Archive for the ‘doctrine’ Category

Syncretism Stew

April 17, 2016

Stew…

In the comment section of this post,  I introduced several columns, including Berean Research: Evangelicals Divided, A Movement Fractured, Part 1 written by Marsha West. Upon further research, I found that West’s columns can also be found at Renew America.

I have only read about half a dozen of her essays, but they have all been absolutely on-target for those of us who hold to biblically-based Christianity!

Her column entitled Purpose Driven dismantling of Christianity, Part 1, written back in 2011 caught my eye this morning.

Excerpt:

The real danger to traditional Christianity is not from without, but from within its own ranks. Millions of professing Christians have conformed to the world and have been taken in “through philosophy” and “the tradition of men” and are “not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8) Not that this is anything new. The attempt to blend Christianity with paganism has been going on since the days of the early church. And here we are 2 millennia later, still fighting some of the same battles.

One of the major problems Christendom is combating is pagan spirituality. The pace at which unbiblical pagan beliefs are seeping into evangelical churches is dramatically quickening. Many of the orthodoxy have been sounding the alarm, but few have been listening.

Liberalism, with its false social justice gospel, has also reared its ugly head in the Church of Jesus Christ. The liberal “social justice Christian” sees traditionalists as out of touch with the times. Their clarion call is: The Church must change! The next generation of Purpose Driven pastor’s accuse traditionalists who speak out against change agents of being “haters.” Purpose Driven/charismatic pastor Steven Furtick rapped his disdain for outspoken traditionalists in Hey Haters. “Fall back! It’s a new day!” he rebuked. The orthodoxy’s “day is done.” They are “haters…nit-pickers…black and white…full of opinions, low on the Spirit.” Steven seemed angry, even, well, low on the Spirit. I saw no love emanating from this pastor’s eyes, what I saw was arrogance.

I have been sounding the alarm bells regarding the heresy of Rick Warren over the past several years, but Ms. West does a superb job in listing not only the wrongs of the “purpose driven” Warren in this piece, but also shares the mix of “syncretism stew” that is currently ravaging many local churches (especially, sadly, several mega churches) that were once biblically based!

West writes, “liberals were serving up platefuls of Christian stew” and lulling them into “la la land” through a “blend of Christianity with paganism.”

I know SO MANY PEOPLE that I would LOVE to share this with!  Especially, there is a great need to share this information with Millennials who have fallen for unbiblical pagan beliefs.  However, in today’s twitter and texting generation, an article like this would probably cause their eyes to glaze over and they would not even get past the 140 characters that they are used to reading at any given time.   Sad observation, isn’t it?  And, I know this is true because I have shared previous articles with some 25 to 30-something individuals.  But when I ask “did you read…” I get the usual, “no, didn’t read it yet.”  They probably read the first line or two and perhaps decided to reject what was being said?  Well, maybe some day they will come back to this blog and read the difference between biblical Christianity and the satanic stew being mixed in by the “change agents.”

Ms. West explains what she means by “syncretism.”

SYNCRETISM

False teaching has made inroads through the blending of religions. It’s called syncretism. Syncretism in Protestantism occurred when elements of other religious beliefs were integrated into mainstream denominations. As syncretism takes place fundamental beliefs change.

Those involved in syncretism have a name and a goal:

Grievous wolves (Acts 20:29) masquerading as evangelicals introduced false religious beliefs (abominations) into mainline churches. Many of them are forthcoming about what they’re doing, others not so much. Their main goal is as I stated above, change. The plan (yes, they have a plan) is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and usher in a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.”

Ms. West lists the ingredients of syncretism stew:

SYNCRETISM STEW

Ingredients:

Darwinian evolution
Eastern religions
Neognosticism
Neopaganism
New Age
Theosophy
Transformation
Simmer for several decades, then gradually turn up the heat and add an abundance of ‘isms’:
Annihilationism
Communitarianism
Cultural Marxism
Ecumenism
Emotionalism
Environmentalism
Freudian naturalism
Globalism
Homoeroticism
Inclusivism
Liberalism/progressivism
Moral relativism
Multiculturalism
Pluralism
Postmodernism
Postmortem evangelism
Pragmatism
Secular humanism
Universalism
Bring to a rapid boil. (For added flavor sprinkle in gimmyism, meism and voyeurism.)

While the isms boil, toss in a whole lotta movements, phenomena, and worldly practices:
Alternative medicine
Angelology
Charismatic
Church Growth
Contemplative
Emergent
Global Peace
Man-centered (self-esteem)
Metaphysical
New Apostolic Reformation/Kingdom Now/Dominionism
New Revelation
Pentecostal
Progressive (social justice)
Purpose Driven
Psychology
Reformed
Revolution
Signs & wonders
Televangelist
Twelve-steps
Universal Reconciliation
Word of Faith (health & wealth)
Turn down the heat and simmer until the flavor of historic biblical Christianity completely disappears.

Serve to the sheep.

Quite a long list…isn’t it?

No wonder there is so much confusion going on in the lives of Christians who do not, and have not, studied the Scriptures in order to recognize heresy, apostasy, and the satanic “stew” being fed to them via the wolves in sheep’s clothing!

I encourage all to read the entire article!

When Christians realize, study, understand, and finally see the following:

“The attempt to blend Christianity with paganism [which] has been going on since the days of the early church.  And here we are 2 millennia later, still fighting some of the same battles.”

…it means that they have taken the Berean road towards discovering the truth within God’s Word through diligent study of the Scriptures so that they can earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

One more excerpt:

Followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to contend for the faith! Listen to what Jude 1:3, 4 says:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

According to Clark’s commentary:

The meaning of the apostle seems to be this: ‘Beloved brethren, when I saw it necessary to write to you concerning the common salvation, my mind being deeply affected with the dangers to which the Church is exposed from the false teachers that are gone out into the world, I found it extremely necessary to write and exhort you to hold fast the truth which you had received, and strenuously to contend for that only faith which, by our Lord and his apostles, has been delivered to the Christians.’

Hat tip: Marsha West at Renew America

Hat tips to all links.

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Does Your Church Pastor Preach Sound Doctrine?

March 1, 2016

Are YOU listening to sound doctrine from the Bible or what your itching ears want to hear?

Christians should take heed of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:2-5 before making their choice of a candidate for president.

News reports are telling us about “famous” Christian leaders who are getting behind Donald Trump! I have always expected this of the leftist leaning Christians, but not the ones who are perceived to be born-again in Jesus Christ!

I pray that those who think that Trump is “the one” in this election to re-evaluate. If you need help doing this, please read THIS POST!  That post also includes evaluations about the Democrat candidates.

When Paul speaks of preaching the word “in season and out of season,” Bible commentator David Guzik tells us:

This tells us when the pastor should be ready to preach the word. He should be ready always. He should preach it when it is easy and preach it when it is hard. He should preach it when the fruit is evident and preach it when the fruit seems invisible. He should just preach it.

Furthermore:

It is important to realize that not everyone who opens a Bible and starts talking is preaching the word. Many well-intentioned preachers are actually preaching themselves instead of the word.

Unfortunately, I have seen pastors of three former churches where we attended (one was for 20 years before it went astray!) as a family as being guilty of “preaching themselves” in some way rather than preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

One pastor decided to follow in the reprobate footsteps of Rick Warren.

Another pastor decided to follow in his own footsteps by badgering the congregation (and the guests there!) with statements like, “you are stupid if you don’t accept Christ TODAY” and/or “don’t wait to escape hell – accept Christ now!” I must admit that this was an uncharacteristic utterance from this mega-church pastor!  However, we had a guest with us (last Easter Sunday) and we all could not believe our ears when the pastor did such a thing!

Next, we started attending another church and that pastor was wonderful until he started preaching cult-like characteristics during a sermon on the book of Matthew. We were shocked by this development because we had been attending that church for several months.

Our new church (as of October, 2015) is holding to true doctrine.  I hope and pray that the pastor continues to steer clear of false teachings!

The book of Revelation describes Seven churches. Out of the seven churches, only two (Smyrna and Philadelphia) did not receive any type of reprimand.

I am seeing personal examples of churches falling into false teachings.  It is happening at a greater rate today.

Many churches have “lost their First Love” (meaning Christ) and/or have been guilty of noticeably falling into blatant sexual sin. The list of failings of these particular churches can be read in Revelation 1:20 – Revelation 3:21.

The warnings and condemnation of the five other churches at that time in history also serve as warnings for congregations of the churches of today! Be SURE that the pastor(s) of the church you attend are preaching sound doctrine!

David Guzik helps us identify them:

a. Preach the word! Paul’s emphasis on the word of God has been constant. There are some 36 references to the true gospel in this letter and some 17 references to false teachings.

i. This constant emphasis makes Paul’s point clear to Timothy:

Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (2 Timothy 1:8)

Hold fast the pattern of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13)

The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2)

Rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

A servant of the Lord must be … able to teach (2 Timothy 2:24)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16)

Always remember that we are to “convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

There will be people who will NOT accept what we share regarding the gospel of Christ.  But we are to plant the seeds anyway; even when it is uncomfortable to do it!

This is how we fulfill our ministry!

I pray that this post will help readers during the trying times ahead.

In Christ,

Christine

2Ti 4:2

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

2Ti 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

2Ti 4:4

and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2Ti 4:5

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Recognizing Spiritual Delusion

February 18, 2016

Yesterday’s post is just one example of the difference between man’s human wisdom vs. “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (see 1 Corinthians 2:4)

When we read and study the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 2 we see and understand “the spirit of this world” vs. “the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (See 1 Corinthians 2:12)

The Bible teaches us to “speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy [fn] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (see 1 Corinthians 2:13)

Paul goes on to instruct us: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

This is why those who are spiritually discerned can think that there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior (or any other type of sin). It appears to be “foolishness to him.” And, as the verse above states, “nor can he know them.”

Paul concludes the chapter with:

1Co 2:15

But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

1Co 2:16

For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” [fn] But we have the mind of Christ.

Having the “mind of Christ” means that the indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to discern good from evil. Even as Christians, we may not want to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit within on certain issues, but the guidance is there for us to behold and utilize if our free will allows it to sink in.

Years ago at my former blog I wrote a blog post entitled “Recognizing Spiritual Delusion.” It contains important information for every Christian believer who may be struggling with the secular tug-of-war between human wisdom vs. God’s wisdom in the Bible.

The essay discusses the rise of false prophets and the increase of spiritual delusion that will take place the closer we get to the end times.

Once born again in Jesus Christ,  it is ESSENTIAL for Christians to study God’s Word so that they will not fall into such spiritual delusion and thus be taken away into heresy and apostasy.

It is my hope and prayer that visitors here will take the time to read this essay!

In Christ’s service,

~ Christine

*******

Recognizing Spiritual Delusion

When it comes to studying and understanding the “shadow of coming events” predicted and prophesied in the Bible, no one does a better, more accurate job of communicating exactly what Scripture reveals than Dr. Ed Hindson. If you go to that website and read his impressive resume’, you will, without a doubt, see how knowledgeable he is regarding end times events, Scriptural truth, and biblical prophecy.

One chapter, in Dr. Hindson’s book Antichrist Rising, has stood out in my mind over the past few days. It is the chapter called, “Rise of False Prophets.” The Bible informs us that false prophets and teachers have always been with us. Knowing God’s Word is essential to being able to spot them. We are warned, however, that as the end times draw closer and closer, there will be a rise of false prophets in the world. So, how do we recognize them and most importantly, avoid being caught up in their deception?

According to the Old Testament (OT), we are told that true prophets of God must do three things in order to be considered genuine:

1. must speak in the name of the Lord, not some other god.

2. must have a message that is in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.

3. must give predictions of future events that come true exactly as stated.

Ed Hindson writes:

One of the most scathing denunciations of false prophets in all of Scripture is delivered by the prophet Jeremiah. In his time, Jeremiah had to deal constantly with false prophets who opposed his ministry, contradicted his message, and even conspired to have him killed. They kept telling the leaders of Jerusalem that the people had nothing to fear from the Babylonian invaders, but Jeremiah knew differently. Jerusalem was on the verge of destruction, and the people were about to be taken into captivity for 70 years.

“My heart is broken within me,” Jeremiah confesses in his agony over these false prophets who “…follow an evil course and use their power unjustly” (Jeremiah 23:9,10). “Both prophet and priest are godless,” the Lord responds (23:11). Then He tells Jeremiah His opinion of these false prophets:

Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD (verse 16).

I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied (verse 21).

I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, “I had a dream! I had a dream!” How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? (verse 25)

Yes…I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues….Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams….Because every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God (verses 31, 32, 36).

Jeremiah could not make his complaint any clearer or his case any stronger. God is against those false prophets whose spiritual delusion causes them to invent their own message apart from God’s truth. The Bible presents these people in seven categories…

Before I post those categories, I want to mention a few things that are crucial to this message.

In OT times, the Holy Spirit of God would “come, minister, and then depart from” the prophets of old. Any basic study of the Bible would bear this fact out. The fact that God is depicted as “being with a prophet or person,” but then “leaving that prophet or person” shows this to be true. He is often called, “The Spirit of God” for “The Spirit of the LORD.” For example:

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Jdg 3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Today, the Holy Spirit works both outside, in the world to influence the unsaved towards repentance and acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior; as well as inside each saved believer. When a person is born-again (see John 3),  the Holy Spirit resides within the heart of each believer. According to the Bible, Jesus told us that on the day of Pentecost, He would send a Helper for the disciples (and for us today as well):

Luke 11:13   If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Notice that Jesus mentions we must ask for the Holy Spirit to indwell us. After repentance of our sins, we ask Jesus Christ into our hearts and he resides there in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus refers to Him as “another Comforter.”

Jhn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jhn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Jhn 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

When Jesus was here, physically on earth during his 3 year ministry, he could only be present in one place at a time. After defeating evil, sin and death on the cross for the sins of the world, and His subsequent resurrection to life, he ascended to the Father and now resides at the right hand of the Father in heaven. The Comforter (Holy Spirit) can be in all places at all times and thus indwells each believer in Christ.
We are then promised that He will never leave nor forsake us.

Hbr 13:5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

This is why, no matter what happens to us on this earth, we can have the peace that surpasses all understanding precisely because we belong to Jesus! We can have absolute faith in Him! He’s such an awesome Savior and Lord!

Now, back to the topic of this post.

I left off just before sharing the seven categories that false prophets and teachers can fall into:

Hindson:

1. Self-deceived. Some false teachers may be sincere, but they are still wrong. They have deceived themselves into believing their messages are true. As Jeremiah points out, their messages come psychologically from within their own minds and are not from God.

This is why I have stressed the point that the Holy Spirit of God will not lead you into thinking that contradicts Scripture! The “messages” may come “psychologically” from within one’s own mind, (or, even worse from demons), but they are not from God if it contradicts God’s Word!

Hindson:

2. Liars. Some false prophets are deliberate liars who have no intention of telling the truth. The apostle John says, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the anti-christ – he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

Now, admittedly, deliberate liars are easier to spot. However, sometimes the lie is so subtle, that even Christians can be fooled if they don’t have a firm foundation in the truth of the Bible. Notice in Ed Hindson’s second definition of a true prophet, he states:

2. [A true prophet] must have a message that is in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.

God’s revealed truth in Scripture is the operative phrase. Anyone can read, study and even teach from the Bible. But if their ideology does not match up with God’s revealed truth in the Scriptures, then beware! You may be led astray from a false teacher!

Hindson:

3. Heretics. These are those who preach heresy (false doctrine) and divide the church. Of them John said, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us” (1 John 2:19). The apostle Peter said, “There will be false teachers among you. they will secretly introduce destructive heresies….These men blaspheme in matters they do not understand” (2 Peter 2:1, 12).

The phrase, “blaspheme in matters they do not understand” could refer to those under delusion and/or deception. We can all recall several examples of blatantly obvious heretical movements. The Jim Jones cult, the Heaven’s Gate group, and David Koresh. However, there are more subtle groups that would qualify as being called “heretical.”

Hindson:

4. Blasphemers. Those who speak evil of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the people of God, the kingdom of God, and the attributes of God are called blasphemers. Jude calls them godless men who “speak abusively against whatever they do not understand….They are clouds without rain…trees, without fruit….They are wild waves of the sea…wandering stars” (Jude 10,12,13).

We even have a recent example of these types of people! Look no further than This debate between the “Rational Response Squad” and two Christian evangelists.

However, some examples of “blasphemers” are not always as obvious as the atheists who participated in that debate. The ability to subtly “speak abusively against whatever they do not understand.” can apply to false converts, as well. They are often referred to as “sheep in wolves clothing.”

Hindson:

6. Seducers. Jesus warned that some false prophets will appear with miraculous signs and wonders to seduce or deceive the very elect, “if that were possible” (Mark 13:22). Our Lord’s implication is that spiritual seduction is a very real threat even to believers. This would account for the fact that a few genuine but deceived believers may be found among the cults.

Did you catch that? It bears repeating:

A few genuine but deceived believers may be found among the cults!

Now, I am often accused by gay theology proponents of “being judgmental,” or “displaying hate,” or “not being willing to discuss our differences,” or “not living in harmony with,” or “not being willing to accept that which they are preaching,” or “not being willing to compromise,” etc. I could go on and on, (as one well-known blog is named).

But now, we have an example of someone in the gay christian movement who demonstrates, through his own words, his unwillingness to compromise. Besides, it is not written in the Bible anywhere that we should compromise on any issue regarding the Gospel of Christ!

Here’s Mel White’s “gospel”:

“I will sit down with anyone who comes to the table with certain basic positive assumptions about us: that we are here, millions of us, and have the right to be; that our sexual orientation, too, is a gift from our Creator who is pleased when we accept the gift with gratitude and pride; that on average we live productive and responsible lives; that we are perfectly capable of loving, committed relationships and are as equipped as heterosexuals to have families of our own; that uncounted millions of us are people of faith who serve our faith communities with creativity and commitment and patriotic Americans who serve our nation with courage and with honor; that we don’t seek “special rights” just the rights and protections guaranteed all Americans by the Constitution. Our dignity, our integrity, our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, our unqualified acceptance by our Creator are not up for debate.”

Gcmwatch quote:

(Our bold.) What is there to discuss, when he demands 100% concession from us?

Can you see, now, why groups like the “Equality Riders” cannot possibly reconcile with Bible-based Christian believers? Their leader unequivocally states that in order for us to do so, it would require 100% concession (a.k.a. compromise) to his ideology.

It ain’t gonna happen…people.

Why? Because there will always be a remnant of the faithful who will never compromise God’s Word! That’s why!

Hindson:

7. Reprobates. This term means “disapproved,” “depraved,” or “rejected.” Paul refers to those who have rejected the truth of God and turned to spiritual darkness. Consequently, God has given them over to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28 KJV). They have so deliberately rejected God that they have become “filled with every kind of wickedness” (verse 29). As a result, they are “God-haters” (verse 30), whose behavior is “senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (verse 31). These people are so far gone spiritually that they know it and don’t care. In Jesus’ own prophetic message, the Olivet Discourse, He warned, “Watch out that no one deceives you….Many will turn away from the faith….And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people….For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles” (Matthew 24:4, 10, 11,24). Our Lord warned His disciples of the possibility of spiritual seduction by false prophets.

There are different levels of reprobation going on out there. From the most severe kinds of reprobation to the more subtle, and perceived “harmless” type like Mel White’s Equality Riders.

Hindson writes:

The Bible describes Satan as the “father of lies” (John 8:44) and pictures him as the ultimate deceiver. His name means “accuser,” and he is depicted as the accuser of God and His people (Revelation 12:10). he is opposed to God and seeks to alienate people from the truth. He misled the fallen angels (Revelation 12:3,4). He tempts men and women to sin against God’s laws (Genesis 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 6:9). He denies and rejects the truth of God and deceives those who perish without God (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Ultimately, he inspires the false prophets and the very spirit of Antichrist (1 John 2:18-23).

The Bible clearly warns us that in the last days people will “abandon the faith and follow deceiving [‘seducing,’ KJV] spirits and things [‘doctrine,’ KJV] taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). These false teachings will come through hypocritical liars whose minds have been captured by Satan’s lies (1 Timothy 4:2).

Thus, the process of spiritual deception is clearly outlined in Scripture:

1. Satan – Father of lies
2. Demons – Doctrines of Devils
3. False Teachers – Messengers of Deceit

The term angel (Greek angelos) means “messenger.” God’s angels are His divine messengers (Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 1:1), and His true prophets and preachers are called the angels of the churches (Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). By contrast, Satan is pictured as a fallen angel, the leader of other fallen angels, who deceives the world (Revelation 12:9). He is revealed as the ultimate power behind the Antichrist and the False Prophet who deceives mankind with false religion (Revelation 13:14, 15). Thus, the messengers (angels) of deceit are Satan-inspired false prophets and teachers whose messages are the very spirit of Antichrist.

A century ago, A.T. Pierson, the Bible teacher who often spoke for Charles Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, wrote,

“Evil spirits acquire their greatest power from their subtlety. They are masters of the art of deception, and aim to counterfeit that which is good rather than suggest what is obviously and wholly evil.

A Christian friend once wrote something that was quite simple, but extremely profound (paraphrased below)!

“The greatest deception is not believing that we can be deceived.”

So, as Christian believers, how can we be guaranteed not to fall into deception?

1. The first step, of course, is through repentance for all sin and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over our lives.

2. The second step is to read and study Scripture; but the most important point in this second step is what Dr. Hindson stated, “we must have a message that is in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.”

3. This leads to the third step. It is knowing and recognizing the seven categories (discussed above) and the types of people who could lead one into spiritual deception and delusion.

Hindson shares why we must be spiritually discerning:

The lure of false doctrine is that it presents itself as the truth. It appears as a corrective measure to established doctrine. It is propagated by those who are certain they have discovered some new revelation of truth or a better interpretation of old, established truth. Either way, they are convinced they are right and everyone else is wrong.

This is Satan’s oldest trick. He appeals to our self-conceit and leads us into self-deceit. When he first approached Eve, Satan questioned the integrity of God’s command and appealed to her selfish desire to be like God – the same desire that led to his own fall. And there is something selfish enough in all of us to want to believe that we can know what no one else knows. C.S. Lewis said,

“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could “be like gods.”…Out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we can call human history…the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Today, the seduction is even more subtle than Hindson states here (IMHO). We could take one line from above and add to it:

“Either way, they are convinced they are right and everyone else is “intolerant,” or “hateful,” or “uncompromising,” or “out of harmony with,” or, as Mel White stated above regarding his non-biblical view that ‘that our sexual orientation, too, is a gift from our Creator who is pleased when we accept the gift with gratitude and pride,’ and ‘our unqualified acceptance by our Creator are not up for debate.’ “

In the second post on this topic, I will cover warnings that once spiritual deception sets in, it leads, ultimately, to spiritual darkness.

Some thoughts to preview:

1. Pride and arrogance are the sins that lead a person to become spiritually deceived.

2. Satan tempts us with our own self-centeredness and lures us into spiritual darkness with the bait of our own pride. The Bible calls this the “pride of life” (1 John 2:16 KJV).
3. Having been hooked by our arrogance, we are reeled in by our ignorance.

I know. All of this is so devastating and heart-breaking to read. However, there is hope!! It is found in none other than Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible. Anyone can come out of spiritual deception and darkness! It’s happening every single day!!

I sincerely believe that some people just don’t even realize that they are being deceived. Others, however, know it full well. But for those who may be currently studying under any number of ‘sincere’ preachers who have gotten off the theological track because they don’t know enough theology to realize their errors, you can give them a “test” to see if they are worthy to be in the mission of preaching the Gospel message of Christ.

Just ask them if they are willing to be checked, according to the absolute truth of God’s Word, on the accuracy of a certain doctrine, point, sermon or message that they have preached.

As my pastor has told us several times, he is only human and can make mistakes. That is why our “plumb line” to stay on track when it comes to sharing the gospel and God’s Word, is to stay true to it (utilizing the proper apologetics tools of exegesis, hermeneutics, Sola Scriptura, and Scripture interprets Scripture), to the best of our ability.

If a preacher or leader says that they are not willing to do this, (and/or are also not willing to back up what they have said with Scripture) that could be a good indication that they may be in danger of being off of the proper theological track.

Bottom line? My faith has to be anchored in the truth if it is going to do me, and others, any good. The same is true for you!

In the next section, Hindson mentions that “once theological error falls into ‘ecclesiastical cement’ it is virtually impossible to eliminate it.”

Once a false doctrine is accepted, it can be organized and perpetuated by a religious body, then perpetrated by a false defense (apologetic) which is based upon a false premise. It is then when we see such groups fall down that slippery slope as they accept false doctrine [no matter how much biblical Scriptural truth has been shown to them and has exposed their error(s)] as their “new truth.” They can organize it, categorize it, debate it, systemize it, teach it, and/or demand it; but that doesn’t make it true!!

When it comes to false teachers, the real problem is that the love of their own, skewed, erroneous teaching may drive them to the point where they will refuse to repent of it, even when their error is exposed!

The Bible says, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:18).

Quotations Source: Antichrist Rising by Ed Hindson Copyright 2003 Ed Hindson; Published by 21st Century Press, Springfield, Missouri U.S.A. pp. 40-48 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or stored in any database or retrieval system without written permission except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews.

 

Jorgé Bergoglio, whose job title is Pope Francis, knows better than the Gospel of Mark? – Dr. Eowyn

January 20, 2016

Wow! Just when I think that Jorg’e Bergoglio could not be more heretical against biblical Christianity than when he stated: And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in September, 2015; we also see that in her post entitled, “Pope Francis is ashamed of the Cross, knows better than the Gospels”, Dr. Eowyn over at Fellowship of the Minds has exposed even more disturbing information about this wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Please go to the link, read it all and view the photos. An excerpt here is simply not enough. It is important to read it all!

There is much that could be discussed regarding that post, but today I wanted to zero in on a post in the comment section, written by Steven Broiles, that mentions the infiltration of Freemasonry into Catholicism.

The fact is that Freemasonry has several tentacles that attempt to infiltrate and destroy true Christian foundational truths.

Anyone who is interested in a brief but informative explanation of Freemasonry, I recommend reading Fritz Ridenour’s book, “So What’s The Difference?” (Get the updated version published in 2001.) You will also see the comparison of other religions, cults, and viewpoints that attempt to undermine, challenge or attack biblical Christianity.  Personally, I think that it is VERY important for those of us who adhere to the importance of  biblical Christianity and biblical worldview to be armed with information that is needed to recognize ideologies that are vying for the hearts and minds of people today.

Perhaps many Christians may think that Freemasonry is relatively harmless and that as a networking arrangement for businessmen, it has an added benefit of service to humanity through the Shriner’s hospitals and other good works. But the truth is that Freemasonry, while being a diverse movement, teaches several tenets (listed below) that undermine, challenge and attack biblical Christianity.

1. The Bible is not the unique Word of God.
2. The God of the Bible is identified with other false gods (like “Jah” – Syriac name, Bel “Baal,” “On” – Egyptian god). They even give God a “new” name combining all three of those false gods – “Jabulon.” This Masonic identification of the God of the Bible with pagan deities is blasphemy and is therefore under His condemnation.
3. Jesus is not God the Son, nor is He the Savior of the world.
4. Humans are basically good, even divine, and human nature is perfectible.
5. Freemasonry uses the Bible but deletes Jesus’ name from Scripture references.
6. There is one more where Freemasonry describes itself as being “the universal, eternal, immutable religion” and claims that all religions had a basis of truth and all have overlaid that truth with errors.
Compare John 1:14, 14:6; 18:37; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 2:22, for the source of real truth and Scripture’s condemnation of those who claim otherwise.

This post serves as only a very brief overview of Freemasonry.  I encourage all Christians to do their own research on this subject!

~ Christine

The Bible and same sex relationships: A review article.

July 28, 2015

There is a very interesting essay written by Tim Keller at Redeemer Report: The Bible and same sex relationships: A review article.

Keller wrote this report in answer to the two most vocal “gay” Christian authors who have written their own books on the subject.

Excerpt:

Vines, Matthew, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex Relationships, Convergent Books, 2014

Wilson, Ken, A Letter to My Congregation, David Crum Media, 2014.

As Bible-based Christians, we need to be armed with biblical arguments against those (especially “gay Christians!”)  who are trying to create their own  ideological case in support for that which is clearly forbidden in Scripture.

Several weeks ago, I started to listen to a rebuttal against Matthew Vines, whose self-identification label is listed as a “Gay Christian.”

I must admit, this man’s discussion was quite refreshing because he spoke of those who oppose his views with cordial respect.  This is entirely unlike the radical homosexual activists who verbally blast, hatefully abuse, erroneously sue, and viciously disparage Christians (or anyone else) whose deep religious beliefs encourage them to hold to God’s idea of marriage as being between one man and one woman.  The video I was watching was very, very long, and I did not complete it. Perhaps I can locate it again and share a link to it within this post for anyone interested in the back and forth between Vines and the biblical marriage traditionalist.

For now, here at Talk Wisdom I will share some significant excerpts, including the subtopics being discussed at the Redeemer.com site. You can follow the link above to read the entire essay.

Excerpts:

1.  Knowing gay people personally.

In this portion, the idea that homosexuality is a sin that cannot be forgiven by God is shown to be incorrect, (and  THAT incorrect notion could also be considered a form of bigotry) but it can’t be used to say that Scripture approves of homosexual behavior.

So I say good riddance to bigotry. However, the reality of bigotry cannot itself prove that the Bible never forbids homosexuality. We have to look to the text to determine that.

2.  Consulting historical scholarship.

This is highly significant! Read it all at the link, but here is the conclusion based on the evidence:

I urge readers to familiarize themselves with this research. A good place to start is the Kindle book by William Loader Sexuality in the New Testament (2010) or his much larger The New Testament on Sexuality (2012). Loader is the most prominent expert on ancient and biblical views of sexuality, having written five large and two small volumes in his lifetime. It is worth noting that Loader himself does not personally see anything wrong with homosexual relationships; he just — rightly and definitively — proves that you can’t get the Bible itself to give them any support.

Mr. Loader should be commended for his honesty!

3.  Re-categorizing same sex relations.
The following argument is one that is used quite extensively by homosexual activists. However, as you read through the complete section at the link, you will find that the need to “change their interpretations” in today’s era because views changed against slavery is not supported by evidence.

A third line of reasoning in these volumes and others like them involves re-categorization. In the past, homosexuality was categorized by all Christian churches and theology as sin. However, many argue that homosexuality should be put in the same category as slavery and segregation. Vines writes, for example, that the Bible supported slavery and that most Christians used to believe that some form of slavery was condoned by the Bible, but we have now come to see that all slavery is wrong. Therefore, just as Christians interpreted the Bible to support segregation and slavery until times changed, so Christians should change their interpretations about homosexuality as history moves forward.

[But] historians such as Mark Noll (America’s God, 2005 and The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, 2006) have shown the 19th century position some people took that the Bible condoned race-based chattel slavery was highly controversial and never a consensus. Most Protestants in Canada and Britain (and many in the northern U.S. states) condemned it as being wholly against the Scripture.

David L. Chappell in his history of the Civil Rights Movement (A Stone of Hope, 2003) went further. He proves that even before the Supreme Court decisions of the mid-50s, almost no one was promoting the slender and forced biblical justifications for racial superiority and segregation. Even otherwise racist theologians and ministers could not find a basis for white supremacy in the Bible.

So we see the analogy between the church’s view of slavery and its view of homosexuality breaks down. Up until very recently, all Christian churches and theologians unanimously read the Bible as condemning homosexuality. By contrast, there was never any consensus or even a majority of churches that thought slavery and segregation were supported by the Bible.

Wilson, Vines, and many others argue that same-sex relations must now be put into this category. Since we see that there are sincere Christians who disagree over this, it is said, we should “agree to disagree” on this.

However history shows that same-sex relations do not belong in this category, either. Around each of the other items on Wilson’s list there are long-standing and historical divisions within the church. There have always been substantial parts of the church that came to different positions on these issues. But until very, very recently, there had been complete unanimity about homosexuality in the church across all centuries, cultures, and even across major divisions of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions. So homosexuality is categorically different. One has to ask, then, why is it the case that literally no church, theologian, or Christian thinker or movement ever thought that any kind of same sex relationships was allowable until now?

One answer to the question is an ironic one. During the Civil War, British Presbyterian biblical scholars told their southern American colleagues who supported slavery that they were reading the Scriptural texts through cultural blinders. They wanted to find evidence for their views in the Bible and voila — they found it. If no Christian reading the Bible — across diverse cultures and times — ever previously discovered support for same-sex relationships in the Bible until today, it is hard not to wonder if many now have new cultural spectacles on, having a strong predisposition to find in these texts evidence for the views they already hold.

What are those cultural spectacles? The reason that homosexual relationships make so much more sense to people today than in previous times is because they have absorbed late modern western culture’s narratives about the human life. Our society presses its members to believe “you have to be yourself,” that sexual desires are crucial to personal identity, that any curbing of strong sexual desires leads to psychological damage, and that individuals should be free to live as they alone see fit.

These narratives have been well analyzed by scholars such as Robert Bellah and Charles Taylor. They are beliefs about the nature of reality that are not self-evident to most societies and they carry no more empirical proof than any other religious beliefs. They are also filled with inconsistencies and problems. Both Vines and Wilson largely assume these cultural narratives. It is these faith assumptions about identity and freedom that make the straightforward reading of the biblical texts seem so wrong to them. They are the underlying reason for their views, but they are never identified or discussed.

4. Revising biblical authority.

Vines and Wilson claim that they continue to hold to a high view of biblical authority, and that they believe the Bible is completely true, but that they don’t think it teaches all same-sex relations are wrong. Vines argues that while the Levitical code forbids homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22) it also forbids eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:9-12). Yet, he says, Christians no longer regard eating shellfish as wrong — so why can’t we change our minds on homosexuality?

This is another very familiar argument.  In fact, several weeks ago a more liberal relative used the old “shellfish” argument with me in order to support homosexuality as now also being exempt from the laws in the Bible.

Tim Keller answers this argument masterfully!

Here Vines is rejecting the New Testament understanding that the ceremonial laws of Moses around the sacrificial system and ritual purity were fulfilled in Christ and no longer binding, but that the moral law of the Old Testament is still in force. Hebrews 10:16, for example, tells us that the Holy Spirit writes “God’s laws” on Christians’ hearts (so they are obviously still in force), even though that same book of the Bible tells us that some of those Mosaic laws — the ceremonial — are no longer in binding on us. This view has been accepted by all branches of the church since New Testament times.

When Vines refuses to accept this ancient distinction between the ceremonial and moral law, he is doing much more than simply giving us an alternative interpretation of the Old Testament — he is radically revising what biblical authority means. When he says “Christians no longer regard eating shellfish as wrong,” and then applies this to homosexuality (though assuming that Leviticus 19:18 — the Golden Rule — is still in force), he is assuming that it is Christians themselves, not the Bible, who have the right to decide which parts of the Bible are essentially now out of date. That decisively shifts the ultimate authority to define right and wrong onto the individual Christian and away from the biblical text.

The traditional view is this: Yes, there are things in the Bible that Christians no longer have to follow but, if the Scripture is our final authority, it is only the Bible itself that can tell us what those things are. The prohibitions against homosexuality are re-stated in the New Testament (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1) but Jesus himself (Mark 7), as well as the rest of the New Testament, tells us that the clean laws and ceremonial code is no longer in force.

Vines asserts that he maintains a belief in biblical authority, but with arguments like this one he is actually undermining it. This represents a massive shift in historic Christian theology and life.

5. Being on the wrong side of history.

More explicit in Wilson’s volume than Vines’ is the common argument that history is moving toward greater freedom and equality for individuals, and so refusing to accept same-sex relationships is a futile attempt to stop inevitable historical development. Wilson says that the “complex forces” of history showed Christians that they were wrong about slavery and something like that is happening now with homosexuality.

Charles Taylor, however, explains how this idea of inevitable historical progress developed out of the Enlightenment optimism about human nature and reason. It is another place where these writers seem to uncritically adopt background understandings that are foreign to the Bible. If we believe in the Bible’s authority, then shifts in public opinion should not matter. The Christian faith will always be offensive to every culture at some points.

6. Missing the biblical vision.

This section is my favorite part!  Why?  Because it presents a new argument (one that I had not considered until now) regarding God’s design for “complimentary things that [are] made to work together” and how the reason why God made us male and female really do matter – and are designed to work together!

The saddest thing for me as a reader was how, in books on the Bible and sex, Vines and Wilson concentrated almost wholly on the biblical negatives, the prohibitions against homosexual practice, instead of giving sustained attention to the high, (yes) glorious Scriptural vision of sexuality. Both authors rightly say that the Bible calls for mutual loving relationships in marriage, but it points to far more than that.

In Genesis 1 you see pairs of different but complementary things made to work together: heaven and earth, sea and land, even God and humanity. It is part of the brilliance of God’s creation that diverse, unlike things are made to unite and create dynamic wholes which generate more and more life and beauty through their relationships. As N.T. Wright points out, the creation and uniting of male and female at the end of Genesis 2 is the climax of all this.

That means that male and female have unique, non-interchangeable glories — they each see and do things that the other cannot. Sex was created by God to be a way to mingle these strengths and glories within a life-long covenant of marriage. Marriage is the most intense (though not the only) place where this reunion of male and female takes place in human life. Male and female reshape, learn from, and work together.

Therefore, in one of the great ironies of late modern times, when we celebrate diversity in so many other cultural sectors, we have truncated the ultimate unity-in-diversity: inter-gendered marriage.

Without understanding this vision, the sexual prohibitions in the Bible make no sense. Homosexuality does not honor the need for this rich diversity of perspective and gendered humanity in sexual relationships. Same-sex relationships not only cannot provide this for each spouse, they can’t provide children with a deep connection to each half of humanity through a parent of each gender.

This review has been too brief to give these authors the credit they are due for maintaining a respectful and gracious tone throughout. We live in a time in which civility and love in these discussions is fast going away, and I am thankful the authors are not part of the angry, caustic flow. In this regard they are being good examples, but because I think their main points are wrong, I have had to concentrate on them as I have in this review. I hope I have done so with equal civility.

Hat tip:

Redeemer.com

1Co 6:9

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, [fn] nor sodomites,

1Co 6:10

nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Should Christians be involved with combating the moral decay that is currently raging in our culture?

July 10, 2015

God’s truth is eternal and Christian convictions must be commitments of permanence. Political alliances and arrangements are, by definition, temporary and conditional. This is no time for America’s Christians to confuse the City of man with the City of God. At the same time, we can never be counted faithful in the City of God if we neglect our duty in the City of man. That’s a good principle to remember as America gears up for a crucial political debate. – Albert Mohler

Before I get deep into today’s topic,  I wanted to first publicly thank and acknowledge my dear blogging friend Steve over at Cry and Howl for placing Talk Wisdom on The 2015 Cry and Howl Top 20 Conservative Blog Award list!   It was so kind of Steve to recognize this “little fish in the big pond” of blogs out there!

I highly recommend checking out the other blogs on that list!  Really great content can be found at those links and I also want to send congratulations to all the other bloggers on the Cry and Howl award list!

Of course, Steve’s blog is always spot on and influential in the crucial political debates between the truth of conservative thought and the lies of “the new totalitarians” that he often battles against in this highly charged political arena that exists today!

When you go to his site, you will notice that next to my blog name he wrote, “not wholly political.” I also appreciate him for writing that!  This brings me to the topic that I wanted to cover today.

Yes, Talk Wisdom often discusses various political, cultural, and moral issues from the Christian conservative perspective.  But this blog also exists for the additional purpose of sharing God’s truth in the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When I originally decided what the main goal of this blog would be, I wrote:

Talk Wisdom’s goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world – now.

For anyone interested, let me share a bit of history about this blog (including the one I previously had at Blogger) and how I came to the decision to write the content that I write here at Talk Wisdom.

Back in October of 2005, Biola University held its first “God blog Conference.” It was three days that were jam-packed with information, instruction, discussion, and Christian oriented blog content awareness and suggestions.

The important question of whether or not Bible based Christians should be involved or engaged in politics; or just be salt and light in this dark world came up and was debated extensively. Many God bloggers were steadfast in their choices. Some just knew that they were “meant to share the Gospel and biblical principles alone” without getting into tiresome political debates. Others were convinced that it was their calling to draw attention to the political battles that are currently raging in our culture. It is certainly an interesting and valid question. Several prominent Christian leaders (and blog panelists) had different opinions on it and backed their views up with Bible verses.

During one class question and answer session, I recall stating that I wanted my blog to be one that discusses both Christian apologetics as well as how politics, culture, and moral issues can influence us; either positively or negatively.  The professor said something like, “that would be an impossible endeavor!” Apparently, he was of the opinion that it was too much to do within one blog.  Admittedly, it can be a difficult task to juggle all of those goals in one blog.  However, with all due respect to that professor, I came away from the conference with the steadfast decision that I was still willing to try!  Here is what I wrote back in 2009, five years after attending that first God blog Conference:

In 2004, I attended my first blog conference at Biola University. One of the speakers asked members of his class what each of our goals will be in writing Christian-based blog material. I stated that I wanted to write discernment articles that include the gospel of Christ while exposing how politics, culture, education, the media, and apostate churches battle against the Word of God and the message of the gospel. I recall that the professor told me, “that would be an impossible endeavor.”

Yet, here I am, five years later including all of the above with the discussions here at Talk Wisdom. I don’t quite know why the professor thought that way. Perhaps he thought that I should limit myself to apologetics and not include any criticism of the world around us. Or, maybe he worried that any “politically incorrect” approach might turn individuals away from the Gospel message. (Been there, heard that – MANY TIMES – even by some fellow Christian believers.) Perhaps I should have asked him why he thought such an endeavor was “impossible.” I didn’t get the chance to ask him. The session ended abruptly because we were out of time and he was surrounded by bloggers asking many questions.

The following is one of the great quotes of  C. H. Spurgeon:

The Church of Christ is continually represented under the figure of an army; yet its Captain is the Prince of Peace; its object is the establishment of peace, and its soldiers are men of a peaceful disposition. The spirit of war is at the extremely opposite point to the spirit of the gospel.

Yet nevertheless, the church on earth has, and until the second advent must be, the church militant, the church armed, the church warring, the church conquering. And how is this?

It is the very order of things that so it must be. Truth could not be truth in this world if it were not a warring thing, and we should at once suspect that it were not true if error were friends with it. The spotless purity of truth must always be at war with the blackness of heresy and lies.

– C.H. Spurgeon 1

1. Spurgeon, Charles, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 5 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1879), 41.

In my opinion, Spurgeon’s quote is ever the more relevant in today’s culture – even more so  than it was back in 2004!

As the graphic above implies – sometimes the truth hurts! However, secular society’s love affair for diversity (even at the expense of causing harm) and tolerance (today’s code word for never offending anyone – except Christians and conservatives!) doesn’t WANT to know any kind of truth that may initially hurt someone (emotionally speaking).

The trouble with the “new tolerance” mantra is that common sense is often sidetracked or even eliminated altogether.  Let’s see a non-political example.  Common sense tells us to grab the arm of a child and pull it hard to prevent that child from running in the street in front of a speeding bus! The truth of the need for rescue may hurt the child physically at that moment in time, but the lie of freedom to do what would harm him if he ran in front of the bus can end up killing the child!

Such an illustration is even important when considering spiritual truth. These days, telling someone who adheres to a false religion is detrimental for them and is not the truth given by God in the Bible may hurt a person’s feelings (at first); but the end result of them finding Jesus Christ and becoming a child of God through the biblical Gospel message brings eternal life that they would not have had without Him!

Spurgeon’s ending line is quite the keeper! It sums it all up in one brilliant sentence!

The spotless purity of truth must always be at war with the blackness of heresy and lies.

*******

Yes. The body of Christ contains many different members with different gifts. One person may be better at teaching children. Another, better at writing poetry or songs that honor the Lord. We all have certain gifts that maybe others don’t have. Some, genuinely may believe that they shouldn’t be involved in volatile political debates.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Bible based  Christians  MUST BE ENGAGED IN THIS BATTLE FOR MORAL PURPOSES.

Whether their contribution in such an effort means actually working in the political field or just assisting (and/or financial support) in the efforts of certain organizations (e.g. Concerned Women for America; Alliance Defending  Freedom – just to name two) that promote Christian morals, values and ethics; it has always been my opinion that we must not let the secular humanistic crowd overtake what we hold dear as American Christians who love God, Jesus Christ, and His Word, the Bible.

I read the following article back then and thought that it spoke directly to my thoughts, concerns, and beliefs of why I think that Bible based Christians must become motivated and involved in combating the moral decay that is currently raging in our culture.

Albert Mohler shares many good talking points throughout the piece.  The point that is especially important and desperately needed today is that Christians who are gifted in this particular area need to be willing to not only read and pay attention to the details, but also need to be willing to act upon them. Mohler sums it up quite well at the end of his article:

We are concerned for the culture not because we believe that the culture is ultimate, but because we know that our neighbors must hear the gospel, even as we hope and strive for their good, peace, security, and well-being.

This is no time for silence, and no time for shirking our responsibilities as Christian citizens. Ominous signs of moral collapse and cultural decay now appear on our contemporary horizon. A society ready to put the institution of marriage up for demolition and transformation is a society losing its most basic moral sense. A culture ready to treat human embryos as material for medical experimentation is a society turning its back on human dignity and the sacredness of human life.

Trouble in the City of Man is a call to action for citizens of the City of God, and that call to action must involve political involvement as well. Christians may well be the last citizens who know the difference between the eternal and the temporal, the ultimate and the urgent. God’s truth is eternal and Christian convictions must be commitments of permanence. Political alliances and arrangements are, by definition, temporary and conditional. This is no time for America’s Christians to confuse the City of Man with the City of God. At the same time, we can never be counted faithful in the City of God if we neglect our duty in the City of Man. That’s a good principle to remember as America gears up for a crucial political debate. * (bold mine)

No matter what you think your particular calling in this life is, as a born-again, Bible believing Christian it is also your duty to at least do something to help turn the tide of moral decay. This needs to be a top priority not only for ourselves and the ‘here and now,’ but even more importantly, for the sakes of our children and grandchildren and their future lives on this earth.

~  Christine

* Quote from Mohler article:

Engaging the City of Man: Christian Faith and Politics

by Albert Mohler
June 15, 2006

With thanks again to my kind friend Steve at Cry and Howl for including Talk Wisdom in the Cry and Howl Conservative Blog Awards for 2015!

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi

July 7, 2015

Years ago, I ran across a post that contained a statement attributed to Gandhi at another blog:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch!

At first glance it is a most sobering condemnation against those of the Christian faith. Granted, Christians make mistakes while trying to witness to others. Jesus chose his followers, imperfect human beings that we are, to be his representatives here on earth. We are to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

We have a whole range of evangelists. A preacher like Billy Graham who has been an awesome representative for Christ and we have other preachers who may be hurting our cause. But God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The reason Billy Graham is loved by millions and rarely, if ever, condemned for his preaching is because he focuses on Jesus Christ and the Gospel message.

This, then, makes me wonder. Should Gandhi have been judging his personal decision regarding Jesus Christ only upon Christs’ followers (whom he disliked and condemned) or should he have made the judgment strictly upon Jesus Christ and who He is as revealed in the Scriptures?  Tim Challies has a great answer to that question.

Another popular argument of non-Christians is their claim that because there are so many denominations that conflict with each other, how is one to find the truth?

There are certain facts that tie and bind all true Christians.

1.  The first one is the fact that we have been born again in Christ. In order to be born again in Christ, we confess and repent of our sins and invite Jesus into our lives to guide us into all truth. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus taught and refers us to the Scriptures.

2.  The second fact is that we teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out, there were many different denominations in agreement on most aspects of that movie. You could name any Protestant, Evangelical, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, (can include many others too) branch of Christianity here and it is the one thing that they all agree upon.

Why is that?

Because at Pentecost, Jesus sent the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit. He guides Christians into all truth. The side issues and traditions that may divide the denominations fall away.

It all comes down to this: the Gospel message is the uniter of all true Christians.

We must “beware the ‘cross-less’ Gospel.”* [See explanation at end of post.]

Those “churches” who do not teach the need for repentance for sin are guilty of heresy. Yes. There are some sects/cults that are “severed branches,” if you will. We are told in the book of Jude to avoid them because they lead people into heresy and apostasy. This is why you must be diligent and read the Scriptures so you can “rightly divide the Word of Truth!” If you are attending a church that teaches “the cross-less Gospel,” run! Find another church immediately!

I have met many born-again, Bible believing Christians via message boards and blogs. Genuine Christians whom I have never met personally, are in full agreement with the main message of the Scriptures. You see, there is a difference between those who would use exegesis, hermeneutics and Sola Scripture (which are tools to extract the original meaning of the writers in the Bible) vs. those who use “eisegesis,” (which means determining their own interpretations) of what Scripture is saying.

We see “eisegesis” being utilized very vividly in the homosexual behavior affirming churches. The only people who have been caught up in the sin of homosexuality (or any other sin, for that matter) and will make it into heaven with God are the repentant ones.

Even repentant murderers who confess and are born again after their crimes and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior avoid hell and will live for eternity in heaven with God.

In eyes of men, that may not seem “fair.” But the thoughts of God are infinitely higher and are certainly not limited to the thoughts of man.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God affords grace and mercy to those who look upon Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death as the only substitutionary propitiation which is acceptable to God the Father for the forgiveness of their sins.

People who know Jesus and become children of God will avoid the penalty of death (the second death…an eternity away from God in hell).

The unsaved who refuse the quickening of the Holy Spirit, (who is urging them from outside their souls to make that decision for Christ) will die with their own sins on their souls. That is the choice for all of mankind. We either agree with God that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or we die in our sins and remain reprobate and separated from the God who is trying to save us…forever.

Eternity is a long, long….time!

Dear reader, what is your decision?

I pray that you change your heart towards God!  If you are currently of the mindset that leads you to “hate Christians,” I plead with you not to let Satan use your obvious dislike and hatred for many Christian believers as an excuse to reject Jesus. Knowingly or unknowingly, Satan is influencing you to focus on the behavior of other Christians and not on Whom you should be focusing on…Jesus Christ. Jesus was the only Perfect Man who ever lived. You won’t find perfection in anyone else…including Christian believers.

Once born again, a Christian does not have his/her free will taken away. We still live in a fallen world and have that fallen nature. The huge difference is, he/she has the added influence of the Holy Spirit indwelling within the soul to guide us into all truth. Our love for Jesus compels us to live righteously for Him because He alone is Holy. If you would focus on what is being shared about Christ, and not judge the person who is sharing it, then you will not let a Christian’s imperfect nature affect you so negatively.

My daughter once gave me a license plate frame for my car which poignantly reads: “Christians are not perfect;  just forgiven by a God who is.

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*Beware the Cross-less Gospel

by Roger Chilvers

I watched a television program that featured interviews with a number of people at a well-known evangelical church. One person after the another gave testimony about how their lives had been changed: “I came to this church and was thrilled about what I saw. God changed my life.” Someone else said, “I was a drug addict, and God dealt with that.” Every testimony mentioned God, but in that whole program Jesus was mentioned only once. What Christ did on the cross was not mentioned at all.

In preaching today, generally speaking, the cross hardly features – sometimes Jesus doesn’t even feature. We have a duty to make the cross of Christ central in our evangelism. The Bible says that the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23). The Jews thought, “How could anyone preach about the Messiah DYING ON A CROSS? Don’t the Scriptures say that anyone who dies on a cross is cursed by God?” As for Gentiles – who didn’t have or care about the Old Testament Scriptures – the whole idea was complete foolishness. The verse uses the Greek word moros, from which we get “moron.” You have to be a moron to preach and believe in a dying Savior. Can you see the temptation to put the cross off to the side?

Sometimes you hear people say, quite rightly, “Jesus will give you a purpose for living.” Without a doubt he does, but that is not why He came. Others say that He came as a good example to follow. He is the greatest example to follow, but again, that is not at the heart of why He came, “Jesus came to give us joy in a world of unhappiness and misery,” some say. But that was not why He came either. And great though His peace is, He didn’t come to give us peace.

John tells us why Jesus came: “He appeared so that he might take away our sins” (1 John 3:5, NIV). We need reminding of this. Otherwise, in our evangelism we may say, “Have some peace, have some joy, have some happiness, have a purpose for living, have an example to follow.” Although Jesus does give these things, they are not the central point. We may find these things apart from Jesus, but apart from Him we will never find forgiveness of sins.

We can understand the centrality of the cross from three different perspectives: What does it mean to God? to us? to Satan?

THE CROSS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible says, “We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2, KJV). Propitiation is the means by which God’s anger is assuaged; His anger is dealt with, and God is made favorable toward us.

Some have said it is barbaric to think that God’s anger needs to be assuaged by blood. They say, “How can a sacrifice that makes an angry God favorable be given by the God who is angry in the first place? And what about God’s love?”

But it is precisely because God loves us that He had to deal with our sin – and it is on the basis of this that we are accepted. Jesus could die a thousand deaths and yet not achieve salvation for us unless God were satisfied with the sacrifice. Yet the question remains: How can God be both the One who provides the sacrifice that makes Him propitious and be the One who receives the sacrifice?

The simple answer is that God’s holiness demands propitiation.

God is blisteringly angry about our every single sin. You can see the awfulness of sin only by seeing what it did to His one and only lovely Son. If God looked at a sin and said, “Well, I’m not too bothered about that one,” there would be injustice in His character. God retains His honor by giving His Son.

God unfolded a plan that both showed His unbelievably strong anger at sin and His infinitely strong love for us. He sent His Son and punished Him on our behalf. “The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14, NIV). No other message beside the cross is able to deal with the root problem of man’s sin in relation to the justice and holiness of God.

 

THE CROSS FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE

The heart of the Gospel is that through Jesus – and His work as our Substitute – God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. The punishment for our sin was dealt with by a substitute: Namely, Jesus. The Bible says, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NIV). The Greek word translated “for” means “on behalf of.” The word is used repeatedly concerning Jesus: “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

In our evangelism it is so important that we grasp this because it tells us that when Jesus died on the cross He died on behalf of someone. There is no greater news than the glorious news that Jesus took our place on the cross. We are sinners by nature, but “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). What a breathtaking verse!

THE CROSS FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible calls Satan “the accuser” in Revelation 12:10. He whispers, “You cannot possibly expect God to accept you. You have a disgusting imagination. Look at those things you’ve done – your deceitfulness, your hatred and bitterness. You call yourself a child of God? ” And to God, Satan says, in effect, “If You are just at all, You cannot possibly forgive his/her sins and accept him/her. Your justice demands that he/she be punished.”

But John tells us how such accusations are dealt with: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, KJV). Generally, an advocate will stand up before a judge and plead on behalf of the accused something like this, “My lord, yes, he is not perfect – he has failed- but he is now a kind and helpful citizen, and I am bringing witnesses to testify to his good character.” In so doing, the advocate pleads for the judge to be lenient.

Jesus, as our Advocate, doesn’t work that way. When Satan accuses, Jesus says to His Father, “Everything You said about him is true. He is wicked; he is sinful. There is not one good thing about him. But, Father, You cannot punish him because the punishment already has been paid – by Me.”

The Father looks to the sacrifice of the Son to see that the punishment was paid in full. Atonement made, acceptance guaranteed – and we are free. This is what is meant by Jesus being our Substitute.

“Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.” **

Jesus provided for our greatest need – the forgiveness of sin. Apart from Him it could never happen. That is why the cross must be at the heart of our evangelism.

** From “Before the Throne of God Above,” by Charitie Lee Bancroft

Hat tips to all links.

Having Their Conscience Seared

June 17, 2015

Over the past 15 + years of blogging, it has been my experience  that liberal, non-Christian people who occasionally post comments here basically reveal that they object to what I write because they hate what they see as “my viewpoint.”

What I share here comes via God’s Word. Jesus did tell us that I [we Christians] would be hated because they [non-believers] hated Him first.

Jhn 15:18

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jesus’ first words when he began his ministry on earth were, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Repentance is not a popular word in today’s world of increasing immorality and decay.  The acceptance of moral relativism is the way that modern man knowingly, or unwittingly, “gives heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.”

Jesus also stated that he didn’t come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. (In case you are not familiar, this includes the law and prophets of the Old Testament.)

Mat 5:17

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Without confession and repentance [means turning away from sin], through the shed blood of Jesus Christ at the cross, there is no remission of sin.

Surmising that certain sexual behaviors (which secular man now accepts and embraces) are all acceptable even to God, such groups and individuals go about mocking or condemning Christians who know  (through Scripture) that God never has, and never will accept such behaviors!   Those who turn a blind eye to this fact and insist that “there’s nothing wrong with it” and wholeheartedly accept and/or participate in aberrant sexual sin,  do so as the result of one’s conscience being “seared” in such sin.

1Ti 4:1

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

1Ti 4:2

speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

Thus, embracing, accepting and/or celebrating sexual sin is an act of turning away from God and listening to the enemy of our souls.

Having one’s “conscience seared with a hot iron” is an analogy used to describe giving in to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.

In a commentary written by A.W. Faussett, he writes:

 giving heed— ( 1Ti 1:4 Tts 1:14 ).
seducing spirits–working in the heretical teachers. 1Jo 4:2, 3, 6, “the spirit of error,” opposed to “the spirit of truth,” “the Spirit” which “speaketh” in the true prophets against them.
doctrines of devils–literally “teachings of (that is suggested by) demons.” Jam 3:15, “wisdom. . . devilish”; 2Cr 11:15, “Satan’s ministers.”

      2. Rather translate, “Through (literally, ‘in‘; the element in which the apostasy has place) the hypocrisy of lying speakers”; this expresses the means through which “some shall (be led to) depart from the faith,” namely, the reigned sanctity of the seducers (compare “deceivers,” Tts 1:10 ).
having their conscience searedGreek, “having their own conscience,” &c., that is, not only “speaking lies” to others, but also having their own conscience seared. Professing to lead others to holiness, their own conscience is all the while defiled. Bad consciences always have recourse to hypocrisy. As faith and a good conscience are joined ( 1Ti 1:5 ); so hypocrisy (that is, unbelief, Mat 24:5, 51; compare Luk 12:46 ) and a bad conscience here. THEODORET explains like English Version, “seared,” as implying their extreme insensibility; the effect of cauterizing being to deaden sensation. The Greek, however, primarily means “branded” with the consciousness of crimes committed against their better knowledge and conscience, like so many scars burnt in by a branding iron: Compare Tts 1:15 3:11, “condemned of himself.” They are conscious of the brand within, and yet with a hypocritical show of sanctity, they strive to seduce others. As “a seal” is used in a good sense ( 2Ti 2:19 ), so “a brand” in a bad sense. The image is taken from the branding of criminals.

We now understand the seriousness of having one’s conscience “seared with a hot iron.”

Jesus also said:

Jhn 14:15

“If you love Me, keep [fn] My commandments.

Jhn 15:10

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

We are all in need of forgiveness through repentance from sin. Jesus is the only way. Read John 3.

Scripture speaks of “veiled eyes” to “those who are perishing.”

If non-Christians want to think that warning people who are spiritually lost and under the snare of demonic deception is somehow “funny” or not a good thing…then that is their opinion. But through God’s written word, Jesus calls me to contend for the faith, share the truth and share God’s Word with people so that they will see the way out of their slavery to sin and deception.

A new book on Spiritual Warfare, written by Dr. Karl I. Payne reveals that demonic deception is increasing, even within the Christian church (meaning, the liberal kind of churches that accept all sorts of heresy and apostasy; including the deception of sexual deviancy as “normal”), and the book of Jude warns us that the worst of these types of deceptions are still to come.

Payne writes:

If God allows demonic activity to increase until His return, I believe He will also train up and equip a growing number of His children to faithfully and effectively contend with the power of darkness who oppose His plans and people. Too many North American churches are well on their way to becoming the same spiritually dead museums as Western European churches.”

As born-again Christians, we are to combat against the battles of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Throughout Scripture we are told to put on the whole armor of God to become better equipped for the unseen warfare that hinders Christians from living the life Jesus has called us to live.

Jesus said:

Jhn 12:46

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

We are to speak out on such issues in order to help people overcome the darkness of sin in their lives and be saved through repentance and faith at the foot of the cross of Christ.

To be honest, I cannot really care what the naysayers think of me.   It is more important what God thinks of me, and sharing the truth as it is written in Scripture and most importantly, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is light-years more important than clamoring for the acceptance of unredeemed man.

2 Corinthians 4

Why Liberalism and Bible-based Christian Beliefs Cannot be Reconciled

June 16, 2015

There are many secular reasons why liberalism and Bible-based Christian beliefs cannot be reconciled.  In my last post, I included the links found at Conservapedia which demonstrate exactly why conservative thought rejects liberalism.

In this post, I will attempt to demonstrate some reasons why God’s written Word in the Bible and God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ, cannot be reconciled with many (not all, of course, but MANY) liberal views and causes that they tend to champion.

This post may well turn out to be a work in progress. I may need extra time to cover the many examples that I’d like to share. Let’s just say that this is part 1 of perhaps several posts on the topic.

1. Marriage issue and many “genders” fallacy.

Mar 10:6

“But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ [fn]

Mar 10:7

‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

Mar 10:8

‘and the two shall become one flesh’; [fn] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Mar 10:9

“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

NKJV Footnotes

(10:6)

Genesis 1:27; 5:2

Jesus is speaking here and his saying “let not man separate” tells us many things. It informs us that adultery is wrong (for it can lead to separation of the married couple), fornication with another is wrong, homosexual behavior is wrong, bestiality is wrong, rape is wrong etc. Jesus clearly upheld the commandments of God, and even stated that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it!

Mat 5:17

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

All of the humanistic ideologies that would lead to such sins (as well as ignoring the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament) are not to be done according to the “let not man separate” statement.

Since I have covered this topic in detail in other posts at this blog, you can read those posts via this link:

Talk Wisdom: Marriage

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2. The transgender issue.

Gen 1:27

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Liberals like to embrace the humanistic secular ideology that a man can (and should) become a woman if that is what he desires, or a woman can (and should) become a man if that is what she desires. Transgenderism has, heretofore, always been considered a disorder of the mind. But now, because certain individuals have “made it so,” people of the liberal mindset have declared that it’s now “the new normal.”

Well, that one verse in Genesis 1:27 tells us that such beliefs reject the image of God the He created. The verse specifically states that He created man (the generic term for all of humanity) as male and female.

Now, why is this important? There are many reasons that can be derived from Scripture, but I will just share one.

Jesus Christ was conceived via the power of the Holy Spirit who came upon Mary and was created in her womb via God’s power. We learn elsewhere that Jesus came from “the seed of the woman.” We know that women do not have “the seed” that is necessary from the man (in ordinary sexual procreation), so where did that seed actually come from? The answer: God Himself. Jesus was placed in the womb of a virgin, in order to not carry the original sin of Adam and Eve. He was born sinless, lived a sinless life and died on the cross for the remission of the sins of us all. He rose again on the third day to demonstrate exactly Who He Is, and all who confess and repent of their sins and invite the indwelling Holy Spirit into their hearts will be saved from eternal death.

For more detail on this, please see:

CRU.org: Would You Like to Know God Personally?

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3.  Socialism.

I have read that liberals (especially liberal Christians) twist Scripture in order to claim that Jesus and his disciples supported the concept of socialism.  Not true, and I covered that in my post entitled, Good Samaritan’s Random Act of Kindness.

In that post, Dr. David Jeremiah explains:

In the early church, “all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need” (Acts 2:44-45). The fledgling church experienced severe persecution, leaving members displaced and destitute. They formed a close-knit community to take care of one another, sharing their food, clothing, and money to meet people’s needs.

Over the years, some people have pointed to this passage to make the claim that the early church practiced Communism or socialism, but such was not the case. Communism is a compulsory sharing of goods because no one is thought to have the right to own anything. Socialism acknowledges the right of private property, but it requires individuals to give a certain percentage of what they earn to others in order to narrow the gap between socioeconomic classes.

The early church, however, shared their goods because they were generous and committed to one another. Scripture doesn’t say that the entire church sold all they had and gave everything up for the community’s welfare. It simply says that people voluntarily sold their possessions as financial concerns arose and gave the proceeds to those in need.

Today, almost every church takes care to meet the needs of members lacking food, shelter, help, or clothing. Some churches have food banks or centers offering furniture and clothing. The authentic church is a caring and generous community.

This is why our Founding Fathers chose our form of government here in the United States to be a Constitutional Republic. The freedoms spelled out in the Amendments were placed there so that the government would not force its hand against the citizens; and the citizens would have the redress opportunities to change a reprobate government (like the one we unfortunately have now) that becomes overbearing and oppressive.

Ben Franklin famously said to a woman who asked the question, “what kind of government have you given us?”

“A Republic…if you can keep it.”

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4. Abortion.

Liberals are the champions of killing babies in the womb. Their mindset is so strong on this issue that they hate and ridicule pro-life advocates. There is much to read about the horrors of abortion, and Conservapedia provides a lot of counter arguments against the sinful death-to-babies-in-the-womb ideology.

About “little ones” Jesus had this to say:

Luk 17:2

“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

(Also see Mar 9:42, Matt 18:6).

Killing children in the womb would also qualify as an offense to “one of these little ones.”

Psa 127:3

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Isa 44:24

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;

Psa 139:13

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.

Psa 139:14

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; [fn]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

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5. Moral Relativism.

 

Conservapedia covers this topic quite well.

Excerpts:

Moral relativism is the theory that moral standards vary from society to society, and from time to time in history. Under this theory, ethical principles are not universal and are instead social products. This theory argues that there is no objective moral order or absolute truth.

[Moral] relativity is a philosophy that states there is no absolute Right or Wrong, and that anyone can freely use his own conscience to decide what is moral. A moral relativist will not say that theft or murder is wrong, because he believes it is up to the murderer or thief to decide whether his behavior is justified. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

Moral relativity and related foolish thinking is what allows liberals to support abortion, gay rights, and drug abuse. Moral relativity erodes principled self-defense and thereby leads to misguided demands for gun control as well as psychiatric problems resulting from a lack of mental self-defense.

The first four liberal ideologies on this list could also be categorized under moral relativism errors. So much that is “celebrated” within the liberal mindset leads to evil, sin and death.

Jesus warned:

Mat 7:21

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Mat 7:22

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

Mat 7:23

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 

Despite Paul the Apostle’s  past as a persecutor, hater, and murderer of Christians,  Scripture reveals how he repented and became one of the greatest missionaries for Christ.  Paul’s writings share how to be reconciled back unto God:

1Ti 1:5

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

1Ti 1:6

from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,

1Ti 1:7

desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

1Ti 1:8

But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

1Ti 1:9

knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1Ti 1:10

for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

1Ti 1:11

according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

1Ti 1:12

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

1Ti 1:13

although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

1Ti 1:14

And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 1:15

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Hat tips to all links.

Brought From Death to Life

May 19, 2015

While reading a devotional segment from the May issue of Impact Magazine, I read a couplet that contained am unfamiliar word.

There is a little couplet which I like so much, but it contains a good word–forgotten by many today–the word “mien” (pronounced “mean”).  It means “countenance” or appearance.  Read the couplet:

 

Vice is a monster of such horrible mien, that to be hated it needs but to be seen.  But seen too oft, grown familiar with its face, first we endure, then we embrace.

 

In my humble opinion, I think that this is exactly what happened in the minds of those who were fighting for legalizing the horrible killing of babies in the womb back in 1973, as well as in the minds of the decision makers when abortion became legalized by the Supreme Court.  Today, a second tragic Supreme Court decision may be coming down the pike…the one that will be made at the end of June regarding the unfettered recognition of same-sex marriage.

In both cases, what was once deemed as vice, became familiar.  Next, we first endured the consequences of such decisions.  Then, it was embraced by secular society so as to label those who disagree and want to follow Christ and God’s Word  as “bigots,” “homophobes,” and “haters.”

The devotional goes on to say that “familiarity with the face of the monster of vice” is prevalent in our society.  We see it raise its ugly head on most talk shows and within the new “modern family” types of TV series that embrace as “good” that which used to be considered sinful and evil.

What was once considered “sin” is now re-labeled as “happiness.”

One of the great deceiver’s best ploys placed upon the human race is the successful lie he uses upon our consciences that, “we will find happiness and fulfillment through sin and by disregarding the commandments and precepts of God.”  Letting ourselves go in order to follow sinful passions and getting us to ignore Christ and His Word is Satan’s most successful lie.  The devil would have us believe that joy comes through sin.

However, God’s Word tells us that there is happiness in holiness and it is through the submission to the will of Christ that man will find his true joy and fulfillment.  Notice how these two choices are totally and completely opposite propositions!  One is truth, the other, a lie.

Even though the unredeemed of the world would like us to join in with the lies of Satan, Christians are not supposed to seek such familiarity.  Instead, we should turn away from our old vices, our old habits, and our old sinful natures.

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. – Romans 6:13

There is a great commentary written by David Brown on Romans 6.

Here is just a portion of it:

13. Neither yield ye your members instruments of unrighteousness unto Sin, but yield yourselves–this is the great surrender.
unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and–as the fruit of this.
your members–till now prostituted to sin.
instruments of righteousness unto God–But what if indwelling sin should prove too strong for us? The reply is: But it will not.

14. For Sin shall not have dominion over you–as the slaves of a tyrant lord.
for ye are not under the law, but under grace–The force of this glorious assurance can only be felt by observing the grounds on which it rests. To be “under the law” is, first, to be under its claim to entire obedience; and so, next under its curse for the breach of these. And as all power to obey can reach the sinner only through Grace, of which the law knows nothing, it follows that to be “under the law” is, finally, to be shut up under an inability to keep it, and consequently to be the helpless slave of sin. On the other hand, to be “under grace,” is to be under the glorious canopy and saving effects of that “grace which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (see on JF & B for Ro 5:20, 21). The curse of the law has been completely lifted from off them; they are made “the righteousness of God in Him”; and they are “alive unto God through Jesus Christ.” So that, as when they were “under the law,” Sin could not but have dominion over them, so now that they are “under grace,” Sin cannot but be subdued under them. If before, Sin resistlessly triumphed, Grace will now be more than conqueror.

The diminishing of our old nature is called mortification. The growing of our new nature is called vivification. Put the two together (mortification and vivification) and you get sanctification –one of the great glorious doctrines of the Christians faith.

Christians realize that the process of sanctification is a lifetime venture. We have never “arrived” because it is not perfected in this life. It is in eternity with Christ where the final traces or evidence of sin are removed and we are declared perfect.

1Jo 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! [fn] Therefore the world does not know us, [fn] because it did not know Him.

1Jo 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1Jo 3:3

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.


Stand Tall For Christ

1 Corinthians 16:13

Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

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Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

pastorwardclinton

Pastor Ward Clinton is a pastor in the Church of The Nazarene and author of a handful of books.

James Bishop's Theological Rationalism

Where Reason and Evidence Meet Faith.

GraceLife Blog

Thoughts About God's Amazing Grace

True Discernment

2 Timothy 4:3-4

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

romans122life

Not Conforming, But Reforming

The Apologista

Love, Life, and Logic with Lauren

Eternity Matters

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

willisbryanblog

Enough already

Freedom Is Just Another Word...

Rules?? What Are rules? I don't need no stinking rules!!!

Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Know Greater Love

"This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers." - 1 John 3:16

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Narrow is The Way Ministries

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14 (KJV)

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

The Master's Table

God honoring, Christ Centered

Truth2Freedom's Blog

Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

Citizen WElls

Obama eligibility, Obama news

Fellowship of the Minds

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

sharia unveiled

illuminating minds

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

danmillerinpanama

Dan Miller's blog

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

Nice Deb

It is what it is...

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

Eternity Matters

Christianity, politics, family and general ramblings.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.