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Monthly Archives: May 2015

CBE’s Equality Statement

Let’s not hold to any illusions here, I disagree with what they have written at the following link:

http://www.cbeinternational.org/sites/default/files/english_0.pdf

This post will look at some of the problems with their thinking.

#1.The Bible teaches the full equality of men and women in Creation and in Redemption

The Bible does teach that BUT it does not extend that equality to the same duties. Throughout the Bible we see that men have different duties than women but that fact has never been shown to make women second class or inferior to men. The women who go with Christian feminism are saying that they are not content with who they are, how God made them or what roles he has for them. They want more and will use the bible to fill that sinful desire.

#2.The Bible teaches that God has revealed Himself in the totality of Scripture, the authoritative Word of God

This is true BUT this revelation has little to do with equality and who leads the church or family. Where it does relate is that we see God throughout the bible placing men as the head of the church, the family and their wives. This will of God is not a mystery.

#3. We believe that Scripture is to be interpreted holistically and thematically

Just so you know what they mean here are a couple of definitions to use:

– thematically– Of, relating to, or being a theme:

-holistically– Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/)

If you want to take that approach then one must be prepared to not see their pet ideas supported by biblical passages and for CBE not one theme or verse supports their views of equality. As shown in the previous article, every verse talking husband and wives points to submission by the women to their husbands and the husband being the head of the family and church.

CBE needs to be honest with itself first before attempting to change the church and Christian faith.

#4.We also recognize the necessity of making a distinction between inspiration and interpretation: inspiration relates to the divine impulse and control whereby the whole canonical Scripture is the Word of God; interpretation relates to the human activity whereby we seek to apprehend revealed truth in harmony with the totality of Scripture and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Where are they going to draw the line and who draws it? Obviously they are not happy with God drawing it as they seek to alter scriptures to get it to say something it does not. These words seem to allow CBE people to pick and choose what they consider to be inspiration and what is human interpretation. If they do not like the meaning of one passage they now have a loophole to claim that it is a human interpretation and they are free to alter it as they see fit.

They do not realize, in my opinion, that the last line describes their activities to a ‘T’. They will ‘apprehend revealed truth’ because it does not tell them what they want to hear.

#5. To be truly biblical, Christians must continually examine their faith and practice under the searchlight of Scripture

Uhm… no. The true believer seeks for the truth and accepts it once it is found with the aid of the HS. To be truly biblical we do as Jesus said, not appease those who want something different from what the bible teaches us.

#6. The Bible teaches that both man and woman were created in God’s image, had a direct relationship with God, and shared jointly the responsibilities of bearing and rearing children and having dominion over the created order

This statement is misleading as the passage they use says nothing about those responsibilities or was to do what.  If the CBE people want to interpret holistically and thematically then they need to wait till Chapter 2 to get a better idea of the role and responsibilities of men and women. Chapter 2 clarifies the woman’s role whereas Chapter 1 does not. So far, they are not being true to their statement in point #3 above.

#7. The Bible teaches that woman and man were created for full and equal partnership. The word “helper” (ezer ) used to designate woman in Genesis 2:18 refers to God in most instances of Old Testament usage (e.g. I Sam 7:12; Ps 121:1–2). Consequently the word conveys no implication whatsoever of female subordination or inferiority.

This quote is selective in its use of the meaning of the Hebrew word. The ISBE says:

Eve is spoken of as “a help meet” for Adam (<010218>Genesis 2:18,20). The
idea in “meet” is not so much “suitability,” though that is implied, as
likeness, correspondence in nature (Vulgate, similem sibi). One like
himself, as taken from him, the woman would be an aid and companion to
the man in his tasks.

The word ‘helpmeet’ does not mean leader, co-leader, equal roles and so on, it does mean a suitable helper in that he is not alone.Then if we use the rules set down by CBE we only need to look at Paul’s words in 1 Cor. that state that ‘woman was made for man’, in other words she was not made to be another leader. BUT then no scripture ever states that women are inferior to men, they just state the different roles both have been given by God. The two may be equals but they do not have the same duties.

#8.The Bible teaches that the forming of woman from man demonstrates the fundamental unity and equality of human beings (Gen 2:21–23). In Genesis 2:18, 20 the word “suitable” (kenegdo) denotes equality and adequacy

BUT CBE is not interpreting scriptures according to their own rules as Genesis 3 has God telling the woman that her husband will rule over her and Paul tells us that man is the head of the woman. If you are going to have rules to follow then you need to be consistent and follow your rules. What the verses state in Genesis 2 is that men and women are equal as people , in their image of God, their humanness but again those verses do not address the different roles God has for both men and women.

CBE is equating roles with equality and they are very mistaken here.

#9.The Bible teaches that man and woman were co-participants in the Fall: Adam was no less culpable than Eve

BUT that has nothing to do with their roles in life. It just means that they both sinned and if CBE looks closely at the curses God pronounced that day, guess what– they are NOT the same. CBE also does not address the issue where Paul places the blame for sin, death and corruption on Adam’s shoulders; if CBE wants equality then I guess they need to advocate that Eve gets the same amount of blame. But they do not, because they only want equality where it benefits them.

#10. The Bible teaches that the rulership of Adam over Eve resulted from the Fall and was therefore not a part of the original created order. Genesis 3:16 is a prediction of the effects of the Fall rather than a prescription of God’s ideal order

This is an argument from silence as we do not know all the instructions God gave both Adam and Eve or how they conducted their lives in the garden.  CBE is reading into the passages what they want to see there, not taking out what is there. In the garden they did not know right from wrong as we know it as they did not know that they were naked so we cannot say that the Bible teaches equal leadership roles for both.They were like little children.

No, Genesis 3:16 is not a prediction but leave it to CBE to alter what scriptures says in order to justify their ideology. Read the words for yourselves–there is no prediction there but a clear statement of fact, intent and how things are going to be.

#11.The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ came to redeem women as well as men. Through faith in Christ we all become children of…

That fact does not change God’s rules for order in the church or the family.

#12.The Bible teaches that at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came on men and women alike.

Uhm…no. There is no mention that women received the HS at Pentecost and I will emphasize the word ‘at’. For if you read the passage, only the word ‘they’ is used for whom received the HS and Peter spoke to Men. There is no mentioning of women speaking to women in their own tongues. But that doesn’t mean women do not receive the HS nor spiritual gifts but those realities do not change God’s rules for the family or the church. It just means that women are included in receiving gifts and blessings from God but not promotion to offices God has left instructions omitting them .

#13. The Bible teaches that both women and men are called to develop their spiritual gift s and to use them as stewards of the grace of God (1 Peter 4:10–11). Both men and women are divinely gifted and empowered to minister to the whole Body of Christ, under His authority.

Again true but those development does not mean that the rules are broken or made to be broken. Breaking God’s rules means one sins and they hamper God’s efforts and their spiritual development . Developing one’s spiritual gifts does not mean we get to sin and disobey God. The instructions God left via the other NT writers are not moot, over-ruled, canceled or changed.

#14. The Bible teaches that, in the New Testament economy, women as well as men exercise the prophetic, priestly and royal functions

Women are allowed to exercise their spiritual gifts but it is supposed to be according to God’s rules as in  CBE’s use of 1 Cor. 11:5, we see one of those rules but they also misuse 1 Peter 2 as well as those verses do not give women permission to be priests, pastors or any church leader. CBE misapplies the meaning of the word ‘priesthood’ their in order to justify their demands. There is nothing in that passage that allows women to be church leaders or heads of the family but it does allow them to teach other women, share the gospel and other Christian duties.

#15. The Bible defines the function of leadership as the empowerment of others for service rather than as the exercise of power over them

Again, no. CBE reads into the passages what they want to see and ignores the criteria Paul set out in 1 Tim. & Titus on whom can be a leader of the church. Also, CBE puts in the words ‘power over’ but do not properly define what they mean as leadership doe shave a certain amount of authority over others, to maintain order, to maintain heading, to discipline the rebellious and so on.  They need to do a better study on leadership and what it entails before going off the deep end and look like they are responding to faulty human leadership and not God’s ordained style.

There is a difference between the two and no one said that the humans in the church are all following God’s way of leadership and we do know that CBE is not doing so thus they really cannot say anything at all about how men handle the church.

#16. The Bible teaches that husbands and wives are heirs together of the grace of life and that they are bound together in a relationship of mutual submission and responsibility

They are wrong again in the second half of that statement as the Bible does not teach that and I checked all those verses before writing those words. The Bible, while teaching that men and women are heirs of grace, etc., clearly puts the man at the head of the family and constantly reminds women they are the ones who are to submit. We do not have verses telling us ‘husbands, submit to your wives’ for that would be contrary to what God has taught throughout the Bible.

#17.The Bible teaches that both mothers and fathers are to exercise leadership in the nurture, training, discipline and teaching of their children

BUT again, CBE is reading their own philosophy into those verses and think that that instruction over-rules other biblical ones placing man as the head of the family and over the woman. It means that the mother cannot be a slacker and just let their husbands do all the parenting. They are leaders of their children but followers of their husbands. God’s order is not changed because women get certain commands.

#18. In the church, spiritual gifts of women and men are to be recognized, developed and used in serving and teaching ministries at all levels of involvement: as small group leaders, counselors, facilitators, administrators, ushers, communion servers, and board members, and in pastoral care, teaching, preaching, and worship

One of the problems with dealing with people and groups like CBE is that they mix truth and error together in their statements. Yes women can develop, exercise and be recognized concerning spiritual gifts but they are limited to where they can do those things. The home is one of the best places for them to use their spiritual gifts as their children need to have a solid example of faithful women but  again, spiritual gifts do not over-rule God’s instructions on who is a church leader.

Women are to obey God’s rules just like men, if they want to have equality and those rules limit the offices they can hold. Ushers has nothing to do with church leadership but the other positions have restrictions to them and those restrictions are place din the Bible for all to read.

#19.In the church, public recognition is to be given to both women and men who exercise ministries of service and leadership.

Just so you know, in this point and the last one, CBE provides NO biblical verse supporting their ideology. They can’t because the rules for leadership are clear and women are excluded from those positions.

#20. In the Christian home, husband and wife are to defer to each other in seeking to fulfill each other’s preferences, desires and aspirations.

The Bible does not teach that and in this point, like the last two and the next two, they provide no scripture to support their views so we must conclude that this is their own desires not God’s. The husband and wife should communicate honestly, thoroughly, then plan and decide on a course of action but the final decision rests with the man. We see no scripture supporting any of these points CBE has put forth.

#21. In the Christian home, spouses are to learn to share the responsibilities of leadership on the basis of gifts, expertise, and availability, with due regard for the partner most affected by the decision under consideration

Again, this is not a biblical teaching but a bad attempt by women to usurp authority from their husbands.

#22. In the Christian home, couples who share a lifestyle characterized by the freedom they find in Christ will do so without experiencing feelings of guilt or resorting to hypocrisy. They are freed to emerge from an unbiblical “traditionalism” and can rejoice in their mutual accountability in Christ.

First, the only way to avoid the guilt is to obey God correctly and stop following those who bring false teaching to the church. Second, CBE has no authority to ‘free anyone’ as they are merely trying to convince people to reject God’s ways and adopt theirs. The freedom people have in Christ does not lead them to disobey God or his rules; it leads them to obedience and to correctly following God’s biblical teaching.

This means that the husband and wife are on the same page, one is not the dictator of the other, they work together to get God’s instructions correct with the wife submitting to the husband. CBE ignores one important instruction to men

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, (Eph. 5)

There is a wealth of information in those few words and those few words give great guidance to men on how to treat their wives. They do not, however, elevate women to co-leader of the family as we see by the following words in Ephs.:

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ (Eph 5)

Those verses do not promote men to being co-leaders with Christ thus any person saying that women are co-leaders of the family are reading their own ideas into the passage and trying to take control and have power over someone they are not allowed to have those things. Those who advocate for women in leadership ignore passages of scripture that stop them in their tracks. They do so because they are not humble nor obedient to God and only want what they want for whatever reason they have.

Kathy Escobar told me that CBE would have a strong biblical explanation for her and theirs alternative ideology but I do not see it. I see excuses and justification to practice sin, to disobey God and do their own thing. I see a lot of wishful thinking, eisegesis, arguments from silence but nothing from the Bible that explicitly states their view is correct.

All the Bible verses point to something other than their ideology, they point to order in the church and home, good leadership styles, the right way to go but in this issue, like the homosexual/same-sex issue, women do not care about right and wrong, they care about getting what they want. Also, they do not care about God or his desires for his church.

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Much To Talk About- 130

#1. Why Go To Church & Why Call Yourself A Christian When…– http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/defending-the-bible.html#comment-2054012503

My Bible doesn’t say “By scripture you have been saved, through believing it is authored by God.” But even if it did, why should someone accept that just because humans say it? I don’t say that any Scriptures are authored by God. All of them are human products, and we are responsible to use our human reasoning and discernment in interpreting them and agreeing or disagreeing with them.

You think like the above quote.  Those are McGrath’s words to me in a discussion under his ‘defending the Bible’ post.  What is the point of teaching Sunday School, being a professor of biblical subjects, a Pastor, , missionary and so on when you think like that?  Also why follow God at all or go to church? You just said you do not believe a word he said and that the Bible is not divine, inspired, inerrant and have removed salvation and hope from people’s lives.

Yes, that you have mistaken human words for the words of God, and have the audacity to presume to dictate what God must have provided in order to meet your fundamentalist demand for certainty is indeed sad. It was sad when I mistakenly viewed the Bible that way, too, but fortunately I studied the Bible and was willing to let the evidence from the Bible challenge my dogmas about the Bible.

This is the standard, pat reply you get from alternative believers. They change the meaning of your words in order to avoid the reality of their situation. McGrath should not call himself a Christian as Jesus never took either view and he should simply stop teaching the Bible and sunday school as well as going to church for he is just wasting everybody’s time and lying to them.

#2. They Only Want To Preach What They Want...– http://kathyescobar.com/2015/05/22/8-ways-men-can-advocate-for-womens-equality/

i have read the link backs to your blog, where you pick my blogs and other people’s blogs apart line by line, and know that absolutely no good can come out of a scriptural toe-to-toe with you. feel free to go to christians for biblical equality for a strong biblical framework for equality.

This is a comment I received in reply to a post I made on Kathy Escobar’s website. I simply asked for the Bible verses she uses to justify her position and as you can see, she refused to respond. The reason they cannot go ‘toe to toe’ with me is because they use scripture their own way and not the way God wrote it. The take scriptures out of context, do a lot of eisegesis, alter other texts because the biblical verses do not say what they want them to say,  then claim they are being biblical.

In her response to me she put in a link to the CBE website but as you look through it’s about page, you see a verse taken out of context in order to justify their mission and purpose. They use Gal. 3:28 but guess what, and this will be news to them, that verse does not over-rule God’s instructions found in other books of the Bible.

CBE exists to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world. (http://www.cbeinternational.org/content/cbes-mission)

This is nothing but a lie and ignores explicit passages of scripture which says something altogether different. I will go through that website’s core values in the next section.

#3. Core Values??– http://www.cbeinternational.org/content/cbes-mission

They actually look like results from a spoiled child’s temper tantrum but here they are with a little commentary. Oh and I will say up front that I challenge the people to honesty post scriptures that back their views. Not one appears in that list.

Scripture is our authoritative guide for faith, life, and practice.

Obvious it isn’t as they only put 1 out of context and misapplied verse on the page. That value tells me that they are going to be cherry picking when you view it in context with their mission statement quoted in the last section. If scripture was their guide then they would have a much different attitude and seek the truth instead of seeking their own selfish desires.

Patriarchy (male dominance) is not a biblical ideal but a result of sin.

That is not what scripture has taught at all. When God was talking about creating a woman, he did not say let’s create a co-leader but a helpmeet, a helper.

20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the [q]sky, and to every beast of the field, but for [r]Adam there was not found a helper [s]suitable for him. (Gen. 2 NASB)

While many can point to the following verse as support for that quoted ideology,

Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16 NASB)

It must be remembered that Woman was created before the curse and God still used the word helper, helpmeet, etc., for her. The idea of patriarchy is a biblical ideal.

Patriarchy is an abuse of power, taking from females what God has given them: their dignity, and freedom, their leadership, and often their very lives.

The quoted words are the result of deception. No man ‘took power from women’. Now some men may abuse their patriarchal status but that does not men patriarchy is wrong, sinful or not biblical. It means that some men were influenced by evil and misused their positions for their own gain. Since God granted man the right to rule over women, they took nothing that wasn’t already theirs. How men ruled is a different matter and falls under individual sin and is not a call for the destruction of God’s order for life.

While the Bible reflects patriarchal culture, the Bible does not teach patriarchy in human relationships.

This is just another lie and here is why: 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Eph. 5); In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, (1 Pet. 3:1); For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands (1 Pet. 3:5); Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Col. 3:18)

So we can see that the Bible does teach patriarchy in human relations.

Christ’s redemptive work frees all people from patriarchy, calling women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership.

This is absolutely not true and they have no biblical verse to support that point. If their point were true then why did God have Paul and Peter write the instructions above? They wrote after Jesus resurrection and would have mentioned that freedom if it was granted by Christ’s redemptive work. That organization knows nothing about  leadership if they think there can be 2 leaders running the show.

God’s design for relationships includes faithful marriage between a man and a woman, celibate singleness and mutual submission in Christian community.

But as the verses have shown us, men are in charge of the family and women are not. There is no biblical verse granting women equality in leadership. Here is another verse proving that organization and its core values wrong:

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5)

The Bible cannot be any clearer on this issue.

The unrestricted use of women’s gifts is integral to the work of the Holy Spirit and essential for the advancement of the gospel in the world.

This would undermine the husband’s and the male church leadership’s authority and states that woman can do whatever they want even if God says no. The advancement of the gospel cannot be done when people sin and women sin when they go against God’s rules.

Followers of Christ are to oppose injustice and patriarchal teachings and practices that marginalize and abuse females and males.

This is another bald-faced lie as Christ’s followers obey God’s instructions

Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Sam.15:22)

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Lk. 6:46)

Yes we are to oppose true injustice but someone who wants to disobey God and doesn’t get their way is not a true injustice. Nor is disallowing women to be pastors, church and family leaders an abuse of women. That last core value is nothing more than bullying the church into accepting false teaching and lies.

There is not one bible verse that agrees with that organization and they should not be allowed to work in the church at all. The Bible also shows that that organization is not following scriptures for guidance for faith, life and practice. it shows that that organization is misusing the bible for their own purpose and not God’s.

#4. They Believe...– http://www.cbeinternational.org/sites/default/files/english_0.pdf

We believe that biblical equality as reflected in this document is true to Scripture. We stand united in our conviction that the Bible, in its totality, is the liberating Word that provides the most effective way for women and men to exercise their gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit and thus to serve God.

Billy Graham said once that whenever he said ‘The Bible says…’ or something similar to that, he felt a great rush of power with his words (and I am quoting that from memory) but when people say ‘i believe…’ or ‘we believe…’ it doesn’t mean they have it right or that God is with those words. As we can see by that quote, God is not with those words as they are not anchored in the word of God and they cannot say ‘The Bible says…’ because the Bible does not say that.

The Bible is the liberating word but from sin not from God’s rules and instructions. Both men and women are to exercise their gifts according to God’s rules not their own desires or selfish demands.

The statement of equality they present at that link is too long for this post so I may end up doing a second just for that alone. For this post, suffice it to say that they do a lot of eisegesis adding into scriptures their own ideas and are not following the HS to the truth

 

 
Comments Off on Much To Talk About- 130

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, leadership, theology

 

Much To Talk About- 129

#1. No it Is Not A New Species Of Humanhttp://news.yahoo.com/lucy-may-not-mum-scientists-192549568.html

In 1974, anthropologists in Ethiopia found the astonishing fossilised remains of a human-like creature who last walked the planet some 3.2 million years ago.

Was “Lucy,” as the hominid was called, the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens? Was she “The Mother of Mankind,” as some headlines claimed?

Over the years, the dramatic assertion has come under attack by doubters, who point to ancient yet inconclusive finds in Kenya and Chad.

But a new fossil, reported on Wednesday, may have dealt Lucy’s claimed status an irreversible blow.

Over the past month or so there have been a few discoveries on the evolutionary side of things but I decided not to talk about them as it is the same old story– the discoverer uses his imagination to fabricate a history for his find. We have the same thing with this discovery and what they claim doesn’t mean anything because all they have are a few bones and the wild imagination of the people involved.  That is it.

They have no ancient records describing the bones, no documentation of any kind to support the tale created by the evolutionist. All they have is the pure creative speculation read into the discovery and that is it. It is amazing that any intelligent people would fall for these cock and bull stories published by evolutionists but they do and that is the sad part.

By the way, there is nothing on the bones that dates them to millions of years ago thus the discoverers are presumptuous when they place an age on the bones. For all they know the creature died 100 years ago and was lucky enough to be placed in older material as its burial site.  This is one reason I do not talk about evolution that much, its followers live in fantasy land and you can’t get them to come back to reality.

#2. They Can’t Discusshttp://rachelheldevans.com/blog/why-christian-women-follow-friday#comment-2049360947

If you want to know my response to your repeated assertions, just read what I have posted so far. You can copy and paste my replies as responses to anything further you post.

It’s the truth. It’s Bible. It’s Jesus.

I have been in on a discussion for a couple of weeks over at Ms. Evans’ website and the above quote represents the past 7 made by that person. It is all he can say in response to my points. As you can see in the last line he thinks he is correct BUT he never points to one biblical passage where Jesus or any biblical author grant permission for women to be pastors. He doesn’t present any biblical argument for his point of view nor can he cite one time where Jesus over-turned God’s instructions.

This is the thing for those who support alternatives to the biblical record. They have nothing to stand upon to bolster their point.

As I said and will continue to say: The truth is that women can be pastors, women can be teachers, women can be leaders, women can be anything that men can be in the kingdom of God, the church, and the body of Christ.

The Spirit gives the giftings and God builds the body, placing the members where he wishes. And there are no gender restrictions.

When I pointed out that that pastoral criteria do not include those items, he returns to repeating the mantra in the first quote. When I point out that spiritual gifts do not over-rule pastoral criteria he again returns to that same mantra and when I asked that if he was right, why did God have Paul write his instructions or not have another biblical author over-rule them, he again spouts some response that make shim sound like he has been brainwashed and cannot think for himself.

Those who opt for sinful alternatives to biblical record really can’t discuss their point of view because they are building their houses upon the sand and have nothing with which to use to provide them a solid foundation for their points. They abuse and misuse scriptures in their presentations but they can’t discuss because they do not have God on their side.

#3. What Bothers Me About J. West– https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/dear-unlearned-un-and-under-educated-pastors-please-take-scripture-seriously-and-study/

Is that he is not a true believer but he does say some very good things. from time to time. He is a minimalist which means he does not accept most of the Bible yet he considers himself a Christian which means that from time to time he will say some very poignant things one needs to think about and the above link is one of those times.

I realize, know, and understand that not everyone has the opportunity to attend college and graduate school in order to learn in great depth and detail what Scripture teaches, theology informs, and church history illustrates.  Not everyone can learn Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.  I also realize that having those opportunities is a real blessing and privilege.

But that doesn’t excuse you, dear Parson, if you lack those opportunities, from doing your dead level best to become better informed in your calling’s text (the Bible) than any physician in his anatomy text or lawyer in her law books.  You OWE it to your congregation, your sheep, your flock, to feed them bread and not stones or scorpions.

I agree in part with these words because yes, not everyone can learn the ancient languages, go to bible school and other academic institutions but I disagree with him that these things are essential to being a preacher. I do agree with him that the man taking a job as pastor of a church does owe his congregation something. But I disagree with him on what that something is. The pastor owes his people the truth and that he should do all things that he can to follow the HS to that truth and then learn how to teach it to his congregation.

One does not have to be a scholar to do the job God has called him to do. That is a human criteria, a J. West criteria not a biblical one. Oh we can go to seminary and study more but we need to make sure God is leading us to the truth not theological or historical ideology that has nothing to do with God or his word. In other words, we can study the Documentary Hypothesis so we can refute it not adopt it and then teach our people that Moses did not write the first 5 books of the Bible.

We do need to learn about false teaching, not to incorporate its alternative into our church methodology or hierarchy but in order to instruct our people on why it is false teaching and why it should be ignored.

So why advise people as to the meaning of Scripture when you have no idea what it actually says?  Away with such incompetence.  ‘Study, to show yourself to be a workman who can rightly divide the Word of Truth’.  Otherwise, shut up.  For your sake, and for the sake of your congregation.

Those folk aren’t yours.  They belong to God and he has given you the task of leading them.  If you lead them astray, you’re cursed.

Strange words coming from a man who leads his people astray every week. The first lesson, one that West ignores, is, FOLLOW THE HS TO THE TRUTH for as the Bible says- they can do nothing against the truth. In fact one of the pieces of spiritual armor is

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, (Eph. 6)

If you read the whole passage on the armor of God, you will not find one piece of equipment labeled– interpretation. Strive for the truth and you will not let God or you people down.

#4. Another Article On Hellhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/what-hell-tells-us-about-gods-character/

I agree with Tozer and would take it one step further: what comes into our minds when we think about hell tells us a lot about God’s character– or at least what we envision God’s character to be.

These articles fail because the authors do not believe God nor accept most of the Bible as written. To answer the question, the existence of hell tells us that God is just, and fair.  He penalizes people for their rejection of salvation, just like he said he would and he is being fair to all those people who believed His word and died either as a martyr for their faith or believing God and the Bible.

He is telling them that their lives were not wasted or lived in vain but that it meant something. How just or fair would God be if he let those who rejected salvation into paradise or gave them an early release from hell? It would be a slap in the face to all those who lived by God’s instructions throughout their lives to do so. People who complain about hell and write alternative ideas about it do not think everything through and only look at the issue through their own selfish eyes. They do not care about justice, fairness, integrity, character etc., they just want to change what God has said because they do not like his words and their eternal destination.

Cook touches on this point by arguing that if God created a universe where hell exists, and being tortured eternally in flames was a high probability for the pinnacle of his creation, he is at least partly culpable in that result. While he uses one illustration to make the point, I’ll use another: if I had a five-year-old child and let them play near the road instead of on the lawn, I would at least be partly culpable if they got hit by a car, since I would know in advance that getting hit by a car was a very real possibility of allowing them to play near the street.

This is looking at things the wrong way.  A person is only partly culpable if they do not take measures to bring the child back from the road. That author forgets that God sent messengers to tell them where to safely be, he wrote the Bible to tell people how to live safely and he sent his son then apostles to do the same. If God had done nothing then he could be accused of aiding the disaster BUT God did something thus he is not culpable

What those authors are doing is saying that God is to blame for their refusal to listen to and follow God’s efforts to get them to safe ground and when they are threatened with being sent to hell, they turn around and make it God’s fault for their refusal to comply. They are not being honest in their assessment of the situation. They reject God’s offers then blame God because hell exists and they are going to be sent there. They do not take into account their own culpability here. They refused salvation, they refused to believe God’s words, they refused to listen to God’s messengers and they refuse to take responsibility for those refusals.

They are at fault and they deserve to be sent to hell but not in their minds. They think they should be excused because they went to church, fed the poor and other good works all the while calling God a liar, disbelieving his word and ignoring his offer of salvation.

#5. What The Duggar Scandal Teaches Us http://criticalrealismandthenewtestament.blogspot.kr/2015/05/on-good-and-evil.html

That’s why the Duggar scandal is so important: it exposes starkly the evil of the New Christian Right. We see what they’ve always been: people who privilege the hegemony of men, and specifically heterosexual men, over the well-being of girls, women, and LGBT persons. These are people who act as if confessed molestation of children is a small thing. That’s crucial here: these aren’t just allegations. No one is denying that Josh Duggar molested at least five female persons younger than himself, at least four of whom were his own sisters. They’re just saying that it’s not that big a deal. And I’ve yet to hear a single person in the New Christian Right camp express any concern for the well-being of his victim. There is not an ounce of compassion towards the victims, even as we’re called upon to show mercy to the barely repentant perpetrator.

It is not what that author claims. The answer to the title is– the Duggar scandal teaches us that good people are tempted, they fall to temptation, that they sin. BUT it also tells us that God’s way works, that we can turn our lives around, that forgiveness can be had even for difficult crimes as those. Then it teaches us that the secular world does not forgive but holds our actions over our heads every chance they get and never think that restoration or punishment is enough and that someone got a raw deal usually the victim.

There is one thing more it teaches us–that sins or crimes are subjective and depends upon who is doing the observing and how they personally feel about the events in question. Very few people carry with them the views of honesty, justice, fairness and so on when evaluating what has taken place. They want their ideas of justice and restitution and not God’s.

Yes, the Duggar scandal can teach us a lot if we let God do the teaching.

#6. I Am In Another Discussionhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/defending-the-bible.html#comment-2050151169

McGrath has unbanned everyone which means that I am included in that amnesty. I made one comment on the above thread, possibly two and it is his responses that bother me. Here they are:

“That you think that disagreeing with you and/or the human authors of the Bible is disagreeing with God shows that you have missed the warnings in the Bible about idolatry, too.”

“You are not banned, but if you don’t say things that are worth discussing, you will not necessarily get a reply. You claim to know what was in the minds of the Biblical authors. You assume that what certain ancient humans wrote – but not others – are the words of God. Unless you are willing to provide a rational argument for adopting those stances, there isn’t really anything to discuss, nor any way to discuss it, is there?”

I have yet to respond to the latter one but in his words, you can see that while he claims I am assuming about ancient authors he turns around and assumes that he knows what I am doing even though he cannot read my mind or now my sources. The dishonesty that comes with talking with alternative believers gets me angry. Then comes the word ‘rational’ which also makes me upset because he does not clarify what definition of rational will be used or if he is sole judge and jury on what is rational or not.

In other words, he will use his rules whether I am aware of them or not and he will label my words regardless of their rational and logical arguments irrational and illogical if he does not like them. This means that no matter what I say, he will always have an out to avoid the truth and continue on his merry alternative way. The truth stands no chance when discussing with McGrath.

 

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, creation, faith, General Life, history, leadership, science, theology

 

Much To Talk About- 128

#1. Joel Watts Gets One Righthttp://unsettledchristianity.com/quote-of-the-day-daniel-dennett-on-postmodernism/

Postmodernism, the school of “thought” that proclaimed “There are no truths, only interpretations” has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for “conversations” in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster…The best way for the humanities to get back their mojo is to learn from the invaders and re-acquire the respect for truth that they used to share with the sciences. — Daniel Dennett

This is a quote that he is responding to and I needed it here to provide context. Here is what Watts says in response:

This is, I fear, the nature of modern religion, specifically modern Christianity. There is no truth. There are only matters of interpretations so that regardless of what one believes, it is a personal matter of no importance.

Here he is right as I have been hearing for over 30 years now responses to what I have said, ‘That’s your interpretation.’ It didn’t take a supposed post-modern way of thinking to introduce that concept into the church, people use it constantly when they want to avoid hearing the truth. Of course, the idea that there are only interpretations flies in the face of biblical teaching as I have often quoted Jesus on this matter. You all know the verse– ‘ye shall know the truth and it shall set you free.’

There is truth and there is only one,not many. Just like there is only one true religious faith and not many leading to the same goal. The true Christian church needs its leaders to get back to the truth and preach and apply that correctly so that all Christians and people will know the right way to go and, hopefully, make the right decision.

This is one of the things that bothers me about the Irish vote recently that approved same-sex marriage in their country. Their ‘yes’ vote simply tells their people that there is no such thing as truth and there is no such thing as right and wrong. There are just accepted and unacceptable practices and those standards are flexible. The truth is not flexible which is why so many people do not want it and gravitate towards interpretation. The latter allows them to feel good about their wrong behavior and thoughts.

#2. He Is Wrong About The Ancientshttp://biologos.org/news/may-2015/meet-scot-mcknight-biologos-conference-plenary-speaker

For some Jewish writers of that time, Adam comes off more positively than for others, but in each, Adam is not just the first human being but also the archetypal first sinner whose sin had an impact on those who followed him. In no instances is Adam simply the first human being in a long chain of history; Adam is always the archetype of humans in general or of Israel in particular. How did these authors learn to read Adam as an archetype and come to know these things? Not by historical investigation as we do it, not by scientific inquiry as we do it but, put plainly and simply: they knew Adam as the literary Adam found in their sacred book, the Torah, in Genesis.

How does he know this?  I know that this idea has been trumpeted for years now by archaeologists and historians but there actually is no evidence to support that argument.  I say this because I know that these same people talk out of the other side of their mouths and praise certain ancients for their scientific work and their historical records. When one is talking about the ancients and what they did or did not know you need to remind them that we have so few ancient written works available that such a conclusion cannot be made.

When people say the above, what they are really saying is that they do not believe God about Adam being a real and historical person, the first human.  They are saying they accept and believe what unbelievers say about ancient humans and that there was no historical Adam and Eve. Then what they are saying is that they do not believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God which puts them in the camp of evil for they certainly are not on God’s side.

#3. Biblical Issues Are Not For The Unbeliever http://unsettledchristianity.com/book-notice-candidamosss-reconceiving-infertility-biblical-perspectives-on-procreation-and-childlessness/

In the Book of Genesis, the first words God speaks to humanity are “Be fruitful and multiply.” From ancient times to today, these words have been understood as a divine command to procreate. Fertility is viewed as a sign of blessedness and moral uprightness, while infertility is associated with sin and moral failing. Reconceiving Infertility explores traditional interpretations such as these, providing a more complete picture of how procreation and childlessness are depicted in the Bible.

Closely examining texts and themes from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, Candida Moss and Joel Baden offer vital new perspectives on infertility and the social experiences of the infertile in the biblical tradition.

This section does not address Joel Watts as he is not the one doing the speaking here. I titled this section in the way that I did as I am getting tired of seeing so many unbelievers and alternative believers speaking on issues they do not understand or believe. When McGrath made his point about scholars correcting the masses on biblical points I made a comment stating that the unbelieving scholar does not have holy help in obtaining the truth about what God has said.

That is the point I want to make here, again.  When you do not believe, you are deceived and how you look at the Bible is skewed because of the evil influences that have a free reign in your minds. They blind people to the truth and push them towards conclusions that are far from what God has said and judging from the above quote, Candida Moss and Joel Baden have fallen victim to or have always been under evil’s influence.

It is not just this topic of infertility but since the sinful world doe snot have the truth they should not expect to get to it on their own or through their own ways of study and research. They need their eyes opened to see what is really going on. Now they may make a good point or two but that will be about it. I have not seen fertility and infertility expressed in the Bible as equivalents to blessedness, moral uprightness or sin and moral failing.  Was Elizabeth sinful or had a moral failing because she was barren? No of course not but according to that logic she must have and if she had, why are we not treated to her repentance and restoration first before being told she would be the mother of John the Baptist?

After all, both she and Mary were living under Mosaic law and OT culture. Why pick 3 women only when Samson’s mother who seemed to do nothing wrong that we know of? What did she do to deserve being barren? Then what did she do to receive the blessing God gave her?  Their logic just does not make sense and ignores how many details we do not have about the lives of those women. Or God’s interaction with them.

Moss & Baden also misunderstand God’s command to be fruitful and multiply as do so many believers have done throughout history to the modern age.  I will not go into it here but suffice it to say people do not clarify with God to find out if they got the message correct before they set out on a course of action. The fact that Moss and Baden do not have the help of the HS tells us that their perspective on this and any issue will be filled with error and biblical misunderstandings and they are not contributing anything constructive to the church.

#4. Case In Pointhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/if-christ-is-the-victor-hell-could-only-be-temporary/

Over the course of the past year I’ve had an ongoing series introducing readers to what I call the “biblical alternative to hell,” which is a position called conditionalism…. In brief for newcomers, those who hold to the position of conditionalism or annihilationism believe the Bible teaches that those who ultimately refuse to be reconciled to God through Christ are “totally destroyed” or “blotted out of the Book of Life,” as in, they ultimately cease to exist

The owner of that website does not believe God yet still claims to be a Christian but if you read his words, you will see that he does not understand one thing God has said in the Bible and does not have the help of the HS to get to the truth. His whole series contradicts the Bible and what it teaches about hell. I have brought this topic up here before and shown how that author is dishonest in his presentation of biblical passages and that is another reason why I say that unbelievers and alternative believers need to stop talking about biblical topics as if they have an inside track or know something about scriptures.

They are dishonest in their presentation of what God has recorded in the Bible’s pages. They cannot be honest for if they were, their alternative points would crumble right before their very eyes and they do not want that to happen. They want to believe alternatives because it gives them false hope and relieves them of the despair that will come when they realize they are very, very wrong. This dishonesty is why you have to be careful when you read their works for they can be very subtle to say the least.

No, unbelievers and alternative believers need to stop expounding upon the bible like they know the truth. They need to repent of their sins in order to remove the blindness that covers their eyes but since most of them do not believe the devil exists or that he has the influence he has, that rarely happens. That author ends his article with the following words:

But the traditional view of hell? That view paints a picture of God where He loses in the end.

How does God lose when he is the one revealing to us what hell is, who it is for and why  humans will be sent there. It also tells us that it will not be a temporary punishment:

10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and [f]brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever…. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if [k]anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20 NASB)

There is no confusion or ambiguity to this revelation.

#5. I Think She Is Misguided http://www.christianpost.com/news/women-not-assuming-available-leadership-roles-is-more-pressing-than-women-in-the-pulpit-139594/

As some continue to debate the presence of women in the pulpit, we must not miss this immediate problem: the marked absence of women in areas of church leadership that are open to them.

We should not hinder women from serving God in those church positions that God has opened up to them.  BUT we need to make sure God has led them to those positions and that they are qualified to occupy those positions. This means we need to make sure their attitudes are correct, that they are not harboring sin or doing sinful activities and that they are humbly following all of God’s rules.

They are fighting to be seen as necessary beyond children’s ministry and women’s ministry. They are fighting to contribute more than hospitality or a soft voice on the praise team. They are looking for leadership trajectories for women in the local church and finding virtually nothing. They watch their brothers receive advocacy and wonder who will invite them and equip them to lead well. If the contributions of women are equally valued in the church, shouldn’t we see some indication in the way we staff?

The question for this is: are they looking for those real positions or do they want to sneak into church leadership through the back door? This is the problem with this issue. Where are we going to draw the line and will the women accept that line? Obviously we need to draw the line where God draws it and not succumb to modern cultural influences. Nor should we allow for selfish desires to help create that barrier. We do need to be honest and make sure we do have the right positions available for women to fill but that does not mean we put them on staff, that would make them church leaders- a position where they are not allowed to go.

But we must be careful that our high regard doesn’t morph into idolatry.

This is a common complaint by those who want women in church leadership roles. They confuse obedience to God’s word with making the Bible an idol and those who subscribe to this view error on their definitions.  Getting people to obey is not the same as making a biblical instruction an object of worship. Making something an idol means we bow down to it and praise it, but that is not what is happening here when we limit women to biblical roles.

We men are charged with keeping our women from sinning in spite of their best efforts to fudge on God’s rules.

Much of this counsel applies equally to the roles of teacher, counselor, minister, lay leader—roles that can be filled by both men and women.

The problem she overlooks is the admonition by Paul that women cannot teach men and according to Jewish tradition males become men at about the age of 12 or 13. This means that the positions of teacher is limited to women and men under the age of 12 if women are going to fill that position. The last two positions are filled only if the definition and duties do not violate God’s rules.

We need some hands and feet to go with all these heads, and many of them are female. The sisters among us are wondering when we’ll be able to tangibly demonstrate equal value in the local church, not just affirm this value with our words.

The problem here is that that author is using one verse that does not apply to this issue and using it to define who can or cannot be a church leader. Also what that author forgets, is that the husband of these women have a say in this matter and if they do not want their wives to fill these positions then they cannot do so or the woman would be sinning and then corrupting the position they have filled.

We do not take one passage of scripture and negate the others that apply. A woman is to be in submission to her husband and these verses apply to this issue. Women are not free from these instructions simply because they are trying to be a church leader.

What opportunities would you seek out for him to cultivate his gifts and gain ministry experience? What hopes would you have for him as a leader? Now, ask yourself the same questions for a woman. If the fact that she will never fill the pulpit means you cannot imagine a ministry trajectory for her, something is wrong. What ministry might she build and run? What place on your executive staff might she fill? What committee needs her leadership? What role in the Sunday gathering needs her voice and example? Where can her teaching gift be leveraged? What blind spot or planning dilemma can she speak into? What mission effort can she spearhead?

These are both good and bad questions but I do not think that women, or certain women, are ready for the answers nor will they accept them when given. Most of these sound like an end run around God’s rules for the church.  Women need to be content with being the helpmeet and not the leader, they need to focus on

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. (Luke 1610 NASB)

before trying to get those larger positions in the church. Women are not excused from this guideline because they are women or that they feel they have been discriminated against or suppressed. They really need to know the biblical instructions concerning leadership long before they demand to be promoted to such positions. A lot of women put the cart before the horse and that is not how you get the cart to move.

But I cherish the hope it will one day yield up a sermon on the priesthood of all believers

I put the key word in bold as it is another term that most believers do not understand nor use correctly. That word doe snot over-rule God’s instructions to women given throughout the Bible. God’s rules still apply concerning church leadership regardless of this identification.

Treasure the brotherhood of the pastorate, but for the love of the church, invite your sisters to take a seat at the ministry table, a seat you may reflexively want to fill with a man.

The answer to this is a ‘no’. We do not place women in positions just because there are no women in these positions. If they are biblically allowed to hold certain positions, they still have to be spiritually qualified to fill those roles. Should women represent the other women of the church and inform the leadership of what is going on in their lives and in the church–of course but that does not mean they need to be or have to be a leader of the church.

Communication of women issues is not restricted to the idea that there must be a woman leader in the church or on a committee.

But when he does, may he be greeted by a church whose practice affirms its belief that the equal value of men and women was never open to debate.

This point doesn’t hold water for that opens the church to sinful practices in the name of equality. Jesus said, ‘to obey is better than sacrifice’ so her idea is not a good one when no church rejecting women leaders is making them unequal or second class. Again those who advocate women leadership distort this equality point for their own gain and not for Christ’s. This is the point that most advocates for women leadership in the church do not talk about. What they are doing is for their own gain and they do not have the church ‘s interest or Christ’s in mind.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, education, faith, family, history, leadership, theology

 

Einstein Was Wrong

This is something to think about.

#1. Here is a quote from Igor Novikov:

Albert Einstein discovered that time is not immutable. Strong gravitational fields– for example,the strong gravitational field of a neutron star– slow down the pace of time. Clocks in the strong gravitational field near a neutron star’s surface tick much slowly than do clocks far away. (pg. 58, The Future of Spacetime Ed. Cal Tech, Can We Change The Past by Igor Novikov)

Actually Einstein did not prove any such thing for the simple reason that Time is a separate entity outside of the governorship of gravity. What he proved was that strong gravitational fields have an effect on the mechanisms measuring the passage of time but these mechanisms do not own time, do not produce it, nor control it thus gravity’s effect is not on time itself.

Time is, just like gravity is and the one does not rule the other nor places undue influences upon each other. The passage of time does not change simply because a clock slows down or is forced to slow down by outside pressure. It has been said that a person who flies at the speed of light for 40 years would look much younger than a person who lived those 40 years on earth at normal speeds when the two get back together again but I disagree.

The former may look younger than the latter but that is due to lack of wear and tear on the former not because time has stood still for him. He still aged 40 years but that aging process was just not as harsh as the other person’s aging process. We see this difference all the time in just normal life, the person living on the street ages far faster than those who have a comfortable and easy life.

But getting back to time, it is a mistake to think that what monitors an activity also produces it and controls its movements.Time is a non-material essence not a mechanical material object thus gravity would have no effect upon it like it would the mechanical material object. Clocks merely monitor time, and not that well for most of those devices, which means that time exists outside the realm of material objects and is not subject to the same laws of other forces that exist in this universe or world.

This means that the laws of physics probably do not apply to time.

Now you may think I am criticizing Einstein’s work in physics, but I am not. His math equations are probably correct for his theory but they are not correct for the reality of time and this universe. They only work if time was manufactured and governed by clocks.

#2. Here is a quote from Stephen Hawking:

Even if it turns out that time travel is impossible, it is important that we understand why it is impossible (pg. 101 The Future of Spacetime Ed. by Cal Tech, Chronology Protection by Stephen Hawking)

The simple answer to Dr. hawking is this: Time travel is impossible because time only exists in the present and what is past is gone, over and not running in perpetually; then what is future does not exist yet.

To assume that time travel is possible one must assume that the past continues to exist in some form that is accessible by those living in the future. Then to travel into the future it has to be assumed that the future has already been lived and exists now in some format that is accessible by those living in the present. But time is a non-material entity with no properties to store past events so that they may be accessed by curious scientists and no ability to capture what has not yet taken place.

Time travel needs life to be lived previously in order to access the future and not disappear in order to access the past. It would mean that Christ would never have died for our sins.

The other problem for those who want time travel to be a possibility is that their theories ignore that groups like ISIS or people like Hitler, or some other dictator, and so on, do not receive access to it at all and cannot pollute the time the time traveler wants to go to. Time travel wishful thinkers want time travel to lead them to the perfect utopia but that is also impossible for sin would still exist in their new location and the time traveler’s paradise will be ruined by greed, and other deadly sins.

In other words, the wannabe time traveler wants to avoid the simple task of repenting of their sins and accepting Jesus as their savior in order to get to paradise and it just won’t work. To get to paradise one must follow God’s rules found in John 3:16 & 17 then correctly follow what is found in the rest of the Bible.

Secular science does not have the answers for this world. No matter how hard they try they are only looking for alternatives to avoid the only reality we have. Secular science doe snot want God thus ideas about time travel appear attractive but when you look at the reality beyond that first blush you find that time travel does not allow a person to escape what already exists nor does it find an alternative answer for the solution to the problems of the world.

There is only one Jesus who died for our sins and there is only one solution for the problems of the world and that is following biblical instructions correctly, humbly and without ulterior motives. Time travel only leads a sinful person to other sinful people and environments not to utopian ideals or an alternative universe where sin, evil, the devil and his demons do not exist.

One postscript: The two authors I have just quoted kept using the word ‘imagine’ throughout their essays but all that tells us is that they do not have anything real to work with. There is nothing wrong with  a person’s imagination if they use it correctly. For example, if before the invention of the airplane one looks at the birds and says to a friend ‘imagine if a person could fly.’

There we have a person who is looking at something real and working with it to make another possibility a reality– flight for mankind.  BUT with time travel, we have nothing in this world or universe that can time travel thus there is nothing real to work with. It is all imaginary and only wastes time not constructively helps society. There are no real principles of time travel to manipulate in order to allow humans to practice that option. Any talk about time travel and making it real is pure speculation which has no hope in becoming a reality.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in academics, astronomy, Bible, faith, history, leadership, science, theology

 

1 Good Point, 7 Bad Ones

#1. The One Good Pointhttp://unsettledchristianity.com/the-bible-and-the-constitution/ I haven’t been Joel Watts’ website for a while so i decided to check it out today and came across this interesting point or actually a very good question:

I love the argument that Christians have to obey the Word of God above the Constitution of the USA. Although I revere the U.S. Constitution, the Bible and The U.S. Constitution are not one and the same. However I’ve been thinking on it again and I realized that this is the same argument that ISIS makes about their Holy Book and Muslims in general use to defend Sharia Law! How then is it fair for Christians to condemn Muslims for believing that religious rules supersede the standing laws of a country? Is Christian absolutism, even prejudicial, the answer? Is “freedom from religion the answer?” Any thoughts?

To answer his question on ‘how is it fair…’ all we have to do is look at the actions of both groups as they defy governmental law.  The Christian does not use murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, and other sins in their defiance of national or local laws. The Christian is not allowed to sin in their ignoring of the commands of men and usually only defy man’s laws when the latter contradict or make the believer defy God’s laws or instructions.

To answer his last real question, freedom from religion is not the answer. That idea only leads to more sin and lawlessness. The problem comes in when those who look at the behavior of some religious groups and only stop looking at the surface and do not go deeper into the issue to see the root of the real problem. ISIS, like many different groups, only use religion as their cover, their disguise, their justification and do not really believe what their cover story really says. They are not true believers and they are not caring about how their religion looks as long as they get what they want–power, control and riches.

The real root of the issue is that groups like ISIS are acting on behalf of the devil and not on any religious or God’s behalf no matter how much they proclaim their religious beliefs. They are motivated by sin and the only relief from that motivation is, of course, salvation through Jesus Christ. Salvation won’t come from abandoning religion for all one is doing is replacing sin with sin. By the word ‘religion’ I am not including Christianity for true Christianity puts people on the path to flee sin and not practice it.

#2. The 7 Bad Points http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2015/05/7-problems-with-a-recent-evangelical-defense-of-the-historicity-of-genesis-1-11/ By the title I am not referring to my rebuttal but to Enn’s points against Hoffmeier. I am only going to quote Enn’s points as there is not enough room for both and I generally agree with Hoffmeier.

#1. I agree that there is a theological “structure,” so to speak, for the Christian Bible, and that structure reflects the theological sensitivities of the biblical writers and of those who directed the process of canonization (first OT then NT). But the presence of this theological structure does not settle the vexing historical problems of Genesis 1-11, and to think that it does is a common evangelical and fundamentalist assertion.

So What About God? Doesn’t he have a say in what was written in his book? Why does Enns automatically assume the first chapters of Genesis were solely a human product? What evidence does he have to support his assertion? And I use the word assertion because that is exactly what it is. He really cannot use that word for evangelicals or fundamentals because he has no evidence to prove the first chapters are not history. It isn’t the presence of a ‘theological structure’ that makes the beginning chapters of the bible historical; they are considered historical because they recorded actual historical events. Events that require faith not evidence to accept and believe. God’s rules come into play here not secular science’s demands.

#2. Evangelical defenses of historicity are often quickly propelled into the philosophical stratosphere of “presuppositions,” which has the unfortunate effect of reducing debates on concrete matters to claims of theological superiority.

The only reason Enns’ says this is because he, like so many others, do not regard the Bible as a historical document or text but merely religious writings. But he, like those so many others, are very wrong. The Bible is a historical text revealing actual historical events as they happened and with the exact conversations that took place. Believers are not making ‘presuppositions’ about the past when they talk about Genesis 1-11, nor are they making ‘claims to theological superiority’ but reciting what actually happened in Earth’s history. We have ‘theological superiority’ because we are reciting the truth and not some human alternative. Enns’ forgets that there is such a thing as truth and error in his arguments against those chapters.

#3. Another common evangelical tactic repeated here by Hoffmeier is to equate Wellhausen’s 19th c. theory of Pentateuchal composition with source theories that have developed since Wellhausen. Sparks effectively addresses this in his response.

That is like saying that the modern evolutionary theory has no root in Darwin’s thinking even though all evolutionists quote him and point to his work as their source for their version of that theory. Wellhausen and other German scholars launched the JEPD hypothesis and others just ran with it when they found that the original did not go far enough in describing their unbelief. Even though Wellhausen may not have contributed to the more modern versions of the documentary hypothesis, he was the spark, the motivation behind the rise of the alternatives to his initial thinking. It is not wrong to cite Wellhausen as the source for the modern opposition of the OT record.

#4. Following on #3, Hoffmeier seems to think that debunking Wellhausen not only neuters any source analysis of the Pentateuch but de facto puts Mosaic authorship back in its rightful place as the traditional, and problem-free explanation for Pentateuchal origins.

But Jesus puts Moses authorship ‘back in its rightful place…’ as Jesus referred to Moses in John 5:44ff by saying ‘if you do not believe Moses how will you believe me?’ Moses’ authorship is very important to the biblical text and if we say he did not write the Torah then we have no foundation to believe the Gospels and remove their historicity.

Enns’ does not grasp this point and many who believe alternatives do not either as I have had them say to me over the years– My lack of belief about Genesis does not affect my salvation.’  Well it does for if you cannot believe ‘In the Beginning God…’ how can you believe, ‘For God so loved the world…’ How would God love the world so much if he did not create it? Why would he send his son to die, if some formless, know nothing process developed living things? Why would God send a flood to destroy the world for their sins, if sin and death had been existing for millions of years and no instruction had been given on what is right and wrong? No, Enns does not think his points through and fails to see the significance of Moses recording real history.

#5. Sparks addresses this point, when he states what appears to me to be obvious: intending to write history doesn’t mean you pulled it off, and biblical authors do not get a free pass on “historical accuracy,” especially without addressing the type of history writing we can expect from ancient Israelite/Jewish authors.

I forget who said this first, it was a scholar I read many years ago and does not originate with me. He said, ‘If the OT is not true then the biblical authors become the first group of people incapable of writing their own country’s history and this is what Enns is saying with those words. He is saying that both God and his biblical authors are so incompetent that they cannot write the actual history they witnessed. It is a ridiculous thing to say about Israeli/biblical authors and that idea comes from arrogance and a superiority complex that knows no rivals.

It is also an insult to God as it says he and his people’s work are inferior to secular writers who have no real moral code to guide them and are free to alter history to fit their desires. And we know that secular people alter history, RK Harrison recorded it in his book OT Times, as have other scholars but biblical authors had God’s holiness and rules to live and write by thus they could not write what wasn’t true.

All Enns is saying here is that God lied and had his authors lie for whatever reason yet Satan is the one described as the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) so Enns is saying that God is Satan and that is a grievous error to make and renders his claims to being a Christian moot.

#6. This same slippery-slope line recurs again and again and again and again whenever it is suggested that science or other scholarly disciplines affect how we think of the Bible (especially in the evolution debate), but this rhetoric is useless for reasoned and scholarly discussion.

Enns forgets here that neither God nor Jesus give permission to their followers to take science over their words. Why would they? Science is a corrupt, sinful field of research governed by evil and in desperate need of a Savior so why would it have the truth over either God or Jesus. Enns says later:

The resurrection of Christ doesn’t provide such footprints and therefore is not open to the same type of scientific investigation.

Science is not the go to authority here. The Bible is and that book tells us to use faith and we use faith because we know that there is far too many events we cannot produce physical evidence to show they took place. The first century people could use their own eyes on the historical Jesus and his resurrection but Jesus said to Thomas:

Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (Jn. 20:29 NASB)

Jesus did not make physical evidence the criteria to prove the biblical events and science or its members do not have the authority to change the criteria of faith. Scientific investigation is not important when it comes to matters of the Bible. Paul said, ‘by Grace are ye saved through faith…’ he did not say, by scientific investigation and physical evidence are ye saved. Those who take secular science over the Bible are saying that they do not believe God and have turned to believe evil. Yes, how one uses science does determine how you look at the Bible and if you got science over the Bible then you need to make a change and repent of your sins.

#7. I find it incredible that Hoffmeier contends that Genesis 1-11 is essentially independent of Mesopotamian origins stories. This is like suggesting that Roman theology and politics can be best understood apart from preceding Greek culture.

Enns continues to display his ignorance of how God works, how the biblical authors wrote and how chronology works.  He ignores the fact that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are of divine origin and that the Mesopotamian writers either copied from the Israelites or they concocted their myths over time as they altered the stories told to them by Noah and his family. There is no reason for the biblical authors to base the first 11 chapters of Genesis or any other chapter of the Bible on secular stories.There are reasons for the reverse but Enns ignores those in his haste to embrace secular thinking over God’s truth.

His analogy fails because secular governments are not divinely inspired works but products of free choice and if the Romans wanted to copy the Greeks instead of following God’s way then that was their choice but that choice does not mean that the biblical authors are dependent upon Mesopotamian writers. The two situations have nothing in common and cannot be logically used here.

It is an assumption only that the biblical authors copied from secular people but that idea is based upon the rejection of the divine aspects of the Bible and the failure to have enough faith to believe God over sinners. There is no historical evidence showing that the biblical authors copied form anyone nor is there any proof that the ancient Israelites held such a reputation. All of that type of thinking is read into the biblical books by those who do not believe God.

Enns’ criticism of Hoffmeier fails because he has shown no divine authority supporting his position nor has he shown that he has the truth as related by God to all men. All the criticisms come from human sources written by those who do not follow God’s rules and by their own admission do not accept divine authorship of the Bible. If they did, their writings would look a lot different. One thing that is very important to remember.

People like Enns, who claim that the bible was a product of human authors and editors, do not use that same argument against the people who write works against the Bible. They also cannot produce any alternative divinely inspired ms. saying what they are saying against the Bible. Every ms. supports Mosaic authorship, divine inspiration and consistent content; thus we can say that people like Enns are making their arguments because they have been deceived and left God and his truth. Hoffmeier is correct as are those who stand with God and accept the Bible as a historical document recording the truth about God, earth’s origins, history and our salvation.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, creation, faith, history, leadership, science, theology

 

Much To Talk About- 127

I have a bit of a busy schedule this week so I need to keep to this format right now.

#1. Pulling Rankhttp://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/bibleandculture/2009/10/why-arguments-against-women-in-ministry-arent-biblical.html

Most of you who know me, know that I did my doctoral thesis on women in the NT with C.K. Barrett at the University of Durham in England. My first three published scholarly books were on this very subject. One of the reasons I did that thirty some years ago was because of the controversy that raged then over the issue of women in ministry, and more particularly women as pulpit ministers and senior pastors. Never mind that the Bible does not have categories like ‘senior pastor’ or ‘pulpit minister’, the NT has been used over and over again to justify the suppression of women in ministry— and as I was to discover through years of research and study, without Biblical justification. Now of course equally sincere Christians may disagree on this matter, but the disagreements should be on the basis of sound exegesis of Biblical texts, not emotions, rhetoric, mere church polity, dubious hermeneutics and the like.

You have all seen it done I am sure. Someone posts, I am a doctor thus…., or I studied this for 20 years thus… and so on. I have even done it myself  as somehow we all think such words add weight to our own rhetoric. What bothers me about Witherington doing it here is that he i snot going for the truth. If he wrote his doctorate like most students then he would have studied fallible, sinful sources, to gain his information.

He would be using human authors to decide what the divine Bible actually says which mystifies me as so many alternative people complain that the bible was a human work and can not be trusted. So why would Witherington, who is not an alternative believer, resort to more human authors to determine God’s instructions concerning the church and who can lead it?

Why wouldn’t he be relying on the HS to get to the truth so that the whole world can know it and know what to do? Appealing to human authors who have no authority to change God’s word or appealing to secular culture to reframe God’s message is not a smart thing to do. This quote above has some comments that are troublesome such as the following:

Never mind that the Bible does not have categories like ‘senior pastor’ or ‘pulpit minister’, the NT has been used over and over again to justify the suppression of women in ministry

This is just semantics at work and ignoring that the Bible covers ALL positions of church leadership and doe snot have to be item specific to apply to the situation. If we want to get technical, since the Bible does not refer to those positions, then those positions are not scriptural nor to be included in the church. His argument works both ways.

Women are not being suppressed by excluding them from church leadership. They are being kept from disobeying God which is far more important than trying to force a false sense of equality upon the church.

and as I was to discover through years of research and study, without Biblical justification.

Really? Then where are the biblical verses granting women permission to obtain those positions? In his paper there he does not cite any but does rework ones we already know to make them say things they are not saying. And that effort is a human work, human authorship so why are people not using the human writing argument against those conclusions like they do against scriptures?

The hypocrisy destroys their argument as does the lack of an ancient textual record supporting their views. Every ms. says the same thing so we know that women cannot be pastors or church leaders because there are no other instructions from God at any point in history saying otherwise.

Now of course equally sincere Christians may disagree on this matter, but the disagreements should be on the basis of sound exegesis of Biblical texts, not emotions, rhetoric, mere church polity, dubious hermeneutics and the like.

Uhm…We who disagree with women church leaders and pastors are the ones using sound exegesis and biblical texts. I have asked the person I have been having a discussion with on Ms. Evans’ forum to produce those verses that grant women permission to hold those offices. He has failed to do so and keeps referring me to external human sources who either read into the texts their wishes or alter them to fit their ideologies. They do not have biblical texts to point to in order to support their point.

Pulling rank is not a criteria God said to use to learn about his word. As you can see Christian scholars can get it wrong very easily and we should not let their years of study, experience and so on keep us from the truth and implementing that truth into the church.

#2. Feminism— The End Of Men by Hanna Rosin

I do not have nay quotes from this book as the whole thing was just terrible as it distorted what was happening in the world today by that author’s biased feminist views. What I can say is that feminism is a tool used by evil to destroy God’s order for the countries of the world, the family and the church. Christian men need to stop turning a blind eye to their wives pursuits and start checking to see if they are adhering to God’s way, after all the man is in charge of his family not the wife.

He is to lead her to the truth not be led from the truth because his wife is discontented with her role in life. We cannot approve of any feminist action in the church or the family no matter how many secularists complain and hurl insults at us. This disapproval does not mean that women are locked up in the home and not allowed to work outside. It means that we guide women to the right biblical action that has them obeying God humbly and submissively.

We set a bad example for our children and teenagers by allowing disobedience to God in the family and the church.

#3. Are Denominations Good Stewards?– https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/todays-nonsense-from-the-church-of-england/

The Church of England is considering adding a ceremony its services for “transgender” persons who seek to be re-baptized in their new gender identity and under their new name.  According to reports, Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the addition to the General Synod after being approached by a girl who identifies as a boy who wished to be baptized again under her male name.

“I said, ‘Once you’ve been baptized, you’re baptized.’ He said, ‘But I was baptized as a girl, under a different name,’” Newlands recalled to the Guardian. “I said, ‘Let me have a think about it.’ So we did and then we created a service, which was an affirmation of baptismal vows where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity,” he said.

To answer the question– obviously not. We have ignored God’s instructions and warnings about supporting evil and have corrupted our position by these type of acts. Doesn’t matter what the issue, if it goes against God, the Bible and their instructions to the church then we are not being good stewards of the office God has granted unto us.

Churches and believers represent God, they are not doing a good job of that representation by altering God’s rules and instructions to allow those who do not want to obey into the church and Christian life.

#4. They Have Free Choice As Wellhttp://www.christianpost.com/news/700-kenyan-evangelical-pastors-urge-obama-not-to-preach-gay-marriage-support-during-visit-archbishop-accuses-obama-of-ruining-american-society-139238/

President Barack Obama has been urged by the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, comprised of 700 pastors, not to “preach” and impose his views in support of same-sex marriage on the Kenyan people when he visits the African country in July.
“We would like to send a strong message to the U.S. president that the homosexuality debate should not become part of his agenda, as it has been his tendency whenever he comes to Africa,” Bishop Mark Kariuki of the Evangelical Alliance, told the Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper on Monday.
“[Obama] should respect the faith, culture and people of Kenya when he comes in July,” he added. “He should not put [homosexuality] as one of his main agenda[s] in the country…
Kenya, a majority Christian country, does not allow gay marriage and criminalizes same-sex acts, as is the case in a number of other African states.
The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya has also said that it is wary of Obama’s upcoming visit.
“We are not prepared to accept, hear or listen to anyone lecturing us on how our culture is good or bad,” said IRCK Chairman Adan Wachu

Free choice is not a one-way street and those that oppose homosexuality and the permissiveness that has been granted it in the west are not excluded from exercising their right to freely choose. Some people are allowed to choose if they want to legalize homosexuality instead of having it forced down their throats by a legal system who has chosen to ignore the rights of those who oppose such legalization.

America and its presidency are not  missionaries or evangelists for homosexuality nor should they be used as such.

#5. Lean Not To Your Own Understanding-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/24/pastor-stunts-church_n_7346314.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

Some pastors regularly go to extreme lengths to fill the pews — opening up their church and their homes to reality TV camera crews and conducting services in a bar are just the beginning. Last year, Religion News Service came up with 12 crazy ways pastors have tried to boost attendance at their churches.

Bishop’s daredevil tactic got us thinking about a few other times the spirit moved religious leaders — maybe a little too far — to experiment with ways to spread the word.

I think the title says it all. I am not a fan of gimmicks as I stated yesterday even when some people may turn to the Lord. Yes God works in mysterious ways and can use gimmicks to further his kingdom but pastors and church members really need to think things through before using them in the church and make sure God is behind them before doing them.

Let’s not use gimmicks to justify doing what we want over what God wants.

 
Comments Off on Much To Talk About- 127

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, homosexuality, leadership, theology

 
 
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