Bits and Pieces – 38th Edition – November 22, 2020
Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
On Friday, the Toronto Public Health did a walk-thru inspection of the Whitefield Christian Schools’ buildings as part of their on-going liaison with schools to check Covid-19 safety protocols. We are thankful the inspection went well as the administration and staff have tried to comply with all restrictions, including daily temperature screening, hand sanitizing, physical distancing, mask wearing and increased building sanitization. Despite much effort to ensure the safety of the staff and students, only the Lord can keep Covid-19 out of Whitefield and we praise Him for giving us eleven safe weeks thus far.
THE FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING
“It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” [1 Corinthians 1:21]
An earnest young Christian prayed that the Lord would bless his pastor, for it pleased God by the “preaching of foolishness” to save sinners. [1 Corinthians 1:21]. That unconscious mistake, or spoonerism, is near the truth in many pulpits today.
It is the “preaching of foolishness” that exalts a human, mutable philosophy and neglects the life-saving Word of God. Likewise when the cardinal doctrines are omitted or buried under a mass of human tradition. It is foolish preaching where everything is a mist and a haze and the unfortunate sinner has no idea from his preacher of the way to heaven. Preaching that never mentions the name of God, or the Holy Spirit’s essential regenerating work, or of justification alone, or redemption by the shed blood is foolishness indeed.
But Paul speaks in our verse of the “foolishness of preaching” and in so doing he gives the world’s view of the preaching of the cross. Why should it be seen as foolishness in the eyes of the world?
Perhaps because ordinary people receive it. There is snobbery of intellect that believes its superiority could not stoop to something so simple as the gospel of Christ. The gospel does not come by human speculation, but by divine revelation. Proud man does not like to acknowledge that fact. The world regards preaching as foolish because it punctures man’s pride. He does not like to be told that he is nothing and a nobody.
Yet that is exactly what the gospel does to the pride of man. This chapter tells us that not many mighty are called, but God has called the weak, the foolish, the base, and the despised into His kingdom.
Proud man wants to retain some of his glory, but the Bible shows us that he has nothing to glory in save the cross of Christ. And it is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” [Romans 1:16].
WHO IS IN CONTROL, GOD OR THE DEVIL?
“What saith the Scriptures?”…..Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule, or be ruled; sway, or be swayed; accomplish His own will, or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High,” the only Potentate and King of Kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power, the conclusion is irresistible that He must be God in fact, as well as in name.”
[From the Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. P15]
THE SALVATION ARMY “HOPE”
‘The Salvation Army Hope‘ is a four-page pamphlet sent out four times a year as part of their fund-raising campaign. The Army does a good job with the needy, but something is missing that causes concern.
It is remarkable that a paper called Hope should have no mention of the fountain of hope, Jesus Christ. Indeed, there is no mention of God at all except the perfunctory, “God bless you.” Within our multi-religious society, that could be any god. There is no mention of what “Salvation Army” means, or even a helpful quote from the Bible, or mention of the saving Gospel of Christ. Sin is not mentioned, and if the disease is not identified how can you persuade people that they need a cure? William Booth, if he were alive, would hardly approve. What would he think of a Salvation Army paper that does not mention the name of Christ at all? A letter was sent to Lt. Colonel John Murray, Territorial Secretary of Communication to highlight these glaring omissions.