From the Depths of Woe – John Boruff

Cover of Martin Luther’s version.
Psalm 130:1-4

VERSE 1

  A#                                      Cp          A#
From the depths of woe I cry to Thee 
      C(top4)           G  Em
In trial and tribulation; 
            A#                            Cp        A#
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me 
           C(top4)              G  Em
Lord, hear my supplication; 
      G      C                      D        A
If Thou rememberest every sin, 
  C      A#               D              A   G
Who then could Heaven ever win,
C(top4)                   G   E
Or stand before Thy presence?

VERSE 2

         A#                       Cp       A#
Thy love and grace alone avail
      C(top4)           G  Em
To blot out my transgression
            A#                     Cp                A#
The best and holiest deeds must fail
      C(top4)                    G      Em
To break sin’s dread oppression
      G              C                D             A
Before Thee none can boasting stand, 
  C      A#         D              A        G
But all must fear Thy strict demand,
C(top4)             G   E
And live alone by mercy

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones: A Reformed Charismatic – John Boruff

A talk about his book The Baptism and Gifts of the Spirit

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Beware of Snobs and Snobbery! – John Boruff

It is not confined to England although it seems to have been cultivated there; it is a universal plague of the worship of greed, materialism, and the lifestyles of the rich, the upper class, and the famous. Proverbs warns against it, Jesus warns against it, the Bible warns against it. True Christians should avoid it. Now for some definitions:

The Online Etymology Dictionary defines this for “Snob”:

1781, “a shoemaker, a shoemaker’s apprentice,” of unknown origin. It came to be used in Cambridge University slang c. 1796, often contemptuously, for “townsman, local merchant,” and passed then into literary use, where by 1831 it was being used for “person of the ordinary or lower classes.” Meaning “person who vulgarly apes his social superiors” is by 1843, popularized 1848 by William Thackeray’s The Book of Snobs. The meaning later broadened to include those who insist on their gentility, in addition to those who merely aspire to it, and by 1911 the word had its main modern sense of “one who despises those considered inferior in rank, attainment, or taste.”

Another definition was formulated for those who overreacted to snobbery. These people were called “inverted snobs,” and after reading it, I can admit that I’ve fallen into this mentality before:

Inverted snob is from 1909. “Then there is that singular anomaly, the Inverted Snob, who balances a chip on his shoulder and thinks that everyone of wealth or social prominence is necessarily to be distrusted; that the rich are always pretentious and worldly, while those who have few material possessions are themselves possessed (like Rose Aylmer) of every virtue, every grace” [Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1922].

It can be easy for some Christians, like St. Francis of Assisi to follow this idea, especially after reading things like this in the Bible:

Luke 6:20: “Blessed are you who are poor! For yours is the kingdom of God.”

Luke 6:24: “Woe to you who are rich! For you have already received your comfort.”

Luke 18:25: “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'”

1 Timothy 6:9-10: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Revelation 3:15-20: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

But then there is a moderating Scripture like Proverbs 30:8-9, which says, in a prayer: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 10:15: “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.” And finally Christian philanthropy is commanded in 1 Timothy 6:17-19: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

But these balancing Scriptures show us that the previous commands do not contradict nor overturn the others. The previous warnings against riches are really against an atheistic self-reliance that rejects faith in the providence of God (as in Deut. 8), snobbery or financial pride over those who are poor, materialism or preoccupation with physical commodities that can be bought and sold, and financially motivated crimes that can “plunge men into ruin and destruction.” But it all starts with snobbery. Snobbery can affect all classes of people, both the rich and the poor; although it seems to affect the rich more often. What snobbery is at the base is an obsession with the lifestyles of the rich and famous; and a mentality that makes endless rationalizations and excuses for the off-color elements that might be found in their lives. The rich are idolized so that all others may aspire to such a lifestyle. Scripture says, “The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends…Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man’s friend deserts him” (Proverbs 14:20; 19:4). So the rich will have popularity and “friends” who want to “get in on” the toys and playthings of their lives; but that is the only reason, so that they might use them and their wealth to have fun with their toys (for example, horses, yachts, etc). Gold-digger wives are no different. It is no wonder why these people tend to insult and hate poor people for no other reason than because they are poor; it is because they constantly idolize the rich lifestyle. William Thackeray’s The Book of Snobs, p. 22, says it like this:

Suppose be is a nobleman of a jovial turn, and has a fancy for wrenching off (door) knockers, frequenting gin-shops, and half murdering policemen; the public will sympathize good-naturedly with his amusements, and say he is a hearty, honest fellow. Suppose he is fond of play and the turf, and has a fancy to be a blackleg (a cheating gambler) and occasionally condescends to pluck a pigeon at cards; the public will pardon him, and many honest people will court him, as they would court a house-breaker, if he happened to be a lord. Suppose he is an idiot; yet, by the glorious constitution, he’s good enough to govern us. Suppose he is an honest, high-minded gentleman; so much the better for himself. But he may be an a–, and yet respected; or a rogue, and yet excuses will be found for him. Snobs still will worship him. Male snobs will do him honor, and females will look kindly upon him, however hideous he may be.

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Kindness vs. Rudeness: The Ultimate Factor in Good Versus Evil – John Boruff

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.                                                                                                –Ephesians 4:31-32

This string of moral commands come from one of my favorite passages of the moral law in the New Testament; what the NIV labels as “Living as Children of Light”: Ephesians 4:17-5:21. I love this passage so much. It flies in the face of the world, the flesh, the devil, and the hypocritical church. It provides clear, specific demarcations of what social behaviors are considered sinful and inappropriate for those intent on inheriting the kingdom of God and going to Heaven. Among these are a command against cussing: “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (4:29, KJV) and a strong prohibition against sexual innuendos and sexual jokes, and all off-color jokes, along with an anti-materialistic statement: “among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking” (5:3-4). This is a very clear passage of Scripture. 95% of the content in Hollywood movies are swept away by these statements. This is the way the world thinks and talks, you see it at school, you see it at the workplace, you see it out in public. But God is against it. Although I believe as the Puritans did, that all moral commands can somehow be linked back to the Ten Commandments, I believe its statements like these that make sinners inescapable from their sinful rationalizations, and really binds them in to keep the law of God totally from the heart, without compromise. Some Bible versions have sectioned Ephesians 4:17-5:21 off as “Rules for Holy Living.”

Within the context of this holy passage, we see what I now believe is the heart of the matter: kindness versus rudeness. We see this in 4:31-32, Paul says to get rid of “every form of malice,” and then he immediately says to “be kind and compassionate to one another.” In other words, “Don’t be mean, but be nice.” These are the sorts of things that parents teach their kids. Its simple. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Jesus said you have to become like a child in order to inherit Heaven (Matt. 18:3). But how many people really think this way? I don’t think very many do. Personally I believe that kindness is the touchstone of all Biblical morals. But someone might think, “But how does kindness counteract profanity and sexual immorality and coarse joking?” Easily. When people cuss, its usually to put someone or something that someone else values down. When people commit sexual immorality, it is hate against marriage, and a rejection of the spouse that God gave you. When people coarsely joke, again its linked to sexual immorality, just in verbal form. All sin can be linked with a hateful, or mean spirit. But all holiness can be linked with a loving, or kind spirit. Jesus said, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). That’s a teaching on kindness. In Jesus’ opinion, kindness summarizes the Ten Commandments; and all the moral law in Scripture. He meant the same thing again when He answered a rabbi about the question of which command is the greatest in the law of God: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:37-40).

This doesn’t meant that theology isn’t important, sound Biblical doctrine doesn’t matter, or that God doesn’t care what you think about evolution or Biblical criticism. Mainline liberal Christianity has pushed this message for over 100 years now. They latched on to Christ’s teaching on kindness and ran with it, ignoring pretty much everything else in the Word of God; and now, many gay people are running their churches, in clear violation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. So, we have to hold in tension Christ’s teaching on kindness with the condition that His definition of kindness fulfills and does not contradict the purity of the Law and the Prophets. The sexual, ethical, and moral commands of Scripture need to be the fence around which the garden of kindness is allowed to grow in the Christian life. If not, then the serpent will enter the garden, and tempt and deceive the mind and heart of kindhearted but naive Christians. To be kind is most important, to be sure, and for this we must thank both Jesus and Mr. Rogers for teaching this to millions of children. But Jesus went further than Mr. Rogers ever did: He said that kindness will fulfill the law of God, when properly understood and applied. Mr. Rogers didn’t do that. It is loving, but pure; kind, but holy; nice, but moral; and compassionate, but ethically driven. Jesus’ type of kindness is the essence of the Holy Spirit: the very nature of God; it should be the thought that every Christian should be running after always, in prayer, in life, with God by faith. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” How did Paul draw these conclusions? Because he had the same view as Jesus did about kindness, or love, which is just another word for it. The LAW OF GOD defines kindness the best: the nice, kindhearted nature is best understood by delimiting what it is not: impatient, envious, boastful, proud, rude, selfish, quick-tempered, extremely judgmental, sadistic, harmful, suspicious, hopeless, weak willed. Love or kindness is none of these things, not even close. Those are obviously the fruits of meanness, or hate. Through understanding and applying the morals of Biblical law to our lives, we get a clearer picture of the mental and emotional purity that God wants us to experience if we follow after that way, allowing our minds to be purified the more we give attention to these things.

So, to come back to my original point: I believe Ephesians 4:31-32, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and other Scriptures clearly show that love (or kindness) is essentially what God considers “good” (if understood through Biblical morals) and rudeness (or hate) is what God considers “evil.” So what is good and evil? The answer: goodness is kindness and evil is rudeness.

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Tell Me Why – John and Rebekah Boruff

Cover of “Tell Me Why” by Steeleye Span.

Verse 1

F                                           D
What is deeper than the sea?

G            A                       C     
What is higher than a tree?
F                                      D
What is louder than a horn?
G            A                           C
What is sharper than a thorn?

F                                          D
What is whiter than the light?
G             A                          C
What is darker than the night?
F                                        D
And what is colder than the clay?
G             A                            C
What is broader than the way?

Chorus

D           A#
Tell me why

F
So many questions
D           A#
Tell me why
F
The devil lies
D            A#
Tell me why
F                 D                           G
What will live or what will die?
D            A#
Tell me why
F
So many questions
D           A#
Tell me why
F
The devil lies
D            A#
Tell me why
F                  D                     G
What way leads to paradise?
D            A#       D          A#
Tell me why // Live or die (2nd time around)
D            A#
Tell me why

Verse 2

F                                       D
Hell is deeper than the sea

G                A                      C
Heaven is higher than a tree

F                                          D
And thunder is louder than a horn

G                A                         C
Hunger is sharper than a thorn

F                                          D
Truth is whiter than the light

G           A                          C
The devil is darker than the night

F                                         D
And death is colder than the clay

G           A                             C
Love is broader than the way

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Tell Me Why – Steeleye Span

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Gaudete – John and Rebekah Boruff

This is a cover of “Gaudete” by Steeleye Span.

Drop C

Chorus (2x)

2—-2–0    2—4–5    5—–4     2    0–0
Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
0    2   4—2-0-2–4    2—0—2
Ex Mari–a virgine: Gaudete!

Verses

Tempus adest gratiae, hoc quod optabamus
Carmina laetitiae devote redamus.

Deus homo factus est natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est a Christo regnante.

Ezecheelis porta clausa per transitur
Unde lux est orta salus invenitur.

Ergo nostra contio Psallat iam in lustro,
Benedicat Domino salus Regi nostro.

This song first appeared in Piae Cantiones (1582)
Here’s the English translation from Latin:

Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary: Rejoice!

It is now the time of grace, That we have desired
Let us sing songs of joy and give devotion.

God was made man and nature marvels,
The world was renewed by Christ who is king.

The closed gate of Ezekiel has been passed through
From where the light rises salvation is found.

Therefore let our assembly now sing,
Sing the Psalms to purify us;

Let it praise the Lord:
Greetings to our King.

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