Monday Miscellanies: Religion

A guest post by Jonathan Edwards

ll. Religion

It may be said, if religion be really the very business of men, for which God made them, it is a wonder ’tis no more natural to them. The world in general, learned and unlearned, say little about it; they are very awkward at it, as if it were contrary to their nature. I answer, ’tis no wonder; because sin has brought them down nearer to the beasts, a sort of animals uncapable of religion at all.


What Astronauts See When They Are in Space

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20).


To what extent should churches and pastors engage in politics?

Each day, I have a short (“short” is relative) discussion with the junior high pastor (Jack) at my church about any topic related to theology, culture, or practical living. We rotate who chooses the question every day. Today, the question was the title to this post. I plan on posting one or two takeaways from the better discussions we have.

The posts will be abbreviated, and I realize I risk oversimplifying the answers to these tough questions in a 500-word-or-less post. But I hope these short blogs are an appetizer to fruitful debate that can happen in the comments section.

Jack and I agree on most subjects.  Hopefully we won’t someday and it will turn into a swashbuckling bar-brawl, Indiana Jones-esque fight scene.  Okay, maybe not.  Nevertheless, when we disagree, I hope to faithfully represent the other side of the debate here.


Now for the couple that has it all…

My good friend Vern sent me an article from the Omaha World Herald that ran yesterday morning.  The article is about divorce insurance that’s going up for sale in Dayton, Ohio. Here’s a depressing snippet:

WedLock policyholders buy units of coverage. Each unit costs $15.99 per month and provides a cash payoff of $1,250 if the policyholder divorces. A spouse who, for example, buys 10 units stands to collect $12,500 in the event of a divorce.

The policy does not mature for four years.

After four years, the units increase in value by $250 per year.

Could there be a bigger abomination to God’s glorious design for marriage?  Thankfully, not everyone in Dayton is going for the madness. The article reports: “Greg Schutte, director of Dayton-based Marriage Works Ohio, said couples would be better off using the money on things that would strengthen their relationship, such as couples counseling or regular dates.”

God’s original design for marriage is covenant love. This means that, literally, people stay with each other until death parts them. (Make sure to read this caveat: There are circumstances that do allow for divorce — like sexual immorality of any kind and physical abuse, yet reconciliation should be the first option, and divorce should be the last option.)

Divorce is a kind of death — that’s why people are selling insurance for it.  But it is a man-made death and not one that God approves of. Jesus said, “So [husband and wife] are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6).

Imagine planning for the biggest day of your life on any Saturday afternoon. You have a busy day planned. You speak to the caterer, then head off to the church to look at decorations, and pay a visit to the florist. Wait! You have an appointment with the insurance agent! The divorce insurance agent. What a grand way to begin your marriage.

Marriage is a covenant, a promise, a vow to be faithful to work through problems, hurts, and personal sin.  According to the article, 32% of marriages end before eight years. Know what happens next? Those people go and get married again, expecting it to be easier the second or third time around. Instead, they do the hardest years over again.

Most of us have problems in every relationship we are in — whether with our spouse, a neighbor, a parent, or a friend. Interpersonal conflict is everywhere. And what is the common denominator in all of your relationships? You. You have problems because of you. You are your own worst enemy. So stop blaming your wife or your husband. Stop running from your marriage(s). That is not going to solve your love problems. It’s only going to create death. And the death of divorce will only bring other kinds of death in ways you cannot fathom.

Read the whole article from the Omaha World Herald.


Some Striking Things in Scripture

This year I’m using a Bible reading plan to help me read it in a year, so I’m getting a lot of different doses of Scripture each day. Here are some things that have been particularly worthwhile for me this week:

  • God gave Adam stewardship over the earth. But he was not a faithful steward.  Jesus was made a steward over all creation, and was (and is) completely faithful in his dominion over it. Everything is under his reign and he has accomplished his Father’s will perfectly (Heb. 2:5-9; cf. Gen. 1-3).
  • Proverbs has a whole lot to say about making wise decisions with your tongue. Our words should bring life, not death, to everyone who hears. What a challenge.
  • The opening chapters of Isaiah are filled with so much bad news. Yet there is so much good news as well.  So much so that it is even more unavoidable (see 2:1-5; 4:2-6; 6:1-13; 7:10-15; 9:1-7).
  • It is impossible to read the words of Jesus in Luke and not be challenged to a radical lifestyle. The more I read, the greater sense I gain of my radical-less-ness.

And finally…

  • Jesus is coming back someday to make everything right. So there has got to be more than morning commutes and 8-5’s and attending church and football on Saturdays and long vacations.  I want to be ready.