Monthly Archives: June 2012

Christians, Republicans, and the Obamacare Ruling

It was argued in 1988 when we elected Bush Sr., again in ’92, ’96, ’00 with Bush Jr., in ’04 even more vigorously for Bush Jr. part II, in ’08 with lizard-breath liberal McCain, and although I haven’t tuned in this time, I’m sure it is still being bandied about for Romney.

Christians wringing their hands, begging us to all get behind the Republican candidate because “at the very least, we’ll get our Supreme Court nominees on the bench.

It’s sort of worked out with Clarence Thomas. Alito might be OK. But after today with Chief Justice Roberts – he who was hailed by Christians and conservatives as a right-wing, trustworthy man ‘o God – are we finally disabused of the notion that there is any good reason to elect these liberal, two-faced Republicans to the presidency?

This is not a politics blog, and I am not trying to delve into politics here. I am trying to take this opportunity to remind my fellow Constitutionalists, conservatives, and Christians that you can tell a tree by its fruit. There was really only one candidate in this race which has shown conservative principal, character, and integrity over his career. He was laughed off again by most conservatives – as they joined in the cynical, secular attitude of the MSNBC/MSM crowd. Suicidally, we picked Romney who is probably left of LBJ.

I hope some of you will think long and hard about voting for Romney based on a prayer that he might do a few of the things he has promised.

I hope even moreso that this nation will have an awakening to just how far down we have fallen, and tremble at the judgment of God falling on us. Today is the day to stop placing our faith in the professional criminals we call Republicans. Today is the day to turn in repentance to the mercy and help of Almighty God – He who the Founders invoked as our only hope, and that without blushing.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Poem: Hemlock Lake

My feet like a trunk – solid, rooted, weighty.

Stillness to the south. Silver flashes below the surface.

Just a touch of wind to shift the strands of hair

Over my easy brow

Like a canopy of oak leaves just after they’ve turned for autumn.

No need to move now. The silence is swarming, health is abounding…

This old tree of me, rough-grown

Over years in Valhalla-esque green serenity.

Hemlock’s waters feed me.

God’s finger-shaped puddle.

Chemical clarity, H2O purity, potable consistency

Even in 2012.

Shielded from filth

Like 4 year-old Bobby is from knowing Mommy and Dad are Santa’s hands…

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It’s not consistent for those who follow Christ to abuse the earth and/or support people who would do so. It’s hypocrisy to be careless about the creation while being care-full about the Creator.

Don’t we all want to hand our children and grandchildren a lovely place to live and raise families?

As Christians, we ought to recognize that when we care for the earth, we are reflecting the character of God in whose image we are made. We are to subdue the earth, yes, but of course that means we are to use it for our benefit – never to abuse it.

Don’t let socialists and liberals steal our mantle of being environmentalists. It is hypocrisy to love Jesus and yet waste the good gifts He has given us in nature.

We, the followers of Christ Jesus (who created every beautiful atom and molecule), ought to celebrate the earth, preserve its beauty and purity, and oppose anyone who would sully it by greed and indifference.

After all, those of us who belong to Jesus and have been granted meekness… “will inherit the earth.” Let’s set the example of being good stewards of the planet.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

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Said in One Breath: Religious Pride is the Worst

Wouldn’t you rather have to deal with an angry alcoholic IRS agent as a neighbor rather than a well-dressed, coiffed, slick religious leader who kills people with lies and hypocrisy? Jesus did.

Don’t be a religious punk.

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Series on Christian Hypocrisy-Halfway Point

Interpreting the Cosmos is a destination where hopefully you hear a voice of love and discernment as I address our world through the lens of God’s Word the Bible. My recent series on Christian Hypocrisy has been a necessary piece of what it means to be a truth loving Christian in 2012 America. We must address hypocrisy in the Church. We must confess our sins and ask God for repentance for ourselves as individuals, and also our culture as a whole.

I pray you all receive the blessings of the Holy Spirit as we continue with this series for about another month.

Please enjoy our posts from this series:

Christian Hypocrisy: Cancer in the Body

Adulterous Pastors: Extreme Hypocrisy Damage

Persecution and the Absolute Carnival of Narcissism in the Church

Great Commission Gone to the Dogs

Homosexuals and Idiocy in the Name of Jesus

Plane Crash God Laughs…?

The Real Hypocrisy: Guest Post by Dr. Bob Froese

The Church and the Hypocrite

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

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The Church and the Hypocrite (Spurgeon)

In the same golden vein as this blog’s first guest post, Charles Spurgeon here addresses the hypocrisy of church-goers and ministers who walk in brazen sin and rebellion. Read and be secured in Christ!
SDG… Thanks for reading,
-Justin

Samuel at Gilgal

We must be careful when looking for evidence that someone else is a Christian. We make the mistake of thinking that every Christian should look exactly like us. There is a much higher standard! Are you consistently trying to walk in holiness? Does even a “little sin” in your life bring you to your knees to ask forgiveness? Charles Spurgeon, in the following article, takes an uncompromising stand on the great gap between holiness and hypocrisy:

Oh! The great thing the Church needs is more holiness. The worst enemies of the Church are the hypocrites, the formalists, the mere professors, the inconsistent walkers.

It is shocking to think how persons dare to remain members of Christian churches, and even to enter the pulpit, when they are conscious that their private life is foul. Oh, how can they do it? How is it that their hearts have grown so hard?…

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The Real Hypocrisy: Guest Post by Dr. Bob Froese

It is with great joy that I am introducing my first guest writer to Interpreting the Cosmos; Pastor Bob Froese of Faith Fellowship Church in Clarence, NY. Bob is a brother in Christ who labors faithfully in the local church week in and week out; preaching the Word, counseling the flock, and providing an example of a bold yet humble, amiable, loving pastor with a backbone of steel. His is a brand of Christian manhood which most evangelical churches in America sorely need and lack.

Although I live far away, when I visit I have benefited greatly from the ministry at Faith Fellowship Church – my family’s local church. There will be no silliness or flippancy at FFC, but rather true preaching of the Word of God, counseling which deals with sin and rebuilds lives on the only sure foundation, and fellowship in the true worship of Jesus Christ. I could go on, but lastly I know Bob would want me to say that anything good at FFC or in his life is only due to Christ, from Christ, and for the glory of Christ. This guest post is the honorable 50th on this young blog – and it goes to the voice of a faithful local church pastor in whom the Holy Spirit works the image of Christ Jesus. Take it away, brother.

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What is the Real Hypocrisy?

Bill met her in the car at lunch. He’d never known such excitement – this was a woman who would make him happy. And so he made a choice, which ultimately offended God who hates adultery and divorce, and broke the heart of his deserted wife.

Oh, you say, I see that all day long. Just like Mellancamp sang: Ain’t this America, land of the free? And what does it have to do with hypocrisy?

Bill’s response when confronted was, “At least this is honesty, this is truth.”

Bill defined a lack of hypocrisy as the freedom to do whatever he wanted, as long as he wanted to do it. Desire had become his standard for truth. If he didn’t achieve his over-riding desire, he was hypocritical, play-acting.

For many, the definition of hypocrisy defies an absolute standard of truth outside of and apart from self. Existentialism rules and reigns. “I want it….that settles it.” Even in the church, we quickly turn to subtle variations of hypocrisy. A popular bumper sticker reads “God said it…I believe it…that settles it”. In this too, existentialism is alive and well. Take out the “I believe it,” and you have an absolute statement.

Joe studied psychology in university. He learned that he suffers from depression, and as a good student, he worked with a psychiatrist to find the best prescription to keep him functioning.  Recently God saved him, and now he enjoys church and reading the Bible, but when things get bad, he calls his doctor for the prescription that gives him a vacation from dealing with problems. He doesn’t believe God’s Word holds what he needs.

Joe thinks, “God might have said it, but unless I believe it, it doesn’t settle it.” His life reveals a mentality strongly rooted in modern relativism. Relativism pronounces ethical truth as dependent on the individual or group holding that truth, defying any absolute standard. Relativism accepts an eclectic manner of prescribing hope for intrapersonal and interpersonal struggles, from troubled inner responses to problematic interactive responses.

Relativism that intertwines religion and psychology fed Joe’s reaction when Joe’s biblical counselor called him to learn to think biblically (2 Corinthians 10:5). He responded with, “You must be taking God’s Word out of context. I’ve been to school and studied psychology, and I’ve learned that I have a diseased mind which cannot take thoughts captive.”

What’s our reply?  Is it: “Ah, yes. Pardon me. I hadn’t known. Here I’ve been fiddling with something less than the highest truth. Why don’t you help me.”?  Absolutely not!  The Bible supports its own identity as the source, indeed, the only source, of absolute truth. A true Christian will always fall in line with God’s word. We dare not teach that “God said it…I believe it…that settles it”, but rather that “God said it. That settles it.”  We must stand behind Psalm 119:160, “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Our job is to affirm God’s word as the voice of God to us today, to bring God’s solutions to bear in the face of the difficulties.

A discussion of hypocrisy, absolute truth, existentialism, and relativism quickly raises the question of Scriptural sufficiency/authority. Do we truly deny that there are other voices of God (“truths”) other than God’s Word?  Do we bend the knee to relativism when the “other voice” is the voice of real life experience? Or the voice of academia? (Not to deny the necessity of excellence, Christians must embrace scholarly exposition in order to rise above the other voices. We must rightly divide God’s Word!)

The culture in which we live espouses a view that truth is relative, and therefore kernels of truth can be found in other different systems of belief. However, relativism, even from a wordly and philosophical standpoint, is self-refuting! The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about relativism:

“The claim that truth is relative is, by the relativist’s own lights, only true relative to some frameworks and false relative to others. Hence, it is argued, the relativist cannot account for the status of his own claims…truth is the Achilles’ heel of relativism…many philosophers have agreed that the view is self-contradictory or self-refuting…It is quicksand all the way down. The metastasis is total. The meltdown is complete.”[1]

Dare we combine truth with error? We are more than fools if we do.

It’s all the same different same up is down is blue!

More importantly, God has given us very clear words on relativism (that says truth can arise from various sources) and religious eclecticism (that says truths can be combined). God’s word gives a scathing response to false prophets who claim to speak truth, when in fact they speak lies. In Jeremiah 23:31, the living God says “‘Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who use their tongues and say “He says.”’

God gives us very clear teaching on the absolute truth of His Word. His Word is the tool to discern what’s at root of heart issues (Hebrews 4:12). His Word is the paradigm for courage and success (Joshua 1:8-9).  His Word equips us when used in relevant ways (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  His great and precious promises provide everything we need to respond to intrapersonal (inner man) and interpersonal (in relating to mankind) issues (2 Peter 1:3-4).

When we cry “hypocrisy” to those who make choices based on desires, we will face opposition. When we cry “hypocrisy” to those who claim other voices of God (“truths”) besides God’s Word, we will face opposition. We dare not waver. Deny systems that give credibility to other voices as truth. Faithfully hold up God’s word in preaching and practice. Not to do so is the real hypocrisy.


[1]  Swoyer, Chris, “Relativism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2010/entries/relativism/&gt;.

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Dr. Bob  Froese serves as Sr. Pastor of Faith Fellowship Church, Clarence NY where he and his wife Ruth oversee a Biblical Counseling Center, & also serve as NY State Coordinators for International Association of Biblical Counselors.

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Plane Crash God Laughs…?

My cell rang around 10:30pm on the night of Thursday February 12, 2009. My younger brother put it bluntly: “Justin, a plane just crashed across the street.”

I immediately thought of a small prop plane: “you mean, like, a two-seater or something?”

“No…” he paused, his voice low and dragging, “bigger… I’m not sure. All I can see is a huge fire across the street.”

“How big, what do you mean?!” I stammered – not sure if it was a stupid joke.

“Big.”

51 people had just died in a fiery plane crash across the road from my family in Clarence Center, and my brother was not sure what to do with himself. The entire Buffalo region felt the impact as young and old, friend and neighbor were killed instantly in what was a truly unnecessary tragedy created by pilot error. As the community began to mourn, ask questions, and try to pull together in the face of this pain, the Westboro Baptist Church showed up as soon as they could bring their hate crew from Kansas to Buffalo, NY.

You know them, right? The ones who picket at soldiers’ funerals to bring shame and pain upon the families of our fallen warriors?

As they marched around our little village with their message of God’s hate and wrath for America, manifest in the crash of flight 3407, I had thoughts of running them over with my Chevy Impala. Their colorful signs were held high: “Plane Crash God Laughs,” “God Hates Fags,” etc.

Welcome to Westboro Baptist Church

Like the many other “Christian” hate groups, the Westboro Baptists are hypocrites who blaspheme the Name of Jesus. While it is true that God has a strong and fearful wrath towards sinners, the gospel is not “Plane Crash God Laughs,” or “White Power,” or “Black Power,” or “Resist the Government with Violence,” but rather, God is holy and wrathful, and will punish sinners eternally, but in His wrath He reveals an infinite mercy by placing His only Son in the place of sinners to bear their punishment – this atoning sacrifice, Jesus, then rose from the dead and commands all people everywhere to repent and believe on Him for the forgiveness of sins. There is none righteous – not a Westboro hate preacher, not a homosexual, not a Klansmen, not Martin Luther King Jr. We all of us to the man need to trust in the shed blood of Jesus to cleanse us from our sins.

The Bible pictures the working of God’s grace as the great leveler – every mountain brought down and every valley lifted up. When someone has been born of the Holy Spirit, believes on Jesus and has eternal life, the preaching of God’s wrath will be followed by the hope of the gospel – that the wrath of God is removed in Christ Jesus for all who believe and repent of their sins.

So then, how do we explain hate groups who hate in the Name of Jesus? Paul gives us the clue in 2 Timothy 3:

1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

There is your Westboro Baptist “Church”. Really, the question of Christian hypocrisy in this case is easy to answer: they do not know God, their hearts have not been changed, and they are in disobedience to the Word of God. Any person who has met Jesus, received forgiveness, and seen the depth of their own sinfulness will have no room in them to continue to hate other people. The gospel breaks hard hearts.

So then…

Plane crash, God… says “I do not delight in the death of the wicked,” and if any who were on that plane were His forgiven children in Christ, “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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