Jesus’ humility, Satan’s pride: whom do we follow?

Jesus' humility

Ecce Homo (Behold! The Man) / Antonio Ciseri, 1871. “The humble king they named a fraud, and sacrificed the Lamb of God.”

God is all-powerful, but when he chose to use his power to become a man, he also chose not to use power like other men. It is Satan who turns power into something coercive and egocentric.

It would be nice if we could say that Christians understand the situation and exercise power as Jesus did. Unfortunately, we can truthfully say no more than that some do, and they successfully imitate Christ maybe only some of the time.

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Universal brotherhood?

Interfaith unity?

Interfaith unity?

Many people in the church today simply assume that all humanity is one large family, with God as its Father. They take offense at the thought that maybe some people are not God’s children.

Do they realize that they are taking offense at Jesus himself? Oh well. Religious people have always found Jesus offensive.

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Christian warfare: where pacifism is not an option

Did you know that all of us are at war, and there’s nothing we can do but fight or surrender? I’m not talking about Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere the U.S. military is active, ever has been, or ever will be.

Jesus Christ, the rightful Lord of the universe, has a rebellion on his hands. The rebel, named Satan, captured the human race by deceit at the beginning of time and rules as the god of this world. He can’t win, but his final defeat hasn’t yet occurred.

Whatever else it means, this spiritual warfare happens within each of our minds.

“Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all of your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.”–1 Peter 1:13, NRSV.… Read the rest

Learning what Satan is like–the hard way

I suppose not many readers spend much time with 1 or 2 Kings or 1 or 2 Chronicles. That’s too bad, because the stories in the Old Testament often provide clear pictures off New Testament truths. Amaziah, a king of Judah who served God half-heartedly, illustrates what happens to the double-minded man mentioned in James 1:6-8.

This post will comment on the time when he was afraid that his army wasn’t strong enough for a war he wanted to make against Edom. He hired mercenaries from Israel, but then a prophet said if he let them fight, he would lose.

Amaziah fussed a bit about the money he had already paid for the Israelite soldiers, but before he went to war, he dismissed them.… Read the rest