The wrath of God is permissiveness

Studying Romans 1 I am amazed to see how foolish man is but at the same time see that it all makes sense.  When man rejects God, God gives him over to a reprobate mind.    Those are some loaded words, but for now it think this passage from Paul Achtemeier is insightful.

“Paul describes God’s punishment for the sin of idolatry. It is frightening simply because, had Paul not told us they were signs of wrath, we could easily have mistaken them for signs of grace! When God visits his wrath in the way described in this passage there is no divine cataclysm, no fire from on high sent to consume sinful society. Rather, the wrath which God visits on sinful humanity consists in simply letting humanity have its own way. The punishment of sin is therefore simply — sin!…The way God in his wrath delivers humanity over to the just punishment of sin is to become permissive. He withdraws the gracious power of his absolute lordship and allows other lordships to prevail.” (p.40, Roman, Paul Achtemeier)

This is not to say that permissiveness is all of God’s wrath, but it does explain much about the word around us.   What are your thoughts?

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Treat your spouse with biblical love no matter what they say or do


Part 2 of “Want to have a better marriage?”

Defining love is a tricky task.   One popular notion of love suggests to a person, “If you love something, let it go; if it returns back to you it is yours, if it doesn’t, it never was.”  I have no idea who first declared that hackneyed phrase but it contains only a grain of truth.    That grain probably works well when applied to  stray cats or box turtles found by children. There might even be a grain of that truth in the puppy love of tweeners and young teens twittering about who loves who this week, but the whole idea of “love lets go” falls apart when applied to the serious love demanded between a husband and wife in marriage.

Our modern idea of love is mostly based on feelings and the problem with feelings is that they change like the weather. Hollywood and publishing media have glorified romantic love to such a degree that many people know of no other kind of love.  When warm feelings inevitably fade the heart speaks to the mind saying  that love is gone and the person must be let go.  You can find another and start over.

A related problem is that we are intensely selfish.  People are deeply invested in self.  They grow up making most of their decisions on the basis of self advancement or gratification.   Humility, service, honor, loyalty,  and stoicism are neglected virtues rarely taught and less often modeled.   All of this focus on self is incompatible with biblical love.

When the Bible speaks of love it emphasizes selflessness  and humility.    A biblical definition of love could be,

selfless care of another which seeks the best spiritual, physical, and emotional outcome for the other regardless of how one is treated in return.

Several passages will be briefly considered in this series and the first one is 1 Corinthians 13.   While often read at weddings, this passage is infrequently applied adequately in life.  Consider verses 4-7,

 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NASB)

If you read these verses and carefully consider how each of these descriptions of love might apply to your marriage, and then actually do these things, you will find a miraculous change.  However, one thing is necessary.  You must apply these things regardless of how the other responds.  Biblical love does its work in spite of, or even because of, persecution, un- thakfulness,  accusation and many other selfish responses.

Loving your spouse or any other person with biblical love is not easy.  It is actually very difficult.  It is hard because it requires radical change in ourselves from self-centered to God and others centered.  By God’s grace and in His power you can be the person God desires you to be.

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Want to have a better marriage?

rings-1516837Here are five thoughts for improving your marriage that are guaranteed to help.   Each of these thoughts will be fleshed out in the coming days.

  1. Treat your spouse with biblical love no matter what they say or do.

  2. Love selflessly.

  3. Keep very short accounts.

  4. Seek to fulfill your biblical roles.

  5. Make God the center of your live.

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Vacation from blogging is over.

vacation-is-over-crying-childIt looks like about 2 years since this blog has been active.  It is time for revival.

Over the next week or two the side bars will hopefully be updated.

I have a number of things to write about.  The first series will likely deal with “Thoughts for improving your marriage”, or possibly a book review.

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How to avoid misery.

stressProverbs 27:12  “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty.”

     A prudent or wise person is able to see the evil around him.   

Some foolish people are not even able to see the dangers around.   A foolish man might say, “I can enjoy much of the worlds entertainment and pleasures and they won’t hurt me or my family.”  But he never realizes how spiritually dull he actually becomes, how worldly his kids become, or how his hunger for more sin is fed through that “innocent” entertainment or activity until it becomes insatiable.

     A prudent person hides himself.

First he must notice it and then he must do something about it.   Like a person who might see a band of thugs coming down the street beating and shooting people, and he hides from them so he doesn’t get beat or shot, the wise person sees the danger of more subtle things in this world and hides.  He gets away from them before they destroy him.

     The naïve continue.

A naïve person is a simple person, one who simply doesn’t get it.  He doesn’t understand what is going on around him.  Satan has blinded the eyes of the people of this world,

 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them ” (2 Cor. 4.4).  “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. (1 Pet.4:3,4)

It is true that a naive person can’t see simple dangers, but it is even more true that he can’t see the moral and spiritual implications of his actions in this world.   This person will be told of the dangers but will always have an argument for why he think his desires are harmless.

Children are born in this state of naivety and it is the responsibility of parents to train them to be wise.

 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Prov. 22:15)

Pity the child whose parents can not train him because they themselves are still naive.

     There is a serious price to be paid.

Sometimes is is a personal price paid in lack of success in life, in financial troubles, or in school or a job.  However, the spiritual and moral weight of this price is often seen in broken relationship, habitual sins which trap and destroy a person, or general misery as a person can never attain the peace and joy he seeks in life.


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Three Minutes. 8-7-13

Here is a video review of this past week at NLF and a preview of this coming Sunday.

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The Boston bombing, Muslim extremism and Satanic evil


Very serious things have been happening in America recently.  The most notable for the public being the tragic Boston Marathon bombing.  Evidence points to the perpetrators being Muslim extremist. Reports have been

conflicting as to whether they were part of a larger organized group, but it seems like a probable conclusion.

Of course one need not be part of a Muslim extremist group to wreak violence upon American people. Plenty of seemingly normal Americans have become mass murderers.  But this attack is significant in that it is the largest terrorist attack on American soil since 9-11.  That there have not been more episodes of intentional violence and destruction in America is stunning, especially given the fact that the USA has been stirring the hornets’ nest of the Middle East for a dozen years; and given the fact that our borders are completely open to any motivated aggressor.  

I’d like to suggest some reasons that we may not have been attacked sooner or more often.

The USA is so good at counter-terrorism that we stopped all the other attempts.

OK, our guys are good, but are they really that good?  Seriously, with our virtually unprotected borders, visa’s given to nearly anyone, and a nation that is crippled by political correctness to the point that no one may be judged or even suspected of being terrorist regardless of their religion, fashion, associations, or spending habits, are we supposed to believe that it’s impossible for the haters of America to bomb a school, stadium, or public building?

The great irony is that the US government has trampled the rights of all Americans, ignoring and demolishing the Bill of Rights in order to supposedly protect us from the evil terrorists.   Under the Patriot Act and similar legislation, along with executive orders, Americans are spied on and searched in their “persons and papers” electronically, and may be arrested and held indefinitely without trial, all in violation of the Bill of Rights.  So instead of profiling a foreigner who is not entitled to the rights of our founding documents, we have given the foreigner greater rights than the citizen, and in the process robbed the citizen of both his rights and his protection from foreign aggression – the one clear thing the Federal government is supposed to do for us.

Face the truth.  If those desiring to hurt America so desired, the Boston bombing could be repeated every single day.  America would be bogged down in such a sludge of regulation and government police “protection” that ordinary life would cease.   The economy would likely collapse, people would riot; chaos would reign requiring the government to take ever more stringent steps to “protect us”.  The light of freedom, that thing which has made America so attractive to the masses, has already dimmed but would soon go out. All of this would work to the favor of those desiring to hurt America.

So here’s the truth as I see it: either the haters don’t really want to hurt America, which I find hard to believe; or something other the US government has prevented them.  What could that be?

God protects us.

There is no doubt that God directs in the affairs of man, at times preventing men or devils from conducting their evil schemes or through providential blessing and guidance to fulfill His purposes. We have a number of biblical examples to help us understand this.

In Job we find God protecting his servant so that, though Satan desired to hurt him, he was unable until God lifted His protective hedge.   Even then Satan was limited in what he could do to Job.   When allowed by God, Satan was able to afflict Job by manipulating both men (army’s) and weather.  Throughout Israel’s history God is seen raising up kings and putting down nations.  Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel, is a great example.  God took his sanity from him so that he acted like a wild animal for seven seasons of time; then God told him:

“In order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men. (Dan.4:17)

No terrorist will ever be able to attack America, or any other nation for that matter, without God allowing it to happen.  There can be no doubt that, to some degree, God has been protecting and blessing America.  He’s not obligated to do so; and our rebellion most certainly will, or has led Him to cease, but He has blessed and protected in the past.

Satan has not allowed it.

The premise of this point is that God has already allowed Satan to afflict America for whatever reason God has in doing so.  I happen to think that God may have a number of reasons.  But why wouldn’t Satan pursue more of these Muslim terrorist attacks?

Islam is one of Satan’s religions.  I’m sorry if that offends you, but it is a fact.  I’m not saying that we should hate people who are Muslims, not at all; we should love them, pray for them, and seek to teach them the Gospel.  But as a religion, Islam was founded by Satan; it is anti-Christ, anti-Bible, and anti-morality.  I will concede that it does have a certain element of morality to it, but that is how Satan works, he mixes truth with lies.  The moral teaching of Islam that is in harmony with the Bible is offset by other teaching that is perverted, gross and anti-biblical.

Islam has perpetrated violence upon human flesh for well over a millennia.  This has often been through external aggression, using wars to win territory and force people into their vile religion.  But it has also been through the internal violence toward its’ own people, especially women.  Satan has used Islam to accomplish his goals; keeping people from faith in the true and living God, and destroying things and people which God has made.  It would seem to make sense for Satan to use Islamic extremists to attack and injure America.  This would be especially true if America were a nation that to a large degree embraced the morality of the Bible; and if there were a large number of Christians in America.

Perhaps, and I’m just taking a guess here, but perhaps Satan has not been pursuing more terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists in America because America has been on a steady path into deeper evil and immorality; and too many big scary terrorist attacks might just turn people back to God.  Seeing that he is achieving success in his goal of keeping people from faith in the true and living God, and destroying things and people which God has made, may it be that Satan knows he doesn’t need many terrorist attacks.   He’s a smart businessman; he’ll just keep doing what is working.

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