Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prayer and Fasting for Obama on the Roe v Wade Anniversary

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, legalizing abortion nationwide. In regards to his support of "abortion rights" President Obama has been quoted as saying, "On this fundamental issue, I will not yield." The President's pro-"abortion rights" supporters will certainly be expecting him to make an executive decision in their favor to mark the anniversary of Roe v Wade, perhaps by overturning the Mexico City Policy.

During his inauguration address, President Obama gave several examples of heroism expressed through the lives of ordinary Americans; among such acts of heroism, he mentioned, "a parent’s willingness to nurture a child." I pray that President Obama's heart would be changed concerning the issue of abortion and that he would be willing to display a heroism consistent with the best sentiments expressed in his speeches; I pray that he would be willing to disappoint his constituents and to admit the fallacy of his former pro-"abortion rights" position. I pray that he would not overturn the Mexico City Policy today, nor would he use this day to in any way support legalized child murder with his executive authority.

I ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to join with me in fasting and prayer today for God's mercy in protecting the lives of the unborn from unjust executive policies.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prayer on Inauguration Day

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)

Readers are urged to be in special prayer for our nation's leaders today, and especially for the out-going and in-coming Presidents. We have been blessed in the United States to have a system of government in place in which we regularly, every four to eight years, inaugurate a new president, and this inauguration takes place in a dignified, amicable manner no matter how sharply out political parties may disagree with one another. In other nations important changes in power are only accomplished through great strife or even warfare, but in the United States the nation as a whole has afforded the opportunity for its citizens to lead "a peaceful and quiet life" within our borders (I do want to acknowledge that there have been horrible and sometimes persistent exceptions to this rule, mostly due to racism, but the election of Obama demonstrates that great gains have been made in redressing these kinds of injustice as well). With 1-2 million people gathered in Washington D.C. today, and with the real threat of terrorism, both international and domestic, we need to pray for law enforcement in our nation's capital as well as for God's kind providence that today's ceremonies would go without incident.

In praying for our new President today, I am praying for the following (I give this list with the hope that it may give readers some ideas for how they may pray for Obama):
  1. I pray that President Obama will be granted godly humility to know that we humans are limited in what problems we can fix- that, indeed, our plans, no matter how thoroughly thought-out, are not immune from unforeseen disaster- and so we must depend on God: on His strength, wisdom, and gracious providence.
  2. I pray for the health and safety of President and Mrs. Obama, and for the health and safety of their precious daughters: Natasha and Malia Ann.
  3. I pray that as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces President Obama would lead our troops justly and according to wise counsel.
  4. I pray that God would change President Obama's heart in regards to the matter of abortion. (This change is not beyond the power of God to effect, as I explored in a previous post.)
Readers are encouraged to leave a comment, telling how you will be praying for those in authority today.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Absolute Necessity

As I have been posting my personal confession of faith on this blog [explanation HERE], the last article I posted was on providence. In this article I confess that "all events occur by absolute necessity." This confession concerning absolute necessity was a key feature of the Protestant Reformers' dispute with the Roman Catholics, as explained by John Calvin in his book, The Bondage and Liberation of the Will. In confessing that "all events occur by absolute necessity" the Reformers were asserting the sovereignty of God over His creation in such a way as to rule out the possibility that: 1) anything occurs by mere chance, and especially, 2) that salvation is in any way dependent on the 'free-will' decision of Man. The Reformers considered themselves bound to deny both of the concepts just mentioned by specific biblical texts, for example: 1) "The lot is cast into the lap but its every decision is from the Lord" (Proverbs 16:33 NASB), 2) "So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy" (Romans 9:16 NASB).

Anyone seeking to take the biblical text seriously must affirm the doctrine of absolute necessity as explained above.

There is another way that some have understood absolute necessity; that is, according to a doctrine that theologians call "divine necessitarianism." According to this doctrine, God orders His creation in a way that most magnifies His glory. The way in which He orders creation, then, springs from His character, and if there were another way for events to occur in which God's glory would be better demonstrated, then God would have ordered His creation differently. Divine necessitarianism presupposes that God's glory would not be equally magnified in a world created differently nor in a different order of events within this creation. If the doctrine of divine necessitarianism is in Scripture, it is, I think, more implicit, and I do not think that an affirmation of absolute necessity as described in the first paragraph of this post necessarily commits someone to divine necessitarianism.

I welcome comments about absolute necessity and divine necessitarianism below, especially if readers feel I have been unclear in my explanation of these doctrines.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Prayer Request (1/14/09)

A co-worker at UPS named Shane has apparently been hospitalized, having had both lungs collapse at some point this past weekend. My supervisor does not feel at liberty to divulge any more specifics of Shane's medical condition. Please keep Shane in your prayers and pray that I would have some opportunity to minister the gospel to him.