Two Talents

Faith-based expressions of a Christian.

Archive for May 2006

Did Christ finish His work?

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I found this while perusing Bible.org this morning. It’s worth sharing.

How dangerous it is to join anything of our own to the righteousness of Christ, in pursuit of justification before God! Jesus Christ will never endure this; it reflects upon His work dishonorably. He will be all, or none, in our justification. If He has finished the work, what need is there of our additions? And if not, to what purpose are they? Can we finish that which Christ Himself could not complete? Did He finish the work, and will He ever divide the glory and praise of it with us? No, no; Christ is no half-Savior.

It is a hard thing to bring proud hearts to rest upon Christ for righteousness. God humbles the proud by calling sinners wholly from their own righteousness to Christ for their justification.

– John Flavel

Source unknown

It is a hard thing to bring proud hearts to rest upon Christ alone for righteousness. As a former Catholic I can attest to that Church’s faithful having nothing to cement their hope in. You are saved, but upon the act of any sin you are lost. You restore your salvation only to repeat the process. Where is the hope that Christ died for your sins and that you are redeemed? For if your salvation is shipwrecked with every sin then you have no hope. The best you have to cling to is a crapshoot of faith.

It is not Catholicism alone* that has a practice of adding man’s works to Christ’s as part of salvation. Plenty of other Churches do so as well, it’s just that I’m familiar with the Catholic Church because I was part of it. Christians speak of liberty, redemption, trust and such, but if you allow your pride to attach your works to those of the Almighty then you have no liberty or redemption and your trust is as much in yourself as it is in Christ. Think about that.

Jesus had to die in order to atone for our sins because we were incapable of doing it ourselves. Had we been able to redeem ourselves then millions would have been saved through the Law of Moses. Yet Paul teaches us that this did not happen

17But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God,

18and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,

20a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

21you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?

22You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

23You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?

24For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written. {Romans 2:17-24}

19Now 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;

20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. {Romans 3:19-20}

* It’s been my experience that the majority of Catholics I know don’t necessarily agree with all of their church’s teachings, nor do they practice them. My disagreements with Catholicism are doctrinal, and thus with the institution of the Catholic Church, not with Catholics themselves.

Written by Shawn

May 20, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Pat Robertson: Rider on the Storm

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Pat Robertson is claiming God spoke to him, though he isn't sure he heard God correctly. 

"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8.

Okay, if God spoke to me and I wasn't sure I heard Him correctly, I'd ask a confirmation or follow-up question. Granted, God may not field that question, but I doubt he'd leave me uncertain of what He said. Then again, I don't believe God speaks to man this way anymore either–the time of God speaking through prophets ended when Christ was born.

Not only is Robertson claiming this, he got even more specific on his show this past Wednesday:

"There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest," he said.

Predicting that there will be storms on the coasts of our country is a gimmie. Predicting no storms would be novel, but to predict that there will be storms on coastal areas is like predicting that the sun may shine in Miami. Making this more confusing is that Robertson claims to have been told this some months ago.

The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network has told viewers of "The 700 Club" that the revelations came to him during his annual personal prayer retreat in January.

In the days of the true prophets, God did not expect them to tarry after He had given them a message to share. Unless He instructed them to do so He expected them to share the message with whom He'd told them to share it. So why did Robertson wait almost 5 months to share this message?

Of course, Pat Robertson hasn't shown that he's a believable prophet of God, even if you think God does still speak to man in this way:

Robertson has come under intense criticism in recent months for suggesting that U.S. agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip.

God's people should not be calling for the assassination of foreign leaders, even if they are Commie egomaniac pot-stirrers. Also, we've no idea whether Sharon's stroke was for the reason cited by Robertson or due to something else, like, for instance, because he was/is quite obese and likely ate a poor diet.

If we have storms on the coasts, and we will, Robertson can claim authenticity. A tsunami is a rare thing, and if it does not come to pass I'm sure Robertson can give us some justifiable reason for that, such as God changed His mind, etc. Maybe he could blame Hugo Chavez for that.

Moral of the story: Don't trust anyone on this earth to speak for God. Let God speak for Himself. His words are found in the Bible. What mankind says about God is either their interpretation of the Bible (which could be right or wrong) or their personal opinion. Or, perhaps, they are just making it up for some reason.  

Written by Shawn

May 19, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

All Dead, All Dead

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I still enjoy secular music, even harder rock. However, my all-time favorite band (who could rock hard when they wanted to) is Queen. I try to be careful about what secular songs I listen to. For instance, Queen's "Get Down, Make Love" is off limits, so too Joan Jett's catchy "Do You Wanna' Touch Me". The lyrics of those songs make them something a good Christian boy shouldn't be listening to.

Sometimes, however, you find secular song lyrics that inspire a good Christian thinking session. On my way to work yesterday I decided to get nostaligic with some older Queen, so I popped "News of the World" into the CD player. I hadn't listened to some of those songs in quite some time, including the song "All Dead, All Dead". It's a song about two young lovers. The female dies and the male is left to struggle with the memories and what could have been. Sample lyrics:

All dead all dead
All the dreams we had
And I wonder why I still live on
All dead, all dead
And alone I'm spared
My sweeter half instead
All dead, and gone

While listening to this song yesterday I was struck by what comes near the end of the song. I'd forgotten all the lyrics, so while I was reminded of them as I listened, I don't know that I ever truly grasped this part of the song, and how I can relate to it as a Christian (though it was probably not written in that spirit):

All dead, all dead
But I should not grieve
In time it comes to ev'ryone
All dead, all dead
But in hope I breathe
Of course I don't believe
You're dead, and gone
All dead, and gone

As Christians we believe in the resurrection of Christ, and so too that because we possess faith in Him we will also be resurrected. Thus Paul asks, "O death, where is thy sting?" Christ conquered death and damnation for all who believe in faith in Him. Of course we grieve the loss of others, even when we know they believed in Jesus Christ and so were saved. We know they are better off, but we still hurt. However, as the lyrics above say, it is in hope that we breathe. Our hope is part of our faith; we trust and hope in the promises of God. Also as in the lyrics above, when a believer dies we don't believe they are truly dead. After all, we trust in God to be true to His word, and He has promised that all those who believe in Him are saved and will be resurrected to be with Him forever. '

If you trust in Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that He is God the Son who died to pay atonement for your sins, and that He was resurrected and lives, you shall be saved. In time, death does indeed come to everyone, but we who live by faith know that while those who belong to Christ may die, they are not all dead and gone. In hope we breathe, in God we trust and in Christ we believe.

Written by Shawn

May 15, 2006 at 4:01 pm

The Ten Commandments

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We had a visiting, fill-in pastor on Sunday. Before I begin I'd like to vent something. For reasons I don't know or understand we refer to pastors who fill-in as "pulpit supply". That is such an impersonal and cold term and I wish it would go away. Back to the topic. The pastor spoke of the typology of Noah's ark and Jesus Christ. At some point, while he explained the various typologies, I had a thought: What if God listed the Ten Commandments in the order He gave them for a reason. See, we've gone and numbered them and because that is what we are familiar with we see God's statement as being ten commands. One site I found states… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

May 15, 2006 at 5:13 am

Now this is funny!

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I don't characterize myself as a Baptist, though I belong to a Baptist Church, so this isn't posted as a "Heh, we're better" thing. I'm sharing it because it's funny. BTW, some of the comments are also great. Of particular note are comments #4, #9, #15 and #21. Enjoy.

Written by Shawn

May 7, 2006 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Humor

Scientology’s “Super Power”

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I found this story this morning: Scientology nearly ready to unveil Super Power.

While I do not know all of the specifics of Seientology's beliefs I know enough to wonder how anyone, even a flake, could fall for this so-called religion. Scientologists believe that mankind came here from some other planet eons on spaceships. In other words, we are ourselves aliens. We were sent away by the millions from wherever it was we lived, which was run by an evil ruler called Xenu. They believe that this Xenu murdered millions or billions and the souls of those killed sort of invade us and cause us to have psycological and emotional problems. Scientology has a plan for that soul invasion: auditing, the process of cleansing the bad from the person. Oh, and Xenu is still desiring to murder us, although he's not on earth, so we have that to worry about as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

May 7, 2006 at 12:11 pm