The Lion-Taming Church?

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

Revelation 5:5, “And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah, according to his human nature. This is a reference to Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:10. As to His divine nature, Jesus was the Root of David. Only the One who is both God and man, bears the office of Mediator between God and man and is able and worthy to open and execute all the counsels of God towards men.

Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957), was a renowned English crime writer, poet, and Christian, who indicted the “lion-taming church of her day:  “The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore – on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”

Eugenia Price said, “The greatest sin of  the Christian church is that it has tamed the Lion of Judah.” I would add, “has attempted” to the statement, because the true Lion of Judah as revealed in scripture is not tamable.

Dave Daubenmire sums up the attitude and activities of far too many American churches: “We have lost the fear of Him. We think he doesn’t bite. We think that He has been defanged. We think that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has lost His teeth. Like a domesticated Tom-cat we think He has been neutered.

“The American church is treating the Lion as if he was a pussy cat. Christians are being taught that all Jesus wants to do is sit on your couch with you and purr. He loves everything and everybody.  He has no enemies.  He has no claws. He has no teeth. The Lion, indeed, has been tamed.”

There is a famous scene in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. In the scene, the young girl Lucy learns that the king they are waiting for whose name is Aslan, (the character Lewis uses to portray the Lord Jesus Christ) is in fact a full grown lion. She asks if he is safe to which Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe, no he’s not safe, but he’s good”

The rage on college campuses today is the idea of “safe spaces” where students can shield themselves from uncomfortable or dissenting viewpoints. “I think the problem is they’re trying to use this word ‘safe’ —  which conveys the image of a violent attack – and turning it into safe from ideas and statements we find offensive,” said UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. “There is no right to be safe from that.”

This is nothing new. Since the fall in the garden of Eden, man has been looking, running, and hiding from God in humanistic, demonically-inspired, philosophical and spiritual “safe places.”

Here’s the bad news — they don’t exist. The Lion of the tribe of Judah — King Jesus is the Ruler of all space and time. You can’t get Him off your hands, nor can you get Him in your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t truly live without Him. Eventually, your knee will bow and your tongue will confess, either by faith, in this life, or by the sheer force of the awesome Lion of Judah’s presence, in the hereafter, that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

We read in Romans 11:22, Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God.” Aslan, the lion fits the description of the words of the Apostle Paul in this verse. He reveals God’s great balance of demand and delight. He is a perfectly balanced “mix” of terror and tenderness, of fear and faith, of goodness and severity. His action toward you will be determined finally by your attitude toward him — you will either receive and trust Him, or you will remain (Lewis’ words) “a rebel in arms” against the glorious and proper and gracious High King of the universe.

David Bryant writes concerning the Lion-taming attempts by today’s church: We have trifled with the Son of God! For all practical purposes our self-serving messages about Him have domesticated Him in our own eyes. We have marginalized Him among His own people. We have sanitized the Son of God! We’ve settled for sleepy, sentimental, scaled-down versions of the One who reigns supreme. We seldom see Him as Lord over creation, over history, over the Church and over all the ages to come. Seldom do our hearts and minds get intrigued with Him above everything else.”

Christ is not, nor ever will be, safe. There is no such thing as a tame lion. Lion tamers do not “tame” lions. If anything it’s the lion that tames the tamer, because the key to working with a lion is to understand and respect a lion’s boundaries and behavior and to let the lion be a lion.

The same holds true for Jesus. Jesus is not tame, but He is the good, great, glorious Lion/Lamb God-man. Because He is who He is any wannabe lion tamers who think we can get Jesus to perform, heal, and bless at our command or who dare to put our words in Jesus’ mouth, is sort of like putting our head in a lion’s mouth. It is dangerous and deadly!

In the whole gospel of our God-breathed Bible, we are shown a terrifying yet tender, dangerous, demanding, yet supremely delightful, Lord — the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

The Lion is not safe, but He is good and the message He has sent all of His followers out to proclaim is “Good News.”

It’s time we, as the Church, stopped our Lion-taming, three-ring circus attempts to draw a crowd and “win people to gentle Jesus meek and mild” and turn the Lion unconditionally loose to be Himself — the never safe, but always good, Jesus, the Christ — the Lion of Judah!


Have We Become a Land of Greedy Ingrates?

November 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I see a ploy of this world system and greedy merchants, who apparently care only about the bottom line and discontentment, attempting to render that day common, worthless and devoid of its original meaning and purpose. What does the word holiday mean? Webster’s definition #1 is “HOLY DAY.” What does “holy” mean? Webster’s says, “A day set aside for religious observance.” Holy is to be sacred, uncommon, set apart, distinct and different. So this is not to be just another day, and by definition not a day for selfish greed and covetousness.

What was the original thanksgiving all about? In December of the pilgrim’s first “getting off the boat,” they were not ready for the winter and nearly half of them died of sickness and starvation. They prayed much and that summer reaped a bountiful, i.e. huge and plentiful, harvest. As a result they set aside a three-day feast on December 13, 1621 TO THANK GOD and celebrate with their Indian (Native American) friends.

Why was a Thanksgiving holiday proclaimed in the USA? In 1781 George Washington, as President, issued a proclamation that the first Thursday of November would be a day of giving thanks. Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday of November for the same. Lincoln said, “The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God…No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy…It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

Our nation is on the wrong course! We again have “lamentable…strife” and need to “with humble penitence…implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to..heal wounds…and restore [us].” We are still blessed beyond belief, but we must recognize the Source of these blessings as the gracious providence of the Almighty God who gave us victory over overwhelming odds in becoming an independent nation. As our government and secular atheists continue to try and remove all references to God, and as we embrace foreign religions and false Gods, we are finding our abundance growing thin. In many cases it is still there but those who worship Gaia, a false “god” representing the Earth, and environmental extremists who set the creature above the Creator and people, following Romans 1, are denying us the use and benefits of such resources.

We must return to the God of our forefathers and give Him thanks, repent and cry out for mercy! If we do not our blessings as a nation will NOT long endure and we will find ourselves overtaken by our enemies, stripped of our freedoms, enslaved, disillusioned, dismayed, and sorrowful that we did not seek the LORD in our time of great need! Read the Old Testament. Israel was blessed of God, but forgot Him to their demise. Jesus is able to fix the debt, give us peace from our enemies and restore our land. The Bible says, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his…Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; GIVE THANKS TO HIM and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100; emphasis mine)

Only in America would we turn the day after Thanksgiving into the GREEDIEST day of the year. Covetousness and greed run high on black Friday. People are trampled and killed and others are injured by covetous, greedy, selfish, inconsiderate people who care about stuff (mostly Chinese junk) more than about people. Is it wrong to shop on Black Friday? No, not if you can do so in a calm and controlled manner and treat others as you would like for them to treat you, and if you can keep your focus on gratefulness instead of sheer covetousness and greed. Next they moved to midnight of Thanksgiving Day. This year there are stores that will start at 6:00pm on Thanksgiving Day. I see a trend here. The goal is obviously to steal away the day and any of it’s meaning by lulling people into “super deals” and away from any contemplation of God and any manner of giving thanks all in the name of sheer greed. Can’t we even take one day to gather with family and be thankful and do nothing else?

We know that most of advertising is about causing you to be discontent in order to separate you from your money. Capitalism, under the restraint of biblical principles of loving people more than money, and not being sheerly ruthless and greedy is good, but as we have jettisoned God as a nation, capitalism has become unrestrained greed. I am not for socialism, communism or anything else, but as capitalists we must govern our business practices by God’ principles. As citizens we must keep Thanksgiving free of greed and covetousness and not surrender it. We must repent as a nation, turn to the God Of the Bible, be thankful, and seek His mercy and intervention while will still can. I can see where we are heading as a nation and this is a warning, a wake up call to all my fellow countrymen, and I would be amiss and guilty if I did not cry out this warning.

Will I go shopping on Friday? Maybe later in the day, but I refuse to give up Thanksgiving Day. Won’t you join me? You can stop this encroachment by just not shopping on Thursday for any “early Black Friday” deals. Buy your needs on Wednesday and send a message to these corporations that God and family are more important and some things are sacred.


Islam: Muhammad vs. Christ

June 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

Muhammad denied that Jesus was the Son of God; that Jesus died on the cross; that Jesus was the Savior. He taught that Jesus was only one of many prophets of which he, Muhammad, was the greatest. Yet, how could he be greater than Jesus Christ? Jesus was born of a virgin and was sinless in nature and the doer of mighty miracles such as raising the dead. But there was nothing superior about Muhammad’s birth or life. He never made the lame to walk, the blind to see or the dead to live. Allah even commanded him to repent of his many sins. How then can be greater than the Christ?

The contrast between Jesus and Muhammad could not be greater. While Jesus forbade the use of force to convert people (Matthew 26:51-54), Muhammad commanded his followers in the Qur’an (Sura IX.5) to force people to accept Islam by war, plunder, slavery or the threat of death!

Who is Jesus to a Muslim, and what do they believe about Him? The truth is that everything they understand of Jesus is wrong because of the teaching from the Koran. The only thing that they agree with is his being a prophet, the virgin birth, and his being sinless and that he performed miracles. They deny the only Gospel that saves. Claiming he did not die and rise again, they claim he was taken to heaven alive because God does not have true prophets killed.

When saying His name or any other prophets name, the Muslim will always add the phrase ‘Peace be upon Him” in respect. While we can acknowledge their respectfulness, we must remember that the Bible says that it was our sin that was upon Him. This is the very reason He came and His peace is upon us who believe this. (Isa. 53:5 “The punishment for our peace He took upon Himself.”) Muslims call Jesus the Spirit of God, but this term also does not mean he was God Himself according to the Islamic interpretation. They believe Jesus lived a sinless life without fault, performed miracles, and ascended bodily into Heaven, and that his primary mission was to pave the way for the ultimate and final prophet – Muhammad.

Dr. Ted Baehr notes some of the differences between Mohammed and Christ:

“Mohammed was the prophet of war; Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Mohammed’s disciples killed for the faith; Christ’s disciples were killed for their faith (Acts 12:2; 2 Tim. 4:7).

Mohammed promoted persecution against the”infidels”; Christ forgave and converted the chief persecutor (1 Tim. 1:13-15).

Mohammed was the taker of life; Christ is the giver of life (John 10:27-28).

Mohammed and his fellow warriors murdered thousands; Christ murdered none but saved many (John 12:48).

Mohammed’s method was COMPULSION; Christ’s aim was CONVERSION (Acts 3:19).

Mohammed practiced FORCE; Christ preached FAITH (John 6:29, 35).

Mohammed was a WARRIOR; Christ is a DELIVERER (Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 1:10).

Mohammed said to the masses, ”Convert or die!”; Christ said, ”Believe and live!”   (John 6:47; 11:25-26).

Mohammed was swift to shed blood (Rom. 3:15-17); Christ shed His own blood for the salvation of many (Eph. 1:7).

Mohammed preached ”Death to the infidels!”; Christ prayed ”Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Mohammed declared a holy war (Jihad) against infidels; Christ achieved a holy victory on Calvary’s cross (Col. 2:14-15) and His followers share in that victory (John 16:33).

Mohammed constrained people by conquest; Christ constrained people by love (2 Cor. 5:14).

Modern terrorists derive their inspiration from Mohammed and carry out their despicable atrocities in the name of his god; Christians derive their inspiration from the One who said, ”Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).

Modern day disciples of Mohammed respond to the terrorist attacks by cheering in the streets; modern day disciples of Christ are deeply grieved at past atrocities carried out by those who were ”Christians” in name only (the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, etc.).

Many Muslims are peaceful and peace-loving because they do not strictly follow the teachings of their founder; many Christians are peaceful and peace-loving because they do strictly follow the teachings of their Founder (Rom. 12:17-21).

Mohammed called upon his servants to fight; Jesus said, ”My kingdom is not of this world; if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight . . . but now is My kingdom not from here” (John 18:36)

Mohammed ordered death to the Jews; Christ ordered that the Gospel be preached ”to the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16).

The Koran says, ”Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them” (Qu’ran 9.5); Christ said, ”Preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Mohammed’s mission was to conquer the world for Allah; Christ’s mission was to conquer sin’s penalty and power by substitutionary atonement (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18).

Mohammed claimed that there was but one God, Allah; Christ claimed that He was God  (John 10:30-31; John 8:58-59; John 5:18; John 14:9).

Mohammed’s Tomb: OCCUPIED! Christ’s tomb: EMPTY!”

The conflict between Christ and Muhammad cannot be ignored. Either Jesus is Lord or Muhammad was a false prophet. But Muhammad is dead, while Jesus is alive forevermore.

Mark Steyn writes, “Western civilization – wedded to multiculturalism that undercuts its own confidence, a welfare state that nudges it toward sloth and self-indulgence, and a childlessness that consigns it to oblivion – is looking ever more like the ruins of a civilization.”

This is very scary and will come true unless God’s people recover a God-centered, Christ-exalting, cross-shaped, kingdom empowered, gospel-based outlook that sees the current situation as the greatest opportunity in history to bring masses of radical Muslims to faith in Christ! We must begin to stop trembling in fear and start ministering in faith because we have eyes to see what the natural man cannot – that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe!

Islam: Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

Dear Christian Brother/Sister,

There is a new trend, these days, among well-meaning Christians, that calls for understanding, making dialogue and building bridges between Christianity and Islam. These words may sound good, but unfortunately, in many cases they have been wrongly applied.

True understanding occurs when we try to know both the attractive side of Islam and the ugly side. True dialogue occurs when we listen to them and we insist they listen to us. True bridge-building occurs when the bridges we build with them go both ways. True love occurs when we tell them they are wrong if we know that they are wrong.

The Muslim’s message to Christians in the West, these days is,” We have a lot in common, we are similar, accept us, listen to us…”

It is a ploy, don’t believe it; they use it only to spread their religion. After they gain the upper hand, Muslims’ message will be, “We have nothing in common with you, you are infidels who worship three gods, and follow a corrupt Bible. You are dhimmis (non-Muslims in an Islamic society who are subjugated and second-class citizens) who must accept Islam or pay jizya (a penalty tax) for being Christians…”

Then, there would be no understanding between Muslims and Christians, no dialogues, and no bridges….

Don’t let Muslims deceive you into believing that Islam is a legitimate extension of Christianity. The Bible makes it clear that, “last of all,” God the Father sent His Son Jesus (Matthew 21:37), and that the Bible is God’s last revelation (Revelation 22:18). Jesus warns, “There shall arise false prophets, that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24

Nothing In Common

By Abdullah Al Araby 

Islam, in the West, is fighting its battle of acceptance and legitimacy. Muslim activists are working fervently trying to improve Islam’s image. Their goal is to create an environment in which Islam can be easily propagated. Their tool is as old as Islam itself, but they have just rediscovered it. This tool is telling Christians that Islam and Christianity have a lot in common. They cite Islam’s belief in the Bible, God, Jesus, Mary, the prophets, the day of judgment and Paradise.

This tactic is not new to Islam. Fourteen centuries ago, Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, used it when he started preaching his new religion in Mecca. At the beginning when Mohammed was weak, he was conciliatory and appeasing to Christians. He told them, “We believe in what has been sent down to us (The Quran), and sent down to you (The Bible). Our God is the same as your God.” Surah 29:46. Later, in Medina, after Mohammed became strong, all this changed. Allah, allegedly, tells him then, “Fight people of the Book (Christians and Jews) who do not accept the religion of the truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior.” Surah 9:29

The fact is that the differences between Christianity and Islam are very deep, and irreconcilable. The space limitation will enable us to list just a few.

Our God is not their Allah

Our God is a loving Father, who, along with the Son and the Holy Spirit, is One God.

  • To Muslims, the concept of a triune God is a blasphemy.
    They do blaspheme who say God is one of three…, for there is no God except one God.” Surah 5:73 
  • Allah of Islam is changeable.
    “Our revelations we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we substitute (with) something better or similar. Knowest thou not that God (Allah) hath power over all things.” Surah 2:106 
  • Allah of Islam is temperamental.
    “If we had so willed, we could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance, but the word from me will come true “I will fill Hell with Jinns (demons) and men all together.” Surah 32:13 
  • Allah of Islam is a deceiver.
    “They plot and plan, and God, too plans, but the best of planners (deceivers) is God.” Surah 8:30 
  • Allah of Islam is frightening.
    It is God whom ye should more justly fear, if you believe.” Surah 9:13

 Our Jesus is not their Isa

Our Jesus is the Son of God who died on the Cross to save the whole world. (In the Quran Jesus ‘ name is Isa.)

  • Isa is a created human being.
    “The similitude of Isa before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, Then said to him: “Be”: And he was.” Surah 3:59 
  • Isa is just an apostle.
    “O people of the book (Christians) commit no excess in your religion: nor say of God aught but truth, Christ Isa the son of Mary was (No more than) an apostle of God.” Surah 4: 171 
  • Isa was not crucified.
    “That they said (in boast) “we killed Christ Isa, the son of Mary”…but they killed him not, nor crucified him.” Surah 4:157 
  • Isa will return to earth to destroy the Cross.
    ” The hour will not be established until the son of Mary (Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the Cross..” Hadith vol. 3:656

Our Holy Spirit is not their Angel Gabriel

Our Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. His work is to comfort, convict, regenerate, guide, give power and bring forth fruit.

  • The Holy Spirit in Islam is an angel.
    “Then we (Allah) sent to her (Mary) our Angel (our spirit), and he (Angel Gabriel) appeared before her as a man in all respects.” Surah 19:17
    “Say the Holy Spirit (the Angel Gabriel) has brought the revelation (the Quran) from thy Lord in Truth.” Surah 16:102

Our Ethics are not their Sharia

Christian ethics are based on love, forgiveness, equality, tolerance and free-choice.

  • Islam teaches revenge.
    “If any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress likewise against him.” Surah 2:194 
  • Islam does not treat women and men as equal.
    “To the male a portion equal to that of two females.” Surah 4:11 
  • Islam allows men to beat their wives.
    “… As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them .” Surah 4:34 
  • Islam imposes harsh punishment on wrongdoers.
    *A thief is punished by the amputation of hands. Surah 5:38
    *A drunk is punished by 80 lashes. Hadith vol. 8:770
    *An adulterer is punished by 100 lashes. Surah 24:2
  • Islam must be imposed by force, if necessary.
    “And fight them on, until there is no more tumult (seduction) or oppression, and there prevail justice, and faith in God (and the religion becomes Islam).” Surah 2:193 
  • Apostasy from Islam is punishable by death.
    “Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him.” Hadith vol. 9:57

Our Salvation is not their straight path

Our Salvation is guaranteed by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, on the Cross.

  • In Islam there is no Original Sin, and no need for the Cross; Allah, the all powerful, has the supreme authority to punish or to forgive whomever He pleaseth, whenever He pleaseth.
    “He (Allah) forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and punisheth whom He pleaseth, for God has power over all things.” Surah 2:284 
  • In Islam good deeds cancel bad deeds.
    “For those things that are good remove those that are evil.” Surah 11:114 
  • The only assurance a Muslim has of going to Paradise is through fighting for the cause of spreading Islam (Jihad), and being martyred in the process.
    “And if you are slain, or die in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all they could amass.” Surah 3:157

Our Heaven is not their Paradise

In Christianity Heaven’s pleasures are pleasures of spirit, pleasures of purity.

  • In Islam Paradise is the place where a Muslim will be reclining, eating meats and delicious fruits, drinking exquisite wines, and engaging in sex with beautiful women (and perpetually young beautiful boys “Wildan or Ghilman”, according to some Muslim theologians).
    “As to the righteous, they will be in gardens and in happiness (to them will be said:) “Eat and drink ye, with profit and health, because of your (good) deeds “They will recline (with ease) on thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and we shall join (marry) them to companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes… And we shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they desire. They shall there exchange, one another, a cup free of frivolity, free of all taint of ill. Round about them youth (handsome) as pearls well-guarded.” Surah 52:17, 19, 20 & 22-24

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