28 September 2008

My Week in Review

Today my soul feasted on the Word. My work schedule has finally changed so that I may attend Sunday services. I have the blessing of being part of a church whose sermons are available online. I have enjoyed the sermons and yet, being part of a corporate worship service is somehow more edifying and, I suspect, more glorifying to our God since He has instructed us to worship corporately.

I used to think that I could be a 'Lone Ranger' type of Christian. That sinful thought was born of equal parts ignorance and arrogance. Now I think that just as there is no salvation outside of conversion, there is no place for ignorance and arrogance in a believer's life. We cannot know everything but we can know something new, wonderful and true about our God every day.

The week has been fraught with turmoil. I can opine at length about the situation our economy is in. I can say without equivocation that I think Paulson should resign or be removed from his position of Treasury Secretary. He obviously knows less about our Constitution and government than I do which is evidenced by his suggestion that he be the sole person in charge of bailout funds and their distribution. It's bad enough that we are considering socialist solutions but to place that much power in one man's hands is clearly not what our founders had in mind when they developed our governmental system. I find listening to the analysis of how we got here interesting. So far I have heard one person mention greed and he was blaming the other guys.

As I was considering various scenarios for the future it occurred to me that it wouldn't be such a bad thing if our economy collapsed. Sure, lots of people, including me, would lose some hard earned money. My retirement portfolio already looks bleak and we haven't collapsed yet. I can't help but wonder if surviving the Great Depression didn't play a part in making the Great Generation, great. We all learn best and grow the most from the painful experiences in our lives. Would an economic crisis teach us to be like my mother's generation? Would I delay gratification? Save more and spend less? Would I be more likely to place myself proned out before the God of the universe if I had less confidence in my own ability to make ends meet?

My last thoughts before signing off have to do with some startling reading and a YouTube video that shocked me. I am reading, for reasons I won't go into here, a book written by an apostate 'expert' on Christianity. What startles me is not that a man (or woman) is capable of renouncing his (or her) faith. I am taken aback at realizing the tripe and heresy this particular author promotes from a scholarly perspective is the same tripe that our neighbors in the church pew believe and our 'pastors' promulgate from their pulpits. There is indeed nothing new under the sun. Heresies and errant theologies have abounded since man first decided he should be like God.

The video I watched on YouTube was the work of a particular heretic. I watched as he, under the guise of obeying God, kicked a man with metastatic colon cancer in the stomach. Presumably he did this to heal the man. I was sickened and angry. Yet, as I thought about it more and more I realized that not standing up for the truth when things are just a little bit wrong is equally devastating to the souls of those who hear a mostly correct gospel as it is for those who are kicked in the guts with a blatantly false gospel. In fact the slightly tainted gospel is more deadly because most people will ignore the small inconsistencies but will cry foul when the abuse is more readily apparent.

I leave you with this from J.C. Ryle:

And faith, simple faith, is the only thing required, in order that you and I may be forgiven. That we will come by faith to Jesus as sinners with our sins, --trust in Him,-- lean on Him, -- confide in Him, -- commit our souls to Him, --and forsaking all other hope, cleave only to Him, -- this is all and everything that God asks for. Let a man only do this, and he shall be saved. His iniquities shall be found completely pardoned, and his transgressions entirely taken away. Every man and woman that so trusts is wholly forgiven, and reckoned perfectly righteous. His sins are clean gone, and his soul is justified in God's sight, however bad and guilty he may have been.

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