Sin

…from 3/22/17 Equipped with Chris Brooks (31 min. mark)

Every human has to deal with 

The original sin that destorts us,

The actual Sin that tempts and distracts us, and 

The indwelling sin that manipulates us.

“Come, let us discuss this,” says the Lord.

Isiah, long before Christ appeared, unfolds the Gospel plan

Isiah 1:18

18 “Come, let us discuss this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they will be as white as snow;
though they are as red as crimson,
they will be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land.

 

See pg 12 in They Walked with God. Full Assurance by Henry A Ironside.

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.

 

Three take-aways

Three take-aways from our car ride across Kansas (to get to Colorado for our men’s ski trip)

Thanks especially to Jim McClarey

  1. Grace is number one. Offer grace to everyone.
  2. Provide the reasons why.  There are many do’s and don’t’s in the Bible, but it is important to understand the (logical) reason why those guidelines are given.
  3. “It has been my experience that….” is a good phrase to use when sharing.

History repeats itself

We regularly hear and see on the news of terrorists killing people.  Just today I saw a story http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/police_in_oslo_norway_proclaim_oslo_is_lost.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

About how a violent and outside element has ‘taken’ over a neighborhood.

There have been many examples of ‘terrorism’ in various forms throughout the history of humankind.  In each case, the rest of humankind needed to step in and put a stop to it.

I’m not a historian, but I’ll try to list a few:

  • Visigoths were ruthless attackers.  This didn’t mean that everyone in the Germanic tribes were cruel, but some were.  Their actions/methods needed to be stopped.
  • Crusaders.  This didn’t mean that all Christians were killing based on their beliefs, but some were.  Their actions/methods needed to be stopped.
  • The Mafia (e.g., from Chicago) killed to gain and maintain power and wealth. This didn’t mean that all Italians and people from Sicily  killed in cold blood, but some were.  Their actions/methods needed to be stopped.
  • Ditto for the drug dealers in Mexico.

In each case they trained ‘their own’ from their own – from their own families and groups and those that held the same beliefs.

When Muslims* kill it doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, but some are. For the ones that are terrorists, their actions/methods needed to be stopped.

*Or fill in the blank with any other group from which a group emerges that uses violence and killing to achieve their ends.

Within a week of each other – 50 Shades of Grey

Within a week of each other, in February 2015, the movie 50 Shades of Grey came out in theaters and 21 Christians we’re headed by terrorists.

It’s official*: All’s fair in love and war.  And people are choosing to do whatever they wish, including inhumanity acts.

(*We knew this already, but now we are really sure.)

People are exercising their God-given choice to have free will.

Larry Moore in SS said Christians need to do a better job of bringing people into the faith.

Carolyn Grove in the Learn-Grow-Serve meeting said Christians are too complacent.

Sadly, but accurately, the title, 50 Shades of Grey, describes how people see the world.  There is no black and white. No right and wrong. Everything is a shade of grey subject to situation ethics.