Echoes From the Campfire

There are many ways you can see things, aside from your eyes.  A man can see with his mind, his spirit, his heart.”
–Clair Huffaker (The Cowboy and the Cossack)

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
–Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
                    “On famed, eternal camping-ground,
                     Their silent tents are spread,
                     And glory guards with solemn round
                     The bivouac of the dead.”
                            –Gettysburg National Cemetery

We took my grandson, Garrett, to Gettysburg the other day.  At the end of our trip, we went to the cemetery.  Of course, being a five-year-old he wanted to run, play, and climb.  Shauna was explaining to him that in a cemetery we are supposed to show reverence and respect.  That is a hard concept for a five-year-old, but he obeyed.  He didn’t step on the markers and stones that represented the final resting place of the known, and the unknown.  Hmmm, seems to me that there are some older than him that do not yet understand the concept of reverence and respect.
Now, as Christians we know that is not a final resting place, for after death comes the judgment.  Every man will stand before his or her Creator to be sent to either a resting place or a place of judgment.  We often forget that this life is a “training ground” for eternity.  Choices here reflect to an extend what happens there.  One for is certain the acceptance or rejection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
A few years back an argument developed with a person in the church I was attending.  He insisted that Jesus had a sin nature.  I simply said “no” at first, but he kept pressing the issue.  I finally began to explain the doctrine of the incarnation to him.  That’s when he bowed his neck and kept insisting he was right.  I started to walk away, for you cannot argue with fools.  Finally, he said, “Well, can we agree to disagree?”  I quickly replied, “Not when it comes to matters of heresy!”
I’m kind of seeing the same thing happening now.  I saw where one person said that he teaches that tolerance toward all views should be accepted.  No!  Emphatically, no!  Heresy is never accepted.  False views are never accepted.  If a person believes in anarchy, that cannot be accepted.  Listen, there is a time and place to be dogmatic.  Agree or disagree, that is my belief toward the National Anthem.  I am a citizen of the United States, and we do have problems, but we face them and try to straighten them out, but not with disgracing the heritage of the nation.
Things have not changed over the last ten years, and much of this “protest” is not against problems, but simply against a man.  I read where thirty percent of the workers in the Department of the Interior are not in favor of President Trump.  So what!!  They have a job to do, not a person to bow to.  I had people in the military when I served that I didn’t necessarily agree with or like, but they gave the orders and as long as it was not an illegal order, I did it.  I didn’t go sit down and protest.
One more thought on the subject.  Since the 1970s, this country has slowly moved toward a postmodern culture.  When I taught my Bible class I told students that this is the most dangerous worldview.  It sneaks in, and seeks to destroy, dismantle, or disfigure truth.  This worldview ultimately is one of anarchy as they teach that each person is autonomous; right and wrong is up to the individual.  I read a good description of why things are happening.  It started under Bush, but was softened under Obama and therefore the concept gained strength.  But we have a “modern” President (the old values and principles) in a postmodern culture.  Ponder it!
“One of the problems with the church is that we have created flowery, happy places where everyone appears to be an inch deep and a mile wide.”
–David Dusek

Could you sit down and have a discussion on the major doctrines of the church?  If not, shame on you, and shame on us.  I have heard people use the excuse that we should be “doing” and not be concerned with dogma and doctrine.  Listen!  You cannot have practical theology without first having doctrinal theology.  Your practice must fit your theology, not developing your theology to fit your practice–that is going to spell disaster.
Know what you believe!  The cross was not covered with flowers and sweet smelling candles.  It was covered with blood.  Why?  Because sin is terrible and Christ took sin upon Himself.  Sin is gruesome and to defeat it is a gruesome business.