Today I spent the morning at the gym. Yes, I'm still hoping to return to the Alps to climb one more 4,000-meter peak before I apply to become a Walmart greeter. Maybe this time next year? We shall see.
After my workout I drove home. One of the things I love about the farm is that an eager welcoming committee is always there to greet you.
But first things first -- reading Scripture, meditating, praying, writing, worshipping at the only place I know that sells "Bo Rounds."
I once heard someone define prayer as turning the heart and mind to the Lord. I love that definition. Prayer is a both/and, not an either/or, proposition. Bible time should not just be cerebral. It should involve our entire being as we stand in awe of God's glory and majesty. Living the normal Christian life involves being convictional, Spirit-guided, contemplative, emotional, intellectual, and personal as well as believing, hoping, and loving (faith, hope, and love). This perspective about prayer is, I think, all the more necessary as the church is transformed by the spirit of the age and the mind of the world.
For example, I was shocked (though perhaps I shouldn't have been) this morning to read that a Roman Catholic bishop recently celebrated a "queer" mass in Munich instead of calling his listeners to repentance and chastity. More and more of their teachers are insisting that their catechism needs to be changed. Even the president of the German Bishops' Conference is calling for "a reevaluation of homosexual unions and a further development of the Church's sexual morality." Speaking at a mass, he said, "I desire an inclusive church," adding, "The kingdom of God is to discover that God is Love -- in all its dimensions." He also said, "All human relationships must be marked by the primacy of Love. Then they can be accepted by God."
As usual, this is a half truth -- at best. But as J. I. Packer once said, "A half-truth masquerading as a whole truth becomes a complete untruth."
What the church needs now is not necessarily more discussion and debate. We need truth. We need a new life. We are going off a cliff and we need to hold on to God's word more than ever before. Whether we are experiencing the apostasy of 2 Thessalonians 2, I do not know. But clearly we are facing a very grave situation. Thankfully, even in nations that are repudiating Christianity, there is a faithful remnant.
In the years ahead, our personal decisions -- yours and mine -- will contribute to the outcome of what is tragically unfolding in our day. Issues of the greatest consequence rest on our fidelity to the word of God. I realize that some scholars will continue to cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the New Testament. They point to all of the differences between our copies. "How can we possibly trust a Bible like that?" Some seem desperate to undermine our confidence in God's word. The fact is, there is nothing to fear. We have not lost a single word of the New Testament.
As I said yesterday, there is no possibility of forward progress until we face this situation squarely. Either the church will become a proud, insubordinate, and rebellious harlot, or a bride -- pure and radiant when her Lord returns. My constant prayer is that 2022 will be a year of renewed commitment to the historicity, apostolicity, trustworthiness, and sufficiency of the Bible.