Kersfees: Nugter nagedink oor 25 Desember

christmas-tree-blue cool

Grant Swart

Ek het groot waardering en respek vir God se kinders wat radikaal heilig wil lewe en in alle dinge die wil van God eerste probeer stel. Dis immers in ooreenstemming met  die duidelike opdrag in 1 Petrus 1:16 “Wees heilig, want Ek is heilig!”  Aan die anderkant is daar wel ook Christene wat ‘n behae daarin skep om hare te kloof en andere skuldig te laat voel oor nietige randsake. (moontlik as gevolg van onkunde)

Een so ‘n saak is die vraag : “Mag ‘n Christen Kersfees vier?”


VASTE FEITE

Kom ons begin met die nugtere stel van ‘n paar feite wat vas staan en waaroor almal behoort saam te stem :

Feit nommer een is : Jesus is nie op 25 Desember gebore nie. 

Verder:

  • Die groot meerderheid van mense op aarde vier Kersfees op ‘n goddelose en Godonterende manier (met vreet op aarde in plaas van vrede op aarde)* 
  • Daar is geen Bybelse bevel om Kersfees as ‘n feesdag te vier nie.
  • Daar is wel duidelike Skrifgedeeltes wat die geboorte/menswording van Jesus beskryf.
  • Daar is wel toegewyde gelowiges wat Kersfees vier op ‘n Godverheerlikende wyse.
  • Daar is ook opregte Christene wat niks met Kersfees te doen wil hê nie en dit as deur en deur heidens beskou.

Uit bogenoemde is dit klaar duidelik dat Christene verdeeld is oor hierdie saak. Selfs onder Christene Continue reading

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Santa Claus, Antichrist and Angus Buchan: more interesting than the Book of Proverbs?

Controversy Cycle 1

Grant Swart

It never ceases to amaze, how controversial personalities and questionable professing Christians succeed in occupying the thoughts, imagination and time of those who regard the internet news feed as a worthy place to spend a lot of their valuable time. It is evident that the debate about characters and events such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, The Elephant Room, Rob Bell and Passion 2013, takes on a greater importance for many, than does for example, the studying and discussion surrounding the wonderful wisdom and humour held within the Book of Proverbs.

The statistics on this blog represent no exception. As administrator, I was able to gain access to those. The following list should be indicative of what I have just said. These are the names of the controversial personalities attached to the most widely read articles on this blog over the past year or two. The list tells its own story:

Santa Claus (father Christmas)

Antichrist

Angus Buchan

TB Joshua

Rick Joyner

Rick Warren

John Piper

Joseph Prince

Eugene Peterson (author of The Message)

Bill Johnson

Beth Moore

Ann Voskamp

Kay Arthur

I do concede that, on the greater scale of things, this blog cannot be representative of global tendencies, but these stats are nevertheless disturbing, particularly as there are so many more expository articles on this blog, than there are articles of tabloid interest.

While I realize that it is not any sort of requirement or justification, I wonder how many of the people who have read and commented with much fervour on the blog postings regarding the above personalities, are able to fill in (more or less) the missing words from these well-known Bible verses?

OK, so let us try, beloved readers:

1) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the….., from whence cometh my …… My ….  cometh from the …., which made …… and earth…”

2) LORD, how are they increased that……. me! many are they that …… up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no….. for him in God

One more try, this time, from the most beautiful benediction from the Book of Jude. Simply fill in the blanks in your mind’s eye:

Now to him who is able to keep you from…….. and to present you blameless before the presence of his…… with great……, to the only God, our ……, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, …….. and ………., before all time ..… and  forever. Amen

It seems unacceptable that, when placed on a balance, the time set aside by Christians to partake in conferences, debates, forums and discussions surrounding controversial personalities and subjects, it far outweighs that which is spent in contemplating God’s Grace and applying the simplicity of His Sovereign will to our lives.

I wish there to be great blessings of peace in your lives, and less strife and confusion over subjects and people who cannot as much as influence the passage of a single day in Creation.

Irrespective of how many seats on international jet-liners, people such as CJ Mahaney, John Piper or Benny Hinn fill, or how many hotel rooms they rent as they criss-cross the globe, or how many deceived souls they draw into their conference halls, the form of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain unaffected (Matthew 16:18).  Maybe Rick Warren or Louis Giglio will have a street, a building or a new model of some four cylinder Korean car named after themselves,  but in terms of that which they successfully merchandise to the unbelieving world, they are worthy only of our disregard.

Blessings to all.

elephant and mouse

 

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Christmas and the gift of election

bethlehem-star

Every child of God is the object of eternal love without beginning and without end. This is one of the fat things full of marrow. Is it so, that I, a believer in Jesus, unworthy as I am, am the object of the eternal love of God? What transport lies in that thought! Long before the Lord began to create the world, he had thought of me. Long ere Adam fell or Christ was born, and the angels sung their first choral over Bethlehem’s miracle, the eye and the heart of God were towards his elect people. He never began to love them, they were always “a people near unto him.” Is it not so written, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”? Some kick at the doctrine of election, but they are ill advised, since they labour to overturn one of the noblest dishes of the feast; they would dam up one of the coolest streams that flow from Lebanon; they would cover over with rubbish one of the richest veins of golden ore that make rich the people of God. Continue reading

The Dangers of Arminianism: Part 1 of 2

All free will, works religion, Arminianism in every form, under any denominational name is false religion. It may call itself Christian. But it is not Christian at all. Such religion is utter paganism! It is a total denial of God’s free and sovereign grace in Jesus Christ (Gal. 5:2, 4). Any mixture of works with grace is a total denial of grace (Rom. 11:6). To assert that salvation is by the will of man is to deny that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jon. 2:9; Rom. 9:16). – Don Fortner

I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my God, nor shall he ever be; I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence…The God that saith today and denieth tomorrow, that justifieth today and condemns the next…is no relation to my God in the least degree. He may be a relation of Ashtaroth or Baal, but Jehovah never was or can be his name.” – C.H. Spurgeon

 

The Dangers of Arminianism (Part 1 of 2)

by Jim Van Winkle
re-posted by Grant Swart


OUTLINE

I. ARMINIANISM FOSTERS THEOLOGICAL CONFUSION

A. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION
B. A FALSE TEACHING ON GOD’S DECREE
C. A FALSE TEACHING ON FOREKNOWLEDGE
D. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION
E. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF CALLING
F. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF REGENERATION
G. A FALSE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ATONEMENT
H. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION
I. A FALSE TEACHING ON GOD’S PROVIDENCE
J. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF SOVEREIGNTY
K. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF ASSURANCE
L. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF OMNISCIENCE
M. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF IMPUTATION
N. A FALSE DOCTRINE OF DEPRAVITY

INTRODUCTION

Having been reared in American Evangelicalism for the better part of our lives most of us have come to hold very benign views of Arminianism. To us Calvinism versus Arminianism debates have always been rather peripheral arguments not founded upon anything substantial, doctrinally (although it was at the heart of the Protestant Reformation). Many of us in fact were taught that we were a little Continue reading

Who Were the Magi?

Bible Q & A With John MacArthur

Few biblical stories are as well known, yet so clouded by myth and tradition, as that of the magi, or wise men, mentioned by Matthew. During the Middle Ages legend developed that they were kings, that they were three in number, and that their names were Casper, Balthazar, and Melchior. Because they were thought to represent the three sons of Noah, one of them is often pictured as an Ethiopian. A twelfth-century bishop of Cologne even claimed to have found their skulls.

The only legitimate facts we know about these particular magi are the few given by Matthew in the first twelve verses of chapter 2. We are not told their number, their names, their means of transportation to Palestine, or the specific country or countries from which they came. The fact that they came from the east would have been assumed by most people in New Testament times, because the magi were primarily known as the priestly-political class of the Parthians-who lived to the east of Palestine.

Continue reading