Showing posts with label Nehemiah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nehemiah. Show all posts

Monday, May 25, 2020

Anonymous Asks (94)

“Is it possible to go a whole day without sinning?”


Shortest Anonymous Asks ever.

Okay, I suppose I could elaborate a little. It is only possible to imagine you have gone a whole day without “sinning” if your definition of sin is grossly deficient, if you are stupifyingly un-self-aware, or maybe if you happen to be in a coma.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Diagnosing the Problem

“Behold, we are slaves this day ... behold, we are slaves.”

“We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.”

You can’t solve a problem unless you know what it is.

John 8:33 records a very strange statement, the second one I have quoted above. It appears to have been made not specifically by the Pharisees or Sadducees (though there may have been some of these present, of course), but more generally, by men who had just made a public confession of belief in Christ.

The statement was this: “We have never been enslaved to anyone.”

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Lost Light

How does the word of God go missing among God’s people? How does the plain teaching of scripture get overlooked for months, years and even centuries, only to be suddenly rediscovered? You would think it impossible if we didn’t have both historical and biblical evidence that it happens, and happens with sad regularity.

For example, in the days of King Josiah, the Book of the Law was found in the house of the Lord and taken to the king and read to him. When Josiah heard the Law read, he tore his clothes, humbled and stricken by the degree to which the people of God had departed from his commandments and the wrath they had incurred because of it.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Apocrypha-lypso (10)

In this series, we have been examining ancient books which Protestants almost universally exclude from our Old Testament canon.

So far, our Apocryphal entries have self-disqualified for five or six different reasons, including but not limited to historical inaccuracy and theological inconsistency (God is not a son of man, that he should change his mind). After all, if the Bible is God’s word, it seems obvious that documents for which inspiration is claimed must show some fundamental consistency with the accepted canon of scripture.

But today’s entry is neither historically dodgy nor theologically at odds with the rest of the Bible. It is one of our more credible contestants to date.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Separation Anxiety

If our culture has a mortal sin, it is discrimination, the penalty for which is shaming, mockery, job loss or exclusion from the in-group.

We are told not to discriminate between moral and immoral behaviors, regardless of the real-world outcomes such actions produce. We are told not to discriminate between the productive and unproductive use of our tax dollars, because to do so demonstrates that we are ‘phobes’ of one sort or another. For similar reasons, we are not allowed to distinguish between employees who are capable of performing required tasks and employees who are not; or between students who understand the material and students who do not. Instead, we must meet demographic targets for success based on levels of perceived historical victimhood.

We might say our society has separation anxiety. It’s in a mindless panic to make sure nothing is ever usefully distinguished from anything else.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Joy and Strength

The joy of the Lord is not just a fireworks display
I have on occasion been accused of pessimism. Unreasonably, I assure you.

But when, for example, I see a room full of grade school kids shouting out “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” at the prompting of a smiling Sunday School superintendent, unlike the cheery folk who enthuse over the fact that their children are (albeit unintentionally) memorizing scripture that will someday be of use to them, my first and far-too-natural instinct is to wonder if they have any idea what they’re singing and how many of them mean it.

The second and even less upbeat thing that often crosses my mind is to wonder how many of them really know the Lord, and how badly those who don’t (and even some of those who do) will seriously mess up their lives by the time they’re my age.

Bleak thoughts, no?