A People Longing For Freedom

Yes, yesterday we heard the news. I didn’t blog on this, because I not a full-fledged political blog. But after reading this, I had to post on it. It was just really heart-warming, and deserved it’s own post. Here is an excerpt from Iraq, The Model

“The media is reporting only explosions and suicide attacks that killed and injured many Iraqis s far but this hasn’t stopped the Iraqis from marching towards their voting stations with more determination. Iraqis have truly raced the sun.
I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world’s tyrants.
I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn’t hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said “brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn”.
Yes brothers, proceed and fill the box!
These are stories that will be written on the brightest pages of history.”

Freedom cannot be killed, nor struck down. These people have now conquered the fear. The fear of tyranny and oppression. And we can too. Christ came to die for us–to free us from the tyranny of Satan. Satan may have his grip on us, but when we turn to Jesus–we spit in the eyes of the terrible oppression that once had control of our lives. And we now see the light before us, shining so bright and clear. The oppression is over. And a new era has begun. It’s begun in Iraq. And it can start in your life too.

Agent Report

I found this interesting, from Adrian Warnocks UK Blog:

    Saturday, January 29, 2005
    “Aggregators of the world unite……

    Southern Baptist Blogs has just launched. Handily he is using blogdigger which means that like the PCA blog, anyone who joins that blog will now automatically be aggregated also on the BofG page since blogdigger has an RSS feed. From my point of view it would be cool for the new God aggregators to set themselves up that way, so that BofG can increasingly become the central port of call aggregating the other aggregators and pointing people to more specific lists. So if you already run an aggregator do consider blogdigger- it would even be possible to include the RSS feed from there on your existing server.com page. O, and by the way, do make sure you submit your aggregator page to google for spidering.”
    I think that it’s really a neat thing (in fact I may join), the way they are doing it. But being new to RSS and Atom feeds, etc., I got a little lost. But I got the jist of it, and that really cool. All these Aggregators and Blog Lists are really helping smaller blogs that have great posts get noticed and helping to share the readers.
    Denominational blogs are not a bad thing, as long as we don’t just associate with our denomination (obviously you now know mine). The cool thing about blogging is that you see many people who share your views on the world and Bible, not neccesarily just Church service formats. The foundations of Christianity must not be disputed. What the Bible has made clear is what we need to all accept.

    Linking like crazy! Yes, according to Razor Kiss, Christian Blogs are more linked than read. I can see that happening. In my new “Agent Reports” (that you’re reading right now), I attempt to link to some great posts that I noticed while on someone’s main page or some other blog linked to a post (Like Dadddy Pundit–Great site). I hope to send my readers to wholesome reading and get more readers to other sites. Especially smaller blogs like mine. But it’s kind of hard to find them. But my frien Travis is starting a Christian Coalition of Bloggers. Hopefully that can also be a place to find smaller bloggers. Of course, that’s until they grow.

Agent Report

Here’s what it looks like here:

Snow! Posted by Hello

    I have a prayer request: My brother and mom are both sick with something, and are feeling really bad. So pray for them.
    Church was canceled due to the weather. 🙁 So I’m here at home all day.
    The Blogging Boy Scout and Blogging Teenwere nominated for Best Evangelical Teen Blog. So either nominate somebody or vote for one of these guys. They both have some great blogs.
    I took a look at 21st century reformation to really check out his main blog, and found it to be very interesting (maybe why he got nominated four times! I thought that that was kind of messed up, but after reading some of his posts, he deserves it. He’ll probalby get a vote from me for Best New Evangelical Blog. And maybe even for Best Evangelical Blog-Pastor. This pastor is doing a great job over there, and as my blog is somewhat similar, I have enjoyed seeing what he’s doing.

The Place For Good Works

Can you get to heaven by doing enough good works? Can you outweigh the bad with good?

If you believe the Bible, then I want to hear your argument against Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God–and not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I just don’t know how you can argue against this verse (unless you don’t beleive the Bible, and I’m not trying to discuss that). It is by “grace through faith.” How can we, as sinful human beings, become anywhere close to God’s perectness? It just doesn’t work.

Now to make one thing clear before I move on. I believe Catholics can be saved. But not by works. If they believe in grace through faith, they most certainly can be saved. But who am I to judge who is saved and who is not? But what about works? If we are saved and have no reason to do good, Christians would most certainly be immoral. We would have no reason to do right. But works must follow justification if we truly have been justified. But works must not enter in the process of justification.

Calvin states it this way:

“Why then, are we justified by faith? Because by faith we grasp Christs’ righteousness, by which alone we are reconciled to God. Yet you could not grasp this without at the same time graasping sanctification also. For he ‘is given unto us for righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption”(1 Cor. 1:30). Therefore Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify. These benefits are joined together by an everlasting and indissoluble bond, so that those whom he illumines by his wisdom, he redeems; those whom he redeems, he justifies; those whom he justifies, he sanctifies…Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness.”

Believing works justifies you is telling Christ that His sacrifice was not sufficient. After watching “The Passion”, I am certain many of you would heartily agree that Christs’ sacrifice was sufficient.
So God has justified us by Christs’ sacrifice (which we must accept to be saved). It is not by our good works. Rather, works follow justification–it is our fruit by which we are known as beleivers.

We are regenerated by God–made new persons–when we are justified. He has let us start anew, become “born again” in a spiritual sense.You see, it is not just “grace through faith” (justification). But we need to follow justification–not include in–with santification, regeneration, and the fruits of the Spirit. There is a place for works in works in Protestant theology.”If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”(Lk. 9:23).A saved person must continue to do good works thruought his life. But these works do not save him. The evidence of a justified man is his good works. Good works do not justify a man. So the consequences of knowing these things are these:

1.) We must use what God has given us (our talents) to
glorify him. We must continue in working for his kingdom.

2.) We can praise God for the change inside of us and in others as we see their fruit displayed.

3.) We can have a basis for judging whether or not someone truly is saved or not. But we must be careful in judging others salvation. Only God truly knows.
(Calvin, Institutes, p.798.)

Some fantastic links

    I noticed this comment yesterday:
    “My original post that people are quoting is not
    actually about blogging but small groups. People seem
    to run with my use of blogging as an example of the
    power of releasing many people into proclamation roles
    and discipleship/teaching roles.”
    –Brad From 21stCesturyReformation on
    Did we misquote or twist his words? When I read his original post, I got the impression that he was talking about using blogs as a platform in which to preach the gospel, much like preachers during the Great Awakening. But he says that he was just using blogging as and example. Does he agree with what people are saying (what they interepreted from his post) about using blogs?
    And you must head over to the First Annual Evangelical Blog Awards. This is the most fantastic idea ever, because it seems like it could be the start for these
    blogs that are nominated to use their platforms to direct readers to “specialists” or “mini-metas” by linking to them. In this way we can begin the process that Razor Kiss had talked about. A number of larger blogs transferring traffic to smaller blogs, etc. This idea of a Blog Awards is really interesting, and I have gotten invlovled by suggesting another category: Best Christian Teen-Run Blog. I don’t know if Evangelical Underground will accept this new category, but I thought it was a good idea. Not because I am a running a blog and I’m a teen and I want to win. No– actually I know of some blogs (see the sidebar under links), that are far better than mine, and have some great writers. I will nominate them if they include this new category. And if you want to nominate me, don’t be afraid. LOL.

[UPDATE: EU Has a category for Best Evangelical Teen Blog now!]

Who am I talking to?

At Allthings2all, Catez had a post on who he is talking to. He ran a poll awhile back on who is reading your blog. He also referred to Through A Glass Darkly and his posts on the Spiritual Perils of Blogging, which I am looking forward to reading. So check out his site and these links, and I’ll have to post my perecentage of readers.
God Bless,

Today’s Notes

    Here is the “Christian Carnival” of articles that I failed to mention last week. So if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out! I personally have not read any of the articles directly from the site, but the idea is neat, and it seems to be working pretty well. But again, you’re not going to be able to read every article at once because there is just too many. I still am researching what exactly this “Carnival” is and how it is hosted by different people. I’d be interested in doing something like that sometime. But I think I would include 20-25 articles max. Any more would be overwhelming. That’s just my opinion, but I’m sure some others may share it. Great work over there at Sides Spot! I enjoyed the commentary on each article along with the links.
    A Physicist’s Perspective had some thoguhts on evolution, and some logic along with it. I finished studying logic in geometry not to long ago, so I was kind of excited to see it used this way. Dr. Mobley says: “we come up with a theory that says A always causes B (i.e. gravity always causes attraction between two objects, therefore dropped balls will fall towards the earth). Then we cause A to happen (drop a ball) and see if B happens (the ball falls). Thus, we are directly testing whether A causes B.” His implication: evolution (A) can cause all the diversity and complexity of life (B) we see today). He beleives Glenn Reynolds made an unfair comparison on Instapundit. Read more for any calrification.
    Also, another great site and post on the idea of a christian Instapundit, or something like it, at Through a Glass Darkly. He will be following up this post with a series on the Spiritual Perils of Blogging. Looks to be really good. I think he is right in saying there are dangers (like trying to make yourself better than you are). Let me say right off…I’m a low-traffic blog and don’t claim to have much influence (if any at all). But is it all right to try to make your blog more influencial, or should you just be content to 10 readers a day or less? I would say “try and get more readers, but maintain a personal feel to your blog, along with links to others, essays, and articles.” That seems to be the best type of blog to read.
    Speaking of making your blog better, I still working on my site design. I just don’t like the text all that much, but it seems readable. But should I have been content with a template? It’s kind of too late now, but I want to see if I can either create a new design, a better one, or work more on this design. We’ll see…

Evolution Part II: Can You Prove God’s Existence?

In my previous post on evolution, I adapted most of my material from a tract I read byRay Comfort (From the Evidence Bible). I added a bit of my own thoughts andknowledge, but stuck to his original outline. And then I arrived at a point where I read ananalogy that he wrote that said proves the existence of God.I wasn’t so sure. So I read on.His analogy was this:Take for instance a building. You are standing in front of it. Now ask yourself, “Didsomeone design this building?” Obviously, your answer will be “yes”. Did it just”POOF!” come out of nowhere, or slowly evolve into a building. And now you standbefore your car. Did it just evolve in your garage over billions of years? No it had adesigner. There was someone who planned it.And think of the human body, so much more intricately made than a car or building. Andstill many believe nothing created something. I believe God created something out ofnothing.And it is so much easier to believe something or Some One created life than it is tobelieve it all came from nothing and evolved over many years.I mean, who would believe that some “goop” formed together perfectly and exploded intosomething. That doesn’t happen.Faith the facts… er… face the facts. Evolution takes more faith to believe.
But can you really prove God exists…is it fair to say that because a house has a builder–a designer–that the earth also did? Logically, that seems like a valid and sound argument to me. I’m not good at writing it out, so someone could probably help me in that regard. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Does this analogy carry evidence for creation? Does it give us a good argument? What if I came up with a theory (again, thank you to Ray Comfort) that said that the soda can evolved into what it is today. It began on this rock and a bunch of galactic chemicals came together to form aluminum. Slowly the aluminum built up into a can shape. Then after hundreds of more years the lid formed and that little tab that we use to pop it open formed. And today we have the soda can. We laugh at that…but is it any different from Evolution? In my next article I want to discuss whether evolution should be taught in schools.
[Update: This may help in logic]

Notes for today…

The reason I didn’t post yesterday was because I was not allowed to use the computer until I finished some school projects that I had put off (unwisely). So today I’ll have links to other sites.
Hopefully tomorow I will continue my talk on Evolution and prove God’s existence (or maybe I won’t…who knows). So check in tomorrow evening to see that.
We went sledding yesterday and had a lot of fun! I’m aching today but it was fun yesterday on the sleds. And it sure was cold!