Saturday, July 29, 2017

America and Evangelicals 

Me at Federal Hall May, 2017

I have noticed a recent rash of post on social media against Evangelicals by Christians and especially by Evangelical Christians who may not understand who they are. I see this as troubling to say the least, because it is contrary to the law of Christ. I am an Evangelical born again Christian of the Paticular Baptists persuasion. I am a citizen of the kingdom of God who was born by the sovereign will of God in America.

In the year of our Lord 1968 I was born to my parents Richard and Carole Peek a citizen of the United States of America. This was not by accident for the Lord is sovereign. My family has been citizens of the U.S.A. since its inception. In fact, my family was among the first settlers to the Virginia Colony in the 17th century.

In April of 2003 I was born of God. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to follow my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am a citizen of the kingdom of God, but presently abide in the kingdom of man.

I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army. I took an oath upon my enlistment to protect and defend the constitution of the U.S.A against all enemies foreign and domestic. I served during my enlistment domestically at Ft. Knox Kentucky, Ft Polk Louisiana. and in the countries of Panama and Korea.

Church history matters, therefore, listen to what I must briefly say with regards to Evangelicals in America: In the early days of the reformation there were Lutherans, Reformed and Anabaptist. When the reformation came to England, the church of England (Anglican) became protestant. In Scotland Presbyterianism was a branch of the Reformed. Within England there came to be puritans who wanted to purify the church, there were non-separating puritans and separating puritans, the pilgrims were separatist. Eventually there were other separatist like Particular Baptists which I am.

Out of the enlightenment Liberal-Protestantism was born. Fundamentalism was a rejection of liberal-Protestantism. Fundamentalist hold to the supernaturalism of the scriptures while liberals do not. Liberals hold to a social gospel while fundamentals focused on individual sin. Evangelicals are found in-between these two extremes. Like fundamentals evangelicals are orthodox in their beliefs:
  1. Evangelicals are Trinitarians
  2. Evangelicals believe in the Inerrancy of scripture and its supernaturalism
  3. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the cross
  4. Evangelicals believe in the importance of evangelism
Any who would deny these tenets are not historical -evangelicals. In addition, evangelicals desire to change the world, this is the reason they are involved in politics. Gregory Thornbury in his book on Carl F. H. Henry and classic evangelicalism said,
Evangelicals have been fascinated by political involvement in part because they believe that it is a way of bringing all things in subjection to the lordship of Christ. They want to change the world…By addressing the political, social, economic, and intellectual questions of the age, God’s people have an opportunity to share the gospel that not only makes us right with God, but also makes human flourishing possible. This was the vision of classic evangelism. (G. Thornbury, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism, 161, 164)
Evangelical Christians are not the enemy. Evangelicals seek to honor God, exalt Jesus Christ, and seek the good of our neighbors whether they be sheep or goats. I am an Evangelical born again Christian, a citizen of the kingdom, who was born at the sovereign will of God in America. I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army. My hope is that this blog post be taken to heart, because I love my brothers and sisters in Christ and love all my neighbors in America.

Our Lord and Savior (on the eve of His betrayal) said to His disciples,
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:12-17, NASB)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Heavy Stone

George Whitefield Rock, West Brookfield, Massaschusetts

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth with His two hands: His Word and His Spirit.1 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”2 

The Lord God declared to the man, that the penalty for sin is death.3 Sin is lawlessness; sin is doing what you know to be wrong and not doing what you know to be right.4 The Lord God commanded the man to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.5 The man ate,6 “and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”7

“The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”8

It is the nature of God to forgive sin and it is the nature of God to by no means leave the guilty unpunished. This creates a paradox, because if God forgives sin He cannot punish the guilty, because if He punishes the guilty man He does not forgive his sin. How can God forgive sin and by no means leave the guilty unpunished? “Could an omnipotent being (God) create a stone so heavy that even they could not lift it?”9 The amazing answer to this paradox is given to us in the Epistle to the Romans:

as it is written,
" There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one."
"Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,"
"The poison of asps is under their lips";
"Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness";
"Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.10

1 Cf. Gen 1:1-5 & Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons.
2 Gen 1:27-28.
3 Gen 1:17.
4 1 Jn 3:4.
5 Gen 1:16-17.
6 Gen 3:6.
7 Rom 5:12.
8 Ex 34:6-7.
9 Averro√ęs, 12th century Aristotelian philosopher.
10 Rom 3:21-28.

Nursing and the Law of Christ

The Lord’s teaching recorded in John 13-21 is amazing. It is what the apostle Paul calls "the Law of Christ." (Cf. 1 Cor. 9:2...