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“My friends, the Antinomians preach exceedingly well —and I cannot but believe that they do so with great earnestness— concerning the mercy of Christ, forgiveness of sin, and other contents of the article of redemption. But they flee from this inference as from the devil, that they must tell the people about the Third Article, of sanctification, that is, of the new life in Christ. For they hold that we must not terrify people and make them sorrowful, but must always preach to them the comfort of grace in Christ and the forgiveness of sin. They tell us to avoid, for God's sake, such statements as these: ‘Listen, you want to be a Christian while you are an adulterer, a fornicator, a swill-belly, full of pride, avarice, usurious practices, envy, revenge, malice, etc., and mean to continue in these sins?' On the contrary, they tell us that this is the proper way to speak: ‘Listen, you are an adulterer, fornicator, miser, or addicted to some other sin. Now, if you will only believe, you are saved and need not dread the Law, for Christ has fulfilled all.' Tell me, pray-thee, does not this amount to conceding the premise and denying the conclusion? Verily, it amounts to this, that Christ is taken away and made worthless in the same breath with which He is most highly extolled. It means to say yes and no in the same matter. For a Christ who died for sinners who, after receiving forgiveness, will not quit their sin nor lead a new life, is worthless and does not exist. According to the logic of Nestorius and Eutyches these people, in masterful fashion, preach a Christ who is, and is not, the Redeemer. They are excellent preachers of the Easter truth, but miserable preachers of the truth of Pentecost. For there is nothing in their preaching concerning sanctification of the Holy Ghost and about being quickened into a new life.
Dr. John Snyder is the pastor of Christ Church New Albany and author of the Behold Your God study series from Media Gratiae. In this weekly podcast, he discusses the realities of God and how we are to worship, learn, and live in light of who God is.Puritans and Revival: Rethinking Regeneration (MP3)How God uses the proper knowledge of Himself in a sinner, regeneration.Puritans and Revival: Pattern of Regeneration (MP3)Both the Puritans and leaders of the Great Awakening spent a great deal of time surveying Scripture for and meditating on God's work in regeneration. Their experiences led them to observe and acknowledge some patterns God typically used in bringing sinner to faith and repentance. This week John and Teddy begin discussing these observable patterns.Puritans and Revival: Defining Regeneration (MP3)As we continue our series on the influence of the Puritans on the Great Awakening (US) and the Evangelical Revival (UK), we're focusing on the importance of regeneration. This week, we're looking at its definition.Puritans and Revival: God's Work in Regeneration (MP3)As we continue our series on the influence of the Puritans on the Great Awakening (US) and the Evangelical Revival (UK), we're looking more closely at the doctrine of regeneration.
Many of the evangelicals who have drifted left in recent years seem to have done so with the belief that the left better deals with issues such as poverty and racism, and they judge conservatives to be heartless as if they do not care about these issues. I have even heard some well known preachers declare that conservatives care about abortion but liberals care about the poor. This, I believe, is to create a false binary. Theological conservatives who lean to the right do not vote the way they do because they dream of ways to be heartless, but because, among other things, they believe that leftist policies, however well intended, are the primary cause of poverty and systemic racism to begin with.We all agree that Christians have a special obligation beyond what ordinary humanity has to take care of the poor and marginalized. We just disagree over the solution. But we ought not judge public policy merely by its good intentions.California (where I grew up) is a good example of the good intentions fallacy. Consider these 5 facts about the Golden State:1. California has one of the greatest disparities in education for minorities kids, among other reasons, due to its political captivity to its teachers unions. Many are unwilling to take a job in schools they see as an undesirable location. In addition, widespread school choice is necessary to deal with persistent education gaps that often leave poor, minority students in failing public schools while their wealthy peers have the money to send their children to private schools or move to a desirable school district. But the people being put in office in these cities are opposed to school choice because of political interests.2. California spends about $98.5 billion annually on welfare — the most in the US — but has the highest poverty rate in America.
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by Thomas MantonIncline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness—Psalm 119:36.IN the former verses David had asked understanding and direction to know the Lord's will; now he asketh an inclination of heart to do the Lord's will, The understanding needs not only to be enlightened, but the will to be moved and changed. Man's heart is of its own accord averse from God and holiness, even then when the wit is most refined, and the understanding is stocked and stored with high notions about it; therefore, David doth not only say, 'Give me understanding,' but 'Incline my heart.' We can be worldly of ourselves, but we cannot be holy and heavenly of ourselves; that must be asked of him who is 'the father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift.' They that plead for the power of nature shut out the use of prayer; for if by nature we could determine ourselves to that which is good, there would be no need of grace; and if there be no need of grace, there is no use of prayer. But Austin hath said well, Natura vera confessione, non falsa defensione, opus habet—we need rather to confess our weakness than defend our strength. Thus doth David, and so will every broken-hearted Christian that hath had an experience of the inclinations of his own soul; he will come to God and say, 'Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.'
by Robert Candlish"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."—1 JOHN 1:8–10.THE gracious assurance that "the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin," suggests the supposition of our "saying that we have no sin." For if we, "walking in the light as God is in the light," could say that truly, we might dispense with the relief which the assurance is fitted to give. But, alas! we can say it only under the influence of self-deception, and such self-deception as implies the absence of that "truth in the inward parts" which God "desires" (Psalm 51:6). Better far to "confess our sins," believing that God "forgiveth our sins," and that he does so in such a way of "faithfulness and justice" as insures our being "cleansed from all unrighteousness" with regard to them,—all unfair and partial dealing with conscience or with God about them. In this full faith let us "confess our sins." For if, after all, even in our confession, there is reserve and guile, trying to make out that in this or that instance "we have not sinned," or not sinned so much as might appear, we are guilty still of an unbelieving distrust of God; "we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."Such is the line of the Apostle's argument, in three successive steps or stages.
by Robert Candlish (1806-1873)on mankind at large, of the exhibition of the cross, and the proclamation of the gospel, is graciously and gloriously attested. These are such as John i. 29, iii. 16, iv. 42, xii. 32; 1 John iv. 14. Generally, these passages coincide, in substance, with those of the class first cited, which assert the indiscriminate applicability of Christ's work, without respect of persons, or distinction of “Jew or Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free;” and they equally, with the former, fall under the remark of Professor Moses Stuart, in the extract which we have given from his book. But they seem to go a little farther; and having respect, not to the design and efficacy of the atonement, in its accomplishment and application, nor even, strictly speaking, to its sufficiency, but solely to the discovery which, as a historical transaction, it is fitted to make of the divine character—especially of the divine compassion and benevolence—they are to be regarded as giving intimation of the widest possible universality.
by Ralph Erskine“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13 (KJV)There is a woeful tenderness that we have of ourselves that keeps us from mortifying our corruption. Have you never discovered or seen the evil and bitterness of sin, but lived always in peace? Why, then it seems the strong man keeps the house [Matthew 12:29]: if the passing of the gravel stone [i.e. the small hard mass that blocks the urinary tract causing severe pain] never pained you, ye are not yet quit of it. If your heart was never pained with sin, it says your heart was never yet circumcised. The strength of sin remains where there has been no Gospel mortification. Yea, what great reformations have taken place among some, so as by their life you would think they were real converts because of their exactness and tenderness. Yet they are enemies of grace and strangers to the Gospel, and consequently to true mortification, which cannot be by the Law, it being the strength of sin.Question: How shall I know, whether it be by the Gospel that I mortify sin or by the Law?
by Thomas MantonI will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.— Psalm 119. 15.
by A. W. PinkA true recognition of God's absolute sovereignty, will exclude all murmuring. This is self-evident—yet the thought deserves to be dwelt upon. It is natural to murmur against afflictions and losses. It is natural to complain when we are deprived of those things upon which we had set our hearts. We are apt to regard our possessions as ours unconditionally. We feel that when we have prosecuted our plans with prudence and diligence, that we are entitled to success; that when by dint of hard work we have accumulated a 'competence,' we deserve to keep and enjoy it; that when we are surrounded by a happy family, no power may lawfully enter the charmed circle and strike down a loved one. And if in any of these cases disappointment, bankruptcy, death, actually comes, the perverted instinct of the human heart is to cry out against God. But in the one who, by grace, has recognized God's sovereignty, such murmuring is silenced, and instead, there is a bowing to the Divine will, and an acknowledgment that He has not afflicted us as sorely as we deserve.
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by John OwenWhat is the work of faith in this condition, that we may glorify God, and carry it through to a good and comfortable issue to ourselves? Call your own hearts to an account, and see how faith will work to give you support and supply. I will tell you what I am labouring after in my own heart; and the Lord direct you to find out what will be more useful! What will faith do in such a case? I answer,—
“If we do not preach about sin and God's judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.' Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.”–J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,” in Puritan Papers, Vol 1.Biographical Sketch1926-2020 James Innell Packer (born in Gloucester, England) is a British-born Canadian Christian theologian in the Calvinistic Anglican tradition. He currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.The son of a clerk for the Great Western Railway, Packer won a scholarship to Oxford University. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, obtaining the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (1948), Master of Arts (1952), and Doctor of Philosophy (1955).
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said, "If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."Every day in our cities, we are witnessing social justice advocates toppling statues and cancelling those who have had sin in their past. It is quite a sight to behold and reminds me somewhat of actions taken during the Chinese cultural revolution (1966-1976). Last night some rioters burned the 120-year-old Thompson Elk statue in downtown Portland, where I live. I am still trying to figure out what the elk did to anybody. Others in my city have toppled a Thomas Jefferson statue. Some Hollywood stars have been cancelled because of various racially insensitive things they have done in their past.Do these people (living and dead) justly deserve to be cancelled? Absolutely.... But so do I. In fact, I deserve it more than most. And if we all think about it, who among us is without any sin worth being cancelled over? Consider when the Pharisees caught a woman in sin and took her to Jesus to ask what might be done to her. Jesus answered, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her'...when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”" (John 8:7=10)
See the humility and wisdom of the woman of Canaan, Matt 15, 17. She follows Christ; be he listens not to her, but gives her a sore foil, and calls her a dog, and saith, "you Gentiles are dogs; and the gospel of grace and salvation are the children's bread." Now if she had only considered the words of Christ, and only looked to herself and her own baseness, she had never come to have received either mercy or comfort from him. But she saith, "truth Lord, I am a dog, yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." This was her resolution. Wherein there are two things which express and set forth the frame of a gracious heart; a heart that is truly wise to attend to its own baseness., with faith: and that is her humility and wisdom. "Yet though I am a dog, I will not go out of door, but lie under the table for mercy:" there is her wisdom. And thus she; and so we must. and when our corruptions, as I said, flood in upon us, and we see ourselves quite lost, and damned in our sins, we must then say, "in truth Lord, I am as bad as thy word can make me, yet let me not fly from mercy, but lie at the feet of my Savior's mercy, till he look upon me as once upon Peter, Luke 22, 61.It is fit and we ought to see our sins: but stay we must not too long there. See them we must, but not fasten on them, so as to shackle us from coming to Christ.-----From Thomas Hooker, The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ.
Visitor:The terms "monergism" and "synergism" ain't in the Bible. The Bible is an invitation to man, he has the free-will choice to either accept or reject. (Isa. 45:22; Jn. 3:19; Rev. 22:17). Frame it as the Bible does or not at all. God does not save by fiat. That's what monergism means.ResponseThe concept of "free will" is not found in the bible. So your argument is self defeating. We affirm that the gospel is to be proclaimed indiscriminately to all people. God does not hold anyone back from believing. Their rejection of Christ is because men love darkness, hate the light and will not come into the light (john 3:19). To claim man has a free will assumes the unbiblical idea that fallen man is willing to come to Christ apart from the Holy Spirit. But no one can say Jesus is Lord apart from the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3) so we cannot ascribe our faith and repentance (even partly) to our own humility, wisdom, good intentions, or sound judgment but to grace.Jesus declared, "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing...that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it" John 6:63, 65And if no one comes to faith in Christ unless God grants it then no one by their natural free will ever comes to him.The Apostle Paul said, "we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:23-24The call of the gospel is universal but, according to Paul, all men reject it (folly, stumbling block) but to those among them who are called by God, the power and wisdom of God.
by Mary Winslow"My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You! Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6The more I see of Jesus, the more He opens to me His loving heart—the deeper is my sorrow for sin. I lie down in the dust at His feet closer than ever I did before. I can truly say I abhor myself in dust and ashes before Him. My heart seems ready to melt into contrition in view of the ten thousand thousand sins, willful and aggravating—that I have committed against Him who loved me with an everlasting love, and with loving kindness drew me to Himself.So eternal and deep, so sovereign and boundless is the love of Jesus, that angels cannot fathom it! He is nothing but sincere, constant, and unabating love—to the weakest, the most unworthy of all His little flock.I feel such a weariness of this world that nothing here gives me anything more than a momentary, passing pleasure—and it is gone at a glance.Oh, to have such a Friend as Jesus, who feels all our sorrows, carries all our burdens, and has promised to bring us safely through this trying world, and place us at last at His own right hand, where neither sickness nor sorrow shall ever come!Oh for Heaven! Nothing else will satisfy my longing soul, but the sight of Him it loves.Jesus is all in all to me, and He will be all in all through eternity!Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name!
by Jeremiah BurroughsThou abstainest from sin, what is the reason? not because of any great evil thou seest in sin, but because of affliction; thy conscience tells thee it will bring thee to trouble, and into affliction, and this keeps away sin: ‘Tis true, it is good for men and women to avoid sin upon any terms, and this is one motive God propounds to avoid sin by, but this is not all or the chief motive; because of affliction, and trouble, conscience tells thee, God will be even with thee, and the wrath of God pursues thee: very few come so far, to have such apprehensions of the evil consequences of sin, and to avoid sin upon them grounds: But you should labor, not only to avoid sin from the evil consequences of sin, but for the evil of sin it self; for if thou avoid sin only from the evil consequences of sin: Know,1 This may be without change of Nature; a man or a woman may be in such an estate, as they may not dare to commit some sin out of fear of trouble that may follow, and yet not his Nature changed: as a Wolf chained up, may be the same that he was before he was chained up; his nature is not changed.2 If merely for fear of trouble thou forbearest sin; then know, thy service and obedience is forced service and obedience, and so not accepted when merely forced.3 If thou avoid sin merely for fear of affliction, then thou art not yet released off from thy self, not quite taken off from thy self.
by Darrell Bernard HarrisonIn Mark 7:21-23, Jesus makes it clear that the seed of every sinful attitude and act that you and I exhibit toward one another is the sin that resides in our hearts.For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.I've been writing and speaking about the "gospel" of social justice, and its various and sundry layers and aspects, for nearly a decade. In that time, I've been consistent and unwavering in my insistence that Scripture is unambiguous that the root of all injustice in the world, regardless of how the injustice may manifest itself, is sin—period.But as I continue to engage with evangelical social justicians on the matter of "social justice," I'm finding that many of them want the problem to something other than sin, that is, they want the problem to be something that is outside of them that they can fix, not something that is innate to them that only God can fix.Interestingly, if not ironically, their desire that the problem of injustice be something other than the sinfulness of the human heart makes many of them angry and indignant because that reality means that there's nothing they themselves can do about it—absolutely nothing at all—which likewise means they are powerless in and of themselves to bring about the kind of structural and institutional changes they desire to see in the world.
Visitor:"Bet you wouldn't be so hard hearted by saying it's "just" if you were one of the non elect. Actually I would like an explanation of how a person professing to care for his fellow man have such an attitude. Can you justify that?"Response:Thank you for your email. Per your inquiry, it begins by understanding that my attitude cannot change the facts. If I warn you that there is a large precipice, to be careful, I did not arrive at this conclusion because I discovered it by an attitude, but from the fact that there is really something dangerous to look out for.
by John CalvinIT IS NOT A CASE OF THE BELIEVER'S "CO-OPERATION" WITH GRACE; THE WILL IS FIRST ACTUATED THROUGH GRACEBut perhaps some will concede that the will is turned away from the good by its own nature and is converted by the Lord's power alone, yet in such a way that, having been prepared, it then has its own part in the action. As Augustine teaches, grace precedes every good work; while will does not go before as its leader but follows after as its attendant. This statement, which the holy man made with no evil intention, has by Lombard been preposterously twisted to that way of thinking. But I contend that in the words of the prophet that I have cited, as well as in other passages, two things are clearly signified: (1) the Lord corrects our evil will, or rather extinguishes it; (2) he substitutes for it a good one from himself.In so far as it is anticipated by grace, to that degree I concede that you may call your will an "attendant." But because the will reformed is the Lord's work, it is wrongly attributed to man that he obeys prevenient grace with his will as attendant. Therefore Chrysostom erroneously wrote: "Neither grace without will nor will without grace can do anything." As if grace did not also actuate the will itself, as we have just seen from Paul [cf. Philippians 2:13]! Nor was it Augustine's intent, in calling the human will the attendant of grace, to assign to the will in good works a function second to that of grace. His only purpose was, rather, to refute that very evil doctrine of Pelagius which lodged the first cause of salvation in man's merit.
One of the most egregious sins of our time is political idolatry. Now, as you may know, idolatry is not merely bowing down to an idol crafted by hands, but setting something up in your heart as that which exceeds all others in importance. It is often taking a good and God-ordained thing (like government) and making it the ultimate thing, thus making it into a god, as if it could save, or bring about utopia.But there is only one Savior, and his name is Jesus Christ. He is not a partisan...a Democrat or a Republican: He is the King of kings and only He reigns supreme over all. All sin is rebellion against Him first. He is not against our participation in the political process (He ordained it), but He makes it clear that we should be under no illusions that any laws or government can deliver us from our captivity to sin. And since human beings cannot save themselves, the solution to total depravity is not law, but gospel. This means that the wickedness of things like abortion and racial injustice will not go away by mere legislation. Certainly it will restrain the evil of it to some degree, so it is clearly necessary to implement better laws. I am all for it. But just as politics is downstream from culture, so culture is downstream from theology. If we simply force a law through an unwilling culture, like curbing or abolishing abortion, the backlash will be severe, because many in our debased culture view this crime against humanity as a sacred rite. It is only as hearts are changed through the gospel, will people begin to see the need to treat all divine image bearers with dignity. So my friends, make it a priority to bring people to the gospel of Christ. Apart from that we are not even beginning to solve the underlying problem.
by Jeremiah BurroughsSuppose a malefactor is condemned, but now execution is not till two or three days after; in that space of time he has granted unto him liberty to have meat and drink, and friends come to him, and he may refresh himself in those two or three days; but he has forfeited all his estate, and the tenure now upon which he holds any comfort, it is not the same which he had before, but merely through the bounty of the prince it is that he has comforts. So it is here. Wicked men have committed sin, and the sentence of death is out against them, and they have forfeited all the comforts of their estates, and of their lives, only God in patience grants unto them some outward comforts here a few days before execution; and upon this tenure do all wicked men hold their estates: I will not say that every wicked man is an usurper of their estates, as some perhaps have held, that they have no right at all before God; some right he has, as you cannot say a malefactor has no right (when he is condemned) to meat and drink before execution; he has right to what is given to him of donation and bounty, but not that right which he had before. So I say, for wicked men that have estates in this world, they have a kind of right to that they have; but how? Just that right that a condemned man has to his dinner or supper before execution; this is the right of wicked men to their estates; that is, God of his bounty grants a little while before execution they shall have a few comforts to them in this world: And this is the evil of sin, and the least sin, there is not any one sin, but the fruit of it is condemnation. And brethren, you must not mistake, to think that wicked men are never condemned until they come before God in the day of Judgment; they be condemned here, mark that, John, 3. 18. He that believes not is condemned already: now condemned, not hereafter, but a condemned man already: this is a sad condition indeed.
by Thomas Watson"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3Some are of opinion, that this was the first sermon which ever Christ gave, therefore it may challenge our best attention. 'Blessed are the poor in spirit'. Our Lord Christ, beginning to raise a high and stately fabric of blessedness, lays the foundation of it low—in poverty of spirit. But all poverty is not blessed. I shall use a fourfold distinction.1. I distinguish between 'poor in estate', and 'poor in spirit'. There are the Devil's poor. They are both poor and wicked—whose clothes are not more torn than their conscience. There are some whose poverty is their sin, who through improvidence or excess have brought themselves to poverty. These may be poor in estate—but not poor in spirit.2. I distinguish between 'spiritually poor' and 'poor in spirit'. He who is without grace is spiritually poor—but he is not poor in spirit; he does not know his own beggary. 'You know not, that you are poor' (Revelation 3:17). He is in the worst sense poor—who has no sense of his poverty.3. I distinguish between 'poor-spirited' and 'poor in spirit'. They are said to be poor-spirited who have mean, base spirits, who act below themselves. Such are those misers, who having great estates—yet can hardly afford themselves bread; who live sneakingly, and are ready to wish their own throats cut, because they are forced to spend something in satisfying nature's demands. This Solomon calls an evil under the sun. 'There is an evil which I have seen under the sun—a man to whom God has given riches, so that he lacks nothing that he desires—yet God gives him not power to eat thereof' (Ecclesiastes 6:2). True religion makes no man a niggard. Though it teaches prudence—yet not sordidness.
I am delighted to see how many young people are committed to universal justice. But, at the same time, modern society tends to be deeply incoherent. On the one hand our culture demands justice for the oppressed and impartial benevolence toward all. On the other hand it teaches that no one has the right to declare right and wrong to anyone else, as secularism asserts that every person must determine his or her own moral values. This is cognitive dissonance. It demands moral behavior of others and yet insists morality is relative. The idea undermines itself. The promotion of universal justice, human rights, self-sacrifice, a commitment to human dignity and considering the poor can only coherently make sense in a world where morality is objective and whose source is God. Either stop moralizing others or stop pretending to believe morality is relative/subjective. You can't hold to both at the same time and expect people to take you seriously.If you lie to yourself in this way, you are not helping. It is a type of willful blindness to the real source of the problem. This means if you are fighting for justice with human wisdom alone, with no thought to where human dignity comes from, you are keeping humanity in the very bondage and slavery you claim to be fighting against. We cannot merely judge policies by their "good intentions" but by a consistent commitment to the truth, in a way that corresponds with reality. The real remedy for our problems cannot be based on a lie.We exist in the real world which has differences of opinion and not in a vacuum with only people who agree with us. So if a secularist is morally outraged at some opinion of mine, it is natural to pose the question as to how we know their moral standards are the right ones. What standard are they appealing to that is universally binding on both you and me? And who determines it?

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