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9.25.2005    |    Gloria In Excelsis Deo
This is the Latin title of one of my favorite Advent hymns, one that is instantly familiar to those who have never darkened a church door. Music by J. S. Bach, lyrics by God. Well, God as given through the Holy Spirit to Luke, in Chapter 2:
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
This little bit of Scripture, part of just about everyone's favorite Advent narrative, has a very serious and straightforward Reformed theological implication: God's peace, in the person of Jesus, is not for all.

No, God is not in favor of war. But the absence of war is not the peace that God promises us. Fluffy Bunny Christians and their first cousins, secularists notwithstanding, the peace brought by Christ Jesus does not directly relate to warfare. And it most certainly is not for everyone. That last phrase in Luke 2:14 is the killer: "on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased." This is a stumbling block for those whose knowledge of God only extends to His infinite mercy, and whose eyes are averted from God's likewise unceasing justice.

As our Lord has said, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). Are you among the sheep, or the goats?

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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.