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Category Archives: comparative religions

Let’s Ask a Question

Trinity Western is getting famous for its Community Covenant. This covenant tells students that to be part of the Trinity Western family, they must abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and woman” (https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/july/secularism-and-diversity-lessons-from-canada.html).

Our question is- is it right to make such demands of students who are merely attending the university in order to get a proper education? A follow-up question would be, is it right to force the university beliefs on its students? When we ask these questions we are not denigrating TWU although we have concerns about their demands because of possible hypocrisy in the ranks.

We know that some of their professors teach that evolution is true, at least in the micro sense of the application of the theory. Why is it so important for TWU to ignore one part of the Bible while holding to another? We have a problem with that position. Why is sexual intimacy more important than knowing how God created and how creation works correctly?

We had one pastor friend tell us that God sees sexual sins as more important than other sins. Yet after an examination of how God punishes sin in the OT and the NT, we found that is not so. Solomon had over 1200 women in his harem yet he was allowed to lead the people of Israel. Homosexuality and other sexual sins are listed equally with lying, stealing etc., when God tells people who will not make it into heaven.

So obviously, what that pastor said is not true and does not explain why TWU would allow sin in one area of life but not another. We must ask, is it right to deprive anyone of an education simply because they do not believe the same or have the same sexual preferences as the institution? After all, the makeup of the student body does not stop TWU from teaching Law and other subjects from a Christian point of view.

Allowing Muslims, Hindus and other religious believers as students also does not stop TWU from being a Christian University and providing a Christian education. They just have to let each student know where they stand and that they will not change their perspective if the students do not like it. The student acknowledges that they are attending a Christian University and understand the focus of the education.

If the education brought by the university is top-quality, sound, and on par with other academic institutions then there should be no complaint. The Christian university is free to teach Christ, the gospel and actually bring up the level of teaching with their perspective. It is not wrong to require students to not act in a manner that brings disrespect or disrepute to the institution.

We abided by that rule when we taught in Korea. The rule didn’t change our lives or alter our faith in any way. We do not think that allowing LGBTQ students will harm the school if the former conduct their lives in the same respectful manner. Of course, when it comes to leadership positions the school should be free to limit those opportunities to true Christians only. After all it is a Christian school and its leadership should remain Christian.

You cannot be a Christian school when you allow non-Christians to lead. It just can’t happen.

Now to address a couple of quotes or more from the article above:

First, it shows how a country’s top court can render a verdict in favor of human rights but biased against religious freedom. When the two ideas butted heads, religious freedom was the loser.

We disagree. This is not an attack on religious freedom but a decision questioning the legitimacy of an item in the community covenant. TWU’s religious faith was not on trial and they were not ordered to give up their faith. If TWU offers on-campus student housing, we could understand that rule. But off-campus students should not be made to adhere to the rule.

Second, it makes short shrift of the model that within a diverse society a plurality of ideas and beliefs can exist together. This is a huge loss. And when Canada, known for its democracy and public fairness, takes this road, we lose an important example of how pluralism functions.

Again we will disagree. We have looked through the Bible and have found no place where God instructs his people to force his ways on those who reject him. If those outside of the people of Israel wanted to live with the Hebrews, they had to follow God’s rules but no society was forced to live by the Mosaic law. The secular societies had the example of the Israelites and could use their free will and choice to adopt God’s ways or not.

When Jesus was here both Hebrews and non-Hebrews brought their sick to Jesus and he healed them all. Should we deprive those who do not believe as us of a quality education and the opportunity to see the difference Christ makes? Should we create stumbling blocks and turn people off of Christ by demanding that they act like believers or they get nothing? That thought seems opposite of what Christ did.

Jesus fed and ate with sinners but still maintained his holiness. We can do the same with education. Nothing in the Bible tells us that if we educate LGBTQ students we will lose our holiness. We will lose it if we walk in their counsel

.Third, it keeps faith from being public. I hear the justices saying something like, “Live out your faith within your churches, institutions, and private communities, but if you try to bring it into civic life, if we don’t see your beliefs as being inclusive with our values, we will prevent your faith from influencing our public spheres.”

Of course we disagree here because that is that author’s subjective interpretation and not fact. Again, the justices did not stop TWU from being Christian, they just objected to an unrealistic demand made by TWU. Why would TWU object to removing that clause when God can use that removal to bring the mission field to TWU? It is possible that the students God brings can still be redeemed and have an open mind and heart to Jesus.

Is TWU thinking that God only operates in one way and that they will not be blessed if they allow all students to atend their college? Allowing LGBTQ students into TWU is not supporting or legitimizing the LGBTQ position or preferences. It is allowing humans to be students and giving them a solid education from a Christian perspective. There is a difference.

Secular academic institutions upon allowing true Christians as students on their campuses does not change the secular institution into a Christian one.

Fourth, it assumes that Christian standards and beliefs for an institution are not essential to its identity, self-definition, or existence, but a preference.

This conclusion is just not true. No Christian standards have been attacked or demanded to be altered. TWU’s standard is under fire and questioned but not Christian standards. Jesus had a thief and betrayer as a disciple for 3 years, yet those facts did not stop him from teaching Judas his ways. Christians should pick their fights and for TWU changing this rule is not telling them to change their faith. The leaders of the school can still practice it and set an example for their students to follow.

It is wrong to force students to be a certain way just to get an education.

Canadian universities that provide training for other kinds of professional vocations may now be under scrutiny if they don’t also adhere to what the court considers “values.”For those outside of Canada, Paul Marshall, professor of Religious Freedom at Baylor University in Texas, notes that this ruling may present a challenge for Americans who want to practice law in Canada. Grads from socially conservative universities such as Baylor and Brigham Young may run into a headwind if provincial law societies disallow them from practicing law if they too have similar community standard such as TWU’s.

This is nothing but fear mongering.And Baylor should not talk right now as their scandals leave many questioning their Christian position. Christian standards include not lying, not stealing, not committing financial fraud, and so much more. Making a covenant rule to target one sin is not upholding Christian standards. Failing to teach the truth is more of an attack on Christianity, the Bible and Christ than letting students practice their preferences off-campus.

Besides, the covenant does not stop LGBTQ practices. They just go somewhere else and continue to live their lifestyle. But their hearts will be hardened to the gospel when they do. Christian academic institutions and other organizations need to re-examine what they consider to be Christian principles. They need to make sure that their rules line up with biblical teaching and not trying to force something God does not want to be forced.

Remember Jesus did not force anyone to follow his teachings. That attiutde did not grant permission for the people to sin. It worked with God’s rule that we humans have free choice to obey him or not. Christian organizations should also re-examine their lifestyles to see if they are without sin before they demand unbelievers to follow their ways.

Jesus lived as he and God taught, we can do no different.

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Speaking of Honesty

There have been a couple of articles about how Christians use honorary degrees. The first article is found at

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/december-web-only/ravi-zacharias-case-christian-credential-inflation.html

and talks about Ravi Zacharias and his organization’s use of the honorary degrees he has received. We are not going to talk about the right or wrongness of giving or being given honorary degrees as that is up the institutions and the individuals involved.

Their reasons for giving or receiving these honors are varied, with many legitimate and some…well you know. There are other reasons why these degrees are handed out. The same reasons apply to the secular academic institutions as well.

Up until earlier this year, the RZIM bio had not used the phrase “honorary doctorates;” instead, it had stated that Zacharias had been “honored with the conferring of six doctoral degrees.” The site also previously referred to him as “Dr. Zacharias” through 2014, as did multiple press releases, news features, and event postings.

Our topic is not about Mr. Zacharias’ use of his honorary degrees, it is about honesty. While Christians want to be seen as more credible, more legitimate and accepted more by their secular peers it seems that their credentials are inflated a bit and that is a problem.

“There’s a long and not very edifying tradition of Christian evangelists and speakers inflating their credentials,” said Stackhouse. (from the above link)

One does not lose credibility or legitimacy by being honest about their credentials or their courses of study. They do lose both when others uncover that certain facts have been over-stated or embellished. Also, ones’ Christian work can suffer or the church in general faces the fallout as unbelievers tend to hold everyone at fault when these issues take place.

“Ravi Zacharias is the biggest name in apologetics currently,” said Stackhouse. “As he goes, so goes apologetics so it’s really important that he be scrupulous in everything he does.”

Yes, Mr. Stackhouse is correct. One’s witness, testimony or apologetic presentation is called into question when embellishments are discovered. Then when caught in a lie, it does not help to try and lie your way out of the sticky situation.

Nor does it help to provide a weak defense. We know of one creationist who has done this and he is now only credible to a faithful few. But there are problems everywhere with the handing out of these degrees.

https://www.tnonline.com/should-colleges-stop-handing-out-honorary-degrees

They are seen as rewards for stellar behavior, dedication to a cause or some other high achievement. Sadly, the lives of some who have received these honors failed to be as stellar and have caused some to call for the ceasing of these handouts.

But for Christians, the cost is much higher. They can lose souls over these mistakes. They can turn people permanently off the gospel and Christ when they are dishonest about the honors they are given.

Now most of us will not have to worry about this particular problem. Most of us are not in a position to receive honorary degrees as our work is not well-known, and so on. But we honesty s not limited to the use or reception of honorary degrees.

All believers have little areas in our lives where we need to be honest or our credibility, our legitimacy, our witness and so on is lost. It can be our behavior in athletic competition, taxes, lies to our children and on it goes.

We need to be honest because it is not just God who watches what we do. Even without knowing it we can turn someone off of Christ and the Christian faith. Because all our observers do not let us know they are evaluating our words and actions.

Sometimes those we have been in contact with in less than honest ways tell their friends and families who tell their friends and family and on it goes. The ripple e effect does take place.

BUT do not get into a tizzy or think you will have a nervous breakdown. There will always be people turned off of Christ no matter how honest or good we are. Plus, we believers will make mistakes. It happens. We are not going to be perfect.

The key is correct those mistakes properly and deal with the situation as God directs. One way to help cut down on these mistakes in honesty is to ask God to help you. It may mean a little less money, it may mean not getting everything you want but it is better to live the Christian life right than to gain those desires.

Of course, honesty begins with God and how we treat him, his instructions and commands. How can we be honest with the secular world if we are not honest with him, the author and finisher of our faith?

God is honest with us and keeps things simple. We need to return the favor and be honest with him.

 

The Only “Accepted” Verdict

In child crime and domestic issues there only seems ot be one verdict most people will accept– guilty as accused. We find this trend very disturbing and disappointing as it certainly is not God’s way of handling justice. The church cannot participate in this trend even though many do and we have spoken of several of these instances.

One situation continues as the lead story in the Christian Post is the following

https://www.christianpost.com/news/willow-creek-association-president-apologizes-missteps-mistakes-slip-ups-hybels-scandal-226737/

Willow Creek Association President Tom De Vries apologized Thursday at the Global Leadership Summit for the “missteps, mistakes, slip-ups, blunders” made in not condemning sooner the alleged actions of Willow Creek Community Church founder Bill Hybels

For the church this cannot be. How can the world see God, how can it see true justice if even God’s followers do not practice his justice? Far too often the lost, deceived, blind secular world has been a light unto the church and it has to stop. God’s justice punishes the woman as much as it does the man. We have countless of OT & NT examples of how God’s justice works and sorry women, you do not get a free pass.

You may think that we are being dark and one-sided here but we are tired of seeing men like the one in the article get up, apologize and then state they are condemning someone who has not even been proven guilty. We are tired of seeing perverted justice masquerading as real justice and wish that the church would step up and show the world the difference.

Sadly, all the church can do is copy its sinful neighbors. Where can people go to get relief from the corrupt practices of the sinful world if the church does not present hope and a difference?

“There is no map for the journey we’ve been on. We’ve had missteps, mistakes, slip-ups, blunders not condemning Bills actions to a greater degree and more publicly; not showing more support to the women who courageously came forward with their concerns; perpetuating a narrative of false allegations and collusions. We are sorry for the places where we could and should have done better,” De Vries said in a recording of his remarks at the summit.

We do not want to diminish any act of courage women may have used to present their stories, but like a lot of commentators on articles in secular newspapers, we do not think it is that courageous to accuse someone 20-30 years later without evidence. It does not take any courage to be part of a kangaroo court or a vigilante squad.

It does take courage to stand up for proper justice, honesty and accept the laws on the books. Trying to hurt a person decades later is as much sin as the acts the accused is said to have done. This is playing out right now in the American college football world where a coach has been fired for domestic violence even though the police have found no evidence or charged him with a crime. His mother-in-law backs him not her own daughter, yet he has been tried and convicted without a real trial, with no evidence and with the police finding nothing wrong

It is not courageous to point a finger without real evidence or follow the rules on evidence, it is not justice. We are like other commentators who feel that if the act actually occurred, it would be more courageous to file a police report at the time and let the police gather the evidence while it is still exists. Then let the legal system do its job properly.

We do not find anyone courageous who does what the quoted person said and tries to condemn a man without evidence, without a proper trial, and without evidence. He does so because he is probably not a courageous man who will stand for real justice but only for the perceived accepted verdict.

It takes courage to stand with honesty, with real justice and what is right even when the crowd goes against you. That is what we have found lacking in this whole mess– honesty. That is why we probably get so upset over these situations because honesty is missing in action. It is missing from all sides of the issue. One of  the culprits that removes honesty from these affairs is interpretation.

What meaning a person places on the action of another leads to the distortion of the action and misrepresents what was done. Mr. Hybel may have innocently done the things he did with no sexual or sinful intent in mind, (we do not know, it is a possibility), but the interpretive powers of others have removed that innocence in favor of something more unwanted.

In other words, the sinful acts were not done, just read into the actions. This is done all the time and that act perverts justice. It also leads to innocent men and women being charged with offenses they did not commit. The verses we quoted in yesterday’s post did not say give us your interpretation so we can punish those you accuse. It said to give the facts so everything could be established as true. It takes honest people to not interpret the actions of others and not bring false accusations against those who did the deed.

A supposed victim may have honestly thought the sinful deed was the intent but that is not what we are talking about. Being honest means waiting for all the facts and establishing that a sinful act has been committed before making an accusation. Justice does not depend on the accusation but the truth and justice cannot be done without the truth. To get to the truth we need honesty, something that the church seems to have put aside in order to look good to the secular world.

The church is not to be concerned about how it looks to anyone. It is supposed to learn God’s ways, then implement those ways correctly so that God can be glorified and that the world sees that he exists, brings justice and cares for his creation. Obedience to God, not the accepted verdict, is the only way the Church will make an impact for him.

 

Going Too Far

We were going to take it easy today as we are not fully recovered but this one story stuck out and we feel it needs to be addressed. You can read the full article at the following link:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/harvard-sorority-shuts-down-over-sanctions-on-girls-only-boys-only-student-groups-226681/

Harvard Sorority Shuts Down Over Sanctions on Girls-Only, Boys-Only Student Groups

The headline is bad enough as the school implies that having single-sex organizations is wrong, illegal, violates God’s word and so on. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes God made two genders. Yes, he divided men’s clothing and hairstyles from women’s and so on. But you will notice that the Bible does not restrict humans from holding single-sex meetings, creating single-sex organizations or attending either.

The only real opposition God may have with those organizations is if they promote and practice sin/evil and refuse to do their activities for his glory. God made both men and women and gave them certain needs. Part of those needs is the desire to congregate with other members of the same gender without the presence of the opposite sex.

To violate that sanctuary is worse than excluding certain people who refuse to accept the fact that they have been deceived and led wrongly to reject their birth gender. There is something wrong with forcing single-sex organizations to open up to those people who refuse to live by the rules of right and wrong. It leads those organizations to violate God’s warning in Isaiah about calling good evil and vice versa. Leading people to sin is never a good thing to do.

We now look at some specific comments made in that article:

Single sex spaces are now regarded as “discriminatory.”

The word discrimination  is defined by the Oxford dictionary as follows:

The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

(https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/discrimination)

The problem can be seen in many ways. While technically one can say that single-sex organizations are discriminatory, they are not in reality. Society traditionally has accepted certain exceptions to the rule like the Boys and Girls Scouts. These type of organizations were not set up to discriminate and bar the opposite sex from participating, but to give boys and girls a chance to just be with their own gender. There is nothing wrong with that separation. It is good for people and society in general as long as they do not teach sinful practices.

Another problem that is seen in the case of that sorority is that the sorority is not discriminating against the male sex but keeping a mentally ill person from joining their ranks.The person they are being forced to accept is a person who is being deceived or is actually thinking they are not the male gender they were born as.  Instead of enabling this thinking and letting create more problems, it is not wrong to keep such people out of female only organizations.

Those people have a problem which needs proper treatment. They do not need help in keeping their fantasy alive. Psychology is not that well tuned to be able to say when one person truly thinks they are a member of the opposite gender and  when one is faking it to gain access to areas that should wait for marriage. Keeping the those with mental issues out of a single-sex organization is not discrimination. It is a wise move to protect those members from a predator, a dangerous situation and so on.

You will find no biblical instruction telling believers to enable those who are mentally ill or under deception. Loving our neighbor does not grant permission to let others violate God’s standards of right and wrong, etc. or let them live in sin.

these organizations propagate exclusionary values that undermine those of the larger Harvard College community.

There is such a thing as common sense. God gave it to use for a reason- so we avoid doing stupid things like letting men pretend they are women so they can have access to a department store’s changing areas. Common sense is not specifically mentioned in the Bible but as we see by the Mosaic laws, it is certainly a talent that God expects us to use to stay in obedience with his instructions.

Common sense does tell us that it is more wrong to open the doors of sororities and fraternities to those who wrongfully reject their birth gender than it is to get the latter some treatment and explain to them why they cannot join. Common sense also tells us that no matter how much you mutilate your body, you still are the same gender as you were when you came out of the womb. There is no such thing as gender assignment surgery. That is a label thought up, probably, by some doctors who want to take advantage of these mentally vulnerable people and make money off of them.

Common sense a then tells us that it is not a wise move to make to place a man in a woman’s single-sex organization or a woman in an all  male organization. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure these things out. We would go as far as to say that those who advocate otherwise should be removed from their positions of leadership and retrained, until they see the light and error of their ways.

One Harvard sorority has already complied with the new rules to avoid the sanctions, agreeing to become “gender-neutral.”

Capitulating to idiotic thinking is not going to help anyone nor will it keep the standards of right and wrong intact. Nor will it protect anyone from any harm that may come by opening up single-sex organizations to the mentally disturbed. The American Armed Forces is a good example of what takes place when combining two genders under the wrong circumstances

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Awr9Du3DdGtbCw4AxRJXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGZyA3lmcC10LXMEZ3ByaWQDZWhRWkNqbWxSOGFaanVYMTJJZG5BQQRuX3JzbHQDMARuX3N1Z2cDMARvcmlnaW4Dc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAzAEcXN0cmwDMjgEcXVlcnkDbWlsaXRhcnklMjBzZXh1YWwlMjBwcm9ibGVtcwR0X3N0bXADMTUzMzc3MDc2NQ–?p=military+sexual+problems&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-s&fp=1

Tiana Menon, Kappa president said at the time that the sorority was excited to contribute to a “healthy campus social life” at Harvard and believed that gender neutral organizations committed to empowering “female-identifying persons” have a place on campus.

How can you have a healthy campus life when you allow people to act out their gender issues and enable them to further fall into their fantasies? It is not empowering anyone by violating the sanctity of single-sex organizations. It is possible you could ’empower’ them by giving them their own sorority or fraternity chapter or that may just open those mentally deceived and ill people up to more ridicule and trigger some hidden desire to harm others.

But you do not empower people by placing others at risk of harm or embarrassment.

Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane told The Harvard Crimson in response to Delta Gamma’s closure that the school “seeks to build a community in which every student can thrive, and it does so on the foundation of a set of shared values including belonging, inclusion, and non-discrimination.”

The problem here is where do you draw the line? The words ‘every student’ means every student, so the rapist,, the pedophile, the thief and so on must be able to thrive as well. You can argue that those elements are against the law but so was homosexuality and transgender behavior. Those elements got the laws changed to be legitimate and accepted by a few in authority, why can’t the same be done for the other criminal element in the world? They need to thrive as well on  campus.

Then the above thinking becomes discriminatory because there will be people excluded from the enlarged group. Who gets to draw the line? It is unfair to single-sex organizations if a person who doesn’t like them or has a grudge against them gets to make rules governing their association and practice. Then inclusion should not be so intrusive that it destroys a healthy and constructively contributing single-sex organization.

We could point a lot of fingers her but let’s just leave it with that those who are supporting this inclusion are not thinking the situation through very well.

Thus, the school reasoned, fraternities and sororities that intend to remain single-sex do not align with the educational philosophy of the school. Dane added that the school is “offering [those groups] supportive pathways as they transform into organizations” that do align with Harvard’s mission and values.

So we must conclude that Harvard’s mission and values do not include protecting right from wrong and that wrong behavior is as valuable and acceptable as those behaviors that follow the rules. We must also conclude that Harvard’s mission and values include the idea that the rules do not matter. If that is the case, then why does Harvard have admission rules and deny many people from attending their institution?

Fighting to break down certain rules only leads one to undermine their own position and regulations. Not all rules or laws but as you can see, violating or forcing the violation of the rules of a single-sex organization leads to undermining Harvard’s own rules and legitimacy to enforce them. This is not right.

In conclusion, God has rules. He has implemented them for humans to follow so they can find the right way to a holy life and be worthy of entering his kingdom. Those rules are not going to change. Belief in Jesus as one’s savior will always be the only way to salvation. Giving up sin will always be a requirement to live the Christian life and be part of God’s kingdom.

You can have inclusion if you disallow the very thing that ruins inclusion–sin. Harvard is not excluding sin from its campus but allowing it to be practiced more openly. There are three things to  learn  from God’s example. One, his rules will not change just because someone does not want to follow them or they want their particular sin, mental issue or deception to be practiced in his kingdom and church.

Two, God follows his own rules. He does not  lie, he does not lust, he does not murder, and he observes the sabbath, and so on. Three, he also does not let deceived, sinful, fallible, and blind culture or people influence his rules or their observance.

The church has the best example to follow and the church should protest Harvard’s and other educational institutions’ sinful practices once it gets its house in order and in line with God and his example.

 

Bible History 4

Jezebel – Wicked Wife of Ahab and her evil rule:

Jezebel’s origins

She was the daughter of a king and high priest. Her father, Ethbaal, was king of the Sidonians who worshipped Baal as their god. Her people were the Phoenicians, the great ancient maritime people after the Minoans. They considered the Hebrew God just a local deity and had no time for him and his ways.

Jezebel’s father rose to power through the murder of his predecessor, so it is not hard to see where Jezebel received her evil training. It is hard to say where Ahab met Jezebel, the Bible only says that he took her to be his wife.

The Bible also says that Ahab was well on his way to being the evilest king prior to marrying Jezebel. We are not sure how much of Jezebel’s influence had on Ahab, but she certainly did nothing to change his ways.

Jezebel and Elijah

It seems that Jezebel and Elijah never met personally.  It is hard to say as the biblical record only has Elijah speaking directly to Ahab. Whether Jezebel is there or not cannot be ascertained. The first thing Elijah is recorded to say to Ahab is that God would send a drought for three years.

This drought ended up in a showdown with the Prophets of Baal on one side and Elijah, alone, on the other side. Prior to this event, Jezebel had the prophets of God killed except for the hundred Obadiah saved (see 1 Kings 18).

What made Elijah the enemy of Jezebel was Elijah’s extermination of the 450 prophets of Baal, that Jezebel had her husband import from her native land. Jezebel sent a messenger with the threat that she would do to Elijah what he did to her prophets.

Even prophets of God are human and have emotions. Elijah became afraid when he heard the threat and fled the area where Jezebel knew he was living.

Jezebel is not finished with her evil deeds

After a couple of successful wars, Ahab becomes infatuated with a vineyard owned by Naboth. Even as King, he becomes depressed because Naboth would not trade his vineyard for another and let Ahab take his.

Jezebel started to scheme and committed forgery as she sent letters to the elders of Naboth’s city. She also committed murder by instructing those elders to have Naboth falsely accused and stoned to death. Once this act was done, Jezebel told Ahab to go down and take possession of the land.

This act is what brought God’s prophecy against both Ahab and Jezebel. God sent Elijah to give the death sentences to Ahab. Ahab would die in the place where Naboth died and Jezebel would be eaten by dogs.

All because the royal couple had led the people of Israel to sin. (See 1 Kings 21).

Jezebel reconstructed

Jezebel is not seen as a woman of evil in everyone’s eyes. US News and World Report once wrote that modern day feminists view her as a politically astute, strong willed woman who was very courageous.

Mary Joan Winn Leith wrote in the Bible review that Ahab’s and Jezebel’s marriage was an ideal marriage, one that was a role model for those younger couples in need of a role model.

She also writes that Jezebel and Ahab were the victims of a smear campaign of the anti-northern kingdom biblical authors. Janet Howe Gaines who also wrote a scholarly piece for the Bible Review concurs.  She says that Jezebel’s rise to Queen of the Northern tribes was an opportunity for anti-northern biblical writers to teach a moral lesson about idolatry.

Ms. Gaines also says that Jezebel was not as evil as the Bible portrays her. Yet any reconstruction fails as the Bible clearly points out, in 1 Kings 21:25, that Ahab continued to do evil at the urging of his wife Jezebel.

Jezebel’s Responsibility

There are no redeeming features or qualities possessed by Jezebel. She may not have done evil to him directly, but her influence certainly brought evil to Ahab and his life. Without her influence it remains a possibility that Ahab could have been redeemed and had a more positive reign.

As it stands, he is known for the evil that he and his wife did.

 

Thinking Outside The Box

Is not a biblical instruction. Yet churches continue to try to follow the world’s strategies in hopes of fulfilling God’s commands.  We are not going to be long here as we are not feeling good but we wanted to draw your attention to two activities two different churches are doing. People may think that the end justifies the means but nothing justifies disobedience including supposedly winning souls.

#1. Beer and the Biblehttps://www.christianpost.com/news/california-church-build-brewery-drink-beer-during-services-226569/

A California church sold their church building and relocated in a new space where beer is served and plans are underway to build a brewery where church services can occur.

“We decided to sell the building, because for us a church is a community and a movement,” pastor Chris VanHall, who leads The Greater Purpose Community Church in Santa Cruz, California, told the NBC affiliate in the Bay Area last week.

The logic behind this move and thinking does not make any spiritual sense

VanHall came to Santa Cruz to plant a church, according to his bio on the GPCC website, in hopes of creating “a place of safety for those who have justifiably left the church, due to bigotry and hate-filled theology.”

Of course, their definition of bigotry and hatred needs to be mentioned but it is not. Which is par for the course. But we get an idea of how spiritual this church is by reading the following

Formerly named Garfield Park Community Church, the progressive Disciples of Christ congregation’s “About” section on their Facebook page and website explains that they “will embrace you regardless of your faith, personal life choices, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, political preference, social status, or economic standing.”.

They are not practicing radical love. They are disobeying God and using his name to do what they please.

#2. Videos & the Christ- https://www.christianpost.com/news/can-a-video-game-church-advance-the-kingdom-of-god-226594/

A virtual church has been launched for gamers, the pastor of which says he is reaching a people group for Christ that the traditional church does not even know exists.

He is wrong. The church does know it exists and they are thinking of ways to minister to this mission field. At least that is what we think because we are sure God has pointed this vacuum to some his followers.

Viewers watch the livestream of him playing games while Souza fields questions about God and the Christian faith. He also weaves in moral and ethical principles into the gaming world, urging gamers not to cuss and advises them that they not play Grand Theft Auto because of the particular kind of killing and sexual content that game promotes.

We do not buy it. We do not need to become sinners or practitioners of sin to further the kingdom of God. We also do not need to ídentify’with gamers by taking up their favorite activities. Believers can identify with unbelievers by simply sayng, “we were once just like you but Jesus redeemed me.” It is very hard to win people to the gospel when you are doing the very same activities you are trying to save them from. You are showing them that they have no need to change.

It is also very hard to weave moral and ethical issues into most video games. To play most video games, one cannot be Christian or follow God’s rules. The games are set up to ignore God and his ways.

In 1 Corinthians 12:14, the Apostle Paul writes about the value of having different parts of the body that makes up the church. Matt Souza is part of the body of Christ that articulates that he is trying to use tech for good.

This passage of scripture is not intended to grant permission to people to do the faith wrong. This passage also does not overrule other scriptures that tell us how to live our lives. Under the logic given there false teachers would be considered part of the body. Also, that passage is not meant to let misguided people erroneously practice the faith or keep them from being corrected by more mature and spiritually correct belilevers.

Jesus] always went to where the people were at,” Souza said.

Yes but Jesus did not participate in their sins either.

Thinking outside of the box may sound like fun, it may sound cool, and it may even produce a few results. BUT it is not spiritual thinking. What we see in both cases, are churches or pastors who use the Bible to justify their practice and pursuit of their own personal desires. We do not see God behind either ministry.  When it comes time to think outside the box, let God do the leading. He knows when it is the right way to go and believers won’t have to settle for one or two conversions. They will get a boatload of them.

 

The Church & LGBTQ

You are never going to get us to agree that one can be a LGBTQ community member and a Christian at the same time. Jesus’ redemptive work at conversion takes care of that sin.  We have also argued that those claiming to be LGBTQ and Christian are being very selfish and refuse to give up their sin for God. They love their sin more than they love God.

But you will also never get us to agree to abuse those who participate in same-sex sins. We do not agree with letting them go homeless, hungry, thirsty or left without aid when they are in trouble. Do unto others applies to helping the LGBTQ member while not accepting their sin or lifestyle. The church is free to ban them from leadership positions in the Church,  they are free to ban them from the congregation if they refuse to give up their sins but the church is not free to spurn someone in need.

Doesn’t matter who they are, whether they be single men, women with children or those who practice sin. Returning good for evil is a commandment from Jesus. It is one that needs to be practiced in today’s cultural change against the Christian faith and those who practice it. We need to demonstrate that we have the better lifestyle and something worth living for.

With that said here are a few articles that need addressing on this issue:

#1. https://www.christianpost.com/voice/why-some-christians-buy-into-lgbt-theology.html

I’m often reminded of this quotation while listening to self-identifying Christians argue in support of same-sex relationships. Rarely do I ever hear an actual argument, certainly not from Scripture. What I do hear are experiences—how befriending an LGBT person or getting a certain feeling or receiving a supposed message from God should lead Christians to a new view of sex, marriage, and the human person—a view the church has unanimously rejected for two millennia.

A very well written piece that is worth the time to read and understand. The Bible tells us to teach sound doctrine and that there will be people trying to evade the truth. Every believer should have sound doctrine in their hearts and minds which will protect them from the evils that come from LGBTQ ideology.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/megachurch-pastor-adam-hamilton-says-christians-can-support-gay-marriage-and-not-be-heretical-226454/

United Methodist megachurch pastor Adam Hamilton stated at a Texas gathering that Christians can support gay marriage and not be at odds with orthodoxy.

Maybe, but they would be at odds with God and his teaching. That is something no believer should attempt. God said you are either for me or against me (he did say it first) and that includes LGBTQ positioning. To be a true believer one cannot support same-sex marriage. They also cannot accept divorce except in the case of adultery. Nor can they violate the law and have more than one wife at a time.

Just because OT figures did so does not mean that we can. You either stand with God or you do not. The choice is yours and that megachurch pastor does not stand with God. He is changing the Christian faith to meet his desires and ideology. He is preaching something Jesus and the disciples did not teach.

#3.https://www.christianpost.com/voice/a-compassionate-response-to-the-transgender-issue.html

So in other words, for the vast majority of those suffering from gender dysphoria, it is a temporary—not a permanent problem. Yet for those who get the gender reassignment surgery, this is a permanent “solution.” But the “solution” then usually leads to many other problems.

It is an interesting read and one that gives the perspective of someone who regretted their gender identity changes. At no time should gender be removed from the lives of children. Boys are boys and are born with certain chromosomes and equipment. The same for girls. God made two different genders only as that was his will.

Far be it that we should change what God did.

#4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/al-mohler-denounces-ny-times-column-claiming-leviticus-doesnt-condemn-gay-sex-226350/

Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has taken issue with a recent New York Times column claiming that Leviticus does not condemn homosexual activity.

Harvard scholar Idan Dershowitz argued in an opinion piece published Sunday that Leviticus 18:22, which prohibits gay sex, was added in the Old Testament long after it was first written

There is a second article on the Christian Post dealing with this topic.  Those people who do not have the spirit of truth will not know more about homosexuality than those who do. They will also not know more about what the Bible says than those who do. There will be those who disagree with God seeking to change what was written in his word so they can justify their sinful practices. It is not limited to LGBTQ issues.

Just for the record, Mr. Dershowitz is wrong and has no evidence supporting his position

#5. https://www.christianpost.com/news/speakers-lgbt-christian-conference-revoice-defend-event-225859/

Participants for the LGBT Christian conference Revoice are defending the event from criticism that the gathering will promote pro-LGBT ideas at the expense of biblical teaching.

There will also be those who refuse to acknowledge their sin and will continually seek to get it accepted into the church.  They are the ones, not those in the church who stand correctly with God, who err.

The church, to be the light unto the world, must stand with God and his teaching. Secular culture, unbelievers do not hold the truth and are the ones deceived. They cannot shed light onto the church. They can only spread darkness and try to ruin the light that the church is to be.

 
 
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