Love The Enemies Who Shoot At You In Paris? Thoughts On The Paris Attacks

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The only thing I knew about the Paris attacks when I woke this morning was that at least 100 people were dead, and that ISIS claimed responsibility. Karie and I were in the kitchen while we waited for the coffee to brew. She was watching some sort of video on her phone about the attacks, while I opened up my Bible to read the next section of Matthew of which I have been studying. I was not hardened against the attacks, I just knew that I wanted to saturate my heart with the words of Jesus before reading of this horrendous terroristic slaughter of innocent people.

I just went on the Fox News website and read the report. What a wicked and heinous crime. ISIS has claimed responsibility through a website of which this was posted:

Less than an hour after Hollande’s statement, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement that described Paris as “the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe” and described the attackers as “eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles.”

”Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the IS,“ the statement also read, in part, ”and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign.”

This was an attack against Christ and his followers. Many of the people who have died in the attacks were probably not Christians, yet to ISIS; “Paris carries the banner of the Cross, and are leading the convoy of the Crusader campaign.” Make no mistake from the words quoted, this war, to ISIS is about Jesus. To Americans and Europeans, this war is about freedom.

American and European freedom included the freedom to worship whom, and in what way one might choose. This freedom is lessening in America. Christians are still free to worship Christ, yet the words of Christ found in the Bible are being terroristically put to death in schools, government, and the public sphere in general. It’s like we have the freedom to worship Jesus, but aren’t able to completely believe, quote, or insist the universality of his words found in the Bible any longer. Jesus said “whoever is not for me is against me.”

Freedom should not be freedom to believe anything you might choose to believe. If this is how America is defining freedom, then ISIS should have the freedom to believe they should kill Christians. The rapist become free to rape, the murderer free to kill, and the mother free to abort their own baby. Freedom can not be total freedom to believe as true any opinion one might have. Freedom needs to be grounded in some moral foundation, some standard of truth. This standard of truth used to be the Bible. It is not the Bible any longer in our land. So what exactly are Europeans and Americans standing upon now as our standard of truth? What is it that governs our free opinions as either right or wrong;? the majority vote? The majority can certainly be wrong. Look at ISIS. The majority of them believe what they are doing to the world is right. And if the majority of them think it is right, then it is right, right?

Is there something inside of you that thinks my words are foolish and wrong? I am venting here, but I am also very concerned that Europe and America needs to get back to standing upon a foundation that does not shift or change. Oh that the gospel would spread across our lands!

So I ask you this morning, do you hate ISIS? Jesus’ words to us in Matthew instruct us to love our enemies and pray for them who persecute us. Does loving the Islamic State mean we agree with them, or desire their prosperity? Certainly not! Loving them this morning while I sit at my desk looks like praying for them. I have never committed a terroristic attack on anyone. Yet I rebelled for many years against those who “carried the banner of the cross.” I am certain that if God can change my heart so that I might become a follower of Jesus, and love those who carry the banner; he can do the same for the Islamic State.

Dear Lord in heaven, I deeply grieve this morning for the scores of people who have suffered, and are suffering through the attacks at Paris. I ask that the gospel would spread through this persecution, and Jesus would bring healing to the souls of men, women, and children. Father, I also bring the terrorists before your throne. Those who were killed in the attacks last night are already standing before your presence. There is no hope of redemption for them. But there are millions of people who believe in Islamic extremism, and are even now preparing their own war against your Son Jesus. Please O God, flood repentance upon their heart. Cause them to be broken over their sin and their rebellion against you. Bring the healing salve of Christ upon their land so that you might have millions more who worship and follow you. Give the people of Paris hope in Jesus. This earth is the closest to hell the believer will ever get. Many people went through their hell last night, but are even now ever rejoicing before you in love. Thank you for Jesus. In his name I pray, amen.

Naming My Son

Matthew Chapter 1: Naming My Son

Something struck me this morning while I was reading through the genealogies of Matthew chapter 1. It is said of the patriarchs of old that only the mother or father could name their own child. An angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream to inform him that his betrothed bride is pregnant with a son. Not only would this have been shocking for Joseph to be told the sex of the child in Mary’s womb; but for the angel to tell Joseph what to name him. By the Lord telling Joseph to name the baby Jesus, he was letting him know that the baby was his own very child. This baby was none other than the Son of God!

The Unconditional Condition Of Reconciliation

Hello Friends,

I have been enjoying a little break from writing on this blog. We are starting Wednesday connection at Church in two weeks. Karie and I are going to be team leaders for the 3rd and 4th grade class this year. She will also be functioning as a small group leader, and I will be teaching every other week. It has been interesting and fun getting ready for this. We also officially started our homeschool year last week. I had the blessing of preaching at a local Church in Rush City, MN today called Restoration Church. I guess their sermons get broadcast on an AM station called KBEK. I have not listened to this station before, but I guess my sermon will be broadcast there next Sunday from 5:00-6:00 pm. HERE is a link to their website, and HERE is a link to Restoration Church’s sermon archive. If you would rather read my transcript of the sermon, you call follow this link HERE. Blessings to you all this Lord’s Day!

Scott

The Planned Parenthood Huddle

Exodus 1:15-21 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

Our eldest daughter Ali brought up the topic of the Planned Parenthood video which is circling around on the internet. I had not been reading the news or blogs for a couple of days and so was not sure of the details. Last night I watched the 8-1/2 minute video of Deborah Nucatola munching on a salad, sipping wine, and discussing how she and her “huddle” extract, and then sell the body parts of aborted babies. The video is appalling. I urge you to share this video with as many people as you can so this organization might further be exposed for the monster it is.

I can not imagine anyone would read the book of Exodus and think Pharaoh was a good and noble leader. He ordered the Hebrew midwives to assess the sex of each baby delivered, and then kill each one if it were a male. The midwives huddled each morning just like the Planned Parenthood nurses do, except they determined not to kill and dismember these children, unlike the PP nurses. The reason the Hebrew midwives disobeyed the orders of their king was because they feared God. The reason Planned Parenthood nurses obey the orders of their master is because they have no fear of God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This organization is filled to the brim with fools and we fund them with tax payer dollars.

I have been praying that the Lord’s wrath would come down upon this organization and crumble it. Yet I know that this organization would not exist if the heart of the mothers and fathers in our society experienced the new birth that comes through Jesus. If the gospel of Jesus swept through our land, the dwellers here would not desire to kill their babies any longer. If the desire to kill babies were gone, the organization would itself become dismembered, and it’s parts might be sold for a profit. I’m sure the lights and leather furniture in these clinics would be worth something.

Let’s purpose afresh to embrace Jesus’ great commission.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Avengers And Mother’s Day; Reflections On The Family 

Last Wednesday I took three of my children to the theater to see the latest Avengers movie: The Age Of Ultron. Aside of the handful of curse words that are becoming normative for a Marvel movie, it was a worth-wile adventure for our family. There were a couple of things in the movie that I thought were interesting and worth a ponder or two.

At one point in the movie, the Avengers have been distraught and divided by a woman with witch like powers who messed with their minds. This mind twisting caused the Hulk to destroy lots of innocent lives and the world was at the brink of bringing accusations against the group. The heroes were not thinking strait and needed a place to rest, recover, and regroup. The place they end up going is to the home of Hawkeye located in some remote place in the country. None of the other Avengers knew that he was married, let alone had two young children and one on the way. The scene is sweet as the Avengers walk through the front door and witness Hawkeye embrace his wife and children. The screen writer plays the scene in a wonderful way that exalts the value of family; rare indeed to see from Marvel.

The interesting thing for me to notice while I watched the movie was how uncomfortable some of the super-heroes were by this scene. It was not played out like the heroes thought it was wrong, but rather felt unworthy to enter such a sanctuary of love. Thor leaves nearly as soon as he arrives. Captain America stands at the entrance of the door, turns, looks over his shoulder, and appears to recall the love he once had years earlier . Banner (Hulk) and the Black Widow later reflect upon Hawkeye’s family as something they respected and desired to have, but knew it was an impossibility; interesting stuff indeed.

The family is an institution created by God to reflect the triune union of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Just like some people are drawn towards the beauty of the Lord, some are drawn far from him. The family, as God’s reflection, has this same result upon the watching single world. Some single people will take only a quick glance and then leave, never to return to the community of the family. Some linger for a moment outside the door, and then angrily pursue some other endeavor because the family is out of their reach for one reason or another. Some will long for the sanctuary of the family, but will not enter because of unwillingness to lay down selfish independence. And then some will spend their lives seeking to build the kingdom of God by reflecting the gospel through their family.

In a twitter post, the Marvel screen writer noted that his co-writer was an avid feminist. This Marvel movie was a lesser display of that fact in a refreshing way. True womanhood is seen in the strength the mother displays when she holds her family together with the love of Christ!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women who defy the independent and autonomous culture which seeks to rip your true dignity and strength away. Keep your eyes on our triune God. His nature is reflected in your family whether you are aware of it or not.

Blessings,

Scott

Reasoning With A Bit Of Both

  • Read Job 21

Zophar tries to argue in Chapter 20 that the wicked do not prosper. He saw before his eyes that Job was not prospering, and so reasons that Job is wicked. Job picks up on this line of reasoning in Chapter 21 to try and show Zophar that the wicked do prosper sometimes in this life. In other words, Job’s intense suffering does not prove himself a wicked man, nor does a man’s prospering prove that he is righteous.

The lack of this line of reasoning is one of the reasons why presuppositional reasoning is so appealing. Neither man (Zophar or Job) start out their argument by saying, “the Bible shows in Jeremiah 12:1-2 that the wicked prosper at times, therefore it can not be true that prosperity proves a man to be righteous.” 

We have the incredible benefit of having the complete canon of Scripture. We have a standard that we can reason from. The Scripture is our presupposition. It is our source of truth. It is the ground by which we reason all things true or false. This is the difference between the Evidentialist and the Presuppositionalist.

We can’t get away from using both lines of reasoning, nor should we try. In our day to day lives we need a bit of both. But when we seek to prove something with the utmost of certainty, we have no better way than to deduce a conclusion from the propositions of Scripture. We have no other source on earth of truth.

“All (men/people) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Scott is a man, therefore he has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. The Bible teaches that Scott David is a sinner. This I know by presuppositional reasoning.

Youth Group Night

Wednesday evenings, we do not do a seperate Bible lesson in our home because of youth group. We are having a swim night tonight with anyone from our Church. Elsa and Sammy are looking so forward to getting wet tonight. Hope you have a blessed day. 

I saw this picture on Monday and saved it. Maybe you feel this way from time to time 😊. Rylee told me she always feels that way but never looks that cute. 

  

Half Baked And Splattered

Throughout the next few days, I will be posting a smattering of odd and probably incomplete thoughts. This coming Sunday evening I will be delivering my conference message on the providence of God in pain, and before that my Wednesday youth group message will be on human freedom and responsibility. I will need to spend my mornings preparing for those two items and so will be posting things related to those two subjects.

In our youth group class, we are studying different doctrine. I am mostly at this stage reading through John Frame’s Systematic Theology and explaining certain things that seem relevant to the youth in our church. So lots of the thoughts that I post here will have been birthed on some level by his teaching. That being said, let me say some things about human responsibility.

The Bible teaches both that God is sovereign and man is responsible. The biblical writers see no contradiction between declaring God is sovereign over everything and yet man is responsible over every area of his own life. It is helpful at this stage to make some distinctions so we might see more clearly what it means to say that man is responsible.

Man is responsible to God in the sense of being accountable to him as our covenant Lord who has authority over his creation. This is God’s world. And because this is his world, all of creation is accountable to him for what they do, say, and think. The kids and my youth group class are accountable to me as their teacher. Yet this accountability is very minimal in comparison to the accountability they have toward their own parents. But they are more accountable to me then they are to Joe Blow who walks down the street. So you see there are levels of accountability; The highest level being accountable to God our covenant Lord.

Man is also responsible to God based upon his own particular ability. It will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah than that of Tyre and Sidon because Jesus gave more information to the latter cities. They had a higher ability to sin because of the increased information they had. Christ walked and talked among them.

Like I said, things are going to be kinda half baked and splattered this week. My lunch break is over and I must get back to work. Maybe more on ability tomorrow.

Blessings,

Scott

Running The Race With A Broken Foot

I arrived home late Thursday night from a 5 day trip to New York. It was the first time I have ever flown out of state for training that related to my work. It was quite the experience to be sure. I am incredibly grateful to be home with my family and surprised to find the temperatures warm and all the snow in our yard gone. I sat out on a folding chair on my driveway yesterday enjoying the sound of my children play and the rays of sun upon my face.

I had a little time to ponder the roles of fathers and mothers while I was away. The Holman Bible Dictionary defines their roles in this way:

  • “Mothers gave birth and reared the children, ran the home under her husband’s authority, and generally served as her husband’s helper (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 31:10–31).”

  • “Wives are called to be household administrators. As household managers wives are responsible to give the family guidance and direction. Paul states that performing these tasks will inhibit gossiping and other unprofitable activities (1 Tim. 5:14). Thus any decision made within the family without the counsel and guidance of the wife is unwise.”

  • “Along with paternal authority over the family came the responsibility of fathers to provide for and protect the family. The father was responsible for the religious and moral training of his children (Deut. 6:7,20–25), and before the law he acted as the family priest (Gen. 12:7–8). After establishment of the Levitical priesthood, the father led the family in worship at the sites designated by God with the priests performing the sacrifices (1 Sam. 1).”

I am not a perfect husband and far from being a perfect father. One thing that became evident to me over this brief study was my failure to seek the counsel and guidance of my wife before I make decisions. After I asked my beloved to forgive me for this failure, she pointed out that her and I used to make all decisions together. It has only been within the past year or so that I have been doing things more on my own. I was not aware at the time that I had changed. I think I fell into the trap of believing that it was my role as the leader of my home to just lead and make decisions. I see now that I was being unwise as the Holman Dictionary points out.

I am sharing this failure of mine so that you may not fall into the same trap I did. God has made the husband and wife to be one unit. I would never seek to run a race without getting counsel from both of my feet. One may be in perfect shape while the other is broken. It would do no good to run unless both agree. It is the same with running the race of faith with my wife.

Thanks for listening. It’s good to be back.

Scott 

Hi!

Hi!

Thanks for your patience while I wrestle through a couple of items. Hopefully I will be posting soon.

Blessings,
Scott

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