COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"Francis Schaeffer" Tagged Sermons

DISCERNMENT IN A INVERTED WORLD

Quick facts on 1 John: (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary vol.14 Page 10).
It was written around AD 90.
It was written either in Ephesus or Patmos by John the apostle, son of Zebedee
Why was it written?
So that believers would have fellowship with the Father and the Son and fellowship with one another in the Spirit resulting in a joyful clean discerning and confident life. (1: Jn. 1:3-4; 2:1; 5:13).

• Fellowship produces a joyful life (1:1-10).
• Fellowship produces a clean life (2:1-17).
• Fellowship produces a discerning life (2:18-4:6)
• Fellowship produces a confident life (4:7-521)

• Spirit = pneuma (Strongs 4151) “breath or wind”
• Test = dokimazo (Strongs 1381) to examine, check it out, is it really authentic.
• Confess or acknowledge = homologeo (Strongs 3670) factual, wholehearted, a profession of allegiance ie (Titus 1:16).
• Truth versus Error
• Children of God versus antichrist (those in the world, those from the world, see also Eph.2:1-10).
• We are victors not victims.

Quote from Francis A Schaeffer, Two Contents, Two Realities
…First it means Jesus had an eternal pre-existence as the second person of the Trinity, and then it means he came in the flesh. When a prophet or a spirit comes to you, the test of whether he should be accepted or rejected is not the experience that the spirit or prophet gives you nor is it the strength of the emotion which the spirit or the prophet gives you. Nor is it any special outward manifestation that the spirit or the prophet may give you. The basis of accepting the spirit or prophet—and the basis of Christian fellowship—is Christian doctrine. There is no other final test. Satan can counterfeit and he will.
Also Francis A. Shaeffer states in his book “The Church at the end of the 20th Century page 103,
. . . biblical Christianity must make very plain that it will deal only with hot communication. Biblical Christianity rest upon content, factual content. it does not cause people to react merely emotionally in the first-order experience.

. . . Our faith must be discriminating, discerning, distinguishing faith.
“Do not believe every spirit” and “test the spirits” (4:1).

Seven Statements: ( From Chuck Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary page 108).

1). Never forget that we’re living in treacherous times (Matt.24:11; 2Tim.3:1-9).

2). Doctrinal discernment plays a vital role in surviving . . . and thriving (2 Tim. 3:14-16 1 Tim.4:1-16).

3). Historical roots and doctrinal truth must continue to be valued and embraced (1 Pet.1:10; Jude 1:1-25).

4). Each generation of believers has a serious responsibility to keep the faith ( 2Tim.3:10-17).

5). The church’s leaders are called to guide well the church’s ministry (Eph.4:1-16).

6). The church’s leaders are given the task of guiding the church’s people (Eph.4:1-16; Acts 20:28-32).

7). A strong and healthy church today is no guarantee of the same tomorrow (1 Tim. 4:1).

FIRST THINGS FIRST – part II

The author Scott David Allen in his book “Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice” on pages 56-58 explains the ideological differences between Social Justice movement and the Biblical Worldview.
CORE TENETS OF IDEOLOGICAL SOCIAL JUSTICE CONTRASTED WITH THE BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW:
What is ultimately real?
• SJ: The human mind defines what is ultimately real.
• BWV: The God of Genesis 1:1 defines ultimate reality: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Who are we?
• SJ: Creatures whose identity is wholly socially determined. We are products of our race, sex, and gender identity.
• BWV: Creations and image bearers of a good, holy, and loving God with inherent dignity and immeasurable worth.
What is our fundamental problem as human beings?
• SJ: OPPRESSION: White, heteronormative males have established and maintained hegemonic (dominance or control over all facets of society) power structures to oppress and subjugate women, people of color, and sexual minorities.
• BWV: REBELLION: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Our rebellion against God has resulted in broken relationships – between God and man, between man and his fellow man, and between man and his creation.
What is the solution to our problem?
• SJ: REVOLUTION: Oppressed victims and their allies must unite to unmask, deconstruct, and overthrow these oppressive power structures, systems, and institutions.
• BWV: THE GOSPEL: On the cross, God incarnate bore the punishment we deserved for sinful rebellion in order to show us a mercy we could never deserve. His death on the cross and His resurrection opened the way for the reconciliation of all our broken relationships.
How can we be saved?
• SJ: Victims are morally innocent and do not require salvation. Oppressors can never be fully pardoned, but partial salvation is available if they confess their complicity in oppression and support the revolution.
• BWV: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. … everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ( Roman 10:9, 13)
What is our primary moral duty?
• SJ: To stand in solidarity with, protect, and defend the oppressed: women, people of color, sexual minorities (LGBTQ+),etc.
• BWV: To love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength ( which involves living in obedience to all that Christ commanded) and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
How do we know what is true?
• SJ: The notions of objective truth, reason, logic, evidence, and argument are discredited tools that oppressors employ to maintain their hegemony. We gain knowledge of “truth” through victims, who, based on their lived experience of oppression, have greater insight than oppressors. This is referred to as Standpoint Epistemology.
• BWV: Divine Revelation: (1) God’s written Word (2 Tim. 3:13); (2) the “law written on our heart,” or human conscience (Romans 2:15) and God’s revelation in creation (Romans 1:20). To this we apply our God given capacity for reason, logic, discussion, and debate to assemble and weigh evidence in pursuit of truth.
Who has ultimate authority?
• SJ: Victims are the final authority. The claims of victims based on their subjective, lived experiences must be believed without question.
• BWV: God ( and His revealed Word in Scripture) is the final authority.
Is there a future, final judgement?
• No. There is no god who will return to punish the wicked and reward the upright. Rather, injustice must be rooted out here and now by those with the power to do so.
• Yes. Jesus will return and accomplish perfect justice. He will preserve all that is good and rid the world of all that is evil. Until then, He extends mercy and forgiveness to sinful people.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Nobody Home, Nowhere To Run, Just a Dead End Alleyway (following quotes from the Complete Works Of Francis Schaeffer volume 4 & 5.
• “For man is not just a chance configuration of atoms in the slip stream of meaningless chance history”. NO, MAN, made in the image of God, has a purpose-to be in relationship to the God who is there.”
• “What marks our own generation? It is the fact that modern man thinks there is nobody home in the universe. NOBODY TO LOVE, NOBODY COMFORT HIM, even while he seeks desperately to find comfort in the limited, finite, horizontal relationships of life.”
• The Fragmentation of Humanity:
Theological: fragmentation between God and man
Psychological: fragmentation between man and his mind, his soul or heart
Sociological: fragmentation between man and his neighbor (humanity & nations)
What or who fills the fractures?
• Resulting ethos: The erosion of cultural norms (absolutes, form and freedom, the Constitutional authority) that has led to a vacuum thereby lending to an elite group who give authoritative arbitrary absolutes. To quote FAS “… if there is no absolutes by which to judge society, then society becomes absolute.”

TWO KINGDOMS
Our confrontation now in America is with the Kingdom of Man: TYRANNY>ONENESS
Our Hope for Humanity comes in an Invitation to the Kingdom of God:
Matthew 3:1
Matthew 4:17
• Repent: “RETHINK YOUR THINKING. Repent , as Jesus commanded in Matthew 4:17. REPENT just means to turn back on how you are thinking about things and reconsider”.(book by Dallas Willard, “Living In Christ Presence” p. 15).
Matthew 6:32-33
• Seek First the Kingdom of God:
Hebrews 11:6; Jeremiah 29:13
Authenticity in seeking
• The Story of Nicodemus: an example of authentic seeking
John 3:1-21
• Rebirth: Born IntoThe Kingdom Of God (Metamorphosis)
• A renewed existence, a second birth, the real you whom God indwells creating a masterpiece to accomplish great things in you and through you.
• A NEW PERSON: see 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
• A NEW IDENTITY: 1Peter 2:4-12
• A Kingdom Life: Colossians 1:11-14

THE FAITH FACTORY

C.S. Lewis published the out of print book titled:
“The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment” sub-titled: “God in the Dock”
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their conscience.”

January 29, 2020 Timothy Akinyomi published an opinion article in the “Businessday.ng” In the article he quoted Ronald Coase, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess to anything”.

Louis Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, and contemporary movements. Wikipedia. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

On April 2, 2020, Madeline Chambers wrote an article in the “Thomson Reuters Foundation News” titled:
“Germans Snitch on Neighbors Flouting Virus Rules, in Echo of the Stasi Past”
In the article the reporter explained that “Munich police took up to 150 calls every day last week from citizens reporting alleged breaches of corona rules.”

Douglas Axe, William Briggs and Jay Richards, have just published a book under the title:
“THE PRICE OF PANIC” subtitled:
“How the Tyranny of Experts turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe”
Under the chapter: “What about Masks?” they write:
“At first, neither WHO nor the CDC encouraged masks for healthy people, perhaps because it’s so easy to misuse them and they feared shortages among healthcare workers. Moreover, the WHO report says: “There is a moderate overall quality of evidence that face masks do not have a substantial effect on transmission of influence.”
The message from WHO and the CDC did not inspire confidence. They seemed to be saying both that masks don’t work, and that people shouldn’t hoard them because healthcare workers need them. Surgeon General Jerome Adams managed to distill this confusing message into a single tweet.
On February 28, he wrote:
“Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT EFFECTIVE in preventing general public from catching #Coronovirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk.”
It looks like the CDC was trying to herd sheep rather than reason with adults.
In the end, face coverings may have been as much about signaling and social control as about science and safety.”

Under the chapter: “High School Science Fair” they write:
“Perhaps the weirdest fact about coronavirus models was described in a NEW YORK TIMES article: “THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE BIRTH OF SOCIAL DISTANCING.”
The idea started as “an important discovery kicked off by a high school research project pursued by the daughter of a scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories.”
In 2006, fourteen-year old Laura Glass developed a model of social networks in her high school in Albuquerque. That’s impressive. But what’s troubling is that this science-fair project gave rise to the template of shutting the world down on the signal from health authorities.
This dystopian progression started when Laura’s dad, Sandia National Laboratories scientist David Glass, took notice. The two expanded on the idea by applying the model to a pandemic, and they published a paper on it with two other authors in a CDC journal. It’s called: “Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza.”

“The excited authors of this paper sent their simulation to a
Dr. D.A. Henderson, who was, as the New York Times explains, “the leader of the international effort to eradicate smallpox and had been named by (President) Bush to help oversee the nations biodefense efforts after the 2001 terrorist attacks.”
Henderson pushed back, saying that “it made no sense to force schools to close or public gatherings to stop.” Indeed, if authorities adopted such policies, he rightly discerned, the result would be “possibly serious economic problems.”
Henderson had vast scientific expertise and broad and pertinent experience dealing with such crisis. His advice? We should “TOUGH IT OUT: LET THE PANDEMIC SPREAD, TREAT PEOPLE WHO GET SICK AND WORK QUICKLY TO DEVELOP A VACCINE TO PREVENT IT FROM COMING BACK.”

Francis Schaeffer in his book published in 1968 “The God Who is There” writes:
“Demonstrating God’s character must be existential. As far as living is concerned, we are on the knife-edge of time.
What will matter is our relationship to the Lord Jesus, individually and then corporately, at this existential moment. What counts, as men look upon us individually and corporately, is whether we are exhibiting God and His character NOW. The Christian position is not static, but is LIVING.”

HOW COULD THIS EVER HAPPEN?

About 40 years ago, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general of the Unites States, gave a lecture in which Francis Schaeffer made an astounding prediction. Ravi Zacharias attended this lecture and recalls it in his book titled WHY JESUS?
“At that talk, Schaeffer made a comment that caught me by surprise.
He said that the day was coming in the West when the name of Jesus
would not be recognized by the average young person; and if it were recognized, not a single historical fact about him would be known.
At that time I found this statement a bit hard to swallow and wondered
if he had said it just to be provocative. But a generation later, it is appearing to be quite true.”

Let me quote one more time Ravi Zacharias here:
“When you look back in the Old Testament, you see that in spite of all the instruction about worship, often repeated, and astounding loss nevertheless had occurred. All that the priests could control, they did. All that the ceremonies could control, they used to their advantage. And when a select or elect few control and sell salvation, the victim is always the common person. No religion is spared here.
One would think that this New Spirituality has brought about a new Eden and that its river flow peacefully and calmly. But it is not so…In fact, it has never been so. Few arenas lend themselves to abuse and loss as that of religion.”

Ravi Zacharias writes:
“It has been the beautiful teaching of the Word of God across time that has given this nation its ethos. It was this Word of God that put a song into the hearts of slaves during their darkest days. It was this Word of God that gave William Wilberforce in England the conviction and the courage to speak out against slavery and sustained him in the long struggle to see it abolished in the British Commonwealth. It was this Word of God that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. in his pursuit of civil liberty…And the same Word of God has transformed the life of many a prisoner, and of many others I could tell of, from some of the darkest parts of the world where the light of God’s Word has shone. Any nation that neglects teaching the sacredness of life and the family does so at its own peril. Any nation that sanctions the removal of God’s boundaries will destroy its own.”

Ravi Zacharias’ commentary on John 18 says:
“If there is any passage of Scripture that accurately describes our modern-day contempt for truth, our attachment to power, and our voluntary surrender to culture, it is this. It is not accidental that religious authorities, political appointees, and cultural symbols have come together to crucify him once again in our day. Barabbas was released…a cultural practice was fulfilled. “We have a law” … Political correctness was enjoyed. “he claims to be the Son of God…kill him” …all at the behest and with the blessing of religion. The irony is that he wanted to be owned by none of the three: culture, politics, or religion.”

THE ONE WHO CONQUERS

George Elliot said it right:
“What makes life dreary is absence of motive. What makes life complicated is multiplicity of motive. What makes life victorious is singleness of motive.”

Francis Schaeffer:
“Man, made in the image of God, has a purpose; to be in relationship to God, who is there. Man forgets his purpose and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.”

In one of the commentaries on the book of Philippians, the author writes:
“Christians who cease to stand out begin to blend into their surrounding culture.”
“When the mindset and values of secular society concerning lifestyles, faith, morality, responsibility, conduct, marriage, sexuality, and truth influence one’s mind and take hold of ones’ heart they inevitably affect one’s attitude and behavior. Society begins to influence the life and mission of the church rather than the other way around…
Tragically, light gives way to darkness.”