Thursday, October 27, 2005

PRAISE TO THE GOD OF THE KEYS

Yesterday, I lost my keys (again). It was late at night, and I was very tired, because my wife and I had already stayed up later than usual the night before watching Brian Godawa's To End All Wars. (By the way, if you haven't seen that movie yet, then you need to. It is incredible. I'll blog on it one of these days.) I started searching, and I woke up my poor wife to help me. It was actually saddening to me. My teacher's edition of my physical science book was in the car, and my wife does not have car keys. I also drive the car to work. Not to mention, my wallet was in my car, which in turn has my driver's license. In fact, I had already lost my earlier set of keys--so this was the last of them.

I felt like giving up. My wife and I had both prayed. I even felt like despairing.

Finally, I prayed again:

"Lord," I thought, "work Your wonders."

Immediately after that my wife showed me the keys. She told me they were under the bed, under a fold of the blanket, out of sight and difficult to see.

It didn't matter. I started to tear up.

I looked at each key individually.

This is the key to the door of my car. And this is the key to the ignition of my car. These keys represent the fact that God has blessed me with transportation to provide for my family.

I continued looking at the keys, my tears blurring my eyes.

This is the key to our van. The Lord blessed us with this so we could have more space to transport my family as our family grows, which is also a blessing from Him.

This is the key to the doors at Covenant Christian School, the job that the Lord has blessed me with. This job He has given me to provide for my family, and to grow in my faith and encourage others in their faith. I love the job He has given me.

And this is the key to our house. The Lord takes care of us. Our house belongs to Him. Jesus Christ rules our house.

I told my wife that I don't understand how anyone can make it without God. How does anyone have any hope? I don't even have any hope when it comes to finding anything without God. And this isn't the first time the Lord has revealed to us the things that we have lost. Once in high school I lost my wallet in the ocean at the beach. We prayed, and that, too, was found. I have had that wallet since the sixth grade.

And, most of all, it is the Lord who reveals to us that we are lost. Only by His sovereign grace does He open our eyes to see our desperate and sinful condition. It is only He who causes us to see our desperate need for Christ, and only He shows us the beauty of His Son.

O Lord, I praise You, for You are the God of the keys. O Lord, I praise You, for You are the God of the wallet.

O Lord, I praise You, the God of the keys, for You are the God of my salvation.

--Josh Brisby

Monday, October 17, 2005

UPCOMING POSTS

Just thought I would whet your appetite, for those of you still visiting my blog, to prepare for some upcoming posts. Any comments, of course, are appreciated.

The following posts will be in order and upcoming:

*The Glorious Truth of Postmillennialism

*The Mystery of the Lord's Supper

*Thoughts on Church Government

*The Necessity of Proper Church Discipline

*What is an Apostolic Church?

*The Majesty of the Holy Trinity

*Predestination and the Free Will of God

*The Bankruptcy of Pluralism

I hope you all enjoy these posts when they come, and I hope that these stimulate your thoughts and spur us all on toward love and good deeds.

--Josh Brisby

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CONSIDERING THE OTHER SIDE; SOME RETRACTIONS

After I placed the last post, I would like to say that, I still hold much of what I said. However, after seeking more counsel, I have decided to continue my credential for various other reasons. Yet, I still don't think I could teach in a public school, however. Let me explain these above statements.

My main concern about teaching in a public school would be that I would not be able to address the hearts of the children. To be fair, some godly counselors have suggested something to me. They have said that it is somewhat like when a policeman enforces the law. The policeman is not allowed to give the gospel of Christ to the person he arrests. His job is to enforce the law. These godly counselors have suggested to me that this is somewhat like if I were to teach in a public school. My job would be to make sure that discipline in the classroom is being enforced. I would not be able to address the heart of the child, true--but neither can the police officer address the heart of the person.

Well, I am just afraid, honestly, that this would be totally and completely heartbreaking for me. Even in secular encyclopedias we are told that a teacher must also care about people. A teacher must be someone who is able to counsel. To be fair, and for the record, however, let me say the following:

The world is a lot better off for having godly Christian teachers in public schools.

I can't stress that enough. But I'm just not sure if I could do that. Again, I don't even know where to begin or how to teach a subject apart from Christ's Lordship. But my main concern is the fact that I would not be able to address the hearts of the children. This would break my heart. I would be interacting with these children--children from broken homes, children from non-Christian homes, etc.--and I would have the Answer before me--all the while not being able to tell them the answer!

Yesterday, I got a taste of this heartbreak. One of my students in my P.E. class willingly defied me, and that after several warnings in the past. This situation warranted a discussion with the principal of my school. The principal did the right thing. He suspended the child for three days. This child had been shown mercy several times in the past. Apparently in the past this child had even been expelled. This was heartbreaking that I began to weep afterwards.

Yet, with this child, we can tell him the truth: Not only has he defied me; not only has he defied the principal of the school; he has defied the Almighty God. The sovereign Lord Jehovah has set authorities in this child's life and in ours to protect us and watch over us. He has given us His holy Law to protect us as well. When we defy these authorities, we defy His Law. When we defy His Law, we defy Him.

The above is the heart of the matter. This is what a child needs to hear. This is what we all need to hear.

But what can you tell them in a public school? Yes, we can tell them that they need to obey the authorities. But we can't tell them that they have a sin problem and that they need Christ.

But again, to be fair, to hear from the other side, another good argument for teaching in a public school was likened to what it is like to be a missionary in hostile countries. The point was brought up by a godly counselor that if you were to be a missionary to China, you can't just go in there and be open about the faith blatantly, or you will be either jailed or in the next plane home. You go in there instead with a tentmaking skill, and you ask for wisdom and discretion on the way to do it without getting caught, as it were.

Therefore, to be fair, I think we should still thank the Lord for the Christian teachers in public schools. It is an entire mission field for them.

Again, I am just saying that I am not sure if I could do it. It is indeed very hard to do it while making sure that we are careful not to compromise our faith. It takes much wisdom.

The good news is, however, that the Lord is guiding our steps.

All praise to Him.

--Josh Brisby

Friday, October 07, 2005

THE END OF NON-CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEWS

The title for this post I think is very appropriate. What I am saying is two things. First, we have come to the end of our posts critiquing non-Christian worldviews. Certainly, there are many more worldviews out there than those covered (I would also refer you to my brother in Christ's posts critiquing Islam and Buddhism at www.presstheantithesis.blogspot.com), but there is another reason I have entitled this post "The End of Non-Christian Worldviews."

THE END OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS

I have come to realize something. I could never teach in a public school. I'll say it again, with italics: I could never teach in a public school. As of today, I am done with going for my credential. The credentialing process is harmful. But not only that, let me tell you my main reasons for saying that I could never teach in a public school.

In a public school, you can never address the hearts of children. Christ is taken out of the picture. Do we really believe, as Christians, that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge? Then that means that only He can heal their broken hearts. Yet, in a public school, I would not be allowed to turn a child to Christ.

"Tommy, stop hitting little Johnny!"

"Why, teacher?"

"Because hitting little Johnny is wrong."

"But why is it wrong, teacher?"

"It just is."

The rather silly above conversation is, nonetheless, what a public school teacher would have to say. Now, one may say, "Come on, the child's not going to ask why hitting the person is wrong." That may be, but what we do in public schools is turn kids into little Pharisees. We teach them to obey, but not from the heart. Their hearts need to be changed! They need to have God's Law written on their heart. It is, in fact, harmful to teach children apart from Christ's Lordship. It is like putting a band-aid on a severed leg. If children learn obedience only externally, without addressing the heart of the matter, then the children will be turned into Pharisees.

Of course, someone will suggest that perhaps we could possibly try and reach the students by reaching the parents. You know, going over for dinner. You could talk about Christ then, someone may say.

The problem with this is that the heart is not addressed when it needs to be. You would have to put off addressing the heart, but you would have to teach the child to be "good little boys and girls" before then.

We are not good. We are evil. We need Christ. The public schools will never work. Nothing will work that takes Christ out of the picture. By Him all things consist, and in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He is our righteousness and our sanctification.

We must beware of the yeast of the Pharisees. It is all around us.

Praise the Lord for the vocation I have. I teach in a Reformed Christian school that seeks to honor Christ as Lord over every area of life and thought. Even the so-called Christian (in fact, even many schools that profess to be "Reformed" Christian) schools are treating Christ like He is just our fire insurance policy; they think that Christianity is only an added bonus.

But when God called His covenant people to Himself, He intended them to set apart all of their entire life to Him.

Our covenant Lord has called us to Himself. May we seek to honor Him in all areas of life and thought. May we seek to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. May He renew our minds.

There are no values apart from Christ.

May the Lord be pleased to use me at the school I teach at now. I am truly blessed to be here, to teach in a school that truly shares my vision. I am blessed to teach in a school that does not compromise.

May Christ prosper His Word. May He grant me faith to trust in Him.

--Josh Brisby

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

THE NON-DISTINCTIVES OF HINDUISM

For those of you who are familiar with Hinduism, the above title I hope you found hilarious.

One of the main tenets of Hinduism is that there is no such thing (funny, "such" thing) as a distinction, or distinctions, or particulars. In other words, there is no difference between Josh Brisby and the keyboard I type this sentence on. In fact, any distinction is really an illusion.

Matter, therefore, is Maya (illusion). The way we get away from this is through meditation, yoga practices, etc. We need to reach perfect "enlightenment," which is to say, the full realization that everything is really all one. When this happens, we will break out of the constant state of reincarnation and become one with the impersonal All: Brahman.

Where do I start? First of all, Hindus do not believe that there is any difference between good and evil, since all is one. So why, then, are we held accountable and become lesser or greater in our next reincarnated life?

If distinctions are illusion anyways, then I am already in the state of Nirvana (or nothingness). Why do I need to seek to be in the state I'm already in?

Hindus cannot even live out their worldview. They look both ways before crossing the street. They charge particular prices for clothing bought at their stores. They still do math like there are distinctions in numbers. Now, of course, a Hindu may say that that is because they haven't reached enlightenment yet. Well, I have a quick way to reach that enlightenment. Why don't they go jump off a cliff? Of course, I'm not really suggesting that they do that! However, I don't know of any who would comply. And why not? Because they recognize the fact that there are distinctions--yet they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

The fact of the matter is, as Cornelius Van Til states very well, that ultimate reality is equally ultimately one and many. The ontological Trinity is both One and Many. God is One in Essence, and Three in Person. His essence, furthermore, is not impersonal. Take the human body as well. Our body is many parts, yet they all function as one body. In fact, all of creation is dependent on each other. Yet it is one creation. Plants depend on humans. Humans depend on plants.

God's creation displays His perfections! Praise to the God of the one and the many!

--Josh Brisby