Just a Short Word

This story was published in The Christian Post a couple of days ago but it seems to have dropped down and is not that visible. But you can read about the topic at this link.

While Christians are supposed to love their neighbor and do good to them, such actions are not to be done in support of sin or disobedience to God. Our feeling and position is that we cannot support their decision to let homosexual couples adopt and raise children.

Our reasoning is simple. Not only are homosexual unions sinful and wrong, but we also do not see granting those couples who have rejected God’s ways and normal couple relationships the benefits that come with those ways they have rejected.

A normal homosexual union cannot reproduce and produce children. If homosexuals want to live with their same-sex mate, then they should do so without the benefit of raising children.

What is happening right now is that these same-sex unions are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They reject everything about normal relationships except the benefits and that is wrong and hypocritical.

If they are going to reject heterosexual unions, they must give up the benefits that come from heterosexual unions.

Think about this and see where you stand on the issue.

Ravi Zacharias Revisited

The reason we are still writing about this topic is that other people keep writing about it. In the Christian Post the other day, one author wrote about the hard questions in this issue.

We took a look at those hard questions and felt that our previous series on this issue answered them a lot better than the ones given in the article. One example is:

What do we do with Ravi’s books and teachings?…

Zacharias’ publisher has pulled his books from sale. His ministry has pulled his YouTube videos. I think this is right. Profit shouldn’t be made off an abuser’s work, and victims shouldn’t have to watch their abuser being adulated online anymore.

The response we made to that question and answer is that one, we already discussed this topic in a more detailed manner. Second, the author is wrong simply because one, Mr. Zacharias is not profiting from the sale of his books. He is dead.

Two, he is not profiting off of any alleged crime. His writings are all spiritual and turn people toward God and Jesus. That author also takes that concept from the secular world, not God’s word.

Third, we do not like the last reason he gave in that quote as he is promoting sugar-coating the world because someone’s feelings might be hurt. Well, the alleged victims must learn that the words Mr. Zacharias spoke were from God, and the world still needs to hear them.

We do not hide the words of God just because someone is going to be upset. The church has already tried that with the LGBTQ community and that strategy has not worked either.

We did not respond to the RZIM pulling of his sermons from YouTube as we did not see it earlier and that too is a big mistake. Hiding the words of God is not biblical nor right.

There were other questions we had not addressed in the comment section under CP and we will look at them now.

I came to faith through Ravi Zacharias. Is my faith based on a lie?

No, it is not. It is Jesus who does the saving and he used Mr. Zacharias to bring you to him. Your faith is not built on a lie simply because it is built on Jesus alone.

The vessel may be imperfect but the salvation is real if you meant what you did. If we based faith on the imperfections of man, no one would be saved as no one is perfect.

Can I trust any church leader again?

You can but as we have said many times throughout the years posting at this website, you ultimately have to double-check Christian leaders’ words because they may make an error.

There is no biblical call to have blind faith in Christian leaders or any human. You have to check their words with scriptures to make sure you are being told the truth. The Bereans did it with Paul so you have no excuse not to do it (Acts 17:11).

Peter tells us to make our own calling and election sure, so you need to do the work and make sure you are on the right track and getting the spiritual food you need.

Then you have to remember that, those Christian leaders who do sin, may not have done it to you. You do not have to rebuild any trust in those people who have not sinned against you.

One Christian leader who fails does not spoil everyone.

How could Ravi be so fruitful while living such a duplicitous life?

Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe everyone else is lying and he is telling the truth. After all, except for us and maybe a few others, everyone else is ignoring the testimony of those who were RZIM assistants and masseuses.

They said they saw nothing but professional behavior and that Mr. Zacharias did nothing wrong. But such testimony is ignored and trampled on as it does not fit the narrative they want to have about Mr. Zacharias.

God punishes disobedience, and we see that taking place at the first battle of Ai, David’s adulterous affair, and other leaders of God’s people. What was God’s punishment for Mr. Zacharias?

Then in a post over at one of two websites owned by oiou=our friendly nemesis, we have some comments to look at. You can read the whole post at this link

To be clear, I do not advocate for automatically assuming the accused is guilty. That’s never been my position, despite the claims of some. I also do not advocate for assuming the accuser is lying, or out for personal gain.

He is right, too many people have automatically assumed that Mr. Zacharias is guilty and based their conclusions on the words of others. We looked at the report, we looked at other articles and we do not see where he could be guilty and we have made our position and defense very clear.

Nor is he wrong that the accusers are to be automatically seen as lying, but given the nature of the case, the evidence, and past testimonies in similar cases, anyone remember the Kavanaugh confirmation, women do lie and the evidence is twisted.

Also, since the investigations were not conducted in a biblical manner, we can distrust the results and conclusions. No one is to blindly support a conclusion or report simply because a prestigious law firm conducted the investigation and wrote the report.

Without God’s help, the report is just another secular viewpoint without supporting verifiable evidence. We have gone through that report as well and written about it so there is no need to rehash what we have already said.

My view is that Mr Zacharias’ alleged victims would not come forward for fear of either being ignored or shamed, as is unfortunately typical for many victims of sexual assault. This matter is being pursued now to offer the victims closure, and peace of mind. It is happening because the truth is the truth, irrespective of when it comes to light. A person’s death does not mean their behaviour in life is suddenly off limits for discussion or criticism.

While he has a point, he is also wrong. The legal system is built upon the fact that the accused gets to face his accusers in court. You cannot use a secular principle in one area of the case where it benefits your point of view and dismiss another when it does not.

As for closure and peace of mind, those are topics best left for another day. They are not legal issues that need to be resolved and for the alleged victims to achieve those states, they either need to confess their sins and say they were lying or forgive Mr. Zacharias.

Bashing and falsely accusing a dead man will not bring those issues to anyone’s lives. As for the last line in that quote, the behavior has to be proven true first and the final report did not prove it.

Finally, there is this website on which we made a comment or two. He seems to be convinced of Mr. Zacharias’ guilt and did not keep an open mind. An activity most people on that side of the issue have done.

Our final comment to him was

It is best that you point your fingers at yourself and your own sins. Then seek Jesus and ask for forgiveness so you can be in heaven when you die. You do not get to heaven pointing fingers at others and calling them names.

Which is a comment made to all those who have attacked Mr. Zacharias and have done sinful things as well as made sinful comments. Our goal in this issue has been to keep people from sinning as well as defend a man who cannot defend himself.

Hopefully, that comment will help achieve those goals.

An Update & Some Thoughts

To get things rolling, we did send the C&MA links to our posts that included them. Like the time we sent a letter to our old C&MA college alma matar, we have not heard one reply.

We know we are not anyone special and we are not holding our breath in hopes of getting a response. The news release is still on the landing page at their website and we wonder when they will replace it with something else.

Also, we have been over at YouTube as that seems to be the place to go for anyone wanting to discuss this issue or hear like-minded points of view. The few we have listened to only talked the party line and did not question the Final Report or any of the other legal issues involved with this situation.

We noticed that Julie Roy was there spouting her point of view like an expert even though she was never an insider nor knows what truly happened in this situation. The lawyer Steve Baughman was interviewed about his lu=nch appointment with Mr. Zacharias.

It must be nice to be able to tell about an encounter without any worry that the other person cannot respond. The adjectives and other descriptive terms used by Mr. Baughman were certainly done to influence people to his side of the encounter and continue to paint Mr. Zacharias in a bad light.

We are not really happy with what we have heard from atheists and supposed Christians who are discussing this situation. Judging from the few likes we get, we are standing pretty much on our own.

We have not heard one person in those videos or news stories talk the way we talked or bring up the same biblical points we brought up. What that tells us is that people are not trying to be honest or biblical.

They are merely trying to keep persecution, insults, and attacks at bay by their joining the condemn Mr. Zacharias bandwagon. Plus, they seem to want to ‘look good’ to the unchurched world.

The Bible tells us that God looks on the heart, not the outward appearances. That is something that even ‘Christians’ do not do. We do not expect the unbeliever to do anything but support the side with the most dirt and criticism or the side that is taking down men of God.

Christians, on the other hand, should be following God’s lead and instead of resting their opinions and judgments on reports created by unbelievers and one-sided testimony, they should be applying holy standards and using biblical examples and insight to get to the heart of the matter.

They also need to keep in mind that unbelievers do not have the Spirit of Truth helping them. While they may think they see evil or sins taking place, they are not looking at the heart and their vision is impaired.

Christians need to be careful when listening to any unbeliever. When Christians become progressive or listen to the unchurched world, they are not listening to God and presenting a God not as he describes himself but as they describe him.

One cannot hope to bring anyone to Christ when they do not represent God or Christ as they represented themselves. They are bringing unbelievers to a different god and not winning any souls.

No one can respect any Christian who does that and no one has any interest in following God whose own followers do not obey his word. One thing we do know about this situation is that Mr. Zacharias brought people to the God of the Bible. He represented God as God represented himself.

Which is more than any progressive or other so-called Christian has done or is doing. And probably more than any critic of his is doing also. God sees their hearts as well and they may be in for a surprise one day when their hearts are revealed and their sins exposed for the world to see.

We would like to see someone step up and fill the void that has been left by the demise of Mr. Zacharias. One thing is for sure though, all the people taking the side against Mr. Zacharias have proven is that they are not qualified to fill that void.

 

The Secular World Does Not Have the Truth

There are 186 verses that pop up when you use the search function at Biblegateway to find all the verses with the word ‘truth’ in them. The Gospel of John has 22 of those verses and the only book of the Bible that has more is Psalms. It has 33 verses with the word ‘truth’ in them.

John’s gospel has the two most important verses when it comes to truth and we will get to them shortly. A long time ago we signed up at a teaching project now called OER and from time to time we get a newsletter from them.

In the most recent letter the following article was included and from the title of the e-mail {How can we teach our students truth?}, we felt it was important to discuss today. The actual title of the article is “How can we help students identify disinformation?”

We will quote many statements the author makes in that article and make some comments underneath each quote.

#1. Our students are living through a tumultuous time, and they are continuously bombarded with information from a variety of sources that can be contradictory and thus confusing. In addition, they’re exposed to an alarming amount of misinformation and disinformation. How do we help students make sense of it all so that they can make informed decisions about some very serious—and potentially life-changing—issues?

Currently, the secular world is very big on using certain adjectives that do nothing but inflame emotions and get people focused on the wrong things. This quote is just one example.

We see what is happening today as no different than any generation in any previous age, especially the baby boomer generation which had to deal with the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the ‘race riots of the 1960s, the hippies and more.

This time period is not anymore tumultuous than any other era. In the end, the author asks a very important question. How do parents, teachers, and leaders help students make informed decisions?

The key would be to tell the kids the truth. But that is not as easy as it sounds. As the Bible says the Spirit of Truth does not reside with the unbeliever (John 14:17). As you will see shortly, the world’s way does not really get the students to the truth.

#2. There are two historical reasoning skills that students need to distinguish fact from fiction and evaluate the motive and perspective of a source: claim testing and sourcing.

That is the world’s way of trying to come to the truth. But there are not foolproof nor are they the best ways to get to the truth. These ways still leave the student and the adult open to misinformation, false claims, and so on. The author goes on to say:

Even adults who consider themselves to be critical readers of information are often misled by sources that appear to be valid.

Being critical readers will not get one to the facts all the time. The problem with this statement is, the concept of valid is subjective. We know an atheist who doesn’t like any credible source that is older than 5 to 10 years.

There are many professors who only want their students to use sources that were written no later than 5 years ago. This restriction to vital information is manipulating the student into thinking that older sources do not have the correct information and are not valid.

That is not the way to get to the truth, for the newer sources may be in error and also missing vital information that was known 100 years ago. We have run into that situation as well.

That restriction is also keeping the student from finding the truth as the teacher, parent, etc., may have a personal bias against certain authors who have done important work.

Then, what about those sources that the professor accepted 3 years ago and were in the 4th and 5th year of that restriction? 3 years later, those sources, according to the rule, are no longer valid. That is just not right.

No one can put restrictions on information then hope to get to the truth. Even Wikipedia gets the data right some of the time.

#3. I asked if she had fact checked what she was claiming to be true. In return, I got the obligatory eye roll and “ugh.” Translation: “Mom, you are so lame.” But I made her Google her “fact” to find a reputable source to check the claim she had repeated. Learning that her claim was wrong after checking for herself was more powerful than hearing that information from me—especially after the eye rolling

While students need to fact-check, they cannot accept contrary information blindly. That is not getting to the truth. It is simply getting new information that contradicts another source.

Reputable sources get facts wrong. That is why many of them print retractions. Just because one source may be more famous and supposedly has better journalistic standards than another does not mean that they get everything right.

There are also other forces at work as well as the bias of the sources plays a large role in how news is delivered to the public, no matter the media used. Fact-checking only gives you more information to consider, it doesn’t always provide the truth.

#4. These activities will help prepare students to evaluate historical claims and sources, but you can also use them as models to test claims that students encounter in their own lives.

This is a problem and severely limits the students’ research ability. It is difficult today to do the above strategies for these claims. One, the amount of extant literature that remains is minimal.

Often we do not get the complete story of an event. Then, like Amelia Erhart, the information that is found may not tell the true story at all but one agency’s version of what might have happened or what that agency wants people to know.

For example, the only evidence there is for child sacrifice in Carthage does not come from the people of Carthage themselves. But their enemies. Since the enemies of Carthage are the only ones whose works have survived to this day, we do not know if the authors were credible, seen as an authority, or even spoke the truth.

Fact-checking and sourcing are very limited tools and only help get a person to the truth if they do a lot of other research and work. Also, the students need to be honest in their work and not let outside forces (parents, teachers, etc.) and the biases held by those sources influence their finding the truth.

We can say that these two tools are the lazy way to get at what is perceived to be the truth. Or accepted as truth. Given today’s political climate, the truth varies.

Then when faced with the evolutionary-creation debate, who is telling the truth? Fact-checking and sourcing will not be the solution here as both sides use science, both sides use facts and both sides have reputable people who are authorities making their claims.

Getting to the truth takes work and one needs help. For the believer God has provided that help:

the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you. (John 14:17)

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (John 16:13)

The first verse is very important because it tells the believer that the unbelieving world is not guided by the Spirit of Truth. rather they are guided by the father of lies.

No one can expect the unbelieving world to know more than God or what the truth is because the unbelieving world is deceived, lost, and are the blind leading the blind.

The second verse tells you that the Spirit of Truth will guide all believers to ALL the TRUTH. The church cannot be the light unto the world unless it has the truth. It won’t get to the truth if it and its members continue to follow the unchurched world.

#5. It almost makes me nostalgic for the days when flat Earth and fake moon landings were the most bonkers conspiracy theories out there.

The bold is ours as we are tired of hearing those words, especially when they are leveled at the church and the Bible. The only reason any medieval denomination considered the world was flat was that it had listened to unbelieving scientists who claimed the world was flat or a disc.

The ancient Greeks and the ancient Babylonians all had astronomers who claimed that the world was flat or a disc. Such information did not come from the Bible or followers of God.

This is what happens when believers listen to the unbelieving world. They get mocked for following and believing God, then they get mocked for listening to and adopting secular teaching that is not true.

It is better to be mocked for following God and his information instead of being mocked for leaving God and his information for information that is not true.

If one says they believe God and follow him, they need to stick to all of the information in the Bible for secular science does not have the Spirit of Truth guiding it to the truth. 

Keeping to the truth as revealed by the Spirit of Truth is the only way the church and believers can be the light unto a dark world. Following the Spirit of truth to the truth is the only way the believers are going to get the truth.

Jesus promised that we would know the truth and no one will know it if they continue to listen to those who follow the deceiver.

 

How Is a Victim to Respond

The subject matter came to use one day while we were thinking about the supposed victim impact statement made by Ms. Lori Thompson. In today’s world, the trend, even for Christians, is to act and respond to alleged and actual offenses in the secular manner.

Most people would understand their response after all the lives of the victim have been ruined in some way and secular justice is seen as a form of payback and not a means to bring the offender to repentance.

That concept seems to be the popular one as it seems that no one wants the offender to repent and partake in the benefits of life or what God offers. Before writing this piece we looked up Lori Ann Thompson to get a little concrete evidence before saying anything.

First, we were surprised to find out that she has her own website. Its organization is a little weird and there is no about page or explanation why she is writing a lot on abuse.

Second, we were mystified as to why she used a picture of her and her husband smiling behind the title of her victim impact statement. She uses a lot of photos behind her stories and of all the ones she picked for her victim impact post this was the least appropriate.

It makes one wonder if she is telling the truth or not. As we have commented and analyzed the different aspects of this situation, we have seen another surprising set of actions and not just on the part of Ms. Thompson.

There is very little actual biblical behavior being displayed on most sides of this issue, especially on the part of the alleged victims. We have little sympathy for Ms. Thompson and one of the reasons for this is found in the following quote:

The primary accusation involves a lawsuit regarding a woman who emailed Zacharias nude photos. Zacharias said he had maintained a friendly online correspondence with the woman over a number of months, and that he attempted to end the relationship when her language became first romantic, then sexually explicit…(source–this link)

If the communication was so bad, why didn’t she simply change her phone number and end the conversation? This little bit of forgetfulness tells us that she is not as she claims and carrying on the communication because he was a ‘spiritual father’ is not biblical either.

Then there is this bit of action, which has been reported in other sources as well:

The woman Zacharias had been emailing and her husband sent him a letter through their attorney demanding $5 million in exchange for keeping the correspondence a secret(same source as above)

This is not biblical either but then we do not find that the victim impact statement to be biblical or even a part of justice. When Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan it focused more on the actions of the people who viewed the person who was attacked.

You will notice that Jesus does not mention anything about the response of the victim. If Jesus wanted his followers to write victim impact statements, and do other unjust and secular activities in response to actual and alleged crimes, we are sure he would have included that in the story.

But such responses are contrary to what the Bible does say about treating others, even when one is an actual or alleged victim. When you read those verses, you will notice one important detail that is missing.

There are no escape clauses for victims. The Bible does not say ‘return good for evil… except if you are a victim.’ The victim is to return good for the evil they have received.

That does not mean justice is not done, but the pursuit and implementation of any penalty must meet God’s definition of justice and help lead the offender to repentance.

Then, the Bible does not say, ‘do unto others as you would like to be treated…except if you are a victim.’ We are sure that Ms. Thompson and others who support her would not like to be treated in the manner that Mr. Zacharias has been treated when they sin.

Paul tells us in Colossians, ‘not to lie one to another’. He did not say ‘do not lie one to another except if you are a victim.’ Then Paul tells everyone in 1 Cor. 13, the following:

It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness,

If one claims to love God, they will act according to God’s instructions without interpreting the biblical verses to justify their disobedience to them. They will apply those verses honestly to their lives, words and behavior.

Notice again, that the whole chapter does not mention even one time those dreaded words ‘except if you are a victim.’ What is being said is that as a victim there is no permission to sin against the offender. The response is supposed to be an honest biblical one that brings glory to God.

Yet, too many people forget God’s instructions and act like they want because they consider themselves to be a victim and they ‘have the right’ to act as they please in response to those actual or alleged crimes.

God has set the rules for responses to actual and alleged crimes and one of those rules is the act of forgiveness which many participants in the Mr. Zacharias issue have not done.

Mr. Zacharias is to be forgiven, just like any offender is to be forgiven and this includes those offenders who commit rape, pedophilia acts, and so on. We have heard far too many women in the news state that they ‘will never forgive…’

That is not a biblical response and it certainly deprives God of glory. It also deprives the victim of having their sins forgiven. Plus, it deprives the unbelieving world of seeing God care and how his justice works.

The victim’s response should be one that honestly and correctly follows biblical instruction. There is a difference between judging, presenting an observation, identifying what is wrong, and describing the actions of others.

Unfortunately, too many people are too lazy to learn those differences and apply them properly to any given situation. The act of forgiveness will help clear the beams out of the victims’ eyes as well as all other participant’s eyes.

When they see clearly, then maybe God’s justice can be done.