Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Give back the Helmet

We picked up a game for the kids at a garage sale. It's a Christian themed game called "Armor of God." Overall, it's a pretty good game. You go around the board trying to collect the 6 pieces of spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6. There are "battle" cards that either give or take away pieces of armor depending on the situation. For example, "you got in trouble at school, but then confessed to your parents. You get the Breastplate of Righteousness." or, "you didn't read your Bible, give back the Sword of the Spirit." It's a kid's game, on the kids' level, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

However, my daughter drew a card and got stuck trying to read a big word, so I took it to read it for her. It read:
You are embarrassed to
let your friends know
that you go to church
on Sundays.

Give back the
Helmet of Salvation.
I just smiled, gave the card to my wife and said, "let's pick another card." My daughter ended up with the sandals or something like that, and we kept playing. I kept the card when we cleaned up and put the game away.

So what's wrong? Can you really lose your salvation by being afraid to tell your friends you go to church? The card is based on a faulty interpretation of Matthew 10:32-33:
32 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
At first glance, some would jump to the conclusion that for Jesus to deny someone before the Father means that they will lose their salvation, but the passage is saying something quite different. The real question is, what does it mean to have Jesus confess or deny us before the Father?

2 Timothy 2:11-13 says:
11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Here enduring is contrasted with denying. If we endure, we receive the reward of reigning with Him. If we deny Him, He denies us - denying us the reward of reigning with Him. This is just what Luke 9:26 says: "For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." It's not about losing salvation, it's about being ashamed before the Father on the day of judgment. Look back at 2 Timothy 2:13. If we are faithless, if we blow it, if we are ashamed and afraid to tell people about Him, He remains faithful to us because of His character. He gives us grace when we blow it because He is gracious, loving and forgiving.

My favorite passage about our security in Christ is Ephesians 1:13-14, which says,
"13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."
We are saved by grace through faith, and the moment we believe we receive the Holy Spirit, who seals us and is the pledge - the down payment - on our salvation. God does not break His promises, and His purpose in this promise is His own glory. You can't give back the Helmet of Salvation any more than you could turn a butterfly back into a caterpillar. At the moment of faith, a fundamental change happens inside you, and "you are a new creature; old things have passed away. Behold! New things have come!" (2 Cor 5:17)

I don't think that card will make it back to the game.

Note: Here is a slightly longer article on the topic of eternal security.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fox News Still Pushing Soft-Core Porn

Today's fair and balanced soft core porn from Fox News:
  • "Olivia Wilde's Potty Mouth" (including "hot" photo spread of Ms. Wilde in various stages of undress.
  • (Former Playboy Model and Hugh Hefner girlfriend) "Holly Madison Tending Bar!"
  • Fox "SexPert" "Wetter is Better"
  • Maxim Monday "Haley's 'Bust-Out' 3-D Role"
Come on Fox! The economy is on the rocks with unemployment and foreclosures are set to skyrocket. Our president is trying to cram a health care plan nobody wants down our throats. Iran and North Korea are pushing for nuclear weapons, and you are trying to make an extra buck pushing porn?

Our society is crumbling around our ears and you're contributing to it. Please, please, clean the trash off your site and focus on the real news.

This just in (well, it was news to me...): The New American, March 20, 2006 reported that Rupert Murdoch has a growing porn empire, including channels on his British Sky network. Come on Mike Huckabee, you're a former Baptist pastor. Come on Glenn Beck, you're a Mormon. Come on Father Jonathan, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, you're good Catholics. Stand up to your boss and tell him Fox news needs to clean up its act!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Open Letter to Fox News

Letter sent to this evening:

I'm really tired of all the sex and sleaze on I'm not a prude (but I am a Christian), but how often do I have to see "Playboy bunny wants bigger breasts" on a serious news site? Half of the articles in Features & Faces consistently use sex to draw readers to your news site, and I'm tired of it. I'm a conservative who will find other sites to read.

Besides, since Mr. Murdoch wants to start charging for his websites, I need to wean myself off your site before he does. I refuse to pay for Internet news. That's what your advertisers are for.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Democrat, Republican or Texan?

I got this in an email at work today, and couldn't pass up posting it!

Are you a Democrat, a Republican or a Texan? The answer can be found by posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Colt 1911 cal. 45 semiautomatic pistol, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

(Image courtesy of Xavier Thoughts)


Democrat's Answer:
  • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?
  • Does the Colt have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 9-1-1?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.
Republican's Answer:
  • BANG!

Texan's Answer:
  • BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!* Click..... (Sounds of reloading)

  • Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester SilverTips or Hollow Points?'
  • Son: 'Can I shoot the next one!'
* Note: the original email only had 9 bullets in the 1911 before reloading. The 1911 magazine holds 10. Actually a real Texan would load up 10+1. Also, there would be no "click" when the gun was empty because the slide would lock back and the hammer would be unable to drop, thus no "click". A competent handgunner would also be counting rounds expended and rounds remaining, so the second magazine would be on it's way to the gun immediately after the 11th round (10+1) was fired.**

** The previous note confirms that I am a gun geek. :o}