Pour out Your Heart

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8, ESV).

            David turns from a reflection on his personal confidence in God’s protection to an exhortation that all should turn to the Lord.  God can be trusted in every situation; His people should lay before Him all of the fears and concerns that fill our hearts, surrendering every burden to His Fatherly care.

            God cares for His people.  Part of faith is this continual surrender of our needs, our fears, our worries, pouring out our hearts to the Lord, and trusting that He will do what is wise and good in every circumstance.

A-woman Again

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Representative Eric Swalwell has drawn a little attention from an incidental remark wherein he referred to God using the pronoun ‘herself.’ This sort of blasphemy is not surprising on the cultural left–and blasphemy it is, to willfully feminize God, who has always revealed Himself in masculine pronouns–but it is an instructive reminder of what lies at the bottom of the sexual revolution. This ideology is not, at the last, about freedom or love or individuality; it is about idolatry.

It’s easy to see the sort of logic that might push someone on the religious left towards feminized deity: it’s all about power dynamics, and deity is seen as the highest glass ceiling. How can any woman really get to the top if, ultimately, He is at the top? So feminist theology has, for some now, pursued the quest for a goddess. We see this in academia, in iconography, and, as in the present case, in popular culture.

This is all part of the project of self-actualization, self-centering of the sexual revolution. All obstacles to our freedom are to be abolished. With abortion, it manifests in the denial of responsibility for the life of the child which impinges on our freedom; with divorce, denial of the covenantal union which threatens to make us for-another and united-with-another instead of with and for ourselves; with promiscuity the barriers to self-centering are obvious, and so also with the whole LGBTQ+ alphabet. But feminism, remarkably enough, is what takes the project to its fullest extent.

By feminism, of course, I do not mean what feminism might have once meant (and still touches on in some ways): contending for the simple truth that women are fully human, equal in value and dignity, responsible moral agents. By feminism, I mean what mainstream feminism now is and has long been: a project of revolt against God’s good design for man and woman. In this sense, it is an arm of the sexual revolution, and plays a major role in the revolution’s cultural advance.

But a revolution revolts against some authority or power. Who is the sexual revolution in revolt against? Not ultimately, as its footsoldiers might believe, oppressive patriarchy or antiquated norms. It is in revolt against God, who created man and woman, who created human sexuality, and who has established its nature, purpose, and the good boundaries that allow for true freedom and flourishing. The sexual revolution is merely one particularly consuming aspect of mankind’s rebellion against the maker–and we see this, in stark clarity, with the feminist attempt to feminize God. For while the sexual revolution in its manifold aspects attacks the dignity and identity of men made in the image of God, this final expression of feminism goes after the God in whose image we are made.

All of this is sobering to observe. But do not lose heart. There is good news–very much, very good news.

In the first place, God is invincible. He cannot be disfigured. In His great forbearance, He permits blasphemy for awhile, but idolaters cannot tarnish the glory of the Holy One. God will vindicate His honor, in His time; at the last, every knee shall bend, every mouth declare the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

In the second place, God does forbear, and idolaters of every sort are invited to receive the amnesty of the Almighty. By faith in Jesus Christ, those who scorn God now may yet come to know Him as Father, and the wonderful privilege of adoption as His children. It is not too late.

A fundamental choice is laid before all of us, a call to repentance, with the wonderful promise of restoration, redemption, and resurrection. We may know God–not just abstractly, but personally; not just as the Father, but as our Father. But we may only know God on His terms, not on our own. We may only know Him as He has revealed Himself–as He truly is, not as we would have Him be.

Knowing Him a He truly is, we also come to know ourselves as we truly are, and in sanctification we embrace the selves that He has called, and empowered us, to be. This self is not self-centered but Christ-centered, renewed in the image of the Creator. There, unsurprisingly, lies the secret of creaturely joy.

Salvation and Glory

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

“On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God” (Psalm 62:7, ESV).

            In this verse, David elaborates on the theme of God as fortress he has been repeating (vv.2, 6).  God is the center of his hope.  Trust is expressed in two dimensions: declaring God the focus of his future, and describing God as the place of safety from danger.  Turning aside from all vain glory and all passing hopes of deliverance, true confidence is to be found in the unfailing, invincible God.

            God is able to protect and provide, to rescue and redeem, to free and fulfill, in every time, in every place, in every situation.  Make God your total trust.  He will save and glorify those who place their faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  He will be a stronghold of hope for those who call upon Him.

He Alone

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2, ESV).

            In another psalm, David reflects on his confidence in God’s protection against the schemes of the wicked.  Though enemies assail him, (vv.3-4), he will trust in God’s deliverance (vv.5-7).  Notable in this psalm is the repeated reference to God as the only hope, the sole reliance of His people (vv.1, 2, 5, 6).  In God alone should we hope; He is able to bring us through every trial.

            Even when you must wait, wait confidently upon the Lord.  God is compassionate and gracious, matchless in might, faithful and good.  He is all the confidence His people need, and He is the only one who never fails.  May you face every struggle in reliance upon His infinite strength.

An Easy Question

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Jason Jimenez, writing in the Christian Post, asks a question both pointed and quite easy to answer, “Why does the media give a pass to Biden’s faith?” The question might be more broadly applied, as Jimenez does, to the better part of the cultural and political left. In an era where consistent Christian beliefs are frequently tarred by the left, and a particular season where a wide variety of orthodox Christians are being painted together with the pejorative label ‘Christian nationalism’, why is Biden’s professed Catholicism, not only personally but in his politics, so gushingly held forth?

The answer, again, is rather obvious, and Jimenez knows it: Biden is advancing the leftist agenda. While some on the cultural left object to Christian faith per se, the more usual objections are to the Christian worldview and its whole outlook on human flourishing–particularly, in recent times, to the Christian teaching that mankind is made up of men and women, who are neither changeable nor interchangeable. Opposing this worldview calls for championing secularism and labeling Christians as dangerous, nationalists, bigots, and so forth.

But when you find political champions who claim Christian allegiance but promote your secular pluralistic worldview, that’s a different story. Now you have an avenue for claiming that Christian faith is consistent with the sexual revolution and its anthropology–which is what the religious left consistently provides. Not everyone in the cultural left will like it; as Religion News Service recently observed, “Secular groups praise Biden’s agenda but express concerns about religious rhetoric“. But you’re advancing the secular policies. At the end of the day, as Rachel Laser of Americans United is quoted in the article, “actions are so much more important than words”. As long as its just ‘religious rhetoric’, not actually an applied Christian worldview, its fairly tolerable to the hard secularists, and useful to the religious left in general.

In the end, the common ground between leftist disdain for the Catholic identity of Justice Barrett and promotion of the Catholic identity of President Biden is the advance of secular ideology. Reaction to Christian identity is conditioned on whether the professed Christianity is challenging or bolstering the secular worldview.

Is there a hypocrisy and inconsistency at work? Of course. But is there anything surprising or hard to understand? Not at all.

Mighty and Merciful

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

“O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.  My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies” (Psalm 59:9-10, ESV).

            This is another psalm of David where he pleads with God for deliverance from the machinations of men.  The arrogance of the wicked is countered, and overcome, by the saving might of God.  Despite the plots of evil men, David knows confidence because of God’s merciful perfection; thrice in the psalm this twin theme is repeated, of God as a secure fortress and of God’s “steadfast love”, on which His servant relies (vv.9-10, 16, 17).

            Steel yourself in the blessed comfort of God’s strength and mercy.  The Lord is able to save from any situation, to defend against any danger; the Lord is kind to those who call on Him, and compassionate to His children.  Take refuge in God Almighty.

Trees and Talks and Towns

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The podcast Mortification of Spin features a pair of orthodox Presbyterians and their guests discussing various issues. Last week’s episode had some very helpful observations about the rocketing advance of the sexual revolution in recent years, particularly the issue of transgenderism.

One of the areas brought into the discussion was how our technological developments interface with this whole issue, not only with the dissemination and reinforcement of ideology, but with the way our use of technology affects our ideas of personhood.

Social media, for instance, has its uses. I’m using it right now, for its wonderful possibilities as communicative tool. But it also has tremendous dangers, and seems to me increasingly used as a tool of ideological reinforcement. This is important for all of us to consider, but especially for parents raising their children in this tech-saturated world. Parents: are you attentive to not only what your teen might be doing on social media, but what social media might be doing to your teen?

The confluence of technology and gender ideology is, in part, that both threaten to uproot us from reality. We use the tools of technology, and we can use them profitably; but we need to be deliberate about keeping our fundamental connection with the real world, with God’s good creation, with the people and places and things that form the real context of our earthly sojourn. Transitory though trees and talks and towns may be, they are the real things of life, the real world in which God has begun to unfold renewal towards eternity.