“On Friday, June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote to impose so-called ‘gay marriage’ on all 50 states.” While this decision did not change the nature of true marriage, for only God can do that, it did change the nature of legal marriage, and, tragically, in many minds that is a change in the nature of marriage.
The court’s ruling did considerably degrade the institution of marriage in our culture. Moreover, the court’s decision demonstrated one of the most pronounced, unguarded, and hubristic acts of legislating from the bench and disregard for the Constitution to date (demonstrated in their moral reasoning in the article below). Finally, certainly they set in place a ruling that will perpetuate the dismantling of religious freedom in America. I believe this may prove to be, over the coming decades, the most devastating consequence of the ruling. I think that this moralizing decision will be the genesis of untold clashes between believers and the courts, and, as it stands, a portentous signal regarding the kind of decisions that we might expect from the court.
Dr. Jerry Johnson, Ph. D., President and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, has written two excellent articles on this ruling, Supreme Shame and Supreme Sham (and one more to come), and reading them both will be well worth your time. Particularly important to note is the biblical guidance for Christians from article one, and the moral, rather than legal, musings of the majority opinion in the second.
Calvinists’ commitment to unconditional election along with believing in obeying the Great Commission to evangelize and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) necessitates certain auxiliary concepts in order to harmonize these two; the good faith offer is such a concept. The simple explanation is that while the Calvinist is to preach the gospel to all so that God can call out His unconditionally elect, every Calvinist is well aware that much of his gospel proclamation will fall upon the non-elect, who have no more chance of receiving the good news than a beaver does of being happy in a petrified forest. Continue reading →
It appears that most are aware of the dangerously low level of biblical competency of the average Christian. The following summarizes the seriousness of such by a series of comparisons. Continue reading →
In his Serious Call, William Law exhorts: “Let every day be a day of humility, condescend to all the weaknesses and infirmities of your fellow-creatures, cover their frailties, love their excellencies, encourage their virtues, relieve their wants, rejoice in their prosperities, compassionate in their distress, receive their friendship, overlook their unkindness, forgive their malice, be a servant of servants, condescend to do the lowliest offices of the lowest of mankind.”
This article briefly considers homosexuality, both biblically and scientifically. For a more thorough treatment of the subject, you can download my series under the same title at www.trinitynorman.org/resources/.
The Scripture clearly teaches that while all sin is sin, some sins are more sinful than others. Matthew 12:30-32 speaks of the unpardonable sin, in contrast to every other sin which can be forgiven by faith in Christ; Matthew 23:23 speaks of the “weightier provisions of the law;” John 19:11 says that in comparison to Pontius Pilate, Judas has the “greater sin;” James 1:14-15 distinguishes between temptation, lust, conceiving, and sin. Sin can refer to full mental indulgence or the physical carrying out of that which is conceived. While the mental envisioning of say, adultery, is sin, the carrying out of the physical act worsens such sin. To wit, the thought of murdering someone is sin, but the greater sin is to carry such thought to its fullness and commit the physical act of murder. Continue reading →
Arrogant spirituality misrepresents Christian conviction.
Arrogance by any 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).
“Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction” (Romans 3:22).
Romans chapter three is crystal clear in declaring the universal sinfulness of man. Although the Jews have advantages compared to the Greeks, such as having the oracles of God (vs. 1-2), they do not have preferential treatment with regard to salvation. Vs. 9 makes this very clear, “Jews and Greeks are all under sin.” “All” clearly means that every Jew and every Greek (every person) is under sin. Consequently, both the groups and “all” the individuals that make up the groups are included rather than some in each group comprising the “all.” There are no exceptions. Continue reading →
Calvinism teaches a compatible freedom. This means that a person is free to follow a predetermined choosing without making a choice between two accessible options. That is to say, no real choice exists in compatibilism because man can only choose an act or belief that is the result of predetermined antecedents. This means that Adam and Eve chose to sin, or man chooses to accept the gospel because God has predetermined that he will do so, and those that reject ultimately do so for the same reason. This is the simple unadorned truth of Calvinism. Continue reading →
If many will not serve Christ in obscurity, we can never present Him to the world with clarity.
There are numerous examples in the annals of Christian history of people who are studied, celebrated, and extolled as role models to be followed. These exemplars of Christianity are rightly known for their labors, sacrifices, and surrender to God’s will and ways. There is no shame in extolling the heroes and heroines of the faith.
This as long as Christians remain ever so aware and thankful for the untold, unnamed, and faceless Christians who paved the way for the mighty warriors of the faith to be used of God at the appropriate time, in extraordinary ways.
“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Compassion without action is indistinguishable from indifference.
Christ’s compassion sees the plight of others and then seeks to meet that need. While one cannot meet every need of every person, Christians should be seeking to move beyond seeing the needs around us to meeting the needs around us.
“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).