Wednesday, October 29, 2008
On October 29th, 1994 I took my mom, wife and then 7 year old son to a Billy Graham Crusade at the Georgia Dome. I had no intention of anything happening other than people watching and getting to have my first look inside the relatively new Georgia Dome.
My mother had asked me if I would take her to see Billy Graham as that Crusade might be the last one he would ever do in the Atlanta area.
No problem. We’ll pack up the family and head down to Atlanta to see ole Billy.
The place was packed; kind of a concert type atmosphere. There was singing……some testimonies….and lots of people with Bibles.
Then the place got quiet when Billy Graham took to the platform. Billy preached on the Lamb’s Book of Life. I would be dishonest if I said I remember everything he preached on that night; I don’t.
I do remember this though……
At the end of his preaching, with tears in my eyes because I knew that my sins would cause God’s wrath to come onto me on Judgment Day, Billy asked the crowd if our names were in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I knew my name wasn’t. God was drawing me to Himself and convicting me of my sins.
An invitation was given to come down to a makeshift alter. Before Mr. Graham could finish the invitation I was already headed down. I didn’t say a word to my wife or mom; I just got up and walked down to the 50 yard line of the Dome.
I was met by a little old man named Arthur Steele. Mr. Steele was an alter counselor for the Crusade. He asked me a simple but profound question.
“Why did you come down here?”
What kind of question was that I remembered thinking? Did he not just hear the preaching?
After a few minutes of talking he told me to get down on my knees and pray to ask God to forgive me. ‘Repent’ is what he called it. I did……I got down on my knees and cried out to God for forgiveness for my sins. He prayed with me and then told me that I needed to put my trust in Christ and walk with Him everyday. I said I would…and I continue to do that today.
Ocotober 29th 1994, I became a new creation in Christ. All my sins were forgiven and God continues to work and grow me to this day.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here is a video that we shot at the Dallas, TX gay pride parade with a guy named Scottie. Scottie has a typical evangelical background, as do many in the gay community in Dallas\Fort Worth. It might seem surprising to some that a homosexual would claim to be a Christian. In the pride parades in the Bible belt, it is not uncommon for churches to not only participate in the parade, but in the case of Fort Worth, the church actually sponsored it.
Why should we evangelicals be surprised that homosexuals easily claim Christianity as their own? Our seeker sensitive and Emergent churches have so watered down the Gospel that anyone who names the Name of Christ is embraced as a Christian. The Lord Jesus does not do the same thing (Matthew 7:21-23). As a result, the homosexual community wraps itself in the banner of Christ, freely printing His Name on their t-shirts, banners and promotional stickers. They have embraced the typically evangelical view of Jesus, but have they embraced the true Jesus, or another one? The Scripture is clear that they must be embracing a "Jesus" of their own making and thus violating the second commandment.
Behold, the fruit of the modern Gospel.
Friday, October 24, 2008
To aid and abet in the commission of a crime, three key elements must be present: 1) an underlying violation of law by a principal party must take place; 2) one must have knowledge of that violation of law or the intent to facilitate said violation; and 3) one provides assistance to the principal in the violation of the law.
One who aids and abets (which are synonymous terms) in the commission of a crime is referred to as an accomplice or an accessory, either before or after the fact, to that crime.
Here's an example:
Your friend tells you that he just lost his job. He was habitually late to work and falsified his time sheet. He got caught and was fired. Your friend tells you that unless he comes up with some money, quick, he is going to lose his apartment. He's behind three months on his rent.
Your friend tells you that he has a gun and wants to rob a 7-11. He's desperate and you feel sorry for your friend. Your friend asks you to drive him to the 7-11. You agree, but you tell your friend that you are going to wait in the car. You don't want any part in the actual robbery.
You try one last time to talk your friend out of robbing the 7-11; but your friend is insistent that he has no other options. You feel sorry for your friend and you think, "While robbery isn't my personal preference--I wouldn't do it, who am I to judge?"
You drive your friend to the 7-11 and wait in the car. Your friend goes inside. Moments later, you hear the sound of gunshots coming from inside the store. Your friend runs out, jumps in your car, and tells you to drive away. You drive your friend back to his house.
According to the law, you are an accessory before and after the fact. You aided and abetted in the commission of the crime. Your friend shot and killed the store clerk. Although you didn't pull the trigger, you are guilty of murder.
Obama Aids and Abets in the Murder of the Unborn
According to the definitions of "aid and abet," "accessory," and "accomplice," Barack Obama is guilty of the murder of the unborn.
The following statements by Barack Obama are chronicled on the On The Issues website.
Q: The terms pro-choice and pro-life, do they encapsulate that reality in our 21st Century setting and can we find common ground?
A: I absolutely think we can find common ground. And it requires a couple of things. It requires us to acknowledge that..
There is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tamp down. I think that's a mistake because I think all of us understand that it is a wrenching choice for anybody to think about.
People of good will can exist on both sides. That nobody wishes to be placed in a circumstance where they are even confronted with the choice of abortion. How we determine what's right at that moment, I think, people of good will can differ. And if we can acknowledge that much, then we can certainly agree on the fact that we should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion.
Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College Apr 13, 2008
Q: Do you personally believe that life begins at conception?
A: This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.
Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College Apr 13, 2008
[An abortion protester at a campaign event] handed me a pamphlet. "Mr. Obama, I know you're a Christian, with a family of your own. So how can you support murdering babies?"
I told him I understood his position but had to disagree with it. I explained my belief that few women made the decision to terminate a pregnancy casually; that any pregnant woman felt the full force of the moral issues involved when making that decision; that I feared a ban on abortion would force women to seek unsafe abortions, as they had once done in this country. I suggested that perhaps we could agree on ways to reduce the number of women who felt the need to have abortions in the first place.
"I will pray for you," the protester said. "I pray that you have a change of heart." Neither my mind nor my heart changed that day, nor did they in the days to come. But that night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer of my own-that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that had been extended to me.
Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.197-8
Oct 1, 2006Obama voted "NO" on prohibiting minors from crossing state lines to have abortions:
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To increase funding for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions consistent with the Child Custody Protection Act.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment enables enforcing the Child Custody Protection Act, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion by a vote of 65 to 34. Too many times we enact laws, and we do not fund them. This is going to set up funding so the law that says we are going to protect young children from being taken across State lines to have a surgical abortion--we are going to make sure those people are protected.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BOXER: We already voted for $50 million to enhance the enforcement of child protective laws. If Sen. Ensign's bill becomes law, then that money is already there to be used for such a program. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 49-49 (1/2 required, or 50 votes; Sen. Byrd & Sen. McCain absent)
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4335 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S071 on Mar 13, 2008
Barack Obama insists that he is not pro-abortion. His record and his statements show otherwise. He is a liar. His record shows that he has and he will continue to aid and abet in the brutal murder of the unborn. If he is elected to serve as President of the United States, he will continue to facilitate infanticide in this country.
"Christian," Are You Guilty?
Most of those who read this blog are either followers of Jesus Christ, or they profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. What has troubled me lately is the number of professing Christians who have stated that they plan to vote for Barack Obama.
Are you ready? Watch as the number of subscribers to this blog drops after I make the following statement.
I believe there is reason to question the validity of the faith of anyone who votes for Barack Obama.
Life begins at conception. The one in a mother's womb is a person, a human being, not a thing or a glob of tissue (Job 8:10-12; Psalm 139:13; Isa. 44:2, 24; Luke 1:41).
Murder is the premeditated killing of another human being; and hatred for another person is tantamount to murder (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; 21:12; Matthew 5:21-22).
Therefore, abortion is murder. Those who perform or receive abortions, and those who give hearty approval to the same do not love the unborn. They hate the unborn. Murder is hatred and hatred is murder (1 John 2:9-11; 3:15).
Giving hearty approval to sinful behavior, either actively or passively, is consistent with the behavior of the unsaved, not the saved (Romans 1:28-32).
To go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth is consistent with the behavior of the unsaved, not the saved (Hebrews 10:26-31; James 4:17; 1 John 1:6).
A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for the continued murder of the unborn. A born again follower of Jesus Christ will not willfully aid and abet the murder of the unborn. They will not act as an accessory or an accomplice, before or after the fact, in the commission of the crime of infanticide.
Some may argue that Christians shouldn't be one-issue voters. Really? Isn't this one issue enough?
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test" (2 Corinthians 13:5)?
To aid and abet: "Christian," are you guilty?
I am the WayneDawg and I approved this post!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Well, it's time.
I've held off on writing this series of articles for as long as I could. I don't know how often I will write these articles. They will appear as I sense a need to write them.
Warning: these articles will be pointed, at times. For that reason no person, church, or ministry will ever be mentioned by name. I will leave it to you, the reader, to decide if you have ever come across churches and/or ministries whose names could be inserted into the text.
Don't bother e-mailing or calling me to try to ascertain the identity of the principals in any article. I won't tell you. I'm not writing a gossip column. But it's time to talk about what many Christians around the world already know. The American Church is desperately sick.I know there are very fine churches throughout our once-great country. I know there are pastors and congregations who are truly committed to the truth of God's Word, to authentic worship (although the word "authentic" is abused by churches that are anything but), to biblical evangelism, to a Christ-centered philosophy of ministry, and to fulfilling the two greatest commandments.
I know there are no perfect churches.
So long as human beings are involved in ministry, churches will be flawed. However, I know there are churches around this nation that are doing everything they can to glorify God in everything they do.But let's be honest, shall we. Churches such as I've described above are very hard to find these days. Oh, but how easy it is to find churches that a lost and fallen world love.
How easy it is to find churches where man is worshiped, where the Word is mishandled and even maligned, and where the philosophy of ministry is described with highly pious words, but are little more than pragmatic forays into the world. How easy it is to find churches where cowards instead of shepherds stand in the pulpit afraid to talk about sin, judgment, hell, righteousness, holiness, godliness, and the dreaded "D" word--doctrine.
Here's a reason why church "American style" is not for me.
A dear friend of mine did something very loving and kind for a church he doesn't even attend. He had 2,500 tracts printed that included the church's name and contact info on them. My friend hoped that his gesture would serve as an encouragement to the church and enhance the church's evangelism efforts. He delivered them to the church without fanfare and without expecting anything in return. I'm amazed my friend's heart fits in his chest. It is that large.
My friend received the following e-mail from a member of the recipient church's staff. The name of the church has been changed.
I just saw the tracts you had made, and I am excited that you are seeking to take a secular holiday and sanctify it.In the future, however, please do not include One American Church on any materials without asking first. While we donʼt want to hinder others from using this form of evangelism, we have chosen as a church to avoid tracts. We used to get phone calls frequently about tracts. Not in regards to the offense of the gospel, but quite often concerning them left laying on floors, hidden in awkward places, and littered from people dropping them after being handed them. Others were offended at the deceptive nature of many tracts as well (being illusory towards one thing to bait and switch someone into reading). I know people meant this for good, but they hurt the work of the gospel through One American Church.Again, thank you so much for caring deeply about people embracing the truths of the gospel, but I hope this helps you see why we would prefer our name not be attached.
Now, should my friend have checked with the church first before printing the tracts? Probably. I will concede that contact with the church before printing the tracts might have saved my friend a few bucks and hurt feelings. But, in my friend's defense, he never expected to receive the above response. I don't like it when my friends are hurt. That being said, I'm sure the church staff member that sent my friend the e-mail had no intention of hurting my friend's feelings. He was merely articulating his church's policy as nicely as possible.
Now, let me deal with some of the content of the e-mail.
First, with less than 2% of Christians in America sharing their faith, I seriously doubt that the church received a plethora of complaints regarding gospel tract "litter."
Second, contrary to what the staff member wrote, the offense was likely the fact that the gospel was on the literature. If the literature invited a person to a free concert, picnic, marriage or financial seminar, carnival, or movie night at the church no offense would have been taken. Why? Because it is the gospel that is offensive to the unbeliever (1 Cor. 1:18).
Third, the author of the e-mail said that gospel tracts hurt the work of the gospel at his church. How can a gospel tract hurt the work of the gospel?
Fourth, any church that conducts any of the before-mentioned activities should be extremely careful when trying to remove the splinter out of a tract-distributing brother's eye, before surgically removing the "let's get the world to like us before we share the gospel with them" plank out of their own eye. Tread lightly and check your church's activities calendar before accusing those who use creative gospel tracts of "bait & switch."
In closing, I would like revisit Point #3.
Gospel tracts hurt the work of the gospel?I would agree that a gospel tract that offers a lost soul purpose, their best life now, or a wonderful plan for their life; or that encourages a lost soul to pray a prayer and ask Jesus into their heart; or gives a lost soul the false assurance of salvation without addressing sin, righteousness, judgment, hell, regeneration, repentance and faith is a gospel tract that hurts the work of the gospel.
Sadly, the American Church has become infamous for tracts such as these.
But a well-written, Christ-centered, biblical gospel tract does anything but hurt the work of the gospel.
Spurgeon also said, "When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready. . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. Therefore, do not go out without your tracts.'
K.P Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia, had this to say about the effectiveness of gospel tracts in India. "How much does salvation cost? The Bible tells us that salvation is the free gift that God gave us that first Christmas—His Son, Jesus Christ. But what about those who still don’t know about that gift? One of the easiest ways for them to hear the Good News is by reading a simple Gospel tract."
Billy Graham once said, "Nothing surpasses a tract for sowing the seed of the Good News."
The Lord used a gospel tract to bring the gospel to China. How? Missionary Hudson Taylor was saved after reading a gospel tract.After George Whitefield read a gospel tract called The Life of God in the Soul of a Man he said, "God showed me I must be born again or be damned." He went on to pray, "Lord, if I am not a Christian, or if I am not a real one, for Jesus Christ’s sake show me what Christianity is, that I may not be damned at last!'
Then his journal tells us 'from that moment . . . did I know that I must become a new creature."
So, to my dear brother in Christ who was discouraged by the e-mail he received, chin up my friend. I'm sorry that you were subjected to church "American style."
Keep distributing those gospel tracts. The greatest preachers since the printed page was invented have used them for the glory of God. So, you are in good company; and I am sure you will one-day hear the Lord say "well done."
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The truly repentant person hates all of his sins, not just certain ones. He says, "Cover yourself with the finest gold, O sin, I will still hate you! Yes, cover yourself with pleasure,make yourself flashy, like the snake with its turquoise scales-I still hate you, for I know your venom, and I run from you,even when you come to me in the most illusive clothing."
All sin must be given up, or else you will never have Christ; all evil must be renounced, or else the gates of heaven must be locked to keep you out forever.
Let us, remember, then, that for repentance to be sincere, it must be total repentance.
True repentance is a turning of the heart, as well as of the life; it is the giving up of the whole soul to God, to be His forever and ever.
It is a renunciation of the sins of the heart, as well as the corruptions of the life.
Monday, October 20, 2008
"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death!" Romans 7:24
Though we can fall of ourselves--we cannot rise without God's help! Indeed, every sin, in its own nature, has a tendency towards a final apostasy! By our repeated slips and falls into sin, we gain a more emphatic conviction of our own vileness and depravity; and we experimentally learn and feel our own weakness.
In His own time, Jesus returns to convince, humble, pardon, comfort and renew the soul. We begin at length to learn that we are nothing, have nothing, call do nothing--but sin! And thus we are gradually prepared to live more outside of ourselves--and to derive all our sufficiency of every kind from Jesus, the fountain of all grace. We learn to tread more warily; to trust less to our own strength; to have lower thoughts of ourselves, and higher thoughts of Jesus!
This wretched state of sin and temptation, makes the thoughts of death and eternity desirable. Then this conflict shall cease! Then I shall sin and wander no more, shall see Him as he is, and be like Him forever!
I sincerely cannot articulate my words rightfully to express how this conference impacted me.
My personal walk with God was taken to a whole new level. The word deeper may not be an adequate word used to describe this new level of godliness I find myself in.
The speakers were incredible.
Paul Washer – Ray Comfort – Todd Friel – Marshall Foster – Ken Ham – Emeal Zwayne – Pastor Johnny Hunt – Kirk Cameron
Topics ranged from the essential truths of the cross to the sufficiency of the Bible. From apologetics to the transforming work of the Gospel through the ages.
I met folks who I only knew from blogs and Christian sites. I made new friends and reacquainted with friends not seen in a while.
We had incredible worship times where the hymns glorified God and exalted Him in all His glory and attributes.
We gathered over 500 folks when the conference was over and descended upon Atlanta to preach and witness the Gospel at several strategic points across the city.
Just an incredible weekend
In saying all this (and not saying enough; I just don’t know how) I came away with a deeper walk with God and how I look at the world around me.
I want to please God and glorify Him in everything I do……in everything I say……in everything I see and hear.
This blog will be godlier than it has been in the past. I will not link questionable blogs or sites that do not honor and exalt God to the fullest.
I will not visit questionable blogs or sites that do not honor and exalt God to the fullest.
This is not an isolationist move by no means. My blog is a public blog and will remain so. Anyone is free to visit here and comment (within my parameters of course) with opposing viewpoints, questions, etc.
I will seek to glorify Him and hold myself to higher godly standards on this blog from now on. I apologize to anyone who may have found questionable blog links on this site.
I will be in a process of updating and changing the format of this blog…so stay tuned!
God bless - Wayne
Thursday, October 16, 2008
David Kingsley served as a Portland firefighter before entering the Army Air Corps in April 1942. He answered his nation's call to service when it needed him most.
Kingsley received his bombardier wings during the Summer of 1943, after which he joined the 97th Bombardment Group. Kingsley's group was stationed in Italy.
On June 23, 1944, Second Lieutenant Kingsley and the rest of his fellow bomber crewmen participated in an attack on the oil targets around Ploesti, Romania. It was Kingsley's 20th mission over enemy territory. The flak and enemy fighter assaults were particularly ferocious in the area of Ploesti, and this day was no different.
Kingsley's bomber was badly damaged during the bomb run, but the pilot was able to maintain control of the aircraft, which allowed Kingsley to drop the bombs with precision. Kingsley's bomber was so badly damaged that it fell behind the rest of the formation and began to lose altitude. Three German ME-109 fighter pilots saw an opportunity to exact vengeance and mercilessly fired upon the wounded bomber.
The tail gunner was severely wounded in the arm. Other crewmen yelled to Kingsley, asking him to render aid. The tail gunner's parachute and flak jacket was removed and he was covered in blankets, in order to make him as comfortable as possible.
Moments later, eight ME-109's attacked the bomber. This time the ball turret gunner was severely wounded. The bomber was going down. There was no hope for the plane.
Kingsley immediately put the ball turret gunner's parachute on him. The tail gunner's parachute was lost in the chaos of flying blankets and equipment as the bomber continued to descend. Kingsley, with no regard for himself, took off his parachute and put it on the tail gunner. When the pilot ordered the crew to bail out, Kingsley helped his two wounded comrades to the open bomb bay and pushed them out of the plane, saving their lives.
As the the rest of the bomber crew members jumped for their lives, they reported last seeing Second Lieutenant Kingsley standing on the bomb bay catwalk. The bomber remained in the air for just a few more moments until it crashed into the ground and burned. Kingsley's body was later found in the wreckage.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, Second Lieutenant David Kingsley was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor--our nation's highest military award.
Had Kingsley not put the parachutes on the wounded men, they, would have died in the plane crash. This certainly was true for the wounded tail gunner to whom Kingsley gave his own parachute, sacrificing his life in the process. He literally took the tail gunner's place on the mortally wounded bomber.
Theological Insights from a True Story
What an extraordinary picture of Jesus Christ's substitutionary atonement on the cross and the regeneration of fallen, helpless people!
First, some very encouraging Scriptures regarding the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ:"Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28).
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep...I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep...For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father" (John 10:11, 14-15, 17-18).
"Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:24-26).
"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man' though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8)."For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21)."
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'--so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:13-14)."
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who are under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5)."
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time" (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Without a propitiation making payment for the sins of men, without a substitute taking the place of punishment for the penal debt men owe to God for their sins against Him, there would be no hope whatsoever for any member of the human race. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, took upon Himself the punishment every person deserves for their sins against God when He voluntarily, and in obedience to the Father's will, went to the cross and shed His perfect sinless blood as a ransom for many--as a ransom for the Elect who bear in their redeemed souls and who exhibit in their lives the fruit of the gifts, of repentance and faith.
Without the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross no one has been saved; no one can be saved; no one will be saved. Praise and thanks be to Almighty God that instead of condemning all of mankind to eternity in hell, which all of mankind deserves for their sins against Him, He chose--in accordance with His loving, gracious, merciful, and kind nature--to save some through the sacrificial death and the glorious resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. God would be just if He condemned everyone to hell. And God is just if He chooses to save, if He chooses to pardon some, accepting as propitiation the death of His one and only Son.
And now, Scriptures that articulate the beautiful doctrine of regeneration:
"But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13)."
Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God...That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again"'" (John 3:3, 6-7).
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:44).
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved...For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9)."
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God and Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7).
"Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (James 1:18).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Salvation is of God, by God, and for the glory of God. Salvation is by the grace of God alone, completely devoid of and separated from the works of sinful mankind. Even repentance and faith are gifts from God, which are made manifest as a result of God causing a person to be born again.
Just as a person must be born physically before they can live in this world, a person must be born again before they can have eternal life, and before they can repent and believe the gospel. And just as a person has nothing whatsoever to do with their physical birth, a person likewise has nothing whatsoever to do with their spiritual rebirth.
Yes, a person responds to the preaching of the Gospel. Yes, a person turns away from their sin and believes the Gospel. But a person can only do so if the Father is drawing that person to faith in the Son. Regeneration is not a result of the heritage of any man, or the will of any unregenerate man's sinful flesh. It is entirely a result of the sovereign, gracious, divine, and miraculous intervention of Almighty God in a person's life and soul. A person who is physically dead can do nothing to bring himself back to life. Likewise, a person who is spiritually dead can do nothing to bring himself to life spiritually.
God is sovereign. Man is not.
The only atonement acceptable to God, for the remission of sins against God, could only be accomplished by the sinless God Man, Jesus Christ the Lord. As a result, the regeneration of any man is caused by God, according to the will of God, for the glory of God.
These are weighty subjects; and not all genuine followers of Jesus Christ agree. I know that the positions I've articulated here so briefly, and without the scholarship of theologians far better schooled than I am, are positions that some Christians find offensive--even heretical. While I do not desire to offend any of my Christian brethren, and while I do not seek to cause strife or to cause any of my brethren to stumble, and without seeking to make my point with dramatic flair, I must agree with Martin Luther when he said, "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other."
"Let God be true though every one were a liar" (see Rom. 3:4).
God's Word is true.
There is only one right interpretation of any verse or passage in the Word of God. It is not your opinion that matters. It certainly is not my opinion that matters. How one feels about what God says in His Word is utterly irrelevant. The only thing that matters when it comes to studying, interpreting, and conveying to others the Word of God is what God means by what He has said in His Word. Therefore, the challenge for every true follower of Jesus Christ is to find out what God means by what He has said.
Now that I've shared the analogy and the rich theology it contains, how can this analogy be used in the context of biblical evangelism?
After sharing the Law and the Gospel, and having shared the story of the heroism of Lt. David Kingsley, I might say something like this to an unsaved person:
There was absolutely nothing the wounded bomber crewmen could do to save their own lives. They were helpless. Had Lt. Kingsley not sacrificially intervened on their behalf, they would have perished in a ball of flames when the bomber hit the ground.
Likewise, there is nothing you can do to save yourself, spiritually. You are every bit as helpless as the wounded crewmen in the bomber. Unless God miraculously, graciously, and lovingly intervenes in your life you will perish and spend eternity in the fires of hell, as the just punishment for your sins against God.
Lt. Kingsley's sacrifice was evidenced by the fact that he died a horrible death as he went down with the plane, literally taking the place of his wounded crewmen. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). The effect of Lt. Kingsley's sacrifice was evidenced by the fact that he caused the wounded crewmen to be saved when he fitted them with parachutes and caused them to float to safety when he pushed them through the open bomb bay doors, before the plane crashed.
Likewise Jesus Christ died a horrible, bloody death on the cross for the sins of those who belong to Him. There is no more vivid and tangible evidence of the sacrifice and love of God than the cross of Jesus Christ. And the evidence that God has extended to you the free gift of eternal life, the evidence that He has literally caused you to be born again will be this: You will repent. You will turn away from and forsake your sins against God. And by faith alone you will receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
What do you think the attitude was of the wounded crewmen who were saved by Lt. Kingsley? Do you think they were grateful? Do you think they took any credit for their rescue? Do you think they forever had a fond affection for Lt. Kingsley? Do you think they spoke highly of him and spoke of him often? And how do you think those crewmen would respond to anyone who tried to drag Lt. Kingsley's name through the mud, deny his valor, or even deny his existence?
So, too, will it be with you--if God saves you. You will repent of your sins against God and you will receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You will love the Lord Jesus Christ, with thankfulness in your heart. You will gladly submit to him as the Lord of Your life and take no credit for your salvation. You will begin to love the things that God loves, and you will begin to hate the things that God hates. You will think often about Jesus Christ. You will love to read His Word. You will want to spend time with Him in prayer. You will long to be with Him, in heaven. You will defend His name and His honor against anyone who would blaspheme His name or deny His existence and life-saving power. And you will tell others about what He has done for you, with the hope that God will extend to them the salvation He has given to you.
And when you sin against Him, when you fall short of God's glory (and you will), instead of trying to justify your sin or exonerate yourself, you will cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness.
I wonder what the conversation was like in the bomber between Lt. Kingsley and the wounded crewmen. I can hear them crying out to Kingsley, begging him to help them. They realized that there was nothing they could do to save themselves. They knew that unless Kingsley intervened they would perish when the plane crashed.
Cry out to God, right now. Repent. Confess your sins--the sins you've committed against Him. Beg for His forgiveness and ask Him to save you. Place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Lt. Kingsley, a hero, was the only hope for the wounded crewmen. Jesus Christ, the Lord, is your only hope. Apart from Him, without His miraculous intervention in your life, you will perish in your sins.
My hope is that He saves you.
By Ray Comfort© 2008
I watched the TV monitor as the pastor of a church in West Virginia invited his congregation of 600 to join him as he held a sign saying that abortion was wrong. He said he had stood on the side of the road for one hour the previous year, and asked who would join him this time. Twenty people raised their hands. I could sense his disappointment at their apathy. He then introduced me as the morning's guest speaker.
I told the congregation that I felt passionate about the subject of abortion, for a good reason. Many years ago, someone told me that a new Christian (named Fran) was about to take the life of her child through the procedure. I was horrified as I found out that she was due to have it done within a couple of hours. I sped to the hospital, praying all the way that God would give me the words to change her mind. I rushed in, ran up to the second floor and into her room. She was sitting on the bed and had already had her preoperational medication. I pleaded, "Please don't do this!"
To my surprise, she just looked at me and smiled. Then she said, "It's OK. I'm not going to have it. I just prayed, 'God, if you don't want me to have an abortion, make Ray Comfort come up and see me.'"
Two years later, I was at a church picnic when I saw a beautiful little girl playing in the grass. It was Fran's child. As I knelt down by the cute toddler, it hammered home the issue that we are dealing with when it comes to abortion.
I told the congregation (with some passion), that I would never, ever vote for a man who advocated the murder of a child in the womb. I don't care about his fiscal policies, because the blood of the innocents is on his hands. I also encouraged them to follow the wonderful example of their faithful pastor. I heard later that afternoon that between 400 and 500 turned out. God bless them.
The Body of Christ in America is a sleeping giant that needs to be awakened. However, the answer to the issue of abortion isn't just to protest; it's also to preach. We are not just to be salt, but we are to be light in a spiritually dark nation. A nation that kills 50 million of its citizens through abortion with no qualms of conscience needs more than a voice of protest. It needs the light of the Gospel.
We are no different than Nazi Germany. We have given ourselves to the wickedest of sins, and that will eventually have terrible national consequences. We desperately need God's forgiveness, and we need a new heart that can only come with conversion. Only the Gospel can take a self-righteous, blaspheming, idolatrous, hypocritical, baby-killing nation, forgive it, and make it brand new.
It's time for us to put legs to our prayers and do what we have been told to do, and that is going to take faithful laborers. The Scriptures ask, "How will they hear without a preacher?" Saint Francis of Assisi's "Preach the gospel; if necessary use words" doesn't cut it any longer. (It has been well-said, "That's like saying, Wash yourself; if necessary use water.") We have to open our mouths for the world to hear. The time for excuses has gone. We live in desperate times, and we need to have a clear and certain sound to take us into the heat of battle. We have to overcome our evangelophobia.
If you can't speak, perhaps you would consider giving a DVD called "The Divine Butler" to your neighbors, coworkers and loved ones, and let it speak for you. It's one of the episodes of Season 3 of our award-winning TV program, "The Way of the Master" – and it is so extremely relevant and timely for what is happening to our country, we have decided to give away free of charge 2,000 copies to those who attend our "Deeper" conference in Georgia. Very low cost bulk copies are available at the Living Waters store.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"But from Him you are in Christ Jesus--who for us became wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." 1 Corinthians 1:30
Wisdom outside of Christ--is damning folly!
Righteousness outside of Christ--is guilt and condemnation!
Sanctification outside of Christ--is filth and sin!
Redemption outside of Christ--is bondage and slavery!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Why the bailout didn't work
Posted: October 13, 20081:00 am Eastern© 2008
Since Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced his three-page plan to rescue the Wall Street banks on Sept. 23, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 2,937 points, or 26 percent. An estimated $7 trillion in paper wealth disappeared from U.S. stock markets last week, a figure equivalent to 53 percent of American GDP. The financial crisis, which the $810 billion dollar bailout was supposed to avert, has spread to stock markets throughout the world. The Russian and Indonesian markets have been suspended while the country of Iceland appears to have gone bankrupt, owing $275,000 worth of debt for every man, woman and child in the island nation.
Some economists claim Paulson acted too late. Others assert that his actions were too conservative, although they can't seem to specify precisely how much more money was required over and above the $810 billion figure. Still others declare the bailout will work, it merely hasn't been put into effect yet. They are all wrong, and they are wrong because they do not understand the fundamental nature of the problem. They are analyzing the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself, and in doing so, are ironically prescribing as medicine the very poison that is killing the patient.
Conventional economists of the sort who get quoted on CNBC and Fox News will usually mention the terms "liquidity crisis" and "restoring confidence." These terms tend to betray the ideological bias of the economist and indicate that he is a neo-Keynesian who views the situation through the macroeconomic perspective of the updated Keynesian model that has been dominant in economics for most of the last 80 years. (Chicago School monetarists are also concerned with liquidity issues, but we'll leave them out of it for the purposes of this column.)
The essential problem is that the administration is attempting to enact a Keynesian solution to an Austrian problem. The Austrian School teaches that monetary inflation, which in this case was primarily caused by the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates artificially low to prevent the economy from going into recession in 1996, 2001 and 2003, creates inflationary booms that lead to the severe misallocation of capital resources. As the Austrian logic predicted we would, we saw two such booms in asset prices, the first in the stock markets, the second in the real estate and commodity markets.
Millions of people profited from the asset inflation, and trillions of dollars were directed into areas of the economy they would not have otherwise gone, such as second homes and investments in companies selling dog food over the Internet. The problem is Austrian theory also teaches that inflationary expansions are always followed by deflationary contractions which clear out all of the resource misallocations that occur during the expansionary period. The Dutch tulip mania of 1637 is a good example of resource misallocation, when a single tulip bulb was known to have sold for the modern equivalent of $35,000. Such misallocations can occur for diverse reasons, but the usual cause is easy credit and low interest.
America is currently suffering from severe capital misallocations quite possibly more extreme than the 17th century Dutch, since its money supply has been inflating steadily for decades, and at an increasing rate. Compounding the problem is the fact that this inflation has reduced the value of savings and people were given incentive to consume rather than save, so the nation has no savings pool from which investment into productive capital might be made. Instead, the nation has substituted foreign investment, which can and will be withdrawn whenever it is required elsewhere.
The administration is attempting to deal with the credit crunch, which is the natural result of banks refusing to lend money, by making more money available. The problem, however, is not that there is simply no money, but rather that banks, having learned how many of their investments were worthless, are rightly concerned about making more of the same mistakes. Imagine if you had been burned on the purchase of 100 swamp properties that turned out to be worth nothing. Are you going to buy 10 more plots of swampland simply because someone gives you money equal to one-tenth of the money you'd lost already?
The liquidity crisis has already entered a stage that Austrians describe as "pushing on a string." The various financial authorities can push as hard as they want by further cutting interest rates and utilizing other expansionary monetary policy measures, but the string will remain limp. Ironically, the so-called student of the Great Depression, Ben Bernanke, failed to learn the only important lesson about the historical Federal Reserve. The failure of the 1930s Fed was not due to any refusal to expand the money supply and encourage bank lending, but because events were beyond its control.
America and the rest of the world has foolishly attempted to deny economic gravity. Now, it will learn that most basic of rules: That which goes up must eventually come down.
Friday, October 10, 2008
(by Charles Spurgeon)
In one sense the path to heaven is very safe--but in other respects, there is no road so dangerous! It is beset with many difficulties. One false step (and how easy it is to take that, if grace is absent), and down we go! What a slippery path is that which we have to tread!
How many times have we to exclaim with the Psalmist, "My feet were almost gone--my steps had well nigh slipped!" If we were strong, sure-footed mountaineers, this would not matter so much; but in ourselves, how weak we are! In the best roads--we soon falter; in the smoothest paths--we quickly stumble. These feeble knees of ours, can scarcely support our tottering weight. A straw may trip us, and a pebble can wound us! We are mere children, tremblingly taking our first steps in the walk of faith; our heavenly Father holds us by the arms--or we would soon go down! Oh, if we are kept from falling, how must we bless our patient Father, who watches over us day by day!
Think--how prone we are to sin, how apt to choose danger, how strong our tendency to cast ourselves down--and these reflections will make us sing more sweetly than we have ever done, "Glory be to Him, who is able to keep us from falling."
We have many foes who try to push us down. The road is rough--and we are weak! But in addition to this, enemies lurk in ambush, who rush out when we least expect them, and labor to trip us up, or hurl us down the nearest precipice! Only an Almighty arm can preserve us from these unseen foes--who are seeking to destroy us. Such an arm is engaged for our defense. He is faithful, who has promised, and He is able to keep us from falling--so that with a deep sense of our utter weakness, we may cherish a firm belief in our perfect safety, and say, with joyful confidence, "
To Him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy--to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:24-25
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Now, it is a difficult form of work. It is more difficult than preaching; it is more difficult than attending conventions; more difficult than giving goods to the poor.
Oh, you can pin on a badge, usher people to their seats, pass the collection plate, be an elder or a deacon or a steward; you can go to church, sing in the choir, be a member of a Home or Foreign Missionary Society -- the Devil will even let you attend Bible conferences -- but the minute you begin to do personal work, to try to get somebody to take a stand for Christ, all the devils in Hell will be on your back, for they know that is a challenge to the Devil and to his forces. And I hope that the work of leading people to Christ by personal effort will always be hard.
I have no sympathy for folks who are looking for something easy!
(J. C. Ryle, "What Is Needed?" 1895)
(1) True Christianity has always taught the inspiration, sufficiency, and supremacy of Holy Scripture. It has told men that "God's written Word" is the only trustworthy rule of faith and practice in religion; that God requires nothing to be believed that is not in this Word; and that nothing is right which contradicts it. It has never allowed reason, or the voice of the Church, to be placed above, or on a level with Scripture. It has steadily maintained that, however imperfectly we may understand it, the Old Book is meant to be the only standard of life and doctrine.
(2) True Christianity has always taught fully the sinfulness, guilt and corruption of human nature. It has told men, that they are born in sin, deserve God's wrath and condemnation, and are naturally inclined to do evil. It has never allowed that men and women are only weak and pitiable creatures, who can become good when they please, and make their own peace with God. On the contrary, it has steadily declared man's danger and vileness, and his pressing need of a Divine forgiveness and atonement for his sins, a new birth or conversion, and an entire change of heart.
(3) True Christianity has always set before men, the Lord Jesus Christ as the chief object of faith and hope in religion—as the Divine Mediator between God and men, the only source of peace of conscience, and the root of all spiritual life. The main things it has ever insisted on about Christ, are—the atonement for sin He made by His death, His sacrifice on the cross, the complete redemption from guilt and condemnation by His blood, His victory over the grave by His resurrection, His active life of intercession at God's right hand, and the absolute necessity of simple faith in Him. In short, it has made Christ the Alpha and the Omega in Christian theology.
(4) True Christianity has always honored the Person of God the Holy Spirit, and magnified His work. It has never taught that all professing Christians have the grace of the Spirit in their hearts, as a matter of course—because they are baptized, or because they belong to a Church. It has steadily maintained that the fruits of the Spirit are the only evidence of having the Spirit, and that those fruits must be seen! It has always taught, that we must be born of the Spirit, led by the Spirit, sanctified by the Spirit, and feel the operations of the Spirit—and that a close walk with God in the path of His commandments, a life of holiness, love, self-denial, purity, and zeal to do good—are the only satisfactory marks of the Holy Spirit.
Such is true Christianity. Well would it have been for the world, if there had been more of it during the last nineteen centuries! Too often, and in too many parts of Christendom, there has been so little of it—that Christ's religion has seemed extinct, and has fallen into utter contempt!
This is the Christianity which, in the days of the Apostles, "turned the world upside down!" It was this which emptied the idol temples of their worshipers, routed the Greek and Roman philosophers, and obliged even heathen writers to confess that the followers of the "new superstition," as they called it, were people who loved one another, and lived very pure and holy lives!
Let it never be forgotten, that its leading principles are those which are least likely to please the natural man. On the contrary, they are precisely those which are calculated to be unpopular and to give offense. Proud man does not like to be told that he is a weak, guilty sinner—that he cannot save his own soul, and must trust in the work of another—that he must be converted and have a new heart—that he must live a holy, self-denying life, and come out from the world.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Russell Crowe has an Oscar and is co-owner of the Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league team, but maybe his next job should be US treasury secretary.
The New Zealand-born actor announced, during a US TV talkshow appearance, a plan to cure America's financial crisis.
"I have been intently watching the political process," Crowe told talkshow host Jay Leno.
Crowe believes the US government should give each American $US1 million ($1.26 million).
His reasoning is the US has a population of about 300 million, so the $US300 million outlay is a fraction of the $US700 billion financial bailout package rejected by politicians in Washington DC yesterday.
"I was thinking," Crowe said.
"If they want to stimulate the economy and get people spending so they can look after their mortgage ... give everyone $1 million."
Crowe's plan does sound awesome alright.
I'm sure if the U.S. government handed over a $1,ooo,ooo check to every citizen in this country that the economy just might rebound and even take off.
But there seems to be a slight accounting error on Crowe's part.....
I'm no accounting guru (Badbeans if your out there somewhere you can weigh in) but I'm pretty sure that if the government handed 300 million people $1,000,000 checks, that the total amount given would far exceed the $700 billion dollar bail-out fiasco the president just signed.
Mr. Crowe, please tell me you have someone who's watching over the shoulder of the person who's watching over the shoulder of your accountant........cause I'm thinking it wouldn't take too much hard work to drain the fortune you made making movies.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
In 1999 a gruesome discovery was made that an Illinois hospital was shelving babies to die in a soiled utility room who had survived their abortions.
The Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act was introduced in 2001 to provide legal protection to all born babies, wanted or not, including the right to medical care.
Then-state Senator Barack Obama voted against Born Alive 4 times in 3 years and was the sole senator to speak against it on the Senate floor in 2001 and 2002.
In 2002, the Federal version of Born Alive passed unanimously in the US Senate and by overwhelming voice vote in the House. The pro-abortion group NARAL even went neutral on the bill.
But In 2003, Barack Obama voted against the identical version of Born Alive in Illinois. Then, for the next 4 years he repeatedly misrepresented his vote until it was recently discovered in the IL General Assembly archives.
Explore our website to learn the shocking truth: Senator Obama opposed granting legal recognition to born alive infants as human beings, and thus denied them the guarantee of medical care.
View Barack Obama's Actual Voting Record
“If Barack Obama had his way I would not be here.”
Can you imagine not giving babies their basic human rights, no matter how they entered our world? My name is Gianna Jessen, born 31 years ago after a failed abortion. I’m a survivor, as are many others…but if Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn’t be here.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama voted four times against affording these babies their most basic human right. I have serious concerns about Senator Obama’s record and views on this issue, given he voted against these protections four times as a state Senator. Just as abuse victims share their stories to educate the public, fight for the common good and hope that as a result politicians do what’s right, I felt it was important to come forward and give these new born babies a voice.
I am living proof these babies have a right to live, and I invite you to learn more about Senator Obama’s record on this important issue.
-Abortion Survivor Gianna Jessen
Courtesy of Born Alive Truth
Here are some examples:
A tax break to encourage Hollywood studios to do more filming in the United States.
A provision to boost insurance coverage of mental illness.
A tax benefit for bicycle commuting sought by Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
A extension of the solar tax credit, a priority of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat.
Over $100 million to NASCAR to build racetracks.
Millions to study wool. Yes, wool.
What did any of this have to do with bailing out Fannie and Freddie? Nothing.
This is just a very small example of why Washington is so corrupt.
Here is a list of the Senators who voted no last night:
For a complete list of all the voting, go here. For those of you who live in Georgia, Chambliss and Isakson voted yes to approve this hideous monster; remember that on election day.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
(J. R. Miller, "Ministry of Comfort" 1898)
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men--to be seen by them." Matthew 6:1
One of the most difficult lessons to learn, is self-effacement. It seems to us, that we have a right to put our name on every piece of work we do, and to get full honor for it. We like people to know of the good and virtuous things we do--the kindnesses we show, our gifts, our sacrifices, and our services.
SELF always dies hard.
John the Baptist, in his life and ministry, illustrated the grace of self-effacement as few other men have done. When he first began to preach, great throngs flocked about him. But when Jesus came--the crowds melted away from John and went after the new preacher. John rejoiced in seeing Jesus thus honored, though at the cost of his own fame. "He must increase--but I must decrease" was his answer, when his disciples grew envious of the Galilean Rabbi. He understood that the highest use to which his life could be put--was to add to the honor of his Master. He was glad to be unnoticed, to have his own name extinguished, that the glory of Christ might shine the more brightly.
Renunciation of self should characterize all who follow Christ. They should seek only to get recognition for Him, willing for themselves to be unrecognized and unhonored. Yet not always are the Master's friends content to be nothing--that the praise may be given to Christ. Too often do they insist upon having their own name written in bold letters on their work. It would be the mark of a higher degree in spiritual attainment, if we were willing to be anonymous in every service for Christ.
Not only should we do all our work for the divine approval--but we should not be seeking to get our own name on what we do. If it is done solely for the honor of Christ, why should we be solicitous to have everybody know our part in it? Should it not be honor enough--to have Christ accept our work and use it?
Only what we do for the honor of Christ--is really gold and silver and precious stones in the spiritual building; all the rest is but wood, hay, and stubble, which cannot abide.
Are we willing to do deeds of service and love, and then keep absolutely quiet about what we have done? Is there not among us, too much of the spirit which our Lord so severely condemned--sounding a trumpet before us--when we are going out to do some deed of charity, some act of kindness?
"Everything they do--is done for men to see." Matthew 23:5