Friday, December 20, 2013

Our Newest Family Member

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I just realized that it's been slightly over three months, and I haven't posted any pictures of our new daughter, Aletheia! I want to remedy that. So, here are a few select ones!
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. - Psalm 127:3 (ESV)

The Terrible Cost of the Fake Heresies Which Divide Us

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One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate.

- Screwtape (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Chapter 2)

When we, Christians, get caught up focusing on the denominational divisions amongst us and the inter-denominational politics of trying to say that our little pocket of believers is right while others are wrong, we encourage that perception of the "half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate".

And please don't use the word "Heresy" to describe another Christian denomination or leader unless you know what it means. When you abuse it, you devalue it, and it is one word that requires value. There are certainly times it is appropriate. Saint Nick famously punched out a heretic, and that's pretty funny to me.

I hate to cite from Wikipedia here, but I think providing a definition of Heresy is a good idea. (and since this is just a blog post; not a paper for scholarly review or school, etc…)
In Western Christianity, heresy most commonly refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by any of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Catholic Church. In the East, the term "heresy" most commonly refers to those beliefs declared to be heretical by the first seven Ecumenical Councils.

- Wikipedia: Heresy in Christianity
One place I do NOT think it is appropriate to use the "h" word is when Protestants refer to their Catholic brethren as heretics or as followers of heretical teachings. Catholicism is not heresy, brothers. It differs from Protestant teaching in some pretty important areas, but it's core gospel is still Christian. If you're not basing your judgement of what is or isn't heresy on those areas alone then you probably don't know what the word really means.

In the end, Christian brothers, we will be in Christ's presence for eternity, and, after 10,000 years or so, we probably won't even remember if the Christian brother or sister we're hanging with was Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Angelican, etc. (Personally, this Baptist thinks Pope Francis will be there, and I look forward to chatting with him.) This is the great eschatological (end times) hope of our faith.

Do you believe that Christ died and rose again for your sins? Well then, you're in. (Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8-10, 1 John 5:13)

If you are curious, here's a useful link for more verses on salvation: What Does the Bible Say About How To Be Saved?

Of course, reading all of them might lead you into some of those inter-denomination debates because different people read them with different understandings. Denominations wouldn't exist otherwise. I'm not trying to attack denominations in general here. I understand that they are a necessity given our present fallen and still being sanctified (being made more like Christ) nature. But we need to remember that these denominations have risen out of brokenness and it's our pride that strengthens the lines between them.

What's the cost then? It's our credibility. When we sit and criticize another denomination as heretics, we don't just damage their credibility, but our own as well. The non believer doesn't easily understand the denomination divisions amongst us, even their existence can be seen to undermine the legitimacy of our beliefs. If God is real, why wouldn't he make all of his believers believe in the same thing? Why do Christians spend so much time fighting amongst themselves? It's the strategy of the enemy, brothers, and it's simple, to divide and conquer. The Enemy has already lost the war, but he's using our fallen nature to corrupt the message as much as he can. When we allow ourselves to get caught up in these battles wherein we have to be right and others wrong, we're allowing our pride to further his goals. I respect the reality of the need for denominational lines, but let's not persist in this fighting amongst ourselves. Please reserve the use of the "h" word for time when it is appropriate only, and try to remember that those other Christians are our brothers, too.
...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

- Romans 10:9-13 (ESV)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Announcement

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For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

- Psalm 139:13-16

Friday, November 16, 2012

Blogger on the iPad

I've been wanting Google to officially have an iOS app for Blogger for a long time. Then, when they finally did, it didn't support the iPad. Now it does though, and that is a cool thing. I wonder if that will inspire me to blog more though?



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

R.I.P. Rajah

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He was a great cat and a beloved member of our family.

Believed to have been born in 1999. Died on Sept. 11, 2012


Man was appointed by God to have dominion over the beast, and everything a man does to an animal is either a lawful exercise, or a sacrilegious abuse, of an authority by Divine right. The tame animal is therefore, in the deepest sense, the only ‘natural’ animal—the only one we see occupying the place it was made to occupy

- C.S. Lewis - The Problem of Pain

There's a post about C.S. Lewis on animal immortality at: Suite101: Do Animals Go to Heaven? C.S. Lewis on Animal Immortality

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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So, regardless of my allergic reaction (usually in the form of asthma) to tea, I have been forcing myself to drink it lately. I wonder if, for me, this could be a metaphor for therapy?