Christians Aren’t to be Naive

The idea for this post came from reading the following article entitled ‘Family pleas for pregnant, ailing American woman missing in Afghanistan with Canadian husband’ you can access it at the following link:

In the AP interview, he described his daughter as “naive” and “adventuresome” with a humanitarian bent.

He said Josh did not disclose their exact location in his last email contact on Oct. 8 from the Internet cafe, only saying they were not in a safe place

It may seem like a good idea to go off and do good throughout the world and it is a good idea to obey God when He calls you to do His will in dangerous areas of different lands BUT one does not going or obey acting like little children playing in a very safe park.

One needs to go in knowing the rules of life and spiritual welfare and one of those rules are there are evil people who will never change and will not do anything but harm to you no matter how beautiful you look, how pregnant you are, or what your nationality is.

God’s rules apply in all situations. We are to get knowledge and use it wisely. We are to go in armed with wisdom, caution, understanding, and knowing that unbelievers do not play by the same rules. Spiritual warfare, which includes missionary work, humanitarian aid and so on, is not for little children. Such duties are for those people who have grown up in the Lord and can make wise decisions.

Yes, approx. 50 years ago 5 men went to a hostile tribe being called of God to do so and they died on the landing strip. They were called by God to plant a seed and they knew they were called of God and we know their actions were of God because of the results that took place.

The thing to remember is, that just because God called those 5 men to go to that particular tribe and plant the seed in that fashion doesn’t mean that every Christian is called to do the same thing in different parts of the world.

One must make sure of their calling before acting and they need to be honest about it or they may just be foolish and lose their lives for no reason and no spiritual results. Because people are called ‘the children of God’ doesn’t mean that they remain children for the rest of their natural lives. Paul said we are to grow up in Christ and put off childish things.

Christians need to do that and they need to do that with Jesus’ help. The world doesn’t need a bunch of spiritual children running around playing games. It needs spiritual adults who can lead the secular world to Jesus, eternal life and help them with their problems.

I feel sad for that couple because they were probably misguided and misled. They were probably missing wise counsel from believers who could lead them to the right way to do things. One of the duties of the mature believer is to help remove childish thinking from less mature people and show them how to hear from God correctly so they are not led astray to their destruction.

A Body of Scientific Work

Here is a quote from the book ‘Getting The Old Testament’ by Steven L. Bridge, it is found in Chapter 1 on pages 11 & 12.:

Given the tremendous disparity between these two-time tables {see previous paragraph} modern believers find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Presumably, they must either side with Scripture and disavow a vast body of scientific research or side with science and surrender the authority of Scripture. Neither of these options is particularly attractive for those who would seek to maintain both the trustworthiness of the Bible and the general validity of contemporary scientific methods.

I do not know which side of the fence the author is sitting on as I have not finished the book. In fact, I have not even finished the first chapter because this comment needed to be addressed. In my opinion, I think he author over-states the problem and places the options in the wrong spots.

First, the dilemma is not so much about the authority of scripture and scientific research as it is about believing God or believing secular man. God has revealed to us what He did, He is the only one who can do that since we are all product of His creative act. He, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, along with angels etc., were the only eye-witnesses to what he did.

Secular science was not and can only guess at what was done because they have no ancient revelation from eye-witnesses describing the evolutionary process. In fact, they have nothing ancient to verify or support their claims, no ancient myths, no ancient school textbooks, nothing at all to say that evolution is true. Creation has, along with the Bible, ancient stories of creation in various formats and if creation were not true, those would not exist.

Second, the author makes this dilemma too simplistic as he omits right and wrong from the parameters. He implies that the secular scientific research is valid, correct and without error.  He also implies that those conducting those experiments and doing that research are infallible and immune from the temptations and bias that exist in the world.

He also ignores the fact that research is conducted by like-minded people and not done by objective people who are honest in their work. The author also does not apply scripture to those experiments and research as it tells us that the unbelieving are deceived.

Deceived people can produce a lot of like-minded conclusions that compliment each other without a problem, thus to rest one’s argument upon such a flimsy foundation and call that foundation evidence is misleading. Such determinations ignore the details that need to be present for life to function even in its basic form.

Also, he ignores the fact that most of this body of scientific research is done under the pre-determined idea that everything came into existence via natural processes and that these studies are directed from that view-point.

Finally, the author ignores a body of contradictory scientific research that shows that evolutionary methods just do not work. The quoted comment is typical of evolutionary thinking as they seek to deceive people by focusing on only one side of the scientific issue and imply that the evolutionary research is the only research being conducted.

It isn’t. There is a vast body of christian scientific research done using modern scientific methods that has God helping them come to the truth. That work doesn’t get the press because it tells the world what they do not want to hear.

The author wants people to think that the issue of origins is about science and scripture but in reality it is not that way only. The issue is about truth versus error, right versus wrong.

The Bible tells us that God doesn’t lie. Science doesn’t tell us that their scientists do not lie. In fact we catch them all the time falsifying reports, misleading people and outright lying. If God lies then He sinned and is not God anymore but a being in need of a savior and if God lied then Jesus was not perfect and He could not be a savior and the world is without salvation and hope.

Since science and its researchers do lie and they keep changing their theories how can they have the truth? What was truth scientifically 50 years ago is now not truth so how can one have confidence and trust science when it keeps changing what its truth really is?

God did not leave out any data. He created by speaking and he reveals that in His word. Secular science leaves out the option of the supernatural aspect which tells us they are omitting data to make their ideas work even though they do not. Prior to creation, there were no natural methods in existence so God could not leave anything out.

The believer needs to understand that no matter how much research deceived people are doing or how much they pile up, it is still going to be tainted and in error if it points away from God and the Bible. It doesn’t matter how much secular scientific research there is that supposedly supports their natural theory, if it makes one disbelieve God and His word then it is wrong.

You will find no scripture in the Bible instructing God’s followers to use science over His word. We can use science that is not the point but we do not place it above God and use it to say God is wrong. God’s word is the truth and even if 100% of the people side with secular science it doesn’t make God’s word a lie or wrong.

The idea of the majority rules doesn’t apply to the truth. The truth is the truth no matter how few or how many believe and accept it. The dilemma for the believer is whether to believe a perfect, not lying God over believing sinful, fallible secular man.

That is the choice God put before us.



Recently, I have been viewing the Penn & Teller show B.S. on you tube. Their show caught my eye as they are atheists who like to attack the Bible, Christianity and about all religious beliefs.

Their show is interesting as far as getting their point of view but as I watched I was reminded of the many discussions I have had with atheists over the years. Penn & Teller are merely bringing their subjective opinion to the topics they are focusing on for that half hour. Nothing more. Occasionally they make a good point to ponder but those are rare.

Now atheist may claim to be honest but I have found that honesty only pertains to their point of view. The do not apply it to the topic being discussed nor do they apply it to those who disagree with them.

Atheists like to make demands of believers. These demands are in the form of a call for the Christian to be ‘open-minded’ or ‘objective’ or that the Christian needs to be like them and keep on searching. The atheist continually wants to drag the believer down to their level.

Such tactics do not work because the believer no longer has to be ‘open-minded’. They have found the truth in the Bible and they do not need to keep considering alternative points of view. They have it, their search is over thus being open-minded means that the believer would have to return to their pre-salvation days to please the atheist and that is something they cannot do.

The believer is to preach or proclaim the truth and there are many scriptures throughout the Bible that provide that instruction. This means that their academic or scholarly work should be the truth and not more fodder for endless discussion. it means that their sermons and Sunday school classes should be the truth and not compromised lessons that include secular ideology or theories.

Nor does the believer have to be objective. They are on the side of God and need to present His words to the unbelieving public His way not the secular world’s. I have quoted Dr. Dever previously in other articles on this site and we know that objectivity is impossible to obtain thus there is no point in wasting our time trying.

We present the truth and leave the choice to accept it or not up to the listeners. In presenting the truth we have met part of our spiritual duty {which comes from God not man}. We do not have to be ‘objective’ in any of our presentations. We do have to be honest but not objective.

Since believers have found and accepted the truth of the Bible we do not need to continue to waste out time in searching for it. We have it and now we can spend our days learning more of God and how to do things correctly. In other words we grow up in the faith.

One of the sad things about many christians is that they like to remain in the childhood phase of Christendom and refuse to grow up and be productive members of God’s kingdom. This is bad because the world doesn’t need spiritual children with childish ideas about how to solve their problems, they need spiritual adults with real words of wisdom.

Thus christians do not need to continually comparing their faith with alternative beliefs and ideas to see if they got it right. they need to be talking to the Holy Spirit to make sure they are on the right path avoiding misleading teachings that will lead them away from where God wants them.

Christians do not need to be dragged down to the atheist level. If they are then evil has won a victory over them. The Bible is the truth as written and we do not need to complement it with secular teachings from science, archaeology, or false religions. We follow the teachings of the Bible correctly because that is where the truth lies and that is where we will find life.

It is interesting to see atheists at work. Bill Maher’s movie Religulous is a prime example of that work ethic. He claims to be honest in his look at Christians but what he did was find only those people who fit his purpose and pre-conceived idea of religious people and focused on their misguided ideas instead of honestly looking at the faith as a whole

He avoided any true christians who practiced Christianity correctly because they would force him to reconsider what Christianity is all about. In other words, he may have been ‘honest’ in presenting his view-point but he was not honest in his investigation of Christianity or other religions.

He was not ‘objective’ in his work but was biased simply because he needed material to continue to attack the christian faith and other religions and to provide him with more excuses for rejecting Jesus and the Bible.

It is the same with Penn & Teller’s t.v. show. They are not interested in learning the reality of what they attack, they simply want to present the evidence in such a manner that it slants towards their viewpoint and purpose. Like Bill Maher, they have NO interest in being open-minded and no interest in giving  equal time to those who disagree with them in an honest format.

Christians do not follow atheist nor do they need to  meet their demands. They follow Jesus and meet His requirements even when those requirements turn people away from the faith. Remember, when Jesus met the rich man who wanted to follow Him Jesus did NOT compromise His faith nor His requirements. He made no changes to the belief He brought to this world even when the man turned away and went back to his old lifestyle.

We do not alter biblical teachings, we do not change the Christian faith and we do not become ‘open-minded’ in hopes of winning souls. All we do is ruin our testimony and credibility and we lose the respect of the unbeliever and Jesus.

We preach the truth in love and do not change the truth because someone may be ‘offended’. The light that brightens a room does not change when different people walk inside it, neither does the Christian light.

Leading The Way

The recent story about a family being stopped in their quest to adopt a small handicapped Russian child caught my eye.–abc-news-topstories.html

{In case the yahoo link fails here is the title: ‘Mom’ Loses Russian Girl Weeks From Adoption}

This is not an article about the fairness of justness on the part of the Russians nor is it an article on the expectations of Americans and how they feel entitled.  It is an article on adoption.

It has been said that most prospective parents want to bring home little babies from the orphanages and there is quite a demand for those little ones. Nothing against those people for wanting to raise children from the beginning as it may make it easier for them to adjust to being parents; yet there are so many older children who have spent years in the system waiting for someone to take them home.

Taking older children home is not cute and easy as they have learned something from their experiences and they know you are not their real parents but they need a place to call home and  people to call  family just like the little babies do.

It is easy to get involved in tragedies like school shootings because they are transitory for all, save those who lost someone, and soon a new tragedy will push a school ‘s loss out of one’s mind. Meanwhile another tragedy of sorts continues on day after day and for the children involved it is not transitory but stays with them each day.

This tragedy concerns the forgotten children of the nation. they live in large homes, institutions or other buildings designed to accommodate large numbers hoping that one day a set of prospective parents will select them and take them to their home.

The Bible tells us in James 1:27 that looking after orphans is very important in God’s eyes. The verse reads:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

This does not necessarily mean that all Christians need to recklessly go out and adopt children. That act needs prospective parents to lean upon God’s wisdom and guidance to ensure that they get the right child and that they are prepared and ready to handle the responsibility of raising a child.

It does mean that the Church needs to be the leader in doing what is right, what is of God and stop pursuing things of this world. The Church has a reputation and it is not always a good one. For some that reputation is that the organized church always has its hand out begging for money. That is not a good reputation to have when the organized church says it follows the all-powerful God.

The church should be leading all people in doing what is right, what is good and what is honest, just, wise, merciful, forgiving, discipline and love.  Warehousing children until they grow up is not a smart thing. It should be a temporary action.

Sadly, some church members feel that to draw unbelievers into the congregation they need large church structures, modern lingo, participation in worldly activities and so on. Such ideas fall short. The Bible tells us that the church is to ‘lift Jesus higher and He will draw all men unto Him.’

What better way to lift Jesus higher and bring attention to His love and compassion than by taking care of the orphans (and widows).  The unchurched world needs to see that God cares, so do orphans and they see that care and compassion through the actions of those who claim to follow Jesus.

Taking care of the less fortunate does not need to be publicized by the doers, the word will get out. Jesus will make sure of that as long as the help is done honestly and not with ulterior motives.

Take time this week to see what God wants you to do for those older children in orphanages.  Contributing to school shooting victims is easy as that is the popular thing to do at the moment. Helping less sensational victims is not because the press and community support is not present to offer publicity or aid.

But then, the church does not do good for publicity; it does good to the less fortunate because it is obeying God. The church does good works not for salvation, we have that in Jesus’ sacrifice.

We do good because it is what God wants us to do. To fight evil we do not use evil but good.

An Update

The news is that Emanuel has let Dr. Rollston go,

This news is good not that a person has lost their job or that a heretic was removed from teaching young believers but that the Seminary has stood with God and removed a false teacher from their midst.

What people like Cargill and West do not realize is that for the true church, scholarship and academics take a back seat to teaching the truth.  The church also has to stand with God not man and when professors go astray then church discipline needs to be used though it needs to be used properly in hopes of bringing about repentance in the offender’s life.

Seeing that Dr. Rollston has already lined up a new position, it seems that repentance is not in his mind but the continual pursuit of false ideas is. So kudos to Emmanuel for making such a difficult decision and going with God over prestige and academic approval.

Scanning The Tabor Blog

James Tabor puts out a lot of information and there is just too much to go through effectively in pointing out the misconceptions unbelieving academics put out there.

This article will go through several of his articles and discuss key points. Links won’t be provided except for the main page but titles of each article where the excerpts are pulled will be written at the beginning of each discussion.

A Historical Look at the Birth of Jesus: Part 5 (Conclusion)

There are three basic positions that have been offered in response to the two birth stories we get in Matthew and Luke: 1) Jesus had no human father; 2) Jesus is in fact the biological son of Joseph; 3) Jesus is the biological son of an unnamed male under unknown circumstances.

Yes that is true. These are the three major positions when academics discuss Jesus’ birth but there is only 1 that is true– Jesus did not have a human father. The reason why the alternatives crop up is that too many people cannot accept what the Bible says is true and they do not believe in miracles.

The Bible is an ancient text and it is valid source for history.  Just because secular scholars reject it as such doesn’t make it so. 

The Greek philosopher Celsus relates in polemical work against the Christians preserved by the Christian theologian Origen that he had found it “written” that Jesus was the son of a Roman soldier named Pantera (Contra Celsum 1. 69). This text dates to the late 2nd century.

It doesn’t matter what humans say about the Bible or the historical miraculous birth of Jesus. They do not have final say on what took place in history. Their comments are influenced by their bias and unbelief, plus their rejection of the truth.

If someone disagrees with the Bible then it is not the Bible that is wrong.  The Bible is not up for scrutiny concerning its truthfulness. When God gave man dominion over the earth, He did not place His word under that dominion. God’s word is not subject to man’s judgment; it is a book that requires a choice–to believe it or not.

If one disbelieves, then they have no right to concoct their own idea of what took place 2,000 years ago and use that false tale to replace the truth of the Bible. There was no human father for Jesus in the biological sense, no matter what ancient or modern author  writes or claims.

A Historical Look at the Birth of Jesus: Part 4

Although only Matthew and Luke assert the “virgin birth” of Jesus, and the teaching is found nowhere else in the New Testament, the belief that Mary’s pregnancy resulted from a divine act of God without any male involvement developed into a fundamental theological dogma in early Christianity

There doesn’t have to be any more mentions of the virgin birth in the NT for it to be valid or accepted by other disciples and early christians.  God does not have to be redundant. He mentioned it twice in the Gospels, He doesn’t have to keep mentioning it.

Do we need mentioning of the Sermon on the Mount to be repeated for the beatitudes to be true and spoken by Jesus? Of course not. Nor do we need multiple mentioning of His birth for it to be valid and true.

But there is another possibility; an alternative explanation as to what might be behind these “virgin birth” accounts. And it has some compelling evidence in its favor. When you read the account of Mary’s unsuspected pregnancy, what is particularly notable in both texts is an underlying tone of realism that runs through the narratives

The alternatives just are not true and are mere weak attempts to justify a person’s rejection of the Biblical account of Mary’s pregnancy.  There is no ‘compelling evidence’ supporting any alternative pregnancy idea. referring to other pregnancies is not evidence for Mary’s. They have nothing to do with the biblical narratives and shed no light on the work of the Holy Spirit.

Of course there would be an ‘underlying tone of realism’ in the biblical accounts of Mary’s pregnancy because it was real and the accounts are recording the actual events that took place.

Should Christians Celebrate the Birth of Jesus or of Paul?

A recent piece I wrote for the Daily Beast titled “Should Christians Celebrate the Birth of Jesus or of Paul?” was published on Christmas Eve, just in time for the grand celebrations of Christmas around the world:

Millions celebrate the birth of Jesus without realizing that it was the Apostle Paul, not Jesus, who was the founder of Christianity

This is simply not true. Paul was the servant of Christ who prior to his conversion attacked the Christians and the church relentlessly.  It would be impossible for Paul to be the founder of Christianity since the 12 disciples preached the gospel long before Paul came on the scene.

Paul had to learn much before he was allowed to go preach and we have record of that in Acts as Paul worked as a tent maker while ‘training’ for full-time service. People say that Paul was the founder simply because of his dominant role in the Bible. Why God chose Paul’s letters over other disciples for inclusion in the NT, we do not know.

God could easily have had the other disciples do the majority of teaching but He chose Paul for His own reasons. That selection does not diminish the work and teachings of the 12 disciples nor does it elevate Paul to the founder of Christianity. Paul simply was used by God to address difficult issues and to provide further instructions for His followers. 

Providing more teaching so believers can grow strong does not mean one is a founder of a new religion, it simply means that those people have a specific duty to perform for God. Christ established Christianity not Paul. Paul built upon the foundation Christ brought with the direction and permission of God.

A Historical Look at the Birth of Jesus: Part 2

All four New Testament gospels are written in Greek though we have an ancient tradition that the gospel of Matthew was originally composed in Hebrew or Aramaic. The names associated with these gospels are traditional and the authors, whoever they might have been, never identify themselves by name.

We do not know the original language used to write the Gospels. No one has seen the originals for almost 1,900 years, (give or take a century), unless some ancient source does mention it but it would be hard to verify their statement.

The names associated with the Gospels are the names of the authors who penned them. God would not have a lie in His book or it would not be His word.  Having false names on the books would simply bring suspicion to the contents and people would  reject the words as possible lies.

Mark is our earliest gospel, even though it comes second in the New Testament. Mark was written around 70 AD, and it provides us with the basic narrative framework of the career of Jesus. Matthew was written next, likely around 80 AD, and the author uses Mark as his main source but edits it freely, as we will see. The author of Matthew also had access to a collection of the teachings of Jesus that we call Q, which Mark did not have. He incorporates that material into his work as well. Luke was written around 90 AD and the author uses both Mark and the Q source, but he has a considerable amount of his own material with which he supplements his story

We do not know which Gospel was written first nor are we sure of the exact dates when they were written.   There is no such document as ‘Q’. No one has ever seen it, no ancient writer mentions it, and no one quotes from it.

‘Q’ is the fictitious creation of scholars and academics who could not/cannot accept that the authors were given the material via the Holy Spirit and their own  personal observation as they lived and learned from Christ. The supposed content of ‘Q’ is picked arbitrarily by those academics but again, there is no way to verify their choices. The supposed source called ‘Q’ has no manuscript in existence today or ever.

The contents are purely the result of the subjective opinion of those scholars who have worked to ‘construct’ it. It is hard to construct something that never existed and provides no way to confirm if they are right or wrong.

Huffington Post Blog: Did Paul Invent the Virgin Birth?

This idea of humans being fathered by gods is quite common in Greco-Roman culture. There was a whole host of heroes who were said to be the product of a union between their mother and a god–Plato, Empedocles, Hercules, Pythagoras, Alexander the Great and even Caesar Augustus.

The answer to the article question is a simple ‘no’. If Paul invented the virgin birth, it wouldn’t have taken long for the enemies of Christianity to expose the fraud and no one would believe , especially 2,000 years later.

Christianity would not exist as well as the virgin birth is a lynch pin belief and if that was proven false then all of the beliefs of Christianity would be false as well. How could Jesus be the way of salvation if He sinned prior to His death and resurrection?

No, Paul did not invent the virgin birth, it was a true event and God did it so that His son would remain sinless and be the perfect sacrifice for all.

The quote comes from the actual article published at the Huffington Post and its content shows a lack of critical thinking applied to secular ancient works.  We have been aware of such stories about these strange events in other human lives but one only has to look at the existing manuscripts and their dates.

All of them date to long after the 1st century AD which tells us that the copyists or authors of those manuscripts edited them to copy the truth of the Bible.  Mithras is a good example of this:

Interestingly, from about the 7th Century B.C.E. some documents hint that some amount of Mithraism may have been codified in writing. However, none of those hinted-at writings have survived or have yet been found by modern researchers. This lack of B.C.E. canon for Mithraism stands in stark contrast to Judaism whose laws and writings have withstood numerous invasions, exiles, and national disasters

As we scan Dr. Tabor’s work we can see how far astray he goes in pursuit of his academic endeavors. It is important for the believer not to be caught up in these wild goose chases but stick to the truth and learn how to refute the lies that academics promote.

As said earlier, it a person disagrees with the Bible then the person is wrong not the Bible. If the Bible is wrong then it is no longer God’s word and it brings no revelation and no hope of salvation. The same goes for scientific and archaeological discoveries– if they disagree with the Bible then they are wrong, not the Bible.

Believers need to be strong and not swayed by the unbeliever who drops names of experts and discoveries that they claim contradicts the Bible and proves it wrong. If the Bible is wrong at any point, then we have no faith and nothing to believe.

As Advertised

The following was sent to me via e-mail and I do not normally read them but this one caught my eye. It makes a humorous but appropriate point as it reminds believers to act like we advertise.

The Light”…

 The light turned yellow, just in front of him.  He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. 

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.  The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

He transported her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After several hours, a police officer approached the cell and opened the door.  She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him.  I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally…I assumed you had stolen the car.”