Saturday Sampler: August 25 — August 31

Untitled-1

It horrifies me now, but I used to almost buy into the perverted interpretation of Hebrews 2:18 and Hebrews 4:15 that people use to justify same sex attraction. In Did Jesus struggle with his gender and his sexuality? Was he tempted to same sex attraction? Elizabeth Prata of The End Time debunks the myth that same sex attraction is morally neutral.

Being in my mid-60s, I appreciate Tim Challies for challenging me through his article, Gray Hair and a Righteous Life. But really, younger readers need his counsel just as much as we seniors do.

As a contributing writer for Morning by Morning, Chelsea Stanley shares Songs of the Saints: Overcoming Anxiety Moment by Moment as a testimony to God’s grace in using a hymn to keep her mind focused on Him. I think you’ll appreciate her encouragement.

Tom from excatholic4christ takes on some Twisted logic from an ecumenically-minded evangelical by reminding us what Roman Catholicism actually teaches. His understanding of both Catholic and Protestant doctrine qualify him to address ecumenical sentiments.

For a fascinating read, visit Growing 4 Life, where Leslie A explains How We Are Like the Moon to demonstrate reasons for avoiding worldliness. As usual, she challenges us — and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Complementing the post by Elizabeth Prata that I referenced earlier, Fred Butler of Hip and Thigh writes The Last Temptation of Christ as a rebuttal to the growing acceptance of so-called gay Christians. If Elizabeth’s essay introduced you to the Biblical perspective on homosexual temptation, Fred’s will expand on her presentation. Both articles deserve your time and attention.

In this day of dismantling God-given gender roles, I praise God for courageous men like Allen Nelson IV. His Things Above Us post, Why it’s Not Good for Man to be Alone, beautifully portrays marriage between a man and a woman.

For his weekly contribution to The Cripplegate, Jesse Johnson tackles the latest trend in political correctness by writing Was Jesus a person of color? An immigrant? A Palestinian? Honestly, some of the stuff liberal “Christians” come up with boggles the mind!

Let’s think about these Three ways the prosperity gospel has infected our churches, which Stephen Kneale lists in his blog, Building Jerusalem. Don’t expect this piece to be comfortable reading, but do expect it to help you pray in ways that seek God’s honor and glory. That is why you pray, right?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Don’t Be So Sure Of Yourself

Pensive Woman

Whenever I see a notification that she’s left me a message, I brace myself. Usually, she takes issue with something I’ve written, and wants to correct my faulty thinking. Of course, I believe she has the faulty thinking, so we generally message past each other as we stubbornly double down on our respective positions.

I thought of her a few days ago when John and I had our morning devotions together. We’ve been going through Proverbs, learning the value of godly wisdom. Chapter 16 talks quite a bit about human arrogance in contrast to God’s sovereignty and righteous judgment. One verse in particular grabbed my attention.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the spirit. ~~Proverbs 16:2 (ESV)

Immediately I thought of my online adversary. “She thinks she’s so right in always correcting me,” I muttered to myself, Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: The Graciously Of Absolute Truth

Originally published April 12, 2017:

2th 3v5The continued exodus from Biblical Christianity doesn’t shock me as much as it used to, but it saddens me. Friends whom I once greatly respected as sterling examples of Christians, both for their doctrinal fidelity and their moral purity, have been embracing liberal theology and/or moving into blatantly sinful behavior patterns. A few, but only a very few, are honest enough to acknowledge that they aren’t following the Lord. Most, however, foolishly believe that He has led them to make these tragic choices.

“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

There have been far too many times I’ve looked down my sanctimonious nose at Continue reading

The Gospel Can’t Be Shared Often Enough

Heavenly CrossNo matter how long, or how deeply, we walk with the Lord, we never outgrow the need to hear that Jesus Christ took our place on that cross, shedding His innocent blood in payment for our sins. As we mature in Him, of course we will pay attention to many other issues that Christians must face, as well we should. But we must keep the Gospel central in our hearts and minds as we glorify the Lord for His grace in saving us.

Some of you might disagree with this assessment.  You might even show me Hebrews 6:1-3.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. (ESV)

Of course, that passage actually refers to Continue reading

It Should Happen Rarely, But It Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Bible Turning Pages

I’ve written several articles warning against seeing discernment merely as the identification of false teachers. When we limit our definition of discernment to that one function, we run the risk of degenerating into gossips and scandal-mongers. I could easily write several more articles explaining why a single focus on exposing false teachers dishonors the Lord.

In standing against this truncated understanding of discernment, however, I’m keenly aware that Christians can go to the opposite extreme of never mentioning false teachers. They insist that knowing Scripture well will protect a person from falling prey to doctrinal error.

In many respects, I agree with their position. In fact, just last evening I Continue reading

Analyzing Others Instead Of Taking Personal Responsibility

Judge NotDuring the years that so-called Christian psychology influenced me, I read a book that seemed to describe my mother perfectly. Applying its descriptors to her convinced me that I suffered as a victim of her dysfunction. My analysis of her was ever so convenient, giving me wonderful excuses to rationalize my sinful behavior toward her.

Occasionally those pesky Scriptures about honoring your father and your mother would cross my mind. In such moments, I’d see the disconnect between Christian psychology and Scripture. Somehow,  I’d always find a way to Continue reading

That’s Gratitude For You!

Many professing Christians acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross to forgive their sins.  Okay, that’s a start. But sometimes it seems as if they don’t understand the full implications of His death.

To put it bluntly, few of them really believe that, had they not been brought to faith in Christ, they would deserve eternity in hell. Indeed, few genuinely believe hell even exists. Nor do they honestly believe that their sins are serious enough to warrant eternal punishment.

Such a dismissal of a literal hell creates a casual attitude toward salvation, it seems to me. Consequently, the Lord’s sacrificial death doesn’t compel them to respond in adoring devotion.

But the redeemed sinner who grasps the truth that Christ snatched her from the jaws of hell responds much differently. Precisely because she knows the condemnation she deserves, she freely abandons her life to Him. She  knows she’ll never be worthy of what He’s done on her behalf. She simply wants to show her gratitude by living for Him.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday Sampler: August 18 — August 24

BrideGivvenMark Mclntyre’s Attempts at Honesty get very honest as he writes Cowardice masquerading as Grace, expressing a struggle that I know all too well. If you have difficulty with confrontation, you’ll appreciate his exhortation.

Don’t you love it when someone has the courage to tackle difficult questions? For instance, Michelle Lesley takes on a particularly challenging one by writing The Mailbag: Can unforgiveness cause you to lose your salvation? As I said ForRicherForPoorerbefore, I love the way Michelle reasons from the Scriptures.

Not only does Erin Benziger have a tender heart, but even the tragic death of a baby bird can cause her to reflect on God’s care for His creation. Please read His Eye Is On the Sparrow in Do Not Be Surprised.

It’s  been a while since I’ve written anything about the Reformation. Shame on me! Happily, Simonetta Carr, in her article for Place for Truth, tells us about Katherine Parr and Her Role in the English Reformation. Before you protest that history is dull and JohnsRingboring,  why don’t you check this one out? It just might surprise you!

Writing for Morning by Morning, Rachel Campbell posts Songs of the Saints: The Significance of Singing to discuss how we worship the Lord through song. She helps us evaluate not merely what we sing but why we choose songs. Best of all, she reminds us of the eternal significance of singing.

Cutting CakeI haven’t fully vetted Your Mom has a Blog by Melissa Edgington yet, but The Blessing of Heaven as a Near Reality touches me. This sweet musing offers encouragement to adopt an eternal perspective. You don’t even have to wait until you’re old!

Have you ever marveled at The intersection of Sovereignty and free will? In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata discusses two examples of God’s sovereignty in free will choices. I don’t think you’ll expect these particular examples, which is why her essay deserves your attention.

Mr & Mrs K.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Flashback Friday: A Wife, Sister And Aunt — But Am I Like The Trinity?

Originally posted January 30, 2018:

Shamrock ShadedThroughout church history, people have attempted to explain the Trinity. Patrick, the 5th Century missionary to Ireland, famously used the shamrock to illustrate how God can be three distinct Persons and yet one Being. Others have likened the Trinity to H2O (water, ice and vapor) or and egg (shell,  white and yoke). There are other analogies, most of which I happily don’t remember.

A friend recently reminded me of an analogy that used to be my favorite. I would explain that, though I’m DebbieLynne in all situations, I am a wife, a sister and an aunt. As such, I have three different roles. Ignore all my other roles (friend, employer, niece, blogger, church member, patient to my doctors and  so on).

Obviously the analogy breaks down very quickly. And it should for a few reasons. Two of those reasons particularly trouble me, and I think they should trouble most Christians who really give serious thought to their implications.

Firstly, my roles as wife, sister and aunt depend on how my husband, sister and nieces are related to me. Apart from John, I would not be a wife. If John dies before I do, I will cease to be a wife. Therefore, my identity as wife relies completely on John rather than being intrinsic to my nature.

Yet the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit exist independently of Their roles in relating to the Church. They have definite roles in bringing about salvation and in sanctifying believers, certainly, and we ought to rejoice in how intimately each Person of the Trinity works in our lives. But if God had never created anything, each Person of the Trinity would still exist in His fullness, not needing us to define Him. My various roles hinge on my relationships with others, but God is Father, Son and Spirit eternally, with or without us.

Secondly, and more importantly, it borders on blasphemy to compare ourselves to the Triune God. I tremble in shame at the thought that I ever did such a presumptuous thing! Although He created us in His likeness, we cannot — and indeed, must not  — consider ourselves models for describing anything about Him. Especially the Holy Trinity!

God commands Christians to reflect His character qualities like love, righteousness, patience and above all holiness. But He never suggested that anything about us could explain His very essence. My roles as wife, sister and aunt in no way demonstrate the astounding mystery of the Holy Trinity, and God never intended them to do so. Again, the very idea creeps dangerously close to blasphemy, in my opinion.

Many non-Christians dare us to defend the doctrine of the Trinity because they view it as illogical. Consequently, we concoct analogies that seem nifty, supposing that we can convince people with our little illustrations. But in truth, the Trinity lies well beyond the grasp of human reason. Instead of presuming to explain God’s triune nature, maybe we should stand in awe of this marvelous mystery.

What Is Spiritual Maturity?

ChildlikeGod calls us to come to Him as little children (Matthew 18:1-4). In one respect, He wants us to maintain childlike humility and dependence on Him throughout our lives. Actually, we can’t escape such dependence on Him because He controls all of life. Those who fancy themselves to be independent of Him may think they’re getting away with their rebellion, but ultimately He controls even their sin to bring about His purposes.

At the same time, Scripture also Continue reading