Monthly Archives: August 2010

How Great is Your Commission?

If I were to ask you what the Great Commission is, what would you tell me? Anyone raised in the church would say something like “evangelize the world” or perhaps even quote Christ in saying “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” and I think these are wonderful answers, they’re just a bit incomplete. I could be alone in this, but the mental picture I get when thinking about the Great Commission is going on a missions trip and sharing their testimony, perhaps preaching and building a house while they’re at it. I think these things are absolutely incredible and an aspect of the Great Commission, but they are not its entirety. The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:18-20

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

If I could do more to emphasize that first comma other than making it bold I would do so because I think most people place a period there and don’t bother continuing. This causes a number of problems, because how exactly are you going to make disciples if all you are told is “go do it” in essence. The rest of the verse(s) tell you exactly how to go about doing that, but if you never continue reading it you’re rather ill equipped for the task set before you. You have to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. When was the last time you baptized someone? I’m not even necessarily talking about with water here, I mean when you pray with someone and they come to Christ whether that’s by the “sinner’s prayer” or what have you, when was the last time you spoke something like “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”?

The other thing that we are supposed to do is to teach them to obey everything that Christ has commanded us. We are to be teaching theology! This requires effort folks. We have to know what to teach, we have to understand theology and doctrine. We need to have right thinking about God and be able to explain things. This means that we need to be reading theology, we need to be listening to preachers and teachers who know their stuff. Yes, I mentioned reading, and I understand that reading takes effort and time and you would rather be doing something else and your attention span isn’t that long but to be honest I really don’t care. This is a command from Christ. I’m not saying you should run out and purchase a copy of Calvin’s Institutes but start somewhere, start small and work your way up, and if you don’t know where to start then you need to track down someone who does. If we don’t know how to thinking correctly about God how are we going to be able to teach others what Christ has commanded us, and therefore be able to effectively and correctly make disciples of all nations and fulfill the entirety of the Great Commission?

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Atheistic Double Standard (or perhaps just some irony)

One of the most talked/written about things when you read a book by any of the “new atheists” is the time pre-Darwin when the church was the oppressive ruler of the land. In that time, it is said, that if you believed something that was contrary to the common belief system of the church, that you were persecuted and even killed for your beliefs. Suppose for a moment, that what they say is true. It is not hard to imagine some of the responses from people of that time when encountered with an idea like, say, evolution. (I’m well aware of the jumps in historical time here, but you’ll get the point in a moment.) If someone were to say in those times that God didn’t create or design the world, but instead it was another thing entirely, what sort of comments would he be met with? I imagine something like “that is the ridiculous and blasphemous thing I have ever heard!” or “No real scientists believes that!” or “That is absolutely not science!” However, even through all the oppression and negativity and general disdain by society at large, the idea soldiered on. Eventually, just like all the old war movies, Darwin arrives and like the old “just in time” calvary, he sweeps in and practically single-handedly provided the grounds for the earth-shattering new theory that we know today. However, all is not well in the world just yet because as those same authors will tell you, there is still much hostility toward anyone who would dare call themselves an atheist. There may not be killings anymore, but there is certainly a bit of nasty name calling, incredulity and segregation (especially those pesky Christian campus organizations…shame on them for making someone be a Christian to join!)

Forward the clock a bit to postmodern(see, current) times. Evolution is a scientific fact, or series of facts, that is so well grounded and the evidence is so overwhelming, they say, that you would be extremely foolish to not accept it and move on. There then comes some people who start to look at the evidence and conclude that evolution isn’t the theory that best matches the data. These people would suggest what would eventually come to be known as the theory of Intelligent Design. It is not uncommon to hear people use phrases like “ID isn’t science! It’s creation/religion in disguise!” or “No real scientist believes that.” or “That is the must unintelligent thing I have ever heard!” Some authors (see dawkins, dennett, hitchens and harris) would go much farther than those statements, but suffice to say, the comments are commonplace. Some have said that there is even a bias against anything that isn’t darwinian or naturalistic in nature, and have fought rather hard to push competing ideas out of the way (see the movie Expelled). The responses are usually something like “a conspiracy theory? please, no such thing exists. I’ll bet you don’t believe in the Holocaust either”

The atheists/naturalists/darwinists will tell you that because darwinian evolution is a fact, that therefore naturalism is a fact (or vice versa) and so only things which adhere to those two are considered science. They back that up by saying that the peer-reviewed system in place supports their idea, and they reject things that promote ID based on the fact that it isn’t science. It’s not science because it isn’t naturalism/darwinism. The academy checks the peer-review system and the peer-review system checks the academy, therefore this system can’t be flawed or questioned.

See the parallel? Of course everyone knows my opinion(s) on this subject, but even putting those aside, do you think the current treatment of anyone that rejects evolution is really going to stop them?