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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Critical Analysis of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" (1741) by Jonathan Edwards

Protestantism in the American Colonies had been steeped in Reformed Christian doctrine fueled by the systematic theology of Calvin. This era of heightened religious sensibility and evangelism, exposing such biblical realities as the equality of all men and Enlightenment principles of egalitarianism such as inalienable rights endowed by their Creator, helped formulate the democratic thinking that led to the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin supported George Whitefield, perhaps the most famous of the evangelical preachers during this period in Colonial America, by printing his sermons in his Gazette. This sets the stage for Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards’ sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is perhaps the best literary example of the style of preaching taking place during the Great Awakening. With vivid imagery and illustrative language, Edwards very emotionally addresses his congregation directly and makes an appeal for them to repent of the sin that will surely bring the deserved wrath of an angry God to bare upon them. “What are we, that we should think to stand before Him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?”

With such questions as this, Edwards causes his audience to contrast and consider themselves in comparison to the terribleness and omnipotent, absolute judgement of God. That God’s power is absolute and His wrath justified against sin is very evident throughout Edwards’ sermon. He also aptly interjects Scripture passages to further illustrate the unfortunate position of sinful man. “John 3:18.” He that believeth not is condemned already." So that every unconverted man properly belongs to hell; that is his place; from thence he is, John 8:23. "Ye are from beneath:" And thither he is bound; it is the place that justice, and God's word, and the sentence of his unchangeable law assign to him.” Making clear the distinction between saints and sinners, Edwards brings Puritan beliefs into conversation with the rationalist and deist creators of the Enlightenment.

Ethics become a central issue in the social context of evangelical revivalism as well as provincial politics. Ethics and the issue of morality are the ballroom within which the old and new schools of thought in Colonial America find themselves dancing towards a revolution of ideas. Edwards seems to be somewhat of a preacher with a Reformed theological ideology who expressed Calvinist soteriology in more modern language than his predecessors. Edwards wanted his audience to know with certainty that Hell is a real place to be shunned and that God was, is, and ever would be an omnipotent God whose wrath and judgment are to be feared above all else. With vivid imagery in scenes such as, “There are the black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff on the summer threshing floor.” The appeal Edwards makes in his conclusion is most compelling even today; for those currently out of Christ to come forth and surrender their lives and accept this momentary window of opportunity to avoid the tyranny of God’s wrath, damnation, and hellfire that is promised in Scripture.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ungodly Obama Hatred Recognized

"You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34 ESV)
Not all "Obama Hatred," now an easily recognizable psycho-social category of discriminate unrest in America, is as politically inspired as slavery. No. Believe it or not, as ludicrous as the notion may seem in the year 2013, a long and recent history of white-supremacist dogma rooted in Lilliputian interpretations of the Bible reinforced by Hollywood wherein Moses, Jesus, and even God the Father have blond hair and blue eyes, rears its racist head in the vast majority of disparaging remarks about the 44th President of the United States.We have obviously ceased comparing apples to apples and opted instead to unleash historically documented evil in America the beautiful, the core of which can neither be ignored nor hidden from view.
© 2013 Brian L Hunter

Obama Hatred 101

The first sixteen presidents of the United States approved the practice of slave owners raping and impregnating their female servants at will and for sport. That was America’s idea of human rights. The U.S. went on record as ending slavery with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. During the one hundred year period of government spanning from President Abraham Lincoln to President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1865 to 1965, white-supremacist ideology fueled Jim Crow segregation laws and the legal murder of Blacks in America. Churches in America were quite content with the profitable benefits of slave labor as well as the social advantages of discrimination and segregation. Now, in the year 2013, there is a less-than-subtle white-supremacist prosperity gospel being preached that would have us believe that by one man named Barack Obama, sin has suddenly entered into the world. Such pseudo-spiritual hypocrisy and bigotry from the fake Pentecostal spirit of Antichrist makes me sick to my stomach. ~ Anonymous

© 2013 Brian L Hunter

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Out of Order, or, In the Book?

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

If you are upset because I have sent a message of scriptural exhortation and you do not know me personally, delete it, share it, or call your congressman. I am not in error. I am doing what I have been called to do. If “social media” can be used to promote everything from automobiles to pornography, then “social media” can certainly be used to share the Word of El Shaddai, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Masons, Muslims, Democrats, Republicans, White Supremists, terrorists, human traffickers, and all manner of political lobbyists are using “social media” to share their ideology, recruit new adherents, or merely annoy the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent world at large. Should “social media” be renamed “antisocial media?” Well, until the Federal Government votes to annul my right to encourage saints and lift up the name of Jesus (John 12:32), I shall continue to go ye therefore and do what I do with “social media” by any means necessary.

Here am I, Lord (Isaiah 6:8). Send me. I will go in an old jalopy, Jesus! I will go on the Internet. I will go using my US passport. I will go into the prisons. I will go where there is no honorarium and no offering to be raised. I’ll go, Almighty God. I’ll send the message through email. I will send Your message using Facebook. I will do it, Lord. No matter who despises me for it. I’ll go in Jesus’ mighty name without fear. I will say whatever You give me to say, Almighty God. I will say it loud. I will say it with at least a hint of ardor. And, as time winds to a close in the last days of the status quo, I will not hesitate to reach out and touch those you lead me to with some form of communication. Hallelujah! You are the only wise God who, throughout history, has been speaking, speaking, speaking to the universe created and upheld by the Word of Your power (Hebrews 1:3). Praise Your holy name forever, Almighty God! I will bless Your holy name forever and never cease to give You honor, glory, and praise. If I had ten thousand tongues, I could not praise You enough, Jehovah Shalom. Except I communicate Your magnificence and perfection, I could have no peace in my heart. I would be a liar if I failed to express Your infinite goodness and loving kindness. You have done too much for me and been too benevolent for me to keep silent and let others praise You, Lord. I declare war on the cat that once had my tongue. I rebuke the spirits of ignorance, prejudice, and fear that once suppressed my praise and worship in the holy name of Jesus. I am coming out. I am crying out and I am going to stay out of the silent cave which once kept me mute. If I am going to be despised by some no matter what I say or do, then let me be despised for too zealously proclaiming the Word of God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Help me to wield skillfully the sword of Your Spirit, Lord (Ephesians 6:17). Hallelujah! This is my confident prayer today in the name of Jesus. Amen.

© 2013 Brian L Hunter

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are We Instruments of Faith or Fear?

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Is what we are saying, communicating, or about to suggest encouraging anyone's faith, or, is it merely political hate speech designed by Satan to incite division and more of the same? But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:1). The hate speech of some self-proclaimed disciples of Jesus Christ within the last few years is so faithless that what they say makes some wonder whether they truly believe God is sovereign and omnipotent. Peter’s dialogue betrayed him and the deceitfulness thereof was counted as a denial of Jesus as Savior (Matthew 26:73). Is my conversation today full of grace (Colossians 4:6) or hatred? Like oil and water, the two cannot be mixed and qualify as righteousness. I may not know much, but I do know that God was still God even during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, slavery and the violent enforcement  of Jim Crow laws in the United States, and the premeditated mass murder perpetrated on September 11, 2001. I trust in God infinitely more than I will ever trust in any politician. Therefore, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) Who is so much more worthy of conversation on this or any other day? I am talking about God who alone is sovereign and omnipotent, the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Who are any of these other uncircumcised Philistines? Ask Chuck E. Cheese and I if we care. Selah. 

Note: This post was written in response to unnecessary and unproductive negativity expressed by subversives using social media to perpetuate divisiveness during the second inauguration of Barack Obama on January 21, 2013. 
© 2013 Brian L Hunter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who is God?

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)

What the world definitely does not need is a second coming of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 22:29). The first round was quite enough. Thank you. Heartless, self-righteous judgment and condemnation is not what the New Covenant through the Blood of The Lamb is all about (Romans 8:1-39). Fighting words? Really? Whether I refer to God’s Word as the Torah, the Bible, the Word, God’s revelation of His mind to man, or Jesus has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the intimacy of my relationship with Him. Coincidentally, He answers when I call whether I refer to Him as Yeshua, Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, God in Three Persons, Messiah, YHVH, Yahweh, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Ancient of Days, El Shaddai , or Jehovah. While people devoid of the mind of Christ are busy pointing fingers and arguing over divisive cultural facts and denominational insecurities which are entirely insignificant in the schema of God’s redemptive work, Satan, the author and finisher of the works-based salvation concept, is laughing his way all the way to hell with the souls of many and having his way in the world. When will we wake up and begin to participate in an answer to the prayer Jesus prayed in the seventeenth chapter of John’s gospel (John 17:1-26)? God’s people are one people. “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians 5:1 NLT) Selah.
Note: I admonish true disciples not to be enslaved by translations. "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do." (1 Timothy 1:4) This initial post has been a response to Please remember that we cannot believe everything we read on the Internet. :)

© 2013 Brian L Hunter