Monday, May 18, 2009

John Macarthur sermons free online (tons of them)

I've greatly enjoyed and benefited from the teaching ministry of John Macarthur, from messages heard both online and that I catch on the radio, and I'm glad that there is an extensive (exhaustive) collection of his messages online, free for downloading.  Macarthur offers clear, engaging Biblical teaching and it's a genuine blessing that so many of his messages can be accessed online freely.

Matt. 5:38-42

Pastor Paul spoke this week on the next section of the Beatitudes, ch. 5:38-42, and what Christ really taught with the message of "turning the other cheek" and the related text.  He pointed out the trend of moral laxity found throughout pulpits in the last two generations, including a negation of Biblical divine law in light of a "God who loves everyone", and the ultimately negative effect this has had in the church globally.

In regards to "turning the other cheek", this message isn't speaking about being a pacifist and letting yourself be stomped on with no resistance, nor is it an endorsement of the pacifist, anti-war standpoint.  Rather what these passages are getting at being able to receive insults and persecution for your faith, and being willing to "turn the other cheek" and receive the insults without retaliation.  It's about receiving attacks on our dignity, and isn't about just laying down and dying, or martyrdom carried to the extreme.  The believer has moral obligations to care for an protect his family.  But having "thick skin", and being able to receive mockery and insults for your faith, which is one of the key components of being a follower of Christ.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Matt 5:33-37

Pastor Dave spoke about Matt 5:33-37 this past weekend, and I wanted to jot down some notes on this particular passage of scripture.  Here Jesus is speaking about oaths and vows, and the important of avoiding vain, rash and frivolous oaths.  Ultimately the message was about the fact that, at the time, the Pharisees were casually making oaths in everyday conversation, and Jesus' instruction was that oath spoken should be done seriously.  It was worth noting that Jesus did not forbid swearing oaths, so a Christian is still obligated to situation in life where oaths are a requirement (such as marriage oaths, swearing an oath of honestly before a court, etc.) and Pastor Dave also pointed out a number of passages throughout the Bible where oaths played an important part, such as throughout the account of the patriarchs, for example.  It was not coincidentally that this message from Christ in the Beatitudes followed immediately after teaching on marriage and the importance of the marriage vow.

Swearing by God's name is a form of worshipping Him.  To swear by something else, such as the earth or heaven, angels, saints, etc, takes the honor that belongs to God and asserts it to something else.  Ultimately, the issue here is about idolatry, and we diminish God's glory when there is not a sincerity solely in God's name within the oaths that we swear.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The musings of Ludosomnus

Bellicus Ludosomnus, the little-known faux-reformer and an obscure sub-plot character from my webcomic .  Largely forgotten by history, his name and teachings were maintained by numerous (albeit quiet) followers through the ages, the Ludosomnitarians.  This blog is dedicated to him and his theological musings.  Or at the very least, it's the only available blogspot name I could find.

Actually, the fact is, there are a number of things theological I'd like to blog about: namely, books I'm reading, sermons I've listened to, and even sermon notes that I'd like to record and comment about online.  That's that this blog is for.  This content doesn't fit over at the normal webcomic site , so I'll cover it here.