Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kloss

Homily at the renewal of my parents wedding vows on their 42nd anniversary. This year is their 45th. 

Ephesians 5:25-33 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I have often told young couples entering marriage that they are not getting married for their comfort. This is always hard to for them to understand. In the first bloom of love – when two people are promising themselves to one another – that can seem a bit like a wet blanket.

Young couples have a hard time imagining that wedded bliss would be anything but happiness – they implicitly believe marriage guarantees fulfillment, unconditional love and the absence of conflict. Young men can’t wait to come home after a long day at the office to a perfectly clean house, where the little woman has dinner ready and piled high on the table. Young ladies can’t wait for the security, safety and protection their doting husbands will provide. Someone who finally understands them.

To try to tell the dewy eyed couple that marriage is meant to sanctify them in the most thorough and crushing and glorious way – is hard to pull off. Living 24/7 with someone who is going to know everything ugly, as well as, every beautiful thing about you – is a dangerous prospect.

To enter life with someone who, within a short time, will learn your deepest fears, the exact word to set you off, all the buttons and the proper combination of buttons, that turn you into a maniac. To have the highest hope for someone – who lets you down the most. To try to convince young couples that, like the path of our Lord, marriage is one of selflessness, sorrow, self-denial, humility, service and fellowship that leads to the highest vistas of glorious joy. That is a hard sell. Marriage was not created for comfort. But everything I am saying falls on hard ears in our day. Continue reading “Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kloss”

Raising Children To Shape Culture

The point of saturating chidlren in the word of God and cultivating a curiosity about God in every subject of study is to prepare encultured Christians who shape culture faithfully, from the basis of the Scriptures, with Wisdom and true understanding.

Don’t let your kids get up from the school table and go on auto-pilot. The ditches are utter renunciation of the world or wholesale whoredom with it.

God doesn’t want ghettos and he doesn’t want communities that are undistinguishable from the world. God wants children, standing on the firm foundation of His word, wisely shaping culture – their work, the arts, the media, sports, politics, medicine, etc with wisdom and devotion to Him.

Sit down with your children and teach them at a young age how to engage culture. Watch their favorite program. My little pony, for example. Ask them – what kind of God rules this world? Is there sin? How is sin atoned for? Is individual or community more important? What is the show about?

Read them Pooh Bear and ask what kind of God does Pooh believe in? Continue reading “Raising Children To Shape Culture”

Neutrality is a lie

There is no neutrality in Education because there is no neutrality in anything. No aspect of human existence allows us to be both the servant of God and the servant of Satan. The servant of self and the servant of God.

Double minded, double tongued men who are tossed about by every wind of an idea are abhorrent to God.

John Frame, “Christians think differently from non-Christians; and when they don’t, they should. In describing the difference between Christian and non-Christian thinking, Van Til argued that the two groups of people hold different presuppositions. A presupposition, for Van Til, was the most fundamental commitment of the heart, a commitment that governed human life. Some people are committed to Jesus Christ and seek to “take every thought captive” to him (2 Cor. 10:5). The rest are committed to something else, either another religion, a philosophy, a political movement, or their own reason. There is no neutrality. To paraphrase bob Dylan, “you gotta serve somebody.” Our presupposition always commitments govern all our life decisions, indeed all our thinking. And in the end there are only two presuppositions: the supremacy of God and the supremacy of something in creation, which scripture calls idolatry.”[1]

The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of Knowledge.

1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

“Knowledge” and “wisdom” are closely tied together in Proverbs: “knowledge” tends to focus on correct understanding of the world and oneself as creatures of the magnificent and loving God, while “wisdom” is the acquired skill of applying that knowledge rightly, or “skill in the art of godly living.”[2]
Continue reading “Neutrality is a lie”

The Crown of Wife

In Genesis God states that it was not good that man was alone. Adam, upon meeting his wife spoke the first recorded words of man, and in Hebrew, it is a poem.

Adam said, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Essentially, this woman is me. 

It’s better that you are married. But we have to understand that marriage is not the reward for responsible men – marriage is the means that God uses to make responsible men. Without your wife you were incomplete. And your response to her should be poetic praise. 

That completeness isn’t like icing on the cake. It’s not about having a cook or a housecleaner or extra income or something pretty clinging to your arm as you go about impressing everyone. 

Your wife completes you because she brings into your life all of the glorious qualities that make men higher beings than the animals. She softens you into creatures that are images of Christ. 

Marriage is a long obedience in the same direction and God uses it to shape men into little Christs. 

Gentleness, Patience, kindness, self-control – all the things you need to handle the weaker vessel. And the weaker vessel is the weaker vessel like gold is the softer metal. Gold is soft so that it is malleable –able to be shaped, molded and altered by the forces applied to into adorning objects of Beauty.  

You are that force.  Continue reading “The Crown of Wife”

Being and Doing

Comment on Mark 1:35-39

Amid a whirlwind of activity, Jesus seeks a still point in prayer with the Father. There is a suggestive parallel in wording between Jesus going out to pray (v. 35) and his going out to preach and expel demons (v. 39). The work of the Son of God is both an inward and an outward work. Jesus cannot extend himself outward in compassion without first attending to the source of his mission and purpose with the Father; and, conversely, his oneness with the Father compels him outward in mission. The significance of Jesus’ ministry consists not simply in what he does for humanity, but equally in who he is in relation to the Father. Jesus is, according to Mark’s narrative, neither contemplative ascetic nor social activist. He does not promote an agenda but derives a ministry from a relationship with the Father. He is the Son, one in being with the Father; and the Servant, one in purpose with his will.

 Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 66). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.

Church Newsletter 2018-10-10

Saints,

This last sermon was hard but so very necessary. So many Christians want churches whose ministry is to comfort in carnality and tickle ears with elegant and consoling words.

But Jesus is our only comfort in life and death. His peace comes only after the carnage of destroying sin. His life is offered through death. His righteousness is the only clothing in which to stand before God. What are your fig leaves?

The father is satisfied and loves you in Christ. Christ’s powerful word drives out the forces of Darkness. The scriptures are a scalpel, but the surgeon is good; a most gentle and compassionate physician.

Come and be healed. Come and rejoice. Come and die.

Filling up the edges

Hebrews 4:12–13For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

We know the revelation of Jesus is painful because it’s like surgery. We keep contact with the scalpel to a minimum. We don’t see it has a great reward because we can’t have it and our sin too. The evil inside us screams and writhes.

Just like the demoniac in the synagogue. Continue reading “Church Newsletter 2018-10-10”

Your Wife and Lady Wisdom

…husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…(1 Peter 3:7)

Many of us do not understand our women because we do not understand wisdom. We do not understand wisdom because we do not treat her like a woman. Throughout the book of Proverbs – a book teaching wisdom to young men – wisdom appears as a woman. Wisdom is personified as a noble lady whom one should pursue: 1:20–33; 3:13–20; 8:1–36; 9:1–18.

Lady Wisdom is contrasted with Lady folly and the whole book leads to a description of wisdom ultimately as a wife (Proverbs 31). Not all the aspects of Lady Wisdom are applicable directly to a man’s wife, but many are.

For example, Lady wisdom is an instructor, a schoolmarm ready to rap our knuckles (Prov. 1:20-25) reproaching us for tracking mud in the house, for our foul language and course manners. Lady wisdom instructs boys in how to be men; how take the initiative and bear responsibility. The man who pursues wisdom should learn to sit up straight and use his inside voice. Wisdom is pursued in humility.

Furthermore, Lady Wisdom is a wealthy patroness who invites us to a feast. Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table (Proverbs 9:1–2). A man who pursues wisdom ought to act like he was invited to a banquet at the palace of a fine lady. He should respond to the invitation properly, not eat like he was raised in a barn, but rejoice in what is served while rejoicing in the wisdom that comes alongside bread and wine. Wisdom is pursued with gladness and joy; wisdom is gained with a fork and knife.

The remaining features of feminine wisdom are more directly relevant to the man who wants to pursue wisdom as a means of learning how to live with his wife in an understanding way.

Lady Wisdom is a sexually attractive woman (Prov. 7:4) and should be sought as any sensible suitor would court a beautiful and intelligent woman. The name sister in this context should be taken the same way it is taken in the S.O.S. (Song 5:1).

The man who eagerly pursues wisdom is protected in the next verse from the “strange woman,” who flatters with her words. When wisdom is pursued and courted, seduction ceases to allure us. When Lady Wisdom is courted a man is protected from very real tramps, seductresses and harlots. The appeal for easy women is driven from us when we diligently court Lady Wisdom. When we come to see how beautiful Lady Wisdom is and we seek to win her hand, we are protected from sexual sin.

A man is instructed by Solomon to pursue and marry this woman and is instructed to be faithful to her. She is a precious treasure, never to be forsaken. “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you” (Proverbs 4:5–6). is a description of marriage.

The man who fails to honor his wife shows that he has no honor for Lady Wisdom and is therefore, a fool.

Furthermore, we read that Lady Wisdom is a mother, “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it” (Proverbs 8:32–33). But viewing wisdom as a mother enables a man to see his wife as a mother also, recognizing her high and holy calling.

This attitude toward wisdom – treating her as a woman – collides sharply with the approach of our age which sees wisdom as a pile of matter to be sorted, counted and organized into smaller piles by color, size and weight. The world teaches us that wisdom is a matter of brute facts as cold and unfeeling as an Allen wrench factory.

The bible says wisdom is a woman to be approached with a rose, a sonnet or both. If we want to obey Peter and live with our wives with understanding, we have to think biblically. Modern men have a false conception of wisdom that leads to little understanding about the world in which we live. No wonder we don’t understand our wives.

*This post was a men’s group message which is a rewritten paraphrase of Ch. 1 “Wisdom of women,” from How to Exasperate your wife by D. Wilson. DW gets all the props.