Monday, June 12, 2017

Four things difficult or impossible to communicate

Last night I preached on Genesis 5 to 6:8, the effect of sin in the line of Adam.  Death now rules and all of man's nature is affected by sin. This is what is called total depravity. It does not mean that people are as bad as they can be. It means all of our nature, including our reasoning is corrupted by sin. Reason will not persuade a person into eternal life in Christ. I needs the Holy Spirit to work God's grace in the heart.

My experience is that people will hold tenaciously to error despite all one's efforts to persuade them to the contrary. Here are three examples. The first I experienced from years back, the second two more recently.

1. The strong Arminian will not budge. As a Calvinist I am resigned to this. Firstly because total depravity is true. The intellect, man's reasoning will be at fault. Secondly I have to conclude some people are predsetined to be Arminians.

2. The teetotaller for whom all alcohol is evil, its consumption sinful. I point out that wine gladdens the heart of man, Paul commends it for the stomach's sake. Drunkenness is a sin but the Israelites were to buy what their hearts desired, including strong drink, and rejoice before theLord. But the militant abstainer does not take these verses on board. Not does he learn from history. Total abstinence, signing the pledge is a recent phenomenon in church history. Prohibition failed as an American law. But the abstain militants learned nothing from history.

3. Lastly a recent manifestation of incomprehension. The Irish Sinn Fein party has members elected to our Westminster parliament but they refuse to participate for they will not take the oath of loyalty to the Crown required of MPs. They rightly say that those who elect them to parliament know this and accept they will not be represented. However I would raise the question of constituents who are in the minority in Sinn Fein areas. They did want to be represented in parliament for they voted for other parties. An MP is to represent all their constituents. Those not voting for SF are denied any representation against their will. This is totally unjust so in my opinion SF's behaviour is a scandal.  Where are human rights laws when you need them? Those not comprehending my reasoning tell me that SF is being democratic. This of course is the IRA version of democracy.

4. This one is an addition to my original three above. Some Christians will remain unconvinced as to the evil of gambling. I have had someone unfriend me for calling gambling a sin. But then he was a pastor in Las Vegas. Another American tells me it is no different from spending on entertainment or a vacation. I will not refute this myself but refer you to Phil Johnson.

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