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Category Archives: comparative religions

Right and Wrong Not Rights 2

This is just more food for thought. As you see as you read the Bible, God gives laws, instructions and commands. He provides the standard for right and wrong, good and evil, morality and immorality. He did not give rights. He talked about obedience and he punished disobedience. If God gave rights, then there would be no need for laws, instructions, commands, law enforcement, the legal system or the judiciary. He knew that everyone would claim that they have a right to do something and when everyone has a right then there is no such thing as right and wrong and no ability to arrest, try and convict those who do wrong–nothing would be wrong because everyone would have the right to do what they want.

There may be such a thing as rights but they need to be handled correctly and in submission to the standards of right and wrong, good and evil as well as morality and immorality.

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Right & Wrong Not Rights

This is something that is more food for thought.  If you read through the Bible you will see that rights are never mentioned. God does not say you have the right to freely practice your beliefs. God tells us that we will be persecuted.  This means that God expects us to obey his instructions and commands even if we do not have any rights to freely practice our faith. Christianity does not depend upon rights, it depends upon correctly obeying God and his word

 

Telling The Truth With Love

Of course it is very difficult to communicate love through binary communication so be careful not to read in your own ideas to these words. This post will address the following article: Nashville Statement Is Biblical But Lacks Pastoral Wisdom, Further Alienates LGBT Persons: Scholars found at http://www.christianpost.com/news/nashville-statement-is-biblical-but-lacks-pastoral-wisdom-further-alienates-lgbt-persons-scholars-198029/

The response to the Nashville Statement continues with some scholars now saying it damages the church’s already negative reputation with homosexuals, and lacks pastoral wisdom even though they agree with the document theologically.

There is a problem with that quoted statement. Not the Nashville one which we are not really going to address here but the one that says it damages the church’s already negative reputation with homosexuals. If one sticks with the spiritual truth then reputation is not their chief concern. Telling the spiritual truth in love means that someone is going to be offended,upset or view the church negatively.  Jesus said he came not to bring peace but a sword and the church must remember that the truth is not going to unite everyone.  Someone will always decide not to accept the truth and then make derogatory comments about the truth teller. This is a given.

Believers also need to be aware that maintaining their reputation does not mean that they alter the truth just to get someone to like them, the church or sit in an empty pew seat. We cannot alter the truth just because some people will not accept it and want to continue to practice their sinful ways. The church cannot support such decisions nor say the truth is wrong in light of the supposed evidence. Just because supposed homosexual activity takes place in the animal kingdom does it mean that homosexuality is natural. All it means is that the corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin affects the animal world just like it does the human.

“I do believe that [the signers have] gone about this all wrong and it will tarnish the church’s already tarnished reputation with LGBT+ people,” Sprinkle wrote, saying that the statement came across as “one-sided” and that it “fails to own up to the many—MANY—mistakes that theologically orthodox believers have made in this conversation.”

Don’t care. The LGBTQ community already has a dim view of the church because they are reminded every day that their chosen preference is sinful and wrong. They are trying to bully the church in order to escape that reality. There is no reason to help them in that quest. Disobeying God in order to have sinners think well of you is not an intelligent thing to do.

[T]here are many original signers of the NS that have taken a very hard line against ever adopting the term ‘gay Christian’—even if the person believes in a traditional view of marriage,” Sprinkle said.

You have to be hard lined because there is no such thing as a ‘gay christian’. That label is a lie and contradicts scriptural truths talking about how the old man is changed into a new man. That label is telling the world that the people who use that label identify with their old self and not the redeemed person Christ turned them into. If the people who want to hod on to their old identity then it is they who have the spiritual problem and not those who disagree with them.

Documents like the Nashville Statement, which by their nature demand adherence, unnecessarily exclude these faithful Christians, he went on to say. He has spent many hours reading on sexuality-related topics and speaking with friends who identify as all sorts of things and concluded that “this specific conversation is ten times more complicated than most people realize

If they are faithful Christians then they need to adhere to the spiritual truths the Bible teaches. This conversation is not complicated; all it takes is discernment to make sure that we identify those who are only spiritually immature who hold such thoughts and properly correct their thinking. We teach them the truth and in this issue, homosexuals do not have to marry an opposite gender person to be a new person in Christ .They just cannot return to their old lifestyles.

“While we absolutely need to celebrate and promote Christianity’s historic view of marriage and sexual expression,” Sprinkle reiterated, he emphaized that “we need to do so much more thoughtfully and much more holistically—pounding the pulpit for truth and grace

When people say this you know that they do not celebrate or promote traditional Christian views on marriage, etc. If he wants truth then he needs to abide by God’s word and not seek exceptions or alterations.

“This statement reminds me of a married couple that constantly has arguments,” McKnight wrote on his Patheos blog Tuesday, noting that as a conservative evangelical pastor he had “no qualms with the individual tenets” of the statement but, like Sprinkle, objected to some of the language used in it. And, he continued, the Nashville Statement was crafted mostly by academics and scholars who are mostly sealed off from people who do not think like them and that the document ultimately impedes the Great Commission.

This is a sad trend. People place the Great Commission above learning and obeying the rest of God’s word. The Great Commission is not the only command or instruction God gave and it is not superior to any other command or instruction God gave. It is on the same level.  Yet people continue to place it above every other word God spoke in the Bible. You CANNOT evangelize if you are not truly obeying God’s word. If you alter God’s word and try to convert a non-believer then you are not converting them to Jesus but your own version of who you want him to be.

The people who do this will make many excuses to justify why they elevate the Great Commission over every other teaching and ignore the truths of what God said throughout the rest of the Bible. They also focus on relationships but how can you have a relationship with someone if you are always changing the words that they say?

We have not read the Nashville statement and it may have some problems but those problems do not justify making more problems by ignoring the truth of what God has said.

 

With Evolution…

there is no point to anything. There is no purpose in life and no reason to be moral, upstanding contributing , constructive citizens.  Not only would everything in life be subjective there is no one to please and live for. There is no objective standards to meet and every one gets to do what is right in their own eyes which means you have no security whatsoever. So if they want to steal your money they can.

If evolution were true, there is no reason to get out of bed for there is no hope, no salvation, no reason to do anything and that makes life mean nothing. If you are wondering why people are acting weirder these days it is because they are adopting this notion of evolution and living by its principles– you can do whatever you want because life and yourself mean absolutely nothing  at all.

 

God’s Kingdom, God’s Culture

In Matthew 3:1 & 2 John the Baptist starts out his ministry with the words ““Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We are not going to talk about repenting today as we presume most of our readers have already repented and entered into the kingdom of God and it si at that moment when one repents and receives salvation that they leave their earthly culture and enter God’s culture. This fact will help you understand the passage, ‘in the world but not of it’. We are in the world but we do not live according to all of its rules. We live according to the rules God gave us n the Bible.

God did not write the Bible because he had nothing better to do with his time nor did he write his rules so that they can be broken (in God’s culture rules are meant to be obeyed), he wrote the Bible so that we would know how to live correctly in his culture and be able to please him. Like earthly cultures, God’s culture does have rules to follow. These rules are not meant to oppress or make people second class but to ensure that we know how to obey God. We find no instance in the Bible where God rewarded disobedience. God made the rules so that we would become free from sin and learn how to be holy as he commanded us to become in 1 Peter.

Sadly, there are people out there who claim that if we follow the bible and obey its rules we have made the Bible a god and are committing idolatry. They are not correct. How can we obey God if we toss out the rules he wrote in the Bible?  These people who make that claim have yet to unearth one complete set of holy, divinely inspired words written by God to direct our lives in the modern era.  This means that they are not basing their claims on any real evidence but merely stating their own personal opinions because they do not want to obey God.

There are no alternative scriptures to the Bible. If there were then God would be disqualified from being God and he would have sinned. He would not be just, he would not be fair, he would not be honest thus there are only one set of scriptures for all people of all eras. Those same people who make the claim that following the Bible is idolatry also claim that the Bible was written for one set of people in one given era. That is not true either. The Israelites may have received God’s word originally but that does not make them the original audience. We are all the original audience. It doesn’t matter the era because sin has not changed, evil has not changed, nor has temptation and so on.  The Bible is for all people of all eras.

What was sin in Moses’ time, in Jesus’ time is sin in our time. The words of God do not change because God does not change nor what he has declared to be sin has changed. We do not need to interpret the Bible but follow the Holy Spirit to the truth and then accept and go with the truth. The truth is that we have to obey the Bible as it is written. Once we get to the truth, that is what we implement in our lives and in our churches.We do not use interpretation because there is no biblical command or instruction to interpret the scriptures. There is, in John 16:13, instruction to follow the Holy Spirit to the truth. God is truth not interpretation.

How does this apply to our daily lives When Peter & John said that they are to obey God rather than men, they were not saying that they will ignore certain earthly cultural rules. There are cultural rules that need to be obeyed. If the government says you need to follow the building codes then you follow the building codes., If they place traffic lights up then yo obey the traffic lights, and on go the examples. We obey those rules because GOD gave governments permission and authority to make those rules. Those restrictions do not have us disobeying any of God’s commands or instructions thus we must obey them. Why do we obey them, because it is obedience to God and those rules do not call for us to disobey biblical commands or instructions.

That is the key. We disobey those earthly laws that make us disobey God. We obey God over man, By obeying those laws that do not have us violate God’s law we are in obedience to God.We are obeying the government as it should be obeyed. But when earthly culture and God’s culture conflict, we are members of God’s culture and we obey that over any earthly instruction. We live according to God’s rules in God’s culture not earthly ones. That is why we have the Bible.  God’s culture is not an earthly culture but comes from him who is holy and incorruptible thus we learn his ways if we want to exist properly in God’s culture.

God’s culture has different rules and he has provided us with the keys to understanding those rules. We follow the Holy Spirit to the truth and not the interpretation. The truth reigns in God’s culture not the interpretation. The truth is the Bible is not being made a god because we obey it.

 

Doing What is Right

The other day we were able to view the following short film

Symbol: Should We Still Fear the Swastika? Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2010. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. <http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=44870>.

and it depicted the conflict over the swastika symbol embedded in a Roman Catholic Church in St. Cloud Minn.  The we read the following story

62 Nebraska Pastors Sign Anti-Racism Statement Calling White Supremacy ‘Blatantly Sinful’

http://www.christianpost.com/news/62-nebraska-pastors-sign-anti-racism-statement-calling-white-supremacy-blatantly-sinful-196277/

And while white supremacy (or any supremacy) is wrong believers need to be careful in these types of actions. For the symbol issue, the swastika has enjoyed thousands of years of peaceful meanings applied to it yet far to many people get caught up in the 20th century application applied to it by the Nazis. In that video, the Rabbi and a few others claim that the swastika was forever corrupted by the Nazi use of that symbol and that it can never stand for anything good. But the problem with that view is that those people are letting their own personal views distort their perception of the swastika, it isn’t the symbol that is influencing them in any way. Despite all the education concerning the swastika’s history and use they will not get down off their pedestal and accept the fact that the swastika is not restricted to only the 20th century and the Nazis.

Having lived in a country where the swastika is prevalent and on almost every corner due to the Korean Buddhist use of the symbol, we take a more relaxed view of the symbol because the 20th century meaning never made it to Korea shores. The Nazis did not make it that far east. We are well aware of what Hitler and the other Nazis did but their actions do not make the symbol guilty nor the use of it evil or representing hate. If the swastika represents anything in the 21st century. other than the applied meanings from the Hindu, Buddhist and Navajo worlds, then it is a reminder of the depravity of humanity without Christ and how low men and women will go when letting evil lead them to sin.

The swastika did not tell Hitler and the other Nazis to use it for their despicable agenda. It is an innocent victim in that portion of 20th century history not an active participant. It should no more be considered evil than the buildings that were used to torture so many prisoners.Evil is not done by symbols or structures, that activity is the sole domain of humans and the devil. Symbols are the innocent bystanders used to further an evil agenda that brings destruction on other human beings.

AS for the latter article on the statement signed by 52 pastors, their statement is fair at best and does not go far enough in promoting Christianity but is far too broad in nature. That broadness allows for other sinful actions to take place in the  name of God or goodness or equality and so on. Yes Neo-Nazism is not a biblical teaching and should not be adopted nor supported by believers in Christ but so is Black Lives Matter as that ideology promotes the superiority of one group of people over other people of color (white included).  Such statements in their naive thinking sound good but in reality are far from the biblical message that Jesus brought.

As a group, we hope that racial inequality along with other sins would be eliminated by our churches working together,” said Martin.

AS an example, if one is going to teach that supremacy is wrong then they must teach that the idea of race is wrong as well for the Bible does not teach that there are 4 different human races. It only teaches that there is 1. If pastors and believers are going to talk about what is right and wrong then they need t make sure their complete message is correct or they are just wasting everybody’s time with their public rhetoric. They sound like they are just being political and trying to look good to those around them in hopes of getting more seats filled in their churches.

The only side pastors, church leaders and believers are to take is Christ’s side and making statements like those 52 pastors is not taking his side at all but the politically correct side which is also not included in biblical teaching. You cannot represent Christ when you do not represent his side and his views but distort his perspective by compromising it with secular teaching or looking political.

What point this all brings us to is that it is wrong to remove old signs or symbols, just because a few people distort the value and meaning of a particular symbol. Yes the stars and bars are included in this as they are not a symbol of hatred or slavery but a reminder of what humans do to others when they do not correctly follow Christ (so many modern believers also do not follow Christ correctly).. Part of the problem in these type of issues is that believers are not properly biblically educated to be involved in these issues let alone comment upon them. Christians are to lead others to Christ’s ways not to a mixture of Christ and the secular world.

This means that tearing down old symbols or statues is not a Christian thing to do or to support. The Christian thing to do is bring the truth to the issue and show how people need to think instead of trying to agree with them and let them have their sinful way. Slavery was a human choice not a symbols decree. Adding sin to sin is not doing what is right and tearing out old symbols, placing upon them your own subjective perspectives is adding sin to sin. it is not promoting Christ or his love but just changing who is getting the love and who is getting the hatred.

Christians need to think first then act by following the Holy Spirit to the truth so that they then can lead others to the truth and this is the actual truth not someone’s personal belief that it is truth. Christ’s view is often different from the world’s and his human followers’ ideas.

 

Stories to Think About

Archaeology:  All stories taken from- https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/biblehistorydaily/

#1. August 2017: An Eclipse of Biblical Proportions

A total solar eclipse (when the moon completely blocks the sun, casting the earth in temporary darkness) will be visible across the United States on August 21, 2017 (see map for visibility). When the solar eclipse works its eerie wonders, shadows will behave strangely. Pin-hole openings in tree leaf cover will project tiny eclipses on the ground. Some people will see shadow waves—bands of shade moving across the ground. Viewers in the path of the eclipse will experience about 2 minutes of total darkness.

#2. First Person: Should These Looters Go to Jail?

Imagine a young Bedouin looter exploring one of the hundreds of complicated and dangerous caves in the Judean Desert by the Dead Sea. He discovers an extraordinary ancient gold artifact with a Hebrew inscription referring to King Solomon.

One of the Israeli antiquities dealers who sees it reports it to the authorities, who quickly trace it to the young Bedouin and seize it from him. It is displayed in the Israel Museum, which has to remain open until midnight to accommodate the crowds. It is an international sensation. The New York Timessends two of its most knowledgeable reporters to write the story.

#3. Biblical History at What Cost?

On July 5, 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York issued a press release stating that a civil complaint was filed to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae originating from modern Iraq and smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates and Israel. As explained in the complaint available online, these artifacts (over 3,500 items) were purchased in the context of amassing what is known as the Green collection—around 40,000 objects of various kinds, from ancient papyri to modern prints of the Bible, assembled by the Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This collection was meant to form the core of what is nowadays known as the Museum of the Bible, which opens in Washington, D.C. in November.

#4. Huqoq 2017: Mosaics of Jonah and the Whale, the Tower of Babel and More

Archaeologist Jodi Magness and her team have discovered more stunning mosaics during the seventh season of excavations at a Late Roman synagogue at Huqoq, Israel. This new mosaic pavement, which depicts Greco-Roman and Biblical scenes, joins several other mosaics unearthed at Huqoq since 2012, including scenes fromthe Samson cycle, Exodus, the Noah’s ark story and what may be a meeting between Alexander the Great and a Jewish high priest. The Huqoq excavations are led by Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Assistant Director Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

#5. 5,000-Year-Old Egyptian Billboard Discovered

What do you call a team of Yale Egyptologists who just discovered the oldest known monumental Egyptian hieroglyphs? “Absolutely flabbergasted,” according to Professor John Coleman Darnell, codirector of the Elkab Desert Survey Project.As reported by YaleNews, Darnell and his team came across the hieroglyphs during their study of road networks around the ancient Egyptian city of Nekheb (modern Elkab) on the east bank of the Nile. At the site of El-Khawy, about four miles north of Elkab, they discovered two sets of ancient carvings: a section of rock art portraying a herd of elephants (dated c. 4000–3500 B.C.E.) and a large hieroglyphic panel containing four signs (c. 3250 B.C.E.). These inscriptions excited Darnell and his team because of their monumental size, their symbolism and their impact on our knowledge of ancient Egyptian writing and culture.

Theology: all stories taken from- http://www.christianpost.com/

#1. Perry Noble Registered New Church Week Before NewSpring Leaders Called Him Biblically Unfit to Be Pastor

Exactly one week after Perry Noble filed paperwork with the South Carolina Secretary of State to register a new spiritual venture called the Second Chance Church last month, former colleagues of the ousted NewSpring Church founder declared him biblically unfit to be a pastor.

It is unclear if this was a coincidence or a strategic move on the part of NewSpring leadership to stop Noble’s controversial comeback to ministry, which began earlier this year just months after he was removed as lead pastor of NewSpring for alcohol addiction and other issues.

#2. Multisite Churches Are a ‘Uniquely Better Approach,’ Says Andy Stanley

North Point Community Church founder and Lead Pastor Andy Stanley has stated that congregations with multiple campuses have a “uniquely better approach” to church growth.

Speaking at Willow Creek Community Church’s annual Global Leadership Summit on Thursday afternoon, Stanley talked about the success of his church since its founding over 20 years ago.

His speech was one of many shown to approximately 600 sites in the United States alone, among them West End Assembly of God in Richmond, Virginia.

#3. 12-Y-O Boy Allegedly Told to ‘Turn the Other Cheek’ After Reporting Rape at Elite Christian School

Brentwood Academy, an elite private Christian school in Tennessee where annual tuition is nearly $25,000 is now facing a $30 million lawsuit alleging that school officials failed to report the repeated rape of a 12-year-old boy by older male students. Headmaster Curtis G. Masters is also accused of telling the victim to “turn the other cheek” when he reported the abuse.

#4. Can Volunteering Replace Tithing? Pastors and Church Members Disagree: Barna

Can a church member substitute volunteering for financial giving? Pastor and church members disagree whether these two forms of generosity are interchangeable, according to a Barna study.

More than 80 percent of pastors disagree strongly or somewhat that “it is okay for a member who volunteers extensively not to give financially,” says the report, “The Generosity Gap,” produced by Barna in partnership with Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 not-for-profit financial services organization headquartered in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

However, only about 20 percent of Christians are on the same page with pastors on this question, the study shows.

#5. Transgender High School Grads Awarded $20K Each After Suing District Over Bathroom Policy

Three transgender teenagers have been awarded $20,000 each from their Pennsylvania school district as part of a legal settlement to a lawsuit challenging the school district over its bathroom and locker room policies.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Elissa Ridenour, Juliet Evancho and a third unidentified transgender student, all of whom have since graduated from Pine-Richland High School in Allegheny County, each received $20,000 from the Pine-Richland School District as a result of a lawsuit they filed last year

 
 
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