May 28, 2007
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank

Dear Marketplace Friend,

    Absolute moral truth exists; and, The Bible is absolutely true; and, God is the Creator of the universe; and, God is all-knowing and all-powerful; and, God is still sovereign over all; and, Jesus is the Son of God; and, Satan is a real entity.
    That's review. We've spent the last seven Mondays laying down the planks in the Christian/Biblical Worldview "platform." We're campaigning for the popular vote, - one person at a time - presenting a lifetime faith choice for people whose eternity hangs in the balance. We need to know what we stand for! Politicians have a platform, and it often flexes with the polls. Ours is rock-solid: it's founded on the Scriptures, and the Bible doesn't shift when fickle folks flinch. Today, we add: Jesus lived a sinless life.
    The opposing candidates are increasing their volume and their venom. In the last few months, the antagonism of the atheist worldview has been spotlighted in new ways. As USA Today reported last week, "The time for polite debate is over. Militant, atheist writers are making an all-out assault on religious faith and reaching the top of the bestseller list, a sign of widespread resentment over the influence of religion in the world among nonbelievers... Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary... said the books' success reflects a new vehemence in the atheist critique. 'I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but it's almost like they all had a meeting and said, "Let's counterattack.'""
    Tell an atheist author, bent on deconstructing the Christian faith, that "Jesus lived a sinless life," and he will react vehemently. After they denounce you as mindless for having faith, they'll turn their ire on your belief about Jesus. What might they say? He didn't exist; or, He was a dirtbag charlatan, who deceived his contemporaries who started the faith from their ignorant conclusions; or, He was a self-deceived mental case who was nuts, and related well to other people who, in their weakness, needed a religious crutch.
    Your position on the matter is critical. How would Jesus and his message elevate him to historic prominence in human life? His life was profoundly different than anyone else. No human has ever lived a sinless life. Sin? "The one who knows the right thing to do, and doesn't do it; to him it is sin." (James 4:17) What reasonable, mature, honest person could say that they never crossed their own conscience, let alone God's perfect law of righteousness? No one... but Jesus. As Pilate said, "I can find no fault in this man."
    If Jesus wasn't perfect - without a single sin - he doesn't meet the criteria for a sacrifice for sin. The next couple of points in our platform depend upon his sinlessness; without his sinlessness, we're hopeless...
    Atheists have found their voice in authors like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Who will speak for the Christian/Biblical platform? Well, if you plan to be a leader in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus... you will!
    Paul laid down the gauntlet for leadership when he instructed his understudy, Titus, in the details of Kingdom organization. From his operational memo, now hear this: "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless -not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." (Titus 1:5-9).
    You can believe it quietly... but that doesn't make you a leader. To lead requires that you believe for yourself, and that you can make it convincing for others. And, if you get the chance, you can debate Hitchens and Harris - and the guy next door - and refute those who oppose...

Bob Shank

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