Below is a brief supportive comment that I wrote in response to an article by Peter Lumpkins on SBC Today entitled, Joe Carter, the ERLC and Division over Donald Trump (Parts 1 and 2). Peter’s article responds to some general statements from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) that continually positions those who may vote for Trump in a very dim light. In part two, he specifically analyzes the language of a particular article by Joe Carter (ERLC staffer) that juxtaposes the debate between the “Justice side” (those evangelicals who would vote for Trump) and the “Witness side” (those who would not). Unfortunately, the juxtaposition is unduly reductionistic and results in favoring the “Witness side” rather than equally presenting both. Lumpkins does a good job of pointing this out. Continue reading →
May I honor You with gratefulness and reject every sinful prompting to chronicle my “woes” as long as the world stands.
Lord I pray to be convicted when I complain about a lack of ice while there are children who die daily because of contaminated water. Teach me the godly discipline of silence before I complain of inconveniences when children’s parents are taken from them in war. Forgive me of my prideful, arrogant, and bovaristic complaining; moreover, may I walk in the Spirit so as not to grumble of being overfull because of abundance while children whom You love starve.
I pray on this day that I will never overeat again, while children want for food, so that I may not sin against You in gluttony, self-centeredness, and pride.
May my diet be spiritual before physical, and may I eat with thanksgiving until I am not hungry rather than to a state of overindulgence because it is there. May I do this so long as there are little children whose stomachs hurt because of hunger and parasites from unsanitary conditions.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
Righteousness alone is not true righteousness because God’s righteousness never stands alone.
Human righteousness responds to the inadequacy of others—their faults, weaknesses, and failures—with the quickly drawn sword of criticism and condemnation. God’s righteousness responds with holy grace and long-suffering.
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;” (Exodus 34:6)
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7)
Complaining people dishonor themselves some, but God most!
There are of course times that God calls us to discern or expose weaknesses, fallacies, or flaws either in our present situation or even in others; however, far too often, complaining or being markedly critical masquerades as just “telling it like it is” or “speaking truth” when in reality it is nothing more than carnal grumbling.
Some who routinely exhibit brash impertinence seek to excuse their insolence by claiming to have the spiritual gift of “discernment” or “prophecy.” I for one am not convinced that all the prophets deserve being portrayed as always so impudent.
A critical spirit very often dishonors the individual and rather undeservedly disgraces others who are created in the image of God, but most often and principally dishonors God. It commonly does more to exhibit one’s own propensity to see the flaws of others more than the work of God in their lives. It obscures one’s awareness of his own flaws, which others must painfully and constantly endure; at the very least it detracts from blessing others and praising God for His work of grace in others.
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Lord, let me touch the things around me, but not cling to them. Let me hold things necessary for physical life, but not own them. Let me have You as the only end and the end to every thought and endeavor.
Lord let my joy be divine, coming from You, and be experienced in communion with You. Lord may my life be Your tool, my will be Your will, my desires have You as the always end.
Oh my Lord, You are my master, object of praise and devotion, and You are my friend; You have never turned Your face from me, though I from You, and You have protected me from myself more times than I can count.
Thank You, in my words, from my heart, and may You see it in my life.
At times, I post actual interactions that I have with Calvinists in order to allow others to consider both sides of an issue. This is what I have done in this article. The following is a response that I interacted with regarding my article, “Why Some Non-Calvinists Identify as Calvinist” that appeared on SBC Today.
I begin by giving a summary of his questions or concerns, which are supposed to tip the scale toward God choosing to save some unconditionally (UE). This is followed by my restating each of his statements individually and briefly interacting with each one in the rest of the article. I hope you find this helpful. Continue reading →
May I be the husband of the Scripture. I know all too well that these are tritely impious words if I shun death. For I shall never love as Christ loved me, nurture as Christ has nurtured me, protect as Christ has protected me, or bless and edify as Christ has edified me unless I die to self. But oh my Lord Jesus, dying is so dreadfully painful and difficult because my flesh is so brutally enthralled with the sensate stimuli of this world.
For my flesh passionately desires to be served, recognized, encouraged, extolled, catered to, agreed with, and know the future is secure, and therefore opposes with a hellish ferocity even the very mention of death. Although I surrender to die to self and make no place for the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:19), it is a daily and at times moment-by-moment battle, for the flesh vigorously and rigorously wills to live, and so my flesh and spirit are in constant war (Galatians 5:17).
With bemoaning so deep in my being that I dare not, yea even cannot utter it, I have often been startled as one stormed in the still of night with the truth, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).
May I be meek, not weak and not relish in ingratitude.
For I must not merely be willing to die, I must choose death, pursue death, and will to being devoured by death so that Christ may live through me so that “I may know the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 4:10).
Arrogant spirituality misrepresents Christian conviction.
Arrogance by any one of God’s created beings is ugly, but arrogance toward others by Christians is ghoulish indeed since Christians are the recipients of “Amazing Grace.” Christians are given grace to live and communicate our strong convictions graciously.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” Colossians 3:12–13.
The future belongs to God, and we are not God. How quick we are to guarantee the future.
People frequently speak about the future with certainty, but God rarely discloses our personal future. When we speak about the future with phrases like “I will never” or “This will never” or other such phrases of future certainty, we are pridefully blind to the actual uncertainty of our future and our limited ability to change it. Speaking with certainty about the future seeks to elevate us to godhood and eliminate the walk of faith, neither of which is possible. Continue reading →