Good words from one of the finest preachers of the last century. . .
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? You must take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, you have to preach to yourself, question yourself. . . then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done and what God has pledged Himself to do.”
~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones
What is the biblical basis for talking to yourself? Psalm 42:5. . .
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every part of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
May God bring us more Luthers.
Happy Reformation Day!
Way back in 1923 J. Gresham Machen could foresee how public schools would become the “perfect instrument of tyranny” — a tool the state would use to indoctrinate America’s youth with its own secular, relativistic, and materialistic philosophies.
When one considers what the public schools of America in many places already are—their materialism, their discouragement of any sustained intellectual effort, their encouragement of the dangerous pseudo-scientific fads of experimental psychology—one can only be appalled by the thought of a commonwealth in which there is no escape from such a soul-killing system. But the principle of such laws and their ultimate tendency are far worse than the immediate results. A public school system, in itself, is indeed of enormous benefit to the race. But it is of benefit only if it is kept healthy at every moment by the absolutely free possibility of the competition of private schools. A public-school system, if it means the providing of free education for those who desire it, is a noteworthy and beneficial achievement of modern times; but when once it becomes monopolistic it is the most perfect instrument of tyranny which has yet been devised. Freedom of thought in the Middle Ages was combated by the Inquisition, but the modern method is far more effective. Place the lives of children in their formative years, despite the convictions of their parents, under the ultimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out, and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist. Such a tyranny, supported as it is by a perverse technique used as the instrument in destroying human souls, is certainly far more dangerous than the crude tyrannies of the past, which despite their weapons of fire and sword permitted thought at least to be free.
The truth is that the materialistic paternalism of the present day, if allowed to go on unchecked, will rapidly make of America one huge “Main Street,” where spiritual adventure will be discouraged and democracy will be regarded as consisting in the reduction of all mankind to the proportions of the narrowest and least gifted of the citizens.
~ Christianity and Liberalism
From Brian Abshire’s The Royal Race of the Redeemed.
Our social disintegration that rightly deserves a Christian response is not a result of the massive influx of black, brown or yellow people leaving their traditional homelands – but because the gospel of Jesus Christ has not yet sufficiently changed people’s lives – neither theirs, nor “ours.” The cultures these people come from either have not received the gospel, or worked out its implications consistently in family, work, recreation, charity, etc. However, the United States would not have decayed into a socialist monstrosity unless Christians had lost sight of a full-orbed gospel. The solution then is not playing the “race card” – but rather in rediscovering a truly consistent Christian faith, and aggressive evangelism, verified by one’s own transformed life.
“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is not part of the Christian faith.
Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
~ C. S. Lewis in “The Weight of Glory”
I’ve been reading N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope and am really enjoying it. Here’s one of many quoteworthy paragraphs. . .
Karl Marx famously spoke of religion as the opium of the people. He supposed that oppressive rulers would use the promise of a joyful future life to try to stop the masses from rising in revolt. That has indeed often been the case. But my impression is that religion is an ‘opium’ when the religion in question includes the Platonic downgrading of bodies and of the created order in general, regarding them as the “vain shadows” of earth, which we happily leave behind at death. Why try to improve the present prison if release is at hand? Why oil the wheels of a machine that will soon plunge over a cliff? That is precisely the effect created to this day by some devout Christians who genuinely believe that “salvation” has nothing to do with the way the way the present world is ordered.
“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims 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 own conscience.”
~ C.S Lewis
“The World is trying to experiment with attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.”
Here are a couple of quotes of his having to do with law and governance. . .
We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people,
we need to get good people to restrain bad laws.
If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments,
they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments.
In light of the fact that today’s evangelical church is intent on being trendy, this quote is worth pondering. . .
“I will argue that the postmodern church could do nothing better than be ancient, that the most powerful way to reach a postmodern world is by recovering tradition, and the most effective means of discipleship is in the liturgy.”
~ James K.A. Smith, PhD., Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? p.25