Grasping and being moved to Please, Know, and Resemble God

From Tim Keller’s daily reading plan (and his fuller book) from YouVersion (below).

I want this ultimate relationship with God. I want to grasp what Jesus did for me and all of mankind. I want to be in relationship with God to please Him, know Him, and resemble Him, as I love those around me as He (Jesus) loved us.

Church of Satan, Satanic Temple, and Theistic Satanism

I did some looking around this afternoon and wanted to write down what I found. I was prompted to do this research after an article appeared in the Washington Post titled, “An After School Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s elementary school.” I’ll comment on the article at the bottom.

I am a practicing Christian. (I am also a mathematician, so reason plays a key role for me.) I believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the way to eternal salvation and a fulfilling life on earth. Satan is working against us. Satan uses various (often indirect) means (c.f. C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters). I believe that all three of the the following (even though the first two claim to not worship Satan) are the work of Satan.

Some statements taken from Wikipedia.
I intend to be intentionally brief. Follow the links for more.

Church of Satan

Started in 1966, by Anton Szandor LaVey.  Church of Satan is dedicated to the religion of LaVeyan Satanism as codified in The Satanic Bible, which was written by LaVey. The church does not believe in or worship the Devil or a Christian notion of Satan.[2] High priest Peter Gilmore describes its members as “skeptical atheists.” The Church of Satan does do some good things, and they want outsiders to believe that.

Wikipedia article.

http://www.churchofsatan.com/

While they say they do not worship ‘satan’ or the devil, their website has numerous images of, for lack of a better term, evil looking beings and images associated with satan. What one focuses on is what one pays attention to and what one often comes to worship.  To say the Church of Satan is ‘inherently evil,’ would be an exaggeration (and something a mathematician wouldn’t say), and therefore I am not saying that. I do conclude that the Church of Satan is on the wrong track and should be avoided by children and adults.

The Satanic Temple

(According to Wikipedia, was founded in 2014) Both atheistic and humanist, their stated mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people”. The group was co-founded by Lucien Greaves, the organization’s spokesperson, and Malcolm Jarry. As above, The Satanic Temple does do some good things, and they want outsiders to believe that.

Satan is thus used as a symbol representing “the eternal rebel” against arbitrary authority and social norms.

Their beliefs appear to be quite close to LaVeyan Satanism.

Wikipedia article.

http://thesatanictemple.com/

[Similar comment:] While they say they do not worship ‘satan’ or the devil, their website has numerous images of, for lack of a better term, evil looking beings and images associated with satan. What one focuses on is what one pays attention to and what one often comes to worship.  To say the Church of Satan is ‘inherently evil,’ would be an exaggeration (and something a mathematician wouldn’t say), and therefore I am not saying that. I do conclude that the Satanic Temple is on the wrong track and should be avoided by children and adults.

Theistic Satanism

This is ‘full-blown’ satan worship. Joy-of-Satan.org says, “We know Satan/Lucifer as a real being,” and “True Satanism is about elevating and empowering humanity, which was our True Creator (Satan’s) intention.”

A common theme of Church of Satan, Satanic Temple, and Theistic Satanism is self-centeredness (humanism) and the importance of me, myself, and I. Christianity has as it’s #2 great commandment to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.

Wikipedia article.

I couldn’t find an official website, but here is www.joyofsatan.org

Clearly, Satan-worship (Theistic Satanism) should be avoided by children and adults.

Washington Post Article

Article: An After School Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s elementary school

The Satanic Temple is offering their After School Satan Club as an alternative to Christian after-school programs.

While one might think that I (as a Christian) would say, “Oh, we need to fight to get the After School Satan Club out of our schools,” I’m not going to say that (at least in those terms).

Here’s my reaction:

  • We have freedom of religion in this country. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights says so.
  • This is our society. We love to let people do whatever they want to (‘especially if it doesn’t hurt someone else’).
  • I actually agree with the courts, The Satanic Temple should  be allowed to have their own after-school program (as do the Boy Scouts, Awanas, and the Good News Club).
  • Free will is not just a decision made by the United States, but a decision God made. Each person is given the choice to believe in Jesus Christ or not believe. (I would say there are many reasons and proofs why one should, but that’s for another day.) Philip Yancey, in his book The Jesus I Never Knew, has a wonderful chapter on the temptations of Christ. He extends the temptations to shed light on God’s logic of allowing free will (in particular, what God decides not to do, to get us to believe).
  • Satan is always working to disrupt and distract us from God (try running the PowerPoint for a church service some time). The After School Satan Club is just one more example.
  • We, as Christians (and those who believe children should be playing soccer after school for that matter), need to offer something better. We must work hard to help people believe in the truth of Christ.
  • The Satanic Temple is ‘selling’ humanism. This is pretty easy to sell and has been followed since ancient times. Humanism is our natural tendency. We’d rather be comfortable than get blisters raking someone else’s yard for them.
  • A primary message of Christianity (Christ) is service before self (to use the US Air Force’s words). To minister means to give aid or service. Serving others (ministry) is a harder sell than humanism, but one we need to help people understand. It is our #2 great commandment and ties to our first great commandment, because as Matthew 25:40 says, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did [fed, clothed, visited, etc.] for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Once understood ministry become a joy for Christians.

 

Relationship w Jesus ≠ Relationship w Abraham Lincoln

Loving God 101, Part 01: Relationship with God. Really???

“episode 85” from Jesus at 2 am podcast.

Listen at http://www.jesusat2am.com/2015/05/21/introduction_to_christian_spiritual_formation_1/

Kirk Winslow says, “The ultimate goal is love – and love grows in relationship, not by performing a set of behaviors!  In this episode I offer a short introduction to spiritual formation and take up the specific language of “personal relationship.” Can one have a personal relationship with Jesus?  Really???  I think the answer is “yes.””

I like the three keys in this podcast and a good explanation of Paraclete

 

Faith devo.

This devotion has a good story of faith growing from a mustard seed.

Through our faithful witness, we can bless future generations to come. Let’s strengthen our homes and produce, by His grace, a legacy for the Lord.

A Legacy for the Lord

Did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.
Malachi 2:15

Recommended Reading: Malachi 2:10-16

Jane, 18, a widow with two small children, descended into deep depression. One day while walking along a river with thoughts of suicide, she heard a ploughman on the other bank. As he began his work in the fields, he whistled Christian hymns and something about his spirit touched Jane. If a simple ploughman could display such enthusiasm for the mundane work of his life, why couldn’t she? Armed with a new perspective, Jane returned to Dublin where she answered the call to follow Christ. She began praying earnestly for her children and for the next twelve generations who would follow her.

Among the results? Her son, Grattan, became a minister and helped trigger the 1859 revival in Ireland. From his descendants alone have come a host of Christian workers who have traveled the world with the Gospel, including the noted Christian author Dr. Os Guinness.1

Through our faithful witness, we can bless future generations to come. Let’s strengthen our homes and produce, by His grace, a legacy for the Lord.

A Single Thought: Wherever life takes us, our witness goes too—it is the legacy of a believer in Jesus Christ.

 

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/magazine/daily_devotional.aspx 5/24/2016

 

Christ Jesus, taking the very nature of a servant, humbled himself by becoming obedient to death. Therefore…

Imitating Christ’s Humility

from Philippians 2 (NIV)

5 …Christ Jesus…7taking the very nature of a servant,…8humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death…..9Therefore,….10every knee should bow….11Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.…[and].12Therefore,… 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

My Prayer: Lord, in your power, I pray that I will humble myself and be obedient to will and to act in order to fulfill your purposes. Amen

The Three Bowls of Jesus’ Last 24 Hours on Earth

I like the comparison and contrast of the Three Bowls of Jesus’ Last 24 Hours on Earth

Wash basin: Jesus Washes the disciples feet (at the Last Supper).  He showed us that we are to be servants of others.

Bowl of bread: broken and shared together at the Last Supper. Fellowship. Remembrance. Institution of the Last Supper instituted.

Pilate’s wash basin: After dealing with the crowd, Pilate washed his hands (in front of the crowd)…and sent Jesus to the cross. This one is deeper (and needs to be developed).

Lee Strobel, Apologetics

Lee Strobel (was an atheist who became a Christian and pastor and author) gives a message.  He says that if Jesus lived in his house with him, he would notice two things about Jesus

  1.  The door is open for questions.  You can always ask Jesus questions.
  2.  Jesus is authentic.  He lives consistent with his message.

In the message, Lee gives much of his life story.