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Category Archives: General Life

Obey Now

We are not usually fans of bumper stickers but the one we saw on the inside of a bus is an exception to the rule. It reads “obey now, play later; disobey now, pay later. These few words bring the message of the Bible down to the basics. If we correctly obey God now then we will be able to play in heaven (hopefully, we are not sure of all our activities when we get to heaven). After obeying and enduring throughout this life, we can put down are troubles and relax, enjoy our eternal home. BUT if we disobey God now and play with our lives here, abusing scripture by using our own interpretation and ignoring the Spirit of Truth, then we will have to pay the piper and that eternal destination is not attractive.

Sadly, too many churches and church members like to do the former. We cannot tap dance around that fact. They use their own interpretation, their own desires and justify their behaviors with scripture. They are not obeying scriptures correctly. The words in the Bible ‘men love darkness rather than light’  apply to Christians and churches as well. There are far too many church members who prefer darkness to light while still claiming they are in the light. As 1 John says these people lie:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (ch. 1)

We shall state clearly here that there is no such thing as eternal security as 2 Peter 2 tells us

20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 [h]It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

these people are disobeying now and if they do not change they will pay later.

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Human Rights is Not the Goal

Many people are dedicated to bringing human rights to the world. They feel that if everyone has the same rights then the world would be a better place to live. Unfortunately, their ideas fall short and are far too subjective to make any real contribution to the condition of all societies in existence today. We have seen many of these people’s ideas and the one idea they have in common is that they all think they know better than God on how to run life on earth. The UN certainly thinks it does as they define human rights in the following manner:

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law , general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx

It is a nice sentiment but it is idealistic, irrational and unrealistic. Treating others in a respectful, etc., manner is a voluntary choice, it cannot be made mandatory as laws are not solutions to problems faced by society. Laws may stop some people from acting in certain ways but it does not remove the cause for crimes or non-human right behavior. But this is the human solution to a problem that was solved millennia ago. The essence of human rights  says that there is no real right or wrong. We have seen this statement supported by the rise in support of the homosexual and transgender. Their behavior under human rights is not seen as a perversion of what is normal, as wrong the way to conduct life but as individuals who have the right to participate in life as if nothing was wrong.

This is the problem with human rights. Those advocates ignore God’s standards of right and wrong and declare that all practices of life are correct and have a right to exist. The other foundation that supports many human rights activists is a misconception of the purpose of the law and the freedom of governments to rule their nations. Here is an example:

All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education , or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.

We put in bold one line that if followed would shut down the abortion industry. Humans beget humans thus all human rights must be applied to their unborn children in the process of fully developing into a viable and functioning person. According to this definition, they have the right to life and no one has the legal authority to hinder fulfillment of that right. The definition of when  fetus becomes human is always going to come up for debate but that debate is subjective not objective heavily influenced by sin and other personal views. It is not a topic that needs to be discussed here.

Another thing that human rights activists miss out on is that when one lives in a collective society certain rights are given up so that the society can function in a peaceful and constructive manner. The human rights activists cannot obtain that ideal with their granting everyone ‘human rights’. For society to survive anarchy cannot be part of the system. Then just because one set of people have rights doe snot mean that everyone has a right to do what they plan. Something has to be determined to be wrong and not good for the health of the society.

Another issue with human rights advocates is that they will throw out the very book and author who has given everyone the same human rights which co-exist with a strong standard of right and wrong. The reason for this is that the human rights advocate does not want to be subservient to anyone. They want to dictate to society what it should and should not do. B doing away with a strong objective form of human rights, the human rights advocates have opened up a slippery slope that has no where to go but down.

The human rights advocate is like the atheist. They want something and they want the world to be a better place yet they toss out the only way to achieve what they want. Of course these last two paragraphs are talking about the Bible and God. Everything those two groups desire can be achieved if they turn to Jesus and follow his ways. Yet they do not want to humble themselves and follow Jesus, they want to be the master of their destiny. They give up what they want in order to try and get what they want. That is an impossible route to take.

God has already outlined and instructed throughout his word how others should be treated. He guarantees human rights without sacrificing his standard of right and wrong. Homosexuals and transgender are to be treated in the same manner as the normal person BUT without accepting or condoning their sin. Yes both are sin. You cannot have real human rights if one allows for sin to enter the definition of the term. Because if you do there is no longer any boundary to draw the line.

To obtain true human rights then there must be perverted and wrong behavior, preferences, and practices. Along with that an objective course of action must be adhered too,one that is not human. Any human version is not greater than another and all are corrupted by sin making them unworthy of elevation to being the standard to follow. You want human rights then you need to follow God’s word correctly, excluding interpretation and following the Holy Spirit to the truth or you just end up in the same situation as before- a very subjective human idea that can only go down hill.

 

Some Thoughts

#1. https://www.christianpost.com/news/newspring-church-founder-perry-noble-announces-divorce-wife-17-years-asks-for-prayers-205087/

If a person wants privacy, why are they announcing their actions publicly? We are sure many people ask this same question and the answer seems that these type of people just need the attention. Psychologists might have a field day with this tactic but for us, if you want privacy don’t say anything publicly. We have seen so many articles where teachers have used their Facebook accounts to ‘vent’ about their students yet complain that their ‘security’ was broken and the students got to read the teacher’s ‘secret’ notes. If you do not want the students to know what you think, do not post your thoughts in a public place whose security measures can be broken.

Common sense has been lost and the expectation of privacy is distorted. The Bible talks about taming the tongue, and people should realize that the word tongue can be applied to typing on a computer screen. The verses in James apply to all forms of communication, not just speaking verbally.

#2. https://www.christianpost.com/news/10-theses-for-a-new-reformation-205074/

We are not going to totally agree with Mr. Brown here even though we like a lot of articles he has written. The second point he makes is a little difficult to accept because while Christianity is related to Judaism, it is not the same faith. NT believers cannot celebrate Passover it is not a commanded holiday for them. Neither is Easter and we should not be celebrating that festival either. Jesus did say to use communion to remember him and what he did. He did not say invent a holiday and use it.

To meet Mr. Brown’s recommendation believers need to fully understand what the ‘priesthood of believers’ really means, most believers have no clue. This is the fault of the overemphasizing of Mr. Brown’s point #5. The church is already doing that point at the cost of every other command and instruction in the Bible. The church is ill-equipped to train and teach those new believers who convert and want to learn about the Christian faith. They cannot grow spiritually because the church is at Mr. Brown’s point #8. It is very biblically illiterate and is in capable of instructing existing members correctly let alone new ones who do not have a clue what life in Christ is all about.

Other than that he makes great points which need to be examined by all believers.

#3. https://www.christianpost.com/news/scientists-oldest-recorded-solar-eclipse-joshua-biblical-battle-204804/

There is the possibility that the two stopped shining but it is hard to verify as that event was so long ago. No real evidence exists to support that conclusion. It is also possible that the solar event mentioned in the article does not relate to the bible at all.If the sun ‘became dark’ how would that be an answer to Joshua’s prayer when he requested more sunlight not less to beat his opponents. Scientists and historians need to rethink their conclusions here.

#4. https://www.christianpost.com/news/republicans-conservatives-evangelicals-increasingly-opposed-to-death-penalty-204949/

The death penalty was instituted by God, it would be wise for people to consider that fact as they think through this issue. Our position has been that the death penalty may not be suited in all cases as there is still hope for true conversion by the offender BUT there are offenders who have gone past the line and will never convert. The death penalty is not cruel or harsh punishment but a spiritual one. It should be applied correctly thus believers should seek God first before adopting any position on the issue.

 

The fact that there are some innocent people wrongly convicted of a crime worthy of death is not the fault of the death penalty but the judge, prosecutors and defense attorneys involved. Don’t punish the death penalty for crimes it did not commit. Do not listen to the arguments that it is not a deterrent, that is an aspect that cannot be proven. Crime will always take place whether there is the death penalty or not in existence.

#5. https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-reformation-turns-500-how-luther-shaped-our-world-205082/

We are not big reformation fans. We feel that too much emphasis has been placed upon the humans involved and not on God who directed the humans. One reason for this is how the reformers like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli lived their lives and what opinions they wrote about.We also believe that God was already at work in many believers lives at the time and his word and truth was not lost during the supposed Dark and Middle Ages. There was always a true church (Not the RCC) in existence spreading the truth to all who would listen. It is just that Luther, Calvin and Zwingli got the press.

The key for the believer is that they are truly following the Spirit of God and implementing his ways into their lives because that is how people get reformed. The only true past event that should be celebrated is the life of Christ at communion.

 

Breastfeeding In Public

We are going to throw our hat into this debate. It seems that many women like to breastfeed wherever and when ever they want regardless of all the people around them and how they feel. The women claim they have the right, and many governments have allowed this point to become law, sadly at the expense of the rights of those who do not want to be part of this new spectator sport. Other women think that just because breastfeeding is normal they have the freedom and permission to force their activity on those who do not want to be a part of it.

This misguided thinking is not for the believer to follow. The Bible does not speak directly about breastfeeding in public but it does talk about being modest and not following the world.  These two indirect instructions should be guiding Christian women to schedule their breastfeeding times to be near some secluded or alternate spot where their activity will not bother other people. Oh and that is another indirect instruction concerning breastfeeding. The Bible talks about living peacefully with one’s neighbor and forcing your feeding habits on others is not living peacefully with others. it is thumbing your nose that their rights, and sensibilities.

Another teaching that indirectly provides guidance to the public breastfeeding issue are the passages that tell a woman to love her husband. In one perspective it is hard to think that a wife loves her husband by exposing herself to other men who are strangers and not family. Demanding one’s rights is not love either and the wife should be in submission to her husband’s wishes and if he wants her to be discrete and breastfeed in secluded locations, etc., then the wife should comply without complaint.

Only the secular war makes this issue about rights, control of the woman’s body, discrimination and manipulation of the woman. They do not want to obey God or their husbands so they will make this issue about everything it isn’t. This issue is about obedience to God’s instructions and one’s husband. Being modest and following God is more important than breastfeeding in public. The secular world only wants to do things their way as they are under the mistaken impression that they know more than God does.

If you want to be a light to the dark world, you can achieve that objective through breast-feeding if you follow the Bible correctly and do not follow the secular world.

 

In The News 24

#1. http://www.christianpost.com/news/n-korean-defector-describes-life-as-a-christian-under-kim-regime-we-met-in-a-hole-to-worship-201921/

A North Korean defector opened up about the underground church he led and the secretive life he and other Christians had there. He also revealed that despite being offered freedom for renouncing their religion, believers in the notorious prison camps refuse to do so.

Don’t forget to pray for the North Korean people

#2. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lee-strobel-details-conversation-he-had-with-hugh-hefner-about-god-gospel-201937/

Famed author Lee Strobel has revealed how Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reacted when Strobel — a well-known atheist-turned-Christian speaker and apologist — went to Hefner’s famous mansion just over a decade ago and shared the gospel with the magazine publisher.

Strobel sparked quite a bit of intrigue and speculation with a Sept. 27 tweet revealing that he once shared the gospel with Hefner and that Hefner “saw significance of the resurrection, but had never checked the evidence.”

Don’t read anything into these type of conversations. Unbelievers have them all the time and they know what to say to placate the believer. Sharing the gospel is not the only duty of the believer.

#3. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lesbian-daughter-of-focus-on-the-family-executive-releases-book-about-her-familys-rejection-201475/

The daughter of a Focus on the Family executive, who is married to another woman, has released a book in which she states that she was rejected by her own family after coming out as gay.

Do unto others… applies to the LGBTQ issue and community. We can reject their sin without violating scripture and bringing abuse on those who do not accept Christ’s ways The church is not allowed to be a persecutor of others.

#4. http://www.christianpost.com/news/christianity-is-not-the-only-way-to-heaven-prominent-presbyterian-pastor-says-201929/

Leader of the second largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner has declared that Christianity is not the only way to heaven.

Kershner, 45, who leads the 5,500-member Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois, expressed her belief in a podcast with the Chicago Sun-Times after she was asked the question “Is Christianity the only way to heaven?”

“No,” Kershner replied bluntly.

This is to be expected when you start disobeying God. When you ignore God’s instructions in one culturally difficult area then do not expect those who are finally permitted to do something God does not want them to do to follow God’s instructions.

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/raising-middle-finger-at-pastor-in-church-screaming-about-satan-is-protected-free-speech-judge-201792/

A Georgia judge ruled Monday in favor of a man who in 2014 raised his middle finger at a pastor inside a church and shouted about Satan’s influence over public schools, arguing that the behavior counts as protected free speech under the First Amendment.

It may be free speech but WHERE it is said is not protected and not free. The church has the right to remove the person from their presence and property when that person is being disruptive.

#6. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tens-of-thousands-gather-nations-capital-americas-tent-of-meeting-awaken-the-dawn-201659/

Tens of thousands of Christians are expected to assemble on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this weekend to pray and implore God for divine intervention and to rescue the next generation for a nation in crisis.

We would rather see them obey God and see them go into their prayer closets to accomplish this. There is no biblical instruction to do this in public places. Also we would rather see them pray how God could use them instead of passing the buck back to God. There are thousands there who could make an impact for God if they only would roll up their sleeves and ask God where he wants them to work for him

 

Las Vegas & God

When reading articles like this one

http://www.christianpost.com/news/helping-your-teens-process-las-vegas-massacre-201939/

many thoughts rise and they are not just directed towards the tragedy but towards the author of the work as well. It is clear that many youth pastors are not equipped to handle these situations as we scan the verses quoted and see that many of them do not help in this case. What needs to be told in these and all scenarios is the truth. Young believers need to learn how to be spiritually educated and need to learn how to handle these situations correctly if they do not want to lose their faith in God or make an impact for him. We do not want to sound arrogant here as that is not our attitude when we write the following, but for those of us who have lived through Vietnam, Korea and WW2 these acts of violence are not hard to process. We are aware of the evil man can do. Just ask those people who were alive when Charles Manson and his cult killed their victims. These tragedies happen all the time and in every era and the believer should be the one who can process them the best as they know the source of these events. We know that evil exists and seeks to destroy God’s creation any way it can so these shootings should not come as a shock to any of them.

People may say ‘yea but what about God? He is supposed to be a loving God yet he lets these tragedies take place.’ Yes God does let these tragic events happen but for him to put a stop to all suffering, all crime then things would have to change. Dr. Craig Blomberg explained it best in his book from Pentecost to Patmos when it comes to the suffering in this world. He said, and we paraphrase, that ‘for God to end suffering he would have to bring an end to this world. To do that, God would then have to end the opportunity for all men to be saved.’ That act would mean that God would not get his desire that ll men be saved fulfilled and many more people would be sent to hell for eternity. That is not a good scenario and worse than what the gunman did in Las Vegas.

We are going to look at a few quotes from that article to help that youth pastor enable his youth and all youth to process this event better.

An evil madman in Las Vegas ended the lives of 58 individuals and injured over 480. So here we are once again as a nation, as a culture and as individuals…trying to process an event that defies what most of us could even imagine in our darkest dreams

We disagree with the label ‘evil madman’ simply because he may not have been mad (crazy, insane) and he may not have been evil. W prefer to see him as a creation of God who was not under God’s protection but a victim of evil’s desire to hurt God through destroying his creation. This perspective helps us bring a little compassion to the tragedy for the victims, the offender and their families. All the people killed or injured were not believers, they may have been good people but still destined for hell, so compassion is needed as those concert goers were robbed of any opportunity to repent of their sins. We know by the verse ‘our battle is not against flesh and blood…’ that the shooter may have been under the influence of evil when he committed that act so he may not have been evil.

Then we understand why these events take place because the Bible tells us that ‘people love darkness rather than light’ thus evil has a great opportunity to manipulate humans in to doing these tragic acts. We need to place the blame where it lies and pray accordingly. This verse helps us to understand why people do these acts of violence. They have rejected God’s way thus they are under the domain of evil and act according to those rules not God’s.

First, when tragedy strikes, it’s crucial to remember that we can bring our fears and questions to God. Our faith is expansive enough to engulf every fear and question imaginable. In the Bible, the men and women who walked closest to God also carried some of the deepest doubt

The first question we would ask here is why would believers be afraid? They do not live for this world but for God’s kingdom so why would they be afraid at all? The Bible tells us that ‘perfect love casts out all fear’ thus if we have love for God and Jesus then these events should not make us fearful, even if we are victims of such people. Our hope lies in the next world not this one. Yes we will have questions but if we read the Bible those questions disappear very quickly as we see that people will do evil things because they are under the influence of evil. We believers know why people do things like this and we also know that our duty is to help unbelievers grasp the totality of the events. We need to be armed with the correct answers to meet their questions and bring them comfort as well as ease their fears.

But remind them that God is not Google…you can’t just input an inquiry and expect a nicely wrapped godopedia type answer.

But we do have the answers and they are nicely packaged. They are all found in the Bible. One just has to put down their interpreting method and follow the Holy Spirit to the true answers. We see in the Bible where men have committed evil acts throughout biblical history, we should not  be traumatized or surprised when they take place in our era. We have guidance and forewarning, we should be prepared to handle the aftermath no problem if we learn our spiritual lessons correctly.

Second, consider the fact that when great evil occurs, it should serve as a warning of the greatest calamity that will ever take place –spending an eternity in hell:

There is no need to turn a tragedy into an evangelistic event. That opportunity will come when God wants them to come. Our first priority should be to meet the needs of the victims, their families and help those who only observe these events through the t.v. etc., to grasp what took place and why. Meeting their physical and mental needs will open doors to meeting their spiritual needs. There is no need to do forced evangelism. Let God direct here. There is also no need to proclaim that this or some other natural treagic event was a judgment by God. There was no message from God saying that is so so stay away from such announcements and thinking.

This tragedy in Jesus’ day was a result of a sociopath named Pilate, who murdered innocent Galileans while they were worshipping God. Basically, this was the cultural equivalent of a public shooting. When this calamity occurred, the crowds wanted answers—and God Himself was on the scene.

Why this was mentioned we do not know but it is out of place. The next paragraph is also mishandled

What is amazing, though, is that Jesus doesn’t even try to explain the causes or solutions to the calamities. He purposely avoids going into a social discourse about the disintegration of society, or the effect that the violence in the coliseum has on people. Interestingly, He doesn’t even launch into a discussion about the tension between freewill and God’s sovereignty here.

Instead, Jesus speaks to this situation with a reminder of ultimate destiny: “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Jesus was not setting an example on how and when to do evangelism, he was giving a warning to people. That author misreads the passage that he quotes and misapplies it to his stated purpose for the article. While evangelism is important, it is not th eonly duty of the believer. There are other more important duties that a believer must do as well yet that fact has been ignored by the church in its haste to please God in only one area of the Christian life.

May you and your students hold out the gospel like a beacon of hope in the darkness!

If you want to be a beacon in a dark world then you need to believe and follow all of the Bible correctly. You will stand out and if you learn your spiritual lessons correctly then you will be able to make an impact for God even i tragedies like this

 

In The News 23

Just an overview of different news stories

#1. http://www.christianpost.com/news/massacre-in-las-vegas-our-father-is-grieving-with-us-201305/

One last word: When the shooting occurred, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted, “Pray for Las Vegas.” Please do so, right now.

Yes when tragedy takes place then they want God. But when times re good they have no time for him and even deny he exists. There is sense to this event and the Bible tells us that we struggle not against flesh and blood but  with principalities etc., from the spiritual world. Let’s keep things in perspective as you pray for Las Vegas. Suffering and evil are going to continue until God calls time but before he does that, he still wants more people saved. Conduct the battle for souls under the right context and remember that our fellow humans are ot the real enemy.

#2. http://www.christianpost.com/news/4-christian-reactions-to-hugh-hefners-death-the-mansion-is-a-myth-200906/

Here are the thoughts of some of the leading Christian leaders and writers about Hefner’s life and what he left behind.

It would have been nice if they completed the article and included those 4 thoughts. Hefner was nothing but a dirty old man. He was not a hero just a person who led many to sin and destruction.

#3. http://www.christianpost.com/news/returning-to-pastor-led-prayer-in-public-worship-services-200910/

Prayer led by the pastor of the church used to be a normal part of worship services. What was deemed in the past as a part of public worship, has now been minimized, eliminated, or delegated. This is not acceptable or good for the church.

We agree with his thinking. Pastors need to return to being the spiritual leader of the church and not be seen as some business executive who knows how to delegate. True pastoral leadership goes a long ways in keeping a church spiritually healthy.

#4. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tennessee-church-shooter-motivated-by-revenge-for-dylann-roofs-massacre-at-black-church-201332/

Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, the ex-member of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, who shot eight people including one fatally at his old church, was motivated by revenge for the nine churchgoers who were killed by Dylann Roof in 2015.

How is it revenge when you attack innocent people who had no connection to Roof?

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tearful-hope-carpenter-begs-for-forgiveness-from-multiracial-megachurch-says-shes-ignorant-about-discrimination-201325/

A tearful Hope Carpenter, who co-founded the 21,000-member Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband Ron Carpenter Jr., apologized to their multiracial congregation Sunday for slamming NFL players protesting social injustice during the national anthem as wrong.

In these days it doesn’t matter what you say, someone will always be offended or upset. If you followed scripture when you framed your remarks then don’t apologize unless you are truly in error. Everyone is allowed an opinion even when it disagrees with black people. Speak the truth in love and always stick to the truth. Those who are offended may need to learn a lesson themselves.

#6. http://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-scientists-create-human-life-for-dna-experiments-christian-bioethicist-disturbed-201026/

A Christian bioethics lecturer has spoken out against new DNA surgery carried out by Chinese scientists who are reportedly creating lab-grown human embryos in order to test disease-removing techniques.

“What concerns me and actually quite a number of bio-ethicists and those who are looking and researching in this field is that what we here have is scientists who are deliberately creating human life, deliberately creating embryos. These are not embryos that have been left over as spares from fertility treatments from IVF,” Dr. Trevor Stammers, Bioethics lecturer at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, told Premier.

“They’ve been specifically created to be experimented upon and then destroyed, which is why there are no children who were cured that the Chinese are bringing out. It’s just a proof of principle and it’s been gained in a way that many people would regard as being unethical.”

Are those embryos actual human life? That is the question that must be answered first.

 
 
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