Sunday, June 22, 2008

Prayers for the Family of David Shawn Blanton, Jr.

We had a tragedy in Haywood County, NC this past week. His victim's name was David Shawn Blanton, Jr. and he was a North Carolina State Trooper in our area. The tragedy was a man named Edwardo Wong II whose fallen and wicked heart brought him to kill Mr. Blanton with cold blooded calculation. Granted, he is only charged with this horrible crime and I am sure the details of this tragedy will come out in trial. Nonetheless, a young husband and father of a two week old baby died doing his duty for the citizens of our state. There was an amazing funeral service yesterday and after returning from bringing my wife her lunch at her workplace I decided to drive through the Lake Junaluska retreat on the way back to our home. I had forgotten about the funeral and when I came upon the auditorium by the lake, I was amazed. There were thousands of people there. There were hundreds of cars along Highway 19 with people milling about to pay respects when Mr. Blanton's body would be carried back to Cherokee, the place of his family's home. … and now, a new baby will go through this world never having known it's father and needlessly so.

The story of this young man is here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The 91st Psalm

This is one of my personal favorites in all of the Bible and I meditate upon it here with the thoughts of my grandchildren fresh in mind …


 

1 ¶ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 ¶ Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


 

Take time out of this hectic day and praise the LORD with every fibre of our being.

Are You Christocentric?

I was thinking of something I wrote on another forum a while ago and it continues to tug at me. In examining the Calvinist view of election, I am drawn to the notion that if one's focus and center of their soteriology is that of predestined election, from before the foundations of the world, can such a view truly be considered Christocentric? I realize that my perception of the beliefs expressed by Calvinists may be weighed down by an objection to their premise, yet if coming to save only the elect, chosen before Christ (not speaking of the Logos, but of the Messiah), then how can a Calvinist claim to be Christocentric at all? Christ serves the purpose of the Elect under such a scheme. It seems that Calvinism, rather than centered upon Christ, is focused instead on Election. The LORD's election of souls provides the purpose of Christ if the Calvinist view is to be believed. This strikes me as completely backwards. From the Arminian view (and the right Christian view in my opinion) Christ is The Elect and His purpose was to bring a provision for salvation to the world, not an elect world as our Calvinist friends assert, but to a fallen world in need of a savior. Our election is predicated upon being one in Him and we look to Him as the savior, the redeemer who provides a way for all men who hear the Gospel of His life, death, burial and resurrection to find salvation and eternal life.

The question I must ask is "Are you focused upon the predestined election of souls for whom you must believe is the purpose of Christ or is the focus and object of your faith upon the One who is The Elect of God and the purpose is your Christ centered service to Him"?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Newborn Arminian


I cannot be a Calvinist with any measure of conscience. As I peered into this newborn's eyes I came to the stark realization that contrary to the Calvinist assertion that the LORD purposefully creates souls as fodder for hell, He brings souls in this world for the purpose of Love. I bring a bias here. This is my newborn grandson born on June 5, 2008 at 10 o'clock in the evening. His name is Benjamin Riley Mallett and I hold him daily bonding and letting him know his grandfather (Papa to him and my other three grandchildren) by sight and voice. I have fed him with breast milk (not mine obviously), burped him, changed him and talked to him of the LORD. He will be raised up in the LORD and taught the doctrines of Christ.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Why Am I An Arminian?

Having been away from this task for a while, I want to return to a quest of sorts. Who am I as an Arminian? This is not a question of what kind of Christian I am for there is only one kind of Christian, one who abides in Christ. Of course, we attach a myriad of labels, thoughts, outlooks, paradigms, viewpoints etc. to how we define our soteriology and hermeneutic. We are Arminian, Free-will Baptist, Particular Baptist, Calvinist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Orthodox, synergistic, monergistic and a host of other descriptives. Yet, for those among the labels who abide in Christ and He in us, we are Christians. Simply put, we are one body. Even still, I am an Arminian within that body and that defines how I approach theological issues. Putting aside the vitriolic expression of sectarian theology that pervades many discussions of Arminian vs. them or Calvinist vs. us, I desire to fully understand why I call myself an Arminian.

There is an undisputable truth among this One body, that being God is Love. It is Agape, a kind of love that is an expression of the LORD and unattainable by His fleshly creation of our own merit. Naturally, we love our own kind, we love our children, our friends and our personal interests but lacking agape we have no love for our enemies. Such a love is not natural to the flesh except perhaps in an outward fashion yet strip the fa├žade off the worldly purveyors of "brotherly love" and enmity will always show it's ugly face. Fallen man is fallen throughout his entire being and as such agape has no place. Now enter Love or God in the lives of fallen men. We become new creations, not just imputed with righteousness but imparted with the Love of God, that agape love that can only be comprehended with the mind of Christ. Only then can we love our enemies and it is because of that truth that I call myself an Arminian. God loves his enemies.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Ro 5:6-8 AV)

As sinners we were at war with the LORD. We hated him. We were His enemy at every turn yet the LORD so loves the world that we have Christ in our midst. I am Arminian because God is Love and that love knows no bounds with regard to this fallen world. There is no man that God hates and cannot love. I am Arminian because I know that any man hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having been freed by the grace of God, can turn to Him for salvation