The High Moral Ground?

We have read the following article a couple of times

https://www.christianpost.com/news/billy-grahams-granddaughter-accuses-evangelicals-of-making-god-in-their-own-ivory-image-219583/

We are not sure if Ms. Jerushah Armfield is capitalizing on her heritage or Mr. Graham’s death. This article is the second on the same basic topic. We quote;

Jerushah Armfield, a granddaughter of Billy Graham’s, who died last week, has accused evangelicals of making God in their own “ivory image,” and losing the moral and spiritual authority in the United States.

About the only person who can claim the high moral ground is Jesus. He is also the only person who can say has lost their moral and spiritual authority. To us, it is amazing to see humans attempt to speak for God or take his place as head of the church. In Ms. Armfield’s case we look at her own spiritual and moral stance to see if she actually has any authority to make such statements.

We are not judging her in any way as we look at a few more quotes from that article. We are looking to see if God is on her side and if she truly has a message for the evangelical church in general.

They see that all you’re really interested in doing is making a God in your own ivory image and demanding that the world bow down to it,” Armfield, who has criticized evangelicals on a number of occasions in the past…

Specifics please. Just exactly what are evangelicals doing that make their faith a faith that creates God after their own image? Jesus gave specifics why can’t the religious critics of evangelicals do the same? So far, from what we read, her complaint is that evangelicals disagree with her or she with them. That is not enough to make such claims against evangelicals.

We should state that evangelicals are not innocent but they are not the focus of this article.

“You’ve lost any moral high ground or spiritual authority with a generation. You’ve lost the plot,” she added.

Life is not a game; it is not a movie nor a television show. It is not a theatrical play or a novel. So where this ‘lost the plot’comes from is beyond us.Life is about eternity and that is more than a plot. BUT what is her moral and spiritul position? How is it better or superior than the evangelicals? In the next quote we get a glimpse as to her moral and spiritual stance.

Armfield’s statement echoes an article about evangelicals that she linked to by Pavlovitz — who advocates for same-sex marriage, transgender issues and is opposed to state bathroom bills barring men who identify as female from entering women’s bathrooms — on his website in January.

If this quote tells us her actual position, then she does not have the moral position to say anything about evangelicals or those who oppose sin.We are not going to go indepth here as you all know those things are sin and wrong. People who have moral and spiritual authority do not go against God and declare sin good, etc.

In it, Pavlovitz challenges believers for supporting President Donald Trump despite the many accusations of moral failings surrounding him, such as adultery.

Pavlovitz argues that the reason people have had it with white evangelicals is because of their “hypocrisy, inconsistency, incredibly selective mercy,” and “thinly veiled supremacy.”

“For eight years they watched you relentlessly demonize a black president; a man faithfully married for 26 years; a doting father and husband without a hint of moral scandal or the slightest whiff of infidelity,” the pastor and author said, referring to former President Barack Obama.

The last we looked, adultery was not a criteria barring anyone from holding public office, including the Presidency. We know this because of people like JFK and Bill Clinton. It does strike us as hypocritical that people will allow certain sinful behavior in politicians they like while not allowing for those they do not like. But what really bothers us here is that Ms. Armfield seems to think that sin is limited.

No one demonized Obama because he was a good father and a faithful husband. He should be respected for that. As her uncle said in the article, Obama was ‘demonized’ because he supported sin and called it good. He went against God and no matter how good a father or husband you are, that is sin and still wrong. Being an exemplary male does not wipe away other sins committed by the same person.

They watched you deny his personal faith convictions, argue his birthplace, and assail his character — all without cause or evidence. They saw you brandish Scriptures to malign him and use the laziest of racial stereotypes in criticizing him,” he argued.

These things can be done because as they say, actions speak louder than words. Obama may claim to have faith but his actions deny and contradict that claim.The Bible does not talk about rights. It talks about right and wrong and how the latter must be excised from the believer’s life. Of course, the Bible must be used correctly when rebuking someone. We know that not every evangelical responded to Obama correctly.

Pavlovitz’s post condemned evangelicals for embracing Trump despite him being “so riddled with depravity, so littered with extramarital affairs, so unapologetically vile, with such a vast resume of moral filth — that the mind boggles.”

Yet Mrs. Clinton, the alternative, was so much better and will be declared a saint in the next few months. Mrs. Clinton was a proven liar, (among other things), and guess what, liars go to hell not just adulterers. Read Revelation 21:8. Some may say that Mrs. Clinton can repent from lying and change. Yes she could but then so can Mr. Trump repent from his adulterous ways and change. Neither sin is the unforgiveable sin.

It seems that those attacking evangelicals for lacking moral standing are the ones actually lacking moral standing as they condemn one man for sins committed while exhonerating other men and women they like. If one is going to have moral standing and authority then they must make sure there are no skeletons in their closets that undermine their accusations against others.

People who do not side with God on sinful issues and choose rights over right and wrong have no spiritual or moral authority to attack anyone else. Nathan the prophet could say to King David, “thou art the man.” because he had real spiritual and moral authority. He was also sent by God to bring David to his knees. We do not see this evident in either Ms. Armfield or that pastor she links to.

In looking at her moral and spiritual stance we do not see God behind their accusations. We do not care whose granddaughter she is. If she doesn’t agree with God then she does not have God sending her. Her, and that pastor friend of hers, are not being used by God to bring the church back to his way. We find them as guilty as those they accuse.

Removing the beams from a person’s eyes applies to those who disagree with Trump and evangelicals. If you want moral and spiritual authority, then you need to have your moral and spiritual lives in order and walk with God. You give up sin, you stop supporting sin and evil, stop worrying about rights and champion right and wrong. Pointing fingers at others who are no better/worse than yourself is not walking with God.

 

Biblical Discovery

In reading about the upcoming biblical discovery, we already know the arguments against its identification Why do we know this? Because of the person who is making the identification.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/signature-biblical-prophet-isaiah-predicted-jesus-discovered-2700-year-old-seal-219150/

Mrs. Eliat Mazar is known to work with a religious group whose agenda is to prove everything biblical. Not that such an agenda is wrong, It is sometimes such focus just gets in the way of proper identification. here is an example:

One obstacle to confirming the identity of the signature, she explained, is that the word “prophet” is not legible on the bulla.

The questions that come to mind upon reading this comment are: why would Isaiah identify himself as a prophet? Wouldn’t that be redundant since everyone at that time knew he was one? How can they prove this identification and on it goes. Another example,

Finding this bulla leads us to consider the personality and the proximity of the prophet Isaiah as one of the closest advisors to King Hezekiah

What this demonstrates is that archaeologists are unaware of the role prophets played. There are numerous explanations as to why the two bulla would be found next to each other and none of them would point to Isaiah being a close advisor. Even with that said, the bulla does represent that Isaiah was a name used at the time the Bible said it was. That counts for something.

Archaeology does not disprove the Bible at all.

Egyptian Discovery

It looks like the Egyptians have uncovered a cemetery dating to just before Alexander’s  conquest.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ancient-egypt-newly-discovered-2-161838651.html

here is the title of the article:  Ancient Egypt: Newly Discovered 2,000-Year-Old Tomb Contains Mummy of High Priest and 40 Sarcophagi

The previously unknown complex—located in the Minya region, south of the capital Cairo—consists of a vast network of burial shafts inside which a number of people are buried in 40 limestone sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes…

According to hieroglyphics found on jars in the priest’s tomb, he was one of the “Great Five”—the most important of Thoth’s priests. Gruesomely, four of these alabaster jars contained the preserved organs of the holy man.

 

Is Genesis History?

And yes we are going to talk about that film and some of the surrounding views. We are not objective because we believe the Genesis account is literal, God used 6 24 hour earth days to complete his creation act. The Bible tells us that nothing is impossible for God, thus, the activities found in Genesis One are not out of his reach. Genesis Two is not a competing creation account, but fills in some of the details that were left out of Genesis One.

What we are going to do is take a few quotes from the article found at

https://www.christianpost.com/news/young-earth-creationist-wheaton-college-students-speak-at-1-year-anniversary-release-is-genesis-history-218669/

and make our comments.

#1. A documentary that makes a scientific case for a historical, six-day creation will be shown again in movie theaters nationwide Thursday, with extra footage highlighting the pushback it has received even from within the Christian community.

We are glad that it is being shown in theaters again. Since we live in a different country we have not seen it yet and would like to do so at some point in time. What bothers us here though is the last line. Why is there a pushback from the Christian community? Obviously we do know the answer to that rhetorical question and this pushback is one of the problems the church faces today.

If God did not create as he said, then why are people still claiming to be Christian? Why would they go with a God who would not tell them exactly what he did? Why would they follow God’s plan of salvation when given the supposed evidence that plan may not be the exact plan. It may be something different. The fact that some people hold to the John 3:16 plan tells us that they will believe God when it benefits them and disbelieve him when it does not.

#2. While not a salvation issue, abandoning a six-day creation account described by a plain reading of Genesis and adopting belief in what is known as theistic evolution

Actually, we disagree with the first 5 words of that quote. It is a salvation issue. Jesus said in John 5:45ff (to the end of the chapter) that if you do not believe Moses, how will you believe his words? We have seen many people who reject the words of Moses reject much of the NT. We forget the exact reference but in one of the prayers recorded in the Bible Jesus is saying to his father, I have given them the words you gave me.

Since the NT is written by disciples, and those who knew the disciples, then the words of the rest of the NT are Jesus’ words and by extension God’s word. The NT is not constructed from the personal views of the NT authors. They put down the words that Christ gave them to say. Since Genesis is found in the OT and given by God, then rejection of Genesis One is a rejection of God’s word. It is not a rejection of Moses’s personal views.

Salvation does depend on believing Genesis One. How can you believe God in John 3:16 then turn around and say God lied in Genesis One & Two? Such attitudes are not compatible with a loving relationship or any relationship. Since God does not lie, how can Genesis One be wrong?

#3. When Purifoy went to Wheaton to show the film he discovered that of the 200 professors at Wheaton, only two are historical Creationists.

The first question that must be asked is, why are those professors teaching at a Christian college? If they do not believe the Bible how can they teach that God does not lie? Or how can they teach that God knows less than secular scientists? It seems that these supposed Christian professors want the best of both worlds and they will sacrifice God in favor of adopting false science.

#4. So the week after [our] Genesis film was shown the faculty then got together and held their own assembly to counter the historical Genesis view that was presented in the film.”

The counter arguments against the literal view of Genesis One are wanting, not supported by real evidence and go counter to what both God and Jesus have taught throughout the Bible. Science is not a tool given to us to double-check God’s writing. It is not a tool to be used to say that God got it wrong or that his biblical authors got it wrong.

Science, a tool given to us by God, has had its divine authority usurped and replaced by blind, deceived, fallible, limited thinking. There is no way that science can say that God or his authors made mistakes. Every argument against a literal Genesis One does not make sense and insults God, his character and his integrity.

#5. Tackett told CP that one of the things that compelled him to make the film — against the objections of friends who begged him not to because of the consequences of what happens when one openly admits to being a historic Creationist — was how the other views of Creation compromise who God is as He is revealed in Scripture.

We are to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Jesus did not correct Moses during his time on earth. Jesus did not present a different creation account. Nor did the disciples who wrote their works in the next few years or decades. So to say Genesis One is literal is standing with Jesus against the world. We should expect to suffer for that stand. Those who go against the literal Genesis One are going against Christ. This means one’s salvation may be in jeopardy.

#6. The seminaries have largely bought primarily into the perspective of the BioLogos Foundation, and other theistic evolution-influenced views, he explained

We have a series on Biologos on this website. We have pointed out how they are not of God, not speaking the truth and are now leading believers away from the truth. They are essentially false teachers disguising themselves as Christians. Those who follow after these type of people are not following God. God did not say he created through an evolutionary format. He said he spoke and it was.

Biologos and other such organizations are people who want secular science and not God’s word.

#7. “And what’s happening in these seminaries and even with some of our senior pastors, is that all of a sudden, they make the logical conclusion that if evolution is true than a literal Adam and Eve cannot be true but is a metaphor for a hominid group that has evolved to a certain point.”

It is called a snowball effect. Once one lie has been accepted, it then snowballs as more lies are adopted. If you want a reason why the church is not making the impact on the world as it should, it is because they are kicking out the truth, adopting lies and teaching those lies. Lies are sin and liars go to hell. Lies are not of God. God told the truth throughout the Bible including Genesis One.

Accepting evolution, in any format, over God says that you believe man over God. You are not believing God and again this makes believing Genesis One a salvation issue. Unbelievers do not go to heaven

We will leave the rest of the article for you to read. But one thing is for sure, if Genesis One is wrong, then there is no God and there is no John 3:16 plan of salvation. You cannot have salvation without God. So those who reject Genesis One as literally true, are rejecting God and saying he does not exist. They are saying that deceived blind, lost, fallible, limited scientists know more than God does.

Unfortunately for those people, the blind, deceived, lost, fallible and limited scientists offer no plan of salvation which gives eternal life. Those who opt for their version are giving up their place in heaven for something that only gains temporary relief from persecution.

Removing the Beam

We all know the scripture in Leviticus where God is telling his people that those who practice homosexuality are to be put to death. Many believers have used that verse over the centuries to attack and harm those homosexuals outside of the church. But maybe another look at the context will help shed some light on what God is saying to his people and how his word is to be applied.

First, God is creating the Mosaic code, his rules, for his people to follow. He is not creating a rule for all people. BUT if those other people want to join the Israelites this is a rule they have to follow.

Second, God is speaking to his people. He is not granting them permission to go out and harm those violators who belong to another nation. This rule is to guide his people when they find this sin and corruption in their midst. It is permission to cleanse the people of God only. Sin and corruption is not to be found within God’s followers.

Third, the people of Israel are being told by God that this sin is unacceptable.

At no time were the people of Israel to take the law into their own hands and apply to those outside of their faith. The only time it was to be applied was when those within the people of Israel ‘felt’ they preferred this sexual alternative. Or when those from other nations wanted to join the people of Israel. God was and is saying that sin is not acceptabe no matter what.

What does this mean for the church today?

We need to remember that God does not change. What was sin in the OT is still sin today.The NT does not change what God has called wrong or sin. In the case of tattoos, we are told that we are to keep the temple of God, our bodies, pure. Tattoos do not do that, they corrupt the body thus they corrupt the temple of God.In the case of homosexuality, it is as wrong today as it was 3,000+ years ago.

God’s rules apply to God’s church. They are in place to guide us in governing what is God’s. This means that we look for God’s solutions when family members in the church declare they are homosexual.  Obviously, we cannot kill them but we cannot allow them to be part of the church either. This does not mean they are kicked out onto the streets to fend for themselves. They are not allowed in church leadership, lead small groups, and so on.

Second, our rules govern the church. While homosexuality is wrong and we get to declare that it is sin, we do not have permission to go out and force the world to follow our rules. The world already has its death sentence as Paul reminds us in Romans. We are not allowed to add to that punishment. We have other rules that govern our treatment of those outside the church.

Third, if homosexuals want to join the church, they have to give up their homosexuality and other sins to be a part of God’s kingdom. At no time does God say in the Bible that one gets to bring sin or continue in sin when they join the church. The continued practice of sin is a sign that someone is not of God.

Fourth, there is no such thing as a homosexual Christian. That title is a mockery of Jesus redemptive work. He said he would make people a new person not leave them in their old ways. Once Christ redeems them they are not homosexual any more and they do not practice homosexuality ever again. The details of their lives after that redemption will come but one thing is for certain, they do not practice sin anymore but follow Jesus’ commands if they love him. Not one of Jesus’ commands grants permission to anyone to identify with their old selves.

What does the church do?

Besides the fact that homosexual sin is not to be a part of the church, we do not miraculously declare that God has changed his mind and homosexuals can be a part of the church.

Second, we do not change God’s word and allow homosexuals to be ministers, pastors, preachers or whatever title you want to place on God’s servant. God does not allow sinners to lead his people.

Third, while homosexuals may not be a part of God’s church, the believer is not allowed to withhold God’s love and care for them. If the homosexual is hungry, we feed them. If they are thirsty, we give them something to drink. If they truly need help, we help them. None of which legitimizes their sin. These acts are God’s people obeying God’s instruction.

Fourth, we do not condemn the homosexual. God has already condemned them. Our job is to get them to see the error of their ways, recognize that homosexuality is wrong and repent of their sins while accepting Christ as their Savior. We do not get to sin in the process of accomplishing that objective.

Fifth, we do not sin against those family members who declare their alternative preference. As parents, we do not allow their sexual preference to be practiced inside the home. But that does not grant permission for parents to take extreme measures to eradicate the behavior. Jesus has already given us instructions on how to handle sinners.

Sixth, we do not stop declaring that homosexuality is sin, evil and wrong. We can never agree with the secular world and make it normal, loving, good and not sin.

There is an old song that has in its verses the phrase– ‘and they will know us by our love’. That love does not accept sin as Jesus never accepted sin in those unbelievers to whom he was a friend. He still healed them, fed them, and helped them to see the error of their ways. We do not know how many homosexuals were a part of the multitudes he taught, but his message was always clear. Homosexuals had to repent of their sin if they wanted to be a part of God’s kingdom.

We show our love by correctly obeying Jesus’ commands and instructions and apply our Christian behavior to all. By following what God wants correctly, we are removing the beams from our eyes and able to make a better impact for God.