The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
23rd of August, 2014

The Gift of Life

Yeah, life is God’s gift; while “the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy.” Pretty much summarises the true, classical Islam that the Middle Eastern Islamists of today aspire to.

See, life can only be a gift. We never “earned” to be alive. We never chose to be alive here this long, or even that we would be here, rather than in Tajikistan (http://www.eurasianet.org/node/68806) or India (http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/pictures/filthy-india-photos-chinese-netizen-reactions.html). We cannot take credit for being alive; in this, we very easily admit that God takes all the credit. Nobody has the resources to pay for life. Life is always a gift. Eternal life, in fact, is explicitly God’s free gift, and no creation has the resources to pay for it. (The very thought made me chuckle.) Normal human-originated religion pretends that Man can pay for the blessings that God gives him (whether life, or, say rain, children, wealth, food, intelligence, libido, health, or Christianity). Heretical movements out of Christianity also teach that eternal life is a reward.
The true (i.e., Reformed/Protestant) Christian faith teaches that Man can take no credit for life, and most-certainly not for eternal life. Moses literally said “Israel: do these things, and you shall live by them (the Law).” Legalists say: “Christian: live for God by the Law, then you are assured of eternal life.” Why should we be given an eternal reward for just doing as we were required to, over a small period of time? Variation from this is just a few inches away from saying “Muslim: die for Allah, and then you are assured of eternal life.” Imagine, dying is a curse, the result of separation from the Spirit of God, and they call it a good thing‽
We (Prots) say, “Christian: You are assured of eternal life; live for God by the Spirit!” This is literally what Romans 8 is all about.
There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in union with Christ Jesus; for through your union with Christ Jesus, the Law of the life-giving Spirit has set you free from the Law of sin and death. What Law could not do, in so far as our earthly nature weakened its action, God did, by sending his own Son, with a nature resembling our sinful nature, to atone for sin. He condemned sin in that earthly nature, so that the requirements of the Law might be satisfied in us who live now in obedience, not to our earthly nature, but to the Spirit.

They who follow their earthly nature are earthly-minded, while they who follow the Spirit are spiritually minded. To be earthly-minded means death, to be spiritually minded means life and peace; because to be earthly-minded is to be an enemy to God, for such a mind does not submit to the Law of God, nor indeed can it do so. They who are earthly cannot please God. You, however, are not earthly but spiritual, since the Spirit of God lives within you. Unless a person has the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ; but, if Christ is within you, then, though the body is dead as a consequence of sin, the spirit is life as a consequence of righteousness. And, if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives within you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life even to your mortal bodies, through his Spirit living within you.
(Emphases mine.)
Notice that Paul says the Law cannot put an end to evil habits; only by the Spirit. So if we truly want to end evil habits, we actually have no alternatives to having the Spirit of Christ in us—the Law will most-certainly not help. Furthermore, Paul limits the Spirit to those who are Christians. Notice that he also says that there is no condemnation for the Christians. (I know; Roman Catholics think this would be too good to be true. Even so, since they are of Christ, they actually have this life; but not the peace that the gospel preaches. They are unable to truly love God for the unrelenting and unreasonably-good grace and favour that He gives all of us Chrissies in spite of our not-deserving it any more than the Mozzies do; rather, they see Him as a stern judge who watches every thing and every thought, and whom they have to work hard every day to survive. And they know they don’t match up, so they are not at peace.)
This is from Paul’s mail to the Romans. Hebrews 10 even says: “Let us draw near to God in all sincerity of heart and in perfect faith, with our hearts purified by the sprinkled blood from all consciousness of wrong, and with our bodies washed with pure water. Let us maintain the confession of our hope unshaken, for he who has given us his promise will not fail us. Let us vie with one another in a rivalry of love and noble actions.”
I would stab anyone who says that this has the same source as the Qur’an of that accursed and suicidal heretic Qathem a.k.a. Muhammad. (He did actually have suicidal thoughts, according to the Qur’an.)

And if life is a gift, how much more would resurrection be? Because all humans are spiritually-dead, because of their own decision to side with sin against righteousness. They lie, they steal, they kill, and whenever they open their mouths, someone is hurt. Should this kind of shit ever be let into Heaven? This is why God would be justified if He left us all in their death-from-sin and condemned us all to death for our crazy and unrelenting rebellion against holiness. It is the just and upright thing to do! They mistake sin (e.g., Shari’a Law) for holiness; even when they obey, it is for their selfish interests—to avoid punishment—not out of simple wanting to do that right thing, which can only be based on faith, as would be the case for the law-obeying works done by a Christian. The best summary is Jesus’ words: “Freely you have received; freely give.” They can’t give freely—which is the right way to give, if you are to give at all—because they have not received freely.

If you are under the Law, by the way, it is automatic that you cannot ever “do good works”, you are only ever doing as you should, or else you are breaking the Law. Only the faith-based righteousness of Christianity actually gives freedom to do good because it is good. The bad even the legalists do; but because of their pride in their own righteousness, they are condemned for the bad they do. The good that the legalists do is to save their skin; the good that we do is to just do the good that God in us—the Holy Spirit—actually wants done, because it is the good thing “against which there is no law.” So the legalists hate this freedom, because they think we will take the opportunity to sin. And if we didn’t have the Spirit—if we weren’t Christians—indeed we would! For them, if there were no law, they would have no reason to do good. We, on the other hand, do good because the Spirit inspires it, not because the Law commands it.
It is for freedom that Christ set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not again be held under the yoke of slavery.

For we, by the help of the Spirit, are eagerly waiting for the fulfilment of our hope—that we may be pronounced righteous as the result of faith. If we are in union with Christ Jesus, neither is circumcision nor the omission of it anything, but faith, working through love, is everything.

But the fruit produced by the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindliness, generosity, trustfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Notice how all the “fruits of the spirit” are innately good. Even fun. There is no law against them. Why do you need a Law to do these things, which are clearly worth doing already? And yet because we have a Law to do them—even just knowledge of good and evil; knowing that they are good—even if we did them we would only be paying our dues. Only if we are not under the Law, but under Grace, do they come simply as fruits. And this is just on the technical level alone, to say nothing of the fact that, in spite of their human nature, Christians indeed grow to be better people, doing more good and less wrong, while heathens go from bad to worse.
Entropy is the normal state in this Universe. Death and decay. Everything is dead ever since Adam’s thingy.

Remember: it is not that some are alive and some are dead. All are dead, as they richly deserve to be; only that some are resurrected, entirely due to God’s own unilateral favour, independent of them. (And since it is not by your efforts that you are alive now, much less by your efforts can you stay alive. God chose you, resurrected you, and will keep you safe until the end. That core Biblical comfort is what the Reformation was about. The Jews, in fact, are an ethnic example of God’s insistent Grace to those whom He has chosen—even when they are idolatrous and unfaithful rebels, as the Jews have always been. The Prots always said: Sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura, solo Christo, soli Deo gloria. “Only to God [be] the glory.” And they were right.)

We would all be normal human beings—oriented to sin and death, mistaking it for piety, and proud of it, as the Muslims are—except for the fact that we were pulled out. Our ancestors were like this. (Although, of course, post-Christian is “at least seven times worse” than pre-Christian.) We would be like this, except we were resurrected. Nobody can take credit for life; even less for this life. It is a free gift. Any true faith can be recognised by having no pride before God: when we stand before Him, justified and heirs to eternal life, all that glory and fun that awaits us being firmly, irreversibly and most-certainly assured, we can never find any credit in ourselves. Neither for the life, nor for the resurrection to eternal life.

http://www.slideshare.net/IsraelDefenseForces/new-declassified-report-exposes-hamas-human-shield-policy-38180790
This is on the free Internet, but what you will get in the media is “Israel: bad. Hamas: good. Islamists: misunderstood. Christians: superstitious, intolerant, anti-scientific, self-righteous, anti-choice wankers.”

Either that, or you will hear: “Christians: .”
That’s a total silence on Christians, because even though last week had 400-600 Christians killed by Islamists in Nigeria alone, you will probably hear more noise about the wife and daughter of Muhammad Deif (the same Deif who is mentioned in that video as the Hamas leader whose speech inspired that man to his suicidal stance).
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2729114/As-births-seven-Palestinian-babies-born-UN-shelters-celebrated-Israel-carries-fresh-air-strikes-Hamas-breaches-ceasefire.html
(If you are wondering why there are so many pictures of dead babies, and none of dead combatants—and this on The Daily Mail, at that—it is because … well, that’s how the Islamists want it. Their kids’ TV carries pictures of babies in explosive vests, and their adult media shows dead babies. Imagine being an Israeli, and being forced by a truly crazy World to live with such truly crazy people in your midst! You know what Churchill said about Islam?)

Outright opposition to Christianity was big in the last century (until the dough of the New Atheism failed to prove, at the start of this century); this century, however, seems to prefer silence, which may be worse, and I think that this is preparation for a very difficult time for Christians and Jews everywhere on the planet. The way they never see the good a Jew does, or the evil a Muslim does, and they never forgive or forget the wrong a Jew does, or mention the wrong a Muslim does … this is likely going to become the norm. As an aged, cowardly, and oil-addicted West throws its lot in with the global Muslim agenda. Some things I hope to never see. And I thought I had seen it all. The Chrissies haven’t stood with the Yids, because they do not know that they are in as much real danger.

Probably the only good thing about being a Christian in the last days is that, if you are alive when Christ returns, you never get to experience death. Paul’s first mail to the Corinthians:
This I say, friends—flesh and blood can have no share in the kingdom of God, nor can the perishable share the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you God’s hidden purpose! We will not all have passed to our rest, but we will all be transformed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet-call, the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise immortal, and we, also, will be transformed. For this perishable body of ours must put on an imperishable form, and this dying body a deathless form. And, when this dying body has put on its deathless form, then indeed will the words of scripture come true—“death has been swallowed up in victory! Where, Death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” It is sin that gives death its sting, and it is the Law that gives sin its power. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Therefore, my dear friends, stand firm, unshaken, always diligent in the Lord’s work, for you know that, in union with him, your toil isn’t in vain.
So, yeah, we are for life, we hope for life, we love life, and those Christians who are alive when Christ returns will never experience death. We are the children of light and life. The alternatives are all death, and Islam is one very clear sample of that. (But then, a vast majority of all these heresies are essentially death cults. This includes the Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, or Uganda’s own Kibwetere. Precisely because Islam is not really that unique, it should not be that difficult to point it out for the aberrant demonic wickedness it is.)

PS: “It is sin that gives death its sting, and it is the Law that gives sin its power.”
Some wankers would have us believe the opposite, that the Law weakens sin. God’s testimony is the opposite: the Law gives sin power. More laws, more sins. If they truly wanted to stop sin, they would have long admitted what they all know: that the Law doesn’t actually rein in sin. They are not aware of a valid route to a holy life, because nobody has told them the pure gospel of Jesus Christ which promises and actually delivers a holy life, and an unshakeable peace before God who loves us before we know Him, and then loves us to Himself with assurances of Grace (“The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.”), and then loves us for believing, and then loves us for the fruits that His Spirit brings forth in us.

Life is a gift. So is every good thing God gives us. We can’t have our Creator in debt to us; rather we can only observe undeserved provision for us, in the bounty of creation and in life itself. This is common sense. But humans generally don’t see this, because even sound religion doesn’t just occur to fallen man. It required a special revelation for such now-obvious things to be made plain. Outside of Christianity, everybody is just groping about blindly, missing or rejecting even the most-obvious things. For instance, they get more assurance from religious ritual than from the written promises of God. They treat buildings (temple, church) with more reverence and hushed respect than they treat their bodies—which bodies are the true dwelling of God! They take of God’s creation and offer sacrifices and take pride in that as though it were from their own supply that they give to God, or as though He would have passed out from hunger. And when God told them “Give me 10% of your stuff …” and they also gave 10%, and felt that now they should be rewarded for presumed generosity-to-God, even though He made it possible for them to actually give 100% and still live off it. The worst thing, I think, is that they know for sure that even the smallest good thing they have—be it a good voice—is a gift of God; but they seek to assert their ownership over this great gift that only God can freely-give.