Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
From: Living Waters.com
I watched a lot of holocaust footage while researching for, Hitler, God, and the Bible and its accompanying “Hitler’s Religion” DVD. I read eye-witness accounts of families of Jews being shot, and some of them buried while still alive. I stared through tear-filled eyes at photos of innocent Jewish women (some in their teens) being paraded through the streets, and then hung publically. They weren’t given the mercy of a quick drop to break the neck. Instead, thin rope was deliberately used to make the hanging last longer. The photos show other Jews being made to watch, and German soldiers smiling as they dangled by the rope.
Jews were made to pull teeth from the dead bodies of their fellow countrymen that had been gassed, and extract gold. The corpses were then thrown into ovens for cremation. If gold was missed, those doing the extracting were thrown alive into the ovens.
Adolf Hitler systematically and cruelty slaughtered six million men, women, and children in the horror we call the “holocaust.” After the war, Hitler shot himself, and many Nazis fled to the haven of Argentina to happily live out the rest of their days without being brought to justice.
In Love Wins, Rob Bell informs us that the Bible’s references to a place called "Hell"--are speaking of nothing more than Gehenna, the burning trash heap outside Jerusalem, during the time of Christ. Instead of justice, loves wins, and Hitler will be in Heaven along with every evil unrepentant Nazi who threw Jews alive into ovens, buried them while still alive in mass graves, tortured, raped, and murdered so many. Enjoying the pleasures of Heaven with the Nazis we will find every throat-cutting rapist, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Mao Tse-tung, Uganda’s machete-wielding murderers, the man who cut the head off Michael Pearl, Osama Bin Laden, Pol Pot, Charles Manson, all 19 of the al-Qaeda 911 terrorists, and every child-molester that ever lived. They may all make it to Heaven.
Rob Bell goes as far as to suggest that people will have an opportunity to change their mind about God and make their way into Heaven, after they die. What's clear in his book is that the god in whom Bell believes will not exercise a just and holy wrath against anyone. He says that no one will be eternally punished.
I didn’t write, The Defender’s Guide for Life’s Tough Questions—to counter Bell’s twisted theology—but it thankfully does. It lists all the references to Hell in the Old Testament. It addresses the “Hitler is in Heaven” issue, and it deals with why God allows suffering, why He allows evil, His ‘sanctioning’ of slavery, why He lets children get cancer, and His merciless judgments.
This is one good thing that is coming from Love Wins. It’s making people think about this issue, question men like Bell, and ask how he managed to make it into a pulpit. They are rethinking the Bible’s warning about ear-tickling preachers and how Jesus warned “Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” God is love, but He is also just and holy. Hitler will get his dues, and that is good news for those who lost loved ones in the holocaust and want desperately to see that justice is done.
God showed both His great love and His perfect righteousness, through the cross. He provided a Savior to save us from His just wrath and, in His great mercy, give us everlasting life. Those who refuse to repent and trust in Him will find that God keeps His Word. There is good news for Jews. There is a Hell. Justice wins.
Friday, April 8, 2011
The18th Century preacher John Newton--most famous for writing the hymn Amazing Grace--held to the Reformed faith by strong conviction. His attitude toward those of the Arminian persuasion, however, was very different than that of some of the Reformed brethren in his day...and especially different than that of many of the purported Calvinists of our day. The following is an excerpt from the sermon, John Newton: The Tough Roots of His Habitual Tenderness by John Piper:
Newton had a strong, clear Calvinistic theology. He loved the vision of God in true Biblical Calvinism: In the preface to the Olney hymns, he wrote, "The views I have received of the doctrines of grace are essential to my peace; I could not live comfortably a day, or an hour, without them. I likewise believe . . . them to be friendly to holiness, and to have a direct influence in producing and maintaining a gospel conversation; and therefore I must not be ashamed of them." But he believed "that the cause of truth itself may be discredited by an improper management." Therefore, he says, "The Scripture, which . . . teaches us what we are to say, is equally explicit as to the temper and Spirit in which we are to speak. Though I had knowledge of all mysteries, and the tongue of an angel to declare them, I could hope for little acceptance or usefulness, unless I was to speak 'in love.'"
Of all people who engage in controversy, we, who are called Calvinists, are most expressly bound by our own principles to the exercise of gentleness and moderation. . . . The Scriptural maximum, that "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God," is verified by daily observation. If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn, we may think we are doing service to the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit.
He had noticed that one of the most "Calvinistic" texts in the New Testament called for tenderness and patience with opponents, because the decisive work was God's:
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." (2 Timothy 2:24, rsv)
So, for the sake of repentance and knowledge of truth, Newton's pattern of tenderness in doctrinal matters was to shun controversy.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Last month a couple brothers and I visited the volcanic crater lake of Santa Maria del Oro, in the state of Nayarit. The serene, tranquil location provided an ideal escape from the clatter and busyness of life in the big city.
I would love to live in a place like this.
I would love to live in a place like this.
|The lake changes colors every so often due to volcanic gases. It was a reddish shade when we went.|
|A friendly neighborhood cat.|
|View from above the lake.|