Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

The modern Pharisee hates the gospel.

Who are the vipers of this day? Who are the Pharisees and Sadducees? Who is it who wants the rewards of virtue but is not prepared to do the work to get the fruit of right living?

Who is it who says that we should honour them for whom they are, not for what they do? Who is it who accuses others of being irredemably damned and encourages the destruction of institutions and farms because of race or nation?

Who will destroy industries for ideology?

And who is it, in this fallen age, who will silence those who speak the plain truth?

Israel Folau’s future in Australian rugby remains on tenterhooks.

The Wallabies star has reinforced his comments that gays are destined for hell unless they repent their sins, while revealing he offered to walk away from the game at the meeting he held with bosses Raelene Castle and Andrew Hore last Tuesday.

In a column for the Players Voice website posted on Monday night, Folau also said he felt misrepresented by Castle.

“They explained their position and talked about external pressure from the media, sponsors and different parts of the community, which I understand.

“I acknowledge Raelene and Andrew have to run things in a way that appeals broadly to their executive, fans and sponsors, as well as its players and staff. It is a business.

“After we’d all talked, I told Raelene if she felt the situation had become untenable — that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn’t be worked through — I would walk away from my contract, immediately.

“I feel I need to explain this part in more detail because at no stage over the past two weeks have I wanted that to happen.

Which brings me to the text for today. There has always been a false cathedral, converged with the ways of the world. John the Baptizer would have nothing to do with this. Nor should we.

They are our enemies. Let us pray that they are saved, but not welcome them until they are walking in the ways of righteousness.

Matthew 3:7-12

7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Those who would kill the church — all of it, from the most crunchy Reformed and joyous Pentecostal to the most conservative Orthodox and SSPX members — and then put on the mantle of Peter, of the Patriarchs, and the reformers saying that they sit on the seat of saints and preach anything but Christ are our enemy.

For they are antichrists, as much as those who would ban Israel Folau from playing his sport because the two percent of the rainbow, damaged by their wickedness, have hurtzz. They will not leave us alone. What should we then do?

For the Christian, ours is a ministry of reconciliation. After all, He sent His Son to the cross to reconcile us to Him. But make no mistake, we are in a spiritual war against this world and the prince of this world. But the weapons of our warfare are not of this world but have divine power to destroy strongholds. These strongholds are the fortresses (which for them are also prisons) in which men hide and fortify themselves against God. We are called to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience.

Should the Christian hate the wicked? Those who have built themselves up against God have willingly made them His enemy. Their heart is hard, and when God casts them into their eternal punishment, we should and will rejoice, for His justice is good and perfect, as is his lovingkindess toward those who trust in His name.
Is there a difference between sin and wickedness? Yes. Sin is action against God. Wickedness is a life against God.

Third Monkey, Vox Popoli

None of us deserve to be saved, no matter how “good” (in human relative terms) our deeds and/or motivations are. But still, I see a pattern with who God saves in the Bible. Jesus often didn’t even bother to talk with the actively rebellious and when he did, he went straight to full aggression. With some, he was gentle, and lo and behold: These people appear to get saved as a rule.

Then there’s Cornelius the “god-fearer”. He wasn’t part of the sacrificial system, nor was he circumcised. (The word implies that by definition). Yet, God made his servants take a huge detour just for this one guy. Why THIS one? Why not some random gentile who curses God’s name?

It seems to be an undeniable pattern in the Bible, that God takes heart issues into consideration, even though you cannot appeal to them and think you deserve salvation due to them.

So, again, both approaches need to be in our toolbox. Paul and Peter could have been wrong in their assessment, but that didn’t deter them from speaking with extreme harshness with some, and gentleness with some. We’ll probably get it wrong sometimes, but if we only use one of those modes, we’ll CERTAINLY get it wrong.

Markku, Vox Popoli

The Pharisees of this time call sin righteousness, and the confrontation of sin intolerance, the one sin they believe in. Do not listen to them. For their cathedral is false, their religion has but the form of righteousness but not the power of salvation, and they hate scripture because it confronts the sin within them.

And know that none of us are better than the most degenerate member of the rainbow nation, nor the MS-19 gangbanger on death row. We have all sinned. We are all irredeemably wicked.

But for Christ, whom we are called to preach. Let the modern Pharisees say this is not the season for the gospel. We shall ignore them, and serve our Lord and Saviour.

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