Mrs. Irony and Her Children

Said the angry agnostic Mother of three to me:

“My children are not indoctrinated!”

Was her sanctimonious plea

“We treat them as humans, not subjects at all”

As she looked down her nose, she stood proud and tall

“We don’t raise them as a Baptist or a Catholic or a Jew

No, not as the close-minded fundamentalist would do;

We instill in them ‘green’ values, and the Herbivore diet,

and Nietzsche and nihilism, you really should try it!

They will defend abortion rights with an apologetic passion

and preach humanist dogma in an evangelical fashion”

So said the angry agnostic mother of three to me

“My children are not indoctrinated!”

Was her sanctimonious plea

Bryan Daniels

Open Our Eyes, Lord!

One day you bring me a large, beautiful box of chocolates. There are all kinds, too, every type imaginable: some with nuts or cookies or caramel; some with raisins or cherries or other fruits; some with dark or light or white chocolate or a mixture. It’s the wide variety that makes it so impressive – and probably expensive – gift.

But what do I do? I bite into one at a time, and not finding what I like I look for another. Not only that, but I’m rude enough to spit the candy into the trash can while you watch, and make a face of disgust. I don’t even bother tasting the white ones before throwing them away. I only like the ones with dark chocolate, I say, glaring as if I blame you for not giving me just those. Chocolate dribbles down from my mouth as I spit…

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Moral Codes And The Death of Dumpster Fires

In some circles, a thought is posited as to cast a skeptical light on Scripture’s veracity as a moral authority/guide:

Many written moral codes predate the Bible and even the Ten Commandments (IE Hammurabi Code)

What’s interesting about this argument is that the Bible itself explicitly confirms it. The Bible account displays a moral code that predates its own writing and even predates the stone tablets of Mt Sinai. From the beginning a moral code was expressed in the garden, with God’s displeasure of Cain’s murder of Abel. Not long after that Noah and Enoch were portrayed as righteous men long before a written moral law could show them righteous. Certainly, all manner of foreign ancient civilizations lived by some sort of common moral code.

This is how it should be.

There is a beautiful reality called “common grace” which would include God’s care to protect and preserve all sorts of cultures and religions with common moral standards.

The Bible is very affirming of the moral codes of other cultures: After all, God has set His law on the hearts of all men (Romans 2:14-15).  It’s a part of being fellow image bearers that we would share a common conscience despite cultural and time boundaries. Because of this, we should see a variety of cultures and religions, ancient or otherwise who live according to moral standards closely associated to those of Mosaic Law and even Sermon on the Mount teachings.

But this only tells half the story. Because in actuality, the Bible is not primarily a book of moral rule making and keeping. The Bible reveals God’s moral law, sure, but it does that to reveal the character of His person.

The issue isn’t whether all cultures have some higher inherent moral standard (they do) the issue is the abject failure of all men to live according to that inherent born standard (James 2:10). A man guilty of breaking one point of the law is guilty of all of it. The law, even the law of conscience, was made to reveal man’s sin but not necessarily abolish it (Romans 3:20). Yet God doesn’t just throw out an impossibly severe task to weak humanity (live the law perfectly!), and then idly sit back to watch the dumpster fire we’ll create of it.

Any moral code that doesn’t utterly deal with the root sinful nature of man is a cruel taskmaster indeed.

God enters into the dumpster fire, through His son, lives out the standard we couldn’t, and then dies to take on the just wrath that law breaking men deserve. He remains just in that He punishes wickedness on the cross, and He remains love in that He offers forgiveness on the cross.

Thank God He doesn’t just give a perfect moral code (with common ancient variations) and leave us to our own fallen devices to futilely grunt it out. Instead He offers invincible grace through His dear Son, who did what no man could do for himself.

Dumpster fires be damned.

Bryan Daniels

Evil Utterly Subverted For Good

“The answer to the problem of evil does not lie in trying to establish its point of origin, for that is simply not revealed to us. Rather, in the moment of the cross, it becomes clear that evil is utterly subverted for good…. If God can take the greatest of evils and turn them for the greatest of goods, then how much more can he take the lesser evils which litter human history, from individual tragedies to international disasters, and turn them to his good purpose as well.”
― Carl Trueman

Refusing to Tiptoe

Our Pastor shared the Truth with us yesterday, as taught by Jesus and recorded in the twelfth chapter of John.

I assure you: Unless a grain of  wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop.

The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:24-25)

A living that dies.  And a dying that lives.

A love of life, this temporal existence, producing death.

Yet a disregard for the life on earth preserving an eternal and glorious existence.

Each yielding a harvest of fruit.

A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. (Luke 6:43)

In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit

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A Letter To A Mother Considering An Abortion

The following is a letter from a mother to a mother considering abortion. The recipient of the letter has recently found out that her unborn child has a degenerative genetic kidney/liver condition. The thoughts outlined here are similar to the post I wrote a while back about the 1.2 million unborn Caylee Anthony’s who die each year in America.

Many pro-choicers claim no man should have an opinion on abortion since it only affects a woman and her body (I don’t really agree with that). Many would add that no one should have an opinion unless they have had to raise a child with a genetic disorder that causes lifelong suffering (I don’t agree with that either). BUT here is a woman who exceeds both qualifications. I’ll let her eloquent appeal speak for itself:

E,

I am so sorry that you received this news. Please know there are hundreds around you who have been in this same or a very similar position. We know the pain that facing this decision brings you. Many others before you have followed the advice of doctors, family, and friends to terminate such a pregnancy. I understand that the decision they make is almost always out of the highest love for their child and a desire to prevent suffering. I want to be very sensitive to that, but to also encourage you to look from a different point of view.

It seems to be a foregone conclusion in our culture that preventing suffering is the highest goal, but I think we lose sight of the fact that sometimes in our lives the greatest blessings come to us after we have gone through the greatest suffering. I was advised to terminate with two of my ARPKD daughters after their 20 week ultrasounds. The following weeks, months, and years have been difficult and even terrifying, but I am so glad that I did not follow my doctors’ advice. Yes, my daughters have suffered to some degree (though I know not as much as many other ARPKD kids do), but their pain and tears have grown them into strong little girls who do not take life or health for granted, and who know how to be thankful for the little things in life. They are more mature, more wise, more grateful, more loving, than so many other children their age who have always had “perfect” lives.

Children with special needs have a way of blessing and inspiring those around them too, in a way that healthy children never could. I know greater suffering probably lies ahead for our girls as we face esophageal bleeds and organ transplantation, but we have talked these things through with our oldest, and if my seven year old daughter can face these things with courage, then perhaps she doesn’t need to be shielded from the suffering, but only equipped to walk through it. Someday my girls will take the faith and the strength that they learned from their sufferings and use it to inspire and bless all those around them. It would have been great loss for all who know them to have ended their lives early.

I know that this is one of the most sensitive and personal topics. I pray that I do not sound judgmental in any way. I only mean to offer hope.

With love,

K.E.

I am thankful for the composed thoughtful response of this mother.

But I don’t comprehend how values have gotten so twisted in our culture; Let’s try to explain this abortion reasoning to the unborn child: “You see, I didn’t want to see you suffer, so my only option was to murder you….”

Since when was murder no longer an extreme form of suffering?

Recent studies have shown an upwards of 90 % of down syndrome babies are aborted when diagnosed prenatally. I personally know couples who have raised down syndrome children, and they count it as one of the greatest blessing of their life. DS children are some of the most brightest, happiest, and caring human souls I’ve ever been around. But most parents put to death that life and potential blessings it brings before the innocent baby can even smile their first smile. The disgusting demonic doctrine of negative eugenics wasn’t just an historic aberration with the gas chambers of the Holocaust. The prejudiced science that made the concentration camps so horrific still maintains a stronghold in American thought and politics.

Yet God can turn the crimson tide of innocent blood with the innocent blood of His own dear Son.

So I’m sorrowful yet hopeful. And I’m forever pleading the blood of Christ over this tragic infanticide which speaks better things on our behalf (Hebrews 12:24).

Bryan Daniels

Happy Fourth Birthday My Josiah and Practical Mother’s Day Gifts

My oldest, Josiah, is four years old today. We’ll celebrate at his Papa and Mickey’s house with some of his closest church school friends with tractor rides, slip n slides, jumpy jumps and lots of cake.

Josiah is one of my only earthly joys. When our eyes met for the first time in the delivery room four years ago it was love at first sight for me. I met a tender bundle of helplessness and I knew instantly I would die and kill for him.

Now he’s into big trucks, big tractors, football, Power Rangers and Transformers. In fact, I have him convinced that the lead Transformer character is named after his dad: Optimus “Bryan”.  Children truly are a blessing from God, and I start every night’s bedtime prayer with him so as not to forget, “Thank you Jesus for this boy, he’s our precious lover joy….”

As tomorrow coincides with Mother’s Day I asked Jessica what she wanted from the boys. She has worked tirelessly the past week organizing the birthday party, building her own cosmetic business, and keeping the household afloat. She said with little hesitation: “Not flowers or candy. Do the dishes and laundry for me.”

Well, I’m about half-finished with that gift as of writing this, so I better get back to work.

Peace and grace peeps and remember to be in the Lord’s house this Lord’s Day.

Bryan Daniels

A Father Who Is Angry…Because He Loves

In Hope Has Its Reasons, Becky Pippert writes,

‘Think how we feel when we see someone we love ravaged by unwise actions or relationships. Do we respond with benign tolerance as we might toward strangers? Far from it…. Anger isn’t the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference.’

If I, a flawed narcissistic sinful woman, can feel this much pain and anger over someone’s condition, how much more a morally perfect God who made them? God’s wrath is not a cranky explosion, but his settled opposition to the cancer of sin which is eating out the insides of the human race he loves with his whole being.’ “

As E. H. Gifford writes, ‘Human love here offers a true analogy: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in him the drunkard, the liar, the traitor.’

Chief of the least

‘Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.’ Proverbs 26:4-5

(Note: Hebrew terms of “fool” and “foolish” describe a person who does not believe in God and is ignorant of wisdom based on God’s moral standard.)

Some modern critics assume the ancients were flat-out stupid. Case in point, after a brief glance at Proverbs 26:4-5 an objection may be raised along the lines of: “Look! An obvious contradiction in the very next verse! The Bible cannot be trusted…” And so a superficial argument has been framed.

But the ancients were not stupid.

The author of Proverbs actually intended to pair these seemingly contradictory verses together. And what these verses propose is not a logical contradiction, but a dilemma for the reader. It is a proposal of two choices. Proverbs 26:4-5 reveals two wise and…

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