What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert—himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt—Divine Reason.…The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn.…There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it's practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostration of the ascetic.…The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether.…We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. (G. K. Chesterton, "The Suicide of Thought," Orthodoxy, 1908)
Last week at our weekly Who Is Jesus? Bible study, we took a closer look at the humanity of Jesus Christ. We spent some time discussing the importance of Jesus the Son of God coming to earth in real human flesh. Christ's humanity was a crucial factor in His liberation of us from the slavery of sin: "For if by the transgression of the one [Adam] the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many" (Romans 5:15). Jesus had a real body that truly died and truly rose from the dead. "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). Furthermore, He is a great High Priest for us who can sympathize with our weakness, because He took on our flesh (Hebrews 4:15). Even now, He acts as a Priest for us in heaven, mediating between us and God the Father: "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
As we dwelt on Christ's humanity, we ended up zooming in on an aspect of Jesus' human-ness which we easily overlook:
Jesus is a man.
In case you are confused and think that I just restated an obvious truth, let me put it a different way:
Jesus is not a woman.
Let me see if I can put a finer point on it:
Jesus is a man, and He has to be a man; He could not be a woman.
Tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7:30 PM we'll be having our first ever on-campus CNCF movie night! We'll be watching a classic '90s flick, The Truman Show (1998), starring Jim Carrey.
Join us in TV245 for pizza, fellowship, and some discussion afterwards!
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we begin our CNCF fall Bible study series entitled Who Is Jesus? On Tuesday at 7 PM we'll be in Foster-Harper in the Formal Lounge. On Thursday at 7 PM we'll be in the Wright Formal Lounge. There will be some time of interactive preaching and teaching, and then we'll break into groups for further discussion, prayer, and to get to know each other better.
In Jesus' day, there were a lot of opinions about who Jesus was. Some thought He was John the Baptist reincarnated, or Elijah, or some other dead prophet. But then He asked His own disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"
If Jesus asked you that same question…
If you've been around campus the past few days, you've maybe noticed a question chalked on the campus sidewalks: DOES IU WANT JESUS ON CAMPUS?
Wondering what this question means? I'll give you a hint: Indiana University is making a push to oust committed religious student organizations from its campuses. For decades, Jesus Christ has been more and more an outlaw here in Bloomington in particular, but this new University-wide policy signals a bold step for the University in making war on Christ and His kingdom.
Find out more at the CNCF Fall Kickoff in Woodburn 101 this Thursday at 8 PM (after CultureFest).
You're finally here! We hope you're getting settled in and geared up for your new classes, your new school year, and your new life. As you transition into life as a college student and life on your own, we're here to serve you.
We are Clearnote Campus Fellowship. We're an evangelical campus ministry rooted in the local church. We strive to see IU students know, love, and obey Jesus Christ. To find out more about what we believe, what we do, and what our mission is, you could click around the website. But hey, you didn't come to college to click around on websites. At least, I hope not. I hope you came to meet people! Well, we want to meet you, too.
The best way to meet us this week is to come to our Fall Kickoff this Thursday at 8 PM in Woodburn 101. We'll tell you all about who we are, what we do, and why. Come find out about CNCF on Tuesday nights, Bible studies, the Fall Retreat, mission trips, and more. And, you'll even get to hear some powerful stories of God working in the lives of real students.
Looking for a good church in Bloomington? Come on Thursday, and we'll get you connected with a ride to Clearnote Church this Sunday!
We're looking forward to meeting you!
Today we went on campus to help freshman students and their families carry mini-fridges, futons, and other dorm-room paraphernalia from their cars to their new rooms.
This week is Welcome Week. It's one of the University's most intense times of assimilating new students into the decadent culture of the University. Don't know what I mean? Here's a poster that shamelessly adorned the hallway of one floor we were on today:
All Scripture testifies to the value of human life.
I found an unexpected example of this last night as we read Esther 7 at our CNCF leaders meeting. At this point in Esther, Haman, the enemy of God and His people, has surreptitiously brought about a decree which enacts the destruction of all Jews in the Persian Empire. Queen Esther comes before King Ahasuerus (and risks her life in doing so) to plead for the lives of her people, the Jews. When appealing to the king, she makes this shocking statement which grates on our decadent Americanistic sensibilities:
If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king. (Esther 7:3–4, NASB)
Notice Esther's comparison. She says it would have been better for her people, the Jews, to suffer slavery and oppression, rather than to be annihilated. In fact, she goes so far as to say that, in comparison to annihilation, a mass oppression and enslavement of her people would not have even been worth the king's time. But their imminent extermination, an infinitely more grievous prospect than a life of suffering and affliction, warranted the potentate's attention, even at the risk of her own life.
Esther's godly reasoning speaks directly to one of the primary arguments in favor of the abortion holocaust going on in our nation. I've been told many times that it is better for a child to be murdered than for that child to be born into a life of poverty and potential suffering. And we're so easily taken in by this wicked reasoning. But this is not the teaching of Scripture.
Open your eyes and see the injustice going on around you. If you look back on the Holocaust and on American slavery and think that you would have risked your life to protect the afflicted Jews or Blacks, and yet you are unwilling to give a voice to the voiceless victims of our day, you are lying to yourself.
Brothers and sisters, we must be Esther.
We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image? It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world.
—John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ
Practicing effective Bible study on Psalm 3.