Daily Meditation

Mercy for Today

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

John Piper

God’s mercies are new every morning because each day only has enough mercy in it for that day.

This is why we tend to despair when we think that we may have to bear tomorrow’s load on today’s resources. God wants us to know: We won’t. Today’s mercies are for today’s troubles. Tomorrow’s mercies are for tomorrow’s troubles.

Sometimes we wonder if we will have the mercy to stand in terrible testing. Yes, we will. Peter says, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14). When the reviling comes the Spirit of glory comes. It happened for Stephen as he was being stoned. It will happen for you. When the Spirit and the glory are needed they will come.

The manna in the wilderness was given one day at a time. There was no storing up. That is the way we must depend on God’s mercy. You do not receive today the strength to bear tomorrow’s burdens. You are given mercies today for today’s troubles.

Tomorrow the mercies will be new. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
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Removing Jesus Christ From The Public Square

Chic Atheism
Well, that didn’t take long.  Broadcaster, Mike Hoskings has begun to voice the need to suppress the Bible.  It’s a dangerous book, apparently.  In this regard, Hoskings is following faithfully in the footsteps of the big atheist dudes–Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and latterly, Xi Jinping–all of whom spent a long time and much energy attempting to defame and suppress the Bible.  Nice company there, Mike.  

Hoskings was opining upon the Australian rugby player, Israel Folau’s profession of faith, which includes his belief in I Corinthians 6: 9-10.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Hoskings rejects those statements.  They are untrue, false, misleading, superstitious–we can roll out pejoratives adjectives all day.   Now, the normal pattern in a Western democracy which is supposed to champion liberty of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, is for Hoskings to say, “I disagree with your opinions and views, but I will die defending your right to say them”.  One recalls the notorious atheist Voltaire uttering just this sentiment.

But the ostensible atheist Hoskings thinks these Biblical particular statements set a dangerous precedent.
  Therefore, they apparently fall outside the new normal patterns of Western democracy.

I admire the conviction. But it’s conviction based on biblical teachings. And if we accept you can do and say whatever you like based on biblical teachings, then why can’t you go round quoting, believing and acting on any biblical teachings?

History shows us versions of this have been happening for centuries, and in that is the problem. Folau is condemned, by those who condemn, as a homophobe. Other scenarios involve war, death and violence – a lot of historic conflict is a direct reaction to religious belief and teachings. [NZ Herald

Mikey is really confused, which is a pity.  A couple of observations.  Mike’s view of history leaves a few huge gaps.  What seems to be lacking is an awareness of the blood filled outcomes of atheism–to which Hoskings apparently genuflects in some way, shape, or form.  [Those who condemn all religions usually subscribe to atheism, or its cheap watered down functional version, agnosticism.]

For our part, we would not defend actual sins committed by any Christian.  However, rejecting homosexuality is not a sin.  Not a Christian sin–and neither is rejecting greed, thievery, and drunkenness, and so forth.   It may well be an atheist sin–that is, sinful in the eyes of atheists–and so Hoskings presumably accepts homosexuality as holy, righteous and good.  That’s what you would expect him to do.

So, what’s his beef, then?  Well it all stems from Israel Folau’s standing and position in the community.  He is a sports star, and amongst the superficial star struck public, there will be those who are will be influenced by what Folau says.  That makes him dangerous.  Says Hoskings:

If you’re doing it in the name of a God or higher being or a belief, is that a crime or a heartfelt conviction? You see once you open the door, it’s too late. Which is where Folau has to realise that, as a public figure and representative of his sport and country at the highest level, the rules change. You are not just an individual, you are part of something bigger. And that’s a responsibility and/or privilege that brings restraint, containment and restriction. So if he can’t, in all good conscience, accept that – then his plan to walk should have been accepted. [Ibid.]

This is a variation of the old device: “look, I get the fact that you, Israel Folau are a Christian.  You have a right to be a Christian.  But not a public one.  Your religion must be confined to the private square.  It has no place in the public square.”  So, this is freedom of speech according to Hoskings: “you may believe whatever you like.  You may think whatever you like.  You may speak about what you believe as long as you do so in private–that is, to  yourself, and maybe–on a good day–to your immediate family.  But for the rest–in all other venues and occasions–shut up!”

What views are acceptable in the public square? Why any views provided they come from someone in the image of Mike Hoskings.  Secularist, atheist, irreligious views.  Mind you, Mike does mention “God” a lot on air.  It’s all part of the chic blasphemy that all good atheists deploy.

To balance these things out–here is Israel Folau’s profession of faith:

It was around this time I started attending a new church where I experienced God’s love for the first time in my life. That’s when I started to realise this was all part of God’s plan for me.  I had been hiding my inner thoughts and feelings from everyone around me, but God could see into my heart.  He had to break me down in order to build me up again into the person He wanted me to be. It all suddenly made sense.

I have tried to live my life in God’s footsteps ever since. I follow his teachings and read the Bible all the time in order to learn and become a better person.  Since that happened I have been at peace and enjoyed life with an open, honest heart, which is why my faith in Jesus comes first.  I would sooner lose everything – friends, family, possessions, my football career, the lot – and still stand with Jesus, than have all of those things and not stand beside Him.  [Read more at https://www.playersvoice.com.au/israel-folau-im-a-sinner-too/#j6GZqITBgPvbBrhd.99]

We find ourselves growing in our respect for this young man.

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Daily Meditation

Strong Deliverer

The Amen. Revelation 3:14

Charles H. Spurgeon

The word Amen solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, forever is “the Amen” in all his promises. Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection. Jesus Christ said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” If you come to him, he will say “Amen” in your soul; his promise shall be true to you. He said in the days of his flesh, “The bruised reed I will not break.” O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to him, he will say “Amen” to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years.

Christian, is not this very comforting to thee also, that there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour’s lips which he has ever retracted? The words of Jesus shall stand when heaven and earth shall pass away. If thou gettest a hold of but half a promise, thou shalt find it true. Beware of him who is called “Clip-promise,” who will destroy much of the comfort of God’s word.

Jesus is Yea and Amen in all his offices. He was a Priest to pardon and cleanse once, he is Amen as Priest still. He was a King to rule and reign for his people, and to defend them with his mighty arm, he is an Amen King, the same still. He was a Prophet of old, to foretell good things to come, his lips are most sweet, and drop with honey still–he is an Amen Prophet. He is Amen as to the merit of his blood; he is Amen as to his righteousness.

That sacred robe shall remain most fair and glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single title which he bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all, and your Yea and Amen in all.
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A Brickbat For David Farrar

Weirdly Missing the Point

Yesterday we commended David Farrar for publishing a guest post by Jeremy Dawson defending Israel Folau and his comments upon the destiny of unrepentant sinners, including homosexual unrepentant sinners.

Dawson’s post made a good argument.  Farrar is to be honoured for giving Dawson the opportunity, for, as is generally the case, Farrar endeavours to be scrupulously fair in  his public positions.  But a Christian he is not.

Sadly, however, Farrar let himself down.  He added an editorial post script to Dawson’s piece.  He calls Folau an idiot and criticizes him for “his choice of words”.  He slams him for being an “offensive ass”.  He writes:

Christian scripture also has pre-marital sex as a sin. Does Folau go around saying everyone who has had pre-marital sex is going to hell? If so, I doubt any of his rugby colleagues will be safe!

This is an uncharacteristically lazy and gross distortion of Folau’s position and his statements.
  Folau did not say that homosexuals per se are condemned to Hell.  Rather, he has used a qualification largely ignored by the Chattering Classes.  He has made clear that his belief is that unrepentant homosexuals will be condemned to Hell.   And in saying that, Folau is making a perfectly orthodox Christian confession.

Folau has repeatedly made reference to I Corinthians 6: 9-11:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,  or thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

In other words, the Corinthian church was made up of people who once had been greedy, thieves, drunkards and homosexuals.  But no longer.  These Corinthian believers were now washed by Christ Himself; they have been sanctified and made holy; they have been justified (declared righteous) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Why does Farrar stubbornly refuse to see this?

[We should note that this is not an isolated text. See also: I Corinthians 12:2;  Ephesians. 2:2, 3; Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 5:8; Colossians 3:7; Titus 3:3-5.]

So, to refer back to his criticism of Folau: “Christian scripture also has pre-marital sex as a sin.  Does Folau go around saying everyone who has had pre-marital sex is going to hell?”  Well, whilst this is a bit academic because words are being put in Folau’s mouth, we have no doubt that Folau would graciously correct Farrar (and so many of the rest of his foaming critics) by professing his belief that “anyone who has had pre-marital sex and has not repented of that and all other sins is going to Hell”.  If, however, they do repent and believe they will be washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus Christ Himself.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is quite clear and straightforward on this matter.  The soul that sins–it will die; but the sinful soul that turns away from its corruption and sins, and believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ as its saviour and redeemer, it will live.

This is Christianity 101, and its surprising that David Farrar has missed this or chosen deliberately to distort what Folau has said.  Making up things which Folau said or did not say, then calling him an idiot and an offensive ass for saying (or not saying) those things is way beneath David Farrar’s normally high standards of professionalism.

In this particular instance, it is Farrar who has played the foolish idiot and acted as an “offensive ass”.

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The Argument from Consciousness: Privileged Access


This is my third of five posts in a series on the Argument from Consciousness. Again: The Argument from Consciousness begins by presenting properties of consciousness which cannot in principle be explained on a naturalistic ontology. It then argues that it is credibly probable that agents with these mental properties will exist if there is a God but incredibly improbable that they would exist if there is not. In other words, the existence of conscious agents with mental properties that cannot in principle be reduced to the physical implicates the existence of a Nonphysical Conscious Agent as their originating cause. My first post in this series discussed qualia and the second intentionality. In this post I will be discussing a property of mental states which philosophers of mind call, “privileged access.”

Privileged Access

The most essential property of mental states is also the most problematic for naturalism: their personal immediacy to the subject who experiences them. “A mental property,” as Oxford Professor of Philosophy Richard Swinburne puts it, “is one to whose instantiation the substance in which it is instantiated necessarily has privileged access.” To help us understand why this is a problem for naturalism, Swinburne invites us to consider the following thought experiment. It is a helpful though not essential preliminary to what follows to note that people can enjoy a relatively normal mental life with only half a brain—after a procedure known as a “hemispherectomy.”

Suppose, firstly, that Swinburne is involved in a car accident that destroys his body but leaves his brain intact; suppose, secondly, that this occurs at a future date when brain transplants are feasible; suppose, finally, that a whimsical surgeon is responsible for the treatment of Swinburne and decides to perform a bizarre experiment: He will transplant the left hemisphere of Swinburne’s brain in one donor body and the right hemisphere of his brain into another donor body. Let us refer to these two new bodies, each of which contains one half of Swinburne’s brain, as Person A and Person B. The operation is a success. Person A and Person B recover and both somewhat resemble Swinburne in terms of character and memory.

The question arises whether Swinburne has survived the operation. The claim that Swinburne is now both Person A and Person B is eliminable by a law of logic known as the identity of indiscernibles. [1] Very simply expressed: If Swinburne is mentally identical to Person A and Person B, then Person A and Person B are mentally identical to each other and are therefore the same person—which they are not. The remaining possibilities are that Swinburne is Person A or that he is Person B or that he is neither because the operation destroyed him.

Reflection on this thought experiment shows that, however much we know about what has happened to Swinburne’s brain (“and we may know,” Swinburne emphasises, “exactly what has happened to every atom in it”) we do not know what has happened to him. And this is important because whether or not Swinburne survived the bizarre experiment is an objective fact about the world—a fact that it will not be possible to know by either the most thorough cross examination of Person A and Person B or the most exhaustive naturalistic description of their respective hemispheres. And so an exhaustive naturalistic description of the universe leaves something essential out of account; namely, who experienced which brain states.

What arguments of this sort bring out is the “privileged access” of the subject to his own mental life—what Searle calls the, “first person ontology.” “Others,” Swinburne writes, “can learn about my pains and thoughts by studying my behaviour and perhaps also by studying my brain. Yet I, too, could study my behaviour (I could watch a film of myself; I could study my brain via a system of mirrors and microscopes) just as well as anyone else could. But I have a way of knowing about pains and thoughts other than those available to the best student of my behaviour or brain: I experience them.” And what makes a mental event a mental event is not the public knowledge captured by naturalism but precisely this private knowledge that naturalism cannot possibly capture.

This is the third property of consciousness that is insusceptible of reduction to the physical


[1] The Identity of Indiscernibles, also knows as “Leibniz’s Law” after its formulator Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz, is a principle of analytic ontology which states that no two separate entities can have all their properties in common. The fact that Person A and Person B are physically distinct should not mislead us. Swinburne is concerned not with the body and brain per se but with the continuity of the personal identity and mental life of preoperative Swinburne—whether this is transplanted into either or neither of the postoperative bodies. It is obvious that the continuity of identity essential to personhood could not survive division or (due to Leibniz’s law) be doubly instantiated.

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changing the names

marmsky April 2018 (23)

changing the names

devotions from Jefferson Vann #2360

Numbers 32:20-42

Num 32:20 So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go in the sight of Yahveh for the war,
Num 32:21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan in the sight of Yahveh, until he has driven out his enemies from in the sight of him
Num 32:22 and the land is subdued in the sight of Yahveh; then after that you will return and be free of obligation to Yahveh and to Israel, and this land will be your possession in the sight of Yahveh.
Num 32:23 But if you will not do so, notice, you have sinned against Yahveh, and be sure your mistake will find you out.
Num 32:24 Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do what you have promised.”
Num 32:25 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my Yahveh commands.
Num 32:26 Our little ones, our wives, our livestock, and all our animals will remain there in the cities of Gilead,
Num 32:27 but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, in the sight of Yahveh to battle, as my lord orders.”
Num 32:28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest and to Joshua the son of Nun and to the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel.
Num 32:29 And Moses said to them, “If the people of Gad and the people of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle in the sight of Yahveh, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land will be subdued in the sight of you, then you will give them the land of Gilead for a possession.
Num 32:30 However, if they will not pass over with you armed, they will have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.”
Num 32:31 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben answered, “What Yahveh has said to your servants, we will do.
Num 32:32 We will pass over armed in the sight of Yahveh into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance will remain with us beyond the Jordan.”
Num 32:33 And Moses gave to them, to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and its cities with their territories, the cities of the land throughout the country.
Num 32:34 And the people of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,
Num 32:35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,
Num 32:36 Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep.
Num 32:37 And the people of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,
Num 32:38 Nebo, and Baal-meon (their names were changed), and Sibmah. And they gave other names to the cities that they built.
Num 32:39 And the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and captured it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it.
Num 32:40 And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he settled in it.
Num 32:41 And Jair the son of Manasseh went and captured their villages, and called them Havvoth-jair.
Num 32:42 And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name.

changing the names

Matthew Henry comments:

“They changed the names of them (v. 38), either to show their authority, that the change of the names might signify the change of their owners, or because their names were idolatrous, and carried in them a respect to the dunghill-deities that were there worshipped. Nebo and Baal were names of their gods, which they were forbidden to make mention of (Ex. 23:13 ), and which, by changing the names of these cities, they endeavoured to bury in oblivion; and God promises to take away the names of Baalim out of the mouths of his people, Hos. 2:17 ”

We should be careful of the reputation of the things that we call our own. If our community has a reputation of being sinful or corrupt, we should do everything we can to change that reputation, because if we inhabit a land, our God’s reputation is at stake.

LORD, give us the wisdom to change the reputation of the communities we inhabit.


A Bouquet For David Farrar

In Defence of Israel Folau

[Kiwiblog host, David Farrar has published a guest post on his website.  It is written by Jeremy Dawson.]

The ongoing assault on Israel Folau has reached absurd levels. Keep in mind that the comment that triggered this fury occurred on 3 April – 16 days ago. Yet the media continue to pimp for new voices to condemn him.

The question that needs to be asked is why? Why has the media reaction been so extreme in the case of Folau that they keep trying to find new ways to feed the story more than two weeks later? Anthony Mundine, earlier this year, made a comment where he said the only way to solve the problem of homosexuality was capital punishment. That story fizzled within a few days.

One guy says gay people should be killed. Another says it his belief that gay people will go to hell unless they repent their sins and choose God. It isn’t hard to spot which statement should cause the greater offence. It also isn’t hard to see what the difference is between Folau and Mundine – to spell it out, one is Christian, the other is Muslim.

What troubles me in particular about the Folau case is the willingness of commentators to throw around terms such as bigot, homophobe and hate speech. Except Folau is not a bigot, nor a homophobe. And neither is saying sinners go to Hell hate speech. I am not going to defend his choice of words in his initial response to an obvious social media troll. If he changed just two words he would have got his message across in a more positive fashion. It would then have read: “Heaven… If they repent their sins and turn to God.” Because that is the truth – reaching heaven is no different whether you’re gay or straight. It is a choice to give your life to God, and each individual is accountable for themselves.

The article Folau penned to explain himself is far more articulate and deserves to be respected. You can disagree with his biblical interpretation, but it is clear there was no malice, no hate, intended. He wants to speak the truth, as he believes it.
As a Christian, I shook my head when I saw the words Folau chose. I agree that how he initially responded had the potential to cause harm to people struggling with their sexuality. The words you choose do matter. But I’m not going to vilify him for failing to think that part through, and ultimately I commend him for standing strong in his faith as everyone piles on the self-righteous bandwagon.

One of the problems society has long suffered from is grandstanding about the flaws they see in everyone else, because it allows them to ignore their own. How many of these rugby players who are suddenly speaking out really think they can take the moral high ground on anything. If Folau’s social media post disgusts them so much that they don’t want to even be on the same field as him, then how can they take the field with teammates who abuse strippers or cheat on their wives or partners. And then you have the media – an industry well-known (particularly in Auckland) for being partial to snorting cocaine despite the thousands of people who are murdered each year just so they can get high. Or maybe selective morality sits well with them.

It’s time the media put a stop to their campaign. As the Bible says, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. That is not to say that Folau should not be challenged on the impact his words have, he should and he has. Faith is a journey, and he is learning. But the relentless media campaign has been over the top and is starting to smell more like an excuse to run an attack on Christianity in general. It’s always fun to have a crack at Christians, after all. We just turn the other cheek.
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Daily Meditation

Embracing Jesus

This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. (1 John 5:3–4)

John Piper

The eighteenth-century pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards wrestled with this text and concluded, “Saving faith implies . . . love. . . . Our love to God enables us to overcome the difficulties that attend keeping God’s commands — which shows that love is the main thing in saving faith, the life and power of it, by which it produces great effects.”

I think Edwards is right and that numerous texts in the Bible support what he says.

Another way to say it is that faith in Christ is not just assenting to what God is for us, but also embracing all that he is for us in Christ. “True faith embraces Christ in whatever ways the Scriptures hold him out to poor sinners.” This “embracing” is one kind of love to Christ — that kind that treasures him above all things.

Therefore, there is no contradiction between 1 John 5:3, on the one hand, which says that our love for God enables us to keep his commandments, and verse 4, on the other hand, which says that our faith overcomes the obstacles of the world that keep us from obeying God’s commandments. Love for God and Christ is implicit in faith.

Verse 5 defines the faith that obeys as “the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” This faith is “embracing” the present Jesus Christ as the glorious divine person he is. It is not simply assenting to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God, because the demons assent to that (Matthew 8:29). Believing that Jesus is the Son of God means “embracing” the significance of that truth — that is, being satisfied with Christ as the Son of God and all God is for us in him.

“Son of God” means that Jesus is the greatest person in the universe alongside his Father. Therefore, all he taught is true, and all he promised will stand firm, and all his soul-satisfying greatness will never change.

Believing that he is the Son of God, therefore, includes banking on all this, and being satisfied with it.
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Less Hypocrisy And More Consistency, Please

They Doth Protest Too Much
We have been impressed with the way Aussie rugby player, Israel Folau has dealt with the chattering classes over the past week or so.  He is facing heat for daring to profess his faith in Jesus Christ and his submission to the Scriptures.  The chattering classes are going nuts.

“This is not about money or bargaining power or contracts. It’s about what I believe in and never compromising that, because my faith is far more important to me than my career and always will be. “After the meeting I went home, turned on the TV and was really disappointed with some of the things that were said in the press conference.

“I felt Raelene (Castle) misrepresented my position and my comments, and did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia.  “That aside, I hope Raelene (Castle) and Andrew (Hore) [Australian Rugby bosses] appreciate my position, even if it differs with theirs. . . .

Folau, who is off contract at the end of this year, reinforced his belief that homosexuals were destined for hell based on Biblical text.  “I was asked a question by somebody about what God’s plan is for gay people,” Folau wrote.  “My response to the question is what I believe God’s plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10: 

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

“I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn’t matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.”   [NZ Herald]

It’s a bit precious of all those who are aghast and agog that they don’t also stand up to defend the rights of the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, the drunkards, the revilers, and the swindlers.  Why single out homosexuals as worthy of their defence?  The reality is that the revilers who are condemning Folau loudly disbelieve the Bible.  Period.  Therefore their anger and resentment is entirely gratuitous–manufactured, if you will.

Since they do not believe in the existence of God Himself, they do not believe in Hell either.
  They do not believe in divine judgement.  They reject the very existence of the Kingdom of God.  They mock Christ and Christians.  In principle they think nothing of thievery, nor swindling.  If you can get away with it, why not?  There is no God to be answered to.

Doubtless they think that Folau is a bit of an ignorant simpleton, clinging to that child-like religion still practised in the islands–someone to be humoured, as one would humour an adult who still fervently believed in the existence of Santa Claus.   But why the outrage over his belief that the Bible teaches that unrepentant homosexuals will be excluded from a Kingdom which, they believe, does not exist in the first place?  It makes no sense whatsoever.

Folau’s wife, Maria has stood up in support of her husband.

Silver Ferns star Maria Folau has posted a message in support of her husband’s anti-gay comments.  Following Israel Folau’s controversial statements about gays being going to hell, his wife has now shown her support for her husband and his stance.  Folau, nee Tutaia, posted her message of support to her husband on Instagram on Friday, calling on him to “stand with god no matter what”.

Her husband commented on her post: “Amen babe. God is the only one we follow and bow down to.”  [NZ Herald]

Good for her.
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our brothers’ brothers

marmsky April 2018 (22)

our brothers’ brothers

devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2359

Numbers 32:1-19

Num 32:1 At that time, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very significant number of livestock. When they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and notice, the place was a place for livestock.
Num 32:2 So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the congregation,
Num 32:3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon,
Num 32:4 the land that Yahveh struck down in the sight of the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”
Num 32:5 And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.”
Num 32:6 But Moses said to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben, “will your brothers go to the war while you sit here?
Num 32:7 Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land that Yahveh has given them?
Num 32:8 Your fathers did this, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land.
Num 32:9 Because when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the land that Yahveh had given them.
Num 32:10 And Yahveh’s anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, and this is what he said,
Num 32:11 ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, will see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me,
Num 32:12 none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, because they have wholly followed Yahveh.’
Num 32:13 And Yahveh’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of Yahveh was gone.
Num 32:14 And notice, you have risen in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of Yahveh against Israel!
Num 32:15 Because if you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all this people.”
Num 32:16 Then they came near to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones,
Num 32:17 but we will take up arms, ready to go in the sight of the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place. And our little ones will live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
Num 32:18 We will not return to our homes until each of the people of Israel has gained his inheritance.
Num 32:19 Because we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east.”

our brothers’ brothers

The transjordon tribes are an example for us, because many Christians will not face certain challenges by virtue of where they live and their station in life. But that does not mean that those Christians so blessed should be indifferent to the plight of their brothers and sisters. No, we are our brothers’ brothers. If they need to fight to overcome the obstacles, then we should be fighting with them.

LORD, show us how to care for our brothers who face challenges that we do not.