Merry Christmas

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Fear Not the Attacks at Christmas

Have you noticed in the news how it seems that more and more people are getting forceful in their attack on Christianity? I don’t just mean not hanging signs that say “Merry Christmas” and substituting “Happy Holidays.” I mean out and out pointed attacks on not just the holiday but on Christianity itself. Indeed, a frontal attack on God.

For instance, in our nation’s capital this Christmas season the American Humanist Association has initiated a campaign to putatheist-signs-in-dc signs on city buses and the Metro system that say, “Why Believe in God? Just be good for goodness’ sake”. In 2007 the Pew Research Center found out, in a survey, that the majority of Americans believe that it is not possible to be good apart from a belief in God.. This may very well be so, but I believe that the pulpits in our churches have contributed to this sad state of affairs. Too many times each week sermons concentrate on “being good” or “trying your best” and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is never proclaimed. The Christianity of the 21st Century has become both Christ-less and Gospel-less in many instances. There are many sermons preached over the airways and in the pulpits of our nation that would support the atheists in their claim that we need to “just be good for goodness’ sake.” But that is not the Gospel. We must pray this Christmas season that we will return to a Christ-filled, and Gospel-filled Christmas, and way of life as the church in America.

Another example is taking place on the other side of the country in the state of Washington. Each year a nativity scene is set up in the atheist-sign-in-wash-state2state capitol. This year the Governor of Washington allowed an atheists group to put up a sign right next to the nativity scene — it simply proclaims that “there are no gods” among other things. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that the atheists have a right under our constitution, to free speech. They can and should be able to speak freely their foolishness without any fear. However it seems to me to be simply in “bad taste” to allow a vicious attack placed alongside the nativity of our Lord. In fact under some situations, with a few words changed this would be classified as “hate speech” and punishable by law.

My friend, Walter Price, in California, sent me a quote today from G.K. Chesterton written in 1922. Chesterton said, “If there were no God, there would be no atheists.” Think about that! He’s right, you know.

We should not fear the atheists’ attack on the faith. We must not change one thing in light of their signs and statements. We simply must, in this Christmas season, be certain that we are proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness and clarity.

I love this season . . . Not because of the gifts and parties and decorations. I love it because it gives us a major opening to talk about Jesus . . . who came as a baby, but didn’t stay in the manger. He grew up and spoke with authority as no one had ever heard . . . He did miracles like no one had ever seen . . . But this was not the important part in a real sense. He voluntarily went to the cross at Calvary to atone for sin . . . To become the Savior of the world. This is why I love this season!!!

Cultivating a People of Truth in a Culture of Relativism

A couple of weeks ago I began discussing the “10 Challenges Facing the Church in the 21st Century. These were presented in a message by Dr. Al Mohler to the Board of Trustees at Southern Seminary in 2000.

Last week: 1. “Addressing Post-modern Americans with the authentic Gospel.”

This week: 2. “Cultivating a people of truth in a culture of relativism.”

Is there any question that our culture is captivated by relativism? Everywhere we turn there are reminders that many people today don’t see life in terms of truth and falsehood. It is not uncommon to hear people speak of something being right for you but not for them. This philosophy, or worldview, is liable to show up just about anywhere. A few days back, I stopped in Starbucks for a cup of coffee. Their cups have quotes on them titled “The Way I See It.” The quote on my cup today was #293 and it said this:

“The way I see it isn’t necessarily the way you see it or the way it is or ought to be. What’s more important is that we’re all looking for it and a way to see it” (Desi Di Nardo, author and poet, Toronto, Canada)

Say what?!?! Now that may sound like so much gibberish to you, but it expresses the worldview of relativism. There is no “the” way to see things only my way and your way and they don’t have to correspond at all.

But as Christians we cannot fall for this type of faulty thinking (or lack of thinking). Truth is a basic foundation of Christianity. When Jesus stood before Pilate he was asked, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world for the purpose of pointing to the truth. He even said in John 14:6 that He is “the way, the truth and the life.”

This is the reason when we gather for worship we focus on God’s Word, the Bible, not on man’s opinion. When we select Sunday School material to study, we insist that it present the truth of God’s Word, not just fluffy, easy believism. If we are to be a people of truth then we must know intimately and apply daily God’s word. It must affect how we spend our money, how we relate to people outside the church, how we vote, how we do everything in our life.

We must realize that if something is not “truth” then it is a “lie.” Jesus is the truth and the teacher of it. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). In early 2009 you are going to hear about groups forming to become involved in “The Truth Project.” The purpose of this is to help us develop and become people of truth. When you hear about this opportunity, I hope each of you will pray about it and consider becoming a part of this important emphasis for the future of Grace.

This is pretty sick!! Then again it is Planned Parenthood

gift-certificatesThe Washington Times ran an article last week about the Indiana chapter of Planned Parenthood, the nations leading abortion advocate, offering gift certificates for Christmas gifts. These can be used for a wide range of “contraceptive” services, including abortion. To tie this season with abortion and the destruction of babies is simply, well, sick and evil. Pray that God will open the eyes of the USA to the evil destruction of precious life.

Interesting, and sad, the Indiana health commissioner endorsed this program:

The program has been endorsed by Dr. Judy Monroe, Indiana health commissioner, who called it a “really a meaningful gift.”

The certificates, which come in $25 increments, work like cash and come with no restrictions and no expiration date. They can be purchased at many of the group’s Indiana clinics and online, and can be used for some insurance co-payments and medication.

Also read Dr. Al Mohler’s commentary on this.

Mississippi Baptist Convention — thank you for the reminder

mississippi-life-displayThe Mississippi Baptist Convention a built a memorial to the 50,000,000 members of the lost generation since 1973 and the Roe v. Wade ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed the killing of babies in the womb. This is 50,000,000 pennies, each one representing the death of an unborn child. Some impressive visual illustration as the 36th Anniversary of the Roe Decision approaches in January. The story:

Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — Ever wanted to know what 50 million pennies looks like? A group of pro-life advocates in Mississippi found out as they collected 50 million of the coins for a unique memorial to mark the deaths of unborn children since Roe v. Wade allowed unlimited abortions in 1973. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING