Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Don’t Waste Your Vote

There is a good article on Dr. Mohler’s blog about Obama and the abortion issue…also you should read the article that he links to at www.thepublicdiscourse.com.

Here is how I would counsel anyone who asks me about how they should vote. In my mind, if two (or three or four or however many) candidates are both pro-life and one has a larger constituency and so a greater chance of winning the election – then I will vote for the one who opposes abortion and has the better chance of winning the election.  The other candidate(s) with the smaller constituency may be more agreeable to me when it comes to financial issues or positions on the war or women working outside of the home or whatever else, but what matters most to me is the abortion issue.  So in that regard McCain is not a lesser of two evils – he opposes the evil of abortion and will work to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Therefore, if I say that abortion is my primary issue, then I must vote for the candidate that is on my side regarding that issue and has the greater chance of winning.  Put aside the whole “wasted” vote argument.  If I were to vote for a candidate who is on my side of the abortion issue, but does not have as good a chance of winning as another candidate who is also on my side of the abortion issue, then I have in essence voted against a candidate who was on my side of the abortion issue which I regard as THE issue that matters most to me.  If I vote against the candidate with the best chance to win because the other candidate agrees with me on other less important issues (economy, war, women working outside the home, etc.) then what I have done with my vote is put the economy and the war and whatever other issue ahead of the abortion issue. Now that is fine if the abortion issue is not the primary issue for you.  If you would rather make a statement about a woman working outside the home or your opposition to the bail out plan or women wearing dresses instead of pants or whatever, then you have a valid argument if those things matter more to you than the abortion issue.  In fact I would argue that if the issue of women working outside the home is so much more of an evil to you than abortion that you won’t support a party’s ticket with your vote – then you ought to at least stop supporting other things that contribute to that “evil” as well.  For example, I take my children to a female doctor and so support that doctor’s work outside of the home.  I work for a business where the COO is a woman and hires women who have young children at home and these women where pants to work.  My wife goes to an OB-GYN practice that has female doctors and nurses and so we’re supporting those women who work outside of the home.  We eat at restaurants that have females working in them and even tip our female waitresses and so I’m supporting those women working outside of their homes. Those restaurants even serve alcohol to people who may be alcoholics…the point is, if you can’t vote for a party’s ticket because you are taking a stand against these “evils” then how much more should you stop doing at least the things I’ve listed above because they support the very thing you are claiming to be so much against.  You only vote once a year, but you probably do these other things much more frequently…

In my mind a woman working outside of the home (and I think Ligon Duncan has stated that Sarah Palin’s candidacy is not a contradiction to the complimentarion view that we share in the church), or the nature of a financial bail out plan, or a view on the war in Iraq will not ultimately determine how I cast my vote.  I understand, as Voddie Baucham has said, that the choosing of Gov. Palin was seen as a slap in the face to those of us who are pro-family, but I shouldn’t expect that a political party or any political leader would be of the same mind as me or the church on all, or even a majority of, the issues regarding the family.  You may think that it would be better for the Palin family if the mother were at home with her kids, just like I do.  But she isn’t, and whether or not she is elected or I vote for her is not going to impact that in any way.  But if I refuse to vote for that party’s ticket because of that then I have elevated those kinds of issues ahead of the issue of abortion.  To me, fighting the massacre of abortion is a much more urgent cause in the secular and political realm than any of those other issues.

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Seeing What is in the Text and Feeling it

I preached this week.  My intense prayer of preparation during the week leading up to my sermon, which I learned from John Piper, is that the LORD would give me the grace to see the truth that is in the text I’m preaching and also the anointing of the Holy Spirit to feel the truth that is in the text.  I want to be, I HAVE to be, impacted by the truth of the text if I stand any chance of being used by God to communicate the gravity of the truths I’m preaching about.

Our church takes great pride in being expository in our preaching (read what Al Mohler writes in this article to understand what is meant by expository preaching).  I’m afraid, many times, there is a trap for those who preach in this way.  It is this – that the job is to just expose the meaning of the text and if this is done then the task is complete.  Listen to what David Wells said about this danger on this week’s broadcast of the White Horse Inn:

There has been a tremendous decline of preaching.  Even those that sometimes are attempting to do clear, expository preaching…even them…you do not hear in those sermons a summons to stand before God and hear God speaking.  What you tend to hear is words – period.  And sometimes words, we all know, put together perilously close to the time of delivery.  And the sermon, really…it’s so obvious that the preacher has not, himself, first stood before God and heard that word in his own soul and had it’s truth buried in the midst of his own life.  So he goes through the motions and does his best, no doubt, in the short time that he has given himself for it.  But at the end of the day people come in and out of church and they are left untouched by it.

Wow!  That was so convicting to me as I begin this week leading up to my sermon.  So if you preach, I pray you will encounter the Sovereign God in His word this week as you prepare – pray the same for me.  If you listen to preaching – pray for the man of God who will stand before you, and more importantly before God, and deliver a message from God’s word.  Pray that he will see the truth in the scripture he is preaching from and pray that he will be deeply impacted by the truth in that scripture so that the people sitting under his preaching will be touched by the transforming power of God.

John Bunyan on Christ’s Power to Save

To save is a great work and calls for almightiness in the undertaker; hence he is called the ‘Mighty God the Wonderful Counselor’, etc. Sin is strong, Satan is also strong, death and the grave are strong, and so is the curse of the law; therefore it follows, that this Jesus must be, by God the Father, accounted almighty, in that he has given his elect to him to save them, and deliver them from these, and that despite all their force and power.

And he gave us testimony of this his might, when he was employed in that part of our deliverance that called for a declaration of it. He abolished death; he destroyed him that had the power of death; he was the destruction of the grave; he has finished sin, and made an end of it, as to its damning effects upon the persons that the Father has given him; he has vanquished the curse of the law, nailed it to his cross, triumphed over them upon his cross, and made a show of these things openly. Yes, and even now, as a sign of his triumph and conquest he is alive from the dead, and has the keys of hell and death in his own keeping.

– Pg. 18 of Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan

Bunyan is teaching on John 6:37 – “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” Let’s reason together from this text. Out of all those that the Father gives to the Son, how many come to Jesus? The answer is all of them. No one that the Father gives to the Son is left out. They all come to Jesus. No exceptions are given. Every one that the Father gives to the Son, comes to the Son. We’re not done though. Out of those that are given by the Father to the Son and subsequently come to Jesus, how many does Jesus turn away? The answer is none. All who the Father gives to the Son will come to Jesus. Out of all those that come to Jesus, he rejects none of them.

We’re still not done with our little equation here. So far, none who have been given by the Father to the Son have been lost. In v. 44 Jesus carries the equation to its end – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” Back in v. 37 it says that He doesn’t reject any of those that come to him. So let’s say he accepts or receives all of them. Out of all those that he receives, how many does he raise up on the last day? The answer is all of them. None get forgotten. None slip through the cracks. None who are given by the Father to the Son are lost. All are raised up on the last day. Jesus’ response to all those that come is that he receives them and does not lose them. In other words, all who come to him, having been given and drawn by the Father, Jesus receives and keeps until the last day when he raises them up.

Savior, He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save

Forever, Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave

Mighty to Save by Reuben Morgan