Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Would Like To Believe...

...that there is a host of men, women, and come-of-age children who have difficulty thinking about what is or isn't in their closet and related MSN trivial infestations...while living in the glaring light of the horrors of life that are daily endured by millions...no, billions of people in this world; many of whom are los innocentes.
The Bible puts it this way; "Therefore, do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat? or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow , for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble,'" [Matthew 7:31-34]
Perhaps the ancients were fortunate not to have MSN on their "computer;" besieged by fashion, Hollywood, Emmy's, their daily Horoscope and the best places to eat and drink.
Most of the allegedly civilized world is looking away from the accident on their way to dinner and a movie.
We should never allow the world's bad news to interfere with our good times.
To make the point more pointedly I could make a list; but I won't. What would be the point? Many would look the other way. These times, these things we see and read about; things that gouge at our senses and sensibilities; they are not going away. They are worsening, and will continue to do so just like the Prophet Daniel and The Christ have said [Daniel 12:1 and Mark 13:19-20].
Whether we believe it or not these news are, for believers, good news. The Christ also said, "For as in the days before the coming of the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all way, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." [MATTITYAHU (Matthew) 24:38 and 39].
Look up! Our redemption is closer than when we first believed.e.c.
P.S. Jeane (Etta the editor) hates the phrase, "these news are," but I say, "news" like "deer" is a word plural and singular. What say you? e.c.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Fragrance of Heaven

It rained here last night. Not a lot; just enough to give the early morning air a freshness and fragrance that started me wondering about the fragrance of heaven.
I wondered if it was like the new-mown hay in the Skokomish Valley. Sweet; the purest of intoxications. I want like to know if it's anything like the perfume of evergreen trees newly washed by the rain.
Whatever it is, I hope to be there for as Peter says "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy."
And those who long for the fragrance of the presence of Christ will follow Him by "...laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking." [1st Peter 1:13-15 and 2:2].
Our hope, our only hope, is in the promised return of Jesus, the Christ. While it is called, Today, carry with you the perfume of His holiness.
Blessings. e.c.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Season of Sin

Earlier I was wondering about...and this has been wondered about before, for certain...the seasons of the year as symbolic of our world's slide into sin and our hope for the soon end of it all.
Summer: It's easy to think of summer representing the world after creation when things are bright and sunny...except of course here in Washington because we didn't have much summer this summer.
Fall: That's an easy one; man sins against God and slowly the hydrangias start to lose their brillance and the leaves of the trees transit from green to dead.
Winter: The long winter of one world in the cold death-grip of sin.  Sunshine is hard to find; in some places it doesn't.
Spring: Christ brings promise to the world through His long promised birth, life, and sacrifical death. There is hope. The Gospel is preached the to all nations. Sin will not reign forever. We can hear Satan struggle to breathe though he roars like an asthmatic lion.
Summer: Christ returns to gather His people, Satan and Sin are forever destroyed and we live in a world recreated. Hallelu Ya!*
.*It really is two words. The first means "praise" and the second is the name of God, as in YAweh. e.c.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Selfish Lot We Are

Human nature is, by nature, a selfish beast...whether in the church or out of the church, I do not know. God knows. [a left-handed reference to 2nd Corinthians 12:2 and 5].
This morning's walk started me thinking about heaven, going there, being able to see without strong glasses, being able to hear without hearing aids, being able to run without back and knee pain...when suddenly it dawned upon me what I was doing; making a "Christmas" wish list for all the personal benefits that I would derive from His return.
So I turned the question inward and laid a foundation in principle by asking the question; "What are the principle rewards of heaven? those derived in "koininia"[community]. And the list was completely different and, for the moment, free from selfishness.
A picture formed in my mind about sitting with Jesus...when my turn comes...talking about what I think of as "the big issues." For certain, I don't know what I'm talking about here because my center of focus is me; and that's my point; but I'm not alone.
When one ages, or is sick, or unemployed, or lonely, or depressed, or a thousand other things, the mind naturally turns inward and fixes its stare on self. We can't help it; as Paul would say, "...it is no long I who do it [sin] but sin that dwells in me." And "For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do." [Romans 8:17 and 14b].
EW makes an interesting comment. She has written that if we were to outline sin from greatest to least (they are not all the same) Roman Numeral I. would be "Selfishness." It is the most fundamental of all motives for sin of every color and kind.
So today I'm trying to focus on what I can be, do, and say that dodges me out of the picture and puts Christ in my place.
...thinking... wonder if i'll be able to keep this up till noon...?
Blessings. e.c.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Time was"... A Cure For Arrogance

Time was in my childhood that being 16 seemed the coolest thing that could happen; a driver's license, high school, dating...if I ever got the courage to ask. I remember "dating" a girl in the 9th grade and another in the 12th. Probably I was either too nerdy, too geeky, or both. I'm remembering a too-long short, too-long pudgy, bespectacled, trumpet-playing, only child, who early on learned how to be content alone in a mostly single-parent home. (My father was in absentia, spending time in VA hospitals).
Time was, in my college years, that I found a girl who loved a no-longer short, no-longer pudgy, still- trumpet-playing nerd; I didn't study enough to be a real geek; that had to wait.
Time was, in my teaching years, (all nine of them) that I discovered I didn't much care for teaching. So with a wife and four sons in tow we went off to dental school. That's where I became one of the class geeks.
Time was, after four years of dental practice, I discovered I didn't much care for filling teeth. Mercifully, the Lord let a disability befall my left arm (thoracic outlet syndrome) and (following a left 1st rib resection [removal])I had to give up practicing dentistry (Thank You Jesus). Loma Linda School of Dentistry called...so to speak...and that's when the journey of discovery and recovery began.
Time was, over the next 18 years, that I was considered an expert in the area of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. There were opportunities to speak, write, travel, teach and pursue further studies. I did all of them. Life was good. I was still bespectacled but had given up playing the trumpet. (Was that the key to success?)
Time was, when all the degrees, the invitations to speak, publications, awards, accolades, and academic titles evaporated in the hot Santa Ana winds that come off the desert; it was the year of my retirement (1998).
Time is, I now recognize that for everyone, whether be they judge or janitor, Time is becomes Time was. There are few things more humbling to the arrogant...I was a life member of that club... than to disappear; to evaporate into oblivion and insignificance. There, no one calls you "doctor," your reserved parking spot is given to someone else, and when you go back for a visit, because you're no longer known you go in the main entrance just like everybody else.
But the geek lives on in this secluded corner; there's not too much traffic and that's fine. I've taken to playing the trumpet on rare occasions and still wear glasses, though oculum dextra (R-eye) is a little blurry from a developing cataract.
Time is, I recognize the truly important things in my life. The career and writings are out of date as am I, but there is a We that will remain alive and well until We no longer are. Thank You Lord for the wife of my youth. (She's gone to town and I miss her). Solomon did get it right.
"Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth." [Proverbs 5:15-18][NKJV].
For me and JB: On my mark, our time is now. "NOW!"e.c.

Unsettled and Unsetteling

There is a hope in this world that is 180 degrees out of phase with the hope of Christians. Fragments of hope, so called, are couched in words like politics, peace talks, negotiations, disarmament, United Nations, science, Democrat, Republican, and elections, to name but a few.
But then comes the vomitus of the news.
Disgorged into our homes and the relative quietude of our lives, is the daily delivery of the work of Satan and his minions the world over. There will be no listing of events here because most probably the reader has already heard or seen the what and where.
It is enough to say that there is distress among the nations of the world. Hannity of Fox News (called Faux News by some) tosses out the phrase, "Let not you heart be troubled," as an opener to political commentary. He is quoting Christ [John 14:1] but very probably with a political rather than spiritual intent...I believe...regardless of  where the spin begins or ends.
The equation of the denouement of this world was written before creation and the Word of God will be thoroughly proven as the world contues to unravel to its final unraveling.
Safety is not found in gold (no apology to Gordon Liddey) nor real estate (that's clear enough) nor in the assurances of politicians (whether Pelosi or Palin). (That's an admitted stretch of comparison).
Christ clearly tells us why and where to store our Treasure: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." [Matthew 6:19-21]
The world is suffering. God's people are suffering and it may soon be moreso. Paul suffered; he was well acquainted with prisions, beatings, cold, hunger, weariness, shipwreck, opposition, and ridicule. Hear his words to the Romans, store them in your heart and mind, and let them give you courage while it is called Today: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." [Romans 8:18]
Blessings in Christ in abundance. e.c.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Decisions...decisions...what to do?

Jeremiah was a lot like Noah; he preached, but nobody really listened or cared. Noah preached and built for 120 years and eight souls were saved in the ark. That amounts to 1 person "baptized" and brought into the ark of the church every 15 years. Jeremiah's converts were  fewer to none...if I remember correctly. (Would we give our tithes and offerings if it meant one new soul added to the church every fifteen years? Just a thought.)
The children of Israel were burning incense and pouring drink offerings to pagan gods. They were burning their sons as offerings to Baal [Jeremiah 19:4, 5].
Over and over, God stretched out His hand to this stubborn nation but they would not relent nor repent. "And they said, 'That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.'" [Jeremiah 18:12].
And God said, "Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death." [Jeremiah 21:8, Deuteronomy 30: 15 and 19].
Christ continues to call and longs for us to choose Him; to choose life.
Blessings. e.c.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Fragrance of Christ

"For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ" [2nd Corinthians 2:15-17]
We the church, and individually are surrounded by people who will perish in their sins. That sounds harsh. It is.
Once upon a fairer time my wife and I had a boat. We never took Third Angel on the open seas without first making a thorough check of the vessel; the basics like fuel, oil level, electrical systems, ground tackle (anchor) bilge, propane alarm, and of course all necessary safety equipment. This meant PFD's at the ready or worn, a radio check, weather check, activate GPS to acquire satellites, radar check, chart check (over intended course) and a sail plan which we left with the marina office if we were gone overnight.
This meant we were doing everything we could to insure a safe journey. Failures happen all the time, but it is those who have prepared that are most likely to survive.
Christians are aboard the Good Ship Zion and Christ is at the helm. That being so, we know that all systems are good to go; everything that could be done has been accomplished to assure safe passage for all on board. In irreducible terms, we have but one thing to do: Get on board. Some will refuse, and, pointing to the 9' punt tied up alongside their porch, will insist they can make it on their own. Others will delay; saying...(as with a missed bus) "I'll catch the next one."
When Zion gets underway there is no next one.
Knowing what will happen...and what is happening...in the world and to our neighbors, will we speak? Will we invite them to church? Will we overcome our timidity; our fear they will think us daft; fanatical even?
There is a mariners code: You always lend help to a vessel in distress. Several times we towed stranded vessels back to their home port/slip. Once we had to be towed because we lost steering due to a ruptured hydraulic line. On a boat...any boat...if anything can go awry it will. In life...every person's life...if anything can go wrong it will...and it does.
Think of all the hymns that have a nautical theme: title or phrase.
I've anchored my soul in the haven of rest...
When sorrows like sea billows roll it is well with my soul...
Jesus Saviour pilot me...
Shelter in the time of storm...
Who will our Pilot be...
Is that the good ship Zion, I see...
Wide, wide is the ocean, deep, deep is my Saviour's love...
Large ocean-going vessels are almost always brought into port by a pilot...not the captain of the ship. The pilot knows every turn, every obstacle, and the vagaries of the currents. Jesus Christ is the Captain and our Pilot and He will bring this vessel home...soon.
Sail on! e.c.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Disturbing, But Welcome, Contrasts

Before todays earlier post (about 6:40 a.m.), while the sun was low in the east, we three (two dogs and me) were walking to "the spot" on Phillips Lake Loop Road. And I was struck with the glaring contrasts of the solitude and silence of this place compared to the cries of pain and suffering that must be occuring the world over. Where are things not moribund? At this time, in this place, there were no sounds...all was quiet. The only noise was the crackling synapses of my mind...wondering.
I wondered if it was right that I should be so blessed while others are so cursed. It wasn't so much a sense of guilt as it was a sense of responsibility; to labor and speak for the Lord. Probably I've mentioned my impatience with what seems to be timidity in the corpus of the church. Quoting the Psalms (116:9 and 10), Paul writes, "...we also believe and therefore we speak." [2nd Corinthians 4:13].
And if we believe we also will speak. Enough for one day. e.c.

A Deadly Love Affair

Calamity loves the poorest of the poor.
From the North, East, West, and South (news) comes stories of calamities of historic proportions. Floods in Pakistan have reportedly displaced four million people, created hundreds of thousands of homeless refugees, drowned almost 1500 people and 200,000 livestock. And the forecast? More rain.
Recent rains in China have ravaged or buried villages and towns. Of course, it's the poor that seem to be suffering the most.
Haiti: Who can forget the earthquake and seasonal rains (hurricane season is here) that fell on the heads of the poorest people in the Western hemisphere.
U.S. Gulf Coast: Everybody has heard about Katrina...it's old news; but not quite. It seems that of the funds sent to help New Orleans rebuild, three-quarters of a billion unspent dollars are sitting, working for no one, rebuilding nothing. Allegations are being made that it is the poorest of the poor (read Blacks) that are the last to be helped though they may have been the first to lose their homes.
I will not even attempt to explain why it is as it is...or certainly appears to be. Some will say, "Judgments from God," and others will call it the "Work of Satan;" sweeping as many as he can into eternity while they are without the Gospel. Both raise questions: Both are problematic.
These are disasters with dire political and economic confounders. Pakistan needs billions of dollars from nations that (historically) have been able to lend assistance. But in today's global economy, none of the pockets are as deep as they were in the past.
Man is without answers to this worldwide multilemma. While not ignoring the poor, and having done all that we can for the Lord while we are still in the world, we move forward  with the Apostle Paul as he writes: "...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 3:13b4st4].
Blessings on all in the coming week, and especially as the world plows all-ahead-full into what remains of these end times. e.c.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wrap The Water Pipes...

The past few days were in the 90's and by Wednesday the forecast daytime high is the low 60's. Already I'm starting to think about wrapping the water pipes and whole-house filter. From too hot to too cold...sounds a little like life except that life can change more quickly than the weather.
Friends of ours are starting to fall by the way...either when they break a hip or CVA. I've probably said this before but I don't remember and I'm thinking, "...neither will the readers..." Anyway, my 99 y/o grandmother used to say, "Bud, (expletive)  to get old." She was right, with or without expletives... and she used those in  abundance.
It's probably unfair to criticize the weather if you choose to live where you live. After all, we did have a choice in the matter. The patio is cluttered with flower pots and planters; four of which have plum tomatoes both golden and red. They seem to taste better when you can pick one, rub it on your shirt in sort of a ceremonial cleaning and then pop it in your mouth.
I'd like to stay and chat a little longer but I have to call a friend of ours who was recently admitted to the hospital. It's things like this that convince me of the truth about getting old; it's not a good thing!
Alive...a little sore...sometimes cranky...but staying close to the Lord.e.c.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Perhaps It's Time To Die

MSNBC has an article online about whether or not teen sex results in poor grades. It seems there was a conference of Sociologists
who presented, posited, and opined their way through the question in acceptable and expectable fashion.
If I have a problem with the question...and I do...it is small in comparison to the problem I have with their academic attitudes and answers.
There were almost 200 comments posted, and though mine was at the tail end I couldn't help myself. I had to say something. It went a little like this: 'It appears the "Moral/Spiritual" backbone of the nation has gone osteoporotic, but I'm certain that sociologists will design a study that "proves" there is no cause for concern.' ...or something like that.
Time was when preaching was foolishness just to the Greeks [1st Corinthians 1: 18, 21, 23, 25] but in these end times most of the world think it's so. So.......how does the church...the Seventh-day Adventist Church...the Shelton Seventh-day Adventist Church...set about to reach the minds and hearts of young people; both without and within the church.
The editorial "we" in the church...in any gospel-preaching church...are scorned and derided as out of step, out of phase, out of it; whatever "it" may be. Paraphrasing the words of Christ; '...don't be surprised if the world hates you but remember this, they hated Me first.' [John 15:18] How true that is, given that Christ is the Creator.
The title? That's just oldmaned's way of describing how far the world has "advanced" since he was young. I am irrelevant because I cannot connect with the mores, music, attitudes, nor philosophy of the world. Thank You Jesus.
Frankly, I'm happy to have arrived at that point, but it sure took a long time. That must mean that it's time to die...perhaps.
Carry the torch for Jesus. e.c.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Holiday is over...I write!

Today is a good day, but every Sabbath should be a good day. I was asked to speak and I have a standing policy that I always say "Yes." The teacher within couldn't keep quiet: I spoke about the "Soul Sentient." So many believe that man exists in a minimum of two parts; body and soul. The teacher defined "sentient" (sen-tent) but left out the etymology of the word...sigh.
Starting in Genesis 2:7 where God breathed the breath of life into Adam, it says that he ..."became a living soul" in the KJV but reads "...became a living being" in the NKJV and NIV.
It got interesting when I began showing the roots of the belief that the soul is immortal when Satan said to Eve, "You shall not surely die." From there I illustrated the genealogy of dualism (body and soul) in Egypt, Persia, Babylon, India, Greece (the Greek philosophers perfected the idea), Pagan Rome, Christian Rome, Protestantism, and modern paganism, spiritual humanism, and Scientology.
The red thread interconnecting the soul sentient (conscious and aware) with the soul immortal can be clearly recognized. This was all done with Power Point. (Hmmm. let me see if I can import two slides into this post)...

The Issue Is Extremely Important!

Because: If man has a soul, and if the soul is immortal, and if we believe our soul is aware in death, then we are drawn to a very different view of heaven, hell, life, death, and by default into spiritualism, Harry Potter, “The Sorcerers Apprentice,*” “Blade,*” etc.*recent movies

O.K., that worked, so there is just one more of the twenty-some to bring over.

Why Is This Important?

It means that man also has immortality

Which contradicts 1st Timothy 6:15 and 16

It means that the wicked never die

Which means that sin is never destroyed

Which means sin is an eternal contaminant

Which means that Satan, like God, is immortal

Which means—this is a lot to think about

End of slides.
I will offer here what I offered to the congregation this morning. To anyone who posts a request I will mail a read-write DVD copy of the study. No charge. You can also drop me a postcard...if I bothered to put my address on the profile section.

Blessings. e.c.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lame Excuses

It's been a little quiet around here the past few days and I feel a need to explain...(read offer lame excuses).
This Wednesday is our 53rd Anniversary; just a week after the birthday party and "the kiss." So...there's going to be a few more days of silence because we will take a few days off. Thanks for understanding.
Blessings! e.c.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hating Hatred

I'm finding a feeling emerging from some dark place in my nephesh that I didn't know existed. It is hatred.
The more I see, hear, and read the news about murderous, militant Islamic terrorists, this hatred rises with a discomforting ease within my mind, leaving lingering thoughts; some manage to escape as opinions.
Senseless violence has always been a target of my wrath; especially when directed against children...the most innocent of the innocent.  But my anger is powerless, and has nothing to offer: No solutions, no answers; just free-floating anger that makes me its most vulnerable target.
Daily...sometimes hourly, or moment by moment, I have to remind myself that Jesus, The Christ, died for every Muslim who purchases a one-way ticket to his/her paradise with a bomb strapped to their body. I need to remember that the Mexican, Central American, and South American drug cartels...the ones that hire police and jailed murderers to do their killing...that their salvation was paid for on the Cross by Jesus Christ.
There is an anger afoot in the world that seems to know no bounds of expression; the more grizzly, the more the point is driven home. It is near impossible to escape these feelings because it is difficult to escape the news. We reject mainline cable and satellite news sources. We reject the newspapers and newsmagazines because the headlines are sufficiently horrific and we don't need or want more details.
The world is a train wreck and I don't care to slow down and gawk at the carnage.
Satan is gathering as many as he can, and as fast as he can because he knows his time is short. What we are watching is like a disgruntled employee who goes to work with an arsenal of guns and ammo and kills as many as he can before he kills himself. In the cases of the devil and the employee, their motives are not far apart; Satan wants to leave as deep a scar as possible on the heart of God before his own eternal destruction; deeper than the ones he left on Christ at His crucifixion. The angry employee hopes to leave behind as much pain and suffering as possible....it would be better had he started with himself.
It is for good reason that Peter writes "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." [1st Peter 5:8].
What is to be my response to this creeping anger that is rising up in my soul [nephesh] in reaction to the evil being acted out every ticking second of the day over the face of the earth? Peter has a suggestion; "(Christ) 'Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth', who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; who when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed to Him who judges righteously...'". [1st Peter 2:22, 23]
I have to commit this issue to Christ. Anger is not an answer, it is a problem because wickedness is too great, Evil is too heavy, I am no match for a roaring lion. I can't shoulder this load. Besides, Jesus The Christ has already done that.
A Sabbath's Blessings. e.c.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Kiss...

The Kiss!
Well, the birthday party was a resounding success. I promised my wife that, for her birthday, I would do all the preparation, cleaning, cooking, and arranging. I had no idea what that included but it sounded like the right thing to do, so...
It was supposed to be a secret that just two guests were coming but I'm not at all good at keeping secrets of the good kind. When confronted with questions about the "truth" I always start laughing. So when my bride asked me how many people I had invited I started laughing and she "knew" straight away that something was up. She seemed satisfied when I told her that I had asked a few hundred close friends over for chips and dip.
Well, chip and dip me! The final count was...hmmm...eleven. But for all the work it felt more like eleven hundred.
The day was filled with potato salad, Gazpacho, fresh cut veggies, two kinds of hummus, three kinds of cold drinks, hot dogs...real and synthetic...chocolate chunk cookies, homemade almond butter candies, angel food cake, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries, almond ice cream, and vanilla ice cream. (We had all the makings for special-order pizza but for some reason that didn't sell; wonder why.
We filled up on good conversation and lots of laughs. It was great!
Oh...the kissssss.
Well, I asked Myrna to hold the camera and I said, "When I say, 'NOW' just shoot the picture. So Jeane was giving advice to all the younger attendees; stuff like, "When you're 74 its not a good idea to keep the air freshener right next to the hair spray." ....laughter...I quietly turned my cap so that it was on backwards so as to prevent the bill from intruding the moment, and innocently stood next to her while she went on with the monologue. Then I said, "NOW", put my arms around my beautiful bride and laid a long kiss right smack on her lips.
I would post the picture but it hasn't been downloaded yet. Perhaps she thinks I would do something like that...of course I would!
Life is sweet.
Blessings. e.c.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Christians ARE The Problem

The North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA) is one of several watchdogs of religious liberty issues in America. This morning there was a new post and the title startled me. It seems that our esteemed high court has determined that...at least on the campus of Hastings Law School in California...where else...that Christians are unlawful discriminators rather than discriminatees. And the reason for this lies principally in their (entirely Biblical) view of HBLT (homosexual, bisexual, lesbian, transexual) relationships.
A second burr under the saddle is that campus Christian organizations usually ask their members to walk the talk by pledging propriety in all things moral. But by doing so they are said to be engaging in exclusivity which is a BIG no-no in the minds of school officials. Unless of course...one happens to belong to a club that excludes Jews, people of color, or women. That seems to be OK because there is no evident exclusivity based on sexual preference.
This probably sounds...or at least it should sound...too ludicrous to be true. But it is.
The ethos of Christian campus societies has evinced a pathos in the opposition the results of which are prosecution (to pursue) and persecution, and all with the stamp of approval of the high court.
My advice is this: Don't believe a word of this but check it out for youself and read excerpts of Justice Alito's dissenting opinion. In the mind(s) of the court these potatoes are too small to deserve notice but they call it "facially neutral" and "viewpoint neutral." Justice Ginsberg wrote the majority opinion. Here is the link to the NARLA post: http://www.religiousliberty.info/blog/?p=126 
So, boys and girls, that's the news for today. Troubling...troubling, but that is foretold so we are not surprised.
Make it a good day in Jesus Christ by living under the power of the Holy Spirit. "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." 'says the Lord.'" [Romans 12: 19 from Deuteronomy 32:35]. e.c.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What To Do With Adventists...

Are there any justifying reasons for the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Yes; they are just two, and they are found in the name.
This church was not raised up to preach justification by faith. That was the work of Martin Luther. It was not raised to preach good words of those justified; John Calvin did that. Our message is not one of baptism by immersion; there is another church that brought that message...the Baptists.
Truth as it exists in Jesus Christ is His Word. And in His Word (the Bible) these truths are like pearls strung on a red thread that reaches from Genesis through The Revelation.
Adventism is a movement that arose from people who left the churches that existed in the 1830's and 40's. They left because there was a worldwide awakening in the hearts of men and women who believed that Jesus was returning in 1843 or 1844. They were mistaken, and the message that tasted sweet as honey was bitter in their stomachs [Revelation 10:9]. World wide, men were preaching the return of Christ; in the Americas North and South, in Europe, and elsewhere. This was not just William Miller [not a Seventh-day Adventist as they did not yet exist] preaching in New England.
So what then is the message of Adventism, and is its existence justifiable and defensible? Yes! (But of course I would say that).
Let me explain: Seventh-day Adventists are an annoyance; first to the Catholics and then to Protestants because the message is one of the holiness of the whole Law of God...ten Commandments...and the Sabbath in particular.
Protestants and Catholics are very happy with nine out of the ten "Words." After all, that's 90% and that's good enough for a passing grade in any class...except for the fact that it was the I AM who wrote them. [See Exodus 3:13 and 14, and, John 8:58].
It's really very simple for Protestants, but not for Catholicism, because every honest preacher and priest knows full well who it was that "edited" the Ten Commandments by tossing out #2, rewording #4, and dividing #10 in half.
In a nutshell...as opposed to a nut case...here are the two reasons the Seventh-day Adventist Church exists: 1). To remind the world that Jesus Christ created the Sabbath (1500 years before the first Jew), that He is Lord of the Sabbath, and that He expects the world to Honor Him as Lord of the Sabbath [Matthew 12:6-8; Revelation 14:6, 7] and 2). To warn the world of Christ's soon, glorious, obvious, and spectacular return [I Thessalonians 4:16-18].
That's pretty much what we're about, and just as Luther sang an essentially one-note song about Righteousness by Faith, our two-note song is about the Sabbath and Christ's imminent return.
(Maybe if we too followed the 90% obedience rule we would be more acceptable in the religious world at large...maybe. e.c. admitting thievery of thought from r.s.