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September 20, 2013

TISCIONE: Just the facts, ma’am

By LOU TISCIONE

Some may remember this line made famous by Jack Webb who played Sergeant Joe Friday on the “Dragnet” TV series. Living in our culture both in the world and in the church, Sgt. Joe would likely say, “Whatever you feel, ma’am!”

It seems that facts no longer matter. We have an image of what a leader ought to look like. Consultants do their best to make a candidate into what people feel he or she should be.

Many churches, perhaps the majority of evangelical churches, are built upon what people feel they need.

In both our political and church spheres, the “whatever you feel” philosophy has given us looks without substance. Character built upon past experience is missing. All that matters is what looks good. Focusing on the feelings of people, “felt needs” churches’ primary concern is attracting people.

Concerning the church, what are the facts? After pushing aside peripheral issues, I believe that we are left with two critical facts. The first is knowledge of God and the second is knowledge of man. Both of these have fallen on hard times in many churches. Yet they remain the most pure pursuits given by God’s revelation.

Psalm 104 reveals the one true God who ordains all things; has established all things; and who provides all things. The true God is “very great! … clothed with splendor and majesty.” He is the one who causes the grass to grow; gives man the means to eat; to be gladdened. God has “set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved,” verse 5.

Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God made everything out of nothing. He is the creator. He transcends His creation. He is not part of it. The cosmos is not all there ever is or will be! There is no such thing as eternal matter. The only eternal one is God, who is wholly self-sufficient. Fact number one is that God is! He is the one who rules all things. He is holy, holy, holy!

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