Great Sermon! Great topical study on Falling Away. I believe it's a topic many men in the pulpit are afraid to handle. In fact, there are many warning passages in Scripture directed at believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, which desperately need to be taught. The apostle Paul talked about that in Acts 20:28-31. This is a day in time we believers need to take seriously the warnings found in Scripture
Mark my words, in the years to come people will know beyond doubt that a man who wasn't a U.S. born citizen was elected to the highest office in the country. Currently the Feds are unwilling to take responsibility for their screw up in letting this man get past them.
Homosexual Will Young demonstrates his hatred and intolerance towards those who believe what God says about homosexuality in the Bible. These intolerant homosexuals have an agenda to forcefully ram there homosexual lifestyles down our throats.
Great Sermon! Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers an excellent balance to this, if you can get out of speaking/working/etc for Jesus, do so, because if it is of God, you will not be able to do so-try/prove the spirits.
Just because it's 9:30 pm and your in the meat section of the store, no one but one person is around, 5' away, and you're a Christian, DOES NOT mean that God wants you to witness to that person.
Ezekiel was a watchman, not everyone is. How shall the preach except they be sent. Let your quiet obedience speak louder, so that God can orchestrate the complement of your words.
There should be no awkwardness before, during or afterwards, no embarrassment, or you were in the flesh. Christian's Secret to a Happy Life by H.W. Smith, War on the Saints, Full Text, 1912 ed. by Jessie-Penn Lewis will help more with this.
As Tozer said, sound mind and led of the Spirit, not led by chance, coincidence, opportunity, or your environment, like a cork drifting upon the waters. Know God to discern what His will is. Don't presume, assume or act on a whim. Don't reinvent the wheel. It's a humiliating road to pass this advice by.
May God bless you.
R.D.: "You must first believe in something, before you don't believe in it!"
That's just silly. If I heard of some ancient god from South America today, I guarantee I wouldn't believe in it for a moment.
"Atheism is another form of man's ignorance and his total depravity."
Ah. If you or John are simply using the the term "depravity" to replace the word "atheism" from God's point of view, I suppose that would make a sort of sense. It just wasn't obvious from John's context.
John: "I would NEVER presume believers sin more than non-believers." Nobody said either is more or less ethical than the other. The atheist isn't making a straw man when he points out that Gerson is incorrect to claim that those with a God have a moral compass, and those without, don't. But you're right -- if the atheist is wrong, he will have to one day give an account to God. BUT, Gerson wasn't talking about the afterlife when he said the atheist has questions he can't answer. He was talking about this life, and in that context his argument is full of holes. He claims the choice of being good can only come from a desire to please your god. That atheists can't possibly choose 'good' reliably, like a religious person can. That's a laughable argument that that atheist rightly shot to pieces.
"...Atheists...determine what God should or should not be like..."
The atheist who rebutted Gerson's article was just pointing out that the majority of Christians *say* they believe in the morality of the God of the Bible, but they clearly don't. They pick and choose their own morality. They ignore Old Testament laws when they conflict with their own morality, but then claim the Ten Commandments must be followed. The atheist is right on that point.
"Human depravity on their part aside..."
Part of his point was that, if non-believers were somehow inherently immoral than believers, you'd expect them to exhibit more unethical behavior. But he's never seen any evidence that that's true. (And neither have I.) Claiming non-believers practice human depravity more than believers is just an empty insult -- a claim it *must* be true without any evidence.
Yes, the courts ruled *against* Free Speech. That, and that alone, was the issue.
A woman complained to the city that the flier targeted and disparaged her. Nobody disputes that that's what the flier did -- it insulted and condemned. The boss took down the GNEA group's insults.
Then, the people of faith (the GNEA group) who had put up the flier were offended that someone noticed their insults and suppressed their free speech. They complained that they had the right to state what they saw as the truth, even if it did target and insult someone. The courts disagreed.
That's not a double standard. Equating a woman complaining about being insulted with a group complaining about not being able to insult that woman is the only double standard, and it is not valid.
Now,the free speech issue -- that was a valid complaint, and it's what the case was about. And the article was lying when it asserted that what's going on is all about making "Natural family," "Marriage," and "Union of a man and a woman" into unlawful hate speech.
The court case is available online. It's all in black and white.
The atheist's counter-arguments are pretty solid. Here's an excerpt:
"Michael Gerson didn't make an argument for modern liberal Christianity; he made the more general claim that believing in a higher power solves the problem of morality. Of course it doesn't. Belief in a higher power simply adds a level of arbitrary abstraction to your moral decisions. You are no less likely to commit acts of atrocity, only now you are free to attribute these actions to the deity of your choice. Instead of picking your morals, you are picking your god, as well as your interpretation of what the god wants...
Most people are ready to argue that they shouldn't be expected to accept some of these edicts that were supposedly directed by God [stoning unruly children to death]. At that point, the question of "Where do you atheists get their morality?" is easily answered: "It's probably about the same place YOU get your morality, since it clearly isn't from God."
I think Michael Gerson really dropped the ball on this one.
Great Sermon! I'd balance this sermon by saying it isn't whether something has "touched your heart" that is idolatry (you should covet, heart-love your wife, etc. and give thanks and enjoy what God does give you, car, house, etc.), but when you choose it over God when it clashes with His will. God gives no sorrow/sense of guilt with His gifts- Pr 10.22 (but be careful, Satan can counterfeit conviction and create guilt where there is none.)
I really think that the whole porn problem lies in the fact that people who are addicted hopelessly have strongholds that need to be broken in the name of Jesus. These strongholds take time to break down and that is where man must be born again of the Spirit and walk in the Spirit through prayer and Bible study. The bottom line is really that man doesn't fear God and keep him at Him. Look at the angels that lost their position in heaven and sexually sinned with women? We see God as someone who will wink at sin, but the truth is that all those that call themselves Christian will find grace in the Lord if they are sorry and repent, but if they keep on sinning they will find out soon enough that sin does indeed come with a heavy price tag.
No, really. Read the article. It starts out saying those phrases (natural family, marriage, and "union of a man and a woman") can be punished AS HATE SPEECH according to the lawsuit. That is utterly false.
Hate speech is not against any state law, California or otherwise.
The case was about a balance between free speech rights of employees in the workplace, and administrative rights of the employer to disallow speech they think will adversely affect the workplace environment. The courts ruled against free speech (unfortunately, in my opinion).
But this has nothing to do with outlawing those phrases, as the article asserts. That's bunk. The ruling is very narrow, and is about an employer's right to decide what can go on the public bulletin board. The article states a lie, plain and simple.
It all boiled down applying the Pickering precedent from the 70s: "The Government, as an employer, must have wide discretion and control over the management of its personnel... This includes the prerogative to remove employees whose conduct hinders efficient operation... Prolonged retention of a disruptive or otherwise unsatisfactory employee can adversely affect discipline and morale in the work place, foster disharmony, and ultimately impair the efficiency of an office or agency."