The following is a recounting of a true story involving my grandfather, Fred Heerema, during World War II. I remember the story originally being told in various forms by my grandmother. This telling is by my father, Jim, and was originally published in the Des Moines Register sometime prior to 2002. (We’re still hunting down the exact date, but it is long enough ago that it is not in their online archives).
This recounting of the story is dear to me, and I hope it will be a blessing to you as well. I also have a few brief reflections after the story.
After my last post, some folks wanted more detail, I won’t give it. I’ll give you more philosophy.
The disparate opinions on “who to vote for” held by good, trustworthy, and faith-filled brothers, including several major christian thought leaders (Billy Graham, Randy Alcorn, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ray Comfort, and others) makes this point evident: There is no crystal-clear direction on who to vote for outline in scripture. Scriptural principle applies, yes, but I’ve heard many different formulations of how those principles apply. This leads me to this conclusion: who to vote for is primarily a matter of conscience. And so primarily we ought to lead our brothers and sisters to vote with a clear conscience, however that might shake out for them as individuals. Continue reading
(Updated: I am a terrible writer without a proofreader. Also, the reaction has been as expected. :()
I will not vote for Barack Obama. My rationale is simple: he holds a vastly different ideology on what government should be than I do. VASTLY different. So that part is easy. I don’t need to take time to line the items out. Read the conservative punch-list of complaints against him. You’ll get the idea.
The problem is, I don’t think I can vote for Romney either. For lots of reasons. Lining them out here would be irrelevant to my point, and it would cause many (who have already done so) to try and convince me that the wise thing to do is compromise my convictions. Sorry. I cannot do that “..for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.” Martin Luther.
Apparently, from the reaction I get to this thought when I express it, I will be single handedly responsible for Barack Obama’s re-election. “A vote against Romney is a vote for Obama.” I’m sorry, but I reject that idea. My personal vote for president (as opposed to congress) actually counts for very little, unless I am someone of influence, and thus sway masses upon masses with my choice. My job, along with yours, is to vote my conscience, and to make a lot of noise about why. Continue reading
“So… App.net, it’s like Twitter, only with way less people on it, and you have to pay for it… uh….”
Two things happened recently that convinced me to take the App.net plunge. First, they changed their pricing scheme, lowering the bar to entry. I can try it for a month for $5, rather than having to commit $50. Brilliant. What made me move however, was the Netbot app by Tapbots. I collect Tapbots apps. Yes this is backwards, but I have the feeling I’m not alone.
24 hours in App.net snapped me back into social media reality (heh…) It reminded me that I’m doing Twitter wrong. In fact, I’m doing Facebook wrong too. Continue reading
In studying for an upcoming talk, I pulled out one of my top 10 favorite modern Christian books: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life to remind myself of what Don Whitney says about corporate worship as a spiritual discipline (to help us grow in godliness.)
I commend this book to every believer, unreservedly, but allow me to pick a nit on a point I think he misses slightly. (Perhaps I am misunderstanding him or he has clarified elsewhere.)
In commenting on “worship in spirit and truth”, he says that “unless the heart is plugged in, there’s no electricity for worship.” And quotes John Piper: “Where feelings for God are dead, worship is dead.”
But then he goes on and draws this curious dichotomy:
So we must worship in both spirit and truth, with both heart and head, with both emotions and thought. If we worship too much just by spirit we will be mushy and soft on the truth, worshiping according to feelings. That can lead anywhere from a sleepy tolerance of anything in worship at one extreme to uncontrollable spiritual wildfire on the other. But if we worship by truth without spirit, then our worship will be taut, grim, and icily predictable.
Wrong. Worship “by truth without spirit” (as if that were possible) is not worship. It is dead, re-read the Piper quote. (Actually read Matthew 15:8 where Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13).
I appreciate the caution against emotionalism, a needed warning in our age, but oh! How I long for (true) spiritual wildfire to be the thing that marks our church!
I contend that it is impossible to worship “too much just by spirit”, but rather the danger is in worshiping without truth. (Which is perhaps what he means when he says “just by spirit”.)
My proposal: ground yourself firmly in the truth and pour on the affectional gasoline! Behold the magnificence of God’s revelation in the scriptures and gasp in wonder! Close your eyes around tears of joy! Lose yourself in the bliss of gratitude that you, a wretched enemy of God, were reconciled by the blood of God’s only son!
You cannot worship too much in spirit. Worship without spirit, no matter how full of truth, is no worship at all. And worship without truth, no matter how spirited, is no worship at all.
Worship in blazing spirit, and rock-solid truth.