The Navigator: 3.4.2021

THIS SUNDAY, 3/7

Series: Promised Land – Pt 1: Don’t settle for the wilderness

Text:  Passages in Exodus & Deuteronomy

 

COVID MASK POLICY UPDATE

After Governor Abbott made the announcement to open Texas 100% on March 10th, our leadership met and agreed on the following:

All signs that had been placed on doors asking you to wear a mask have been removed (we are no longer asking people to wear a mask on campus.)  We simply request people to apply personal responsibility.  If you feel safer wearing a mask, please do so.  If you feel it’s no longer necessary, feel free to not wear one.

 

THE SUBTLE AND SYSTEMATIC EROSION OF TRUTH

In 2014, I read an article titled, ‘Chilling words from the highest ranking Soviet bloc intelligence officer to ever defect.’

It affected me to the degree that I saved it.

What follows is a pericope taken from an interview with Romanian Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa, in connection with the release of his, at that time, most-recent title “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism.”

Here’s what he said when asked about a government’s strategy for using disinformation to change the ethos of a nation:

“In 1978, when I broke with communism, I left in my office safe a slip of paper on which Gen. Sakharovsky had scrawled: ‘Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo.’ (A drop makes a hole in a stone not by force but by constant dripping.) That Latin saying, Sakharovsky explained, encapsulated the whole concept of disinformation and framing. Lying next to it was Mao Zedong’s version: ‘A lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth.’ The Kremlin’s repeated lie that Pius XII was Hitler’s Pope has become the ‘truth’ —a lie so firmly established against all evidence to the contrary, that for most educated people who have not looked closely at the subject, there seems nothing to discuss.” [end quote]

Like the serpent in Genesis 3, lies don’t announce their arrival, they slither in unnoticed.  When necessary, stand bravely for biblical truth.  Never shrink from biblical conviction. 

George Orwell famously said,

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

Orwell was repeating, in principle, what Jesus prayed two millennia ago,

“I have given [my followers] your word and the world has hated them,… Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

To those going into battle for Middle Earth, Tolkiens’ Gandalf offered,

“Courage will now be your best defense against the storm that is at hand.”

Be brave.  Don’t let others do your thinking for you.  And remember what is true:

“In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous; I have overcome the world.” – Jesus Christ

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Prayer Is Never Out of Season

God is always available. Pray in your bed at midnight, and God will not say, “I will listen to you tomorrow on your knees.” Pray upon your knees, and God will not say, “I will hear you at church on Sunday.” Prayer is never out of season, for God never sleeps and is always present.

Thomas Merton said,

“The only way to fail in prayer is not to show up.”

nw

 

A Nugget of Truth from this week’s time of Learning:  John 14 – Only One Way to Heaven?

I’ve been asked before, “Don’t all religions lead to God?”

Not according to Jesus.

When Thomas asked him, “How can we know the way?”, Jesus replied:

“I AM the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

One writer aptly wrote,

“All religions are not the same.  All religions do not point to [the God of the Bible.]  All religions do not say that all religions are the same.  At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is – or is not. Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known one. Every religion at its core is exclusive.”

When I see the familiar bumper sticker, ‘Coexist’, spelled out in the icons of different religions I think to myself, “Coexist? Yes.  Co-agree? No.”  I’ve written a blog on this topic here.

The Christian faith is exclusive and, as such, offensive.  People don’t want to hear that, as one ancient theologian wrote, “the only way to God is through God.”

But their argument isn’t with us, it’s with Christ.

nw

 

ANNIE ARMSTRONG OFFERING EMPHASIS THIS SUNDAY

This offering is specifically for mission work in North America.

 

PRACTICAL STUFF:

  • I am presently planning our next time of learning and training to help sharpen our teaching skills while also providing you with encouragement and inspiration.  Date and time are forthcoming.  First on the docket: The 7 Laws of the Learner.
  • Please do your best to start on time.  This is more of a problem among our 9:15 classes.  Your people don’t arrive on time?  They will when you begin starting on time.  If we applied the same “we’ll start when everyone arrives” line of thinking in the 10:45 service we wouldn’t being until 11:00.  If you start on time you will be able to end on time, allowing your class time to visit and use restrooms before the worship service begins. Help us out!  Be early.  And start on time.

 

Quote of the Week

Too Old for Fairy Tales? (not a chance :))

What follows is the dedication to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” from the “The Chronicles of Narnia”, written by C.S. Lewis to his God-child, Lucy Barefield.

My Dear Lucy,

“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow much quicker than books.  As a result, you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still.  But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.  You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it.  I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be….”

Your affectionate Godfather, C.S. Lewis

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

Soul Food: The Two Deaths of Ravi Zacharias

Zacharias was one of present day’s greatest and most gifted Christian apologists.  But he maintained a secret life of wickedness – and it finally caught up with him.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick