Today, 11/11, is Veterans Day. I met one of BHBC’s veterans this morning for coffee. Find a veteran today and thank them for defending our freedom – freedom we far too often take for granted.
Guest preacher: Jim Brown
Early service only: A special “thank you” and prayer time for Tom (and Diane) Heath. Tom begins his pastorate at FBC, Meadow, on Sunday, 11/21.
This week’s tip: Prayer
**Please see this week’s Soul Food blog below.
IS JESUS “WOKE?”
In mainstream vernacular, “woke” basically means “be alert to, and aware of, injustices.” But, since the chaos of 2020, the word has developed a much wider – and subjective – meaning.
Below is a post of mine from this past week in response to a Texas politician’s claim that “if Jesus were here today he would be woke.”
Sixty-year-old Democratic candidate for Texas lieutenant governor, Matthew Dowd, made national news yesterday when he tweeted that Jesus would be accused of being woke today (see his tweet below).
Dowd’s tweet was precipitated by Democrat strategist, James Carville, blaming “stupid wokeness” for his party’s surprising election defeat in Virginia last week.
Wow. Where do I even begin?
First, I would tell Dowd to change churches if that’s what he got out of the sermon.
Second, I would invite Dowd to do something he’s clearly never done: open his Bible and read the four biographies of Jesus.
In all four accounts, rather than enjoying increasing acceptance (from being woke), Jesus is the target of escalating hatred, vitriol, and disgust. Why is that?
Because Jesus said things – a lot of things – the ancient woke crowd found offensive, bigoted and intolerant.
For example, Jesus said his design for marriage is between a man and a woman. His own conception demonstrated that life begins at conception. And he warned everyone of an eternity of torment in a devil’s hell if they did not confess him as God and Savior.
Does Jesus still sound “woke” to you, Mr. Dowd?
Mike Yaconelli used to say, “Everyone wants a ‘nice Jesus.’”
But Rome didn’t crucify people for being “nice.” (Or, in Dowd’s words, “treating everyone with respect and dignity.”)
Jesus didn’t merely treat people with respect and dignity. He loved them (and us) as his priceless treasure.
Jesus was dangerous. He was fearless. He didn’t bow to the woke mob. He didn’t shrink from the truth. He did not (could not) tolerate sin.
And they killed him for it.
In short, Dowd reduces Jesus to his own biased, subjective definition of “human decency and dignity.” In other words, Dowd reduces Jesus to “a Jesus created in the image of Dowd.”
Dowd wants a Jesus who has no demands on his life, or disagreements with his opinions.
The Bible tells of no such Jesus.
Are the New Testament Gospels (biographies of Jesus) manufactured legends and fake news?
No. Not even nearly.
There is much I could offer here. But allow me to offer insight from a professor describing himself as “agnostic with atheistic leanings.”
Bart Ehrman is a New Testament scholar – who does not believe Jesus is who he said he is. But even Ehrman writes,
“The oldest and best resources we have for knowledge about the life of Jesus…are the four Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”
“This is simply not the view of Christian historians…; it is the view of all serious historians of antiquity of every kind, from committed Christians to hardcore atheists.”
Further, it is rarely appreciated that for us to have four gospels is remarkable. That is an abundance of material to have about any individual of that period. In fact, even though Jesus was on the periphery of the Roman Empire, we have as many early sources about his life and teaching as we have about activities and conversations of Tiberius, emperor during Jesus’ public activities.
IS CHRISTIANITY THE FOOL’S RELIGION?
I drove by a storefront recently with a sign outside that took a cheap shot at Christians, insinuating we aren’t thinkers, gullible enough to believe just about anything.
I sat in a seminar once listening to Yale Law School grad – and former ardent atheist – Lee Strobel. It was years ago. I had never heard of him before.
He looked at us all intently and said with a confidence I rarely see from Christians,
“Christianity is an intelligent, defensible faith.”
“To continue in atheism, I’d need to believe nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason. I just didn’t have that much faith.”
Houston Baptist University New Testament professor, Jeremiah Johnston, created what he calls the Christian Thinkers Society. The slogan is: “Teaching thinkers to be Christians, and Christians to be thinkers.”
Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to “examine the faith.” Christ encourages one and all to put him under a microscope. Study him. Analyze his claims. Try to explain away his miracles and resurrection. He’s not afraid. Rather, he’s quite confident you will discover that he is exactly who he claimed to be.
Think deeply, nw
QUOTE(s) of the WEEK
“The day will come when He will cleanse the earth from the Serpent’s slimy trail.” – Charles Spurgeon
Read the media and you’ll know (sort of) what’s happening in the world. Read the Bible and you’ll know why.
LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE
Police came to my house last night and told me my dogs were chasing people on bikes.
My dogs don’t even have bikes.
- On an electrician’s truck: Let us remove your shorts.
- On an optometrist’s office: If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.
- On a fence: Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive.
- At a car dealership: The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.
- Outside a muffler shop: No appointment necessary. We heard you coming.
SOUL FOOD: A Prayer
Read the blog here.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick