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2.20.2005    |    "a stone that causes men to stumble"
Thus spoke the prophet Isaiah, preaching about God Almighty, the "one you are to fear." In Chapter 8, Isaiah tells us:
13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread,

14 and he will be a sanctuary;
but for both houses of Israel he will be
a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
a trap and a snare.

15 Many of them will stumble;
they will fall and be broken,
they will be snared and captured.
So it was, thus will it ever be. Today we see and hear of countless examples where we stumble, where we fall, because we have not heeded His word. When we do not fear the Lord, and follow His precepts. Where we do not love our neighbor.

You want particulars? Any time some hoodlum robs someone at gunpoint; when a husband beats his wife; when we allow someone to freeze to death because they are not clean enough to invite into our homes. Whenever some jiveass wannabe hoodlum starts rapping about "hos" and "gangstas" with foul language and dirt. Whenever we allow a Christian to be persecuted by the heathens. Things, big, and small, that are sinful. When we do not have the fortitude to label sin as sin, or to love the sinner by not accepting his sinful behavior.

The list is endless, and in almost infinite variety. Our ability to sin, to spit in God's eye, is a reflection of our fallen nature, our total depravity. The reflection, and the reality, that we are born depraved in body, soul, intellect, and will. That we are dead in the spirit unless and until those chosen for grace allow themselves to receive it.

Love God. Receive His unearned grace. Then you shall, as surely as day follows night, fear the Lord and love your neighbor.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.