Twisted Tuesday – Liberty or Sin? Christians Drinking

My friends, I hope this post has found you all doing well. My prayer, before writing this, was that it edifies and encourages rather than tears down unity. I do covet your prayers, brethren, as I deal with difficult subjects, that I not over step any bounds. Today we’re going to discuss the popularity of Christians, mostly, I surmise, in the neo-reformed camps, taking to social media and posting pictures of themselves drinking. This trend took me off guard, as these photos were being posted by those whose accounts seemed not even to be personal, but for the purpose of ministry. Often times, between posts with Scriptures or quotes from Reformed men, there are memes with fowl language, pictures of them and company smoking, or drinking. We’ll talk about smoking next week, this week I just want to deal with the alcohol.

To be frank with you all, I have a level sensitivity towards drunkenness. With both parents having trouble with addiction, my childhood was rocked by outbursts of violence and frequent poverty due to drugs and alcohol. The sight, or smell, of strong drink tends to bring back memories I’d rather forget. So it will come as no surprise to you all that my husband and I do not drink. It didn’t come up all that often, as we were mostly in Pentecostal churches which pattern themselves after the Weslian Holiness movement, not even allowing dancing, much less drinking. That being said, while the Bible clearly calls drunkenness a sin in multiple verses, drinking in general is not. Do you have liberty to drink, so long as you don’t get drunk? I suppose so, until that liberty offends a brother or sister. Remember, dear ones, that our liberty in Christ begins and ends with love for the brethren. That we would do anything to cause another to stumble is unimaginable, it should be the furthest from or mind. That’s what I actually want to discuss, not having the drink, but the mindset about boasting in it.

Now all the cards are on the table, I have personal reasons why I don’t drink. Drunkenness is clearly a sin, and we also have to mind the image we put out to the world, that we in no ways offend one another or cause Gods name to be blasphemed. Unlike last week, where it was obviously a sin to use course language, drinking a glass of wine with dinner is not. We also need to take into account that we all have different maturity levels, so as to be careful not to cause one another to stumble. I could never drink in faith, or hold up a glass of alcohol and thank God for it, therefor to me it is a sin to drink. All that aside, why are there so many posting photos of themselves drinking? In what way does that glorify God, or edify and encourage the brethren? Sola Dio Gloria? All for the glory of God! We have liberty in Christ, should we not rather be boasting in our weakness and His strength, rather than in our ability to drink?

As far as I can see, these posts are for the pure purpose of boasting in liberty. That, dear ones, is not Biblical behavior, we do not flaunt our freedom in Christ before our weaker brethren. I’m not sure if this is being driven by immaturity, or pragmatism, but I am sure that it is in no way being driven by love. There are many ways where social media can be a wonderful place to minister, uplift, encourage, and even share the Gospel with the lost. On the other hand, there seems to be a unique opportunity to build the flesh with boastful and egotistical posts. We need to mortify that flesh! Am I missing something here, friends? I’d love to hear from you all on this, as many of you are far more mature, wise, and discerning than I am. Next Tuesday we’ll talk about the cigar photos, so stay tuned. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

*Update* For further insight into this area, our brother in Christ, Tom, over at ExCatholicforChrist has written an opinion here. I highly recommend it!

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Dynamic Series – Aerodynamics Part II The Principles

Here we discuss the four principles of Aerodynamics, and how great a God we serve, who set all things in order!

Last week we discussed the laws that govern aerodynamics, dear ones, and today we’re going to outline the principles that work within those laws. Remember, friends, that my purpose in this series is to glorify God in His intricate, beautiful, design for our universe. Order does not come from disorder, chaos can not form laws, explosions do not create but destroy. Within the sciences we see a clear picture of the creation, while glimpsing the majesty of the one who created. These evidences, while fascinating, are not intended as an apologetic to the lost, rather an encouragement to the born again. If you are reading this and are lost, it’s important that you know an ascent to knowledge of God can not save you, you must repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ alone. If you have any questions about salvation, or about aerodynamics, please feel free to ask! I’m no expert in either topic, but will do my best to answer.

The four principles of aerodynamics are actually really basic and easy to understand. The application of it, on the other hand, was way over my pay grade. The four principles are weight, lift, thrust, and drag. Weight, in this equation of elevation (see what I did there?) is in reference to the gravity pulling down on whatever device is attempting to fly. Lift is the second principle, and it acts against the weight, by moving more pressure under the wings, and less pressure above. You encounter this with kits on a nice windy day. The third principle is thrust, which is the motion in energy needed to move things forward, such as planes. With kits you are the thrust as you run, on a plane the propellers are the thrust. The final principle is the drag, which is something to stop the motion of the plane, or in our example the kit. These principles combine to allow the Laws of Motion give flight to man. The order of Gods creation is truly an awe inspiring science to study!

While we can in no ways copy the magnificence of bird and insect flight, we have managed to thrust massive molds of metal through the air by controlled explosions. Without the understanding of aerodynamics we would still be enjoying trains. The men who put these principles to good use did not create them, but merely understood them. There is one Creator, whose mind far exceeds our own, and whose sovereign will put things in motion. Last Monday I explained how there are certain consequences when we attempt to break the laws of gravity. In a similar way, if the principles of aerodynamics are ignored it would mean disaster for any onboard a plane.

Likewise, God, the writer of the Laws, has set down for man the Ten Commandments. As with other laws, there are consequences to breaking these. God, the righteous and just Judge, will hold us all accountable on the day of judgement for our law breaking. Lying, stealing, lustful or hateful thoughts, idolatry, coveting, and blasphemy to name only 7 of the 10. How many times a day do we break these Laws? If God is a just Judge, and He is a just Judge, He can not let any lawbreaker go unpunished. So, the Just and the Justifier, condescended to become man, He entered His creation as Jesus Christ, completely God and completely Man. He lived a sinless life, and died in the place of us wretched sinners, to pay the debt we owed. Now we must repent of our sins and place our trust in the finished works of Christ crucified. Like I said at the beginning, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Hymns from the Past – Do We not Know that Solemn Word

This short hymn, friends, was such a blessing to me. I love how the hymns from the past were deep, God centered, and Scriptural. Since reading and listening to these hymnals I can barely stand today’s breathy, sappy, man-centered music. Without further adieu, Isaac Watts ladies and gentlemen!

Do we not know that solemn word,

That we are buried with the Lord,

Baptized into his death, and then

Put off the body of our sin?

Our souls receive diviner breath,

Raised from corruption, guilt, and death;

So from the grave did Christ arise,

And lives to God above the skies.

No more let sin or Satan reign

Over our mortal flesh again;

The various lusts we served before

Shall have dominion now no more.

Perseid Meteor Shower

Hello dear ones, I pray this post has found you all well. I wanted to quickly remind all my homeschooling friends out there of this weekends unique learning opportunity. Also for my fellow parents, or lovers of Gods gorgeous creation, this event only happens once a year and its peaking this weekend. I haven’t seen Kayliegh this excited since, well, last years show! I am, of course, referring to the Perseid meteor shower, which is being harolded as the best one yet. This is due to the moon, and how perfectly the shower fell in regards to its phases. Rather than staying up late, we intend on having a very early morning picnic outside of town, to get a good show before dawn. Church starts 8:30, so this made more sense for us. However, if you’ve got a late service tomorrow, you can still get a great view of these astronomical particles flinging themselves into our atmosphere only to be burned up in bright flashes, starting around 11ish. This article gives some general weather information for the U.S. and some other neat facts about the Perseids.

For a really neat perspective, check this out here.

If you miss it tonight, never fear, there’s always tomorrow night. What an excellent opportunity to teach our little ones about comets, meteors, moon phases, and our atmosphere! It’s also another chance to reinforce Biblical creationism in our homes, as comets and meteors make a wonderful apologetic for a young universe. I briefly discussed this in our series on The Heavens Declare. This one snuck up on me, if I’m being honest, so I didn’t have time to prepare lessons. This is going to, essentially, be a homeschool field trip! I’ll be sure to add any pictures we take to this post, so there should be some updates. I’d love to hear from you, brethren, if you go to see them. Or if you have some homeschooling resources you’d like to share, that would also be wonderful. As always, friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – The Truth Chronicles The Ark

A review of the final book in the six book set The Truth Chronicles. What an excellent adventure these books have been!

This is the final review of this book series, friends, and as with most book series, it’s sad to see the last page! The Truth Chronicles is a creationist, Bible centered, young adult book series revolving around four teens that travel through time. If you haven’t caught my previous previews I’ll link them in at the bottom.

Written by Answers in Genesis’ Tim Chaffee and Joe Westbrook, this final installment is more jam packed with adventure than all the other books. As with the other books, we follow these teens as they come to Christ and grow in their faith. As this is the last book it’s only fitting that the last of the four friends bows her knee to Christ. The Ark is more adventure than evangelical or apologetical than the previous books. As a matter of fact, this was my least favorite of the six book series. Before I tell you why, I have to repeat that I absolutely adore these books and highly recommend them to every youth group.

That being said, the last book fell flat in a couple areas. Actually, all throughout the books I felt like the Gospel message was not strong enough. It’s there in a way that I feel young people can form questions to ask their parents, or even create an atmosphere of salvific conversations. There’s just not enough emphasis on our sinful natures, or clear explanations of repentance and faith. My second issue is the ending of the book, and this is purely surface level, personal opinions from yours truly, there was no evident end of the story line. There’s a grand adventure, but no closure with the characters or the plot.

Even with those issues, I still feel like this is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best book series for teens and preteens, or mature pre preteens like our little Kayleigh. In each book various different attack’s against Gods Word are addressed, there’s prayer and study, and the love for the brethren displayed. The storyline is phenomenally original, and there was no ‘yikes’ moment of Scriptural deviation that I saw. If you lead a youth group, are an elder in your church, or have kiddos yourself, get these book in the hands of a young person. You can find the paperback here, and the full series here. Also, in case you missed them, here is a list of previous reviews; Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four, and Book Five. If you have a book you’d like me to review please feel free to list it in the comments. As always, my dear and beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Liberty or Sin? Christians Cursing

A couple months ago, dear friends, I began noticing a few different things that were bothersome to me. I saw professing believers posting foul language, alcohol, and photos of themselves smoking cigars. If that’s you, before you scream legalist, or tell me all about how you have liberty in Christ, please read the entirety of my posts. Maybe we can help one another understand the other side a little better. First, I have to tell you that when this issue became too frequently placed before me I did what the Bible tells wives to do, I asked my husband. If you have a believing spouse I would encourage you to go to them in these matters, and search the Scriptures together. It’s such a blessing to have a spouse who can help in these areas! He showed me there’s really two categories here, Sin and Christian Liberty.

If you’ve followed me long enough you know already, I love a good series of posts! So I’m going to dig into each category, focusing on the three issues listed above. Today I’d like to tackle the language I’ve heard and seen posted on social media. I have heard, or read foul language from pastors, “worship bands”, Christian sites, and professing Christians on social media. How can this be when the Bible clearly tells us not to let any unwholesome words come out of our mouth? The only argument I’ve heard for this type of behavior is Christian liberty. We need to be clear, brethren, our liberty does not cover sin. Furthermore, this type of language spoken publicly, on social media, causes men to blaspheme the name of God. I have family members who will not hear the Gospel because their hearts have been hardened by Christians acting like pagans. At the least we ought to love the lost enough to show self control.

I’m not referring to the off chance you stub your toe and let out a bad word by mistake, beloved. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m speaking directly to the preplanned action of writing out, and posting or speaking publicly, this type of language. Does that fall under Christian liberty, friends? Even if Paul was referencing swear words in Romans, which he clearly was not because that would be contradicting other verses, you’re Christian liberty begins and ends in love for the brethren. If you boasting, or proudly posting on social media, about your liberty offends a brother is sister, then you’ve officially crossed beyond your freedom in Christ. Even to that point, why would we ever feel it scriptural to boast of our freedom in Christ?

I found this article by CARM very helpful in understanding whether or not cursing is sinful. As we go out into the world and share the Gospel we’re often met by foul mouthed pagans, and most times their language, though not surprising, is difficult to listen to. We ought to be about the business of edifying and encouraging one another, but hearing so many using the same language as the lost was anything but. If you’ve read this and recognized you’re guilty as charged I ask that you would search the Scriptures. Don’t take my word for it, take His Word, and when you see these verses have been used in proper context, repent. God is gracious and forgiving, He will not allow His children to remain in sin. Stay tuned for next Tuesday, we’ll address Christians drinking. Spoiler alert, my concern is the boasting, bragging, picture taking attitude behind the glass. As always, dear ones, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved. (This was a serious topic, so here’s a little something to make you smile)

Dynamic Series – Aerodynamics Part I: The Laws

It’s Monday, beloved brethren, and that means it’s time to stretch your brain! As I detailed last Monday, we’re going to be discussing in brevity Aerodynamics for the next few weeks. Today specifically we’re going to look at Newton’s Laws of motion and Bernoulli’s principle. I pray that this series blesses you by showing you Gods intricate design of our world.

Newton’s three Laws of Motion are inertia, force, and lastly action and reaction. For some of us this was something we learned a very long time ago. Just as a reminder, inertia (1st Law) is the law that states things at rest will stay at rest, and things in motion will stay in motion. Force (2nd Law) is the law that states an object will move based on its own weight and the weight of the force. Action and reaction (3rd Law) is the law that states there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action. These are the scientific laws aerodynamics is based on, but who was the man who wrote them?

Isaac Newton, born premature in 1642 to a newly widowed mother, had a childhood marked by two things, hardship and a desire for Gods Word. As he grew up during the civil war in England (that same war where John Bunyan was nearly killed) he decided to become a minister. Once finishing his degree London was overwhelmed by the Black Plague, so Newton returned home instead. Eventually he realized he had theological differences with the Church of England and later refused ordination. While he was absolutely brilliant at everything he did, including mathematics, physics, and astronomy, he wrote more on God’s Word than all other subjects. Newton believed his scientific pursuit was akin to delving into the mind of God, and held to a Biblical Creationist view throughout his life.

We’re often mocked as Christians when we profess to believe Gods Word above evolution. Remember, dear ones, that what we’re being asked to believe is In The Beginning nothing. That nothing exploded into everything, but no one knows how or why. That explosion which would have propelled the universe into mass chaos eventually settled down into the beautifully well defined laws we see today. Those who hold to that belief will still accuse us, as born again believers, of clinging to fairytales written by men. We need not be intimidated by unbelievers, but rather let us remember who we were before the grace of God saved us, and how many ways our wretched hearts wanted against God and His people. Now then, what of that Bernoulli principle? I hate to make my posts this long, but you’ve read this far, what’s a little further?

Daniel Bernoulli was born in 1700 to a family of mathematicians. Not as much is known about his religious life as we know about Newton’s, except that his family suffered persecution, and eventually had to flee, due to their Calvinism. What we do know is that his work was heavily influenced by Newton’s work. Bernoulli’s principle essentially states that air flowing under an objects wings pushes up creating lift, while the air flowing over the wings elevates pressure. We’ll hear more about this particular scientist when we get to hydrodynamics.

Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s principle, while studied and named by them, were not written by them. They existed long before these men were born, and have the same Author as the Ten Commandments. We obey the Laws of Gravity, we even obey the Laws of Motion, where mankind finds an impossibility is to follow Gods written Laws. We’ve all lied, blasphemed, lusted, and hated if not in deed, in thought. Not a single one of us have ever given God the place of honor in our lives that He deserves. We’re sinners, my friends, and one day we will all face judgement. As with gravity, when we break these laws the consequences are deadly. There is Good News though, while God must judge the wicked, Christ died in our place, paying the debt we owed from sinning against the God who created all things. Today is the day of salvation, repent of your sins, and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Next Monday we’ll look into the four principles of flight. Until tomorrow, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.