Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Someone has suggested that Pastors begin to test the congregation to see if they are learning anything from his sermons. I wonder if in the majority of churches, especially some churches in the mainline denominations, there is anything taught from the pulpit worthy of testing on. Here is a recent quote from a pastor in the PCUSA denomination: "The gospel texts have to be reinterpreted in every generation with conviction and humility —conviction because they reveal God’s will and word for us; and humility because we are only a chapter in the narrative of the human story".

I remember as a kid...some 63 years ago being taught the Westminster Confession of Faith...larger and shorter catechisms in Sunday School classes and occasional reference to the WCF in good scriptural pulpit sermons. Most of it went over my head or bored me to tears...but in later years I am so thankful for the teachers and pastors that took the Word seriously and faithfully took the time to teach to me and countless others these eternal truths that are based on God’s Holy Word. And, by the way, I remember being tested on the WCF subjects in Sunday School and also being challenged to memorize scripture. But...why bother! According to the PCUSA pastor above the test is no longer valid. In fact , the WCF is no longer valid. In fact, what I learned of the Bible as a child, I must now reinterpret so that it fits today’s societal standards. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Born to Trouble

My wife and I have been having some issues lately with the 2nd law of thermodynamics as it relates to our 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix, our Kenmore Model 110 Clothes Washer and our GE Triton XL Dishwasher. Basically they have all recently succumbed to this law. As you know, stated simply the 2nd law says.."Everything is wearing out and running down...no exceptions".

Lately, and due to strange powers unknown to me, with the exception of the automobile, the leak in the clothes washer has healed itself, completely; the "dishmasher" is now also running fine. However, our Grand Prix required a water-pump replacement and in addition we were advised that the head gasket may have also blown or, even worse, the block may be cracked, since oil has found its way into the coolant. For nearly a year we had noticed that the automobile was using oil...but not puffing smoke or drip-leaking on the garage floor. Where was it going? Well, when the water pump succumbed to the 2nd law, that caused a leak in our bank account which drained nearly $550.00. When the mechanic told us about the gasket or that the block may be cracked, he said he could not guarantee his repairs due to these extenuating circumstances. Could BP in any way be at fault here? I’m sure that I bought gas at a BP station at some time or other during the last year. Perhaps it was mixed with "salt water" and caused my oil spill. However, since the water pump fix, we have not found any oil in the coolant...or on the garage floor. Has a triple healing taken place? Could it be that the capping of the Gulf oil well could have vicariously affected our head gasket or cracked block? Do we really, scientifically, understand exactly how the 2nd law works.

While thinking about these recent events, I had a "fleecing, er fleeting" thought. What if the gospel of greed, seed-faith, feeling and healing, money grubbing, miracle making, spirit slaying, prosperity preaching, TV evangelists gets wind of these glitches or anomalies in the 2nd law of thermodynamics? I can see it now: "Has your car blown an engine lately? Is your refrigerator on the blink? Just lay your hands on your TV, have faith and say the words "health, wealth & prosperity". Then... send me a $1000.00 fer my new pool...er, that is for my ministry and watch the healing "faith force" do its work? No more need for any expensive repair bills..ever again. But wait...there’s more...., we’ll double this deal...." Have a need, plant a seed, fulfill my greed seems to be their incessant mantra.

Job’s friend Eliphaz, in his much counsel, had a few words of wisdom: "For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." (Job 5:6-7) It seems to me that it would be most unbearable to face all of life’s trials and tribulations (significant or insignificant) without knowing this..."that if God be for us, who can be against us." The Eliphaz’s of today have changed the language somewhat and now it comes out something like.."life’s a bitch and then you die". I prefer to think of this trouble to which we are born after the fashion of Zechariah 13:9 "...I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried..." Knowing that God IS still in control and, unlike W. E. Henley’s "Invictus"*, ..... knowing that He is the Captain of my Soul...knowing that no matter what may come I can assuredly answer just as Job did..."though He slay me yet will I trust in Him...." (13:15), 2nd law of thermodynamics notwithstanding.

*It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley)