Friday, January 01, 2010

Why Truth is Worth Fighting For


Happy New Year everyone! It is my sincere hope and fervent prayer that 2010 will bring us towards Godly guidance in our hearts and lives as we share the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this chaotic world and culture in which we currently live.

In my previous post, I included a wonderful quote by C.H. Spurgeon. There is something very special about the preachers of previous centuries. Their preaching is not muddled with "politically correct" jargon that waters down the message of God from the Bible. In fact, commentaries from yesteryear are more often accurate than today's Christian preachers and writers. Some (not all, of course) tend to add their own ideas to what the Scriptures are actually saying. I have spotted such tendencies in several books that I have read. They are good books from very good Christian authors. However, just one misinterpretation of a Scripture passage (or misapplication of certain verses) can skew the true meaning of what God's Word is genuinely revealing to the reader. We are human after all and make mistakes! But we need to be discerning and on the lookout for such errors. It is good and necessary to correct our fellow believers (including me!) when we do make errors. We can do this in a loving way, of course. Unfortunately, even "loving way" corrections are not always welcomed. We must correct each other (and accept correction from others) whenever it is necessary.

The Introduction in John MacArthur's book, "The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception" is very fitting for my first post of the New Year. It is entitled, "Why Truth Is Worth Fighting For."

MacArthur writes:

Who would have thought that people claiming to be Christians -- even pastors-- would attack the very notion of truth?

But they are.


I get emails all the time from fellow Christian believers who tell me that they got "kicked off" of a web site, blog, or discussion forum because the Christian host did not like what was being shared. That's truly a shame! It is an opportunity lost. Some Christians think that arguing against each other is a waste of time. Sometimes it is - especially when it involves a petty discussion topic. But other times, answering and/or correcting a misguided, misinformed or incorrect posting can be a very valuable lesson for all readers. That is one goal that I strive to achieve here at this blog.

Since there are visitors who comment here but reject Christianity, the discussions often revolve around politics or the current culture climate. For such people, I would change MacArthur's quote to read, "Who would have thought that people claiming to be the arbiters of truth in politics, the culture, science, education, or even when it comes to the knowledge and application of our founding documents; would attack the very notion of truth?"

Americans today are sensing a strong pull (especially when it comes from our current government, media, and Hollywood) away from truth into the realm of lies, corruption, sin, evil and death. Almost every person that I have had discussion with over the past 12 months says that they can't believe how seriously corrupt the three branches of our government have become! They shake their heads and sigh at the complacency of the media to go along with it!! Many people are relying on the Internet blogs to find out the truth about what is really going on.

The following quote can be applied as one big reason why Obama got elected:

The idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age.


So many Christians and Catholics believed the "spirit of the age" - the lies that the Obama campaign told in order to get elected. Many now regret their votes! But why were they so deceived?

We could list many, many reasons. The next two MacArthur quotes explain one big reason:

Much of the visible church nowadays seems to think Christians are supposed to be at play rather than at war. The idea of actually fighting for doctrinal truth is the furthest thing from most churchgoers' thoughts.


I witnessed a living example of this. During the Proposition 8 campaign, many churches in southern California chose to be absent from the fight to proclaim that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. One church where I previously attended a women's Bible study didn't do a thing to help educate people about what that proposition would mean for the God ordained definition of marriage as well as our free speech rights to proclaim God's Word. Our religious freedoms were at stake and some pastors didn't think it was necessary to fight for it? What were they busy doing instead?

MacArthur nails it:

Church leaders are obsessed with style and methodology, losing interest in the Glory of God and becoming grossly apathetic about truth and sound doctrine. for the moment at least, the battle appears to be turning in the enemy's favor.


Wow! Does that describe this past year or what??!!!

We The People came out in droves at TEA Party protests, Town Hall meetings, 1.5 million strong on the Washington Mall on September 12, 2009, and even on the steps of the Capital Building (on days notice) to let our voices be heard by those who are supposed to be representing us and our wishes. What did the leadership of the House call us for exercising our free speech rights to protest out of control government spending? Pelosi called us "AstroTurf." Left-wing media pundits called us various degrading names as well. Out of these two opposing forces, which was professing the truth and which was promoting lies?

MacArthur:

A biblical perspective of truth also necessarily entails the recognition that ultimate truth is an objective reality. Truth exists outside of us and remains the same regardless of how we may perceive it. Truth by definition is as fixed and constant as God is immutable.


The truth in the above instance is clear. The politicians and pundits were not representing what the people wanted - they were busy promoting their own self-interests as well as lining the pockets of lobbyists who will work to get them re-elected. That is not what our Constitution says that they should be doing!

Our Constitution and other founding documents were created by mostly Christian statesmen who took God's Word very seriously in the formation of our nation. The further that corrupt politicians take us from the words of the Constitution, the less free we become. We become slave labor to those who think they know better than we do about health care legislation, the cap and trade scam, government takeover of businesses like GM, and the list goes on and on.

How did we get here?

MacArthur:

People are experimenting with subjective, relativistic ideas of truth and labeling them "Christian." This trend signals a significant departure from biblical and historic Christianity.


The truth is under assault today, both in the culture and within some so-called "Christian" churches. We are told throughout the New Testament the importance of fighting for the truth. Second John contains the word truth five times in the first four verses alone. It ends with this sobering message (vs. 7-11):

2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.


2Jo 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.


2Jo 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.


2Jo 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:


2Jo 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

We have deceivers in and around the White House. We have deceivers in Congress, the courts, the media, education, and even in some Christian churches. We are being bombarded by lies and lured with deception! John MacArthur responds, "How faithful Christians MUST respond.

[Jude] was compelled by the Holy Spirit to exhort us with all passion "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).


In MacArthur's book, he examines why defending the faith inevitably requires warfare, rather than the gullible sanguine stance many Christians today seem to favor. He points out why indifference, timidity, compromise, and nonresistance are all ruled out as options for Christians when the gospel is under attack. Jude's warning is particularly applicable for the times in which we live. Not only is the gospel under attack, but our very way of life - our Constitutional Republic - is also under heavy attack by those who have captured the minds of the unsuspecting with their "hoax and chains" mantra.

MacArthur concludes the introduction:

As vital as it is for us to enlist in the Truth War and do battle for our faith, it is even more important to remember why we are fighting -- not merely for the thrill of vanquishing some foe or winning some argument, but out of a genuine love for Christ, who is the living, breathing embodiment of all that we hold true and worth fighting for.


Reference:

The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception by John MacArthur, Nashville, TN, by Thomas Nelson, 2007, pp. ix - xxvii.

4 comments:

4simpsons said...

Great and timely post to start the new year, Christine. I see this over and over again: Christians too timid or misinformed to stand up for the truth.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Neil! Thanks so much for your encouraging comment! The apathy of some out there in the Christian community is depressing - to say the least. Why are they so afraid to take a stand against what they know is not biblical? What excuse could possibly be made for ignoring what Christ would have us do during this chaotic time?

It amazes me...

Christinewjc said...

This comment is a bit off topic, but I must mention this. How annoying is it to find a comment that seems unrelated to a post with a link to a website that is just a spammer's ad? It doesn't happen very often at this blog, but when it does I find it rude and annoying! Good thing for comment moderation.

(continued next comment)

It was interesting to find the spam comment linked to a post I wrote way back in January, 2008. While there, I re-read the post.

Here's the link:

Radical Islamic Narco-Terrorism in the UK

Here is a copy (from the link above) of what a Muslim woman once wrote about my blog:

Radical right struggles with Obama
by U*m*m Y*a*s*m*i*n @ 8:58 am. Filed under Jihad Against the Munkar
Some radical right Christians* are really struggling with Obama. I have to confess as a Muslim myself I find it tempting to think of Obama as a Muslim who just happens to attend church ;)

I think it’s precisely because if he ever was Muslim, what differentiates him from people like Wafa Sultan, Ibn Warraq etc. is that he doesn’t go around demonizing his former faith and its followers. So apostasy (and here Moojan’s ressentiment label does actually work) is a tag that just doesn’t fit Obama, even if he ever was a Muslim.

I originally made the comment that having a US President who has some appreciation of the religion of one sixth of humanity, spanning every continent and practically every culture and language-group, would make such a change from the current one who buys the lie of an inevitable Clash of Civilisations.

* Came across an excellent definition of radical right from Prof. Michael Minkenberg: “ideological core of populist ultra-nationalism which is derived from (but not equal to) an anti-universal, anti-democratic myth of the national community.” So I think Irfan was right when he questioned Christinewjc’s commitment to democracy (see comments of her previous post on Obama).

So....a self-identified Muslim feminist (now THERE'S an oxymoron if I ever read one!!!) from Australia believes that she has me all figured out and labeled fairly based on a few blog posts and comments?

Sheesh!

The only thing we have in common is that we both don't like anyone to swear on our blogs...


But look what happens when I try to go to the original link to her blog within the post:

Forbidden
You don't have permission to access /dervish/2008/01/18/radical-right-struggles-with-obama/ on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache/2.2.14 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.14 OpenSSL/0.9.8l DAV/2 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at www.maryams.net Port 80


Hmmmm...isn't that strange??

Christinewjc said...

(copy of comment continued)

The Bible has prophecied about this current war, which had its beginnings way back in history from the time of Isaac and Ishmael.

From what I have seen, heard and read, I tend to agree with your assessment, Paul.

Even Umm Yasmin of "Dervish" mentioned :

"I tend to avoid using the word 'moderate' because it implies lukewarm. I.e. I wouldn't want to be called a moderate intellect, or moderately good looking ;)"

So, to call a Muslim a "moderate" is not necessarily a good thing.

I think that you are absolutely correct when you wrote:

"Islam and the Moslem belief system is unconducive to a civilized society as the facts clearly state, yet we are being forced to accept these people in our midst, and it is not them giving up their freedoms and way of life it is us, we are having to give up our freedoms so as to fall in line and be acceptable to the Islamic way of life."

I agree that we are in the greatest battle against Jihad in history. The lives and way of life for our children and grandchildren are at stake. We must be diligent and continue to fight the good fight against those who are obsessed with our destruction.