Recognizing Temptation

(1Jn 2:16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Parallel the above passage with this one.

(Gen 3:6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Notice the order is the same. Lust of the flesh, Lust of the eyes, and the Pride of Life.

These are the same temptations that our Lord met with when he was tempted of Satan in Matthew 4 also. They are temptations common to all men.

Matthew 4:1-11

1)  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

2)  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

3)  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

4)  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

5)  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6)  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

7)  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

8)  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

9)  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10)  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

11)  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Man life is so hard sometimes from our perspective. It is so demanding. I am finding it hard to combat a hard bitter heart in older years. I thank God he loves me and and proved it by the blood of Christ. Sweet Reconciliation! I can’t seem to find life anywhere else but in the Spirit and Word of God. Thank God he is Omni-present.

That Comforts Me

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

I love this passage because of many of the struggles I have had in life. I know the good but how to find out the way through some struggles, well, you just seem to grope your way through them as sinner and saint. St. Paul understood that. That comforts me.

Reforming Your Bible Study

By Roy Blackwood

There is evidence in early church history and in Medieval and Reformation history of the existence of a particular kind of Bible study. It is prescribed by God in I Corinthians 14. Wherever or whenever Christ was building and reforming His Church, this kind of Bible study could be found. Conversely, when this kind of group Bible study lapsed, the Church somehow fell into the hands of men and stopped growing or reforming.

It was a “most important” factor in Reformation history. John Calvin in his Ecclesiastical Ordinances (15-41) prescribed such a meeting every Friday evening. Knox required it for the English congregation in Geneva (1556). John Lasco (1550) required it in London. Calvin probably learned of it from Martin Bucer in Strasbourg. The French Book of Order called it a “Colloquy”. For the Dutch it was an important part of their “Consistory”. The Scots called it first the “Exercise” and then the “Society” meeting. Zwingli and Kuiper warned about abuses that must not be allowed to creep in, just as does the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14.

John Knox, with reference to I Corinthians 14, in his first Book of Discipline called it “The Exercise” and required it be each Thursday night in every parish.

“To the end that the Church of God may have a trial of men’s knowledge, judgment, graces and utterances…And also such as somewhat have profited in God’s Word may from time to time grow to more full perfection to serve the Church as necessity shall require.”

And Knox added,

“It is important that every town…one certain day every week be appointed to that exercise which St. Paul called prophesying.”

To finish the rest of the article go to:

The Improper Use of Theologian Herman Bavinck for a Political Agenda

This is why understanding History is so important. We don’t want to be duped.

The Improper Use of #Theologian Herman Bavinck for a Political Agenda
#Theology #God #Reformed #Christianity

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The Improper Use of Theologian Herman Bavinck for a Political Agenda

April 19, 2021 by SLIMJIM

The meme below is a defense of Timothy Keller by drawing a comparison with Keller to Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck (1854–1921).

There is so much going on in this meme. I won’t be able to speak about everything stated. Nor is this post going to be attacking Timothy Keller though I sometimes feel his tweet on Twitter is too generalized and/or cryptic and they can be understood both by Christians and non-Christians in their own ways and therefore cheered by all. Instead I want to focus on this meme saying these all these claims above can be attributed to Herman Bavinck. My post is narrowly focusing on the claim that Bavinck would see himself as a political liberal. I do have some serious reservation when people invoke someone esteemed to improperly and inaccurately support a partisan political cause. This is true of those who can make Jesus into a rifle owning, card carrying NRA member Republican or the other spectrum where Jesus is portrayed as this beta male Vegan hippy pacifist who drink latte soy milk and is a woke SJW New Age Eastern mysticism guru. While not as egregious still I think Bavinck is being misrepresented for a political agenda here. Let me explain.

What is meant by politically liberal has changed over time. So we got to be careful with any equivocation there of Bavinck as a “political liberal” and what liberal means in late 1800s and early 1900s. If by “liberal” the meme means Classical Liberalism, that shouldn’t be equivocated with neoliberalism or even today’s shorthand for Woke political ideology (I am beginning to see neo-liberalism and Woke political ideology as distinct though Woke has affinity with neoliberalism, but biggest difference is modern woke political ideology doesn’t see the place for freedom of speech as famously argued by Herbert Marcuse which has been transmitted through Critical Theory).

As any political scientist will tell you there is a right wing vs left wing classical liberalism. Bavinck was the party chair of the anti-revolutionary party and what the tenet of the party would make even most Christian conservative and Republicans today looks progressive (relatively speaking) with things like a distinctive Protestant public education, the need for colonizing Indonesia for the well being of Holland, etc. Part of being the “anti-revolutionary party” in the name of the party itself is that it does not support the removal of the Monarchy in Holland. I think that probably seem very right wing by today’s standards!

Furthermore we sometime have historical amnesia and think our age is the first to have anarchists and revolutionaries; the late 1800s to early 1900s was a time of many anarachists and revolutionaries acting out whether individually or in small secret societies and more European royalties and their families were assassinated in that time period by their subjects than any other time period in European history culminating with the murder of the Archduke of the Austrian empire that of course led to WW1. So Bavinck’s and Kuyper’s “anti-revolutionary” party was yes a Christianized version of Classical Liberalism in the sense of being pro-law and order and the need for rules of law as a precondition for capitalism but it was also a stance against a very real dangerous radical left of their day. So this meme doesn’t do justice with the greater context of political ideology and development. But it does reflect the attitude of some today who think Bavinck will support their more left leaning political views. This past summer I remember reading somewhere which Bavinck was invoke that if he was alive today he would have much to criticize American political system today; that might be true but it struck me as ironic that there’s an elephant in the room with Bavinck’s anti-revolutionary party would not have been in favor of today’s radical left leaning poltical strategies and the writer wasn’t telling the full story given Bavinck’s leadership with a political party that took a anti-revolutionary stance. It was an one-sided historical account.

Another note. I imagine some today who are fans of Bavinck in academia might have politically progressive sympathies in our contemporary time period but we have to be cautious to assume and read back that as an attribute of Bavinck merely from that observation. That would be a historical fallacy; as an analogy note also how those who are second or third generation followers of another Dutch Reformed theologian/philosopher name Doyeeweerd are politically more left leaning but we shouldn’t attribute that to Doyeeweerd back then.

I also think that those who today sometime speak about Bavinck’s political idea for today might also need to be in conversation with political scientists and political historian of Dutch and European political thoughts concerning the milieu that Bavinck was working with, just as much as today we see the need to study and know the background of Bavinck and Vos to grasp Van Til. I believe there is much to mine and benefit from Kuyper and Bavinck both in Sytematic theology and Christian view of culture but I think the rigor for the political thought background is not as strong by those who want to make Bavinck seem left-leaning.

How I View the United States Constitution

I personally look at our Constitution a bit different than most people. By the time the Colonies were fed up with the issues they had with the King, America was basically a despot of Hard Working irreligious persons. The King’s Church was just a formality and true Christians were mostly persecuted. I gleaned a lot of that from Arnold Dallimore’s 2 volume biography of Whitefield. Yes, a lot of people had some informal knowledge of the scriptures but it wasn’t understood through converted eyes. The Great Awakening helped American’s out of blindness of the soul and many conversions and true Churches sprung up. Many of the wealthiest were Deists and not Christians. The framers of our Constitution were mostly of that ilk.

The Constitution of America had a basis with some heritage of persecution against the religious mind that was secular. Many of those who were colonists were forced to give taxes to the King which supported the parish church of the area. They also funded the ignorant unconverted Clergy. The Clergy were seen as oppressors who basically were the eyes and ears of the King. The Puritan Separatists had to apply for License to worship and were persecuted. The taxation really did not support the people and they were tired of the yoke they were bearing. Thus the Revolution.

To take a step back and define things a bit clearer let me explain the difference between a Pilgrim and a Puritan. Not all Pilgrims were Puritans but all of the Puritans seeking the freedom of worship they desired were Pilgrims. If you read the Mayflower Compact you will read a lot of religious talk that were compromises in my Estimation. There is a lot of homage to the King of England as a defender of the faith. The Puritan Separatists were fleeing persecution from the King. I believe the reason for that compromise is because the language was important to the Strangers or unconverted men of the Mayflower ship. They were all under contract to the King to settle the new world. The Mayflower Compact or Covenant was basically an agreement to carry on in the midst of a lot of unrest. It was an important covenant to be held in esteem if they were going to survive. The Separatist Puritan William Bradford is usually falsely given credit for authoring the Mayflower Compact. I use to believe that. He is credited for writing the only surviving copies of it in his diary. The original is gone.

The Constitution is a lot like the Mayflower Compact in my opinion. It is a group of men who were religious Deists mixed with true Christians who desired to live together in peace and freedom after having developed such a sour taste for the things they had experienced. It is Not A Christian Document even though many Christians desired for it to be. Thus to revile it for something it should be in light of something we wish can be a worthy pursuit. It is wrong headed to criticize it for something it wasn’t meant to be. We should not revile the Constitution for lacking something we wish upon it. It truly doesn’t have the foundation nor heritage we tend to romanticize. Yes, the Influence of Christ may be seen in it. But like the unconverted Child who has the heritage and residue of his parents, I believe the American Constitution is basically the same thing. It is a document with true residue from heaven but it is not the romanticized document we so desire.

Well, those are my thoughts. Yes, I can make the promise to uphold and protect the Constitution with a good conscience.

The United States Constitution is not a Solemn League and Covenant unto God as the Scots made in 1643. American Presbyterians are not bound by that document here in the United States.

I need to learn how to write and spell again. Don’t beat me up about it please.

I can’t believe

I can not believe the last Election went to this guy. Something is very wrong. We are buying energy from our enemies. We are declaring Justice is fulfilled when Crime Thugs are being hailed as martyrs and our good Policemen are vilified. Red States are being neglected and forced into Crisis mode as Blue States are given benefits taken from Red States. This Country is being thrown into bankruptcy by barrowing Trillions of dollars from our Enemies. Our Power Grid has been handed over to China. I can’t believe the last Election went to this guy.

This past election has had to have been rigged. If it wasn’t we need to figure out how to have a reset. We need to be responsible for our own like any household does. Then we can become the charity we desire to be.

From beginning to end

The Ten Commandments bring recognition of our selfish sin against God and our neighbors. They should lead us to the Work of God in Christ reconciling us to himself by death on the cross. That reconciliation to God in Christ should lead us back to knowing the Law of Love and obedience to those Ten Commandments because they reveal his will for us on this side of living.

The Christian life should look like what St. Paul wrote in the Holy Scriptures of Romans Chapters 7 and 8. It is not easy and there is a major struggle. But there is no more condemnation for us who are reconciled to God by the death of Christ. We have Everlasting Life and a new Union with God in Christ by His Spirit and Love.

The message has never changed from the Garden till now and it never will. Revelation of this first came to Adam in the Garden Then it came with more precise revelation to Abraham and his descendants. Then Moses and the Prophets gave us clearer revelation. Then Truth and Grace came into their fulfilment in the Work of God in Christ. When the completion is final all tears shall be wiped away and we will be with Him. Oh What Love the Father has bestowed upon us.

Daniel Chamier on covenantal merit

I love the Mid America Journal of Theology

Reformed Covenanter

Daniel ChamierWhen contrasting the ideas of absolute merit and covenantal merit, the Huguenot theologian, Daniel Chamier made the following remarks on the latter concept:

On the other hand, merit by the covenant, whereas it does not have the strength to obligate on its own account, nevertheless, it does have it from the arrangement, so that either a full or greater reward for the work is owed to it. This again has a twin; it has strength to merit some things by the promise, others by the covenant. That is by the promise it has strength to merit so far as by its arrangement by which reward is expected, so that the rewards are displayed with sporting contests whether by the King or by the people. Then indeed merit of such value is by the arrangement, but furthermore the method of the arrangement pays from only the will of the one who…

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New Apostolic Reformation, Bethel Music, etc.

I just stayed up all night, after a deep sleep in the evening, learning about the recent so called Christian nutty stuff that has been going on for the past decade in the Church. The cultic practices that were easy to spot a few decades ago have really infiltrated the Church quite well this past decade. I had no idea.

I have been quite absent from the Contemporary Christian Music scene for a long time. It became a bit too… Well, the guys started sounding like whiney girls instead of men striving to know God in life. The women artists were becoming more… Well, Kick Ass so to speak. (Believe me, I have no problem with strong women. We need them. I know some men are more gentle and quiet than others. That is not what I am talking about.) So I just dumped the CCM scene and started listening more to Boston, Skynyrd, Metallica, Heart, etc… Well, at least the guys sounded like guys and the girls were girls. LOL. At least I didn’t have to guess where they were coming from.

Last night I stayed up learning about the New Apostolic Reformation, the Jesus Culture, Elevation Church, the School of Supernatural Ministry, Bethel Music and the more normal Joel Osteen / Hillsong United stuff that has its own sort of Name it Claim it old stuff of heretical views. I didn’t know this weird New Ageism stuff had infiltrated the Church so deeply. No wonder why every new Church doesn’t want to be called by a denominational name. It is easier to hide your unaccountability and or cult like behavior and beliefs when you aren’t associated with an identifier such as Washington Avenue (put denominational name here) Church.

I was reintroduced to the discussion by someone who was in this cult like group and noted some were claiming to be Reformational. I love historic Reformed Theology and respect the Councils and Creeds of the Church. Therefore I just assumed that these guys wanted to adhere to Biblical Christianity. But that was not the case. Seriously, I guess the Bible is becoming irrelevant and music and motivational gimmicks are the modern inspired text God has given us today. I just figured John Wimber and Peter Wagner had passed on. I guess not.

It seems it is getting easier to carry a Bible and not know or care about what is in it. Even if you are in the Pulpit. That is how nut job cults start while claiming to be Bible believing Christians. I listened to an Ordained Baptist Sermon, a round table of Ordained Presbyterian minister’s podcast , an Ex- New Ager podcaster Doreen Virtue interview someone from the movement, and a few others on the topic. I guess I have a lot to learn.

The times are changing. In reality, nothing is changing doctrinally. Just the same old heresies finding a new avenue to infiltrate the Church. Hymns were actually introduced for this purpose back in the time of the Early Church also. I love singing directly from the Psalter. It is all good unlike our uninspired Hymnody in the Church.

President Biden Speech / Colorado

Just watched the President address the recent Murders in Colorado.

First off the President should be properly addressing the Nation concerning the Border Crisis. It is of National interest way before the Colorado situation. He should also be addressing the Chinese situation also before he ever thought about this address. That is a major National situation. He is getting America to focus on the wrong things in order to push UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW. BE FOREWARNED!!! HIS cabinet is not incompetent at deception and slight of hand.

Second point is that it wasn’t Gun Violence. The Guns were not Violent. The person or persons using the guns were violent. Biden’s push for Gun control is an attack on the 2nd Amendment. How sad. He should have been pushing for any law-abiding adult who is legally eligible to obtain a carry permit, to carry a handgun without first having to obtain government permission. This ensures that citizens have their right to self-defense without government red tape or delays. Statistics show where this is legal, crime is low as are the murder rates.

This President and his Cabinet hate America and our Freedom to responsibly live our lives