Thursday, October 25, 2012

God will still be on His throne after the second week of November

I am thankful to live in a country where citizens have the right and responsibility to vote for their legislators. From the smallest local election to the presidential race, Americans have an opportunity not too many others have had in world history. We even vote to approve judges in our court system and on certain city taxes.

In the next couple of weeks there will be a sizable turnover in all sorts of offices across the country.

Every Christian should make a careful choice about votes they are casting. In my opinion, the general question each believer should ask is- How will this vote help the advance of the Church and its work in the world? Please don't construe this to mean the government should promote Christianity or the Church, I just mean it should stay out of the way.  The government should stick to it's primary role of restraining evil (Romans 13 style) and not meddle in all sorts of other places.  I vote for candidates who offer the most assurance they will help preserve the freedoms of God’s Church to do it’s work of preaching the gospel and ministering in the name of Christ to all people. Yes, I know there are complex issues involved with races for political or judicial offices and the candidates involved can be difficult to interpret. Still, voting is a critical part of our country’s life, culture, and future. There is no excuse for Christians not participating thoughtfully and responsibly. Believers do their country a service, whether it is appreciated or not, by diligently participating in the political process.

Having said all that, important perspective is needed. What is absolutely certain in these turbulent, transitional times? Unless Christ returns first, in thirty days God will still be ruling from His throne with the Lord Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand and His Spirit working in and through the Church on earth to carry out His will, irrespective of those who win their race for judge, sheriff, commissioner, governor, senator, representative, or president.

May God guide the imminent election process and bless every elected official with a sense of God’s righteous standards and compassion. May God grant the Church great boldness and effectiveness in preaching and living the gospel among our countrymen, no matter who takes office.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding”. - Daniel 2:20-21

Monday, October 22, 2012

No Communion for Biden in Colorado Springs

I am often critical of the lack of discipline exerted by the Roman Catholic church on it's members who advocate for abortion.

Credit must be given for the consistent leadership of Bishop (of Colorado Springs) Michael Sheridan who, in a recent interview with columnist Daniel Cole, expressed his opposition to pro-abortion Vice President Biden, a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Here's a snippet-

Cole asked Bishop Sheridan: “If Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, were to swing through Colorado Springs on a campaign tour and attend your Mass, would you deny him Communion?” 

Replied Sheridan, “He should know, and I would do everything I could do to make sure that he knows, he ought not to be receiving Communion.”

Sheridan has been a strong, consistent, Bishop on the matter of life.  A few years back he wrote publicly in his diocese-

Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences. It is for this reason that these Catholics, whether candidates for office or those who would vote for them, may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance.

See the New American post that details Sheridan's actions here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Clark, Van Til, and their common Savior

Portrait of Gordon H. Clark at Sangre De Cristo Seminary

This won't likely intrigue my usual readers, but for those acquainted with the Gordon Clark-Cornelius Van Til controversy, a recent discovery I made might be a blessing to them.

I was required to read several works by Gordon Clark for my doctoral program. I had not been previously exposed to Clark, but knew he caused quite a bit of controversy in the American Reformed world in the 1940’s and 50’s. I also learned somewhere that he and the much celebrated Westminster Seminary icon, Cornelius Van Til, were at odds during their respective lives and ministries. One has only to do a web search on “The Clark-Van Til Controversy” to witness the sharp lines drawn between the modern followers of these two reformed theologians of the last century.  Some of the dialogue between modern “Clarkians” and “Van Tillians”, especially in this blog era,  proves embarrassing for the reformed church.  I urge teachers of the Word to ignore characterizations of Clark (from modern followers or detractors alike) and read Dr. Clark for themselves.  I sincerely hope Clark's writings can be recirculated and considered as his view of Scripture and revelation are immediately relevant and important for the modern evangelical church, to say nothing of the reformed community also.

The reason for this post isn't to re-hash the controversy, but rather to share something I found very interesting and even exciting.

I serve on the board of Horn Creek Conference Center in Westcliffe, Colorado. While not officially related, the Sangre De Cristo Seminary is located right next to Horn Creek. Dr. Andrew Zeller is the current president of the seminary and the grandson of Gordon Clark.  I was at a Horn Creek board meeting this past Saturday and ventured down with Dr. Zeller to see the Gordon Clark Library. The library has Clark’s actual books on the shelf. I looked for some Van Til books, and sure enough, there were several. Given the high tension between those who label themselves Clarkian and Van Tillian today, I wondered what these two men thought of each other. To hear some of their respective modern followers, you’d think they had a strong dislike (or worse) toward each other.

Dr. Zeller mentioned he was sure Clark and Van Til met at Wheaton College in the early 1980’s and had a discussion that revealed clear reconciliation between them. With Dr. Zeller's statement in mind I took a few of the Van Til books off the shelf and looked at the insider covers. Low and behold, I found two hand written notes from Van Til to Clark. See them below-

Inside covers of Clark's copies of Van Til's books.

It sure seemed that Van Til viewed Clark in a positive, Christian brotherhood light, despite their deep theological differences.

Before I left the board meeting, Dr. Zeller and I drove down to a small cemetery where the earthly remains of Dr. Clark are interred. I am thankful for men like Gordon Clark and Cornelius Van Til. Their value can be found not primarily in the particular ideas they championed, but the way in which they both sought to point people to Christ. As Dr. Van Til simply, but profoundly, wrote to Clark- they were brothers because of their common savior.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Crossroads Conference Champions- Heritage Christian Academy

This is our first year as a full-fledged member of the Kansas State High School Athletic Association (KSHSAA). As such, we joined a conference of teams (some from the Missouri side) with similar sized schools.  We are the smallest possible designation, which is "1A".

In our first year as a member of the Crossroads Conference, we won the conference title tonight finishing a sweep of all the teams in our conference, without allowing a goal against in all four games.

Heritage Christian Academy 2   Barstow  0
Heritage Christian Academy 1   Summit Christian Academy 0
Heritage Christian Academy 10  Maranantha 0
Heritage Christian Academy 6    Van Horn 0

Congrats Chargers!!

We still have six games left in our regular season, then playoffs, which encompasses all the Kanas teams in classifications 1-4A.  1A schools, like us, have less than 100 students in 10th-12th grade.  A 4A team has over 700.  Our goal is to make a solid run at the state title.  Why dream small?