Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Do you remember??? It was'nt too many years ago. Everyone was warning us about the EVIL Harry Potter.. Remember Harry Potter wanted to take over our minds and make us worship MAGIC and The Devil... Man, They( you know , "They" do'nt you?) said that NOONE should read it.. TOO DANGEROUS- all those witches, and warlocks, and magic talk. I remember being at a friends house one evening. We were all just hanging out with our kids, watching TV.. it was a great family night with friends. We watched " The Wizard of Oz" on TV.. some of the Little ones enjoyed listening to " Sleeping Beauty" before Bed.. and some of the older kids were telling us how far they had gotten in " The Chronicles Of Narnia".. it was a great night.. and then , some one mentioned the dreaded " P" word- POTTER... well, before you could say "ding dong the Witch is dead", one of the adults launched into a diatribe against HP.. Man, I was so scared , I did'nt even read it... I heard SO many scary theories about how my mind was going to be exposed to all sorts of terrible influences... I had no Idea that I would hear similar warnings about a book called "the Shack": " Heresy" is the word I heard most often! Now I am an ultra-conservative Presbyterian Elder- Jesus ONLY-Virgin Birth- ok... just think of ALL the "check List words " that scream EXCLUSIONARY to the liberal evangelicals and insert them next to Clay Callaway.. You get the idea??? So one evening , I was thinking about re-reading " The Lion , the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and FORGET about " The Shack".. but I could'nt.. I had to see what the Buzz was all about.SO I read it... I was afraid.. and my fears were confirmed... in a good way. NOW, I want YOU to read it.. so I am not going to go into great detail with this review- do'nt wanna spoil it... so here goes- " The Shack" is a NOVEL.. ok it's not a book of Systematic Theology.. The main character , Mack visits GOD in " The Shack" so that he can be reminded of something.. and that something is that no matter what you have gone through, GOD LOVES YOU and HAS NEVER FORSAKEN YOU! NOW I know you are saying.. " WOW , Clay.. sounds so deep.. well.. it IS and we all need to be reminded of this profound truth.. The Reformer Martin Luther said that "Christians should preach the Gospel to themselves every day" Simple and yet so profound.. we need to remind ourselves of the wonder of it all.. Thats the message of " The Shack". Now , the author uses some creative ways to help us to "get it" . lots of people were frightened by this "creativity"and starting throwing the "heresy" word around.. especially when the author was heard in an interview, supposedly denying the Penal Substitutionary Atonement( google it)..The author, William P. Young, had several tragedies in his life.. This book is a product of his "working Through" the "where was God?" question. Remember that as you read it. I enjoyed the story..My faith in the Sufficiency of Scripture has not wavered because I read " The Shack", If anything- it has been strengthened.I KNOW what the Bible teaches about God's omniscience, His Immutability, His Sovereignty, - I can read a novel that at times seems to question my views about these attributes- without apostasizing.. really I DID! If you decide to read this book, watch out. Lots of people are screaming.. telling us that we should'nt read this author because some of his views on God are suspect.. let me tell you something.. the APOSTLE PAUL read NON- CHRISTIAN authors.. and QUOTED them. Epimenides was a 6th century religious reformer( not a Christian) and Poet that Paul mentioned in Titus 1:12.- Man, I hope "Epi" did'nt have any witches in his poetry..Paul was'nt afraid of Epimenides.. Paul knew the truth... All of the C.S. Lewis fanatics who proudly recommend his works need to go back and read some of his musings that at times sounded like "open Theism"( google it")- He talked about Budhists who were "living so in harmony with the Spirit of Christ" that they might be in Paradise with us who are Christians."He would not pass your litmus tests".Many of the Early Church Fathers that we quote had some wacky( yep, I typed wacky) views.. but we appeal to them as an "apologia" for our doctrinal distinctives- Origen was certainly a neo-platonist. Tertullian believed that the 70 weeks of Daniel were fulfilled by the FIRST advent- sorry , Pre-trib rapture" friends.. Tertullian would not enjoy your church movie night screening of "left Behind" .. although , I am sure that he would have loved Kirk Cameron...Ya get my point? NOT EVERY WRITER is going to agree with our view of "orthodoxy".. but you know what?? we can still read them.. we can look for kernels of truth in their works.. God can use so many things to teach us... even stories written by authors who are "un-orthodox", neoorthodox, or just plain unbelieving!!! I can se that my "review" will require at least two more installments,so stay tuned to this channel- NEXT, I will address some of the inconsistencies of the story... but let me say this: DO'nt Be Afraid to go to the Shack.. Harry Potter's not there...There's no Lions, Witches, Wardrobes, Wizards, ( oh I forgot.. they're ok.."- sometimes) but I tell you what you will find there.. a good story that reminds you of some Good News; Your Heavenly Father Loves you ; No matter what is going on in your life- He has never and WILL never forsake you; He became a Man and kept the Law for His people and suffered the punishment due to your Sins... that's not a "scary" story.. that's the most calming, healing story that has ever been written, and it was written in RED
Thursday, April 23, 2009
" If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family-anything you like-at a given point in it's history, you will always find that there was a time before thatpoint when there was more elbow room and contrasts were'nt quite so sharp; and that there is going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time,coming to a point,getting sharper and harder" C.S. Lewis- "That Hideous Strength"
Do you agree with this??? I would like your thoughts!!! Discuss this amongst yourselves... I have given you a great topic!!!
Do you agree with this??? I would like your thoughts!!! Discuss this amongst yourselves... I have given you a great topic!!!
Friday, April 17, 2009
A few days ago the "adult"film actress Marilyn Chambers died. She was 56. Her body was discovered by her daughter.Like MOST of the individuals in her industry, she battled drug and alchohol addiction. At this writing , the cause of Death is unknown- WHAT A SAD STORY! Most men in their 40s and 50s know who she was and what made her famous.. and thats another Sad Story.. that so MANY knew SO MUCH about her- Now this is a "family Friendly", reformed Christian blog.. so I will spare you the details of her career.. google the name and you will be shocked.. or maybe you wo'nt be shocked( The possiblity that you wo'nt be shocked is ANOTHER SAD STORY)! Marilyn Chambers became famous for her involvement in the "world" of Pornography- an industry that treats Women as objects !IT glorifies some of the most degrading and horrific acts known to Mankind- and yet ... we heard about Marilyn when we were growing up.. She was on TV shows, talking to Tom Snyder on the Nightly colorcast,being interviewed by "mainstream" journalists"! There she was.. smiling.. talking about how "liberated" she felt doing what she did on film. Everyone was laughing( was'nt that HILARIOUS that she was the girl on the Ivory snow Box.. and then she became an x-rated star!!)it was the nervous laughter that sends a message. Here's the message:," Well, we KNOW WE really should'nt be talking about this kind of thing.. it's REALLY not a healthy view of sexuality... but hey.. we have got to get this ALL out in the open.. it helps us as a society to freely and comfortably talk about these things.. if only we talk about it a little more.. we are sure we will get COMFORTABLE!" WELL, we talked about it- we were exposed to images on Television that helped us to "lighten up"! We became so sophisticated... the Porn industry became a multi-billion dollar industry. Millions of women have been subjected to abuse and humiliation.. and millions of men( and women) have struggled with an addiction that tears apart the very soul. Marriages destroyed, Careers ruined , lives lost.. ALL of this because we became DE-SENSITIZED.Thats the REAL SAD STORY!. the "things" that used to make "us" cringe , have now become so "matter of fact" , SO MUCH a part of OUR LIVES! One if the most popular shows for TEENAGE girls a couple of years ago was the program, " the Girls Next Door", which chronicled the life of Playboy Founder , Hugh Hefner and his THREE live-in girlfriends( who were all about 60 YEARS YOUNGER than Hugh-baby).....there we were again.. watching, laughing,( that nervous laughter?? nope.. not anymore) We have become so NUMB.. we drown out any remnant of a conscience with our noise... and our toys.. we do'nt want to think about the way that WE have compromised. we do'nt want to think about what is right or wrong. Just have Fun, Life's too short, Eat Drink and be merry... Be merry,... that's what Marilyn Chambers and all the other porn actresses tried to do.. but it did'nt work! I remember Tom Snyder asking Marilyn about her belief about GOD and if she believed- or thought about the afterlife- She replied that She just did'nt think about that"kind of thing". I think that her reply was a lie.. just like all the lies she told about the joy and liberation she felt doing pornographic films. She tried to numb the pain with drugs and alchohol.. deep inside, She KNEW that what she did was wrong- it was not a healthy way to live- and WE KNOW that our compromising is wrong.. this "mainstreaming" of unhealthy sexual imagery has left us enslaved, empty, and broken. Behind many Doors in America, families are suffering because we have "lightened up". Children are being neglected and abused because we became "sophisticated" about Sexuality! The SAD STORY is that WE did this to ourselves.. we turn away from our Creator who wants to give us a healthy view of sexuality- that it is a beautiful gift from God to be shared between One man and one woman.we do'nt want HIS guidance.. we are so sophistcated.. we have "lightened up"... thats the REAL Sad story...Marilyn Chambers left a daughter, I pray that SOMEONE who knows the Savior will come into her life... and show her what real love is.. and what it TRULY means to Live a Life of Liberation.. ONE SAD STORY jus might have a happy ending.. or a happy beginning
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Husain Ismael Jabar is an Israeli -Arab who lives in the village of Abu -Gosh near Jerusalem! Jabar is a businessman and every year at Passover he gets a GREAT DEAL on all the leavened products in Jerusalem. As everyone knows, only UNLEAVENED products can be kept in the house, business, store, etc. during Passover! Jabar helps out his Jewish neighbors!He purchases ALL LEAVENED PRODUCTS( any product derived from flour of the five species of Grain) for approximately $20,000! The amazing thing about this deal is : ALL these leavened products in all the stores,businesses, homes, restaurants, etc. are worth in excess of 150 million dollars! Better than E-bay, huh?? He does'nt even pay for shipping, well, actually he does'nt even have to go and move it to his warehouse.. he just hands over a check for 20 grand to a Rabbi ;they give him a paper saying that he is the owner of ALL that is Leavened- and he sells it all back to them at the end of passover- Let's make a Deal! ( hey Monty, I'll take what's behind door number 3- I hope it's a year 's supply of Bagels).. yep, it's a pretty good arrangement that they have going with Mr. Jabar- ALL THE leavened products are gotten rid of( well, in a way), just as the Jewish Law commands. This is called Mechirah and it's the way that the devout "dispose of" their leavened products without.. well... without having to lose anything- The families sign over their leavened products to the Rabbi's who in turn sign them over to Jabar- at the end of Passover, Jabar gives it all back, paperwork signed, checks swapped- everyone is Happy! The DEMANDS of the LAW are satisfied, Yahweh is pleased that they got rid of the unleavened bread( in a way,, they really did.. did'nt they??),Man, that was a great Passover- My conscience is clear- I bet Jehovah really ,really loves me a lot now! ...... You know when I first heard this reported on NPR, I laughed inside a little, "those Jewish families, playing their little game with God.. acting like they are GIVING UP something to show THEIR DEVOTION...it's like they are winking.at God. all the while saying.. Yep, we are doing what we are supposed to"!A little paper shuffling and all is right with the Kosher world" I started thinking though... I AM JUST LIKE THOSE PEOPLE... I play my little games with God-thinking that if i do SOMETHING- He will be pleased with me! He will love me more.. and not be angry with me.... a little paper shuffling, pretending that I am really doing good.. uh.. "what's that???, no these are not LEAVENED bread crumbs on the front of my shirt.. I do'nt know what you are talking about.. nope.. not me"... the PROBLEM is that ALL this thinking is about WHAT I DO!!! AND THATS THE PROBLEM! I can play my little games, I can go down the "checklist", I can strive to earn HIS FAVOR.. but the truth is.. He LOVES ME!!! Because of the CROSS, my SINS were paid for.. JESUS DIED FOR ME!! I ca'nt do anything to make him love me more or ..love me LESS, I already have ALL of HIS LOVE! He ROSE again to free me from Sin and death! I do'nt have to play any games, or try to earn His love... He is RISEN.. He is Risen Indeed!!!.... Allright Carol Merrill, show us whats behind Door # 3... could it be an empty tomb??