Archive for March, 2008

Ingrid Wants An Old Fashioned Church – And So Do I

March 14, 2008
Ingrid at Slice of Loadicea shares my frustration with the contemporary church. She said it in a letter. Here is a portion:

To Whom it May Concern:

I’m looking for a good Christian church. I don’t want to sing songs off a wall, the same five notes, over and over and over and over again while I am lightheaded from standing so long. There’s a record of the hymns of God’s people that spans 2000 years. Why are we so arrogant as to think we don’t need those wonderful songs any longer? Have we gone through more suffering, more affliction, more pain for Jesus than those who wrote these enduring hymns? Does a semi-secular song writer in Nashville with a multi-million dollar music contract have more to say to us about God and the Christian life than the 17th-century hymn writer who lost four children and his wife during the 30 years War?

I don’t want to have my eardrums bashed in by the three kids in the “worship band” who can’t be bothered to bathe, shave, dress or comb their hair on Sunday morning. If it’s really all about the God that Scripture describes as ineffably holy, shouldn’t that be reflected in attitude and dress for those who serve in church music?

I don’t want a vampy “praise and worship” leader who is flaunting her wares at every male within view as she does her worship moves on “stage”. If we are to worship God in spirit and in truth, as Scripture tells us, than what’s all the flesh about? Can we no longer discern the difference?

I don’t want to see people in beach attire with their backsides peeping out of their shorts because they think that God isn’t worth their best efforts at dressing. “God doesn’t care about clothes, only man”, they say. But the real reason is that it’s just plain easier to cruise into church in jeans or whatever is still lying on the floor from the night before. Dressing up for worship of the Lord would cost them something, however little, and they don’t want to pay it.

I also don’t want to see all the variations on lovers’ back rubs where Chuck and Sue take turns massaging each other’s neck and shoulders during the sermon so everyone behind them is completely distracted. Behavior affects other people. Are Christians so self-absorbed that they never think about the people behind them trying to hear the message?



What Does “Sovereign God” Mean?

March 10, 2008

“Sovereign God” represents our view of who God is.  God is the Sovereign of the Universe.  He is not weak and effeminate.  He does not seek permission from man to execute his will.  He has no obligations to man whatsoever.  No one can say to Him “what doest thou?”  He does as He pleases.  He doesn’t just know the future, but He has in fact decreed the future.  Nothing can happen that He has not determined, from the dropping of one hair from my head, to the Grand Finally of the world.  God can save whom He wishes to save, and damn those He wishes to damn.  Man can not be saved unless God saves him, and if he is saved, he is saved on God’s terms and in God’s time.  Man can not command God’s Spirit to indwell him, and neither can man resist, though he may try, the determined power of God’s Spirit coming in to the heart.  God leaves nothing to chance.  God saves those He loves without any possibility of failure, and those He does not favor, He leaves in sin to their own desires.  Whatever God does is good – because He is God.  God is answerable only to God and none other – neither man, nor angels, nor gods, nor creation, nor philosophy, nor futility can make Him accountable to them.  God is justified in condemning sinners, and infinitely merciful in saving some of them.  But He is not obligated to save one of them.  If God let the entire human race go to Hell, He would be justified.  It is because of man’s wicked pride that he demands his own notion of “fairness” from the Creator of creatures.  Some people have said, “I will not serve a God like that.”  But that is the God you are serving, whether you want to or not.  Man’s effort to make God into a controllable, subservient, subordinate, frustrated, weepy-eyed, genie in a bottle is futile.  God has determined the end from the beginning, and everything in between the end and the beginning is merely the means by which He has predetermined to execute His sovereign will.

The knowledge of God’s Sovereignty should frighten us.  I know that it is not popular today to fear God, but that’s exactly what the Bible tells us to do – FEAR GOD.  We imagine Him to be our homeboy, a dude, our pal, a good-ole-boy that likes us just the way we are.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.  God is Holy.  God is the Almighty.  Jesus is the Lord God Omnipotent.  He demands of us a life of repentance and faith.  Let us fear, lest any of us should seem to come short of it.  We must not live in a high-minded conceit, trusting in some shallow profession of faith; but we must earnestly seek assurance that God has favored us with new birth, shedding the love of God abroad in our hearts, causing us to love Him and His law, His people, His ways, and His word.  Those of us that have been blessed with the assurance of God’s working in us may bask in the sweetness of His love, and we may glorify Him, being the objects of His unmerited favor, having nothing in ourselves by which we may boast.  But for those have no working of God in their souls, tribulation, wrath, and vengeance to every creature that loves not God.  Cry against Him, curse Him, defy Him, all unbelievers – and you will build your indictment and seal your judgement on that terrible day!

Soli Deo Gloria!  To God Be The Glory!


The Decree of God

March 6, 2008

Here is my summary of Chapter 3, “The Decree of God”, from the 1689 London Baptist Confession.  You can see the text of the confession on the Confession of Faith page on this web site.

God does not learn things – on the contrary, He decrees things.  One of the basic attributes of God is His omniscience (all-knowing).  If God knows everything, past present and future, then it follows that He can not learn anything.  God knows what He knows, not because He learned what would happen, but because He decreed what would happen. 

Nothing happens that was not decreed by God.  Nothing.  The events of time are not left to blind chance, and neither is the Kingdom of God built by blind chance.  It’s all by design and has a purpose.

Does that make God a sinner?  After all, if everything is decreed, that means that evil and sin is also decreed.   While it is true that God decreed evil and sin to come to pass, we must be careful to know that while God created man with the potential for sin, He did not cause him to sin.  God created Satan, but He did not make him sin.  It can even be said that God created evil, but He did not create sin.  Sin came into the world by the disobedience of Adam, who sinned by his own free choice.  

Yet this was all planned and decreed to happen for a purpose.  The purpose of evil and sin is to make redemption necessary for man to worship God, which worship is to the Glory of God.  Only a redeemed sinner can worship God with a greater heart of praise than the angels.   

Acts 15:18  Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever.  Amen.