Alliances Today

Isaiah warned Judah not to ally with Egypt (Isaiah 20:5; 30:1-2; 31:1). He knew that trust in any nation or any military might was futile. Their only hope was to trust in God. Although we don’t consciously put our hope for deliverance in political alliances in quite the same way, we often put our hope in other forces.

Today we continue to make alliances with other disciplines. We hope these will lead to meaning, justice, purpose and perhaps even salvation. Does this seem on target?

Government: We rely on government legislation to protect the moral decisions we want made. We want to stand on what is right, elect people to represent us, but the minority rules in our politically correct society. Our republic is great, but legislation cannot change people’s hearts.

Science: We enjoy the benefits of science and technology. We look to scientific predictions and analysis before we look to the Bible. Science has been raised to the level of deity, omniscient and irrefutable.

Education: We act as though education and degrees can guarantee our future and success without considering what God plans for our future.

Medical care: We regard medicine as the way to prolong life and preserve its quality-quite apart from faith and moral living. Today we see health care as an inalienable right along side of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Financial systems: We place our faith in financial “security” (making as much money as we can for ourselves) forgetting that while being wise with our money, we must trust God for our needs. Jesus had much to say about money, and most of it was warning us about it’s being a trap and a barrier to dependence on God. Paul sums it up in 1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-19.

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A Spiritual Oil Spill

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, there was an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed eleven workers, devastating eleven families from Day One. I’ve read this is the worst environmental disaster in US history, but just how big is the spill? Imagine if the spill was in Virginia Beach, how far would it reach? Click here to find out, (or to type in your city and state).

Today, this event in the Gulf is on Day 56, completing eight full weeks of disaster for the Gulf coast, but on a serious and spiritual note, I have a few questions to ask…

How is our sin like an oil spill? Let me suggest that as the oil comes from deep inside the earth and gushes out to destroy life and the environment, our personal sin comes from the deepest and darkest regions inside of us and also leads to a similar destruction of life and family.

How do we tend to deal with that sin? The experts at BP and the US government have tried numerous methods to cap the well and stop the flow of oil. One method after another has failed and we wonder if the oil leak will ever be stopped. What are some ways that we try to cap the sin spillage in our lives? We try one thing after another until we discover that there is only one way to cap the sin problem we have, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (John 14:6, Romans 5:8). The bottom line is that we try to cap the well on our own, with little success. When a relationship is breached, the only way to mend the relationship is to follow the prescription of the offended one. We cannot come to him on our own terms.

How can we clean up the mess we have created? BP is utilizing thousands of employees and volunteers to help clean up this oil spill. When it comes to getting rid of sin, if we could clean up on our own, we would not really need Jesus or the Holy Spirit to work through us. The goal of the believer is to conform to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29) and the Spirit is called our Helper (John 15:26). Let’s work in partnership with the Holy Spirit to conform to the image of the Son. That’s what sanctification is all about, becoming more and more like Jesus in thought, word and deed. So, for those who have trusted Christ, the gospel has effectively capped our rampant sin spillage.

How does sin impact the lives of others? Just as this oil spill has affected hundreds of thousands of people and communities, sin also has a lasting effect on others. Think about how your sin has affected those around you; your relationships at work, with your wife, your business dealings, your peace. The dark oil of sin is lurking just off the coast ready to destroy whatever it can cover. We can set out a boom, but the source of the leak needs to be capped.

Why do we often feel so helpless? Romans 1:16 tells us about the power that is available to us, to save everyone from the looming oil spill of sin. Tony Hayward said in the BP public relations commercial that “we will make this right.” The “good news tells us how God makes us right in his sight.” (Romans 1:17) Praise God that he has been in charge from Day One and gets the job done for those who know they cannot survive without him.

Sarah Palin and Women in Leadership

Texas pastor Voddie Baucham participated in a CNN interview with Margaret Feinberg. Is he serious about female leadership in the community? Notice, it’s not just spiritual leadership within the church, but for a woman to be in leadership at all.

So, the woman’s place is in the home (Titus 2:4-5)? And one could assume a woman should keep her head covered, at least keep her hair long (1 Corinthians 11:6) but not braided, nor should she adorn herself with gold or pearls (1 Timothy 2:9)! Do the women of his congregation take the Bible that literally? For fear of sounding liberal, I have a problem with his interpretation. 

For one, if Sarah Palin is going to lead spiritually, Voddie Baucham might have a point, but since she has the potential to lead politically, I don’t get it.

Secondly, if women can’t lead in the church based solely upon their gender, those who agree with that position must logically take women out of all leadership positions, like even with children and youth. If women are not to have authority over “a man” (singular in 1 Timothy 2:12, like a husband, not necessarily over the community at large) support for male-only senior pastors might be legitimate. If they are not to have authority over a man because Eve was deceived first (like women may be more prone to heresy) why would we allow women to be in charge of our smallest and most vulnerable community members who can’t discern truth from error?

Third, it seems to me that Rev. Baucham should not have women in any leadership positions in his church. I’m thinking that is not the case. I would argue that his position applied politically might mean we remove women from most any community leadership… military, police, judges, the PTA, high school teachers, college professors. I tend to see God gifting all of His children with abilities to be used in His service. Heaven forbid that women would use the excuse of gender for not “stepping out of the boat” to do what they sense God calling them to do.

I cannot tell my daughter that although God has given her certain gifts of leadership and a passion to make a difference in the world, but she cannot do certain tasks because she did not get the right private parts.