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Much To Talk About- 93

30 Jan

#1. Perceived Persecutionhttp://christiannews.net/2015/01/29/prosecutor-wont-drop-case-against-christian-ticketed-for-posting-scripture-sign-on-vehicle/

As previously reported, for nearly the past two years up until last August, Zapata, a Columbian-born Christian who lives just outside the town of Englewood, has posted Scripture and other messages on his vehicle as a means to witness to the public about Christ.

“Two years ago, the Lord said to me, ‘Start praying. Go out into the streets and go preach the gospel. Put signs on your car. Tell everybody that I’m coming soon,’” he recalled.

When people are faced with what they consider to be religious persecution there are biblical teachings that instruct us in how to handle it. First, make sure it is actual persecution and that you are not breaking the law or violating someone’s privacy.  By privacy, I mean if they have told you they are not interested then back off and do not force your beliefs upon them.

Second, there is there matter of ‘turning the other cheek’. This may seem like you are giving unbelievers free shots at you but God will use that obedience for his will. We must be willing to take the pain when called upon to do so. If you need an example of turning the other cheek when violently treated, then turn to the example of Christ after he was arrested or the example of Stephen as he was martyred.
Third, use common sense. Sometimes opposition to religious activities are not persecution but a personal preference on the part of those behind the opposition. For example, churches do not need or have to use schools for their services. There are plenty of empty warehouse space available in some cities which can be considered an option. Look for alternative venues before wasting money in useless court battles that only raise stumbling blocks in unbelievers.
Then finally, compare real religious persecution with what many westerners perceive to be persecution. here are a few inks to give you an idea of what I mean:
This
or
this
or
There are other examples at that Christian News website. remember the Bible tells us ‘a soft answer turneth away wrath.’
#2. God Speaks Through Different Peoplehttps://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/just-stop/

Russell Wilson has an opinion about God and football so naturally the HuffPo wants to know what you think…

I think if you’re getting your theology from a football player or a journalist or an actor or your podiatrist you should just quit it.

Please, for the love of God, just stop it.

He can and will use the right podiatrist or journalist to teach us something, the trick is for us to use discernment and make sure those people are actually being used by God. God does not limit himself to theologians, pastors or missionaries because a lot of them do not listen to God and preach their own ideas. When God’s full-time people are dropping the ball, others need to step up and fill the void.

Jesus pointed out that if the people were silent on his triumphant entry then the rocks would sing out. If God will use rocks, he will use the least of people to get his message to the masses. Their trick for those people is to listen and get it right so the population is not deprived of what God wants them to hear. The trouble with people like Jim West, theologians, pastors and missionaries, is that they think they get to edit what God says and put their own spin to his words.

#3. Don’t Use Twitterhttps://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/twitter-theology-that-makes-me-sigh-63/

Highly visible superstar theologians ought to be better communicators than that.

Twitter does not allow enough characters to present a fully thought out message to others. Discernment applies to communication and good use of our communicative tools is vital for getting people to listen to the gospel.  Using Twitter because we can or it is cool isn’t listening to God nor using good discernment. It is okay to NOT use Twitter for religious communication.

Christians do not need to leap on the social messaging bandwagons to get their message across. Usually it is better to meet people’s needs in person and show them that you actually care instead of posting a message anonymously for a generic crowd to read. There are many ways to plant the seeds for the gospel–pay someone’s food bill, utility bills, drive them to where they are going, paint their house or help with work around the house. You do not always have to preach a message to plant a seed. Sometimes showing that you care goes further.

#4. American Sniper, Fox and the Believerhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2015/01/fox-news-american-sniper-jesus-and-well-i-cant-even/

I don’t like picking on Fox News when they talk religion of any sort, including Christianity. It’s too easy and it gets boring.

But I can’t help myself here.

According to the Fox News website, Michael Moore–who really hates this movie, I mean really, really hates it–tweeted about how inconsistent this movie is for Christian faith–hardly a sign of Moore’s Paul-like blinding light conversion, but more a dig.

Fox News took the bait. Correspondent Todd Starnes, after telling us twice that he’s “no theologian,” nevertheless makes a rather hefty theological claim in response to Moore: Jesus would be saying “well done thou good and faithful servant” to snipers plucking off Muslims, thus sending them to hell where they belong.

The good thing about living overseas in a non-western country is that I do not have to put up with western news programs or movies. I have not seen the movie but I have to call into question Mr. Moore’s assessment of the Christian faith. Peter owned a sword and used it and when the people of Israel demanded a king God told Samuel that a king would call their men to serve in the army (slight paraphrase) and God did not condemn nor forbid that service in that discussion with Samuel and the people

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel+8&version=NASB

Service in the military is not the issue but HOW one serves is. Is one following biblical teaching with humility or not? Is one following the lead of his fellow non-believing soldiers or following the lead of the HS? We need to be careful in our judgment of our fellow believer’s employment for we may not be privy to all of their communication with God and God may have led them to serve in the military.

We can look at their attitudes to see if they are following God’s ways or not and reprove them if they are not or encourage them if they are. We need to keep believing people in tune with God’s ways so that they do not become lost and then destroyed by evil. I am not going to say if the American Sniper was Christian or not for that is not my place, but what is my place and what I am going to say is that believers must treat him and all others like God would want and leads.

We do not mistreat others simply because they do not view the military or its personnel in the same light as we do. I am non-military but I know that my calling is not the same as another person’s thus I need to treat them the right way that reflects well on Christ and the Bible. I do not have the right to force my calling upon others nor treat them in an unbiblical manner. This goes for every believer.

#5. Genocide or Punishment?http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2015/01/the-canaanites-werent-the-worst-sinners-ever-engaging-copan-and-flannagan-on-canaanite-extermination/

First, I am very glad to see the authors make a point that needs to be made over and over again, namely describing the biblical accounts of the Canaanite extermination as “hagiographic hyperbole” (a term borrowed from another philosopher, Nicolas Wolterstorff).

You will have to read the article for context as I am not really speaking about that quote here. I am speaking about the whole topic of God’s commands to the Israelites which had them kill those who did not believe in God or follow his ways. People who write the way those authors write do not understand God or his ways.  They do not understand that God is free to punish his creation as he sees fit and he is free to use whatever method fits the message that comes with that punishment.
These people do not see any command by God to his people to go and do thou likewise so we must be careful in how we apply these texts to our Christian lives and teaching of others. The same people also ignore the grave and great amounts of sin committed by those subject to this type of punishment. They are looking at the episodes with a jaundiced eye, even to the point of disagreeing with God on the nature of sin as if they have a right to challenge God on that determination. Nor do they look closely at God’s patient’s with these people and the numerous chances he gave them to repent or change their ways.
We know that the Canaanites had a biblical presence throughout their history even though God’s people were not in the land at the time or a glimmer in Abraham’s eye because the Bible talks about Melchizedek  was king of Salem before Israel arrived
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
God has not left sinful people without a messenger thus their decision to disobey God is known to him and probably not to us.
Both internal literary patterns as well as external parallel evidence indicate quite clearly that we should not expect literal historical accounts from the biblical writers–at least when they recount their military exploits.
This bothers me for it is saying that God had his biblical writers lie and did nothing about it nor changed their words to the truth at a later date.  Jesus certainly did not disavow what the OT writers wrote so we know that they wrote the truth about their military campaigns. Why would God insert something into the Bible that was not true for such an insertion would only discredit him and undermine his authority. It would also encourage people to sin and not warn them of the results of their sinful behavior, something God wants stopped.
Punishment is not genocide. God punishes not murders for murder is a sin. Boko Haram murders not justly punishes. To say that God committed genocide and murder makes God out to be a worst sinner than satan and such people need to get their facts straight, it is satan who deceives people and keeps them deceived  and sinful until God terminates their earthly existence in spite of the hundreds of evangelists out there preaching the gospel message.
Put the blame where the blame where the blame lies and do not falsely accuse God for things he did not do.
#6. Has West Silenced Evans?http://rachelheldevans.com/
West has been hitting her pretty hard on his website and she has not published anything in a week. I am sure she is taking time off but the coincidence is telling. I wouldn’t be sad if both of them went silent but sadly there are far too many false teachers out there for 2 to make a difference.
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, faith, General Life, history, Justice

 

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