Rest In Peace Clare (JustMEinT)

DSCN0226The lady behind JustMEinT, Clare McConville-Harris, is no longer with us.
I am sad to tell you all that Clare passed away on the 31st of March 2015 after a brief hospital stay, her sudden passing caught us all by surprise.
Clare had been unwell but as it turned out the issues she faced were bigger than anyone, herself included, had anticipated. Truth be told, even though the cause of death will not state it, she died of a broken heart after the recent passing of her husband in January.
This will be the last post to this site.

Tony Cook, Her Son.

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MODERN IDOLATRY and its consequences

moses

The Lord God told Moses, who then repeated it to the Israelites what was going to happen to them once they turned away from Yahweh and gave themselves over to the worship and idolatry of other gods. (see Deut 31:15ff)

But, you may say that was back then, so what is the reason God is no longer working (seemingly) in the world and in the lives of his people? We don’t sacrifice animals to idols! We don’t celebrate heathen festivals! We don’t burn people at the stake! We don’t celebrate and adore other gods – so why have you deserted us?

Idolatry takes many forms only one of which includes bowing down physically to foreign gods. Think on this – we cannot do without our mobile phones, our computers, our motor vehicles, our fast food or our fancy wardrobe – let alone our plastic credit cards!  Technically we worship these things.

I found the following essay very revealing as an example of modern idolatry.

In an essay written in advance of his book, Rosner defines idolatry as “an attack on God’s exclusive rights to our love, trust and obedience.” The rejection of physical images served as an important boundary marker for early Jews and Christians. But in the Bible, “idolatry” was not limited to opposition to images, because our love, trust, and obedience run to principles and gods even if they are not associated with a physical idol. So sexual immorality and greed are tied to idolatry (Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5) even though they do not always involve a tangible image.

Idolatry is dangerous because it almost always involves the offer of good things as substitutes for God. Wright highlights three pairs of idols: power and pride, success and popularity, and wealth and greed. Keller similarly highlights money, sex, and power, noting that even churches and efforts in ministry can become idols.

The main thesis of Beale’s biblical theological study is, “All humans have been created to be reflecting beings, and they will reflect whatever they are ultimately committed to, whether the true God or some other object in the created order. Thus … the primary theme of this book, we resemble what we revere, either for ruin or restoration.” This theme is succinctly found in Psalm 115:8: “Those who make idols are like them; so are all who trust in them” (cf. Ps. 135:18). Throughout the Old Testament this theological principle leads prophets to taunt Israel’s enemies or Israel herself: they are just as blind, deaf, mute, and hard-hearted as their lifeless wood and metal gods, for those who worship idols will mirror their traits.

Application abounds. David B. Hart excises a vivid illustration from the ancient world:

Atargatis, the “Syrian Goddess,” was a demanding mistress. For one thing, her priests (the galli) could win their way into her affections only by emasculating themselves.

According to the De Dea Syria, attributed to Lucian of Samosata, any young man disposed to dedicate himself to her service in Hierapolis had to make this first and most extravagant oblation on one of her high holy days, in a fit of divine ecstasy, with a single economic slash of a sacred sword kept at her temple.

Now, admittedly, we all do our best to lay up treasure in heaven, and I suppose one ought not to cast too many peremptory judgments on other people’s pieties; but I think most of us can agree that this was a fairly exorbitant sum to place in escrow on an uncertain bargain.

Cults like Atargatis flesh out the important theme summarized by Beale. When worship involves slicing off the ability to reproduce, the worshiper becomes as impotent as his goddess, who is a dead idol unable to create or sustain life.

Closer to home geographically, ideologically, and temporally, we find the same effect. The most famous statue in the United States is the Statue of Liberty. Many Americans are unaware that the image atop the base is the Roman goddess Libertas.

Now we may not worship this goddess in the traditional manner. But it is not too much to say that our radical allegiance to self and independence is idolatrous worship, nor that such worship manifests itself in extravagant offerings of money spent and relationships sacrificed—even the sacrifice of the unborn. And if we worship freedom, we may become the personification of Libertas, unable to experience healthy dependence on God and others, even as others find they cannot depend on us. Freedom can ironically enslave us, crippling our service to God and others.

The temptation to idolatry is multifaceted and ever-present, and therefore must be fought without respite. Harmonizing Keller, Wright, Beale, and Scripture leads us to three antidotes: (1) the identification of idols and their attractions; (2) the embrace of the gospel and its idol-destroying promises; and (3) the worship and imitation of the One True God rather than false gods.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/marchweb-only/idolatrygospelimitation.html?start=2

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5

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The Big Question – 3

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Modern Idolatry and its consequences 

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The Big Question – 2

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Next Question

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The Big Question – 1

Slide1

Next question

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Seeking The Right Word

The Christian Bible is widely available for anyone to peruse, and so it is with the Muslim Quran. I claim to be a scholar of neither, but am far more familiar with my book, The Word of Life – The Holy Bible. I do not speak or read Arabic so have to rely on translations of the Muslim book, and have to say that I consider it to be the antithesis of My Book – it is the Word of Death.

JustMEinT's General Blog

theasaurusI don’t know about you, but there are times when I have a problem finding the right word to describe a situation, a happening or even a common or everyday thing. My brain simply seems to be in ’empty mode’ … like there is no one home – or perhaps it is simply siesta time.

I have many friends of about the same age as myself who tell me I am not to consider myself special – as they too suffer from this common thought vacancy which they term ‘brain fog’.

Actually today is not a plain ordinary foggy day, it’s more like a need to have the thesaurus at my fingertips. I have a general idea of the message but the terminology is a little frayed.

Part of what I want to say is about God so perhaps THEOLOGY is the word I want, but that is such a…

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Sounds Very Human

FISH
Traveling home in the car today I found myself bopping along to a Country Song playing on the radio. It was one I was unfamiliar with. The chorus grabbed my attention:

Everybody wants to go to heaven
But nobody wants to die (?now)
Lord, I want to go to heaven
But I don’t want to die

Though I long for the day when I have new birth
Still I love livin’ here on earth
Everybody wants to go to heaven
But nobody wants to die (?now)

I must admit it got me thinking about how some people are afraid of death. What makes one fear death I wondered – probably the ‘unknown’ aspect of it – and yet is it really unknown? Maybe the Lord was trying to help me with something – He usually does.

Christians have as their living example –  Jesus Christ – and the words recorded in the Bible which tell us many things about the future to come – the time our lives will be renewed in the presence of God in Heaven.  (LINK) Some comments such as this should be very familiar to believers…… so why be afraid?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. John 11:25

We know that when Jesus ascended to his Father He promised he would come back for us:

And since I’m going away to prepare a place for you, I’ll come back again and welcome you into my presence, so that you may be where I am.  John 14:3

 

Yet many still fear the transition time…. the time when we no longer need our earthly bodies. The time when our living Spirits within go back to their Creator God. To a place we know of as heaven, where God reigns in all His Splendour and Glory. Home for us all.

This fear is a human trait and is quite understandable for some. Yet there are many who call out to be released from the pain and sufferings of this world, the evils and ugliness that surrounds them, so that they can be reunited with the Eternal Father, Son and Spirit.

I have listened to people’s fear of the coming death and I have listened to other’s who welcome what is immediately ahead of them. There is a huge difference in their attitudes. The fear is palpable in some and the joy is ecstatic and radiant in the others. They all claim they want to Go to Heaven to be with their Father God – some just don’t want to go now!

Based on  Ezekiel 34: 11-14    

In Christ alone my hope is found He is my light my strength my song. This Cornerstone this sold Ground. Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love what depths of peace. When fears are stilled when strivings cease. My Comforter my All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand.

No guilt in life no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath. Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell no scheme of man. Can ever pluck me from His hand. Till He returns or calls me home. Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

And what you may ask has me penning these profound thoughts at this time?

My beloved is diagnosed as being terminal. His life force will be leaving him at God’s appointed time. Is he afraid of what is happening to him? I don’t believe so. He is fortunate in that he suffers little pain, and that which occurs is being well managed. He has dealt with as much as he can of financial, business and family matters, he leaves little for me his wife to deal with after the event. He waits to be called forth, to enter the courts of The Most High God.

His faith is strong. He met Jesus many years ago and welcomed being invited to join the Family of God, now he waits his final calling … not with trepidation but with awe and expectancy of ever lasting joy.

I so wish everyone nearing the end of this bodies earthly journey could feel this way….. Not with fear and trepidation, but with open arms and a welcoming joyous Spirit.

MARANATHA

Posted in Christ Died for us, Christian Music, Death, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life after Death, My Spot's, New Life in Christ, On A Joyous Death, Trusting in God | Tagged , | 3 Comments