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Our Comments on a Few Topics 9

14 Oct

#1. Plagiarism- https://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelist-christine-caine-settles-lawsuit-accused-her-copying-parts-authors-book-227925/

Ms. Scott contends that her work, Untangled, including exact wording, phrasing, and compilation, along with the book’s general thematic message and presentation, is consistently copied, reworded, and derived without authorization within Unashamed and Unshakeable and that there exists proof of direct copying within the book’s promotional materials and printed, e-book, and audio forms,” Delehanty said in the complaint against Caine and her publishers.

We are not going to say she did not plagiarize. We are also not going to berate her if she did. Christians already know that plagiarism is wrong and should not be done. What we are going to do is talk about plagiarism and the hypersensitivity that is part of the atmosphere in the writing world. We write and we know how difficult it is to be original. Especially when there are hundreds of people trying to write on the same topic.

To make things worse, sometimes there is just only 1 or 2 ways of saying the same thing. There are just not enough words in the English language to rephrase certain topics. We know, we have had to do this. People should not be too quick to throw the accusation of plagiarism around.

It is possible for two different people to come up with the same idea and use very similar words and phrases and do it independently of each other. If they couldn’t, then either Darwin had to sue Wm. Wallace or vice versa for stealing the idea of evolution. What needs to be done is to make sure plagiarism has taken place before accusing anyone of stealing ideas.

This is not always easy to do as similar words and phrasing is not evidence for plagiarism or copying only. it could be that two different people said the same thing the same way in an honest attempt to communicate their thoughts.  Let’s not jump on the accusation bandwagon and be careful to make sure a violation has been committed before pointing fingers.

#2. Christian Entertainmenthttps://www.christianpost.com/news/if-youd-like-to-rebuke-mainstream-media-buy-a-ticket-to-see-gosnell-227881/

and https://www.christianpost.com/voice/gosnell-the-movie-the-murder-case-that-put-abortion-on-trial.html

No, we do not need to rebuke mainstream media through going to see a movie. We do need to rebuke their faulty journalistic efforts and the deterioration of accurate, objective and honest reporting. That can be done in a variety of ways. We are like AW Tozer. We are not big fans of Christian entertainment. He wrote about the topic and his thoughts are captured in the work, Tozer on Worship & Entertainment by James Snyder.

We also do not agree that the movie Gosnell put abortion on trial. Abortion did not commit those crimes a human did. A human was put on trial for abusing the freedom that comes with legal abortion practices. Abortion itself cannot think nor can it decide to do evil. Let’s not distort what is taking place in that trial.

When Christians seek to use different media for their outreach, they need to be careful not to assume they are making the impact they think they are making. Somtimes it is just best to let God direct our actions and keep away from formats that may devalue the Gospel message.

#3. The new fad- https://www.christianpost.com/news/new-mariners-church-leader-stresses-importance-accountability-prevent-pastor-scandals-227789/

The new senior pastor for the California-based megachurch Mariners Church has stressed the importance of accountability, in light of recent scandals elsewhere in the evangelical world.

This seems to be the new fad that is rising in the church world. Church members are going to be seeking new ways to stay in control of their fellow believer’s lives. This is the second article in less than a week concerning the topic of accountability. We have been waiting for years to hear a good Christian definition of the term. Webster defines the term as:

an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions

Now we understand being responsible for one’s choices and behavior. But we tend to think that the church in general takes this too far and applies more criteria than is needed. The targeted person then ends up trying to please their fellow humans instead of God. Also, this trend leads some to add in outlawed words and behavior that are personal subjective preferences and not biblical ones.

We are reminded of a story we heard some years ago. A Christian man with a porn issue had to travel on business. As soon as he entered his hotel room his phone rang. It was a friend from his church. The caller told the man to call the front desk and have them disconnect any porn channels that may be delivered to his room.  This was before the man even had a chance to get settled and even think for himself what he should do.

The man may not have even considered watching porn but his issue was brought up and he was reminded of his weakness and then told what to do. That to us, is not accountability but using the term to dictate another person’s actions long before a violation was committed. Given Webster’s definition we would think that accountability waits till the person commits a violation before action can be taken.

We do not see the caller as being supportive as he could have talked to the man before he left on his business trip. Another problem we find with accountability is that it doesn’t relieve the person of past issues but reminds them of their failure, even when they may have taken care of that failure. Thier weaknesses are continually held over their heads even though God does not do that. Yet power over others is attractive to certain church members.

When it comes to pastors, we must remember that they are still human. They will face temptation or make a bad judgment call. We should not be surprised at a Christian leader’s mistakes. They may not have conquered all of their sins; they may not resist temptation to well and they may make bad decisions. Moses was a friend of God yet he still made a bad decision when he got angry.

We should be spiritually prepared to handle those errors correctly when they happen. We have had enough warnings about it in the Bible. Accountability does not mean we run roughshod over a person’s life but make sure that they repent and be responsible for their decisions.

#4. Expectationshttps://www.christianpost.com/news/big-bang-theory-spinoff-young-sheldon-scientific-explanation-why-god-exists-227884/

As the episode progresses, we see Sheldon’s overly protective and loving mother, Mary (Zoe Perry), who’s an evangelical Christian, battle with news she received that the teenage daughter of her friend was killed in a car accident.

Her pastor advised her to serve others as a way to get out of her grief. Mary also created a faith garden to pray outdoors to help her healing process, but when she finally made her supplication to God about the death of her friend she comes to a head with her sadness and spirals downward.

The woman of faith finds herself doubting why it would be in God’s plan for a young girl to die. She begins drinking, and stops praying at supper or even going to church.

We are not going to talk about science here. Science can help in producing evidence for God. That is a given. What we are going to address, is the issue of expectations that help undermine the faith of so many people. People have far too many bad expectations about God, life and how it all works together. They let these expectatios over-rule the lessons the Bible teaches. Then, when expectations are not met, they accuse God, blame him or attack for things he did not do.

They suddenly have a crisis of faith because life did not go as they expected it to. What is missing in all of this is the realization of the consequences our decisions have. Plus, people seem to want to go after God and forget evil’s role in life. It wasn’t God who gave them bad expectations, thus he should not be blamed for those events that contradict those thoughts.

People also seem to forget that having expectations about life and other people’s lives is not biblical teaching. There is not one word about it in scripture. Yes God makes promises but our expectations of receiving those promises cannot ignore any of the rules that God has laid out to receive them.  Then we must factor in that while God has granted us life, he has not granted long life to everyone. We must accept that reality.

One can avoid a crisis of faith if they take the time to examine their thoughts, feelings and expectations and see if they line up with biblical teaching. We need to protect our faith and put the blame where it belongs– with evil. Don’t question God when it is not God at fault.

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