Our Citizenship Is In Heaven

I've been through a rough week. I'm taking 18 credits this semester, which should be 20 because I'm taking Greek I and Spanish III, both of which meet 4 days a week but are 3 credits. I'm in the middle of a stretch that has me taking a test in all 7 of my classes in 5 class days. It's rough.

That's why I read Philippians. It was good. Paul wrote the book from prison. Anyone would look at his life and feel sorry for him.

Paul didn't care. He says he doesn't count his life dear to himself. He says him main goal is knowing Christ. He says that living is Christ and dying is gaining even more. He says that our citizenship is in heaven.

This world isn't a big deal. Like Mandissa sings - "It's Only The World." That's it. We live in a world that will pass away. Our purpose here is to live for eternity, like Paul. Paul didn't care about being in prison because that wasn't the point of his life. The point of his life was Jesus.

The point of my life has to be Jesus.

I can use all of my time to study for tests, but will it be worth it? Will it be worth giving up Bible reading or prayer (or my sanity) to try to get all A's? Not really. I'll study, but I won't obsess. I'll work for this life, but not at the expense of the next one.

It's only this life. It's not that big a deal.


Filthy Roman Sponge

Wow, that's all I can say.

Rainy Days

Today is one of those days, you know? I just got done with a really busy week and only have the promise of a slightly less busy one starting Monday. I was looking forward to our game against Z tonight, but it got canceled cause it's one of those rainy, drizzly days. Not very fun.

I'm off campus now, so I get to check Facebook and all that good stuff. The place where I'm at is showing some taped Italian league soccer game. Life is boring and normal. I don't like rainy days.

Anyways, I found this on The Gospel-Driven Church:
Philip Melancthon once said to his friend Martin Luther, "Today, Martin, you and I will discuss God's governance of the universe," to which Luther replied, "No, Philip. Today you and I are going fishing, and we'll leave the governance of the universe to God."
Read the rest of the post by Jared Wilson here.


Cal Thomas at Bob Jones

Tonight, we had a convocation at Bob Jones University. The speaker was Cal Thomas, a Christian columnist and political commentator.

I was fully expecting to write a condemning post about his speech tonight. I'm too used to conservative Christians thinking that voting Republican and being capitalist pleases God. But his speech wasn't like that.

His speech was in two halves: a problem facing our world and the solution for that problem. He said that a major problem facing the west was Muslim immigration. He spent a major chunk of his time giving statistics of how the white population in Western Europe was declining and England, France, and many other countries would be mostly Muslim within this century.

His problem wasn't the main problem.

Yes, Muslim immigration is a slight threat to the peace of the United States. Muslim's have in the past, and will in the future, attacked this country for religious reasons. But the problem isn't Islam. It's mankind's inherent sin. And this problem doesn't just come with the Muslim's migrating to the west. Sin is a problem that is inside everyone, and threatens all of humanity.

Thomas' conclusion was spot on. It was great. He said that our hope wasn't in any political system or human being. Our only hope is in Jesus. He quoted "The Solid Rock."

"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand."

I know this overlaps a little with my last post, but it needed to be written. The only hope for this nation, or any nation, is Jesus. This nation must turn to God, or it will die.

I'm definitely going to have to start reading Cal Thomas. He's a politically conservative commentator who's citizenship and treasure is in heaven.


Why Capitalism (and a whole bunch of other stuff) Won't Work

Barack Obama has been under a lot of scrutiny lately. Most of it has to do with his health care plan that has conservatives in town-halls getting very, very angry. Obama is all about making sure everyone gets health care and that it doesn't cost too much. The conservatives are all about private health care and having the ability to choose.

One side thinks socialism will work. The other side thinks capitalism will work.

Both sides are wrong.

Why? Because we all have a genetic defect passed down from our earliest ancestor, Adam. Adam is the fellow responsible for bringing sin into the world. Sin is the thing responsible for screwing everything up.

Sin kills things, especially relationships. Why is there no such thing as a perfect marriage? Because there has never been a marriage that hasn't involved sinners. Why has there never been a church that hasn't ended up folding? Because all churches are made up of sinners.

And why has no government lasted for more than a few hundred years? Because those governing and those being governed are all sinners. Sin screws things up.

For millenia men have been promising to have the answer for men's problems, but no one has come up with it. Obama has his national health plan. That's gonna fail. The conservatives have capitalism. That's gonna fail. They both involve sinners.

So what would happen if someone perfect showed up? Could he change the world? Could he show us how to live like no one ever has? Could he, maybe, take away the thing that screws everything up?

Well that guy did show up. They called him Jesus. And he did have a way to fix everything. A way to take sin away. He called it the gospel.

The thing we gotta realize is the gospel changes everything. What's the solution to where I go when I die? The gospel. What's the solution for relationships involving sinners? The gospel. What's the solution for our economy? The gospel.

We can't look to the government to solve our problems. We can't look to the church as a political force.

We have to have the gospel change people. It's the only way this world will get any better.


Permission and Control

So, this is attempt number three to post this. I tried to text it to this blog, but I don't think that worked. (I can't check my blog, it's gay.) And I posted it on a Bob Jones forum, but that got deleted today. So, here we go.

I heard a missionary give an illustration I will never forget. I don't remember his name, where he lived, or what the rest of the message was about. He studied horticulture in college, and gave two illustrations about planting trees.

The first was about using rope to support a transplanted tree. You can use two ropes tied to stakes to make the tree stand straight up, but once those ropes are removed, the tree just falls over.

The second involved making what he called a "fifty dollar hole." You can buy topsoil that is full of nutrients to put in a hole and plant a tree there, but once the roots go beyond the rich soil into clay, the tree will slowly stop growing. If you just plant the tree in clay, it will grow slowly at first, but it will grow steadily.

It's the same way with rules and restrictions.

Here at Bob Jones, we are given a set of rules, an internet filter, and an pass system to make us "a more effective and well-polished follower of Christ." And yes, the rules do a pretty good job of keeping students from outward sin.

But sin isn't outward. It's a heart thing. Jesus told us that the person who wishes he could commit adultery with a woman is just as guilty as the guy who did. The same goes with hate and murder. Inward desire is just as bad as outward sin.

So, as far as being an "effective follower of Jesus Christ" (which is a good thing), how guilty is the couple who can't go off campus and have sex because of the rules?

What about the person who grew up their entire lives under restriction, and will soon go out into the real world. What will keep them from doing wrong?

I argue that while some restrictions are a good thing (key word "some"), most of the rules at Bob Jones are extra that don't help our walk with God at all. In fact, some of them probably hinder our walks with God.

I want to do right because I choose to, not because I have a university telling me I have to. I want to be able to set my own standards with my girlfriend, instead of just wanting to break BJU's. I don't want to be like a tree that is pampered or overprotected. I want to love God for myself, not cause I have to.


Living In The Bubble

Being in the bubble here at BJ means so many things. One of the main things is that I can no longer get on my blog on campus. Earlier this week I tried to update via text message, but I don't think that worked. For now, I've found a way that might work. We'll just have to test it out.