The worst judgment?

Often I see articles, or words, by people who predict a great judgment to befall a country (it’s usually America…though other countries are available…).  But that got me thinking.  What do we mean by judgment?  Usually we are thinking of some kind of calamity – earthquake, storm, financial crash, etc.  Now, that’s not wrong, and we know from the Bible that such judgments do occur.

But, it seems to me that the very worst kind of judgment that God could bestow on a rebellious people is to say “Thy will be done”.  That is, to leave us alone with our desires, with our appetites and with our fears; to stand back and allow us to do what we want.  I can’t imagine a more terrifying judgment than that.

Sometimes I wonder if that is the very judgment that has now been bestowed on us.

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Who are the barbarians? Part 2.

To follow on from my previous post – what then can we do? What is this to you, and to me? We don’t do these things, right? Well correct, to a degree – a man dies for his own sins.

But how, honestly, do you separate yourself from what your society is doing? We’re not an island, independent from others, we share in the sins of society. This is a strange concept in our hyper-individualised culture. But maybe it’s something we should ponder. Consider the story of Achan – one man, one sin, one nation in deep trouble.

Is that too long ago and in too foreign a culture? Well, consider this – have we wondered how could ordinary people could have lived so close to the ovens of Auschwitz and not said or done anything? They didn’t know, they didn’t want to know, they closed their eyes and ears. And we judged them for their complicity in silence. Do you think future generations will judge us differently?

There is a deep darkness at the heart of our culture, and at the risk of repeating myself – this will not end well.

“And if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion”

Mother Teresa

We will surely destroy ourselves, or be destroyed. In the meantime, as this culture of death digs its fangs more deeply on our society, there is going to be a price to be paid to be loyal to Christ. You can be successful, or a Christian. That’s already happening to some degree. Maybe harder forms of persecution will come. And revival too, because even the best lies do not ultimately satisfy, and people will be drawn by the Gospel.
What then can we do? From Mark Mallet again:

What should be our response? Joy. Yes, how else do we counter the culture of despair but by being the face of hope, a light in the darkness. Let us be the locus point of the beauty and gift that life is. Let others look upon us, even in our suffering—the way the world looked upon St. John Paul II in the last stages of his Parkinson’s disease—and see that life, in all its seasons, is a gift from God. Let us radiate from a deep personal relationship with Jesus the joy of being loved by Him, and then in turn, love others. This is the “Gospel of Life” at its source and foundation.

At the end, we can’t ‘fix’ this world, only He can. That’s not to say we should not be engaged as salt and light – that’s what He calls us to be. We cannot be silent, complicit and withdrawing in the face of evil. But we have to be centered in Christ. Only Christ. Nothing else. The only solid ground there is.

We’ve read the end of the Bible, and we know who is the Victor, so there is no need to despair. Let our response be Joy, and let us proclaim Christ Crucified in a world that grows ever more dark.

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Easter

Sometimes, it seems that the only thing I can bring to the table this Easter
is my sin, my brokenness and my failure.

crossMaybe that is enough.

 

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Who are the barbarians?

The world has correctly judged ISIS and their ilk as evil.  And rightly so,  for they are stunted barbarians, semi-humans, devoid of love, mercy, pity or anything that is good.  And they serve their father, Satan, well.

But they do have one thing that we do not – honesty.  They are honest in their barbarism, clear in their embrace of evil and contempt of God and anything that is good, noble and honourable.

They have slain their tens of thousands.  But we have slain our millions.  And what we have done, and are doing is far, far worse.  They slay their enemies.  We slay our own children, sacrificed on the altar of ‘choice’.  They celebrate their killings.  We lie, dissemble and cover with weasel-words the utter barbarism of our misdeeds.

We think we are civilised.  We are not, we are savages hiding from the truth, lying to the world and to ourselves.  Future generations will look upon us with horror and revulsion.

Abortion‘Involuntary’ Euthanasia. A society that strips children of their childhood, removes father and mother to feed our desires, even changes ancient language to better fit our modern wickedness.  As they say – this cannot end well.

How can God not judge us?   How could we even want to escape it if we ever open our eyes to the enormity of our crimes.

Sometimes I think we want judgment – the end of the world is so prevalent in our fictions.  Maybe, somewhere in our subconscious, we know what we deserve and what we’re heading to.

We call Good, Evil and Evil, Good.  Where have we heard that before?

From Mark Mallet’s blog:

Death is now the solution to modern man’s problems: if an unexpected pregnancy comes, abort it; if someone is terminally ill, kill them; too old, help them commit suicide; and if your neighbouring country is deemed a threat, a “pre-emptive strike” is in order; if your “national interests” are at stake, send in the drones. Death is a one-size-fits-all.

As it says in James 1 v14:

 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

As a culture, our sin is so far advanced, that is has given birth to death, a death we readily embrace, accept, seek after, and call good.  Can we really be so blind, so deceived?

When then can we do?

More to follow….

 

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Tsunami, revisited

There was a word I received a decade ago, it went like this:

Tsunami
19th March 2005

Is 51 v1-6
Ps 37
Lk 6 v46-49

I saw a wave in the distance. It looks benign, insignificant right now.

I was made aware that the old house – the house of God as it is currently – cannot withstand what is coming.

What is coming? A tsunami, a storm.

What storm? A storm both of persecution and of revival. And we are ready for neither.

We have to be ready, for it is coming. The old structure will not stand. We cannot run for we are called to stand, but we are called to build the house anew. A stronger, deeper house, built on the Rock of Ages.

I thought of this again when reading this article , only for Canada I would substitute The World, and for anti-life, anti-Christ.

I’m hoping to have more to say on this shortly.

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The gospel’s heart – beyond the rim of our world.

I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full of what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at source from which it comes. But this is near the stage where the road passes over the rim of our world. No one’s eyes can see very far beyond that: lots of people’s eyes can see further than mine.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book III, Chapter 12 (H/T KH)

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The Kairos Moment

A few months ago I had a dream that seems to summarise so much of what we in the Anglican world have been involved in for the last decade.  In the dream, I was at a church service – traditionally Anglican I guess.  All the trappings, the form and structure of the service was all so ‘normal’.

But I became aware that this service was to celebrate the un-marrying, the divorcing, of a couple.  All there seemed so happy, everything was as you might hope for in a church service, but the heart was inverted and dark.  Try as we might, we couldn’t get the folks there to see what was wrong.  The couple seemed oblivious, they just knew they were so ‘happy’ to get un-joined.  I confronted the minister after the service with what he was doing – he responded “how dare you”, to which I replied “how dare you“. How dare you celebrate a traversity of a Christian service, and call it pleasing to God?

The thing is, we know the sentence on the world – it hates God and anybody identifying with Him.  It will continue acting in character, and various forms of wickedness is all it can produce.  But when God’s Bride, His Church, joins in, and under His banner, celebrates that which is wicked – that is really too much to bear.  Jesus will spit such a ‘church’ out of His mouth.  And He has done – with the institution of the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, and any other Church that forsakes Him and celebrates things He hates.

Ten years on from the vision of the dead tree, we have a new Anglican Communion that is blooming.  This has been a Kairos moment, a time of deciding, of turning, either to the left or right – to death or to life.

 

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