You are glory.
You are pain.
You are master.
You are the servants.
You are fire.
You are rain.
You are justice.
You are returning again.
Oh, holy one, risen exalted king.
You are presence.
You are joy.
You are my future, You are my past.
You are faithful.
You are true.
You are judgement.
Only Your justice remains.
Oh, holy one, risen exalted king.
My God of breakthrough.
The Lord, our banner.
Oh, King Jesus, You are my God.
You are so worthy, holy in violence.
And when that trumpet blasts, I’ll bow in awe.
And for one half hour, silence.
Let the world be silenced.
If you’ve read Evolving in Monkey Town, you know that the public execution of a woman named Zarmina in Afghanistan marked a turning point in my faith journey. The injustice of the situation was troublesome enough, but when my friends insisted that Zarmina went to hell because she was a Muslim, I began wrestling with some serious questions about heaven, hell, predestination, free will, God’s goodness, and religious pluralism.
Evangelical apologists were quick to respond. And while their answers made enough sense in my head; they never sat right with my soul.
Why would God fashion a person in her mother’s womb, number the hairs on her head, and then leave her without any hope of salvation? Can salvation be boiled down to luck of the draw? How is that just? Shouldn’t God be more loving and compassionate than I?
Oh, the Calvinists could make perfect sense of it all with a wave of a hand and a swift, confident explanation about how Zarmina had been born in sin and likely predestined to spend eternity in hell to the glory of an angry God (they called her a “vessel of destruction”); about how I should just be thankful to be spared the same fate since it’s what I deserve anyway; about how the Asian tsunami was just another one of God’s temper tantrums sent to remind us all of His rage at our sin; about how I need not worry because “there is not one maverick molecule in the universe” so every hurricane, every earthquake, every war, every execution, every transaction in the slave trade, every rape of a child is part of God’s sovereign plan, even God’s idea; about how my objections to this paradigm represented unrepentant pride and a capitulation to humanism that placed too much inherent value on my fellow human beings; about how my intuitive sense of love and morality and right and wrong is so corrupted by my sin nature I cannot trust it.
They said all of this without so much of a glimmer of a tear, and it scared me to death. It nearly scared me out of the Church.
AND THAT, LADIES AND GENTS, IS MAN-CENTRIC THEOLOGY DEFINED AND STATED. IF YOU WORSHIP A GOD YOU HAVE CONCEIVED IN YOUR MIND AND NOT THE GOD WHO HAS REVEALED HIMSELF IN SCRIPTURE, YOU ARE AN IDOLATOR IN NEED OF REPENTANCE.
A documentary film about Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society disaster and the cover-up by state and local oversight agencies.
The Twenty-third Psalm
The Lord and I are in a shepherd-sheep situation, and I am in a position of negative need.
He prostrates me in a green belt grazing area, and conducts me directionally parallel to a non-torrential aqueous liquid.
He restores to original satisfaction levels my psychological make up.
Notwithstanding the fact that I make ambulatory progress through the non-illuminated inter-hill mortality slot, terror sensations shall not be observed within me due to the proximity of the omnipotence.
Your pastoral walking aid and quadruped pickup unit introduce me into a pleasurific mood state.
You design and produce a nutrient bearing furniture type structure in the context of non-cooperative elements, and my beverage utensil experiences a volume crisis.
You enact a head related folk ritual utilizing vegetable extracts. Surely it must be an ongoing non-deductible fact that your inter-relational, emphatical and non-vengeful capacities will pursue me as their target focus for the duration of this non death period.
And I will possess tenant rights in the housing unit of the Lord on a permanently open ended time basis.
In a time of universal self-deceit — telling the truth is an act of love.
Refusal to tell that truth — unvarnished, ungarbled, unfettered, unashamed — is either malice or cowardice. If you know a man to be utterly deceived, and in a way that is lethal to his soul, and you choose to say nothing because he will react violently to it, you either despise him, or you love your own peace and safety more than you love him.
Don’t be so concerned that the unbeliever can’t fathom how God made a donkey talk. A frog becoming a prince is not a fairytale in the unbelieving worldview. Just give it some time!
How to answer the Fool - Biblical Apologetics and Evangelism instruction by Sye Ten Bruggencate. Available for preorder now.