Christ our Mighty Champion

This Is What We Have To Do
December 21, 2007, 10:17 pm
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“It’s alright to talk about ‘long white robes over yonder,’ in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here. It’s alright to talk about ‘streets flowing with milk and honey,’ but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s alright to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preacher must talk about the New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 3, 1968, the eve of his assassination, at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.


A Revolution of Values
December 19, 2007, 10:43 am
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“We must rapidly begin…we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says: ‘Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word’.

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’ There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: ‘The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.'”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One year to the day before he was assassinated.  We must ponder today how such thinking applies to the terrorism of our world.

Quick Note for Boyce College
December 17, 2007, 11:22 pm
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Spurgeon says in his preface to Thomas Watson’s A Body of Divinity:

“We are not at all surprised to learn that Thomas Watson enjoyed the repute, while at Cambridge, of being a most laborious student; the great Puritanic authors must have been most industrious workers at the university, or they never would have become such pre-eminent masters in Israel.  The conscientious student is the most likely man to become a successful preacher.”

A Finished Plan
December 16, 2007, 5:38 pm
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Bob Dylan may the smartest man who ever lived:

“I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night, in the violence of a summer’s dream, in the chill of a wintry light, in the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space, in the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face. I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea. Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me. I am hanging in the balance of a perfect finished plan like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.”


The Virus of Nationalism
December 15, 2007, 1:22 am
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against Vietnam on the 4th of April, 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City in a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence.”  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this quote:

“To me the relationship of this ministry (the ministry of Jesus Christ) to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I’m speaking against the war.  Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men — for Communist and Capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative?  Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them?  What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One?  Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

And finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God.  Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions.  We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls ‘enemy,’ for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.”

I too often trade broad and deep brotherhood for narrow and shallow nationalism.  The Church must speak for the weak.  Especially those that our country has victimized.  Oh that God would make us the voice of the voiceless.

The Man
November 1, 2007, 4:35 pm
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That’s what I’m talkin about Dr. O!

Blessings From The Doctor
October 29, 2007, 1:54 pm
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Consider these words from the Doctor himself, D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, in a sermon on Ezekiel 36:35-36:

“Above, beyond it all, standing in all its glory, its magnificence, the Cross on Calvary is held. God’s way of saving man. Oh loving wisdom of our God! When all was sin and shame a second Adam to the fight and to the conflict came. In the garden secretly and in the Cross on high yes it all involved in this. But supremely on the Cross on high. God’s way is this, to take your sins and mine and to put them on Him. Oh the love of God! Oh the mind and the wisdom of God that ever thought of it! Oh the love of Christ that volunteered to do it and to bear it! And in addition to it all, the power of it all, He was big enough and great enough and holy enough and strong enough to take the sin, to bear the punishment! And yet, though dying to rise again. He satisfied the law, He has conquered death and the grave, He has vanquished hell and every enemy, He rises victorious out of the strife and has gone back to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God’s power and Glory at this very moment! And it is by all that that God saves us.

Therefore as Christians we are witnesses and testifiers of this, I am what I am by the Grace of God! By nothing else. I’m not here because I pulled myself together by the exercise of my will! I’m a sinner saved by the Grace of God! I’m a weakling that has recieved the life of God in Christ. I am what I am solely by His grace and nothing else. I am a debtor to mercy alone and of Covenant mercy I sing! We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works that He has appointed.”