just a jesus follower

strip clubA while back I was asked by a group of pastor’s wives to go with them to strip clubs.

That sentence alone sounds strange. But hang with me.

At first I was a little hesitant. And not for reasons you might think.

I love people. Especially ones who are broken; it’s part of my calling. But, given what I’ve walked through, I know how fragile broken people can be.

And I know how insensitive the church can be.

And I was uneasy.

But, these weren’t just any pastors wives.

They had a vision.

One that longed to love on women that society had thrown aside.

It reminded me a lot of Jesus.

So, I jumped on it.

Their plan was to visit these clubs once a month to deliver a meal and gift baskets. I joined them the first night and I’ll be honest, I had NO IDEA what to expect.

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Dear Creflo,

Forgive me for calling you by your first name but since we both profess to be Christian brothers I think it is appropriate. We have other things in common – we were both born in 1962 and we are both pastors in the Christian church. But there I guess the similarities end. You have a church of some 30,000 members, I have one with 125. You have two Rolls Royce’s and a private jet; I have a leased car and pushbike! To you that might sound like jealousy, to me it just indicates the different worlds we live in and the different theologies we have. You of course are a world famous tele-evangelist, with your own ministry and TV show; I am an unknown Scottish Presbyterian minister. So why am I writing you? Why should you listen to me?

Because you are coming to my country in a…

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Ritratto_di_vecchio_con_nipote_2,024_×_2,654_pixels_463_KB

The elderly man with his robes reminds me of the men disfigured by too much whisky. It’s an image that brings to mind the priestly class’s sexual depravities, hidden by the Papal religious system (exposed occasionally). The man looks rather enigmatic with the child having a despondent face drooping with a prematurely mature demeanour. Perhaps the child’s trust has been betrayed by the man, an abuse has been perpetrated and he is somewhat confused. The child looks rather resigned as one who cannot escape. It reminds me of Genesis 8:21. The child perhaps recognises his own wickedness, the corruption he has witnessed and is looking at the man thinking, “is that my destiny?” The artificial landscape through the window, surrounded by dreary walls adds to the sad nature of the picture. This depiction by Italian artist Ghirlandaio, provides an opportunity to meditate on the depravity of the human heart and see the only hope being Jesus Christ, it allows the opportunity to consider the gospel for all generations. Reflect on generations passing iniquities from one to another, and the desperate need for rescue from our sinful, sick and wicked natures.

Wikipedia says we do not know who the original sitters are and offered this opinion from the critics:

An Old Man and his Grandson is a ca. 1490 tempera painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Domenico Ghirlandaio. One of Ghirlandaio’s best-known works, it is considered notable for its emotional poignancy. Its realism has been described as unique among the portraits of the Quattrocento.[1]

Singing & Slaying

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from a book I recently read. Who/what book do you think these quotes came from?

Masculinity and femininity, being elements of the original design, radiate glory. They shine.

If the original distinction is lost-the vital one between men and women-we end up recognizing no distinction in sexual conduct. It is the logical conclusion. If sex has no transcendent meaning, what different does it make who you go to bed with? You can be promiscuous, homosexual, incestuous, bestial, or otherwise perverted. The only lasting sanctions against such behavior are based on the divine man-woman order. 

Four extremely important events [in Genesis 1-2] illuminate where woman stands in relation to man: 1. She was made for man. 2. She was made from man. 3. She was brought to man. 4. She was named by man.  

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Out Of the Treasure of His Heart Tyson Fury Speaks

What do you care about? What drives you? What are you hungry for?

It’s easy to discover your heart, get very drunk. Drunks who I have met thus far over the festive season have exposed insecurity, frustrations and a self destructive nature.

Oh, you don’t want to get drunk! That’s an encouraging sign. You’ll have to adopt a different test. Where do you go to first to stimulate your senses? Is it current affairs, luxuries, social media? What motivated where you invested your time treasure and talent today?

Was it to repay a debt you furnished yourself with for the convenience of a decent car? Was it to accrue the funds to take a holiday where you can indulge your desire for sun, or maybe one of those annual gatherings of nominal Christian like New Wine? Maybe you’re are concerned for your dotage?

Tyson Fury seems to have invested his considerable time treasure and talent to the service of the Lord. Seeing as Jesus Christ, as the author of life itself, provides him the talents to box Tyson is simply doing what is wise.

What about you?

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Reader.
Let’s settle our terms. An unbeliever is one who denies the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning sacrifice at Calvary. He is one who adds anything to that finished work, be it false religion, piety, supposedly efficacious sacraments, worldly philosophy or some competing ideology.

The unbeliever knows much, yet as I illustrated in my last post, embraces absurdity. For example, the adulterous husband knows his actions are a cruel betrayal of trust. His behaviour is contrary to a reasoned application of what is honourable and dignified. It matters not if by some perversion his spouse knows or even endorses his deviance, it contravenes God’s divine purpose for marriage. So why, you might ask, would one commit adultery by embracing a degree of physical or even intellectual intimacy which is the preserve of a husband and wife? It is because we ‘choose’ to believe that which is contrary to God’s law,  Romans 1:21, For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. We succumb to short term pleasures, and sacrifice long term satisfaction because we’ve believed the lie.

There are few adulterers who when caught don’t speak of regret, shame, or not thinking clearly. There’s often blame and excuses. But these are temporal for so often they return to lustful thoughts, inappropriate language, and even physical intimacy: 2 Peter 2:22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

This is the evidence of mankind left in our natural state. We do what we know is wrong, that which is self-destructive, and cruel to those we’ve professed we love! Romans 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? You’ve been taught to believe you are a purposeless, bag of molecules; stardust floating in space with no greater purpose than what you design in your imagination. You’re an output of an evolutionary process that never had you in mind. A pitiless, heartless, naturalistic system where love is nothing more than self gratifying chemical reactions, it doesn’t really exist, and you will die, rot, and be none the wiser.

How convenient for you. Choose to believe you are an animal, no moral, or for that matter logical absolutes and you’re free to behave how you want. Trouble is the bible tells you that’s how you’d behave. You’re a wretched Son or daughter of Adam whose hatred of Christ is manifest in your rejection of His very real bodily, physical sacrifice for the very sinners who despise Him:

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

I present in my blog not an opinion, a sophisticated argument or great theology but Christ alone. Please wrestle with these eternal truths for your opinion, preferences and proclivities are leading you to the very place you deny exists. However, apart from believing in Christ, putting your faith in Him, your sincere convictions and the reality of hell will collide on the day you die.

The more time one spends time on the streets engaging with unbelievers the clearer the bible becomes. Folks cling to these firm convictions that their life, the universe, and events are ungoverned and unguided but then live in a contrary manner. They act as moral, intellectual and compassionate agents while denying the God they know exists. They stretch the boundaries of credulity further by claiming they don’t deny God but find HIm unproven. Given that God says clearly in His word that we have all the evidence we need, Romans 1:18, you have to ask, “what evidence would satisfy you that God exists?”

The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, fools despise wisdom and knowledge. We do not live in an arbitrary universe governed by luck. Every turn of the dice is governed by invariant, immaterial and universal laws of physics. We then understand these turns of the dice by applying invariant, immaterial and universal laws of logic. Nature cannot of its own accord create nature, and neither can information produce information from nowhere, for if that were the case there would be no information anywhere, and no universe. It is absurd to imagine that you can have a creation without a creator, and yet, people cling to absurd worldviews; We’ve met them on this blog.

So what’s to be done? Preach the gospel. Jesus Christ did not only come to save souls, he also came to save reason. Our aim as Christians is awaken people’s conscience, and to encourage them to stop suppressing what they know to be true. It’s not even as if they will have an excuse when they die, Romans 1:20. I have yet to hear a coherent explanation from an unbeliever as to where you get objective moral and logical absolutes apart from the God of the universe who created them. Why do people reject what God communicates to them through their intellect and conscience? Well the bible explain: Their throat is an open grave, Romans 3:13, they love their sin and want to remain in it. Sin is powerful, it blinds the intellect and worst of all, hardens the heart.

The heart of the problem is the problem of the human heart. It is a hate crime to allow sinners to go to hell without a warning. If you are a christian, go warn an unbeliever today that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Hebrews 10:31.

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