RSS

Category Archives: education

Let’s Not Use Human Strategies

If you are a long-term reader of this website, you know that we do not agree with Thom Ranier. He has come out with another church strategy to help churches get better. The problem is his strategy is not biblically based but secular business based. You can read about it at the following link:

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/churches-revitalize-replant-is-relaunch-a-3rd-option.html

Everything Mr. Ranier mentions for returning a church to spiritual health is not supported nor mentioned in the Bible. At best, he is copying the secular business world to formulate his ideas on how the church should be renewed. Everything he is talking about is a direct copy of business world terms and strategies. Contrary to a large contingent of people, the church is not a small business and it should not be treated like one.

It is an extension or representation of the kingdom of God and it needs to follow God’s rules if it wants to be or return to spiritual health. The Bible tells us that it is “not by might nor by power but by my spirit”… that will rejuvenate ailing churches. It is clear from his point # 1, that Mr. Ranier does not know how to bring God’s ways to churches. He says:

A relaunch may be more palatable for members who are not ready to give away their church to another church. Granted, relaunching has many challenges. It is basically shutting down the church for a period and re-opening it with a new purpose and identity

The church does not need a new identity. There is no other god they can represent and still be a member of God’s Kingdom. There is no other faith than the one Christ started for the church to switch to. The identity of the church remains the same because God and Christ remain the same. Nor can the purpose of the church be changed. It still represents God, his ways and his purpose.

Whether it goes from missions orientated to evangelism orientated, the church is preaching the same gospel message to unbelievers. It still has the same duty to care for everyone and it must teach the truth so that believers can grow in Christ.

We will let you go through the rest of his points and see for yourselves that his ideas bring nothing of God to a hurting or dying church. Needs are not being met, problems are not being solved, but they are being avoided by his strategy. He brings nothing to help solve the problems that ruined the spiritual health in any given church.

In Mr. Ranier’s work, he says he uses other words to help ailing churches regroup. The problem is that those two words, revitalize and replant, have nothing to do with God’s ways. They are as bad as his relaunch idea. God tells people to wait for him in Isaiah 30 . He does not say gain new strength through following the secular business strategies of the world.

Psalm 51 has David telling us how spiritual health can be returned. He says:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (v. 10 NASB)

God does the renewing and creates the right spirit in people. Not badly used and formed business ideas.

Lamentations tells us:

Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old, (5:21 NASB)

Again, it is God who does the spiritual renewal and not the blind deceived secular world or people like Mr Ranier who have left their bibles behind and ignored God’s instructions. Then Paul warns us in Romans about copying the secular world when he says:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (12:2 NASB)

The church has to conform to God’s way if it wants to remain spiritually healthy or return to spiritual health. We do not use those strategies that care nothing for people and only about the survival of the business.

If any church wants t be spiritually healthy, then it must learn to obey God, ignore what secular culture deems vital for survival and make sure they preach the truth. False teachers must be removed from leadership and teaching positions. Immature believers need to be taught correctly how to hear the voice of God and given the support they need to follow God’s will wherever it takes them.

Then accepted ideas of God’s will must be done away with so the church can clearly hear what God wants them to do. Discernment, wisdom, and an open mind (not to sin or false teaching), must be used to make sure the person is following the right spiritual directions. The key of course is to discern the difference between bad secular advice and strategies and God’s way.

Church leaders also have to be strong enough to stop popular or famous people from offering the wrong advice and tell them that their advice is misleading and in error. getting the church back to spiritual health means taking God and his words seriously. You can’t win people to Christ when you ignore his instructions and follow the secular world.

Advertisements
 

Can Christianity & Science Be Compatible

We have published the following article over at Hub.com We hope you will visit our new page there as we will be doing a lot of original writing at that site over the next few weeks.

—————————————————————-

This is the age-old question

There are a lot of people, including many who identify as Christian, who like to do science. They are intrigued by the exploration, the investigation and they enjoy the time they discover new and wonderful items.

Yet science does not always agree with the Bible or Christianity. This contradiction forces many people to alter their thinking. Most of the time, these people decide to side with science because they ignore the all-knowing God behind the Bible.

They think that the Christian scriptures were penned by sheep and goat herders and not the God who created everything. This decision often turns discussions about Christianity and science into heated debates where emotions and insults rule.

These heated discussions often make enemies between the two groups and leave many observers wondering who is right. There is a way to make science and Christianity compatible but first we need to discuss the nature of the two opposing camps.

What is science

Science is supposed to be the investigative tool of life that helps people find answers to certain difficult questions. Yet its nature is often its biggest hindrance as science is designed to look for natural answers only. Anything outside of those boundaries did not take place, according to many science supporters.

Also, science focuses on finding the best explanation for different events and the existence of unexplainable objects. It is not focused on or willing to search for the truth and provide concrete answers. In fact, scientists continue to ask questions even when the answers have been discovered.

Plus, it looks for physical evidence to provide the proof the scientist needs to finally accept the existence of certain events or discoveries. In a nutshell, this is what drives science.

What is Christianity

Christianity is a faith whose foundation is built on the truth and finding the truth. The Bible talks about how Christians will know the truth and that they have help in reaching that objective. It is a lifestyle that requires following divine principles, guidelines, instructions and commands.

Physical evidence is not needed for adherent to believe the Bible. Love is defined in part as believing all things, thus if the Christian loves God, they believe his words. What science has to say does not matter because the Christian knows that God does not lie and would not lead his creation astray.

In the Christians’ eyes, science is not an evil that must be destroyed. It is a tool that has been mishandled by unbelievers who have been deceived and misled.

If Christians compromise

If the Christian compromises and accepts science in its present form, then they are not representing the Christian faith correctly. They are making some very troubling and disheartening statements about the faith and God.

First, if they accept certain scientific theories, the Christian is saying that fallible men and women know more than God does. Second, they are saying that God cannot communicate his actions to his people. Third, they are saying that the Bible is incorrect and in need of correction by people who do not have the truth.

All these messages, and many more, basically tell the unbelieving world that Christianity is not worth their time, lives or faith. It has no answers to help them in their lives and Go di snot the all-powerful God he says he is.

If scientists compromise

The ramifications of an unbelieving scientist compromising with Christianity is not as severe. They do not give up doing science. They do not give up exploring or answering questions and so on. What happens is that science gets better. It has proven morality rules added to the field to guide the work and keep it honest.

The scientists stop investigating once they have discovered the truth. There are no endless experiments trying to answer the same questions over and over. They save time, money and energy. False theories are discarded, and everyone gets to the truth a lot quicker.

Science does not lose credibility or impact if it adopts Christian ways. The field becomes better and stops misleading the public. It can uncover hoaxes a lot faster as well and lead people away from misinformation.

To answer the question

In answering the main question, there is only one answer that is rational, logical and correct. For science and Christianity to be compatible it is science that has to make the sacrifice and give up its arrogant, selfish, sinful ways and let God come into the field to direct it.

If Christians did it, that would mean that they have left the faith to adopt non-biblical ways which is a sin in God’s eyes. Science is basically secular and anything that does not believe in God does not have God or the truth guiding it. They have evil deceiving them and evil does not lead its adherents to the truth.

It only gives them partial truth to make sure they remain outside of God and away from the truth. Because science is designed to be outside of God, it is in need of a savior and that means that the unbelieving scientists must see the error of their ways and repent of their sins.

That is the only way for science, in its current form, and Christianity can be compatible. At present the two entities are striving for different goals and different answers. Neither can be made compatible with the other. One of them must change and it cannot be Christianity.

If Christianity changes, then the message of hope and the good news would be lost, and it would not be Christianity any more. No one would want to follow a faith that denies its own God and calls him weak, incapable and a liar.

Some final words

It is best for Christian scientists to stop trying to make science compatible with Christianity. It just won’t be possible to do while science operates under its current format.

This does not mean that Christians cannot do science. It just means they need to follow God and his ways while they do their scientific work. This conclusion also does not mean that the Christian cannot use technology etc. The believer just has to put that use in the proper perspective and not have it seen as greater than God.

Finally, the Christian has to realize is that the unbelieving scientist is not the light unto the church or Christianity. It is the Christian scientist who has to bring the light of God to the dark scientific world, if science is going to be conducted correctly

All science is not good science. The research field needs proper ethics, morals and guidelines if it wants to be good and compatible with Christianity.

 

Dead Sea Scroll Hint

As you are aware we are skeptical of the announcements archaeologists make these days. This is another one we are having doubts about

https://www.christianpost.com/world/do-more-dead-sea-scrolls-exist-2-new-caves-may-contain-oldest-biblical-texts.html

Two new caves that could possibly contain Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical texts in existence, have been discovered in the West Bank in Israel.

Archaeologists working near Qumran have called the caves 53b and 53c, Live Science reported, and are investigating them for what could turn out to be new important finds connected to the earliest days of the Bible.

Of course they have to say it that way because they need to continue to fuel interest. We prefer they say ‘We do not know and we are still looking’.

The researchers were able to find a bronze cooking pot and “large amounts of pottery representing store jars, flasks, cups and cooking pots, and [the researchers also found] fragments of woven textiles, braided ropes and string.” An oil lamp near the cave was also discovered.

“We have not analyzed all of the pottery from this cave (53b), so we do not know if a scroll jar was present,” said Price.

We will leave it up to your judgment to decide if they are hot on the trail of more scrolls after a 71 year silence. As for us, we will withhold judgment until we hear more. New Dead Sea Scrolls, depending on their contents, may hold some more information but how important tha information is remains to be seen.

 

What is Wrong with This Discovery?

https://www.christianpost.com/news/scientists-superheated-blast-from-the-sky-destroyed-dead-sea-cities-pointing-to-sodom-in-bible.html

Scientists have found that a “superheated blast from the skies” destroyed cities near the Dead Sea 3,700 years ago, which biblical analysts are saying echoes the destruction of Sodom.

You may say we should be happy that science has validated a biblical account. We aren’t for there is one glaring error that undermines and embarrasses the archaeologists who say this confirms Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction

he scientists discovered radiocarbon dating and unearthed minerals that instantly crystallized at high temperatures at what used to be cities and farming settlements north of the Dead Sea, suggesting that a massive air-burst, possibly by a meteor, destroyed communities in a 15-mile-wide circular plain.

No, the bold words are not the glaring error. It is a minor assumption that works against the credibility of the archaeologists. There is no evidence to suggest a meteor was what God used to destroy the cities. Looking for natural answers for supernatural events is always misleading and prone to error.

Silva said that following the cataclysmic event, people did not return to the region for 600 to 700 years.

Again this is not the glaring error. This is a bigger mistake than the previous one as the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities was not a temporary event. It was a forever event. People did not return to live in the area at all. Jude and Peter give us the clues to this conclusion.

The destruction not only of Tall el-Hammam (Sodom), but also its neighbors (Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain) was most likely caused by a meteoritic airburst event,” the authors added.

This is the glaring error. We know that the location was mentioned previously to this in the article but this was the better paragraph to quote. Tall el-Hammam is not Sodom. It is too far north and does not contain one piece of evidence to verify that it is Sodom.  What makes this identification and declaration worse is that the archaeologists making the claims are supposed to be Christian.

There is no real debate. Sodom is down  in the Numeria & Bab edh-Dhra region of the south-eastern part of the Dead Sea. It is the only location that meets all biblical criteria. When science and archaeology are used for personal agendas, nothing good can really come of the misuse. At least for Christians. These things make it harder for true Christians to reach the lost.

 

 

 

 

They Are Not Setting a Good Example

Rider U. rejects student survey asking for Chick-fil-A, says company’s values ‘haven’t progressed’

A New Jersey college is refusing to bring Chick-fil-A on campus because its values “have not sufficiently progressed” despite it being the most preferred option among the students

We read stories like this all the time. Some are more severe than others as the targeted people have usually critiqued another very sensitive religion and western leaders seem to bend over backwards to appease the adherents of that religion. They do this instead of telling those adherents to toughen up and learn to take constructive criticism.

The university in question in that story, makes the claim that Chick-fil-A is not inclusive enough, here is their main argument

In a Nov. 1 email obtained by Campus Reform, Rider University, a private institution in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, explained that they would not be bringing the popular chicken sandwich restaurant since “their corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider,” articulating that their decision was to promote “inclusion for all people.”

Yet Rider U has shown that they cannot live by the same standards they force on others. Their exclusion of Chick-fil-A shows that they do not meet their own standards of inclusion. Certain people are not allowed to enter simply because the powers that be at Rider U are not inclusive enough. Yet, this is often the story when someone who disagrees with the liberal or Democrat agenda.

The liberals and Democrats forget their own rules and ideology because they do not want to tolerate opposing opinions.

During the spring semester, Rider surveyed the student body to inquire which restaurants they would like to see come to campus. When the students responded that Chick-fil-A was their top choice, the university paid no attention to the results.

Rider U again sets another bad example here by ignoring the will of the students. Something that has gone in the adult world where judges, CA Prop 8, have gone against the will of the people simply because the majority will chooses something they do not like. How can students learn the right way to do life when their adult examples continually demonstrate how not to do life the right way?

Ignoring one’s own ideology to keep a group or individual or in this case, a restaurant, out of campus or a city, does nothing to make that ideology a good option to live by.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a campus’ decision to invite a retail partner on campus,” Rider Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Jan Friedman-Krupnick told the outlet.

“While Chick-fil-A is among other restaurants preferenced by Rider students, there are members of the community (faculty, staff, and students) who strongly opposed the option as well.”

In other words the survey was nothing but a meaningless exercise to placate the students. The decision was already known in advance just in case the students did what they did and chose a restaurant the faculty did not like. So much for democracy. But if you hadn’t noticed, the liberals and Democrats do not want democracy unless they win. They also want to force their ideology on others as has been seen by the numerous cases against Christian businesses.

Again, it doesn’t matter what the majority wants, it is only what certain people want to see take place. We understand this attitude because Jesus said the unbelievers will hate Christians because the unbeliever hates Christ. They hate Christ and Christians because the light the latter shine exposes the sins of the unbeliever. The unbeliever thinks they are good people and are good enough to enter heaven because they are more inclusive than the Christian.

They aren’t as the unbeliever wants to bring sin into paradise. They think that a corrupted paradise is better than a sinless one. They are mistaken. Also, no one is more inclusive than God. He will accept anyone who repents of their sins and accepts his son as their savior. What isn’t included in his perfect kingdom is sin. This is something the unbeliever does not understand because they have been deceived.

If you want to start making a spiritual impact for God then you need to start praying to bind the evil forces doing the deception. You won’t get a foot in the door to the unbeliever’s soul until you do. Then you need to set the right biblical example so your light will shine brightly.

 

Sometimes Words Fail Us

When we look at different news stories, different news events, the acts of people who claim to be Christian and more,we just get tired of the amount of evil that gets to rule in the daily lives of people. Here are some examples

#1. https://www.christianpost.com/news/australian-wedding-magazine-forced-to-shut-down-after-christian-owners-refuse-to-feature-gay-couples.html

One of Australia’s top wedding magazines has closed down after they were abandoned in droves by advertisers over the Christian owners’ refusal to feature same-sex couples.

Luke and Carla Burrell, the owners of White magazine, stated in a “farewell” message on their website on Saturday that their intention during their 12 years of existence was to celebrate marriage with a focus on love and commitment. 

They explained that ever since Australia voted to legalize same-sex marriage in November 2017, they have continuously been asked why they do not feature all couples, including gay couples, in their magazine.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/hold-s-korean-megachurch-pastor-lee-jae-rock-sentenced-to-15-years-in-prison-for-raping-8-followers.html

South Korean megachurch pastor Lee Jae-rock was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping eight female followers, and telling them it was God’s will.

The Korea Times reported that Lee, the 75-year-old pastor of Manmin Central Church, was found guilty on Thursday of using his power and status to force the victims, all in their 20s, to have sex with him, saying that it was an “order from God.”

The Seoul Central District Court also ordered the church leader to take 80 hours of therapy classes and banned him from working with youth institutions for 10 years after his prison term.

#3. https://www.christianpost.com/news/yolanda-adams-hezekiah-walker-share-reaction-after-partaking-in-controversial-unification-event.html

The Unification Church, properly known as Family Federation for World Peace and Unification USA, hosted a major event this month called “Peace Starts with Me” and invited high-profile Christian artists, such as Israel Houghton, Yolanda Adams and Hezekiah Walker, to help welcome the self-described “mother, the only begotten daughter of God,” Hak Ja Han Moon, to America.

A video promotion for the Nov. 12 event held in New York City’s Nassau Coliseum announced that Grammy award winner Houghton was joining Bishop Noel Jones, along with the other gospel singers for the Unificationism gathering.

The Unification Church reported on its website that approximately 20,000 people attended the event held at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, N.Y., for the Peace Starts With Me rally “to welcome True Mother back to America.” The event was globally live streamed for thousands of others to experience the event from their homes.

It’s unclear why these popular Christians would link arms with what has been labeled as a heretical body that is not Christian, especially because Moon, who was the keynote speaker for “Peace Starts With Me,” believes “Jesus failed in his mission” for world peace by being crucified.

#4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/asia-bibi-daughter-thanks-god-christians-fears-religious-enemies-want-them-dead.html

One of Asia Bibi’s daughters has appeared on a video thanking God and Christians worldwide who’ve been praying for her family as they continue to face many uncertainties.

“Thank you everybody for praying for my mother. I’d also like to thank the brave judges and the Pakistani justice system that recognize my mother’s innocence,” Eisham Ashiq says in a video, supplied by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

“I’d also like to thank all the governments — the Italian government that [is] concerned about our future and safety,” she adds.

“Thanks God, she (Bibi) is free and I hope our entire family is finally happy and free. Thanks to all of you for praying for my mother and persecuted Christians.”

Bibi’s family has also said that “religious enemies” want them dead.

#5. https://www.christianpost.com/voice/fri-if-the-radical-left-takes-over-you-can-kiss-your-freedoms-goodbye.html

The pattern is as predictable as it is obvious. When the left (especially the far left) talks about freedom, it means freedom for those who conform. When it talks about diversity, it means my way or the highway. Political correctness is to be enforced. Dissent will not be tolerated. So much for the left bringing “liberation.”

Of course, the left will say to us, “No, you are the ones who require conformity. You are the ones who refuse to recognize marriage when it’s different than what you’re used to. You are the ones who want to forbid a woman from having control over her own body. It is our side, the left, which loves freedom.”

But that objection misses the point.

It looks bad but we have a way out. It is not the rapture, which Christians fervently seek as they do not want to be part of this world anymore. The Bible teaches us that we overcome evil by doing what Christ wants:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 NASB)

You will notice that neither Christ nor God taught that we overcome evil by changing certain laws. Too many misguided souls out there think that the way to have a better society or civilization is to legislate it into existence. That is not biblical teaching. It is one way to make the unbeliever hate the believer and keep them away from Christ.

We are to do good and that means we do more than just preach a gospel message or give our testimony. Jesus healed, fed the poor, helped the widows and much more than just preach the Sermon on the Mount. If he didn’t do good, then the credibility of his teachings would be in doubt and many people would just ignore him. But as you can see through the biblical records, he had great multitudes gather around him.

He was not only relieving them of their spiritual problems but also their physical ones. Doing good overcomes evil, it opens hearts up to the gospel and the ways of Christ in ways that laws cannot. But when we do good, it must be accompanied by the truth

{Love} does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; (1 Cor. 13:6 NASB)

For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. (2 Cor. 13:8 NASB)

We do not misrepresent, we do not lie, we do not alter the facts and on it goes. We speak the truth in love and do good. The key is that we first must have Christ’s definition of doing good before we act. We do not adopt the secular world’s definitions because they are unfair, unjust and very wrong. The good we do is for everyone not just a small group of people.

Then when we do good, we must go with the right perspective. The Muslim, the Democrat, the Liberal, the conservative, the false Christians and more groups, are not our enemy. They are part of God’s creation who have been deceived, misled, and taken down the wrong paths away from the truth. The Bible tells us

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12 NASB)

Having the right perspective will help you prepare better when you set out to do the good that overcomes evil. It will help you to pray better and keep you seeking the truth, as well as learning how to apply your good works and the truth correctly. It will also help you step out of the way and let God work in the hearts of those who do evil.

That way God gets the glory and evil cannot attack you through pride, boasting, egotism and so on. You can easily thwart the darts evil sends your way. Doing Christianity correctly is the best way to make an impact for God and preserve civilization.

 

Archaeology Gone Bad

You may have heard of this discovery

https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/archaeologists-discover-1-500-year-old-painting-of-jesus-being-baptized.html

Archeologists have discovered a 1,500-year-old painting of Jesus they say is the oldest known depiction in Israel of Christ being baptized.

The painting was found inside a church in the Negev Desert of southern Israel and dates to the Byzantine empire. The church was located in the village of Shivta.

“The discovery of this painting is extremely important,” a paper in the journal Antiquity said. “Thus far, it is the only in situ baptism-of-Christ scene to date confidently to the pre-iconoclastic Holy Land.”

Yet we have one pressing question– How do they know it is of Jesus? if the painting was done 500 years after Christ’s baptism how would the painter know he captured Jesus ‘look? How do archaeologists know it is of Jesus?  We didn’t find answers to those questions in the above article so we went searching. One answer we did find came from the following link:

https://www.foxnews.com/science/jesus-face-uncovered-at-ancient-church-in-the-israeli-desert

The archaeologists’ answer is:

The painting was briefly noted in the 1920s, but has now undergone more analysis. In their study, the University of Haifa archaeologists explain that Christ is depicted next to a much larger figure, which is probably John the Baptist. “The location of the scene – above the [church’s] crucifix-shaped Baptist font – suggests its identification as the baptism of Christ,” said the study’s authors.

It doesn’t make sense as John the Baptist and Jesus were very close to each other in age and Jesus was not baptized as a youth. He was roughly 30 years of age. Also, why would the location of the painting indicate or suggest it was of Jesus?  There is no rhyme nor reason to draw that conclusion.

Archaeology does go bad when archaeologists take such blatant liberties with different discoveries

Experts describe the painting’s discovery as extremely important, noting that it predates the religious iconography used in the Orthodox Christian Church. “Thus far, it is the only in situ baptism-of-Christ scene to date confidently to the pre-iconoclastic Holy Land,” they said in the study. “Therefore, it can illuminate Byzantine Shivta’s Christian community and Early Christian art across the region.”

First, they have to prove that the subject being baptized is Jesus. This they cannot do at this time and with such scant information. There are plenty of other purposes behind that painting but to automatically assume that it is Jesus is ridiculous and embarrasses archaeology and archaeologists.

The second link mentions a few other recent discoveries archaeologists have made. We reserve judgment n their conclusions.

 
 
%d bloggers like this: