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Chaplain Carter

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Chaplain Carter last won the day on March 7

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  1. Since this popped up in my login, thought a quick weigh-in: I'm going to disagree with the notion that a person who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into their heart and has gone through the Spiritual Regeneration described in scripture can, by sin of omission or commission lose that salvation and be cast into hell at the time of their death. I think this concept starts with a very light view of sin and what sin does, and how pervasive it actually is. There's no such thing as a little (minor) sin. That's like saying that person in the grave is only a little dead. Any sin separates us from God. "But it was just one bite of that forbidden fruit..." So rather than go into a laborious dissertation with abounding cites and elaborate exegetical analysis, let me point to a simple scenario: It's your 60th birthday and you're driving along the highway. You've spent your life being as obedient and loving as Christ has led you to be, but as you round a curve and start down the hill, your car exceeds the speed limit by 1 mile per hour. At that instant, you have a heart - attack and die. Using the lose-your-salvation analysis, that 60 year old will now go to hell because he sinned. He sinned because he missed the mark - perfect obedience. Christ died on the cross for ALL of our sin; past, present and future. Peter denied Christ 3 times. You yourself will sin sometime today. To begin to bargain with sin is to miss the point entirely - it is sin that once removed us from God. And while we are still in these broken bodies living in this broken, fallen world, we're GOING to sin. I don't know about you, but I don't consider myself perfect and my walk with God could really use some work. My walk of sanctification is a lifelong process, but my justification - my legal position with God - was sealed the moment I accepted hrist. The rest of it is a work in progress. God bless, -CC
  2. Great to see the replies here. I actually gave a sermon last Sunday on the scriptural use of force. Indeed, turning the other cheek is more about retaliation than it is of defense. Some would turn the scripture into a prohibition on any type of defense which is both clearly un-scriptural and imbalanced. Our very beings are designed by God to defend against infection and we can see how animals in the wild protect their young. Twisting "Turning the other cheek" into prohibition on defense suggests that if a man were to rape your wife in front of you, not only would you not be scripturally justified in coming to her defense / rescue, but you'd need to offer the rapist your daughter as well. This runs afoul of everything I know about scripture and about my duty to protect my family. At worst, it's an obscene oversimplification of scripture and at best, a wrong-hearted interpretation. Scripture tells us mostly about spiritual things, but their application is manifested in our physical presence and current reality. I used the Exodus 22 example in my message Sunday. The interesting thing about that passage is that even back then, there were extenuating circumstances for someone coming in at night when it's not really possible to determine if they're armed or not. God does specifically prohibit retaliation - a form of revenge - calling it HIS domain, HE will repay. We are not capable of perfectly discerning a mans heart. Only God is, and we are not called to judge the world at this time because we are incapable of being perfectly just and perfectly correct in our assessments. He is... So the domain of retaliation and revenge is left to the Lord. However, the Lord has provided some measure of justice via the government sanctioned civil magistrate. We have the police and other government agencies to deal with what comes after an assault or other crime. It's the *during* part that we should be cognitively aware of our scriptural responsibilities and rights. We have the right to defend, but no right to retaliate. Know the difference, and keep them separate. God bless, -CC
  3. Today we are seeing the predicted and predictable result of the removal of God from man's affairs. With the recent New Zealand mosque shooting, comes the oft repeated refrain on gun control, which is to say that there are political and societal pressures to remove such weaponry from the hands of civilians. As most capable thinkers might agree, there are already _laws_ against homicide. Yet, people still commit murder. There are myriads of laws already on the books about using a weapon - any weapon - in the commission of an assault or other crime, such as robbery. Yet, people still commit them. And still, the refrain continues - remove the guns! Ban the instruments! Make them all illegal and then all these mass shootings will somehow stop. Or so that's the general idea. So I have three questions for your consideration: 1. As a Christian, what do you say to those demanding more laws, more prohibitions, tighter restrictions and even complete removal / banning / confiscation of firearms entirely from the civilian population? 2. If you are faced with a violent aggressor, armed with a deadly weapon who is confronting you or your friend / family / fellow next to you, what will you do? 3. Please cite supportive scripture or scriptural tenets for your response. My own responses: 1. My response is no, we don't need more laws on the books because murder and armed assault / robbery already brings harsh penalties. Firstly, laws do little to stop any such proclivities of a criminal; laws are a very single-dimensional deterrence when a multi-dimensional deterrence is required. Secondly, laws are one part, but the threat and use of physical force equal to and opposite of their own is also required (hence we have law enforcement.) Thirdly, these two must be supported by a moral foundation - a clear understanding of right and wrong in a corporate setting. (Community / Society.) And in case you're tempted to say, "Yes, that's why we have police! To stop these criminals!" Sorry, no, that's only part of the reason - police are a reactionary force and a deterrent force. Very, very rarely do they act as an intervention force. Intervention meaning while the criminal act is being committed, the police step in and put a stop to it. Intervention is such a rare occurrence that most retired police officers who have served 20 or more years have never been there to actually stop a felony from being committed. You and I are responsible for our own safety and the safety of those around us. It's a responsibility that few are willing to accept, and fewer recognize. 2. Arm-chairing a violent attack is tough, but I know that I'm trained and 'wired' (that is, predisposed) to defend. Depending on the circumstances, I may try to get away from the offender and take up a defensive position until additional help arrives. I am armed (the photo is my conceal carry weapon) and even though I do not wish to cause bodily harm, I will use deadly force to protect my own life and the lives of those around me. 3. While the preponderance of scripture calls for us as individuals to, as Christ says, 'turn the other cheek' I have yet to read scripture that says allow the strongman to beat you and your wife & kids senseless, or murder them in front of your eyes while you passively observe, entreating them with passionate pleas for mercy and grace. So many of us forget that while we know God loves us and "God is the God of Love" - he is more aptly referred to in scripture as a JUST and HOLY God. We are quite the opposite, and failing His holiness test, I submit that I am imperfect. Yet, I am also His creation and He has stated quite clearly THOU SHALT NOT KILL. We are made in His image, and the subject of His concern and affections. To willingly allow another act wantonly, without restraint, violently destroying lives and brutally murdering them is just as bad as performing such acts oneself. That we have government instituted to control the actions of people as the higher authority on earth is only PART of the solution. The START of the solution rests in the individual men and women, who by their voices and actions agree to make such reprehensible acts both illegal and deserving of some of the harshest punishment should be reflective of their moral character and provide guidance and reveal a duty to do their own part in the restraint of evil on earth. I'm not advocating vigilantism, but I am stating what I think should be the obvious: If you agree that such violent criminal acts should be punished, but you are unwilling to try to use whatever means at your disposal to stop them when they're done right in front of you, then you are part of the problem. That's my 0.02 for today, Blessings, -CC
  4. I think that verse in James is good to take to heart - it has little to do with making oaths as it does on by which the oaths are declared. e.g. "I swear by the gates of Tripoli" or "I swear on my mother's grave" or "I swear by the giant poobear downtown by the bus stop..." This is a kind of idolatry which is spoken against in other scriptural passages. More, God expects us to keep our oaths and the exhortation here I believe is for us to be very sober minded and be men and women of our word. So when you say, "yes," mean it. When you say "no" mean it. Don't waffle. Don't become situational Christians.
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