It’s one thing to promote the idea that dads and moms are interchangeable despite, you know, science, but it’s another to accuse anyone tired of being force-fed this whole thing of bigotry. As one reviewer put it, “Perhaps calling critics of a movie “idiots who are going to die off like the dinosaurs” wasn’t the best strategy to get families to watch the latest entry in the Toy Story franchise.”
Disney’s newest Pixar film, Lightyear, isn’t doing great at the box office. While critics puzzle over why, an obvious reason is parents are tiring of the constant indoctrination in sexual matters. They feel betrayed by the once trusted Toy Story franchise.
All that may come as a surprise to Chris Evans, the new voice of Buzz, who recently said concerned parents are “idiots” who will soon “die off like the dinosaurs.”
You Might also like
By Campbell Markham — 1 year ago
The church is being built at exactly the rate that Jesus wants it to be built. Not one person faster or slower. Hell has not slowed the construction by even a second. Not one person whom Jesus wants included will be excluded.
“I’m frightened.” These were my Pop’s last words. I saw him just after death, and his face and body evinced struggle. He did not profess to be a Christian, and I asked my pastor whether this struggle was perhaps a sign that God was working on his spirit, and that perhaps he could have come to salvation in his last hour?
My pastor, knowing that Pop had not professed faith, answered with a straightforward “No.”
I was a little shocked. How could he speak with such certainty?
Matthew 16:13-19 explains how, a passage that Michael Green rightly calls “the hinge on which the whole Gospel turns.”
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matt. 16:13-14; all Scripture passages from NIV version)
Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of snow-veiled Mount Hermon (the source of the Jordan river) is in the picturesque northern extremity of Palestine. In Matthew’s day it was the famously pagan center of pan-worship. Jesus probably retreated there with his disciples for a time of rest and instruction.
The lessons begin with this vital question: “Who do the people say the Son of Man is?”
“Son of Man” is Jesus’ favorite designation for himself. It captures both his humanity and, from Daniel 7:13-14, both his divine nature and divine destiny of universal and eternal rule (see Matt. 26:64).
Jesus knows exactly who he is. And by his authoritative teaching, healings, domination over the demonic realm, and supernatural command and control over nature, he has categorically revealed his identity and mission.
Having seen and heard this, what conclusions have the people drawn? “John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah …” Perhaps these great prophets had been resurrected in the person of Jesus. Without doubt he reprised the spirit of their ministry.
Is there a common thread? Were these three not the more poignant and pessimistic of the prophets? Certainly they were very exalted Jewish figures. Should not Jesus be flattered by the comparison? Not at all. None of them, like Jesus, claimed a divine identity and mission—nor proved it with supernatural acts of power. They were as inferior to Jesus as the ambassador is to the King, as the creature is to the Creator (Matt. 23:37).
What may have been meant as a compliment was in truth a profound denigration, a patronizing and willful denial of Jesus’ manifest identity.
The patronizing has never paused. A person with a passing knowledge of Jesus may perhaps deign to grant his existence, or even his importance as “a great moral teacher.”
Beyond excuse, however, are those New Testament scholars who shut their eyes to the arc-lamp of his glory that blazes from every paragraph of the Gospels, and who demote and disqualify and denigrate Jesus as “a very fine example.” J. Gresham Machen described this:
The modern liberal preacher reverences Jesus; he has the name of Jesus forever on his lips; he speaks of Jesus as the supreme revelation of God; he enters, or tries to enter, into the religious life of Jesus. But Jesus for him is an example of faith, not the object of faith. (Christianity and Liberalism, p. 85)
Any conception of Jesus that falls short of what Jesus revealed himself to be is not only an error or lie—it is perverse idolatry. It is to concoct a false image and to call it “Jesus.”
“But what about you?” Jesus asked.
“Who do you say I am?” The NIV captures the urgent personal emphasis and the life and death probing of the original. What do you yourself think? Your answer to this question fixes your eternal destiny!
Notice also how important it is to say what we think about Jesus. Heart and mouth must work together, for a merely inward faith is no faith at all (Rom. 10:8-11).
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:16)
The Christ is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Divine and Saving Prophet, Priest, and King promised on every page of the Old Testament (Luke 24:27). And Jesus is the eternal “Son of the Living God” in a way that no one else is or ever can be (John 1:1-3).
Like King Josiah before him, Peter smashes down the idols to leave nothing but the One True Jesus Christ.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17)
The makarios, the blessed, is the one who should count themselves truly happy. This is the person the world should congratulate (see Matt. 5:3-10).
Why is Peter so blessed? Because, literally, no “flesh and blood” had brought him to this truth, least of all himself. He was blessed because the truth he had owned and expressed had been revealed (apokalyptō) by “my Father.” He had only believed and said what the Father had, first of all, placed there.
“You are one of the happy ones, Simon, whose father is Jonah, because my Father in Heaven has come and opened your eyes and mouth to say what you have just said.”
Just as Jesus prayed in Matthew 11:25-26,
I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
And now Jesus, just as he did with Jacob after wrestling with him at Peniel (Gen. 32), confirms a new name upon Peter (John 1:42).
And I tell you that you are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church. (Matt. 16:18a)
By Ben Davis — 2 weeks ago
When the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman before Jesus and accused her of committing adultery, there were no eyewitnesses to act, evident by Jesus’ response: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” This was not Jesus’ effort to dismiss or lower the standard of the Law, but to maintain it. The very next verse in Deuteronomy 17 stipulates that the first stone to be hurled is to come from the hand of those who testified as witnesses to the act.
What is the relationship between Christians and the Law of Moses? It is a question that dates back to the formation of the early church (Acts 15:24-29), but to this day, many believers still aren’t sure what they’re supposed to do with the first five books of the Bible. Often, they’re entirely avoided. Sometimes they’re treated like off milk that passed its expiration date with the coming of Jesus. Other times, they’re presented as cruel, harsh, and unforgiving rules, reflective of the barbaric and uncivilised era from which they emerged.
Whatever the case may be, portraying the Law as anything short of “holy, righteous, just, and good” is to present the Law in a way that is contrary to the New Testament (Rom. 7:12). Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and James all summed up the Law in a word: Love (Mk. 12:31; Rom. 13:9; Jam. 2:8; cf. Lev. 19:18). In other words, in the New Testament, “love” was not some arbitrary sense of affirmation or positive vibes. Love was a summary of God’s Law.
To love God “with all your heart, soul, and strength,” was to love him in accordance with the commandments he had given (Deut. 6:4-5; 10:12-13). To love your neighbour as yourself, was to treat your neighbour the way in which God prescribed in his statutes, and to do so from the heart (Lev. 19:18-19). To relax even one of the least of the commandments was to love God and man less than God required (Matt. 5:19). It was to act presumptuously by elevating yourself to the level of the Law Giver. In fact, the preservation of love was so important in Israel that violations were regarded as a crime punishable by death (Deut. 17:12-13).
It is at this point that many modern Christians recoil. The Law required capital punishment for sins that our culture does not. And sometimes, it demanded death for sins that our culture celebrates. To affirm the Law as “love” is perhaps the most counter-cultural thing you can do. It could cost you your family and friends, your career, and in some instances, your freedom. Wouldn’t it be easier, for the self-preserving Christian, to pretend God’s Law was no longer relevant? To opt rather for a definition of “love” that’s defined more so by current social sentiments than by Scripture? After all, didn’t Jesus dismiss the harsh demands of the Law for the higher road of compassion and forgiveness? That is what we’re told.
It’s rare that the subject of God’s Law and it’s relevance today is discussed without someone making an appeal to John 8:3-11. The incident of the woman caught in adultery is often raised as evidence that Jesus disobeyed the Law demanding death to establish a new “Law of Love” that operates, at times, contrary to the Law. Arguments regarding the account’s placement in Scripture aside — let’s just assume it belongs here — a question worth considering is whether the incident demonstrates an example of Jesus, at best, lowering the standard of the Law, and at worst, directly violating it.
It’s an important question to consider, as our understanding of this will determine whether we believe Jesus transgressed God’s Law, thereby sinning, and consequently rendering himself an unfit sacrificial substitute for our sins (1 Jn. 3:4; Heb. 9:14). Of course, this would be at odds with the witness of the New Testament which tells us that Jesus, who was born under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5), never transgressed the Law, nor could he be found guilty of any sin (Jn. 8:46). This is a claim that the Apostles also reaffirm in the epistles (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Jn. 3:5). So, if Jesus did not sin, then he did not transgress the Law. How then do we make sense of his interaction with the woman caught in adultery?
The fact that Jesus never sinned by transgressing the Law is highlighted by the scribes and the Pharisees who were “searching for a charge that they could bring against him.” In John 8:6, we’re told that Jesus’ opponents wanted to put him to the test. So, they brought before him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. The scribes and Pharisees then said to Jesus, according to the Law, “Moses commanded us to stone such women. So, what do you say?” The scribes and Pharisees were appealing to Leviticus 20:10, which states: “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
The scribes and Pharisees were setting a trap for Jesus. Under Roman rule, the Jews were not at liberty to put anyone to death (Jn. 18:31; Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 1.1; 7.2; Palestinian Talmud, Sanhedrin 41a). If Jesus upheld the Law of Moses, he would be violating the law of Rome.
By Cole Newton — 2 weeks ago
As Paul makes clear in Romans 1, our sinful nature makes excusing and even justifying our sins all too easy. Each person’s conscience is certainly a common grace from God that restrains much evil, yet the conscience may be easily seared by continual sin, making good judgment and proper knowledge unavailable. That is why the psalmist roots good judgment and knowledge in believing God’s commandments.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,for I believe in your commandments.
Psalm 119:66 ESV
Having begun stanza teth by rejoicing in God’s good dealing with him, the psalmist now continues his prayer by making a petition: teach me good judgment and knowledge. This is a petition that all of God’s people ought to make alongside the psalmist, for we should all desire good judgment and knowledge.
Of course, we tend to first think of the life-altering judgments to be made that need to be informed by the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do I go to school A or school B? Is this the person that I should marry? Should we homeschool our children?
Yet the ability to make a proper judgment is also of use to us each day. We must decide from the moment that we awake whether we will reach for the Bible or for the phone.