Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Respect for our Elders

Today i wanted to share a brief passage from a old Christian text. Below is a short history of the Canons of Dort, and following the history is one of the most beautiful passages of theology I have ever read. Enjoy. mark

The oldest of the doctrinal standards of the Christian Reformed Church is

the Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, following

the seventeenth-century Latin designation "Confessio Belgica." "Belgica"

referred to the whole of the Netherlands, both north and south, which today is

divided into the Netherlands and Belgium. The confession's chief author was

Guido de Bres, a preacher of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, who

died a martyr to the faith in the year 1567. During the sixteenth century the

churches in this country were exposed to the most terrible persecution by the

Roman Catholic government. To protest against this cruel oppression, and to

prove to the persecutors that the adherents of the Reformed faith were not

rebels, as was laid to their charge, but law-abiding citizens who professed

the true Christian doctrine according to the Holy Scriptures, de Bres prepared

this confession in the year 1561.

Article 1: Belief

We all believe in our hearts

and confess with our mouths

that there is a single

and simple

spiritual being,

whom we call God







completely wise,


and good,

and the overflowing source

of all good.

Article 2: The Means by Which We Know God

We know him by two means:

First, by the creation, preservation, and government

of the universe,

since that universe is before our eyes

like a beautiful book

in which all creatures,

great and small,

are as letters

to make us ponder

the invisible things of God:

his eternal power

and his divinity,

as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20.

All these things are enough to convict men and to leave them without excuse.

Second, he makes himself known to us more openly

by his holy and divine Word,

as much as we need in this life,

for his glory

and for the salvation of his own.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

In search of Panacea

Have you seen her? Panacea I mean. The daughter of Aesclpius (Greek god of healing) and Epione. She is the goddess that can cure all, with herbs, and solves all difficult problems. Surely you have seen her?

At least I am assuming a lot of people have seen her b/c their answers to difficult questions are, to them, the cure for the question. Clearly if all of humanity would listen to them then their would be no need for such petty arguments. Ever.

Clearly, and sadly, she does not exist. There is no cure for all disease and no one person that can answer with adept wisdom the toughest questions ever.

So why do you fight and argue like madmen to be right. Why do we tear entire churches and families apart in our desperate attempt to be the final authority on an issue? Clearly we need to see, as the Bible teaches us to see, that we must love one another even if we disagree. And if we have no love we have no God.

There is great need for discussion and passionate debate about real, meaningful, weighty issues. This is part of why I write this blog, so people can help me see things from their point of view. But at the end of the discussion, dialogue, debate we all need to hug and walk away realizing Panacea does not exist. There is no perfect way of doing things. In fact there is rarely a best way of doing things. There are just ways that work and ways that don't work so let's try to find the best in everything and love each other even though it may not be what we wanted.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Given a Commission

There is a huge part of our world that still has no witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How can this be? In North America we have heard it so many times and those that have not heard have, in my opinion no excuse, since there are churches all over the place. One question from them and they would at least hear something about Jesus and probably be given some instruction on how to find out more. But this point only distracts from the overshadowing issue of the people who have no chance of hearing about the greatness of God's love through Jesus Christ. Last time I checked only $.05 of every dollar given to spread Gospel goes to reach the unreached peoples of the world. That means, obviously, $.95 goes back into reached people groups. I am not saying that no money should go to reached people b/c certainly there are financial needs and obligations there as well. They need Bible printed in their own language, they places of worship, they need theologically sounded Bible training schools so they can raise up their own people as apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and missionaries. However, should the ratio of money going to unreached people not be significantly higher than $.05 of every dollar? A while ago I heard a person speaking to a church say that "the problem is not that we do not have enough money it is that we do not have enough people to go." I have a very hard time believing that. I think if you had the money finding qualified passionate people to go around the world with the Gospel would be no problem. In fact I think if you had the money missions agencies would want to start trying to recruit top qualified prospects. I think the main problem is that the money is not there as this person claimed. In a minute I will launch into what happens when the money is there for missions. So the question remains where is the money to reach the unreached going to come from? How can this money be raised? Here is my opinion. Where is the money? It is in my bank account, and yours too. It is in so many North Americans cars, homes, boats, humongous TV's, and retirement accounts. We, North American, Christians, have been so inundated with the Gospel we assume everywhere in the world is the same. But, this is not true. We need only to look a little bit to see the world is not filled with the Gospel and it is to a large degree our fault. We have failed to keep the passion to reach the lost. We have failed to remember that treasures on earth are as nothing compared to treasures in heaven. We have been given much and have failed to do much with what God has given us. Maybe you disagree with me and that is fine please write a comment. I am all for discussion and dialogue. Maybe you even want to email me, but you don't want everyone to see your email address, so email me at adimreflectionblog@yahoo.com and I would love to read and respond to your email. Privacy of your email and email address is assured. I say all of that to say this. Consider the last time you gave so much to a cause, any cause, that you had to sacrifice other things. Now more specifically when was the last time you gave so much to a missionary or mission’s organization that you had to sacrifice. I think it is time Christians, who have been commissioned by GOD, became desperate to do all they can in their lifetime with the resources God has given them to reach the lost and the unreached fellow humans of this world. Maybe it is to abstract to call them unreached people groups. People groups have no face in our minds, no emotions rise up within us when we hear that phrase. So let's say this. Fellow human beings created by God to know God and serve God who have wandered from him just as we had now need to have a chance to hear again about the amazing love and sacrifice he has made to bring us back into a true relationship with him. A relationship that will last forever.