Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Oldest Art: Blame Shifting

""Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."" - Genesis 3:8-13

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all mankind when in trouble will shift the blame to the next available scapegoat like spiders to their webs so is man to blame shifting. when the Lord God came into the garden he knew where Adam and Eve were, but he was giving them the chance to repent from their sin. Adam and Eve take the opportunity, but where before they came innocently to worship their Creator, now they justify their absence and in justifying themselves incriminate themselves even more. When asked if they disobeyed each admits to the fall, but lays the blame on another. How typical...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Essence of Christian Hedonism

The apostle Paul once said in Colossians 1:24, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body..." We know as Christians that we are to glorify God with our lives. It is our chief end. Christ said to take up your cross daily and follow Him. He also said, " Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."
Suffering is an integral part of our faith and, strange as it may seem, beautiful consummation of our relationship with Christ. In Isaiah 50 we are given an example of Christ's suffering. Even though He was beaten and tortured He honored God and stood by the truth. This selfless act of sacrifice glorified God more than anything else in history, it was the fulfillment of His purpose. When Christ said, "It is finished.", God the Father had been satisfied.
There is a saying, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Every martyr for the gospel found all their fulfillment in Christ knowing that they were made to glorify Him and through this they found their joy. It is the essence of Christian Hedonism, to know Christ in the fellowship of His suffering.

Monday, June 7, 2010

And Then They Fell...

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they (B)knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. - Genesis 3: 6-7
In every culture there is some type of fall story. The Greeks had Pandora who opened a box releasing evil into the world, the Gnostics believe that the snake was in the right and Adam and Eve were banished because they presented a threat to God, and the Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in the Fall of man according to the Genesis three account. It is interesting to note that the Mormons believe that the Fall was necessary to fulfill God's first command (Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth) and Eve knowing this partook of the fruit.
The true account in Genesis three tells us that Eve was deceived in three ways. First, she believed that the fruit was physically good. Second, it emotionally aroused her. After this she thought that it was necessary for wisdom. She was deceived. If we go to
2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul verifies that Eve was deceived by the Devil and that, as Christians, we can be deceived in much the same way. Our thoughts can be "led astray from a pure devotion to Christ". How? By false teachers, false doctrine, and false spirits we are to apt to accept. Every day we accept things like this. We are told to remain tolerant of homosexual agenda, political propaganda, and health practices that are immoral and dangerous.
As for Adam's part in the fall, the Bible simply says that he ate it. There was no deception involved. He knowingly disobeyed God and broke His command.
As Christians in America today we need to be aware of deception and flagrant disobedience. We need to actively stay away from those things that have the potential to pull us away from Christ. But when we fail, because we will, we should remember the words of Thomas a Kempis,
"Be of more even mind, and gird yourself to greater endurance. All is not lost, although you feel yourself very often afflicted and grievously tempted. You are a man, not God; you are flesh, not an angel. How could you continue always in the same state of virtue when an angel in heaven has failed in this, as also the first man in the garden of Eden?"