Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oppressing Christianity in America

So almost immediately, I feel the need to interrupt my series on the doctrines of grace after breaking news of events happening in Houston.  The city of Houston (i.e. the current Houston mayor, the city council, and the DA) is demanding 5 pastors in the area turn over their sermons for scrutiny by subpoena.1   Being from the Houston area, this news has deeply troubled and hurt me.

The Houston mayor is most definitely using her position to try to quash any dissenting voices against her agenda to break down reasonable gender walls in the name of LBGT civil rights.  I guess oppression only goes one way.  If Christians express their beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexuality and want to retain laws that maintain gender identities and repeal laws that break them down, then they are being oppressive to the LBGT community.  However, if a member of the LBGT community comes into civil power and abuses that power to silence differing views, then that is supposed to be heroic and noble and not oppressive?  Hardly…

This is just the beginning, brethren.  Be prepared for things to get worse before they get better.  Now is the time more than ever for our character in Christ to shine through.  We must live a humble and holy life through these sort of attacks so that as Peter wrote we may: “…sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Doctrines of Grace

One of the things I’ve noticed over the past couple of years is an absence of knowledge of/conscious belief in the foundational doctrines of grace in the church.  The Lord has placed a heavy burden on my heart about this particular deficiency in the church, and it has driven me back to this blog to start a series on these marvelous doctrines with two goals:

  1. Work out my own beliefs on them and strengthen my own theology.
  2. Inform online believers’ theology in the process.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering each of the doctrines of grace with 1 or more blog post per doctrine.  For now, though, I just want to provide an introductory list of the doctrines as a sort of preview of what will be covered over the next couple of months.  I’ve put some careful thought even in the order with which I’ll present them.  Listed below is each doctrine with a brief description by order of future blog posts:

Doctrine #1: The Total Depravity of Man – This is the doctrine that mankind is utterly sinful and, on his own, is unable to love God and pursue or choose a path of righteousness.

Doctrine #2: God’s Sovereign Election- This is the doctrine that, before the foundation of the world, God chose all of those whom He would redeem through His Son’s work on the cross based on nothing else but His own sovereign will and purposes.

Doctrine #3: Particular Atonement- This is the doctrine that Christ did not die for everyone who would ever live, but only for the elect of God.

Doctrine #4: Irresistible Grace or God’s Effectual Call – This is the doctrine that God brings His electing purposes to fruition through the calling work of the Holy Spirit.

Doctrine #5: Eternal Security/Perseverance of the Saints- This is the doctrine that based on God’s sovereign choice, the completed work of Christ, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit on the believer, no true believer in Christ can ever lose his salvation.

I look forward to learning and being blessed through these studies!