Bio

Dr. Mike Halsey is the chancellor of Grace Biblical Seminary, a Bible teacher at the Hangar Bible Fellowship, the author of Truthspeak and his new book, The Gospel of Grace and Truth: A Theology of Grace from the Gospel of John," both available on Amazon.com. A copy of his book, Microbes in the Bloodstream of the Church, is also available as an E-book on Amazon.com. If you would like to a receive a copy of his weekly Bible studies and other articles of biblical teaching and application, you can do so by writing to Dr. Halsey at michaeldhalsey@bellsouth.net and requesting, "The Hangar Bible Fellowship Journal."

Comments may be addressed to michaeldhalsey@bellsouth.net.

If you would like to contribute to his ministry according to the principle of II Corinthians 9:7, you may do so by making your check out to Hangar Bible Fellowship and mailing it to 65 Teal Ct., Locust Grove, GA 30248. All donations are tax deductible.

Come visit the Hangar some Sunday at 10 AM at the above address. You'll be glad you did.

Other recommended grace-oriented websites are:

notbyworks.org
literaltruth.org
gracebiblicalseminary.org
duluthbible.org
clarityministries.org

Also:

Biblical Ministries, Inc.
C/O Dr. Richard Grubbs
P. O. Box 64582
Lubbock, TX 79464-4582

Friday, July 21, 2017

THEY'VE SOLD US A BILL OF HISTORICAL GOODS

Back at the establishment of our country, contrary to what some scholars and historians say, America's, Founding Fathers and the common folks like you and me were absolutely saturated with the Bible. Unless in abject poverty, every home had a well-read Bible. They attended church and when they did, they adults and children, listened to sermons that were two hours long. (A pastor who spoke for a mere hour or less, wasn't considered to be much of a preacher or a theologian.)

EDUCATION

Their schools were Bible-soaked as well. When a student entered college, he was expected to be able to translate chunks of the New Testament from the Greek as part of his entrance exam.

POLITICS

If an orator, a politician spoke of the Ark, Cain, Samuel, or Uriah the Hittite, everybody knew who he was talking about; he didn't have to tell them. Even Thomas Paine used I Samuel 8 to illustrate for his readers just how much God despised a monarchy. (Way too many in our churches today can't even FIND I Samuel 8.) Not only that, but Paine recommended reading the Bible for its wisdom.

THE GOOD BOOK

George Washington bought a small Bible, portable, so he could have it with him. His wife, Martha read her Bible everyday and delighted to instruct the grandchildren from it. Thomas Jefferson had numerous Bibles in his library and read them. Although Jefferson thought that every home had a Bible, he contributed to its distribution to the poor.

FAMILIES

Children were raised in families who read the Bible and encouraged and saw to it that their children did too. John Adams had questions about Enoch in the book of Genesis and wrote Jefferson to see what his comments on the text were.

NAMES

Parents named their children after men and women in the Bible. Look around the United States and you'll see one town after another bearing the names of cities mentioned in the Bible.

They founded universities to train ministers of the gospel--the Ivy League schools and then some schools to carry the gospel to the American Indians.

FRANKLIN

Benjamin Franklin recommended that the Constitutional Congress spend more time praying. He also loved to listen to the preaching of the great English evangelist George Whitfield. He became so interested in Whitfield that he measured the distance his voice carried as he addressed thousands in the open air before the days of public address systems.

Franklin recorded his findings by writing,
He had a loud and clear Voice, and articulated his Words and Sentences so perfectly that he might be heard and understood at a great Distance, especially as his Auditors [audience], however numerous, observ’d the most exact Silence. He preach’d one Evening from the Top of the Court House Steps, which are in the middle of Market Street, and on the West Side of Second Street which crosses it at right angles. Both Streets were fill’d with his Hearers to a considerable Distance. Being among the hindmost in Market Street, I had the Curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the Street towards the River; and I found his Voice distinct till I came near Front Street, when some Noise in that Street, obscur’d it. Imagining then a Semicircle, of which my Distance should be the Radius, and that it were fill’d with Auditors, to each of whom I allow’d two square feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than Thirty Thousand. This reconcil’d me to the Newspaper Accounts of his having preach’d to 25,000 People in the Fields, and to the ancient Histories of Generals haranguing whole Armies, of which I had sometimes doubted.


In his autobiography, Franklin writes about attending the preaching of Whitfield: 

"I happened soon after to attend one of his Sermons, in the Course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a Collection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing from me. I had in my Pocket a Handful of Copper Money, three or four silver Dollars, and five Pistoles [Spanish coins] in Gold. As he proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the Coppers. Another Stroke of his Oratory made me asham’d of that, and determin’d me to give the Silver; and he finish’d so admirably, that I emptied my Pocket wholly into the Collector’s Dish, Gold and all."

His liberal giving didn't get Franklin entrance to the Pearly Gates, only faith alone in Christ alone does that, but it shows his admiration for the character and preaching of Whitefield. 

  To sum up, every every single one of the 30 Founders of our nation believed in a God who intervenes in history. Of course this didn't make them Christians. Four didn't accept accept orthodox beliefs, but they weren't as we've been led to believe, that our Founders didn't believe that God intervenes in human history. If some historians say they were all deists, as deists are defined today, they're misleading us. If some say that even a few were deists (those who believe that God created man, then walked away) they're not being honest or they're just parroting what they've heard their teachers say.

THE DAY OF SATURATION IS OVER

On a quiz show, the contestants were to press the buzzer if they knew the answer to the show's rapid-fire questions. The emcee began the question, "What is the name of the man in the Bible who was known as a strong man?" A contestant hit the buzzer and answered, "Hercules!" (I rest my case.)

Dr. Carl J. Richard wrote me reflecting on the lack of biblical saturation today: "I share your distress at contemporary Americans' astonishing biblical illiteracy.  I think it is the main reason why our society is in so much trouble. Three-quarters of the American public identify themselves as Christians, yet only a small percentage have any clue as to the contents of their professed religion's holy book.  For this reason, we now have the surreal situation of genuine Christians being persecuted in a country in which seventy-five percent of the people profess to be Christian."

We need biblical teaching, not "success principles." We don't need the Bible taught as shallow morality stories. We don't need political opinions proffered from pulpiteers.  We don't need campaigns and marches for social justice. We need systematic Bible teaching, verse by verse through the books of the Bible, so people can understand the literary and historical contexts and the purposes of the books, then gain the meaning of the text, and apply the Bible to their lives.

Our founding was not a golden age, no era is, east of Eden. But America's founding was a time of biblical saturation. Today, sad to say, our country is rebelling against that saturation by rewriting our history, thus cutting us off from our story. We must begin and continue to turn up the heat of biblical instruction.
 






Friday, July 14, 2017

FAIR HARVARD

It is one of the most beautiful of school songs, ranking right up there with "Far Above Cayuga's Waters,"(Cornell) and any school song to the melody of "Gaudeamus Igitur"* (Monterey Senior High School, Lubbock, TX). The one ranking right up there with those musical jewels is Harvard's song, "Fair Harvard."

Reverend Samuel Gilman of the class of 1811 wrote it for Harvard's 200th anniversary in 1836, a song bidding the school an affectionate farewell. Students sing it at the beginning of their matriculation and then when they graduate. Of its four verses, the first and fourth are traditionally sung and the second and third omitted.

UNFAIR FOR "FAIR HARVARD"

But, as of today, right now, the old song has fallen on hard and post modern times. There are those who've declared the song offensive because of its last verse:

Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered error moor thee at its side,
As the world on truth's current glides by
Be the herald of light, and the bearer of love,
Till the stock of the Puritans die.

See the offending lines? "Be the herald of light, and the bearer of love, Till the stock of the Puritans die." In our politically correct universe, the reference to being "the herald of light until the stock of Puritans die" must go because (1) it's outdated and (2) it's not inclusive of others who have "their own light."

Underlying all of this is that the song is saying that the Puritans were the heralds of light and that's offensive to some because, according to post modernism, there is no "light," that is, there is no body of absolute truth for any one to be the herald of.

LET THEM HAVE THEIR SAY

Let's let the university speak for itself. Harvard’s Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging wants to create a new ending to “Fair Harvard” because they say the reference to Puritans "suggests that the commitment to truth, and to being the bearer of its light, is the special province of those of Puritan stock,” which they say could be viewed as racist since the Puritans were of Anglo-Saxon descent.

The task force wants to sponsor a contest to see who can come up with the best lines for what they want to omit from the song.

In this bizarro world in which we live, no one, no group can claim that it knows, has, or possesses the truth. Yet John 14:6 and John 17:7, et al. stand against such an idea. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by Me." Jesus also prayed, "Sanctify them through Your Word. Your Word is truth."

There are those who object to the plans of the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging to omit the lines of the song. Two who oppose the change make excellent points.

Social commentator Frank Furedi called it a “Morally disoriented attempt to detach Harvard from its past." Harvard professor Stephen Shoemaker added that history “should not be neglected . . . we need to know where we came from." Right on!

IF WE DON'T LIKE IT, WE'LL SCRUB IT 

The Presidential Task Force, in declaring its purpose in scrubbing the lines of the school song, declares, "The goal is to affirm what is valuable from the past while also re-inventing that past to meet and speak to the present moment."

WAIT. WHAT?

Wait. What? Their goal is to re-invent the past? The past can't be re-invented. The past is. The committee may not like the past, but they can't re-invent it. The history is that Harvard was established by the Puritans who came from England to escape persecution. When established, the following, from 1642, is the reason they gave for why they were bringing Harvard into existence

"Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3)… And seeing the Lord only gives wisdom, let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him (Prov. 2:3).."

"Everyone [of the students] shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of the language and the logic, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding, to the simple (Ps. 119:30)."

HERE'S THE RUB

You might be thinking, "Well, so what? It's just a line or two of some Ivy League fancy pants school song; what's the big deal? The big deal in all of this is to obliterate any reference to where Harvard came from,, thus cutting them off from their history and the reason the school exists.

Russell Kirk in his magnum opus, The Conservative Mind, said that the philosophy and practice of conservatism cannot be held by a people who are cut off from their history. (He said it better than I, but that's the gist of it.) People need to know where they came from. It's true for Harvard, it's true for America: people need to know where they came from. Yet, in college after college, history courses are being omitted from the required curriculum to the point that we don't know where we came from.

Let's apply this to the human race. The human race needs to know where it came from and why we are the way we are. That's why God gave us the book of Genesis because Genesis 1-3 tells us: we came as the special creation of God, created in the image and likeness of God, but because of Adam's sin, the human race fell into sin.

Cut us off from knowing who we are and teach us that we're animals, the product of time + chance + the impersonal and what do you get? People who act like animals. That's exactly what we're seeing, a world descending into chaos of violence, a world bloody in tooth and claw, the wholesale murder of the inconvenient unborn, and the destruction of marriage, morality, and family because, like animals, "there is no fear of God before their eyes."

They want to change "Fair Harvard." If they do, the change will take more than a few lines of a song with it.
____________________________________________________________________________
*For those musically inclined, you can listen to renditions of "Far Above Cayuga's Waters," "Fair Harvard," and "Gaudeamus Igitur" (Let Us Therefore Rejoice) on youtube.com The latter song was used for the climatic scene in the movie, "People Will Talk," (1951) as Gary Grant conducts the orchestra in a stirring rendition of it. 






 

Friday, July 7, 2017

THE DUCK TEST

If you've been exposed to the viewpoint of Lordship salvation, you know that those who advocate it have at least one problem. Lordship salvation, as its proponents define it is, "The gospel call to faith presupposes that sinners must repent of their sin and yield to Christ's authority. That, in one sentence is what Lordship salvation teaches." Another within their camp states, ""The Lordship view expressly states the need to acknowledge Christ as Lord and Master of one's life in the act of receiving Him as Savior."

Lordship salvation front loads commitment, obedience, and surrender as "must-dos" in order to be forgiven and have eternal life. For the lordship salvationist, there must be a deep sorrow for sin and a turning away from one's sins in order to be saved. (Now you can see why a leading spokesman for this viewpoint has said that a child cannot be saved.)

One of their problems is that, depending on who's talking, the "must-do's" for forgiveness of sin keep piling up. One says that James 4:7-10 contains the "must-do's." This means that there are 9 things to do, which include, "be miserable, mourn, weep, and let your joy be turned into gloom." To be saved, you have to become miserable? When others talk, their list may not be 9, but sometimes less, sometimes more.

Another lordship salvationist has written a book calling for a new word. "Faith" isn't good enough because, according to his way of thinking, people will come to the conclusion that the gospel is justification by faith alone. To avoid this "problem," he calls for a new word and a new translation for "faith." What word does he want instead? "Allegiance."

Therefore, John 3:16 would read, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever professes allegiance to Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

You ask, "What does he mean by '"allegiance?" Now, we're getting into it; that's a good question. He says that allegiance involves three aspects: mental affirmation that the gospel is true; swearing loyalty to Jesus alone as the cosmic Lord; enacted loyalty through obedience to Jesus as King. (Can a child understand all this?)

Now, let's go back to John 3:16 and put all that in verse: ""For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes the gospel to be true, swears loyalty to Jesus alone as the cosmic Lord, and enacts this loyalty through obedience to Jesus as King shall not perish but have everlasting life." (I like John's word better: "believes.")

So, now, with the new word, we wind up with works as "must-do's" for salvation in addition to faith in Christ. That's what he's saying in the third aspect of "allegiance."

The author is showing the classic confusion of mixing discipleship (allegiance to Christ) into the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone. Allegiance is a good thing--for following Jesus AFTER salvation, but that's a different issue than faith alone in Christ alone for salvation. By his own definition, allegiance is works. One lordship author may call it "submission," another may call it "allegiance," but it can't pass James Whitcomb Riley's duck test: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

It's works.



Friday, June 30, 2017

TWO THINGS LIBERALS WILL NEVER TOLERATE

Whether it be political or theological liberalism, there are two things liberalism in both camps will not tolerate.

INTOLERABLE 1

The first of the intolerables is the truth that human nature can't be changed; we are as Paul said, "by nature the children of wrath." We are as David wrote, "We go forth estranged from the womb" and "in sin did my mother conceive me."

The liberal position is that what man needs is information and, based on reason and logic he will make the "right" and "moral" decision. This leads to getting people educated, so the "right" information is distributed to the schools and the schools will be the conduit to carry the information to the students, and, armed with that information, they will turn out to make the proper decisions.

The examples are numerous, but one will suffice: drug addiction, membership in gangs, and violence are seen as the problems, so in 1983, the Los Angeles Police Dept., in cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District, founded D. A. R. E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).

The result of the program: Researchers at Indiana University, commissioned by Indiana school officials in 1992, found that those who completed the D.A.R.E. program subsequently had significantly higher rates of hallucinogenic drug use than those not exposed to the program. Wait. What? Yes, you read that correctly.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

Indiana University didn't stand alone in their conclusion: In 1995, a report to the California Dept. of Education, Dr. Joel Brown stated that none of California's drug education programs worked, including D.A.R.E.

The  report concluded, "California's drug education programs, D.A.R.E. being the largest of them, simply don't work. More than 40 percent of the students told researchers they were 'not at all' influenced by drug educators or programs. Nearly 70 percent reported neutral to negative feelings about those delivering the antidrug [sic] message. While only 10 percent of elementary students responded to drug education negatively or indifferently, this figure grew to 33 percent of middle school students and topped 90 percent at the high school level."

In some circles educators and administrators have admitted that DARE increased students' exposure and knowledge of unknown drugs and controlled substances, resulting in experimentation and consumption of narcotics at a much younger age. Criticism focused on failure and misuse of tax-payer dollars, with either ineffective or negative results state-wide.

To summarize the reports, they were official statements saying, "Oops. We're sorry we wasted the students' time and your money."

WRONG STARTING POINT

The political liberal and the theological liberal will turn, every time, to the government and to education to solve whatever it is that they deem as the problem, but, in reality, their presupposition that human nature is malleable and improvable is flawed from the start. Their stating point causes them to treat the with symptoms, not the cause, man's innate fallen nature. The solution isn't education. Paul wrote that human nature is such that, even when we realize what's wrong, sinful, and even hurtful, and we swear we won't do it, that's exactly what we do. (Rom. 7) Human nature can't be educated away. If it could, universities wouldn't need campus police.

INTOLERABLE 2

The second thing that both political liberalism and theological liberalism won't tolerate is authority. Liberals in both areas have a problem with keeping established rules if things don't go to suit them. We see this almost weekly, yea, albeit daily, in our society. If the results of an election don't go their way, then it's time to riot, loot, burn things down, and break stuff. If things don't go their way, demand to change the rules, eliminate the electoral college.

In school, we learned that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. But, liberalism says, "If it gets in the way of we want, we'll ignore it."

If theological liberalism doesn't like what the Bible says, it changes the interpretation to one more preferred. If one doesn't like God's plan for marriage: change its definition. If one doesn't like hell, eliminate it. If Jesus words offend, then say that He never said them, author made them up.

Political liberals don't like the Constitution if it gets in their way, ignore or change it by saying it's "a living document" and changes with the times. Theological liberals do the same thing with the Bible.

THE COMMIES

Ever wonder why communists and dictators of all stripes loathe and try to destroy the Bible and the church? It's because both the Bible and the church stand firm on the fact that there is an authority higher than the dictator and higher than the government and that's intolerable. For the dictator, there can be no higher authority than the  government; he is the government.

Yet, there is the Christian, there is the church saying, "The beginning of wisdom is the fear [a postitive response] to the [authority of] the Lord."

Friday, June 16, 2017

MADNESS

The closing scene in "The Bridge On the River Kwai" leads to the last line of the movie. A British officer and his men are prisoners of war in a Japanese camp. By means of a series of events, the British officer offers to build a bridge over the river in order to show the Japanese the can-do spirit and discipline of the English military. He doesn't seem to realize or care that he's helping the enemy.

In the climactic scene, the officer winds up blowing up the bridge he's spent time, energy, and men to build. The inaugural train ride is crossing the bridge and plunges into the river as the structure collapses.

The prison camp doctor, observing the scene, says the last line of the movie, "Madness! Madness!"

The Western World is in the grip of madness as evidenced by a statement by the commissioner of London Metropolitan Police,  after the massacre on the London Bridge by Islamic terrorists. The chief, Cressida Dick, said,

"It's desperately sad and poignant but among those who died is someone who's British, there are French, Australian, Canadian, Spanish."

"In terms of our witnesses that we've spoken to so far, out of the 300-odd people, there are about 20 different countries of origin. And the London British population comes from all kinds of backgrounds and every kind of faith and ethnicity."

"We believe of course that that's what makes our city so great. It's a place where the vast majority of time it's incredibly integrated and that diversity gives us strength."

Here's a chief of police taking pride in the various nationalities of those innocent civilians who were slaughtered by having their throats cut in a terror attack. This is madness.

Has multiculturalism and the obsession for diversity taken us that far? Few of our leaders seem to be asking how a nation can find any point of unity if it's obsessed with diversity to the point of celebrating the murders of people from five different countries. A nation must find unity or its fabric will rip apart. That's what caused America's Civil War--it came to a point to where there was no point of unity, not the Constitution and not the Declaration of Independence, not anything. 

During the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, God commanded that at various times the nation would gather together to celebrate and sacrifice according to the Law that was to unify them. Psalm 133 alluded to this unity of the nation. There were the feasts, the covenants, and the Temple, all combined were to keep the unity of the nation.

In England has long since abandoned the Bible. Their churches stand both hollow and vacant. The Word of God has been covered with dust for a long time now. This has produced a vacuum. And what does nature do? Nature abhors a vacuum and therefore secularism (“Now is all there is”) is sucked into that vacuum. Because of this, like a juggernaut, things began to happen as decreed by Romans 1: “their foolish heart was darkened,” and “Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

How is it possible to be looking at five slaughtered people, with their blood running in the streets of the city you were sworn to protect, and think of how strong your city is to have such diverse corpses? How could any officer take pride in that? In only one way—such a pride comes from a darkened heart which produces a fool.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

THE MANIPULATOR





1962: a novel sees the light of print. The author, hostile to Christianity, will begin to manipulate the reader. He tells the story of a Roman emperor set in the 4th century A. D. The writer is an atheist; he’s not writing as an impartial observer. As Christ said, “He that is not with Me is against me. We see his hostility from the start—he refuses to capitalize “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit” along with “Old Testament” and “New Testament.”

His hostility to Christianity begins on page one, so he immediately gets into it. But the way he begins to manipulate the reader may not be noticeable to the average person. To begin the molding of the reader’s mind to get him to find Christianity odious is to begin his 400-page book with a chance meeting of a teacher and his student.

The teacher is writing a letter to a friend in which he describes the chance encounter. The teacher writes, “I was stopped by a Christian student who asked me in a voice eager with malice . . .”

Thus our first introduction to a Christian is to one who is rude; he interrupts the instructor who’s on his way to a meeting and stops with a conversation in a voice which is eagerly malicious in tone. The reader is to understand that this student is not only rude, he has a secret agenda.

The book describes the student as “speaking slowly, watching me all the while.” Not only is he rude; he’s also sinister.

Then, still on page one the teacher, still writing his friend, says, “the bishops arrived like vultures to pray over [a powerful man who’s sick].” Then he adds, “I knew that if he recovers, they wold take full credit for having saved him.” The student is overly joyous because an inquisitor has been appointed to determine the faith of others and because “the days of toleration [of non-Christians are over.” Now, Christians are intolerant.]

The bishops become “vultures” who pray in hopes of bringing glory to themselves. So now, we have the author’s first insults to Christianity, one in the form of a rude believer, the other from glory and power hungry bishops. Then there’s the charge of not being tolerant, which he later details as the Emperor’s appointment of an Inquisitor to examine a person’s faith, along with the student’s saying, “The days of toleration are over.”

Not satisfied with the above, the author has the teacher write, “. . . that pernicious doctrine which asserts that a sprinkling of water (and a small donation) will wash away sin again and again and again.” {Now we get a further glimpse of what he’s reacting against.

The teacher charges the Emperor’s edict against the pagans as being composed of crude Greek like the bishops use, showing a confusion of thought. [Now Christianity is made up of ignorant people.] He laments that if things keep going the way they are, if they don’t strike back at these Christians, these Galileans will destroy the world they love. [For God’s verdict on the world they love, read Romans 1:18-32.

Writing of a eulogy he wrote, he says, “I was able to bring tears even hard Christian eyes.” [Now he portrays Christians as without compassion.] Going on, the takes a sarcastic swipe at the Resurrection: “My head is a tomb quite as empty as the one Jesus is supposed to have walked away from.”

He can’t leave the bishops alone, writing that they are ferocious in hunting heresy, which the professor defines as any opinion contrary to their own. His pen continues to insult as he writes, “They are as ignorant as all mankind.”

He portrays Christians as burning people alive, stoning people, and nailing them up to a church door. To summarize his hatred he writes, “They are as inconsistent, as logic has never been a strong point of the Christians faith.” [The author of the book is as many atheists—proud, feeling superior to others, judgmental. I Cor. 2:14]

He portrays the main character’s education by a Christian teacher as tedious, boring, as his instructor makes him recite for four hours and forced to pray three times a day.

All of this diatribe against Christianity is in the first chapter. The author’s vitriol is just beginning. He’s used stereotypes, erected a straw man—he’s charged Christians with being rude, ignorant, intolerant, and fierce.

What’s going on? What’s happening is that the author is reacting, not against Christianity, but against Roman Catholicism. Even a cursory reading of the Gospel of John would show him that biblical Christianity doesn’t teach that a sprinkling of water and a small donation cleanse one of sin. His is a common error—many take the abuses and false doctrines of the Roman church and shout, “There’s Christianity for you! “

By the time the reader finishes the first chapter, he’s been set up.

Who is this author and what’s the name of his book? An interesting question, but I’ll give him no publicity, only to say that he passed into a Christless eternity in 2012, and God wept.










Friday, May 26, 2017

THE SAFE SPACE

There are those who expect colleges and universities to provide something called a "safe space." By the use of the word, "safe," our minds think the term refers to physical safety, but if that's the case, we are oh, so wrong.

WHAT'S A SAFE SPACE?

A safe space is a geographical location on campus where students can feel safe ideologically, emotionally, and good all the time. A safe space is a bubble which insulates students from the views of people who are different, ideas which upset them. The location provides psychological  protection. Brown University provides a safe space with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets, and a video of puppies. These items are for students, ages 18 and beyond.

An uncomfortable idea could be anything, written or oral, such as an argument against abortion, an informal conversation which expresses the view that the federal government should not be involved in health care. Words written on a sidewalk with chalk in support of a candidate for office may so upset a student they drive him or her to a safe space. One student, upon hearing her professor say,"I'm against abortion, but it is permitted under the law," became upset; she began to cry and fled the classroom.*

A safe space is the result of the idea that people have the right to absolute emotional comfort at all times. Is that "right" in the Constitution somewhere? James Madison would say, "No, we didn't put it there."

Once in a safe space, no one will express an idea which offends you or makes you feel uncomfortable. In a safe space, there's no debate, no arguing to defend your position, and no exchange of viewpoints. In the words of academia, there's no one in a safe space to trigger you.

NO BUBBLE FOR THE BELIEVER

But for the Christian living in the Kosmos, the world arranged by Satan to leave God out, there's no such thing as a safe space. Jesus didn't provide us with one. As a matter of fact, He deliberately commanded us not to try to live in one, isolated from those who hold different viewpoints. Monasteries and nunneries weren't His idea.

When did Jesus command us not to live in a bubble? (Glad you asked.) He did so in one of the most famous statements He made, one inscribed in our churches all over the world--the Great Commission,which literally says: "After you have gone (aorist participle) disciple all the nations . . .," It has the force of a command. So, then, we're to go to the nations and nations certainly have different opinions than we do.

By saying, "After you have gone," (with the force of a command) Jesus is telling us to deliberately go out of our way into areas where we confront different viewpoints. That doesn't sound like a safe space, does it?

BUT I WANT MY BUBBLE

Yet, there's the tendency to construct our Christian safe spaces. How so? If you don't want to go to a gym where there are unbelievers, there are Christian aerobics and weightlifting classes in our churches and on video. If you don't want to play on a team in which a non-Christian might be the  pitcher,  the center, or the coach, there are church softball and basketball leagues. There are cafes and bowling alleys for church people only.

If you feel like you're missing out on all the fun, in Illinois, there's a Christian night club, called "Club Jesus" where you can dance and drink non-alcoholic beverages called, "Repentance," "Faith,"and "Virgin Mary." While enjoying your glass of Repentance, you can listen to rap, jazz, and poetry. (The club is somehow justified by Ecclesiastes 3:1, and from that verse, the owner of the Jesus Club says, "God wants us to have fun.")

But, getting back to the safe spaces, Jesus didn't build one for us. He sends us out into the Kosmos of clashing viewpoints, all of which leave God out. He commands us to go into places where they don't understand us. He sends us into locations where people hate us. He propels us out where people think we're fools and what we're saying is foolishness.

The book of Acts contains one example after another of the Apostles and those early day Christians deliberately placing themselves with people who clashed over and over with them. Like the Sower in the parable, obeying the Great Commission doesn't just happen accidentally, the planting of the seed is deliberate.
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*The professor was giving an example to the class of how we may disagree with a law, but we're to obey it. The student went to the dean; the teacher was dismissed.