“The New is in the Old revealed, the Old is in the New concealed.” -Saint Augustine
Monthly Archives: July 2015
We live in such a world where the truth is obvious and in order to deny it you have to suppress it. Most people will deny this fact and if they were to argue with me they’d only prove my point by the constant “No, I don’t deny truth.” An assertion is not evidence nor an argument, but today what passes for an argument is nothing more than sparkles that dazzle the eyes and bass drops that stir the heart. There’s little substance other than what is perceived substance. Another truth suppression tactic.
As a Christian, I am upfront about my presuppositions. But, that word is too detached to real life. It’s more like, I am more upfront about telling the story I live in. I accept the story, love the story, and live in that story.
The story I live in is a complex, long, and glorious story about the constant death, burial, and resurrection. I live in a story that begins with an actual beginning which begun with a creator who is eternal. Eternal in the way many atheists believe in some form of eternal matter. And this creator created everything out of nothing. Which is where the debate begins. Is nothing really nothing? Some atheists would say nothing is actually something that is eternal. One atheist I heard say that things pop into existence all the time. I have no problem with that, very consistent with the creator God who can make anything from nothing all the time. However, this atheist said this to try to say “it just happens that way.” Which is an assertion, not an argument, and is words that try to suppress the truth.
As this God creates from nothing, that nothing becomes something by God’s sheer Godness. This thing that comes into existence is now an art piece of God, something that tells us about this God who made the thing, while being separate from that thing. Sorry people who argue about who created God. But by definition, God to be God He cannot have been a created thing or a part of the things created. Though truthfully, they agree, they just suppress their hearty approval of what we say by couching it in terms that try to deny God. They don’t want God to be the uncreated thing, they want the stuff we see to be the self-creating creation, or the uncreated thing because it makes itself, so it can’t be creation by definition, just “is what it is.” We can’t be held accountable to something that makes itself can we?
This stuff God makes is then shaped, formed, given order, given paths to follow, rules to follow, and given a purpose: “Declare my glory.” If this isn’t sounding like an awesome story, then you may want to go read some of the new atheist stuff, because a self-creating, purposeless world that somehow orders itself might be more up your ally. Though, ally’s might not have existed. Thank the purposeless and random chaos for that one. Even a good ol’ Norse God myth might be more interesting, but I must give props. The new atheists makes man to be the gods of this world and themselves, and that’s more bold than most of the old mythologies. But certainly not as interesting.
Next time I’ll have to get back to what I first said, and that has to do with the death, burial, and resurrection theme. Part of the whole “Declaring the glory of God” thing, you see.
But before I go, part of my argument is that everyone loves a good story about a man who is great, who gets to a low point, and then makes it out on top. It’s almost the theme of any good story, and that might be because this theme was woven into it all, and isn’t as random as many believe it to be.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
(Matthew 5:27-30 ESV)
I had to note this because I once thought that I wasn’t radical enough because I wasn’t cutting off my hand or plucking out my eye. I mean, it says it right there! Both my eyes need to go, and both my hands need to be gone, and perhaps my feet and legs as well since they rush me to do evil. My mouth and tongue and voice box too, because I speak tons of sin. Heck, I need to dice up my whole body and throw it all into hell…. right?
If Jesus is calling all Christians to be blind and quadriplegic, then why didn’t the disciples help one each other out in doing just that? Why didn’t Paul, John, or Peter write about how to live this life as blind and handless? Some may say that Paul dictated most his words, so perhaps he did cut off his hands. However, Paul said himself at one point that he was writing, and he was writing big letters. So much for the apostles obeying Jesus.
The truth is the apostles did obey Jesus, so what gives? Why aren’t there more blind and handless Christians? The key is the word “if.” If your hand causes you to sin. Now, does our hand cause us to sin? Obviously no because Jesus says that adultery isn’t merely the act of sex with another man’s wife, but it’s looking at a woman with lustful intent. Where does the lustful intent come from? The heart.
So, if you’re following Jesus’ words here you need to rip out our hearts because it causes you to sin. But does God want you to murder? No. So how can you obey Jesus if you can’t murder yourself but you want to obey all Jesus told us to do and he’s telling us to rip out our sin box? The answer is short: the gospel.
Jesus is pointing us to the reality that we need new hearts in order to stop sinning. Our whole body will be thrown into hell because our hearts are what causes us to sin. You can cut yourself piece by piece and still go to hell because sin is apart of your very nature. We need a new heart and it’s God who said that He would pour out His Spirit in the last days and give His people a new heart. We cannot get clean on our own, we cannot obtain a new heart on our own, and we cannot obey on our own.
This is why Calvinism is true. The only people who will desire a new heart are the ones God is drawing to Himself. Anyone being drawn will plead with God for a new heart, which is required to be in the New Covenant. Which makes it all of grace and not of anything we do.
So, cry out to God, all you who sin. Ask for a new heart. Stop dealing with the external things, like hands and eyes. Go for the source. Go for the jugular of sin. Don’t plead for the strength to cut off your hands. That won’t do anything but throw your whole body into hell piece by piece.
Cry out to Christ for forgiveness. Call upon God. Trust in His work alone.
For my family who is already in Christ, continue to ask God for a renewed mind and for a hatred of sin and love of God. Ask Him to keep on drawing you do Himself. He is our only hope.