"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

An Ideology of Death: The End Game of Radical Islam and What We Can Do About It

During the 2006 Israeli and Hezbollah war the Washington D.C. based Heritage Foundation sponsored a symposium with special guest Brigitte Gabriel, head of the American Congress for Truth, and author of the bestselling book Because They Hate. Brigitte is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject of radical Islam, having grown up in the 1970's as a Christian Lebanese living in southern Lebanon. Her journey from near death at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists to becoming anchor of the World Wide News middle eastern news program, is explained in a gripping one hour video that can be seen here. It takes an hour to watch, but it is well worth every minute of your time. You will never again think of Islam the same.

In the last five minutes her talk, as she answers questions from the audience, Brigitte Gabriel gives as clear of an explanation as to why Iran will bomb Israel with nuclear warheads as I have ever heard. Brigitte points out that it is not a question of "if" Iran will nuke Israel; it is not that Iran "might" nuke Israel; but Iran's own radical Islamic leaders speak of "when we bomb Israel." Brigitte gives the explanation as to why Islamic radicals think this way about destroying Israel. In their theology, Moslems believes the twelfth Imam - the messiah for Arabs - arises out of chaos and conflict in the world. They believe that by destroying Israel and creating world chaos, they are pushing forward the time table for their Imam's return. To nuke Israel is a good thing in their minds.

"So what if Israel bombs us back," say these Iranian radicals, "if we die in a nuclear holocaust we go straight to the right hand of Allah for we have killed the infidels." And, the Imam will take over the destroyed world to usher in the golden age of complete Islamic rule in a world dominated by allegience to Allah. Brigitte's new book, They Must Be Stopped details how the average westerner can be involved in stemming the tide of radical Islam, which claims over 300 million adherants, the same number of people that populate the United States. After watching the video tape, reading through some of her materials, and listening to her gripping first hand account of how her country (Lebanon) became overtaken by Islam, it made me think three things.

(1). Our Christian and Jewish friends, no matter our differences, are just that - friends. Instead of getting too worked up over our minor differences, maybe we need to take a deep breath and refocus on what lies at our doorstep.

(2). Though it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that changes hearts, as illustrated by the conversion to Christ of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of the founder of Hamas, the United States and Israeli military are needed to stop the barbaric deeds of the radical Islamic terrorists in those lands where missionaries would be butchered before they would be allowed to share the gospel. I am grateful for all our men and women who are on the front lines of this war on terror, bringing freedom and democracy to a world in bondage to tyranny.

(3). Europe is now Eurabia, and unless we stop being so concerned about "political correctness" our Judeo-Christian heritage and culture in the United States will be neutered in the next decade as well. As Brigitte so eloquently declares, it's time for alleged "moderate" Moslems in the United States to speak out against radical Islamic tactics or consider yourself to be a part of the guilty party.

In His Grace and Truth,


Wade Burleson

169 comments:

happy gram said...

i gathered the same from her book "why they hate". truly, truly it is the moderate muslims that need to speak out against the radicals - however, i wonder if it is dangerous or isolating for them to do so. is that why there is no collective gasp of condemnation from the moderates?

Thy Peace said...

1. Christians, by truly walking in the light, show to the world their true inner nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, will work revolutionary changes everywhere.

2. Radicalism: The best way to fight is by increasing commerce between nations, increasing the exchange of people and knowledge across national boundaries. Vietnam war would have been easily won by engaging in commerce and over time, than by attempting to contain communists. I believe the same forces will work with radical islam. Most of the people being reared in radical madrassas, are encouraged by the lack of economic opportunities in these lands.

After 40 years, it will only get worse, once all the oil money disappears (at least from the poor arab countries, that have not invested their wealth).

3. Christians can engage the minds of arab world, by teaching them, educating them, not only The Word of God, but also education for children, so they can be taught to ask questions. I believe this is being done in Pakistan : NYT: The Pakistan Test by By Nicholas D. Kristof

4. The current economic tsunami occurring around the world is a great opportnity for ALL of us re-examine our priorities. The days when US could go solo with fighting wars is over. There is no money in the world to support armaments, soldiers and the will to fight.

But there is a will to fight preemptively, by engaging the minds of the arab world.

Robert Dando said...

Wade
There may be many things in which you are gifted and your reflections are concise and insightful, but I am not sure foreign affairs is your particular forte.
Of course, as an European, I struggle when those who should know a little better manage to somehow lump more than 40 different nations into some single conglomerated mass which can then be disdainfully disregarded. Might some of your correspondents help me understand why for example Ukraine, Poland, Switzerland and the UK happen to be in your eyes exactly the same and worthy of your insulting political epithet of “Eurabia”.

You may not notice much, but the UK has and has had its soldiers deployed, fighting and dying in both Iraq and Afghanistan for exactly as long as the United States. I know our entire nation must be suspect as for example generally we have different ideas on handguns that your majority perspective – so we must be part of the “leftie, commie, pinko liberal hegemony”. Please forgive me if I consider the loss of the each life of a British serviceman or woman as of equal sacrifice as the loss of each life of an American serviceman or woman; though I realise that that is political heresy in the United States where no one’s sacrifice is possibly comparable to a single American life lost.

As to Judaeo Christian heritage, may I remind you that whatever the heartaches believers in Europe experience at things that affect us here (though I do note the unexpectedly large number of American “believers” who take pleasure in the decline of the church in Western Europe as if somehow they are vindicated in their sense of superiority) – we still send Christmas cards here and wish each other “Merry Christmas” not that anodyne “Happy Holidays” which Americans invented!

Rob

BTW – have you spotted where the sovereignty of God is displayed in the reflections you have written? Because I haven’t! ☺

Anonymous said...

And yet I am wondering why anyone would think it wrong if we (America) were part of a greater western force that struck Iran FIRST?!!!

If she, you, me, and we are so sure of this attitude from Iran and their impending attack, why should we wait until we must respond in grief due to what they did when we knew they were going to do it all along.

I know the answer to this, but I'm just thinking out loud.

SL1M
Otherwise known as a worthless anonymous opinion due to my dreadful missionary status :)

Anonymous said...

The Best mohammed T-shirt art is from Sweden. Watch and read the info at,
http://www.mohammedt-shirt.com
And allah will help the muslims, HA HA HA HA

Anonymous said...

Maybe the enemy is the 'intolerance' in ALL of us.
The idea of the 'we good guys' 'they terrorists' doesn't cut it anymore. Fundamentalism in any form, in any religion, is and extreme, vicious, destructive force and to despise it in the 'other' guy while nourishing it in your own heart is not productive.

Expand our notion of what the problem is: 'they' the Islamic terrorists are fundamentalist extremists who hijacked a great world religion.
'We' the good-guy 'Christian' fundamentalists are intolerant of any faith not our own or any group that is different: Jews, 'moderate' Christians, women who demand human rights, gays, people of different races, etc.

The 'hate' is palpable. You see it on this site in some comments so it cannot be denied.
To condemn the extremist hatred in the Islamic world while ignoring our own deep hatred for others is called HYPOCRISY.

Fighting fire with fire isn't working. We need to find another way. Does Christ offer us another way?

If not. We will continue our hate. And we will always see 'them' as the problem. And 'us' as their destroyers, because 'they deserve that, don't they?', 'they are not like us', they are not human like us.

Is there any hope for an end to hypocrisy and a beginning of honestly and bravely facing the problem of fundamentalist extremism in the world?

Thy Peace said...

Wishing everyone a Happy and Great Martin Luther King Jr's Day.

No one is truly [fully] white or black. It's great that we have an American President-Elect (tomorrow, he will be the American President) who is half black and half white. We may not agree with him on lot of issues, but we have come a long way.

I thank Martin Luther King Jr. for his struggles. In turn, he got his inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi. And Mahatma Gandhi in turn [though he denied the time line] got his inspiration from the Civil Disobedience movements of Henry David Thoreau and others.

The whole world is round. Whatever we do here, effects everyone around the world. Eventually we will feel the effects too.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Thanks for this post. This is an interesting and important topic.

I am sure that one book and the perspective and thoughts of this one person is not the end of the discussion, but I supect that what she has witnessed reflects the thoughts and ambitions of the Islamic terrorists and a good portion of the muslims in the middle east.

We do need to be careful wading into the foreign policy arena because it is often complex. There are thousands of people who give their entire lives to studying these issues. So, when we speak on these subjects it is admittedly without the expertise and knowledge that others may have. Yet, we have a perspective and a right and duty to speak. But we recognize our limitations.

With all due respect to Mr. Dando, I think that his criticism is hasty. Eurabia is not a term coined by you. It is a term coined by those who have watched Europe change demographically over the years due to proximity with muslim countries and lax immigration standards. I am glad that Europeans still send Christmas cards and we all wish our brothers and sisters the best. We want to see God's kingdom grow in Europe, not decline. Any suggestion that we take some joy over a Christian decline in Western Europe or hold some superiority over European Chirstians is not well founded.

I do hope and pray that this new administration is up to the task of addressing these issues. So much political traction has been made by bashing the Bush administration the concern is that pattern might simply continue because it has shown to be politically successful - at least until the next attack.

Also, the Clinton administration is rightly regarded as having "kicked the can down the road" after a series of attacks with the only real response being to issue subpoenas and try to put people in jail. The military responses, such as they were, were timid and inconsistent and were always timed inconveniently with the then President's domestic criminal difficulties. So, it's hard to predict what the new administration may do. Stay the course but throw in rhetoric to pacify the left, return to the Clinton posture, quit the war on terror, or change tactics but press on just as hard.

My hope is that Obama confounds some of his strongest supporters by continuing, not reducing, military efforts. The question of tactics (where and how to fight) is always a valid one. No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. So, while we might criticize the tactics employed from time to time, I hope that we will support the new administration's efforts to continue the war on terror, and not get into the fever swamp type criticism that has been leveled at the Bush administration.

I am optimistic that Obama will fight the war on terror, based on his actions so far. Panetta (sp?) at CIA is a concern being the only exception - and that could be a huge exception if Panetta follows the historical pattern of the democrats of being unfriendly toward the intelligence community. I could be wrong but I don't think since the Vietnam error that we have had a democratic President that ever "beefed up" the intelligence or military capacity of the U.S. Prior to Vietnam, it was not that way. The dems were as strong is some quarters as the Republicans. Since then, one has to be on the dove side to get the democratic nomination. Hopefully, after 9/11, it is a new day. We shall see. Will Obama be a Roosevelt, Truman or Johnson - or a Carter or Clinton?

At any rate, this post is significant and infinitely more interesting than discussing who is wearing what kind of hat at SWBTS.

Louis

Jon said...

Nuke Israel first then USA.

We must remember, dying to the radical Muslims is rewarding.

I wonder why they hide behind masks when they say they fear not death.

Bill said...

I would also say, with respect, that the Eurabia comment is over the line. Most European countries are not even close to majority arab or muslim, and not all arabs are muslims.

Anonymous said...

How about that Freudian slip, "error" vs. "era"?

Louis

Wade Burleson said...

Robert Dando,

I receive your criticism.

I have offered my opinion, and freely admit that I could be wrong. Thanks for the perspective from a European, and I will think twice before I lump all European nations into a Eurabia nomenclature.

Wade

Doug said...

Wade,
As always a challenging post that makes us stop and think. I am surprised, however, that you did not make reference to some "Christian Zionists" (e.g. Haggee) who basically share the same thinking with their Arab enemies - they are trying to push America into a war in the Middle East to bring about Armageddon and, hence, the Millennial Golden Age. Fundamentalism under any banner is deadly!

Chris said...

When it comes to the issue of war, Christians seem to be held in a terrible quandry. On one side, we have the command to not resist evil, but overcome it with good. There is also the Christ in the garden commanding Peter to stay his weapon.

On the other side is the command to love our neighbor. This command requires us to act out of love for our friend and family, but also for our neighbor.

Bonhoeffer resolves the paradox by saying that the Christian can engage in war for the protection of his immediate neighbor, killing the enemy so long as the Christian is praying for and loving his enemy the entire time. As much as I like Bonhoeffer, I have to disagree with Him here. Bonhoeffer says that we have the Christian duty to protect what is ours. But I hear the words of Christ command that I must love Him and hate my mother and my father. My loyalty to Christ and His command must supercede what loyalty I would once have felt to both mother and motherland. Therfore, I can kill neither mother nor enemy.

As Wade notes, our friends are our friends, but that does not mean I can kill to protect them. I can place myself in the gap between them and the terrorist, but nothing more.

Wade suggests that we allow the US and Israeli military to deal with the terrorists so that missionaries will be safer. While the US military is free to disobey the words of Christ (as the US does not recognize Christ as their authority), the Christian should not be party to, or encouraging of, military force. I believe it was Bosch who said, "The people who are won and saved should, as it were, always have the possibility of crucifying the witness of the Gospel." It is far better for the Christian missionary to depart for Heaven than the Muslim to depart for Hell. I say this as one who has served in a Muslim country.

And I agree that political correctness can go, but not for the reason of preserving America's Judeo-Christian heritage. As a Christian, I quite frankly have no interest in whether democracy and freedom are spread or if America survives or falls. I am interested in the loyalty of men and women to a Kingdom which transcends all national, ethnic, and gender barriers. If America were a Muslim country, I could still be a Christian. We talk about standing up now and dealing with the consequences. Really, we mean that we want to stand up now so that no real consequences will ever exist, so that we will never have to live in a world where we don't have the political clout to protect our self interests at the expense of our neighbor. That is entirely selfish and un-neighborly.

Moderate Muslims can speak out against the fundamentalism in their ranks. Christians can speak out against the fundamentalism in their ranks. Ultimately, though, the Christian is responsible for speaking out against everything that does not conform itself to the image of Christ: including democracy (where we all get to do what we want as opposed to what God wants), freedom (as opposed to a Gospel that bids me become a slave), and a right to live (as opposed to a Gospel that bids me come and die). If we will seperate our Gospel from our nationalism, we will see that many American ideals are far from Christian. This is why the Church is the ultimate politic for the Christian. The Church challenges him or her to be faithful to the Gospel in spite of the surroundings.

Stephen said...

The idea of protecting ourselves from the threat of terrorist attacks is really not grounded in theology or even in our accepted brand of theology - Christianity. Our Constitution created a limited government, but there is little doubt that behind those enumerated powers was the intent to protect "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as stated in the Declaration of Independence. I prefer to eschew the framing of foreign policy in terms of Biblical prophecy. To me it is simply a matter of protecting ourselves. We do that by identifying our enemies and monitoring their activities. This may sound crude and un-Christlike, but I care nothing about the human rights of people who want to kill me and are planning to do so. I pray for the salvation of all men, but I would not attempt to witness to a person who is shooting at me. I would shoot back and hope that my aim is better. I'll take Wade's word on the contents and message offered by this insightful woman. As an American citizen and apart from my being a Christian, I also thank President Bush and our great men and women in the military for keeping us safe - waterboarding and all!!

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Doug makes a good point about Hagee. What bothered me even more than his zeal for bloodshed was Hagee's blatant denial that Jesus came to be the Messiah. With friends like Hagee, who needs Hamas?

Wade Burleson said...

Mike and Doug,

Agreed. Maybe another post would be needed to point out fundamentalist Zionism.

I think if you listen to the author's lecture, you will see that she speaks of basic human dignity, and she offers that Judeo-Christian values see the dignity of a human life, even the Judeo-Christian brand of fundamentalism.

Chris said...

Stephen,

You are free to go to war for God, that is in God's place. Just remember that the battles the OT heroes were victorious in were the ones where they had God going out before them. If you are going to war because you don't trust God and thus feel the need to protect yourself, go right ahead.

You admit that you are allowed to do this because you are an American, even if you cannot justify it biblically. If you are an American before you are a Christian, then feel free to shoot. Your confidence in the second ammendment over the second testament allows it.

But if you trust God and place yourself in His hands before the hands of America, then I suggest you rethink your position.

Anonymous said...

HERITAGE FOUNDATION: hate-mongers?

Founder: Paul Weyrich

"one of those POORLY-EDUCATED hate-mongers who qualify as deep “thinkers” in conservative circles, finally died on December 18, at the tender age of 66. For decades, Mr. Weyrich was a tireless crusader for blind bigotry, compiling a lengthy resume of accomplishments that demonstrated just how small-minded he truly was.

He is most famous for coining the term “Moral Majority” in 1979 to describe those al Qaeda Christians who long for a new Dark Ages of Biblical tyranny in the United States. But, even before than momentous under-achievement, he had done plenty of social damage. In 1973, he used the inherited millions of Right Wing sociopaths Richard Mellon Scaife and Joseph Coors to create the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, DC, anti-think tank that even now asks that most intellectually poignant and politically relevant of questions: “What would Reagan do?” When the Heritage Foundation proved to be insufficiently conservative for his Inquisitorial tastes, he created the Free Congress Foundation to launch holy war against homosexuals, feminists, and cultural liberals.

The man who warned that the Equal Rights Amendment would force Christian girls into unisex bathrooms, who opined that the 2004 election of George W. Bush was an act of divine intervention, is gone. But his legacy of self-righteous delusion and hate lives on… unfortunately."

DON'T PEOPLE EVER GET TIRED OF 'STUPID' ?

Those that sow hatred will reap what they sow.

The Heritage Foundation got what they wanted the last eight years:
eight years of 'stupid'
eight years of 'bad science' or 'no science'
eight years of 'reward the rich'
eight years of 'rob the middle class'
eight years of 'praise the Divine Bush'
eight years of STUPID.
This country is ruined by this right-wing hate mongering, money worshipping crowd.

The Heritage Foundation is and remains one of the most destructive anti-American organizations out there.
Trust their 'spin' and see what you get?
BUSH-WHACKED

Dr. Mike Kear said...

You are right about that, Wade.

On a side note, my brother is on the pulpit committee for a Presbyterian Church in Georgia (PCA). A lady on this same committee is a Palestinian Christian who now lives in the USA. When my brother asked her opinion on things happening right now in the Middle East, she was very adamant that we Americans don't have a clue. She said that we predominantly see Palestinians as only Muslims and agree ones at that. But she made the point that many Gazans and other Palestinians are Christians and are being buffeted by both the radical Muslims in charge and the state of Israel.

Thanks for posting this, Wade. I think we could all use a bit more education in these matters. I know I could.

Dr. Mike Kear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Mike Kear said...

make that "angry" instead of "agree"

stupid fingers!

Anonymous said...

LOUIS said, 'Panetta (sp?) at CIA is a concern being the only exception - and that could be a huge exception if Panetta follows the historical pattern of the democrats of being unfriendly toward the intelligence community.'

Comment - Panetta is honest.
He will ask the right questions and he will eventually find out the connections between the Bush Administration's demand for intelligence that supported their 'ideology' AND the traitors to our country in the intelligence community who handed over phoney intelligence to support an aggressive war on Iraq.

He'll find out. Eventually.

If that is a pattern of democrats being 'unfriendly' towards some of the so-called intel community: why not? Phoney intel passed off as genuine that influences our people to support a war against someone who threatened 'My Daddy' as Bush claimed: that phoney intel was traitorous.
Over four thousand of our finest, deeply patriotic young Americans lie in their graves thanks to these traitors.
We need to get them isolated so that they cannot harm our country again.
Panetta? Honest.
Be worried, if you are a far-right wing traitor. He'll find you.
And he will find justice for our slain warriors.

Anonymous said...

Re: anonymous post above at 1:27.

Wow. Just wow.

Matt

Anonymous said...

EQUAL TIME, PLEASE !

for 'An Ideology of Death: the End Times Game of Radical Christian Dominionism and is there any thing we can do about it? "

The Crazy Club
The club is the Dominionism movement- a far right wing Christian group. Dominionists push for strong biblical law, and want a theocratic government. They promote gaining political power by taking political offices by “stealth.” Within Dominionism, there is a group known as Joel’s Army. Please, read this article on Joel’s Army. Or, if you’re lazy, I’ll give you highlights

- They are apocalyptic - they believe the end of times is near and young people are part of the Omega generation. Omega generation children were handpicked from the best lineages to form a “super-race.”

- They are highly militaristic - they believe they are, “an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian ‘dominion’ on non-believers.” Hence the name, Dominionists. Some pastors are called “Commander” and wear battle fatigues. Some describe it as an, “end-times cult.” They also believe there will be a civil war soon between them and Christians possessed by demons (aka everyone else).

- They are insanely conservative. Even far right wing Pentecostal churches think they’re crazy.

- They believe that as Armageddon draws near, churches will turn into military bases. A founder wrote, “In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc.”

- A Dominionist healer kicked an old woman in the face, beat a cripple’s legs like drum sticks, and knocked out a dude’s tooth in church on the “Holy Spirit’s” orders.

- Have you seen that movie Jesus Camp? That’s them training kids.

- A founder sermoned that “Those in this army will have His kind of power. … Anyone who wants to harm them must die.”

ALL RIGHT, FOLKS.
HATE IS HATE.
CHANGE THE NAME OF THE RELIGION.
SAME HATE.
SAME DESTRUCTION.
FUNDAMENTALISM AT ITS WORST.

Anonymous said...

Gee whiz, what's going on here?

Anon 1:36, forgive me; maybe I'm thick. Do you have a point? Are you being facetious? Are there actually people like that?

If your answer is yes, my comments would be that

1. They do not add up to millions of active participants who have the backing of millions more sympathizers (as is the case with radical Islam).
2. These kooks (if they exist) do not represent a considerable force on the geopolitical scene (as does radical Islam).
3. These kooks (if they exist) do not represent a legitimate interpretation of Christian orthodoxy or orthopraxy (whereas radical Muslims DO represent a legitimate interpretation of historic Muslim orthodoxy and orthopraxy).

Matt

Anonymous said...

"You are free to go to war for God, that is in God's place. Just remember that the battles the OT heroes were victorious in were the ones where they had God going out before them. If you are going to war because you don't trust God and thus feel the need to protect yourself, go right ahead."

Hmm. Where does this thinking stop? Am I or my husband not to attempt to protect my family when a rapist breaks in my house to rape my daughter and kill us all?

Lydia

Wade said...

I think the point of my post may be lost.

I don't agree with my Fundamentalist Christian brethren on many things, including dispensationalism, nor do I agree with my Fundamentalist Zionist friends, including the Zionist Jews.

But, my Christian brothers and Jewish brothers, even of the Fundamentalist stripe, are not beheading journalists.

I am just simply asking if sometimes we get so bent out of shape over each other we miss the real enemy at our doorstep.

Anonymous said...

1). Our Christian and Jewish friends, no matter our differences, are just that - friends. Instead of getting too worked up over our minor differences, maybe we need to take a deep breath and refocus on what lies at our doorstep.

Interesting statement. And on the political surface, I definitely agree. However, and this is key, we also need to be careful to avoid the tendency for an implied or stated dual covenantalism perspective of the Gospel. Too often, Christians have been seduced by DC and this seduction often begins with some sort of statement similar to #1. For Jesus is a difference and He definitely is not minor.

BTW, you will not find a greater friend of Israel than myself. However, I must not and cannot forsake the truth of Romans 1:16 for political convenience. Eternity is more important than politics.

Chris said...

Lydia,

If you can find where the Bible stops that line of thinking, then you have the answer to your question. If you can't find a stop in the Bible, them perhaps you have your answer as well.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

While I agree with you generally, I might suggest that your opening statement of point 2 is huge. It is the Gospel that changes hearts. While our earthly government/military is justified in fulfilling its purpose and fighting a just war justly, we citizens of the Kingdom would do well to consider, "How would the world really be different if we REALLY got SERIOUS about obeying the Great Commission?" What impact on the Muslim world might God be ready and willing to make if we, His chosen implements, were sharp and ready to be used? Consider the possibilities.

Matt

Anonymous said...

There is a 'new' kind of religion out there: one that glorifies war and denies 'blessed be the peace-makers'.

This 'new kind' of religion is not Christian.

As for the 'enemy on our doorstep'.
Be more afraid of the 'enemy within'. That enemy got our country's name trashed by practicing torture. That enemy tried to destroy our constitution.
That enemy made it easier for Al Queda to rally people against us.

'We went out to meet the enemy and discovered that the 'enemy' is us.;

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Some Christians are waking up to the evil of fostering, mentoring, approving, and cheering-on some of the worst within us.

If Christianity has weapons against this 'enemy', then they are weapons 'not of this world' and they are invincible against evil.

THAT IS WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.
The words and actions of Jesus Christ in the Bible are being remembered and honored.

Stephen said...

Lydia, thanks for understanding my post. Chris obviously did not. I never advocated going to war for God. Chris, if you knew me a bit better you would understand what I was trying to say. I trust God - the Father God and his son Jesus. But when concretely (not rhetorically) facing death at the hands of an evil person, I have the constitutional right as an American citizen to defend myself. Words don't stop bullets. Words don't stop terrorists. Chris, you are naive, my friend.

Stephen said...

"That enemy tried to destroy our constitution.
That enemy made it easier for Al Queda to rally people against us.
"

It is tiring to read statements like these. Destroying our Constitution? How? Be specific!

People who can be rallied by Al Queda hate us and cannot be rallied by our actions.

I just get tired of the "blame America first" crowd and their abstract, undocumented charge that we are destroying our Constitution. But I say that with respect and in Christian love.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution provides protection for our democracy by balancing the powers of the three branches of government.
And by protecting our citizens from the 'spying' by OUR government on US.

That is, until . . . .

Part of the reason that our people lined up around the churches and schools to vote is that we wanted our government back in OUR HANDS.

It will be a long time before this country trusts Republicans again.

That's HOW SO.

If a major political party panders to a 'base' that is fundamentalist far-right wing extremists, our country will correct the problem by voting that party out of office.
We were sick of the Nazi whack-jobs posing as 'Christians'.

Chris said...

Stephen,

I understood you very well. But just because you have a right, that does not mean you should use it. Words do not stop terrorists, but guns won't either. Peace through war (or even self-defense) isn't peace. Gunning down terrorists doesn't help the situation: it agravates it. As more of their "brave young men and women" die at the hands of American soldiers, more and more Muslims are motivated towards terrorism. What will stop terrorists is the conversion of their hearts. That does not happen as you shoot them.

You call me naive. I believe I take Jesus' words seriously. I believe that Jesus meant what He said. You say I speak rhetorically. I say that I speak concretely. I don't know how I would respond in the concrete situation: but I know that to respond with violence would be sinful.

Anonymous said...

I am as ready as the next one to defend my country in time of war.
REAL WAR.
Afghanistan was REAL WAR.

Iraq was 'Bush's War'

The fear-panderers and the liars led us into a 'war on terror' in Iraq that took thousands of lives.
No true Christian can ever support lies, and 'fear-mongering' and not supporting our troops when they go into battle with the correct equipment to save their lives.
Many Americans hate what was done to our troops.
The right-wing have a lot to answer for; and they can start by answering for the harm done to our fighting men and women. Then for the harm done to an honorable country by advocating torture.
WE WERE BETTER THAN THAT.
And we will be again.
This country does not grovel in fear or practice torture.
The people that encouraged all that were and are traitors to this honorable country.

Anonymous said...

"Hmm. Where does this thinking stop? Am I or my husband not to attempt to protect my family when a rapist breaks in my house to rape my daughter and kill us all?"

Lydia - The anonymous leftist liberal that keeps posting leftist propoganda on a conservative Christian blog thinks that you do not have a right to protect yourself or your family from being murdered or raped. And if the intruder happened to be gay, you would really be in trouble.

A leftist liberal with nothing better to do than post comments on a conservative Christian blog must mean he is reallllllllly bored and angry.

I hope he doesn't work for the post office.

Anonymous said...

Interesting note: Obama hasn't taken office yet but he has already said he is waving the don't ask, don't tell military protocol in place for gays.

Soon gays can serve openly without fear of retribution.

haha - yeah, right.

On a side note, if we are going to protect Israel, we better do it soon. Otherwise the "military" will just be over there slapping them and pulling their hair.

Bob Cleveland said...

I wonder how Galatians 3:29 might play into all this:

"If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."(NIV)

Chris said...

Anonymous 4:39,

I actually happen to be a conservative Southern Baptist who is studying at a conservative Southern Baptist school to prepare for ministry in conservative Southern Baptist churches.

The reason I follow Wade's blog is because I believe he represents some of the best of conservative Southern Baptists who also hold dear what it means to be Southern Baptist. It isn't because I'm bored.

Thank you, however, for doing the typical CR thing and accusing anyone who doesn't share your predispositions of being a liberal. Very intellectually honest of you. Why don't you deal with the ideas and the scriptures rather than dismiss them with a catch-phrase? And thank you for saying I hide behind anonimity when I at least give a name that can be interacted with and followed from thread to thread.

And if you read all my posts, you would notice that I say you have every right to defend your family. You also have every right to follow the path of Christ and die at the hands of your enemies so that your witness to truth will stand in their minds, instead. It is always up to you to choose whether or not you will follow Christ or sin.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

You didn't need to explain your post. Most of us understood the context and point you were driving at.

Lydia:

I am with you. Some teach that Jesus mandated pacifism. Let them teach that. The rest of us will have to struggle through life trying to keep everything in a difficult balance.

To all the rest:

What did I say about fever swamps?

We are getting close. The Council for National Policy is coming up soon.

Louis

Doug said...

Brothers and Sisters,
I wish people would not post under "anonymous" because it is impossible to reply specifically to their comments without confusion. However, as a conservative Baptist pastor myself, our kind would do well to listen to the supposed rantings of a "leftist liberal" who is posting under "anonymous (see what I mean by confusion?). I am sure I do not agree with him or her on many issues, but they are right in saying that we (conservative and fundamental churches) are harboring some scary "radicals" among us. Fortunately, they have historically been a fringe number, but there are credible signs that this could change. Believe me, I have some members in my own church that I would not ever want to see in a position of influence or authority!

Anonymous said...

The scary thing is that the line that separates 'extreme' right-wing Christians from 'conservative Christians' has become blurred.

Only Conservative Christisns can take care of that, as the extremists in their midst are trying to take over and call the 'conservatives' moderates or liberals.

You cannot be a Christian person and harbor hate in the way that fundamentalists do. It doesn't work that way. It never did.
What IS the difference between a raving Nazi right-wing gay-hating,
racist, white supremacist, 'christian'
AND
a 'conservative Christian'.

We may know.

But Americans on the whole lump evangelicals all in the extremist camp, sadly.

A little PR is needed for the CR movement because most Americans think conservative Christians are unAmerican extremists.

Steve said...

I went to the Wikipedia page, and noted the map showing that England now is one of the "least" Islamic nations, at least numbers-wise.

What really amazes people writing from England is how fundamentally life there has changed, even with the comparatively small share of their population is Muslim. Already, every day those living in the larger cities see their lives affected by political considerations for these haters of Christianity and western culture.

Don't apologize a bit about the "Eurabia" label. The Europe people may think they recall from their learning days is fast disappearing. Some even say France has had its own "Krystallnacht" with bombings of synagogues.

Anonymous said...

"Soon gays can serve openly without fear of retribution."

If they are good enough to put their lives on the line so that you can express your 'Christian Faith' in this way,
maybe they deserve to be allowed the dignity of a serving American soldier.

I'm willing to accept that a person can be a gay person and also serve their country. They KNOW about YOU AND YOUR HATRED AND CONTEMPT and still they sign up and fight, and some die, for your right to speak your mind and to pray in a church where your belittling and gay-bashing is tolerated and even sometimes encouraged.

Somehow, you come out looking pretty bad here.

But, hey, you're here.

You CAN speak freely.

And they are part of the reason you are free.

You can't take that away from them, can you, Christian brother?

Anonymous said...

Mr. lefty liberal - If the shoe fits, wear it.

It does.

And you do.

Anonymous said...

Don't ask, don't tell did not keep gays from serving.

It only requested they keep "it" to themselves and they would not be disqualified from serving.

Now, Obama says they can flirt with other soldiers openly.

Lefty - It probably greatly offends you that God said no homosexuals will be in heaven. None. Zero. I pray that God will change their hearts, but until then you should stop coddling them so much (no pun intended) and tell them they are in the path of God's wrath instead of comforting them by telling them the mean old conservatives don't like them very much.

Anonymous said...

CHRISTIANS AT WAR AGAINST
TERRORISM: Who is our Shield?
What are our weapons?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9


We often misunderstand this verse because we fail to understand the Hebrew voice behind it. Jesus was not speaking English, nor Greek, but rather Hebrew. (Though the gospel is recorded in Greek for us now...and yet, there is evidence it may have been written in the Hebrew tongue originally.)

At any rate, Jesus, as a Jew, would have been using the word shalom for peace. This re-orients the whole meaning of this inspirational Bible verse. For us, the word peace usually means the absence of conflict. Shalom, for a Jew, was much more. It was the presence of wholeness, completeness, even healing.


To bring shalom means to bring healing and wholeness, to lives, people, the world.
To bring shalom would mean deliberately looking for the shattered, the hungry, the lost, the down-trodden,
and to act in such a way as to change the state....to feed, to liberate, to raise up.

So when Jesus calls on His followers to be "peacemakers," He is calling them to be the ones to bring healing and wholeness to a broken world.

The sages of Israel even had a concept word for this: Tikkun Olam...literally, "repairing the world." And the repairing of the world was accomplished as we obeyed God and followed His word, which incidentally, reveals that God cares a lot about the hungry, the poor, the imprisoned.

In fact, in one passage, Jesus decides that those who are a part of the kingdom of God are those who brought food to the hungry, comfort to the imprisoned, help to the sick. And this is the criteria he uses. Check it out in Matthew 25:31-34...and fit that into your theology....

It is a strange religion that asks us to reach out to our 'enemies' and care for them; to disarm their hatred with our love; to no longer see them as 'the others' but to see them as 'our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors'.
Yes, it is a very strange religion indeed that asks us to love our enemies and do good to those who revile us.

"Love one another as I have loved you," does not stop where there are boundaries and borders and differences.

The power in this strange religion to use love in order to disarm hatred: to calm the seas of anger and quiet the mighty winds of war. We know from Whence it comes.

Anonymous said...

"I am with you. Some teach that Jesus mandated pacifism. Let them teach that. The rest of us will have to struggle through life trying to keep everything in a difficult balance."

And it is a difficult balance. Seems some would think our involvement in WW2 was evil?

It would have been a Christian witness to ignore Hitler? Japan?

What was evil is that we waited so long and 6 million were murdered.

Lydia

word verification: paterson

See, it is a conspiracy! Everything eventually becomes about him. :o)

Anonymous said...

If you can find where the Bible stops that line of thinking, then you have the answer to your question. If you can't find a stop in the Bible, them perhaps you have your answer as well.

Mon Jan 19, 01:53:00 PM 2009

I don't know, Chris. Am I allowed to consult the OT or just the NT?

What is the role of civil government in the NT?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS says '

"Now, Obama says they can flirt with other soldiers openly.

It probably greatly offends you that God said no homosexuals will be in heaven. None. Zero. "


And YOU are going to heaven?
Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

Gay-bashing has become acceptable among conservative Christians.
They pride themselves on it and teach it to their children, before they're old enough to know what 'gay' means.
What else is on the 'conservative' chopping block? missionaries, women Hebrew professors, ANYONE who is a 'liberal' (ie. someone they disagree with), and the list goes on, and on, and on . . .

Where does the hate list end?
Or does it?

If a Christian community has to define itself by who it hates and how much it hates, eventually it will end up like WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH, out picketing our soldiers' funerals.
All that hate has to go somewhere.
What a religion!

Anonymous said...

A LESSON IN HATRED:

A history of anti-gay hatred

Before gaining notoriety and provoking public anger for disrespecting slain soldiers and their families, Westbor Baptist Church was known for picketing the funerals of gay people or those they perceived to be gay.
In 1998, WBC congregants set off an angry reaction when they showed up at the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard and held up signs saying "No Fags in Heaven" and "God Hates Fags."
According to the WBC Website, they have staged "over 22,000" protests across the nation and around the world since 1991.

Incorporated in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization, the Westboro Baptist Church considers itself an "Old School (or, Primitive)" Baptist Church.
Many WBC congregants are related to Phelps by blood. His wife, several of his children and dozens of his grandchildren frequent the church.
While WBC has picketed the gay community at hundreds of events nationwide, most of the individuals the Church has protested against are not homosexual.
In fact, WBC often targets people it mistakenly claims are gay or those it believes to be encouraging homosexuality.
Many WBC fliers emphasize the race or religion of these individuals, suggesting that the Church's hate spreads beyond its abhorrence of homosexuality.
WBC congregants believe that "God's hatred is one of His holy attributes."
What appears to be anti-gay rhetoric is often a vehicle for WBC's anti-Semitism, hatred of other Christians, and even racism.


WESTBORO BAPTIST: for lessons in how to hate your neighbor

Anonymous said...

I think that Anonymous has now taken to debating with himself/herself.

Louis

Anonymous said...

It's 'anonymous' vs. 'Westboro'.
This is getting good.

Chris said...

Lydia,

Of course you are free to use the entirety of scripture. But when using the OT, remember that there is a great deal of scripture that Christ and Paul reinterpret. After all, how much of the Sermon on the Mount is based on "You heard it said... but I say to you..."?

What is the role of Civil Government in the NT?

That begins with Romans 13. There Paul says to obey the government in good conscience. The government has been given authority as a necessary evil for the punishment of evil. Paul says that Christians should listen obey government (paying taxes, not disobeying laws, etc) so that when the Government persecutes Christians for preaching things that the government doesn't agree with Christians will recognize this persecution for what it is: it is a government protecting its self interests and not a government punishing evil. Romans 13 doesn't tell Christians to go out and kill people so that a worldly kingdom can survived. Paul wasn't being random when he ended what we call Romans 12 with "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

The picture of church/state relations only gets dimmer from there. Through the general epistles and Revelation civil government is increasingly perceived as a negative instituion for its constant opposition to the work and rule of God.

America is no different from Rome: it has no interest in promoting Christian values beyond where they legitimate what American politicians want. American civil religion is an instrumental religion: pursuing God only so far as God is able to legitimate their own rule.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some are confused by 'render to Caesar the things that are Ceasar's, etc.

Lots of mix-up with theocracy overtones among some Christians.
Very unbiblical.

Anonymous said...

GABRIEL? The Angel of Death ?

"Conservative media darling Brigitte Gabriel, author of the book Why They Hate and founder of anti-Muslim organization The American Congress for Truth, tells the Christian right American Family Association's (AFA) news service that in the Muslim world, the cover is seen as an accurate portrayal of Obama, because the Muslim world views Obama as one of its own. I've seen Gabriel a couple of times at John Hagee's Christians United for Israel events, and she's carved out quite a niche for herself peddling the idea that her experience as a Lebanese Christian surviving that country's bloody civil war qualifies her to declare Islam a violent religion bent on destroying Western Civilization.

The AFA has Gabriel, the "expert" on Islam, connecting Obama to al Qaeda as well, although it's difficult to tell whether she is saying that the Muslim world links him to al Qaeda or that she believes it herself. No matter. The AFA has managed to put the phrase "Obama has been sponsored by al Qaida" in print:

As for the picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall, she continues, Obama has been sponsored by al Qaida. "Al Qaida wants Obama to be president. The terrorist organizations around the world want Obama to be president," Gabriel notes. Gabriel also contends that in the Muslim realm Obama is portrayed as someone who has no loyalty to the U.S., and someone who will defend the right to burn the American flag. She says she finds it ironic that so many people in America are offended by the magazine cover when it is actually how the Islamic world views the Democratic presidential candidate."

OMG

word verification: nooses

Anonymous said...

How much does the average conservative Christian really know about the Islamic religion?

REALLY know?

And from what sources?
Were they 'reliable'?
Or just 'conveniently biased'?

Anonymous said...

So Chris, Any Christian who fought in WW2 was being unbiblical?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

CHRIS wrote about the book of HEBREWS: " There Paul says to obey the government in good conscience."


IN GOOD CONSCIENCE means obey only if your conscience permits you to obey.

Suppose you were told by your superiors to burn children alive.
Could you do it?
The Nazis did.
In certain concentration camps, it was determined that the gas (used for extermination) costs were excessive. The commanders then devised a plan to save money on the death gas: they decided to take little babies and very small children who could not resist and place them alive right into the crematoria ovens, where they were burned to death and then to ashes. This would mean that they would not have to use so much of the death gas.

So a little money was saved.
Now, obeying authority: if it is against your conscience, should you obey anyway?

The Nazis obeyed.
They were extreme far-right wing and one of their cherished beliefs was in the supremacy of authority over the individual's autonomy.

Could you burn a child alive?
Or could you 'disobey' a government order?

'IN GOOD CONSCIENCE' is the key to getting out of an order that is beyond what you can handle and still remain at all human, least of all, Christian.

Chris said...

Lydia,

If we believe Jesus meant what He said, then yes.

The Biblical approach was taken by those who hid and smuggled the Jews out of Nazi Europe and who publically opposed Hitler and his "solution," calling others to non-participation and non-violent resistance.

Anonymous said...

FROM israel e. news.com

"Since 2004, Walid Shoebat and BRIGITTE GABRIEL have been two of the most high profile of a small army of self-appointed "experts", on Islam, the Middle East, and terrorism who have appeared on TV, radio shows, print and in movies bringing American audiences an alleged 'truth' ;
Islam, they claim, is inherently bloodthirsty and doctrinally bent on world domination, so Islamic terrorism worldwide, and contemporary conflict in the Middle East, cannot be addressed either non-violently through negotiation, compromise or widened cultural understanding.

Rather than sitting on Pentagon panels and decrying Islam as as a religion supposedly bent on world conquest or depicting Muslim-American citizens as inherently disloyal in broadcasts, going out over C-Span, at Joint Forces Staff College seminars, Jessica Stern doesn't simply play the role of "Terrorism expert" ; she actually is one. Stern, a lecturer at Harvard, traveled the world, for four years, from refugee camps in Lebanon and prisons in Pakistan to prisons in Florida and rural towns in Texas, interviewing members and former members of violent religious terrorism groups.

She came to some unsurprising conclusions - religious militants within Christianity, Judaism and Islam tend to share similar motivations.

Jessica Sterns's claim to expertise on world terrorism is well established. By contrast, the claims of Walid Shoebat and Brigitte Gabriel to expertise in the realm are, at best, shaky. Neither has official credentials in the field of terrorism studies and the objectivity of both is heavily compromised. Walid Shoebat is a Christian Zionist whose eschatological view demands an apocalyptic military confrontation, centering around Israel, between Christian and Muslim armies.

Both Shoebat and Gabriel are linked, through a welter of ties, to the Israeli Likud Party and may even be currently paid by the Israeli right. Both have demonized Islam in the rawest of terms, and Brigid Gabriel went so far as to state, at the 2007 Christians United For Israel conference, that Muslims and Arabs in the Middle East "have no soul".

The appearance of Brigitte Gabriel at the Joint Forces Staff College and Walid Shoebat and his fellow "2 ex-Terrorists" at the US Air Force Academy raises questions that are at once both baffling and troubling - what are such dubiously credentialed individuals doing advising the US government on matters of great military importance ? "

note: U.S Air Force Academy has some chaplains and officers connected with militant Dominionism.

Anonymous said...

Christian Zionism: a valid way to deal with Islam ?

John D. said...

Lydia -

I rarely agree with you on this forum, but after reading over your discussion with Chris, I'd say you're right on the money.

Christians ought to value life, and sometimes valuing life means defending it from those who wish to take it.

Exodus 22:2 provides a great example of this principle when it says:

"If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.

Acting in defense is not taking a life, it is saving a life.

Chris -

Your little biography tells a lot about you. You're young. And as I progress through my 30's I see more and more the silly things that youth sees as wisdom.

Since you seem stuck on only reading the words from Jesus' mouth and ignoring the words from his spirit, let me suggest you take some time studying Jesus' lessons on humility.

For you too will see that one's view of the world changes dramatically when they leave school and live in it.

Oh, before I part, my favoite word of advice from Jesus:

Luke 22:36 36 And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.

Anonymous said...

What comes to mind is
the connection some people make:

if Israel is to survive

then Islamic peoples must die.

WHO pushes this model?
Dominionists, John Hagee, Christian Zionists

WHY? they want to bring on the
'end' of the world and thereby
'the return of Christ'

WHEN? as soon as they can

WHERE? whole earth nuclear destruction startin in the Middle East

HOW? can't you guess ?

Alan Paul said...

Hi Doug-
A solution to your problem: Don't read any post unless it is signed. It makes blogging life much simpler.

-Alan

Thy Peace said...

NYT: QUESTIONS FOR BRIGITTE GABRIEL: The Crusader, Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON

NYT: The Public Editor's Journal: A Radical Islamophobe? By CLARK HOYT

Thy Peace said...

Wiki: List of states with nuclear weapons

"Israel
Main article: Israel and nuclear weapons
Israel is not a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refuses to officially confirm or deny having a nuclear arsenal, or having developed nuclear weapons, or even having a nuclear weapons program. Israel has pledged not to be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the region, but is also pursuing a policy of strategic ambiguity with regard to their possession. In the late 1960s, Israeli Ambassador to the US Yitzhak Rabin informed the United States State Department, that its understanding of "introducing" such weapons meant that they would be tested and publicly declared, while merely possessing the weapons did not constitute "introducing" them.[52] Although Israel claims that the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona is a "research reactor", or, as was originally claimed, a "textile factory," no scientific reports based on work done there have ever been published. Extensive information about the program in Dimona was also disclosed by technician Mordechai Vanunu in 1986.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Federation of American Scientists, Israel possesses around 75–200 weapons.[53] Imagery analysts can identify weapon bunkers, mobile missile launchers, and launch sites in satellite photographs. Israel may have tested a nuclear weapon along with South Africa in 1979, but this has never been confirmed (see Vela Incident).
On May 26, 2008, ex-US president Jimmy Carter stated that Israel has “150 or more nuclear warheads” at a press conference at the annual literary Hay festival in Wales.[22]


Iran
Main article: Iran and weapons of mass destruction#Nuclear weapons
A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of December 3, 2007 judged with "high confidence" that Iran had an active nuclear weapons program which was halted in fall 2003 and with "moderate confidence" that it remained halted as of mid-2007. The estimate further judged that US intelligence did not know whether Iran intended "to develop nuclear weapons," but that "Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU [highly enriched uranium] for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame" if it decides to do so.[54] IAEA Director General ElBaradei noted in particular that the Estimate tallies with the Agency's consistent statements over the last few years that "although Iran still needs to clarify some important aspects of its past and present nuclear activities, the Agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran."[55] Iran's representative to the UN has explained that Iran categorically rejects the development of nuclear weapons and Iran is guaranteed the right to peaceful nuclear technology under the NPT.[5]"

Thy Peace said...

Would Brigitte Gabriel like the Mental Burqa?

Fight the Mental Burqa!

Chris said...

John,

And the sword Jesus told Peter to buy is the same sword Jesus told Peter to sheathe in Gethsemane.

I am young. But "never let people look down on you in your youth" comes to mind. Please explain where in the Spirit of Jesus' words I have gone wrong. I have admitted on this blog when I have been wrong, but "how shall they know unless they are told, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." But even then, not all those who have believed what I believe have been young. Ghandi, King, Hauerwas, Yoder, all three were/are a a great deal older than I. They all agreed that the use of violence was not morally permissable according to the teachings of Christ.

You say that youthful idealism is often foolish. I can agree with that. Yet there is a lot about the gospel that is foolish to those who live in the real world. Perhaps as we grow older we lose that hope that the way of God is possible as we give in to pragmatism. I hope not, but it is certainly possible.

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage everyone to listen to the video from Heritage Foundation of Brigitte Gabriel's speech. She is very persuasive in her points. From my limited experience of bullies and thugs in India, I would have to agree with her experiences.

I have difficulty with her solutions though. I will have to ponder on it.

Anonymous said...

Dear CHRIS,

Hi, it's me, L's
You are young; I am pretty old now. :)

I admire the way you are free to think for yourself. That is something wonderful. I hope, as you age, you do not lose that precious freedom.

Sometimes it is better to march to your own drummer and not follow the crowd. Or worry if they disapprove. It takes a lot of strength to be your own person, but I think God wants our individual honesty, not our conformity to others out of fear of their rejection.

You are right about the power of non-violent means of fighting against something inhumane.
Gandhi showed India a 'Christ-like' way of non-violent protest and Gandhi brought down the rule of the mighty British Empire in India. Gandhi was not a Christian.
Martin Luther King marched peacefully and those who followed him peacefully protested as they were tormented by having water sprayed on them by fire hoses and having dogs let lose on them. All this, including the beatings they suffered, all these things were shown on national television and the moral shame of discrimination was seen and our country began its long road to healing.

What power is in non-violence to bring down the mighty ?
It appears to be greater than violence and torture.
Yes. Your thoughts are those of a much older person. It is written that 'a soft answer turns away wrath'.

There are many ways to overcome evil, but I think you may have discovered the one way that is the MOST powerful. It is so simple, that most people don't have enough faith to trust in it.
But some did.
And India became a free country.
And the horrors of discrimination began to lose their grip on our nation.
And YES, there was the resistance of those who hid the Jews from the Germans, at the risk of their own lives. So many descendants of those who were saved are alive today because of these brave, peaceful people. And not a gun was fired. The names of these brave men and women are celebrated in Israel on the Avenue of the Righteous. So many saved.

And some still believe in the simple non-violent ways of the Lord. Only some. But, Chris, the others will understand some day what you know now. Just maybe not in this world.
I have many relatives who have served and are serving in the military. They are honorable, decent people of faith.
So, is there only one way?

Maybe the best thing is not to decide for each other what is right. Some decisions are ours alone to make.

John D said...

Young Chris –

I am well aware of the “big names” you quote who are Christian pacifists. However, Christian pacifism is at its very nature an oxymoron. People who would condemn those who take up arms condemn God himself.

Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. Our perfect God is a God of both war and peace.

Let us not forget that the same God who told Peter to put down his sword also commanded the Israelites to “utterly destroy” the Cannanites. (Deut 7:1-2)
The same God that called the “least of these” to himself also commanded the destruction of every life in Ai. (Josh 7)
The same God that desires all to be saved, will also cast those that do not believe into everlasting destruction. (Rev 21)

As we allow scripture to interpret scripture, what do we learn? That Christians should be neither militaristic nor pacifistic. Instead, we should be gentle as doves and wise as serpents as we use discernment in these matters.

And as to your youth, remember 1 Timothy 3:6 that says that one who teaches should not be a “novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.”

When I was young like you, I - like you - thought that something was true just because I said it. Oh how I wish that I had those years back, and some day you will to. If I had those days back I would:

Argue less and listen more.
Teach less and learn more.
Not use the bible to prop up my rhetoric but immerse myself in and allow God’s word to shape me.
Use more humility when I spoke.
And not believe everything I heard

My young friend, learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you.

Anonymous said...

I find it more than a little disturbing that no one in this whole discourse has responded to the discussion of Jewish evangelism/missions. Why?

Stephen said...

Anonymous wrote "The Constitution provides protection for our democracy by balancing the powers of the three branches of government.
And by protecting our citizens from the 'spying' by OUR government on US.

That is, until . . . . "

Again, no details, just abstract charges. Have you been spied upon? Do you know someone who has been spied upon? I have yet to know of a single documented case of someone being spied on. No Bush-hater has been able to provide that.



Once again

Anonymous said...

PROPHET FROM THE PAST:

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country"

HERMANN GOERING
Reichts Marschall
Nazi, Germany
(Hitler's Second in Command)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon who wrote:

"I find it more than a little disturbing that no one in this whole discourse has responded to the discussion of Jewish evangelism/missions. Why?"

As far as I know, the Jewish people do not proselytize (sp?)Christians. I have a friend who CONVERTED to Judaism in her later adult life (she had been a Quaker)
but her rabbi first make her study Christianity thoroughly before she was allowed to convert. He said that he wanted her not to do anything without thinking about it first.

I believe, from what I know, that Jewish people have too much respect for other religions to proselytize. But they do accept those who come and want to study Judaism, some with the thought of possibly converting.

I study Judaism with a rabbi's help on occasion, myself, because it helps me to understand the Judeo-Christian connections, and it provides depth to my understanding of the Scriptures.
I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to study with that wise old man in the presence of a Jewish woman who is a friend of mine.


Jewish interactions in the community are vast and designed to help the needy and those who are 'rejected' and alone. They have no 'missions' as Baptist people do to 'convert' Christians.
It is not their way.
Hope I answered your question.:) L's

Chris said...

L's,

Thank you for your kind words. I too have had and do have friends and family in the military. I respect them for their willingness to sacrifice, and only pray that they will find something far more worth their lives than is any nation-state. Nevertheless, I consider them to be strong men and women of faith. I cannot make their decision for them, I know this. But one would also be remiss to leave them be, not explaining the way of Christ. I speak the truth, but in love and with respect for their individual wills.

John,

Thank you for an honest and edifying engagement. I noticed that in all but one of your scriptures, you went from NT to OT. The principle I was taught was to let the new explain the old, and if the new was in direct opposition, to let the new replace. A Christian pacifist is not an oxymoron because a Christian operates off of the unique revelation of Christ and interprets the OT through Him. That was what the writers of the Gospels did. That was what Paul did.

However, I understand your position. "Gentle as doves and wise as serpents" seems good advise. But is it not telling that the contrast is not "violent as lions?" By saying we should be wise as serpents, is it not implied that we should be creative in finding solutions that allow us to also remain gentle? The question is genuine.

And I don't know when I said that I was right just because I said so. I have tried to operate from the text of the Bible (being a conservative Christian who believes in the innerancy of Scripture). And for me, one of the many benefits of blogging is the opportunity to listen to and learn from others. But thank you for your sage advice. While I shouldn't believe everything I am told, I think that is a list I would be well off to heed.

Thy Peace said...

"I find it more than a little disturbing that no one in this whole discourse has responded to the discussion of Jewish evangelism/missions. Why?"

L's:

I think the writer meant to convert Jewish people to Christianity.

I know from experience that Jews, Moslems and Hindus react very badly when they are evangelized. All for different reasons. Especially the "devout" people.

It's a taboo subject to evangelize the Jewish people to Christianity.

Lin said...

Chris, Is America in sin because of the Revolutionary War?

Anonymous said...

Dear THY PEACE,

You wrote this,
'It's a taboo subject to evangelize the Jewish people to Christianity.'

Wow.
I am surprised about the mistake I made. I didn't realize what the question was about. Sorry to anon.

I will accept the 'taboo' subject and not comment.

Thanks for writing to me. :) L's

John D said...

Chris –

I don’t know if I would call it sage advice. I understand the mistakes well because they are still fresh on my trail if you know what I mean.

Just a final word and I’ll be done. I have no doubt that you are an innerrantist and that you are trying to operate from a biblical worldview. But as you do please don’t see the OT as a lesser revelation to the NT. The NT illuminates the OT, but as Jesus said "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” God’s character does not change, what he was to Abraham, he was to Moses, David, Paul, me, and you.

The OT is as much as God’s word as the NT. The NT does not negate or change the OT. And when we see an inconsistency in the two, we don’t choose between a lesser and a greater, no we see an inconsistency because of our own failure to properly interpret it.

If we do try to create a distinction between the two, we will be doomed to repeat the mistake of the Dispensationalists. Or at worst the heresy of the Marcions.

God’s best to you and your studies.

Anonymous said...

Dear CHRIS,

It's me, L's

Thank you for writing back.
The idea of an individual deciding what is right for themselves is not always accepted.

But it is something that I believe in because it makes people think about who they really are and what they really value. So often, people are afraid of hurting someone else's feelings, or incurring the 'wrath' of others, or just not being 'one of the group' that they will allow others to influence them more than is wise. That influence can cause a person to make decisions that do not sit well with them.
We all do this at one point or another, maybe compromising something by 'going along' with others and leaving behind something that was an important part of who we are.
Those decisions about pacifism or non-violent protesting to effect change: those decisions are best made by people without others PRESSURING them. Discussion, even debate, but not pressure, not ridicule, or verbal abuse.
Whatever we decide OURSELVES: that is part of who WE are. And it comes from our own responsibility.
Much harder this is, than 'going along with the crowd', but so much more honest in the end.
CHRIS, maybe we all aren't meant to think and feel alike. So it might be okay for you to decide for you and for the others to decide for themselves.
I think I am right about this.
What is that phrase one knows so well, 'to thine ownself be true; for as day follows the night, thou canst not then be false to any man.' ?
Shakespeare, I think.

So live and let live.
Respect yourself and ALSO respect the others who must be their own selves in their own way, too.
I think its called 'tolerance'. :)

Anonymous said...

oops,
its 'as surely as the day follows the night'

That's called 'misquoting'.
L's

Anonymous said...

Philippians 4:8-9
"Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


'THINK ON THESE THINGS' :)


Pax Christi

Thy Peace said...

A great learning place of the debates between Moslem theologians and Christian theologians is at James White's blog:

Alpha & Omega Ministries : Apologetics Blog

I normally have some difficulty of understanding James White. This is mainly because of my lack of knowledge of Scripture and its interpretation. But it's fun to watch him debate and argue. I learn slowly but persistently from his blog. :-)

Anonymous said...

It might be "taboo" to bring Jesus up to Jewish people but it didn't seem to matter to Paul or Jesus or God. Give me a break people!

Chris said...

Lin,

Is America in sin for the American Revolution? A far better question is if American Christians were in sin. For opposing tyranny and oppression, absolutely not. For the violent means employed to end said tyranny, in my opinion Christians stand guilty. We should repent for the means even if not the end.


John,

Thank you for the words of warning. But as you said, Christ fulfilled the law. Therefore, when I see difficulty between the OT and the NT, I will look primarily to where the old is fulfilled. It is not that the OT is lesser, but that the NT demonstrates what the OT means.


L's,

I agree with you that people value their conclusions more highly than mine. People are going to follow what they believe to be true. But the beauty of tolerance is that we can disagree, but only after both sides have made their cases as zealously as they can. Tolerance does not mean live and let live, it means to disagree and discuss while not hating each other.

The Shakespeare quote is classic. But the first question I always ask when faced with it is this: do you have a self worth being true to? If you do, then follow your conscience as God prompts it. If you have not allowed yourself to be conformed in heart, mind, and spirit to God, then what value is there in being true to yourself? That self is sinful and fallen and doesn't perceive the world rightly because it doesn't perceive the world with the heart and mind of God.

Ethics are not something universal, they are something we must be taught. We are taught to be faithful, we aren't faithful in ourselves. We are taught to be righteous, we aren't righteous in ourselves. We are taught to be peacemakers, we don't naturally desire peace.

Therein, I think lies the difference between our opinions.

Only By His Grace said...

Chris,

Me thinks that some of the older Christians have much to learn from you.

As far as Dispensationalism is concerned, the critics paint with much too broad a brush. Which school of Dispensationalism are they talking about?

Dallas Theological Seminary believes with C.I. Schofield that the Church began at Pentecost;

C.R. Stam (Grace Movement) believes the Church started at Acts 9 with the conversion of Paul;

the C.H. Welch movement (The Bereans) who believe the Church started after Acts 28 with Paul's announcement of the setting aside of Israel until end of the Great Tribulation and Israel's immediate conversion before the thousand year reign on David's throne in Jerusalem (Paul announces setting aside of Israel in Acts 28).

There are other schools of Dispensationalism; however, those are the most well known. None of those mentioned above believe in any type Christian dominionism.

Governor Sarah Palin's church believes that all Christians will be gathered in Alaska just before the return of Christ to do great battle against the armies of the earth.

I think all Christians are Dispensationalist to some degree.

Dispensation of Innocence-- God dealt with Adam differently before Adam sinned.

Dispensation of Sacrifice—God dealt with mankind differently after Adam sinned and sacrifice was offered by the father of the family.

Dispensation of Law-- Sacrifice offered by only a Levitical Priest.

Dispensation of Grace-- Christ is the only sacrifice and Law is completed thus set aside. Believers are no longer under the Law.

Dispensation of Eternity when there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth and there shall be no more time, sin, Satan, sickness, sorrow, pain or death.

Chris seems very wise in making a strong difference between what the magistrate can do (he bears the sword) and what a Christian can do is told not to kill. The question is simple. Can a Christian be in the will of God and serve in civil government since their callings seem to contradict each other?

Chris, I am young, too, only sixty-eight years old; however, I have a young beautiful wife who had her sixtieth birthday, today.

Love in Christ,
Phil in Norman.

Only By His Grace said...

Ah, yes, Shakespeare,

But be very careful who makes the quote. It was from Ophelia's father (Polonius)who was the lead nerd in the play whom Hamlet kills. He is no repository of wisdom.

Phil

Anonymous said...

Gay-bashing has become acceptable among conservative Christians.

This is true. But going extreme the other way is also wrong.

If we make gays feel comfortable in their sin, they will feel the ultimate "bashing"...otherwise known as God's wrath.

One Salient Oversight said...

Wade,

This posting is terrible. I'm another international reader and the stuff in this post is comparable to the worst stuff America seems to believe these days.

Unlike many on this forum, I have worked with and befriended Muslims. They are not evil people bent on taking over the world. They are just ordinary people - some are nice, some are jerks.

If Christians want the Gospel to go through the Middle East, they have to jettison all the dumb ideas they have about Islam.

Rex Ray said...

Prayer vs. Force,
There is a time for both. God told Moses to stop praying and start moving. (I don’t think I’ll get in trouble with Ezekiel this time.)

Once, I asked my pastor, “What would you have done?” (I had been sitting next to him when the event happened.)
He replied, “I don’t know.”

I had done nothing as my heart was torn out as my son screamed, “You’re hurting me, Bill; you’re hurting me!”

We were on our usual mission trip to the Valley, and it was play time swimming at the lake.

Bill (a councilor) was having fun dunking all the girls, and my 6’ 4’’ 18 year old son caught him not looking and dunked him.

My son ran through the water laughing but not fast enough. Bill got him by the hair and would not let go.

Our son had never told us when he was 12, when the boys tried to wrestle Bill in fun; he grabbed his hair and hit him in the nose. So maybe my son thought it was ‘payback time.

A year later, some small boys pushed Bill over by one kneeling behind his legs. He grabbed the boy’s hair in a rage and laid on him.

Several men could not pull him off. No amount of talking and yelling had any effect on Bill who never said a word. As the men held him, my job was to get his fingers out of the hair without breaking them.

One by one, I bent them backwards without caring if they broke or not.

That was the end of Bill’s counseling career. Was I in sin for enjoying my job?

Anonymous said...

"Gay-bashing has become acceptable among conservative Christians.

This is true. But going extreme the other way is also wrong.

If we make gays feel comfortable in their sin, they will feel the ultimate "bashing"...otherwise known as God's wrath."


Thank you for your honesty.
It isn't every day that hatred is admitted and defended by someone who says that they follow Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Hi LIN,

Thanks for writing back.
It's me, L's
My assumption was that Chris was a 'Christian' with all the blessings of the Baptism of the Spirit.
His own conscience could then become informed by the Spirit, and would be the best guide he could have, after considering his faith, his reality, and spending time in prayer.

My belief is that a Christian is 'immersed' in Christ and that this brings a freedom to be who we truly were meant to be.

I admire Chris. When youth encounters the wisdom of the ages, then a search for meaning and integrity of being begin. For some of us, that search lasts a lifetime. For others, it is abandoned. For a few, it never begins. I hope he continues to seek to walk in the light of God. L's

P.S. I do disagree about 'ethics' being totally learned. I believe that God writes His laws on our hearts. We have within us, inherently, a sense of what is right and what is wrong. But then, my faith in these matters is different and, of course, may not be the same as yours. L's

Anonymous said...

Dear REX RAY,

Great story. You are always able to make me laugh. Your stories put everything into perspective. How is it that you can take the most profound discussion and make it human in a way everyone can understand?

I guess when 'grace' meets 'reality', sometimes a few fingers might get bent backwards.
I'm still laughing. I can see the whole scene. Our human nature always shows up under stress. But, REX, that part about 'enjoying' ? :))))))))

Anonymous said...

ISLAM AND THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM


Included among those who acknowledge the Creator, are the Moslems who profess to hold
* the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one,
* merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.

Anonymous said...

To ONE SALIENT OVERSIGHT,

Just a thought about our AMERICAN brand of defining our denominations: it seems we are caught up in politics here and some have adopted a way of defining their denomination in the negative: stressing what they hate and despise in others, as though that would somehow make THEM more perfectly representing the faith of Christ. This is a puzzle I have not worked out yet myself, and maybe I have got it all wrong, but there is a lot of
'them' vs. 'us' in some denominations that are evangelical.

How are Christians in Australia handling the differences among the major faiths? Is it respectful or virulent? Or somewhere in between?

From the contempt I see from some Southern Baptists towards Islam, I can imagine any effort towards converting them would be impossible. Contempt shuts down mutual understanding really fast. L's

Thy Peace said...

Under Much Grace Blog: Bad Apples or Bad Barrels? The Short and Long Versions of Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect by Cindy Kunsman
"I am very happy to discover two different versions of Dr. Philip Zimbardo's lectures about the content of his book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Become Evil.

In the longer version of the talk that was presented at MIT, he gives a more detailed description of how he looks as systems and how systems and environments promote bad behavior. It is, of course, a much longer video, nearly 2 hours long. There is also a shorter version, circa 24 minutes long, but it does not include as detailed of a description of the "bad barrel" promoting "bad apples.""

Anonymous said...

THE PRISON STUDY:

Main article: Stanford prison study

In the year 1971, Zimbardo accepted a tenured position as professor of psychology at Stanford University. There he conducted the Stanford prison study, in which 24 normal college students were randomly assigned to be "prisoners" or "guards" in a mock prison located in the basement of the psychology building at Stanford (three additional college students were selected as alternates, but did not participate in the study).

The students quickly began acting out their roles, with "guards" becoming sadistic and "prisoners" showing extreme passivity and depression. Prisoners and guards rapidly adapted to their roles, stepping beyond the boundaries of what had been predicted and leading to dangerous and psychologically damaging situations. One-third of the guards were judged to have exhibited "genuine" sadistic tendencies, while many prisoners were emotionally traumatized and five had to be removed from the study early.

Ethical concerns surrounding the famous study often draw comparisons to the Milgram experiment, which was conducted in 1961 at Yale University by Stanley Milgram, Zimbardo's former high school friend."

COMMENT: 'going along with the crowd' instead of following one's conscience absolutely has consequences, as this very famous classic study proves.

Without honoring a guiding conscience, a person can quickly go over to the dark side within themselves.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you for your honesty.
It isn't every day that hatred is admitted and defended by someone who says that they follow Jesus."

Like a true lefty, you have thanked me and ridiculed me in the same breath for something I didn't even say.

You could work for CNN!

When our gay friends are burning in hell, I wonder if they will be more angry at me for telling them that God's wrath is upon them and their behavior or more angry at you because you made them feel all warm and fuzzy inside without a peep of truth sharing?

I must say though, you haven't made it clear. Perhaps you should. Will there be homosexuals in heaven?

Please don't try to debate me any longer if you are going to make up stuff and then attribute it to me. Your problem is with Jesus and what He says in the bible. Not with me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lefty works for Newsweek?

Here is a quote from another blog posting regarding the mess with Mark Driscoll.

"Newsweek tried to make the Bible look like it supported homosexual activity and portrayed present day evangelicals as dogmatic, judgemental biggots."

Jesse said...

I wonder if the reasons moderate muslims do not speak out against fanaticism is the same reason "moderate" Americans do not speak out - because they are not really opposed to fanaticism.

You cannot reason with terrorists-you either bend to their will, fight them, or die.

Anonymous said...

JESSE said, 'You cannot reason with terrorists-you either bend to their will, fight them, or die.'

Neither can you end terrorism by becoming a terrorist yourself, practicing torture, giving up your freedoms to dictators because you are afraid, cowering instead of standing up honorably.

Once you become what they are;
then their victory over you is
complete.

Anonymous said...

ANON. writes, " Will there be homosexuals in heaven? "

Ask God.

One thing we know. No one can enter into the Kingdom, who is filled with contempt and hatred for those who are different.

Are you 'saved'? Good.
Then there is no need for you ever again to despise your neighbor.

If you are 'not saved' or 'not sure' perhaps you still struggle with the temptation to cast others over the brink into Hell.
Problem is: there is this
'cord of judgment' tied by God between you and your victim
and when they fall over that edge, so do you.

Pray to get rid of your hatred.
Maybe you will never be given the grace to accept those who are different as human like you, but your hatred consumes you and hurts you.
You must let go of it, for Christ's sake. Ask God to remove the burden of hatred from your heart and replace it with compassion for all His creatures.
Then you will be healed and at peace.

Ask God.

Anonymous said...

Anon said 'You could work for CNN!'

Thank you for the compliment !

Thy Peace said...

"Neither can you end terrorism by becoming a terrorist yourself, practicing torture, giving up your freedoms to dictators because you are afraid, cowering instead of standing up honorably.

Once you become what they are;
then their victory over you is
complete."


Amen.

Rob said...

Recently my pastor spoke on Hating what is evil.
Do you Hate that which is evil?
No that wasnt Fred Phelps!
It was a Southern Baptist Pastor in the Heart of Nashville. In fact the commands such a thing.
Do you really hate evil? If not you are not obeying Christ.

Rob from Nashville

Rob said...

Bible...commands such a thing

Anonymous said...

ROB: is there a difference between hating the sin and hating the sinner? What DOES the Baptist preacher say about that?

Turning away from evil is commanded, for sure.

"Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 6:12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

Proverbs 16:6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Anonymous said...

No need to ask God. He told us without us even asking.

He wrote it in several places for people like you that would try to ignore it if He only wrote it once. So I'll just give you one example from 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Verse 9 and 10:

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (That means you, Lefty)

Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

And me wanting the homosexuals heart to be changed so that he or she might have eternal life is not hating them.

I am convinced making them feel good about their sin, living a lie with them while they sink into hell is hating them.

Like I said, your anger and disagreement is with God and the bible. Not me.

Even though you desperately wish it were with me.

Anonymous said...

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN . .

'For those of you who are fortunate enough not to know, Fred Phelps is the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. He is known for rallying his church — which mostly consists of family members — to hold up protest signs at homosexual funerals and functions that say things like “God hates fags,” “Thank god for dead soldiers,” “You’re going to hell,” and other equally horrible and insane things.

His kids had it tough:

“The Bible says ‘spare the rod, spoil the child,’” explained Nate, “and he would be screaming that out as he was beating us.” One Christmas night, Pastor Phelps hit Nate over 200 times with a mattock’s handle, swinging it like a baseball player….

[Pastor Phelps would also] beat the kids with his fists and kick them and knee them in the stomach.

Fred Phelps would probably be an angry person without the Bible — but with the Bible as his guide, he can sanction the beating of his children by God himself. And instead of the Bible arguing against his cruelty, it appears to support it. And that’s disgusting.

Later in life Nate tried to go to church and believe. But when he started teaching his children about God, one day his son started crying because he didn’t want to go to hell. Old memories from his own childhood came back and he realized he was participating in religious/emotional child abuse.

He is now an atheist:

“I do declare myself an atheist now,” affirmed Nate, “although I’m willing to admit that there’s stuff in life that I’m not real clear on yet.”

All that 'hate' has to go somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Is screaming abuse at people who are different a way of expressing God's love?

Is someone confused?

Anonymous said...

A quick survey of a few of the damaging facts: the details of the severe and frequent abuse of the Phelps children by none other than the “prophet”, Freddy; the details of Fred Phelps’ disbarment by the Kansas Supreme Court AND the Federal Courts for repeated unethical conduct; or how about the successful civil suit filed against Phelps by a candy vendor who was owed more than $5,000 in unpaid product. The expose also asserts the Phelps children were made to sell the candy door-to-door until late into the evening and it bad weather. Phelps is reported to be a 5 point Calvinist.

Anonymous said...

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE
GAY - BASHERS ?

"Some former followers of Phelps say they saw him repeatedly slap his ten-month-old son during church services, when the infant began to cry.
Others say Phelps' idea of "marital counseling" was to recommend wife-beating.
"Brethren, they can lock us up, but we'll still do what the Bible tells us to do. Either our wives are going to obey, or we're going to beat them!"

In 1993, as Phelps' name became controversial in his home town, his estranged son, Mark Phelps, wrote a letter to his hometown newspaper, The Topeka Capital-Journal:

I believe in God and the Bible, and my father's behavior doesn't fit the description of behavior that would show in the life of one who loves God; behavior characteristics such as Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control. Instead, my father's behavior characterizes, I believe, Hate, Outbursts of Wrath, Contention, Jealousy, Vengefulness, Misery, Harshness, and Selfish ambition. He mis-states the truth about his own behavior, about others, about the Bible, with apparent ease and regularity. He behaves with a viciousness the likes of which I have never seen. He accepts no genuine accountability in his life and is subject to no one. His lifestyle betrays the sacred trust of what a pastor, husband, father and grandfather should be. I suppose if a comparison were made between the life of Jesus Christ and my father, there would not be much to compare"

Having spent much of his boyhood being beaten by his father, the 'reverend' Phelps, Mark has a right to speak his mind about what is wrong to make his father do such terrible things.

On a continuum of Fred Phelps at one end and Jesus Christ at the other, where do YOU fall?

Rob said...

Anonymous,

ROB: is there a difference between hating the sin and hating the sinner? What DOES the Baptist preacher say about that?

You will have to ask the Baptist preacher but this Linux laymen says this
about that often used phrase.

Hate the sin, but love the sinner.
—Popular evangelism technique not given in scripture

From Ken Collins

Bob Cleveland said...

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NAS)"

If God hated the sinner, for his sin, none of us would be saved.

Bill said...

Wade: I understand that moderating comments is an onerous task, but anonymous and off-topic comments are killing your blog.(forgive the irony of my off-topic comment) People are essentially using your comment stream as their blog.

Rob said...

Bob Cleveland,
We were not talking about God here!
Instead man

2. Please produce the Scripture that says that....Hate the sin, love the sinner.
Again my pastor specifically said that is no where found in Scripture.

Rob

Anonymous said...

so BILL,
What do YOU know about Islam?
Where did you get your facts?
Do you know any Islamic people?
What can be done about the 'end game' of radical Islam?
Can you determine the 'supporters' of Brigitte Gabriel and what their agendas are?
What do you think about a pre-emptive strike on Iran?
Are you a Dominionist?

What is the difference between 'radical Islam' and Islam?
What do fundamentalists in all religions have in common?
What is Brigitte Gabriel's training to be a 'uniquely qualified' speaker on the subject of radical Islam?
And finally, what is the reason the Heritage Foundation was formed, is there a connection between Dominionism and the Heritage Foundation, and why is Gabriel associated with the Heritage Foundation?

Chris said...

Rob,

If our character is to be conformed to that of God's, why would the way God approaches sin and sinners be different from the way that we should?

Bob Cleveland said...

Rob ... does this mean you think it is OK to hate what God loves?

Who is our model? Jesus ... God in the flesh?

Look at the woman at the well, or the woman caught in adultery, see how Jesus dealt with them, and tell me how we are to respond to folks like that.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rob,

Are we to limit "Love your neighbor as yourself" to those neighbors who do not sin? As we are all sinners, condemned by a human nature that even the Apostle Paul decried, is there, then, anyone on earth we can love?

Rob said...

Bob,
Why was Gods wrath to be satisfied on the Cross if he didnt hate sin?

Question for you...Did Jesus drink Coca-COLA? If jesus is our model then we could Logically say that we should should not drink Coca-Cola because Jesus did not drink Coca Cola.

My larger point is that Scripture simply does not command that point.
We can speculate on the fact that Jesus did not appear to "Hate" the women at the well...but are you saying you understand the heart of Christ!

BTW.....Did Jesus "Hate" the moneychangers at the temple...according to your definition He did.

This illustrates why "RED Letter Christianity" is misguided.
The whole counsel of God is what is needed.

Rob

Iam concerned about your understanding of Imputed Righteousness based on your statements concerning Jesus hating the sinner. You seem to be making the same arguements as NT Wright.
Please correct me if Iam wrong.

Anonymous said...

Dear BOB CLEVELAND,

You definitely get it, that Christ had a 'different' kind of message.
Some want to ignore it and adopt a god of 'hate' and they use the scriptures to back 'em up. But they don't quote the words of Christ much, because He doesn't serve their purposes.

Yes, you definitely understand what He taught. Thank you.
Reading your comment was like taking a breath of fresh air. L's

Anonymous said...

Dear ROB,

Yes, I think Bob Cleveland knows the heart of Jesus. I think he knows Jesus very well indeed. And we, who are privileged to read Bob's comments here, always come away feeling closer to Jesus.

Bob is going through medical treatments with great patience and with many prayers that we say and are having said on his behalf, and yet, Bob continues to serve the Lord in his church and help others to know how much Jesus means to him.
Bob definitely knows the heart of Lord Jesus. Most definitely. L's

Bob Cleveland said...

Rob,

You may hold any opinion of me or my observations that you want. I'm not on the Committee To Correct The Opinions Of Others; I'm just assigned to tell the truth.

I trust God to reveal the truth to anyone who seeks to conform to it.

Anonymous said...

NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE ?

"Hate the sin, but love the sinner.
—Popular evangelism technique not given in scripture" 'Rob'

Our Lord tells us to “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” and “Stop judging and you will not be judged.”
This does not mean we should not declare what is wrong. But rather that we should do so in charity, loving the sinner and hating the sin.

Christian charity towards another is a commandment of God. To violate God's law of charity towards others is a great sin.

Rob said...

I am sorry L,s.
You have repeatedly stated that you are a Roman Catholic...at this point is where the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants collide!

I dont think it is very loving to tell people that God "loves" them when they are immersed in their sin without the Atonement of Christ on their lives.
All men must give an account to God for their lives...I would hate for anyone to experience God wrath ..but they will if they dont "metanoea"(do an about face).

Here is a link to what John Piper said about God.s wrath concerning Gene Robinson

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1595_How_Barack_Obama_Will_Make_Christ_a_Minister_of_Condemnation/

Rob

Rob said...

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1595_How_Barack_Obama_Will_Make_Christ_a_Minister_of_Condemnation/

Rob said...

http://tinyurl.com/9hsc42

Rob said...

Bob Cleveland,
I notice you never answered the question where that was found in Scripture!

My original point is that it is not "our love" that wins a person to Christ but regenerative power of the Holy Spirit.

Another way to put is to say that must always love God and must always hate evil.

Havent you experienced the fact that homesexuals will never believe you actually love them until God does His work in their lives...just look at the Homosexual communities response to Rick Warren.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Hi ROB,

It's me, L's

Well, I do believe that God's love is greater than our weaknesses.
Or how could He save us?

It wasn't God's hate that brought Christ to Bethlehem to be born.

Rob, look at the old hymns of your church: the ones that were sung by your grandparents. They speak of a God of Infinite Compassion and Great Love for mankind.
As a child, I heard many of these hymns played and sung by my grandmother of blessed memory.
Maybe the old hymns aren't sung anymore, I don't know.
Maybe they are no longer considered 'biblical' by the new standards of the BF&M.
But they didn't preach a God of hate, Rob.
Not the hymns my dear Baptist grandmother loved.

I had no idea things had changed so much, Rob. L's

Anonymous said...

WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS,
CHRIST DIED FOR US . . .


In Romans 5:6-11, Paul speaks of this. He points out that Jesus came at just the right time.
We were powerless he says, God’s love was demonstrated to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Remember that Jesus said that it was not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.

Think about that phrase, While We Were Yet Sinners.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rob,

If you don't get that we are to love our neighbor, as a command to love people despite their sin, and if you don't get that God showed His LOVE for us in that, while were yet SINNERS, Christ died for us, then I guess I don't have anything else to say.

You have the freedom of will, here on earth, to hate whomever you want. It isn't me you'll have to answer to, anyway.

Nor I, you.

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage you to watch at least the short version of the Zimbardo's lectures, I posted earlier from Cindy's blog. Very powerful, eye opener and increases your awareness of good and evil.

Bad Apples or Bad Barrels? The Short and Long Versions of Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect

I am reposting the link, so you can get to it faster.
---------------------------------------------
In a couple of hours, Pastor Wade will soon post another new post. So in that light, I am posting couple of Off Topic links, that are interesting:

APOD: Bonestell Panorama from Mars

APOD: Saturn's Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters

APOD: Astronomy Picture of the Day
-------------------------------------------
Also, check this blog too.

Google Sightseeing: Why bother seeing the world for real?

If you subscribe to the feed of the above blog, you get to see interesting sites around the world, courtesy of Google Earth. The above site is not affiliated with Google.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother used to sing this, Rob. I hope it brings you some peace. Love, L's


"Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."

from 'Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing' :)

Only By His Grace said...

Bob and L,

You are so correct.

"But God commended his love toward us in that while we were YET sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8.

The parable of the Ninety and Nine seems to tell us that the One Lost Sheep was out in sin some where.

The second part of the Great Commandment is "love your neighbor as yourself."

The unbelieving stranger in the Land: Leviticus 19:34,
"But the stranger that dwells with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I Am the LORD your God."

Here is a good one for loving the sinner but hating the sin,
Romans 12:9,
"Let your love be without hypocrisy; abhor that which is evil; adhere to that which is good."

Put that with "love your enemies, do good unto them who despitefully use you," and the end result is love the sinner but hate the sin.

Now we must hear from the other side the words which command a Christian to hate anyone at anytime in the New Testament or to kill anyone at any time in the New Testament.

Remember. God tells us not to avenge ourselves, but vengeance belongs unto Him and Him alone. If the homosexual offends God, and I think any homosexual act does, as does any sexual act outside marriage, the person must be loved, the act condemned and the person left to the mercy and grace of God.

The old song may not be a quote from a "proof text" but it lies at the very heart of New Testament Christian testimony,

"They shall know us by our love."

Why is this even being argued? It is a no brainer.

Love in Christ,
Phil in Norman.

PS.

A couple weeks ago, one very poor little fifth grader said for all to hear about a vulgar fifth grader who came on the church van, "I hate him."

I asked her, "Why do you hate him, honey."

"Because he is so filthy mouthed! He uses the 'F' word and a bunch of other ones"

"But Mary, you are not allowed to hate anyone. Would it not be better for you to love him and hate his filthy words?"

And you are telling me that I should tell this darling newly baptized girl she should hate this lost boy whose Dad is in state prison?

I think not!

On this one I must agree with L's and Bob and Anonymous.

I do wish Anonymous would make up a name so we know we are talking to same the person each time he comments. Like "Anonymous Bob" or "Anonymous Sal" or something.

pr.

Bob Cleveland said...

John 14:21-23 features two very interesting things that bear on this, I believe.

In the first of two statements, Jesus said that people who have his commandments, and keep them, are the ones who love Him. But the second statement is that people who love Him obey His teachings.

Jesus does command us to do and not do certain things; keeping them evidences our obedience. But His teachings instruct us on how to live .. how we are to be, and that really runs to the heart of Christianity.

He certainly taught us whom it is we're to love.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought.
I heard recently that one-third of young people's suicides were committed by those who believed they were homosexual, knew this to be rejected by their churches, families, and friends, and didn't know where to turn.

If this is true, do we as a Christian people have a responsibility to show some compassion to these young people?

Maybe to listen, not to reject them personally, to try to understand what they are going through, and to try to get them some help: pastoral or psychological.

It's just that the depression and the willingness to die over the issue of a young person's perception of their sexual orientation:
that tells me they are in over their heads and need help.

What does a parent of such a young person do?
What is the difference between a young person with a different perceived 'orientation' who commits suicide
and one who is able to cope?

What makes the difference between life and death for some of these young people?

There must be an awful lot of pain for a teenager to kill himself because he believes himself to be gay.
I don't think that a young person would choose to suffer like that. There's something else.

We need to think a little more for the sake of those whose lives we may be able to save from suicide.
It might be our own child or grandchild we save someday.

Anonymous said...

STATS ON YOUTH SUICIDES

Ihe United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its "Report on the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide," which found that "A majority of suicide attempts by homosexuals occur during their youth, and gay youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people.

They may comprise up to 30 percent of (the estimated 5,000) completed youth suicides annually.

Anonymous said...

'Father,
forgive them,
for they know not
what they do.'

Rob said...

Bob Cleveland,
1.Let it be known that NOT once could you reference Scripture for.... Hate the sin not the sinner.

2.Please tell me where I said to hate anybody.

3.New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.


L,s
Are you saved.....if you are what are you saved from?

The wrath of God maybe

Rob

Anonymous said...

Dear Rob,

You asked if I was 'saved'.
I should like to be saved from being unkind. I should be very grateful for that, I think. L's

P.S. I don't believe in curses: when people call down God's wrath on others.
Seems such a waste to curse others.
It is not good to sow hatred, because one must reap the result.
Much better to bless, so
I return this to you:
that you live always in the shelter of the Most High God,
that you rest peacefully
by His stilled waters,
and that you fear no evil.

Rob said...

Phil in Norman,
Here is how I would have responded to your scenery in a manner I believe is more Biblical...

A couple weeks ago, one very poor little fifth grader said for all to hear about a vulgar fifth grader who came on the church van, "I hate him."

I asked her, "Why do you hate him, honey."

"Because he is so filthy mouthed! He uses the 'F' word and a bunch of other ones"

Well,Mary How about if we find why this boy is using that Foul language because Jesus tells us to keep a clean mouth(let no unclean thing proceed from....).
Maybe he doesnt love God like you and I.
Explain to the boy why filthy language is displeasing to the Lord. Present the Gospel to him or if he knows the Lord tell him that foul language is really not loving the Lord with all your heart ,soul and mind. Re-Explain to Mary
why she should love said boy.

All is well that ends well..Scripture was not butchered and children love God

Rob

Chris said...

Rob,

Bob and others have repeatedly offered scriptures to back the coloquialism "love the sinner, hate the sin." Nowhere is that a direct quote, but you were the one who said that "red letter Christianity is misguided." It the spirit of the saying can be derived from several places in scripture, then you have your answer.

I have to agree with Bob, L's, and Phil. We are each saved from the wrath of God, but it is because of God's love that He would even offer us salvation.

You ask where you said that God hates people: you said "I dont think it is very loving to tell people that God "loves" them when they are immersed in their sin without the Atonement of Christ on their lives." If you don't believe that God loves them as a person, then God is either indifferent to them as a person(a position you would be hard-pressed to back up scripturally) or God is hateful towards them as a person.

Consider your words. Or at least clarify them.

Rob said...

Hey L,s
You are taking my questions to a personal level that I dont intend.
My point in that Last question was to make you think about a thelogical question....What is mankind saved from?
people usually say from Hell...so the next question is who or what is sending you to Hell. Sin sends you you Hell and unless you have the atonement of Christ then Christ wrath will be exacted on that sin by a Holy Judge for eternity. That is the doctrine of the depravity of man

Rob said...

Chris,
Please quote me correctly
I asked where I said I hate anybody?

But God does hate righteously.

Does God hate anyone?

The universalists repeatedly say things like, "God loves us all so much that He will save us all"; or "He hates the sin, but loves the sinner"; or "God is love, and will not send anyone to hell."
Universalists teach that God is so full of love, that He simply cannot send anyone to eternal hell fire. It is against His infinite love. They want God to forgive all, even those who openly reject Him and die cursing God.
I must admit, it is nice to think of God's love being so infinitely great that all will ultimately be saved. Hell is a terrible place and I don't want anyone to go there. But it does not matter what I think. It matters what the Bible says.
God is love (1 John 4:8), but God also punishes the sinner and hates all who do iniquity. God is not one sided. He is not simply an infinitely loving God. He is also infinitely just. He must deal with sin. He must punish the sinner.
In the truth of God's word, we find that the Lord has provided one way by which we may be saved. That single way is through Jesus' sacrifice. For all who trust in Him, salvation will come. But to those who turn away, God's wrath abides upon them: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him," (John 3:36).

Does God hate anyone?

Does God hate anyone? The answer is yes.

Psalm 5:5, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,"

Psalm 11:5, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates."

Lev. 20:23, "Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them."

Prov. 6:16-19, "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."

Hosea 9:15, "All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels."

Are these verses hard to read? Do they make you feel uncomfortable? They should. God hates sin. But, He does not punish sin. He punishes the sinner. Sin cannot be tied up and thrown into a fire. It cannot be put in a box or glued to a stick. It is rebellion. It is rebellion in the heart. It is breaking God's Law. Sin occurs inside the heart and mind of people. Therefore, God must punish the sinner. Why? Because He is both Holy and Just and the person who sins offends God. God's Holy and Just character will not allow Him to ignore this offense. Why?....

God's Law is Perfect

When God said, "Let there be light," it happened. When He commanded that the oceans be, they came into existence. God's word is powerful. What He says is never futile, empty, or without power.
The Law is a reflection of God's character. It is pure and perfect. It is powerful. The Ten Commandments reflect God's holiness and justice. These commandments are not without punishments. A law without consequences is only an empty slogan.
To sin is to break God's Law and offend His character. To sin means to challenge His character and authority. It means you go against His word. But God is not a liar. His word is true. He has said He will punish the lawbreaker.
But, praise be to God, that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us (Rom. 5:6). There is no way we can appease God. That is why God became one of us (John 1:1,14; Heb. 2:17), to take our place and become sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, people have two options:

Trust Jesus, God in flesh, as your savior and put your faith in the sacrifice that He made on the cross and in nothing you do.

Reject the cross and let the penalty of the Law fall upon you.

Either God pays, or you do -- forever. Which will it be?

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," (Heb. 10:26). If there is no sacrifice available for you, then God's wrath abides upon you because He hates sin and your sin is not removed (John 3:36). Trust Jesus alone or the wrath of God will abide upon you forever.

Conclusion

The sobering fact is that God is so holy and righteous that He hates the sinner (Psalm 5:5; Lev. 20:23; Prov. 6:16-19; Hos. 9:15). Some say that we should say that God only hates the sin but loves the sinner. But, the above scriptures speak contrary to that. But it is also true that He is love (1 John 4:8). It is better to accept the love of God found in Jesus than to reject it and suffer His wrath.

From this website
http://www.carm.org/uni/Godhates.htm

Chris said...

In each of the verses you gave, Rob, it was because of the action that the wrath of God fell. God did not hate anyone prior to the action, therefore God's hatred cannot be seperated from the action. God hates the action, but must punish the actor (like you said, the action can't be thrown in the fire).

Yet God is not perfectly just in the way you describe it: if He were then He would never have died on a cross. Justice of your kind demands that one gets what they deserve and the wages of sin are death. He who works inequity receives death. Were God perfectly just as you describe Him, then God would have left us to our devices.

The justice of God is grace: He forgives because "they know not what they do." For those who know what they do and persist, there He is gracious enough to give to them what they desired (in life they desired to rebel, so in death they will be forever seperated). That is the message of Hebrews 10:26.

I am no universalist. And I doubt that Bob or L's are either. I firmly believe in the reality of two destinations and that Heaven can only be seen by those who have been covered by the blood of Christ. For those who reject this sacrifice, there is torment. And from this torment it is our duty to spare them.

Yet which fulfills this duty better: saying God hates you and you will rot in Hell unless you repent, or praying "God, cast me from Heaven that their eyes would open and there would be room for them." The later is the one Paul takes towards his Jewish brethern. Which of those approaches will convey to others how serious this subject is, how valuable they are to God, and how valuable they are to us simply because they are God's creations? It has been my experience that when you live by the power of that prayer, not a word needs spoken and they will thank you for your witness to Christ that prompted them to seek salvation. Of course, there are times for words, too.

Rob said...

Chris,
Are you a Southern Baptist?

Anonymous said...

Do you speak of the results of 'ancestral sin' when you speak of the doctrine of the 'depravity' of man?

Christians are all over the place concerning the effects of the Fall, and discussions of the
'fall-out' of the First Sin on the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve provide quite a choice of 'where to land'.
I have detected that five-point Calvinism seems to have one extreme.
My own faith does recognize the effects of the fall as being a weakening of our natures, but not a TOTAL destruction of our abilities to understand right from wrong, to seek out the will of God, or make choices.

I think even within the Southern Baptist faith, depending on whether or not a believer is a Calvinist, there are different viewpoints on the effects of ancestral sin.
I may be wrong. L's

ezekiel said...

Jdg 2:19 But when the judge was dead, they turned back and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, following and serving other gods, and bowing down to them. They did not cease from their practices or their stubborn way.
Jdg 2:20 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; and He said, Because this people have transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and have not listened to My voice,
Jdg 2:21 I from now on will also not drive out from before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,
Jdg 2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk in it, as their fathers kept it, or not.
Jdg 2:23 So the Lord left those nations, without driving them out at once, nor had He delivered them into Joshua's power.

Jdg 3:1 NOW THESE are the nations which the Lord left to prove Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not previously experienced war in Canaan;
Jdg 3:2 It was only that the generations of the Israelites might know and be taught war, at least those who previously knew nothing of it.
Jdg 3:3 The remaining nations are: the five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt on Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath.
Jdg 3:4 They were for the testing and proving of Israel to know whether Israel would listen and obey the commandments of the Lord, which He commanded their fathers by Moses.

While some folks teach tolerance and suggest that Islam worships the same God we do it may be good to consider history, the example that was recorded for us so that we don't make the same mistakes Israel did.

They are still tested today. The Jebusites are alive and still pricking them.

The fact is that Islam denies The Christ and claims He was just another prophet. So they don't serve the same God and they aren't going the same place Christians are going because they can't find the Gate.

Mat 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.
Mat 7:14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.]
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. [Ezek. 22:27.]
Mat 7:16 You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

One needs to take another look at the fruit....of Islam....9/11, mogadishu, on and on. Fighting against that is not sin....

Only By His Grace said...

Rob,

Mary is real little girl we drive ten miles to pick up every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night; Mark (not his name) is a real fifth grader we drive sixteen miles to pick up (that is the distance his trailer is from our church or sixty-four miles for each service or 192 miles each week for three services).

Mary was saved this summer and Mark (not his name) has never made a profession and neither have his two brothers.

Try explaining all you just said to Mary while you have thirteen screaming, writhing children behind you on your way to church.

This was not a created scenario; it took place less than three weeks ago. Almost the same scenario took place a couple months earlier with Whitney who was speaking of a sixth grader walking down the street. Children speak in hyperbole, but with adults it is hardly ever hyperbole.

The point is that if the logic of what has been said by most to Anonymous were carried out, I would stand before the hundred and seventy-five people on Sunday morning saying, "I know some of you are adulterers living with people to whom you are unmarried and you others have lust in your heart; I know some of you for a fact are drunks because I have smelled the booze on your breath over at AA; I know some of you are haters and gossipers. I want you to know that God not only hates your filthy sins, but He hates you filthy people, too."

Get real. That is not what Jesus or the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about.

The first words out of my mouth on Sunday morning many times is,

"Good morning. One thing I want you know, God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life and that plan is all wrapped up in a person called Jesus Christ. There is not one person in this auditorium whom God does not love and that means you."

It is a no brainer.

Phil in Norman.

Chris said...

Rob,

I am a Southern Baptist.

Anonymous said...

For ROB,


"What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on."

Rob said...

Anonymous

SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD
by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Enfield, Connecticut
July 8, 1741

--Their foot shall slide in due time--
Deut. xxxii. 35

In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God's visible people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, notwithstanding all God's wonderful works towards them, remained (as ver. 28.) void of counsel, having no understanding in them. Under all the cultivations of heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text. The expression I have chosen for my text, Their foot shall slide in due time, seems to imply the following doings, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed.

That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding. The same is expressed, Psalm 73:18. "Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction."

It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning: Which is also expressed in Psalm 73:18, 19. "Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!"

Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.

That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God's appointed time is not come. For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide. Then they shall be left to fall, as they are inclined by their own weight. God will not hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction; as he that stands on such slippery declining ground, on the edge of a pit, he cannot stand alone, when he is let go he immediately falls and is lost.

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God's mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men's hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.-He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell. What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?

They deserve to be cast into hell; so that divine justice never stands in the way, it makes no objection against God's using his power at any moment to destroy them. Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?" Luke xiii. 7. The sword of divine justice is every moment brandished over their heads, and it is nothing but the hand of arbitrary mercy, and God's mere will, that holds it back.

They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell. They do not only justly deserve to be cast down thither, but the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and immutable rule of righteousness that God has fixed between him and mankind, is gone out against them, and stands against them; so that they are bound over already to hell. John iii. 18. "He that believeth not is condemned already." So that every unconverted man properly belongs to hell; that is his place; from thence he is, John viii. 23. "Ye are from beneath." And thither be is bound; it is the place that justice, and God's word, and the sentence of his unchangeable law assign to him.

They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.

So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them.

The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke xi. 12. The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.

There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God's restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do in them. The souls of the wicked are in scripture compared to the troubled sea, Isa. lvii. 20. For the present, God restrains their wickedness by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of the troubled sea, saying, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;" but if God should withdraw that restraining power, it would soon carry all before it. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the heart of man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and while wicked men live here, it is like fire pent up by God's restraints, whereas if it were let loose, it would set on fire the course of nature; and as the heart is now a sink of sin, so if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone.

It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. It is no security to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he does not see which way he should now immediately go out of the world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger in any respect in his circumstances. The manifold and continual experience of the world in all ages, shows this is no evidence, that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, and that the next step will not be into another world. The unseen, unthought-of ways and means of persons going suddenly out of the world are innumerable and inconceivable. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, at any moment. All the means that there are of sinners going out of the world, are so in God's hands, and so universally and absolutely subject to his power and determination, that it does not depend at all the less on the mere will of God, whether sinners shall at any moment go to hell, than if means were never made use of, or at all concerned in the case.

Natural men's prudence and care to preserve their own lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure them a moment. To this, divine providence and universal experience do also bear testimony. There is this clear evidence that men's own wisdom is no security to them from death; that if it were otherwise we should see some difference between the wise and politic men of the world, and others, with regard to their liableness to early and unexpected death: but how is it in fact? Eccles. ii. 16. "How dieth the wise man? even as the fool."

All wicked men's pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.

But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The greater part of those who heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as those who are now alive: it was not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. If we could speak with them, and inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they used to hear about hell ever to be the subjects of that misery: we doubtless, should hear one and another reply, "No, I never intended to come here: I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself: I thought my scheme good. I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief: Death outwitted me: God's wrath was too quick for me. Oh, my cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then suddenly destruction came upon me.

God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell one moment. God certainly has made no promises either of eternal life, or of any deliverance or preservation from eternal death, but what are contained in the covenant of grace, the promises that are given in Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant.

So that, whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men's earnest seeking and knocking, it is plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction.

So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold them up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out: and they have no interest in any Mediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them. In short, they have no refuge, nothing to take hold of, all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God.

APPLICATION

The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ.-That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of, there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his band, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's enemies. God's creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.

The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God's vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.

The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you, see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, were nothing but thin air and empty shadows.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. And consider here more particularly,

Whose wrath it is: it is the wrath of the infinite God. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of absolute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their subjects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their mere will. Prov. xx. 2. "The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: Whoso provoketh him to anger, sinneth against his own soul." The subject that very much enrages an arbitrary prince, is liable to suffer the most extreme torments that human art can invent, or human power can inflict. But the greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength, and when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator and King of heaven and earth. It is but little that they can do, when most enraged, and when they have exerted the utmost of their fury. All the kings of the earth, before God, are as grasshoppers; they are nothing, and less than nothing: both their love and their hatred is to be despised. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater. Luke xii. 4, 5. "And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that, have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

It is the fierceness of his wrath that you are exposed to. We often read of the fury of God; as in Isaiah lix. 18. "According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries." So Isaiah lxvi. 15. "For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." And in many other places. So, Rev. xix. 15, we read of "the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." The words are exceeding terrible. If it had only been said, "the wrath of God," the words would have implied that which is infinitely dreadful: but it is "the fierceness and wrath of God." The fury of God! the fierceness of Jehovah! Oh, how dreadful must that be! Who can utter or conceive what such expressions carry in them! But it is also "the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." As though there would be a very great manifestation of his almighty power in what the fierceness of his wrath should inflict, as though omnipotence should be as it were enraged, and exerted, as men are wont to exert their strength in the fierceness of their wrath. Oh! then, what will be the consequence! What will become of the poor worms that shall suffer it! Whose hands can be strong? And whose heart can endure? To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth of misery must the poor creature be sunk who shall be the subject of this!

Consider this, you that are here present, that yet remain in an unregenerate state. That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that he will inflict wrath without any pity. When God beholds the ineffable extremity of your case, and sees your torment to be so vastly disproportioned to your strength, and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks down, as it were, into an infinite gloom; he will have no compassion upon you, he will not forbear the executions of his wrath, or in the least lighten his hand; there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor will God then at all stay his rough wind; he will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense, than only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires. Nothing shall be withheld, because it is so hard for you to bear. Ezek. viii. 18. "Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them." Now God stands ready to pity you; this is a day of mercy; you may cry now with some encouragement of obtaining mercy. But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. God will have no other use to put you to, but to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel, but to be filled full of wrath. God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that it is said he will only "laugh and mock," Prov. i. 25, 26, &c.

How awful are those words, Isa. lxiii. 3, which are the words of the great God. "I will tread them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment." It is perhaps impossible to conceive of words that carry in them greater manifestations of these three things, vis. contempt, and hatred, and fierceness of indignation. If you cry to God to pity you, he will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case, or showing you the least regard or favour, that instead of that, he will only tread you under foot. And though he will know that you cannot bear the weight of omnipotence treading upon you, yet he will not regard that, but he will crush you under his feet without mercy; he will crush out your blood, and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his raiment. He will not only hate you, but he will have you, in the utmost contempt: no place shall be thought fit for you, but under his feet to be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that he might show what that wrath of Jehovah is. God hath had it on his heart to show to angels and men, both how excellent his love is, and also how terrible his wrath is. Sometimes earthly kings have a mind to show how terrible their wrath is, by the extreme punishments they would execute on those that would provoke them. Nebuchadnezzar, that mighty and haughty monarch of the Chaldean empire, was willing to show his wrath when enraged with Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego; and accordingly gave orders that the burning fiery furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was before; doubtless, it was raised to the utmost degree of fierceness that human art could raise it. But the great God is also willing to show his wrath, and magnify his awful majesty and mighty power in the extreme sufferings of his enemies. Rom. ix. 22. "What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endure with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?" And seeing this is his design, and what he has determined, even to show how terrible the unrestrained wrath, the fury and fierceness of Jehovah is, he will do it to effect. There will be something accomplished and brought to pass that will be dreadful with a witness. When the great and angry God hath risen up and executed his awful vengeance on the poor sinner, and the wretch is actually suffering the infinite weight and power of his indignation, then will God call upon the whole universe to behold that awful majesty and mighty power that is to be seen in it. Isa. xxxiii. 12-14. "And the people shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall they be burnt in the fire. Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites," &c.

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might, and majesty, and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you, in the ineffable strength of your torments. You shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and when you shall be in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty. Isa. lxvi. 23, 24. "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For "who knows the power of God's anger?"

How dreadful is the state of those that are daily and hourly in the danger of this great wrath and infinite misery! But this is the dismal case of every soul in this congregation that has not been born again, however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may otherwise be. Oh that you would consider it, whether you be young or old! There is reason to think, that there are many in this congregation now hearing this discourse, that will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. It may be they are now at ease, and hear all these things without much disturbance, and are now flattering themselves that they are not the persons, promising themselves that they shall escape. If we knew that there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation, that was to be the subject of this misery, what an awful thing would it be to think of! If we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a person! How might all the rest of the congregation lift up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! But, alas! instead of one, how many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell? And it would be a wonder, if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time, even before this year is out. And it would be no wonder if some persons, that now sit here, in some seats of this meeting-house, in health, quiet and secure, should be there before to-morrow morning. Those of you that finally continue in a natural condition, that shall keep out of hell longest will be there in a little time! your damnation does not slumber; it will come swiftly, and, in all probability, very suddenly upon many of you. You have reason to wonder that you are not already in hell. It is doubtless the case of some whom you have seen and known, that never deserved hell more than you, and that heretofore appeared as likely to have been now alive as you. Their case is past all hope; they are crying in extreme misery and perfect despair; but here you are in the land of the living and in the house of God, and have an opportunity to obtain salvation. What would not those poor damned hopeless souls give for one day's opportunity such as you now enjoy!

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. How awful is it to be left behind at such a day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit! How can you rest one moment in such a condition? Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ?

Are there not many here who have lived long in the world, and are not to this day born again? and so are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and have done nothing ever since they have lived, but treasure up wrath against the day of wrath? Oh, sirs, your case, in an especial manner, is extremely dangerous. Your guilt and hardness of heart is extremely great. Do you not see how generally persons of your years are passed over and left, in the present remarkable and wonderful dispensation of God's mercy? You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. You cannot bear the fierceness and wrath of the infinite God.-And you, young men, and young women, will you neglect this precious season which you now enjoy, when so many others of your age are renouncing all youthful vanities, and flocking to Christ? You especially have now an extraordinary opportunity; but if you neglect it, it will soon be with you as with those persons who spent all the precious days of youth in sin, and are now come to such a dreadful pass in blindness and hardness. And you, children, who are unconverted, do not you know that you are going down to hell, to bear the dreadful wrath of that God, who is now angry with you every day and every night? Will you be content to be the children of the devil, when so many other children in the land are converted, and are become the holy and happy children of the King of kings?

And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the pit of hell, whether they be old men and women, or middle aged, or young people, or little children, now harken to the loud calls of God's word and providence. This acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favours to some, will doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others. Men's hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a day as this, if they neglect their souls; and never was there so great danger of such persons being given up to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles' days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If this should be the case with you, you will eternally curse this day, and will curse the day that ever you was born, to see such a season of the pouring out of God's Spirit, and will wish that you had died and gone to hell before you had seen it. Now undoubtedly it is, as it was in the days of John the Baptist, the axe is in an extraordinary manner laid at the root of the trees, that every tree which brings not forth good fruit, may be hewn down and cast into the fire.

Therefore, let every one that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation: Let every one fly out of Sodom: "Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed."

Chris said...

Rob,

How easily we forget that a sermon such as that is so out of character for Edwards.

It is very tragic that a man would be remembered for a sermon that he rarely preached, and that sermon would be held up as the shining example, even the center, of Edwards' theology. That sermon may have had the people crying in the isles, but that was not the steady diet Edwards fed his flock.

Anonymous said...

We had to read 'Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God' by Edwards in college, as a part of a course on American Literature.

The class was amused by the strident words. Some made fun of it, when they read portions aloud as an intro to class discussion.

It was received as an example of the writings of the time, but the religious aspects of it were treated like a joke by some.
There was no one to speak for it as it did not represent the religions of any present in the class as far as we knew.

Rob said...

Chris,
I think John Piper would disagree with you.
He has based most of his teachings on Johnathan Edwards.
So would R.C.Sproul.. I heard him say so myself at Ligonier.

No Matter ....500 people were converted due to that sermon. O to wish that many people were converted from one message today

Rob

Anonymous said...

"Only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith; Add virtue, patience, temperance;
add love,
By name to come called Charity, the soul Of all the rest:
then wilt thou not be loth
To leave this Paradise,
but shall possess
A Paradise within thee,
happier far."

John Milton, "Paradise Lost"

Anonymous said...

To know all the little boys and girls (theologically speaking) were laughing at Edwards famous sermon speaks volumns about the state of our future (theologically speaking).

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Oh, give us a break slm1! the only thing it says to us is that our fingers got tired scrolling down to skip having to read it all...a simple mention of the title is enough...like any of us have never read it.

Anonymous said...

This comment is what I was referring to:

"The class was amused by the strident words. Some made fun of it, when they read portions aloud as an intro to class discussion.

It was received as an example of the writings of the time, but the religious aspects of it were treated like a joke by some."

The cavalier attitude toward one of the greatest sermons of all time by a bunch of young, punk, mega church pastor, work one day a week, play golf 3 times a week wannabe's is what I was referring to.

What you are talking about anonymouse, I have no idea.

But I will give you a break. Shall it be your nose or your spirit?

Please ignore me and keep your comments between you and Rob.

Thanks.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

hehe - oops. I spelled anonymous wrong.

But I like it better that way.

Anonymous said...

SLIM,

I am not that 'mouse'

I am however the MOUSE that roared about the reception in a college lit class concerning 'Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God.'

The story is true.
It was studied as an example of early American literature and the content truly had students surprised by the tone.

The school was Old Dominion University in Virginia and the time of the incident was LONG AGO.

All those students would be in their fifties or older by now.
And maybe the professor is 'In The Hands Of An Angry God.' Hope not, as he was not responsible for the comments of several students.

A memorable lesson.

Anonymous said...

A shame indeed, regardless of the era.

Thanks for the clarity.

Lin said...

Wow, if you get a chance watch the video linked to in this post of her speaking. Powerful.