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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Is Unity Obtainable 2

We are and have been reading part two of the unity series found at the following link

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/christians-need-to-begin-making-every-effort-to-live-in-unity-part-2.html

The words of Ephesians 4:3 are inescapable. It says, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

We cannot live out Ephesians 4:3 apart from God’s grace that we have received freely. Nor can we live out Ephesians 4:3 until we cultivate and live out the truth of Ephesians 4:2, which says, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”

But we do not think the author knows how to apply scripture properly nor do we think he understands what unity actually means. We draw this conclusion from reading his article starting at the next paragraph

For example, humility leads to gentleness; gentleness leads to patience; patience leads to bearing one another in love, and all four of these together lead us to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

We looked at the definition in the Webster’s dictionary and here is what we found:

1 a : the quality or state of not being multiple : oneness
2 a : a condition of harmony : accord
b : continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action)
3 a : the quality or state of being made one : unification
b : a combination or ordering of parts in a literary or artistic production that constitutes a whole or promotes an undivided total effect; also : the resulting singleness of effect or symmetry and consistency of style and character
4 : a totality of related parts : an entity that is a complex or systematic whole(https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unity)
Let’s start with #4. This definition supports 1 Cor. 12 and verse 4 & 12 states

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

For even as the body is one and yet has many members,

The Christian body is made up of many parts all working towards the same goal, serving the same God and exercising their gifts and working in a variety of ministries. They are not all evangelists.  # 1 & 2 support Acts 2 verse 46 which says

46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple

The believers were of one mind, they were in harmony but they were not all doing the same task. They were also being made one as a body of believers who belonged to the same faith.  But this is not what that article is saying.

. This phrase also gives us a sense that we are in a crisis and calls us to take initiative, and to do it now. We are to work endlessly toward unity and oneness, guarding over it when we have it. This is a call to action!

We are not in a crisis and the supposed call to action is actually an instruction providing the church with a positive objective so that the truth may be told to others. In other words, we are to do the hard work to make sure evil does not enter into the church and cause the problems it is causing today. The real problem with the article is that it does not identify how the church is to be unified, what steps it is to take and where everyone should be when unified.

When two groups of Christians believe different theological points, you cannot have unity. At least one of the 2 groups are going to be wrong. There is no guarantee that one of the two groups will have their theology correct.

Jerry Bridges writes in his book, “The Pursuit of Holiness”, “The clause ‘make every effort’ addresses itself to our wills, it is something we must decide to do.”

While the human will determines the needed action, we must understand there is no true unity apart from the Holy Spirit. Unity is supernatural. Unity only happens with God.

We agree with both those statements and we do need to take the appropriate action. But unfortunately, the author does not go into specifics in his article and does not address where we are to be unified. He does state

Christian unity is a state of oneness, living in harmony and in one accord. Unity is only possible by the gospel because Jesus died for all people

That is very broad and allows for churches to be unified over false teaching and living in harmony by living the same errors to their beliefs. The last line may be correct but it still allows for false teaching to be a part of the church’s existence. When it comes to unity, you cannot make general statements which allows for people to stray from the straight and narrow road that leads to salvation.

This means that those people who reject the first 10 chapters of the Bible are not living under the gospel of Jesus as in John 5 Jesus tells us that if we do not believe the words of Moses how can we believe his words. Those people cannot live in harmony with those believers who do accept the first 10 chapters of Genesis as real and factual.

Each group can live in harmony with themselves and like-minded people but another problem shows up, which we have today- which unified and harmonious group has the truth? Of course, the former group is the one in error because they do not believe God.

That author goes to asking questions and says

Are we making every effort to live in unity and oneness with other churches that believe the basics of the faith like we do? Or are we marked with a spiritual arrogance like we have a corner on all God’s truth?

His error is found in the bold words. While believing the basics of faith is important, we still cannot have unity if the groups differ on other issues. Each group  is not of one mind nor are they believing the same things about the what the Bible says. You may not think this is important but Jesus did not say that the spirit of truth will lead people to the basics of the faith. He said it will lead us to the truth.

We are not challenging each group’s salvation, we are challenging the concept of unity that author is expressing. If you believe different things, then you are not of one mind and someone is not believing the right things. The early church got rid of those differences by continuing under the disciple’s teaching; the very same teaching we have today in the Bible.

Once you start challenging bible verses (unless it is honest challenging trying to find the truth), you are not of one mind and you are not unified. We will use those groups who state that women can be pastors and challenge God’s word on this issue. They are not pursuing unity but their own desires. They are not following the Holy Spirit to the truth but secular culture.

The author’s questions do not lead his readers to understand what unity is. It avoids the difficult task of declaring that someone might be wrong in their Christian beliefs. It also avoids stating that Christians are not unified unless they are following God’s word correctly. Being of one mind means that they are all on the same page, there are no theological differences, and they are getting rid of false teaching.

You can make every effort but it does not mean you are working towards being unified under the truth.

This Sunday in my church, I will issue a bold call to my church, and perhaps it needs to be made to your church also. I believe when we are making every effort multi-generationally and multi-ethnically, we will forward and ascend unity in every way.

This quote again avoids the task of identifying how Christians can be unified. Being unified does not mean proper instruction is not given, discipline for wrong acts is ignored; sin is not rebuked and so on. Being unified is more than just treating people with a good feeling. It means that people are put on the right path to holiness as Peter instructed. It means parents are to instruct their children in God’s commands and instructions, parents are to discipline their children, and much more.

It also means that God’s definition of sin is upheld and not changed because the secular world does not want to follow or accept that definition. Unity is more than just a good feeling between friends and family. Being of one mind, meant that sin was not tolerated, God’s word was not changed.

Here is where I have come to in my life and in my leadership. The more multi-generational and multi-ethnic we are as a church, the more we are giving our church a future and insuring our church will always be current.

This is not what the church is designed to do. It is not to be current but it is to be in line with God’s word. The church is to call people to the truth not focus on diversity or if there is enough young people in the congregation. If you read the book of Acts you will see where it say that God added to the church daily. God adds believers, not the church.

46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Read this passage again. It tells you that the people focused on the truth, they were united under the same belief, they were praising God and God added new converts. It is only God that brings people to salvation. Not church programs, not church targeting strategies, and so on. God is the future of the church not a multi-generational or multi-ethnical position. Those two things will take place if the people stop focusing on it and do what they are supposed to be doing.

The church is to be united under Jesus, following the spirit of truth to the truth and be of one mind.

When we are not multi-ethnic as a ministry, we are irrelevant to our culture, and this will soon result in us becoming a ministry of the past

This is not true and pursues a personal belief not God’s direction. There are far too many countries where the populations are not multi-ethnical. Are those churches in those areas a ministry of the past? No, because Jesus did not command us to be multi-ethnical. He said simply preach the gospel and make disciples. We will get members of different nations when we do that. We also do not have to feel guilty if members of one nation decide to have their own church. As long as they are of one mind with everyone else, following the one truth, following the Bible correctly, then there is no problem.

The quoted idea is more of a distraction than anything else.

The article would have been a lot better if the author defined unity, told the steps on how to be unified and used scripture correctly to produce unity. Instead he just threw a word out there and called people to something they may not understand or know how to achieve. To be unified you follow the Holy Spirit to the truth, you must follow both God’s and Jesus’commands correctly.

And you have to understand that the Gospels & Acts are not a separate teaching from the the rest of the Bible. The rest of the books are not the disciples independent, subjective views. Jesus prayed to his Father and said

for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. (John 17:8 NASB)

The words that the disciples wrote in the rest of the NT are both Jesus and God’s words. They are to be obeyed like the words of Christ found in the Gospels. If you want unity, then unite under the truth.

One last thing,identifying who has the wrong belief does not come from human subjective opinion. It is identified by the Spirit of God and handled biblically correct. Obtaining unity is not a witch hunt or an act to look spiritual.It is a genuine act that frees people from sin with love.

 

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Posted by on April 29, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, education, faith, family, General Life, leadership, theology

 

Youth Ministry 2

There was an article in the Christian Post this morning that is very disturbing to read. That is because it advocates making church youth vulnerable to the enemy while making them follow unbiblical teaching.

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/the-biggest-discipleship-lie-in-youth-ministry.html

The Biggest Discipleship Lie in Youth Ministry

The article in question demonstrates how too much priority is placed on evangelism and so little on preparing believers to have a firm foundation in their faith. It is this thinking that keeps our youth vulnerable to unbelieving professors and other unbelieving people they encounter as the grow up. This is what that author says:

The biggest discipleship lie in youth ministry is that discipleship should be separated from evangelism.

The thinking goes that we must first disciple our teenagers for months, even years, before they’re ready to share their faith. The failed premise is that if teenagers have enough Bible teaching, small group instruction and leadership training then, and only then, will they be ready to share the Gospel with others.

His point is not correct. It has no basis in Jesus’ example. We know that Jesus took about 2 years before he sent the disciples out on their own. When Jesus called the disciples, he said, I will  make you fishers of men. He did not say, you are my disciple now go out and evangelize.  Jesus took the time to train his disciples first before sending them out to face the world. And when he did send them out, he prayed for them knowing what they will face.

There are other problems with that article as well:

How’s that worked out for the adults in our churches? Answer: It hasn’t. The average Christian adult has never shared their faith.

Just because a few adults do not share their faith does not mean the process is wrong. It could mean that the adults are too afraid to share their faith, they are not filled with the Holy Spirit, it could mean that the adults have little faith. Jesus rebuked his disciples for lack of faith. He did not go back and retool and alter his process. He did  not send out his disciples out without training, guidance, words of wisdom and much more.

Jesus forever linked evangelism and discipleship when he told his soon-to-be-disciples, “Come, follow me…and I will send you out to fish for people” Matthew 4:19.

If you want to stretch a verse to fit your own perspective then probably Jesus did. But you cannot have evangelism without training. You cannot do evangelism if you do not have the right knowledge, you do not have evangelism when the people are not prepared. Christians and Christianity are often compared to the military yet, believers like that author forget or ignore the processes that the military uses to prepare its soldiers for war.  Rarely do they send untrained children out to fight adults and engage in heavy combat.

The military trains its people to be ready to fight. They give them knowledge, training, guidance, advice and much more before declaring them ready for battle. That author is advocating that we send defenseless untrained youth out to fight a spiritual battle where the enemy is far greater than they. That is not the way Jesus showed us how to do it.

As my good friend Doug Holliday says, “Any disicpleship strategy that doesn’t begin with and end with evangelism is not Biblical discipleship.

That statement is just not right. Mainly because it ignores biblical teaching where God gives different gifts to different people. Forcing them to do evangelism is depriving those people with different gifts of the training they need to live the Christian life correctly and to exercise their gifts properly.

What it does mean is that teenagers can and should start sharing and declaring the good news of Jesus as soon as they believe. In a sense that’s what baptism is, a visual and verbal declaration of the Gospel in front of one’s peers. Remember that originally most of these baptisms took place in public places (rivers, lakes and mikvahs.) They took place in front of one’s lost friends and peers.

This is another distortion of what took place back in the beginning of the Church. It is twisting the scenario to fit a personal belief held by a modern preacher. The author also does not understand the purpose of the mikvah and misrepresents its use. It also distorts the fact that those peers heard the same message and already knew why their friends were baptized. It distorts just about everything John the Baptist, his disciples, Jesus and his disciples did in the beginning.

With all of this as a backdrop, evangelism must be reframed as key to the discipling process…especially in youth ministry. Here are four reasons why

Of course, it has to be reframed to fit that author’s personal beliefs. This is wrong. It certainly is not leading people to do evangelism God’s way. He seems to forget that there are more ways to plant and water seeds other than giving a testimony or a gospel message. He forgets that most people in the west have already heard the gospel many times over, even atheists have read John 3:16.

His four points have little to do with what Jesus showed us to do. His last point is okay, as people will see God in action when lives are changed but again he uses it with the wrong reasons and to support a very unbiblical evangelistic strategy.

1. It forces teenagers to pick up their cross and die to themselves.

We do not force. That is the wrong thing to do in Christianity and Jesus never forced anyone to evangelize. In fact, when some of Jesus’disciples left him and stopped following him, he let them go and then asked the remaining disciples if they would go. Jesus did not force.

2. It puts them in a position where they are forced to depend on God.

See number one. Christianity is not communism nor totalitarianism.

We are not going to go through each point, but each one is filled with error-filled thinking that does not grasp what Christianity and Jesus are all about. That author ignores other biblical passages which instruct older believers to train younger ones, to study and much more. His focus is all about evangelism and he does not care about the people he is supposedly helping to train to share their faith. He has no concern for their well-being. He is only interested in making little evangelists out of everyone and does not develop their spiritual knowledge or their spiritual well-being. He does not love youth like Jesus loved us

To train the youth correctly, we do not stop following Jesus and his ways. We make sure they are ready before they go into spiritual battle. If we don’t then we are sending the lambs off to the slaughter.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, education, faith, family, leadership, theology

 

Is Unity Obtainable?

We are going to look at two articles in this session. They both speak on the idea of unity. The first is the first part of a two-part series

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/christians-need-to-begin-making-every-effort-to-live-in-unity-part-1.html

Unite is a verb. When we unite, we can unite in the name of a cause or whatever our passion is. We see people unite for their cause, and sometimes the cause can become destructive by dividing a family, a church, a nation, and even the world. You can unite for things and you can unite against things.

While unite is a verb and is something you do, unity is a noun. Unity is oneness. Jesus wants us to live in oneness and unity.

The highlighted words are the important ones in that quote.the author of that piece recognizes what Jesus wanted. Jesus prayed to his father that his disciples would be one. But there is a problem. When these calls are made, usually the application and definitions come from subjective human thinking. There is little appeal to God except to use his words to support the call to action.

The author of that article does acknowledge the problem

Where is the Church? The Church of Jesus in America is more divided than I have ever seen it. We are living in contradiction of Jesus’ desire in John 17. The churches of America are living in disunity. There are not hundreds of thousands of churches, but one Church, the Church of Jesus Christ our Lord. In the past, churches have chosen to unite, recognizing and appreciating important theological variances that are more secondary in nature. But now, churches divide over everything from extreme theological views to things like politics, economics, morality, and social justice issues.

Atheists are constantly pointing this problem out. They claim that there are more than 40,000 Christian denominations alone and they wonder which one has the truth since they claim that all of those 40,000 denominations claim to have the truth. Just about anyone can spot obvious problems like that, but other problems are not so easy to identify.

What they miss out on are some of the more subtle issues that plague any attempt at unity.

Now is the time for the Church to choose unity rather than division. Therefore, let’s come back to the authority of the Bible as God’s Word, to the Lord Jesus being the only Savior of the world, and the consuming conviction that the world’s greatest need is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While this is correct, there is a problem with the first ‘let’s come back…’ The world does need the gospel and the world does need to know that Jesus is the only way to salvation but most Christians disagree with each other concerning the authority of the BIble and what it actually says. Or they highlight one doctrine over another. This is why there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations. Christians may not like what one church believes, so they take their alternate  their beliefs and start their own church.

They use different arguments like, ‘that was the culture of that time’ or something similar to justify their new beliefs and actions. Or they say there was a mistranslation and that God’s word does not apply to the modern church. Then those people go off and do Christianity their way. It seem like there is no solution to finding unity in the church because everyone leans to their own understanding and misapply scripture to fit those misguided ideas.

Another problem is that many of these church leaders of the different denominations do not acknowledge or belief that they could be influenced by evil through the secular world, their family members or even t.v., etc. They take the unbelieving world’s thinking over God’s. This brings us to the second article on unity

https://www.christianpost.com/news/andy-stanley-church-unity-is-more-important-than-being-theologically-correct-223402/

Church unity is more important than “theological correctness,” according to North Point Community Church Senior Pastor Andy Stanley at a conference with approximately 8,000 attendees.

I hope you see the problem with this statement right off. It disagrees with itself and flies in the face of what Acts said about the early church

41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Ch. 2)

You cannot have unity if you disagree with each other theologically. Jesus told us that we would know the truth… and as you can see the early church coverts knew the truth when they saw it, and they knew the disciples had the truth so they stuck with the disciples and their teaching. They did not deviate from it and they did not create disunity through theological differences. The book of Acts also tells us

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

The early church believers stuck with the truth so they were united. But people like Mr. Stanley do not understand scripture as clearly as they think. They mis-interpret Jesus’ words in his prayers. One example

The influential author and speaker said that he found it significant that Jesus prayed for the disciples to be one, rather than for other things, including good health and being theologically accurate.

They think that Jesus was ignoring theological unity when he prayed for his disciples to be one. But does Jesus have to be line item specific to include theological unity in his terminology? NO. His prayer that they be one would include theology. He is not leaving theological unity out with his use of the word one. For the early church to succeed, the disciples had to be one theologically. If they disagree, then confusion would have rule the early church and its impact would not have been as great as it was.

Theological unity is important to the health of the church, the witness of the church, the strength of the church. As you can see by the atheist statement, theological disunity keeps people away from Christ. It also lets people become vulnerable to false teaching. Mr. Stanley is wrong in his comment. You cannot have unity if you are not of one mind and not following the same theological teaching.

Now, is there just one theological teaching? We know that there is because the book of Acts tells us that there is. Just re-read the quoted passages again. Then, Jesus said, the spirit of truth will lead us to the truth. This tells us that there is only one truth and the spirit of truth is not going to lead us to ideas that contradict God or say that he is wrong.

This means that spiritual unity or church unity is possible. It is just that those who hold to false ideas, must be humble and gracious enough to let those go and adopt the truth. The disciples were not accused of teaching false doctrine and we have the same teaching in our Bibles today. The problem comes in when people start changing God’s word to fit their own ideas or they simply reject portions of God’s word because they want to do or believe something other than what God has told us.

If  cannot have unity if you allow false teaching to enter the church. When you allow theological ideas other than the truth to enter the church, then you are allowing false teaching to confuse people. Of course a zero tolerance policy does not work to keep such teaching out. A church has to do the hard work and find out if those holding the erroneous teaching are purposefully holding to such thinking, are mislead or too immature of a believer to know the difference.

Real unity takes work.  You need to identify the real truth, adopt it, then live it and finally teach it. SInce we have help from God to get to the real truth, then finding it will not be as difficult as it sounds. The Holy Spirit does not led people to disobey God or to error. One just has to make sure they are hearing from the Spirit of truth. God has told us to test the spirits so we know which is which and then take the appropriate action.

Christianity is not easy as Jesus said, the families will be torn apart because they will not all believe the truth. But those conflicts tell God if we love him more than our families and others. Unity will not be as simple as Mr. Stanley and people like him think.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, education, faith, family, General Life, leadership, theology

 

A Unique Discovery 2

Mentioned in the previous post, here is an article on that discovery:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/1500-year-old-magical-papyrus-discovered-near-pyramid-invokes-gods-human-sacrifice-test-the-bible-223092/

An ancient 1,500-year-old “magical papyrus” discovered near a pyramid in Egypt addresses the Bible’s God as the God of an Egyptian deity, and refers to the test of faith Abraham faced when asked to sacrifice his son.

Written in Coptic at a time when Christianity was widely practiced in the country, the writer, who isn’t named, pleads: “God of Seth, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God of Israel, watch over everyone who suffers. My word, may it come to pass with power.”

These quotes should not raise eyebrows but the following quote may as the researchers may have made an error in their interpretation

Seth is an ancient Egyptian god said to rule over the desert and the storms, associated with eclipses, thunderstorms and earthquakes.

Seth was also the third named son of Adam and Eve.  Genesis 4:26 tells us

To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.

Most likely the writer was calling on the same God that the people sought prior to the flood. That God was the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Israel. Since The Egyptian god seth was not a follower of the God of the Bible, it is highly unlikely that God would be referred to as the God of seth the Egyptian god.

The text presents few clues as to its nameless composer, though Zellmann-Rohrer noted that the writing “lacks professional proficiency.” What is more, it makes references and uses terms used by followers of Gnosticism.

We would need to see those terms and the context before coming to any conclusions on this assessment.

He suggested that those who copied the text may have been Christians who “made use of a textual tradition that owed much to Jewish belief and lore and to Gnosticism.”

But this assessment is just wrong.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in academics, archaeology, Bible, church, faith, history, leadership, science, theology

 

A Unique Discovery

You may have heard about it already but here it is again:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/passages-of-bibles-deuteronomy-found-hidden-behind-8th-century-islamic-quran-223395/

Fragments of the Bible have been discovered for the first time ever hidden behind an eighth century Quran, or Islamic holy text, a French scholar has revealed.

“And what’s even more fascinating is it’s on top of passages from the Old Testament. … It shows the contact between communities in the first centuries of Islam; it’s very relevant.”

A number of Coptic texts have provided important reflections on early Christianity. Last week, LiveScience reported that a 1,500-year-old “magical papyrus” discovered near a pyramid in Egypt has been deciphered, with the Coptic text issuing a plea from an unnamed writer.

Oxford University researcher Michael Zellmann-Rohrer noted that the papyrus also calls the biblical God on a number of occasions “the one who presides over the mountain of the murderer,” referring to the account in the book of Genesis when God initially asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah.

Although in the biblical narrative Isaac is spared and a ram is sacrificed instead, the researcher noted that the papyrus describes the story as if the son’s sacrifice actually took place, suggesting such a belief might have been widespread at the time.

We have only placed a few quotes here and the last one gives us evidence that the story of Abraham and Isaac was known in ancient times.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in academics, archaeology, Bible, church, history, leadership, theology

 

There is a Reason

why God said in Psalms 1 ‘for his followers to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The ungodly do not have the answer, any answer, for the problems that afflict the world. How can they? They do not believe God, they do not have the spirit of truth helping them, they are the ones who are blind, lost and deceived. Anything the ungodly can come up with will be tainted with sin.

We write this because we have seen the ungodly in action. Michael Brown has taken the time to write about the actions of the current California Governor and legislature. We agree with a lot of what he has said in the following article

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/christian-conservatives-compared-to-9-11-terrorists.html

You may have thought I was exaggerating when I referenced LGBT activists who compared Christian conservatives to ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Be assured that there was not a word of hyperbole in what I wrote. The truth is unsettling enough.

The, and we will use the term Liberal here as they are the most vocal about their demands, Liberal demands from Christians the love that Jesus said we are to use towards others. Yet when push comes to shove, the lIberals are the first ones to deny that love to anyone who disagrees with them. Their hypocrisy and failure to practice what they preach undermines any argument the Liberal makes against the Church and Christians in general.

It also destroys any credibility the Liberal thinks they have. What makes it worse is that many of these Liberals claim to follow Jesus’ teaching on loving God with all your heart soul and mind. They fail to look at that verse very closely as they think that loving God means that they remain in their sins and continue to practice sin. Attacking those who disagree with them, the Liberals also demonstrate that they are not Christ-like. Christ di d not do that. He taught his message and left the sinners to make a choice.

He did not make death threats, he did not seek to ban anyone from practicing their beliefs, he did not force to follow him and he certainly did not make laws forcing those who disagreed with him to follow his ways. You may be thinking that these words can also apply to certain Christian groups and individuals. And you would be right. There are many Christians who do not follow Christ in their opposition to sin. They also use the Bible as an excuse for their sinful behavior. This is not right and it must stop.

We cannot change the world if we resort to sinful practices and disrespect God and His word.

Today, a number of states have outlawed this much-needed counseling for struggling minors, while California is poised to make it illegal for anyone of any age to receive professional help for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-confusion. That is the unvarnished, unembellished truth.

And what happens when we draw attention to this outrageous California bill? We are attacked as maniacs.

This action by the Liberal California political leaders sparks the question– why are they so forcefully against any counseling that provides some relief from homosexual and transgender sins? Why are they willing to persecute those who obey the laws of the land in protection of those who need help to be free from their sins?

If those Liberals, who claim to love God, actually do love God, why are they working so hard to keep homosexuals and transgenders prisoners of their sins? Why are they listening to the lost, deceived, unbelieving world when they say that they love the all-powerful God who has nothing that is too hard for him to do? Redeeming the homosexual and transgender is not outside of his power, capability and ability. Jesus can redeem those individuals with ease, making them new creatures, free from homosexuality and transgenderism.

The Liberals may argue that this counseling does not help every homosexual or transgender person thus it is not effective,helpful or worthy of support. But there are reasons why not every homosexual or transgender finds relief from their sinful burdens.

As one gay activist put it (specifically, in the context of my opposition to the California bill), “Brown is a religious zealot — a Christian convert — who is barely distinguishable from the folks who flew airplanes into buildings for their god. Unlike them, Brown is nonviolent. However, like those 9/11 maniacs, Brown substitutes literalist religious belief for logic, science and common sense. Brown, I think, relishes the negative attention and while I say that he is nonviolent he does equivalent violence to LGBT people every day through misinformation

The first reason is that the transgender or homosexual do not love God enough to give up their sins. They love their status as a homosexual or transgender. We can see that in those words quoted above. Their opposition to the counseling helps demonstrates that they would rather remain homosexuals and transgender than try to be free from those sins. Part of that opposition may be the result of jealousy.

Those who cannot find relief through the counseling, are jealous of those who can. They seek to stop anyone from receiving help as they do not want to be left behind in their sins. We know that many homosexuals will be left behind and not given redemption. This is because they love that sin so much that God has given them over to it. We are not sure if God will have mercy on those given over to their sins and offered another chance at redemption.

But it is clear that those who fight this counseling and other help do not love God enough to let those who can change, change. They would rather rob them of the opportunity to be free of their sins and keep them in those sins forever. Love does not keep people locked in sin. If the Liberal loved God, then they would be doing everything they can to allow opportunities to free people from sin and receive eternal life. But as we can see, they love their sin so much that they do not want that sin to lose any members.

The sinful, unbelieving deceived and lost world does not have any answers for the world. They cannot free people from sin, they cannot offer eternal life once a person dies, they cannot offer anything that God and Jesus offer. What they can do, which is also exampled by the opposition to that counseling and other Christian activities, is hurt God. They cannot hurt God himself so they take it out on those who have left sin and decided to follow Him.

We are the easy targets but Jesus warned us of this when he said, the word will hate you because it hated me (paraphrased). But we must be careful not to target the humans in this issue. We still need to treat the unbeliever as Jesus commanded. The unbeliever is the tool of evil and that is the real enemy. To free people from evil is our task but we cannot do that if we stray from Jesus’ instructions.

Jesus also said, if you love me, keep my commandments. This instruction helps us identify who loves God or not. The LIberals, the homosexuals, the transgender have demonstrated that they do not love Jesus by their words and actions. This is why we are not to follow the ungodly. They want their own selfish way and not God’s. They want their cake and eat it too. They want paradise but not at the expense of their favorite sins.

The church cannot compromise itself and disobey God in hopes of pleasing those who will never be pleased.

As for this California political action, it is not the end of the world for Christians who try to help homosexuals. All it means is that you need to go back to your prayer closets and seek God for alternative methods to reach those who can be redeemed from the sins of homosexuality and transgenderism. God is not defeated by the actions of the Liberal political leaders.

You can continue to pray that God will work in the lives of the Liberal politicians and give the a change of heart. There is much more that can be done, the law does not end the redemptive work of Christ. The Liberals need to find redemption as well. So the Liberal wing of the population sends death threats, as Paul said, to live is Christ, to die is gain. We have nothing to lose or fear when evil attacks. We have everything to gain.

 

News stories you should be praying about

There are serious issues Christians and churches are facing. They may not affect you now, but that does not matter. We need to pray regardless even if the issue does not touch our lives.We will only be giving snippets here so please click on the links to get the full story. Also, these requests should be giving ideas to those who live outside of the United States on what to pray for and who to pray for.

Copy and paste if the link does not work

#1.Has California Lost Its Mind?–  https://www.christianpost.com/voice/has-california-lost-its-mind-shane-idleman.html

Google “California school district says parents can’t pull kids from new LGBT sex ed,” and you can read the alarming article for yourself. A “toolkit” that offers kids tips on using sex toys and doing things that cannot be written in this article is one of the controversial aspects, and parents may not be able to opt out. Our arrogance as a state, and as a nation, is appalling. School districts throughout California should be held accountable

#2.Atheists Looking to Impose $1B Taxes on Churches as Pastors Warn of Devastating Impacthttps://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-impose-1b-taxes-churches-pastors-ministerial-housing-tax-exemption-223302/

A group of Chicago pastors are speaking up on behalf of clergy everywhere in America in their latest federal appeals court effort fighting against a lawsuit that they say could cost houses of worship as much as $1 billion in new taxes.

The non-profit law firm Becket explained in a press release last week that Pastor Chris Butler of Chicago Embassy Church went before an appeals court on Thursday in the latest chapter of the Gaylor v. Mnuchin case, looking for a reversal on an earlier decision that went against the clergy.

The case is significant, because the Freedom From Religion Coalition is suing the IRS in the hopes of ending a 64-year-old federal tax provision, the ministerial housing tax exemption, that allows faith leaders to receive tax-free housing allowances

Why is this the FFRC’s business? They go too far in their hatred of religion.

#3.Atlanta Pastor Says He’ll Make Aerialists Regular Part of Worship; Some Say He’s Gone Too Farhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/atlanta-pastor-says-hell-make-aerialists-regular-part-of-worship-some-say-hes-gone-too-far-223319/

An Atlanta pastor who announced on social media that he plans to make performances by aerialists a regular part of his church’s worship service has raised concern among some critics who believe the gymnasts might be too distracting for the public.

The pastor, Apostle Bryan Meadows who founded Embassy Church International five years ago, made the announcement on Instagram on April 9 where he posted both photos and video of an aerialist performing at a Christian conference during a worship service.

Do pastors and churches realize who they are worshipping? Do they understand what worship really is? This article serves as an example  only.

#4.Courts and the Cause of Christ: Why Christians Need to Carehttps://www.christianpost.com/voice/courts-and-the-cause-of-christ-why-christians-need-to-care.html

Sometime between now and June, the U.S. Supreme Court will render its decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. This is the case in which owner and cake artist Jack Phillips was taken to court because he could not in good conscience design custom items that celebrate events or express messages in conflict with his religious beliefs. Jack Phillips is motivated by his Christian beliefs and is attempting to faithfully fulfill his deeply rooted religious beliefs. He is seeking justice in the arena of law.

We need to pray for our court system and that God’s justice and wisdom prevail. This case is also an example, as all courts and judges, lawyers etc., need prayer.

#5.Youth, Schools and Violence: Where Has Society Gone Wrong?https://www.christianpost.com/news/youth-schools-and-violence-where-has-society-gone-wrong-222811/

As the United States has by far more deadly shootings occurring in its schools than any other developed nation, many are left wondering if there are elements of today’s American society that are partially to blame, or at least play a factor, when it comes to the troubling influx of deadly school massacres.

“Where has our society gone wrong?” some might ask.

The sincere prayers of parents go a long way in preventing youth problems. Let your kids hear you prayer for them. Show them that you care by praying for them all the time. Not just for good grades or protection from violence ptray for their spiritual health

#6.Pastor Tim Challies Warns Christians Against Using Virtual Reality Pornhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-tim-challies-warns-christians-against-using-virtual-reality-porn-223300/

Pastor Tim Challies of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, has said that virtual reality pornography is the “next frontier” in technology, and is warning Christians about its harms.

Challies said on his website Monday that he’s had many opportunities in the last few years to talk about pornography and technology, and the risks that have emerged.

“The rise of the internet provides a ready example. When the internet first came along, we all dutifully signed up for accounts and began to explore this new medium. We surfed and chatted and downloaded and shopped,” he wrote.

Men you need to get your sexual desires and lusts under control. You need to learn some boundaries, especially those pastors who like to touch women who are not their wives. Let God help you resist temptation. It is not okay to look at the menu when you are married or involved seriously with a woman.

Women, how you treat your husband or boyfriend either makes this issue worse or it can help make it better. The choice is yours on how you treat your loved one.

#7.Pastor Jailed and Tortured for Preaching Shares Horrors Christian Prisoners Face in Vietnamhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-jailed-and-tortured-for-preaching-shares-horrors-christian-prisoners-face-in-vietnam-223166/

Evangelical pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh will always have the scar on top of his head to remind him of the years that he was imprisoned, beaten and tortured for daring to advocate on behalf of indigenous people groups being denied human rights by Vietnam’s communist government.

Having been arrested over 200 times for his human rights advocacy over a span of three decades, it wasn’t until Chinh was jailed in 2011 and sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment for “undermining national solidarity” by violating a preaching ban in the Central Highlands that his persecution started gaining international attention.

Another example touching on a broad subject. But remember being persecuted and martyred does not make one a Christian. Salvation is only through Jesus.

#8.GQ Editors Bash Bible as ‘Foolish Book’ Not Worth Reading-https://www.christianpost.com/news/gq-editors-bash-bible-sententious-foolish-book-you-dont-have-to-read-223223/

GQ magazine editors have published a list of 21 books they say aren’t worth reading despite them being seen as the great books. The Bible is listed at No. 12 because, they claim, it’s “not the finest thing that man has ever produced,” and it’s “self-contradictory” and “foolish.”

“The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it,” the editors write in an article titled, “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read,” published this week.

People’s attitude concerning God, Jesus, the Bible and the Christian faith. Both Christians and non-Christians need these prayers.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, education, faith, family, General Life, homosexuality, illness, Justice, leadership, politics, science, theology

 
 
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