They Lost Their Bakery, Now Face Bankruptcy

The post linked below is about Oregon bakers who are facing bankruptcy for living according to their conviction that true marriage ought to be honored.

This post contains both text and videos.  The two videos (less than 2 minutes each) and the text give a quick profile of the sort of people society has decided deserve to be ruined.  (Text: 2 min read; 510 words)

May God continue to give this couple grace to overcome.

They Lost Their Bakery, Now Face Bankruptcy: Government’s ‘Discrimination’ Fine Brings Baker to Tears.

Miscellaneous Notes for September 29, 2014

Jesus saves.  From what does He save us?  Our sins.

Some people want to be saved from the consequences of their sins – but not from the actual sinning.  That is, they want to keep doing things their own way but not suffer any negative consequences for it.  Jesus does not provide this sort of salvation.

Jesus came to bless us by turning us from our wicked ways – not by leaving us in them (Acts 3:26).

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Morality Has Become a Spectator Sport in America

There are far more people watching football being played than are playing football.  Bud Wilkinson, a football coaching legend who served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness from 1961 to 1964, once said that football is 22 people on the field who need rest being watched by 22,000 people in the stands who need exercise.”  That ratio has only expanded since then.

Apparently, people today show how moral they are by how loudly they cry for the NFL commissioner to lose his job over a domestic violence case involving one of the players.  This is just one example of this sort of “spectator morality.”  In our media culture, you see it in practically all forms of human endeavor. Expressing outrage has become the fundamental way that a person demonstrates how moral he is.  If you express enough outrage about the right issues, then you demonstrate that you are a person of good character who is to be respected.  If someone is less outraged than you are, then that person’s character is suspect.  We’re outraged about bullying.  We’re outraged about discrimination.  And on and on.

I’m not saying that the NFL Commissioner’s judgment shouldn’t be questioned.  I’m just saying that a high volume of people tweeting their outrage probably isn’t the fairest way to determine whether or not he deserves to keep his job.  And as long as we’re talking about questioning someone’s judgment, did I understand correctly that the woman who was knocked out subsequently married the man who knocked her out?

It’s very safe to condemn the commissioner for poor judgment – some people will even admire you if can become more offended and incensed than the next guy.  But no one’s getting points for questioning the woman’s judgment, so that’s not happening.  In this spectator morality, someone has to be condemned.  And anyone who hasn’t hit his wife thinks he’s qualified to be judge, jury, and executioner for a sports league executive.  God wants husbands to cherish their wives, but we’re too busy patting ourselves on the back because we don’t hit them.

We’ve become judges of morality rather than practitioners of morality.  We’ve reduced morality to a spectator sport.  It’s silly.  But it’s more sad than silly.

Miscellaneous Notes for September 24, 2014

Are you surprised that the world is hostile to your faith?  There is no need for us to be surprised at this.  The crucifixion of Jesus Christ demonstrates in dramatic fashion that the world is hostile to God and those who serve Him.

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 God takes the long view and works by a multi-generational strategy.  The saving work that Jesus did was rooted deeply in the words He had previously spoken from heaven to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and others.  Thus Jesus could say to a Samaritan that “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22) and Paul could affirm Jew and Gentile alike the unique place that multiple generations of ancient Jews occupied in the plan of God as documented in their Scriptures (Romans 3:1ff; Romans 9:1ff) – Scriptures that we call the Old Testament.

We cannot find a safe way into the future if we ignore the guidance God has given in the past.

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Miscellaneous Notes for September 23, 2014

Jesus is the centerpiece of all reality – spiritual and physical.  When God created a new heavens and new earth, He made Jesus the cornerstone (Acts 4:11) of that new reality – the firstborn from the dead.  If we want to understand the spiritual dimension, we should focus on the cornerstone first and foremost.  Only if we see Him rightly, will we understand the rest of creation rightly.  People who want to understand angels and demons before they understand Jesus are not only missing the point, they are viewing the spiritual dimension entirely out of focus.

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Miscellaneous Notes for September 21, 2014

To love things and use people is the way of the world.  That is, apart from Christ, people tend to manipulate others to get the things they want in life.  Most of the time, we only call it manipulation when others do it.  When we ourselves do it, we usually don’t even recognize it for what it is.  We just want what we want.

Loving things and using people is exactly backwards from the way God would have it.  Hal David wrote a song making this very point (“Using Things and Loving People”).

Paul said that we should seek each other’s good and not our own (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4).  A good question to regularly ask ourselves in prayer is “Lord, show me where I am using people so as to get what I want out of them instead of loving people so as to get what You want for them.”

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 We do not invite Christ into our lives.  He invites us into His.

Do you think this is just semantics?  It isn’t.  And the more you think about the difference, the greater will be your opportunity to realize just how dramatic the difference is.

To start with, recognize that inviting Him into your life keeps Him within the limitations of your perceptions, whereas entering His life opens your eyes to the limitlessness of His perceptions.

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Miscellaneous Notes for September 16, 2014

The closest thing we have to the apostles today is the New Testament.

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Apart from Christ, we can legitimately look at the state of the world – evil abounding where good should be taking place – and doubt God.  That is, we can be forgiven for struggling with all sorts of existential questions.  However, in Christ the basis for doubt goes away.  We see what God is doing.  He has things under control.  Goodness ultimately triumphs evil.  Because of Christ, there is no longer any reason to doubt the wisdom of God.

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 I am neither a trinitarian nor a unitarian.  I am a Christian.

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I am a Christian – but only because He’s willing to take a sinner and clean him up (Luke 5:32; Titus 2:14).

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“A daily worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations”

Al Mohler releases this podcast – called The Briefing – first thing in the morning, Monday through Friday.  He seeks to 1) bring a clear and forceful Christian perspective to current events, and 2) bring to light issues which might be overlooked and yet are having signficant cultural impact.  Each podcast lasts about 20 minutes.

There’s nothing happy-go-lucky about Al Mohler, but given the decadence of our times his sobriety is entirely appropriate.

I’ve mentioned his podcast before, but I thought it was time to mention it again in case you weren’t reading this blog six months ago.

The Briefing – AlbertMohler.com.