jesus would have had at His disposal many thousands of angels to do wreckshop on all of the evil-doers delivering Him up to death, and yet in His sovereignty, He allowed them to do to Him what was purposed from eternity past, that the Lamb would be slained to purchase men for God from every tribe, tongue, language and nation. How much more sovereign can He be? And if He is sovereign over the worst act ever, howm much moreso is He sovereign over all other acts? God did not just sit back and see what would happen at Calvary, but the Father Himself was intimately involved in the delivering up of His own Son to the cross, pouring out His wrath on His own Son, intimately involved in every single action of every single person, even the wicked, even in Peter’s lying, to bring about His great glory on the cross, in His resurrection from the dead, and then to bring about the redemption of those who would believe in Him as a result of this magnificent work. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful sovereign God who from eternity past laid out every single act in history, every gust of wind, every storm, every earthquake, every evil act, and yet He is without sin in all these things. How can this be? We are to submit and bow our heads in awe. God is sovereign over all things, and yet man is responsible at the same time. How the two fit together, I do not know, but that’s what Scripture says. God has His design and good purpose in all of these things, that He may be glorified and that we as believers may partake of His majesty.

This picture that Henry Cloud has given us of God stepping back and letting man run the show is not only wrong, deistic and harmful to the cause of the kingdom, it is unscriptural, and scripture is where we must bow our heads in humble submission. Theologically, he has given us a picture of a God that is less than powerful, who doesn’t care for the daily needs of His people, but just sits back and lets them fend for themselves. Though he would not agree with that assessment (and I’m sure he doesn’t believe that, at least I sure hope he doesn’t), that is the end result of this type of theology and thinking. It results in a belief that God is just a helper or coach, instead of the sovereign almighty King that reigns in heaven. Scripture speaks differently though from what Cloud proposes. When we say God is sovereign over “all things” here is just an inkling of what is included in that statement, from Scripture:

“…The fall of sparrows (Matthew 10:29), the rolling of dice (Proverbs 16:33), the slaughter of his people (Psalm 44:11), the decisions of kings (Proverbs 21:1), the failing of sight (Exodus 4:11), the sickness of children (2 Samuel 12:15), the loss and gain of money (1 Samuel 2:7), the suffering of saints (1 Peter 4:19), the completion of travel plans (James 4:15), the persecution of Christians (Hebrews 12:4-7), the repentance of souls (2 Timothy 2:25), the gift of faith (Philippians 1:29), the pursuit of holiness (Philippians 3:12-13), the growth of believers (Hebrews 6:3), the giving of life and the taking in death (1 Samuel 2:6), and the crucifixion of his Son (Acts 4:27-28).” (Excerpted from Piper’s article entitled Why I Do Not Say, “God Did Not Cause the Calamity, but He Can Use It for Good”)

We delight in God as the ultimate cause for all things that occur and yet at the same time He cannot be blamed for evil. He is sinless, absolutely perfect. And so His plan for all of history, laid out from eternity past, is without error. What a mystery it is indeed (I’m not trying to solve the mystery, simply pointing out the depths of the mystery from scripture), and yet we bow our heads in submission to His sovereign rule and to what the Scriptures say concerning these things. Concerning fortune and trials that come upon us, both the good and the bad, as Job said in Job 1:21, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” We delight in God alone, we delight in the knowledge of who He is from how He has revealed Himself in Scripture, not from how man wants to view Him. We shape our will and picture of Him to who He is, not vice versa. Men are sinful and blind, naturally perceiving that God just let’s man run the show of history. But from Scripture, just as Job did, we take comfort in God’s design in the trials, in the fact that God has the sovereign rule over Satan, all his activity, over sickness, over death, hell, salvation, damnation, all things. This strips of us of all pride and wanting to take credit for any aspect of our salvation as well as our lives. There is nothing outside of His will and all things will work out for His glory. He is trustworthy and good and if evil should befall us, we are to know that God has His good design in the trial, though it seems, humanly speaking, that all hope is lost and that He is not in control. Know that He designs the blessings as well as the trials to bring about the most glory for Himself and to refine the souls of those who trust in Christ for salvation, sanctifying them by His blood. This truth is what sustains me day in and day out, that God has perfectly designed each and every day, that whatever comes my way has been designed by Him to glorify Himself and draw me to Himself. What a hope!

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