Have you ever looked at a photograph?

meanddave

Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself as a kid, and remembered the exact moment the picture was taken. This morning while I was feeding the pets, I looked at a picture on my refrigerator of my little brother, and I as boys, and did just that. It occurred to me that having your picture taken in the 70’s may not have been as big a deal as it was in the first part of the century, but in this century it isn’t a big deal at all. Back then Polaroid instant photographs weren’t truly instant, and they were expensive to take compared to taking digital photographs with your phone, and having them printed.

I wonder if people now, since they take so many pictures, and selfies, have the same demarcations of the times in their lives? Does it carry the same significance now as it did then? I remember that exact moment, when dad was in the kitchen with his fancy new fangled instant camera, and how we were on the counter in the kitchen, and I remember our clothes that we wore that day, and the wrestling match that we were engaged in. Rough housing occurred often in our house. I remember the thoughts I was having, and how my thinking is basically the same today. I was a smaller, more emotionally undisciplined, version of myself today. I had the same thought processes, and their complexions, that I have now.

The only differences between the ways that I as a miniature savage man thought then, and later in my life, was that I became more civilized. By that, I mean the savage was more concealed, and the exterior has become more socially acceptable. For those of you who know me, I didn’t say that I was socially acceptable, simply more so than when I was a child. You can extrapolate from there.

This taming of the savage man took copious amounts of work, and discipline from my father. He truly loved us. He trained us to control the savage within. If he had not been there, I shudder to think of what kind of monster I would have become. Our mother was a perpetual source of compassion, love, and forgiveness. Her little angels could do no wrong, and even if we did, she was the first to tell us, “There is nothing you could do to make me stop loving you.” I remember challenging her by asking, “What if I robbed someone?” She would say, “I’d still love you.” I’d say, “What if I ended up in prison?” She’d say, “I’d still love you.” Even when I asked, “What if I killed someone?” She still said, “I’d still love you.”

That moment captured in the photograph is a time capsule. I can look at it, and go right back to the moment. In all of the copious pictures taken today, I doubt that is true for most. I’m sure there are some exceptional times captured, but I doubt the same level of attachment is there.

There are many other snapshots of my life that weren’t captured on film, or by digital image. Many of them are just as vivid, while more range in quality of recollection. The most significant one, above all others, is a time when I was sitting in front of the computer with my headphones on, watching some Paul Washer sermons. He was talking about a man in Alaska who had cancer, and how he spent time with him going over the Bible. There was another where he was speaking to some young people, it was all very convicting. I remember being crushed by the weight of my sin, and being moved to tears. It was at that moment I knew I was born again from above. I experienced real repentance, and faith.

From that moment on, it has been a war between the new man, and that civilized savage who still lingers in my unredeemed flesh. Some days it wins, and I’m aware of it. Many times it wins, and I’m unaware of it. Other times I win, but it isn’t because of me. I’m weak. Christ has won all. He is the victor, and because of His victory over death, and sin, I can stand in faith of the promise I have from Him for grace, mercy, forgiveness, and to those there is no end.

Romans 8:2-11 (NASB) “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do,  weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Hate, Hate Speech, and Meaning.

Noah Webster
According to Webster’s dictionary hate speech is; speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people. Also, according to Webster’s dictionary hate means;

a: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
b: extreme dislike or disgust : ANTIPATHY, LOATHING
had a great hate of hard work
c: a systematic and especially politically exploited expression of hatred
a crime motivated by bigotry and hate
—often used before another noun
hate mail
an organization tracking hate groups
— see also HATE CRIME
2: an object of hatred
a generation whose finest hate had been big business
— F. L. Paxson
hate verb
hated; hating
Definition of hate (Entry 2 of 2)
transitive verb

1: to feel extreme enmity toward : to regard with active hostility
hates his country’s enemies
2: to have a strong aversion to : find very distasteful
hated to have to meet strangers
hate hypocrisy
intransitive verb

: to express or feel extreme enmity or active hostility
harsh faces and hating eyes

Now, if you will, please read how Noah Webster defined hate himself in his 1828 dictionary, and remember, Webster was a devout Christian;
HATE, verb transitive [Latin odi, for hodi.]

1. To dislike greatly; to have a great aversion to. It expresses less than abhor, detest, and abominate, unless pronounced with a peculiar emphasis.

How long will fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:22.

Blessed are ye when men shall hate you. Luke 6:22.

The Roman tyrant was contented to be hated, if he was but feared.

2. In Scripture, it signifies to love less.

If any man come to me, and hate not father and mother, etc. Luke 14:26.

He that spareth the rod, hateth his son. Proverbs 13:24.

HATE, noun Great dislike or aversion; hatred.

Notice, the current meaning assumes that usually hatred comes from fear, anger, or sense of injury.  The word, “usually” does make it technically correct, but can you think of an instance where it is good to hate?  The modern secular world knows what is good to hate, and what is not good to hate, but they have reversed them.  As Christians, we should hate sin in our lives.  We should hate sin as a rule.  We should hate what God hates.  Since God is the ultimate good, we can trust that what He hates is in fact hate worthy.  The world around us on the other hand, hates what God loves.  In fact, they hate the one true God.  They make up for themselves idols to call god.  They lavish their love on those idols.  They love what is detestable to the Lord.

In a society with a bi-polar view of what is good, virtuous, and honorable, where one extreme looks upon the things of God in truth, and acknowledges those things, and the other extreme looks on those things believing the lies of their master, views them as evil, malicious, and hateful, as well as a plethora of people ranging the gamut between the two, it results in a disparate malfunctioning society.

Speech is simply speech.  It is the speaker who harbors hatred, or love in their heart.  Does the speaker hate what God hates?  Does the speaker hate what the godless hate?  This is the true question that should be asked.  Instead, we assume that speech can in and of itself be hateful.  If that be true, then speech is an entity with volition of thought.  If a man reasons with a debased, darkened mind, he might believe such a thing.  However, even a man with a debased, darkened mind, as a rule, and a majority, at this point in time, can see that this is fallacious.

If speech be speech, and hatred not necessarily evil, then why must such a seemingly subjective thing like speech be deemed hateful?  We do not know the condition of the speaker’s heart, nor do we know his intellectual intentions towards the objects of his speech.  The assumption that all speech that elicits negative emotions from the varied masses in audience is hateful, negates the obvious facts of ignorance to the subjects intentions thereof.

Since this is true, wouldn’t it be better to allow the subject, himself, to enlighten the audience in regards to his intentions, and motives, if there be a question?  Also, there is no material damage in relation to the subjects speech, unless it instructs such damage, by direct expunction carried out by the objects.  This is mitigated by the volitions of the objects assuming their faculties are about them, and that they are not otherwise given to some delirium induced by injury, or chemical.

Each agent is acting upon his own volition, informed by his own personal philosophy, through which he interprets the world around him.  If that philosophy finds its source in anything other than what is objectively true, it by definition contains lies.  This is why the God instructs us to build our house on the solid rock.  That rock being Jesus, the way the TRUTH, and the life.  To do otherwise is to found your house on that which is shifting always, the subjective cumulative consciences of lost agents of satan, whether they know it and intend it, or not.

I adjure you all, do not assume this notion of hate speech, or hate crimes for that matter.  Build your life on what is true.  God is true.  He cannot lie.  His word is true.  Jesus is the word made flesh.  I’m sure Webster would have concurred.   We must all repent of our sins, even those sins that at once we assumed were virtues, but in light of the truth see them as betrayals of our Creator.  He is the law giver, and the judge.  We are not.  His word is objective truth.  We must repent of our perversions of truth, and trust alone in the work of Christ Jesus for our justification to the righteous law giver, and judge.

I think Mr. Noah Webster would be horrified to see how the dictionary of his namesake has been corrupted by the enemy of truth.

Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary?

George Whitefield Revivalism

The great commission is a clear and direct command from God. We are to preach the gospel of Christ to all the earth, and make disciples of all men. Every Christian is an evangelist, if they are a Christian. No Christian can in good conscience sit idly by while people walk out of time into eternity without Christ. It is the most unloving, selfish thing a person can do. St. Francis was falsely attributed with the saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” This concept is no where to be found in the Bible. I guess if you don’t care that people are going to die and suffer in hell for all eternity you can just be a nice person, and hope that the people in your life convert before they get hit by a buss, and end up in hell, but why would you when eternity is on the line? Simply being nice to people does not give them the gospel. The good news of Christ is the penal substitutiary atonement that He accomplished on the cross of His suffering. He who knew no sin, became sin, for us. He was imputed with sin that was not His, and suffered for it. He paid the price that we could not pay, and makes the repentant sinner just to God by faith. His righteousness is imputed to the humbled sinner. They are saved by grace through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Eph 2:8-9. If any of you have not repented of your sins, and trusted in Christ alone for your salvation, do not wait, or put it off. “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—
2for He says,
“AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”
Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”—” 2 Cor 6:1-2.

Romans 10:14-15 (NASB)  How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who  bring good news of good things!”

For Thirty Pieces of Silver.

30.pieces.silver01

In Exodus 21:32, we read that if your ox gores a slave belonging to someone else to death, you are to pay the owner 30 shekels of silver.  (“If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall give his or her master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.”)  This section of Exodus is dealing with remuneration for losses, and legal consequences for personal injuries.  A slave was not an important person.  More than likely, this was a laborer.  The price was not inconsequential, but it was not extravagant either.  As you’ll come to see, it was definitely nowhere near enough to match the exceeding value of Christ, and His kingdom.

In Matthew Chapters 26, and 27 Judas arranges with the chief priests to betray Jesus to them, and caries out the betrayal.  He does all this for the price of a slave, 30 pieces of silver.  Matthew 26:14-16, “Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.”  Matthew Chapter 26:20-25, “Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.””

In Mathew 26:31 He refers to what He had revealed to the prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 13:7, “Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, against the man who is My Companion,” declares the LORD of Hosts. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn My hand against the little ones.”  Since Christ is citing this about Himself in the book of Matthew we know that the verse in Zechariah is a prophecy about Him.  The same consequences of the shepherd being struck are mentioned also in the New Testament scriptures.  Mark 14:27, 28, “Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ …”  Matthew 26:56, ““But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.”  John 16:32, “Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

As well as a shepherd Christ is the suffering servant, and the sacrificial lamb, of Isaiah chapter 53.

The Suffering Servant

1Who has believed our message?

            And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

      2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,

            And like a root out of parched ground;

            He has no stately form or majesty

            That we should look upon Him,

            Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

      3He was despised and forsaken of men,

            A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

            And like one from whom men hide their face

            He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

      4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

            And our sorrows He carried;

            Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

            Smitten of God, and afflicted.

      5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

            He was crushed for our iniquities;

            The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,

            And by His scourging we are healed.

      6All of us like sheep have gone astray,

            Each of us has turned to his own way;

            But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all

            To fall on Him.

      7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

            Yet He did not open His mouth;

            Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

            And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,

            So He did not open His mouth.

      8By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

            And as for His generation, who considered

            That He was cut off out of the land of the living

            For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

      9His grave was assigned with wicked men,

            Yet He was with a rich man in His death,

            Because He had done no violence,

            Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

      10But the LORD was pleased

            To crush Him, putting Him to grief;

            If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

            He will see His offspring,

            He will prolong His days,

            And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

      11As a result of the anguish of His soul,

            He will see it and be satisfied;

            By His knowledge the Righteous One,

            My Servant, will justify the many,

            As He will bear their iniquities.

      12Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,

            And He will divide the booty with the strong;

            Because He poured out Himself to death,

            And was numbered with the transgressors;

            Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,

            And interceded for the transgressors.

Zechariah 11:7-14 “7So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, hence the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Favor and the other I called Union; so I pastured the flock. 8Then I annihilated the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also was weary of me. 9Then I said, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be annihilated, let it be annihilated; and let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” 10I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11So it was broken on that day, and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the LORD. 12I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 14Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.”

In context we see this is referring to Israel, and Judah.  God is no longer going to shepherd them, but as it refers to Christ prophetically we see Him as the shepherd sold for 30 pieces of silver.  There is a sarcastic mocking tone to this as 30 pieces of silver is an insult.  It shows how little Israel, and Judah valued God’s shepherding, and how little the Jews would value Christ, and His shepherding.  The money is ultimately thrown to the potter in the house of the LORD.

Matthew 27:1-10, “1Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; 2and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

      3Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” 5And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel; 10AND THEY GAVE THEM FOR THE POTTER’S FIELD, AS THE LORD DIRECTED ME.”

We can see the fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 11 in Matthew 27.  There are a few possible explanations as to why in Matthew he says the prophecy came from Jeremiah instead of Zechariah.  One of those reasons is that it is a literary device referring to the more commonly known major prophet who mentions a field that the prophet was commanded to purchase, or it could be the way that the Old Testament was formatted in that time.  The scrolls would have been referred to by the name of the prophet that was the beginning of the scroll even though it contained the writings of the minor prophet as well.

By comparing these sections of scripture, it is evident that Christ is the Messiah, the shepherd, and He is the suffering servant.  The low value that was placed on Him was an insult.  That insult comes from impenitent, rebellious, proud, and wicked hearts.  For those who are being saved the exceeding value of Christ, and His kingdom are beyond measure.  As God says in Matthew 13:44-45, “44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and in his joy he went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46When he found one very precious pearl, he went away and sold all he had and bought it.”  The Apostle Paul wrote this in his epistle to the Philippians 3:7-8, “7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, …”  1 Peter 2:6-7, “6For this is contained in Scripture:

            “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,

            AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

            “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,

            THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,””

Christ Jesus, God in the flesh, the God man, hung in our place on the cross, punished for our sins as if they were His, bore our guilt and shame, was pierced, and bled…  The just wrath of God was poured out on Him, His Son to atone for those He chose in eternity past.  This should humble us.  This time of year when we celebrate Jesus’ birth, let’s remember why He came into the world this time, and think on how He will come again in the future.

Where does murder come from?

pe9s_utah_pickup_gun_rack

With recent events in America, one wonders, “Why?  Why are people killing others?”  Meanwhile the left is using these tragedies as an excuse to shift the blame to an inanimate object.  This of course makes the right angry enough to commit murder of the heart, while the left is angry enough to actually commit murder.  Their pundits are encouraging it on the nightly news, if that is what you call it.  Of course on the right we’ve taken to calling if fake news, because we are tired of all the lies, half truths, and godless, communist, propaganda.  Before you run off, assuming this is a political rant, I urge you to keep reading.

Murder is nothing new.  Mankind has been killing since the beginning.  The agnostic, or atheist left would have you believe it is a matter of education.  They assume that people are naturally good intentioned, and if they grow up to be hateful, bigots, evil conservatives, or murderers, it is simply because they were given wrong, or inadequate education.  As a Christian, a Father of 4, and a Corrections Officer of 24 years, I can assure you that is not the case.

We are born with one thing on our minds, our own individual pleasure.  Our flesh is the most important thing to us.  We learn to love our parents, because they take care of us.  It still boils down to self.  Without them, I would have nobody to feed me, clean me, comfort me.  We don’t wonder why they do those things at first.  We just accept it.  We must have some quality about us that is worthy of that kind of affection, but then the lessons begin.  Punishment for doing bad things.  Rewards for doing good things.  Well the nature of a child loves rewards.  The flesh loves goodies, and compliments, but it hates spankings, physical pain, removal of fun things.

Being selfish, and evil is our nature.  We have to be taught to be good.  We want to be comfortable, and enjoy pleasurable things.  That is not necessarily sinful, but when it involves committing a sin, or sins of omission to achieve that comfort, or pleasure, then we are guilty.  Read what God has to say about it in His word,

James 4:1-10 (NASB) Things to Avoid
​  What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

It is pretty clear that we murder because we are selfish, sinners at heart.  We don’t rightly fear God, nor do we heed his laws.  We make up our own to please our flesh.  We make up our own gods as well.  Some depressed teen surmises that nobody loves him, or they don’t live up to his unrealistic expectations of how they should behave towards him, which further drives him to hate those who don’t participate in his self-pity, so he decides to teach the world a lesson.  This by the way is the result of all the self-esteem nonsense pushed down our throats for the last 40 years.  People don’t need to feel better about themselves, or esteem themselves more, especially if that esteem is misplaced.  We need to see ourselves as God sees us.  We need the truth.

You didn’t see this happening in the 60’s and 70’s.  We used to drive to school with our rifles in a wrack on our pickup cab rear window.  It was common place.  Kids would come to school with their dear, or elk in the back of the pickup to show it off after a successful hunt.  The problem isn’t guns, kids, or video games.  It is the sinful heart of man, and the lies that we are telling our kids.  This is a necessary consequence of becoming a godless secular society.  You want to blame someone leftists?  Blame yourselves.

People seem so shocked by murder partially as a selfish way to virtue signal.  We also are shocked by it because we see ourselves as good, and deserving happy lives with many rewards, and pleasures.  To think that someone would not value us they way we value ourselves is a shock.  Of course there are exceptions to the rule.

There are people who are shocked for the right reasons, most of those people are Christians.  They see the value of human life according to the word of God.  They understand that we deserve death, and hell, and that every day is a blessing from God where we should seek to glorify Him.  They understand the inherent idolatry, and blasphemy of destroying an image bearer of God, and spilling the blood unjustly, the blood of His creatures who belong to him, the blood that contains the life.

What we need is for people to be taught the truth.  We are sinners.  We need for Christians, the Church, to preach the gospel of Christ.  If people come to Christ, and are changed, they won’t become mass murderers.  Do you want to see America great again?  Preach Christ!  More laws won’t do it.

 

Christ, Kanye, and Christian Music.

kanye

First, we need to respond to Kanye’s confession as we would any other person’s confession, with joy and praise to God.  Second, we must not give more honor to a public celebrity than to an unnamed convert in North Korea, or a person who has grown up in the Church, but came to faith later in life while living a publicly moral life.

If your attitude is one of, “Oh let’s watch and see!  He will fail, and then I will be vindicated in my presumptions about him.”  Well how did that work out for Jonah?  Do you want God’s rebuke as well?  I’m not saying that Kanye is, or is not a true convert.  Time will tell.  He is just a man.  No different than any man.  There are four soils that the seed of the gospel is sewn on.  I hope that Kanye is going to return a fruitful crop of works prepared for him to do before creation, for the glory of God.

Look at him.  He is just a man.  He has a life of sin that was on public display.  You probably had your sins hidden from the public eye.  Living for Christ is the best life a person can have, but it is difficult, and includes suffering.  The Christian life is hard enough without having people sit on the sidelines waiting for you to mess up.  How often in your young faith did you fall to sins that would be scandalous if found out?  Have mercy.  Demonstrate grace, not just to Kanye, but all young Christians.  Correct in love where needed.  Share the gospel.  Engage in the great commission.

Christian music is a mixed bag.  There is lots of good, bad, and in between.  If a new convert, who happens to be a world famous musician, wants to express the miraculous thing God has done to them, it should stand to reason that they would do it through music.  I read a tweet this morning from Shai Linne.  He is a theologically sound Christian, and a very kind man from what I’ve been told.  He is also a rapper.  He even raps theology.  Rap might not be your thing, but that doesn’t mean that it is bad.  If Christian men can reach lost men by expressing their new hearts in their words and music, and since the Bible doesn’t condemn it, and in some places looks like it is acceptable, I say go right ahead.  We have to understand our liberty in Christ, as well as others liberty in Christ.  Christ is our King.  He is our God.  It is His word we read to know Him by.  If a man wants to sing about that, more power to him.  I might even come along next to him and sing as well.

There are some who claim Christ, but their lyrics, and lives demonstrate worldliness, and sin.  Their music is full of carnality.  I’ve just listened to Kanye’s album.  It seems Christocentric to me.  More so than some I’ve heard from other musicians over the years.  Let’s pray for Kanye’s passion of Jesus to grow, and his life to example fruit in keeping with repentance and faith in Christ our Savior.  Let’s pray that for all the new Christians we know, and even ourselves.

Matthew 13:1-23 (NASB Strong’s) Jesus Teaches in Parables
​ That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
An Explanation
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”  Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘ You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
The Sower Explained
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he  falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

James 2:1-13 (NASB Strong’s) The Sin of Partiality
​  My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in  fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?  Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?
If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, “DO not commit adultery,” also said, “DO not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

So join with me in rejoicing over all the people who have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved, for their good, and God’s glory!  Praise God for sinners saved, and His goodness, longsuffering, mercy, justice, and grace!

Is Kanye saved?  I don’t know.  Are you saved?  I don’t know.  Do I trust God to bring in His elect?  Most assuredly!  If you, and Kanye are saved, I praise God for both of  you in the same manner, and I pray for you all to become what God has planned for you.

Calling Out False Teachers Publicly.

This topic comes up pretty often.  Someone high profile will criticize a false teacher and then themselves become the object of criticism for not doing it with kid gloves.  When someone is a teaching false things publicly, they must be exposed publicly, and in no uncertain terms.  It is one of the duty of elders to do so.

Here is direct instruction from Paul to Timothy on how to handle an elder who is sinning,  1 Timothy 5:20 (NASB Strong’s) “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” This is to be done publicly.

Romans 16:17 (NASB Strong’s) “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.”

Paul even opposed Peter publicly over his false teachings and corrected him.  Galatians 2:11-14 (NASB Strong’s) “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from  James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Paul on the works based teachings of the Jews,

Philippians 3:2-3 (NASB Strong’s) “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”

I could go on and on about this.  There are plenty of scriptures that demonstrate how to treat believers and nonbelievers who are engaged in publicly teaching falsely.  I will list a few more sections of scripture at the bottom.  When someone is publicly teaching, and they are doing so as a biblically unqualified person, there is no doubt how they are to be marked out, decried, debunked, and shunned until they repent.  In today’s world of being able to just go down the street to the next Church, if by some chance you get put out of yours, there just isn’t any accountability.  It may seem mean spirited at times, but if the motivation of the person calling out the false teacher is a love for the gospel, the Savior, and His word, then they are doing so rightly.

A false teacher who is a wolf will respond by doubling down, and going further to the left theologically.  A false teacher who is an erring brother will repent.  Maybe not right away while his feelings are raw and hurt, but wounds from a friend are better than the flattering kisses of an enemy.

John the Baptist publicly exposed the Sadducees and Pharisees in Matthew 3:7-8 (NASB Strong’s) “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;”

Jesus warned in Matthew 7:15 (NASB Strong’s) “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Again Jesus does not talk kindly and privately to these false teachers, “Matthew 12:34-36 (NASB Strong’s) You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”

Jesus again publicly speaking, John 8:44 (NASB Strong’s) “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Here is Dr. John Piper’s page on the topic.