Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Modern Look At Existentialism

So...we live in a post-modern, relativistic world dominated by the philosophy called existentialism. This philosophy basically states that there are no absolutes in the world, especially when it comes to truth. What is true for you, is not necessarily true for me. This view of existentialism is especially held with post-modernity's view of religion. It was Friedrich Nietzsche who said, "There are no facts, only interpretations." Which he took to mean that his own statement was factual, by the way. It is like the man who says "There are no absolute truths." I say, "Are you absolutely sure?" The existentialist says, "There are no facts, only interpretations." But then tells modernists, quite factually I might add, that they are wrong and bigoted because the modernists' interpretation differs from their own.

Now friends, let me assure you that there are absolute truths in this world. For instance, let's say I hit an existentialist...when he gets up...he will know that some things hurt. That is a truth. :)

Or better yet, let's say that there are three men on the roof. One believes that the law of gravity exists. One believes that the law of gravity is relative. The third has never even heard of Newton. All three jump. I promise you this, all three will go splat. Not just the one who believed or had knowledge.

There are some inescapable truths:

2+2 will always equal 4.

What goes up, must come down.

The French will always surrender.

The Word of God is the Absolute Truth.

Look, we don't have to teach our children to lie. Do we? We also don't have to teach them to know it's bad either. An Aboriginal living away from society and western culture still knows that there is something greater than we are. He may not know which god is God, but he knows there is something that is innate in his being that desires to worship something or someone. That is an absolute, also. Even the atheist's have their gods. They may not acknowledge them as such, but they are gods in their lives. Science, technology, and even philosophy itself can be worshipped.

The Apostle Paul said this in Romans 1:

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

See, they try to suppress the truth, but they can't. Now tell me that this passage doesn't sound like modern America? In this new land of the free, the only thing that is not tolerated, is intolerance itself! We are told by the existentialist crowd that we MUST be tolerant of other's religious views. Yet they themselves are intolerant of our intolerance! This intolerance is Christianity's most valued doctrine. There is but one God, and His name is Jehovah. He is represented in three personalities, The Father, Son, and Spirit. And THE ONLY WAY to have a right relationship with Him, is through His Son, Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me." That is as absolute as truth gets. And quite frankly folks, as intolerant, also.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Marriage For Dummies: Making It Work God’s Way

One of my D-Min classes for this summer is an advanced class on Biblical Counseling. So we had to “pretend” to write a sermon outline for Ephesians 5:21-33 and then define male headship and wifely submission. So here’s my stab at it:

 Marriage For Dummies: Making It Work God’s Way

I. The Role Of Submission
Submission; Not Subservience (Just as Jesus was submissive to the Father, but ever equal with the Father, so the wife should submit to the husband, but remains equal)
21 Submitting to one another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 

II. The Rule Of Sanctification
Servant-Leadership; Following The Savior’s Example 
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

III. The Responsibility Of Sacrifice
Sacrificial Love; Leading By Loving (Christ’t s love for the church was so great He was willing to die for her. So husbands should put the welfare of wife and family first.)
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”< /span>

IV. The Reciprocity Of Selflessness
Shared Respect; Seeing Christ IN Each Other
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

"male headship": The husband is ordained by God to be the spiritual leader of the house and family. While it is possible for him to delegate authority to his wife, i.e. paying bills, disciplining the children, etc., he cannot delegate the responsibility. Ultimately, God holds the man responsible for the happiness and spiritual well being of the family.

"female submission’ Submission should not be confused with subservience. The wife is to submit to her husband’s decisions, especially on matters that are spiritual in nature. She has a voice and should support her husband by freely advising him as a partner in the marriage and parenting. Ultimately; however, she should support her husband’s decisions.