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Category Archives: family

When is a Lie a Lie?

We are sure you have heard all the accusations hurled at believers when discussing theological topics with unbelievers, especially atheists. They love to pull out the lie accusation as if they have caught the believer in a willful attempt to deceive. Before we go any further, we have to admit that there are those believers who do real lies. We are saddened by this fact and it needs to stop. Nothing is gained for God when a believer sins to meet their objective or hide their lack of education

But this situation aside, most of the accusations made by unbelievers are false. The believer is not purposefully telling an untruth. There are reasons for this as well. They are as follows:

  1. The believer doesn’t know– this is often the case given the level of historical and biblical illiteracy permeating the church today. But there is no shame in saying ‘I don’t know. ‘At least you were honest and represented yourself correctly. Instead of creating a stumbling block by making something up, you leave a door open in the unbeliever. If you do not know then you do not know. One key is you can always do some research and find the right answer. The honest is the best policy mentality is Christian and is supported by the Bible.
  2. The believer is misinformed- This is often the case when it comes to biblical knowledge. The pastors, youth ministers and other church leaders/teachers do not know or have been misinformed themselves. They pass on this erroneous information and set their congregations up to be embarrassed and the receiver of abuse or false accusations. This situation can be the product of two sources. Either the leadership has been misinformed or they just do not know and are giving the best answer they can. A third option is that they have never tried to know, which does take place.
  3. The believer is lied to– Believe it or not Christians (including church leadership) do lie to other believers. They also give bad or unbiblical advice. The passing on of faulty information is not lying, because the believer believes they hold the correct information and telling what they know. There is  no attempt to intentionally deceive here.
  4. The believer is never taught– This is often the case because too many churches focus on worship and evangelism only. While both are biblical and need to be done, they do not take priority over teaching the flock correctly. Jesus said “feed my sheep” not ignore the need for knowledge. The failure to teach the truth, to teach it correctly has been a problem in the church for generations. It is not a modern problem alone. We are not talking about intellectualism here but gaining knowledge and the truth. God wants his people to be knowledgeable and filled with the truth

We are not going to point fingers here. That would be too easy. But we are not perfect either. We are confident that everyone is aware of the problem and who is responsible. But it isn’t just a leadership problem. The Bible was written for every believer, not pastors, missionaries, youth leaders, and so on. When God says to study to be approved of him, he is not leaving the normal church member out of the edict. They are to study as well. They need to learn the truth, they need to be properly educated and they need to know how to answer the unbeliever (both their arguments and questions).

The common believer meets more unbelievers than pastors, etc., save maybe for missionaries. They need to be prepared to answer why they believe and that does not mean just quoting the 4 spiritual laws or Christian fad. Unbelievers have real questions which need real answers and real information. Good evangelists also need the right information. Billy Graham has often lamented his lack of training in theology.

When unbelievers accuse you of lying, it may simply be a way for them to hide from the truth or to try to get the believer to doubt their faith. It is a trick to get the believer to lose confidence in their church, pastor and God. To thwart this attack, a believer needs to study the right materials and follow the Holy Spirit to the truth. But even if a believer has the truth, it does not mean the unbeliever will stop accusing them of lying. It just means that the unbeliever has decided to adopt the lie over the truth.

The key for the believer is to find the truth, adopt it into their lives and stick to the truth no matter what the unbeliever does. It is only through the truth (and being honest using love) that the believer will succeed.

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Why We Study History- 2

We get evidence to support the historical Jesus. We came across this in a study course we got for our electronic library. It is by Dr. Craig Evens, a bible scholar we like. Here is what he said and we will quote it verbatim so nothing is lost.

Introduction

The name of Jesus occurs in a variety of other texts. There may not be any narrative exactly, or teachings offered, or something like that, as we saw in the other sources that we have reviewed. But this is a very unique set of materials. These are incantations and charms, magical papyri, foils—tin foil, silver, gold foil, that are called lamellae—amulets, bowls, and even a recently discovered magician’s cup. I think you’ll find this fascinating.

Jesus in the Greek Magical Papyrus

Let’s begin with, I think, the most important one. It’s from the Greek Magical Papyrus section 4. It begins at line 3007. It goes all the way down to 3086. It begins this way: “I adjure you by the god of the Hebrews, Jesus.” What? That’s amazing. Jesus is called the god of the Hebrews? This is pagan. It’s not Jewish. What Jewish charm would ever refer to Jesus as the god of the Hebrews? It’s not Christian, either. Jesus is the Son of God. He’s the Savior. He’s the Christ, the Messiah. He’s not “the god of the Hebrews.” This is an interesting line.

I adjure you by the god of the Hebrews, Jesus … I adjure you by the seal that Solomon placed on the tongue of Jeremiah.… I adjure you, the one who receives this conjuration, not to eat pork, and every spirit and demon, whatever sort it may be, will be subject to you.… Keep yourself pure, for this charm is Hebraic and is preserved among pure men.

I’ve only read a few lines and snippets. This charm is attributed to one Pibicus, who was a famous magician in Egypt. Remember what I said earlier: Egypt was the capital of magic in Late Antiquity.
So, what we have here is a pagan charm that at its beginnings probably had some Jewish elements in it. Solomon had quite the reputation as an exorcist and authority. It has some Jewish tradition in it, and in the passage of time, the Jewish tradition is expanded and enriched. And at some point in time—we don’t know when, second century, perhaps, maybe a little later—even the name of Jesus is inserted, identified as the god of the Hebrews.
Why would a charm like this, a pagan charm, appeal to Jesus? Because he has the reputation of being a mighty healer and exorcist. A great power that even the demons fear.

Evans, C. A. (2014). NT313 Jesus and the Witness of the Outsiders. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

While we use faith to believe that Jesus was historical, a little evidence helps shore up that faith.

 

Why Study History?

As you may have realized by reading this site, we place a lot of history and archaeology information on these pages.One reason is that we love history and archaeology. They are fascinating subjects though not as fascinaing as genetics (which we also study) A second reason is that we can learn a lot from studying history.

Military officers study ancient and more recent battles to learn new techniques on how to condut warfare. Even the Indian wars of the American expansion has contributed to modern warfare. We came across the following quote from the book, Great Western Indian Fights by members of the Potomac Corral of the westerners. On page 24 it reads:

The primitive indian warrior made a contribution to the art of warfare. His swift, silent, harassing, small-scale operations were the forerunners of the commando raids in World War II. At least one description of western indian raiding tactics  was used in the training of American troops for action in the Pacific. General Douglas macArthur paid tribute to the indian as an efficient fighting man-  As a warrior, his fame is world-wide. Many successful methids of modern warfare  are based upon what he evolved centuries ago (Bold ours). Individually he exemplified what the line fighter could do by adaption to the particular countryside in which he fought.

The study of the past is not just for military leaders though. Modern farmers could benefit from studying ancient farming techniques to help them yield a better crop. We know of one example but the reference is lost for now. (That is due to the amount of reading and researching we do). But there was one civilization who elevated their crops and placed them in smaller sections, not too small. Their harvest yield was greater than if they had farmed using the traditional flat one large group method.

The second example is for believers and answers the question why should Christians study hstory. This example is already wel known as it involves Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. In studying archaeological discoveries we find that the wife giving her servant to her husband was a cultural act. It was not a biblically instructed method of having a child.

While the account is in the BIble, we learn that this act actually took place and that both Sarah and Abraham followed their current cultural norms. This does not mean that cultural norms are to be followed or are better than God’s ways.God allowed it to take place but he did not give permission for this chain of events.We have to be careful when reading ancient actions recorded in the Bible and not make the mistake that because it is mentioned, in the Bible, that we have permission to go and do likewise.

We must remember that God does not give permission to his followers to commit sin.

Why Should Christians Study History?

Besides the above two examples, there are plenty of reasons why believers need to study history and or archaeology. Here is a list of reasons why all believers should do some historical study:

  1. God wants us to study- he says so in I Timothy. He wants knowledgeable followers not ignorant ones
  2. We get to the truth- studying history and archaeology is but one way to get to some truth. It is not the only way and they do not hold all truth
  3. We learn that many cultic beliefs are not new but have ancient foundations
  4. We get information on how to refute cultic and other false religious beliefs
  5. We get respect from unbelievers- this is because we actually know something. One of the biggest complaints from atheists is that Christians do not know the Bible or their history
  6. We get information  to refute other unbelievers and their alternative theories
  7. We learn that the secular experts are not telling the truth
  8. We protect our faith- too many unwary and unprepared young believers lose their faith when they encounter those unbelieving professors who do not believe in God, accept that he exists, or believe the Bible
  9. We learn that the Bible is correct and that the secular experts, professors, etc., do not know more than God
  10. We learn how to follow the Holy Spirit to the truth (John 16:13)

These are only ten reasons why believers need to study history and archaeology, even as a hobby. You do not have to quit your job, etc., and go do a full-time advanced degree to learn these things from history and archaeology.

How Should Believers Study History & Archaeology

The how to is as important as the study. This is for the simple reason that believers can be sidetracked by evil and go off in the wrong direction. If this happens then they would be like the evolutionist looking for the truth by going down the wrong paths and looking in the wrong places for their answers. Here are some steps in how to study history and archaeology

  1. Ask God for help- you will not get to the truth by excluding the one who holds all truth
  2. Follow biblical instructions- Psalm 1 is one big key- do not follow the unbeliever or their counsel.Another is found in Ecc.- nothing is new under the sun.
  3. Read good books- we wrote on this recently. You will not find all the information you need in Chrstian books. You will have to read good secular works to get all the evidence and information you need. You will need God to help you not stray into adopting the secular theories or ideas.
  4. Remember that the bible contains actual history- there has never been a historical or archaeological discovery yet that proves the Bible wrong or disagrees with the Bible. What disagrees with the Bible is the archaeologists’theories, assumptions, leaps to conclusions, speculation and so on.
  5. Remember that God does not lie and the Bible is not wrong- the people who lie are those who do not believe in God or follow him
  6. Read the church fathers and other ancient writers- but again remember that they were human and may not have all the answers even though they lived earlier in history.
  7. Stick to the truth- never stary from it. Once you find th etruth, adopt it, keep it and adapt your life accordingly. Even in your discussions with unbelievers, do not stray from the truth
  8. Remember that the secular way is not God’s way- this includes the secular scientific method. Archaeologists want believers to be objective but that is impossible. Dr. WM. Dever said so in his book, Did God Have a Wife. God said it first in the Bible when he said you are either on his side or your not on his side. There is no grey middle ground. The secular scientific method only looks for the best explanation NOT the truth. There is a difference.
  9. Learn the different schools of thought and why they are wrong or right- Minimalist sometimes sound like the believe the Bible but they reject most of the OT.
  10. Learn the difference between credible archaeologists and bad ones- this includes bible scholars, historians and so on. Ron Wyatt was not a good archaeologist,There are many more of them out there. Be wary of S. jacobovici and a guy out there named Rude (he does a Rude Awkwning scheme).Just like every part of society there are frauds in history and archaeology who sound good but are way off the mark.

Why is it important to study correctly

We will give an example of why you cannot rely on Christian authors only. We continue to use this example even though we lost a 30 year friendship over critiquing this author. Erwin Luzter is a profilic Christian writer with many admirers and he wrote a book one time on Hitler and the Cross. We were just beginning our historical and archaeological studies, or a little ways into them, when we came across the book. Our first thought was, great now we will get the truth behind Hitler’s use of the Cross.

We were very disappointed. Mr. Lutzer did very poor research, did not discuss the issue correctly or deep enough and did not provide any real answers to the topic. He also provided no real information that could be used to help refute unbelievers when they used Hitler’s example in their arguments against Christianity. What we got was chapter after chapter of the gospel message. Yes he sacrificed the instructing believers for a continual repeat of what they already knew.

We threw the book away or gave it to someone else. It was useless for that topic. But this is not a rare event in Christian writing. Too often, and we know Christian archaeologists who do the same thing, the believer does poor research, ignores topics that need to be discussed, follow secular ways, use the gospel message far too often, and do not know what they are talking about. We tried to correct a couple of Christian archaeologists one time on their research but the response we got was not good.  You have to do good research and you have to know what you are talking about.

We can support our position here with a biblical example. While Jesus said to go out and preach the gospel, he did not say preach it to the believers all the time and keep them at square one. He did say ‘feed my sheep’, and Paul added to this by saying ‘grow up as a believer'(paraphrase). You cannot grow up and feed the sheep if you continually tell them the same gospel message over and over.

God said, as we stated earlier, to study and to study you need to do it right. Ken Ham and others state that you cannot divorce the gospel from the subject you are talking about. In feeding the sheep you are not divorcing the gospel if you do not mention it. You are building upon the gospel by giving the believer the food they need to grow up as a spiritual being. A choior leader does not keep having the choir sing ‘Jesus loves me’ and hope they will build musical talent. No he keeps giving them more music and more difficlut music so that they grow as a choir

The same goes for believers. You do not keep feeding them the gospel they have already accepted and expect them to be ready to be used of God. You need to feed them more information, more difficult information, teaching them how to use it so they will not lose their faith. Sticking only to the gospel only keeps believers vulnerable to evil. You have to know something. And that means going beyond square one and learning all that you can with God’s help.

God does not want child warriors. He needs soldiers who know something, know what they are talking about, so that they can be used more effectively to win souls for him.The enemy does not have child warriors. They study and they learn but what they study and learn is through deceived eyes and are led away from the truth.

This is why we lose so many young people to the secular world. they are not prepared to face what will come their way. Parents, church leaders, pastors, youth ministers fail their charges because they do not prepare themselves and other believers correctly. They do not give their people the right information or how to use it correctly.(we are being very general here).

Some Final Words

As we stated earlier, history and archaeology are but one way to study and get to a lot of truth. There are other subjects you can study and achieve a lot of the same results. The key is to make sure you are learning from God and not a demon disguised as an angel of light. Real, correct study is not easy and takes work. We understand that most believers do not have a lot of time. But that may be due to what was known as a problem in our undergraduate days- priorities.

How good a believer, how good a spiritual warrior we become depends upon our priorities. That is a decision only you can make for yourself. It is also a change that only you can make. We just put the informationout there so you can see that there is more to the Christian life than what some people think. Pleasing God is not about the number of souls who make a decision for Christ. It is about learning how to use faith correctly and obeying God. Studying is obeying God.

Growing as a believer is obeying God. Jesus said, ‘you will know the truth’, but he did not say it will always be handed to you on a silver platter. SOmetimes you have to study to find it. You may also have to wrestle with conflicting ideas before you get to it. But one thing is for sure, the truth is there waiting for you to get to it.

 

Just a Reminder

that we still have our information and resource site.

it was originally designed for pastors, teachers and missionaries but anyone can use the information to help their knowledge and faith grow

http://www.dakotascba.com/

 

 

What is Justice?

We started thinking about this topic when we received a new follower. That follower is a website dedicated to human rights and you can start learning about them at the following link:

CONTACT

What caught our attention were the following words:

The task of “Journalistic Investigations” is that justice would triumph

We like justice but the first question that came to our minds was: whose version of justice would prevail? Everyone has their own idea of what justice is. All you have to do to find evidence for that statement is read the news on a daily basis. We, of course, prefer God’s version of justice and we will base the following work on two scripture references:

#1. These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Zech. 8:16

and

#2. He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness,And to walk humbly with your God?

{Other versions use the words justice for #1 and mercy for #2}

God demands that we be just.

But as you already know, the idea of justice is subjective when it is drawn from the human world. One example is the Sewol ferry boat tragedy that happened in SOuth Korea a few years back. The Captain of that ferry and most of the crew were put on trial. The result of those trials brought different verdicts for the different members of the crew. The captain received something like a 20-30 year sentence which did not sit well with many Koreans, especially the relatives of the dead students.

When we saw the original verdicts we were not sure or pleased about them. But God showed us that the man was 69 years old and if he survived the sentence he would be too old to harm anyone else. If he didn’t survive then he got a death sentence. His sentence was just but the Korean people were not satisfied and the Captain’s sentence was appealed. The new sentence was much harsher but it was not just. It was what the people wanted not what was right for the crime committed.

Justice is Subjective

This is the problem when the topic of being just or justices arises in any discussion. People have their own ideas of what justice is. These ideas are often not based in fact or an objective foundation. Usually, these ideas are based upon emotion not anything true, factual or objective. These opinions are usually motivated by how a person feels about a given crime, the age or gender of the victim, sexual orientation, nationality, money and much more.

This is why we oppose victim impact statements in a trial. They are not objective pieces of evidence but pleas to the emotions of the judge and jurors. The loved ones of the victims hope to sway the opinion of both the judge and jury to get a sentence they prefer and considered just and not what is truly just. A lot of times, these impact statements are looking for revenge, which has no part of justice.

Justice would triumph

This is the ultimate goal of many people. Yet as the problem is explained above which justice will triumph? The other problem that comes in seeking justice is that justice is a two-way street. Sometimes it falls on those accused of a crime. The victims and their loved ones have a hard time accepting this fact. There is more than one side to the issue of justice. The accused can receive justice by being freed from improper prosecution, improperly presented evidence, or other misdeeds on the part of the legal system.

Justice will not always be what we expect or want. See the case of the Sewol Captan and his crew above. We have to learn to separate what we want justice to be and what justice truly is.

What is Justice

Here we will bring you as many facets of justice as we can.

#1. Justice reside in the truth-

2 Chron. 18:15 tells us

Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

Even thouh the context is not legal proceedings, the verse tells us that the truth is what is sought after. We find this so in the American courts when witnesses are required to swear or affirm to tell the truth. Justice cannot be found in lies.

#2. Justice realizes that witnesses will lie

Proverbs 12:17 says

He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.

Proverbs 14:17 supports this with the words

A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous.

The people who want justice must be able to discern who is telling the truth and who is lying. They cannot just pick witnesses that tell the legal authorities what they want to hear.

#3. Justice takes work-

There was a Paul Newman movie called Verdict that came about many years ago. In that movie was one bit of solid legal strategy. It was ‘know the answer to the questions you are going to ask’. Those seeking justice muust investigate honestly and come up with the truth first before they prceed with the legal hearing. Those not seeking justice will not do this work or if they do, they will present alternative ideas to cloud the matter towin the case.

Justice needs to have the answers before it begins ajudicating a case.

#4. Justice does not take bribes

Or bow to any other corrupt temptation. God’s instructions to Moses concerning appointing leaders shows us that God wants honest men to lead and watch over the people. Exodus 18:21 says:

Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.

The courts also are leaders and watch over the people. Dishonest gain here subvert justice not provide it.

#5. Justice follows good examples-

As the Psalmist recognized, God sets the example for people to follow. He says in Psalm 86:15

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

Anger is not a motivating influence when justice needs to be done.Nor is hatred or no tolerance.

#6. Justice uses mercy

Mercy is a tool that justice can use when it is called for. We do not withhold it because we do not like the crime committed, who committted it or any other unjust influence. Micah 6:8 {quoted above} specifically tells us to use mercy. This does not mean we give mercy to those who truly do not deserve mercy but we can. We provide mercy in those cases where it will help rehabilitate the offender regardlessof the wishes of the victims or their loved ones, or the government.

Zero tolerance is not biblical teaching nor has anything to do with justice or being just. It leads people away from doing what God wants.

{One last word- the words of justice apply to raising a family as well.}

#7. Justice is for all

Jeremiah leads the way in . Chapter 4:2 tells us:

And you will swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’ In truth, in justice and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, And in Him they will glory.

Justice is for everyone. No one is to be deprived of it. It doesn’tmatter if it is a rich man or a pedophile. No one is to be left out of justice. We see God rendering justice when he sent the flood, disposed of unbelieving people, punished those who disobeyed him and so on. Men, women and chidren are all included in justice even when humans disagree with the sentence and whom it is applied to.

#8. Justice does not break God’s rules

This is important because the rules of God apply to justice just like they do to the Christian life. To give you an idea of what those rules are, we made an itemized list.

justice is:

-holy

-does not commit sin

-forgives

-seeks repentance from the offender

-does unto others what they want done to themselves

-does not falsely accuse or let false accusations stand

-tests the evidence

-seeks the right sentence

This is just a short list. What both God and Jesus instructed us to do all applies here

Justice is important to God

The prophet Isaiah gives us some insight as to how important justice is to God when he says in chapter 59 verse 15 the following;

Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.

To please God we need to do justice correctly. This means we exclude all the subjectiveness, the falsely influential and other aspects of human justice and replace it with what God has instructed us to do to achieve what is just.

To do this we must be honest and willing to part with our pre-determined ideas of what justice is.Proverbs 21:15 tells us

The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.

Real justice will help remove evil from the land. And Deut. 16:19 adds

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

If you want to do a further study on what justice truly is, there are over 130 refernces to the word in the Bible. here is a link to a search on the word:

https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=justice&qs_version=NASB

God’s response to Solomon’s request is found in 1 Kings 3;11

God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,

We should be more like Solomon and seek to understand justice.

 

Two Different Topics

#1. https://www.christianpost.com/news/uk-council-responds-petition-ban-franklin-graham-hateful-lgbt-islam-views-212416/

Still, she added that if it’s proven that Graham encourages hatred and discrimination, the council “will not hesitate to terminate this booking.”

The Change.org petitioners, whose viewpoint has also been shared by some members of clergy in Blackpool, brings up a variety of complaints against Graham.

“He has stated that ‘Islam is ISIS,’ ‘a violent religion,’ ‘wicked and evil.’ These words wrongly implicate ordinary Muslims in supporting terrorist atrocities and fuel hatred,” the petition claims.

In the ongoing battle over what is discrimination, hatred and inequality, the information presented by the unbelieving side of the debate is not necessarily accurate. It is important for believers to make sure they know their argument well. The unbeliever will misrepresent the believer’s side. This is a given fact as is the unbeliever’s misrepresentation of almost any topic they feel passionate about.

In the case of hatred and discrimination, (we will talk about inequality another day), what the unbeliever calls hatred and discrimination is not the case. They use inflammatory language to distort the issue and make the debate about something else. The issue talked about in the article above is not about hatred and discrimination. It is more about the unbeliever not liking the rules of God and his kingdom.

They do not like the rules because it means that upon their refusal to convert, they will spend eternity in hell.The quote above also demonstrates the unbeliever’s unwillingness to label the points Christians make correctly. There is no hatred or discrimination in Mr. Franklin’s comments.There is a lot of truth and bringing God’s rules to those who do not believe.

To address the last section of the quote, the unbeliever really does not accept the reality of Islam. They refuse to believe that because the moderate Muslim exists, that Islam is violent and hate-filled. They also refuse to believe that radical Muslims are the ones who actually practice Islam correctly. The unbeliever also does not accept the reality that all Muslims want to change the world into an islamic state.

The Muslims on Mindanao have publilcaly stated that turning the island into a Muslim caliphate is just the first step. Their ultimate goal is to take over all the Philippines and turn it into a Muslim country. The unbeliever is grossly misinformed about Islam or they just want to ignore the truth. We know they want to ignore the truth. Their opposition to having the gospel preached in England is proof for that statement.

If there is any hatred and discrimination taking place in this issue, then it is on the unbeliever. They are refusing to allow free speech for the believer; they are showing hatred towards the beleiver and the rules of God plus they are trying to stop Christianity from being preached in their country. Describing the truth about another religion is not hatred or discrimination. It is accurately providing the real content of that religion.

No one is stopping a person from becomng a Muslim or practicing its principles. No one is stopping the Muslim from practicing their faith in England thus it is not Mr. Franklin who hates or discriminates. But because the unbeliever hates Christ, they will distort the issue and provide misinformation about a believer. Christians need to be on their toes and not fall into this misinformation trap set by evil.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-leaders-identify-poorly-formed-christians-among-top-5-challenges-facing-church-211858/

Tim Keller, along with the leadership of the Gospel Coalition, listed five main challenges and five main opportunities facing the Christian church in 2018. Among the challenges are “poorly formed Christians.”

We pretty much agree with what was said in that article. We just want to talk about a couple of their points here.

First, their second point, division, is on a lot of people’s minds. It is even on the minds of the unbeliever. They wonder why there are so many different Christian denominations in the world if Jesus is the only way to salvation. We all know the answer to that issue but division is not a new concept. It was present in the day of Jesus and the disciples. Remember the Gnostics, the Pharisees, the Essenes?

In fact, when Jesus taught difficult things, he lost followers. We should not be surprised or traumatized because there are divisions in the church. Not everyone is going to accept the truth. What we need to do is learn how to correctly handle the divisions that arise and gently turning those who are opting for more non-biblical beliefs back to the truth.

If they refuse to change back, then they should not be permitted to remain in the congregation. They are poisoning the church with their wrong beliefs and becoming false teachers. Tolerance on the part of the true believer does not mean they allow for false teaching to remain in the church. Some courage is needed by the church leadership to keep the wrong ideas out of the church.

Second, we are not so much concerned about the label – evangelical. We have stated our position on this before. What we are concerned about is the idea expressed in that article that Christians are poorly formed. This is a true statement but most of the blame falls on the shoulders of the church leaders and not the general congregation (although the latter are more responsible for the quality of their christian life).

we say blame because it is the church leadership that often fails its congregations. They do not provide great church service content, make God less of a priority, dwell on bad priorities and on it goes. For the youth of the church, their lack of quality in being a Christian leads to the unqualified people who take positions as youth minister. We are not just talking about members of the congregation who volunteer their time to work with the youth. It is great that they do that but sometimes they just do not know enough to lead the youth to a proper foundation in Jesus.

We know enough youth ministers to know that even the bible college & seminary trained youth ministers are not equipped to lead the youth correctly. They focus more on the superficial or the entertainment of youth than anything else. Rarely do they have the correct answer to the questions raised by their young charges. Rarely do they know the Bible well enough to teach their youth.

We could go on and point the finger at those bible colleges & seminaries who train professional ministers but the point is made. The leadership of the church is not always trained to be in leadership of the church. Unfortunately for them, the Christian faith is a top-down belief. Both God and Jesus set the example for us to follow. They do not learn from us but expect us to learn from them and follow their examples.

They tell us what to do. The reason we do not have properly formed Christians is because just about everyone fails to listen to the instructions of God. It is a group failure. Parents fail their children; youth ministers fail their youth; pastors and other church leaders fail their congregation and denominational leaders fail the church in general.

Now not everone in those positions fail but there are enough of them to warrant Mr. Keller and his friends to declare that mal-formed Christians are a problem. This complaint is supported by the atheists who know that most Christians do not know their Bible, their history or anything much about anything else. Christians do have a problem and it is with ignorance and refusing to learn.

What can be done about it? Well a believer does not have to wait till their pastors start teaching better. They can study on their own. God encourages it. But they must make sure they follow the Holy Spirit so they do not go off track and adopt nice sounding ideas but which are very wrong. There are a lot of attractive theories out there which sound Christian but are not. So before one gets started with their studying, they need to ask God for help and discernment so they can separate the good from the bad and go with the good.

To be a better formed Christian takes work. This means you have to take your Christian faith seriously and be flexible enough to change when God brings the truth to your doorstep. You also have to be dedicated and committed. You will face opposition because evil likes mal-formed believers.They are easy to destroy.

 

Responding to ‘Queering the Bible’

https://www.christianpost.com/news/elite-college-offers-queering-the-bible-class-queer-and-trans-readings-of-scripture-212126/

We can see that many Christians will be upset by this. It is attacking the faith’s holy scriptures and mocking the holy God who wrote it.But condemning them is not the right move to make. We are saddened by this decision as we see the lost, deceived world dig its grave a lot faster, deeper and they do not even realize what they are doing. Well, that is the benefit of the doubt perspective. They may know and do not care. That also saddens us.

We do not fully understand this trend to support those who opt for a perverted and twisted lifestyle. This group of people are in the minute minority, are not a distinct nation of people; and so on. Why please such a small amount of people over the majority? It makes no sense why the liberals and other sympathizers would curry the favor of those who are selfish, short-sighted, ignore what is right and wrong and so on.

As former teachers, we are doubly sad that an elite or any academic institution would stoop so low and offer courses that are so disrespectful. We sure you can add your own words there.We are going to go through the article and highlight a few quotes and make a few comments.

“[T]his class destabilizes long held assumptions about what the bible—and religion—says about gender and sexuality.”

#1. There are no assumptions about gender and sexuality in the bible. That work is very clear about male and female, their design, their roles in life and much more.

#2. How can an academic institution ‘destabilize’ something that is beyond them? They are not an eternal authority that has power over life and death, nor offer anyone eternal life. So how can they destabilize anything? They can fool people into thinking the school knows more than God but they cannot destabilize the truth about gender or sexuality. What they are doing is simply being rebellious and fueling rebellion.

#3. They are not accomplishing anything except teaching people to disobey God. The school may not believe that God exists, or think they need to obey him but those viewpoints do not grant them permission to lead others to disobedience and rejection of God.

will be taught by an associate professor of religion, Gwynn Kessler, who has a Ph.D. in Rabbinics from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City….specifically on rabbinic theology and rabbinic constructions of gender and identity” and that her work is “is situated within, and suffused with, postmodern, feminist, and queer theoretical approaches

The secular world continues to demand that the Christian academic institutions be objective, yet we see no objectivity in this professors approach to the Bible. nor do we see any respect for the Christian faith. What is clear to us is that this professor thinks God is wrong and that they know better than he about gender and sexuality.

It is kind of humorous, (not ha ha), to see this people in action. Here are educated people who did not create sexuality, did not create the different genders, who are not perfect, etc., running around and telling others that they have a better way to conduct sexuality and how to apply gender identification. This attitude contributes to our sadness.

They are the created and need to humble themselves and learn from God,,not lead people to sinful, arrogant thinking and attitudes.

Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, noted that in suggesting that God is “queer” Swarthmore was engaging in “modern day idolatry.”

We wouldn’t go that far. Idolatry means you have an actual idol that you bow down to and worship. For some people that idol could be food, sports, or even an object. Trashing other people’s beliefs is not idolatry but mocking, disrespecting, and lying about the faith in question. We are sure you can think of more points but this is not idolatry.

“When you read the Bible you will discover that God reserved His harshest condemnation for individuals and nations that practiced idolatry — creating an imaginary god who conformed to a culture’s immorality,” Jeffress told the Todd Starnes Radio Show.

No not really. He reserved his harshest punishment for those who disobeyed his commands and instructions.  Either way though, this college will suffer from mishandling God’s word and leading people to sin. Whether it is in the near future or at the last judgment doesn’t matter, they will pay for their sins. BUT there is good news for the people at this academic institution. God still loves them and will forgive them if they truly repent of their sins and turn from their sinful ways.

Christians do not have to condemn this school nor attack it. Their sins condemn them. Christians just need to focus on obeying God and treating this school the way Jesus would want us to. Of course, that treatment does not include approving this class or condoning it or even accepting it. We can say that they are wrong, tell them they are sinning then treat them like Jesus treated the unbelievers in his time. Calling them to repent, pointing out their mistaken ideas and returning good for evil, as well as praying for them.

Swarthmore reportedly did not return Starnes’ calls seeking comment, including inquiries about whether they would also offer a class called “Queering the Koran” or “Queering Muhammad.”

Of course they won’t. people fear the Muslim, they do not fear the Christian. There is a few good reasons for this attitude. First, they fear the Muslim because the Muslim is taught to defend their faith; Second, they fear the Muslim because the Muslim is taught to physically kill their enemies and the infidels who attack their prophet and religion.

Third, they do not fear the Christian because the Christian is taught to turn the other cheek; love their neighbor; do good to those who do evil and so on. Given these facts, no one in their right mind would construct a course that is titled ‘queering the Koran’. The Bible and Christianity are easy targets because the judgment is delayed in hopes that the evil doer responds to the call of the Holy Spirit to repent of their sins. Islam doesn’t care if people convert to their religion or not. Killing the infidel is a lot easier than letting them continue their anti-Islam ways until they see the light and convert.

The Christian response to these types of actions and attitudes is to pray for  the school. Ask God to change hearts and minds about these courses and ask God to send his spirit through that campus rescuing those who may fall when they hear anti-biblical talk in the classroom. Then the believer should do what Jesus did to the unbelievers in his time– heal their sick, visit them  in prison or wherever they may be; help them out when they are in trouble and so on.

You know, do good to them. Christians do not win any battles fighting fire with fire We do not win when use resort to sin to combat those who desecrate the faith. We win when we obey God and follow his instructions on how to handle the unbeliever when they do such blatant acts of sacriliege.We do not have to do anything physically to this school because they are sinning against God not us. God will handle them in his time and way.

We believers just have to make sure we are doing what God wants, avoiding sin, and focus on being Christian in these and all other situations. It is not our job to punish those who sin against God. It is our job to obey him and lead the way in doing what is right.

 

 

 
 
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