19
Jul
17

Who is the White Evangelicals’ “Christ”?

Despite holding the presidency and having majorities in congress and the senate, the republicans (the white evangelicals’ party of choice) seem to have no ability to deliver anything workable on healthcare. Their only agreement seems to be on their desire to remove “Obamacare”.

During the Obama presidency, while far too many professing Christians were lapping up (and sharing) anti-Obama rhetoric no matter what its source and veracity; one of the complaints that I couldn’t understand was the passionate “Christian” hostility to the idea of affordable health care for all US citizens. Whether or not the so-called “Obamacare” could deliver that wasn’t even the issue. A lot of “Christian” opposition I saw was against the whole idea of making healthcare accessible to those unable to pay for it.

This morning I came across the following, making some interesting observations and claims:

…until recently, most [US] politicians [were] insisting that US healthcare was the best in the world. In reality, the World Health Organisation ranks it 38th, behind Colombia (22nd) and Saudi Arabia (26th) and just above Cuba. The No 1 cause of bankruptcy in the US? Medical debt. And with more than 250,000 deaths a year, medical errors are the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Obamacare has made things somewhat better, but there are still 27 million people without health insurance because they can’t afford it, and millions more who can’t afford the co-payment on prescriptions.

 

Rightwing Christian fundamentalism has had a devastating effect on women’s health. There’s little care for poor women or children once they’ve been born ; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 other industrialised nations are better than the US at keeping babies alive. Americans who say they are pro-life merely mean they are pro-birth. Republicans want to slash Medicaid – government help for those who cannot afford to pay – which pays for nearly half the births in the US.

 

full article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/14/attack-healthcare-policy-with-comedy-jonathan-lynn-yes-minister 

 

Considering the attitudes I’ve seen expressed by many professing Christians over many years, I have to wonder what kind of “Christ” do they think they are following?

Their “Christ” seems to be very different to the person I read about in scripture; their “Christ” seems more associated with partisan politics and political slogans and labels than in reaching out to the most needy people within society.

16
Jul
17

Mankind’s Response to God’s Son: Consequences

“You are my son;
today I have become your Father.

Kiss His son, or He will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1)

14
Jul
17

Son of God?

Son(s) of God)

(a brief overview)

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem reportedly has the following inscription, expressing ONE of the tenets of Islam that distinguishes it from Christian belief:

“God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son”.

That statement is a clear attempt to distance Islam from Christianity, and it’s surely no coincidence that other inscriptions near to it focus on the persons of Jesus and His mother Mary.*

The identity of Jesus as the Son of God is central to the Christian faith and Jesus regularly identified God as His Father. That relationship was continually disputed by enemies throughout His life on earth.

The gospels give an account of how Satan challenged the Sonship of Jesus. The recorded temptations in the wilderness were centred on it, as he tried to tempt Jesus to prove He was the Son of God.

“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

“Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.”

Religious authorities were determined to kill Him because of His claim to be God’s Son, considering it to be blasphemy.

“We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

But many who heard his teaching and experienced His miracles readily recognised Him as Son of God.

“Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

When crucified He was mocked by the crowds because of the claim He was the Son of God.

“saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

“He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’

But not everyone mocked, even a Roman Centurion witnessing the crucifixion recognised Jesus as the Son of God.

So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said,

“Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

After His resurrection His disciples recognised and preached that He was the Son of God.

Saul (Paul):

Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy

John:

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

And most significantly, God Himself confirmed the Sonship of Jesus.

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

and

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

It is also important that the question of whether God could have a Son goes beyond His relationship to Jesus.

The Bible describes Adam as “son of God” within one of the lists of Jesus’s ancestors.

the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Scripture also refers to others who are considered as sons of God:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

There is also the promise that followers of Jesus are adopted as sons.

“you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

and

adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will”

And that last quote (“according to the good pleasure of His will”) perhaps gives the most significant rebuttal to the claim that having a son would somehow reduce God’s “transcendent majesty”; as if God could be reduced in some way by the fact of being Father.

Does God Himself not have the right to make that choice? Is it not up to God Himself what He can or cannot do and what He can or cannot be?

For any man to say God cannot have a Son, that man is in fact limiting God, enforcing some kind of restriction on God’s own right to choose and act and BE according to the good pleasure of God’s own will.

That man is making himself the limiter of God.

_____________________

* Inscriptions
See “INSCRIPTIONS ON THE INNER OCTAGONAL ARCADE”

14
Jul
17

A Wind in the House of Islam III

The greatest barriers to Muslim movements to Christ may be found not in the Muslim world, but within our own ranks.

Sometimes that means fear. When we’re afraid of the Muslim world.
That’s not their fault, that’s our fault.

Fear is a choice and fear is supplanted by love, and love overcomes fear.

Fear leads to hatred.

13
Jul
17

A Wind in the House of Islam II

13
Jul
17

A Wind in the House of Islam

David Garrison’s book A Wind in the House of Islam was recommended in the audio featured in my previous post. I ordered a copy this morning.

Here Garrison is interviewed about the content of his book prior to its release in 2013.

12
Jul
17

Muslims, Mission and Martyrdom with Dr. Jerry Rankin

I’ve recommended and posted a few audios from this source.

This is one includes another very interesting interview worth the listening time.

The interview starts around the 7 minute 25 second point, after some banter between the podcast presenters.

from:
http://www.zwemercenter.com/zwemer-podcast/page/7/

This audio and the rest in the series can be downloaded from the site at the above link.
I’ve downloaded episodes to a USB stick so I can listen to them in the car on my way to and from work. I find that much more practical than sitting at the computer to hear them.




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