The Heart of the Matter

The apostle Paul writes a second letter to a church located in Thessalonica as a forewarning to believers about a futuristic leader who will one day deceive the masses by leading them away from the truth of God’s Word. He is described as the “lawless one.”

“Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming that is the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan…” (2 Thess 2:8)

However, before his arrival the world will be characterized by a blasphemous spirit (among the people) or attitude that blatantly opposes God, His Christ, His Word, and His people. His success in the near future is attributed to the fact that

“… they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved…For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2:10-12)

Charles Spurgeon addresses man’s relationship with God’s truth (in his day) in a book titled “An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to ministers and students,”

“Beloved, I notice that God imports His messages to those who have a complete subordination to Him. I will tell you what has often crossed my mind when I have talked with certain brethren, or have read their lucubration’s; I have wondered which was the Master, and which was the servant, the man or God. I have been sorry for the errors of these brethren, but I have been far more distressed by the spirit shown in those errors. It is evident that they have renounced that holy reverence for Scripture which indicated by such an expression as this, “that trembleth at My Word.” They rather trifle than tremble. The Word is not their teacher, but they are its critics. With many, the Word of the Lord is no longer enthroned in the place of honor, but it is treated as a football, to be kicked about as they please; and the apostles, especially are treated as if Paul, and James, and John, were Tom, and Harry, with whom modern wise men are on terms of something more than equality. They pass the Books of Scripture under their rod, and judge the Spirit of God Himself. The Lord cannot work by a creature that is in revolt against Him. We must manifest the spirit of reverence, or we shall not be as little children, nor enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

My recent experience at an ecumenical or inter-faith meeting confirms that we are also living in these days. The group of people assembled during this particular evening was comprised of Hindus, Buddhist, Muslims, Universal Unitarians, United Church of Christ leaders, and Agnostics. I intentionally left out the mentioning of Christians because the views or statements made by those claiming to be followers of Christ, usually contradict the teachings of Scripture. The Bible categorically labels any person who rejects the teachings of Christ as an individual who has not nor knows God. “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God…”

Why do I attend?
You may be wondering why I attend? I was selected or invited (by a Muslim) to the group for the sole purpose of presenting or bringing to the table an evangelical theological perspective. This organization meets regularly in order to discuss or comment on topics (from their religious perspectives) pertaining to everyday living. The most recent gathering dealt with the theme or subject of the recent killings, plus injuring of innocent people in Boston, Massachusetts. Emphasis was not concentrated on who, what, where, and why someone would do this, but on how each of the above mentioned belief systems would respond if placed in a similar situation. In other words, what form of compassion or humanitarianism would they practice or implement in time of tragedy?

In a group where absolute truth is irrelevant, it stands to reason why the subject of Jihad is overlooked and replaced with a less weighty topic. The goal of most ecumenical groups is to unify over commonalities and avoid doctrines that divide or cause disunity. The subject of sin and the depravity of man’s heart is not only avoided but denied. (That has been my experience in each of the meetings I have attended) My purpose for attending these meetings is to discuss absolutes and not to ignore or deny facts. It is a fact that the Quran teaches death to the non-Muslim. Plus, it is also commonly known among all faiths that the Bible describes the heart of all men as being desperately wicked. According to the Bible, “there is none who does good.” (Rom 3:12) So, it stands to reason that someone would address the obvious, because man is capable of doing good deeds, because at the core of his inner being is only evil.

Walter A. Elwell writes in a book titled Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, “The Bible teaches this concept of total depravity in many places. The Lord recognized good people (Matt 22:10), yet he labeled his own disciples as evil men (7:11). The mind is affected (Rom 1:28), the conscience is unclean (Heb 9:14), the heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9), and by nature mankind is subject to wrath (Eph 2:3).” In an attempt to emphasize this point those in my small group were immediately at odds with this point. In logic, the starting point of an argument is called a proposition. When we use propositions, we are either asserting the truth of the statement or denying the truth of the statement. Those individuals involved in the bombing of blameless marathon runners and spectators displayed by their actions that God’s Word is true in regards to the condition of the human heart. (To ignore these points would be considered illogical). Note that this is a technical meaning of “deny,” not the everyday meaning. To deny in this context means to gather evidence to show that the proposition cannot be true, not just that it is wrong. Further evidence to support my propositional statement is located or revealed in the human heart. The apostle Paul writes, “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, no having the Law are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience being witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…” (Rom 2:14-15) God has placed in every human being a conscience that gives them knowledge of right and wrong. So when an individual sins (murder, lie, steal, lust, etc.) he/she does so with knowledge. (Con-with, Science-knowledge). To begin a discussion on the compassionate nature of human beings is completely irrational, because out of the human heart comes only iniquity. Jesus Christ our Lord states,

“For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders, etc.” (Matthew 15:19) It is amazing that humanity is capable of any good! Consider the fact that God sent His only begotten Son, the long awaited Messiah, to the nation of Israel, and their response to His innocence, sinlessness, miracles, compassion, redemption, propitiation, atonement, justification, and sacrificial death on the cross was to crucify Him. (Matthew 27:22)

Let’s examine the nature or condition of man by examining a little known fact about the most recognized saintly women on the planet, Mother Teresa and her organization Missionary of Charity. An anonymous author writes in an article titled Hitting Bedrock, “…Says Susan Shields, former Missionary of Charity: As a Missionary of Charity, I was assigned to record donations and write the thank-you letters. The money arrived at a frantic rate. The mail carrier often delivered the letters in sacks. We wrote receipts for checks of $50,000 and more on a regular basis. Sometimes a donor would call up and ask if we had received his check, expecting us to remember it readily because it was so large. How could we say that we could not recall it because we had received so many that were even larger?

Shields doesn’t suggest how much that might add up to, but Hitchens has it that there were at least $50 million in the New York bank account of the Missionaries of Charity, and figures that, this being but a part of the organization’s wealth, there must be several times more all told. So let’s place the MoC’s wealth in the 9-10 figure range. Now, it would not be correct to say that all this money belonged to Teresa. I take it that she herself owned next to nothing. I’m just saying that she controlled this money. It didn’t belong to her personally, but, if she’d really wanted, she could have used it, on behalf of her organization, to buy all sorts of medicines, pay all sorts of trained medical personnel, and maybe even keep her facilities stocked with clean new needles on a regular basis.
You may be able to guess what’s coming up next. Fact: Mother Teresa used only a tiny fraction of that money to improve the lives of the sick and the poor. Shields continues: We received touching letters from people, sometimes apparently poor themselves, who were making sacrifices to send us a little money for the starving people in Africa, the flood victims in Bangladesh, or the poor children in India. Most of the money sat in our bank accounts. The donations rolled in and were deposited in the bank, but they had no effect on our ascetic lives and very little effect on the lives of the poor we were trying to help. Well, who cares about the lives of the nuns: they got what they signed up for, right? That bit about the poor, though, that’s a little worrisome.

© 1986 Túrelio (Wikimedia-Commons) / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0

© 1986 Túrelio (Wikimedia-Commons) / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0


Here are some examples of how the MoC failed to spend its money. Shields gives one: in Haiti, “the sisters reused needles until they became blunt”. Out of the MoC’s bloated bank accounts, no money could be spared for new needles. Likewise, in an article in the British Medical Journal (a review of Hitchens’ book), Mary Loudon reports visiting the MoC’s facilities and seeing “syringes run under cold water and reused, aspirin given to those with terminal cancer, and cold baths given to everyone”. No money for oncological care beyond aspirin, no money for hot water, and, again, no money for new syringes, or even proper sterilization for old ones.

And in an article in the Lancet (9/17/94, Issue 8925), Robin Fox reports having visited the Home for the Dying in Kolkata, and describes the medical care there as “haphazard”: no trained medical personnel are present unless some happen to drop by to volunteer their time, and the sisters themselves are not given any proper training in medical care. “How about simple algorithms that might help the sisters and volunteers distinguish the curable from the incurable? Again no.” Out of the millions or billions, not enough for the salary of a single Kolkata doctor, or any other way of ensuring minimally consistent medical care.”

Therefore, when God says, “There is none who does good” He bases this scripture verse not on ones actions but His knowledge of the human heart. This article as well as the incident in Boston only stresses the importance of being born again. The Lord promised that He would place into those who believe in His Son a new heart that would give regenerated human beings the ability to demonstrate genuine compassion that will allow them to demonstrate good works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8) Salvation is the catalyst to good works and evidence of being born again is that a believer serves others. His or her sanctification has been designated with kindhearted actions before time began. Therefore, the logical starting point of our conversation would not be to ignore the truth of God’s Word but to address the topic of sin and it’s resolve through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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One Response to The Heart of the Matter

  1. nexusmods says:

    Reblogged this on nexusmods.

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