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We do not think he blasted anyone

Except those who do false accusations and those who ignore the rules of evidence, along with the statutory limits rules.

Ousted evangelical leader Paige Patterson returned to the pulpit last week, where he blasted women who falsely accuse men in the #MeToo movement.

We are not politically correct and do not intend to be. We find that being politically correct, honesty, truth, reality are lost, replaced by feel good attitudes that hide the facts from people. We also find that being politically correct is not a biblical teaching. While we do not consider ourselves as on the same level as Jesus, who said some pretty nasty things to the Pharisees, we do not believe in sugar-coating certain aspects of life. People can’t learn correctly if they are put in a vacuum and ‘protected’ from certain views and opinions.

We will speak the truth in love as best we can, which we are sure Jesus did when he spoke harshly to the Pharisees. But back to the quote. In today’s journalistic world, it seems that what is accepted as credible is where supposed journalists state their opinions and ignore facts, the correct definition of words and other pieces of the journalistic puzzle, in hopes of getting more clicks. More clicks means more ad revenue.

But that is a problem that can be solved if today’s supposed reporters followed the traditional rules of journalism and wrote compelling, honest, fact-filled and truthful articles. We do not fool ourselves into thinking that what passes for journalism today is the actual story of what is being reported on. The same for that quote.

Last week, he preached on the biblical story of Joseph, who was falsely accused by an Egyptian woman of sexually abusing her.

We missed using that story and wish we had. It provides compelling evidence that the secular world does not follow the rules of justice, just like the modern does not. What is sad is that the same story is like a mirror to many in the Christian world exposing their unjust treatment of pastors, church leaders, and others who have been unfairly accused and attacked.

The woman’s story is believed when the evidence does not support the accusation. We are still waiting for real evidence to be presented in any of the cases that have made the public arena. By failing to be biblical and just, we are setting a very bad example to our children, fellow believers and the secular world. What stumbling blocks that are raised we do not know but fear that many have been because the church fails to follow God yet again.

The 75-year-old preacher then talked about the current movement in society where various male leaders in church, in politics, in Hollywood, and other institutions are being accused of abusing women.

“I’m all in favor of the #MeToo movement when there is a guilty party,” Patterson said, insisting that men who abuse women are cowardly.

We agree. BUT there must actually be a guilty party, verifiable and credible evidence proving a crime took place and that the sentence passed is fair, just and leads the offender to repentance. Also, the pursuit of justice is done not out of revenge or vengeance, God did not teach us to use either when seeking true justice. The accusers must have a pure heart, not hate-filled and need to forgive those they accuse. God has taught us that if we do not forgive then he won’t. Forgiveness helps us to clean our eyes from the beams the offense and the response to the offense have placed there.

By the same token, I have nothing good to say about a woman who falsely accuses a man. She runs the risk of ruining a life. She runs the risk of causing sorrow unknown when the person is, in fact, innocent,” he added, however.

We agree here as well. The Bible teaches us to not bear false witness against others. A false accusation is lying  and a false witness. The NT tells us not to lie one to another. To receive true justice, God did not teach us to present our accusations without evidence. Being a godly man or woman is not criteria for presenting evidence God’s way.

There must be real and credible evidence and since governments are granted the right to rule over their nations, they have the right to impose statutes of limitations Any accusation must adhere to those human rules. It is not justice or fair to the accused to bring up decades-old supposed offenses that have no credible evidence supporting the claim.

Is ruining a life worth revenge? The Chinese have an old saying, when seeking revenge, before you go on your journey first dig two graves. This means that when you get youor revenge, you kill 2 people. The one you are seeking revenge against and yourself. Jesus does not want us to kill ourselves as he told us to return good for evil.

Some people like the OT’s an eye for an eye, but we do not see that teaching continued in the NT.

Merritt, son of former SBC President James Merritt, criticized Patterson for focusing on the latter, noting that studies have shown that false accusations of sexual assault make up only two percent against the 98 percent epidemic of real abuse.

Actually, we disagree. Both figures seem to be off and we know that statistics can be manipulated very easily.  They also leave out the other side of the story and many facts that are involved which lead to abuse or supposed abuse.

Merritt also took aim at what he said was Patterson “body-shaming” a woman in another anecdote, where the former Southern Baptist leader talked about meeting a parishioner’s mother.

We are very tired of hearing the many different terms that use the word ‘shaming’ as the last word in a descriptive pairing. No one is body shaming anyone when they are speaking the truth. A fat person is a fat person not curvy, or whatever they want to use there in place of the word fat. No one is doing a fat person any favors by hiding their unhealthy girth.

The body is the temple of God and unless there is a true medical reason why a person is overweight we may dare to say that letting oneself ‘go’ is not treating the temple of God correctly. Men and women should strive to keep their bodies healthy, in shape and presentable. But lets not stop telling the truth by accusing those who like facts of shaming anyone. Hiding the truth only lets the bad behavior continue.

Some people need to toughen up if they can’t handle being told that they are over-weight and out of shape. The past few decades have seen the raising of very weak-minded and weak people who do not know how to handle life very well. If you look to the biblical example, you do not see any instruction from either God or Jesus to make peope weak and incapable of dealing with what comes in life.

Deut. has many instructions from God on how to teach children and grandchildren and keeping them in a bubble to ‘protect’ them is not one of those instructions.

But it is an especially inappropriate, even befuddling, choice of material for Patterson (who was coincidentally speaking in a state with the nation’s third-highest obesity rate)

Maybe he needed to say it there because they needed to hear the truth about their physiques. Hiding the truth does not accomplish anything. Speaking the truth in love, does. Oh and we do not care what twitters think.  Fat is not beautiful, it is not healthy and it is life shortening as well as leading to or a product of gluttony. Instead of protecting these overweight people from having hurt feelings, those who protect them, by using all those cute words to describe their obesity, should look to see if the sins of gluttony and lust are present.

We should be looking to stop sin, not let it go undiagnosed to the point where it kills someone– literally.

No biblical grounds were given, let alone, seriously considered. There are numerous Christian leaders who have committed sins worthy of discipline. Patterson is not one of them; he hasn’t committed any such sins. On the contrary, he has done many things worthy of exaltation. In fact, he is one of the top conservative Christian leaders of our day,” he wrote at the time.

“Many who opposed Dr. Patterson were apparently caught up in winds of the #MeToo movement of the day. But no doctrinal or moral charges were even offered, let alone proven by two or more credible witnesses against him,” he added.

In closing, we do need to say that if you cannot be truly spirit led and bring the truth to any given situation, nor follow God’s ways, then do not get involved. You sin while trying to right a wrong and that is not of God either.

You can read the whole article at: https://www.christianpost.com/news/paige-patterson-returns-blasts-women-falsely-accuse-men-metoo-body-shaming-227429/

 

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A Troubling Topic

We can be rough on pastors and church leaders at times, but that does not mean we do not have compassion for them. Even though there are a lot of men who occupy the position when they shouldn’t be there, we are still troubled and sad when we hear of their deaths by suicide. There are two articles in the Christian Post this morning talking about this issue, the first is titled

In Isolated World of Pastors, Churches Mum on Troubling Clergy Suicides

You can read it at the following link

https://www.christianpost.com/news/isolated-world-pastors-churches-mum-clergy-suicides-220763/

It is an isolated world as most pastors carry the burdens and sins of their congregations and struggle to make sense of why their people do not make the right decisions and live their lives according to what God has said in the Bible. They are overwhelmed sometimes by the petty nature of their flock and find that they have no one to turn to to talk with about their situations.

When we were pastors and also part of a church, we got tired of other believers learning of a problem and saying- well just pray about it and then walk away. Not being able to find constructive help is part of the problem that helps isolate pastors and keeps them alone in this world. We feel alone as well when we write this blog as we have no one to talk to either and while we appreciate the likes we get, they only go so far. Just like those comments to pray abut it only go so far.

I’m very surprised because he didn’t preach that. He preached totally against it. It’s something that the congregation don’t really understand,” Russell Rowland, a member of the Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, where Parker was leader, said at the time.

“Everybody is just kind of stunned right now. I think a lot of people are just trying to understand why that happened. We’re just praying to the Lord for guidance on this,” he said.

Maybe it is the way the congregation views their pastors. They may get the idea that he is super spiritual and in need of no help from those who sit under the pastor’s guidance week after week. Pastors are human, they make mistakes and sometimes falter when the going gets tough. It is not easy being a pastor especially when the slightest mistake can cost them their jobs.

Moses made mistakes, he faltered but God had selected him to be the leader of his people. God did not use a zero tolerance policy on Moses but rebuked him when needed, taught him when it was appropriate and punished him with real justice and fairness.  The church should look to God’s example when handling issues that arise when pastors err. They are after all, God’s anointed and appointed to be the shepherd to look after his sheep.

Yet the shepherd needs care and compassion as well. He cannot be left to his own devices because that makes him an easy target for evil to attack. Even though a pastor is spiritually trained, they can still make spiritual mistakes and need help to overcome their errors and return to healthy spiritual living. The internet is full of websites of former pastors and missionaries who have been successfully defeated by evil. That should not be.

An alarming number of pastors have taken their own lives in the last five years. And despite the increasing prevalence of suicide nationally, and the troubling rates at which the epidemic has been affecting certain groups of clergy, many churches remain silent on the issue.

Neither should this but we are sure there are underlying issues that evil has used to further remove God’s men from their positions. This is why prayer for your pastor and other church leaders is so important. They may be in spiritual positions but they are still human and possess human frailties. The problems pastors face is spiritually based and they need the correct spiritual help to overcome them.

If you need a human example, medical doctors d not give pithy little statements to their unwell patients. They get involved, find the right diagnosis, and then prescribe the right treatment. Sadly, most Christians think that pithy little statements is going to cure a difficult spiritual problem. They do not get involved and pass the buck back to God. This is not biblical teaching. When confronted with problems we need to go to God to know how to handle it properly, but we do not give it back to God and walk away. Unfortunately, that is what the majority of believers do.

The second artilce is titled,

Inland Hills Pastor Andrew Stoecklein Takes Life After Battle With Depression, Anxiety

You can read it at the following link

https://www.christianpost.com/news/inland-hills-pastor-andrew-stoecklein-takes-life-after-battle-with-depression-anxiety-227028/

In his example we can find some reasons why pastors commit suicide.

It is also unclear how long the pastor had been battling depression and anxiety but in a blog post on the first anniversary of his father’s death he revealed that life had suddenly become much harder without the man who was his hero.

Their eyes are not on God. They have decided to look to humans to be their strength and inspiration instead of Christ. If you recall when Jesus walked on water, Peter began to fall when he took his eyes of Christ. Pastors are no different. if their eyes are not on Christ then they become vulnerable to the troubles that surround them.

This does not take away from  the shining example that pastor’s father set or the type of man he was. But Paul warned about placing our eyes on people for it causes division in the church. 1 Cor. 1 & 3 are the references for this point

11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 [a]Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized [b]in the name of Paul? (Ch 1 NASB)

for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking [a]like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.(ch. 3 NASB)

When men and women set great spiritual examples our eyes and minds should be on Christ and thanking God for the type of men and women they were. At no time should our eyes stray from Christ even when loved ones are involved.

By the time the second anniversary of his father’s death came around in October 2017, Stoecklein was in the hospital to undergo two surgeries to remove a mass from his chest, according to a post on Instagram. It is unclear if this mass was due to sudden illness or injury

Pastors are human and will succumb to different ailments. God has not promised anyone a life free from corruption and disease. One of our professors, a very beloved man, took his life many years ago because he could no longer handle the many illnesses that came his way. Pastors can handle only so much before it becomes overwhleming and they need an immediate solution to relieve their suffering.

While God provides the strength to endure, sometimes that is hard to get as the enduring takes so much out of a person and eventually, if it is allowed, helps takes the eyes of the person off Christ. Difficulties are a part of the Christian life. Learn how to handle them correctly and be prepared to teach those strategies to others who need help.

You guys, he loves this place so much. He didn’t want to stop. He would have kept on going, going and going and going. It probably would have cost him his life. That’s how much he loves this place.

Misguided or misplaced love opens up weak spots for evil to exploit. Each pastor should make sure that they are using the love that only Christ can bring so that they are well protected when difficulties in the congregation arise. Human love and its various definitions just won’t cut it and a pastor can burn out very easily. They also need to make sure that their love does not cause them to switch sides and go against God because they love their people too much.

By going against God we do not mean they lose their faith, but take the side of the people and their desires over God and his desires.

During this season of rest, I’ve asked him over and over. Are you sure? You don’t have to be a pastor. You could go be whatever you want to be. You could go live wherever we wanna live, we could go to Texas and buy a big house.

While that wife may not have been tempting her husband, pastors do get tempted to leave the faith, their profession and do something easier. The guilt they feel when they fail to resist helps bring them down into depression and subsequently leads them to depression which then can lead to suicide.

“In this tragedy, we encourage anyone who is hurting emotionally to ask for help. If you or anyone else is struggling, the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255) is a potentially life-saving resource

If you are going to get involved, do not lead your pastor, church leaders and other believers to non-christian organizations or counselors. They do not understand the faith, they do not believe in God and they do not hold the answers for the troubles that plague believers and their leaders. We do not know if that organization is non-christian or not but if not, it better use God’s ways and not follow the secular world in their attempts to help others.

Getting involved properly will help restore pastors to their faith and hopefully save their lives.

One final possible reason why some pastors resort to killing themselves. It is pressure. The pastor already has instructions from God about how their family should behave and be raised. Members of the congregation do not help when they apply more pressure on the pastor and gossip about him, his wife, their kids and how good or bad their parenting skills are.

Also, many members of the congregation have their own ideas on how the church should be run, its direction and what programs need to be implemented. One way to relieve some of the pressure is to keep your ideas to yourself and let the people appointed lead the church correctly. Monitor their doctrine etc., but be nice about it when correction is needed.

Also, it would help if the same members who want different programs available in the church would go out and get the training needed to run those programs.Then come back to the church staff and say, I am available to help. Where do you need me? The pastor and his staff cannot do everything. They need help. That help can only come from the congregation.

It is difficult to assess why pastors commit suicide as their reasons vary. But if the congregations became more spiritual and less secular maybe that number would drop dramatically. Pastors need the right help. One last thing, outsiders should not interfere with the operation of the church. They have no say in who leads it. We disagreed with many outsiders when they sought to remove Mark Driscoll from the head of Mars Hill Church.

It was not that we were his supporters, or that we agreed with him doctrinally- we aren’t and we don’t. But it was Mars Hill’s problem. They get to determine who leads them not the outsiders who disagreed with Mr. Driscoll. It isn’t their call and relieving the pastor of this situation helps them mentally as well as spiritually. The church has to make sure their pastor is correct doctrinally before supporting him,but they do not throw him to those wolves who do not support the church in any fashion.

Pastoral care is a whole church issue and their lives are very important.

 

 

Fire From Heaven

When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village. (Lk 9 NASB)

Jesus’ disciples were a bit over-anxious, a little zealous and a little too eager to bring punishment to those who would not treat them in the manner that they expected. As you can see they wanted to destroy a whole village just because the Samaritans had a little bias about the disciples’ and Jesus’ destination. James and John were ready to call fire down from heaven to destroy the unsupporting people.

But they did a curious thing– they asked Jesus first before acting. It is a big thing to kill people for such a minor offense and it is wise to get permission first before doing something major, especially when you are not in charge.

Then the did a second curious thing– they listened to the answer they got. It wasn’t the answer they were expecting or wanting to hear but they listened and did not take such extreme action. No one was killed that day because some overzealous believer did not like what was done to them.

Jesus’ answer is very important here and we will look at it in two parts. First

You do not know what kind of spirit you are of;

Knowing whom you belong to and what the spirit is all about is vastly vital to one’s Christian life. If you look at Jesus’ life, there is really only one event where he took to violence. That was when merchants were cheating the people and committing sin in the temple or nearby it. Does this mean that people cannot display their books and tapes in the church foyer for sale? No, of course not. Unless they are sinning, cheating the people and lying to them.

Sometimes church people go a little too far in their enforcement of Jesus’ views. Then, sometimes the church is not the best place to sell items either. The key is, each believer should know whom they belong to and what behavior that spirit condones, uses and so on. The right identification helps believers understand what is expected of them and guides them in how to live their Christian life.

The believer should also correctly know what that spirit teaches so they do not mislead others, become misguided or bring dishonor to the name of Christ, the Church or Christianity. Second,

 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them

Leading holy lives does not mean that we destroy or attack those who do not believe as we do. That is God’s job when the time is right. There is a wide application to these words and they will cover throwing children out of the house for not having the same preference, beliefs and so on as their parents. It will also cover attacking those who live differently in the Housing Association, neighborhood and more.

Believers are not here to destroy other people. Destroying them makes it impossible for God to achieve his desire that all men would be saved. We may not like their words, their actions, their treatment but we are not to bring fire from heaven to destroy them. We are to respond as Christ taught so that seeds will be planted, watered or minds and hearts opened to the gospel.

This is one reason we do not like those evangelistic only agendas many churches have. Their fields are not ready for any harvest because they have not correctly identified the spirit they belong to and they would rather see sinners destroyed than saved. We also do not like those agendas because too many believers stop at the Great Commission and forget the rest of the teachings of the Bible.

You cannot do evangelism correctly if you are operating out of tune with the words of God. Part of doing evangelism correctly is found in Jesus’ answer given above. His answer also helps lead believers to live their lives as he wants them lived. Too many churches and denominations feel that they are pleasing God by focusing on saving souls only. This is far from the reality as you can see, Jesus taught far more than just using evangelistic tools in one’s Christian life.

The Christian life is not meant to be lived with the first words out of a Christian’s mouth to be a gospel message to unbelievers.There are many other things that can be said or done that will eventually lead to the presentation of the gospel. You will notice that when the people brought their sick, etc., to Jesus, he did not make them listen to a gospel message then give them half baked healings etc. he healed them all.  When they were hungry, he stopped preaching and fed them.

Jesus did not bring fire from heaven when Herod beheaded John the Baptist. Christians need to master other elements of the Christian life first before doing evangelism or anything drastic. We need wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment. Plus, we need to know what is true justice, honesty, and when to apply mercy. Also, we need to know when to go aganst the crowd and do what is right.

We also need to understand that we serve God and cannot lean unto our own understanding when we live the Christian life. Finally, we need to have the right identification of the spirit we belong. If fire from heaven is called for, God will let us know when the time is right for that event. So far, in 2000 years that right time has not arrived (that we have heard of in all of our studies).

Correctly identify the spirit you belong and live accordingly.

 

The RLC and God’s Control

. The RLC stands for red letter Christians and we have them on our scholar’s list. After this post we will take a couple of days break to rest.

https://www.redletterchristians.org/why-god-is-not-in-control/

The topic of God’s control comes up whenever there is a senseless death or two. We will briefly take a look at this topic because it is not an easy one to address. We are never told if God gives up control. His being the most powerful Being in existence we doubt he gives up any control.  He may allow things to take place because he has granted men the right of free choice and to choose which path they are to follow.

But he does not give up control and can stop certain events from taking place when he choses to do so.

#1. All too often when there is news of a tragedy, such as a mass shooting or a child suffering from bone cancer, there will be someone who will say something like, “God is in control. We must accept that what’s happened is part of God’s plan!”

Sometimes it is hard to see God working or in control and we need patience to learn certain lessons. In our last year of teaching in Korea we had the sinking of the Sewol ferry. Almost 300 students died in that tragedy and it is hard to see God’s hand in it all. But if God micro-managed everything, we would not learn how to follow his will correctly.

By not micro-managing, God is still in control he is just giving his creation leeway to make the right decisions. He has told us to be just, merciful when needed, and more. If God did it all, how could we choose to obey him?  Allowing people to obey him is not giving up control but allowing people to grow, learn from their mistakes and so on.

A business owner giving instructions to his employees then lets his employees go to work does not lose control of his business. The business owner has provided the instructions the employees are to follow. If they do not, then the owner can deal with the disobedient employees. If the business owner gives those instructions yet continues the telling the employees what to do, he has wasted those instructions. He maintains tighter control by micromanaging and in either scenario has not lost control. He just shows his lack of trust in his employees.

God has given us instructions on how to live and behave. He does not sacrifice control when he allows us to choose to obey or not. He gives us trust to make the  right decisions.

#2. At the funeral of a young man who died in a mountain climbing accident, the pastor said in his homily, “We must see what has happened as God’s will!” At that, the father of the young man stood and shouted, “The hell it was God’s will! When my son died, God was the first one who cried.”

We would disagree with that pastor as that is not the right thing to say at a funeral. While the pastor is trying to give comfort, he fails and gives more pain. We also do not agree with the father in that quoted example. What both do not realize is that once Adam sinned, death entered the world. Everyone must die. What both also do not realize is that God did not promise a long life to everyone.

The Bible verse, it is appointed unto man once to die, does not promise longevity to anyone. Death will strike whenever and wherever God allows it to. This is why we are told to make the most out of our lives. We will never know when it is time for us to leave this earth. Young people are not immune to dying. As has been witnessed time and again over the generations.

This is another reason why we are to put our hope in God and not in our children. God won’t die while we may outlive our loved ones.

How we handle these types of death is another matter. We should not sin or get angry with God. He has appointed a time of death for everyone. Do people die prematurely? It is hard to say. God gave certain people the gift of healing, are they using that gift as God would want? It is not God’s fault if certain people do not use their gifts on a wide scale.

It is also not God’s fault if someone dies at a young age.God has given us instructions on how to handle such deaths and his son is ready to comfort us when we need him. In our sorrow we need to let Jesus come to our aid and bring us thorugh tragic deaths.

#3. In a televised discussion between a Christian apologist and an avowed atheist, the Christian was stymied when asked, “If an all-powerful and loving God is in control of what happens in this world, then why is there so much suffering?”

We have dealt with this question before. We like to quote Dr. Craig Blomberg who wrote in his book from Pentecost to Patmos that for God to stop suffering, he must end the world. That is about the best answer we have seen on this issue.  Sin, corruption, death, pain, suffering are all a product of sin. As long as evil and  sin exist in the world there will be suffering.

This does not mean God has given up any control, it means that for God to end suffering he must give up on his desire that all men be saved. Like he did in Noah’s time, he must pass judgment because too many people have chosen evil and darkness over him and his light. Once he does this, he cannot let the world and the universe exist anymore for it all has been tainted and corrupted by evil.

That is why we read in Revelation that God will create a new heaven and a new earth because the old will always have suffering as a part of it. While Christians should be happy about this turn of events, we should also be sad. We will be seeing far too many people sent to hell and there will be no more opportunity to rescue them.

#4. I am not questioning the extent of God’s power. I believe that God has chosen not to be in control of everything going on in this world.

This may be a misguided thought as God allowing something to happen does not mean he has no control. He is letting people exercise the freedoms he has granted them. God still is in control he is just not micromanaging people’s lives. Contrary to the RLC author, God has not given up any power. God’s love still comes with his power. We see Jesus still with his power as he can see and know the hearts of men. He can heal, do miracles and so on.

We cannot deal fully with all of the issues that author included in his article. Suffice it to say, that both God and Jesus never gave up control. They are still in charge of every situation and we must be patient to learn why the results were as they were. But like in the Korean tragedy, we do not get angry but look to obey God’s instructions so that he may be glorified and his will done. Justice has to be served, people comforted, mercy granted and much more.

We do not know whom will be saved through the right response to pre-mature deaths or tragic events. We must trust God and obey his commands and instructions. He is in control and we are his servants. This does not mean that we cannot still pray and ask for certain changes like Hezekiah did when he was sick. Prayer helps many situations but it will not stop that final time when someone is to finally die.

 

 

 

James McGrath & Inerrancy

James McGrath is another professor we have talked with through his website over the years, until we were banned. We do not see eye to eye on many things, including inerrancy. We are using his meme article as it is short and says the points we like to address. Unfortunately, we cannot copy memes, but will do our best to manually quote them

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2018/06/inerrancy-redux.html

But first a look at his opening statements.

#1. As I emphasized in recent posts, the reason that I abandoned biblical inerrantism is that it is not merely unbiblical, but anti-biblical

What authority makes this claim? if you follow the link in the quoted words, you have to go to his article to do that, you will see that his conclusion is not based on any religious authority, it is not based on God’s words, but merely of his misunderstanding of the bible and the way it was written. His reason is as follows:

The contradictions, discrepancies, and difficulties are there within the Bible, because human beings have put these texts with their differences into the collection we call the Bible.

He cannot prove those claims and most contradictions are not contradictions. The same goes for discrepancies. Rational and logical research has borne that out.

#2. It silences all but at most one of the diverse voices within the Bible, and denies or explains away rather than accepts the evidence that the Bible itself provides for its own human fallibility

Actually, it silences false teachers, false prophets and those who reject the truth.  There is no evidence showing any hint of human fallibility. These are mere accusations to allow someone to pursue and believe their own personal subjective ideas about Christ, God and Christianity. By removing the label of inerrancy, people get to import their personal preferences into the faith and the Bible.

#3. Bible inerrancy has no real impact on making the Bible clearer or making those who read it correct, but rather the only effect of Biblical inerrancy is to make its adherents more dogmatic

Dr. McGrath is in error here as we see that his argument is not really against inerrancy but the truth. He does not like what the Bible says so he needs a way to change it. Instead of providing real evidence, from alternative divinely inspired material, he goes after the softer and easier target. Inerrancy does make the Bible clearer for we see that God created as he said he did and we learn in Genesis 2 that God provides different details about his creative act. If the Bible was not inerrant, then any opinion, theory and conjecture would be clouding the issue.

Confusion is not of God but that is what Dr. McGrath is promoting with these words and his stance on biblical inerrancy. He takes away the answers God gives us and opens the questions up to a multitude of ideas that would overwhelm anyone who didn’t know any better.

#3. Inerrancy is about the desire to have one’s own views regarded as inerrant

There is more to that quote but this is the main point. It is a wild accusation because Dr. McGrath cannot verify this and he cannot state that those people he claims to be presenting their own views are actually presenting their own views over the truth. The above statement also flies in the face of Jesus’ words– ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Inerrancy helps us see the truth and know it. Any other status for the Bible does not do that. Those alternatives merely hide the truth from its readers.

and the failure to humbly recognize one’s own human proneness to err… shows that this doctrine is not merely wrong but a direct frontal assault about the Bible’s teaching about God…

What makes that quoted statement wrong is the fact that Dr. McGrath thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is wrong. Changing to the truth actually does show that people recognize humbly that they made an err and now change to what God is saying in the biblical text. Inerrancy helps correct those erroneous views. His words also show that he and others like him are the ones doing the frontal assault on biblical teaching about God. They are changing the Bible and who God is, not those who declare it inerrant.

We are not going to quote more from that article because the issue of inerrancy has ramifications that Dr. McGrath does not like to think about. if the Bible is not inerrant and filled with human thinking, then we have no assurances of salvation or eternity. It is impossible for anti-inerrantists to pinpoint exactly which scripture passage is inerrant and of God and which one is from a human point of view.

Under their thinking, we cannot know God or Jesus and we can never find the truth even though Jesus said we could. In that article, that we quoted from, there were many links to other articles. We took the time to read through some of them and what we found was that Dr. McGrath and others he quotes, do not use one biblical argument to support their view.

It is all their personal opinion and the faulty use of passages that bring them to their conclusions. It is not God leading them to the truth because Dr.McGrath and others like him have never found any alternative divinely inspired scriptures to replace the passages they claim are in error and of human origin. We have made that point before but it is an important point.

Without those verified alternatives, and by verified we mean approved of by the ancient church, written by apostles, etc., they have no foundation for their arguments. Those alternatives have to meet the ancient criteria and not modern ones.

If their arguments are correct, then we must ask, where are the replacement scriptures to guide the church and believers today? Who gets to decide which  scriptures are out and which new ones are in? Obviously, we cannot appeal to the apostles because they have been gone for some time now. We should note that when the apostles caste lots for replacement disciples, they did not impose their personal views or preferences at all. They left the selection up to God. We do not know of one Bible scholar willing to do that today.

The argument against anti-inerrantists is not long. We just point to the passage that says God is not the author of confusion. Anti-inerrantists introduce confusion not bring the truth to light. Who are the anti-inerrantists that they think they know better about the Bible than God does? They do not have any smoking guns, they do not have any historical verification for their words and they do not have textual confirmation for their claims. If you get a chance to compare the ancient manuscripts, you will see that they all basically say the same thing.

Dr. Bart Ehrman and others may claim that there are over 400,000 errors found in the NT alone. According to Dr. Daniel Wallace that is more than the number of words in the NT .Also, according to Dr. Wallace over 99% of those errors do not change a doctrine, an instruction, a command and so on. In other words, anti-inerrantists have nothing to stand on except the fact that they cannot humbly accept God’s word and feel the need to change it according to their personal preferences.

The Bible is inerrant and that should scare a lot of people.

 

Special Announcement

We have been asked to start a Bible Institute in Panabo City, Philippines. While there are many Bible Schools in the country, certain church leaders felt there was a need for one in this city. One reason was that there isn’t one in the city.

After prayer and consulting with different pastors we agreed to take on the responsibility to establish the school. We also agreed to fill the teaching position. We were asked because we have the education, the experience and the qualifications to handle these duties.

Like any new Bible School, we do have needs. So far, we have found a temporary building to use which is an answer to prayer. This gives us time to locate a better building that will meet the student’s and teaching needs.

The list of our needs may be a bit long but that is because some explanation is required to inform you of the real situation we face.

#1. Books:

Good books written in English are hard to come by in this country and they are not cheap. We need to establish a library as well as obtain as many books that can be used as textbooks as we can. The subjects include but are not limited to the ones mentioned in the list below:

History, Archaeology, Church History, Theology,  Textual Criticism, Prayer, Science, Origins, Bible Studies, Commentaries, Old & New Testament Surveys, Book son  specific books of the Bible, Education, Controversial Issues (divorce, suicide, homosexuality, transgenderism, tattoos, tithing, etc.), Evangelism (including history of evangelists, etc.), Missions (including history of), Apologetics, Church Fathers, Comparative religions, Cults, Men & Women of the Bible, Difficulties with the Bible, Ancient authors

 

#2. Magazines:

For research and general knowledge magazines, old or new are vital for us. The list is not limited to but includes:

National Geographic, Smithsonian, Leadership, Christianity Today, Church History, Archaeology, Theological Journals, Evangelism, Missions, Alliance Life, Apologetics, Denominational magazines and so on.

We cannot think of every title that would be useful.

** You can send duplicates, fiction books and as many as you can spare. One of our goals is to open a used book store to help provide revenue to keep us self-sufficient.

Donations:

Once we get the SEC clearance in this country we will be opening up a Pay Pal or Skrill account to help facilitate cash donations. We have office and other expenses like salaries that need a boost until we get firmly established.

We are registering as a non-profit, so your donation s may be tax deductible. There are some specific areas where donations would come in handy:

#1. Sponsoring Students:

While our tuition is low at 3,000 pesos per each 6-week section, that is a figure that is a little out of reach of some of the Filipinos in this country. We are starting off with a 10-month certificate program divided into 6 sections. That is 18,000 pesos per year.

We require the students to pay at the beginning of each section. Because you may not know the name of the student, just mark your donation Student Scholarship and that money will be set aside for those students in financial need.

#2. General Expenses:

Until we can become self-sufficient we will have some general office and school expenses to meet with your generous support. These include but not limited to whiteboard, markers & erasers, office supplies, school supplies, rent, utilities, taxes and so on.

Just mark your donation General expenses and your money will be set aside for these needs

#3. Salaries:

We do not expect anyone to work for free or for non-living wages. We will need to meet certain salary expectations for those people we employ. Until we become more established and have a regular income we will need help in this area.

Just mark your donation Salaries.

Of course, we will need prayers as well. But remember God uses people and if they ignore God’s leading to act in meeting physical needs, then nothing gets met.

 

We hope you can help us get this Bible Institute up and running as we already have some verbal promises from prospective students who are interested in developing and adding to their theological and spiritual knowledge.

 

For further information you can write the president of the Panabo City Dove Bible Institute at kinship29@yahoo.com. You have a little time to prepare as we are still setting up addresses, accounts and other important contact information.

 

News stories you should be praying about

There are serious issues Christians and churches are facing. They may not affect you now, but that does not matter. We need to pray regardless even if the issue does not touch our lives.We will only be giving snippets here so please click on the links to get the full story. Also, these requests should be giving ideas to those who live outside of the United States on what to pray for and who to pray for.

Copy and paste if the link does not work

#1.Has California Lost Its Mind?–  https://www.christianpost.com/voice/has-california-lost-its-mind-shane-idleman.html

Google “California school district says parents can’t pull kids from new LGBT sex ed,” and you can read the alarming article for yourself. A “toolkit” that offers kids tips on using sex toys and doing things that cannot be written in this article is one of the controversial aspects, and parents may not be able to opt out. Our arrogance as a state, and as a nation, is appalling. School districts throughout California should be held accountable

#2.Atheists Looking to Impose $1B Taxes on Churches as Pastors Warn of Devastating Impacthttps://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-impose-1b-taxes-churches-pastors-ministerial-housing-tax-exemption-223302/

A group of Chicago pastors are speaking up on behalf of clergy everywhere in America in their latest federal appeals court effort fighting against a lawsuit that they say could cost houses of worship as much as $1 billion in new taxes.

The non-profit law firm Becket explained in a press release last week that Pastor Chris Butler of Chicago Embassy Church went before an appeals court on Thursday in the latest chapter of the Gaylor v. Mnuchin case, looking for a reversal on an earlier decision that went against the clergy.

The case is significant, because the Freedom From Religion Coalition is suing the IRS in the hopes of ending a 64-year-old federal tax provision, the ministerial housing tax exemption, that allows faith leaders to receive tax-free housing allowances

Why is this the FFRC’s business? They go too far in their hatred of religion.

#3.Atlanta Pastor Says He’ll Make Aerialists Regular Part of Worship; Some Say He’s Gone Too Farhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/atlanta-pastor-says-hell-make-aerialists-regular-part-of-worship-some-say-hes-gone-too-far-223319/

An Atlanta pastor who announced on social media that he plans to make performances by aerialists a regular part of his church’s worship service has raised concern among some critics who believe the gymnasts might be too distracting for the public.

The pastor, Apostle Bryan Meadows who founded Embassy Church International five years ago, made the announcement on Instagram on April 9 where he posted both photos and video of an aerialist performing at a Christian conference during a worship service.

Do pastors and churches realize who they are worshipping? Do they understand what worship really is? This article serves as an example  only.

#4.Courts and the Cause of Christ: Why Christians Need to Carehttps://www.christianpost.com/voice/courts-and-the-cause-of-christ-why-christians-need-to-care.html

Sometime between now and June, the U.S. Supreme Court will render its decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. This is the case in which owner and cake artist Jack Phillips was taken to court because he could not in good conscience design custom items that celebrate events or express messages in conflict with his religious beliefs. Jack Phillips is motivated by his Christian beliefs and is attempting to faithfully fulfill his deeply rooted religious beliefs. He is seeking justice in the arena of law.

We need to pray for our court system and that God’s justice and wisdom prevail. This case is also an example, as all courts and judges, lawyers etc., need prayer.

#5.Youth, Schools and Violence: Where Has Society Gone Wrong?https://www.christianpost.com/news/youth-schools-and-violence-where-has-society-gone-wrong-222811/

As the United States has by far more deadly shootings occurring in its schools than any other developed nation, many are left wondering if there are elements of today’s American society that are partially to blame, or at least play a factor, when it comes to the troubling influx of deadly school massacres.

“Where has our society gone wrong?” some might ask.

The sincere prayers of parents go a long way in preventing youth problems. Let your kids hear you prayer for them. Show them that you care by praying for them all the time. Not just for good grades or protection from violence ptray for their spiritual health

#6.Pastor Tim Challies Warns Christians Against Using Virtual Reality Pornhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-tim-challies-warns-christians-against-using-virtual-reality-porn-223300/

Pastor Tim Challies of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, has said that virtual reality pornography is the “next frontier” in technology, and is warning Christians about its harms.

Challies said on his website Monday that he’s had many opportunities in the last few years to talk about pornography and technology, and the risks that have emerged.

“The rise of the internet provides a ready example. When the internet first came along, we all dutifully signed up for accounts and began to explore this new medium. We surfed and chatted and downloaded and shopped,” he wrote.

Men you need to get your sexual desires and lusts under control. You need to learn some boundaries, especially those pastors who like to touch women who are not their wives. Let God help you resist temptation. It is not okay to look at the menu when you are married or involved seriously with a woman.

Women, how you treat your husband or boyfriend either makes this issue worse or it can help make it better. The choice is yours on how you treat your loved one.

#7.Pastor Jailed and Tortured for Preaching Shares Horrors Christian Prisoners Face in Vietnamhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-jailed-and-tortured-for-preaching-shares-horrors-christian-prisoners-face-in-vietnam-223166/

Evangelical pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh will always have the scar on top of his head to remind him of the years that he was imprisoned, beaten and tortured for daring to advocate on behalf of indigenous people groups being denied human rights by Vietnam’s communist government.

Having been arrested over 200 times for his human rights advocacy over a span of three decades, it wasn’t until Chinh was jailed in 2011 and sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment for “undermining national solidarity” by violating a preaching ban in the Central Highlands that his persecution started gaining international attention.

Another example touching on a broad subject. But remember being persecuted and martyred does not make one a Christian. Salvation is only through Jesus.

#8.GQ Editors Bash Bible as ‘Foolish Book’ Not Worth Reading-https://www.christianpost.com/news/gq-editors-bash-bible-sententious-foolish-book-you-dont-have-to-read-223223/

GQ magazine editors have published a list of 21 books they say aren’t worth reading despite them being seen as the great books. The Bible is listed at No. 12 because, they claim, it’s “not the finest thing that man has ever produced,” and it’s “self-contradictory” and “foolish.”

“The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it,” the editors write in an article titled, “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read,” published this week.

People’s attitude concerning God, Jesus, the Bible and the Christian faith. Both Christians and non-Christians need these prayers.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, education, faith, family, General Life, homosexuality, illness, Justice, leadership, politics, science, theology

 
 
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