Safe Friends Are Dangerous to Our Soul

autum-best-friends-boy-cute-favim-com-3489766Greg Morse:

Your soul needs friends who are willing to risk wounding your pride in the moment for the long-term good of your soul.

The world cares nothing for our eternal good. Ungodly friends cheer us on toward destruction. They bequeath the kiss of flattery — the Dementor’s kiss. They coddle our egos, telling us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. Even the most genuine and moral among them sets sail away from God. Thus we need a crew of Christian companions — a body — to keep us from shipwreck. Finishing the race is not an individual endeavor, and eternity is at stake.

Praise God then for the faithful wounds of true friends who protect us from ultimate injury. They tell us plainly, “You’re flirting with destruction!” Or, “Spiritual sloth is unacceptable!” Friends who ask us hard questions, who crush the whispering lizard on our shoulder, who are for our eternal soul above our momentary feelings — these are true friends.

Find these friends. Thank these friends. Imitate these friends. They are, as a friend of mine calls it, God’s “community grace” to you.

Do you have such friends?

Read the whole post here.

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Why Pro-Choice Arguments Fail

abortion_2Scott Klusendorf narrows the abortion debate down to one question:

Pro-life advocates contend that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being.  This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing public attention on just one question:

Is the unborn a member of the human family? 

If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong.  Conversely, if the unborn are not human, elective abortion requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled.

After this, Klusendorf explains that there is no essential difference between the unborn and the born.

Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today.  Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be.

In other words, those inside the womb are no different than those outside the womb and therefore should have the same rights.

At this point, people may begin to argue that there are tons of differences between the unborn and the born. Helpfully, Klusendorf summarizes the main arguments offered and show how they fail to demonstrate any actual difference between the unborn and the born.

Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today.  Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be.  The simple acronym SLED can be used to illustrate these non-essential differences:

Size: True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant?  Do we really want to say that large people are more valuable than small ones?  Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean they deserve more rights.  Size doesn’t equal value.

Level of Development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I.  But again, why is this relevant?  Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings?  Some people say that the immediate capacity for self-awareness and a desire to go on living makes one valuable. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings.  Infants do not acquire distinct self-awareness and memory until several months after birth.4 (Best case scenario, infants acquire limited self-awareness three months after birth, when the synapse connections increase from 56 trillion to 1,000 trillion.)  As abortion advocate and philosopher Dean Stretton writes, “Any plausible pro-choice theory will have to deny newborns a full right to life.  That’s counterintuitive.”5

Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are.  Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed?  If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-human to human?  If the unborn are not already valuable human beings, merely changing their location can’t make them so.

Degree of Dependency: If viability bestows human value, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them.  Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.

As John Piper once wrote, “They know they are killing children, all of us do.

May God equip us to love our unborn neighbors and speak on their behalf.

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The Bible Cannot Be a Merely Human Book

995453_10200383392529170_883928022_nArchibald Alexander:

If any man can bring himself, after an impartial examination of the Scriptures, to believe that they were written by unprincipled impostors, then he may believe that an untutored savage might construct a naval warship; that a child might have written the “Iliad” or “Paradise Lost;” or even that the starry sky was the work of mere creatures. No, it cannot be that this is a forgery. No man or set of men ever had sufficient talents and knowledge to forge such a book as the Bible.

It evidently transcends all human effort.

It has upon its face the impress of divinity.

It shines with a light, which by its clearness and its splendor shows itself to be heavenly.

It possesses the energy and penetrating influence which bespeak the omnipotence and omniscience of its author.

It has the effect of enlightening, elevating, purifying, directing, and comforting all those who cordially receive it.

Surely then it is the Word of God, and we hold it fast as the best blessing which God has vouchsafed to man. (From Evidences).

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5 Things Science Can’t Prove

I love this both for its clarity, concision, and hilarity.

When asked, somewhat condescendingly, “What can’t science prove?” William Lane Craig answers so:

If you didn’t catch the points, Amy Hall listed them as follows.

Logical and mathematical truths – science presupposes logic and math.

Metaphysical truths – e.g., the idea that the external world is real.

Ethical truths – e.g., you can’t prove by science that the Nazis were wrong to experiment on Jews.

Aesthetic truths – beauty can’t be scientifically proven.

Science itself – science can’t be justified by the scientific method.

HT: Amy Hall

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13 Reasons Why God Delights In You

delight-imageOne time, the prophet Zephaniah wrote this:

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

God’s people are precious to God. So much so that God says he exults over them with singing. Dear believer, do you believe that you are that precious to God? Do you believe He sings over you with delight?

You may ask, “How can I, with all my sin, be precious in God’s sight? Well, Mark Altrogge shares 13 reasons why those who believe in Jesus are precious to God.

Because he created you

Because he created you in his own image

Because he purchased you with the blood of his Son

Because he has washed away all your sins

Because he adopted you as his own child

Because he has joined you to Christ, made you one with his Son

Because you are part of his bride

Because he has put his own Spirit in you

Because he is transforming you more and more into the likeness of his Son

Because he is manifesting a fragrance of Christ through you to the world

Because he has imputed the very righteousness of Christ to you

Because he has plans and a purpose for you

Because you delight in his Son and desire to obey and glorify him

Dear believer, God has created you, recreated you in Christ, dwells in you by the Holy Spirit, and, yes, He even sings over you with delight. May you rest in the God who sings; may you bask in His delight.

Read Altrogge’s whole post here.

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What Our Marriage is Built Upon

221662_535882167449_1779997_nToday, my wife and I celebrate our six-year wedding anniversary. This marks 14 years knowing each other, 12 years dating, and 6 years marriage. Each year with her is a gift of which I am increasingly thankful for. Proverbs 18:22 has proven true with each anniversary, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Chawna is my good thing, a token of God’s favor toward me.

In our marriage, we have made a habit of reading through our wedding vows with each passing anniversary. Our vows are very special to us not only because they are the promises our marriage stands on, but also because they encapsulate our best understanding of what God calls us to be for one another. In creating our vows, Chawna and I did our best to scour the Scriptures for what God calls husbands to be and do for their wives and vice verse. Rereading our vows refreshes us in what God calls each of us to be.

So, this year, upon Chawna’s permission, I thought it would be fun to share our vows with whomever would like to read them. We hope they bless you as they do us.

My Vows to Chawna 

I, Dana take you, Chawna, to be my beautiful wedded wife and I promise before God, His Holy Church and all His Creation that…

I will make every effort to be used by God to make you more like His Great Son Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Lord.

I will labor to bring you happiness all the days of my life.

I will strive to lead our family to the heart of the Holy Trinity where there is unity undivided, peace undisturbed and love unsearchable.

I will sacrifice to put your needs before my own, honoring you as a daughter of the King.

I will protect you with all my might and power.

I will fight to provide all that you need even if it means I go without

I will love you with Christ as my example. As He has given Himself for you, so will I. As He has sought your growth in holiness, so will I. As He fights to protect you, so will I. As He cherishes and loves you, so will I.

Chawna’s Vows to Me

I, Chawna take you, Dana, to be my wedded husband and I promise before God, His Holy Church and all His Creation that…

I will be faithful to you all the days of my life.

I will respect you and keep an attitude of submission in everything as you submit to Christ.

I will strive to be the helper God has created me to be as I support, encourage, and serve you so you may be the man God has created you to be.

I will labor to bring you good and never harm as I walk beside you.

I will freely give of myself for your benefit all the days of my life.

I will labor to make our house a home; where peace is known, love is given, and Christ is honored.

I will love you with Christ as my example. As He has given Himself for you, so will I. As He has sought your growth in holiness, so will I. As He cherishes and loves you, so will I.

Six years ago we promised these things to each other. Six years later, they still guide, instruct, encourage, and correct us. These are the promises that fuel our love, guide our lives, and anchor our marriage. These are the vows our marriage is built upon.

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How Should I Talk With My Gay Friend About the Bible & Homosexuality?

Alan Shlemon gives a good, clear, and concise answer to a very relevant question.

For more resources on how we can love our homosexual friends and family, check this out.

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