This is an open letter to Jonathan Steingard, Lead Singer of Hawk Nelson, from Pastor Gabe Hughes. It is quite lengthy. Pastor Gabe responds to Jonathan’s admission that he no longer believes in God, in it’s entirety and in great detail.
It’s probably safe to assume that almost all Christians will at least say they believe in the doctrine of the sovereignty of God. There are too many declarations not to. Here are a few from the Psalms:
19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19). 3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). 5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps (Psalm 135:5-6).
The meaning of sovereignty can be summarized this way: To be sovereign is to possess supreme power and authority so that one is in complete control and can accomplish whatever he pleases.
While it’s easy for us to say God is sovereign in a general sense, we might be slower to agree, and might not agree when it comes to specific areas of our lives or in human/national affairs. IS God sovereign in all the affairs of men?
Let’s take a look from a biblical perspective.
In the Old Testament we discover that throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God controlled the fate of His chosen people, using pagan nations to accomplish His purposes. God used Egypt to for the preservation and growth of the nation Israel for 400 years before they inherited the promised land. God displayed his power and greatness through the hard-hearted Pharaoh. He used surrounding nations to chastise Israel when the nation fell into sin and disobedience. Then he used other pagan nations to destroy the chastisers of His people.
God used the Assyria and Babylon to lead the Jews into captivity. The King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was even called God’s “servant” (Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6; 43:10). The sacking of Judah and Jerusalem was no accident of history; it was no mere fate. It was the outworking of the plan and purpose of the sovereign God of Israel to achieve His purposes, to fulfill His promises and prophecies
Not only did God use the proud and arrogant Nebuchadnezzar to chasten the Israelites, He also brought the pagan King to his knees, turning him into a grass eating ‘beast’ for seven years, until he would acknowledge God as sovereign.
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?””
Fast forward 2,000 years to the world of the 20th and 21st centuries. Ours is a time of chaos and change. The USSR completely dissolved before our eyes. The Berlin Wall was been torn down. Civil war rages across the globe, and thousands of innocent lives are being sacrificed as we look on, helplessly it would seem. Christians seem to be shaken when a certain political party goes to unimaginable lengths to try and get elected to the highest office in the land. In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, some so-called ‘experts’ seem to be running the show as government officials worldwide, at all levels, control of businesses and citizens to degrees hitherto unheard-of except where socialism/communism rules. IS God sovereign in this mess?
If the answer to that question is “yes”, it must mean that God is sovereign over the decisions of the President of the United States, over the laws passed by Congress, and even over the decisions reached by the Supreme Court. God is even sovereign over the Internal Revenue Service. God is sovereign over kings and kingdoms. If this is true, then we need to believe that every king, every person in a position of political power, is there by divine appointment (see Romans 13:1-2). This means that we owe such authorities our respect, our obedience, and our taxes, unless any of these specifically require us to disobey God (Romans 13:1-7). It means that the laws, decisions, and decrees they make—even those which punish or persecute the saints—have a divine purpose. We may be required to disobey government, like Daniel and his three friends, but only when obeying that government would require us to disobey God. In the chaos and wickedness of our day, let us not lose sight of the fact that God is sovereign in history, and sovereign even over pagan powers.
Portions of the above were adapted from Let Me See Thy Glory – A Study in the Attributes of God by Bob Deffenbaugh,
Lessons from COVID: Life is Not Certain, but Judgment is | The Cripplegate
What Hath Nebuchadnezzar To Do With Trump? – The Aquila Report
This is a really interesting article! As a Christian, I consider it a must read and share!
Blog Post – Replacing Worry with the Right Focus
— Read on www.gty.org/library/blog/B121126
A recent article at American Thinker titled An illustrated look at the evolution of the ‘inject Lysol’ anti-Trump hoax made a very interesting point about hoaxes in general. The article lays out the chronological timeline and associated media ‘events’ that falsely claimed that President Trump recommended drinking disinfectants to combat COVID 19. Here is the quote from the article:
“On Thursday, April 23, President Donald Trump ruminated during a press conference about the possibility that, just as disinfectants can destroy the Wuhan virus outside the body, there might be a way to destroy the virus inside the body. Within hours, the mainstream media was telling people the Trump was telling Americans to inject or ingest disinfectant to treat Wuhan virus.
After that, the internet was quickly inundated with “Trump said to drink bleach” memes. While there was factual pushback from conservatives, facts made no difference – the hoax was set in place. It will now be a smear against Trump’s name as permanent as the Charlottesville hoax.”
If you remember, the Charlottesville hoax accused the President of being a racist and praising white supremacists when all he did was say there were good people on both sides of debate about removing a Robert E. Lee statue. In fact, the President has condemned the white supremacist movement. No matter, the ‘racist’ label stuck like glue. The American Thinker article uses the current ‘disinfectant’ hoax to chronicle the phases through which hoaxes pass until they become recognized as fact in the hearts and minds of some of us human beings (the gullible ones). I highly recommend reading the article.
The part of the article that caught my attention the loudest was near the end of the article, where a “point of no return”, from which there is no turning back to reality, even when the actual facts of the case have been presented over and over again.
“This information (actual facts) will be unavailing. In connection with the Charlottesville hoax, Scott Adams has explained that, once the hoax is fixed, there is no way to displace it with facts. No matter how often he showed people the transcript in which Trump made it crystal clear that he was not calling white supremacists “fine people,” Trump haters could not recognize that information:
After a few years of trying to deprogram people from this hoax, I have discovered a fascinating similarity in how people’s brains respond to having their worldview annihilated in real time. I call it the “fine people” hoax funnel. When you present the debunking context to a believer in the hoax, they will NEVER say this: “Gee, I hadn’t seen the full quote. Now that I see it in its complete form, it is obvious to me that my long-held belief is 100% wrong and the media has been duping me.”
That doesn’t happen.
What happens, instead, is that people, when presented with the documented facts (unassailable videos and transcripts), will start making up facts that comport with their belief system.”
Having said all that, I present to you a question:
“IS there a similarity between the evolution of a hoax and the adamant assertion that fallen human beings still have a libertarian ‘free will’ that is exactly the same as was Adam’s free will before the Fall?”
I ask the question from having noticed that there is a widespread assumption in Christendom that the Fall of man had no effect whatsoever on the human will. That is to say that fallen men can ‘by nature’ choose Christ as Savior and Lord. In fact, NO amount of presenting the Bible’s view of fallen men, what they literally ’can’ and ‘cannot’ do, in and of their natural selves, will result in libertarian free will advocates even examining the issue! You can ask almost all ‘free will’ advocates if they have asked Scripture about the state of the human will after the fall, but they find the suggestion nonsensical. After, we all KNOW we have complete free will and natural power to come to Christ all on our own.
At the same time that ‘free will’ in matters spiritual is a foregone conclusion by most Christians these days. IS there a connection/similarity in this issue and the evolution of ‘hoaxes’ described in the American Thinker article? I’m not coming to any conclusions here, although the ‘free will’ assumption has been around for a long, long, time.
Food for thought………
“I don’t believe in creeds, I believe in Jesus.” That pithy declaration is an example of a creed. Any statement of a belief or expression of a conviction is a creed, even one that avers a total rejection of creeds, notwithstanding the irony and a comical lack of self-awareness.
— Read on thecripplegate.com/why-creeds/
An excellent article!