Truth

Veritati adhaereto
“Stick to the truth.”

 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:31-36

Truth and Knowledge: Dr Strange Magic


What are some themes in the Doctor Strange movie? 

People seeking answers in all the wrong places and falling for the same lies that humans have since Adam and Eve in the garden when Satan questioned God’s truth and promised that “you will be like God.” (Genesis 3:1-7) But good does win over evil in the end.

The Spiritual

Doctor Strange starts off as a materialist, someone who believes that all that exists is physical matter, what we can understand with our senses (see, touch) (3). Since there is no other reality, no moral truth of right and wrong, all he pursues is power, money and possessions, and he doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

But when he loses everything he learns there is more than meets the eye! We are more than just physical bodies!

“the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The Library

A major theme is the good guys and bad guys seeking knowledge and wisdom. Studying is generally good, but what you study can be good or bad. Much of the studying in Doctor Strange is of mysticism (magic, witchcraft, or occultism) or gnosticism which are bad.

mysticism (magic, witchcraft, or occultism) is the study of secret knowledge, supernatural powers, and or demonic forces (2). Or as Satan lies, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-7)

gnosticism is a false belief in secret or special knowledge or adding to God’s truth with mystical knowledge (2).

“Doctor Strange’s magic points real-world viewers in some potentially dangerous directions, spiritually speaking,” says PluggedIn (6).

Turn to the Bible for the truth. Study theology to learn more about God, His creation, His plan of salvation, and His plan for His new creation. Do not look for “secret” or “special” knowledge. God’s word, the Bible, is God’s very breath. Let it transform your life.

“… evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:13-17)

Theology: Greek theos which means “God,” and logos which means “reason,” “wisdom,” or “thought.” So, theology is to think about God (1).

The search for secret knowledge apart from God is nothing new. Satan in his pride wanted to be like God, and now he continues to deceive people into thinking that they don’t need God. From Satan, to Adam and Eve, to Nimrod, Noah’s great grandson, that studied astrology and mystical occultism and built the city of Babel (Babylon), where the tower of Babel was built (5). (Genesis 10:8; 1)

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared… Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 7-8)

Establish your knowledge in sound doctrine so that you will know the truth and know when someone has been deceived.

Doctrine: Teaching of the Church from the truth of the Bible.

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35, John 14:6, Romans 12:2

What I want you to understand is:

1. The movie is fiction. Much of the “magic” as seen in the movie is just pretend.
2. But, there are demonic forces, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil!
3. And they are very very dangerous because they want to deceive or trick us into denying Jesus.
4. But, we who live in Christ have nothing to fear! Jesus Christ has overcome death, and even the demons shudder! In fact, “whenever the unclean spirits saw [Jesus], they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.'” (Mark 3:11)

So, put on your armor and be prepared!

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10-20)



References:

1. “Who Needs Theology: an invitation to the study of God” Grenz and Olson, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1996

2. “The Concise Evengelical Dictionary of Theology” Elwell, Baker Book House Company, 1991

3. “Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms” Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1999

4. The Dobra Family Mission

5. “The Barbarians are Here: Preventing the collapse of western civilization in times of terrorism” Youssef, Worthy Books, Franklin, TN., 2017
www.amazon.com/Barbarians-are-Here-Preventing-Civilization-ebook/dp/B01MY9QH4X/

6. PluggedIn Movie Review www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/doctor-strange

“And God said”: words have meaning

Enchantment, chanting, charming, charm, glamour, cosmetics, cosmos, grammar, spell, incantation… what do they all mean, and what do they have in common?

Words have meaning! Words are magical!

Listen to “The Theology Pugcast: True Enchantment and the Consequences of Disenchantment” What an enchanting episode. https://crosspolitic.com/podcast/the-theology-pugcast-true-enchantment-and-the-consequences-of-disenchantment/ [Apple]

In [this] show Glenn begins with a marvelous series of word studies ranging all the way from “enchantment” to “cosmology”. His point is that our language is full of words that reflect a time when the world was full of meaning and words were spells that drew on those meanings. Undoubtedly, the very fact that we’ve lost the original meanings of words like “spell” and “magic” just reinforces the point that we now live in a disenchanted world.

Or do we? Tom points out in the conversation that what we actually have now is black magic. Our words now bend and twist things as we seek to dominate our world and other people. We’ve lost the “good magic” of Aslan and all we’re left with is the “black magic” of the White Witch.

Good Magic

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬ https://www.bible.com/59/gen.1.3.esv

Beware the black magic: “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes…

Be the good magic: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:14-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.4.14-15.esv

Put away the black magic: “Therefore, having put away falsehood…

Be the good magic: “let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.4.25.esv

Do not speak black magic: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…

Be the good magic: “but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.4.29.esv

Avoid the black magic: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness…

Be children of good magic: “but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.5.6-8.esv

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:1-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/jhn.1.1-18.esv

Black Magic

“Now the serpent… said to the woman, “Did God actually say…’?””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬ https://www.bible.com/59/gen.3.1.esv

Education: “Vindicate the honor of God!”

No longer walk as unbelievers do. Eph. 4:17

Put off your unbelieving way of life. Eph. 4:22

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Eph. 4:23

Raise your children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. Eph. 6:4

Our children bear the image of God. Gen. 1:27

Render to God the things that are God’s. Matt. 22:21

Let the children come to Jesus and do not hinder them. Matt. 19:14

Teach God’s instructions to your children all day long. Deut. 6:7

Do not be deceived by the sons of disobedience. Eph. 5:6

Walk as children of light. Eph. 5:8

“Vindicate the honor of God!”

Magdeburg Confession

Education: Classical Education – NSA

Highlighting some key thoughts from “The Theology Pugcast” episode featuring Dr. Benjamin Merkle, President of New Saint Andrews College. [ https://crosspolitic.com/podcast/the-theology-pugcast-an-education-with-class-an-introduction-to-classical-education-w-dr-ben-merkle/ ]

Let children discover how to think, how to reason, and how to persuasively argue a position.

Let their curiosity and ambition thrive and not force them to conform to the common core.

When you are allowed to think, you are free. When you can think for yourself instead of being told what to think, then you are free.

Develop critical thinking and leadership skills.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/rom.12.2.esv

“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/1co.14.20.esv

“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.

For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;

but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.””

Proverbs‬ ‭1:1-7, 20-23, 32-33


‭‭

Reformation Day

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation...

Reform: to make changes in order to improve.
Reformation: 16th century movement for the reform of the church.

Sola Fide, by faith alone.
Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

Be a light of the Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ in the darkness!

[Jesus] also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!”
(Mark 4:21-29)

Scripture is the source of truth, not traditions of men.

[Jeusus] answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

These people honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
They worship Me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commands of men.
(Mark 7:1-23)

 Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation…

Today, Luther’s legacy lives on in the creeds and confessions of Protestant bodies worldwide. As we consider his importance this Reformation Day, let us equip ourselves to be knowledgeable proclaimers and defenders of biblical truth. May we be eager to preach the Gospel of God to the world and thereby spark a new reformation of church and culture. (1) 

“What Is Reformation Day All About?” FROM Robert Rothwell Oct 29, 2014 www.ligonier.org/blog/what-reformation-day-all-about/

Do not be deceived by false teachers!

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many.
(Matthew 24:4-5)

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.
(1 Timothy 4:1-4)

Do not fear, even the Demons must obey Jesus!

As soon as [Jesus] got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him…
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!” For [Jesus] had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

“What is your name?” [Jesus] asked him.

“My name is Legion,” he answered Him, “because we are many.” And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” And [Jesus] gave them permission.
(Mark 5:1-20)

Martin Luther, Sola Scriptura, The Creation Museum.