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4.16.2007

Another tragic wake-up call....

"Where is the hope? I meet millions of Americans who tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us or what laws are passed or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working in the hearts of people. And that's where our hope is in this country; that's where our hope is in life." (Charles Colson)

I know that I must be among the thousands of people blogging about today's tragic turn of events at Virginia Tech, but... for some reason, I couldn't get it out of my mind. And though I'm not completely a fan of Charles Colson, this quote, which is featured at the beginning of Steven Curtis Chapman's album, "Heaven in the Real World," keeps echoing in my heart as I watch the news, whether it be the shootings today, or the tragic events happening throughout our country and the world on a daily basis. Where is the hope? Where is the peace? Do we truly believe it when we say, "He is our hope; He is our peace?"

Do we honestly agree with the confession that my only comfort in life and death is "that I belong - body and soul, in life and in death - not to myself, but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has competely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him?" (The Heidelberg Catechism, question 1)

Over the past months - and even year - I have become increasingly aware of, and consequently concerned of, the widespread movement of our reliance on God and His power and protection to the reliance on our own works and deeds to give us that comfort and assurance. Modern-day movements call for mystical reflection and prayer through the scriptures using new-age techniques such as labyrinths and mantras, Christian "self-help" books aim to give us the new answers to questions about life and purpose, and Christian pastors claim that prosperity is what God promises. All the while, the world looks on, hoping to find a solid answer for the misery they're experiencing. For the troubles they find themselves in. But, sadly, for the most part, it seems to be without merit. Where is the hope? Again, I ask - where is the peace?

It's time that we step up again and LIVE for Christ. It's time that we TRUSTED God's Word. I'm tired of going from church to church hearing a simple sermon on how to better my life. I'm tired of hearing from emerging church leaders saying that all we need to do is physically embody Jesus to the unchurched world through our actions. Am I alone in hungering and thirsting for a generation of people to take God at His Word - that the ONLY hope that we have is the hope that is found in a relationship with God? That that relationship - and that alone - is the answer to all of our problems?

Sure, it's good to feed the poor. Sure, it's good to try to help other people better their lives. But come on, people - not at the expense of sound Biblical doctrine and teaching!!! Charles Spurgeon put it best when he said, "The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire." (Charles Spurgeon)

The answer is God's people, earnestly empowered and set on fire by the honest and brutal truth of our depravity and God's atonement, changing the world for the Glory of His Name. That, and that alone will bring us the peace we have been looking and waiting for. It's not enough to try and skip the middle part to do it on our own - even for the "honorable" sake of not offending people.

People are looking for answers - especially in the wake of today's tragedy. It's time we take this, as Christians, as a total wake-up call to find our hope and comfort in God alone - and to be renewed by His Truth and His Word.

Any thoughts?

3 Comments:

  • Darryl, how did you find the Heidelberg? It is our church's catechism, so we know it quite well.

    I wish I had answers for you, my friend. God IS our ONLY comfort in life and in death. If we are in Christ, we are HIS, body and soul. He has fully satisfied God's just wrath toward us. And guess what? We are not only made right with God, we are made sons of God. O that the world would see and know Him!

    How have you been??

    By Blogger Jen, at 7:43 AM  

  • I've always been fond of the Heidelberg - I do think about reformed theology, even though I find myself attracted to the Calvary model. Actually, in recent months, I've been studying alot of John Piper and John MacArthur, both of whom consider themselves reformed.

    Things here are going well. It's just sad to see the state of things, not only in this world, but in the church.

    Someone once said that the rampant sin as addressed in Romans didn't begin with homosexuality as some would say, but rather before that when God gave them over to bad theology. (Romans 2:25) Sad.

    At any rate - how have you been??? Do you have any pics of the little ones to send? Have you given into the myspace phenom? It's been amazing the people that I've been able to track down through that - did you know that Susan Egan had a kid? Lots of stuff...

    Anyways, I'd better go - keep in touch - and thanks for the dialogue! I appreciate having someone intelligent to talk to about things like this without writing me off as some conservative Bible thumper. :-)

    Take care,
    Darryl

    By Blogger Darryl, at 9:42 AM  

  • I'm writing you off you conservative Bible thumper...
    thanks, up until 2 minutes ago I considered myself intelligent conversation.
    -your wife

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:50 PM  

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