Why A Loving God Must Hate

     If there is one idea that this society has created about God, it's that he is a God who loves everyone and judges no one.  In fact, one of the trending topics on Twitter earlier today was #Godhateshate, which I found very ironic.  The fact is that in order for God to be a God of love, he must hate also.

     The Bible says that "God is love."  Love cannot be described outside of God.  Hollywood has tried, and come up with its own imitation.  Romantic comedies, Disney channel teen shows, and popular music have all tried to come up with their own definitions, but they all fail when compared to the true standard of love, God.

     God's example of love can't be topped.  God the Son gave up all the glory entitled to him (which we can't even imagine) to come down to die as a common criminal, and be separated from God the Father. 

     Why?  For what reason would anyone exchange infinite glory with infinite suffering?  Love.  Not sappy love, not first kiss love, but love that warrants giving up more than any human being can comprehend just to reconcile a relationship with a people that hate you.

     That is God's goal, relationship with us.  He died to get rid of the barrier of relationship, sin. 

     So, if God loves relationship with us, won't he hate anything that gets in the way of it? Like sin?  So how do we get mad at God for judging sin if He is just expressing his love?  And it's not like we don't have a choice.  He freely offers us relationship with Himself, at the expense of our sin.  So when we pass up relationship with an almighty God just so we can keep doing the things he hates, how can we expect anything less than his divine anger?


Me At College

Right now, I'm sitting in Bishop International Airport about to fly to Greenville, SC to start classes at Bob Jones University. This is not gonna mean good things for this blog. On campus, all the good internet (Facebook, Blogger, YouTube, and probably Twitter) is blocked, which means that it will be really hard to write new posts.

But, I can email and text new posts. They won't look as pretty, but it's what I have to get by on for this semester. If you're really gonna miss me that much, follow me on Twitter.


What Is Sanctification?

What is your sanctification based on? Is it based on works? Is it based on grace through faith? The best explanation of sanctification I have heard was in the message "Sex and Sanctification" from Epiphany Fellowship. Check it out on their online sermons.

Maybe We're Not Christians

Jared Wilson at The Gospel Driven Church brought up a very convicting article. Check out his full post; it's written way better than I could write it.


Needtobreathe - "The Outsiders"

Three steps to having a better day.

1. Stop what you're doing.

2. Click this link.

3. Download "The Outsiders."

"Mission, Changing the World, and Not Being Able To Do It All" - Kevin DeYoung

Pastors often preach on our need to pray more, give more, or just do more for God. Kevin DeYoung on his blog "DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed" wrote about why the "more" philosophy isn't right.

"We end up getting the story of Pilgrim’s Progress exactly backwards. “Come to the cross, Pilgrim, see the sacrifice for your sins. Isn’t that wonderful? Now bend over and let me load this burden on your back. There’s a lot of work we have to do, me and you.” A cross, yes. Jesus said we would have to carry one of those. But a cross that kills our sins, smashes our idols, and teaches us the folly of self-reliance. Not a burden to do the impossible. Not a burden to always do more for Jesus. Not a burden of bad news that never lets up and obedience that is always out reach."

"I promise you, some of the best people in your churches are getting tired. They don’t need another rah-rah pep talk. They don’t need to hear more statistics and more stories Sunday after Sunday about how bad everything is in the world. They need to hear about Christ’s death and resurrection. They need to hear how we are justified by faith apart from works of the law. They need to hear the old, old story once more. Because the secret of the gospel is that we actually do more when we hear less about all we need to do for God and hear more about all that God has already done for us."
Read the rest of his post here.


Lecrae - "Don't Waste Your Life"

The best thing about Lecrae is his lyrics. The words are full of Biblical truth and good theology. The songs aren't wimpy. They express a love toward a great God. Check out "Don't Waste Your Life."


Two Good Podcasts

If you want to learn some solid theology in your spare time, podcasts are the way to go. I enjoy listening to Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas. You can subscribe to these pocasts by clicking on these links for Mars Hill and The Village. The easiest way download podcasts is using iTunes.


Driscoll on The Hour of Power

This weekend, Mark Driscoll is being shown on the Hour of Power at the Crystal Cathedral. Check it out on the Crystal Cathedral website.


Why You Should Thank God For Barak Obama

Late in the evening of a November Tuesday last year, conservative Christians all over the United States began to panic. The Democrats won. This was going to have serious consequences. Gay people would get married, health care would become universal, and God's plan to save the world would have to be put on hold for a few years.


Where does Barack Obama fit into God's plan? Right in the middle of it.

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For . . . those that exist have been instituted by God."

Instituted. Tricky word. Tricky to type.

God voted for Barack Obama. God put him exactly where He would be most glorified.

But Christians have a hard time getting this. We think that just because the Republicans come down right on some issues (abortion, gay marriage) they come down right on all issues. When Bush was in office, anything questionable he did was defended by the religious right. They claim Bush started a war for completely altruistic reasons. They claim Obama wants to institute national healthcare to try to destroy our country.

We have two standards based on political preference. God doesn't have political preference.

God isn't concerned about the economy in the United States. He wasn't surprised last November.

His purposes aren't our purposes. His goals aren't our goals. They should be.

Would the religious right be cool with God if his plan was the destruction of America? Or maybe he wants to bring prosperity through a liberal government. I don't know. All I know is that "the kings heart is in the hand of the Lord" and we shouldn't worry that much about how things turn out. Because God will be glorified, no matter who is in office.


Some Good Checkable Music

I don't care if you like Kanye West, Coldplay, or Soundforth; this is an amazing piece of music.


God, Homosexuality, and The Bible

This post is a response to a post on Two Friars and a Fool on homosexual marriage. I commented on the post but am going to put a more detailed argument on here.

First and foremost, the difference between this blog and Two Friars and a Fool is one of how we treat the Bible. I believe that the Bible is complete, without error, and breathed by God. The good folks at TFF (cause Two Friars and a Fool is way too hard to keep typing) take the view that the Bible can be bent, as long as the main point is kept. The author, Aric Clark, responded to my comment on the article and said, that "Paul wasn't right about everything." This post isn't going to be about why the Bible is inerrant, just be reminded that hermeneutics is at the core of the debate.

On to homosexuality and marriage.

Marriage. Clark states, "The New Testament, especially, is very ambiguous about marriage." This really isn't true. Read Matthew 19, I Corinthians 6-7, and Ephesians 5 just to start. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage.

Homosexuality. Paul says in Romans 1:18-32

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Read all the verses, in context. Paul is clear. Homosexuality is against nature. It is "indecent" and "perversion."

You can argue that Paul was wrong, that doctrine is flexible, and that the only point of the Bible is to help us experience God.

Great. Argue that.

But it goes back to what you believe about the Bible. You can say that Paul was wrong on some stuff.

Great. Believe that. Say that.

But know that the book God breathed says you are wrong. (1 Timothy 3:16)

Unless, of course, Paul was wrong on that too.


Mark Driscoll Preaches "Covenant, God Pursues"

The past week or so, I've been listening to the Doctrine sermon series from Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. The message on the Old Testament covenants might be the best message I have ever listened to.

Driscoll goes through the covenants God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. The point of the message is that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament covenants. The point of the Old Testament wasn't God's relationship with Israel or any patriarch; it's Jesus.

Watch this message. The covenants are the backbone of the Old Testament, and they all point to Jesus.

Update: Accidentally posted the audio earlier, here's the video.


Salvation Shouldn't Be The Best Day Of Your Life

Somewhere along the line, some Christians got the idea that the focal point of the Christian life was the moment of salvation. We sing songs about it, write the date and time we prayed the prayer in the flyleaf of our Bibles, and make that the main topic of our preaching and teaching.

We live our lives for God because of what he did for us at some point in the past, as if that point is the greatest moment of the Christian life.

It's not.

Salvation isn't a moment, it's a work that Christ began in us in the past and will complete someday in the future. (Philippians 1:6)

We shouldn't live our lives in light of one thing that happened to us in the past. We should live because of a relationship that will continue 'til the day of Jesus Christ.

Because, that's what Christianity is, a relationship. It's not a contract that we signed in order to get heaven in return for a life of "doing right." It's a relationship that God started with us.

The best day of a marriage shouldn't be the wedding. It's a big deal, and a day to remember, but it shouldn't be the best day of the marriage.

It's the same with our relationship with God. We should remember the first day, but the first day shouldn't be the best day.