Extortion from Tehran & The Folly of Appeasement

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Extortion to get ones way is nothing new. The most glaring historic example is that of Hitler and Neville Chamberlain. Does it work? Furthermore, is it Biblical to appease a tyrant? No.

FoxNews reports, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in labeling the six-month deal with Tehran as “an historic mistake,” on Sunday invoked an infamous 2005 pact with North Korea. As part of that deal, Pyongyang agreed to abandon its nuclear program and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty in exchange for food and other aid.

North Korea conducted its first underground nuclear test a year later.”

There are numerous positions, even with conservative circles, about how to deal with Iran and its grasp for nuclear weapons. Some call for military action while others non-interventionism if an imminent threat is not perceived. On other hand, liberalism is still promoting appeasement. The problem with the latter is that extortion for money not only emboldens a tyrant, but now it gives him all that much more money to further his agenda. How much more foolish can such a position be?

We then ask ourselves, how does God did deal with tyranny? One of the greatest historical examples was that of Pharaoh in Egypt. God was not making concessions. On the contrary, He devastated Egypt from the Pharaoh all the way down.

“29At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, ‘Up, go out from among my people, sboth you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!’ ”

Exodus 12:29-32 (ESV)

Therefore, our policy, whether on a personal level or on a nation level should never be appeasement. It only makes matters worse. A tyrant must always be met with strength and firmness. You take a strong position and stick to it, which is exactly what Churchill did. For that, he will be always regarded as a man of courage and resolve.

As individuals, this issue is all the more important in matters of sin. We cannot give even an inch to sin. It is always hungry and is never satisfied. We will either battle with great ferocity against sin, or we will cower to it. Let us do the former and glorify the Lord of glory as we pray for His grace to wage war against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Christ Crucified for His Claim to Deity Denied but Vindicated

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“The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ ” John 10:33 (ESV)

This verse, among others, is something that liberal theology has a real problem with. Why is this? It explains the charge for which Jesus was crucified: His adamant claim to Deity. Truly, it is impossible to account for the charge of His crucifixion apart from this bold claim. After all, it was made by His opponents, and John had no reason to fabricate why these religious leaders hated Jesus so much. Why then do critics have such a problem with this and thus try to marginalize, hide, and/or eradicate this claim from history?

It flies in the face of the Jesus they are trying to create.

Modern/postmodern critics don’t want Jesus to be relegated to the status of a madman claiming He was God because they ‘like’ Jesus and many of His teachings. However, in light of such claims, that would be the only option left in an evolutionary based universe, of which they are enraptured with. The answer then is to deny His claims as being fabricated by His followers.

The problem with this approach is that He would never have been crucified without His claim to Deity in the first place, something that never led to bizarre or abnormal behavior I might add. His detractors despised His claim to Deity, but they could not label Him as a crazy man or even deny His miracles, something liberals marginalize and bury 100 miles deep because of its obvious implications.

The Jewish leaders hated Jesus Christ because His claim to Deity was a direct threat to their power. For this reason, they trumped up charges of blasphemy and had Him crucified. So what did the pagan rulers think? Modern liberal scholarship makes them out to be the villains because these ‘scholars’ claim that such men feared Jesus as an insurrectionist, but that flies in the face of history. How so? The pagan rulers thought the trial was a charade all along, but they went along with it because they were were fearful of the Jewish leaders’ power and influence. They feared man and not God. Pilate even went so far as to wash his hands in public to show that he was not responsible for all of this madness (Matthew 27:24).

Not much has changed in 2,000 years. How so? Like the hypocritical Jewish leadership that hated the Son of the Living God then, Christ calls His critics to absolute submission, which is likewise a threat to their authoritative superstructure today. Ironically, they tend to invoke His name when they need to borrow some of His more ‘palatable’ teachings, of which are often ripped from their context and distorted beyond their authorial  intent. How then do they accomplish this?

In some odd way, they like Jesus. After all, people like to see hypocrisy exposed, unless it’s their own of course. Furthermore, a couple millenia helps to ‘soften’ and ‘call into question’ such provocative claims that don’t bode well politically. In the passage of time, He has been fabricated into the image of His enemies so that these men are not seen as rejecting Him (something that comes across as rude and even outlandish to the Western world) but rather as lifting up the ‘real’ Jesus. If they strip Him of His Deity and then twist His words to push a leftist agenda, they can hypothetically cleanse Him of His baggage and so be used to gain ground socially and politically because we still live in a society that is fascinated with Jesus, albeit a manufactured Jesus mixed with select Biblical passages that fit their agenda.

There is still one problem with this ‘massage’ of history. He claimed Deity, His followers claimed His Deity, and His contemporary enemies charged Him with blasphemy because He claimed Deity and had Him crucified!

Ultimately, I do find it fascinating to such see a multitude of critics write so many publications trying to deny the only legitimate explanation to Christ’s crucifixion. The tidal wave of so many writings is incomprehensible and beyond any one’s man absorption, yet no amount of falsehood can eradicate and subdue the truth. For this reason, in denying the truth, such charlatans only expose their hatred for the Lord and the necessity of their repentance before a Holy God. These claims against His Deity are not ‘viable’ and ‘possible’ alternatives; rather, they are a shady cloak used to shroud and exalt the ‘illusion of uncertainty’ that is exposed by the Holy Spirit as He mightily presses the truth of God in Christ upon their consciences.

Repent, therefore, and cling the Lord of lords and King of kings ye enemies of the Living God, lest you face a terrible judgment that you know is coming. Denying it doesn’t make it any less real, so smash your idols, and flee from your futility. Lay hold of Christ, and behold His glory for all eternity. All else is vain and striving after the wind.

Soli Deo Gloria!

When So Many People Die So Quickly

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In light of the recent disaster in the Philippines, we weep with those who weep. For those families directly impacted by the typhoon, one can only imagine how gut wrenching this must be for them. Such things are the makers of widows and orphans, so how do we respond Biblically?

FoxNews reports, “Haiyan struck the island nation Friday, impacted more than 4.2 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines, according to the Philippine government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The death toll has reached 1,000 but the number is projected to climb to 10,000.”

The cry of our Reformational Fore-Fathers was Soli Deo Gloria, To God be the Glory Alone. It can be hard to see the glory of God during times like these, yet the Providential Glory of God exceeds our understanding. This fallen world is rife with death at every turn, yet we remember that God ordains all things for His glory. In knowing this, we rest in His Sovereign Will, no matter how painful it may be today.

As for those who find themselves in the most dire need, the Church is called to take care of the widow, orphan, and others in great suffering. When you live thousands if miles away, sometimes a donation to a reputable Christian organization may seem all that one can do, but such donations are indeed needed.

Those who are capable and free of major responsibilities can use this time to travel abroad and assist in relief efforts, just as so many made the sacrifice to help with the tsunami fallout in Indonesia. A great door to the gospel is often opened as the reality of death is at the forefront of people’s minds. Let us pray for those who are helping now and those arriving to help. May the God of all Grace empower them to preach the gospel and thus see the unbelieving come to the knowledge of Christ and His Blessed Redemption.

Finally, let such calamities be a dire warning for all who do not believe upon Christ for salvation. Let us heed these eternal words.

1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?
3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?
5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Luke 13:1-5 (ESV)

Trained to Stand in the Rain: Government School Bus Stops

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As I was driving to work a few days ago, it was pouring down rain, and, I thought, “It would not be fun to stand here even if you had on a raincoat or carried an umbrella.” Then, in the early morning darkness, I noticed kids standing in the rain for who knows how long waiting for the school bus. I thought, who in their right mind would just stand there in it, and who would send their child out there to stand in it? Government School Parishioners.

Only those who are fully indoctrinated into secular humanism as played out in the government schools will do something like this. What’s worse is that this is considered a great ‘sacrifice’, much like how a Christian would go out in the rain to help a traveler caught in a storm. The difference is that the former is meaningless absurdity and merely shows just how committed someone is to giving themselves to an ideology that sees them as nothing but evolved slime and ultimately treats them like a cog in a machine that can be expended without a second thought for the ‘collective good’.

What is a sound Biblical alternative to this madness? Homeschool

God commands us to diligently teach these commands to our children (Deuteronomy 6:7); this is not a suggestion but a command. Furthermore, we must teach our children to teach their children, lest we fail to keep the covenant. R. C. Sproul, Jr. elaborates on this when he warns, “They must teach their own children these same truths. In like manner, if I fail to teach my children to teach their children, I have failed to keep covenant.”[i] Therefore, let us not neglect the teaching of God’s Word to our children, and, likewise teach them how to teach their children, for we are reminded that when we train up a child in the way that he should go that when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). There are those rebellious ones who simply refuse to submit to the LORD, but godly children are the normative fruit of a Biblical household when they are brought up in the fear and admonition of the LORD (Ephesians 6:4).  Every generation must step up to the plate.  Remember, we’re only one generation away from apostasy and judgment.

When then are we to teach them? God cannot be more emphatic here, for the Scripture goes to great lengths to hammer home when we are to teach His Word to our children. It is not without cause that Moses says the same thing in different ways, for, when the Hebrews wanted to highlight something, they would either repeat it as in “Holy, Holy, Holy,” (Isaiah 6:3) or they would repeat the same message again but with different words. This passage should alarm us because of how much repetition is involved. This is not fluff; rather, God is communicating the absolute importance of bringing up children with godly instruction not only in word but also in deed.

We are to teach them when we sit down, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise (Deuteronomy 6:7). The teaching of God’s Word is 24/7, 365. Period. There is no time when we are not modeling or explicitly teaching His Word. If we miss this point, then we have totally missed the thrust of this passage. I work for a local Police Department as an Evidence Manager, but I am a Christian. Christianity is not simply what I do; it defines who I am from the inside out. The Living Christ dwells within me, and He is made manifest in every area of my life at all times in both deed and word, in the heart and in the mind, in spirit and in truth.

Furthermore, these Divine Words shall be bound upon our hands and as frontlets between our eyes, and they are written on the doorposts of our house and on our gates (Deuteronomy 6:8-9). All of life must display the glory of God in our lives. God’s Word is not merely written in a book for personal inquiry; rather, His Word is written upon our hearts by which these same hearts are circumcised and made holy (Romans 2:29). By God’s grace, this does not express itself in our lives without a deliberate effort to be consumed by God and His Word. We cannot absorb Scripture by osmosis; we must be reading it and meditating upon it regularly. Likewise, we must be leading our children in godliness every moment of every day by what we say and how we act.

For more Homeschool insights, check out by Take ‘Em Out & Stay Out: They Foundation and Finances of Homeschool by Jeramy & Meggan Anderson.

i. R. C. Sproul, Jr., When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling, Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2004), 26.