5 Important Truths we Forget


As a Christian in America, I can easily become distracted from the important things. I’ve been realizing how easily I can forget important principles and truths from Scripture. So, I’ve compiled a quick list of 5 things we Christians often lose sight of and forget: 

  1. “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus name” ~ Cornerstone, Hillsong Worship
    1. All too often we put our hope in something other than Christ. I often put my hope in the political outlook or in a candidate. Many people put their hope in finances or in having a good job. Others put their hope in relationships. Let’s remember to put our hope in Christ first. “Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” ~ Psalm 130:7
  2. “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” ~ 1Peter 5:8
    1. As human beings, we have a disadvantage of not being able to see the spiritual realm. Because of this, we often forget that there is a spiritual war being fought all around us. God’s angels are valiantly fighting the Devil’s minions in an epic war. Our disadvantage is that we are a part of the war. But, being unable to see it makes it very difficult to participate. We need to be aware that the Devil is trying to destroy us and is constantly out to oppress us with his demons, and to tempt us with sin. We need to take of the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and use it daily in our fight against evil (Ephesians 6).
  3. “This world is not my home, I’m here for a moment…I’m bound for glory.” ~ Bound for Glory, Vertical Church Band
    1. Those of us who live in the Western world, and in a first world country, probably struggle with this concept more than those who don’t. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven (Matthew 19:27). It is very easy to let the comforts of our lives, and the good gifts God has given us, to become too comfortable for us and for us to trust them for our salvation. We need to remember that we are only here for a short time, and the comforts and joys in heaven will far outweigh what is good here! Let’s fix our eyes on things above (Colossians 3:2)!
  4. Persecution is a Privilege, Suffering is a Given
    1. We are guaranteed to suffer in this life (1Peter 4:12-19). God tells us throughout Scripture that difficult trials that we face are given to us in order to refine us and mold us to be more like Christ. We need to redefine how we think of “good”. Rather than it being what we deem as enjoyable and comfortable, we need to realize “good” means whatever draws us closer to God. We also need to realize that not all of us will be given a chance to experience hardcore persecution. Scripture teaches it is a privilege. Some of us will sigh in relief… But we need to remember that “a good follower of Yesu (Jesus) is like the ox – ready either for the plow or the alter, for service or for sacrifice.” ~ Safely Home, Randy Alcorn pp.347
  5. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~ Ephesians 6:12
    1. The political authorities in this world who are doing evil, the mean kid at school, the bad cop who is racist, all of these people are really just puppets for the Devil. They have souls, and Jesus died for them. Our fight is not with them; it is with the Devil. So let’s pick up our Sword, and our quiver of Prayer, and not spend our time fighting them, but fighting the enemy.

 

The Renaissance and Enlightenment: Two Periods of Worldviews


The Renaissance and Enlightenment: Two periods of worldviews

Resource:  History Through the Eyes of Faith

By Hudson Farrell on 6/7/13

 

            Every person has a way of viewing the world. Each time period has a group of predominant philosophers. Thus we can conclude that most time periods have a predominant worldview. In this paper I will discuss four topics: God, man, ethics and suffering. Each will be discussed in a way that will attempt to address each issue from the viewpoint of the time period selected. I will discuss the topics from a Renaissance point of view and also from an Enlightenment standpoint. In doing so, I hope to unwrap certain characteristics of the worldview of each time period. God is a good starting point for this paper. Seeing that He is the center of everything (John 1:1-4) I think that by starting with Him we will be able to set a foundation for each worldview, and then the other main topics will flow soundly from it.

During the Renaissance period, roughly the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, God was still predominately perceived to be at the center of life. God would have been seen as fully just and also as fully love, infinite and personal. He would have been seen as mostly mysterious, but also somewhat predictable. In the Renaissance period we begin to see a small spark of humanism. However, this humanism, for the most part, was not “man” centric but on valuing human worth and human knowing in a way that glorified God. Contrary to the popular belief that the Renaissance was a time of rebelling against Christianity, the Renaissance was a time of “rebelling” to do Christianity better. This is shown by the many Christians who sought to reconcile the best of pagan antiquity to the Christian gospel.

The Enlightenment (roughly the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) “dulled” God down into a predictable entity who could eventually be understood by humans. God created the universe, and placed humans onto planet earth and endowed them with inalienable rights.  Human education was emphasized greatly during the Enlightenment (and to this day). People believed that God created the physical (and maybe spiritual) world with certain laws which humans could discover. The world was seen as mathematically predictable. Presumably humans could then learn all the laws of this world. God also subjected Himself to these laws; therefore humans could predict his ways. What humanism was not in the Renaissance, it became in the Enlightenment. Humanism turned from being primarily religious to being predominantly secular, from God centric to man centered.

The human individual became the central focus of society during the Enlightenment. Much emphasis was placed on the individual and his merits. The more that humans could understand the world and the laws that rule the world, the better human advancement would become. Also, the more people utilized education and knowledge, the more peaceful the world would become. However, we in the modern era see that this isn’t true.

In the Renaissance era, the individual was not placed at the center of society, but rather part of the corporate body of which society was composed. Education and human learning was seen as an opportunity to learn about God’s world and to explore it. Man was not the “measure of all things”; God was.

Since God was seen as the nucleus of life during the Renaissance, He would have been the standard for the ethical code. Many of the humanists of the time would have wanted to “rebel” against, what they considered as, “not so good” ethical codes, and replace them with better standards based on what God’s desires were. The ethics and laws of society would also have been determined by whether or not the code in question was beneficial to protecting society.

During the Enlightenment more emphasis was placed on the individual, and therefore ethics and laws would have been determined more by what was good for an individual rather than for the common good of a group of individuals. Many secular humanists of the time pushed for complete freedom from all tyrannies over the mind and spirit. One tyranny that they could not push out was the tyranny of suffering and hardships.

I don’t think that during the Enlightenment scholars would have had an answer for why there is evil and suffering. It was a time of reason and understanding, and suffering cannot be rationally explained when man is the center of everything. Because when man is the center of all, he sees himself as good; evil cannot come from good. Therefore, man would be living in a world that was defined by perfect laws, and no evil should be present in a perfect world. Yet, there was evil and suffering. I don’t think the Enlightenment scholars had an answer for this difficulty.

Scholars during the Renaissance probably would have been disturbed by evil and suffering, and some probably would have had a similar response to the scholars of the Enlightenment. They probably would have attributed it to the likelihood that the laws of society were not perfect and needed perfecting to eliminate the blemishes. However, I think most would have considered suffering as a part of life. They would have viewed it as a consequence of man’s inherited imperfection. They probably viewed hardships as part of their daily lives.

By discussing important topics such as the places given to God and man, ethics and the cause of evil and suffering, we have been able to explore the worldviews of two important time periods. The Renaissance period was a time when worldviews were based mostly on Biblical values. The Enlightenment however, was a more secular period, but did have many influential Christian leaders. In short, God was the center of everything during the Renaissance and man became the nucleus of all during the Enlightenment. Both time periods have affected the way we shape our worldviews today. It would be useful for each of us to compare the worldviews discussed in this paper with our own.