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Are You Scared of This World, Distracted By It, or Both?

June 8, 2009

scared looney toons

As a Christian, are you scared of popular opinion? Especially when you believe something the Bible says that isn’t popular according to popular opnion? Why? Do you have it on your to-do list to “make sure the world approves of me”? Are you afraid that people will be intolerant of your intolerance of silly and evil beliefs? If so, why? Either way, someone is being intolerant, and the truth is always more liberating and freeing. Have you spent any time learning about why only the Christian worldview makes sense so you can be more confident about what you believe and sleep like a baby? If not, why? Let Jesus be the hero of every sermon, the point of every text of Scripture, the answer to all the questions, and the focus of all the lives.

Consider Mat 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

I have often thought this verse taught that many wont be saved, which seemed in direct contradiction to Heb 11:12 which says that in the end there will be countless believers when all is said and done. “And so from this one man (Abraham – the Father of the faith which justifies the ungodly (Rom 4:5)), and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

However, here is what I believe to be an excellent commentary on Mat 7:13-14 which takes into account the entire context of the passage, as there were no chapter and verse divisions in Scripture until the 11th century (which can make this passage misleading).

“These verses lead into His teaching on false prophets. From its context, it appears that Jesus says that false ministers will neither acknowledge or teach the narrow way that leads to life, the narrow way that leads to persecution. Instead, they will do just what God shows the Old Testament false prophets did: They will teach “peace, peace”—the smooth, easy, and broad way.

In other words, they will teach that Christians need make no sacrifices in their obedience to God. It is so interesting that, in the last few years in the church, so many things have been liberalized. Are we getting away from the straight and the narrow, the difficult and the sacrificial way?”

~ John W. Ritenbaugh

What is the answer to our world’s problems? Is it Christ doing away with sin and Him reigning, or is it keeping our sin and trying to find a way apart from Christ? People say that Christianity is the way of an old system which hasn’t worked. We are supposedly so advanced now because people have college degrees, can be little Socrotes’ running around, and have ipods. But doing away with Christ IS an old system too which hasn’t worked. The real matter at hand is, “what is truth?” Christ says “the truth will set you free”. He also said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”.

So many Christians today are increasingly backing down from the truth. We are more prone to impress the World then impress God. We fear the World and go out of our way to not offend it and be approved by it, rather then God. The thing is though, God’s ways are good, right, true, and God is the final Judge in the end. He gets the last word and the last laugh. Why would you want to be on the team that will get put to shame in the end? Even if it is popular right now. It’s not popular in Heaven where the God of the Universe rules, and it eventually wont be popular when He fully rules here. Who is God to you? Is it a God-hostile college professor, a non-God fearing politician, or Jesus Christ who is returning to judge every thought, action, and motive?

distracted

On the other hand, are you too distracted by the World to be of any Christian good before you stop sucking oxygen here and die soon?

Check out this other commentary following Mat 7:13-14 by Martin G. Collins:

“The thorny ground symbolizes those who become consumed by the anxieties of this physical life and the deceitful enticement of wealth. The constant pressures of everyday life, providing sustenance, maintaining employment, seeking education, performing social duties, etc. can be distracting, causing Christians to ignore God and spiritual growth.

The desire for wealth magnifies this distraction. It is enticing but yields the expected rewards: It promises to make us happy, but when gained, leaves us spiritually empty (I Timothy 6:7-10). The temptation and pursuit of wealth produces bad fruit: dishonesty, stealing, oppression of the poor, and taking advantage of others.

The good ground corresponds to those whose hearts and minds are softened by God’s calling and receive it genuinely. They are a rich and fine soil, a mind that submits itself to the full influence of God’s truth (Acts 22:14; Ephesians 4:1-6). The called of God not only accept His Word, the message of Jesus Christ, as rich soil accepts a seed for growth, they also bear much fruit (John 15:5, 8).”

~ Martin G. Collins

What is distracting you as a comfortable American to not be about doing God’s will and serving His kingdom? Are you witnessing to anyone? Do you even know how to? Are you helping those in need? Do you even want to? Are you contending for the truth and standing strong on God’s Word? Even if that means you wont be approved by a deranged popular opinion? I find myself along with others far too distracted by the American lifestyle. Even in this time of economic uncertainty we are distracted if not more distracted with our own problems.

Our attention is focused too much on our jobs, our pleasures, our hobbies, our needs, our wants, our pointless plans, etc. We must deliberately make time for that which is most important, God’s kingdom. It’s all about me, me, me, and the person in the mirror. No, it’s about God’s will and His kingdom. What we do now counts for eternity. Your luxuries and your avoidance of being inconvenienced and irritated at all costs is not most important. What about God and His kingdom and His righteousness and His truth?

And in case you’re looking for more meaning, fulfillment, and adventure in your life like everyone else is, then start being about these things.

So what can we do? Be about God’s kingdom at your job, at your home, and wherever you go. Who can you share the good news with? What is the good news? What is the bad news? How can you help someone in need? How can you become more like Christ? How can you contend for Christ and stand for His truth? How can you love fellow believers and enemies today? How can you do so while being clever, innocent, and loving, even if you’re hated like Jesus for it? You can’t avoid persecution like Christ, and you can’t out give Christ. You can keep on giving and giving until you die – in some way.

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17 comments

  1. blah blah blah blah


  2. strokeofego, when I originally said that Naturalists could post “blah blah blah blah” and have it be just as truthful as any other argument, it was only in accordance to their worldview. Therefore, if Naturalism were the case you could also agree with my thread here 100% and it wouldn’t make a difference. But for some reason you chose not to post that you agree with me 100%.

    Therefore, you’re acting more consistent with my worldview when you deliberately post “blah blah blah blah” on my posts, and attempt to be rational on the non-Christian threads. Amazing!


  3. “Therefore, you’re acting more consistent with my worldview when you deliberately post “blah blah blah blah” on my posts, and attempt to be rational on the non-Christian threads.”

    we both know that i’ve refuted that dead horse multiple times.

    you haven’t yet gotten a clue that you must assume a rational, objective world in order to argue from any perspective? it’s not the other way around! you assume a rational material world and use that assumption to argue for a cartoon universe based on the contingency of consciousness and will!


  4. Sorry you haven’t Cirri. Your responses are very hard to understand most of the time. You talk in a very vague way and use too many words. You also give your opinions way more then you present actual arguments.

    I believe in a rational objective world. Did I say I didn’t? If so where? And what do you mean by objective exactly? You use that word a lot as though it’s so powerful. I’m not sure how your using it. I hope you’re sure how you’re using it. You don’t objectively know that you’re not in the Matrix right now and that everything you think is real, really isn’t real.


  5. it’s not my fault that you can’t grasp the distinction between vagueness and coherency. my arguments may not be simple but they are not vague. they are about as clear as you can get. what is evident is real and it stops there. obviously, supporting that position requires more explanation. if you don’t comprehend the explanation then maybe you should study the position more thoroughly before you assume it’s wrong.

    the matrix argument is about as dumb as the BIV argument. if i am in the matrix and i never become aware of it, then exactly what practical value does the possibility have? if i do become aware of it at some point, then it will simply become a part of objective reality.


  6. And then once you were out of the Matrix you’d have no standard to show you that that wasn’t also a Matrix. You’re caught in an infinite regress. So you’re only assuming there is objective reality. On what bases do you assume that?

    And you never answered my simple question. What do you mean by “objective reality”? Would this be like real reality as opposed to the illusion of reality?


  7. well, since i’m online i’ll use dictionary.com

    of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.

    you see, cameron, you have to start somewhere and it makes no sense to assume solipsism and start with your own consciousness. you start with existents which are independent of your consciousness. if you want to pretend that there’s a matrix behind everything, then you’re welcome to but let me ask you, exactly where does that game get you? do you still have to go to work tomorrow in this game? do you still have the responsibilities of real life when you’re playing? of course you do because all you’re doing is playing a mind game, doing thought experiments that have no bearing on reality. which is another evidence that existence comes before consciousness, the fact that consciousness does not change existence. you can imagine all you want that there’s a matrix but your thought process still hasn’t conjured one up, has it? of course not. so when you’re done playing sci fi fantasy, then maybe we can have a grown up conversation?


  8. then you’re welcome to but let me ask you, exactly where does that game get you?

    So your conclusion is “I just go with what I percieve to be “objective” or what I percieve to be reality”.

    And going to work, having reponsibilities, having a real morality, having meanings, etc. all ties into how you account for your supposed “objective reality”. That’s been my whole point all along.

    Just because you do these things doesn’t necessarily mean that your world is reality. You’re only begging the question. You’re in the same predicament you are charging me to be in. You’re just being like a nagging wife and having double standards with your argument. That’s all.


  9. not really. there is a difference here. i have a basis of evidence. objective, transferable evidence. i don’t assume that a rock exists. it exists. if you say that it might not exist then you are speculating.

    let me ask you, are our perceptions fallible? and if so, name one percept that is incorrect.


  10. Now you’re begging the question. You don’t know a rock “really” exists anymore then Neo knows that the restaurant he ate noodles in was real. If you say the rock “really” exists, then you are speculating too. Everyone is speculating but Cirri thinks he is God and isn’t.

    Even if I name a perception that is incorrect I am assuming a perception that is correct, namely, that a given perception is incorrect! But why this challenge Cirri?


  11. begging the question? are you serious? listen cameron, the matrix is only a movie. i like to deal with the real world. does my mind, my consciousness change anything about the rock? can i manipulate what i perceive to be outside of me simply by using conscious thought? no you can’t. you can’t bend the spoon. existence comes before consciousness.

    i love how topics like these always degrade to a christian accusing a non christian of self worship or self deification. what’s really going on here is that i can show you a rock. i can spend a lifetime showing you various rocks and your hopeless argument, that it might not exist, will never, ever bear any fruit.

    i was curious. now i’m not. it’s another area where you use a self refuting argument you use your powers of perception to argue against the validity of that perception. so your argument refutes itself. you do that a lot.


  12. can i manipulate what i perceive to be outside of me simply by using conscious thought? no you can’t. you can’t bend the spoon. existence comes before consciousness.

    Now you’re changing the subject to be about manipulating things with thought, thus conceding that you don’t know if what you percieve as reality is real. You’re assuming that your perception that “existence comes before consciousness” is reality. Thus, begging the question.

    i love how topics like these always degrade to a christian accusing a non christian of self worship or self deification.

    Why, because it’s true?

    i can spend a lifetime showing you various rocks and your hopeless argument, that it might not exist, will never, ever bear any fruit.

    My argument is that you aren’t able to hold the market on pure “objectivity” within your worldview like you have been smirking about. That’s all. Again, you’re conceding because you’re changing the topic to your ability to show me what you pervieve to be a rock. Next, you need to account for why you trust what you percieve and why it’s really real.

    i was curious. now i’m not. it’s another area where you use a self refuting argument you use your powers of perception to argue against the validity of that perception. so your argument refutes itself. you do that a lot.

    I said “I assume it’s reality”, not that “I know for sure it’s reality”. Just because I assume it, doesn’t make it so. I answered the way I did and asked you “why this challenge” because I wanted to know where you were trying to go with that question. So there’s no self-refutation.

    You asked “are our perceptions fallible?” The answer is “yes”. Now you want me to name one that is incorrect. I can’t do this unless I first now what is “correct” so I have a standard to compare it to. The core question is “on what bases to we trust what we percieve and know what is really real?”


  13. i’m not changing the subject. i’m pointing out inconsistencies in a consciousness before existence world view. it necessarily entails that existents are a product of consciousness, not vice versa. one reason that’s a weak argument is because consciousness has no control over existents.

    no, not because it’s true. because it’s one of the most obvious uses of a straw man and it indicates the likely weakness of a position.

    my argument is the only one between us that uses objectivity. if you’re saying that it’s not objective to claim that the sun is going to rise tomorrow then you might be hopeless and i’m not sure what else to say. i’m going to continue and assume that this, “is reality real” thing is just a little stagger on your part because you must know, that if your serious, there’s absolutely no point in even having a debate.how would one become aware that reality wasn’t real? and if they achieved that awareness then how would they know that that awareness was real? see how this could get absurd? it’s not an argument that holds any practical value.

    so, why i trust “that it’s really real”. i don’t. i just actually exist in it from day to day. if it is an illusion and there is an “i” then i am perceiving the illusion a it is and acting in it according to how it can be acted in and thus my position is based on objectivity in the context of the illusion.

    you say that perceptions are fallible and then immediately say that you have no way to make a distinction between ones that are correct and incorrect. how then is it possible for you to say that they are fallible?

    so, neo, given that we may be in the matrix, can you give me an example of a perception that is incorrect in relation to the context of this all being a possible illusion?


  14. I’m not saying our consciousness existed before matter existed b/c Scripture doesn’t teach that(Gen 1:1), but that God’s did. Moreover, His is a consciousness that is an eternal mind accounting for all abstract and absolute meanings. I’m still waiting for you to demonstrate (theoretically) how meanings don’t have to be absolute and are physical.

    so, why i trust “that it’s really real”. i don’t. i just actually exist in it from day to day. if it is an illusion and there is an “i” then i am perceiving the illusion a it is and acting in it according to how it can be acted in and thus my position is based on objectivity in the context of the illusion.

    Then when you say “I’m Cirri and I’m objective”, what you really mean is “I’m Cirri and I’m potentially under the illusion that I’m objective”. And you can’t say you’re objective within an illusion, because it’s an illusion. Your thoughts, beliefs, and conclusions, not just your 5-senses, could all be an illusion too.

    you say that perceptions are fallible and then immediately say that you have no way to make a distinction between ones that are correct and incorrect. how then is it possible for you to say that they are fallible?

    Just because I assume that truth must pre-exist before what is false can be a possibility, doesn’t mean I can then distinguish between the two. Even my assumption of this could be an illusion. You still must assume that your objectivity is objective, just as I must with mine. You and I can’t prove that it is and even if we could, it all could still be an illusion.

    so, neo, given that we may be in the matrix, can you give me an example of a perception that is incorrect in relation to the context of this all being a possible illusion?

    Any possible perception could be incorrect. Even the perception that perceptions are incorrect and so on into infinity. But all this assumes a standard of “correctness” which doesn’t prove the standard, but shows that we live like there is one.

    If there is one, what does Cirri think it is, and how does he know what it is?


  15. it’s still a primacy of consciousness view which negates the absoluteness of any physical law and places them in a context of contingency.

    i have explained that meanings don’t have to be absolute in every sense. as i’ve stated before, as long as a human exists, they exist as humans absolutely but when they no longer exist, they can’t possibly have a meaning or a place in the universe. just as humans did not have a meaning or place before they existed. just as the planet earth did was not the planet earth until it was formed. and if it’s destroyed, it will no longer be the planet earth. and if no being that uses meaning remains, then earth will no longer have any meaning.

    in the context of that illusion i’m perceiving correctly that illusion.

    comparing your sense of objectivity to mine in this case is pretty absurd. you have given yourself no basis for argument. everything you say from here on out should not be considered valid in any way. you’ve pulled the rug out from under your own feet by claiming that any perception could be an illusion and the perception of an illusion could be an illusion of an illusion. this is a self refuting position because you necessarily rely on your perception to even be able to formulate that idea. i’m sorry, not formulate, to regurgitate that idea. you have no foundation. i recognize the fallacy in that form of reasoning and while i accept that everything may possibly be some sort of matrix like illusion, i also realize that for this assumption to be considered more than a possibility it would require evidence gathered through the use of guess what, sensory perception.

    so, until you have more than thought experiments, i wouldn’t go around telling people that there is no objective reason to believe that the sun exists, or that we landed on the moon. people might think that you’re on lsd.

    i don’t think there is one. i haven’t been given an example of one yet.


  16. i have explained that meanings don’t have to be absolute in every sense. as i’ve stated before, as long as a human exists, they exist as humans absolutely but when they no longer exist, they can’t possibly have a meaning or a place in the universe.

    So meanings exist as humans? Huh? So if meanings don’t have to be absolute, such as the meaning of “absolute”, then this meaning can change to mean “volatile” and you’re really saying “meanings don’t have to be volatile”. So that would mean you’re saying meanings have to be absolute. Wow! Therefore, since meanings aren’t absolute to you, when you disagree with me, you’re actually agreeing with me!!!

    in the context of that illusion i’m perceiving correctly that illusion.

    And that could also be an illusion.

    comparing your sense of objectivity to mine in this case is pretty absurd. you have given yourself no basis for argument. everything you say from here on out should not be considered valid in any way.

    I have no problem with that. And what I said previously still stands: (Then when you say “I’m Cirri and I’m objective”, what you really mean is “I’m Cirri and I’m potentially under the illusion that I’m objective”.) Therefore, no matter what you say or believe, you’re potentially not objective!

    i also realize that for this assumption to be considered more than a possibility it would require evidence gathered through the use of guess what, sensory perception.

    You’re begging the question. The conclusions which evidence leads you to could all be an illusion too. You would have no way to know for certain. Don’t you love the demands which certainty places on you?!

    so, until you have more than thought experiments, i wouldn’t go around telling people that there is no objective reason to believe that the sun exists, or that we landed on the moon. people might think that you’re on lsd.

    i don’t think there is one. i haven’t been given an example of one yet.

    Physical experiments can’t account for absolute abstract meanings, because you can only observe the physically finite. It is only your presupposition that “physical” experiments lead to all truth. But that presupposition itself isn’t physically provable. And I have more good reason to believe the sun will rise if Christ holds it together and says He will continue to do so (Jer 31:35, 33:25; Psa 74:16-14) for His glory, rather then trusting “?” to control the sun.

    I’m sure they will believe I’m on lsd. Scripture account for this in Rom 1:18-20 and 8:6-8. And given this possible illusion we are in, I can still show how my presuppositions of it comport more then any other worldview. All this backs up why I believe I can know for certain because that which is certain has revealed itself to me. God’s special revelation of Himself and us perfectly comports with what we accept to be reality.

    I have been kicked off of multiple atheist forums and blogs for simply offering respectful and intellectual dialogue. They kicked me off in a matter of a few posts too. Maybe I seemed too threatening to them. I don’t know b/c no reason was given to me. I have been polite to let you dialogue with me on this topic, and many others for a long duration. I’ve even let you have the last word on certain threads. You’ve had the opportunity to say your piece on this one and I as well.

    Thanks for the discussion. I’ll have this response be the last since you had the first. Go in peace and may Christ reveal Himself to you in your heart, mind, and life. 🙂


  17. “Thanks for the discussion. I’ll have this response be the last since you had the first. Go in peace and may Christ reveal Himself to you in your heart, mind, and life.”

    I like these words. You are my hero.



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