Sunday, July 19, 2015

Nothing new under the sun.

Then all the liberals of America gathered themselves together, and came to the president, and the courts, and the legislature. And said unto them, Behold, our system is old, and our sons walk not in our ways: now make us a socialist healthcare plan like all the nations. But the thing displeased the ones who understood history and economics, when they said, Give us a socialist healthcare plan. And they said, This will be the manner of the socialist healthcare plan: It will take your sons, and administer sex changes without parental consent. And it will take your daughters and perform abortions on them, and sell the body parts of your murdered grandchildren. And it will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to the bureaucrats. And it will take half of your seed, and of your vineyards, to pay for the healthcare of the lazy and the reprobate. And it will force you to pay for contraceptives and abortions and sex changes for your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men. And it will create death panels to decide whether thy father’s father is worth saving, and whether thy mother’s mother still adds value to society. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your socialist healthcare plan which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of reason; and they said, Nay; but we will have a socialist healthcare plan over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our socialist healthcare plan may pay for all our procedures, and we may be seen as progressive and hip. And the LORD hearkened unto their voice, and gave them over to the socialist healthcare plan.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In defense of using gospel tracts.

As God has chosen to use the written word as the primary means of revealing to us not only himself, but the sum of all truth in the Holy Writ, we can hardly overemphasize the importance of communication in this manner. Christianity has always spread furthest and widest among people groups who could generally read and write as a populace. Nor has it only been through inspired scriptures that people have been informed of God’s truth, but from the careful record keeping of the kings of Israel, to the copious volumes written by the Jews concerning their history, laws, and traditions, to the overwhelming amount of doctrine written by the early church fathers, to the reformers and puritans who were famous for their detailed writings on the effect of scripture on every aspect of life, the written word has helped God’s people in all ages not only in their own day but as a way of preserving orthodox truth from generation to generation.
It is also helpful to recognize that a work does not have to be lengthy and comprehensive in order to be impactful and serve the purpose for which it was written. The Apostles’ Creed is a very short statement, yet it has been the standard of Trinitarian Christianity for millennia. Some of the letters that were written as inspired epistles were only a couple of paragraphs long. Paul’s statement to the Philippian jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Is a poignant message that needed later teaching in order to be brought to fruition, but was the proverbial “foot in the door” that God used to begin the process of salvation to that jailer and his household.
These truths being recognized, it then follows that there is a real and helpful place for gospel truths that can be communicated through the written word. Nor does every piece of literature have to be fully comprehensive of every gospel truth, but some may present the truths of God’s law condemning sinful man, others may more fully explain the propitiation of Christ through his perfect life, death and resurrection, still others may exhort and teach particular ways in which those who have believed are to live and think and act.
As Satan used even the very words of God in an evil way in his temptation of Christ, so we must recognize that the depraved human heart will find a way to twist every good thing for his own devises and we are not exempt from some of those temptations. When we use such good pieces of truthful literature as have been afore mentioned in order to check off a legalistic checklist, as a means to hide our identity as Christians by only anonymously leaving them places for people to later find, or for other sinful reasons, God may and will use the dissemination of truth for his glory and purposes (Phil. 1:15-18), but we will be judged for our sinful motives. Some lawful uses for such tracts might be to leave somewhere in a public place for someone to later find with whom you would never otherwise have the chance to share truth, to hand to someone with whom you do not have time to engage in lengthy conversation (grocery store cashier, delivery man, etc.), to give to someone who has asked you a specific question that you believe is better explained in the pamphlet than you could explain yourself, etc.
Whether such tracts must be simply black and white booklets, or may be designed to draw the eye to them seems to me an obvious answer. So long as we are not using ungodly means in an attempt to justify a “godly” end, I suppose we ought to be more creative, purposeful, and bold than we already are in drawing in the lost world’s attention that we might tell them of Christ and pray that the Spirit would give entrance of the light into their hearts! I suppose that there are many in today’s Christians circles who would condemn Paul for using an alter to an unknown God to capture the Athenians attention only to tell them of Christ. But I believe we ought to all be more like Paul, using every means that is afforded us to share the glorious truths of the gospel, understanding that it is only by the word that faith comes!