Friday, November 25, 2005

Morality of the World

The New Testament is never interested in conduct and behavior in itself. I can go further to say that the New Testament does not make an appeal for good behavior to anyone but to Christian people. The New Testament is not interested, as such, in morality of the world. It tells us quite plainly that you can expect nothing from the world but sin, and that in its fallen condition it is incapable of anything else. There is nothing, according to the New Testament that is so fatuous and so utterly futile, as to turn to such people and appeal to them to live the Christian life…. The Truth is that it only has one message for people like that—the message of repentance.-Martin Lloyd-Jones (Faith on Trial)

I mentioned this quote in passing last week, (not super sure if anyone caught it though) and it has been challenging me. I have two questions relating to it:
1. What does this quote imply for Youth Ministry, especially for teens parents who hope that youth groups/summer camps will produce such morality?
2. Without giving much credit to the religious right, does this effect our role in politics as voting Americans? Do we vote for morality that will be regulated on others?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Living in Captivity


My country, ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee
Author of liberty
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

Should God be America's king? Not should God be the king of some individuals living in America, but should we desire for God to be king over the politics of the Nation-State of America?
I don't think so, but feel free to disagree. Although many Americans feel that America has more in common with Ancient Israel than its enemy Babylon, I believe that we live in a country that is not a theocracy, and in which we must learn how to live as sojourners, as aliens. To do so, we began our study of Daniel today, looking at Daniel chapter 1, as an example of a God fearing man living an exemplary life in a "sanctified subversion" fashion. It is in the book of Daniel that we can see a man of God, living under the rule of a "pagan" King choosing not to rebel, not to fight for Godly moral standards for the land which he now occupies, and choosing not to live on the sidelines either, holding a meaningless Godrepresentative office, but rather striving to give glory to his creator, and striving to bless others. It seems like a nice model, so off we go, examining the life of a God fearer in captivity:

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

History of Judah's last kings

In preparation for our study on Daniel and the Exilic period, we examined the lives of the Kings of Judah, leading up to Nebuchadnezzer's victory. Rather than reading through 5 chapters of text out loud, each group was assigned a king and a narrative which they had to act out. Unfortunately we had no recording devices present to capture the moments forever, but Freddy's portrayal of King Josiah DEFEATING pharaoh Neco was inspiring.

2 Kings 23:29
29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Neco faced him and killed him at Megiddo.