Double Down–Monday Musings 10 January 2020

When playing blackjack, there’s a certain set of conditions when you want to “double down”; or so I’m told. The reason is to have an opportunity to double your winnings, or so I’m told. Today’s Monday Musing is about doubling down but not at the blackjack table–but in one’s spiritual life. Now here’s the passage I’m looking at this evening–James 3:10–12

10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

The context of these words of James is about our words. And I would never take Brother James out of context. But. . .there is a principle that is also present. Principles work in every situation. The Principle that Brother James applies to the “tongue” is verse 12. It’s a basic principle from nature: Something designed to produce only one thing, cannot produce something different.

Yet, there are many today who have forgotten this most basic Principle. So they have doubled down and actually think it works. We are seeing a culture of people who are trying to navigate life by doubling down. Unlike in blackjack where there are certain card combinations you would NEVER double down on, there are those who double down with the wrong “cards”. They live and operate with a double heart and a double mind.

They do this by mixing Biblical Truths with Cultural Values, with Cultural Values being the “Wild Card” that overrides Biblical Truths. They embrace their Cultural Value and then find a Bible verse to support it. And the verses that don’t support that Cultural Value–they either find an excuse why the Bible is wrong, or they simply ignore it altogether.

Truth is you cannot follow Jesus by trying to align the Bible with Cultural Values. Remember Brother James’ Principle: Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. You simply cannot align Biblical Truth with some Cultural Values. But you can do this: You can transform Cultural Values by faithfully living by Biblical Truths. You can try to Double Down with Cultural Values AND Biblical Truth–but The House will win every time, and you will lose.

3 thoughts on “Double Down–Monday Musings 10 January 2020

  1. This may be cultural apostasy…but the biblical narrative stories of faith…from Abraham through Paul…have nothing to do with achieving the American Dream.

    The God-composed journey of faith life-scripts transcend above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

    Christian discipleship is not about setting out on our own to acquire the material wealth and financial security that is central to a large part of the American Dream…otherwise Abraham could have stayed in the northern city of Haran and ran for mayor…taken more wives…and produced through his own efforts a large family for posterity.

    The life-script for Jesus the Son of God was as far from worldly conventional normalcy and thinking as is imaginable…to be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sins.

    Yet the life of Jesus was not only perfect in order to qualify for being the blemish-free Passover for sins…but it was the best human/divine life ever lived…because Jesus on the cross was doing exactly what He was supposed to be doing.

    Christian discipleship does not always parallel cultural expectations…but Jesus promises in the Sermon of the Mount that God will provide all of our material needs when we trust Him.

    Good post…thanks, Barton

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