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James McGrath & the Bible

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2018/07/the-bible-is-not-alone.html

We continue to look at scholars and their point of view with the blog article linked above. The title of the post is:

The Bible is not Alone

In that post, Dr. James McGrath has made some very dangerous statements. through the years we have already shown him to be a false teacher. One that ha sno respect for the Bible as God’s word and doubts that the Bible actually contains God’s word. He continues to prove us correct.

I was referring to the conundrum for those who speak of the Bible as their ultimate authority,

For those who are not sure what the word conundrum means, we post the definition below:

a problem that is difficult to deal with (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/conundrum)

Having the Bible as a person’s ultimate authority is not a problem nor is it difficult to deal with. people need guidance on  how to live their lives and the Bible does not encourage contributing to the criminal statistics. It is only a difficult problem for those who reject the Bible as God’s word. The Bible does address all aspects of society and there is no other book that can do that with any authority. Only God’s word has it and those who reject the Bible as an ultimate authority do so on the basis that they do not want to humble themselves and accept God’s word as his word. They want to live life their way, not God’s.

That got us on to the idea of sola scriptura, and so I emphasized that the Bible isn’t alone, either

Actually, despite his point of view, the Bible is alone. It is the only book authored by a divine being; it is the all-time best seller, not just among holy books but all books, it provides superior standards to live by which are copied by basically every false religion out there in the modern and also the ancient world. Also, the Bible has divine help available to help all who do not understand its content. No other book has this aid.

This is true in many senses. One is the fact that the Bible is connected to the church that assembled its contents.

The church did not assemble the Bible’s content. That content was already ready circulating in individual formats long before the Council of Nicaea. The Hebrews already had the OT put together, which means that the church had nothing to do with the contents of the first testament. Then it was the Holy Spirit who brought the contents to the biblical writers.

The contents were not the wild imaginations of goat herders, elites, scribes etc., looking to control a group of people. All the early church did was take the holy, inspired words of God and put them together in one volume. They did not alter the texts, there was no conspiracy, there was no war between orthodoxy and ancient liberalism. The church was used by God to make sure that false teaching did not enter the volume.

That is the key. God made sure we knew what was right and what was wrong when he had the early church assemble the pre-existing biblical content.

Another is the fact that the Bible has no meaning without a reader, and readers do not merely obtain meaning transmitted precisely to them from the Bible’s pages, but bring with them baggage and lenses that affect what they understand

This is just painting the situation with a very broad brush. While some people bring baggage to their reading of the Bible, not everyone does. Preachers are not to do so and Jesus said that we do not use baggage and lenses when we read the Bible. We are to follow the HS to the truth. Dr. McGrath is mistaken when he says that the Bible has no meaning without a reader. It always has meaning even if no one reads its pages. It always contains the truth even if no one dusts it off and turns a few pages to see what is inside.

The meaning is there waiting to be read. He is also wrong when he says that people do not get the clear meaning of the biblical content merely by reading it. Of course they do. Why would God have written it in the first place if the reader could not understand the basics of its content? Why make the good news a difficult mystery to solve, when God declares that he desires that all men be saved? He would be undermining his own desires if he did that.

While some parts of the Bible are hard to understand, they are not impossible to grasp with a little correct biblical teaching done by true, honest bible teachers.

the Bible makes reference to texts and information outside its pages.

Dr. McGrath makes more errors with this statement as he uses the following as his support points:

Jude quoting 1 Enoch. Jannes and Jambres. The Book of Jashar.

He completely misunderstands the use of those incidents. Jannes and Jambres were Egyptian magicians used by the Pharaoh to try to thwart Moses and Aaron. They were not used by the Bible as a reference, or anything else. You can do a little read up on them at the following links:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/jannes-and-jambres.html

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1006-how-did-paul-learn-about-jannes-and-jambres

Jude did not quote 1 Enoch. Yes, the same words may be found in 1 Enoch as is found in Jude, but Jude did not quote from that book It is said that 1 Enoch was written about 160 BC but that us debateable and we would have to find out when the earliest extant manuscript is dated to double-check but if you read this link, you will find that the book wasn’t rediscovered until the 17th century AD.

A copy was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but that copy may not date till the first century AD. There is plenty of time to change the content of 1 Enoch to read like Jude. But that is a minor point. Here is what Jude wrote

14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with [p]many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; [q]they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

Notice he is talking about the real Enoch and what he said when he was still alive. Jude was not quoting some book. There is also no evidence that Jude actually quoted from 1 Enoch. Having the same words and the same quotes does not mean he quoted or copied. We could g round and round on this topic but it is false to assume that Jude quoted as the HS would have led him to the actual words of the real Enoch.

Finally, the book of Jasser. When you read the passages containing the title of that work, it reads like any other book mentioned in the Kings, Chronicles and other OT books. The biblical author is not quoting or referencing those books but is clearly stating that if you want more details go read those books. The Bible is not going to be providing more details on those situations already recorded in its pages.

The acts of the different kings are the same. If you want the details on the 10, 20 or 30 years of reign of each king, God is saying go to a history book and read them. His word has more important topics to deal with.

I could add to this (even though it didn’t come up in the Sunday school discussion on that occasion) the fact that the Bible is not intelligible to modern readers without outside individuals and resources.

This is just not so. God does not need the help of blind, deceived, fallible, mortal man to illuminate what he is saying. Those words of Dr. McGrath are saying that human works are superior to the Bible and know more than the Bible does. Then while we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, we do our study with the help and guidance of the HS. Not just any book will do. We still have to be careful about true and false teaching.

Also, just because a book is written by someone claiming to be a Christian does not make their insight automatically correct. Not every book on the Bible written by a Christian is good and not all are bad. Discernment is part of the learning process.

Languages change over time, impacting the intelligibility of translations. Those who read the Bible in the original languages nowadays are never native speakers of ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. And so the Bible is not self-explanatory even on the linguistic level, to say nothing of text critical issues and cultural differences.

Does not matter. This is just an excuse to ignore what the Bible teaches when it says things people like Dr. McGrath do not like. True believers have the HS guiding them to the truth but only if they are willing to follow the HS to the truth.

The Bible is never alone. Scriptura non sola. And that is just as well, because in a manner comparable to what is in the graph above, the Bible’s perspicuity has declined with time

For those who do not know what the word perspicuity means, here is the definition:

clearness or lucidity, ( http://www.dictionary.com/browse/perspicuity)

Again, Dr.McGrath makes a grave error as he ignores the passage that tells us that God and Jesus remain the same. Their views do not change. That fact helps keep the Bible clear and lucid in perpetuity. The Bible’s clarity and lucidity have not declined with time or due to the fact that no one is a native speaker of the ancient biblical languages.

It isn’t the Bible’s fault that people do not understand it very clearly. The reason people do not understand the Bible is that they do not believe God or his word. The spirit of truth does not work with unbelievers. Thus they will not get to the truth but end up writing distorted, misleading posts like the one we linked to in the beginning of this post.

The Bible is very clear and its message has not changed from the day God had different men pen his words for everyone to read.

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How NOT to Read the Bible

 

Let’s get the link out-of-the-way first,

https://www.christianpost.com/news/david-and-bathsheba-is-a-metoo-story-woman-not-a-seductress-seminary-professor-says-225991/

A seminary professor has argued that the biblical account of King David and Bathsheba should be treated as a “Me Too story,” not as a consensual affair as it is sometimes portrayed.

Besides the fact that it took four paragrapsh to say who this seminary professor was, we were not surprised to find out it was a woman and someone who should know better. Dallas Theological Seminary had or has a better reputation than to pander to an audience that is far too sensitive for its own good.

Sandra Glahn, associate professor in Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary who teaches a gender studies course, explained that “Bathsheba is a Me Too story.”

No it is not. This is one of the dangers that comes when trying to read the Bible. This professor is reading into an ancient account a modern narrative that she has no clue was actually part of the original story. Or if it even if that thinking existed in King David’s day. She is distorting the account with her own ideas and not using it to find the message God wants us to learn.

Reading into biblical passages has always been wrong yet due to the use of interpretation, reading into the bible has gotten a foothold and has become a popular activity. Using interpretation is also wrong, as people are placing their own ideas on God’s word. Thus they are not hearing what God has to say but hearing their own words and acting accordingly

It’s often treated as an affair, where you have two consensual adults. And even it’s sometimes treated like she is going to the palace and setting out to seduce David,” said Glahn.

What we do not like about her interpretation of the account is that she is assuming that Bathsheba had no ambitions of her own, is not guilty of any wrongdoing and is just the innocent victim We do not know for sure her thoughts or motivations. We cannot rule out the possibility that Bathsheba did want the King to see her. Even if she was innocent, there is a lesson for women in the account– make sure you truly have privacy before bathing and do not be immodest in public.

And yes, the last bit is referencing this modern fashion fad to wear little in public and can be directed at both men and women.

David sent for her, he sent men for her. She is washing. That doesn’t even mean she’s bathing. She could have just been washing her hands. We are reading into that. And so what happens, instead of us seeing the argument of the book, which is David has gone from this shepherd boy, whom God has raised up, and now he’s abusing power. We should all take that as a lesson and a warning. But instead, we’re blaming the person who brought down the power.”

The person reading into the passage is obviously that professor. Really? She goes to the roof to wash her hands? While a possibility it is a very big stretch to paint the woman as an innocent victim. Then she is reading into David’s actions when he sent the men. There is no hint that Bathsheba was forced to go. David could not go himself as that would let everyone know what he was doing. He had to send men to keep the meeting discreet.

UHM… no one is blaming Bathsheba and there are several lessons to be gleaned from David’s failure as a man and Bathsheba’s inability to be faithful to her husband. They say it takes two to tangle, Totalitarianism was not part of David’s regime so Bathsheba probably had the power to reject the invitation and say that she was married.

We need to stop blaming the man when women do bad things. They make their own choices and are responsible for them. Bathsheba also knew the Mosaic law and knew she was doing something wrong. Let’s not point the finger at one person as both David and Bathsheba were punished by God for their affair. Now That professor is also mistaken about Bathsheba’s bringing down power.

She brought nothing down. King Davd remained king and did not lose his throne over this affair and murder. David was not ejected from his position without any evidence presented or based on hearsay. He was not punished without any evidence. He remained King until he died, which was long enough for he and Bathsheba to have another son, who grew up before replacing David on the throne.

a “Me Too story,”

No, this is not a metoo story. Bathsheba did not act like the modern women have done today. In fact, she was complicit in the affair, (not part of the murder, though), and went on to be David’s wife. After that she had his heir. It is a far cry from the women that participate in the modern metoo movement.  Bathsheba also did not complain to the authorities decades later. She did not use her word only to make accusations and refused to provide evidence.

There is nothing of the modern metoo movement in this account. Also, David’s advisors, authorities etc., did not gang up on David to ‘protect Bathsheba’s honor’. David was also not punished unjustly or unfairly. He was not punished to appease a woman. God saw what was done and he brought the evidence and the just punishment. Notice that God did not remove David from his position or break a promise to him over David’s actions

Now we know more about power differentials in these sort of sexual relationships, and we know that if you have a lot of power, and you’re with a powerless person, even if it’s consensual, it’s not the same thing,” continued Glahn.

First off, it is wrong to apply such thinking to people who died a long time ago. There is no evidence to support that conclusion or allow it to be applied to ancient behavior. Her words are wrongly read into the thinking of long dead people. Consensual affairs are not different and it is wrong to assume that Bathsheba had no power to say no and reject David’s advances. Power does not stop freedom of choice. People stop their own implementation of free choice.

Darrell Bock, senior research professor of New Testament at DTS and host of The Table, agreed, adding that “David is very, very responsible for what it is that he’s done, not only what he did with Bathsheba, but what he did with her husband.”

David is responsible for his decisions and actions BUT Bathsheba is also responsbile for hers. She is not innocent in this account and trying to paint her as an innocent, powerless victim is not reading the Bible correctly. There is no evidence that she was not wilfully tempting David, that she had no ambition and on it goes. Changing the Bible narratives to fit modern thinking is wrong and those professors are not following the spirit of truth to the truth. They are trying to make the Bible conform to the ideology of the lost,blind and deceived.

You read the Bible correctly by following the spirit of truth to the truth. Not to an interpretation or alternative definition of the actions of people we know little about. We cannot see their hearts or mind thus it is very wrong to say that lessons not taught by God are part of the biblical stories.The whole metoo movement is not of God thus it is wrong to import that ideology into the bible and biblical behavior.

 

 

5 Reasons to Overturn Abortion

We like the article

https://theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

It is well written and we do not disagree with the points. We just want to add our point of view to some of the words contained in that work.

Abortion is the Holy Grail to the American left. It dominates all over considerations

Yes it is and does. Why we are not exactly certain. Maybe it is the idea that men and women can have power over life and death. Maybe it is seen as a solution to a problem that does not have in some people’s eyes any acceptable alternative. Or some people see it as a way out of a sticky situation.  Or it is a modern example of men loving darkness rather than light. There are a number of reasons why people place abortion as a high priority to end a life.

One thing that continues to be ignored in this issue as it has been blinded by the mantra- a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body. This mantra flies in the face of biblical teaching, that once a woman and a man have sex together, their bodies are no longer their own.  It also ignores the fact that the harm being done is not directed at the woman’s body. It is fully directed at the unborn child’s body. A body neither the mother and father own.

Another lie was the number of women who supposedly died in America because of illegal abortions. Abortionist Bernard Nathanson told the media that each year about 10,000 women died from illegal abortions.

We have written on abortion off and on for a couple of decades now. We have never come across any statistic, real or otherwise, that records the actual number of women’s deaths at the hands of an illegal abortionists. That is because such records are rarely kept and many women travel outside of the country to have their abortions.

Christians have to be wary as the unbeliever does not subscribe to any real moral code and will lie to get their way. Believers need to be discerning and know when a lie is a lie and not be blindly believing when told facts without any supportive evidence. Doctors lie, politicians lie, respected leaders lie so be careful.

The main lie was that an abortion was needed for Roe (whom we later learned was Norma McCorvey) because she was supposedly gang-raped

It is a misconception that the baby produced at the hands of nefarious acts are going to be evil in some way. That is a lie. What we do not like in some pro-life arguments is the idea that abortion is okay when they are created through incest, rape or some other illegal or highly unlikable act. The baby, as God said and we paraphrase, is not guilty and should not be punished for the sins of their parents.

Abortion in these cases needs to be ablished and the baby treated better.

Many women who have had abortions have been shocked to find that they feel guilty about them, despite the culture’s overall approval

This is the one reason we have a little trouble with. Abortion should not be made illegal just because a women feels guilty. It should be made illegal as it protects the unborn from malicious acts for doing nothing wrong. It should be made illegal because it is wrong to kill and violates God’s commandments. Sorry women but your guilt is not enough here. Plus, the author of that article omits any guilt some men may feel at the loss of their unborn child, whether they were willing participants or unwilling victims.

Abortion is not a women’s only issue. Men force women to have abortions, men see their child destroyed by angry women and on it goes. Abortion does not affect just one gender.

Abortion kills millions of unborn babies.

So do criminal acts, wars, invasions, and even accidents. Lets not get over dramatic when calling for the overturning of a nasty law. Killing is wrong no matter when it is done.

God opposes abortion

This should have been the first reason. Not the last. But what that author ignores or forgets is that God did not restrict the term innocent to just unborn babies. Any innocent blood that is shed  God hates. Doesn’t matter if it belongs to an old white male, a young lady, a teenager or whomever. Innocent blood is innocent blood. Each innocent life should be protected not just the politically expedient.

All of us reading these words should be grateful that we escaped the abortionist’s knife.

This is where he ruins his article.

 

 

Our Comments on a Few Topics 4

There are a few news stories that deserve our attention but we cannot do them all justice. We will make a few comments about each one

#1. A well-written articlehttps://www.christianpost.com/voice/biblical-christianity-vs-progressive-ideology-threat-western-christianity.html

The dangers are great from the progressive ideology, but very often the issue seems to take care of itself. Progressive churches collapse in on themselves, and people stop attending, because people are looking for the truth, not a truth, not a relative opinion, or a viewpoint or a universalist one of many ways to the summit, but people are looking for solid truth, a rock to stand on, and progressivism offers a wishy-washy “love above all else” which jettisons truth, ethics, and revelation for the sake of not offending anyone.

We enjoyed it and it covered the topic probably better than we could. We have written on Progressive Christianity before, including addressing Benjamin Corey’s posts. Sin is given a free pass in that ideology and one should be wary of those who promote that thinking.

#2. There are several of these storieshttps://www.christianpost.com/news/new-complaint-against-megachurch-pastor-dean-curry-alleges-multiple-instances-of-sexual-misconduct-225896/

A former board member of the multi-campus Life Center Assembly of God church in Tacoma, Washington, has filed a formal complaint with federal and state agencies alleging that Dean Curry, who was recently dismissed as the church’s pastor, previously engaged in multiple instances of sexual misconduct involving church members and employees.

We are going to address them all right here. When you start playing with God’s commands and instructions, then you are opening yourself up to attacks from evil. The more you alter what God has said, the more vulnerable a believer becomes. It doesn’t matter if you are a pastor church leader or just a pew warmer the further you get from God the easier it is for evil to destroy your spiritual life.

We are sad that the newspaper is filled with several of these stories. They give the church and God a black eye. Even though people will fail, the unbelieving world does jump on these situations and use them to their fullest unbelieving potential. We can only recommend that you start or continue to pray for your pastors and church leaders.

#3. The Bible is the only authorityhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/andy-stanley-why-he-quit-saying-the-bible-says-while-still-loving-the-bible-225628/

North Point Community Church Senior Pastor Andy Stanley recently explained to popular radio host and Messianic Jewish author Michael Brown why he’s quit using the term “the Bible says.”

In an episode of Brown’s podcast “Line of Fire” that aired Monday afternoon, Stanley explained why, although he considers the Good Book inerrant, the term “the Bible says” doesn’t work with those he’s trying to evangelize.

We disagree. Billy Graham once said that every time he used the phrase the Bible says or something similar, he felt power in his words. Saying the Bible says means you are not preaching or evangelizing out of your own knowledge or understanding and recognizing that God and the Bible are the authority for this world. The Bible has the answers for everyone in the world today.

No matter what people say, it does work for everyone needing to be evangelized or to meet life’s situations. Using the Bible gives God the opportunity to win souls, as he said his word does not return to him void. The phrase will work when done correclty, the unchurched world needs to hear what the Bible does say.

#4. Faith healing problemshttps://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-couple-who-treated-sick-twin-daughter-with-prayer-get-nearly-7-years-for-her-death-225903/

A young Oregon Christian couple who relied on faith alone to heal their sick newborn twin daughter were sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for the baby’s death in 2017 after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide, the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

As a condition of their guilty plea, Sarah Mitchell, 25, and her husband, Travis Mitchell, 22, who were members of the controversial Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, had to sign a statement saying: “We should have sought adequate medical care for our children and everyone in the church should always seek adequate medical care for our children.”

Faith healing is misunderstood by both the churched and unchurched world. We have written long posts on the topic (search faith healing). Do not expect the unbelieving world to accept something they do not understand. Do not expect them to react the way God would want. When children are involved God and his ways go out the window. Emotions rule not rational and logical thinking. Faith healing is also not what you expect it to be. You can pray, go to a faith healer or you can use faith and go to the hospital.

Also, not all people who use faith healing are actually Christian and their efforts will not work.

#5. Archaeology does it againhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/archaeologists-discover-entrance-gate-to-biblical-city-of-zer-where-jesus-fed-thousands-in-miracle-225846/

Archaeologists have reportedly uncovered the ancient entrance gate to the biblical city of Zer in Israel, also known as Bethsaida, which is mentioned in the New Testament as the city where Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish in one His most well-known miracles.

“There are not many gates in this country from this period. Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer,” said Dr. Rami Arav, director of the Bethsaida Project, according to The Jerusalem Post

It is a good article, we won’t complain

#6. Oh the weird things scientists conclude– .https://www.christianpost.com/news/new-discovery-reveals-bright-pink-is-the-worlds-oldest-color-scientists-say-225880/

Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest color — bright pink.

The road to the revelation of the world’s oldest color began when a company drilled deep into the Earth in search of oil. While probing beneath the surface of the Sahara Desert in search of oil, the company hit some black, oily rocks.

The company then sent those rocks to the Australian National University, The Guardian reported.

Ph.D. student Nur Gueneli then decided to crush those rocks into a fine powder, and upon doing so, she obtained bright pink pigments.

Conclusions like this make us wonder about the sanity and mental health of a majority of scientists. We run into this type of thinking a lot and it makes no sense, considering that no other rocks from the same era from different locations in the world were tested. But then maybe we are expecting too much from the lost, blind and deceived world.

An associate professor at the university, Jochen Brocks, claimed that the bright pink pigments even date back to a time when animals were not roaming the Earth

This, like the declaration that bright pink is the world’s oldest color, is impossible to prove or even verify. It is just dumb to make those type of announcements.

#7. Some good and bad newshttps://www.christianpost.com/news/50-boko-haram-islamic-radicals-killed-1000-hostages-mainly-women-and-children-rescued-in-nigeria-223803/

the good– The Nigerian Army revealed that close to 1,000 hostages, mainly women and children, have been freed following a massive week-long battle against Islamic radical group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.

the bad– Despite the significant success in Borno over the past week, a United Nations envoy has warned that Boko Haram is still years away from being eliminated

We are glad women and children have been rescued. We are sad, knowing that no matter what we do sin will abound till God ends time on this earth. If it isn’t Boko Haram then it will be another group from another country. Keep praying for those persecuted and for the souls of the persecutors

#8. These are weak reasonshttps://www.christianpost.com/voice/3-reasons-why-science-has-not-done-away-with-belief-in-god.html

The belief that science has an answer for everything seems universal. Often alongside it is the notion that God is therefore redundant and that believing in him is reminiscent of believing in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.

First off, those supposed Christian scientists who say that God lied and did not create as he said are not the reason why science hasn’t done away with a belief in God. The main reason why it hasn’t is because science is not dealing in the truth and is incapable of proving God and the Bible wrong.  Actually we felt all those reasons were very bad and should not be considered real reasons.

#9. We do not believe themhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/bill-hybels-entered-into-sin-willow-creek-elders-now-admit-apologizing-for-not-believing-women-225596/

Elders of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois have now admitted that founder and former senior pastor Bill Hybels “entered into sin,” adding that they should have believed the women who made sexual misconduct accusations against him earlier this year.

“We apologize and ask for forgiveness that the tone of our initial response was not one of humility and deep concern for all the women involved. It takes courage for a woman to step forward and share her story,” the elders of the evangelical megachurch wrote in a statement published on Saturday.

“We are grieved that we let Bill’s statement stand for as long as we did that the women were lying and colluding. We now believe Bill entered into areas of sin related to the allegations that have been brought forth.”

It sounds more like damage control than the truth. Also, since that church practiced unscriptural things, it is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. Getting to the truth is not easy but one rule of thumb is that the accusers are not always telling the truth and the accused is not always guilty or lying. That board also seems to be ignoring the issue of temptation and other spiritual influences that may lead both the accused and the accusers to say and do things they should not.

We cannot trust that board to produce the truth. Nor can we trust Scot McKnight’s words in a follow up article:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/willow-creeks-bill-hybels-had-too-much-power-scot-mcknight-on-scandal-225890/

Responding to Willow Creek Community Church’s recent apologies for the way the leadership handled sexual misconduct allegations against founder Bill Hybels, New Testament scholar Scot McKnight argued that the victims had no choice but to go public and expose misconduct.

McKnight, who attended the South Barrington, Illinois, megachurch for 10 years, argued on his Jesus Creed blog that autonomy may be largely to blame for how the church’s leadership failed the women.

“What the power brokers think of first is protecting the institution, which is (sad to say) protection of the power at the top,” he wrote.

We are not saying the Mr. Hybels is innocent and we are not saying that the accusers are lying. We are saying is that too much smells here and we do not like what we read about the whole situation.

With autonomy, McKnight argued that there is usually “too much authority in the inner circle at the top and voicelessness for too many.

It is a difficult issue, one which we will not go into very deeply, but Mr. McKnight needs to remember that the church is not a church for the people, by the people, of the people. The church is owned and operated by God and he sets up his ministers with a certain amount of authority with oversight instructions.

But we will be careful with our words as we do not know all  the  details.

#10. She is righthttps://www.christianpost.com/news/tomi-lahren-warns-conservatives-will-lose-alienate-many-if-they-fight-roe-v-wade-225840/

Lahren, speaking out in light of conservative hopes that Trump will nominate a Supreme Court justice in favor of overturning the 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, said that such a fight would be a “big mistake.”

“Yes, the new high court vacancy is a huge opportunity for conservative values and principles, I get it. And I understand the passion behind the pro-life movement,” Lahren said in her “Final Thoughts” segment on Friday on Fox News Insider.

“But to use conservatives’ new-found power and pull to challenge a decision that — according to a new Quinnipiac poll — most Americans support, would be a mistake,” she added.

She is right as we said in the title. It is easy to overturn a law and let someone else handle the problem. Our question is, what programs do the supporters of overthrowing Roe v. Wade have put in place and are ready to go, fully funded, to handle the problems that come if they are successful in making abortion illegal?

There is more to this issue than just changing a law. Men and women are not just going to throw themselves and repent of their sinful ways because the church has won its battle. There are real problems that have to be dealt with that the church cannot walk away from. Is the church prepare to handle those problems? Salvation is not done through preaching a gospel message alone. It takes involvement, rolling up one’s sleeve, and getting bruised and it takes prayer and more.

Sadly, many Christians and churches just want to take the easy way out and send the problem back to God. God is waiting for his people to stop doing that and obey his commands and get involved in unbelievers lives correctly. God has chosen his people to to do the work with his help. When God sent his people through the desert to Sinai, he may have led them, but the people of Israel still had to march through the desert, experience the good and the bad times and learn how to keep their eyes on God.

The same with the issue of abortion. Overturning the law is just the beginning not the end of Christian work in this issue.

 

Raising Godly Children

Our inspiration for the following comes from God who used the following article to bring it to our attention

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/raising-godly-girls-not-stereotypes.html

We are not going to address that article as our opinion of her has not changed since we spent 2 articles addressing her words. That article is also too general and does not pinpoint exactly which church and cultural stereotypes she is avoiding or condemns.Her focus puts her off track and opens herself up to false teaching etc. But we have not addressed the subject of raising godly children before.

We are not going to be able to get to all the scripture passages that help parents raise godly children. We hope that parents will see what we are saying and explore the bible for other passages of scriptures which will help them deal with their children’s questions, issues andproblems. Parents need to let God direct them to the right passages, then follow the Holy Spirit to the truth and understand how that truth apples. Then they need to learn, some of them, how to communicate that truth to their children.

Finally, they need to aoid one of the biggest enemies of parenting- hypocrisy. God is not a do as I say not as I do God. He practices what he tells us to do. Parents must do the same. There is no particular order to the list of items we address here.

#1. Influence

Probably one of the best pieces of parenting advice comes from Dr. Mark Lee who was associated with Dallas Theological Seminary in  the last century. In one of his lectures or extension classes we attended, he told the story about his teenage son who wanted to hang out with some non-christian boys. We all know that teenagers sometimes do the opposite of what their parents say. You tell them not to hang out with certain people, the next thing you know they are hanging out with them.

Dr. Lee must have considered that when he gave his instructions to his son. He told him that it was okay for his son to hang out with the boys, AS LONG AS he was an influence on them and they were not an influence on him. Peer pressure is a strong influential force but if given the right advice, your children can overcome it and not lose their faith. The result of that advice was the boy listened to his father and his non-Christian teenage friends eventually became Christian.

The right advice given in the right way can save years of heartache.

#2. Prayer

A). The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing but young children do not know how to do that. They need to be taught how to pray correctly, understand what Jesus meant by his words in the Lord’s prayer and so on. Teaching a children how to pray may be a lifesaver when you cannot be there to help  them through their difficulties. Children need to learn how to rely on God and bring their requests to him properly.

They also need to be taught the difference between being selfish and asking the right way for their needs, etc.

B). Parents need to pray correctly for their chidren. Again, not selfish prayers but prayers that go hand in hand with their decision to dedicate their child to God. God takes those dedications seriously and they are not an insurance policy keeping them from hell. Then children should hear their parents pray for them. This should be done honestly. Parents should not be saying to each other- here come the kids let’s start praying for them. No the prayers of the parents should be honest and filled with real attitudes about their chidren’s lives.

One way to coommuncate care for one’schildren is to pray for them constantly. They face te same struggles as their parents and are away from home a lot these days. They need a lot of prayer.

#3. Love-

The Bible tells us to love God with all of our hearts souls and minds and to love others as ourselves and as Jesus loved us. But again children cannot always do that on their own. They need to be taught the correct meaning of the word love. They need to be taught how God defines the word. 1 Cor. 13 plays a role here as it defines love as Jesus lived it. The secular world and most churches do not know how to love correctly. Parents need to look to God to help them learn, understand and practice real love.

While love includes encouragement, support and acceptance, it also brings the truth, honesty, sound doctrine and does not leave people in their sins. Love also means putting God ahead of loved ones and personal desires. It looks to be fair, just and merciful when needed. It looks to do right and avoid wrong and again,  these actions are as God defines them not other humans or the secular part of this world.

Love also does not compromise with the unchurch world. It doesn’t change its message just to appease those who do not want to follow God and his ways.

#4. Teaching-

Deut. is full of verses recording God’s instructions to his people. They were to teach their children the ways of God, his instructions, and commands. The reason for this was for the children to learn to fear God. Not be afraid of him but respect and follow his ways. The New Testament also tells parents to teach their children. 1 Tim. tells us to study. God does not want ignorant followers who refuse to grow up. He needs knowledgeable people filled with the truth to do his work for him.

Whether you send your children to a public school or not is not the issue here. Parents can teach their children at all times and God says to do that in Deut. We do not leave a child’s education up to the blind, deceived and lost world. The right education is important if a parent does not want their children to lose their faith when they get older and exposed to different views.

It means teaching the Book of Genesis correctly and answering your children’s questions properly, with godly answers and the truth. In other words parents, you need to know the Bible better and ask God for help to understand his words so you can answer your children’s questions correctly. If you love your children you do not leave them vulnerable to the secular world or evil to pluck them away.

Then parents need to teach their children the difference between true and false teaching. To put it simply, false teaching leads people away from the truth and encourages people to disobey God.

#5. Obedience-

The Bible tells us that to obey is better than sacrifice. To have godly children they need to be taught how to obey correctly. Even if it means losing something they value. God values obedience and Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments. We cannot stress this enough as the world and the church have enough problems from those who refuse to obey God correctly.

Obedience is also key to evangelism. No one can expect unbelievers to take God and his word seriously if his own followers do not. Disobedience is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to successful evangelism and discipleship. God rewards the obedient and as we have seen throughout the OT & NT he punishes those who  lie, steal, murder and disobey.

#6. Character

The Bible tells us to

  • Rid yourself of all malice, deceit hypocrisy, envy…”
  •  “Desire pure spiritual milk…that you may grow…”
  •  “Walk in the light as he is in the light…

A godly child should have a godly character, one that is guided by truth, honesty, integrity and fueled by the right desires. Also, a godly child avoids sin, does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He and she are also given wise counsel by their parents. They get good advice on how to live and respond to different situations, events and tragedies.

There are a lot of verses that pertain to this point including the descriptions of the fruits of the Spirit.

#7. Misc.-

There are a lot of minor issues that a godly child does and does not do. They recognize that the body is God’s temple and they do not mark it up with tattoos or pollute it with the wrong food and drink. They do not cross dress or encourage others to do so. This may seem like it is bowing to stereotypes but one must remember that God was the first to say for boys not to wear women’s clothes and girls not to wear men’s clothing.

The right clothes go on the right gender’s body. Before attacking stereotypes one must make sure God did not institute that particular aspect of adornment or behavior. parents are not to raise their children in a way that allows false teaching to lead them to destruction. IN other words when a boy child says things like, I like boys, or a girl child says I am a boy, it does not mean they are expressing an alternative sexual preference or that they are identifying their true gender identity.

They are too young to know such things and need to be properly guided away from such thinking. Love does not allow a child to pursue sin. The secular world will get upset but they do not love your child.

Then finally, for children to properly grasp what a godly life is, they need to be taught correctly about persecution. They need to be made aware that those who follow Jesus will suffer in some way. Then they need to be taught how to turn the other cheek, pray for those that persecute them and then finally teach the children how to return good for evil.

A godly child obeys God even when things are not going their way. They learn how to handle the hurt and the pain without sinning.

All of this is done to the glory of God.

 

 

 

 

Signs of the Times

We are sure just about everyone has heard about the church in  Auburn, Indiana by now. Their sign has raised more than just a few hackles. Well, now they have been given the boot

https://www.christianpost.com/news/church-kicked-out-building-sign-message-lgbtq-is-a-hate-crime-against-god-repent-225826/

A church in Indiana has been evicted from its building for placing a sign outside that read, “LGBTQ is a hate crime against God.”

In this issue, one of the key biblical teachings that has been missing is Jesus’ instruction to return good for evil. The LGBTQ community has often been deprived of the results of that command and the church has not received it in return when their acts are deemed not good by the LGBTQ communnity.

There are other biblical teachings that are missing from the issue as well. But we have pointed those out in earlier posts. If one wants to use the definition of the word as it is applied by most people today, one can say that the sign is very correct as the LGBTQ community certainly do not demonstrate any love for God. They do demonstrate a lot of hatred for his instructions, commands and definitions of the word sin.

It is not just the church who is appearing to use hatred in their behavior. Our issue here is not with the sign. We think it is telling the truth but that truth could be spoken in a more tactful way. What bother us is the words of one resident quoted by the author of that article. That is what we will look at here today.

It is beyond a doubt that some of us have strong feelings about this church/sign and these beliefs,” the resident, Kristin Russell, wrote on Facebook. “I want everyone who comes to come with open arms and open minds.

To us, it is amazing how some people think that their wants, desires and expectations gets to over-rule everyone else’s and God’s desires and wants. Why is her desires more important than that church’s? Why is it more important than God’s? Maybe it is because she knows she sins a lot and she wants people to accept her sins and all. We do not know, That is our guess.

No hate allowed.

It has become quite clear that a lot of people do not understand what hate really is. Disagreeing with someone does not mean you hate them. Trying to save someone from their sins and destruction is not a hate crime or an action motivated by hate. The hypocritical thing here is that she does not mind hate being used against that church. If no hate is allowed, then why was that church forced out of their building? It is not the church that is displaying hatred in this situation but thse who do not like what the church says.

If that resident wants people to have open hearts and minds, then they need to practice that attitude with the church no matter what it says on its sign. What we see is that hatred is allowed if it is directed against the church and Christians only. But that is the way it is with the unbeliever. They refuse to meet God’s regulations and cover their ears when God’s message is brought to their attention. They call it hate, denying academic freedom and so on.

They then turn around and deny Christians the same attitude they want the church to use. They want the church and Christians to change God’s message to the world. That is definitely not showing love to God.Of course, that change cannot be done.

Positive, progressive, and loving signs are welcome and encouraged

Of course they are. People want to get to heaven and have eternal life without following Gd’s instructions. They do not want to do one simple act of repentance or give up their sin to achieve that desire. They want to corrupt paradise and make it like life here on earth. Sadly, these people do not realize or accept the fact that they are being used by evil to ruin God’s creation and get back at God for their expulsion from paradise. Ouor battle isnot with our fellow humans.

Bring friends and family. Overall, I would just like the message of loving everyone despite differences to get across.

Yet, she and others like her will not do that in response to the church’s actions. Again, it is a hypocritical demand. Also, she and people like here do not understand that it is not loving to keep people in their sins.  Or that it is not loving to let people continue towards destruction without warning. A person swimming in a river may not know a waterfall is ocming. It is not a hate crime to warn them about their pending doom. Just because the swimmer ignores the warning or does not believe a waterfall is coming does not make the waterfall and their destruction go away

But the Bible tells us that people will only want to hear what they want to hear and that they are going to be willfully ignorant. Maybe the church should find a better way to warn LGBTQ members than that sign.

Please please do not bring any negativity with you, and let’s just show this church that Auburn stands with the LGBTQ+ community, and that God and churches can as well!

Sadly, that woman knows nothing about God and negativity. She certainly displayed a lot of it when she used hate to oppose that church and its sign. God does not stand with practicing sinners. God does not want his followers to stand with practicing sinners and support their evil ways. Only evil wants that to take place. What she and people like her forget is that there is more to biblical teaching than love your neighbor as yourself.

There are moral standards to uphold. As well as standards of right and wrong along with good and evil. The problem here is that those opposing the church and the complete biblical teaching are blind and deceived.  They need prayer not retaliation. They need to be helped when in trouble, another biblical teaching, and they need to be comforted as well.

Those actions that resident and others like her will accept. But they will not acept the fact that they are sinners going to hell because hell is not loving, open-minded, open-armed, progressive and so on. It also reminds them that they have no hope.

In a statement posted to Facebook last week, Remnant Fellowship offered no apologies to those who were offended by the display, which some deem as being “anti-LGBT.”

Why should they apologize, they did nothing wrong. You only apologize when you actually do something wrong and are truly sorry for your actions. Offending someone is not necessarily doing something wrong. People get offended by the littlest detail these days and it is almost impossible to not offend someone. Being a Christian is an offense to the unbelieving world so how is a Christian not going to offend someone? We hold different beliefs, have different goals and objectives, live differently and so on. Jesus said he would divide families so offending a practicing sinner is not a big deal.

Even Christians get offended by other Christians so apologies are not the go to response to solve the issue. Then, of course, some peope will call it anti-LGBTQ. That is because the LGBTQ community and its supporters hate anything and label it anti them whenever someone says anything that disagrees with their accepted ideology.

But those practicing sinners do not realize that they are anti-God with their views and preferences. They also will not accept tha label. They ignore the biblical teaching that says God said he who is not for me is against me. That comment seems to have slipped their attention. Ignoring or trying to change biblical teaching makes the LGBTQ community and its supporters very anti-God and they owe him more than just an apology.

It is not up to the church to repent and get right with the LGBTQ community and their sinful ideology. It is up to the LGBTQ community to show their love for God and repent of their sins and get right with God. All of them, including their LGBTQ preferences. The church may no tbe perfect but it only needs to please God correctly. It is not commanded to please the LGBTQ community or its supporters.

 

 

Underwater Treasures

Over the years we have talked about and described why so many archaeologists cannot find more evidence to support the biblical record. To recap those points, it is pretty hard to dig under existing buildings. Many cities and villages have built over ancient remains and the construction work has ruined many good archaeological areas. This was before laws were put in place to stop construction when ancient sites were uncovered during the construction process.

Next, wars play a role in destroying any remains. ISIS is one example of what happens to ancient ruins when conquerors come to town. Natural disasters also destroy what the ancient world left behind. Earthquakes, erosion, tornadoes, and so on wreak havoc on the landscape. But there is one more enemy of archaeology that is not talked about enough- water.

Whether through floods or shipwrecks, water does remove evidence for the past including the biblical past. Because the oceans are dangerous, it is very difficult to retrieve those artifacts from beneath the surface. The following article tells of some archaeologists warning about the massive loss of ancient remains if Albania does not act quickly.

https://www.mail.com/int/scitech/news/8590774-archaeologists-urge-albania-to-protect-underwater.html#.1272-stage-set8-3

James Goold, chairman of the Florida-based RPM Nautical Foundation, said the objects — dating from the 8th century B.C. through to World War II — would be a great tourist attraction if properly displayed in a museum.

Goold’s RPM has mapped out the Ionian seabed from the Greek border all along to the Vlora Bay, finding at least 22 shipwrecks from the ancient times to World War II and hundreds of ancient amphorae. Those long, narrow terracotta vessels carried olive oil and wine along trade routes between North Africa and the Roman Empire, where Albania, then Illyria, was a crossroad.

Underwater archaeology requires special skill sets. An archaeologist needs to know how to dive, act under water and watch for currents and other dangers. It is not like excavating on land. It is also probably more expensive to do underwater archaeology than land-based excavating.

Albania is trying to protect and capitalize on its rich underwater heritage, long neglected by its former communist regime, but preservation still receives scarce funding from the government in one of Europe’s poorest nations…

…Now RPM believes it’s time for the not-for-profit Institute of Nautical Archaeology research organization, which is based in Texas, U.S., to explore the possibilities of excavating shipwrecks, a financially expensive and scientifically delicate process

What can be uncovered that willl bring even more support to the biblical record is unknown. But it would be good for believers to keep an eye on the unbelieving archaeologists to make sure any evidence, if found, is not lost again or misidentified. One thing is for sure, the underwater treasures would shed a lot of light on the trading practices of ancient kingdoms. This alone would support the biblical record when it talks about Israeli kings trading with its neighbor nations.

A second story just caught our eye and it contains some good news

https://www.mail.com/int/scitech/news/8427606-ancient-coins-bracelets-looted-romania-return.html#.8590774-stage-related1-1

he treasure trove of gold and silver artifacts, stolen between 2000 and 2001, was presented at Romania’s National History Museum. The items were found in Austria in 2015 and returned following a cross-border investigation.

The artifacts_473 coins and 18 bracelets— were taken from archaeological sites in the Orastie Mountains that had been inhabited by Dacians, who fought against the Romans in the early 2nd century. General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar said 21 people have been convicted in the thefts.

Museum curator Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu said it was “one of the finest recoveries of Dacian treasure in last 200 years” and called their return “a moment of joy, hope and … pride.” He said the artifacts may have been an offering that a Dacian family made to the gods, which now was valued at “tens of millions of euros (dollars).”

It is nice to know that stolen treasure can be found and returned to its proper owners.

 

 
 
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