Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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The Root and Fruit of Humanism & Political Correctness

The news over the last few weeks of September was full of events with potentially major implications: the Pope’s visit topol in pic the US, Russia’s involvement in Syria, developments at the UN including the promotion of the Palestinian issue and even the last of the series of “blood” moons. But, here in Australia, two prominent news items during the first few days of October drew my attention and struck me as particularly significant. They were an anti-abortion “activist” from America denied entry to Australia while the other centred on all the hype surrounding the Australian Rules football finals.

 

The Fruit:

So why does the denial of an anti-abortion “activist” to enter Australia strike me as significant? The answer is simply that Australia is supposed to be a democratic country where freedom of expression is valued. In this case the politically correct machine sprang into operation to deny the activist entry. On TV an MP from Labour’s ranks explained that the authorities had been alerted to deny the man entry because a mature and sensible debate on the issue of abortion has been held and she more or less implied that, not only was the matter settled, but further discussion or other points of view, were not in the country’s interest. A similar situation arose a few months back when someone from the US wanted to put forward an argument against some of the mandatory vaccinations given to babies and young children. In that instance the medical fraternity sprang into action and the person was denied entry to Australia.

What about the Australian footy finals? Certainly in the state of Victoria, where the game was invented, there was a great build up to the finals with other news virtually taking a back seat. There was even the ridiculous and unnecessary action by the state government in declaring Friday 2nd, the day before the game, a public holiday! Apart from charlton hestondisrupting business, one wonders how it was supposed to benefit the players or fans for the game the next day – let alone the whole state of Victoria!

These two events are undoubtedly a product of current humanistic thinking and its offshoot, political correctness.

 

The Root:

What is humanism and where did it originate? My Little Oxford Dictionary answers the first part of the question by explaining that humanism is a “non-religious philosophy based on liberal human values”. I agree with the explanation that it is a philosophy based on liberal human values but challenge the idea that it is non-religious since it is clearly anti-God, especially our Judeo/Christian God, and has a “religious” life of its own. As to the second part of the question, we find that the origins of humanism, as we see it practised in the modern world today, can easily be traced back to the thoughts and practices of ancient Greece. So let us briefly look at some of the ideas put forward by those ancient philosophers and look at how their society behaved to see if any of it applies to us today. We will not only see that there are direct similarities between the two but will also get an idea of the future direction modern society is likely to take.

Firstly, the Greeks idolised the human mind. For instance, Aristotle’s concept of God was a perfect mind contemplating thinkeritself, because nothing less was worthy of its contemplation. Out of this the philosophy of rationalism developed: everything is rational but also relative so there is no absolute truth and man can do it his way. In order to enable people to function freely and without conflict the Greek philosophers came up with the idea of “democracy”. Today we see democracy promoted as the answer to a nation’s problems. It has been said of democracy that it is a bad system but is the best we have! Unfortunately modern democracy has developed further into the idea of a “collective will” which brokers no other points of view. It is also one controlled and manipulated by a few: as we see happening already. All of this of course opens the way for the appearance of a global dictator.

Next, and in addition to rationalism, was the emphasis on athletic contests, especially their games in Olympia, from which the modern Olympic Games are derived. The Greeks idolised athletic ability. I hardly need to point out the similarities we have today with the huge emphasis on sport: the most widely watched TV programmes are sports events, many of which are direct international events.

When it came to morality, the ancient Greeks were a pretty dissolute lot. The Greeks did not hold marriage in high regard. The relationship between a man and a woman was regarded as inferior to a homosexual relationship between two men which was seen to be more intellectually fulfilling. Even their art forms usually favoured the male body, often naked. Worse still, the Greek gods showed little in the way of moral guidance, displaying the basest of mankind’s failings: lust, immorality, vindictiveness, deception and more. And so mankind was left free to do his own thing and aspire to be his own god!

 

Conclusion

It is evident that ancient Greek thinking and practices have had an enormous influence on our society today and are everywhere evident in it where we see:

  • An open and deliberate rejection of God’s righteous and moral laws.
  • Carried to its ultimate conclusion humanism will believe anything but the truth.
  • The exultation of man will make way for the Antichrist, whose name is the number of man (Rev 13:18), who proclaims himself as God.
  • He (Antichrist) will have dominion over all who refuse the love of truth.
  • For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.

In this situation, as Christians, we are outnumbered and seemingly unable to halt the breakdown of moral values in our society but we do have one mighty weapon; prayer. It is indeed a difficult time, often depressing, but we can take heart that we have God to turn to. There is no doubt that the situation is going to become considerably worse, and quickly, but I believe that we can come out victorious, not through our own strength but with God’s help and by remaining faithful to Him always seeking truth.

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and Bible prophecy.

 

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The Power of Praise

thIt was 3am. My three year-old son, Tom, had been coughing without reprieve for 8 solid hours.  The cough was deep and contained a strange rattling sound.  With each cough my heart was torn.  He had double pneumonia, croup, bronchitis and asthma all at once.

I had been praying, weeping, crying out to God for those 8 hours “Have mercy on my son Lord!”  At 3am I left my husband at Tom’s bedside and went to “get serious” with God.  I knelt down and prayed.

Immediately He said to me “No.  Praise Me.”

That was the last thing I felt like doing!  I was exhausted, heart-broken, anxious.  But it was a definite and clear command from the Lord, so I stood up and sang :

“Oh Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God

I love the Holy Lamb of God

Oh wash me in His precious blood,

My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God!”

As I sang I saw the outline of a Man in front of me in the darkness and Tom’s coughing immediately stopped.  We slept soundly the rest of the night.

One thing I have learnt is that there is power in praise.

“Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens!

Praise Him in the heights!

Praise Him all His angels;

Praise Him all His hosts!” Psalm 148:1, 2

 

Praise brings victoryjoyful4.jpg

Powerful enemies were coming against Israel (2 Chronicles 20).  Jehosophat and the people didn’t know what to do.  He proclaimed a fast and they cried out to God.  God told them not to fear, that they would not have to even fight – the battle was His not theirs.  By faith in God’s Word they sang and praised the Lord and the enemy was defeated:

“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,     for his love endures forever.”

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”

This morning I was feeling discouraged and defeated myself in some of the areas my husband and I have been called to minister in.  But we decided to sing.  We sang that old chorus :

“Be strong and of good courage

Be not afraid neither be dismayed…

For the Lord thy God is with thee

Whereever you go…”

This afternoon I got a phone call – there has been victory in the very area I had felt discouraged over this morning!  Praise the Lord!

 

Praise is a powerful weapon in the Christian’s arsenal.

“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;….To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;” Psalm 149

The Holy Spirit has given me two dreams lately about the power of praise.  In both dreams I have come face to face with the devil and found that they only way to stand and to defeat him is through worshipping and praising the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve sung and asked others to sing with me, anointed songs of the blood of the Lamb and the cross – and the enemy has been bound and defeated.

I saw this actually happen a couple of weeks ago in our women’s prayer group.  As we praised the Lord the anointing of the Spirit fell down upon us.  His power came so strongly upon us that we could not do much at all but shake and cry.  From that moment in each of the lives of those whom were present there has been victory in our lives in different areas.

 

Praise magnifies the Lord

“O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

When we exalt the Lord in praise He is magnified.  We see Him for who He truly is – He is great, He is mighty, He is powerful.  He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.  He is not some dumb idol made with man’s hands! God cannot remain small in our eyes when we praise Him.  Suddenly our faith increases as we see the Lord for who He truly is and we know that NOTHING Is impossible.

 

Praise lifts our eyes from ourselves up to Him

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-3

When we praise the Lord we stop focusing on ourselves and our problems and focus on Him.  We “set our minds on things above, not on things below” and we are lifted in faith.  Truly the atmosphere of heaven is brought down to earth in praise of our Lord, we enter His presence and that is when our prayers are answered and our help comes.

 

Praise is a sacrifice

Praise is something we can offer to the Lord Jesus for all that He has done for us.  We can never praise Him enough for Who He is and for what He has done but we can offer Him the fruit of our lips.  Praise is a sacrifice of our time, of our pride, of even our own feelings and emotions.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name….for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:15, 16

 

Praise breaks bondages

Paul and Silas were in prison, bound and chained for the sake of the gospel.  Sometimes we are too, persecuted, hurt by man’s words, bound by rejection and fear.

“Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.   And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:24-26

The thing about praise is that it sets captives free.  When we praise we are set free from bondage.  And the amazing thing is, those who are around us are also set free.

 

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3