Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal

Friday, July 31, 2015

Some Churches Surrender Their Most Powerful Weapon

Drive by an abortion clinic and note how it's always either windowless or has opaque windows and doors. It's impossible to see inside it from the outside. No sunlight penetrates from the outside. There's a theological reason for this; evil deeds avoid the light and hide in darkness (John 3:19-20).

Shining the spotlight of theological truth into the culture exposes the true nature of what's really happening - for good or bad. (I believe that if all pro-abortion advocates were forced to personally witness an abortion and help dispose of the "remains", there would be very, very few advocates left.)

Suppose a dangerous new drug that induces extreme euphoria comes onto the black market in your neighborhood. It's so dangerous that it kills more than 50% of first-time users. Drug addicts are flooding to it and the mounting casualties are astronomical. You lead an effort to combat it with multiple countermeasures, i.e., counseling, free withdrawal-treatment clinics, alternatives to "getting high" such as sports, etc. But your alternatives as good as they may be, are not enough. You must also warn the populace of the dangers of the new drug, what it can do them and how it will destroy them. You must publicly expose the true nature of the dangerous new drug.

The same is true for combating evil in the culture. Providing alternatives is only one side of the coin to ultimately defeat evil. We must also educate on the ethics and theology of the different manifestations of evil, exposing them for what they really are. Churches that only provide alternatives (as good as they may be) but never publicly address the ethics and theology of an issue from the pulpit are doing a grave injustice. Many recipients of the alternative works will likely conclude all options are morally-neutral and a matter of personal choice. Numerous churches admirably support ministries that actively provide alternatives to abortion (i.e., adoption, material support for pregnant women, counseling, etc.) But as valuable and necessary as such services are, they are not enough.

Light is "something" (light is actually energy) and darkness is "nothing" (but the absence of light.) This is why light always overcomes darkness without exception.  Jesus calls the church to be the light of the world (Matt 5:14), and said whomever follows Him has the light of life (John 8:12). Ultimately, it is the shining of the light of theological truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Some churches out of a misguided intent to avoid "culture wars", refrain from publicly addressing cultural issues.

Lighthouses serve two functions: (1) to serve as a navigation beacon to help ships safely navigate their way at night, and (2) to serve as a warning of dangerous obstacles that can potentially destroy the ship. Churches that refrain from addressing the ethics and theology of cultural issues become like a lighthouse that shields its' brilliant light out of erroneous fear of causing confusion and distress onboard the ships navigating by it. The true lighthouse shines its light to safely guide and warn away from danger. Similarly, the true church is supposed to shine theological truth into the culture to help safely guide it and expose the works of darkness. In shielding the light of theological truth and focusing only on charitable works, some churches actually help precipitate cultural shipwreck.

Such churches surrender their most powerful weapon.

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