All His Adversaries

We worshipped with the church at Elgin Hills last Sunday, and part of our study was in the book of Luke:

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him. — Luke 13:10–17 (NKJV)

Something hit me as we read that passage. All His adversaries. It occurs to me that not all His adversaries were in the room, per se. Yes, there was the hypocritical ruler of the synagogue. Some Pharisees were probably in the room, too. But was there anyone else in view here?

The Greek word we translate “Satan” is literally “adversary.” The devil was among those adversaries put to shame that day. Jesus even made a point of saying that it was Satan who had bound this woman for eighteen years. Yet Jesus Christ, in but a moment, with a word and the touch of His hands, loosed the bond that Satan had had over this woman for nearly two decades. Put to shame indeed!

D&D Table

From the D&D Table: Stunning Paper Cut

Jim plays the party monk and has described his character this way:

I am cut like a knife!! And, if you think I wear a shirt, you are mistaken.

In an encounter with a fearsome owlbear, as Jim reached with steely resolve for his faithful 20-sider to roll a Stunning Blow, we heard the following:

I’m going to try and stun him again—OOPS! I think I just got a paper cut.

Entertainment Religion

Kathy Griffin’s Booby Prize

While blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, it’s a good thing for comedienne Kathy Griffin that blasphemy against the Son of Man may be (Matthew 12:32). You see, Miss Griffin won an Emmy for her reality program on the Bravo channel, and Reuters reported on her acceptance speech:

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus,” an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. “Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.”

Classy, for sure. I haven’t seen Miss Griffin’s television program, but I imagine that she is correct about one thing: Jesus is likely the last person who would give her an award.

At the same time, she does highlight how silly it is for gangsta rappers, promiscuous rockers, and depraved Hollywood types to thank God for their awards. If you want to see the things of Galatians 5:19–21 on parade, take in almost any modern movie or primetime television program. Listen to today’s popular music. To thank God for that rubbish can only be an insult to God! But I digress.

Griffin dismissed her comments as a joke:

Griffin’s reaction to the imbroglio, according to a statement issued by her publicist: “Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?”

A sense of humor? If you think, “Suck it, Jesus,” is funny, you’ve proven to me that you don’t have a sense of humor.

Even if you could somehow make the case that there is some humor here, there are some things you just don’t joke about. “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:10). If the very name commands homage, how can it be right to direct such a scornful insult—kidding or not—at the very Son of God? God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit must, without exception, be the objects of utmost reverence.


Apostrophic Failure

OK, class, let’s review: apostrophes indicate possession, not plurality.  Therefore when you write, “Wilson’s,” you are not referring to a group of Wilson family members; you are referring to something that belongs to someone named “Wilson.”

Let us consider an example in which the writer intends to say that members of the Wilson family are accompanying his own family:

The Wilson’s are coming with us.  (incorrect)

The Wilsons are coming with us.  (correct)

If you are writing in the form of first sentence, stop it.  Right now!

And while I’m at it, regardless of how strange it may sound, add es to pluralize surnames ending in s (for that matter, x or z, too):

The Collins’ invited us to dinner.  (incorrect)

The Collinses invited us to dinner.  (correct)

As you can imagine, having a last name ending in s myself, I have suffered this transgression many a time.

Back to apostrophes.  Yes, to pluralize a single letter, add ’s (e.g., p’s & q’s), but I haven’t seen any surnames consisting of just one letter. (Well, except for Mr. T, but there’s just one of him.)

Your reading assignments for this evening:

Class dismissed.


Tower of Babel, Part II?

Genesis 11:4 (NKJV) reads as follows:

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

Well perhaps you’ve heard about The Nazareth Cross:

The Nazareth Cross Project aims to build the world’s largest and most impressive cross, standing at 60 meters tall, housing a magnificent church in its center. The cross will be decorated by some 7.2 million brilliant mosaic tiles of varying sizes, each one with a personal engraving. These tiles will be made of stone from Nazareth, or platinum, silver or gold.

The breathtaking Church with its panoramic view will be located at the intersection of the arms of the cross, 15 stories high, and will contain over 400 m2 of floor space.

Words like “the world’s largest and most impressive cross, standing at 60 meters tall” sound an awful lot like “a tower whose top is in the heavens.” What should impress the Christian? Something he builds or the God who built him?

Also, who is the object of worship here?

Worship is an essential part of the Christian life. The breathtaking setting of the Church Within, located at the intersection of the arms of the cross, is 15 stories high and contains over 4500 square feet of floor space. This church will provide a stunning 360° panorama and an inspirational worship setting.

What exactly is “inspirational” about being fifteen stories high with a panoramic view?  Stunning?  Probably.  Aesthetically pleasing?  Sure.  But the focus of those things is self, not God.  As Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4, it’s not about where you worship, but how you worship.  And if being fifteen stories up with a panoramic view makes you feel closer to God, I fear that your god may not be who you think he is.


Loosing the Language

Am I the only English speaker who still knows how to spell the word “lose?”  Some samples from the Internet:

McCain Loosing His Mind! — McCain VS Fact

Israeli Army Chief Not Loosing Sleep Over Iraq Fears —

Housing, which had set sales records for both new and existing homes for five consecutive years, has been rapidly loosing altitude this year, as consumers were battered by rising mortgage rates, soaring energy prices and a slowing economy. — Associated Press /


Maiden Voyage

Hello and welcome.

After years of thinking about it, I have finally put up a blog. I kept thinking I would come up with a site design and customize a WordPress theme to fit that design, but I never got around to doing the design. I ultimately decided that, if I would ever get this ball rolling, I would have to set up the blog first and do the design later.

So, look for the design of this site to change in the near future to make it more, well, me.