Posted by: thefourwinds | July 18, 2009

Orwell nailed it

I couldn’t help but shake my head when I read this gem of Orwellian doublespeak online today:

“So the only way to tell the truth is to lie.”

Now this wasn’t a politician, believe it or not.  Let’s give a bit more context from the quote:

“Everyone lies online. In fact, readers expect you to lie. If you don’t, they’ll think you make less than you actually do. So the only way to tell the truth is to lie.”

I suppose this makes it not even one’s own fault.  It’s everyone else’s fault that we have to lie online!

Who is this brilliant pundit, this social commentator, this wise philosopher, this moral giant?

Our revered Brad Pitt.  Somewhere, George Orwell is saying, “I told you so.”

You can read the entire article here.

Posted by: thefourwinds | July 16, 2009

Here we go again…

Here’s the latest installment on America’s War On Men:

Childless man freed after serving time for child support violations

Ok, the good news is that he was actually let out of jail.  And they finally decided to not force him to pay $16,000 that he supposedly owed in back support – for a child that was proven to be never his!

Where is the restitution from the state for the last 13 years?  Where is the restitution from the mother, who falsely claimed it was his child?  And did you see the reasoning they gave for having continually demanded the payments from him, that he had signed an “agreement”? 

I’m sure they gave him a lot of choice in signing that agreement.  I’m sure they made it easy to get the DNA test to prove that the child wasn’t his.  If you believe that, I’ve got some swampland in AZ to sell you….

The first installment of America’s War on Men showed an incredibly similar example of the obtuseness of our so-called justice system.  This is the America that feminism has brought us.  But still, very few will speak out against these happenings because it hasn’t hit close to home enough in their own lives. 

We will keep hearing about these types of incidents, because they are out there all over the place.

Posted by: thefourwinds | May 28, 2009

When the Son of Man comes…

Just saw this article on FoxNews.com:  Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit.

I’m thankful they’re fighting it legally, but I wonder what will/would happen if they’re denied.  Will they obey the Lord and gather anyway?  “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Posted by: thefourwinds | April 23, 2009

Self-forgetfulness

John Piper’s blog has this wonderful post about self-forgetfulness, with a quote by John Stott.  Immensely helpful for me, and something I’ve never really given any thought to.  Although I don’t preach, I speak in public a lot, and hope to someday engage in apologetics and evangelism more publicly.  This is a wise quote to keep in mind:

John Stott on Self-forgetfulness

Posted by: thefourwinds | April 4, 2009

What do you think? I’ll tell you!

Here’s an interesting phenomenon I noticed while perusing through a site designed for Christian singles. 

There were forums titled “Ask a Guy” and “Ask a Girl” that were devoted to allowing members to ask questions specifically to be answered by the opposite sex.  For example, one question was, “How do guys feel about girls who dye their hair?”

More often than not, on the “Ask a Girl” questions, the only guys who would chime into the discussion were asking the women who answered to clarify some part of their response. 

But invariably, on the “Ask a Guy” questions, a woman would ask a question of the guys, then 2/3 of the responses would be from women who were telling the guys who had responded why they shouldn’t feel/think the way they did. 

Look, if you want to know what I think or feel, great.  But if you’re asking me what I think or feel as a guy so you as a woman can tell me how I shouldn’t feel that way, why are you even bothering to ask?

Posted by: thefourwinds | January 16, 2009

Keeping the gospel central

Here’s a letter to a pastor friend of mine (with some introductory personal pleasantries removed) regarding something I had said to him about my church’s focus on keeping the gospel central, ahead of any other teaching or action we pursue as a church (even very good things, like fighting abortion, or homeschooling our children, etc.). 

Dear _____, 

 
You ask a good question about what I meant about keeping the gospel central.  I think maybe my statement needs some clarification or application so you can see how it’s being applied by Pastors _____ and _____.
 
The driving force is to keep anything from supplanting the gospel as the foundation behind everything.  The example you give as to the current focus in your church (men taking more a more active role in their homes) can easily be tied with regularity and consistency to the gospel. 
 
For example, why is it that men ought to be more involved in their families?  Because it’s a Scriptural teaching.  But what is the goal behind that Scriptural teaching? 
 
The goal is that the children of God fearers (in our time, the children of believers) will learn to know, love and fear God themselves.  That’s imparting the gospel!  As more families concretely impart the gospel to their own children by living out the Word with regards to fathers leading their homes (and in any/every other way), the kingdom of God grows and the gospel spreads.  That’s what I mean by keeping the gospel central, and that’s the way I’ve interpreted how Pastors _____ and _____ are applying that in our church.
 
In my own life, the concern I was bringing up had to do with a nagging concern I have that if I don’t do this and that in my kids’ lives, if I can’t “rescue” them from certain conditions that I would choose not to have them in if I had the power, then I must be failing them (or maybe I get to the point where I believe God is failing us). 
 
The remedy is for me to remember that trials are a normal part of following Christ, and my focus on imparting God’s grace to the kids amid our circumstances allows them to experience the gospel in a tangible way.  As you said last night, we are citizens of a better country. 
 
Also, regarding homeschooling, it could be that we get tempted to put homeschooling (and all the goals, processes, curricula, competitions, and worldly recognition) ahead of the foundation, which is imparting the gospel to our families in a concrete way.  Any of us could raise our kids to win the next national spelling bee (or whatever contest), and have the kids with the best manners, but that’s not the Bible’s purpose for the education of our children.  The Bible’s purpose for the education of our children is so that they will fear, love, and serve God.  Once again, that’s imparting the gospel, and it can have an impact for generations.
 
Hope that clears things up.  If the Holy Spirit is truly convicting you that your focus is drifting away from the gospel, I think it would be very easy to tie everything that you’re emphasizing back to the foundation of the gospel.
 
Grace in Christ to you and yours today!
Greg

Posted by: thefourwinds | January 1, 2009

Underrated, underused words, pt. 2

I suppose I shouldn’t really call this an underrated or underused word, because it’s a French word, and since I don’t converse or read in French all the time, I have little-to-no idea how often it’s used.  I guess I should just consider this one of my favorite words in the French language.

un soupçon – Definition: suspicion; hint, drop (figurative)

David est à l’abri de tout soupçon – David is free of any suspicion.

Je sens juste un soupçon d’ail – I taste just a hint of garlic.

Veux-tu un soupçon de vin ? – Would you like a drop of wine?

See http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/g/soupcon.htm (Mot du jour)

Also, see
Underrated, underused words, pt. 1

Posted by: thefourwinds | December 6, 2008

America’s War on Men

Here’s yet another article describing the lunacy and abusive nature of this country’s child support laws – abusive towards men and children.   Man pays $12,000 in support, finds out child not his.

If you think this story is isolated, think again.  The reporting of these stories is what’s isolated.

The most insane part is near the end, when they discuss the real father, who claims he always supported the child, a pretty believable claim since the child actually now lives with him.

Posted by: thefourwinds | November 30, 2008

Concerns about The Shack

Here’s a letter I wrote to a friend of mine who had recommended I read the wildly popular book, The Shack, a work of theological fiction.

Hi _______,
 
I debated whether I should even write this email.  I pray you won’t consider it too abrupt.  Part of the abruptness is because it’s late, I’m tired, and I’m preparing for yet another move.  However, if I don’t write this now, I fear I won’t write it at all.  And since I’m plagued with thoughts of Ezekiel, trumpets, and watchmen, I must write to you about this (see Ezekiel 3:16-21 and 33:1-9).  Please forgive me if I don’t come across smoothly.
 
You had recommended to me the book The Shack.  I can see why people are captivated by it; it’s a compelling narrative.  But being compelling and being truthful are not always the same thing.  I must say there are some deeply troubling redefinitions of Biblical Christianity that take place in the pages of The Shack.  For example:
 
1.  The Father is an African-American woman??  The Bible claims God is a Father and always refers to Him as “He.”  He is not genderless in the way presented by this book.  Although He has some qualities that we often consider feminine in humans, the Bible still calls Him a Father, always calls Him “He,” and even once refers to Him as a “man of war” (Exodus 15:3). 
 
2.  Jesus is the best way to the Father???  The Bible says Jesus is the only way (John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me”).
 
3.  There’s no hierarchy in the trinity?? All hierarchy comes from sin??  John 4:34 – “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.”  There are more Scriptures I could include here about all things being subjected to the Son except the Father, and so forth. 
 
4.  The Father doesn’t punish sin???????  Yes, the results of sin can be their own punishment, and it may be His joy to cure sin, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t punish sin.  John 3:36 – “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (emphasis added by me). 
 
5.  Jesus is merely a perfected human??  This sounds more like Mormonism than Christianity.  Shall I list all the Scriptures that attest to the divinity of Christ? (Start with John 1:1). 
 
More could be said.  This list is heavy enough, but I’m noticing as I reread what I typed that even a reading of just the Gospel of John clearly denounces the theology put forth (in such captivating fashion) by The Shack.  One could almost say the presentation of theology by The Shack is seductive, as in seducing people into a false understanding of God and a false gospel.  Remember what Paul wrote to the Galatians:  “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again:  If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).
 
It’s not possible for me to judge the intentions of the author of the book, but it is possible to judge the theology presented (and it’s Biblically right to judge the theology – “Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” 1 Cor 5:12b).  ________, the theology of The Shack will lead you off the narrow path and away from the God of the Bible and away from the true Christ who can save you from your sins.  I pray that God will grant the grace to smooth the rough edges of my message so that you may receive what is presented here. 
 
The grace and peace of Jesus Christ be upon your life,

Greg

Posted by: thefourwinds | November 18, 2008

Published – just a tidbit

Well, it’s always nice to get “published,” even if it’s only someone answering a question.  But it’s probably the most widely read column I’ve ever appeared in.

I’m not a huge fan of sportswriter Peter King, who writes for Sports Illustrated and CNNSI.com.  I don’t really consider him a good writer, and he doesn’t seem to ever have much good football insight.  I only read his column for the sheer volume of information within, because he has managed to form good relationships with many of the NFL players, coaches, and administrative personnel. 

But because much of his material seems to be little more than pandering, when I read his columns, I usually want to respond by calling him names I shouldn’t use, and I just generally have to allow myself to cool down after reading him.  So it surprised even me when I saw something he wrote about former NFL wide receiver Cris Collinsworth (now an announcer and commentator) in King’s MMQB column (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/peter_king/11/16/week11/1.html – see Quote of the Week II on pg 2) that prompted me to ask him a sane question (did King think Collinsworth would ever consider coaching, or was he happier doing what he was doing?).

Well, if you saw King’s MMQB Tuesday Edition column, he actually responded to my question (and gave a helpful answer even):  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/peter_king/11/18/mail/1.html

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