Black Pride

It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly… — CS Lewis on Pride

No, the title of this post is not in reference to any racial identity movement, but rather to what Lewis references in the above quote from his classic, Mere Christianity.

It is in reference to the sickening and soul-sucking sense of superiority one feels upon hearing the consequences that result from the poor choices of others.

Yesterday, our youth pastor (JB) came in from the bullpen and preached a stirring sermon on a familiar story, Jesus’ parable of the so-called prodigal son.

JB described the older son in the parable, who couldn’t bring himself to celebrate his younger brother’s return from the figurative dead, as the son who wanted nothing more than to please his dad, by abstaining from as many things as humanly possible. He followed the description by faux applause.

With this son, it was about externals, the easy way to perdition, as the unrepentant Pharisees Jesus scolded came to find out.

Personally, at this point in my A.D. life, I find myself more like the older son. As JB aptly observed, “maybe we have forgotten what it’s like without God.”

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The Power of God’s Word

My journey to faith in Christ from unbelief involved, of course, a supernatural act of God by which He, through the power of the finished work of Christ, resurrected a dead mind, soul, and heart. This was done through His Word in my specific case, for others it is different, such as the Apostle Paul whose conversion was spectacular.

As an unbeliever, I did what might be the worst thing one in the depraved state can do: Pick up a Bible. My motives were not good ones for I sought to find things with which I could destroy or hinder the faith of another who kept pestering me with her crazy Christ talk.

It was through His Word that God convicted, convinced me and captured me into new life. I recap the conversion experience as it happened in my particular case because listening to the message given by Pastor Mark Dever at New Attitude 2008 took me back to this pivotal point in my life.

Dever has a similar experience, as he tells it,

[I] denied the reliability of the Bible. I would informally argue with Christians and through continued study I became somebody who by God’s grace, believes in the reliability of the Bible.

The power of God to take a heart of stone and bring it roaring to life so that the creature that has been born-again may be enabled to taste and see that the LORD indeed is good, and glorify Him through a redeemed life.

Click on the link below to listen to Pastor Dever’s message,
The Authority of Scripture