Citeste-l pe C. S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis

Născut în Irlanda în 1898, C.S. Lewis este educat la Colegiul Malvern timp de un an, după care își continuă studiile în particular. Obținând cea mai mare distincție de absolvire acordată de Universitatea Oxford (triple First), rămâne în cadrul Universității ca Fellow al Colegiului Magdalen, funcționând ca tutore, în perioada 1925-1954.În 1954 devine profesor de literatură medievală și renascentistă la Universitatea Cambridge. Cursurile ținute de el, remarcabile și populare, au influențat în mod profund și durabil generații de studenți.Ateu până la maturitate, C.S. Lewis își descrie convertirea în Surprised by Joy (Surprins de bucurie): „În 1919, pe la Rusalii, m-am dat bătut și am admis că Dumnezeu este Dumnezeu… eram, poate, cel mai descurajat și mai nehotărât convertit din toată Anglia.” Această experiență a fost cea care l-a făcut să înțeleagă nu doar apatia, ci și refuzul activ de a accepta religia; pornind de aici, în ipostaza de scriitor creștin înzestrat cu o minte excepțional de ascutită și de logică și cu un stil lucid și înviorător, C.S. Lewis a fost fără egal.The Problem of Pain (Problema durerii), The Screwtape Letters (Scrisorile lui Sfredelin sau Sfaturile unui diavol bătrân către unul mai tânăr), Mere Christianity (Creștinism. Pur și simplu), The Four Loves (Cele patru iubiri), precum și postuma Prayer: Letters to Malcom (Rugăciune: Scrisori către Malcom) nu sunt decât o parte dintre operele sale cele mai vândute. A scris și cărti pentru copii și science-fiction, în paralel cu multele sale lucrări de critică literară. Operele sale sunt cunoscute de milioane de oameni, pretutindeni în lume, prin traduceri.S-a stins din viață în 22 noiembrie 1963, în locuința sa din Oxford.

Cateva citate din scrierile lui C.S. Lewis:

Creştinismul, dacă este fals, nu are nicio importanţă,
iar dacă este adevărat, are o importanţă covârşitoare.
Dar nu poate avea o importanţă moderată.

Dumnezeu nu ne poate oferi fericire şi pace în afara Lui, pentru că ele nu se află acolo. Nu există aşa ceva.

Există două feluri de oameni: cei care îi spun lui Dumnezeu “Facă-se voia Ta” şi cei cărora Dumnezeu le spune “Bine, acţionează după cum crezi”.

Creştinul are un mare avantaj faţă de ceilalţi oameni, nu pentru că este mai puţin căzut decât ei, nici pentru că este destinat să trăiască într-o lume căzută, ci pentru că ştie că este un om căzut într-o lume căzută.

În realitate, rugăciunile noastre care par cele mai proaste, pot fi, în ochii lui Dumnezeu, cele mai bune. Mă refer la acelea care sunt cel mai puţin susţinute de sentimente evlavioase. Pentru că ele s-ar putea să vină de la un nivel mai adânc decât sentimentele. Dumnezeu pare să comunice cu noi extrem de profund atunci când ne prinde, cum s-ar spune, cu garda jos.

Fa click aici sa citesti cartea – https://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/crestinismul-redus-la-esenta-de-c-s-lewis/

Fa click aici pentru carte format audio– https://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/c-s-lewis-carte-audio-crestinismul-redus-la-esenta/

Fa click aici pentru mai multe carti de C S Lewis si alti autori crestini (in Limba Romana si Engleza) – https://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/collection-of-online-books/

Reclame

Remember Reformation Day – Ziua Reformarii

On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of heresy upon heresy. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation… though to be sure, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Thomas Linacre, John Colet, and others had already put the life’s work and even their lives on the line for same cause of truth, constructing the foundation of Reform upon which Luther now built. Luther’s action was in great part a response to the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican priest. Luther’s charges also directly challenged the position of the clergy in regard to individual salvation. Before long, Luther’s 95 Theses of Contention had been copied and published all over Europe.

Martin Luther’s life (film)

Posts in the Romanian language/ postari in Limba Romana:

A series of lectures by Carl Trueman on Martin Luther:

  1. Carl Trueman at SBTS (1) Theological and Biographical Foundations – Reflections upon Luther
  2. Carl Trueman at SBTS (2) The Word in Action – Luther’s theology of the preached word
  3. Carl Trueman Lecture at SBTS (3) Martin Luther – The Tools of the Trade
  4. Carl Trueman at SBTS (4) Panel discussion (from the Luther lectures)

Videos, films, essays on Martin Luther

Luther writes to a struggling believer

via desiringGod.org – read entire article here- Luther on Five Actions for Struggling Believers.

Jerome Weller was a theology student under Martin Luther’s direct influence, living in his home and tutoring his children for nearly a decade. In July 1530, Luther wrote a letter of advice to Weller who was in the midst of a depression.

. . . Excellent Jerome, You ought to rejoice in this temptation of the devil because it is a certain sign that God is propitious and merciful to you. You say that the temptation is heavier than you can bear, and that you fear that it will so break and beat you down as to drive you to despair and blasphemy. I know this wile of the devil. If he cannot break a person with his first attack, he tries by persevering to wear him out and weaken him until the person falls and confesses himself beaten.

Whenever this temptation comes to you, avoid entering upon a disputation with the devil and do not allow yourself to dwell on those deadly thoughts, for to do so is nothing short of yielding to the devil and letting him have his way. Try as hard as you can to despise those thoughts which are induced by the devil. In this sort of temptation and struggle, contempt is the best and easiest method of winning over the devil. Laugh your adversary to scorn and ask who it is with whom you are talking. By all means flee solitude, for the devil watches and lies in wait for you most of all when you are alone. This devil is conquered by mocking and despising him, not by resisting and arguing with him. . .

When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made a satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.”

Yours,
Martin Luther

Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, trans. and ed., Theodore G. Tappert, 1960, (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 2003), 85ff

 

For Reformation Day – The Bible and Martin Luther

Here’s an older post that can be revisited every year at this time, when we remember the significance of the reformation that took place almost 500 years ago today.

English Bible History

Martin Luther

Martin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German. Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a Christian theologian and Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Protestant Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of Protestant and other Christian traditions.

Martin Luther was born to Hans and Margaretha Luder on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, Germany and was baptised the next day on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, after whom he was named. Luther’s call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible resulted in the formation of new traditions within Christianity and the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church, culminating at the Council of Trent.His translation of the Bible also helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation. Luther’s hymns sparked the development of congregational singing in Christianity. His marriage, on June 13, 1525, to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian traditions.

Portraits of Hans and Margarethe Luther by Lucas Cranach  1527

Luther’s early life

Martin Luther’s father owned a copper mine in nearby Mansfeld. Having risen from the peasantry, his father was determined to see his son ascend to civil service and bring further honor to the family. To that end, Hans sent young Martin to schools in Mansfeld, Magdeburg and Eisenach. At the age of seventeen in 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt. The young student received his Bachelor’s degree after just one year in 1502! Three years later, in 1505, he received a Master’s degree. According to his father’s wishes, Martin enrolled in the law school of that university. All that changed during a thunderstorm in the summer of 1505. A lightening bolt struck near to him as he was returning to school. Terrified, he cried out, „Help, St. Anne! I’ll become a monk!” Spared of his life, but regretting his words, Luther kept his bargain, dropped out of law school and entered the monastery there.

Luther’s struggle to find peace with God

Young Brother Martin fully dedicated himself to monastic life, the effort to do good works to please God and to serve others through prayer for their souls. Yet peace with God escaped him. He devoted himself to fasts, flagellations, long hours in prayer and pilgrimages, and constant confession. The more he tried to do for God, it seemed, the more aware he became of his sinfulness.

Johann von Staupitz, Luther’s superior, concluded the young man needed more work to distract him from pondering himself. He ordered the monk to pursue an academic career. In 1507 Luther was ordained to the priesthood. In 1508 he began teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg. Luther earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies on 9 March 1508 and a Bachelor’s degree in the Sentences by Peter Lombard, (the main textbook of theology in the Middle Ages) in 1509. On 19 October 1512, the University of Wittenberg conferred upon Martin Luther the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Martin Luther’s Evangelical Discovery

The demands of study for academic degrees and preparation for delivering lectures drove Martin Luther to study the Scriptures in depth. Luther immersed himself in the teachings of the Scripture and the early church. Slowly, terms like penance and righteousness took on new meaning. The controversy that broke loose with the publication of his 95 Theses placed even more pressure on the reformer to study the Bible. This study convinced him that the Church had lost sight of several central truths. To Luther, the most important of these was the doctrine that brought him peace with God.

With joy, Luther now believed and taught that salvation is a gift of God’s grace, received by faith and trust in God’s promise to forgive sins for the sake of Christ’s death on the cross. This, he believed was God’s work from beginning to end.

Luther’s 95 Theses

On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of heresy upon heresy. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation… though to be sure, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Thomas Linacre, John Colet, and others had already put the life’s work and even their lives on the line for same cause of truth, constructing the foundation of Reform upon which Luther now built. Luther’s action was in great part a response to the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican priest. Luther’s charges also directly challenged the position of the clergy in regard to individual salvation. Before long, Luther’s 95 Theses of Contention had been copied and published all over Europe.

Here I Stand

Luther’s Protestant views were condemned as heretical by Pope Leo X in the bull Exsurge Domine in 1520. Consequently Luther was summoned to either renounce or reaffirm them at the Diet of Worms on 17 April 1521. When he appeared before the assembly, Johann von Eck, by then assistant to the Archbishop of Trier, acted as spokesman for Emperor Charles the Fifth. He presented Luther with a table filled with copies of his writings. Eck asked Luther if he still believed what these works taught. He requested time to think about his answer. Granted an extension, Luther prayed, consulted with friends and mediators and presented himself before the Diet the next day.

Meeting of the Diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire at Worms, Germany, in 1521, where Martin Luther defended his Protestant principles and was excommunicated

When the counselor put the same question to Luther the next day, the reformer apologized for the harsh tone of many of his writings, but said that he could not reject the majority of them or the teachings in them. Luther respectfully but boldly stated, „Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.„On May 25, the Emperor issued his Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

Luther in Exile at the Wartburg Castle

The room in Wartburg where     Luther translated the New Testament into German. An original first edition of the translation is kept under the case on the desk.

Luther had powerful friends among the princes of Germany, one of whom was his own prince, Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. The prince arranged for Luther to be seized on his way from the Diet by a company of masked horsemen, who carried him to the castle of the Wartburg, where he was kept about a year. He grew a wide flaring beard; took on the garb of a knight and assumed the pseudonym Jörg. During this period of forced sojourn in the world, Luther was still hard at work upon his celebrated translation of the Bible, though he couldn’t rely on the isolation of a monastery. During his translation, Luther would make forays into the nearby towns and markets to listen to people speak, so that he could put his translation of the Bible into the language of the people.

Although his stay at the Wartburg kept Luther hidden from public view, Luther often received letters from his friends and allies, asking for his views and advice. For example, Luther’s closest friend, Philipp Melanchthon, wrote to him and asked how to answer the charge that the reformers neglected pilgrimages, fasts and other traditional forms of piety. Luther’s replied: „If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.” [Letter 99.13, To Philipp Melanchthon, 1 August 1521.]

Martin Luther’s German Bible

1529 Luther New Testament: The Oldest Printed German N.T. Scripture

Martin Luther was the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people. He used the recent 1516 critical Greek edition of Erasmus, a text which was later called textus receptus. The Luther German New Testament translation was first published in September of 1522. The translation of the Old Testament followed, yielding an entire German language Bible in 1534.

Luther is also know to have befriended William Tyndale, and given him safe haven and assistance in using the same 1516 Erasmus Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament that had been the source text for his German New Testament of 1522, as the trustworthy source text for Tyndale’s English New Testament of 1525-26.

Luther’s Writings

The number of books attributed to Martin Luther is quite impressive. However, some Luther scholars contend that many of the works were at least drafted by some of his good friends like Philipp Melanchthon. Luther’s books explain the settings of the epistles and show the conformity of the books of

1523 Luther Pentateuch:  The Oldest Printed      German Scripture

the Bible to each other. Of special note would be his writings about the Epistle to the Galatians in which he compares himself to the Apostle Paul in his defense of the Gospel. Luther also wrote about church administration and wrote much about the Christian home.

Luther’s work contains a number of statements that modern readers would consider rather crude. For example, Luther was know to advise people that they should literally “Tell the Devil he may kiss my ass.” It should be remembered that Luther received many communications from throughout Europe from people who could write anonymously, that is, without the specter of mass media making their communications known. No public figure today could write in the manner of the correspondences Luther received or in the way Luther responded to them. Luther was certainly a theologian of the middle-ages. He was an earthy man who enjoyed his beer, and was bold and often totally without tact in the blunt truth he vehemently preached. While this offended many, it endeared him all the more to others.

He was open with his frustrations and emotions, as well. Once, when asked if he truly loved God, Luther replied “Love God? Sometimes I hate Him!” Luther was also frustrated by the works-emphasis of the book of James, calling it “the Epistle of Straw, and questioning its canonicity. Also irritated with the complex symbolism of the Book of Revelation, he once said that it too, was not canon, and that it should be thrown into the river! He later retracted these statements, of course. Luther was a man who was easily misquoted or taken out of context. While a brilliant theologian, and a bold reformer, he would not have made a good politician. But then, he never aspired to any career in politics.

Luther’s 1534 Bible.

Martin Luther and Judaism

Luther initially preached tolerance towards the Jewish people, convinced that the reason they had never converted to Christianity was that they were discriminated against, or had never heard the Gospel of Christ. However, after his overtures to Jews failed to convince Jewish people to adopt Christianity, he began preaching that the Jews were set in evil, anti-Christian ways, and needed to be expelled from German politics. In his On the Jews and Their Lies, he repeatedly quotes the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34, where Jesus called them „a brood of vipers and children of the devil”

Katharina von Bora, Luther’s wife (1523), by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526

Luther was zealous toward the Gospel, and he wanted to protect the people of his homeland from the Jews who he believed would be harmful influences since they did not recognize Jesus as their Saviour. In Luther’s time, parents had a right and a duty to direct their children’s marriage choices in respect to matters of faith. Likewise, Luther felt a duty to direct his German people to cling to the Jesus the Jews did not accept. It should be noted that church law was superior to civil law in Luther’s day and that law said the penalty of blasphemy was death. When Luther called for the deaths of certain Jews, he was merely asking that the laws that were applied to all other Germans also be applied to the Jews. The Jews were exempt from the church laws that Christians were bound by, most notably the law against charging interest.

Martin Luther’s Death

Martin Luther escaped martyrdom, and died of natural causes. His last written words were, „Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles… We are beggars: this is true.

pictures and information (via) Wikipedia and GreatSite

Related Articles:

  1. Martin Luther –  Video Color, Video black and white
  2. John Wycliffe – first English Bible Translator Biography and  Video
  3. William Tyndale- first Bible translator from original languages Biography and Video
  4. The Impact of the printing Press on the Reformation
  5. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch
  6. The bestselling book of all times Part 1
  7. The bestselling book of all times Part 2

John Piper in Geneva, Switzerland – After darkness… light (Spanish subtitles)

John Piper – Filmed on location in Geneva, Switzerland during May, 2012.

Produced by Citygate Films

After Darkness… Light (Spanish Subtitles) from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Orchestra Reunita Arad la Micalaca 28 Octombrie 2012

Ah, locurile copilariei mele unde l-am simtit pe Dumnezeu in rugaciune.

Sunt clipe in viata

Invata-ma

 

Life is a vapor – Viața este un abur – Trăieşte ca atare – Tim Conway

Paul Washer – Tim Conway PAGE

Published on Oct 22, 2012 by 

Iacov 4:14 Si totusi nu stiti ce va aduce ziua de maine. Ce este viata voastra? Nu sunteti decat un abur care se arata putintel si apoi piere.

The divinity of Christ

 

  • Please use the Google translate links provided on the right hand side of the blog. Just click on your language and the page will be converted to your language.
  • Folositi Google translate pentru translatare in Limba Romana.

by  J. Ligon Duncan via http://www.the-highway.com/divinity_Duncan.html

Who is Jesus? Is He divine? Such questions have exercised the minds of thoughtful inquirers for nigh unto two thousand years since Jesus of Nazareth completed his earthly ministry. His disciples, by their own admission, had wrestled with his identity during the years of their training. But after the ascension and Pentecost they never evidenced the slightest doubt as to the right answer. We Christians, as believers in and witnesses to Christ, must be firmly grounded in our understanding of and commitment to the deity of our Lord-not only that we might testify of Him to others, but also for His glory and our spiritual welfare.

An Important Matter

The question is neither merely speculative nor of historical interest alone, and it is far too important to be relegated to an intellectual trial in a philosophy of religion class, or to be glibly and irreverently scrutinized and dismissed by some second-rate academic pundit in the Religion 101 course at a university. It is a question with eternal consequences.

It is indisputable that Christ’s immediate disciples saw this to be an issue of the utmost importance. Indeed, Christ had asked them directly: „Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15) and had explicitly told them that the proper answer was a revelation of the eternal God, with foundational significance for His kingdom. Karl Barth, no conservative evangelical mind you, rightly said that what a person thinks about Christ determines what he ultimately thinks about everything else. Suffice it to say, from any perspective, this question is not only worth asking and studying, it is one that we had better answer carefully.

Mixed Signals from the Academy

The current cacophony of opinion with regard to Jesus’ identity is enough to give anyone a headache. It is not hard to find competing views of Jesus in the scholarly community today, united only in their mutual rejection of his divinity. Sometimes we are told that Jesus was a fraud. Various academics assure us that Jesus was the first feminist, or gay-rights activist, or the progenitor of whatever Johnny-come-lately movement to which they wish to lend legitimacy. Meanwhile the instructor across the hall assures us, on the contrary, that Christ was the founder of a chauvinistic, anti-environmental and hopelessly patriarchal religious regime. Many generic religionists will admit that he was „a Divine-Man” in some way, but certainly not God (in the traditional Christian sense). Other scholars, more disinterested and objective perhaps, assure us that we will never arrive at a final knowledge of who Jesus was (or claimed to be) because he is a mystery shrouded in layers of tradition. In short, they tell us, we will never really know who Jesus was because the Church „invented” him, at least as we now know him.

What is more disturbing are the noises emanating from supposedly Christian scholars who are offering estimates of Christ that differ radically from historic Christian orthodoxy. Conservative pastors and campus workers are not unaccustomed to the quizzical looks they get from confused students reporting that a religion professor has announced to them that Jesus never claimed to be God. Seminary professors and Bible department lecturers sometimes paint Christ merely as a good man or a great moral teacher. More advanced practitioners of the historical disciplines tell us that Jesus was a social and religious revolutionary, „a marginal Jew.” An older form of this same story-line suggested that he was an apocalyptic prophet. In fact, the only thing the modern „mainstream” academy seems to be sure of is that Jesus Christ, whatever else he was, was not divine.

It must be stressed, however, that this phenomenon of teachers within the bounds of the Church raising doubts about the divinity of Christ is an entirely recent development. One looks in vain in the history of the earliest Christianity for signs of theological disagreement on the deity of our Lord. While there were occasionally Jewish and pagan objections raised against Christ’s divinity, not even heretics suggested such a possibility in Christendom for nigh unto three centuries! Indeed, so profound was the unanimity of the Church’s recognition of and commitment to the deity of Christ, the major Christological belief that the Church struggled to accept was Christ’s humanity. The docetic, gnostic, and Marcionite errors stumbled on Jesus’ true humanity in the first centuries of the Church’s life, but not until the fourth century (with the advent of Arianism) did a major heterodoxy arise denying Jesus’ divinity. When it did, it was so completely rejected and rebutted through the course of the controversy that objection to the full deity of our Lord did not break surface in Christianity for some thirteen-hundred years.

Roots of a Current Heresy

What, then, accounts for this modern assault on the deity of Christ? Aside from the enterprise of the Evil One, the logical outworking of enlightenment rationalism, and the epistemic skepticism born of Kantian transcendentalism, we may suggest at least two reasons, two proximate causes, for the appearance of this anti-Christian teaching against the deity of Christ within the Church’s pale. In the „quest for the historical Jesus”-an attempt to rediscover the nature and teaching of the Jesus of history which began in the eighteenth century and has continued in varying forms to this day-these two assumptions have exerted controlling influence.1

First, it is presupposed by the devotees of the new Gospel criticism that the Church’s teaching about Christ consolidated at the Council of Chalcedon (451) was an invention of theologians and philosophers, „a figment of pious imagination.” The Christ of the original sources, they say, is a much more human, much more ambiguous Christ than the Christ of post-Nicene theology. Thus our new academic critics now propose to save us from this „hellenized” Christ, by stripping away the theological-philosophical layering of Nicea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon (and even the Apostle Paul!) and returning to the earliest, authentic sources.

Second, the biblical critics who have given us the „new Jesus” have assumed a very different set of primary sources for the study of the person and life of Christ than have traditionally been employed by Christians in coming to an understanding of who Christ is. The Gospels themselves, as they now stand, are no longer primary sources. Indeed, they are neither to be trusted nor merely harmonized. The critics tell us, we must „get behind” the Gospels if we are to discover the real Jesus. The Gospels, as products of the early believing community (rather than divine revelation) must be unraveled for clues as to the unadorned truth about Christ.

What Shall We Say Then?

These assumptions almost universally held in the wider community of Biblical scholars, have even made significant inroads into evangelical thought (with its anti-ecclesiastical, anti-historical, and anti-systematic tendencies). In effect, these two presuppositions simultaneously require the rejection of the Church’s historic and official teaching concerning Christ, and the normative authority of Holy Scripture. Such a drastic investigative starting-point betrays the audacity, individualism, arrogance, and naiveté so often characteristic of the modern religious academy. At least four things must be said in response to this situation.

First, such an approach fails to understand what dogma is. Herein lies its arrogance. By operating on such a basis, the scholar implicitly rejects all three of the essential elements of dogma: the social, the traditional, and the authoritative.

(1) The Church’s dogma is social in that it is received neither on the testimony of individual Christians nor even a single generation of Christians, but is recognized by the whole. Herein lies the element of truth in the Vincentian canon („what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all”). Only in the communion of saints may we confidently understand and propagate the truth.

(2) Dogma is traditional in that it is based upon historical revelation completed over nineteen centuries ago and passed on in the Church from generation to generation under the guiding protection of the Holy Spirit. However impressive the results of the new critical literary disciplines, they have no right to bypass or undercut the time-honored deposit of truth bequeathed in the creeds and confessions of the Church.

(3) Dogma is authoritative in that it is the embodiment of divine truth revealed in the word of God. Dogma is not „perspectival.” Orthodox dogma, as a faithful ecclesial formulation of central Christian truth from God, about God, and for his glory, transcends the individual opinions of theologians and church members, and even the cultures and ages in which the Church has received and formulated it. Modern subjectivism may not like such a claim, but it must accept it or bid farewell to Christianity.

Second, such an approach fails to appreciate the necessary connection between truth and belief. When one announces to the Church that „all your great historians and theologians have been wrong about the Christ, Jesus was a mere mortal, but not to worry, faith is the important thing, no need to get hung up on doctrines and history,” and then wonders why Christians get upset, one evidences an astounding degree of obtuseness. Moderns may not think that what we believe is religiously significant or that it needs to be grounded in reality, but nobody else has ever believed such rubbish. As Donald MacLeod has put it: „You can tell people that ‘the Gospels are not true’ and they will believe you, but when you tell them ‘the Gospels are not true, but I believe them’ people are, rightly, incredulous.”

Third, there is a double irony in the modern attempt to liberate the Church from the encrustation of Greek language, thought, and philosophy in its formulation of the doctrine of Christ. On the one hand, the cries that the early Church capitulated to secular patterns of terminology and thought in its Chalcedonian definition ring particularly hollow when they come from a generation of scholars who are philosophically committed to the most radical attempt at „contextualization” in the history of Christian doctrine, and who have in fact single-handedly attempted to jettison more historic Christian formulation than any generation of heretics who ever walked the planet. On the other hand, the whole project of decoding the Gospel sources for clues to the original Jesus carries with it, of necessity, the most astounding untested personal opinions.

Fourth, the manner in which modernist critics treat the Gospels’ testimony to the claims of Christ is both unhistorical and unpastoral. I do not here object to their questioning of the truthfulness of these claims. Unbelievers do so all the time. Rather, what is so irksome is the unwillingness to allow the text to say what it seems to be saying, evidenced in the regular practice of identifying a reduced extent of „authentic” material in the Gospels, not on exegetical grounds but because of prior philosophical considerations (as in Funk’s so-called „Jesus Bible”). It is unhistorical in that it approaches sources possessed of enormous historical corroboration and proceeds to subject them to a literary deconstruction unjustified by the text itself. In this way the critics are not unlike political spin-meisters who can take facts which say „black” and make them say „white or maybe gray.” It is unpastoral in that it raises fundamental doubts about prime articles of revealed theology with no sense of the enormity of the consequent effects on the faith and life of the people of God, and no sense of accountability either to the Church or God himself.

The Teaching of Scripture

Our thinking in these matters needs desperately to be Scripturally informed. In the grand debate over the deity of Christ, typical evangelical quips about trusting in „a Person and not a proposition” indicate a confusion as to the nature and significance of the discussion, and are a woefully deficient response to current ecclesial challenges to „the faith once delivered.” „It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere” in addition to being insipid, is a profoundly mistaken sentiment, especially when the belief one is discussing is the centerpiece of redemption. We will hardly win the day in the marketplace of ideas with such an outlook. We are called as Christians to be witnesses to Christ, and that means first and foremost bearing testimony in our lives and words to the objective revelation of him in Scripture. That, of course, requires us to be knowledgeable of the Biblical testimony concerning the divinity of our Lord.

Four classic works are commended to readers who are interested in an extensive review of the Biblical witness to the person of Christ: H. P. Liddon’s The Divinity of Our Lord (1867), B. B. Warfield’s The Lord of Glory (1907), Geerhardus Vos’ The Self-Disclosure of Jesus (1926), and Robert L. Reymond’sJesus, Divine Messiah: The New Testament Witness (1990). Though it is hardly possible to attempt a survey of the relevant Biblical testimony here, a brief outline of the main lines of Scriptural evidence will make sufficiently clear the claims of Christ and his contemporaries to his divinity.

Sometimes we are told that there is no verse in the New Testament that says „Jesus is God,” with the implication that there is no straightforward claim to his divinity to be found in its pages. Such, however, is not the case. For instance, in the following passages the deity of Christ is either explicitly asserted or strongly implied. In Titus 2:13, Paul speaks of believers „looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” Peter opens his second epistle greeting „those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:1). Luke records Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28 where he reminds them that they are overseers of „the church of God which he purchased with His own blood.” Such a statement makes no sense unless we accept the full force of the doctrine of the incarnation: Christ was God in the flesh, therefore we may speak of God shedding his own blood. John testifies to Jesus (whom he calls the Word) in the foreword to his Gospel: „In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). John goes on to say that Jesus, the Word, is „the only begotten from the Father” (Jn 1:14) and then utters the astounding claim that „no man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (Jn 1:18). Thus John not only asserts Christ’s deity, but also his sole ability to reveal the Father to the world. It is thus not surprising that Thomas confesses Jesus to be „My Lord and My God” in John 20:28. The author of Hebrews identifies Jesus, the Son as the person about whom the Psalmist (Ps 45:6) said: „Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever” (Heb 1:8). James, the brother of our Lord, identifies himself as Jesus’ „bond-servant” (Jas 1:1) and refers to his brother as „the glory” in James 2:1, neither of which designations is typical of siblings or reverent Jewish believers, but both of which speak volumes about his perception of the divine nature of Christ. Such passages could be multiplied (e.g. Mt 1:23, Jn 17:3, Acts 2:17 & 33, Col 2:9, 2 Thes 1:12, I Tim 1:17, and I Jn 5:20), but the ones we have just reviewed establish the teaching of Jesus’ divinity from Paul, Peter, Luke, John, Thomas, the author of Hebrews, and James-a representative selection of apostles and their understudies. All of these unambiguously and unanimously testify to the deity of our Lord.

Christ’s divinity is set forth in Scripture in numerous other places and in a variety of other ways as well. First, the attributes of the one, true God of Israel are ascribed freely and without apology to Jesus by the writers of the New Testament. No first-century Jew could have done so without fully understanding the radical theological significance of such an ascription. The author of Hebrews applies Psalm 102:25-26, which asserts the eternality of God, to Christ in Hebrews 1:11-12 („you are the same, and your years will not come to an end”), and as we have already seen John declares the Word’s eternity in the prologue to his Gospel: „In the beginning was the Word.” Our Lord’s immutability is asserted in Hebrews 13:8 where we are told that Jesus Christ is „the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Jesus himself claims the attribute of omnipresence in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:20. „I am with you always,” he says. This is only possible if he is possessed of what theologians call „immensity”-an attribute of the God of Israel alone. Jesus’ omniscience is regularly stressed in the Gospel records, as for instance John’s astounding declarations that Jesus „knew all men” and „knew what was in man” (Jn 2:24-25) or Luke’s almost incidental comment that Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking (Lk 6:8). The New Testament also indicates that Christ possesses the divine attribute of sovereignty. Jesus himself claims unlimited divine authority when he announces „All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Mt 28:18) and Paul reiterates the point when he says: „in [Christ] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…and he is the head over all rule and authority” (Col 2:9-10). To claim that a person is eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, is to claim that person to be divine-which is precisely what the New Testament does of Christ.

A second way in which the Scriptures testify to Christ’s deity is that the great Old Testament names of God are applied to him. Over and over the divine names of Israel’s God are taken up by Christ or employed by his disciples in reference to him. For instance, the great Old Testament covenantal name of God, Yahweh, or Jehovah, which is translated Lord (kurios) in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) nigh unto seven thousand times is applied in its fullest sense to Christ on numerous occasions. Paul indicates that the fundamental confession of a Christian is „Jesus is Lord” (Rom 10:9). He considers such a profession necessary for salvation, and evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life (1 Cor 12:3). Furthermore, he indicates that there will come a day when the whole world will confess that „Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11). This declaration of Christ’s divine lordship is perhaps the earliest confession of the Church, and in the light of the Old Testament significance of the term and the early Christian’s steadfast defense of Christ’s unique lordship, it is apparent that „Lord” is far more than a polite title of address or mere acknowledgment that he is our master. We may add that New Testament writers routinely apply Old Testament „Lord” passages to Jesus (e.g., Jn 12:41 says that Isaiah’s vision was of Christ on the throne in Is 6:10, see also Rom 8:34, Acts 2:34, and 1 Pet 3:22). We may mention in passing that Jesus refers to himself with the exalted „I AM” formula repeatedly in the Gospel of John (Jn 8:58, cf., 6:35, 8:12, 24, 11:25, 14:6, and 18:5-8), and calls himself „the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” in Revelation 22:13. All these divine names, constitute an argument of significant force indicative of the New Testament’s view of the deity of our Lord.

Third, the Scriptural writers announce that Christ does divine works, activities that are ascribed to God alone in the Old Testament. At least four examples come to mind.

(1) John, Paul, and Hebrews speak of Christ as the agent of creation and the providential upholder of all things (Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:15-17, and Heb 1:1, 3, 10). That God alone is the author and upholder of creation is, of course, a fundamental axiom of Hebrew theology.

(2) The Gospels indicate that Jesus performed miracles and saving acts by virtue of his own innate power. Though the prophets and apostles, too, did signs and wonders, they did so with derivative power. „The Son gives life to whom he wishes” (Jn 5:21) is not the statement of a mere disciple or holy man. „I myself will raise [them] up on the last day” (Jn 6:40) is not the word of even the most exalted prophet of Israel. „Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn 2:19) is a challenge which admits of no parallel amongst even the greatest of the servants of God. Jesus’ disciples clearly understood this difference, as Peter explains in Acts 4:7-10. Christ’s power was not only of a different order than theirs, but also intrinsic and underived.

(3) The Gospels depict Christ as unilaterally forgiving sin. For instance, to the scribes of Capernaum, Jesus says: „in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…I say to you [the paralytic], rise, take up your pallet and go home” (Mk 2:10-11). Elsewhere, he asserts his right to that authority by delegating a form of it to his disciples (Mt 116:19, 18:18, and Jn 20:23). Who but the Almighty may forgive sins or delegate such authority?

(4) The New Testament ascribes the right of final judgment of men and angels to Christ. In the Old Testament this is the right of God alone. As Paul says, „we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor 5:10) and according to Jesus himself, the Father „has given all judgment to the Son” (Jn 5:22). True, that saints will judge with him, but in virtue of their relation to him and not by inherent right. All these divine activities attributed to Christ from yet another line of witness to his deity.

Fourth, the worship of God was freely offered to Christ by his disciples, all of whom were Jews and who knew that to worship one other than God constituted idolatry and blasphemy. When we recognize „that the great object of Scripture is to reclaim the world from idolatry” this fact appears all the more remarkable and suggestive. The New Testament is peppered with doxologies to him (e.g., Rom 9:5, 2 Tim 4:18, and 2 Pet 3:18). Prayers are offered to him (e.g., Acts 7:59-60, 9:13-14, and Rev 22:20). When the disciples met their resurrected Lord, instinctively, „they worshipped him” (Mt 28:17). John declares him to be worthy „to receive…honor and glory and praise” (Rev 5:12).

The force of such testimony constitutes yet more incontrovertible evidence of the New Testament view of the deity of Christ. Other lines of argument could be marshaled: the unique role of Christ in salvation, his preexistence, the virgin birth, the resurrection, the Old Testament teaching of the divine Messiah, the testimony of John the Baptist, the various self-designations (or titles) of Christ, the testimony of his enemies, and the Trinitarian formulas of the New Testament. However, our brief review is sufficient to indicate the weight of evidence for the divinity of Christ in the Gospels and Epistles. Robert L. Dabney once astutely observed: „If the Apostles did not intend to teach this doctrine they have certainly had the remarkable ill-luck of producing the very impression which they should have avoided, especially in a book intended to subvert idolatry.”

Now the Scriptural testimony may not convince some people of the claims of Christ, to be sure. But it is ridiculous to even suppose that Christ’s divinity is not the claim or view of the Scriptures. The ante-Nicene Fathers bear clear witness to this essential rule of faith. Clement of Alexandria was representative of their high view of Christ when he said, in the early third century, „Believe, O man, in him who is man and God: believe in him who suffered and is worshipped as the living God; servants, believe in him who was dead; all men believe in him who is the only God of all men: believe and receive salvation.”

The Significance of Christ’s Deity

The Westminster Larger Catechism asks in Question 38: „Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?” It wisely and biblically answers:

It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death; give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience and intercession; and so satisfy God’s justice, procure his favour, purchase a peculiar people, give his spirit to them; conquer all their enemies, and bring them to everlasting salvation.

Herein we may detect at least eight theological reasons for the indispensability of the deity of our Lord.

(1) Christ’s divinity was necessary to bear the force of the atonement. The weight of the wrath of God, for the sins of the world, is so great that no mere mortal could have borne it. It was Christ’s lot to drink that cup to its bitter dregs. Only a divine Savior could have survived it.

(2) Christ’s divinity was necessary to imbue his mediatorial labors with limitless value. An almost infinite satisfaction was due God in view of the sins of humanity. No finite being could pay such a price and thus answer the full requirements of strict covenantal justice.

(3) Christ’s divinity was necessary to quit God’s punitive wrath. The covenant of works required perfect and personal obedience, upon penalty of death. The consequent defection of Adam and Eve from their covenantal obligation plunged the whole race into an age-long rebellion against God. Only the Father’s costly sacrifice of his beloved only begotten Son was adequate to fulfill the just sentence due us all from the Almighty.

(4) Christ’s divinity was necessary to secure the Father’s favor. Not because God had to be forced or coaxed to love his people. Not at all. Indeed, the atonement did not „make” God love us, but rather is the expression of his love and indispensable condition of his covenantal favor towards us. Nevertheless, once God set his love on us to redeem us, and infinite penalty and positive righteousness was required to secure his eternal benediction. Such an accomplishment required the divine Savior.

(5) Christ’s divinity was necessary to redeem a people for himself. The divine Christ literally purchased his people Christ earned our salvation. We are saved by works: his works! Only a divine savior could have paid the costly purchase price for redeeming us from our bondage to sin and death.

(6) Christ’s divinity was necessary for the pouring out of the Spirit on his people. It was essential that our salvation be both accomplished and applied. Christ told his disciples that it was necessary that he ascend to the right hand of the Father in order to send the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:7). Only the eternal God-man holds the right to send the Spirit where he will, that his salvation might be applied to all his people.

(7) Christ’s divinity was necessary for the conquest of all his people’s enemies. Our Lord, the Captain of our Salvation, not only made satisfaction for the condemning power of sin, but also decisively destroyed the might of Satan, the world, and death. This destructive work of redemption required the infinite capacities of the divine Captain of the Hosts of the Lord.

(8) Christ’s divinity was necessary to accomplish our everlasting salvation. Our eternal blessedness essentially consists in the enjoyment of our Savior. He is not only the author of our redemption, he is the matter of it. He is not merely the means of our salvation, he is the goal of it. In glory we are not only made happy by him, but in him. Only a divine savior could serve as the great fountain of blessedness for all redeemed humanity.

Conclusion

As Dabney reminded us last century, this is a first order issue: „a prime article of revealed theology; affecting not only the subsistence of the Godhead, but the question whether Christ is to be trusted, obeyed, and worshipped as God, the nature and efficacy of His atoning offices, the constitution of the Church, and all its rites. He who believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ is a Christian; he who does not, (whatever his profession), is a mere Deist.” The force of Dabney’s logic is irresistible. „Who is Christ?” is a question we cannot dodge. We cannot distance ourselves from it. No one can. We cannot muse upon it in a state of detached ambivalence, because we are inescapably involved in its answer. We cannot be neutral about it, because Christ will not let us. We may either answer „God incarnate” and bow our knees, or we must answer something-anything-else and reject him. There are no other options. C. S. Lewis, in his classic address „What Are We To Make of Jesus Christ?,” offers perspective on the personal gravity of the question. We shall leave the final word with him: „‘What are we to make of Christ?’ There is no question of what we can make of Him, it is entirely a question of what he intends to make of us. You must accept or reject the story.”

Militianul convertit – Ioan Chertitie

PAGINA cu MARTURII aici

via alfaomegatv

veti avea ocazia sa vedeti si sa auziti o istorie nemaiauzita. Povestea lui Ioan Chertitie. Ioan Chertitie a crescut in preajma penitenciarului din Baia Mare. Dupa ce absolveste o scoala militara ajunge gardian in acest penitenciar. Care a fost destinul lui? Cum s-a raportat la brutalitatea si experientele dramatice care s-au derulat in interiorul penitenciarului din Baia Mare? Urmariti:

Ziarul adevarul.ro a raportat in 26 iunie 2011:

Cutremurătoarea spovedanie a unui torţionar:

„În sinea mea jubilam văzându-i cum tresăreau de frică

atunci când intram pe secţie”

Fost gardian în închisorile comuniste, în perioada 1982-1992, Ioan Chertiţie îşi recunoaşte atrocităţile şi povesteşte cum îi tortura pe deţinuţi. Torţionarul se „spovedeşte“ în faţa opiniei publice, dar le şi dă un sfat şi celor care de mai bine de 20 de ani nu vor să recunoască ororile din perioada comunistă.

Ioan Chertiţie, un băimărean de 55 de ani, este primul gardian de închisoare comunistă care mărturiseşte public nenorocirile pe care le-a comis în penitenciar. Comparându-l cu oameni politici care neagă şi acum lucruri întâmplate înainte de 1989 şi chiar la revoluţie, fostul miliţian pare să le dea un semnal celor care trebuie „să se cureţe interior”. Fie că este vorba de oameni politici importanţi, ca Ion Iliescu, sau de complici ai celor care au ascuns istoria adevărată de acum 20 ani, toţi sunt datori să recunoască simplu: „Am greşit!”.

Fostul miliţian Ioan Chertiţie a publicat o carte în anul 1992, „Confesiunile unui gardian”, în care mărturisea tot ce a făcut cu deţinuţii în 10 ani de muncă. Fie că e vorba de criminali, hoţi sau chiar bătrâni care ajungeau după gratii pentru că-şi tăiau viţelul din curte, Chertiţie avea acelaşi leac: „negrocalminul”, bastonul de cauciuc cu ajutorul căruia îi smintea în bătaie.

……

Avea 20 de ani când i s-a propus un post ca gardian la Penitenciarul din Baia Mare. La 1 septembrie 1982, la doar 22 de ani, a fost făcut membru de partid, pentru că avea origine „socială sănătoasă”, şi a fost angajat prin încadrare directă la penitenciar ca sergent major. A urmat un curs de trei luni la Bucureşti, pe care l-a absolvit ca şef de promoţie. Îşi imagina munca de reeducare romanţat şi spune că a avut un şoc în momentul în care a fost pus în faţă cu realitatea. „Oare noi educatorii nu suntem ca nişte medici care stăm la căpătâiul unui bolnav cu speranţa că într-o zi se va însănătoşi?”, spune fostul gardian. A început cu munca de jos, în postul de santinelă. Avea două ore de post şi câte o oră de pauză, oră în care era trimis de ofiţerul de serviciu să ajute supraveghetorul la plimbarea deţinuţilor.

Umilit de unul dintre colegi, plutonierul Şchiopu, în faţa puşcăriaşilor pentru că nu a vrut „să-i frece” cu comenzi şi trimis înapoi în foişor, Chertiţie mărturiseşte că şi-a luat „masca” de dur. A  început să exerseze în timpul postului comenzile văzute la colegii care chinuiau deţinuţii.  „Dorinţa mea de a ajunge pe secţie devenise nemărginită. În ora liberă, după ce coboram din foişor, fără să mă trimită nimeni, eram prezent în curtea de plimbare.

Vedeam în toţi deţinuţii pe cei mai periculoşi duşmani. În fiecare zi eram îndoctrinaţi cu ideea asta, iar acum efectul se produce asupra mea. Aveam deplina convingere că toţi cei care poartă haina vărgată merită tot dispreţul, deoarece nu sunt altceva decât pleava sănătoasei noastre societăţi. În tainica singurătate a nopţilor petrecute în foişor, ajunsesem să aştept cu speranţă  şi nerăbdare marea întâlnire cu hoţii pe secţiile de deţinere”, explică Ioan Chertiţie.

Disperat de eticheta pusă de colegi cum că ar fi „molâu”, Chertiţie şi-a schimbat comportamentul faţă de deţinuţi şi în scurt timp a fost numit supraveghetor pe secţia de deţinere. „Ceea ce îi intriga cel mai mult era faptul că dintre toţi supraveghetorii numai eu devenisem atât de zelos. Din acest motiv au început să mă urască. Simţeam asta din privirile şi gesturile lor, dar în sinea mea jubilam, văzându-i cum tresăreau de frică atunci când intram pe secţie. Mă simţeam un fel de Dumnezeu”, mărturiseşte Chertiţie.

„Vedeam în toţi deţinuţii pe cei mai periculoşi duşmani. Aveam deplina convingere că toţi cei care poartă haina vărgată merită tot dispreţul, deoarece nu sunt altceva decât pleava sănătoasei noastre societăţi.”
Ioan Chertiţie
fost torţionar

„Am simţit mereu cum o mână misterioasă îmi răsfoieşte filele inimii. Peste ani şi ani mi-am dat seama că acea mână este «mâna străpunsă de cuie».”
Ioan Chertiţie
fost torţionar

Trezirea la realitate şi mărturisirea păcatelor

Într-o zi, Chertiţie escorta mai mulţi deţinuţi la Tribunalul Judeţean Maramureş şi, în timp ce asista la îmbarcarea deţinuţilor încătuşaţi doi câte doi, din mâna unei femei blonde s-a desprins un copilaş de şase sau şapte ani. „Eram cu pistolul-mitralieră în poziţie de tragere, când pruncuţul a trecut pe lângă mine. Puteam să-l opresc cu uşurinţă, dar am rămas nemişcat. Puiul de om s-a apropiat de un deţinut care tocmai se pregătea să urce în dubă. L-a prins cu mânuţa de mâneca zeghii, apoi s-a agăţat de cătuşe plângând „«Te iubesc tăticule! Te iubesc… Vin şi eu cu tine…»”, spune fostul gardian.

La scurt timp, a urmat un al doilea moment, la fel hotărâtor pentru Chertiţie. Din funcţia de supraveghetor trebuia să lectureze toate scrisorile primite de deţinuţi de la familie şi lectura unei recipise scrise de un copil tatălui aflat în detenţie l-a determinat să-şi schimbe comportamentul. „Mi-a atras atenţia în mod deosebit, o scrisoare la finalul căreia o fetiţă a scris cu o mânuţă tremurătoare cele mai tulburătoare cuvinte pe care le-am citit vreodată: «Dragul meu tătic, afară a început să ningă, iar tu de ce nu vii să ne jucăm cu zăpadă?». În seara aceea am simţit că încet, încet, masca de ceară a gardianului dur, feroce, neîndurător, începe să se topească. În seara aceea, toate lucrurile în care am crezut s-au răsturnat într-o secundă. Dintr-odată am simţit că mi-e scârbă de mine şi de tot ceea ce-am făcut”, continuă Chertiţie.

„S-a trezit în mine sentimentul de libertate, voiam să văd ce este dincolo de sârma ghimpată. Para­doxal, de mic copil mi-am dorit să văd ce este în interiorul acelei sârme, iar spre finalul carierei mi-am dorit să văd ce este în afară”, mai adaugă torţionarul. Îndemnat de unul dintre foştii deţinuţi, Vasile Dragomir, a scris în 1990, pe vremea când încă era gardian la Penitenciarul Baia Mare, cartea „Confesiunile unui gardian”, care a fost reeditată de cinci ori de atunci, şi pe care a lansat-o în 1992, când şi-a încheiat cariera.

……

Scârbit de tot ce a făcut, după ce o perioadă de câţiva ani a dus o viaţă destrăbălată, a făcut parte din mafia alcoolului şi a fost chiar el alcoolic, Ioan Chertiţie s-a întors către Dumnezeu. „Domnul îţi trimite semne. Infractorii adevăraţi sunt, de fapt, în libertate, nu după gratii”,  spune fostul gardian. În anul 2006, a făcut parte din comisia care a deshumat osemintele lui Iuliu Maniu la Sighet şi spune că a fost profund uimit şi mâhnit că gardienii de acolo nu au avut curajul să spună ce s-a întâmplat în acel penitenciar.

„Eu am recunoscut cu francheţe că am fost produsul acelui sistem comunist. Mesajul meu către clasa politică actuală este următorul: Curăţaţi-vă interior prin mărturisire”, spune torţionarul şi adaugă unul dintre citatele lui favorite din Jurnalul Fericirii al lui Nicolae Steindhardt: „Nu orice păcătos are dreptul să se suie pe cruce. Ca să te poţi răstigni şi elibera trebuie mai întâi să te căieşti, să-ţi mărturiseşti vina în public şi să recunoşti: Am fost un  porc”.

Chertiţie recunoaşte că a trăit într-un sistem şi a vrut să fie produsul lui. A avut puterea să recunoască şi să spună:  „Mi-e scârbă de mine şi de tot ceea ce-am făcut”. De la Revoluţia din decembrie 1989 au trecut aproape 21 de ani, iar de la primele mineriade 20 de ani. Responsabilii de atunci tac, păzesc încă secretele sistemului şi nu spun nici măcar: „Iertare, am greşit!”.

„Toate lucrurile în care am crezut s-au răsturnat într-o secundă. Dintr-odată am simţit că mi-e scârbă de mine şi de tot ceea ce-am făcut.”

Citeste tot articolul aici – http://www.adevarul.ro/actualitate

De la sfarsitul de video, Ioan Chertitie: A fost un pagan, chiar daca se numea crestin, nu avea valori Biblice. Insa Dumnezeu i-a trimis in viata sa un predicator, ca la temnicerul din Filipi. Si din momentul cand s-a intalnit cu predicatorul, Dumnezeu i-a prins atentia. Si trebuie sa va marturisesc din tot ce stiu  eu pana acuma – Chertitie a fost un tortionar in sistemul comunist. Insa, din tortionar, si asta este interventia miraculoasa a lui Dumnezeu. Din tortionar, devine o torta pentru Isus Hristos si pentru mine lucrul acesta este supranatural. Mantuirea pe care Dumnezeu o da oamenilor- lui Chertitie si tuturor celor ce il cauta pe Isus Hristos este viata supranaturala.

Al Mohler on Halloween

What to do about Halloween and your kids? Dr. Mohler writes about its roots and also notes the fact that there is a difference between celebrating a holiday like Halloween vs. the Christmas holiday:

While affirming that make-believe and imagination are part and parcel of God’s gift of imagination, Christians should still be very concerned about the focus of that imagination and creativity. Arguing against Halloween is not equivalent to arguing against Christmas. The old church festival of “All Hallow’s Eve” is by no means as universally understood among Christians as the celebration of the incarnation at Christmas.

and he calls on parents to make careful decisions on what their children celebrate:

Christian parents should make careful decisions based on a biblically-informed Christian conscience. Some Halloween practices are clearly out of bounds, others may be strategically transformed, but this takes hard work and may meet with mixed success.

The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity.

Read the full article here – http://www.albertmohler.com/2012/10/29/christianity-and-the-dark-side-what-about-halloween-4/

Stalker sermon – open air preaching in Atlanta

from Wretched TV – Thanks to Gabi Bogdan for this video. Open air preaching is an instrumental teaching tool. You may say, „Well, I cannot do what this man does, I cannot preach. I don’t feel comfortable talking to other people about my faith.”

While most of us will indeed not be preachers, we all have a deep love for our family and friends and we care for those around us if we indeed have met Christ and have been saved from an eternal separation form God when we put our faith in Him and trusted Him for our salvation.

That is why we love to watch open air preaching videos. You can see and learn how to reason with someone who is not saved. The greatest tip, which is also shown in this video with Josh Williamson of http://www.operation513.com (Australia)- is to pray and ask God to take over your thoughts and your speech when witnessing to people about salvation.

Uploaded by  on Jan 31, 2012

This episode of Wretched TV (http://www.wretchedradio.com) was filmed in Atlanta (USA) and features Josh Williamson. After this open air two people professed faith in Christ.

http://www.JoshWilliamson.org

Psalmul Televizorului

Vezi si- Un hot deosebit, poate il cunosti aici

1 Corinteni 10:23 Toate lucrurile sînt îngăduite, dar nu toate sînt de folos. Toate lucrurile sînt îngăduite, dar nu toate zidesc.

Se poate aduce omagiu televizorului ca si Domnului? Dar daca schimbam cuvantul televizor cu ‘calculator’? Ne cam da de gandit… comparativ, cate ore pe zi le petrecem cu Domnul?

De la sora Viorica O.

Psalmul televizorului

Televizorul este pastorul meu, totdeauna voi dori mai mult
El ma duce sa ma intind pe sofa ,el ma duce departe de credinta
Si imi distruge sufletul si ma povatueste pe cararea sexului si al violentei

Din pricina numelui sponsorului.Chiar daca ar fi sa umblu prin valea responsabilitatilor crestine
Nu va fi nici o intrerupere caci Tv va fi cu mine
Cablul si telecomanda ma mingaie
Imi intinde o reclama in fata lumescului meuImi unge capul cu umanism si consumatorism
Pofta mea este plina de da peste ea
Da, lenea si ignoranta ma va insoti in toate zilele mele
Si voi locui in casa uitindu-ma la televizor
Pina la sfirsitul vietii mele.

Sfarsitul lor va fi pierzarea ,Dumnezeul lor este pintecele si slava lor este rusinea lor ,si se gandesc la lucrurile de pe pamint . Filipeni 3;19

Un hot deosebit – poate il cunoasteti

Pentru ca am postat Psalmul Televizorului aici, m-am gandit sa re-postez si acest articol care l-am mai postat anterior. Citeste Psalmul televizorului aici – Psalmul televizorului

Nici n-aş fi visat că el ar putea fi un hoţ! Ne împrietenisem de scurtă vreme. „Un comic a devenit comis voiajor”, au fost cuvintele cu care m-a întâmpinat zâmbind. M-am interesat în legătură cu originea sa. A spus că avusese legături cu diferite distilerii de rachiu. De asemenea, era în relaţii cu o firmă producătoare de ţigări. „În prezent sunt reprezentantul unei reviste”, continuă el.

Astfel că l-am lăsat să intre în sufragerie.

„În viaţa mea alcoolul şi tutunul nu au nici un loc”, i-am spus în mod expres. „Deoarece sunt credincios, trupul meu este templul Duhului Sfânt.” Convingerile mele l-au lăsat absolut rece. El voia să-şi păstreze părerile lui, iar eu puteam să le ţin pe ale mele.

Vă imaginaţi că m-am îndoit de autenticitatea unora dintre povestirile sale. Şi totuşi, trebuie să admit că am găsit captivante multe dintre experienţele sale. L-am invitat să vină din nou seara următoare. „Poate că voi reuşi să am o bună influenţă asupra lui”, mă gândeam.

Soţia mi-a amintit că noua sa vizită se suprapune timpului de rugăciune de miercuri seara. „Da, ar fi trebuit să merg acolo”, am admis eu, „însă nu pot retrage invitaţia pe care am făcut-o acestui prieten.” Soţia nu a fost încântată de această vizită. Ea a zis: „Pur şi simplu nu am încredere în el.” Ea a devenit tot mai îngrijorată, pe măsură ce el consuma tot mai mult timpul nostru.

Ziua îmi părea plictisitoare în comparaţie cu serile în care ne vizita acest ins. El a avea o fantezie captivantă. Stăteam acolo şi râdeam când îşi povestea aventurile. Conflictele lui cu legea erau de-a dreptul palpitante.

Povestirile sale aveau un farmec deosebit. De obicei ele aveau şi scene murdare şi de aceea trebuia să-l reduc mereu la tăcere.

După aceea a început să-i influenţeze pe fiul meu care e adolescent şi fiica mea care are nouă ani. Abia aşteptau să audă ultimele sale glume şi poveştile sale incitante. Ar fi fost gata să-l asculte ore în şir, dacă le-aş fi permis. Toate aceste diversiuni i-au împiedecat pe copii să înveţe şi i-au afectat şi din punct de vedere al sănătăţii. Până la urmă, am început să mă îngrijorez şi eu din cauza prezenţei acestui tip în căminul nostru.

Şi atunci s-a întâmplat ceva! A fost exact „picătura care a făcut să se reverse paharul”. Într-o zi am constatat că-mi lipseau mai multe cărţi. „Poate că tipul este un hoţ”, m-am gândit eu, „şi dacă este aşa, atunci cine ştie câte alte lucruri nu ne-a mai luat?”.

El arăta suspect. Eram atât de pornit, încât m-am hotărât să-i contactez şi pe vecinii mei. Am descoperit împreună că şi de acolo a sustras multe lucruri. M-am minunat de modul şiret în care a acţionat. În orice caz, s-a confirmat temerea pe care soţia mea a avut-o de la început.

Într-o altă familie s-a prezentat drept profesor de religie. Un alt vecin, om de afaceri, l-a considerat specialist în eficienţă. „El are ceea ce îi este necesar unui om de afaceri de succes.” Le-am propus acestor oameni să-şi controleze averea. Cei mai mulţi au descoperit că le lipsea ceva.

Am remarcat că dintr-o casă lipseau revistele creştine. În alta a dispărut Biblia. Am fost uimit să aud că ei au discutat acasă cu acest tip tocmai în timpul serviciului divin de duminică dimineaţa şi al orei de rugăciune de miercuri seara.

În cele din urmă, mi-am dat seama că vizitatorul meu era un hoţ împătimit. El a furat cărţile, revistele şi timpul meu. Însă cel mai mult mi-a părut rău de faptul că prietenia mea lăuntrică cu Isus Cristos a fost afectată ca şi serile în care aveam părtăşie cu familia şi cu prietenii mei.

Unii oameni au pierdut lucruri de valoare, nu doar mărunţişuri. Experienţele spirituale şi părtăşia familială au fost înlocuite cu o distracţie scurtă, superficială.

Acest ins nu mai vine în casa noastră. El ar fi de fapt inofensiv, dacă aş putea să-l ţin în frâu. Oamenii care fură nu sunt întotdeauna răi. Chiar şi acesta ar putea, uneori, să aducă veşti folositoare. În tot cazul, ar trebui să ţinem ochii deschişi, pentru că altfel ne va fura mereu câte ceva.

Din când în când îl mai văd pe la vecinii mei. El îi ţine în tensiune oră de oră. Am încercat să-mi aduc aminte de numele lui, ca să vă atenţionez şi pe dumneavoastră. Din nefericire l-am uitat. Însă iniţialele sale nu le voi uita niciodată. Ele sunt T.V.

Aş fi curios să ştiu ce ţi-a furat ţie TV. Timp? Timpul de părtăşie cu Dumnezeu? O lectură bună? Discuţii folositoare? Frecventa-rea serviciilor divine? Participarea la orele de religie din biserica ta? Controlează-ţi încă o dată lista! Vei fi probabil uimit de ceea ce vei constata că-ţi lipseşte.

Acest tip şiret îmi aduce aminte de un cal sălbatic. Trebuie să stai foarte bine pe el şi să ţii strâns de hăţuri, altfel o ia razna. Dacă nu-l stăpâneşti tu, atunci te stăpâneşte el pe tine.

Dacă vei învăţa să tratezi TV-ul – adică televizorul – aşa cum Pavel a tratat lumea, el va rămâne în limitele sale. Dar vei reuşi? Cu puterea ta, în mod sigur nu – însă întreabă-te dacă Domnul doreşte cu adevărat influenţa lui în casa ta! Ce faci dacă T.V-ul Îl pune pe Isus Cristos pe locul doi? Gândeşte-te la responsabilitatea pe care o ai faţă de familia ta!

D.H.

Almost (saved) – a poem by Ezekiel Azonwu

photo via http://www.superiorsilkscreen.com

thanks to Gabi Bogdan for the link- originally published on A Twisted Crown of Thorns

One of the most dangerous terms in English diction
if it could be translated into audio it would sound like
pbb-bb-bb-bb from the saxophone of Lisa Simpson
two words designed and strategically combined
to form the biggest oxymoron in the history of mankind
ALL-MOST
But see, as far as the world’s concerned, you could live your life vile
and could almost get away with murder if you had a nice smile
you could almost meet folks just to almost sleep around
and stop at your local clinic while you almost had a child.
see, ‘almost’ is no stranger to Satan. Here’s proof:
he only tells lies when they’re almost the truth
and it’s amazing in our incompleteness we find complacence
but if almost is one of Lucifer’s many traits
then we are inadvertently good Satan impersonations
But on the contrary, Christ did his job fully
and he proved he was God when he died on the cross like it was his duty
and to pardon my iniquities that I commited rudely
he resurrected from the grave just to tell death to excuse me
but excuse me, this is your life and that’s something I can’t impose on
but your body is God’s home which was alone about to get forclosed on
See, an almost Christian looks right but lives wrong
Can’t stand the conviction in Romans so they sit down to be comforted in Psalms
Never understood worship but loved to sing songs like I surrender all. . .MOST
Cuz it’s far to expensive to spend your life on something that doesn’t appeal to your five senses
see, nowadays, Christianity is like a Louis rag–
no function or use but we just rock it cuz it’s stylish
not righteous, but right-ish
So now all God sees is a pile of ISHmael’s when he intended for Isaac’s
And we’re moved by how we feel so we’re saved when we feel like it
so technically we’ve never really been saved we merely tried it.
So no wonder why we’re never sold out when we return it after we buy it
Let me break it down because you need to beware
that your life could lack the very standards that need to be there
Cuz on that final day of judgment while God’s receiving his heir
will he say, Son, well done or [spits] medium rare!
Cuz even by earthly standards it would be highly insane
to start spending all of your money days before you almost get paid
like parents, you wouldn’t send your kids to a school that’s almost safe
and ladies, would you really date a man who claims he’s almost straight?
and this is the very thing about God that we all try to get around
but his standards are like between two mountains–no middle ground
so a halfway life is unprofitable to you
cuz after all the Sunday service, Bible studies, and prayer meetings
and everything that goes between, God will say I never knew you
But that’s not even the worst part of living your life as neutral
it’s that you were once arctic but it is your lukewarmness that is causing him to spew you
and this is the very thing that had me
I was bound and held down by the unforgiving gravity of my spiritual reality
I was a Christian, or at least I portrayed the fantasy
With a filthy personal life but a “God bless you brother, how you doin’ sister?” personality
I was a male enveloped by guilt because I was stamped a sinner
My message couldn’t be received because I didn’t represent the sender yet I was almost delivered
Till that one day when I totally, absolutely and completely surrendered
I took heed to a modern prophet who proclaimed it was time for change
now I’m no longer bound to sin point-blank off the chain
You can ask Umar Abdul Mutallab, he’ll tell you the same–
you don’t almost go to jail when you almost blow up a plane
like you don’t almost go to hell when you almost get saved
despised the cross that he was slain and thus the cause for which he came
but don’t worry i’m almost done, but before i leave this stage
we have all worked in sin and death was minimum wage
but if it wasn’t for Christ we would have almost got paid

Uploaded by  on Mar 22, 2010

P4CM’s Lyricist Lounge presents ALMOST (saved)
by Ezekiel Azonwu March 6, 2010

Matthew Mead – The Almost Christian Discovered; Or, The False Professor Tried

English: Engraving of Matthew Mead (Meade), no...

English: Engraving of Matthew Mead (Meade), nonconformist minister. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an online book recommendation, and a thoroughly excellent one from Gabi Bogdan, for the book The Almost Christian Discovered. In it Mead shows 20 ways you can come close to being a christian, yet find that you are not truly saved. Here’s an excerpt from Mead’s introduction that gives us an insight as to why and for whom he wrote the book. Also, not Mead’s pastoral care for those weak in faith that they do not get discouraged in reading his book:

Reader, You have here one of the saddest considerations imaginable presented to you, and that is, „How far it is possible a man may go in a profession of religion—and yet, after all, fall short of salvation; how far he may run—and yet not so run as to obtain.” This, I say, is sad—but not so sad as true; for our Lord Christ does plainly attest it, „Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in—and shall not be able!” My design herein is, that the formal, sleepy professor may be awakened, and the hidden hypocrite discovered; but my fear is, that weak believers may be hereby discouraged; for, as it is hard to show how low a child of God may fall into sin—and yet have true grace—but that the unconverted sinner will be apt thereupon to presume; so it is as hard to show how high a hypocrite may rise in a profession—and yet have no grace—but that the true believer will be apt thereupon to despond. The prevention whereof, I have carefully endeavored, by showing, that though a man may go thus far, and yet be but almost a Christian—yet a man may fall short of this, and be a true Christian notwithstanding.

Judge not, therefore, your state by any one character you find laid down of a false professor; but read the whole, and then make a judgment; for I have cared, as not to „give children’s bread to dogs,” so not to use the dog’s whip to scare the children! Yet I could wish that this book might fall into the hands of such only whom it chiefly concerns, who „have a name to live—and yet are dead;” being busy with the „form of godliness,” but strangers to the „power of it.” These are the proper subjects of this treatise. May the Lord follow it with his blessing wherever it comes, that it may be an awakening word to all such, and especially to that generation of profligate professors with which this age abounds; who, if they keep to their church, bow the knee, talk over a few prayers—think they do enough for heaven, and hereupon judge their condition safe, and their salvation sure—though there be a hell of sin in their hearts, „and the poison of asps is under theirlips;” their minds being as yet carnal and unconverted, and their conversations filthy and unsanctified.

Matthew Mead, a Puritan who lived form 1629-1699. Monergism.com gives a short history of the life of Matthew Mead here:

English: John Owen (1616-1683)

During the time of Oliver Cromwell’s rule, Mead identified with the Independents. In 1658, Cromwell appointed Mead curate of Mew Chapel, Shadwell, near Stepney; however, Mead lost that position after the Restoration.” Joel Beeke, Meet the Puritans, p. 444.

„In 1669, he formally became William Greenhill’s assistant pastor at Stepney. Shortly after Greenhill’s death in 1671, Mead was asked to succeed Greenhill as pastor. He was installed by John Owen on December 14.” Ibid., p. 445.

„Mead succeeded Owen in 1683 as a Tuesday morning lecturer at Pinner’s Hall, a position he held until his death. He wholeheartedly supported John Howe’s attempt in 1690 to unite Presbyterians and Congregationalists. Mead was asked to preach for the service inaugurating „the Happy Union of Independents and Presbyterians” in Stepney on April 6, 1691.” Ibid., p. 445.

„Mead died at the age of seventy on October 16, 1699. John Howe, who preached at Mead’s funeral, called his friend a „very reverend and most laborious servant of Christ.” Ibid., p. 446

The Almost Christian Discovered;
Or, The False Professor Tried

By Matthew Mead, 1661

Matthew Mead AUDIO gems

„You almost persuade me to be a Christian!”
Acts 26:28

Click here for PART 1

Dedication – To the Reader – Introduction

Click here for PART 2

Question I. How far a man may go in the way to heaven—and yet be but almost a Christian? This shown in twenty several steps.

1. A man may have much knowledge—and yet be but almost a Christian
2. A man may have great and eminent spiritual gifts—and yet be but almost a Christian
3. A man may have a high profession of religion, be much in external duties of godliness—and yet be but almost a Christian
4. A man may go far in opposing his sin—and yet be but almost a Christian
5. A man may hate sin—and yet be but almost a Christian
6. A man may make great vows and promises, strong purposes and resolutions against sin—and vet be but an almost Christian
7. A man may maintain a strife and combat against sin—and yet be but almost a Christian
8. A man may be a member of a Christian church—and yet be but almost a Christian
9. A man may have great hopes of heaven—and yet be but almost a Christian
10. A man may be under visible changes—and yet be but almost a Christian
11. A man may be very zealous in matters of religion—and yet be but almost a Christian
12. A man may be much in prayer—and yet be but almost a Christian
13. A man may suffer for Christ—and yet be but almost a Christian
14. A man may be called by God and embrace his call—and yet be but an almost Christian
15. A man may have the Spirit of God—and yet be but almost a Christian
16. A man may have faith—and yet be but almost a Christian
17. A man ma ay have a love to the people of God—and yet be but almost a Christian
18. A man may obey the commands of God—and yet be but almost a Christian
19. A man may be sanctified—and yet be but almost a Christian
20. A man may do all the external duties and worship which a true Christian can—and yet be but almost a Christian

Click here for PART 3

Question II. Why is it that many go so far and yet no farther?

Question III. Why is it that many are but almost Christians, when they have gone thus far?

Question IV. What is the reason that many go no farther in the profession of religion, than to be almost Christians?

Application

Use of Examination – Use of Caution – Use of Exhortation

Iosif Ton – Cand s-au golit bisericile din Europa?

Iosif Ton: Doi factori au golit bisericile in Europa, doi factori au secularizat Europa:

  1. Teoria evolutiei
  2. Teologia liberala, sau cu alt nume- critica Bibliei (necredinta in minuni, etc.)

Pastorul Vasile Barac la Seara de Evanghelizare Arad-Gradiste

Vezi si alte programe de la Biserica Betania Arad-Gradiste aici:

Am uitat de acest video care l-am avut inregistrat de la inceputul anului cand Biserica Betania a tinut Saptamana de Evanghelizare. Acest program este din ultima seara si invitatul bisericii este Pastorul Vasile Barac Din Biserica nr. 2 din Sibiu. Predica incepe la 1 ora si 11 minute. Textul- 1 Corinteni 1:17-31

Tim Keller – video from the simulcast about his new book Center Church + Q & A

This recorded webcast with Dr. Timothy Keller, hosted by Zondervan and The Gospel Coalition. Dr. Keller discusses his book, „Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City.” Published on Oct 19, 2012 by 

Also, listen to the first chapter (in audiobook form) of Tim Keller’s new book Center Church: In Center Church, Timothy Keller outlines a broad theological vision that connects classical evangelical doctrine to holistic and vibrant ministry expression, particularly in globalized, urbanized settings. Published on Jul 13, 2012 by 

This panel discussion was filmed October 19th, 2012 at The Gospel Coalition’s New England pre-conference. Timothy Keller, David Wells, Richard Lints, and Stephen Um answer questions asked by the audience via Twitter. Their conversation focuses on how to contextualize the Gospel in various ministry settings. Published on Oct 26, 2012 by 

Vladimir Pustan – Porunca # 7

PAGINA Vladimir Pustan PREDICI AICI

sursa – Radio Torino Biblic – Timisoara Marsul Invierii 2007 (foto Gabi Gul)

Vladimir Pustan:

Caile adulterului, un subiect greu dar de actualitate. Vreau sa va spun ca sfanta Scriptura nu-i vulgara ci e directa. Unul dintre lucrurile pe care le-am vazut in anii acestia este ca biserica nu se apleaca asupra unor lucruri pe care societatea si scoala le prezinta deformat.

Traim intr-o vreme foarte grea, intr-o vreme foarte dureroasa in care biserica trebuie sa-si faca datoria. Oamenii trebuie sa inteleaga ca asta nu este o porunca marginala, ci una puternica a sfintelor scripturi.

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