I have moved the blog to http://spiritfilledpuritan.com Please update your links.
I came across this parody the other day. There are a few more from this group which appears to be a church. I know nothing about them or their doctrine, nor do I endorse them. However the message of this video is clear… Are you a Mac or a PC, I mean a Christian or a Christ Follower.
Kim Riddlebarger at the Riddleblog just posted a new review of the former best seller (and probably soon to be new best seller) Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East. I read this book years ago (Desert Storm-era) and it made no sense. Even with it’s newly updated chapters, it probably makes less sense now that it did back then.
BTW, you can buy an older edition on Amazon.com for only 1 Cent. Yes 1 Cent. Here
I had been working hard on Monday cleaning up some loose ends and not paying much attention to the news. Today, I received an email from Desiring God Ministries about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. (See Here) This was the first I had heard of it. It was strange for me since I hadn’t even checked my iGoogle Tab where I have RSS feeds from both national and international sources. I usually checked them several times per day. Before I even read it I went to a trusted news site and saw the video. The first thing that struck me was the shock and horror of it. I watched the video footage and heard the cell phone audio. I immediately through of the people trapped and waiting for help and for people waiting to hear about loved ones. I think many of us had the same reaction.
After finding out what had happened, I went back to read the email. John Piper’s words stirred memories of personal losses and even took me back to September 11, 2001 when I was standing in Center City Philadelphia with my father-in-law, during the midst of the panic to get out of the city for fear of an attack there. I remembered the memories of the hurt, the fear, the pain and uncertainty. But as I continued reading, I was reminded again of John Piper’s eternal perspective on things. The same perspective he had during the Columbine shootings, the World Trade Center Attacks, and more recently the Virginia Tech shootings. It’s a somber perspective but also one of deliberate peace and hope based on truth. For throughout all of human tragedy and suffering, we who are true Christians, serve a sovereign God. Not the popularly portrayed God who has lost His grip on the affairs of men or who has just spun the wheel of chance and set the world on it’s course, or the God who “sovereignly” chooses not to be “sovereign” but the God of the Bible. He is the sovereign One who is involved, who is engaged, who is in control and who is the Mediatorial King of the universe.
I think to the average person, this post and most certainly the linked article from John Piper may seem troubling. In general, the concept of sovereignty is troubling to a frenzied and individualistic culture. As such, the majority of people, many of whom claim to be Christian, choose to see tragic world events as random occurrences or things that just happen. Ironically to them, the idea of one greater than them controlling the universe scares them more than embracing the idea that everything is random or happens by chance. They choose chance over sovereignty; uncertainty over certainty; darkness over light. And as a result of these choices, the average person lives a life full of insecurity, anxiety, fear and panic. It’s no surprise that anti-depressants and anxiolytics are the most prescribed drugs in the US today. They’re prescribed more than drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, or headaches. We no longer live lives of quiet desperation. We live lives of medicated desperation. My apologies to Henry David Thoreau.
The Bible tells us that rejecting God is a human response due to our innate sinful condition. In the Gospel of John we read…
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:19-21 (NKJV)
Those of us who embrace a sovereign God, share the same struggles and fears that are common to all human beings. However, we realize it was only by the grace of God that we ourselves were not on that bridge, yet we know that we could be on one that collapses tomorrow. These events serve as reminders of our frailty and mortality and our utter dependence on a graceful and sovereign God for our every need. We who live by faith in future grace (as John Piper would put it) know where we receive our power to live our life today, not being troubled about the future. For God gives us the grace we need for today. Each successive day He provides the proper measure of grace to get us through to the next.
For Christians these things should not cripple us with anxiety. Why? The root of anxiety is unbelief in a sovereign God. If we believe, we should be living in the realization that God has a purpose for each one of us whom he purchased fully on Calvary. As Christians we know that Jesus died for our sins but did you realize he also purchased all the grace we would ever need to empower us to live our lives for Him? Our lives are defined by His purpose. Through His sovereign will our joys, sorrows and seemingly routine daily events, are woven into a tapestry, arrayed now and even greater in the future for His glory. If you’re a Christian, your life should be on that tapestry, is it???
While the Apostle John writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us the truth about ourselves, that we love darkness rather than light, he also reveals that God provided a solution, the good news of the Gospel of His grace. We read…
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:11-13 (NKJV)
Events such as this should remind everyone who calls themselves Christian that we are in His service and we should be serving. Our service here is to be a humble messenger of the Gospel, through which He pours out His grace and mercy to all who believe in Him.
So what should our response be to this still unfolding event?
First and foremost if you are not a believer in the sovereign God of the Bible, you need to repent of your sins and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ. Click Here for More Information. The sovereign God of the universe is gathering a people to Himself for His glory.
Secondly, if you are a believer, pray to God for the wisdom in how to minister to those affected, both directly and indirectly and ask Him to reveal to the hurting that He alone is the source of all peace and comfort and eternal salvation.
John Piper’s response to the events of September 11 provides and excellent and scriptural response to human tragedy. While all 21 points may not fit each event, within the 21 there are scriptural truths that can be used to comfort and lend understanding to these events.
Stephen McGarvey the Executive Editor of Crosswalk.com outlines the current crisis in Afghanistan questioning why there is not an international outrage.
Remember to pray always for Christians facing “real” persecution.