Self-Deception and Apathy

(© Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D. September 2017)

From my book titled NOT Ten Suggestions, Chapter One:

“John Dryden, the seventeenth century English poet, said:

For those whom God to ruin has design’d,

He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind.

 

Today we might say it this way: “Those whom God would destroy, He first makes mad.”

 

SELF-DECEPTION

Many liberals today promote their kingdom through deception, by making a career of bearing false witness. They lie like rugs. They think that they can build a kingdom that will last 1,000 years by basing it on deception. Logic: Lying produces a thriving nation while telling the truth is destructive.

They think they can build a strong society by the destruction of its most innocent citizens, babies, murdered in their “safe” wombs of their “caring” mothers. Logic: Killing babies will give us more and better citizens than loving them and caring for them.

They think they can have a thriving economy by stealing from the productive to give to the unproductive. Logic: Stealing is productive while producing is stealing. Of course, we all want to help the poor; that is not the issue. Rather, the issue is what is the best way to help them? Is it by decapitalizing the productive? Is it by destroying those nasty rich people who dare to supply jobs to those who need them?

Many liberals engage in self-deception by thinking that more and more free money will help everyone. Logic: printing unbacked “money” will make us all rich. Answer: You can’t lift yourself up by your bootstraps, your back will break.

Self-destruction is what these people produce. They are blinded to their sins and “open minded” to destruction. Consider these two passages about self-deception:

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10 NKJ)

Notice the progression down: We lie to others (v. 6); we lie to ourselves (v. 8); we lie to God (v. 10). Those who hate God self-destruct. The way out of the spiral down is given in the odd number verses: we look to the blood of Jesus Christ, and we confess our sins to God Almighty, claiming the blood. That is the ONLY way to avoid self-destruction.

Second passage:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18 ESV).

The context of Romans 1:18 is that those who give themselves over to same gender relationships think it is ok and that nothing will go wrong in their lives. Self-deception may be noted when someone refuses to consider opposing arguments. Self-deception may be noted when someone thinks he can oppose God’s morality with impunity. Self-deception may be noted when someone reacts violently to truth without thinking. They believe the lie to Eve that she could violate God’s word without consequences; indeed, she would be better off.

 

APATHY

Christians must minister to those who are caught in the bans of sin, whether sexual sin, illegal drugs, arguing against God and His written word, being mean spirited to others, worshipping their own self-made gods, squandering their time, disobedience to parents, murdering, stealing, bearing false witness, coveting, etc. We too are sinful, and we struggle with various sins, including the ones just mentioned. One difference is that we seek repentance by His grace.

We Christians are told that we need more money. We should not pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, give us this day our daily bread,” but “Our faith who art in control, give us this year, our yearly bread.” With that prayer, we only have to worry about money once a year. We must think bigger than one day. How much faith do you have, anyway?

 

[Parody]

If we Christians would only pray with faith, we could prey on those who take our money from us. Pray then prey is our motto.

When some ignorant people quote St. Paul as saying, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” they did not look at the original gibberish, for it really says “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” Therefore, we must confess verbally, audibly, the true understanding of St. Paul. Moreover, our attitude is seen in the Boomer Bible. Consider this Psong:

Psong 23: Money Matters

  1. Money is my thing:

It’s all I want.

  1. It makes the grass look greener;

it stills the deepest waters.

  1. It restores my self-esteem;

It takes me wherever I want to go,

For my own sake.

  1. And even though I have a life-threatening disease,

I won’t be afraid, because I’ll have Money with me;

and the doctor and his staff will do everything possible to comfort me, [for Money, of course].

  1. Money keeps bread on the table,

Even though I have enemies;

Money makes me look good, too;

My jar is just overflowing with Money.

 

  1. And surely now I’ve figured it out:

Money will follow me all the days of my life;

And no matter what happens,

I’ll be in the Money forever. [So there.]

 

Some silly Christians quote St. James as reportedly saying that “faith without works is dead,” but if they would only consult the Swahili-Antepenult behind the original gibberish, they would see that what James really said was “faith without cash is dead.”

 

[On the serious side]

Now Money is what Christians seek for their security. We do not take seriously Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33 NKJ)

We want security through money rather than through the Lord. We think we can advance God’s kingdom by hordes of money rather than by holiness. We attend worship when there is nothing else to do. We watch sports rather than read our Bibles. When we occasionally go to church, we want to feel good, not be challenged to fight the world, our flesh, and the devil. The Bible has become a popular self-improvement manual to help us feel good.

We are pathetic because we are apathetic.

One wonders who will be destroyed first, the God-haters or Christians by their “successful” worship, positive books, and creation of their own providence by speaking into the air?

And make no mistake that God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is not one to challenge or to ignore. Those self-deceived challenge Him while we Christians ignore Him. Pick your poison. AMEN. Ω

 

Our Lion

We’ve all heard the hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”. This time of the year (as well as the whole liturgical year), reminds us of Hebrews 10:9-13:

9 Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.He takes away the first [covenant] that He may establish the second [covenant]. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”  (Heb. 10:9-14 NKJ)

Some years ago I heard a Roman Catholic Priest from Rome, Italy, testify to a group of Protestant ministers say something like this, after hearing that passage read in their worship service: “If that is in the Bible, we just got put out of business.” Three times Hebrews emphasizes the finality of the death of Jesus. (See the bold print above.)

One of the things that separates us from Rome is these verses from Hebrews 10, where not only the necessity but also the sufficiency of His completed work on the Cross is given. In these trying times, we are tempted to want to bail out of the Christian life. The Middle East is a powder keg, hundreds of thousands of Christians are being murdered, young girls raped to death as their parents are forced to watch, liberalism is destroying our country from the inside as “laws” are passed by the Supreme Court promoting the murder of the unborn (Roe v. Wade in January 1973), the states try to make laws more difficult for the baby killers (and sometimes we win, such as Texas in recent years), Marijuana has become legal, wholesale theft through terrible tax laws and health laws, the Supreme Court continues to destroy the families with its LGBT “laws.” We are tempted to give up, throw up our hands and say something like, “We know things must get worse before the Lord returns.” Really? What do the verses above in quotes say?

The Lion is not defeated but delivers to His Father a conquered kingdom (1 Cor. 15:22-26). The Gospel is not defeated, but heaven and earth belong to Him and us (Matt. 28:18-20). The Lion crushes the head of the serpent and so do we (Rom. 16:20). The Lion rules and so do we (Rev. 2:26-29). We must stop bearing fearful, for the fear of man is a snare; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7; 29:25). The Lord is getting things arranged, disciplining a recalcitrant Church, so when suffering comes, we’ll win by His sovereign grace, His sovereign Gospel, and His sovereign judgments that He is bringing on the world.

We have victory not only in His “once for all” death on the cross but also in His bodily resurrection (also once for all), and in His ascension and thus enthronement. But also in these dark times of our world, or in these light times of opportunity, we must make Him known. We need to be reminded who rules and why—Jesus rules BECAUSE of His victorious death, punctuated by His bodily resurrection, as His trickle down kingdom has been forming a tsunami through His gospel to envelop the world. He is not the meek, weak, milquetoast kitty cat who meows (click it) and crawls back to his lair with His tail between His legs, but the LION (click it) of the tribe of Judah, who roars with majesty, sovereignty, and power such that the earth trembles under His omnipotent breath. As C. S. Lewis put it, “He is not a tame lion”. Indeed, sir. Let us bow willingly now or by force later to the glory of the Father. The choice is His. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LION’S ROAR:

Outstanding poem, as usual. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”. It is a joy to read your poems, especially this one, that gives us not only the necessity but also the sufficiency of His completed work on the Cross, in His bodily resurrection (also once for all), and His ascension and thus enthronement. In these dark times of our world, or also, in these times light times of opportunity to make Him known, we need to be reminded who rules and why–Jesus rules BECAUSE of His victorious death, punctuated by His bodily resurrection, as His trickle down kingdom forms a tsunami through His gospel to envelop the world. He is not the meek, weak, milquetoast kitty cat who meows and crawls back to his lair with His tail between His legs, but the LION  of the tribe of Judah, who roars with majesty, sovereignty, and power such that the earth trembles under His omnipotent breath. As C. S. Lewis put it, “He is not a tame lion”. Indeed, sir. Let us bow willingly now or by force later to the glory of the Father. The choice is His. Amen.

The 7,000

© 2015 by Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.

Do you recall the great victory Elijah had against the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel? His sacrifice was supernaturally burned up while the false prophets were not successful at all with their god Baal to call down fire from heaven. Elijah then killed the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. Once Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, heard about it, she said she would kill Elijah the next day. Elijah killed 450 heretics and ran into the desert from one woman, Jezebel! Then when in the desert hiding, the Angel of the LORD (pre-incarnate Christ) approached Elijah, who lamented:

And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (1 Kings 19:14)

In other words, he sang the song of Hee-Haw:

“Gloom, despair and agony on me-e!

Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!

If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all!

Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!”

That was Elijah!

I have said so many times in the past that it is almost embarrassing to repeat, but heads we win, tails they lose. While I cannot read the Triune God’s mind, we see in Scripture how He works. Read Judges and the cycles the Israelites went through so many times:

  • They sin grievously
  • The Lord God sends them enemies who judge them
  • God’s people cry out in repentance
  • The Lord sends them a deliverer

The cycle begins again

We may have to go through the four cycles of Judges just mentioned. We Christians in the USA are no better than other Christians throughout the East who are suffering martyrdom right now; in fact, we are probably cowardly.

Last week, the tyrannical Supreme Court, dripping with Sulphur from the presence of the devil, for the first time in human history (might be wrong here), officially redefined marriage as between any two consenting people, male or female.

Confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (1991)

If you recall the confirmation hearing of now Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas when Anita Hill lied against him, saying that he had had sexual advances toward her, I knew immediately she was lying through her teeth. For one thing, most people do not know what the wicked are capable of, but as a Christian theologian who has studied Holy Scriptures most of my life, I know what God says about the human heart. Moreover, at that time I had a very strong Christian friend who took degrees from Harvard and Yale; and when Anita Hill began her lies, he said something like this to me: “Curtis, when I took my degrees at those Ivy League schools, several of the political atheists took me aside and said, ‘If you as a Christian ever try to go into politics, we’ll swear that we’ve had homosexual acts with you. That will ruin you’re Christian reputation.’” He also said that he had classes with Anita Hill, and that she was a liberal darling air head who could not think her way across the room, who would never have gotten any position without some insider appointing her. He said that her position as a professor was her payoff for bearing false witness against Judge Thomas. He was confirmed anyway with a vote of 52 to 48.

The liberal elite did the same thing against Robert H. Bork when he was being confirmed to the High Court. This time it was Ted Kennedy, in my humble opinion one of the worst politicians in American history with his constant lying, fornicating (remember Mary Jo Kopechne and her untimely death, July 18, 1969 at Chappaquiddick), who led the charge against Bork. They succeeded this time in keeping him off the High Court. By the way, Bork was reared a Presbyterian on the Shorter Catechism but became Roman Catholic in later life. He was—and still is in heaven—a lovely Christian man.

My point in bringing up these two men is that the Lord God still has His 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. I now give a few quotes from Thomas’s excellent book, My Grandfather’s Son (2007):

It had long since become clear to me that this battle was at bottom spiritual, not political, and so my attention shifted from politics to the inward reality of my spiritual life. . . .  I remembered how Jesus had told the rich man to give away his fortune and ‘come and follow me.’ Perhaps I would have to renounce my pride to endure this trial, even as Cardinal Merry del Val had prayed for deliverance in his Litany of Humility: Deliver me, O Jesus, from the fear of being humiliated . . . from the fear of being despised . . . from the fear of suffering rebukes . . . from the fear of being calumniated. (p. 254)

In addition to suspecting that I had committed the sin of pride, I saw that I was resisting what God had put before me. ‘Father, let this cup pass away from me,’ Jesus had prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. ‘But thy will, not mine, be done.’

Later in his autobiography, Thomas states:

We had all come to see the campaign against my confirmation as evil. There seemed no other way to explain it. My opponents could have fought my confirmation on legitimate grounds, yet they chose to tell scurrilous lies in an attempt to destroy me personally. No reason other than hatred could account for so unprecedentedly vicious an attack.

Then Thomas quotes Joseph in the Old Testament when his brothers had sold him into slavery:

[Joseph said to his brothers:] “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Perhaps the fires through which I had passed would have a purifying effect on me, just as the blast furnace burns the impurities out of steel. I already knew they had brought me closer to God.

He learned to love even more dearly the Christian hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”

Attempted Confirmation of Robert H. Bork (1987)

Ted the habitual liar Kennedy managed to keep Bork from being confirmed to the Supreme Court, who was considered one of the best Constitutional scholars of his day. Later in his twilight years, Bork wrote a number of books, and one of my favorites is Slouching towards Gomorrah (1996). This is an exceedingly insightful book on American politics I’ve ever read. He says that two things would pull down our country very quickly: radical egalitarianism and radical individualism (pp. 3-5). Here are some insightful statements Bork made from Slouching:

What liberalism has constantly moved away from are the constraints on personal liberty imposed by religion, morality, law, family, and community (Slouching, p. 61).

[Radical individualism has caused many factions in our society:] “radical feminists, black extremists, animal rights groups (PETA) radical environmentalists (EPA), activists homosexuals organizations, multiculturalists, , People for the American Way, ACLU, National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), NOW, Planned Parenthood, etc., (p. 53) [I add Al-Qaida, ISIS, and too many to count.]

What then can be the moral basis for objecting to economic inequality and asserting that condemnation of great wealth, backed up with political action, is essential to any defense of the free market? The obvious candidate is envy. It is impossible to see any objective harm done to the less wealthy by another’s greater wealth. It is not the case that the richer man’s income is extracted from the poorer man. . . . I do not lack a yacht because another man has one. (p. 68)

I once wrote of the U. S. Supreme Court that a judge who looks outside the actual Constitution looks inside himself, and nowhere else. (Coercing Virtue, p. 131)

So what is the point to this article? Just as the Lord God had left Himself 7,000 in Elijah’s day to fight against Baal, and God said such to Elijah, so He has His people now:

“Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)

We are not alone. Our sovereign God is getting us ready for intense battle. Cowards give up (read Rev. 21:8); recall what happened to the ten spies who gave up and refused to conquer the land. The Lord disciplined them severely for 40 years, and then a new generation conquered. We can do it the hard way (through the desert) or the easy way (by faith now). The choice is ours (and HIS!). AMEN. Ὡ