Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Christmas Eve Service

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2011 by Irish Bison

I left our Christmas eve service last evening feeling angry and confused… okay not so confused as angry but left in a conundrum nonetheless. A sad state of affairs on Christmas Eve. Our Pastor had invited a woman to share her testimony with the church. It was a story of years in the faith and then a rebirth in that faith about midway through her life (she is probably in her 70’s). What struck me about it was that her entire speech was a drive towards “contemporary” worship. It actually got down to the comment that whenever she worshiped, or praised God, she had to raise her hands in the air and that she didn’t see a whole lot of that in our church. It was then intimated that the lack of such behavior in the church meant lack of faith, there was even a veiled hint from there, re-affirmed later in the service, that such people were akin to Judas, walking in the footsteps but not believing in their heart. So why am I angry, could I perhaps be that Judas?

Nope, funny enough the woman used 1 Timothy 2:8 to support her argument, ” I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” Okay so the basis for her speech was the NIV translation, but it says the same thing, “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” I wonder if she had read the rest of that chapter in Timothy prior to using it for that argument. If you haven’t read it yourself it is traditionally this passage, and one other, that gleans the comment from women that “Paul must have been one big male chauvinist.” There are at least three other places in the New Testament alone that support Paul’s comment here about women being silent in church. Now, do I think that women are inferior to men? No, my wife is a beautiful mind and woman capable of so much more than I am and I have three daughters who are cut from the same mold. But what I do believe is that the Word is God’s Word and who are we to take it so lightly.

At the end of the service the overall theme was that folks who do not choose to engage in “contemporary worship” probably had not accepted Christ fully. They had just been judged from the pulpit, sadly not only from this woman. In so many places in scripture we read of people who “fell, or fall,” down before God and worship Him. There is a reverence there that I think we sometimes miss:

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:10,11

I am reminded of the publican who stood in the temple with the pharisee, humbly before God, confessing his sin and his unworthiness before his Creator. The difference is I know of the saviour and that my sin has been paid for. Does it make we want to jump up and down and wave my hands in the air? No, it fills me with reverential awe, the fact that God would send His only Son to live in a frail human body, suffer for all of mankind’s sin, descend into hell and rise again so that we may have the same inheritance. Honestly it moves me to tears, how can I but stand before my God with a tearful and thankful heart, like a son before a father, with reverence, thankfulness and love because He has done this for me, and for you, who were once so unworthy.

The last part of this puzzle is that I let my human nature get hold of me last night and I forgot the truth of today, that a young child was born to suffer for me that I might receive a part of His inheritance. Awe inspiring.

Black and Blue Friday

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2011 by Irish Bison

A while back I found myself entangled in an argument with an Episcopal Priest focusing on the nature of President Obama’s Christianity, or lack thereof. I made the comment over lunch that the President was quickly showing us that he was not, in fact, a Christian. This young priest lit me up arguing that Obama was a professing Christian and who was I to judge his faith. I responded with, “I am not judging his faith, I am discerning that he does not show me the characteristics of faith.” After all, are we not taught through scripture this principle, “by their fruits ye shall know them?” Matthew 17:16,20. Scripture admonishes us in many places to discern those who bear fruit so we can walk with and associate with them, I Kings, Psalms, Proverbs, Acts, I Corinthians, I Timothy, I John, etc. How can we follow this if we cannot discern those who walk the path? In doing so am I not able to discern one who professes and not walks?

At the time of the argument one of my main points against Obama’s walk was his lack of Church attendance, some of you may object, but Jesus did say “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” one of which is to observe the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy. The other was the active engagement in class warfare, or redistribution of wealth, which is clearly contrary to the teachings of the 10th commandment, “thou shalt not covet.” The key thing about fruit bearing is, that if the fruits of the spirit are not evident then the fruits of the flesh will be. This mantra of class warfare that is promoted by President Obama has been with us longer than Obama has been in the political spectrum, but his open embrace of it shows me even more that he is not the Christian he claims to be. For his sake I would pray that his understanding changes, but the fruits of that mantra were spelled out this past Friday, as rampaging greed for material things resulted in chaos across our once selfless nation. I give you a link a more eloquent writing on the subject here. Sad really, even more depressing that a man of the cloth cannot see it.

The road to hell is paved with…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2009 by Irish Bison

I was taking an online quiz and ran across that introductory statement; it struck me as funny. Funny in that I had not heard it in a long while. It led me to remember a number of such statements that it seems our society has forgotten, or have we really forgotten them?

My pastor likes to say that the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. In this he means that the little things that people do to make themselves feel good, or satisfy their need to feel useful, things that are seemingly helpful, are actually a bane to those that they are intended to help. Take welfare for example, has it helped get people situated to being successful or has it bred a large group of society tethered to the federal government’s umbilical chord? I think the statistics and numbers support the latter half of that statement.

Another example would be the move in the public schools to make the curriculum work for everyone. In “equalizing” the curriculum of our public education system we have dumbed down the core of learning so much so that the majority of our students entering college have serious problems with basic functions that should have been honed by their secondary education. Once again something enacted as a tender mercy that has actually hurt the intended target of the action. (please call BS on my comment and then come and visit with me so I can show you the many term papers and projects written by my students that are covered in red ink). My own children are involved in a program based off of a curriculum that dates back to the 1950’s, with updated information of course; they are scoring far above their public school counterparts. Students who are two or three grades ahead of my kids.

In an earlier post I wrote about how tolerance in my day delineated a group of behaviors that would not be allowed, but today the term is used to allow any sort of behavior that a person can come up with. When did pedophilia become a normal and healthy thing? According to NAMBLA (I am not going to spell out the name behind the acronym, please look that up for yourself) such behavior is perfectly okay; and there are people telling us that opposition to such behaviors is “cruel and non-inclusive.” I recall the words of the late James Kennedy, “tolerance is the last virtue of a degenerate nation.”

One of the most common questions of our society today is why have things gone so wrong when we see the news reports of violence, unsettling behavior, rudeness, racism and the like. Perhaps we need to simply look at some of the old tried and true methods we have re-written in the name of “kindness.” After all, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

New look and new thoughts…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 by Irish Bison

WordPress has updated their engine, much cooler interface, oooh very nice. I might have to look for or develop a new theme for the IrishBison home.

A momentous and very sad event happened this past Wednesday, a group of students graduated from the college wherein I work. OK a group if students graduated, so what. Well… this was a once in a lifetime bunch. To be sure there a number coming up through the ranks whom I feel the same about, (grammar?) but they will be staggered here and there and end up graduating with some of the schmucks. This quarter the stars aligned and the whole presentation class was comprised of extremely talented, intelligent, hardworking and downright fun students. I often tell people how proud I am of these young people and I think they find it difficult to understand how a teacher can have such strong emotions for his or her students. Many suggest it is a selfish emotion because I had a hand in instructing them, but that isn’t it. Of course I lay down the laws and rules that build their foundation, but they have to have the drive and passion to pick it up and run with it. This group had that and that is why I am proud of them. They will be a credit to the industry I love so much and help it to live and grow.