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Category Archives: theology

Archaeology And…Eden

Many people do not believe that the story of Eden is true. They place it firmly in the myth category because they claim there is no archaeological evidence showing that Eden actually existed. Eric Cline is one of those people and he wrote a book called From Eden To Exile and in the chapter on the Garden of Eden he states his non-acceptance for the biblical account and validity of the Garden.

He is not alone. There are far too many archaeologists, biblical scholars and others who follow his lead and rely upon archaeology to tell them what part of the past is real. This is an unrealistic approach to history and as all archaeologists will tell you, archaeology is a very limited field of research. The problem comes in, though, when archaeologists and bible scholars use the field of archaeology as an authority to support their theories. The idea of archaeology being limited doesn’t matter in this case, in their minds. Archaeology will be used as a final word on most subjects. For example– the amount of  literacy in the people of the past.

Yet when it comes to the Bible then archaeology is only used to say that the Bible is in error. When discoveries are unearthed that support the Bible and its accounts there is a loud chorus of voices declaring their dissent. For example there is a tablet in the British Museum depicting Adam and Eve in the Garden yet very few people know of this tablet or have heard of it.Another example is when Eilat Mazar uncovers 10th century Davidic and Solomonic walls. Her work is thoroughly questioned and often rejected because archaeology is not a tool to find the truth but to hide it.

When archaeologists and bible scholars go looking for the Garden of Eden they do so with a very stilted view-point and they do not always use the correct data. They toss out the flood and expect to find the garden untouched or evidence for the garden somewhere in the Middle East. I say somewhere because no one knows where Eden actually was and if it was a pre-flood state or a post-flood one.

Without knowing where to look it is impossible to search in the right locale.Unless some excavator is very lucky and they unearth evidence for Eden, archaeology cannot help find this location.  Another problem is the tossing out of vital and truthful information. Since most archaeologists and bible scholars do not accept the flood account, just like Eden, they are hurting their cause.  You cannot toss out real data and expect to have a successful search.

The Bible tells us that all living things were destroyed in the flood and since the Garden contained living things, it too was destroyed. We do not know what would have been left behind and what would have been destroyed. Given that satellite photos show long-lost rivers we can say that the rivers of Eden were long gone as well. The evidence we need to identify the Garden is lost to the flood and time.

We wouldn’t even know to which depth we would have to dig in order to get to the layer that held the remains of the Garden of Eden. Too much information is missing or tossed out by professionals.If archaeology is going to be a valuable research tool then it cannot afford to be subject to the whims and disbelief of those who use it professionally.

For believers, they cannot afford to be bullied by those who misuse the field of archaeology for their own purposes. Nor can they be swayed by the arguments based in archaeology. They must go with God for he knows the whole story. Archaeology is used too often by unbelievers to ruin the faith of those who say they follow God. Believers need to be more informed and not be so hasty to take the words f fallible humans over the Most High God. Archaeology is not an authority nor the last word n the past, nor are archaeologists

 

Mid-Vacation Comments- 2

We are taking a break…really but we still see the newspapers and the website pages and responses do come to mind which we would rather post than postpone till we come back.

#1.Words We Now Hate-

These are words that are over-used and misused by the western public and by church people. Two new words added to our list are ‘gifted’ used by church people too often and ‘shaming’ used by almost every western journalist known to mankind. the term ‘shaming’ is tag-teamed with many other words like ‘body’, ‘fat’, and many others including now ‘lunch’

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylc=X3oDMTFiN25laTRvBF9TAzIwMjM1MzgwNzUEaXRjAzEEc2VjA3NyY2hfcWEEc2xrA3NyY2h3ZWI-?p=lunch+shaming&fr=yfp-t&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

We do not know why so many people feel the need to be lazy when it comes to their English use but it gets annoying after a while.  Surely people can use better terms to describe what is taking place and in the case of ‘lunch shaming’ how about simply saying that the educators are wrong, mishandled the situation, bullies or some other descriptive term that fits the situation and accurately describes what is really going on.

As for the word ‘gifted’ why can’t church people simply say ‘some one gave us a trip? Or someone gave us some money? How hard is it to speak English well? Fads destroy a language and communication and people should not fall into the trap of taking the easy way for the easy way may lead to more problems instead of away from them. Clear communication is important especially in the church.

#2. Hair Today

http://www.christianpost.com/news/hillsongs-taya-smith-shaves-her-hair-off-christian-leaders-and-fans-react-182493/

You may ask ‘aren’t there more important issues to discuss than someone’s hair length?’  Yes and no. Disobedience in the small things of life are still disobedience and letting those go means we may be encouraging people to disobey in the larger aspects of life. Obedience is important in all areas of life. We are not sure how many times we have heard people say that white lies are okay but in reality and biblically, they are not. They are still lies and sin.

The Bible talks, in the OT, about women not having hair like a man’s and men not having hair like a woman’s. That verse still applies to today. men and women are to have different hair styles and while many people will disagree with us on this, God’s rules are not meant to be broken. There are exceptions of course but people should stop thinking they are free to do what they want once they become a Christian or a church leader. They are not given total freedom but have God’s rules to learn and obey.

When we enter God’s kingdom, we now have God’s rules to obey not the world’s or our own for we do not serve the world or ourselves anymore, we serve God. and his rules are important to our eternal destination. Even the cutting of one’s hair. You may find this nitpicky but we are set apart from the world and we need to start acting like it.

#3. The Bible Doesn’t Teach This-

http://www.christianpost.com/news/anne-graham-lotz-confesses-12-national-sins-of-america-at-national-day-of-prayer-observance-182617/

If we look at the example given us in the book of Jonah, all people from the king on down to the lowest person had to individually repent. Representatives were not used. Then we must ask, why does Mrs. Lotz think she can ask forgiveness for sins committed by others? What Mrs. Lotz does not understand is that the people she is confessing for are still practicing those sins and nothing has been done to relieve America of the problems it faces.

People need to make their own calling and election sure, they cannot do that for anyone else and they cannot confess the sins of others. Christianity is not a cult. We do not baptize for the dead, we do not pray for the dead and we cannot ask forgiveness for anyone else’s sins but our own. Each person must repent of their own sins and ask for forgiveness from God. Christians need to get biblical teaching correct and apply it correctly to their lives or they are just wasting everybody’s time.

Jesus did not waste everyone’s time with ‘looking like a Savior’ and Christians need to stop ‘looking like a Christian’ and start being like Christ.

P.S. National Days of Prayer are not taught in the Bible also.

 

Believers & Churches Are TOO Immature

This is the conclusion we have come to over the years. As we leave for our vacation, it seems that topics keep coming to mind so we will post this little tidbit to close things out.

They are more bent on being part of a fad or some other distorted behavior than they are in getting things right. One fad that comes to mind and annoys us greatly is the badly used term ‘gifted’. It is not correct English and it is just annoying whenever we hear it. Another pet peeve that sends us a clue is the use of drums and worship teams in every service. While the Bible does not disallow their use, we have a problem when women are leading men and when the leaders are having their own private worship on stage and everyone else does not know what to do. There is no leading to worship or guiding the people just a person closing their eyes on stage and spiritually whacking off, for a lack of a better term.

Spiritually mature churches would take the time to teach their people how to do worship and services correctly, leaning not to their own understanding but bringing to the people what God wants them to know and how to apply that knowledge correctly. Worship, like church, is not a game and people in the church rarely understand what they are doing or why they are doing it.

We wonder if it is too late for the church in general to grow up and be real believers, someone God would be proud of to have as his child or better yet, be able to use for greater spiritual duties and objectives. Far too many believers do not want to grow up spiritually and that leaves God with a problem as evil has millions of people who are adults and who make mincemeat out of unprepared spiritually unfit believers. How can God win when believers refuse to learn, grow up spiritually and prepare for real spiritual duty?

When the church remains immature children it is no wonder God is not making an impact in this world. The people he has chosen to use are not doing their part and are getting defeated too easily by well prepared forces of evil. God doesn’t want us to pass the buck back to him when we face a spiritual problem or crisis, he wants us to learn how to handle them correctly so that we can grow spiritually.

We are letting God down, he is not letting us down.Churches need to grow up and mature if they want to make a dent in evil’s strongholds.

 

Getting Definitions Correct

Of course, after writing the lat post we come across a topic that needs some attention so we will make one more post before our break. The topic is found at the following link: http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-looking-at-womans-cleavage-sexual-harrassment-181662/

And the problem is not just found in reacting to how women dress or how women dress, both are the problem and when women do dress in a manner that exposes their bodies, they cannot really complain when others look at them in any undesirable manner. This is so when the attitude applied to the reactions are subjective, misguided and wrong.

One of the real problem s in this issue is the fact that terms like ‘sexual harassment’, ‘abuse’ and other provocative expressions are not clearly and objectively defined. When people get to apply their own subjective ideas to these terms then more problems arise causing a lot of pain, heartache and injustice to all involved.

We need to get to real definitions and not let anyone and everyone alter them to fit their pleasure. Part of this problem comes in when those in charge of litigation, judicial affairs and so on, allow for the subjective definitions to take precedence over the real objective meanings of the terms.People in charge need to be strong and brave and not give in to the will of individuals who cannot accept or apply those real definitions correctly.

We do not like the fact that Mr. O’Reilly and others have received in justice because some women cannot accept the fact that they need to dress modestly. We do not like the fact that people are fired first when other options are available that would bring true justice to the issue and solve the problem with fewer people being sent to the unemployment lines. Trying to please a group of people or defend an honor does not serve justice but personal objectives and that is wrong.

Dressing modestly in public is not just a woman’s issue. It is also the responsibility of the man to set the example and dress accordingly. The man should not be exposing boy parts best observed in private between a husband and his wife but since women are making this an issue and the victims are the men around them, then they need to realize that they have responsibility to learn the correct definitions of terms and correctly apply them to any given situation.

They also should take a look at how they are dressed and their motivation for dressing in that manner and see if they are not going too far. Then make the correct changes. Women, like men, are not to lead the other gender to sin. Women need to realize that they do NOT need to follow the worldly advice of looking sexy to get a man’s attention. They need to realize that if they want the attention of a man with quality then they need to dress a lot better and not attract the attention f a man who does not care about them and has less savory ideas in mind.

The Bible tells us to dress modestly, so that is the key. This does not mean, as one woman put in that article, putting on a burka. It does mean to cover up as one does not sin nor lead others to sin when the dress for work or play. Women who use the burka example are part of the problem as they are being unrealistic in their dress code demands and refuse to accept the correct definitions for the term ‘sexual harassment’ and want to apply their own ideas to the term.

These people want to rule others per se and do not want to humble themselves and accept the real definitions of specific terms. People have a hard time accepting justice especially when the terms of justice are not meeting their demands nor are as harsh as they would like.But then justice is not to please people or victims but has a different purpose in mind, one that brings order and repentance to society.As well as obeying God when people commit mistakes or crimes.

Women are not innocent in this issue and they must bear a lot of the responsibility when men do things they do not like. Sexual harassment is not always termination of employment worthy and believers need to do the hard work and make sure justice is applied to this issue even when women do not like how justice comes out.Making complaints is not to serve the purpose of getting revenge, something women do a lot and it is an attitude that needs to be erased for that is abusing the justice system for one’s personal vendetta. It is just as wrong as any crime.

Justice is fair and a two-way street and those accused need to have justice especially when they have done nothing wrong but look at a woman’s exposed body.

 

The Old Is Found In The New

We are coming up to our annual anniversary break but we will leave you with a few thoughts. The first from psalms one. We recommend you read it carefully for the OT does apply to the Christian life, especially in this day and age. Jesus never overturned a word that God taught his people in the OT.

One example of this is one of the 10 commandments– thou shalt have no other god before me

Jesus taught us to -love God with all of our hearts souls and minds

The two passages teach the exact same thing. Do not think that the OT is not for the believer in the NT age. It is and it carries very important instructions for our spiritual health

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the [a]path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by [b]streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its [c]leaf does not wither;
And [d]in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord [e]knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

These are wise words for the modern Christian. We find the law of the Lord throughout the NT, so we cannot afford to overlook what the OT is teaching us.There are other examples which we may bring to your attention after our break

 

A Letter To Congregations

In this country, for the most part, pastors are not treated nor paid that well.  This should not be. We have experienced this trend as well when we pastored a church in a small town for a year. Pastors seem to get the short end of the stick, not just in this country but in the west as well.They are treated, unless they are fortunate enough to be famous or oversee a mega or large church, as an after thought, a problem or as second class people. This should not be so.

The Bible tells us to do unto others as we would like to be treated and that instruction is not restricted to pastors treating their church’s membership, nor is it limited to believers treating unbelievers. The words of Jesus also apply to believers and how they treat their pastors and other church leaders. If you do not want to be given starvation wages then make sure your pastor is paid a living wage.

If you want friends to treat you well, then learn how to be friends to your pastor and treat them better than they are. And on it goes. How a congregation treats its pastor says a lot about the congregation and when the pastor is treated poorly, the reputation of the congregation will not be that great. Biblical instruction does not exempt the pastoral staff from being treated as Christ loved us.Christ meant for church leaders to be included in that action and if you want great church leaders then treat them as Christ treated us.

 

Believers 10

What was different she (Dorothy Chappell) explained is the broader context. We teach science from within a Christian worldview starting with the assumption that all truth is God’s truth. We believe there is a biblical truth- what we call special revelation– and there is natural truth or general revelation. Generally there is no conflict between the two. We do believe that God created the universe and that Adam and Eve  were the first humans, Chappell said, but we are agnostic as to how God did it– pg. 153

We will dissect this quote using specific terms

#1. Christian World View— not sure what hat is but if it does not contain the truth then it is not Christian. A believer cannot compromise their beliefs and once a person accepts alternative information, especially from secular sources, then they no longer have a Christian world view. They have a compromised view of the world.A Christian world view has to line up with the Bible or it is not of God.

#2. All Truth— It would be nice to know how she defines that category as scientific truth may not be truth at all. The same goes for natural truth.Processes may be considered natural truth but they are not true at all. The truth is found in the Bible not in nature for the Bible explains much of hat we see in nature. For example some people call homosexuality natural because individual animals are observed engaging in homosexual behavior. Their observation is false because those acts are the result of the corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin. Nature does not provide us with much truth, it provides us with more evidence proving the Bible true.

#3. Special Revelation— We know people like to label the Bible as special revelation but it is simply God revealing to us what was done in the past, our instructions from him how to live correctly and what God did in human history. The Bible provides us with the truth while human historical works rarely do. The latter are influenced by so many mitigating factors that one would be hard pressed to find the truth within their pages.

The same for science.If science disagrees with the Bible, it is not scientific truth or new revelation. It just means that the science is wrong and he scientists have made the error.Evolution has never existed so it cannot be part of God’s truth.

#4. Agnostic About How God Did It— No Believer should be taking this point of view. One, it demonstrates an acceptance of lies from secular science, and two, God already told us how he did it. We re not in the dark about his methodology.  Any acceptance of alternative ideas as to how God created everything means there is a compromise and people claiming to be Christian do not believe God and his words. This is not acceptable especially when you area church or Christian academic institution. Christians are to believe and proclaim what God said and what he said he did regardless of the opposition from the unchurched and unbelieving world.

Christians cannot afford to compromise for once they do they are advertising that they do not believe God anymore. You cannot have an impact on this world if you do not believe God.

 

{****This ends our Believers series}

 
 
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