Friday, 30 April 2010

Wheat & Tares

This may be old to some of you...

but it always used to confuse me about the 2 'seed' parables in Matthew 13
how can on one hand the seed be sown onto good soil,
then on another hand there is a 2nd sowing of seed by the enemy

if you see no continuity between the allegories of the parables - this is no problem to you... you impoverished soul you...

but if the imagery is all the same then perhaps some may say this is some form of weird election thing...

but actually Jesus is talking about 2 different things

the first parable - is about "hearing the word of the kingdom"
the second parable - is about "what is the kingdom of heaven like"

thus the good seed are those growing up in the kingdom of heaven, the seed that fell on the good soil, that now produce good fruit, with good seed

and within the kingdom (church), the enemy will take the failed seed from the first, which are now wicked seed, and sow within the church - such that the tares, or anti-christs, will now choke the wheat, or 'christs' (you know what i mean)

?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

One good thing about Post-Modernity

I'm quite glad that in Asia Post-Modernity is not really something that has innundated churches

since most Asians are far too 'pragmatic' to bother about being post-modern
i think we're still one philosophical age behind.... and we still are very much modern in thinking although hybridised with a weird sense of everything put together

anyway,
there is one good thing that has come out of the relativistic post-modern age

and that is relativism

theology and religion for too long has been taught as an imaginary absolute,
possibly coming from the strange form of transcendancy of God that makes Him semi-integrated with the universe - i.e. coming up with weird notions like natural law (and if I may be bold - later on an inherent moral law)

i.e. a law inbuilt into the system - much more what I think a philosophical kind of universal governance rather than a Sovereign Father
(pS: read this incredible post on the necessity for the abolition of the non-Christ centered 'eternal decrees')

Post-Modernity has made us think that all standards and truths are based on points of view

And so that is the Truth... there is no universal standard of morality, no generic spirituality, no common sense or intellegence...
there is only the Father, Son & Spirit

Truth is Christ, and if you know Him, you know Truth
Good is the Father, and if you are like Him, you are good
Spirituality is the communion with the Spirit, if you have it, you are spiritual

everything IS relative - so WHO are you related to is the most important question in the universe....

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Son of Perdition

2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

The phrase "Man of lawlessness" is actually "son of perdition" in KJV
same phrase Jesus supposedly uses of Judas in John 17:12

suggesting an a-millennial view - cf the Revelation paper i wrote

then the coming of the 2nd advent is much like the Cross
where the forces of darkness gain strength
there is a 'handing over hour'
there is much confusion - not sure about the false miracles - but i'm sure that's somehow connected to Exodus plagues linking up to the cross

Judas then is the lawless man that is the 'antiChrist' (cf 1 John 2's definition of antichrist - people from within the church) who is revealed at the appointed time

so continuing with the Revelation theology - what then is Judas? it must be Mammon within the church - the Prostitute will be revealed on the last day... how will it be exposed?

maybe: Luke 2:35 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

the Sword now from the Lord's mouth that will open up the hearts to find Satan within - possessing them just like he did Judas

or something like that...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How to have constant Joy

From here:

God knows that complaining is an expression of our pride, and not only pride in general, but more specifically, arrogance against God Himself. Think with me. We Christians believe that God is sovereign: i.e., that in some way He controls our lives. Therefore, since we believe He either causes or allows everything that happens in our lives, complaining about what happens is an expression of our doubting His wisdom.

Puritan Thomas Watson, in a sermon on contentment preached in 1653, said, “Murmuring is no better than mutiny in the heart; it is a rising up against God. . . . The murmurer chargeth God with folly. This is the language, or rather blasphemy of a murmuring spirit: ‘God might have been a wiser and better God’ . . . Our murmuring is the devil's music.”

Do you see the subtle rebellion against God that Watson describes? Complaining is nothing less than demanding from God an explanation that suits our convenience and comfort. It is calling God to account for my expectations of how I think He ought to be and what I think He ought to do. St. Paul hinted at the danger of such an attitude when he wrote, “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” (Romans 9:20).

A century before Watson, John Calvin wrote, “As soon as God does not send what we have desired, we dispute against Him . . . but from what spirit is this pronounced? From a poisoned heart, as if we said, ‘The thing should have been otherwise.’ . . . It is as if we accused God of being a tyrant or a harebrain.”

Complaining is sin because it disputes the goodness of God and thus maligns His character.

St. Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).You will be a more joyful Christian if you learn the secret of being free from complaining. “Rejoice in the Lord always! Again, I will say it: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

What is Spirituality

Here is my current definition:

It is to open your heart completely to another...
and another, and another and another

such that 2 hearts are utterly joined to one another

therefore it is those who open their hearts utterly to God's open and poured out (Spirit-ed) heart, who can be called spiritual and are the best people to deal with 'sinners' (cf Gal 6:1) - who are the best people who have had their planks removed to handle the specks in others

Rich Young Ruler

A sermon by our senior pastor:

http://zionbpc.org.sg/resources/audio/2010/180410%20Ps%20David%20Wong.wma


what i was fascinated by is how unbiased he is on either side - about giving up all and indeed inheriting all...even in this life

what do you think?

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Talk about Genesis!

Rich Owen (cf Glen's blog)does an incredible one...

i advise you to play this sentence by sentence - especially the first 8 minutes!

Listen now, and again and again and again...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Spirituality

Quote by Prof James Houston, Regents College:

"Christian spirituality is Christian 'individuals' becoming persons in Christ"

"individualism to personalism"

"no longer the lonely 'I' but the glorious 'We'"

"I am never more myself when I am most in Christ"

"He gives us a form of hypostasis"

"The true theologians were great saints"

"The true test of theology was the life of sainthood"

"To pray and to do theology are the same thing"

Come to me, then Go to the world

A fantastic heart-warmer from Mr Blackham Senior....
my favourite living Christian...

"I come to Jesus by believing what He says is true..."



http://www.farmfellowship.com/wp/?p=828

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Bribery & Corruption

There's a new book in Asia by the Methodist Bishop of Malaysia..

Bribery & Corruption in the Marketplace

in Asia, where corruption is 'unhidden' - as compared to the West where it is all dressed up and nice - what does a Christian in the workplace do?

2 things he says to avoid:
1. withdrawing from the world
2. dualism of church vs marketplace

he proposes an incarnational ministry - where we identify with the world, remain in the world, be distinct from the world for the sake of transforming the world

he distinguishes between active corruption - which every Christian must avoid
and passive acceptance of corruption - where we must try to avoid

using examples like Jesus/John did not ask tax collectors and soldiers to resign but rather act differently

any views on this ?


my thoughts are this:
1. what or WHO are you working for - i.e. what is the purpose of your work
2. what do others see when they see you at work?
- someone like everyone else?
- a good person?
- Christ in you
the 3rd option is the goal... and is far harder than merely being 'hardworking and moral'...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Basics (2)

An attempt at summarizing 'salvation' in 1 hr

http://www.mediafire.com/?zn5oyndymma

More Hebrew

The word for compassion comes from the root word which means womb

there is another word for womb that is like belly
but sometimes this word which can also be translated mercy is used

so what is the relation between compassion and womb?

for example:

here - Genesis 30:22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.

and here - Genesis 29:31 When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.

is the word for compassion/womb

but here - Genesis 25:24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb.

and here - Genesis 30:2 Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"

is the word for belly/womb

John - any help?

Friday, 9 April 2010

The Resurrection

Brittain keeps going:

http://www.farmfellowship.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/rff100404.mp3

"the first positive earthquake in history.... "
the only one that people were made alive instead of killed!!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Monday, 5 April 2010

Ask Seek and Knock

Michael Brittain has now become one of my favorite preachers of all time..

he's only got 2 sermons on the web...
but they are some of the warmest, richest, most encouraging, yet challenging and insightful things i have ever heard...

listen to this one on Matt 7:
http://www.farmfellowship.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/matthews02e07.mp3

pls petition farm fellowship to have him record many more!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Basics

Catechism class recording on 'the cross'

http://www.mediafire.com/?13nmnttmmwj

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Angel vs Devil

John 6:70 70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil."

Angel - means messenger of God - i.e. one who like the Sent One, communicates everything who the Father is and what He says to others

Devil - means slanderer - one who warps the nature of God to others, that he may be worshipped

check out this attempt on the 'Slander of Judas':
http://www.goingtojesus.com/topic_satan.html?tname=tfe02-16

- click on "Judas the Slanderer" parts 3-6