Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pol'-e-what Ministries?

I'm frequently asked where the name "Polemos" came from and what it means.

In Greek mythology Polemos (pol'-em-os) was the god of war.  The word itself, from which we derive our English word polemics, is a transliteration of a Greek word which speaks of warfare, battles or armed conflicts. It often speaks of a prolonged and/or violent struggle and is frequently used in Scripture, such as Revelation 16:14, to speak of a great war.

As a new Christian I occasionally heard that the Christian life was one of warfare, but nothing ever prepared me for what I have experienced. I cannot think of any one word which better describes the Christian life.

I know that this might sound strange or unintelligible to some Christian ears and that to some professing Christians the very idea of equating Christianity with warfare is probably offensive. But never-the-less the Scriptures are full of references to this war; from the promise of hostility between the seed of the Woman and that of the Serpent in Genesis chapter three, to the promise to the over-comer in the book of Revelation, this war is on every page of Scripture!

We are at war with a world system that constantly pressures us to conform to itself (Romans 12:2) and we are at war with Satanic principalities that are at work in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2), but worst of all we are at war with an enemy in our own heart that won’t quit (Romans 7:14-25). As James Ramsey so eloquently put it in his commentary on the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation:

"Each of these epistles concludes with a glowing pro­mise of the glories of the church, triumphant. These are all addressed, not to the churches as such, but "to him that overcometh,"—to the individual conqueror. The possession of these glories is suspended, therefore, upon an individual conflict. The suspension of every one of these promises upon this single condition, thus seven times repeated, shows that the very design of the visible church, is to call men to this spiritual conflict, and to sustain them in it, as the only means of attaining the glories of the everlasting kingdom. 

It is this personal conflict, too, that gives shape and character to the great conflicts of the church, as portrayed in the symbolic revelations of this book, and as already in part recorded in the history of the church. It, therefore, brings the whole of these great and stirring scenes of seals and trumpets, and vials and beastly powers, as well as of the New Jerusalem, in its descending glories, into imme­diate and personal contact with the spiritual life of each soul. It is the exigencies of this spiritual and individual warfare that demand or give occasion to all the strange and vast movements of the mighty plan of God here on earth…."

And again speaking of this war within our own hearts James Ramsey says:

"....It admits of no truce. In the sweet retirement of the family, and in the perplexing cares and irritations of business, in every field of intellectual effort, in every walk of cha­rity and work of usefulness, in the most sacred ordinances of the house of God, and in the solemn secrecy of the closet, the enemy is present, and the conflict pressing"

I love how Ramsey describes the very design and mission of the church; “…to call men to this spiritual conflict, and to sustain them in it, as the only means of attaining the glories of the everlasting kingdom.” Polemos began as a simple evangelistic outreach “…to call men to this spiritual conflict…” and it only seemed natural over time to add some further material to “…sustain them in it.”

While we certainly do not agree with everything taught by all the men on this website, we have found their material on the subjects at hand to be an edifying and “sustaining” influence on our own lives.

While the warfare may be great, the power and promises of our sovereign King are greater!

...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Philippians 1:6

"...for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  
Galatians 6:9

How does your soul taste?

“Be careful what books you read, for as water tastes of the soil it runs though, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads.”
- John Trapp

Friday, January 28, 2011

Atheism and the Unlimited Liability Universe

 "A limited liability company is one in which the liability of each shareholder is limited to the amount of his shares or stocks, or to a sum fixed by a guarantee called "limited by guarantee." The purpose of limited liability laws is to limit responsibility. Although the ostensible purpose is to protect the shareholders, the practical effect is to limit their responsibility and therefore encourage recklessness in investment. A limited liability economy is socialistic. By seeking to protect people, a limited liability economy merely transfers responsibility away from the people to the state, where "planning" supposedly obviates re­sponsibility. Limited liability encourages people to take chances with limited risks, and to sin economically without paying the price. Limited liability laws rest on the fallacy that payment for economic sins need not be made. In actuality, payment is simply transferred to others.

Limited liability laws were unpopular in earlier, Christian eras but have flourished in the Darwinian world. They rest on important religious presuppositions.

In a statement central to his account, C. S. Lewis described his preference, prior to his conversion, for a materialistic, atheistic uni­verse. The advantages of such a world are the very limited demands it makes on a man.

To such a craven the materialist's universe has the enormous at­traction that it offered you limited liabilities. No strictly infinite disaster could overtake you in it. Death ended all. And if ever finite disasters proved greater than one wished to bear, suicide would always be possible. The horror of the Christian universe was that it had no door marked Exit. . . . But, of course, what mattered most of all was my deap-seated hatred of authority, my monstrous individualism, my lawlessness. No word in my vocabu­lary expressed deeper hatred than the word Interference. But Christianity placed at the center what then seemed to me a tran­scendental Interferer. If its picture were true then no sort of "treaty with reality" could ever be possible. There was no region even in the innermost depth of one's soul (nay, there least of all) which one could surround with a barbed wire fence and guard with a notice of No Admittance. And that was what I wanted; some area, however small, of which I could say to all other beings, "This is my business and mine only."

This is an excellent summation of the matter. The atheist wants a limited liability universe, and he seeks to create a limited liability political and economic order. The more socialistic he becomes, the more he demands a maximum advantage and a limited liability from his social order, an impossibility."

-R.J. Rushdoony in Institutes of Biblical Law

Foundations of Christian Ethics

New at Polemos
Audio Links

Christian Ethics; Back to Barbarism

New at Polemos
Audio Links

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Self-Attesting Word of God

"The nature of faith is acceptance on the basis of testimony, and the ground of faith is therefore testimony or evidence. In this matter it is the evidence God has provided, and God provides the evidence in his Word, the Bible. This means simply that the basis of faith in the Bible is the witness the Bible itself bears to the fact that it is God's Word, and our faith that it is infallible must rest upon no other basis than the witness the Bible bears to this fact. If the Bible does not witness to its own infallibility, then we have no right to believe that it is infallible. If it does bear witness to its infallibility then our faith in it must rest upon that witness, however much difficulty may be entertained with this belief. If this position with respect to the ground of faith in Scripture is abandoned, then appeal to the Bible for the ground of faith in any other doctrine must also be abandoned."

-John Murray as quoted in A Christian Theory of Knowledge by Cornelius Van Til

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family Worship

New at Polemos
Family Worship at Home
Audio Links

A wonderful, convicting and much needed sermon full of some good practical suggestions from Dr. Joel Beeke on the subject of Family Worship. Don't miss this one fathers!

I hate this thing!

Best of the Old Blog!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

 I try to take one of my children out alone for a "date night" each week. This last week I took my 5 year old daughter out to to one of those arcades were you get  tickets for playing the games. You spend five dollars or so on the games and when your done you have a small handful of tickets you can turn in for some cheesy cheap plastic toys.

We played some games, got our tickets, traded them in for a few cheesy cheap plastic toys, but we still had 10 tickets left. Not sure what to do with them my daughter asked for a Chinese finger trap. "What do you do with it?" she asked me as the man at the counter handed it to her. "Not much" I replied "you just stick one finger in each end of it."

 Looking through her newly acquired treasures on the way home, my daughter ripped the Chinese finger trap out of the package, pushed a finger in each side of it and said "Look Daddy, it's my Chinese finger trap!" As I looked at her in the rear view mirror the words were hardly out of her mouth when her little face scrunched up and she hollered "Hey, my fingers are stuck!...... I hate this thing!" There were a few more moments of silence and then with a growing frown on her face and her fingers still stuck in the trap she mumbled "I'm throwing this thing in the trash!"

Now that was worth the ten tickets!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Van Til; A Consistently Reformed Apologetic

"It is of critical importance in the current scene that a consistently Reformed apologetic be set forth. The non-Christian point of view is much more self-consciously hostile to Christianity than it has ever been. The fact that the assumption of human autonomy is the root and fountain of all forms of non-Christian thought is more apparent than it has ever been in the past. Any argument for the truth of Christianity that is inconsistent with itself should not expect to have a hearing. Only a position which boldly and humbly challenges the wisdom of the world and, with the Apostle Paul, brings out that it has been made foolishness with God will serve the purpose. Only such a method which asks man to serve and worship the Creator rather than the creature honors God and assigns to him the place that he truly occupies. Only such a method is consistent with the idea that the Holy Spirit must convict and convince the sinner. The Holy Spirit cannot be asked to honor a method that does not honor God as God..."

Cornelius Van Til in  A Christian Theory of Knowledge

New at Polemos
Some Good Quotes

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Logical Barrier from Tyranny

"The source of moral authority and law within a society will either be theistic or political; when the former is repudiated, the latter allows no logical barrier from tyranny."

Greg Bahnsen in Theonomy in Christian Ethics

Friday, January 21, 2011

John Calvin; Fasting and Prayer

John Calvin
From “The Institutes of the Christian Religion”

16. Fasting and Prayer
Hence fasting, as it is a sign of humiliation, has a more frequent use in public than among private individuals, although, as we have said, it is common to both. In regard, then, to the discipline of which we now treat, whenever supplication is to be made to God on any important occasion, it is befitting to appoint a period for fasting and prayer. Thus when the Christians of Antioch laid hands on Barnabas and Paul, that they might the better recommend their ministry, which was of so great importance, they joined fasting and prayer, (Acts 13: 3.) Thus these two apostles afterwards, when they appointed ministers to churches, were wont to use prayer and fasting, (Acts 14: 23.) In general, the only object which they had in fasting was to render themselves more alert and disencumbered for prayer. We certainly experience that after a full meal the mind does not so rise toward God as to be borne along by an earnest and fervent longing for prayer, and perseverance in prayer. In this sense is to be understood the saying of Luke concerning Anna, that she "served God with fastings and prayers, night and day," (Luke 2: 37.) For he does not place the worship of God in fasting, but intimates that in this way the holy woman trained herself to assiduity in prayer. Such was the fast of Nehemiah, when with more intense zeal he prayed to God for the deliverance of his people, (Neh. 1: 4.) For this reason Paul says, that married believers do well to abstain for a season, (1 Cor. 7: 5,) that they may have greater freedom for prayer and fasting, when by joining prayer to fasting, by way of help, he reminds us it is of no importance in itself, save in so far as it refers to this end. Again, when in the same place he enjoins spouses to render due benevolence to each other, it is clear that he is not referring to daily prayers but prayers which require more than ordinary attention.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

John Calvin; The purpose of fasting

John Calvin
From “The Institutes of the Christian Religion”

15. The purpose of fasting

A holy and lawful fast has three ends in view. We use it either to mortify and subdue the flesh, that it may not wanton, or to prepare the better for prayer and holy meditation; or to give evidence of humbling ourselves before God, when we would confess our guilt before him.

The first end is not very often regarded in public fasting, because all have not the same bodily constitution, nor the same state of health, and hence it is more applicable to private fasting.

The second end is common to both, for this preparation for prayer is requisite for the whole Church, as well as for each individual member.

The same thing may be said of the third. For it sometimes happens that God smites a nation with war or pestilence, or some kind of calamity. In this common chastisement it behaves the whole people to plead guilty, and confess their guilt. Should the hand of the Lord strike any one in private, then the same thing is to be done by himself alone, or by his family. The thing, indeed, is properly a feeling of the mind. But when the mind is affected as it ought, it cannot but give vent to itself in external manifestation, especially when it tends to the common edification, that all, by openly confessing their sin, may render praise to the divine justice, and by their example mutually encourage each other.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Rebuke to the Present from the Past

“Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!” 

 -Samuel Adams signer of the Declaration of Independence

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gossips by John Ploughman

by John Ploughman
(Charles Spurgeon)

IN WALTON CHURCH, in our county, there is a brank, or scold's bridle, which was used in years gone by to keep women's tongues from troubling their husbands and their neighbors. They did queer things in those good old times. Was this bridle a proof of what our parson calls the wisdom of our ancestors, or was it a bit of needless cruelty?

"It is nothing—only a woman drowning," is a wicked and spiteful old saying, which, like the bridle, came out of the common notion that women do a world of mischief with their tongues. Is it so or not? John Ploughman will leave somebody else to answer, for he owns that he cannot keep a secret himself. He likes a dish of chat as well as anybody; only John does not care for cracking people's characters, and hates the slander which is so sweet to some people's teeth. John puts the question to wiser men than himself: Are women much worse than men in this business? They say that silence is a fine jewel for a woman, but it is very little worn. Is it so? Is it true that a woman only conceals what she does not know? Are women's tongues like lambs' tails, always wagging? They say foxes are all tail, and women all tongue. Is this false or not? Was that old prayer a needful one— "From big guns and women's tongues deliver us"? John has a good and quiet wife of his own, whose voice is so sweet that he cannot hear it too often, and therefore he is not a fair judge; but he is half afraid that some other women would sooner preach than pray, and would not require strong tea to set their clappers going. Still what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and some men are quite as bad blabs as the women.

What a pity that there is not a tax upon words: what an income would come from it; but, alas, talking pays no toll! And if lies paid double, the government might pay off the national debt; but who could collect the money? Common fame is a common liar. Hearsay is half lies. A tale never loses in the telling. As a snowball grows by rolling, so does a story. They who talk much lie much. If men only said what was true, what a peaceable world we should see! Silence seldom makes mischief; but talking is a plague to the parish. Silence is wisdom. By this rule, wise men and wise women are scarce. Still waters are the deepest; but the shallowest brooks brawl the most; this shows how plentiful fools must be. An open mouth shows an empty head. If the chest had gold or silver in it, it would not always stand open. Talking comes by nature, but it needs a good deal of training to learn to be quiet; yet regard for truth should put a bit into every honest man's mouth, and a bridle upon every good woman's tongue.

If we must talk, at least let us be free from slander, but let us not blister our tongues with backbiting. Slander may be sport to talebearers, but it is death to those whom they abuse. We can commit murder with the tongue as well as with the hand. The worst evil you can do a man is to injure his character. The Quaker said to his dog, "I'll not beat thee, nor abuse thee, but I'll give thee an ill name." All are not thieves that dogs bark at, but they are generally treated as if they were. The world for the most part believe that where there is smoke there is fire, and what everybody says must be true. Let us then be careful that we do not hurt our neighbor in so tender a point as his character, for it is hard to get dirt off if it is once thrown on; and when a man is once in people's bad books, he is hardly ever quite out of them. If we would be sure not to speak amiss, it might be as well to speak as little as possible. If all men's sins were divided into two bundles, half of them would be sins of the tongue. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."

Gossips of both genders, give up the shameful trade of talebearing; don't be the Devil's bellows to blow up the fire of strife. Leave off setting people by the ears. If you do not cut a bit off your tongues, at least season them with the salt of grace. Praise God more and blame neighbors less. Any goose can cackle, any fly can find out a sore place, any empty barrel can give forth sound, any brier can tear a man's flesh. No flies will go down your throat if you keep your mouth shut, and no evil speaking will come up. Think much, but say little. Be quick at work and slow at talk; above all, ask the Lord to set a watch over your lips.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dying Experience of Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley

The Dying Experience of Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley as found in Thoughts on Religious Experience by J.A. Alexander (1809-1860)

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley, who had been for some time President of New Jersey College, upon being informed by his physicians that his disease was incurable, expressed his entire resignation, and exclaimed, 'Welcome, Lord Jesus.' On the Sabbath preceding his death, Dr. Clarkson, one of his physicians, told him that he observed a manifest alteration, and that he could not live many days. He said, 'May the Lord bring me near Himself! I have been waiting with a Canaan hunger for the Promised Land. I have often wondered that God suffered me to live. I have more wondered that He ever called me to be a minister of His Word. He has often afforded me much strength which I have abused. He has returned in mercy. O how faithful are the promises of God! O that I could see Him as I have seen Him before in His sanctuary! Although I have as earnestly desired death as the hireling pants for the evening shade, yet will I wait all the days of my appointed time. I have often struggled with principalities and powers, and have been brought to the borders of despair. Lord, let it suffice.' He then closed his eyes and sat up and prayed fervently that God would show him His glory before he departed hence; that He would enable him to endure patiently to the end—and, particularly, that he might be kept from dishonouring the ministry. He then resumed his dis­course, and said, 'I can truly say that I have loved the service of God. I know not in what language to speak of my own un-worthiness—I have been undutiful—I have honestly endeavoured to act for God, but with much weakness and corruption.' Then lying down again, he said, 'A Christian's death is the best part of his experience. The Lord has made provision for the whole way; provision for the soul, and provision for the body. The Lord has given me many souls as the crown of my rejoicing. Blessed be God—eternal rest is at hand. Eternity is but long enough to enjoy my God. This, this has animated me in my severest studies. I was ashamed to take rest here. O! that I could be filled with the fulness of God, that fulness which fills heaven!' Being asked whether he would choose to live or die, he said, 'To die, though I cannot but feel the same strait that Paul did when he knew not which to choose. "For me to live is Christ—and to die is gain." But should God, by a miracle, prolong my life, I would still continue to serve Him. His service has been sweet to me. I have loved it much. I have tried my Master's yoke, and will never shrink my neck from it. His yoke is easy, and His burden is lightl' One said to him, 'You are more cheerful and vigorous, sir.' 'Yes, I rise or fall, as eternal life seems nearer or further off.' It being remarked that he always used the appellation, 'dear Lord', in his prayers, he answered, 'O! He is very dear! very precious, indeed 1 How pretty is it for a minister to die on the Sabbath! I expect to spend the remainder of this Sabbath in heaven.' One said, 'You will soon join the blessed society of heaven—you will for ever hold converse with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with the spirits of the just made perfect—with old friends, and many old-fashioned people.' 'Yes, sir,' he replied with a smile, 'but they are a most polite people now.'

He expressed great gratitude to his friends around him, and said, 'May the Lord repay you for your tenderness to me! may He bless you abundantly, not only with temporal, but with spiritual blessings!' Turning to his wife, he said, 'My dear, I expect to see you shortly in glory.' Seeing a member of the Second Presbyterian Church present, he said, 'I have often preached and prayed among you, my dear sir, and the doctrines I preached are now my support, and blessed be God, they are without a flaw. May the Lord bless and preserve your church! He designs good for it yet, I trust.' To a person from Princeton he said, 'Give my love to the people of Princeton, and tell them that I am going to die, and that I am not afraid to die.'

He would sometimes cry out, 'The Lord Jesus will take care of His cause in the world.' Upon waking next morning, he ex­claimed, 'O what a disappointment I have met with—I expected this morning to have been in heaven.' On account of his extreme weakness, he was unable to speak much during the day, but all that he said was in the language of triumph. Next morning, with a pleasing smile on his countenance, he cried out, 'O I shall triumph over every foe—the Lord has given me the victory. Now I know that it is impossible that faith should not triumph over earth and hell—I exult—I triumph. O that I could see untainted purity! I think I have nothing to do but die—yet perhaps I have —Lord, show me my task. He then said, 'Lord Jesus, into Thy hands I commit my spirit—I do it with confidence—I do it with full assurance. I know that Thou wilt keep that which I have committed to Thee. I have been dreaming too fast of the time of my departure, for I find it does not yet come—but the Lord is faithful, and will not tarry beyond the appointed time.'

In the afternoon, the Rev. Mr. Spencer came to see him, and said, I have come, dear sir, to see you confirm by facts the Gospel you have been preaching. Pray, sir, how do you feel?' To which he replied, 'Full of triumph—I triumph through Christ. Nothing clips my wings but the thoughts of my dissolution being pro­longed—O that it were tonight! My very soul thirsts for eternal rest.' Mr. Spencer asked him what he saw in eternity to excite such vehement desires in his soul. He said, 'I see the eternal love and goodness of God. I see the fullness of the Mediator. I see the love of Jesus. O to be dissolved and to be with Him! I long to be clothed with the complete righteousness of Christ.' He then re­quested Mr. Spencer to pray with him before they parted, and said, 'I have gained the victory over the devil; pray to God to preserve me from evil, to keep me from evil in this critical hour and to support me with His presence through the valley of the shadow of death.'

He spent the remainder of the day in taking an affectionate and solemn leave of his friends, and exhorting such of his chil­dren as were with him.

On the next day, July 16, the conflict was terminated. He was no longer able to speak, but a friend having desired him to give a token by which his friends might know whether he still con­tinued to triumph, he lifted up his hand and uttered the word 'Yes.' About nine o’clock he fell into a sound sleep, and appeared much more free from pain than he had been for many days before. He continued to sleep, without changing his position, till about one o'clock, when he expired without a groan or a sigh. During his whole sickness he was never heard to utter a repining word; and in taking leave of his dearest friends he was never seen to shed a tear, or exhibit any sign of sorrow.

His remains were interred in the Second Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Mulberry or Arch and Third Streets; by the side of his dear friend, the Rev. Gilbert Tennent.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

No Brains of His Own

As the apostle says to Timothy, so also he says to everyone, 'Give yourself to reading.' He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. The best way for you to spend your leisure is to be either reading or praying”

-C.H. Spurgeon

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One cause of the decay of religion in our day

From the Preface to the Second London Baptist Confession of'1677/89

“...And that in this backsliding day, we might not spend our breath in fruitless complaints of the evils of others, but may every one begin at home to reform in the first place our own hearts and ways; and then to quicken all that we may have influence upon to the same work; that if the will of God were so, none might deceive themselves by resting in and trusting to a form of godliness without the power of it and inward experience of the efficacy of those truths that are professed by them.

And verily there is one spring and cause of the decay of religion in our day, which we cannot but touch upon and earnestly urge a redress of; and that is the neglect of the worship of God in families by those to whom the charge and conduct of them is committed. May not the gross ignorance and instability of many with the profaneness of others be justly charged upon their parents and masters, who have not trained them up in the way wherein they ought to walk when they were young? But have neglected those frequent and solemn commands which the Lord hath laid upon them so to catechize and instruct them, that their tender years might be seasoned with the knowledge of the truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures; and also by their own omission of prayer, and other duties of religion in their families, together with the ill example of their loose conversation, have inured them first to a neglect, and then contempt of all piety and religion? We know this will not excuse the blindness, or wickedness of any, but certainly it will fall heavy upon those that have thus been the occasion thereof. They indeed die in their sins; but will not their blood be required of those under whose care they were, who yet permitted them to go on without warning, yea led them into the paths of destruction? And will not the diligence of Christians with respect to the discharge of these duties, in ages past, rise up in judgment against, and condemn many of those who would be esteemed such now?

We shall conclude with our earnest prayer, that the God of all grace will pour out those measures of His Holy Spirit upon us, that the profession of truth may be accompanied with the sound belief and diligent practice of it by us that His name may in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

A remedy for decay in religion

A remedy for decay in religion
Oliver Heywood 

For your sakes, dear Friends, I presume again to appear upon the public stage to be your faithful monitor, to prompt you to your duty, and to promote the work of God in your souls and the worship of God in your families. And I know not how a minister can employ his time, studies, and pen better (next to the conviction and conversion of particular souls), than in pressing upon householders a care of the souls under their charge. This hath a direct tendency to public reformation. Religion begins in individuals and passeth on to relatives, and lesser spheres of relationship make up greater: churches and commonwealths consist of families. There is a general complaint of the decay of the power of godliness and inundation of pro-faneness, and not without cause. I know no better remedy than domestic piety: did governors teach their inferiors by counsels and examples; did they severely discountenance and restrain enormities and zealously promote holiness and then call on God unitedly and earnestly that He would efficaciously work what they cannot effect, who can tell what a blessed alteration would follow? 

In vain do you complain of magistrates and ministers, while you that are householders are unfaithful to your trust. You complain that the world is in a bad state: what do you do to mend it? Do not so much complain of others as of yourselves, and complain not so much to man as to God. Plead with Him for reformation, second also your prayers with earnest endeavors, sweep before your own doors, act for God within your sphere. As you have more opportunity of familiarity with the inmates of your house, so you have more authority over them from their dependence on you to influence them. And if you improve not this talent, you will have a dreadful account to give, especially as their blood will be required at your hands because their sin will be charged on your neglect.

Oh, sirs! Have you not sin enough of your own, but you must draw upon yourselves the guilt of your whole families? It is you that make bad times and bring down judgments on the nation. Would you rather see the agonies of your children and hear them crying amidst infernal torments, than speak a word to them for their instruction, hear them cry under your correction, or supplicate God for their salvation? Oh, cruel tigers and barbarous monsters! You may imagine yourselves to be Christians, but I cannot judge that man worthy to be a fit communicant at the Lord's Table that maintains not the worship of God ordinarily in his family. And he deserves admonition and censure for this sin of omission as well as for scandalous sins of commission; for he bewrays his base hypocrisy in pretending to be a saint abroad, when he is a brute at home. For a right-bred Christian [has respect] to all God's commandments. Such as are righteous before God "walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Luk 1:6). Let these then go amongst the herd of the profane, and fare as they do at the last, that make no conscience of family or relative godliness. Such as will not pray now will cry too late, "Lord, Lord, open to us," when the door is shut (Mat 25:11). Yea, they that now will not cry for a crumb of mercy shall in Hell cry out for a "drop of water, to quench their scorched tongues in those eternal torments" (Luk 16:22-24). To these self-destroying hypocrites, I recommend the serious consideration of Proverbs 1:24-31; Job 8:13-15; 27:8-10.

0 what an honor is it, that the King of Heaven gives you an admittance into His presence-chamber with your families twice a day to confess your sins; [to] beg pardon and supplies of mercy; to give Him the glory of His goodness; and to lay your load on Him and get ease. I hope you will never be averse to it or weary of it. God forbid you should: you are not weary of meal times, if you be healthy. Know and keep these appointed times of coming to God. If you promise to meet a person of quality at such an hour when the clock strikes, you rise up, crave pardon, and tell the company [that someone] tarries for you, you must be gone. Oh, take not more liberty with God than you would do with men, and keep your hearts continually in a frame for duty.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

God's Law or Chaos

"Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he."
-Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no "vision" (no revelation and perception of the will of God in His Law/Word) the people (of that family, church or state) will "perish", literally; they will throw off restraint, go wild and even tend toward nakedness as they plunge toward their destruction.
Can you honestly think of a better diagnosis of what's wrong with our society? Fathers have not brought the Law of God to bear on their families with the result that their families don't comprehend their need of salvation and the children throw off all restraints and run wild. Pastors have not brought the Law of God to bear on their churches with the result that their churches have lost their "saltiness" and look, act and think much like the lost world around them. The church has told everybody that the Law of God has nothing to do with politics, civil law and justice with the result that the political and legislative arena has become a three ring circus side show of insanity stretching the limits of conceivability beyond the breaking point! And receiving no salt nor light from the church, society at large continues to throw off all restraints as nakedness and lewdness deluge us through every avenue of public media as our country continues to collapse around us.
It's God's Law or chaos. We've sown the forgetfulness of God's Law and now we're reaping the chaos. As always, the Word of God has the inerrant diagnosis of our every problem and the only solution to deal with them.

If you haven't heard this Sermon by Pastor William O. Einwechter, you do not want to miss it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The path to knowledge, understanding, and wisdom

“The path to knowledge, understanding, and wisdom commences with the fear of the Lord. The foundation for a genuine knowledge of anything is a humble and worshipful acknowledgment of God as the creator and sustaining bedrock of every aspect of each particular fact of the universe (inanimate and animate).”

 -James Nickel from Mathematics: Is God Silent?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Public Schools and Epistemology

“Epistemology” is simply the combination of two Greek words meaning the study or science of knowledge.  Epistemology deals with the question “How do we know?”.

Everything that we know and think has an epistemological foundation. And because we act in accordance to what we believe, our actions also have an epistemological foundation.  Our entire life, therefore, has an epistemological foundation.  For this reason epistemology is an extremely important subject.

When all is said and done, we will find that there are two and only two possible different sources of knowledge in the universe: there is the interpretation of facts beginning with and proceeding from God, and there is the interpretation of facts beginning with and proceeding from His fallen creatures. There is the trustworthy omniscience of the Creator, or the darkened and foolish minds of fallen creation.  These are the only possible epistemological foundations upon which we build our lives and they are diametrically opposed!

There is no in-between!  One epistemology is God centered; the other creature centered.  The one is Christ centered; the other anti-Christ.  The one is true; the other a lie. One is the truth; one is the suppression of truth. One is reality; the other a departure from it (a form of insanity).  The one is derived from God’s mind in Scripture; the other from fallen, sinful minds.

The very first act of disobedience had an epistemological foundation.  Eve was told that in the day that she ate of the forbidden fruit she would die, Satan on the other hand had told her that she would be made wise. Here, at this early date in history, Eve was presented with the two epistemological options that we are still presented with today: the Revelation of God, or a Satanic lie. Eve chose the latter and built her actions upon a faulty foundation.  Having rejected the Word of God and starting with the wrong epistemology, Eve enticed her husband to sin and the world was plunged into death.  The former epistemological foundation would have led to obedience and life, while the latter led to the death and destruction that we are still reaping to this very day.

The epistemology that we start with has radical and far reaching consequences! If you begin with lies, where do expect to end up?  The unbeliever, beginning with a sinful epistemology, cannot properly understand anything.  He cannot properly understand the moon, the sun, mathematics, history, geography or anything  else. All these things were created to teach us about our Creator and to be used to glorify Him; but the epistemology of unbelief begins with a denial of the God who gives definition to all things, from this point it must necessarily go wrong.  Though they may end up understanding some small portions of some facts (the moon is a planet), they will always end up misinterpreting reality (it was formed by chance when a bunch of nothing exploded and now it just happens to exist).

True knowledge must start with the Lord, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge….” (Proverbs 1:7).  The only knowledge that can legitimately be called knowledge must begin with the Lord.
Childhood is the time of setting and squaring our children’s lives to Christ, the true Cornerstone. (“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11). Could there possibly be a worse time to let a group of strangers take your child away from your supervision and lay down the wrong cornerstone? Contrary to all common sense, many of today’s Christians seem to think that they can build a sturdy structure (godly children) upon a rotten foundation (the public school’s Anti-Christ epistemology).

What a bizarre and confusing spectacle we Christians must be to the unbelieving world: the Children of Light sending our children to the schools of darkness to learn. The Sons of Life sending our children to be educated according to the epistemology of death.  The people who know the truth sending our children to schools built on lies.  Spiritual schizophrenics  sadly trying to straddle the epistemological fence.

Is it any wonder that the world sees the Church as irrelevant?

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The Rape of His Mercy

"Sin is the Practical-blasphemy of all the name of God. It is the Dare of his Justice, the Rape of his Mercy, the Jeer of his Patience, the Slight of his Power, the Contempt of his Love: It is every way contrary to God."

-Samuel Bolton

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Limited Government; Brought to you by Calvinism

"Calvinists not only believe civil government is ordained and established by God, they also believe that God has given civil government only limited authority. The same power that grants authority to government, also limits that authority.

The concept of limited government is a fundamental principle of U.S. constitutional theory—ours is a government of limited, delegated powers. The framers of the Constitution envisioned our federal government with only the powers delegated to it by the people through the Constitution.

Rutherford in particular emphasized limited government. The people, acting under the will of God, had given the civil government only limited authority, and they had given it conditionally—they reserved the right to terminate their covenant with the ruler if the ruler violated the covenant terms. Consequently the ruler is acting without legitimate authority if he violates the laws of God and nature by suppressing the basic liberties of the people. In such instances he is not to be obeyed. In fact, he is to be resisted. It is the Christian's duty to resist—by force if necessary.

Limited government also formed the basis for resistance to British oppression in the War of Independence. The colonists' slogan, "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God!" grew from roots firmly planted in Calvinist soil.

The Declaration of Independence appears to have been adapted, at least in part, from a Calvinistic predecessor, the Mecklenburg Declaration. On May 20, 1775—more than a year before the Declaration of Independence—a group of Scotch-Irish Presbyteri ans gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, out of concern over the conflict with Britain. They declared the colonies to be free and independent and used such phrases as "We do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us with the mother-country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British crown." And, "We hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people; are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self-governing association, under control of no power other than that of our God and the general government of Congress; to the maintenance of which we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual cooperation and our lives, our fortunes and our most sacred honor." The document, prepared by Presbyterian elder Ephraim Brevard, was sent by special messenger to the Continental Congress. That fact, coupled with the almost identical language used, makes it likely that Jefferson and his committee drew from the Mecklenburg Declara tion when they drafted the Declaration of Independence."

A snippet from  Christianity and the Constitution The Faith of our Founding Fathers By John Eidsmoe / Baker