The Wolf’s Teeth-Feminism

 

What To Do?

What should you do as elders of the flock? Allow me to be specific.

1. Teach Biblical principles about gender relationships. Don’t expend all your energies reacting negatively to feminist agitators in your local church or community or even in your denomination; rather, as elders you must teach positively and clearly, and insist that your preacher do so from the pulpit as well. The fundamental Biblical truths regarding male and female role relationships in marriage, home, church and society. Of course, from the distortions evident in the way feminists rework crucial Biblical doctrines, it becomes clear that accurate and foundational knowledge of Biblical doctrine is essential to combat this and every attack of Satan. The prophet was right: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” So, teach your people a full and balanced diet of Biblical Truth!

2. Don’t overreact. Not all of God’s people who have been influenced by a feminist agenda embrace all of the planks of the platform of Gender Feminism. In fact, some are righteously caught up in a pursuit of Biblical justice; they have merely adopted dangerous words and concepts because these folks; each currency of today’s debate. Be patient with these folks; teach that that “ideas have legs,” that much of today’s rhetoric arises from thoroughly unbiblical notions. Express those invisible notions.

3. Use women and their God given gifts Biblically and appropriately in the life of the church. One theologian once observed that “cults are the unpaid debts of the church,” that cults arise where the church has failed to be thorough in her obedience. If that is true of cults, it is surely true of feminism. It has arisen in no small measure because appropriate ministry by women in the life of the church has been stymied, often by mere tradition and certainly in conflict with Scripture. For instance, 1 Cor. 14:33 clearly prohibits women from preaching (the literal meaning of the verse suggests a prohibition, not of speech itself, but of “being the speaker” i.e., the preacher. See also 1Pet. 4:11). That does not mean that a woman may not be used wisely and appropriately to speak or teach under the Biblical supervision of the eldership within a Sunday School class. Again, the 1 Tim 2:12 prohibition against a woman “having authority over a man” does not require men to chair every single committee within a local church, nursery committee included! Rather, the text prohibits the usurping of authority, particularly within the context of authoritative teaching.

4. Make sure the “careers” of wives and mothers are honoured within your home and your church fellowship. Nothing combats feminism in our society and within our churches more effectively then the careful articulation of the high view of these roles in Scripture. To be sure, you may not convert a rabid Gender Feminist by referring to Eph. 5:22, but you will surely encourage godly women (and instruct godly men!) when you hold high the role of a wife as a gift of God who is a life-partner in the work of the kingdom, and that of a mother as a precious instrument in God’s hand for the nurture and shaping of the next generation of His own servants, complete with prophetic, priestly and royal duties.

 “With a Shephard’s Heart” Reclaiming the Pastoral Office of Elder
by John R. Sittema (PP.75-76) 

Press to Contniue

Should I Attend a Homosexual Wedding?

by Kevin DeYoung 

Kevin DeYoung is an American Reformed Evangelical theologian and author. He is currently the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church.Wikipedia

Born1977 (age 41 years), South Holland, Illinois, United States

SpouseTrisha DeYoung

ChurchChrist Covenant Church (Matthews, North Carolina)

ChildrenJacob DeYoungIan DeYoungMary DeYoungElizabeth DeYoungPaul DeYoungBenjamin DeYoung

ParentsLee DeYoungSheri DeYoung


_________________________

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

Why might a Christian refuse to attend, cater, or participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony? For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume this is a discussion among traditional Christians who believe—as the church has always believed and as most of the global church still believes—that same-sex behavior is sinful and that marriage is a covenantal, conjugal union of a man and a woman.

With that clarifying comment, we can address the question head-on: Why would a Christian feel conscience bound not to attend or participate in a gay wedding? It’s not because of bigotry or fear or because we are unaware that Jesus spent time with sinners that leads us to this conclusion. It’s because of our desire to be obedient to Christ and because of the nature of the wedding event itself.

A wedding ceremony, in the Christian tradition, is first of all a worship service. So if the union being celebrated in the service cannot be biblically sanctioned as an act of worship, we believe the service lends credence to a lie. We cannot in good conscience participate in a service of false worship. I understand that does not sound very nice, but the conclusion follows from the premise, namely, that the “marriage” being celebrated is not in fact a marriage and should not be celebrated.

Moreover, there has long been an understanding that those present at a marriage ceremony are not just casual observers, but they are witnesses who are granting their approval and support for the vows that are to be made. That’s why the traditional language speaks of gathering “here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation.” That’s why one of the sample marriage services in the Presbyterian Church in America still has the minister say:

If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be wedded, let him now declare it, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

Quite explicitly, the wedding is not a party for friends and family. It’s not a mere ceremonial formality. It is a divine event in which those gathered celebrate and honor the “solemnization of matrimony.”

Which is why—as much as I might want to build bridges with a lesbian friend or reassure a gay family member that I care for him and want to have a relationship with him—I would not attend a same-sex wedding ceremony. I cannot help with my cake, with my flowers, or with my presence to solemnize what is not holy.

In taking such a position, I’ve often heard things like this in response:

But Jesus hung out with sinners. He wasn’t worried about being contaminated by the world. He didn’t want to turn people off to God’s love. He was always throwing open the floodgates of God’s mercy. He would say to us, “If someone forces you to bake one cake, bake for him two.”

Okay, let’s think through these objections. I mean actually think for a few sentences, and not just with slogans and vague sentimentality.

Jesus hung out with sinners. True, sort of (depends on what you mean by “hung out”). But Jesus believed marriage was between a man and a woman (Matt. 19:3–9). The example of Christ in the Gospels teaches us that we should not be afraid to spend time with sinners. If a gay couple next door invites you over for dinner, don’t turn them down.

He wasn’t worried about being contaminated by the world. That’s not the concern here. This isn’t about cooties or sin germs. We have plenty of those ourselves.

He didn’t want to turn people off to God’s love. But Jesus did so all the time. He acted in ways that could be unintentionally, and more often deliberately, antagonistic (Matt. 7:6, 13–27; 11:20–24; 13:10–17; 19:16–30). Jesus turned people off all the time. This is no excuse for us to be unthinking and unkind. But it should put to rest the unbiblical notion that says if someone feels hurt by your words or unloved by your actions that you were ipso facto sinfully and foolishly unloving.

He was always throwing open the floodgates of God’s mercy. Amen. Let’s keep preaching Christ and preach as He did, calling all people to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

If someone forces to you bake one cake, bake for him two. This is, of course, a true and beautiful principle about how Christians, when reviled, must not revile in return. But it hardly can mean that we do whatever people demand no matter our rights (Acts 4:18–20; 16:35–40; 22:22–29) and no matter what is right in God’s eyes.

A wedding is not a dinner invitation or a graduation open house or retirement party. Even in a completely secular environment, there is still a sense—and sometimes the wedding invitations say as much—that our presence at the event would honor the couple and their marriage. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to attend a wedding (let alone cater it or provide the culinary centerpiece) without your presence communicating celebration and support for what is taking place. And, as painful as it may be for us and for those we love, celebrating and supporting homosexual unions is not something God or His Word will allow us to do.

Rev. Kevin DeYoung is senior minister of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, N.C., and assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C. He blogs at The Gospel Coalition and is author of numerous books, including What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?

Taken from:  Tabletalk Magazine 

“Excitement for the Lord’s House”

When we look at the world there are many things that frighten us. Tornadoes, wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, AIDS, cancer and many other disasters and diseases cause untold amounts of suffering for thousands of people all over the world.  Homosexuality and transgenderism are rising in popularity and their advocates are screaming out for our hearty approval and endorsement of their wicked lifestyle, branding anyone who speaks out against it an “intolerant bigot,” “homophobe,” “transphobe” and worse. Feminists cry out for more abortion funding and call anyone who doesn’t jump on their bandwagon “sexist.” Then there are the problems in the church. Many of the same evils found in the world around us are also found in the church. Then there is our own sin. We all have sins of various sorts whether it be anger, pride, laziness or not putting spiritual matters at the front and center of our lives. As we begin 2018, we may wonder, is there any place for refuge? Is there anywhere we can go to escape from these and other troubling thoughts? The answer is yes. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1, 2). God provides us refuge in the storms of life. “He shall cover thee with His feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust” (Psalm 91:4). The remaining verses of this Psalm talk about the “pestilence” and “destruction” that rage around us like a tornado, the great wickedness in both the world and the church that seeks to overwhelm us. Despite all of the wickedness and apostasy around us, God watches over us and protects us in His sovereign providence. This doesn’t mean that life will be an easy, affliction-free breeze, but it does mean that somehow, in some way that we won’t always completely understand, He is working all things out for our good. We’ll still get sick, lose our jobs, break bones, and maybe even have family members or friends turn on us and leave the church. There will be great pain in our lives, but when we look by faith at what God has planned for us, we know that He is watching over every step we take and that when we feel alone, He is always there to guide us. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord which made Heaven and Earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2). May God grant us this comfort in the year that lies before us!

Kevin Rau

JANUARY 16, 2018 / YOUNGCALVINISTS


He can’t contain himself – as it gets closer and closer, that’s all he can talk about. Friends exchange knowing glances when the occasion comes up, knowing that just the mention of it will cause a huge smile to break out on his face, and his words will trip over themselves as he gushes about what he expects and looks forward to on that day. What is this man looking forward to? It must be a pretty big event – it seems to be taking up his whole mind. Maybe his wedding, or the vacation he’s been planning for months? No, what this man is looking forward to is worshipping His God on the Sabbath.

This man is the psalmist in Psalm 84 – he starts out his song by shouting out “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!” His joy in coming to the Lord’s house can’t wait another minute – it’s been on his mind and he must express it right away. He loves to be there, loves to “behold the beauty of the LORD” (Psalm 27:4).

In fact, this man loves the house of the Lord so much, the once or twice weekly visit is not enough for him. Psalm 42 compares this longing to that of a deer for water. A deer’s most innate instinct is to find water – it can’t survive without it. This man knows that what water is to a deer, fellowship with the Lord is to him. Personal devotions during the week satisfy him somewhat, but by Saturday, he finds himself weak, needing replenishment from the preaching on Sunday.

I think we can all confess our emotions and thoughts on Saturday night and Sunday morning aren’t always quite in line with the man described here. Saturdays are full of housework and chores, piles of homework, and then maybe hanging out with our friends at night. We head to bed and fall asleep as soon as we hit the pillow. Sunday morning comes and we wake up as late as we can while still getting to church on time and looking decent. We don’t wake up with smiles on our face that today is the day we can worship our Lord in His house. But how can we make our attitudes line up with the psalmist’s?

A great place to start is consciousness. It’s easy to go through our normal Sunday activities without thinking – after all, most of us have been doing the same types of things each Sunday since we were children. It’s a comfortable routine. But I encourage you to look at it with new eyes. When we go to our respective churches each Sunday, it’s more than just a routine – we are entering in to the very house of God. The almighty, omnipotent God, Creator of heaven and earth, the One who planned your whole life before time began, allows us into His house, the place in which He dwells. This isn’t any grudging invitation either – He chose each of us specifically to come to His house. If it was up to us, we would be running the opposite way. But by His grace, we can confess with the psalmist of Psalm 65, “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts.”

So tonight, when you set your alarm for the morning – probably earlier than you would like – think about where exactly you’re going tomorrow. Meditate on the words of Psalm 84. Mark the bulwarks of your church as the psalmist does in Psalm 48. Ask God to give you the same joy and longing expressed in so many Psalms, overflowing joy and thankfulness to be able to worship at His house.

Kenzie Kuiper

Young Calvinist

In God’s Arms (Poetry)

The Christian’s Rest
Christian Poetry
by Nancy Moelker
(Jenison, MI)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian’s Rest

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!

Resting in the arms of God,
I’ve no cause for fear.
Satan may assail me,
But my sovereign God is near.

Resting in the arms of God,
Submissive to His will,
Knowing He’ll work good for me
Through times of good or ill.

Resting in the arms of God,
Doubts and strivings cease.
Christ is all my righteousness,
And I have perfect peace.

Resting in the arms of God
Through life’s pilgrim way,
Trusting in His promises,
He leads me day by day.

Resting in the arms of God
At my final breath –
Christ has won the victory!
“Where’s thy sting, O death?”

Resting in the arms of God,
Heaven’s gates unfold.
Forever with my Savior
I’ll have joy and peace untold!

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!
Resting in the arms of God
At my final breath –
Christ has won the victory!
“Where’s thy sting, O death?”

Resting in the arms of God,
Heaven’s gates unfold.
Forever with my Savior
I’ll have joy and peace untold!

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!

Three R’s Blog

The True Manner of Keeping the Lord’s day.

The Duties to be performed before the Public Exercises, are –

  1. To give over working betimes on the eve, that thy body may be refreshed, and thy mind the better fitted to sanctify the Sabbath on the next day. For want of the preparation, thyself and thy servants being tired with labour and watching the night before, are so heavy, that when you should be serving God, and hearing what his Spirit saith unto the church for your souls’ instruction, you cannot hold up your heads for sleeping; to the dishonour of God, the offence of the church, and the shame of yourselves: therefore the Lord commands us not only to keep holy, but also to remember beforehand the Sabbath day – to keep it holy, by preparing our hearts, and removing all business that might hinder us to consecrate it as a glorious day unto the Lord (Isa. lvi. 2, &c.; lviii. 13, &c.) Therefore whereas the Lord, in the other commandments, does but either bid or forbid, he does both in this commandment, and that with a special memorandum: As if a Master should charge his servant to look well unto ten things of great trust, but to have a more special care to remember one of those ten, for divers weighty reasons; should not a faithful servant, that loves his master, show a more special care unto that thing above all other businesses?

    Thus Moses taught the people over night to remember the Sabbath (Exod. xvi. 23, &c.) And it was a holy custom among our forefathers, when, at the ringing to prayer on the eve before the husbandman would five over his labour in the field, and the tradesman his work in the shop, and go to evening prayer in the church, to prepare their souls; that their minds might more cheerfully attend God’s worship on the Sabbath day.

    2. To rise up early in the morning on the Sabbath day. Be careful, therefore, to rise sooner on this day than on other days; by how much the service of God is to be preferred before all earthly business. For there is no master to serve so good as God; and in the end, no work shall be better rewarded than his service.

    3. When thou art up, consider with thyself what an impure sinner thou art, and into what an holy place thou goest to appear, before the most holy God, who seeth thy heart, and hateth all iniquity and hypocrisy. Examine yourself, therefore, before thou goest to Church, what grievous sins thou hast committed the week past; confess them to God, and earnestly pray for the pardon and forgiveness of them, and so reconcile thyself with God in Christ. Renew thy vows to walk more conscionably, and pray for an increase of those graces which thou hast, and a supply of those which thou wantest. But especially pray that thou mayest have grace to hear the word of God read and preached with profit; and that thou mayest receive the holy sacrament with comfort, if it be communion day; that God by his Holy Spirit would assist the preacher to speak something that may kill thy sin, and comfort thy soul; – which thou mayest do in this or the like sort: –

The Practice of Piety 
by Lewis Bayly. 
A Puritan Devotional Manual. 
(pp. 191-193) 

 Press to Contniue 

Beacon Lights

Diverse or Perverse? Today’s Diversity Agenda

 Each era of world history has not only its own notable personalities and events, but also its own leading ideas.  These ideas shape every sphere of man’s life in the world so that the religion, ethics, politics, literature, and music of each historical period are all governed by the intellectual side of man.  We are well acquainted with the sixteenth century Reformation and how the recovery of biblical truth transformed both the religious and political life of Europe.  Or we think of the seventeenth century Enlightenment and how European society was largely restructured according to the ideas of that movement.

The leading ideas of each historical epoch also have their own terminology.  Widely accepted ideas must be formulated, and thus they come to be expressed in certain phrases and statements that assume universal form.  For example, the leading ideas of the Reformation came to be expressed in such terms as justification by faith alone, the sufficiency of Holy Scripture, and the priesthood of all believers, to name but a few.  Alternatively, one of the great terms or watchwords of the Enlightenment was rational enquiry (by which was meant that human reason alone would decide every question).

Our day too has its leading ideas with their own terminology.  You know the terms; they include diversity, inclusiveness, tolerance, equality, and LGBT rights.  These are the watchwords or slogans of the Western world today.  It is my contention that as Christians we need to become a good deal more self-conscious about these terms; specifically we need to do so in order to appreciate the dangerous, deceptive, and wicked thinking that lies behind them.

Before proceeding, it is well to point out that we have no problem with such terms as diversity and inclusiveness in themselves.  As Reformed believers we understand, for example, that in the very being of Jehovah God there is both unity and diversity: there is one divine being and yet three distinct persons.  We understand also God’s command that man should disperse over the face of the earth, that there be a diversity of nations (Genesis 1:28).  From this rich diversity our God gathers a catholic church.  Oh yes, we believe in diversity.  The diversity that God creates and which we see in the “one, holy, catholic church” is a beautiful thing.  Neither do we have a problem with inclusiveness.  We include in our fellowship all those who confess the truth and live a godly life.  I am taking issue with the current use of such terms by the ungodly in the advancement of their anti-Christian agenda.

The terms mentioned above are applied to every aspect of life today.  Public and national life, we are told, must respect diversity and promote inclusiveness.  Thus, for example, the US military recently dropped its ban on practicing homosexuals and lesbians serving in its ranks.  Thus a small bakery in one US state that refused to bake a cake celebrating a sodomite “marriage” was prosecuted and forced out of business.  Recently on a Saturday the leading English soccer teams displayed the rainbow colors on armbands and boot laces as a very public display of support for LGBT “rights”.

All of these things have been done in the name of diversity, inclusiveness, and associated terms. Obviously such terminology is very powerful; after all, our whole society is presently being transformed in line with it.  My reason for drawing attention to this is that these terms are not neutral.  That is how those who promote these concepts like to portray things; and that is how, wittingly or unwittingly a majority of people in our nation have come to see things.

As Reformed Christians, however, we must subject all beliefs including their associated terminology to the judgment of the word of God.  In doing so we will see that the terminology of our day and its application to every area of society is by no means neutral, but is the expression of a rabidly antichristian and wicked idea.  The controlling idea behind every sphere of western society today is the philosophy of postmodernism.  I have come to believe that postmodernism is one of (if not the greatest) of the devil’s lies.  It may even be the culmination and goal of all Satan’s false ideas by which he deceives countless millions today.

If you are not familiar with the term, you are certainly familiar with the central claim of postmodernism: there are no absolutes.  By this is meant there is no absolute right or wrong; everything is merely a matter of individual perception.  You do not like same-sex marriage and may even think it wrong; I am completely fine with it; both are a matter of perception and therefore neither is right or wrong.

I would be confident in saying that every Protestant Reformed believer reading this article would recognize and reject the example I cited above.  You would say quite rightly that same-sex marriage is contrary to the Bible and is therefore wrong; you would go farther and declare it to be grossly sinful, an abomination; and in this you would be absolutely right.

But let me take you to the college classroom, a far cry from the safe confines of your Protestant Reformed family.  Or let me take you to your new job where you are surrounded by youthful zealots of postmodernism thoroughly indoctrinated by the public school system.  When you let it be known that you believe same-sex marriage is wrong you are met with howls of protest and sentiments such as these: “What right have you to make such a claim?”; “you do not accept diversity”; “your position is bigoted and long out-of-date”; “you should really be ashamed of yourself and learn to be more tolerant.” How are you going to answer?  In such circumstances, and let me tell you I have experienced them, we can easily be put “on the back foot” and become defensive.

And speaking of the college classroom, lest anyone reading this article is tempted to think that I am engaging in mere quibbles over words—that I am playing a game of semantics—let me take you to a college classroom in which at least some of you may even be sitting.  Let me take you to Calvin College, Grand Rapids.  If you go to their official website and open the page on “Diversity and Inclusion,” you will see the terminology of diversity that I have outlined; you will also see that this terminology has exactly the meaning that I described.

On one of the webpage links you may read a lengthy report adopted by Calvin College in 2014 which fully commits the college to the wicked diversity agenda.  On page eleven, the report declares that a proper definition of diversity “should recognize the existence of differences other than race and ethnicity including difference of gender, ability, socio-economic status, and sexual identity.”  Sexual identity refers to homosexuality and heterosexuality.  And, of course, gender now refers not only to feminism, but also to trans-genderism.

It is clear from the webpage that Calvin College implements its diversity agenda across every aspect of college life.  For Calvin College, diversity includes LGBTQ “rights”.  This is clear from the report just quoted; but it is also clear—shamefully so—from the upcoming events listed on the webpage: there the college promotes “A Primer on LGBTQ” rights.  This event, to be held on campus in March 2017 (and for which you may sign up on the webpage), will introduce participants to LGBTQ rights and assess how welcoming Calvin is for LGBTQ students.  Does someone still say that I engage in mere quibbles, that I play a game of semantics?

It is my fervent prayer and desire that especially the youthful readers of Beacon Lights be able see today’s diversity language for what it is—a great delusion; or to put it even more simply, a big lie.  To quote the writer of Proverbs: “For [as a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (23:7).  If we think a lie in our hearts, we will also speak lies.  The terminology of diversity is a deceit and is rooted in the false thinking (philosophy) of postmodernism.  Hence, we need to be able to debunk this false thinking, showing that it is both intellectually incoherent and unethical.

Postmodernism is the idea that there is no such thing as truth.  By truth is meant any statement or belief that is absolute and universal.  Accordingly, truth is not and can never be objective; truth is always a matter of individual perception.  Perhaps an example will help: recently I overheard a conversation between two people in which it was the burden of one participant to say that we really should stop arguing about Calvinism and Arminianism.  Calvinism and Arminianism are both true; they are two sides of the one coin; one teaches the sovereignty of God, the other teaches the responsibility of man; they are merely different perspectives of the one truth.  Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth: Calvinism and Arminianism stand in a relation of outright contradiction, so that Calvinism is the truth and Arminianism is the lie.  But the position of the debater described above makes truth relative—one may be an Arminian and hold to the truth, or one may be a Calvinist and also hold to the truth.  The mind boggles, but this is precisely the kind of nonsense to which postmodernism leads.

Of course if there is no such thing as truth, then neither can there be any absolutes, for nothing is absolutely true (or false).  It is not hard to expose the incoherence of this position: If there are no absolutes, then the statement “there are no absolutes” cannot be absolutely true! Postmodernist philosophy is logically absurd—it asserts there are no absolutes at the same time claiming that this assertion is absolutely true!  And to think that all of this passes for the most profound wisdom—and is by far the majority opinion in every public college today—only shows how the devil has blinded the mind of those who believe not the gospel.

But postmodernism is not only intellectually incoherent (to put it simply, it is nonsense); it is also a wicked rejection of Almighty God and his truth.  Postmodernism is no different from any other false philosophy in that it has its roots in the totally depraved mind of man: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” Genesis 6:5.

Furthermore, every false way of thinking and every rejection of God’s truth is implied in our first parents’ sin.  The sin of eating the forbidden fruit was a sin of both mind and will.  The devil appealed to the mental faculty of man when he suggested to Eve that by disobeying God’s command both she and her husband would “know good and evil” and that “your eyes shall be opened” (the eyes of their understanding).  The devil is very clever, and he knows full well something that we ignore at our peril, namely, that the light of God’s truth enters a person via the mind.  The mind is the faculty by which either the light of truth or the darkness of the lie dwells within the whole man.

In effect, the devil’s lie was that our first parents could have true knowledge of God and themselves in relation to God without divine revelation.  In other words, they could dispense with the authority of God’s word and still have true knowledge of God and all things.  By their own unaided reason they could investigate the world and themselves and thus create their own system of ethics (“knowing good and evil”).  The knowledge thus acquired would be “truth” for them; but it would not necessarily be truth for anyone else; consequently truth becomes subjective—a matter of individual perception—and subjective truth is no truth at all.  My point here is that postmodern thought is not new; it was essentially the lie of the devil already at the beginning: truth is not something absolute reflecting the mind of Jehovah God who has all knowledge and is thus the arbiter of truth, but is rather something subjective and relative.

Since the thinking that lies behind the terminology is incoherent, so also is the terminology itself.  Those who promote such concepts as diversity and inclusiveness today like to make us believe they mean them absolutely.  If you were to question such people about their advocacy of diversity as to whether they mean every religious belief and every sexual expression, none excepted, they would answer without hesitation, “Yes, of course! Every religious belief is equally valid and every sexual orientation is legitimate”.  This all sounds very tolerant and broadminded.  But what about biblical Christianity which holds that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and that every religion that denies this is by definition false and is consequently under the condemnation of God?  Is that view also “equally valid”?  In other words, can those who promote diversity accept as equally valid that belief which alone claims to be right?  Their answer will be “we cannot accept this belief because it denies diversity?”  And so you see their high-sounding claim for diversity is a sham and a fraud: they loudly proclaim how they accept and tolerate every religious belief and yet here is one—biblical Christianity—they will under no circumstances respect nor tolerate.

Protestant Reformed youth are, thankfully, shielded from the wicked philosophy of postmodernism.  Our churches still hold to the inspiration and authority of the Bible; for us the Bible is truth regardless what men may think of it: “thy word is truth” (John 17:17b).  The same belief in the authority of Holy Scripture is held in our Christian schools and in our homes.  For this we are thankful.  We love the truth of God and are determined not to sell it.  But our young people need to be prepared for the day when they will attend college and/or enter the workplace.  There they will most certainly be confronted with the terminology of diversity and inclusiveness.  I should rather put it more urgently: our covenant youth need to be readied for battle; we must see to it that they are skilled in wielding the sword.  That sword is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

Protestant Reformed young people, make sure you are skilled in the use of that sword!  You are going to need it.  The battle lines are sharply drawn today.  The wicked philosophy of postmodernism and its associated corrupt terminology represent a frontal assault of the enemy.  The assault is all the more dangerous in the form that it assumes—it wears the garb of tolerance, diversity, and broadmindedness.  Its disciples want you to think that any opposition to the diversity agenda renders you intolerant, bigoted, and narrow-minded.  They mean to put you on the defensive; and in this way to have you give up the antithesis (the sharp opposition to the lie).  You are engaged—as perhaps never before in the history of the church—in mortal combat for yourself, your church, and for the truth of your God.  In the strength of our God, may you do exploits.

Author: Philip Rainey | Rubric: Christian Living

 

Press to Contniue

Young Calvinists!

The Parable of the Sower

Think for a moment of the parable of the sower and his seed.  This is a story which most (if not all) Christians are familiar with.  The seed falls in four different locations, and in three cases it does not produce fruit for various reasons.  Sunday school classes often teach this particular parable for its simple structure – it is easy to grasp, even at a young age.  It is interesting, then, that we so readily forget it.  If you are like me, you typically think of yourself as simply the “good ground” we read of in Matthew 13:8.  This is altogether too easy a mindset for us to slip into – I’m saved; it’s all meaningless now.  Nothing I do can merit my salvation, and it’s already been bought anyway.  I’m good.  Now I just have to find the best way to produce some fruit. 

If we adopt this thinking, there is nothing here for us – this parable is totally meaningless.  We would do well to consider ourselves in connection to the other kinds of soil.  By nature, of course, we are the hard ground that the seeds are incapable of penetrating; we know this and are often willing to acknowledge it.  But we are sometimes also the other soils as well.  How often do we not make our faith overtly obvious in the best of times but then become mysteriously quiet in the face of trials?  When we do so, we are the stony soil – there is precious little foundation there, and the sun blisters and withers anything that grows.  When the seeds of offensive doctrine are sown to us by God’s Word, how do we react?  Often, we are choked out from confessing them by the thorny old man.  When the command comes to us to lead a new and godly life, the old man closes our throat with his thorny earthly pleasures and prevents us from speaking up in obedience.  Instead, we continue to live lives of utter sinfulness, drinking, lusting, and lying as we did before.

Now acknowledging our shortcomings, we can consider our ultimate place – the soft soil.  Remembering that is only by the Spirit’s continual work of sanctification in us that our inner thorns are more and more uprooted, we ought to turn to God in utter dependence and thanksgiving!  However, now that the gospel is able to take root in our hearts, the work is not at an end.  The plant must continue to grow and to produce fruit.  What better way to cause this growth than the opportunity we have tomorrow morning?  Enter into God’s house and worship Him.  When you hear the Word preached, you will grow spiritually in the warmth that is the “Sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2).  Jesus Christ, the living water, will enter into the roots of your faith and heart and rejuvenate you from your thirst after a long, sinful week.  Only when we have the grace of God within us are we able to produce the fruit that He demands of us.  If we fool ourselves into thinking that we can produce fruit of our own accord, we will find that we fail; it will be tainted by our self-righteous pride, and it will be rotten.  This fruit is not pleasing to God – of such He says, “I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16)!  So, child of God, when you go to the house of God tomorrow, soak up the sunlight, and drink of His goodness!

Matthew Koerner

 

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