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They Hate Christians Because They Hate Reality

Monday, May 22, 2023

Christians are not always the brightest bulbs, but we do shine in this dark world. We obstinately refuse to disagree with God, even when we don’t completely understand the how or the why. A scientist insists gravity is the law that makes things fall. It’s nothing special, he says; it’s just the way it is. The Christian enjoys the fact that God made the apple to fall down and not up. Why should it not fall up, after all?

Christians love reality. God paraded all the animals before Adam and told him to name them, and man has not stopped naming God’s created things. “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out” (Proverbs 25.2). A Christian understands categories and design, and he knows the Designer. Reality reflects the Creator, and the Christian revels in what is, not in what he wishes or hopes it were.

Satan is the father of lies (John 8.44); he lies because he hates the truth, and he hates the truth because he hates what God loves. Christians love what God loves. Enemies of God deny truth and speak against reality. They seek not necessarily to define things differently than God but to rid the world of definitions altogether because definitions recognize limitations, and God’s enemies hate limits.

Christians recognize and love God’s limits. “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out of the womb…and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” (Job 38.8–11). Oh, how the world hates God’s “Thou shalt nots”!

The mega church down the road advertises their teen program: “Limitless.” I’d really like to hear the rationale on that one. Are they really teaching their teens they have no limits in Christ? No boundaries? What?

Matt Walsh has become famous recently with his bombshell documentary, What Is a Woman? The single point of the entire program centers on defining the word woman. It’s not that the current culture can’t define it—they refuse to because they realize giving a definition boxes them in. They don’t want to be confined to the reality of what a woman is, so they refuse to speak. Likewise, Jesus asked the chief priests, scribes, and elders of His day, “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” He challenged them to define John’s baptism. They refused, specifically to avoid being trapped by their answer (Mark 11.27–33). They were not interested in reality; they were interested in getting their own way.

Because Christians seek to define terms, to categorize things properly, to accept reality, enemies of the cross hate us for it.

We say, “Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman, as designed by God.” We say, “A man cannot change into a woman, nor can a woman change into a man.” We say, “A human baby is a life inside the womb, and killing him is murder.” We say, “A father should live with, provide for, and protect his wife and family.” We say, “A man will reap what he sows, and if you do not repent, you will die in your sins.”

In none of these things are we forcing a person to do or not to do something. We are simply recognizing reality as God designed it and giving voice to the truth. But don’t you know that silence is violence? And words are also violence. Everything is violence, and if God’s enemies don’t like what a Christian says, that gives them the moral green light to slander, malign, and even physically attack the Christian. They simply redefine violence to fit the need of their hour.

It has always been thus. They hated the Shepherd; they will hate the sheep. They hated the Master; they will hate the servants. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5.11–12).

Dear brothers and sisters, do not be surprised by abuse from Christ’s enemies. We cannot stop speaking the truth and recognizing reality because that would dishonor the Word and Designer. Speak the truth in love, keep your head up, and see what the Lord works through your faithfulness.

The Fifth Commandment

Monday, April 03, 2023

The first four of the Decalogue (“ten words”) have to do with man’s relationship with God:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

The last five concern man’s relationship with his fellow man:

  1. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  2. Thou shalt not kill.
  3. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  4. Thou shalt not steal.
  5. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  6. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house or thy neighbor’s wife...or anything that is thy neighbor’s.

Many call these the “two tables of the Law.” The first table falls under the greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6.5). The second table falls under the second greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19.18).

Interestingly, the Fifth Commandment is stated positively, while the rest that follow are negative. Paul also points out it is the first commandment with a promise attached: “That it may be will with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6.2–3).

familyThe first table of the Law begins with God’s authority. The second table begins with authority in family structures. If authority is not recognized and respected, families disintegrate, and if families fall apart so does society. If children do not first learn to obey their parents in their parents’ house, they most likely will not honor their parents after they leave home. If they don’t honor their parents, they will likely not honor the aged. They will tend to exhibit what C. S. Lewis called “generational snobbery,” in which the children think they know more and have more wisdom than their parents and grandparents. They will have a misguided notion that their generation is the wisest of all generations. In truth, they may be the dumbest and most foolish of all.

Worst of all, they will not honor God. Those who put no other gods before Yahweh God also honor their parents, and those who honor their parents also honor Yahweh God.

After honoring God, honoring our parents is critically important. That does not necessarily mean fawning over them and adoring them in overly-emotional ways. It does not mean you necessarily have to like your parents all the time, because sometimes parents are not gracious, kind, or loving towards their children. But you must still honor your father and your mother because they came before you and God saw fit to bring you into existence through them.

Praise God for godly-minded parents who work hard to train their kids and grandkids, who show grace, and who cherish their children.

But whether your parents fit that mold or not, you are called to honor them. Honor them by providing for them in their old age and taking care of their physical needs. Do not speak evil to them or about them. Pray for them. Share the gospel with them in a respectful way.

The Fifth Commandment is a primary foundation for a stable family, church, and society. No wonder God ended His words to Israel in the Old Covenant with this promise:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4.5–6)

Our families need healing! The gospel includes family structures working the way God created them to function. Healthy families is not just a beautiful side consequence of turning back to the Lord—it’s a main mission of families who turn to the Lord.

Do your kids honor you? If not, next ask yourself if you honor your parents. Have you shown your kids what it looks like to honor your parents, or do they hear you griping, mocking, and voicing your displeasure about them?

Do I honor my parents? God promises me that if I honor my parents, I will live long upon the land He gives me!

The World Does Not Dictate Our Morality

Monday, October 10, 2022

I have done it and didn’t even realize what was happening. I would speak out against some sin, and someone would push back: “You’re a Christian; you have to be tolerant,” or “You’re a Christian; you have show love,” or “You’re a Christian; you have to turn the other cheek while I smack you on the other side.” Shamefaced, I would shut my mouth and wonder at how quickly I had violated my own standards. Had I offended someone? Jesus would never do that.


To the contrary, Jesus often offended His enemies. He made His own disciples uncomfortable at times…many times (see John 6 for a good example).

Why do we Christians so often fall victim to worldly people telling us when we ought to speak and when to shut up? Why are we so sensitive to the feelings of everyone around us?

Western society has pounded this into our heads: it’s good to tolerate everything. We Christians always want to be on the side of good, so when we don’t tolerate something, it hurts us to know that others think we are bad. The world has made us feel like sinners for speaking out against sin.

What a load of garbage we have bought! We have lost the vision of the early church, who, even in the face of heavy persecution, were accused of turning the world upside down (Acts 17.6). They didn’t coddle their listeners, nor did they snip off the less digestible bits from the gospel so it would go down smoother. No, they straight up told people they were sinners in need of repentance, lost in need of a Savior, blind in need of supernatural healing.

Do we avoid hot-button issues like sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, infant murder in the womb, drunkenness, spousal abuse, child abuse, male and female roles, disciplining our children, wives submitting to husbands, husbands loving their wives, the proper use of the tongue, etc.?

I used to think we should “just preach the gospel” (by which I meant to just tell people they needed Jesus, I suppose). After all, people are not going to hell because they are homosexual; they are going to hell because they have not bowed the knee to Christ. Yes. However, they must understand the sin in their homosexuality. Their Creator roundly condemns their lifestyle, and they are guilty of rebellion against the one true and living God. They must understand and confess their depravity before they can come to the cross.

John the Baptizer preached repentance to the people and gave the people practical advice on what they needed to quit and what they needed to start (Luke 3).

When someone from the world tells us we should quit preaching Jesus because we are offending them, we should push back on their “should.”

We could say: “Do you understand you are using the language of morality when you say I should not offend you? You are saying I am wrong. Where are you getting your standard of morality, pray tell? I have a mandate from God on high to preach and teach the truth. Where is your authority?” Isn’t that what Jesus did after He overturned the tables in the temple and the chief priests and elders challenged Him (Matt. 21.12-17, 23-27)? There are only two authorities: from heaven or from men.

We should not let the world tell us what is right and wrong, and when we stop preaching the truth because they demand we not offend them, we do exactly that.

Of course, we may be guilty of a wrong heart while we preach against sin. Our brothers and sisters in Christ can help give us moral direction, but the world is not qualified to spiritually guide us.

So let us speak and write boldly, with moral clarity, and with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world does not dictate our standard—Jesus does!

We Cannot Help but Worship

Monday, October 03, 2022

“If science, like art, is to perform its mission truly and fully, its achievements must enter not only superficially but with their inner meaning into the consciousness of people.” – Einstein

Launching from that quote by Einstein, author Ann Druyan (wife of Carl Sagan) began gushing about the value and place of science to our current culture. Notice her use of worship language:

“When I discovered Einstein’s rarely quoted words, I found the credo for 40 years of my life’s work. This always has been and always will be the dream of Cosmos… We didn’t know that particular Einstein quote when Carl Sagan and I began writing the original Cosmos with astronomer Steve Soter. We just felt a kind of evangelical urgency to share the awesome power of science, to convey the spiritual uplift of the universe it reveals, and to amplify the alarms that Carl, Steve, and other scientists were sounding about our impact on the planet… Nothing less than a global spiritual awakening can transform us. Science, like love, is a means to that transcendence, to that soaring experience of the oneness of being fully alive… this lack of a final destination, an absolute truth, is what makes science such a worthy methodology for sacred searching. It is a never-ending lesson in humility. The vastness of the universe—and love, the thing that makes the vastness bearable—is out of reach to the arrogant. What’s real must matter more to us than what we wish to believe… The misuse of science endangers our civilization, but science also has redemptive powers. It can cleanse a planetary atmosphere overburdened with carbon dioxide. It can set life free to neutralize the toxins that we have scattered so carelessly. Its unrivaled powers of prophecy are demonstrated by our current predicament.” (Ann Druyan in the March 2020 issue of National Geographic, p. 19).

Humans must worship something, and Druyan clearly renders obeisance to science. By her own admission, she gets her credo (her faith statement) from Einstein, and she speaks “with evangelical urgency” of science’s “awesome power.” Does science itself have awesome power? Science is the study or pursuit of knowledge. It is a human endeavor to know more about reality around us. Science is not a thing. When she speaks of the awesome power of science, Druyan is really talking about the amazing discoveries scientists have made over the years. Really, she’s reveling in the awesome universe around her and the brainpower and effort humans have made to discover it.

How does love enter the picture, exactly? Science does not create love, nor can it discover it, since it is not a tangible thing to be studied. Love is something apart from the physical universe, although every thinking human knows it to be real.

Amazement, delight, and appreciation of beauty also do not exist in physical forms. These metaphysical phenomena are the stuff philosophers argue about. Scientists have no business with metaphysics, unless they believe there is more to life than the physical universe.

On the one hand, Druyan says there is no “final destination” and no “absolute truth,” and that fact makes understanding the vastness of the universe (and love!) only attainable to the humble; it “is out of reach to the arrogant.” Her definition of humility, however, is not the same as that of Solomon or James in scripture. The humble, in her vision, are those who would ditch what they believe and just accept what is “real.” But wait. I am confused. I thought she said there was no absolute truth. How can she then insist that something is real?

By the logic put forth here, Ann Druyan should realize she does not have all the answers, and she certainly does not have enough to say there is no god but science. She has decided to worship science above all other things, which ends up being self-worship and the worship of other brilliant men and women who are all trying to figure this universe out. But they have decided, as a matter of fact, there is no spiritual realm—that’s completely off the table.

We just cannot help but worship something, can we? We are created with a need to worship, to give ourselves to something greater than ourselves. Ann Druyan sees the vastness of the universe as something worthy of adoration, just as the ancient Egyptians worshiped the Sun and the Nile River. Is there any difference? Those ancient worshipers thought actual supernatural beings sustained them and judged them. Druyan and other materialists believe they are their own judges, their own final standards of moral authority.

Though materialists do not accept it, Yahweh created all things in heaven and on earth, which makes Him more powerful and vast than the vast universe. We don’t have to wonder where love, truth, beauty, or joy come from. Yahweh loves, He is truth, He created that which is beautiful and good, and He created joy and delight in the human heart. We are created, in fact, to find fullness in Him.

“We bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14. 15–17)

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17.30–31)

Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1.15–17)

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1.3)

Glory be to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) – the creator and sustainer of the universe.

We cannot help but worship!