Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The DaVinci Code and other attacks

The DaVinci Code is making daily headlines. It's certainly been a boon for the church and christian booksellers as it has created an industry of rebuttal. Madonna is blaspheming again in her new concert tour by singing from a mirrored cross wearing a designer crown of thorns. A while ago the fight was all about where we can and cannot post the Ten Commandments. Can't say Christmas, can't say Happy Easter. Many christians are always shocked when God haters, (of which we all once were) act like they hate God. So I want to just give my one time response for these types of headline grabbing controversies.

Nothing excites me more than hearing these God haters attack Christ. I love the smug criticisms and cynicisms aimed at the gospels. Why?


They can't leave Christ alone, they can't ignore His Kingdom, His Church, His Sovereign rule. Two thousand years and he is still a stumbling block, he still moves the passions of his creatures. If He should tarry another 1000 years the scoffers will still be pre-occupied with the force of the gospel and will attack with the desperate thrashings of a chicken in it's death throes. We watch in awe as the Father lifts his enemies into his lap of mercy where they slap at his face like spoiled children. One way or another they will all bow down and confess his Lordship. God will be glorified, Amen.

Furthermore, after 2000 years God won't leave us alone either. The miracle that I see over and over is that Christ can take the same tongue that wags and curses him and transform it into an instrument of praise. He did it to my poisoned tongue, my heart of stone, my sin-drenched nature and I will forever sing of his grace and mercy and the goodnews that Jesus Saves Sinners.

Romans 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Comfort In Strength

On the backside of the courthouse in Claremont, NH there is a public toilet. You know it's a public toilet because of the big words above the doors that say "Public Comfort". Below those words, from left to right are the words, "Women" and "Men". We kids used to get a kick out of reading from top to bottom, "Public Women Comfort Men". That joke never got old.

You look up comfort in the dictionary and you will find that it can indeed mean a 'toilet'. A comforter can be a heavy blanket and comfort is what we experience when we slumber in our recliner with a heavy blanket on a cold day.

"Comfort", regardless of the passiveness suggeted by these items and activities however is a rich and powerful word in it's latin roots. A 'fort' is a stronghold where we take refuge. A piano 'forte' is a musical piece played loudly with strength. 'Fortitude' is courage and patient endurance. These words all share the latin root 'fortis', strength.

Did you know this? I knew the latin yet I never took the word comfort apart. 'To comfort' means to 'come with strength'. We may think of comfort as a hug or a gentle word and that is true, but if these actions aren't back up with a solidness, with strength then they lose their affectiveness.

If we desire to comfort a spouse, a child, a friend, a flock then we had better come beside them with strength. Sometimes we are tired and weak. Sometimes we have lost our endurence. Therefore, it is of the ultimate importance that we daily go to our Father in heaven in prayer, in listening and in Bible reading. Be strong in the Lord. Start here:

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

2 Corinthians
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.