At Least I Didn’t Kill Nobody

Skewed-grades

Grading on a curve always seemed like legalized cheating when I was a child. In school we were held to an absolute standard and you sank or swam with your grade. Every now and then we’d hear about this strange practice of curving your grade but it seemed like a strange custom from a primitive culture in some remote part of the world. Soon enough the practice would become as common as standing in line to buy coffee.

If curving the grade was a frequent occurrence in the past it has become an essential feature of the academic life. It’s no longer a matter of if the professor will curve but how. Often students will raise this question on the first day to find out the professor’s particular style of curving. It isn’t a corrective measure used sparingly but a routine part of massaging the numbers to make them look better.

You wonder why they haven’t already ditched grades and moved to a percentile scale where you’re just graded against other students in the class. That’s what curving really is. You’re being compared to everyone else rather than against a uniform standard. Most people seem to think this way when they judge themselves in spiritual terms.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

James 2: 10-11

The gospel offends people so much because it directly challenges the universal belief that we are just fine the way we are, no need for improvement. If you measure up to your own standards then you’re simply lying to yourself and your standards are worthless. You are “curving” the moral grade far enough so that you can pass the test.

When you have an encounter with the living God in all His holiness all the excuses fall apart and you can’t help but realize that you are tainted and corrupt. Isaiah said as much when he saw the Lord sitting on His throne (Isaiah 6). Peter knew it when Jesus told him to cast the net on the other side of the boat (Luke 5). You cannot have such an experience and continue to believe the lie that you are righteous.

When you face God on His judgment seat you will either appeal to your righteousness or the righteousness of Christ. Only the latter will suffice to avert the wrath of God. No one will be able to claim ignorance because no one will have an excuse. And I can certainly guarantee you that no one will be asking God how He will curve the grade.

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Obamacare And Biblical Justice

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 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

1 Samuel 8:14,15

God had a vision for Israel in which He would be their king and they would be His people. They would be the one people chosen to be set apart from among the nations. Unfortunately, Israel wanted to be like all the other nations because that was more desirable to them than what the Lord had in mind.

The people would find out that the king they so desired would become a huge burden and source of oppression. He would be a parasite that fed off of the best of everything they had while they would be left with the scraps. This story is familiar throughout the world and throughout history. Men take advantage of each other and manipulate others for their own gain.

I write this as a long setup to what I observe about Obamacare and the different ways that Congress and the people are treated. America’s Founders advocated ratification of the Constitution because they believed that the laws would equally apply to Congress. Sadly, there are many regulations now which do not apply to Congress at all. This undermines the whole idea of the rule of law and creates a class system, one which America is notable for not having.

It is a class system in which the connected have the best of our “vineyards” and our “oliveyards” and distribute them to their “servants.” Members of Congress and their staffs get a public subsidy for their health plans that can range from $5,000-$11,000 a year. The passage of the Affordable Care Act didn’t exempt Congress and so the White House made sure that one was carved out for them.

This means that Congress will have access to high-quality, expensive healthcare even if you do not. They will not have to pay the higher premiums that many Americans are facing. Since they have the clout to put pressure on the White House they can get special privileges. But what if the rest of us do not have such lobbying power? It is a double-standard in which there are two laws, one for the rulers and one for the people. This is plain and simple biblical injustice.

Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

1 Kings 10:9

God has instituted civil government for the purpose of doing justice for the people. When men think about their own interests and ignore thinking about what is good for the nation as a whole then evil will reign. As followers of Christ and readers of the Word of God we should always apply biblical principles to our world and call it like we see it.

 

How The Declaration Shapes Our Constitution

This excerpt from a great teaching series produced by Hillsdale College on the Constitution talks about the connection between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. President Larry Arn shows that the principles of nature and equal rights leads to the elements of representation, separation of powers, and limited government within the Constitution.

The Timeless Gospel

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I have to admit that growing up I thought of the Old and New Testaments as being very different parts of the bible. The Old Testament was dark and gloomy and the New Testament was sunny and pleasant. This is a very common perspective and I believe it is only perpetuated by ignorance. This ignorance is fed by an unwillingness to read the Scriptures.

Galatians 3:7-8 reads:

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

This chapter really changed my perspective on the gospel by showing that it preceded the old covenant, the Law. It shows that all men have only been saved by grace through faith, in every epoch of time. We also see that the “new” covenant really came before the old one, in a sense.

This promise came before the law and was not annulled by the law. As Paul writes in verse 17 of the same chapter, “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.” That means that from Abraham until Jesus faith was credited as righteousness. Faith was necessary even after Moses gave the law. The law was not given in order to bring us to righteousness. Verse 21 reads: “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”

Paul writes that “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” It convicts us as transgressors before the judge. By the law we see that we hopelessly fall short and that we must pay the penalty of death. But condemnation comes before the pardon which we receive because of our redemption by Jesus’ blood.

From Abraham until the present we see that there is only one gospel and one Savior. The faith that Abraham put in God is the same faith which we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, only made manifest. This makes us the spiritual descendants of Abraham and the fulfillment of God’s promise to make him the blessing of many nations. Man fell and became cursed through his lack of faith and God’s plan is to redeem him through faith.