Anxiety is counterproductive…

broken-eggsSpurgeon put it this way…

Have you not found out yet—I have,—that the very anxiety, which arises through your being in a difficulty, unfits you to meet that difficulty?

You are like the servant with the basket of eggs on her head, who shakes her head because she is afraid her eggs will fall, and makes them fall by the very process of her trembling.

A prayer for Christians around the world (especially those in Iraq)…

Psa. 79:   A Psalm of Asaph.

1 O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance;
They have defiled Your holy temple;
They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the dead bodies of Your servants for food to the birds of the heavens,
The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem;
And there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and derision to those around us.
5 How long, O LORD? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You,
And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob
And laid waste his habitation.
8 Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us;
Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us,
For we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let there be known among the nations in our sight,
Vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed.
11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are doomed to die.
12 And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom
The reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.
13 So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture
Will give thanks to You forever;
To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

Another day of witness and an invitation…

I have very little doubt that my brothers in the Presbyterian Church in America would state privately that abortion is a modern genocide. Yet when it comes to prophetic ministry to state that truth publicly, there is more silence than talk. Will our Lord judge us well for such inconsistency?

Along with a number of people from Trinity, I drive for over thirty minutes to stand at the gates of hell, telling the residents of Greenville that children are being murdered within her gates, that she has a death-camp in her midst. I do so one day of the six days a week the abortuary is open. I invite my brothers and pastors from the PCA to put some flesh on those theological bones by practicing true religion outside the Greenville Women’s Clinic.

A map showing PCA churches near the place in Greenville where babies are murdered.

A map showing PCA churches near the place in Greenville where babies are murdered.

Would you consider being there one of those six days? Will you join us?

Let the contemplations of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (as told by Eric Metaxas) inspire you…

The Scriptures said that faith without works is dead, that faith “is the evidence of things not seen.” Bonhoeffer knew that one could see some things only with the eyes of faith, but they were no less real and true than the things one saw with one’s physical eyes. But the eyes of faith had a moral component. To see that it was against God’s will to persecute Jews, one must choose to open one’s eyes. And then one would face another uncomfortable choice: whether to act as God required.

Bonhoeffer strove to see what God wanted to show and then to do what God asked in response. That was the obedient Christian life, the call of the disciple. And it came with a cost, which explained why so many were afraid to open their eyes in the first place. It was the antithesis of the “cheap grace” that required nothing more than an easy mental assent, which he wrote about in Discipleship (Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, 278-279).

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Sleep peacefully, Christian…

Civilian airliners disappear from radar not to be found or shot from the sky by missiles. Ebola virus spreads to such an extent that it looks like it will be coming across the Atlantic soon. Violent gang members cross the border into the United States. Terrorists strategize to bring biological or chemical attacks to an American city. H1N1. Drought. Floods. Mad Cow Disease. Parents divorce. Chikungunya. Hurricanes. Coffee gives you cancer (this week).

…and don’t you worry a bit, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. God knows, and He is still sovereign. His throne is still in heaven. Hamas rages, Israel rages back, and God laughs. The deadly pestilence touches only the body; the soul is the Lord’s.

All of the things I’ve listed up above (with the help of the alarmists at Drudge and CNN) aren’t worth an ounce of worry. We needn’t fear, even as the reports come in that Ebola has made it to Atlanta, and Greenville, and Spartanburg, and…our neighbor’s house. Our souls are safe if in Christ. Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Will missiles, or viruses, or the deaths of children to viruses, or murder, or terrorist attacks, or vomiting, or wildfires, or pagan parents, or gluten, or butter, or cancer, or bacteria?

Nope.

Don’t panic.

Share your fearlessness-faith (Heb. 10:39).

Welcome poverty and persecution and hunger and friendlessness and suffering (Luke 6:20-26).

Sleep peacefully, Christian (Psalm 127:2).

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by (Psalm 57:1).

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).

 

Remembering sin…

Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? “But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” — He said to the paralytic — “I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home” (Luke 17:20-24).

Sin is the main problem in the world, right? At least we know that to be the thing Christians are supposed to say. Sin is the reason we need salvation by the Son of God. We know that truth in our heads but have we gotten confused about it? Do we really believe it?

Our physical bodies often dominate our thoughts and determine our actions. We are well studied when it comes to knowing our diets and our treatments and our doctors and our aches and pains but virtually ignorant when it comes to knowing our spiritual health. Think about the focus of our prayers. 75% of the requests you and I bring to prayer meetings is for physical healing and relief. Yes, Jesus cares about our bodies (as we see in these miracles). Yes, diseases and afflictions are the result of sin so to talk of one is to talk of the other. But we make a serious and fatal mistake if we think our worst problems are those that afflict our bodies. Continue reading

Do Roman Catholics pray to Mary?

The answer is “yes” but don’t ask a Roman Catholic. On numerous occasions I’ve been told by Roman Catholics that they do not pray to Mary. They explain their use of the Ave Maria and other prayers as requests for Mary to pray for them, not as prayers to Mary. So, what’s the deal?

Generally, I find that the average Roman Catholic (and your average Evangelical Protestant, to be fair) does not know the Bible or the particular teachings of his church. The Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church confirms my suspicion; the official teaching of the RCC is not confused about the question of whether her people pray to Mary… Continue reading

Abortion stats in SC…

I just now received the following stats in my email (from sclife.org). The Greenville Women’s Clinic (where Trinity Child Rescue witnesses) is not the only organization in the Upstate performing abortions (see also, Greenville Memorial Hospital and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center). You may find yourself wanting to cut these other facilities some slack because their numbers are so much lower than the others…but you shouldn’t. Each of these abortions was a loss of life, and though the physicians may argue that the life of the mother was in jeopardy, I don’t buy it.

C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Sergeon-General, said:

“Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will either induce labor or perform a Caesarian section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”

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SCOTUS ruling on abortion protest restrictions…

From the Times

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests near abortion clinics.

The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics.

Good.

Statism, narcissism, transgenderism, and ageism…

Postman, writing in 1999, reflects back on the twentieth century (his book is a treatise on looking to the past to improve the future):

“Is it not obvious that our century has been an almost unrelieved horror? Who would have thought, in 1900—the year, by the way, of Nietzsche’s death and the publication of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams—that the twentieth century would feature continuous mass murder, far exceeding anything humanity had witnessed in the previous two millennia? Who would have thought that the three great transcendent narratives of this century would be fascism, nazism, and communism? Who would have thought weapons would be invented that, in a flash, could end all human life? Who would have thought that the theme of this century would be ‘Technology Über Alles’? I am sorry to say it, but I don’t think we will get much help from our own century. As you can tell, I speak as an enemy of this century. But even if you are not, you must admit it is hard to be its friend” (Postman, Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future, 14).

We’re merely fourteen years into the twenty-first century, but it appears the great narratives of this century may not turn out any less hellish than last century’s: statism, narcissism, transgenderism, and ageism.

Unless God in His mercy grants reformation and repentance…