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1: ONE BODY, TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE

No, I’m not schizophrenic…and neither am I.

It sometimes seems to me, as I watch my two sons grow and change so quickly, that they are different people than they once were. The babies who lived in my house are no longer to be found, and the small boys they once were don’t exist anymore. In their places are two tall, intelligent and talented young men. Of course, I love them as young men just as much as I ever did when they were little.

It’s sobering to think that at one time people like Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot were cute little babies.

Sometimes an adult can act in such contradictory ways that we can almost see them as different people in the same body. James wrote about the “double-minded man” who is unstable in all his ways. How many of us have wondered at some time whether we might be that man (or woman)? I have.

But a certain kind of double-mindedness is unavoidable in any believer. Paul described the struggle we all have at times between our fallen human nature and the divine nature God has placed within everyone who has accepted Jesus into his or her life:

“For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me” (Romans 7:14-25).

So there are actually two people within me. There is the fallen old me fighting to regain control over my life, and there is “Christ in me…” At any time on any given day I can surrender to one or the other. If I choose to surrender myself to Christ, I can become more like him:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

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2: CONDO TOLERATE!

We’ve been watching some old Dr. Who series with Tom Baker, and one which entertained me greatly is named “The Brain of Morbius”, a story reminiscent of a 1950s horror story which is more likely to make you laugh than scared.

Evil Dr. Solon is working to find a head for the headless brain of the even more evil and far more powerful Morbius. Solons’s hunch-back assistant “Condo” is treated with contempt by Solon, who only tolerates Condo in order to use him to attain his ends and ultimately the power Solon will gain alongside Morbius once a suitable head is found for the brain. Eventually Condo is killed by his master.

The story seemed to me a suitable allegory for the present-day situation in which the West, represented by Condo, is blindly serving and trusting a mortal enemy, a certain religion which doesn’t need to be named.

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3: SING ZA NEW SONG…OR ELSE!

I heard a popular radio preacher talking about the “new song” sung by multitudes in heaven as described in Revelation 5:9-14. He used this as his text to tell us that we must all learn the new songs being produced by contemporary Christian artists.  If we don’t, we’re denying the fact that God is at work today, he said, and people who refuse to sing them are going to have an unpleasant time in heaven.

Well, all I can say is that I hope God can write better songs than what I’m hearing, and I hope he doesn’t pout, puff and pose like that, or he’s a lot smaller than I thought.

Herewith is a raspberry in written form, addressed to the command to like without taste or discernment:

Pthpthpthpthpth!

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4: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

Yes I was something of a Led Zeppelin fan many years ago, but thank the Lord I’ve moved on from there.

Whatever the original meaning of the song by that name was, it’s true that many people are trying to build themselves a stairway to heaven. They think that “if” there’s a heaven, they have to do some good deeds, like petting the neighbor’s dog, marching around town trying to draw someone into their church, giving the pastor or the Guru huge sums of money, or murdering a few innocents, and there it will be… the pathway to paradise.

The Christian gospel-the Christian blueprint for the stairway to heaven-can be expressed in easy-to understand steps:

1: We must admit that it’s impossible for us to satisfy a perfect God, because we have transgressed His laws: we have sinned. He waits for us to admit it, and to turn from our ways to His ways;

2: We must accept His son as our Lord and master;

3: We must believe that God raised his son from the dead.

“…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9-11).

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