I just finished MacArthur's "Hard To Believe". It's a Hard to Read book. It's been awhile since I picked up something that hurt good. It's a good feeling. Kinda tickles.
Also I've added a link to M'Cheyne's Daily Bible Readings to the list on the right. If you click it, it takes you to today's selections. If you're not familiar with how M'Cheyne's works, the ones labeled "Family" are to be read by the husband to the family, and the ones labeled "Secret" are read individually. If you decide to start this, pick a time and regularly get everybody prepared to read the word, every night, at that time.
So now it's time for me to start the next book in this fat stack sitting on my dresser, which is "A Christian Manifesto". From Hermano Urn's report of the book it should shake me up a little. Good eatin.
I'm noticing more that most people who bear the title Christian aren't living up to their descriptions. There is a numbing sea of apathy amongst American Christians that is as far as the eye can see. I'm disturbed by the lack of ambition toward improving spiritual life and there are a huge amount of people who are content to just benchwarm at church. I may have said this on here already, I can't remember.
"Hard to Believe" hit on this fact pretty heavily. He doesn't waste any time getting to the point of saying that he doesn't make any assumptions about peoples' salvation. Never assume that a person who says they're saved really is.
I guess the way to describe how we should be towards people like this is to be what I could call "fire tenders". We should be working on stirring people up and keep them hot so they don't fall out and cool off. Intead, a lot of people are practicing a form of spiritual isolationism, forgoing fellowship in favor of treating church like a roll call is being taken. Blah.
In other news, I'm in contact with a young man who started off coming across as a quasi-atheist with some questions about the Bible. After a late-night visit to his blog I've noticed that he's more or less calling down anathema against everything God-related. I almost--ALMOST--left a comment... but chose not to because his commenting reader base seems to support this view and it's not my intent to make him look like a twit in front of his friends. One of the views is that the Bible shouldn't be trusted because if even one contradiction shows up, the whole thing is trash. I told him that if the Bible has been around this long after being attacked the same way for hundreds of years, it's probably pretty stable if people are still trusting in it. So he points me to the verses Deuteronomy 27:22 and Genesis 20:11-12. To save some time, here they are:
Deut 27:22 Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen'
Gen 20:11-12 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.
He didn't even quote the verses themselves, just the references. I'm assuming he thinks there's a contradiction here because a rule instated in Deuteronomy appears to have been broken with God's sanction before it had even been invented... It would be like being arrested for selling whiskey 20 years before the Prohibition.
In a way, I'm thankful that people like him and the American Atheists organization exist. They have a tendency of shaking the fakers off that don't have true faith. I don't have a problem saying the Bible is true because there's some kind of God-given information inside me that I can't trace logically and can't just tell anybody about either. It's just THERE. I can't deny it, and I'd be a fool if I did after seeing what all He's done in my life.
Also, I've been pressed lately on the topic of Christian persecution. I don't know why. I read these stories about how Christians were killed for their beliefs and I wonder, what would I do if that started happening here? It's a distasteful thing to think about but it's a possibility. What would you do if someone held a gun to your child's head and threatened to shoot if you didn't recant your beliefs? This BUGS me. Not because of the situation but because I honestly don't know what I'd do. Even Peter denied Christ 3 times in a pretty short time span and he was RIGHT THERE with Him.
Lord... there is a ruckus coming and I can feel it. I would ask that you watch over all of us who truly pursue the faith and strive to live for Your glory. It's a hard road, which is to be expected. We have no idea what in particular is on this road, but You do. It's one thing to say that we're ready and another to actually believe it. I don't know where I'm at on this, but I know that You have the power to strengthen us for what's ahead. I'm asking now Lord, that You please give us that thousand-yard stare that goes along with focusing on the eternal things so that the quick lives we live here aren't what we focus on. In Jesus' name, Amen.