Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Jerry received a call from the elders this afternoon, and they still want to meet. Apparently they had a schedule conflict. So, perhaps this Saturday. We would appreciate your prayers.

Case of Base

Monday, February 27, 2006

God's Word does not return to Him empty

The missionaries stood us up – yet I praise God that they did. Why am I praising God? Because this means that Jerry’s first encounter with them went extremely well. Cultists are trained to flee from thinking individuals (like Jerry) and from the truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures.

I arrived at Jerry’s apartment just before one o’clock, when the missionaries scheduled our appointment. Fifteen minutes went by. Thirty minutes. Forty-five minutes. When the clock struck two we knew we had been stood up.

Where will we go from here? I doubt if Jerry or myself will have any future opportunities with these elders, but our work is not finished with them. You can bet we will be praying for their repentance unto life. Might the Holy Spirit be pleased to convict these young men over their ruined testimony with us. May the Lord remove the scales from their eyes so they can see the true and the living God of the Bible in His triune majesty.

Much of Evangelicalism in our land today might consider Jerry’s witness to have failed by not attracting them to further discussion. As a Calvinist I recognize that the proclamation of God’s truth is foolishness to the world. I imagine that these young men were puzzled by Jerry’s passion … passion about God’s gospel; passion about sharing that message with others.

Last week I finished up the book of Isaiah and took note of a passage familiar to many of us:

“10"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Jerry was faithful in planting seeds with these missionaries. Some might water those seeds at a later time. But God will accomplish His purpose with them – whether He causes those seeds to grow or to perish. And we will be careful to give God the praise for it.

Saved because of free grace,

Friday, February 24, 2006

Reaching the Latter-day Saints

If you have a moment, pray for myself and Jerry as we meet with LDS missionaries this Saturday afternoon. We intend to go over the basics of Monotheism (one true God) vs Polytheism (many true gods). This also means that we will have to define the Trinity – which I’m uber excited about. I’m guessing we’ll have about an hour with the missionaries (maybe longer if they decide to stick around).

Elder James gave a lecture years back at a church which is titled: “The Witnessing to Mormons Seminar.” During this lecture, James said something that is so important to keep in mind when engaged in apologetics – “Monotheism, the belief that there is only one true God, is at the core of Christianity. And while we know this basic truth, there are many in our world and even in our own land that don’t know this – Mormons don’t know this. Therefore you should be prepared to show all polytheists, including Latter-day Saints, that there is only one true God – the God of the Bible.” [disclaimer: that is definitely paraphrased =)].

I’ve met with dozens of LDS missionaries, and talked with hundreds of Mormons since I was 16, and not once have I met a Mormon who has had the Trinity clearly explained to them. I pray that Jerry and I are able to share with these elders (missionaries) our belief in the triunity of the one true God.


Mark your calendars because the Mormon Easter Pageant in Mesa is comin up fast. Alpha and Omega Ministries is planning to be out there during the English performances (dates/times tba). Let me know if you’re interested in handing out tracts during that week and witnessing to the Mormon people. Also let me know if you need help learning about Mormonism and/or how to witness to Latter-day Saints, and I’ll get you all the resources you need. I always re-read Is the Mormon My Brother? by James White before April to refresh the ol’ noggin.

Isaiah 45:5-7, “5"I am the LORD, and there is no other; Me there is no God I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, 7The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.” (NASB).

In the blessed Savior,

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Riding on Cloud 9

Did you know that Relient K is my second favorite band of all time? Well, they are. They’ve got some great ska-punk, punk, pop-punk, pop, and some slow tunes. Today I was enjoying “Let it All Out” from their Mmhmm album. A few lines in the song resonated with me:

“and You said I know that this will hurt
but if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse
if the burden seems too much to bear
remember the end will justify the pain it took to get us there”

This song pierced my heart as my thoughts were drawn to the awful memories of heresy spreading like gangrene amongst my circle of friends. I vividly remember my heart breaking as I saw friends abandon the faith and following after wolves in sheep’s clothing. This was a time in my life when I had real enemies.

But I knew then, as I know so much better now, that this was part of God’s purposes. The entire calamity in my life was from the Lord. God knew exactly how those trials would cause me pain, and yet He had those things happen just as He wanted.

Today I have the luxury of hindsight. Today I can see more clearly why God brought these trials upon me. I needed to have false teachers removed from my life. I needed to learn to appreciate certain doctrines like the future coming of our Lord on the Last Day. I also strongly believe that the Lord wanted to test my faith and my commitment to His truth.

By His free grace, my God has granted repentance to nearly everyone led astray by this destructive teaching. But there is more. God has completely restored my friendship with my best friend, Scott. The past two weeks I’ve been riding on Cloud 9. I’ve had so many blessed friendships over the past few years, but no one could replace my friendship with Scott. His older sister, Jen Nelson, *ahem* … I mean Jen Whitlatch, told me recently that we are two peas in a pod. It is very true.

The last line of the song is something I honestly apprehend. God not only predestines the ends, but also the means to accomplish those ends. This means that everything that happened over the past 3 and a half years was not some meaningless evil. They were for my benefit, and the benefit of all the believers involved. I was telling this to my good buddy Mark last night, and he reminded me of Romans 8:28, “28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (NASB). This verse is one that we are all are familiar with, but it has brought such joy to me. The Lord really does mean well for His people … in all things. Praise God for such mercies.

Trusting in the purposes of the Lord,
Case of Base

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Rioting over cartoons

If you’ve been following the news as of late you know that the Islamic world is having a fit over cartoons that were published depicting Allah and their prophet Muhammad. Danish newspapers were the first to publish the cartoons. Shortly after their publication, the Islamic World starts rioting. Not only has Denmark refused to apologize for the cartoons (defending their right to “blaspheme”), now several other European nations have republished the cartoons in protest of the Muslim violence. Their bold refusal to back down in the face of childlike behavior from Muslims has me very impressed. It is a wonderful day when I can report something positive about European politics and culture *grin*

I couldn’t believe my ears when I first heard the news about the havoc Muslims were causing in protest of a few cartoons. Has anyone else thought to themselves, “Are they really rioting over some silly cartoons???” Once you actually look at the cartoons (linked above) it is clear that they were meant to communicate a certain message: Islam produces terrorists. Personally, I would never print cartoons like that, knowing how the Muslim World would react. Rather I would try to communicate with Muslims through verbal or written communication in a respectful and polite fashion. Having said that … the cartoons are really not that bad. One of the cartoons I particularly enjoy – the one depicting Muhammad declaring to four men who are still smoking (presumably from suicide bombings), “STOP! STOP! – We have run out of virgins!”

Weeks and weeks have passed since the initial publication of these silly cartoons, and the rioting continues. I try to stay up to date on what’s going on in our world, and each day as I’ve read the news headlines there is a new story of some large group of Muslims rioting. Pakistan one day, Iran the next. Do these people have jobs? How are thousands of Muslims around the world able to drop what they’re doing on a moments notice to rally around the burning of American, Israeli, (and now) Danish flags?

One positive result from all of this rioting and violence is that many people are beginning to recognize that violent Muslims are not in the minority. The Islamic World is violent. Don’t believe me? Read Foxnews, CNN or MSNBC for one month, and you’ll be convinced. Islam spread by the sword under the direction of Muhammad, and throughout history has consistently relied on violence to further its cause wherever it went.

Consider the contrast between how Muslims and Christians react when faced with scrutiny. Muslims blow themselves up, riot, bring violence to the streets, and proclaim “Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to Denmark!” Christians, on the other hand, persuade with reasonable arguments. The contrast is telling.

I don’t know about you, but in the face of such hatred for our triune God, it is easy to become discouraged. One of my elders, James, pointed me to a verse that is immensely beneficial to keep in mind: Ephesians 3:20-21, where we read: “20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (NASB). Paul makes such a comforting promise in this text! God, who is able to do far more than we can imagine, will receive glory in His church in all generations! This means that the saints of God will continue proclaiming the gospel of Peace to all men. The gospel will go forth. Christ’s kingdom will continue expanding. And our Lord will continue to receive the glory and praise in it all! What a spectacular statement by the Apostle! Therefore, as the people of God, we should not fear. For God sovereignly rules this world, and He will continue protecting His Church – just as He has done for over two millennia.

Elder James will be debating Muslim apologist Shabir Ally on May 6th. The thesis: “Is the New Testament We Possess Today Inspired?” In light of recent events around the world, and James’ debate, I’ve decided to study Islam and how to witness to Muslims. I have been blessed with the friendship of Sam Shamoun, who works for http://www.answering-islam.org/. So I’ll be going to Sam and James for recommendations on all the resources I need to become adequately prepared in witnessing to Muslims.

As Christians, we need to be ready to give a prepared response to Islam. I hope to heed Peter’s charge: “15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (NASB).


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Paper You've Been Waiting For

A Defense of Non-Continuationism and Sola Scriptura

The purpose of this paper is to defend the belief that God has ceased from giving new Special Revelation, and that the revelatory gifts ceased with the conclusion of the first century. Therefore God’s voice is only found today in the inspired Scriptures. This view is called Non-Continuationism (commonly called “Cessationism”) and is presupposed by the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. The other position, Continuationism (commonly called “Charismatic”), believes that God continues to give new Special Revelation today apart from the Scriptures. This new Special Revelation is believed to be in the form of prophecy, tongues and/or divine impressions.

Quick note: “Non-Continuationism” and “Continuationism” are preferable terms to “Cessationism” and “Charismatic” because all Christians are “Charismatic” in that both circles believe the Holy Spirit is active in His church.

Before continuing on, we first need to define what kinds of revelation exist: (1) General Revelation, and (2) Special Revelation. “Dr. Warfield distinguishes the two as follows: ‘The one is addressed generally to all intelligent creatures, and is therefore accessible to all men; the other is addressed to a special class of sinners, to whom God would make known His salvation. The one has in view to meet and supply the natural need of creatures for knowledge of their God; the other to rescue broken and deformed sinners from their sin and its consequences.’ General Revelation is rooted in creation, is addressed to man as man, and more particularly to human reason, and finds its purpose in the realization of the end of his creation, to know God and thus enjoy communion with Him. Special revelation is rooted in the redemptive plan of God, is addressed to man as sinner, can be properly understood and appropriated only by faith, and serves the purpose of securing the end for which man was created in spite of the disturbance wrought by sin. In view of the eternal plan of redemption it should be said that this special revelation did not come in as an after-thought, but was in the mind of God from the very beginning” (Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology. 37).

General Revelation continues to be given to all men, as the Psalmist declares, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2, NASB). The Apostle Paul also wrote concerning General Revelation: “18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:18-21, NASB). Non-Continuationists and Continuationists agree that the light of General Revelation will continue being given until the return of Christ.

Special Revelation has been given in many ways down through the ages (Hebrews 1:1-2), but today is found only in the God-breathed Scriptures, and in no other source – whether that be prophecy, tongues, or impressions/feelings. David King, in his masterful work defending Sola Scriptura comments on Special Revelation, “The revelation of God is known to us in the New Covenant only in words, the writings of sacred Scripture” (King, Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith – Vol. 1. 35).

To continue reading, please download the paper HERE

Monday, February 13, 2006

Got a lot to say

I’ve got a lot to say today.

The Lord has answered so many prayers this week, I am blown away. I reconnected with my best friend, Scott. We cleared the air over everything that has happened over the past few years. It was so good to hear from him, and I cannot express to you the joy I feel having Scott back in my life. Out of the many things I lost as a result from damnable heresy (Hyper-Preterism / Pantelism), the loss of Scott’s friendship was devastating to me. Three years later, God has granted to both of us so much maturity. We’ve been able to talk through all the tough but necessary issues and be amazed at God’s purpose in it all. I have no idea how many hours we have spent talking thus far, but it’s been a blast. I’ve been praying for this day for over 3 years, and God, in His wisdom decided to restore our friendship now. I praise God for His wisdom.

My pastor asked me on Wednesday to share with our congregation the health struggles my mom is presently experiencing. That night I was greatly encouraged as a number of the men lifted my mom and my family up in prayer. It is good to be cared for by fellow believers. Ironically, later that evening around midnight, my dad took my mom to the hospital again. She was again having chest pains and tightness in her upper body. One of the questions the doctor asked my mom was if any of her medications had recently changed. It turns out that they had, and that one of her medications have been creating a potassium deficiency which is the cause for her chest pains. The doctor put her on potassium supplements and now she feels a million times better. What is interesting is that if her medication didn’t change, resulting in a lack of potassium, she wouldn’t have had chest pains … which means we would not have discovered this potentially dangerous “mass” in her chest. Isn’t God’s mighty hand amazing?

I hung out with my old dgroup from GCC after church last night. The topic for that evening was: “Does God continue to give new revelation today?” I was pleasantly surprised to discover that both of the leaders, Dan and Tim were in complete agreement with me. The topic was too much for just one night so Dan extended it to at least next week as well. I am so thankful we’re finally able to get around to the issues of Scriptural Sufficiency, w00t.

By the way, Wednesday I will be posting my paper defending Non-Continuationism (commonly called “Cessationism”) and Sola Scriptura. It’s a little lengthy, but necessary.

Thanks for reading yos (the plural form of “yo”)

This is Rusty, signing off.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

True Repentance

Wednesdays are my favorite weekday. Pastor Fry preached another amazing sermon from Psalm 119. Tonight he preached from verses 9-16. The Psalmist begins by asking the question: How can a young man keep his way pure?” His answer is incredible: “By keeping it according to Your word.” At one point Pastor Fry asked us the question: “Are you working on memorizing a verse/passage of Scripture at the moment? … isn’t God’s Word worth memorizing? and meditating upon? and rejoicing over?” It was a wonderful, convicting message.

After our prayer meeting, I headed over to my Bucks. I finished my preliminary note-taking from Miller’s Blue Like Jazz and I’m hoping to have the review finished by next week, Lw. Oh, and read a good chunk of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (second time through), w00t.

As Bucks was closing I ran into an old acquaintance. We migrated outside and spent some time catching up. During our convo he asked me something that was on his mind: Can a Christian be gay?

I answered that Christ commands men to repent from sin, or perish (Luke 13:3) – so a true believer would not continue and remain in a pattern of sin (like the homosexual lifestyle). Christ has saved us from the penalty of sin AND from the power of sin. This means that we are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to Christ.

He really did not like my answer. He informed me that he is gay and also a Christian. The conversation was suddenly very personal for him.

Again I pointed him to the Scriptures and reminded him that God has defined human sexuality. The Bible teaches us that it is natural for men and women to be attracted to the opposite sex (Romans 1). Furthermore, no man has an excuse before God because men have the Law of God written on their hearts and the light of creation. Therefore it is through great effort that sinners willfully suppress God’s truth in unrighteousness. We have gone to such great lengths to justify our sinful behaviors, including the notion that men, not God, can define their own sexuality.

In the end, my friend ended up agreeing with what I was saying. I encouraged him to turn from his sin and reminded him of the promise that God begins the work of salvation in His people, and He will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

I praise God for the opportunity to speak God’s truth about true repentance to this friend, and pray that God would (1) grant him repentance unto life, or (2) repentance unto restored fellowship with God.

1 John 3:10, "10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother."

In the Saving Faith,

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

This is too good

The horror of Reformed Baptists on the Rampage!

[hat tip to James White for the link]

Tuesday Odds and Ends

I’ve added a few links to the blogroll … Evan May (aka “Emay”) is a friend from AOMin’s chat room, #prosapologian. You can always count on him for exegetical and apologetic insights. Mike Porter (known to me as “Gobbler” or “Professor”) and his wife are members at my church, and have a blog to keep us updated on day to day life. Hannah Paasch has recently joined the blogosphere and is encouraging all around. Also, the Pyromaniac (Phil Johnson) has converted his blog into a team blog. More and more folks seem to be moving in that direction as team blogs are less demanding and can allow for a variety of topics.

I need some help figuring out how to set up my blog archives to link any months prior to 2006 under yearly categories. Anyone know how to do that? I’d also like to organize blog entries by category. If anyone knows how to do that, I’ll buy you a cup of Bucks coffee.

Thanks much!

This is Case of Base, signing off.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Prayer Request

You might remember me mentioning some of my mom’s health struggles over the past few years. Most puzzling for us is a pain in her side that the doctors have yet to determine the cause.

As recent as two weeks ago we rushed her to the Emergency Room because she had chest pains. We were thankful it turned out not to be a heart attack. But they did run an EKG (a chest test) to see if they could find out what’s going on. We were initially told that the EKG came back normal – that there were no problems with her heart. But Friday we learned that the EKG results actually came back negative (a doctor disagreed with the initial interpretation of the results). They have found a “mass” near my mom’s heart. What this mass is … we don’t know yet. It could be a number of things, the most worrisome being cancer.

So our first priority right now is determining what to do about her heart. After we get that taken care of, we’ll move on to focusing on her stomach.

Obviously our family is a little anxious, and we would appreciate your prayers. My parents have already set the example for us by agreeing that whatever happens is God’s will.

“6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NASB).

Trusting in the Lord,

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Followers of the Religion of Peace

Elder James made some brief comments on his blog that are a must read. He links to Michelle Malkin's blog showing pictures of faithful Muslims living out their faith.

Border "Issues"

Warning: The following rant contains unpolitically correct content not suitable for Democrats, extremist environmentalists, Communists / Socialists, war protesters, hippies, or liberals of any flavor.

How long has it been since we’ve tackled the issues surrounding our nation’s southern border? It seems ages ago. We (me) at Musings from my caffeinated highs want our (my) readers to have the same zeal for protecting our borders to the benefit of the United States.

An experience from yesterday, which I won’t discuss on this blog, has caused me rethink the present state of our border with Mexico. The US-Mexico border stretches to nearly 2000 miles, and each year millions of people manage to illegally sneak across the border into our great nation. It is estimated that today there are 12 to 20 million illegals in the US. Many of these people are Mexicans seeking to escape poverty, find better jobs, and provide for their families.

All that sounds well and good. But do any of these desires justify becoming international law-breakers, whereby your entire life is defined by sinful deception towards the country you hope to become a part of?

Don’t you care about those living in poverty Case? Sure I do! But the solution to poverty is not letting every poor person in Mexico (or the world) move to the USA. Can you imagine if tomorrow we granted immediate citizenship to everyone who wants it? We would have tens of millions moving here within the month! All that would accomplish is transfer the poverty of foreign lands to our own land. Furthermore, it is not the responsibility of the United States government to help third world countries, like Mexico. Mexico is responsible for Mexico. Something should be said that the US already gives more money to impoverished nations than any other nation in the world (we’ve given more than any nation in the history of the world for that matter). The United States is already doing more than enough.

Generally speaking, more and more crimes are committed by illegal aliens (other than illegally entering, illegal employment, helping others illegally cross the border). Illegals benefit from tax dollars, without paying taxes. Many refuse to learn English, which is devastating to American culture.

The kinds of immigrants I want are legal immigrants. It is such a slap in the face to the millions of foreigners around the world patiently going through the legal process of citizenship. You see, becoming a United States citizen is a privilege, not a right. I have a friend who happens to be a US citizen who married a Canadian. They waited for over two years after being married until my friend’s wife was granted citizenship! Two years! During those two years, I wonder how many millions of illegals broke the law by sneaking into America. Just makes me mad to think about.

Mexico’s President, Vicente Fox, isn’t helping things either. Last week he had a government agency begin mass production of maps of how to illegally cross into the USA. Ugh!

And think about this … if an impoverished Mexican can sneak across the border, so can a wealthy terrorist.

Here’s what I want: (1) a massive wall extending across the entire Mexican border; (2) Our National guard guarding the entire border; (3) Mexico’s cooperation in protecting our border; (4) our President and Congress to take this issue seriously; (5) illegals sent back to Mexico.

Right now I think it’s easier for everyone to turn a blind eye to this growing problem by pretending we don’t have a crisis on our hands. Well I live on the border and I can tell this is a serious problem. I hope our next President takes border issues more seriously.

Thanks for listening to this long rant =)