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Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master

Author

Eric Anderson

Pastor of Lifespring Church, Crosby MN

Six Convictions I hold today, on Inauguration Day, which are all true at once, all at the same time:

Six Convictions I hold today, on Inauguration Day, which are all true at once, all at the same time:

by Pastor Eric Anderson

1. Joe Biden is now President Biden, and I will refer to him by this Title. This is important for me do so, and for my witness. I honor the office which is God ordained, even if I am less-than-optimistic regarding the one who holds the office. (I Timothy 2:2, Romans 13).

2. Joe Biden as US President is God’s secret will revealed (Daniel 2:21). I opposed his election, for many reasons. I have serious question regarding election integrity. I also understand now that, above all this, it is God’s will revealed that Joe Biden is President. I can rest in this because God alone is the Sovereign, and President Biden’s heart is like water in the Lord’s Hand (Proverbs 21:1), to turn as He so wills.

3. This does not mean I agree with his Platform and positions and that I will go along with them, cart blanch. We should work for election reform, and for courageous leaders to elect in the next election. We should oppose, resist, and speak against evil. (I am against almost everything, both as written and unwritten, on Biblical grounds, which the DFL stands for today)

4. The election of President Biden and all of the destruction which, (predictably) will probably come from his administration is what we deserve, not what we should or do want (Romans 1:17-31)

5. This is a great time for the church, as both an heavenly and earthly reality. There is much we can do, many things to teach, to speak, to practice, which are the will of God for our lives, regardless of our nation or circumstances, whether in the the promised land, or back in Egypt (Colossians 3:23).I hope we appreciate anew each and ever freedom and opportunity we have beforehand taken for granted, and get to work.

6. God’s Providence, of which He is the first cause, using secondary causes, both human and natural, is surprising at every turn. Under God’s Providence, we should be specifically thankful for any good that happens during this Administration while speaking against the bad. Practicing discernment is good, making and listening to acute and specific prophetic predictions is unwise.

“All Things will work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)

Some thoughts on public “Mask wearing”

By Pastor Eric Anderson

Masks: What are they? Not, what do they do (in the right time and right circumstance for which they were designed), but, what are they today, as a people, as citizens of a nation, in 2021? What do they signal? Not, in each and every possible circumstance, but bigger, wider and deeper: as a worldview, a religious symbol?

Why are we wearing them publicly? Why are some state governments and big businesses mandating them, in mass and all the time, for a virus which kills only a tiny percentage of the population anyway, and for, in the way we wear them, have never proven physically effective, yet are incredibly effective at isolating ourselves and destructive to healthy relationship in a community?

Douglas Wilson wrote recently that Masks are a flag, a banner of surrender, of national identity, of compliance, of loyalty.

Let me add to this train-of thought: What does the large scale wearing of Masks represent?

Masks serve as a sacrament, to gain social credit to the gods of the all powerful state, which give back freedom and promises health.

Masks serve as a penance, for absolution by the god’s of government—proving you are clean and healthy and a “good boy”.

Masks serve a public virtue, to the new holy standards of safety and health consciousness’.

Masks serve as a nod to, and proof of “loving others,” as defined by 2020 standards.

Masks serve as personal therapy, self care to avoid conflict with people.

Masks serve as a fig leaf, covering our shame, fear, and guilt.

Masks serve as a uniform, a public dress code, to the Marxist regime of the elites, to stay in their good graces and of loyalty to the religion of “safety-ism”.

Masks serve as an identity politic in a world of group think and group belonging.

Masks separate, in the eyes’ of the elite, the clean from unclean, the safe from unsafe, the caring from the care-less, and the law abiders from the lawless.

Masks are a balm to fear, yet they are a posture of defeat, surrender, and defeat-ism.

People, only God can declare what is unclean and clean again. Your shame is real, but not by the world’s standards, but God’s perfect standard, his perfect law (the Ten Commandments). You have not peace with God, the one true King.

We are all under judgment. Fearful people are scared people. Scared people are easily manipulated and believe lies in order to calm their fears. The way of escape is not through an external vestment or religious ceremony, but through Repentance to God and faith in the only one who could take on our judgment and shame, the Lord Jesus, who loves his people and gives them this gift of grace: Himself.

Believe and trust in Him. Fear the one who can kill body and soul, and receive what a mask can never give, true peace and true eternal health. Get a clean conscience and the way of Truth. Don’t repeat the lies, don’t serve the gods of the world, for there is no freedom in their religion.

Here are some Scriptures to ponder. Test them. See if they apply to our current cultural clashes, summed up by the public “masking pressures.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

Hebrews 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Podcast: The Law of God: The foundational authority and abiding ethic for all of life

Here is an Audio Link to the podcast from the December Zoom Conversation on our series called “A Place for Truth.”

In the first part we covered foundational topics of the Law of God in Creation, the organic unity of the Bible, and the pitfalls of the Law/Gospel distinction. For the final 45 minutes we covered application of God’s law to cultural issues/controversies, such as mask mandates in church, COVID-19 responses, legalism, virtue signaling; ultimately with the assurance and hope that we have in obeying God, believing the Gospel, and loving his Law. We hope and pray this is of great benefit to you, as you seek to think as a Christian to the glory of God.

Speakers:

David Smith

Ardel Caneday

P. Andrew Sandlin

Bob Dalberg

Host: Eric Anderson | Producer: David Gonzales

“A Place for Truth” Zoom Conversation this Tuesday Evening, December 8

Please join us online for another “A Place for Truth,” a live Christian conversation with experienced theologians and pastors, Ardel Candeday, Bob Dalberg, David Smith, and Andrew Sandlin. Tuesday Evening, December 8, 7:30-9:00 CST The Law of God: The foundational authority and abiding ethic for all of life.

www.zoom.us Meeting ID: 882 0017 9743

Here are some of the questions: What is God’s Law? What is it not? How do we see a continuation of God’s law in the New Covenant? What is the danger of not acknowledging the Law of God, or faulty systems which functionally or actually deny the law of God (dispensationalism/pietism, etc.) How is the law in effect in civil society? How is the law a liberty? how is it freeing and assuring to understand the law of God? Is there a way to go too far with the law? (new legalism/straight theonomy/theocratic tendencies, etc.)

Our previous five zoom conversations, covering the topics of social justice, Marxism, worship, government COVID responses, and Christian citizenship, are all available on audio podcast: “A Place for Truth.”

The Gnosticism which COVID—19 reveals

The Gnosticism which COVID—19 reveals

Is physical worship essential to being a Christian? Or is physically gathering to worship with the church you belong to crucial and a requirement for your view of Christianity? Does a person have to obey Jesus Christ in order to be a Christian, in order to have any hope of seeing heaven and not hell?

To state the opposite: Is Christianity above all a “personal Experience?” Or it is a life/path in which Christ Jesus is King, in obedience to His commandments? Continue reading “The Gnosticism which COVID—19 reveals”

Racism, Marxism, Guilt, Government and the Bible’s Prescription of both the Problem and the Solution

Wednesday Evening, June 24, Lifespring Church hosted a Zoom Q&A with Drs Ardel Caneday and P Andrew Sandlin on discerning the current cultural crisis tearing apart both our society and sadly, many churches.

How do we understand the current cultural divide (and conflict) going on, related to both our common heritage and our cultural divides and to racial and political tensions? What is the relationship between our current struggles and a shifting cultural worldview below the surface?

Topics included:

What is racism? Is racism a sin? What are the roots of the riots and protests? What is Cultural Marxism? What worldview is behind the monument toppling? Should we leave conservative churches that have embraced “wokeness?”

Ardel Caneday and  P. Andrew Sandlin are two men who have taught in academia and the church for many years, from the same consistent foundation: That the Bible is God’s authoritative Word and applicable to every difficult issue we face in life, including racism and political conflict. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

The Lordship of Christ: Christians, Government and Culture…in a time of COVID-19 Crisis audio

On Sunday, May 17, Lifespring Church of Crosby, MN hosted a Zoom conversation with questions principally directed to with Drs. Ardel Caneday and P. Andrew Sandlin concerning Christian thinking, Spheres of Sovereignty, Church, Worship, business, politics and COVID-19.

This was a 90 minute discussion and has been Re-formatted into an MP3 file, which is linked below.  It is worth taking the time to listen to these seasoned Christian Leaders and theologians discuss these topics and address audience questions, beginning with a short refresher by Dr. Sandlin on the three spheres of God’s ordained Sovereignty over life in this world (Church, Family and Government)

The conversation ranged from discussing proper uses of the Apostle Paul’s instruction for Christians and the church in Romans 13, radical two-kingdom theology, the role of the church within society, whether churches should ever cancel public worship assemblies, whether the civil magistrate is bound to God’s law, America’s Founders’ view of human nature, the diabolical basis of coronavirus fear, and more.

The Lordship of Christ: Christians, Government and Culture…in a time of COVID-19 Crisis.  (thanks to Joe Bancks, Joe Reed, Corban Noah and Isaac Ohman for helping with discussion and audio re-formatting)

Church Worship (and other livelihoods): The Duty to use our Citizenship

Church Worship (and other livelihoods): The Duty to use our Citizenship….

or….Paul did not intend in Romans 13 to promote absolute submission to human authorities

Citizen:The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides; the freeman of a city, as distinguished from a foreigner, or one not entitled to its franchises.
– Webster’s 1828

A couple of pre-emptive statements:

  1. I am not arguing against the reality of COVID-19 virus nor the degree of prevalence of the spread COVID-19, whether in Crosby, Colorado, or in California, etc, etc.
  2. I am not arguing that our church, in retrospect, should not have suspended regular worship. As my friend Joe Reed says, “If someone knocks on your door and says your roof is smoking, only a fool would not go outside and check to see if the thing is burning down.” God is sovereign, we are not; yet we are called to make decisions based upon commandments, convictions and calculated risk every single day. We are guided by obedience to God and love of others, and we act by faith because we do not have foresight. We are, after all, flesh and blood. That’s why, at various times in the winter, we have canceled our church programs for snow (or even on the basis of a forecast) based upon the limited knowledge we have while calculating risk/reward. I do not regret, for our church in our area, the decision to suspend worship for a time, the same decisions that almost all were making, upon the forecasts of COVID–19.

That said…

I am deeply concerned about this now popular notion among-st Christians that Romans 13 argues for absolute submission to the human Governing authorities for seemingly whatever length they suspend the assembling of the church.

Truth: Our attitude should always be one of humble submissiveness, and our actions should be in submission to proper authorities, unless the government goes against the clear directives of Christians as laid down in God’s Holy Word.

What are those clear directives?

Gathering together personally and publicly as a local church for worship (Colossians 3, Hebrews 10:25). The Holy Spirit brings isolated sinners from death to life, through the preaching of the Gospel, and into a local family, the church, as we run together towards heaven (Hebrews 12:1-2) The church is certainly more than Sunday worship, but it is also certainly nothing less than Sunday Worship – together, in person. Virtual meetings are a mirror of gathering, but there are many “one-anothers” which cannot occur through a video screen, and much participation by the whole is lost while watching the performance of one. Virtual worship is something, but it is certainly not “the church.”

Let me give an example from Scripture which I think is quite applicable today, showing us how and when to properly interpret scenarios where submission to Government applies.

In Acts 16 as Paul and Silas are preaching the Gospel, the rightful governing magistrates of Philippi, being influenced by some upset and angry citizens, arrested and beat the evangelists, throwing them in jail. They were then released by a divinely sent earthquake. Their jailer and his family, in fear and awe of God’s power and the kindness of his disciples, hear and are converted by the Gospel to Christianity. Here is the relevant text for us today, in our current situation: Christians who are also American Citizens:

But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” (36) And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” (37) But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” (38) The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. (39) So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. (40) So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.
Act 16:35-40

Do you see it in v. 37? Paul uses the rights of his Citizenship, as (evidently) understood by All Romans, to challenge the authorities, that they, not he had violated the law and needed to repent, to change their course. Paul was actually demonstrating proper and legal submission to the government by reminding them of the rights of Roman citizens that Roman magistrates were expected to honor. The Magistrates had violated the law, not Paul.

Paul disobeyed the magistrates by not leaving town, but his dis-obedience was not moral, it was not a sin against God. The magistrates were out of line, according to their own oath of office. But confronting them, he was both helping himself and doing them a favor.

Each nation, of course, is different, so let me appeal to Americans.

In the USA the rights of citizens are recognized in the Constitution. It is the right of citizens to free, peaceful assembly: “Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

We obey God and God commands us to gather together bodily for worship (Colossians 3, Hebrews 10:25). It is what the pastor/elders/leaders of your church will be held accountable to God for. Did they obey God, even in the face of opposition? We can suspend worship, related to common sense reasoning (weather, pandemic, etc), but it is the church’s government, not civil government’s responsibility and sphere of authority. If, we as church leaders, make a wise or foolish decision, that is on us, not our civil government. Our American Constitution itself recognizes the very fact. Thank the Lord for this reality. The Governor can make recommendations and pleas to the church, but the church leadership are delegated to make decisions on Worship.

My question: In our Governor’s executive order to not allow churches to “meet for public worship”, is he, within the rights of his office and the laws of the land, according to the Constitution, or are we?

When we gather peaceably, we are exercising our rights as citizens and indirectly reminding others that this right is protected. If we do not remind the government of our place and their place, according to our own laws, who will? My primary goal in re-staring public worship is not to remind the government of anything. I am obeying God’s command. But, as an American Citizen, it is within my rights to do so. Period.

All things considered, such as the issues of risk, health, and love, it is crazy for the church right now to not at least read the constitution and wrestle with our American rights, our duties as the citizenry, as Paul did in Acts 16 when his rights were violated.

End Notes:

*We must differentiate the authority of civil magistrates and the authority (oft too much) of public opinion. Fear is a powerful weapon to wield, and it can enslave those who succumb to its influence. How often do we surrender our call and obedience to God because of the fear of who will shame us or hurt us?

*Similar principles and rights apply to businesses and other livelihoods in our nation. Where in the constitution is my right to make honest and peaceable commerce not protected right now….by what standard?

*A helpful video on the purpose of Church worship (Governmental Authority and the church) is found at https://www.facebook.com/aomin.org/videos/247003543025946/

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